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Chapter 17: Of the Perseverance of the Saints

The 1647 Westminster Confession of Faith

1. They whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.a

a. John 10:28-29; Phil 1:6; 1 Pet 1:5, 9; 2 Pet 1:10; 1 John 3:9.

2. This perseverance of the saints depends, not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father;a upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ;b the abiding of the Spirit and of the seed of God within them;c and the nature of the covenant of grace:d from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.e

a. Jer 31:3; 2 Tim 2:18-19. • b. Luke 22:32; John 17:11, 24; Heb 7:25; 9:12-15; 10:10, 14; 13:20-21; Rom 8:33-39. • c. John 14:16-17; 1 John 2:27; 3:9. • d. Jer 32:40. • e. John 10:28; 2 Thes 3:3; 1 John 2:19.

3. Nevertheless they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins;a and for a time continue therein:b whereby they incur God’s displeasure,c and grieve his Holy Spirit;d come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts;e have their hearts hardened,f and their consciences wounded;g hurt and scandalize others,h and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.i

a. Mat 26:70, 72, 74. • b. Psa 51 title with v. 14. • c. 2 Sam 11:27; Isa 64:5, 7, 9. • d. Eph 4:30. • e. Psa 51:8, 10, 12; Song 5:2-4, 6; Rev 2:4. • f. Isa 63:17; Mark 6:52; 16:14. • g. Psa 32:3-4; 51:8. • h. 2 Sam 12:14. • i. Psa 89:31-32; 1 Cor 11:32.

 

Bible Verse:

“For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, And people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts,” (Malachi 2:7).

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