The Staunch Calvinist

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


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

...nd 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 chosen to preserve that particular person, which is absurd on its face. Therefore, the one who accepts Unconditional Election inevitably must accept the Perseverance of the Saints. For to reject the doctrine is to contend that God fails to save those whom He intends to save. See chapter 3, paragraph 5 for more on Unconditional Election.

Regeneration: Through regeneration, we have been made new creatures, given a new heart and a new spirit. Plus, the Spirit of the Almighty has come into our hearts (e.g., Ezek. 36:25-27). We’ve been given a new nature with the Law of the God written upon our hearts (Jer. 31:31-34). What happens when (supposedly) a person loses their salvation? Do they become unregenerate? Do they receive their old nature back? Do they become unborn again? Do you see the difficulty that such an idea of “falling away” brings with it? It is simply impossible that such a thing will happen. And what if the person loses their salvation and then comes to the Lord Jesus again, does God cause him to be born again for a second time? See chapter 11 for more on regeneration.

Justification: Justification is a legal act of God by which He declares guilty sinners free because of Christ’s work. Our sin is put upon Him, and we receive His righteousness (e.g., 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 3:21-31). How does it happen that God’s verdict, for a (supposedly) regenerate believer, becomes void after that person falls away (see Rom. 8:1)? Does the person become unjustified? Does he lose his justification? But how can that be if God has...

Hebrews 6:4-6, Apostasy and Calvinism

...ter-17:-Of-The-Perseverance-Of-The-Saints-Commentary/1036"chapter 17 of the 1689 Baptist Confession, so there are some things here that have been previously argued for, as for example the positive case for the doctrine of Perseverance).

This is arguably one of the most difficult and notorious passages in Holy Writ. There is no consensus on its interpretation. I have consulted many commentaries and articles on this passage and I come to it knowing that I don’t have all the answers. But I also come to it with presuppositions in mind. I am unashamed to say that the Bible does in fact teach the Perseverance of the Saints, therefore this passage cannot be describing the actual Apostasy of a regenerate believer totally from the faith. It may be a warning about true believers, it may be hypothetical, but what it cannot be is say that some true and regenerate believers will in fact fall away completely from the faith. I have argued that even in the book of Hebrews itself, the doctrine of Perseverance and the perfection of the work of Christ on behalf of the elect is taught. I have consulted the following articles and commentaries and will cite from some of them freely in the following discussion:

The passage does not say that regenerate believers apostatize:

  • John Calvin. Commentaries. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. Hebrews 6:4-9. Can also be found at here.
  • John Gill. Exposition of the Entire Bible. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. Hebrews 6:4-9. Can also be read at here.
  • Arthur W. Pink. Exposition of Hebrews. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. Chapters 24-27. His commentary on Hebrews 6 can be found here.
  • Wayne Grudem. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994). Chapter 40.
  • John M. Frame. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief. (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2014). Chapter 44.
  • J. Ligon Duncan III – Falling Away? (Sermon)
  • Mathew Poole - English Annotations on the Holy Bible. Commentary on Hebrews 6, here.
  • William Burkitt – Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. Commentary on Hebrews 6, here
  • Albert Barnes - Notes on the New Testament. Commentary on Hebrews 6, here. He accepts that the descriptions describe a true Christian, but rejects that it is possible for a true Christian to apostatize.
  • Robert Jamieson, Andrew Robert Fausset, David Brown – Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Commentary on Hebrews 6, here.
  • Matthew Henry – Complete Commentary on the Bible. Commentary on Hebrews 6, here.
  • Bob Utley – You Can Understand The Bible (Not that explicit). Commentary on Hebrews 6, here and here.
  • John Owen – Exposition of Hebrews. Commentary on Hebrews 6, here.
  • Steven J. Cole – Lesson 17: When Repentance Becomes Impossible (Hebrews 6:4-8).

The passage describes regenerate believers who have fallen away:

I have collected some commentaries, articles, and sermons on this passage in a document which you can download (it does not include all the commentaries listed above).

I believe that the passage speaks of false believers and warns about those who have sat under the preaching of the Word of God, the manifestation of the Spirit’s work and who themselves have professed to bel...

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

...ew Earth start with the Millennium. According to Premillennial eschatology, the following things are to be expected:

  1. The Evangelization of All Nations.
  2. The Great Tribulation and Antichrist (Man of Sin).
  3. The Conversion and Restoration of Israel.
  4. The Second Coming:
    1. The Rapture
      1. The resurrection of all dead saints.
      2. Transformation of living believers.
    2. Destruction of Antichrist.
    3. The binding of Satan.
    4. The inauguration of the thousand year reign of Christ.
  5. The Millennium.
  6. Apostasy at the end of the Millennium.
    1. Satan being loosed and leading rebellion against Christ.
    2. Satan and the wicked being destroyed.
  7. The Resurrection of the wicked.
  8. The Final Judgment.
  9. The New Heavens and New Earth.

The following is a diagram of Premillennialism:

Premillennial Problems

I believe that Premillennialism is not supported by the statement of the Confession here and in the following paragraph. Moreover, there is no Confessional support for Premillennialism in any of the major Creeds and Confessions of Christianity. Paragraph 2 (the current) speaks of the Rapture, i.e., the resurrection of dead saints and the transformation of living believers as happening “at the last day”. But clearly, in Premillennialism, the last day is separated from the Rapture by at least a thousand ­­years! Actually, the Confession in this paragraph does not speak of the resurrection of the saints, rather, “all the dead shall be raised up”, this is the General Resurrection. But Premillennialism knows of two resurrections: (1) the resurrection of all saints at the Rapture and  (2) the resurrection of the wicked prior to the Final Judgment. These two resurrections are separated by at least a thousand years. There is also no mention of any Millennium in the Confession or of separate resurrections, rather, the resurrection of all people is said to happen at the last day. This is the Confessional problem of (Classic) Premillennialism.

As to the biblical problems, it must be first of all noted that the Millennium is spoken of nowhere in the Bible except in Revelation 20. In the Old Testament prophecies which are often appealed to, including Isaiah 2, 4, 65, nowhere do we get the idea that the Kingdom will be temporary. Most importantly, a literal reading of Revelation 20 is problematic, because the book of Revelation is clearly and by its own admission a symbolical book (Rev. 1:1 KJV “signified”). Numbers are everywhere used in a symbolical way, so, how do we justify making the number thousand to be literal? Amazingly, all the great things which Premillenniarians expect to happen in the Millennium, are nowhere mentioned in Revelation 20. For example: the restoration and conversion of the Jews; peace and prosperity; Christ reigning from the earth; glorified bodies inhabiting the earth together with fleshly bodies; a decreased influence of sin and death. These things are simply not mentioned in Revelation 20. All these things come from a literal reading of Old Testament prophecies, although they are nowhere said to be limited to a thousand years in the Old Testament, but the Premillennialist interprets them in this way. For more on Revelation 20 and its interpretation, see below.

Premillenniarians argue that the binding of Satan must have such an effect so as to decrease his influence upon the earth, and therefore there will be a decrease (though not total eradication) of sin, death, and unbelief. But we believe this is a misinterpretation of the b...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary

...m stresses. The New Covenant, which is wholly salvific, is only for the elect. In other words, all the members of this covenant, unlike all previous covenants, are redeemed and elect of God from eternity. All the members of the New Covenant are truly regenerate and Spirit-dwelt believers. This is seen, for example, from Hebrews 8:6-13 where all members of the New Covenant, from the oldest to the youngest know the LORD. Not merely know about Him, but truly know Him. Furthermore, this New Covenant is unlike the Mosaic Covenant which had members who were unbelievers and members who were believers. This New Covenant is one which will not be broken like the Mosaic was and thus, Apostasy is impossible in the New Covenant (see chapter 17 and our exposition of texts used to argue for actual Apostasy from faith). So basically, the universal or the invisible church consists of the members of the New Covenant, all redeemed and elect believers throughout all ages.

Jeremiah 31:31-34 is one of the most important texts on the New Covenant. It tells us what kind of covenant it is, namely, unlike the Old Covenant. It tells us what its blessings are, namely: (1) God will put His law within us; (2) God will write His law on our hearts; (3) God will be our God and we will be His people; (4) we will know the Lord; (5) God will forgive our sins and remember them no more. It describes its members as those who know the LORD. To know about God is one thing and a necessary thing. But to know God is wholly another. Various attempts have been made from various groups to make exceptions to what is said in this passage about the New Covenant, its nature and its members. Dispensationalists usually say that this covenant is not yet inaugurated because it speaks of Israel and Judah. Some of them say that it will be fulfilled in the Millennium, others say that the New Covenant which we enjoy is a foretaste of Jeremiah 31. Our paedobaptist brethren usually say that only in the eschaton will everyone know the LORD and thus, it is not necessary for membership in the administration of the covenant or a local church.[5] In this way, they justify infant church membership. Our position is that this Jeremiah 31 covenant, as interpreted by the Holy Spirit in Hebrews, is the fully inaugurated New Covenant in Christ’s blood. We make a distinction between the invisible church (this paragraph) and the visible church (next paragraph). While those who make up the visible church should have been part of the invisible church, we know that this is not the case. They are falsely laying a claim upon a privilege which is only for those who are part of the invisible church. But if we read Jeremiah’s description of the New Covenant, what we have is members who truly, and not merely by profession, know and love the Lord. In other words, they are regenerate believers. What Jeremiah speaks about are the true members of the New Covenant. Another thing which we distinguish from our brethren is that for us local church membership is not the same as New Covenant membership. There are many local church members who are not New Covenant members. But they are church members falsely. They lay a claim to a thing they don’t have a right to. They set up their homes on a ground which is not theirs.

Since the New Covenant consists only of those for whom Christ’s blood was shed, we believe that a local church should likewise be composed of those for whom Christ’s blood was shed. But we are getting ahea...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 29: Of Baptism - Commentary

...vious covenants also since all the previous covenants were essentially the same as the New Covenant, only different in outward form. But this is wrong. Clearly, in the words “the covenant he mediates is better” is implied that He did not mediate for the old covenant. We will come back later on the mediation of Christ in the New Covenant.

2. The Old Covenant was broken: “if that first covenant had been faultless...they did not continue in my covenant”. The people were unfaithful to God and broke His covenant. If Jeremiah was referring to any specific instance, the incident with the golden calf would have been a proper episode in Israel’s Apostasy. Then the meaning would be that the people had been breaking the covenant since the beginning of its establishment. This breaking of the covenant and the disobedience toward God we see in the pages of the Old Testament. They always were a disobedient people and whored after false gods. This covenant included in it both true believers like Moses, and reprobates like Korah; Samuel and Eli’s sons; Josiah and Jeroboam, and so on. They were in the covenant because they were children of Abraham, circumcised, and lived in Israel, not because they were true believers. Faith was not a prerequisite for membership in the Old Covenant, rather, ethnicity and the sign of circumcision was. The only requirement in Genesis 17 is that they be males and belong to the household of Abraham. Circumcision had implications as the apostle says (e.g., Gal. 5:3), but an implication is not the same is a requirement or prerequisite. But the New Covenant is said to be “not like the covenant that I made with their fathers”. This means then that the New Covenant will be an unbreakable covenant, since it is mentioned that (1) the Old Covenant was not faultless, (2) it was broken and (3) the people were faithless. The New Covenant is unlike the Old, at least in these aspects directly mentioned in this passage. This demonstrates the newness of the New Covenant. This is why the New Covenant is a better covenant because it is an unbreakable and infallible covenant. This means that Apostasy from the New Covenant is impossible. There are no New Covenant members who will end up in hell. There will be a lot of church members in hell, but not a single New Covenant member. For a covenant member to be lost means that Christ was not a perfect Mediator and the New Covenant was, in fact, like the Old Covenant in which a lot of people apostatized from the true God. In summary, the New Covenant is unbreakable, faultless, and its members will, in fact, continue in God’s covenant. There is clearly a contrast intended in this passage between both covenants and not merely in the outward things, but in their essence. We have the promise of God that He will ensure that the covenantees will fulfill their obligations. He says, “I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me” (Jer. 32:40).

3. The reason why the New Covenant is better is because of Christ Who is its Mediator. Therefore, we need to know a few things about what Christ, as a Mediator, does in this covenant. Christ is the High Priest of God’s people Who offered Himself as the sacrifice that atones for their sins. After His work of sacrifice, He entered into Heaven to intercede for His people. As Reformed people, we know that there is a perfect connection b...

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

...le="color: #00ffff;"leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.
Prov. 22:4 The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.

Simply put, you cannot live a godly life, the life which the Lord desires His children to live, without the fear of Him and reverence for Him. A person who knows God and does not fear Him is an oxymoron. Among those things listed in Proverbs, the fear of the Lord planted in us in the New Covenant will not allow us to apostatize. The fear of the Lord will lead us in the right path and not lead us into Apostasy as in the days of old with Israel. The New Covenant will not have apostates because the Lord will graciously work and cause the obedience of its members. The visible church will have apostates, no doubt, but the New Covenant will not have apostates because all of its members will persevere by the promise and thanks to the power of God. The Spirit of the Lord will lead us to fear the Lord and live godly lives for the sake of Christ.


The promise of the New Covenant found in Ezekiel is likewise amazing and encouraging. It gives me hope because God promises that He will help me and cause me to obey by His grace because, in myself, I am hopeless. Ezekiel, living among the exiled community of Judah, comes to them as the mouthpiece of God and gives Israel this hope of a great future. I believe that this prophecy concerns both the present time and the future. It is what is called a blended prophecy. Let us look at the text:

Ezek. 36:25-28 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. 28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God

Obviously, there are similarities between the New Covenant found in Jeremiah and this passage here. Although the word “New Covenant” is found nowhere in Ezekiel, it is inarguable that this passage speaks of the New Covenant. The Lord promises in this covenant to cleanse His people from their sins. He will sprinkle water (this is not about the mode of baptism...) upon them to cleanse them from their sins. This promise speaks of a spiritual cleansing like that for example in Titus 3:5 –

Titus 3:4-6 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 

In this passage, we can see how Paul has in mind the promise of the New Covenant in Ezekiel and the like. He speaks of washing and renewal of spirit by the Holy Spirit. Obviously, as Reformed believers, we do not believe that baptism causes our regeneration, therefore this verse is speaking figuratively of our spiritual cleansing and not of our baptism. See also 1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 5:26, and chapter 29 on Baptism. The Lord will wash us and sprinkle cleansing water upon us to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and uncleanness. He will drive us away from our idols and will cause us to look up...

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

...n the context of the whole Bible. Plus, I follow the analogia fidei: clear passages first and then obscure passages. 2 Peter 2:1 is by no means clear and if it to be taken in a “straightforward” manner, it generates problems elsewhere in our theology. We need to harmonize and not make the Bible a mish-mash. If the apostle wanted to speak about the false teachers being bought by Christ the Savior’s blood, then he certainly knew how he could communicate that to his audience as he did previously (1 Pet. 1:18-19). Let us not forget that this passage was not put down to say anything about the atonement. What the passage speaks about is the Apostasy of the false teachers and their dangerous heresies (cf. 1 John 2:19). It is not a discussion on the extent of the atonement. Therefore, it is desperate if non-Calvinists would want to spend much time speaking about this text all the while there are other texts, which were penned to discuss the subject of the atonement and Christ’s work (e.g., Hebrews 7-10).

Since we have ruled out the soteriological view, therefore, now we must explain what the passage is speaking about. We have already spoken of the connection between the present text and Deuteronomy 32:5-6 where ”bought” is used in the sense of create and own. Therefore, I believe that this passage teaches that Christ has acquired, created and bought all people without exception, including these false teachers. They are owned by the Lord in the sense that He is the One who has created them and to whom they by nature they owe their thanks, worship, and adoration. Therefore, their public rejection of Christ brings them under His condemnation. Therefore, interpreting the text this way gives it the sense:

“There shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who created18 them and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”[69] 

If some object that the word found in the LXX is not agorazo, then the answer would be that Peter was not citing, but alluding to the text and since these words are synonymous, he was free to choose from both. There is, therefore, no radical difference between the two words.

The word Peter uses is ἀγοράζω (agorazō), which means, basically, “to buy.” The LXX uses it in 1 Chronicles 21:24 where the Hebrew uses the word קָנָה (qanah), meaning “to get, acquire, create, buy, possess.” The word used by the Septuagint in Exodus 15:16 and Deuteronomy 32:6 is κτάομαι (ktaomai), which means, “to acquire, get, or procure a thing for one’s self, to possess,” and is often used to refer to something acquired at a price--a purchase. And sure enough, the Hebrew word used in those places is, again, qanah.

So agorazō and ktaomai are, indeed, largely synonymous. In many cases they can be used interchangeably, being used by the translators of the Septuagint to translate the same Hebrew word. Since Peter is hearkening back to the Old Testament, but not quoting the LXX, he’s free to choose between these two Greek words to communicate the point.[70]

Other Possible Interpretation

One possible interpretation is what has been called the Christian Charity View. By this is meant that we take the false teachers at their word. They claim to be Christians, we take them at their word even though they are not, similar to 1 John 2:19. Support of this may be found in vv. 18-22. They appear to be living the Christian life, but deep within they are wolves; they are false. Thus,...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 22: Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day - Commentary

...nk between Sabbath observance and God’s sanctifying work in his people.”[92]Based on these two verses, Dr. Martin writes:

From the parallelism of these verses [Ezk 20:12, 20] we may deduce that the covenant relationship expressed in the words “I am the Lord your God” includes also the commitment “I am the Lord who sanctifies you.” The Sabbath was meant to be a reminder of these truths.[93]

After the general Apostasy of humanity from the commandments of God and the fourth commandment in particular, Dabney observes the importance of the Sabbath as a sign:

To understand this “sign” we must remember that all the world except the Hebrews had gone off into idolatry, neglecting all God’s laws and also the proper observance of his Sabbath. The covenant which Israel made with him was, to be separate from all the pagans and to obey his law, so neglected by them. Now, the public observance of the Sabbath gave the most obvious, general, visible sign to the world and the church of this covenant, and of the difference between God’s people and pagans. Hence it was eminently suitable as a sign of that covenant.[94]

The Seventh-Day Sabbath Pointed To Christ

The Sabbath moreover was a sign of a greater reality, namely, rest in Christ. The seventh-day Sabbath under the Old Covenant pointed toward spiritual rest in Christ. The Israelites were eagerly expecting to enter the Promised Land and thus into their rest. In some places, the idea of rest and entering the land is connected together (e.g. Deut. 12:9; Josh. 1:13). Their rest in part consisted in receiving the Promised Land, but this was not what the Sabbath was pointing to ultimately. As we have argued above, the Sabbath was first of all given to Adam and for him to keep. It was not given first in Exodus 16 or on Sinai. Therefore, Adam had an obligation to keep the Sabbath holy, following his Maker’s example. The Lord told Him to obey Him, otherwise he will die (Gen. 2:16-17). He had to toil in his state of probation, however long that was designed to be, and after passing God’s test, he would have entered and shared into God’s rest, too. He would have entered into God’s Sabbath rest. God rested from His work of creation since the seventh day and had Adam obeyed God in his time of probation, he would have shared in God’s Sabbath. But he did not. Concerning the eschatological significance of the Sabbath even from the Creation, Dr. Waldron writes:

The weekly Sabbath instituted at creation was itself typical. It pointed forward to the consummation of history when Adam would have entered a higher condition and would have entered into God’s rest had he successfully completed His probation in the Garden of Eden. The six days of labor symbolized the labor of history and the 7th day the rest to be entered at the end of history when the creation mandates of God had been successfully completed.[95]

To the effect that the seventh-day Sabbath under the Old Covenant pointed to rest in Christ, we read in Hebrews 4:

Heb. 4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.

Joshua had in fact given them rest (Josh. 21:43-45), but this rest was not the one which the seventh-day Sabbath pointed to. The seventh-day Sabbath pointed to the rest that people would have from the sinful labors and enter into the joyous and peaceful fellowship of God. No longer away from Him, but to be with Him forever. The Sabbath was not merely pointing to the rest which Isra...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 23: Of Lawful Oaths and Vows - Commentary

...s not doing away with swearing and taking oaths, but He is doing away with Jewish hypocrisy and false teaching concerning the Third Commandment. The Jews “avoided of God’s personal name and instead used reverent substitutions, clever liars could take an oath that seemed to appeal to God without technically doing so (23:16-22).”[10] Therefore, we see here our Lord a clear understanding of the Third Commandment and exposing the hypocrisy of the Jews and the taking of God’s Name in vain. Furthermore, swearing by other things than God “would indicate idolatry, or Apostasy, which the passage from Jeremiah (mentioned above concerning lust [Jer. 5:7-9]) also conveys.”[11] The Lord Jesus did not do away with oaths, but showed their real intent and exposed false and sinful use of oaths. The Lord’s brother, James, also speaks to the same effect in James 5:12. 

§4 The Plain And Common Sense Of The Words

  1. An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation or mental reservation. 1
    1. Ps. 24:4; Jer. 4:2

An oath should be made in the plain and common sense of the words, using common definitions so as to avoid and confusion, or worse—deception. Therefore, our words should be without equivocation, meaning open to multiple interpretations, and also without mental reservation, which means by not telling the whole truth. Our words should be clear and understood by everyone involved without ambiguity or reservations or qualifications which we mentally make and those involved are unaware of.

We should not say things which would imply different things than what we actually intend. We should not use verbiage which communicates something different to people in order to be deceptive and cunning in what we actually intend. Our words must be plain and to the point. “The language of the oath must be unequivocal and as to be clearly understood by all parties.”[12] If we are to use difficult verbiage we should be plain about our understanding and definitions of the words. Our intent is to honor the truth and the God of truth (Isa. 65:16), therefore, we make every effort to be truthful in our words and oaths.

§5 Vows

  1. A vow, which is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone, is to be made and performed with all religious care and faithfulness; but popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself. 3
    1. . 30:2-3; Ps. 76:11; Jer. 44:25-26
    2. . 30:2; Ps. 61:8; 66:13-14; Eccl. 5:4-6; Isa. 19:21
    3. 1 Cor. 6:18 7:2, 9; 1 Tim. 4:3; Eph. 4:28; 1 Cor. 7:23; Matt. 19:11-12

Now the Confession moves to consider&...