Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Relationship of Perseverance to Assurance

The role of good works in Romans 2.  It would be a terrible mistake to conclude from Pauls' emphasis on assurance that perseverance in the faith is unnecessary. One must not cancel out the other pole of the biblical witness in order to sustain assurance. Perseverance in the faith is absolutely necessary to maintain assurance. Paul does not encourage anyone to believe that eternal life will be theirs if they persist in disobedience. The statement that God “will render to each one according to his works (Rom 2:6) is not hypothetical, nor is the assertion that “the doers of the law will be justified” (Rom 2:13). Some consign these statements to mere hypothesis or even label them as contradictory since elsewhere righteousness is said to be apart form works of law (e.g., Rom 3:20). A contradiction is unlikely inasmuch as Paul did not forget what he wrote in Chapter 2 when he added chapter 3, especially since the argument of Romans is well organized and sustained. Thomas Schreiner, Paul, Apsotle of God's Glory, p. 279-280; italics added.

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