A Short on Perseverance & Assurance in the Canons of Dort

Canons

I had argued in an earlier post, “Some Quick Reminders of what TULIP is NOT,” the following:

The perseverance of a believer is not due to a subjective state of heart and mind that, once achieved, guarantees future glorification, come what may. The perseverance of a believer is the preserving power and faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This section of the article (covering the “P”) seems to have met with the most resistance, largely because it (1) appeared to imply that “true faith” can be lost—that one who is once a true believer can thereafter “fall away,” and (2) appeared to some to imply that there is therefore no basis for true assurance since something more like the subjective “once truly believed, always will believe” model is a better basis of assurance.

But I am nevertheless completely certain that what I had offered was indeed the actual teaching of the Reformers and specifically the Canons of Dort, the very document that has given us the so called “TULIP” to begin with.  First, let’s take a look at the Fourth/Fifth Head of Doctrine of the Canons, Article 3:

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