Or, to put it another way, the Bible teaches that God grants faith and the strength to persevere in that faith. God grants pardon for our sins because of Jesus, we receive joy in him, and God receives all the glory. What a great exchange!
Kevin DeYoung is a pastor, writer and prolific blogger, and I think he would call himself a friend of Bethlehem.
I was very encouraged by his posting this week, Does the Bible Really Teach the Perseverance of the Saints?
He quotes extensively from Herman Bavinck’s book, Reformed Dogmatics:
In his intercession before the Father, Christ acts in such a way that their faith may not fail (Luke 22:32), that in the world they may be kept from the evil one (John 17:11, 20), that they may be saved for all times (Heb. 7:20), he is to behold his glory (John 117:24). The benefits of Christ, which the Holy Spirit imparts to them, are all irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). Those who are called are also glorified (8:30). Those who are adopted as children are heirs of eternal life (8:17; Gal. 4:7). Those who believe have eternal life already here and now (John 3:16). That life itself, being eternal, cannot be lost. It cannot die since it cannot sin (1 John 3:9). Faith is a firm ground (Heb. 11:1), hope is an anchor (6:19) and does not disappoint us (Rom. 5:5), and love never ends (1 Cor. 13:8) (Emphasis in bold mine).