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We are forever preserved in Christ by virtue of our eternal union with him in God’s everlasting purpose of grace (Ephesians 1:3-6). Without question, there is much more about God’s purpose of grace that we do not understand than there is that we do understand. But this much is sure...
Yes, back before time began, before God ever said, “Let there be light and there was light,” in eternity, the Lord Jesus betrothed us unto himself as his holy Bride, receiving us as his gift from the Father; and “he hateth putting away.”
Those whom the triune God predestinated, justified, called, sanctified, accepted, and glorified in Christ before the world began, he will not lose in time (Romans 11:29; 2 Timothy 2:19).
Being sanctified by God the Father, all God’s elect are preserved through all the ages of time in providence in prevenient grace.
“Prevenient grace” is a term seldom heard in our day. Preachers do not talk about it much anymore because preachers, for the most part, know nothing about the grace of God; but a common theme of meditation and preaching in earlier times was God’s prevenient grace. Prevenient grace is the grace of God that goes before us, preserving us unto saving grace, preparing the way of grace.
The word “prevenient” means preceding. Prevenient grace is the secret operation of grace that precedes and prepares the way for God’s saving grace. How I rejoice and give thanks to God for his free, covenant grace and for his secret, prevenient grace. It is this prevenient grace that keeps and preserves his elect throughout their days of rebellion unto the day of their calling. That is what Jude speaks of in the opening words of his instructive epistle.