The true doctrine having been explained, the Synod rejects the errors of those:
Fifth Head: Paragraph 1. Who teach: That the perseverance of the true believers is not a fruit of election, or a gift of God gained by the death of Christ, but a condition of the new covenant which (as they declare) man before his decisive election and justification must fulfil through his free will.
For the Holy Scripture testifies that this follows out of election, and is given the elect in virtue of the death, the resurrection, and the intercession of Christ: But those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened (Rom 11:7). Likewise: He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? (Rom 8:32-35)
Fifth Head: Paragraph 2. Who teach: That God does indeed provide the believer with sufficient powers to persevere, and is ever ready to preserve these in him if he will do his duty; but that, though all things which are necessary to persevere in faith and which God will use to preserve faith are made use of, even then it ever depends on the pleasure of the will whether it will persevere or not.
For this idea contains outspoken Pelagianism, and while it would make men free, it makes them robbers of God's honor, contrary to the prevailing agreement of the evangelical doctrine, which takes from man all cause of boasting, and ascribes all the praise for this favor to the grace of God alone; and contrary to the apostle, who declares that it is God, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:8).
Fifth Head: Paragraph 3. Who teach: That the true believers and regenerate not only can fall from justifying faith and likewise from grace and salvation wholly and to the end, but indeed often do fall from this and are lost forever.
For this conception makes powerless the grace, justification, regeneration, and continued preservation by Christ, contrary to the expressed words of the apostle Paul: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him (Rom 5:8-9). And contrary to the apostle John: No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God (1 John 3:9). And also contrary to the words of Jesus Christ: I give eternal life to them, 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 (John 10:28-29).
Fifth Head: Paragraph 4. Who teach: That true believers and regenerate can sin the sin unto death or against the Holy Spirit.
Since the same apostle John, after having spoken in the fifth chapter of his first epistle, vs. 16 and 17, of those who sin unto death and having forbidden to pray for them, immediately adds to this in vs. 18: We know that no one who is born of God sins (meaning a sin of that character); but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him (1 John 5:18).
Fifth Head: Paragraph 5. Who teach: That without a special revelation we can have no certainty of future perseverance in this life.
For by this doctrine the sure comfort of the true believers is taken away in this life, and the doubts of the papist are again introduced into the Church, while the Holy Scriptures constantly deduce this assurance, not from a special and extraordinary revelation, but from the marks proper to the children of God and from the very constant promises of God. So especially the apostle Paul: Nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:39). And John declares: The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us (1 John 3:24).
Fifth Head: Paragraph 6. Who teach: That the doctrine of the certainty of perseverance and of salvation from its own character and nature is a cause of indolence and is injurious to godliness, good morals, prayers, and other holy exercises, but that on the contrary it is praiseworthy to doubt.
For these show that they do not know the power of divine grace and the working of the indwelling Holy Spirit. And they contradict the apostle John, who teaches that opposite with express words in his first epistle: Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure (1 John 3:2-3). Furthermore, these are contradicted by the example of the saints, both of the Old and the New Testament, who though they were assured of their perseverance and salvation, were nevertheless constant in prayers and other exercises of godliness.
Fifth Head: Paragraph 7. Who teach: That the faith of those who believe for a time does not differ from justifying and saving faith except only in duration.
For Christ Himself, in Matt 13:20, Luke 8:13, and in other places, evidently notes, beside this duration, a threefold difference between those who believe only for a time and true believers, when He declares that the former receive the seed on stony ground, but the latter in the good ground or heart; that the former are without root, but the latter have a firm root; that the former are without fruit, but that the latter bring forth their fruit in various measure, with constancy and steadfastness.
Fifth Head: Paragraph 8. Who teach: That it is not absurd that one having lost his first regeneration is again and even often born anew.
For these deny by this doctrine the incorruptibleness of the seed of God, whereby we are born again; contrary to the testimony of the apostle Peter: For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable (1 Pet 1:23).
Fifth Head: Paragraph 9. Who teach: That Christ has in no place prayed that believers should infallibly continue in faith.
For the contradict Christ Himself, who says: I have prayed for you (Simon), that your faith may not fail (Luke 22:32), and the evangelist John, who declares that Christ has not prayed for the apostles only, but also for those who through their word would believe: Holy Father, keep them in Your name, and: I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one (John 17:11, 15, 20).