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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 12: Of Adoption - Commentary

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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 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 never c...


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 8: Of Christ the Mediator - Commentary

...at which 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; 1John 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 (2Thess. 1). The Bible tells us that the Lord Jesus will judge both the living and the dead (2Tim. 4:1). Both believer and unbeliever will stand before Him, everyone must give an account (Act 10:42; Matt. 25:31-46; John 5:22-23; Rom. 2:5, 16;14:9-10; 1Cor. 4:5; 2Cor. 5:10; 2Tim. 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 wanted 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 worlds 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 –

2Thess. 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 no...


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 ground 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 unto the end, the righteousness of Christ is the only ground on which we can stand. It is grounded upon the work of 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 G...


1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

...ovidence

  • 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: 
      ...
      OF THE OLD TESTAMENT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
      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

    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 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 foward 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 happen 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....


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 17: Of The Perseverance of the Saints - Commentary

    ... from the state of grace (e.g. John 10:28-29; 1John 2:19). If we follow what was said in the previous chapters, as this paragraph begins by enlisting these things, we cannot but expect such a declaration. If God is absolutely sovereign over all things (chapters 3 and 5), even electing, calling, justifying, adopting (chapter 12) and sanctifying us, how can it be that God could fail in His purpose and we be lost to eternal perdition? It cannot. The elect will certainly persevere in the state of grace...to the end. This is the essential difference between true and false faith. True faith perseveres to the end (1John 2:19). This is because the gifts and callings of God are without repentance (Rom. 11:29), in other words, He does not change His mind. Therefore, the elect are safe and He will grant them all these things which are necessary for their final salvation and perseverance.

    This does not mean that the journey will be easy. In fact, the Confession speaks of storms and floods that arise and beat us. Nonetheless, no one and nothing can shake us off that foundation and rock which by faith we are fastened upon. In these storms and floods and by the temptations of Satanthe sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured for us (so also with our assurance, see chapter 18:4). This does not mean that God has changed; he is still the same. But we are being attacked by the enemy and are fighting or giving into temptation and are in need of restoration. Even in these storms and floods, we may be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation and the enjoyment of our purchased possession. The fact that the elect cannot lose their salvation is further shown from the fact that we are engraven upon the palm of His hands (Isa. 49:16) and our names having been written in the book of life from all eternity (Rev. 13:8; 20:15). All this is given for the confidence and encouragement of the believers in God’s faithfulness, goodness, grace, promise, and power. 


    The Impossibility Of Final Apostasy For The Elect

    The biblical and Reformed doctrine of perseverance is a great mountain, which gives the saints assurance and faith in God’s almighty power in overcoming sin in us and completely saving us. The doctrine does not teach, contrary to non-Protestant caricatures, that Christians after being saved can do whatever they want to do and still remain saved. Rather, the doctrine teaches that those who have the Spirit of God indwelling in them will persevere in the faith by the almighty power of God. The Lord will chastise, sanctify and lead them toward a holier life.

    That the doctrine is true and biblical may be seen from many ways (see paragraph 2), including (1) the decree of election, (2) regeneration, (3) justification and (4) Christ’s obedience.

    Election: It has pleased God from all eternity to select a particular people in the Lord Jesus Christ whom He will redeem from sin to be with Him forever without any consideration of foreseen faith or works, merely because of His good pleasure. Seeing that their salvation was not dependent upon them, how would their perseverance be (completely) dependent upon them? There is no debate among Calvinists about whether the elect can lose their salvation. Someone who accepts Unconditional Election must believe in perseverance. It is logically necessary, for to contend otherwise is to say that God has unconditionally chosen a person to be saved, but has not chos...


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

    ...nd in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” 

    Acts 3:25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’

    Luke 1:72-73 to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us 

    Rom. 9:4-5 They are Israelites, and to them belong the Adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. 

    Gal. 3:16-17 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. 

    Gen. 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

    Dr. Sam Waldron, in his commentary on chapter 7 of the 1689, notes the unity of the covenants in light of Ephesians 2:12:

    The thematic unity of the covenants means that they have a single ultimate theme or purpose. The text that epitomizes and summarizes this point is Ephesians 2:12, which literally translated speaks of ‘the covenants of the promise’. What specific promise Paul has in mind may not be clear, but it is clear that all the covenants were the development of one single promise, not many promises. This thematic unity can be seen in a key recurring phrase or theme that occurs in the divine covenants: ‘I will be your God and you shall be my people’ (Gen. 17:7-8; Exod. 25:8; 6:6-7; 2 Sam. 7:14; 2 Chron. 23:16; Jer. 31:33; Rev. 21:3). The great promise of all the covenants is fulfilled in Christ and in the New Covenant (John 1:14; Matt. 1:22-23). Now emphatically God is with man.

    The reference in Ephesians 2:12 to ‘the covenants of the promise’ is crucial. It asserts that all the divine covenants relate to the unfolding of the single promise of salvation. If Paul is referring specifically to the promise of a Redeemer initially given in Genesis 3:15, then the following (very brief) survey of the divine covenants manifests their relation to this promise. The covenant with Noah is given as a framework in which creation will be preserved by common grace until the fulfilment of the promise. The covenant with Abraham formally initiates that community through which the promised Redeemer will come. The Mosaic covenant provides the necessary regulation and legislation for that community at the time when it has ceased to be a family and has become a nation. In so doing God also provides a full revelation of the nature and necessity of the response owed to his covenant grace. In the Davidic covenant God’s rule over his people is given concrete manifestation. In so doing the line through which the Redeemer would come is specified. In the New Covenant the Redeemer appears and accomplishes redemption, thus bringing to fruition all the types and predictions of the earlier covenants. He inaugurates the final form of the covenant community.

    The crucial point in all of this for us is that the promise of a Redeemer is intima...


    Unconditional Election, Sovereign Grace - Scripture List

    ... grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. 7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened,

    Eph 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for Adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

    Eph 1:11-12 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

    Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

    Phil 2:12-13 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for 13 it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

    1Thess 1:4-5 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.

    1Thess 5:9-10 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.

    2Thess 2:13-14 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    1Pet 1:1-2 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

    God’s purpose in election

    Isa 43:6-7 I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

    Rom 9:22-24 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

    Eph 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for Adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he ...