SECTION 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
SECTION 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; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace: from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.
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
SECTION 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; and, for a time, continue therein: whereby they incur God’s displeasure, and grieve his Holy Spirit, come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.
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
This chapter teaches the following propositions: —
1. The true believer, having been once regenerated and justified by God, can never afterward totally nor finally fall away from grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end. 2. That the principle of this certain perseverance is not in any degree in the free will of the saints, but altogether — (1.) In the inherent immutability of the eternal decree of election; (2.) In the provisions of the eternal covenant of grace; (3.) In the merits and intercession of Christ; and. (4.) In the constant indwelling and preserving power of the Holy Ghost.
3. The true believer may nevertheless fall into grievous sins, and for a time continue therein. The occasions of which falls are — (1.) The temptations of the world; (2.) The seductions of Satan; (3.) The remaining corruptions of their own nature; (4.) The neglect of the means of grace. The effects of which falls are — (a.) God is displeased and the Holy Ghost grieved; (6.) They are themselves to a degree deprived of their graces and comforts, their hearts being hardened and their consciences wounded, and their persons visited with temporal judgments; (a.) Their conduct is a stumbling-block to all who see them, and an occasion of sorrow to their fellow-Christians.