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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 1: Of the Holy Scriptures - Commentary

...al order, therefore, here are the topics in a somewhat more logical order:

  1. Necessity of Scripture (paragraph 1)
  2. Scripture As Self-Revelation (paragraph 1)
  3. Canon of the Old Testament (paragraph 4)
  4. Canon of the New Testament (paragraph 3)
  5. Inspiration of Scripture (paragraph 2)
  6. Inerrancy and Infallibility of Scripture (paragraph 1)
  7. Authority of Scripture (paragraph 4)
  8. Sufficiency of Scripture (paragraph 6)
  9. Sola Scriptura (paragraph 110)
  10. Authentication of Scripture (paragraph 5)
  11. Perspicuity of Scripture  (paragraph 7)
  12. Interpretation of Scripture (paragraph 9)

This chapter is in many ways based upon the truths in 2 Timothy 3:16. All the particular subjects which are treated are part of a unified whole doctrine about God’s Word.

§1 The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule

  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[1]
    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

Holy Scripture, which is defined to be the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is “sufficient, certain, and infallible”. This means that Scripture is enough; true and sure; and cannot err. What is the scope of this sufficiency, certainty, and infallibility? The Confession says that Scripture is the only infallible “rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience”. Holy Scripture is given as a measuring line and a standard. It is a standard of standards. There are other standards and rules besides the Bible, but the Bible alone is the “sufficient, certain, and infallible rule”. The Bible is the norm and rule to test everything else by.

Paragraph 1 then moves to speak about the insufficiency of general revelation for salvation. The “light of nature, and the works of creation and providence” demonstrate that there is a powerful God Who is the Creator of everything. Yet this knowledge is not sufficient to save. Although it is sufficient to leave men inexcusable. This is basically Paul’s argument in Romans 1:18-32. Men know the God Who exists because of the creation which they are able to observe and because God has revealed Himself to them. So clear is this revelation that when they stand before the thrice Holy God they will be found “without excuse” (...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary

...f “it not been that the Church of Rome has abused it [Matt 16:18, and who the rock is], and applied it to what was never intended, no other interpretation would have been sought for.”[6] The controversy that surrounds this verse between the Protestants and Catholics lies in the question as to who “this rock” is which is being referred to and the further Roman Catholic implications from this identification. The Roman Catholic church claims that here, Christ gave Peter supreme Authority over the church and raised him above all the other apostles. Furthermore, they see in this the doctrine of the Papacy. They say that Peter was the first bishop of Rome and from him, there has been a direct succession of popes/bishops of Rome. Therefore, they see in the Pope the Authority of Peter, which they understand as being the supreme leader on earth over the Church. The Pope, so to say, is Christ on earth.

Barnes was right, these things could not be found anywhere in the Bible, let alone in Matthew 16:18. It was not the intention of the Lord Jesus to give us here a doctrine of a single bishop of Rome who will be called the Head of the Church. There is no difficulty in identifying Peter as “this rock” which Christ was speaking of. As Keith Thompson has studied this passage and observed, “Conservative Protestant exegetical scholarship is basically unified in affirming Peter is the rock here. D. A. Carson, Craig Blomberg, Craig S. Keener as well as the late Oscar Cullmann and W. F. Albright among many dozens of others are in agreement on this point.”[7] The difficulty lies in the fact that the Papists have read all kinds of things in the words of the Lord Jesus which He never intended.

The apostle Peter did function as the “starter” of the Church. On the day of Pentecost, it was he who first preached the gospel to the Jews (Acts 2:14-41). Furthermore, it was also he who brought the message of salvation to the Gentiles in Acts 10. So, in a real sense, Christ did build His church on Peter’s preaching and through Peter’s ministry. This may also be tied to the keys given to Peter a few verses later (Matt. 16:19). But it is wrong to say that by this declaration and by this deed, now Peter is the head of the Church on earth. The passage communicates no such thing, nor is such a thing taught elsewhere in Holy Writ. The Bible teaches there is only one Head of the Church—Jesus the Christ (see paragraph 4). Most importantly, we should not ignore the occasion that caused the Lord Jesus to say such a thing about Peter. When the Lord Jesus asked who the disciples said that He is, Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16). Therefore, Peter should not be considered in his person alone, but also in his confession, which is the confession of every true Christian. The Lord Jesus, the true and only Head of the Church, built His church on the foundation of Peter among others (Eph. 2:20) and all of His people share in Peter’s confession that Christ is “the Son of the living God.”

From the Scriptures, we do not see Peter as having sole Authority in the church, but as an elder, he shared Authority with others in Jerusalem. Furthermore, the claim that in Matthew 16:19 the Lord Jesus gives unique Authority to Peter to absolve sins, judge doctrinal matters and so on, is wrong because that power is given to the church in Matthew 18:18. In Matthew 16, the Lord Jesus specifically spoke of Peter, but He did not mean only Peter as the next ...

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

...tdWhere is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?   1 Cor. 2:6 …although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away.     2 Cor. 4:4 …god of this world (age) has blinded the minds of the unbelievers…   Gal. 1:4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age…   Eph. 1:21 …far above all rule and Authority…not only in this age But also in the one to come 1Tim. 6:17, 19 As for the rich in this present age… treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future… Titus 2:12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age  

From the above passages we may say that the present age is said to be an age in which:

These passages describe qualities or characteristics of the Present Age which are temporal in nature. This Present Age is explicitly defined as “evil” (Gal. 1:4), this means that evil will remain the characteristic and quality of this age until it is over. On the other hand, we have the Age to Come. The Age to Come is an age in which:

Clearly, in contrast to the qualities and characteristics of the Present Age, the Age to Come is described in non-temporal ways. The parallel account of Matthew 12:32 about the sin against the Holy Spirit says that the blasphemer would be guilty of “an eternal sin” (Mark 3:29). This means that Mark is equating the Age to Come with eternity. Moreover, eternal life is the reward of the Age to Come, and thus the age is eternal (Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30). The Present Age is an age when people get married, but in contrast, the Age to Come is an age where there will be no marriage, but believers will be like angels. Moreover, the Age to Come is an age in which the resurrection has already happened, i.e., it is after the resurrection (Luke 20:34-36). Most importantly, the Age to Come is said to be an age in which believers no longer die (Luke 20:36), which undoubtedly refers to a time after Christ’s coming and the New Heavens and New Earth (1 Cor. 15:23-28, 53-55; Rev. 21:4). In contrast to the Present Evil Age, the Age to Come is an eternal age identified with the New Heavens and New Earth.

These are the only two ages with their characteristics and qualities which the New Testament teaches. There is here nothing said of a Millennium neither anywhere else in the Bible except the symbolical Revelation 20. But what is it that marks the end of the Present Age and the beginning of the Age to Come? It is the Second Coming of Christ. The implication from Titus 2:12-13 is that “the appearing of the gl...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 19: Of the Law of God - Commentary
The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 19 Law Of God Law Of Moses Law Of Christ Moral Law Decalogue Ten Commandments Thomas Watson John Calvin Robert Dabney Westminster Standards Catechism Civil Law Judicial Law Ceremonial Law Threefold Division Of The Law

...the threefold uses of the Law? What is the moral law and is it binding on all people? What are the Ten Commandments? Were the Ten Commandments known before Sinai? What is the relationship between the believer and the Ten Commandments? What is the doctrine of the Law and the gospel?

There is a lot of work to be done in this chapter and I think that this is a crucial chapter, one that I want to study myself. I do believe what is confessed here, but I do also want to be able to make a biblical case for it. The case that I will lay down is obviously convincing to me, I will not be able to address every objection that may come up. What I want to lay down here is the binding Authority and nature of the Decalogue on all people, whether saved or unsaved; what the relationship of the Christian is to the Law and such questions.

Defining Our Terms

Natural Law

The Natural Law is the Law of God as revealed in creation and which man knows by virtue of the fact that he’s a creature made in the image of God (see here on the image of God). Natural Law may be discovered by reason and innate knowledge. The Reformed Baptist theologian Richard Barcellos writes the following concerning the substance and form of the Moral Law:

Protestant Scholasticism taught that the Decalogue summarily contains the Moral Law and is the inscripturated form of the natural law, as to its substance. A distinction was made between substance and form. Substance is one; form (and function) may vary. For example, when the Westminster Larger Catechism Q. 98 says, “The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten commandments,” it refers to the fact that the substance (i.e., the underlying essence) of the Moral Law is assumed and articulated in the propositions of the Decalogue as contained in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. The form (and function) fits the redemptive-historical circumstances in which it was given. The substance, or underlying principles, are always relevant and applicable to man because he is created in the image of God. The application may shift based on redemptive-historical changes, such as the inauguration of the New Covenant, but its substance and utility never changes.[1]

Moral Law

The Moral Law, on the other hand, is the Law which is revealed and summarized by God in the Ten Commandments, the Decalogue, which is the substance of the Natural Law. Richard Muller is quoted in Barcellos on the definition of the Moral Law, saying:

specifically and predominantly, the Decalogus, or Ten Commandments; also called the lex Mosaica …, as distinct from the lex ceremonialis …and the lex civilis, or civil law. The lex moralis, which is primarily intended to regulate morals, is known to the synderesis [the innate habit of understanding basic principles of moral law] and is the basis of the acts of conscientia [conscience–the application of the innate habit above]. In substance, the lex moralis is identical with the lex naturalis …but, unlike the natural law, it is given by revelation in a form which is clearer and fuller than that otherwise known to the reason.[2]

And then Dr. Barcellos adds:

As noted above, the Moral Law is summarily comprehended in the Decalogue, not exhausted by it. Though the formal promulgation of the Decalogue had a unique redemptive-historical context and use, it is nothing other than the Natural Law incorporated into the Mosaic Covenant. This is one of its uses in the Bible but not all of its uses.

The Decalogue contains th...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 22: Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day - Commentary
The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 22 Christian Sabbath Sabbath The Lord's Day Fourth Commandment Day Of Worship Day Of Rest Sunday Religious Worship Church

...led will”, meaning, the Holy Scriptures. Only things which God (directly) has commanded and/or have a Scriptural warrant may take place in the corporate worship of God’s people. Simply said, the Regulative Principle of Worship is the application of Sola Scriptura to the corporate worship of the Church. This Regulative Principle is contrasted with the Normative Principle. In the time of the Reformation, those who held to the Regulative Principle were the Reformed and the Puritans, while those who held to the Normative Principle were the Lutherans and Anglicans, among others. But, what is the Normative Principle? The twentieth article titled “Of the Authority of the Church” from the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, reads:

The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and Authority in Controversies of Faith: And yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything contrary to God’s Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of holy Writ, yet, as it ought not to decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation.[3]

This is the position of virtually all non-Reformed churches these days. Whatever is not commanded is permitted, unless expressly forbidden. The church may decree “Rites or Ceremonies” but these must not be against “holy Writ”. The Regulative Principle, on the other hand, states that only those things described and commanded in Holy Writ as they concern the worship of God’s people, are to be part of the worship of the Church. Therefore, the Puritans saw a return to Rome in the teaching of the Church of England. They saw that the Normative Principle left the door to Rome open. While the Regulative Principle shut tightly the door to Rome and held fast to Scripture as the basis for the elements and way of worship.

The last observation concerns the fact that this Regulative Principle concerns the worship of the gathered church. The corporate/public worship of the church on the Lord’s Day (or any other day that the church gathers to worship) is to be regulated by the Scriptures alone in all its elements of worship. Not all life is to be regulated by this principle, but only the corporate worship of the church. Therefore, Dr. Waldron speaks of “the regulative principle of the church” and says that “God regulates His worship in a way which differs from the way in which He regulates the rest of life.”[4]After writing about the uniqueness of the church gathering of the New Covenant and its connection with the tabernacle and Temple in the Old Covenant, Dr. Waldron says:

God never told Moses precisely how to construct Moses’ tent. God never told Moses precisely how to regulate His family. Those tasks He left to the discretion of Moses because it was Moses’ tent and Moses’ family. But it is for that very reason that God exercises such pervasive control over the tabernacle and its worship. The tabernacle was God’s tent; it ministers to His family. Thus, He rules its worship with a special and detailed set of regulations to which He expects precise obedience.[5]

God is jealous for His worship and He has actually not given man freedom to do as they will in His worship. We shall shortly see how jealous God is concerning His worship and the way He is worshiped, by the measures He deals to those who pervert His worship. John Calvin...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 24: Of the Civil Magistrate - Commentary
The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 24 Civil Magistrates Civil Government Romans 13

  • Gen. 6:11-13 with 9:5-6; Ps. 58:1-2; 72:14; 82:1-4; Prov. 21:15; 24:11-12; 29:14,26; 31:5; Ezek. 7:23; 45:9; Dan. 4:27; Matt. 22:21; Rom. 13:3-4; 1 Tim. 2:2; 1 Peter 2:14
  • Gen. 9:6; Prov. 16:14; 19:12; 20:2; 21:15; 28:17; Acts 25:11; Rom. 13:4; 1 Peter 2:14
  • God as the supreme Lord and King of all the world has ordained civil magistrates or the government to be under Him (Rom. 13:1-6). The government is subject to God and derives its Authority to rule from God. The civil magistrates are over the people. They have Authority over the people because they received that Authority from God. This way of governing, God has chosen for his own glory and the public good. God’s glory is the proper end of everything that He does so likewise in ordaining civil magistrates. What is the purpose of the civil magistrates? The civil magistrates are ordained and called for defence and encouragement of them that do good (1 Peter 2:14). A good government should defend those who are doing good and protect them. Furthermore, a good government should encourage the doing of good for the betterment of society and the glory of God. But civil magistrates are also armed...with the power of the sword...for the punishment of evil doers (Rom. 13:4; 1 Peter 2:14). A good government should defend itself and defend those who do good, in necessary, by using the God-given power of the sword. Likewise, in punishing the evildoers, the power of the sword may be used when it is necessary. God has given it to the government to be used justly.

    Subject To God

    There are two things which are first of all asserted: 1) God is the supreme Lord, and 2) civil governments are to be subject to Him. That God is the supreme Lord over all, we don’t need to mention here. In chapter 21:2, we also read that “God alone is Lord of the conscience”. The government cannot see into our hearts and consciences. But God can. He determines even what is good and evil in that private realm. But He also rules us in the public realm through the civil magistrates. As the Supreme Lord, God is the ruler over the government also. Not only that, but as the supreme Lord of the government, the government is called to submit itself to Him. The government should acknowledge that its power is derivative. We are to be subjected to them as given by God. But they should also acknowledge that they, like we also, are subject to God. Therefore, any government wishing the blessing of its people should subject itself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Any government that does not acknowledge Jesus Christ is in rebellion against God. This is the description of all, if not most, governments in our world. The civil government should acknowledge that they’re a tool in the hand of God for the good of its citizens. God has put them in the positions that they are in. It is God Who ordained them according to their roles as a king, president, governor, and all the other roles. God humbles Nebuchadnezzar, who was the most powerful man in the world, telling him that he will remain in humiliation “till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will” (Dan. 4:25). Ultimately, “Heaven rules” all the world (Dan. 4:26) and the call to the civil magistrate is to acknowledge that and bow the knee to the King of kings and the Lord of lords. 

    The government should rule under the Authority of God over the people. The civil government has a higher responsibility and position in the world. T...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 7: Of God's Covenant - Commentary
    The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 7 God's Covenant 1689 Federalism Westminster Federalism Presbyterian Covenant Theology Covenant Of Works Covenant Of Redemption Covenant Of Grace Nohaic Covenant Abrahamic Covenant Mosaic Covenant Old Covenant Davidic Covenant New Covenant

    ...he Father gave work to God the Son. The Covenant of Redemption was a covenant of works. God the Son had to fulfill commands to obtain the blessings of the covenant.

    The mission of the Son and its effects will extend to a people represented by the Son. He is appointed a federal head in this covenant. Jesus Himself spoke of this in John 10:17-18. He said, “17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have Authority to lay it down, and I have Authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” And later in the same chapter, in verses 27-29 Jesus said, “27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” The Father gave a people to the Son. And the Son was commanded to lay down His life for that people as their federal head.

    God the Son was sent to die for a people. But His mission included much more than simply His death. He was appointed by the Father to be a Mediator for His people, and as that Mediator to be the King, Priest, and Prophet of God’s elect.[29]

    Notice how Dr. Renihan speaks of the Covenant of Redemption as a covenant of works. Not for us. For us it is the foundation of a pure covenant of grace. But for Christ, it was a covenant whose blessings He had to earn for His people by obeying His Father.

    It is interesting to note that only the 1689 speaks of the Covenant of Redemption in this chapter (also chapter 7). The sister confessions concern themselves only with the Covenant of Works and the different administrations of the Covenant of Grace.

    §3 The Covenant of Grace is revealed by farther steps

    1. This covenant is revealed in the gospel; first of all to Adam in the promise of salvation by the seed of the woman, and afterwards by farther steps, until the full discovery thereof was completed in the New Testament; and it is founded in that eternal covenant transaction that was between the Father and the Son about the redemption of the elect; 2 and it is alone by the grace of this covenant that all the posterity of fallen Adam that ever were saved did obtain life and blessed immortality, man being now utterly incapable of acceptance with God upon those terms on which Adam stood in his state of innocency. 3
      1. Gen. 3:15; Rom. 16:25-27; Eph. 3:5; Titus 1:2; Heb. 1:1-2
      2. Ps. 110:4; Eph. 1:3-11; 2 Tim. 1:9
      3. John 8:56; Acts 4:12; Rom. 4:1-25; Gal. 3:18-22; Heb. 11:6, 13,39-40

    This covenant of grace is revealed in the gospel, beginning in the Protoevangelium (Gen. 3:15) and beyond. It was revealed...by farther steps. In other words, it was progressively revealed and not revealed completely at once as it was in the New Testament. The full discovery and revelation was made in the New Testament and there it was completed. It no longer needs revelation by farther steps. The covenant of grace has its basis in that eternal covenant commonly called the Covenant of Redemption wherein the Father gives a people to the Son to be saved and the Spirit comes to apply the work of the Son to the elect. Election is grounded in that eternal covenant.

    As paragraph 2 declared that this covenant is a covenant of salvation by Jesus Christ, so in this paragraph, it...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 8: Of Christ the Mediator - Commentary
    The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Exposition Reformed Baptist Chapter 8 Christ The Mediator Prophet Priest King Definite Redemption Limited Atonement Arminianism Universal Atonement Hypostatic Union Humanity Of Christ God-Man

    ...forget to mention the magnificent truth that the Lord Jesus is the head of the church and is preeminent in everything. But what does that mean? The Greek word used in the texts that refer to the Lord Jesus as the head is the noun κεφαλή (kephale, G2776). It means literal head whose loss is the loss of life, but metaphorically it also means “anything supreme, chief, prominent.”[5] The Lord Jesus is the Supreme and Chief One Who is over the church from whom the church receives its Authority and power. This does not only show that the church’s Authority is derivative from Christ, but that Christ alone is the head of the church and thus has Authority over it to rule and govern it as He pleases. The way in which the Lord rules His church is by Word and Spirit.

    Ephesians 4:15-16; 5:23-24; Colossians 2:19 speak also of this headship of Christ over the church. But there are also a couple of texts which speak of Christ’s Authority and sovereignty over all creation, not only the church.

    Eph. 1:20-23 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and Authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. 

    Col. 2:9-10 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and Authority.

    Christ the Lord, through His obedience, redemptive work, death, and indestructible life is seated at the right hand of God, the hand of power and might (Matt. 26:64). All other authorities on the earth derive their Authority from God (Rom. 13:1ff; Dan. 2:21). The Lord Jesus, the Lord of glory, is seated, i.e., in the position of ruling and resting from His completed work of redemption, above all the authorities that are in the world. He is above them and moreover, He rules over them. Revelation 1:5 describes Him as “the ruler of kings on earth.” He is above everything that is created and everything that is feared and esteemed in this world by mortal men. The Father has put on display the everlasting love He has for His Son by putting everything under His feet to do with it as He pleases and carry out God’s eternal decree. 

    Now we come to our word κεφαλή (kephale) in v. 22. In the previous verses, we read of Christ being head of the church, but here we read that He is head over all things to the church, for the sake of the church. Indeed, this confirms His promise that He is with us and we are not to fear in the discipling of the nations, because first of all, He has all rule and Authority in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18-20). He is given to us as head over all Authority, for our sake and for the good of His body, the church. He is head, supreme, chief and prominent over all the world and everything that is created and exists. He is head over the ungodly world even as He is head over His body, the church, and He exercises His sovereign reign for the sake of His church and His glory. John Gill notes on Ephesians 1:22:

    And this headship of Christ is the gift of God; and it is an honourable gift to him, as Mediator; it is a glorifying of him, and a giving him in all things the pre-eminence; and it is a free grace gift to the church, and a very special, valuable, and excellent one, an...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith - Commentary
    The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 14 Chapter Fourteen Saving Faith True Faith Temporal Faith Historical Faith Nature Of Faith Ground Of Faith Elements Of Faith Blessings Of Faith Gift Of Faith Pisteuo Pistis Greek Word Study Expressions For Faith

    ...ndeserving 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 passing from life to death in John 5:24. All those who have eaten of this Bread, will not die but “live forever” (John 5:51). This bread is Christ’s flesh, it’s His sacrifice for us (not the Mass, or the Lord’s Supper). In John 6:54, He even says, “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” Without feeding upon Christ’s flesh and drinking His blood, there is no life. This makes it pretty clear that in faith, we come to Christ to find in Him all that is necessary for our salvation: Himself and His work for us in His life, death, and resurrection.

    Definition of Faith

    Now that we’ve looked at the Greek words used for faith and expressions used for it in Scripture, we have the ability to define faith biblically. Faith is the trust and reliance upon God in Christ and His Word for salvation and all of His p...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 17: Of The Perseverance of the Saints - Commentary
    The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Perseverance Of The Saints Preservation Of The Saints Assurance Of Salvation Eternal Security Apostasy Falling Away. Hebrews 6

    ...0;"canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 

    (ii) Not only Christ’s death, but Christ’s resurrection assures that believers will also share in a resurrection like His (Rom. 6:5; Phil. 3:21). But not only that, Paul claims in Romans 4:25 that the Lord was “raised for our justification” (see here on the meaning of this passage).

    (iii) He is seated at the right hand of Power, signifying that He has all power and Authority and is able to conquer all His and our foes. How much more our unbelief? It is He Who has power and Authority, therefore, we should not fear, and be assured that all things work together for good, indeed. He is seated at the right hand of God. His work is finished. In the meantime, all His enemies are becoming a footstool for Him (Ps. 110:1-2).

    (iv) Lastly, the fact that Christ is seated at the right hand of God to intercede for us assures that we will not be condemned. The Lord Jesus appeals before God on our behalf. Hebrews 7:25 teaches us that through His intercession the Lord Jesus is able to save completely everyone who draws close to God through Him. By His intercession, the Lord Jesus prays for us that our faith may not fail as He did for Peter whose faith did not completely fail (Luke 22:32). Christ is said to be our Advocate before the Father whenever we sin, knowing that a propitiation was provided for our sins in Christ (1 John 2:1-2).

    6. Whatever may come, we are victorious in Christ. Let the whole world be against the elect of God. It does not matter. God is with us and we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us. Not because we fight, but because we are loved by Him Who possesses all power and Authority. Whatever this world has to bring, let it bring, it will not be able to separate the elect from God. Paul is sure that nothing is able to separate us and he names all kinds of things. Whatever it may be, Paul is certain based on God’s love and sovereignty that it will not succeed in separating the elect from God’s love, which is in Jesus Christ.

    7. To conclude, the passage as a whole provides an unshakable foundation for assurance concerning the perseverance of God’s elect. From eternity past to eternity future, it is God Who brings the elect to faith, it is God Who preserves them and it is God Who will finally glorify them.

    1 Corinthians 1:4-9 – Sustain you to the end, guiltless

    I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, 5 that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— 6 even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— 7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 

    1. Paul starts his letter as he often does with thanksgiving to God for the work done in the believers he’s writing to. He gives thanks because grace was given to the believers and the believers are growing in the knowledge of God. They are maturing and becoming more like Christ everyday. Grace–the unmerited favor of God, was given to the believers in Christ that they escape from the punishment of their sins, yet not only in that way, but grace also to be enriched in Christ.

    2. The believers are supplied with th...