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The Staunch Calvinist

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


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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 12: Of Adoption - Commentary


Chapter 12: Of Adoption

In this chapter, we will try to find what the Bible says about us being the children of God. What does it mean to be children of God and how do we become children of God? These are the questions that we will try to answer.

§1 Make partakers of the grace of Adoption

  1. All those that are justified, 1 God vouchsafed, in and for the sake of his only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of Adoption, by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God, have his name put upon them, 4 receive the spirit of Adoption, have access to the throne of grace with boldness, are enabled to cry Abba, Father, 5 are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by him as by a Father, yet never cast off, but sealed to the day of redemption, and inherit the promises as heirs of everlasting salvation.7
    1. Gal. 3:24-26[1]
    2. 1 John 3:1-3
    3. Eph. 1:5; Gal. 4:4-5; Rom 8:17, 29
    4. Rom. 8:17; John 1:12; 2 Cor. 6:18; Rev. 3:12
    5. Rom. 8:15; Eph. 3:12; Rom. 5:2; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 2:18
    6. Ps. 103:13; Prov. 14:26; Matt. 6:30, 32; 1 Peter 5:7; Heb. 12:6; Isa. 54:8-9; Lam. 3:31; Eph. 4:30
    7. Rom. 8:17; Heb. 1:14; 9:15

God has vouchsafed, i.e., granted, all of them that are justified...in and for the sake of His only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of Adoption (Eph. 1:5; Gal. 3:24-26; John 1:12-13). No justified person misses this grace of Adoption. Their Adoption, as well as their election (chapter 3:5), having the blessings of redemption (chapter 8:8), effectual calling and regeneration (chapter 10:2), justification (chapter 11:3), were not based in themselves. The absolute and free grace of God dominates all of the Christian life. Because we are in...His Only Son Jesus Christ, we are likewise counted as sons (Gal. 3:26-29; 4:4-5). And for the sake of His Only Son and the work He accomplished upon the cross, whereby He purchased our redemption with all of its blessings, we are adopted as sons of God. By this grace of Adoption, we are to enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God (John 1:12-13). We are freed from sin and are able to willingly please God. We are privileged as children of God and of having God as our Father. The Confession then goes on to list the privileges which the children of God have.

They have His name put upon them (Rev. 3:12), meaning that they belong to Him. He is their owner. He is their Father and Master. They receive the spirit of Adoption (Rom. 8:15), Who is the Holy Spirit of God. The Spirit testifies with our spirit about our identity as children of God (Rom. 8:14-17). As children, we have access to the throne of grace with boldness (Heb. 4:16), because God is our Abba, Father. A child should not be afraid to approach their father. So likewise, we, as children of the Father, we may go to the throne of grace with boldness! We, by the fatherly care of God, are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by Him as by a Father (Ps. 103:13; Prov. 14:26; Matt. 6:30-32; Heb. 12:6 ). He cares for us and provides for us. But an important part of how He proves that He is our Father and we are His children is by disciplining us. He thereby proves that He cares for us and the wrong things which we do. But this disciplining or chastising is not for the purpose of condemning us. No. We are never cast off (John 6:37-39). It is for the purpose of us sharing in His holiness (Heb. 12:10). We are nev...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary

...by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” This means that we do not have to fear the wrath of God against us on the day of judgment or any other day. Our sins have been completely atoned for. We are adopted into God’s family. In Acts 26:18, Christ tells Paul his mission: “to open their eyes...that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’” This blessing of receiving a place among the believers is also connected with a blessing of justification, namely, the forgiveness of sins. Interesting to notice here is the observation of Berkhof concerning Adoption:

Believers are first of all children of God by Adoption. This implies, of course, that they are not children of God by nature, as modern liberals would have us believe, for one cannot well adopt his own children. This Adoption is a legal act, whereby God places the sinner in the status of a child, but does not change him inwardly any more than parents by the mere act of Adoption change the inner life of an adopted child. The change that is effected concerns the relation in which man stands to God. By virtue of their Adoption believers are as it were initiated into the very family of God, come under the law of filial obedience, and at the same time become entitled to all the privileges of sonship. The sonship by Adoption should be carefully distinguished from the moral sonship of believers, their sonship by regeneration and sanctification. They are not only adopted to be children of God, but are also born of God. Naturally these two cannot be separated. They are mentioned together in John 1:12; Rom. 8:15.16; Gal. 3:26,27; 4:5,6. In Rom. 8:15 the term huiothesia (from huios and tithenai) is used, which literally means “placing as a son,” and in classical Greek is always employed to denote an objective placing in the status of a child. The following verse contains the word tekna (from tikto, “to beget”), which designates believers as those who are begotten of God. In John 1:12 the idea of Adoption is expressed by the words, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He the right (exousian edoken) to become children of God.” The Greek expression here used means “to give legal right.” Immediately thereafter, in the 13th verse, the writer speaks of ethical sonship by regeneration. The connection between the two is clearly brought out in Gal. 4:5,6 . . . “that we might receive the Adoption of sons. And because ye are sons (by Adoption), God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” That Spirit regenerates and sanctifies us and prompts us to address God full of confidence as Father.[22]

Dabney also observes the connection between Adoption and justification as a legal act and says:

Adoption cannot be said to be a different act of grace from justification. Turrettin devotes only a brief separate discussion to it, and introduces it in the thesis in which he proves that justification is both pardon and acceptance. Owen says that Adoption is but a presentation of the blessings bestowed in justification in new phases and relations. And this is evidently correct because Adoption performs the same act for us, in Bible representations, which justification does: translates us from under God’s curse into His fatherly favor because its instrument is the same, faith. (Gal. 3:26, with 4:6, 7; Titus 3:7; Heb. 11:7; John 1:12). And because the meritorious ground of Adoption is the s...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 8: Of Christ the Mediator - Commentary

...ch the Father has promised Him:

Rom. 8:16-17 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. 

Gal. 4:7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Through Christ and God’s amazing grace, we, after becoming children of God by Adoption, share in the blessings and promises made to Christ. Unfathomable grace!

Christ the Judge

Acts 17:30-31 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” 

Christ is not only the Savior of the world (John 4:42; 1 John 4:14), but He is also its righteous Judge. The Lord Jesus will come in vengeance toward those who have not obeyed the gospel and demand from them an account for every sin and transgression of His Law (2 Thess. 1). The Bible tells us that the Lord Jesus will judge both the living and the dead (2 Tim. 4:1). Both believer and unbeliever will stand before Him, everyone must give an account (Acts 10:42; Matt. 25:31-46; John 5:22-23; Rom. 2:5, 16;14:9-10; 1 Cor. 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Tim. 4:1). See chapter 32.

Some may object that only God can judge and God is the judge, but then how could Christ be the judge? Well...the simple answer is because He is God. Only God can judge and furthermore, the Father has appointed and wants the Son to be the judge so that people will honor and worship the Son just as they honor and worship the Father, thus showing His full divinity and equality with the Father—

John 5:22-23 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 

He is our Savior also. On the day that He will come, the believers will not be condemned by Him, but hear the words of commendation and the words of love—

Matt. 25:34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

But those who will stand on his left will be righteously judged according to the fruit of their hearts—their works, and be condemned by Him to the flames of Hell—

Matt. 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb. 10:31) and to stand before Him Who can see you as you are (Rom. 2:16) and require an account of everything (Matt. 12:36).

Dear reader, do not face the Lord in judgment while today is the day of salvation. Repent, therefore, and place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and His righteousness alone so that when He comes you will not be terrified, but rejoice with the saints and not be taken away by judgment—

2 Thess. 1:9-10 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. 

Christ’s Seed

The Bible does not spe...

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

...m he has foreknown, etc. He then shows, by the very order of election, that the afflictions of the faithful are nothing else than the manner by which they are conformed to the image of Christ; and that this was necessary, he had before declared. There is therefore no reason for us to be grieved, or to think it hard and grievous, that we are afflicted, unless we disapprove of the Lord’s election, by which we have been foreordained to life, and unless we are unwilling to bear the image of the Son of God, by which we are to be prepared for celestial glory.

But the foreknowledge of God, which Paul mentions, is not a bare prescience, as some unwise persons absurdly imagine, but the Adoption by which he had always distinguished his children from the reprobate. (269) In the same sense Peter says, that the faithful had been elected to the sanctification of the Spirit according to the foreknowledge of God. Hence those, to whom I have alluded, foolishly draw this inference, — That God has elected none but those whom he foresaw would be worthy of his grace. Peter does not in deed flatter the faithful, as though every one had been elected on account of his merit; but by reminding them of the eternal counsel of God, he wholly deprives them of all worthiness. So Paul does in this passage, who repeats by another word what he had said before of God’s purpose. It hence follows, that this knowledge is connected with God’s good pleasure; for he foreknew nothing out of himself, in adopting those whom he was pleased to adopt; but only marked out those whom he had purposed to elect. […]

(269) Much controversy has been about the meaning of the verb προέγνω,  in this place. Many of the Fathers, such as [Jerome ], [Chrysostom ], and [Theodoret ], regarded it in the sense of simple prescience, as having reference to those who would believe and obey the gospel. The verb is found only in this place, and in the following passages, Rom 11:2; Act 26:5; 1Pe 1:20; 2Pe 3:17. In the second, and in the last passage, it signifies merely a previous knowledge or acquaintance, and refers to men. In 1Pe 1:20, it is applied to Christ as having been “foreordained,” according to our version, “before the foundation of the world.” In this Epistle, Rom 11:2, it refers to God, — “God hath not cast away his people whom he foreknew;” and according to the context, it means the same as elected; for the Apostle speaks of what God did “according to the election of grace,” and not according to foreseen faith.

The noun derived from it is found in two places, Act 2:23, and 1Pe 1:2. In the first it evidently means decree, foreordination, and in the second, the same; where it is said, that those addressed by the Apostle were elected, “according to the foreknowledge of God, κατὰ πρόγνωσιν Θεοῦ, through the sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience;” they were not then elected, according to God’s foreknowledge or foreordination, because of their obedience. This entirely subverts the gloss put on the verb in this passage.

The usual meaning given to the verb here is fore-approved, or chosen. [Grotius ], [Turrettin ], and others, consider that γινώσκω has the same meaning with the verb ידע, in Hebrew, which is sometimes that of approving or favoring, or regarding with love and approbation. So the compound verb may be rendered here, “whom he fore-approved, or foreknew,” as the objects of his choice: and this idea is what alone comports with the rest of the passage.

[Stuart ] prefers ano...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 18: Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation - Commentary

...ness of Christ
  1. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion grounded upon a fallible hope, but an infallible assurance of faith 1 founded on the blood and righteousness of Christ revealed in the Gospel; and also upon the inward evidence of those graces of the Spirit unto which promises are made, and on the testimony of the Spirit of Adoption, witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God; 4 and, as a fruit thereof, keeping the heart both humble and holy. 
    1. Rom. 5:2, 5; Heb. 6:11, 19-20; 1 John 3:2, 14; 4:16; 5:13, 19-20
    2. Heb. 6:17-18; 7:22; 10:14, 19
    3. Matt. 3:7-10; Mark 1:15; 2 Peter 1:4-11; 1 John 2:3; 3:14, 18-19, 24; 5:13
    4. Rom. 8:15-16; 1 Cor. 2:12; Gal. 4:6-7
    5. 1 John 3:1-3

Paragraph 1 defined what this certainty consists in, namely, being “certainly assured that [we] are in the state of grace”. Paragraph 2 goes on to describe the ground of this assurance. This certainty is not a bare conjectural (i.e., guesswork) and probable persuasion grounded upon a fallible hope. It is an assurance grounded upon the work of God in us. It is not a fallible hope, but an infallible assurance of faith. It is therefore grounded upon a true and lasting hope from God. It is founded on the blood and righteousness of Christ. His righteousness is our only hope and consolation to stand before God and remain in the state of grace. From the beginning until the end, the righteousness of Christ is the only ground on which we can stand. It is also grounded upon the work of the Spirit in us, the graces which He works in us. He is also called the Spirit of Adoption because He witnesses with our spirits that we are the children of God. What is amazing is that this assurance keeps the heart both humble and holy. We are not arrogant because of this assurance, because it does not depend on us and does not have its ground in us. If it did, then we would have a reason to boast. But since it is all the work of God, we cannot boast in ourselves, but we will surely boast and glory in God.

What Assurance Is Founded On

Assurance is not founded upon the guesswork (conjectural) and probable persuasion of the believer, but it is rather founded upon the work of God within and for the believer. This paragraph points us to the infallible assurance which we have about our salvation in Christ. In the words of Dr. Waldron:

The single and basic emphasis of this paragraph is that assurance, genuine assurance, is infallible. The term ‘infallible’ comes from two Latin words which mean, literally, ‘not deceiving’, i.e. not liable to mistakes or deception, incapable of error, not liable to fail. The Confession is asserting that there is an assurance of salvation which will not deceive us, about which we cannot be mistaken, which goes beyond mere probability. This should reassure the one who says, ‘I want to have assurance, but I am so fearful of being mistaken and deceiving myself.’ There is an assurance of salvation which you may have, which will not deceive you, which is infallible.[2]

Blood and Righteousness of Christ

Our assurance is founded upon Christ’s perfect work on behalf of His people by which He has perfected and sanctified us forever (Heb. 10:10, 14) and thereby He has set us apart for the honorable use of God. We know that we are not saved because of our works and our performance, but solely because of Christ’s work on our behalf which should be the basis of our assurance. I know that I am saved, know God, ...

1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

...p"Of Creation
  • Of Divine Providence
  • Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the punishment thereof
  • Of God’s Covenant
  • Of Christ the Mediator
  • Of Free Will
  • Of Effectual Calling
  • Of Justification
  • Of Adoption
  • Of Sanctification
  • Of Saving Faith
  • Of Repentance unto Life and Salvation
  • Of Good Works
  • Of the Perseveraance of the Saints
  • Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation
  • Of the Law of God
  • Of the Gospel and the Extent of Grace thereof
  • Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience
  • Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day
  • Of Lawful Oaths and Vows
  • Of the Civil Magistrate
  • Of Marriage
  • Of the Church
  • Of the Communion of Saints
  • Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
  • Of Baptism
  • Of the Lord’s Supper
  • Of the State of Man after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead
  • Of the Last Judgement
  • (More) Scriptural references have been added from Sam Waldron’s excellent Modern Exposition of 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.

    Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scriptures [Return] [Commentary]

    1. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience 1, although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable 2; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation 3. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church 4; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary 5, those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased. 6
      1. Isa. 8:20; Luke 16:29; Eph. 2:20; 2 Tim. 3:15-17
      2. Ps. 19:1-3; Rom. 1:19-21, 32; 2:12a, 14-15
      3. Ps. 19:1-3 with vv. 7-11; Rom. 1:19-21; 2:12a, 14-15 with 1:16-17; and 3:21
      4. Heb. 1:1-2a
      5. Prov. 22:19-21; Luke 1:1-4; 2 Peter 1:12-15; 3:1; Deut. 17:18ff; 31:9ff, 19ff; 1 Cor. 15:1; 2 Thess. 2:1-2, 15; 3:17; Rom. 1:8-15; Gal. 4:20; 6:11; 1 Tim. 3:14ff; Rev. 1:9, 19; 2:1 etc.; Rom. 15:4; 2 Peter 1:19-21
      6. Heb. 1:1-2a; Acts 1:21-22; 1 Cor. 9:1; 15:7-8; Eph. 2:20
    2. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these: 
      Genesis Matthew
      Exodus Mark
      Leviticus Luke
      Numbers John
      Deuteronomy Paul’s Epistle to the Romans
      Joshua  I Corinthians & II Corinthians
      Judges Galatians
      Ruth Ephesians
      I Samuel & II Samuel Philippians
      I Kings & II Kings Colossians
      I Chronicles, II Chronicles I Thessalonians & II Thessalonians
      Ezra I Timothy & II Timothy
      Nehemiah To Titus
      Esther To Philemon
      Job The Epistle to the Hebrews
      Psalms Epistle of James
      Proverbs The first and second Epistles of Peter
      Ecclesiastes The first, second...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 7: Of God's Covenant - Commentary

    ...ole creation through Noah. God covenants with Israel through Abraham. God covenants with the kings of Israel through David. God covenants with the elect through Jesus Christ. In all of these instances, the people who were covenanted through functioned as representatives.

    How do we know who is included in each covenant? By their relation to the covenant head. Who is included in the Adamic Covenant? All who are naturally descended from Adam and remain living in his sin (Rom. 5:12-14). Who is included in the Noahic Covenant? All who are related to Noah and the whole earth (Gen. 9:9, 12). Who are included in the Abrahamic Covenant? All those who are related to Abraham either by birth or Adoption (as belonging to his household, also slaves) (Gen. 17:12-14). The Mosaic Covenant is made with the same people as the Abrahamic Covenant. The Davidic Covenant belongs to the sons of David (2Sam. 7:12-15; Ps. 132:11). Who are included in the New Covenant? All those united to Jesus Christ.

    Someone who does not belong to Abraham, cannot lay a claim to Abraham’s covenant. Someone who does not belong to David’s line, cannot lay a claim to David’s covenant. It is essential to understand Federal Headship as it relates to covenant membership, which is very important.

    For example, the promise to Noah was, “I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you” (Gen. 9:9). The claim to this covenant is directly related to Noah. The question is, “Am I related to Noah?” Therefore, Nehemiah Coxe says, “Future generations to the end of the world are as much involved in this covenant as their immediate offspring with whom it was first made. They have equal claim with them to its blessings without any consideration of their immediate parents.”[21]

    As it concerns the Abrahamic Covenant, relation to Abraham defines everything. The promise to him was, “And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you” (Gen. 17:7). To lay a claim upon this covenant, you have to be related to Abraham. Furthermore, this promise concerns everyone related to Abraham. This is so since it was made with all his “offspring after [him] in all their generations for an everlasting covenant”. The participation of the Israelites in this covenant did not depend upon their parents’ obedience or piety, but whether they were related to Abraham. Dr. Renihan explains:

    God made a covenant with Abraham as a federal head over his natural posterity. Genesis 12:2, 3, 7 make this clear. God tells Abram that he will become the father of a great nation and that his descendants will inherit Canaan. Abram is the federal head of this covenant. God said, ‘To your offspring I will give this land.’ Participation in these promises depends on whether you are encompassed by the federal headship of Abraham. The blessings and curses of the covenant flow through the federal head.[22]

    Relation to the covenant head determines covenant membership. This point is essential in our discussions of covenant membership in the New Covenant. As it relates to the Abrahamic, Coxe explains:

    The promises previously given to Abraham for his natural offspring involve those in remote generations as much as those immediately descended from him. And in some respects they were made good more fully to them than to the others. For it was not until the fourth generation that God was kn...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 31: Of the State of Man after Death and Of the Resurrection of the Dead - Commentary

    ...yle="color: #cc99ff;"creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for Adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies

    As Christians suffer at the present time, they should not focus on their suffering, but instead look forward to the glory which will be revealed to them in the future, as it was in the case of Christ (e.g., Heb. 12:2). Paul personifies the creation in saying that even the creation wants to break loose from the bondage of sin and the futility to which God subjected it. Not only man was cursed, but the whole creation was cursed because of man (Gen. 3:17). Paul says that “the creation was subjected to futility” (v. 20) and is in “bondage of corruption”, but this bondage, by God’s grace and design, is temporary. God subjected the creation to futility and vanity, in hope so as to restore and renew it in and through Christ. The futility spoken of is the same vanity which is so often spoken of in the book of Ecclesiastes (Eccl. 1:2, 4; etc.). The Greek word ματαιότης (mataiotes, G3153), is the same here as in the LXX of Ecclesiastes. It is defined as: “what is devoid of truth and appropriateness…perverseness, depravity…frailty, want of vigour”[11] by Thayer. The whole creation was subject to vanity, futility and depravity because of man’s sin. But since the sin problem was solved by the Savior, so also the effects of sin on the world will be removed from the world by the Savior. There will be a time, Paul says, in which “the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (v. 21). The creation will share in the same liberty and freedom from bondage which the children of God share in, namely, freedom from the bondage of sin and corruption. The glory of the LORD will fill the whole earth and He will be its light.

    Paul compares the post-Fall Creation to the pains of childbirth. These pains will stop with the birth of the child. This is the time when the children of God will also receive liberty from the bondage of sin in body and soul. In v. 23, Paul connects the personified longings of the creation and the real longings of the children of God together. They both want their complete redemption from sin and bondage, as they eagerly wait for that time when it will fully be accomplished and applied. Then our Adoption will be consummated. We are adopted now, Adoption is a present reality (e.g., Rom. 8:15). But Paul teaches here that there is also a future aspect of our Adoption in glorified body and soul. The “redemption of our bodies” (v. 23) is the resurrection to life when our soul is united to our imperishable, immortal, and glorious body. That is the Christian hope. That is what Paul was hoping for (Acts 23:6; 24:21).

    In this passage, Paul pinpoints the redemption of the earth at the same time of the redemption of God’s children’s bodies, i.e., the resurrection, which as we argued above happens at the Parousia of Christ. We deny the cultural conception of Heaven as being somewhere over the clouds and were “good people” look down on us. T...

    John Owen's Case For Particular Atonement

    ... through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
  • Heb. 9:12; Gal. 3:13; 1Pet. 2:24.
  • Sanctification:
    1. Heb. 13:12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.
    2. Heb. 1:3; 9:14; 1John 1:7; Eph. 1:3; 5:25-27; Phil. 1:29.
  • Adoption:
    1. Gal. 4:4-5 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive Adoption as sons.
    2. Eph. 1:14; Heb. 9:15.
  • The obvious question now is: “Is God able to accomplish that which He intends?” We see that by the blood-shedding of Christ, the Father intends for the Son to be an actual ransom (Matt. 20:28) and to actually save, and not try to save sinners (Luke 19:10; 1Tim. 1:15). He is said to deliver us from “the present evil age” and not to try to deliver us by the self-giving of Himself for our wickedness (Gal. 1:4). Well…did He or did He not? Not only do we see the intention of the atonement in Scripture, but also its effects and application, which correspond to the intention of God in it.

    The Work of the Trinity

    Secondly, he enquires about the intention of the Persons of the Blessed Trinity in the work of redemption. What did the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit plan to accomplish through the death of Christ? This is still how many Calvinists at the present time argue for Definite Redemption (i.e. James White). What effect did God want the atonement to have, and is He able to bring it to pass?

    • God the Father (book I, chap. 3):
      1. “The sending of his Son into the world for this employment”:
        • John 3:16-17; 5:37; 10:36;  Rom. 8:3-4; Gal. 4:4-5; Isa. 19:20; 48:16.
        • An authoritative imposition of the office of Mediator:
          • Purpose: Ps. 2:7-8; 110:1, 4; Heb. 1:2; Rom. 1:4; 8:29.
          • Inauguration: John 5:22; Acts 2:36; Heb. 3:1-6; Dan. 9:24 [“anointing of the most Holy”]; Matt. 3:15-17; Heb. 10:5; 1:3; 2:7-8; Matt. 28:18; Phil. 2:9-11.
        • “entering into covenant and compact with his Son concerning the work to be undertaken”:
          • The Father’s promise to assist the Son in the accomplishment of redemption: Isa. 63:8-9; Zech. 13:7; Isa. 63:2-3 and 53:4-5; 49:2-3; Ps. 2:2, 4, 6; 118:22-23; Matt. 21:42; Isa. 28:16; Matt. 21:44.
          • The Father’s promise of “a happy accomplishment and attainment of the end of his great undertaking”: Isa. 49:5-6, 6-12; 53:10-12.
      2. “laying the punishment due to our sin upon him”:
        • Zech. 13:7; Matt. 26:31; Isa. 53:4, 6, 10; 2Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13.
    • God the Son (book I, chap. 4):
      1. The “agent in this great work”:
        • Heb. 5:6-7; Matt. 3:17; John 4:34; 6:38; 17:4; Luke 2:49.
      2. The Incarnation:
        • John 1:14; Gal. 4:4; 1Tim. 3:16 KJV; Heb. 2:13-14.
      3. His Sacrifice:
        • Heb. 9:14; Rev. 1:5; Eph. 5:25-26; Dan. 9:26 KJV [“but not for himself”]; John 17:19; Rom. 5:6; John 1:29; Isa. 53:7; John 10:17-18; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 5:2; 1Pet. 2:24; Heb. 1:3; Matt. 26:28.
      4. His Intercession:
        • Ps. 2:8; John 14:2-3; Heb. 9:11-12, 24; 1John 2:1-2; John 17:9; 11:42; Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:33-34; John 17:24; Heb. 10:14.
    • God the Holy Spirit (book I, chap. 5):
      1. The In...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith - Commentary

    ...faith is the eye of the soul, that sees the beauty, glory, fulness, and suitableness of Christ; the foot that goes to him, and the hand that takes hold on him, and the arm that receives and embraces him; so that this is not a receiving him into the head by notion, but into the heart by faith; and not in part only, but in whole: faith receives a whole Christ, his person as God and man; him in all his offices, as prophet, priest, and King; particularly as a Saviour and Redeemer, he being under that character so exceeding suitable to the case of a sensible sinner; and it receives all blessings of grace along with him, from him, and through him; as a justifying righteousness, remission of sins, Adoption of children, grace for grace, and an inheritance among all them that are sanctified; and both Christ and them, as the free grace gifts of God; which men are altogether undeserving of, and cannot possibly give any valuable consideration for: so these Colossians had received Christ gladly, joyfully, willingly, and with all readiness; and especially as “the Lord”, on which there is a peculiar emphasis in the text; they had received him and believed in him, as the one and only Lord and head of the church; as the one and only Mediator between God and man, to the exclusion of angels, the worship of which the false teachers were introducing; they had received the doctrines of Christ, and not the laws of Moses, which judaizing preachers were desirous of joining with them; they had heard and obeyed the Son, and not the servant; they had submitted to the authority of Christ as King of saints, and had been subject to his ordinances; wherefore the apostle exhorts them to continue and go on, believing in him, and holding to him the head[20]

    Eating and Drinking Christ

    Another metaphor is feeding on Christ. In John 7:37, He says “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.”  This water that the Lord Jesus gives will itself become a spring by the Holy Spirit. He says to the Samaritan woman, “Everyone who drinks of this water [from the well of Jacob] will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14). The Lord Jesus offers us water that will give us eternal satisfaction and will never cause us to be thirsty again. It will nurture us and satisfy us forever.

    He is also presented to us as the Bread of Life in John 6:32-35. Christ is the true Bread from heaven Who gives life to the world. God gave the Israelites manna in the wilderness to nurture them and provide for them. Christ declares that this bread was pointing to Him and that he is the True Bread of Life. Eating this bread will cause us to have life. He is not speaking of physical life, but of spiritual life obviously. For the manna which the Israelites ate did neither spare them from death nor from God’s judgment. But if one eats of this Bread, they “shall not hunger” (John 6:35). They will not hunger because they will find their food in Christ and in Him alone. They will not hunger because they take Christ into them and He will satisfy and nurture them for eternity. 

    In John 6:50-58, our Lord goes more in-depth about Him being bread and drink for us, which causes many to turn back. If we eat the Bread from Heaven (Christ Himself), then we will not die (John 6:50). This is similar to what He says about believing in Him and...