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The Parable of Perseverance

Luke 15:3   And he spake unto them this parable, saying,  4 What man of you, having a hundred sheep, and having lost one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and his neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7 I say unto you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons, who need no repentance.

Luke 15:8   Or what woman having ten 2pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a lamp, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it? 9 And when she hath found it, she calleth together her friends and neighbors, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10 Even so, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Luke 15:11   And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12 and the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of 3thy substance that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together and took his journey into a far country; and there he wasted his substance with riotous living. 14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want. 15 And he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country; and he sent him into his field to feed swine. 16 And he would fain 4have filled his belly with 5the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. 17 But when he came to himself he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perished here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight: 19 I am no more worthy to be called your son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 20 And he arose, and came to his father. But while he was yet afar off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck and 6kissed him. 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight: I am no more worthy to be called thy son7. 22 But the father said to his 8servants, Bring forth quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 and bring the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat, and make merry: 24 for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. 25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing.  26 And he called to him one of the servants, and inquired what these things might be.  27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.  28 But he was angry, and would not go in: and his father came out, and entreated him.  29 But he answered and said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, and I never transgressed a commandment of thine; and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:  30 but when this thy son came, who hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou killedst for him the fatted calf.  31 And he said unto him, 9Son, thou art ever with me, and all that is mine is thine.  32 But it was meet to take merry and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

The Shepherd, the woman and the father in these parables are types of Christ. The Shepherd always owned the sheep, including the one who had strayed; The coins always belonged to the woman who had lost one and the sons were always sons to the father-one cannot undo sonship. These parables are excellent examples of perseverance.

John 17:11 And I am no more in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are.

John 17:24 Father, 12I desire that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

Westminster Confession, Ch 3:6

VI. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath he, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore they who are elected being fallen in Adam are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power through faith unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.

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