Catechism Insight – Doctrinal Standard WSC #36 (3 of 3 Weeks)

Doctrinal Standard #36 (3 of 3 weeks)

  • Q. What benefits in this life go with or come from justification, adoption, and sanctification?
  • A. The benefits that in this life go with or come from justification, adoption, and sanctification are: the assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Spirit, and growing and persevering in grace to the end of our lives.

Memory Verses

  • “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:10b, ESV).


  • Study Passage: Job 1:20-22; 2:10; 13:15
  • Support Passages: Ezekiel 14:14,20; James 5:11, II Thessalonians 1:4
  • Bible Story: Job


  • C.I. Williamson in his book The Westminster Shorter Catechism (pg. 167) explains how perseverance of believers does not mean that they will not experience difficulties in this life.  “One of the greatest conflicts in the history of the Church has come to focus at this point: Can a true believer fall? In answer to this question we shall have to say, yes, a true believer can fall in his diligence and faithfulness to God, but we shall have to say, no, a true believer can never fall out of God’s mercy and grace, which are unto everlasting life. This may be illustrated (as C.H. Spurgeon once said) by a man on board a great ship. If he is not careful, he may indeed fall down on board that ship, and injure himself. But so great and so safe is the ship that he will never fall overboard. This may not be literally true of any ship. But is true of God’s grace. Christ said, of all true believers, ‘I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [one] pluck them out of my hand’ (John 10:28). It is for this reason that there will always be ‘increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end’ in the life of every true believer.” [1]
  • The London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 chapter 17.1 provides a good explanation regarding the perseverance true believers will experience throughout their life. “The saints are those whom God has accepted in Christ the Beloved, and effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit. To them He has given the precious faith that pertains to all His elect. The persons to whom such blessings have been imparted can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but they shall certainly persevere in grace to the end and be eternally saved, for God will never repent of having called them and made gifts to them. Consequently He continues to beget and to nourish in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all the graces of the Spirit that issue in immortality. Many storms and floods may arise and beat upon them, yet they can never be moved from the foundation and rock on which by faith they are firmly established. Even if unbelief and Satan’s temptations cause them for a time to lose the sight and comfort of the light and love of God, yet the unchanging God remains their God, and He will certainly keep and save them by His power until they come to the enjoyment of their purchased possession; for they are engraved on the palms of His hands, and their names have been written in the book of life from all eternity.” [2]

Discussion Questions

  • What does it mean to persevere?
  • How does a Christian persevere through this life? (Discuss God’s actions and man’s responsibility)
  • Does the perseverance of the saints (Christians) mean this life will be easy? Explain
  • Look up these verses: Job 1:20-22; 2:10; 13:15 and discuss Job’s life in regards to perseverance.
  • Even though this life may be difficult why can Christians have true joy?
  • If the perseverance of the saints is true why do people who claim to be Christians fall away from Christ?


[1] Williamson, C.I. (2003). The Westminster Shorter Catechism – 2nd Edition. Phillipsburg, New Jersey, USA; P&R Publishing Company.

[2] London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689

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