Perseverance of the Saints

“Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.”

Rom. 8:30

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

Jn. 10:28-29

“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.”

Jn. 6:40



Order of Contents

Articles  6+
Historical  4




Anthology of the Post-Reformation

Heppe, Heinrich – ch. 23, ‘The Fixity of the Covenant of Grace, or the Perseverance of the Saints’  in Reformed Dogmatics  ed. Ernst Bizer, tr. G.T. Thomson  Pre  Buy  (1861; Wipf & Stock, 2007), pp. 581-90

Heppe (1820–1879) was a German reformed theologian.



Rivet, Andrew – 31. ‘On Faith & the Perseverance of the Saints’  in Synopsis of a Purer Theology: Latin Text & English Translation  Buy  (1625; Brill, 2016), vol. 2, pp. 228-76

Rutherford, Samuel – Rutherford’s Examination of Arminianism: the Tables of Contents with Excerpts from Every Chapter  trans. Charles Johnson & Travis Fentiman  (1638-1642; 1668; RBO, 2019)

ch. 10, section 5, ‘Whether the Covenant of Grace is eternal?  We affirm against the Remonstrants.’, pp. 95-96

Note that Rutherford is here arguing against the Arminians, rather than later when he argued against the polar opposite error of the Antinomians (who took the eternalness of the Covenant of Grace to an extreme length).

ch. 13, section 2, ‘Whether it is hypocritical that those possessing temporary faith cannot be said to fall away?  We deny with a distinction against the Remonstrants.’, pp. 110-14

ch. 14

section 3, ‘Whether the Arminians rightly deny there to be any certainty of our salvation?  We deny against the same.’, pp. 115-16

section 4, ‘Whether or not a greater certainty is required by us than that which the nature of a free act itself bears?  We affirm against the Remonstrants.’, pp. 117-18

Heidegger, Johann H. – 24. ‘On the Constancy of the Covenant of Grace’  in The Concise Marrow of Theology  tr. Casey Carmichael  in Classic Reformed Theology, vol. 4  (1697; RHB, 2019), pp. 171-77



à Brakel, Wilhelmus – ch. 99, ‘The Perseverance of the Saints’  in The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vol. 4  ed. Joel Beeke, tr. Bartel Elshout  Buy  (1700; RHB, 1992/1999), pp. 275-303

a Brakel (1635-1711) was a contemporary of Voet and Witsius and a major representative of the Dutch Further Reformation.



Berkhof, Louis – ‘Perseverance of the Saints’  (1950) 15 paragraphs  in Systematic Theology



Historical Theology

All of Church History



Cunningham, William – ‘Perseverance of the Saints’  in Historical Theology  (1863), vol. 2, p. 490-500




Johnson, Charles – ‘Thomas & TULIP’  (2020)  20 paragraphs  at Reformed Theology Delatinized

“This article will address the claim that Thomas Aquinas held to an Augustinian doctrine of predestination essentially compatible with that of the Reformed Churches, showing in what ways Thomas’s doctrine is compatible with the doctrine of the Reformed Churches and important ways in which it differs…

Thomas did teach the perseverance of the elect, but not perseverance of the saints. What we mean by this is that he taught that all the elect will persevere, but that not only the elect, but many besides, are called to faith and given real conversion and grace, and eventually fall away. Their state in this life differs nothing from the elect. In keeping with this, one may not know in this life whether they are elect or reprobate.”



Collier, Jay T. – Debating Perseverance: the Augustinian Heritage in Post-Reformation England  Pre  (Oxford, 2018)  207 pp.  ToC

“While one may find a confession like the Irish Articles (1615) explicitly stating perseverance of all those who are regenerate and have true faith (Art. 38), many Reformed confessions, like the First Helvetic Confession (1536), simply don’t address the topic.  Similarly, doctrinal standards like the Belgic Confession (1561) and the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), which many people find conducive to the perseverance of the saints, never clearly state it.

And while the tenth chapter of the Second Helvetic Confession (1566) may be suggestive of perseverance of the saints when it identifies those engrafted in Christ by faith with the elect, it does not come out and say that those with true faith cannot lose it.  Other confessions, like the Thirty-Nine Articles (1563), speak of the elect attaining everlasting felicity (Art. 17) without ever specifying that everyone with saving faith is elect.  This path was even followed by the French Confession (1559) and the Confession of La Rochelle (1571), which were highly influenced by Calvin and the Reformers in Geneva.

But the fact that so many Reformed confessions did not require adherence to the perseverance of the saints does not mean that the doctrine was not prominent.  To the contrary, the fact that the confessions did not deny it allowed the doctrine to flourish among the Reformed.” – pp. 11-12



Eric Parker

‘Debating Baptismal Regeneration: Johannes Maccovius’ (2018)

“A debate arose among Reformed divines in the 1620s and 30s, particularly in England, over the issue of baptismal regeneration.  A variety of interpretations of passages like Titus 3:5 and 1 Peter 3:21 were proposed and there was debate over how to interpret Augustine and even Calvin on this issue.

In the past it was thought that this debate arose in response to Anabaptist arguments against the propriety of infant baptism.  Jay Colier, however, has convincingly argued in his recent book, that the debate was actually set off by the Synod of Dort, specifically the canon affirming the perseverance of all the saints.  Prior to Dort, Reformed confessions did not explicitly affirm the doctrine of perseverance, allowing some variation in how the doctrine was taught, though no one outright denied it…

In affirming and codifying the absolute perseverance of every saint, however, the Synod of Dort and its canons gave a greater sense of urgency to the issue, removing any gray area that would permit a general sort of regeneration for non-elect infants that might be lost when a child reaches maturity.”




“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

Jn. 5:24

“No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Jn. 6:44

“Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”

Col. 3:24




Related Pages


The Decrees of God

Holy Spirit


The Doctrines of Grace


On Union with Christ & the Fruits of the Fellowship Ensuing Therefrom

Sealing of the Spirit