Memorial OPC: Fall Adult Sunday SchoolWestminster Shorter Catechism              10/25/09


Q36: What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?

A36: The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are, assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.


Positive: All those who are genuine Christians shall persevere unto the end and be eternally saved.

Negative: Not one genuine Christian shall ever fall away from grace and be eternally lost.


I. All whom the Father has given unto Christ shall be eternally saved.

            John 17:2, 12, 24                    John 6:35-40                                      Matthew 1:21

            Romans 8:29-30                     2 Timothy 2:19




II. The omnipotence of God guarantees this.

            John 10:27-30                        Romans 8:31-39




III. The intercession of Christ guarantees this.

            Hebrews 7:25                         Romans 8:34




IV. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit guarantees this.

            2 Corinthians 5:5                    Ephesians 1:13-14




V. The specific promise of God guarantees this.

            1 Corinthians 1:8-9                Philippians 1:6




VI. Preservation and Perseverance

            Matthew 10:22                       Philippians 2:12-13                            1 Peter 1:4-5

            (Note well the numerous exhortations and warning passages of scripture.)


Louis Berkhof: “Perseverance may be defined as that continuous operation of the Holy spirit in the believer, by which the work of divine grace that is begun in the heart, is continued and brought to completion. It is because God never forsakes His work that believers continue to stand to the very end” (ST, p. 546).





VII. Potential Misunderstandings:

“All those who are PROFESSING (?) Christians shall persevere unto the end and be eternally saved.”

            Mark 4:16-19                         John 15:1-6                                        Hebrews 6:4-9

            Hebrews 10:26




“Those who persevere can never fall into grievous sins.”

            Matthew 26:69-75                 2 Samuel 12:7-14                               1 Corinthians 11:32

            (Note that they most certainly can, BUT they will not remain impenitent and hardened.)




VIII. Potential Problems with Terminology:

            “Once saved, always saved”

            “Eternal Security”

            “Jesus is my savior, but not my Lord”






Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 17

“Of the Perseverance of the Saints”

I. 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.  Phil. 1:6; II Peter 1:10; Rom. 8:28-30; John 10:28-29; I John 3:9; 5:18; I Peter 1:5, 9


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


2.  Psa. 89:3-4, 28-33; II Tim. 2:18-19; Jer. 31:3

3.  Heb. 7:25; 9:12-15; 10:10, 14; 13:20-21; 17:11, 24; Rom. 8:33-39; Luke 22:32

4.  John 14:16-17; I John 2:27; 3:9

5.  Jer. 32:40; Psa. 89:34-37; see Jer. 31:31-34

6.  John 6:38-40; 10:28; II Thess. 3:3; I John 2:19


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


7.  Exod. 32:21; Jonah 1:3, 10; Psa. 51:14; Matt. 26:70, 72, 74

8.  II Sam. 12:9, 13; Gal. 2:11-14

9.  Num. 20:12; II Sam. 11:27; Isa. 64:7, 9

10. Eph. 4:30

11. Psa. 51:8, 10, 12; Rev. 2:4; Matt. 26:75

12. Isa. 63:17

13. Psa. 32:3-4; 51:8

14. Gen. 12:10-20; II Sam. 12:14; Gal. 2:13

15. Psa. 89:31-32; I Cor. 11:32