The Staunch Calvinist

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

Search


You searched for 'Authority'

I've found 36 results!


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scriptures - Commentary

... 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...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary

...or As Albert Barnes noted, if “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.”[2] The controversy that surrounds this verse between the Protestants and Catholics lies in the fact who “this rock” is which is being referred to and the further Roman Catholic implications of this. The Roman Catholic church claims that here Christ gave Peter supreme Authority over the church and raised him above all other disciples. Furthermore, they see in this 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 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.”[3] The difficulty lies in the fact that the Papists have read all kind 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 key's 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. 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 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 reference to this “binding and loosing” shows. P...


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

...ade foolish the wisdom of the world?   1Cor. 2:6 …although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away.     2Cor. 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 (1Cor. 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 expect 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 i...


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

...e 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. Natural Law may be discovered by reason and by 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:

[S]pecifically 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 the summar...


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. J...


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 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.”[2] 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, redemption 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 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.

Christ the Heir

Heb. 1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

The Lord Christ is the heir to all that He has created as the first chapter goes on to demonstrate the full deity and creatorship of the Lord ...


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

...p data-footnote-id="4qg5n"[2]
  • 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 control from God. The civil magistrates are over the people. They have Authority over the people because they receive that 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? ... 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 is 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 evil doers, 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 over all we need not need to mention here. But we may say a few things about the civil government being under the Authority and headship of God. The civil government should subject itself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Any government which does not acknowledge Jesus Christ is in rebellion against God. This is the description of all, if not most of, 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 president, governor and so on.

    The government should rule under the Authority of God over the people. The government and those who work there have a higher responsibility and position in the world. They are to reign over the people for the people's good. They are to protect them and provide for them and promote peace and righteousness. It does not take us anytime to notice that this is not actually the world in which we live. This is a broken and rebellious world. Most governments in the western world promote homosexuality and abortion, among other things which the Bible condemns. The ideal picture is that of a government which submits to the Lordship of Christ and serves its people in righteousness and peace. And citizens which submit to the Lordship of Christ and for Christ's sake submit to their governments too. But this sadly not the case.

    Romans 13

    The primary passage which the Confession draws on here and which is used in discussions concerning the place of the government is Romans 13:1-7. Therefore, it would be helpful for us if we take a look at the passage. I come to the passage and by no means do I intended to give a long exegesis about it. I'm merely sharing...


    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

    ...irst mention of the word “covenant” is found in Genesis 6:18, though I have argued for the Covenant of Works being the first covenant established in time above.

    God’s Story

    After our first parents disobeyed and broke the Lord’s covenant, they were severed from the fellowship of God and all that is good. Though God being merciful and gracious in nature, promised to them salvation in the Offspring from Eve (Gen. 3:15). Now man, being severed from fellowship with His good Creator, has become opposed to Him and to what He represents and has sided with the one who questioned the Lord’s Authority in the first place (see chapter 6 on Total Depravity). Man has become totally opposed to God and has become wholly evil by rebelling against their good Creator. About the condition of man, Genesis 6:5 is very negative:

    The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

    The Lord was sorry that He made man on the earth and that man had become so wicked. The Lord wanted to blot out mankind which He had created as very good, but which has sought out many wicked and sinful ways away from God (Eccl. 7:29).

    Gen. 6:7 So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

    The Fall affected much more than Adam and Eve alone. The Fall affected not only the whole human race but the whole creation itself. Indeed, Paul says that “the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth” (Rom. 8:22) and that “the creation was subjected to futility” (Rom. 8:20). This would include all animals, creeping things, birds and fish. The impact of the Fall was so great that even the non-human creation was affected and corrupted by it and therefore, it had to be destroyed. God wanted to destroy all. We are happy, when reading about God’s judgment, to encounter the word “but.” We are thankful for the “but’s” in the Bible. Notice, for example, the “but” in Genesis 50:20 and Ephesians 2:3-5. Likewise, in this case, we see that the Lord’s intention is not to destroy all life and thus undo His creation. Rather, His purpose is to start all over again—with Noah. But a question may be raised about what excluded Noah from the people in Genesis 6:5? Well, Genesis 6:8 (KJV) puts it in this way:

    But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

    It pleased the Lord to grant mercy to Noah and his family and to start over with them. In the midst of God’s terrible decree of destruction overflowing with righteousness (a phrase borrowed from Isa. 10:22), God decided, out of mere grace, to persevere Noah and his family. Now it is true that the Bible describes Noah as “a righteous man, blameless in his generation” (Gen. 6:9), but it would be a great error, opposing the Bible’s doctrine of justification by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9; see chapter 11), to ascribe the cause of the Lord’s choice to Noah’s intrinsic (an intrinsic property is an essential or inherent property of a system or of a material itself or within) righteousness. Noah was righteous and blameless because he had found grace in the eyes of the Lord. The grace of God was the cause of his righteousness, not the other way around. Otherwise, it would contradict the very meaning of grace, which is unmerited favor.

    But I Will Establish My Covenant With You

    Now that God’s...


    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

    ...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 are 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, like 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 (1John 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 possess 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 ar...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 23: Of Lawful Oaths and Vows - Commentary
    The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 23 Oaths Vows Swearing Allegiance

    ...nd vows? Doesn't the Bible mention them a lot? What about when Christ said that we should not swear? What is the difference between an oath and a vow?

    This chapter should be viewed in the context of the Anabaptists who refused oaths based on their understanding of Matthew 5:33-37. The Anabaptist Network writes:

    Many [Anabaptists] refused to swear oaths. Oaths were very important in sixteenth-century Europe, encouraging truth-telling in court and loyalty to the state. Anabaptists often rejected these, citing Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5 and arguing that they should always be truthful, not just under oath. Nor would they swear loyalty to any secular Authority.[1]

    Thus the Reformed confessions added a chapter addressing this issue. In paragraph three, a passage from the Westminster and Savoy was omitted in the 1689 which said: “Yet it is a sin to refuse an oath touching any thing that is good and just, being lawfully imposed by Authority.” See the comparison here. Thus, this chapter was added in the Reformed confessions in time of controversy and in order to clarify their stance upon oaths and vows made in the government and the church.


    §1 Lawful Oaths

    1. A lawful oath is a part of religious worship, wherein the person swearing in truth, righteousness, and judgement, solemnly calleth God to witness what he sweareth, and to judge him according to the truth or falseness thereof. 1
      1. Deut. 10:20; Exod. 20:7; Lev. 19:12; 2 Chron. 6:22-23; 2 Cor. 1:23[2]

    Religious worship is that worship which is instituted by God and revealed by His Word (see chapter 22 especially paragraphs 1 and 5). A lawful oath is an element and a part of God’s holy religious worship. What is a lawful oath? It is wherein the person swearing in truth, righteousness, and judgement, solemnly calleth God to witness (2Chron. 6:22-23; 2Cor. 1:23). An oath is a call upon God to be the witness to something or a “transaction” between men. A most basic example of this is in marriage when God is called to be the witness along with the people present. The Confession speaks specifically of a lawful oath. This means that there are unlawful oaths, namely those which contradict the descriptions given here. A lawful oath is taken when a person realizes the solemnity of such an act. The Scriptures warns us against being rash with our words and oaths (Eccl. 5:2; Jas. 5:12). We call upon God with hearts purified and realizing what we are calling God to do in this situation. We are calling Him to be the knower of our heart and intentions. However we may deceive people, we can never deceive God. We are calling Him to judge us according to the truth or falseness (2Chron. 6:22-23) of our oath. We are swearing to something and calling God to be the arbiter of the truthfulness of what we have sworn.


    An oath is something honorable. It is something that is solemn. In an oath, a person swears by the name of God that they are telling the truth and nothing but the truth. This is what is often done in court when a person places their hand on the Bible and pledges that they are telling the truth and at the same time calls upon God to be a Witness that they are indeed telling the truth and only the truth. Therefore, when a liar and a deceiver takes an oath by the name of God, he is taking the Lord's Name in vain and he is bringing judgment upon himself (Ex. 20:7).

    An oath is considered a part of worship because in an oath we are calling upon the God Whom ...