The Westminster Confession of Faith – Perseverance of the Saints
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. ─Westminster Confession of Faith
Nevertheless [believers] 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
How much sin is okay? Do these teachers really believe that they are better than another person because they sin less? I sin every day in that I do not do that which I should – to love God with my entire mind, soul, and strength 24/7? Therefore, according to reformed theology teachers, I am not a true believer. Yet, I know that Christ has paid for my sin and I have trusted in Him. I’ve done the will of God in trusting Jesus as my saviour (John 6:39-40), therefore I am eternally secure in Christ.
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin – James 4:17
The Westminster Confession of Faith also has a skewed understanding of repentance that it teaches too, and the churches who hold to the Westminster Confession of Faith are spreading these false teachings too. There are eight definitions of repentance, four in the Old Testament and four in the New Testament. Not all mean the same, so the reformed theology teachers should not plunk ‘repentance’ into the same meaning as to ‘turn from sin’. God repents the most in the entire Bible.
It is unbelief in Christ that damns a person (John 16:9), not turning from sins. John 3:36 says that the wrath of God abideth on the unbeliever, and the unbeliever is condemned already in John 3:18.
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged – John 16:7-11
Only Christ could achieve that sinless perfection that we can never attain in this lifetime? The free gift of salvation is given to those who believe in the atoning work of Christ as payment for their sin.
But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many – Romans 5:15
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord – Romans 6:23
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: – Ephesians 2:8
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God – John 3:16-18
The reformed theology teaching of the Perseverance of the saints is a false teaching that turns our rest in Christ onto looking at the way we live to attain salvation.
Biblical salvation teaches that we are saved by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, and God preserves us.
28 and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand – John 10:28-29
In the context of John 10:28, the preceding verse Jesus is saying that the sheep hear his voice, he knows them, and they follow him. Follow is the greek G190 akoloutheo, means to side with him (Christ) and trust his teaching, become a learner (disciple) to teach others, and what does he teach over and over to the scribes and pharisees – that eternal life is found in only Him. The will of the Father is to trust in the Son (John 6:39-40).
39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day – John 6:39-40
We should enter into good works, but this is not a condition of salvation. It is right to separate salvation (entirely of God’s amazing grace) from discipleship (to get blessings in this life and rewards in the next). Believers will be judged at the judgement seat of Christ – Romans 14:10, 2 Corinthians 5:10.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them – Ephesians 2:10
8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men – Titus 3:8
Most churches in the UK will hold to the Westminster Confession of Faith, which includes the false teaching of reformed theology through its doctrine of perseverance of the saints. This teaching, although the authors of this confession make people believe that it is God’s Spirit providing the strength to persevere, still puts people into bondage because the effort of persevering to the end is conscious effort. If the teaching is that if you do not persevere to the end is evidence that you are not a ‘true believer’ then it is works salvation that you are basing your salvation on, and not the finished work of Christ.
Be careful of these bondage doctrines of man. Instead, we should perform good works out of love for what God has done for us in Christ. Whether we perform good works or not, our salvation in Christ is secure. The epistle of James speaks of having an active faith that can be seen by men, opposed to a dead faith, which cannot be seen by men. James is written to believers.
Growing in grace is a lifetime process for the believer. Some believers remain carnal and will endure God’s chastening in this lifetime. We will always have our old sin nature, as well as the indwelling Holy Spirit upon trusting in the finished work of Christ who paid for our sins through His shed blood, but the two natures will always be at war.
Believe on Jesus Christ’s perfect sacrificial work as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, and not man’s teachings on what he thinks is biblical salvation through mounds of additional works.
Jesus, who is God in the flesh, cannot lie. Trust Him.
in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; – Titus 1:2
47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life – John 6:47
11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God – 1 John 5:11-13
37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out – John 6:37