The Staunch Calvinist

"Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God." - Jonathan Edwards

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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 2: Of God and of the Holy Trinity - Commentary

...out Himself. But all the things which we know are the “outskirts of his ways” and a small “whisper do we hear of him” (Job 26:14).

The Immutability of God

Although this heading properly belongs to the Infinity of God, yet since I want to give a longer treatment of this subject, I chose to include it under a separate heading. The immutability of God is the doctrine that God never changes His mind. The word immutable means “not capable or susceptible of change; unchangeable; unalterable.”[7] This doctrine is closely connected with the Absolute Sovereignty Of God and His perfect knowledge of all things. Since God is perfect and infinite in all His attributes, including His knowledge, therefore, He cannot change His mind. Contrary to some Open Theist claims, this is not a limitation or a weakness in God, but a perfection. To say that God truly and literally changes His mind/plan is to say that God became better and wiser. Arthur Pink said that immutability

is one of the excellencies of the Creator which distinguishes Him from all His creatures. God is perpetually the same: subject to no change in His being, attributes, or determinations. Therefore God is compared to a rock (Deu 32:4) which remains immovable, when the entire ocean surrounding it is continually in a fluctuating state. Even so, though all creatures are subject to change, God is immutable. Because God has no beginning and no ending, He can know no change. He is everlastingly "the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning" (Jas 1:17).[8]

A.H. Strong gives the following definition to the immutability of God, saying:

By this we mean that the nature, attributes, and will of God are exempt from all change. Reason teaches us that no change is possible in God, whether of increase or decrease, progress or deterioration, contraction or development. All change must be to better or to worse. But God is absolute perfection, and no change to better is possible. Change to worse would be equally inconsistent with perfection. No cause for such change exists, either outside of God or in God himself.[9]

The Knowledge of God

Several times the Scriptures plainly teach the immutability of God. But let us take a quick look at what the Scriptures say about God’s Omniscience (all-knowing). Had not the heresy of Open Theism re-arisen (formerly the Socinians believed it), no one would have doubted the perfect knowledge of God, but as it is, the Scriptures are plain on this subject. 1 John 3:20 states that even when our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and God “knows everything.” Even hidden things that we do, our God knows (Dan. 2:22; Isa. 29:15; Heb. 4:13). The knowledge which God possesses is high and unattainable for any creature (Ps. 139:6). He is called “the God of knowledge” (1Sam. 2:3). He knows our actions, even our thoughts and words before they come to our minds or out of our mouths (Ps. 139:2-4). The LORD declares, “I know the things that come into your mind” (Ezek. 11:5). He knows how many hairs each one of us has (Matt. 10:29-30). He knows all the course of history—the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:9-10). Solomon declares, “you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind” (1Kgs. 8:39). In similar words, the early church prayed, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all” (Acts 1:24). This perfect and infinite knowledge is peculiar to God alone. Isaiah 40:27-28 says that “his understanding is unsearchable” (v. 2...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 3: Of God's Decree - Commentary

...5px;"Ps. 33:10-11 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. 11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. 

It is Yahweh's plans and counsel which will come to pass in contrast to man's plans. God frustrates the plans of man and He prevails over their counsels. But His plans, in contrast, will stand and will not be frustrated. This is something that even a pagan king knew. It amazes me that when even a pagan can recognize the Absolute Sovereignty Of God, but some of His children do not want to acknowledge His sovereignty in all things. Nebuchadnezzar said:

Dan. 4:34-35 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; 35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” 

No one can question the Sovereign and His sovereign purposes. Job 42:1 says, "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted." It is His prerogative to do with His creation as He wills. He did with Nebuchadnezzar as He willed and showed him his foolishness and His control over his life. He was driven to the fields and lived among the animals, and once he acknowledges who God is, his reason returns to him and he confesses God's absolute sovereignty to do as He wills. He does what He wills with whom He wills, how He wills and when He wills and no one has the authority to question Him. If a pagan king, who I believe was perhaps truly converted, could say this, how much those who know God through Christ must believe and praise God for His comprehensive and absolute sovereignty? John Calvin observed the following on Ephesians 1:11–

Who worketh all things. The circumlocution employed in describing the Supreme Being deserves attention. He speaks of Him as the sole agent, and as doing everything according to His own will, so as to leave nothing to be done by man. In no respect, therefore, are men admitted to share in this praise, as if they brought anything of their own. God looks at nothing out of himself to move him to elect them, for the counsel of his own will is the only and actual cause of their election. This may enable us to refute the error, or rather the madness, of those who, whenever they are unable to discover the reason of God’s works, exclaim loudly against his design. [7]

Albert Barnes notes the following about God's counsel:

After the counsel of his own will. Not by consulting his creatures, or conforming to their views, but by his own views of what is proper and right. We are not to suppose that this is by mere will, as if it were arbitrary, or that he determines anything without good reason. The meaning is, that his purpose is determined by what he views to be right, and without consulting his creatures or conforming to their views. His dealings often seem to us to be arbitrary. We are incapable of perceiving the reasons of what he does. He makes those his friends who we should have supposed would have been the last to have become Christians. He leaves those who seem to us to be on the borders of the kingdom, and they remain...


Welcome To The Staunch Calvinist

Welcome to The Staunch Calvinist. This is a place where Calvinistic Theology will be displayed. A place where the Doctrines of Grace will be explained and defended. This is a place where the Sovereignty of God is cherished and promoted. We hope you will be ministered to through the material on the website. Our goal is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and honor Him. “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14

The following document may help you to understand the Biblical case for ‘Calvinism’: God's Absolute Sovereignty – A case for Calvinism

I have two sections dedicated to the Doctrines of Grace, defining the Doctrines of Grace & defending the Doctrines of Grace which are taken from the document above. In the General section you will find some book reviews and the resources from which I mainly drew the content of the “God’s Absolute Sovereignty” document.

As a Reformed Baptist, I started the 1689 Confession section wherein I seek to explain the chapters and make a case for what is said on a particular subject. As of 18/09/2016 the commentary is complete:

  1. Of the Holy Scriptures
  2. Of God and the Holy Trinity (the attributes of God and a case for the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity)
  3. Of God’s Decree (I make a case for predestination, election, reprobation and absolute sovereignty even over evil and sin)
  4. Of Creation
  5. Of Divine Providence
  6. Of the Fall of Man, Of Sin, And of the Punishment Thereof (Total Depravity)
  7. Of God’s Covenant (1689 Federalism)
  8. Of Christ the Mediator (including a case for the Substitutionary Atonement, Active and Passive Obedience of Christ, Definite Atonement and answers to passages used against the doctrine)
  9. Of Free WIll (with the help of Jonathan Edwards, the consistency of moral agency being found in carrying one's desires, the inconsistencies of libertarian free will, explanation of necessity and inability)
  10. Of Effectual Calling (with a case for infant salvation)
  11. Of Justification (faith is a gift and regeneration precedes faith)
  12. Of Adoption
  13. Of Sanctification
  14. Of Saving Faith
  15. Of Repentance Unto Life and Salvation
  16. Of Good Works
  17. Of The Perseverance Of The Saints (Positive case for the Reformed doctrine and responses to passages such as Hebrews 6 and the like)
  18. Of The Assurance Of Grace And Salvation
  19. Of The Law Of God (Threefold Division of the Law, the Decalogue before Moses, a brief exposition of the Decalogue, ceremonial and civil laws, the abiding moral law under the New Covenant in the OT prophecy and the NT, Threefold Uses of the Law, The Law and the Gospel)
  20. Of The Gospel, And Of The Extent Of The Grace Thereof
  21. Of Christian Liberty And Liberty of Conscience
  22. Of Religious Worship And the Sabbath Day (A case for the Regulative Principle of Worship and the Christian Sabbath)
  23. Of Lawful Oaths And Vows
  24. Of The Civil Magistrate
  25. Of Marriage
  26. Of The Church
  27. Of the Communion of Saints
  28. Of Baptism And The Lord's Supper
  29. Of Baptism
  30. Of The Lord's Supper
  31. Of The State Of Man After Death And Of The Resurrection Of The Dead (Intermediate State Hades, Sheol, Heaven; A Case for Amillennial Eschatology; critique of Premillennialism)
  32. Of The Last Judgment (Endless punishment in Hell contra Annihilationism)
...