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.