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DIVINE PRESERVATION
" Thou shalt keep them…thou shalt preserve them…for ever"
(Ps. 12:7)

          There are three divine promises in which the believer can daily delight and constantly rejoice: (a) The promise of divine preservation-John 10:28-29; (b) The promise of divine providence-Rom. 8:28 and (c) The promise of divine provisions-Phil. 4:19. This editorial deals with the theme of divine preservation and notes that there are three entities God promised to preserve:
          1. God promised to preserve His Son-Ps. 16:10: "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one to see corruption." In this passage, looking prophetically ahead, Christ reaffirmed a promise made by His Heavenly Father. God promised to preserve (a) Christ's spirit-Luke 23:46, Christ's soul-Ps. 16:10a and (c) Christ's body-Ps. 16:10b.
Acts 2:31-32 confirms that Ps. 16;10 is a distinct reference to Christ's resurrection when it states "He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses."
In these correlated OT (Ps. 16:8-11) and NT passages (Acts 2:22-36), it is intriguing to note the change in the heavenly seating arrangement. Before His condescension, in Ps. 16:8, Christ is portrayed as being seated on the left hand of God, a statement that corresponds with O.T. passages concerning the Father's seating on the right on the divine throne-Ex. 15:6, Ps. 17:7. After his victorious resurrection and return, however, Ps. 16:11 indicates that Christ is now seated at the Father's right hand, a fact that the NT confirms in numerous passages such as Heb. 1:3, 8:1, 10:12 and others.
          2. God promised to preserve His saints-II Tim. 4:18: "…and the Lord will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom." As one commentator states, Paul here expressed his "assurance concerning the future." In that verse, Paul manifested his unflinching confidence in the doctrine of eternal security! The Greek root word for preserve here is sozo, a word that means "to save, deliver" and "protect." It is the same Greek word used for Christ's deliverance in salvation in Matt. 1:21 "…thou shalt his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Christ himself used the Greek word sozo in Matt. 18:11 when he stated that the "Son of man is come to save that which was lost." Bible salvation is an eternal deliverance that every genuine believer possesses now-John 10:28-29.
This eternal preservation is also proclaimed in O. T. passages in Ps. 97:10 and 121:7, as well as in David's concluding statement in Ps. 23:6 "…and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." God's preservation of his saints is based on three Biblical tenets: (a) the finished provision of salvation-Heb. 10:12; (b) the factual promises of Scripture-Phil. 1:6 and (c) the full presence of the Spirit-John14:16.
          3. God promised to preserve His Scripture-Ps. 12:6-7: "The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
The Hebrew word for preserve is natsar, meaning "to guard, protect" or "maintain." A related root means "to maintain—without fail." A second Hebrew word for preserve which has special reference to saints is shamar, which means "to hedge about, guard, protect" and "attend to." Would God do anything less for His Word than He would do for His saints?
In Scripture, God unquestionably (a) preserved His thoughts-Jer. 29:11, thoughts that do contain His message-I John 1:5, 3:11. The emphasis of Scripture, however, is not on God's thoughts, but on God's Words! Emphasis upon God's thoughts/God's message as to what constitutes the Scripture is a position dangerously close to Neo-Orthodoxy and only a slim step away from this dangerous apostate theology.
In Scripture, God has also (b) preserved His theme-the person of Christ-Luke 23:27, John 5:39. From Genesis one to Revelation twenty-two, Christ is the preeminent subject. Finally, in Scripture God has (c) preserved His text. It must be carefully noted that God's thoughts and God's theme are delineated in God's text-His written Word!
An important fact that cannot be over-emphasized is that God's Word is composed of God's Words! The Inscripturated Word (II Tim. 3:16) in which we find the Incarnated Word (John 1:1) is composed of God's Words (Ps. 119:57, 103). If we can't be sure we have God's complete words, then we can't be sure we have God complete word!
Christ placed his unquestioned confidence in the exact words of inscripurated revelation when he stated in Matt. 4:4 that man should live "by every [exact] word" that proceeds "out of the mouth of God", and in Matt. 24:35 when he declared that "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my [precise] words shall not pass away." For these three blessings: the preserved Son, the preserved saints and the preserved Scripture, the believer should be ever grateful (Ps. 107: 8-9). D. J.


Editorial – June - July, 2004 The Fundamentalist Digest; Permission granted for reprint, so long as proper credit is given.
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