Persevering Grace


Persevering Grace

by Mike Ratliff

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39 ESV)

Probably the number one thing that I have learned while presenting the doctrines of grace is that there are people who simply will not believe nor back away from their own conception of Soteriology. For instance, I have friends, acquaintances, and relatives who smirk and roll their eyes back when the topic of Persevering Grace comes up. I heard one fellow say once that God writes those who are saved in the Lamb’s Book of Life in pencil and that pencil has an eraser. Where in the Bible is that one?

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East to West


In preparation for my post on the Doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints I would like to post the lyrics to one of my favorite songs by Casting Crowns. Its title is East to West. – Mike Ratliff

God’s forgiveness is an amazing gift. The problem is that our logic gets in our way.
~Psalm 51 / Ephesians 2:1-10 / 1 John 1:9 / Psalm 103 / Romans 8 / Colossians 2:9-15 / Isaiah 38:17 / Psalm 32 / Lamentations 3:22-24 / Romans 6 / Romans 3:5-8

Here I am, Lord, and I’m drowning in your sea of forgetfulness
The chains of yesterday surround me
I yearn for peace and rest
I don’t want to end up where You found me
And it echoes in my mind, keeps me awake tonight
I know You’ve cast my sin as far as the east is from the west
And I stand before You now as though I’ve never sinned
But today I feel like I’m just one mistake away from You leaving me this way

Jesus, can You show me just how far the east is from the west
‘Cause I can’t bear to see the man I’ve been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
‘Cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other

I start the day, the war begins, endless reminding of my sin
Time and time again Your truth is drowned out by the storm I’m in
Today I feel like I’m just one mistake away from You leaving me this way

I know You’ve washed me white, turned my darkness into light
I need Your peace to get me through, to get me through this night
I can’t live by what I feel, but by the truth Your word reveals
I‘m not holding on to You, but You’re holding on to me
You’re holding on to me

Jesus, You know just how far the east is from the west
I don’t have to see the man I’ve been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
‘Cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other
One scarred hand to the other
From one scarred hand to the other

Written by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

© 2007 My Refuge Music/Club Zoo Music/SWECS Music (BMI) (admin. by EMI CMG Publishing) / Word Music, LLC (ASCAP), Banahama Tunes (ASCAP). All rights on behalf of itself and Banahama Tunes administered by Word Music, LLC.

Our Heavenly Dwelling and the Ministry of Reconciliation


by Mike Ratliff

For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened–not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. (2 Corinthians 5:1-4 ESV)

About two weeks ago I was in Oklahoma visiting my daughter and son-in-law. I did some landscaping for them as well as some general lawn care. Sometime during all that I picked up a very bad case of Poison Ivy. My arms and legs are the worst, however it is also on my cheek and upper lip. The medication that I am on is no picnic either. During all of this I have reflected much on what God is doing within this trial or test. I have no doubt that I need to be humbled and this test is spot-on for that. I am beginning to understand Job sitting on the ash heap scraping his skin with broken piece of pottery. Seriously though, I do know one thing that God is definitely doing in my heart through this. I believe the Lord is attacking my “pride of life.”

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The Essence of the Saint’s Perseverance


by Charles Spurgeon

“And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.”-John 10:28

The Christian should never think or speak lightly of unbelief. For a child of God to mistrust His love, His truth, His faithfulness, must be greatly displeasing to Him. How can we ever grieve Him by doubting His upholding grace? Christian! it is contrary to every promise of God’s precious Word that thou shouldst ever be forgotten or left to perish. If it could be so, how could He be true who has said, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I never forget thee.” What were the value of that promise-“The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.”

Where were the truth of Christ’s words-“I give unto My sheep eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.” Where were the doctrines of grace? They would be all disproved if one child of God should perish. Where were the veracity of God, His honour, His power, His grace, His covenant, His oath, if any of those for whom Christ has died, and who have put their trust in Him, should nevertheless be cast away? Banish those unbelieving fears which so dishonour God. Arise, shake thyself from the dust, and put on thy beautiful garments. Remember it is sinful to doubt His Word wherein He has promised thee that thou shalt never perish. Let the eternal life within thee express itself in confident rejoicing.

“The gospel bears my spirit up:
A faithful and unchanging God
Lays the foundation for my hope,
In oaths, and promises, and blood.”