|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
Perseverance of the saints
Their certain continuance in a state of grace. Once justified and regenerated, the believer can neither totally nor finally fall away from grace, but will certainly persevere therein and attain everlasting life.
This doctrine is clearly taught in these passages, John 10:28, 29; Romans 11:29; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:5. It, moreover, follows from a consideration of (1) the immutability of the divine decrees (Jeremiah 31:3; Matthew 24:22-24; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:30); (2) the provisions of the covenant of grace (Jeremiah 32:40; John 10:29; 17:2-6); (3) the atonement and intercession of Christ (Isaiah 53:6, 11; Matthew 20:28; 1 Peter 2:24; John 11:42; 17:11, 15, 20; Romans 8:34); and (4) the indwelling of the Holy Ghost (John 14:16; 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:14; 1 John 3:9).
This doctrine is not inconsistent with the truth that the believer may nevertheless fall into grievous sin, and continue therein for some time. (see BACKSLIDE.)
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) Persistence under harsh conditions; continued pursuit or prosecution of any business, or enterprise begun.
2. (n.) Discrimination.
3. (n.) Continuance in a state of grace until it is succeeded by a state of glory; sometimes called final perseverance, and the perseverance of the saints. See Calvinism.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
pur-se-ver'-ans: The word occurs only once in the King James Version (Ephesians 6:18), where it refers quite simply to persistence in prayer. In theology (especially in the phrase "final perseverance") the word has come to denote a special persistency, the undying continuance of the new life (manifested in faith and holiness) given by the Spirit of God to man. It is questioned whether such imparted life is (by its nature, or by the law of its impartation) necessarily permanent indestructible so that the once regenerate and believing man has the prospect of final glory infallibly assured. This is not the place to trace the history of a great and complex debate. It is more fitting here to point to the problem as connected with that supreme class of truths in which, because of our necessary mental limits, the entire truth can only be apprehended as the unrevealed but certain harmony of seeming contradictions. Scripture on the one hand abounds with assurances of "perseverance" as a fact, and largely intimates that an exulting anticipation of it is the intended experience of the believer (see John 10:28 above all, and compare among other passages Romans 8:31-37 1 Peter 1:8, 9). On the other hand, we find frequent and urgent warnings and cautions (see e.g. 1 Corinthians 8:11; 1 Corinthians 9:27). The teacher dealing with actual cases, as in pastoral work, should be ready to adopt both classes of utterances, each with its proper application; applying the first, e.g., to the true but timid disciple, the latter to the self-confident. Meanwhile Scripture on the whole, by the manner and weight of its positive statements, favors a humble belief of the permanence, in the plan of God, of the once-given new life. It is as if it laid down perseverance" as the divine rule for the Christian, while the negative passages came in to caution the man not to deceive himself with appearances, nor to let any belief whatever palliate the guilt and minimize the danger of sin. In the biographies of Scripture, it is noteworthy that no person appears who, at one time certainly a saint, was later certainly a castaway. The awful words of Hebrews 6:4-6; Hebrews 10:26, 27 appear to deal with cases (such as Balaam's) of much light but no loving life, and so are not precisely in point. Upon the whole subject, it is important to make "the Perseverance of the Saviour" our watchword rather than "the Perseverance of the saint."
Perseverance (27 Occurrences)
Luke 8:15 That in the good ground, these are such as in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, hold it tightly, and bring forth fruit with patience. (See NAS)
Romans 2:7 to those on the one hand who, by lives of persistent right-doing, are striving for glory, honour and immortality, the Life of the Ages; (See NAS)
Romans 5:3 Not only this, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering works perseverance; (WEB NAS NIV)
Romans 5:4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope: (WEB NAS NIV)
Romans 8:25 But if we hope for that which we don't see, we wait for it with patience. (See NAS)
Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that through patience and through encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (See NAS)
Romans 15:5 Now the God of patience and of encouragement grant you to be of the same mind one with another according to Christ Jesus, (See NAS)
2 Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were worked among you in all patience, in signs and wonders and mighty works. (See NAS NIV)
Ephesians 6:18 with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints: (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Colossians 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, for all endurance and perseverance with joy; (WEB)
Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance; (WEB)
2 Thessalonians 1:4 so that we ourselves do glory in you in the assemblies of God, for your endurance and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye bear; (See NAS NIV)
2 Thessalonians 3:5 May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patience of Christ. (See NIV)
1 Timothy 6:11 But you, O man of God, must flee from these things; and strive for uprightness, godliness, good faith, love, fortitude, and a forgiving temper. (See NAS)
2 Timothy 3:10 But you did follow my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, steadfastness, (See NAS)
Titus 2:2 aged men to be temperate, grave, sober, sound in the faith, in the love, in the endurance; (See NAS)
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (See RSV NIV)
James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. (See NIV)
James 5:11 Behold, we call them blessed who endured. You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the Lord in the outcome, and how the Lord is full of compassion and mercy. (See NIV)
2 Peter 1:6 and in the knowledge the temperance, and in the temperance the endurance, and in the endurance the piety, (See NAS NIV)
Revelation 1:9 I John, your brother and partner with you in oppression, Kingdom, and perseverance in Christ Jesus, was on the isle that is called Patmos because of God's Word and the testimony of Jesus Christ. (WEB NAS)
Revelation 2:2 "I know your works, and your toil and perseverance, and that you can't tolerate evil men, and have tested those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and found them false. (WEB NAS NIV)
Revelation 2:3 You have perseverance and have endured for my name's sake, and have not grown weary. (WEB NAS)
Revelation 2:19 "I know your works, your love, faith, service, patient endurance, and that your last works are more than the first. (See NAS NIV)
Revelation 3:10 Because you kept my command to endure, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, which is to come on the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. (See NAS)
Revelation 13:10 If anyone has captivity, he will go into captivity. If anyone is with the sword, he must be killed. Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints. (See NAS)
Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." (See NAS)