一.凡蒙上帝在祂爱子里接纳并由祂的灵有效呼召并成圣的人,既不能完全,也不能最终从恩典的地位堕落;反而会在这恩典的地位中坚忍到底,永远得救(腓1:6;彼后1:10;约10:28-29;约壹3:9;彼前1:5,9)。

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.

二.圣徒的这种坚忍,并非依赖他们自己的自由意志,乃是依赖从父上帝白白和永不更改的爱所发出的拣选预旨的不变性(提后2:18,19;耶31:3),依赖耶稣基督功德和代求的效力(来10:10,14;13:20-21;9:12-15;罗8;33-39;约17:11,24;路22:32;来7:25),圣灵的同在和上帝在他们里面播撒的种子(约14:16-17;约壹2:27;3:9),以及恩典之约的性质(耶32:40)。圣徒坚忍的确定性和无谬性就是由此而生(约10:28;帖后3:3;约壹2:19)。

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.

三.然而圣徒因撒但和世界的试探,在他们里面败坏的残余,以及对保守他们坚忍的外在方式的忽略,都可能使他们落入大罪之中(太26:70,72,74),并一时留在其中(诗51标题;51:14),因而惹动上帝的不悦(赛64:5,7,9;撒下11:27),叫圣灵担忧(弗4:30),失去诸多的美德和慰藉(诗51:8,10,12;启2:4;歌5:2-4,6),心里变得刚硬(赛63:17;可6:52;16:14),使良心受伤(诗32:3-4;51:8),使别人受损,诽谤亵渎(撒下12:14),自取今生的审判(诗89:31-32;林前11:32)。

Nevertheless they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalancy of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their perseverance, 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.