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What Is Perseverance of the Saints? (Basics of the Faith) (Basics of the Reformed Faith) Paperback – February 2, 2009
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"This truth of the perseverance of the saints, which entails the final security of believers, is a profoundly practical point of Scripture truth. Mike Milton knows that and explains and applies it to you in a wonderfully instructive and compelling way." --Ligon Duncan
"Mike Milton thinks like a scholar but writes like a pastor. He takes subtle issues and, without dumbing them down, explains them in easy-to-understand terms. That is a wonderful gift to the church." --Joel Belz
About the Author
Michael A. Milton is Chancellor and CEO of Reformed Theological Seminary, where he is also the James M. Baird Jr. Chair of Pastoral Theology. He is the host of the national Bible teaching television program Faith for Living, a songwriter and recording artist, and the author of numerous books. Previously he was the senior minister of the historic First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
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Defining the Doctrine
The author cites Berkhof - "Perseverance may be defined as that continuous operation of the Holy Spirit in the believer, by which the work of divine grace that is begun in the heart, is continued and brought to completion."
Distortions of the Doctrine
Milton wisely uncovers some of the prominent distortions of perseverance of the saints. Most notable is the popular notion, "once saved, always saved." This idea, while correct in principle, does not tell the whole story. "It does not," Milton writes, "address the believers progression in holiness, which is sanctification." The author points to the dual reality of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility, a key truth that emerges when unpacking this weighty doctrine.
Defense of the Doctrine
Milton's defense of perseverance of the saints is not comprehensive, nor is intended to be comprehensive. Rather, he seeks to provide a basic biblical and theological framework that demonstrates the truthfulness of this doctrine. His arguments are clear and compelling. They are an excellent introduction for Christians uncovering this doctrine for the first time.
Delight in the Doctrine
Finally, the author discusses the benefits of embracing perseverance of the saints. He includes encouraging principles that flow directly from the fountainhead of this precious doctrine.