G C Berkouwer on “Faith and Perseverance”

Berkouwer insists that “the living preaching of the Scriptures, which offer no metaphysical and theoretical views about …. ‘permanency’ as an independent theme in itself, does nothing to encourage ‘a continuity’ which is opposed in any way to the living nature of faith” (p. 13). He stresses that “The perseverance of the saints is unbreakably connected with the assurance of faith” (p. 11)
A helpful account of Berkouwer’s view of faith and perseverance is given by L. B. Smedes: “The doctrine of perseverance is an assurance gained only in faith, in the faith that is directed only to Christ. The faith that looks to Christ realizes that grace has priority over his doubts and weakness. Our duty to persevere is oriented to God’s preservation. And we find confidence in God’s preservation of us when we see His powerful grace at the Cross. assurance is not the prerogative of the person who can reason inferentially from a doctrine of election. assurance is the gift that everyone finds who finds God at the Cross. The admonitions of Scripture to persevere lest we fall, the temptation to disbelieve, and the weakness of the human will, are the ways along which faith comes to rest in the reliability of grace. For these, within the Christian life of faith are goads to drive us to the cross, the only place where the faith-certainty of perseverance is found” (“G.C. Berkouwer” in “Creative Minds in Contemporary Theology”, p. 91).

More about Berkouwer, see


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