March 25, 2007 Q & A

Presbyterian View of Losing Your Salvation


What is the Presbyterian view of losing your salvation?


Thank you for your fine question to the OPC Question and Answer web page.

In short, the OPC believes that true Christians can not lose their salvation.

We derive this belief from passages in the Bible such as John 10:28-29 where Jesus says:

John 10:28-29 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.

Also, in the book of Romans it says:

Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Officially, in our statement of faith, called the Westminster Confession, it says:

WCF 17:1 They, whom God has 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. (Phil. 1:6; 2 Pet. 1:10; John 10:28,29; 1 John 3:9; 1 Pet. 1:5,9)

Above you will see a list of other Scripture verses which support this teaching. You can look those up at your leisure.

Now, there are some verses which speak about professing Christians "falling away" (Hebrews 6:4-6 is the more popular of these kinds of passages). However, we generally interpret these kinds of passages as referring to people who were not genuinely saved to begin with; they were hypocrites (people who talked like Christians but were only faking their faith). This we see very clearly in passages like 1 John 2:19 which speak of people who "fell away" as doing so because they were never real Christians to begin with.

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

I hope this little explanation is a help and encouragement to you. Please feel free to follow up with us should you have any further questions.



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