The P in TULIP stands for ‘the Perseverance of the Saints’.
What the Synod of Dort (1618-1619) sought to demonstrate and affirm against the Arminian Remonstrants was God’s total control over the outcome of those He has elected. It is a bringing to fruition by grace His Sovereign plan to those He has chosen before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), to and for those He has chosen to be holy and walk blameless before Him, to and for those He predestined to adoption as beloved sons and daughters through Jesus Christ according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:5).
The Perseverance of the Saints affirms Jesus’ words in John 10: 27-29, that His sheep hear His voice, He knows them, and they follow Him. He gives eternal life to them, they shall never perish, and no one will snatch them out of His hand.
It affirms the author of Hebrews in 12: 2 who says that Jesus is the author and perfecter of (the elect’s) faith, and Phil. 1: 6 that “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
It affirms Jesus’ words in John 6:39 that the will of the Father who sent Jesus was that of all He (the Father) has given Him (Jesus), He (Jesus) will lose none of them, but raise them up on the last day.
It affirms Paul’s words in Romans 8: 29-30:
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
So what can one say? Romans 8: 31-ff:
If God is for us who can be against us?…Who will bring a charge against God’s elect?…Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?…Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Can you see what powerful testimony this is, mis hijas, to God’s sovereignty and complete control and direction of His divine plan for His elect? What an awesome God is this!
The leaders at the Synod of Dort were reacting to the Arminian Remonstrant position that it was possible to fall from grace; that one could lose their salvation if not dutifully and diligently keeping oneself in the fold. The Remonstrants sided with the Roman Catholic church that one cannot be truly sure of one’s salvation (Council of Trent, Canon on Justification, Article 14).
What ‘Perseverance of the Saints’ addresses, therefore, and what the Synod of Dort affirmed, is that it is not what man does to keep his salvation, but what Christ has already accomplished. Christ has forgiven past, present, and future sins. There’s no need for worry that your post-regeneration sins will lose you your salvation. In God’s eyes they’re washed away in the same way our pre-conversion sins are washed away. Christ’s sacrifice paid them all. Our assurance of salvation then, never rests in what we do or in what we don’t do, but on Him and His perfect sacrifice. This indeed is pure love to behold!
Vaya con Dios mis hijas,
Dear ol’ Dad