"Perseverance of the Saints"
in 1John

The Doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints is the idea that once born of God, it is inevitable that the Christian's life will be consistent with that which is characteristic of a child of God and he will continue to endure to the end both respect to his faith and such behavior as is characteristic of that faith. Implicit in this, of course, is the doctrine of "Eternal Security" (Once Saved, Always Saved)

Consider the Perfect Tense. The Perfect Tense is used to indicate an action which occurred in the past and has continued on till the present. The quotes are taken from the NIV. The italics are mine for emphasis.

1John 3:6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has (at any time in the past up the the present) either seen him or known him.
This statement is contrary to the idea that once saved, it is possible for a Christian to live a lifestyle of sin (Free Grace Theology) and (Wesleyanism). For if you meet someone that lives a lifestyle of sin, you can say that such a person had never come to know Jesus either in the past all the way up to the present. This is consistent with John's analysis of a certain group of people formerly considered Christians:
1John 2:19 "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."
This is simply an application of the doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints. Once saved, it is inevitable that such people would "remain", but if not, their salvation status is revealed by their behavior (as indicated by the word "showed").
What causes the Saints to Persevere?
1John 3:9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.
There is something about the rebirth experience that changes the nature of the person which makes inevitable this kind of behavior. Just as it is written:
2Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
This was the part of the promise of the New Covenant as Jeremiah wrote:
Jer 31:33,34 "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
And is made effective by the Holy Spirit to all those who belong to Christ
Romans 8:9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
Christ's commands are not burdensome to those who have been born of God
1John 5:3-5 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God (perfect tense: "has in the past been born of God") overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Being born itself is an event that occurs at a point in time. The perfect is used to refer to this past event which, just like physical birth, is a continuous state from the point of birth to the present. This verse answers objections to the concept of Eternal Security from verses dealing with "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.", such as in Revelations 2:7
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
Along with Rev 2:11,17,26; 3:5,12,21; 21:7. It is inevitable that those who have been born of God will overcome. If they don't then they hadn't been born of God.
Steve Amato
The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources

Edition: Jul 29,2015