Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 22
Q & A 79
Q May not true believers, by reason of their imperfections, and the many temptations and sins they are overtaken with, fall away from the state of grace?
A True believers, by reason of the unchangeable love of God,1 and his decree and covenant to give them perseverance,2 their inseparable union with Christ,3 his continual intercession for them,4 and the Spirit and seed of God abiding in them,5 can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace,6 but are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.*7
Q & A 80
Q Can true believers be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and that they shall persevere therein unto salvation?
A Such as truly believe in Christ, and endeavour to walk in all good conscience before him,8 may, without extraordinary revelation, by faith grounded upon the truth of God’s promises, and by the Spirit enabling them to discern in themselves those graces to which the promises of life are made,9 and bearing witness with their spirits that they are the children of God,10 be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and shall persevere therein unto salvation.11
Q & A 81
Q Are all true believers at all times assured of their present being in the estate of grace, and that they shall be saved?
A Assurance of grace and salvation not being of the essence of faith,12 true believers may wait long before they obtain it;13 and, after the enjoyment thereof, may have it weakened and intermitted, through manifold distempers, sins, temptations, and desertions;14 yet they are never left without such a presence and support of the Spirit of God as keeps them from sinking into utter despair.15
*1 Jeremiah 31:3.
*2 2 Timothy 2:19; Hebrews 13:20-21; 2 Samuel 23:5.
*3 1 Corinthians 1:8-9.
*4 Hebrews 7:25; Luke 22:32.
*5 1 John 3:9; 1 John 2:27.
*6 Jeremiah 32:40; John 10:28.
*7 1 Peter 1:5.
*8 1 John 2:3.
*9 1 Corinthians 2:12; 1 John 3:14, 18-19, 21, 24; 1 John 4:13, 16; Hebrews 6:11-12.
*10 Romans 8:16.
*11 1 John 5:13.
*12 Ephesians 1:13.
*13 Isaiah 50:10; Psalm 88:1-3, 6-7, 9-10, 13-15.
*14 Psalm 77:1-12; Song of Solomon 5:2-3, 6; Psalm 51:8, 12; Psalm 31:22; Psalm 22:1.
*15 1 John 3:9; Psalm 73:15, 23; Isaiah 54:7-10.