Chapter 17. Of the Perseverance of the Saints

Read Chapter 17(Of the Perseverance of the Saints) of the 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.1

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;2upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ;3the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them;4and the nature of the covenant of grace:5from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.6

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;7and, for a time, continue therein:8whereby they incur God’s displeasure,9and grieve His Holy Spirit,10come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts,11have their hearts hardened,12and their consciences wounded,13hurt and scandalize others,14and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.15