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

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

...subsists of believers only. The High Priest interceded only for the covenant people of God and not for the heathen and godless. Likewise, our High Priest intercedes not for the world, but for those who are His. Furthermore, we should be able to distinguish between the type (Levitical priesthood) and the antitype (Christ's high priesthood) and keep them distinct.

The End of Christ's Death

Now we have began with book II of Owen's monumental work. He begins by returning to the subject in Chapter 1 of book I, which concerned the end (i.e. goal) of Christ's death as Scripture declares it (see above).

The primary, or “supreme and ultimate” end of Christ's death is the glory of God. The glory of God stands at the center in Reformed theology. That is what attracted me at the beginning to Reformed theology. The obsession with the glory of God and trying to do all things to His glory. Everything and anything that God does, He does first of all to and for His glory. Owen cites a few passages to this effect (Prov. 16:4; 2Cor. 4:15; Eph. 1:6, 12; Phil. 1:11; 2:11; Rev. 5:13; I would add Isa. 46:8-11). Owen says:

The Lord doth necessarily aim at himself in the first place, as the chiefest good, yea, indeed, that alone which is good; that is, absolutely and simply so, and not by virtue of communication from another: and therefore in all his works, especially in this which we have in hand, the chiefest of all, he first intends the manifestation of his own glory; which also he fully accomplisheth in the close, to every point and degree by him intended.[28] (book II, Chapter 1)

The secondary, or the end that is “intermediate and subservient to that last end” of Christ's death, which is “the bringing of us unto God” (book II, Chapter 1). The salvation of the elect is “subservient” to the glory of God. Generally, if you would ask an Arminian, or a non-Calvinist, what God's primary purpose or plan is, they would likely answer “redemption.” On the other hand, Reformed theologians see that God's glory is the primary goal and end of everything which God does, including the salvation of the elect, but that in itself is not the primary goal; the glory of God is the primary goal.

Before enquiring in the Scriptures, Owen lays down the thesis which he is trying to prove:

“Jesus Christ, according to the counsel and will of his Father, did offer himself upon the cross, to the procurement of those things before recounted; and maketh continual intercession with this intent and purpose, that all the good things so procured by his death might be actually and infallibly bestowed on and applied to all and every one for whom he died, according to the will and counsel of God.”[29] (book II, chapter 3)

He discusses what the Scriptures say concerning this subject under three headings[29] (book II, chapter 3):

  1. The purpose of the Trinity in it, which he titles, “Those [Scriptures] that hold out the intention and counsel of God, with our Saviour’s own mind; whose will was one with his Father’s in this business.”
  2. The accomplishment of the atonement, which he titles, “Those [Scriptures] that lay down the actual accomplishment or effect of his oblation, what it did really procure, effect, and produce.”
  3. The scope of the atonement, which he titles, “Those [Scriptures] that point out the persons for whom Christ died, as designed peculiarly to be the object of this work of redemption in the end and purpose of God.”
Purpose

The Savior's purpose was to be a ...


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

... prosperity and peace, and all the other things which they expect, is not justified by the text of Revelation 20.

A greater problem still is the apostasy at the end of the Millennium. Those who will rebel against Christ and will go against the Church, their number is said to be “like the sand of the sea” (Rev. 20:8). While Christ is reining upon and over the earth in His glorified body, people, as much as the sand of the sea, are able to rebel against His reign. But that’s not the only problem, the chronological reading of chapters 19-20 seems to give support that the Millennium in chapter 20 is preceded by the Second Coming of Christ in Chapter 19. Well, if we read the Apocalypse in chronological order it may support that idea. But Chapter 19 describes a great and a total slaughter of unbelievers:

Rev. 19:17-21 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, 18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” 19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. 20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21 And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.

Can somebody in all honesty tell me that “yes, there are a tons of unbelievers who will survive this great slaughter”? It is pretty clear to the unbiased reader that this describes the total destruction of all the wicked. The description is very exhausting. But here comes the Premillennial problem: where do the “their number is like the sand of the sea” rebels come from at the end of the Millennium? The only ones remaining alive after this great slaughter are said to be Christ and His army (Rev. 19:19). Therefore, it must be taught that believers will populate the earth and bring children who will be unbelievers under the physical and glorious reign of Christ, so that their number at the end of the Millennium is “like the sand of the sea.” And/Or one has to teach that it is possible to fall away from true and geniune faith.

I believe that 1 Corinthians 15:23-28 is a great passage for Amillennialism and a great passage against any form of Premillennialism. See here for a little more on this passage, but let it suffice to say that the passage teaches nothing of a Millennium, but more importantly to my purpose here, death is said to be the last enemy (v. 26). Christ will reign until He destroys the last enemy, moreover, Christ’s reign is described to be hostile in that it is said to be a reign whose purpose is to “put all his enemies under his feet” (v. 25). When we go further in this chapter, in 1 Corinthians 15:50-57 Paul gives us a more detailed description of the coming of Christ and the Rapture. Verse 52 says, “the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed”: this is the Rapture which will happen just before the Millennium, according to Premillennialism, and after the Millennium accor...


John Owen's Case For Particular Atonement

...Covenant subsists of believers only. The High Priest interceded only for the covenant people of God and not for the heathen and godless. Likewise, our High Priest intercedes not for the world, but for those who are His. Furthermore, we should be able to distinguish between the type (Levitical priesthood) and the antitype (Christ's high priesthood) and keep them distinct.

The End of Christ's Death

Now we have began with book II of Owen's monumental work. He begins by returning to the subject in Chapter 1 of book I, which concerned the end (i.e. goal) of Christ's death as Scripture declares it (see above).

The primary, or “supreme and ultimate” end of Christ's death is the glory of God. The glory of God stands at the center in Reformed theology. That is what attracted me at the beginning to Reformed theology. The obsession with the glory of God and trying to do all things to His glory. Everything and anything that God does, He does first of all to and for His glory. Owen cites a few passages to this effect (Prov. 16:4; 2Cor. 4:15; Eph. 1:6, 12; Phil. 1:11; 2:11; Rev. 5:13; I would add Isa. 46:8-11). Owen says:

The Lord doth necessarily aim at himself in the first place, as the chiefest good, yea, indeed, that alone which is good; that is, absolutely and simply so, and not by virtue of communication from another: and therefore in all his works, especially in this which we have in hand, the chiefest of all, he first intends the manifestation of his own glory; which also he fully accomplisheth in the close, to every point and degree by him intended.[7] (book II, Chapter 1)

The secondary, or the end that is “intermediate and subservient to that last end” of Christ's death, which is “the bringing of us unto God” (book II, Chapter 1). The salvation of the elect is “subservient” to the glory of God. Generally, if you would ask an Arminian, or a non-Calvinist, what God's primary purpose or plan is, they would likely answer “redemption.” On the other hand, Reformed theologians see that God's glory is the primary goal and end of everything which God does, including the salvation of the elect, but that in itself is not the primary goal; the glory of God is the primary goal.

Before enquiring in the Scriptures, Owen lays down the thesis which he is trying to prove:

“Jesus Christ, according to the counsel and will of his Father, did offer himself upon the cross, to the procurement of those things before recounted; and maketh continual intercession with this intent and purpose, that all the good things so procured by his death might be actually and infallibly bestowed on and applied to all and every one for whom he died, according to the will and counsel of God.”[8] (book II, chapter 3)

He discusses what the Scriptures say concerning this subject under three headings[8] (book II, chapter 3):

  1. The purpose of the Trinity in it, which he titles, “Those [Scriptures] that hold out the intention and counsel of God, with our Saviour’s own mind; whose will was one with his Father’s in this business.”
  2. The accomplishment of the atonement, which he titles, “Those [Scriptures] that lay down the actual accomplishment or effect of his oblation, what it did really procure, effect, and produce.”
  3. The scope of the atonement, which he titles, “Those [Scriptures] that point out the persons for whom Christ died, as designed peculiarly to be the object of this work of redemption in the end and purpose of God.”

Purpose

Th...


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

...tyle="color: #33cccc;" he exalts. 8 He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and on them he has set the world.

It is He who determines the lot of people—whether they’re poor or rich, healthy or sick. This may seem shocking to “modern man,” or some may object and say that this is an ancient idea of God, but it is not so for the one who believes the Bible is the Word of the everlasting God (see Chapter 1). Many things which the Bible attributes to God, we, in the modern world, attribute to nature, as if nature does not carry out the counsel and will of God. But His power is not limited to the natural world alone, but touches even upon the crown of creation, namely, man. It is He who determines when we’re born, to whom we are born and where we’re born. It doesn’t seem to be a stretch to say that He is also the One Who determines their lot. It may be emotional and against “modern man’s” unbiblical notion of “free will,” but it is not against Biblical revelation (see chapter 9 for more on free will). It was the LORD Who raised Joseph from being a slave in prison to the second powerful man in Egypt.

Gen. 45:7-9 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9 Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry.

It was the Lord Who sent Joseph down to Egypt through his brothers' act of wickedness (Gen. 50:20) and it was He Who raised him up to be “lord of all Egypt.” Joseph, like Job, was not denying secondary causes, in his case being his wicked half-brothers, but he goes directly to the Ultimate Cause. It was God Who sent Him through the wickedness of his brothers and it was also God who raised him up as the second powerful man in Egypt. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph clearly does not acquit his brothers for their evil act but says it like it is. Nevertheless, He sees the overriding hand of Providence in His life.

Luke 1:51-53 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; 52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.

This truth of God’s absolute sovereignty over the lot of man was confessed by the mother of our Lord. It is He who blesses and curses (Deut. 28). This is not an “uncivilized” or “ancient myth” or whatever modern-man wants to call the doctrine of God’s never-ceasing activity of lifting and casting man down and sustaining him every moment. This is the biblical revelation concerning the ways of God. This is the truth about how the Lord works in history and in people individually. Jeremiah long ago said—

Jer. 10:23 I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.

It is not man, but it is God Who directs our steps. Our way of life and our steps and choices are ultimately under the sovereign control of God. This is similar to the many statements of God's sovereignty over our choices and lives we find in Proverbs 16:1, 9; 19:21; 20:24; 21:1; Ps. 37:23. It is Go...


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

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Chapter 17: Of The Perseverance of the Saints

What do we mean by the Perseverance of the Saints? Does it matter what we do? Are we to be passive and do nothing? What passages support the doctrine of Perseverance? What about passages which speak of falling away and Hebrews 6?

Wayne Grudem defines the perseverance of the saints in this way:

The perseverance of the saints means that all those who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives, and that only those who persevere until the end have been truly born again.[1]

In this chapter, I want to mainly do two things: first, argue for the P in the TULIP, the Perseverance of the Saints; and second, examine some passages which are often brought up against the doctrine.


§1 Can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace

  1. Those whom God hath accepted in the beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, and given the precious faith of his elect unto, can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved, seeing the gifts and callings of God are without repentance, whence he still begets and nourisheth in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all the graces of the Spirit unto immortality; and though many storms and floods arise and beat against them, yet they shall never be able to take them off that foundation and rock which by faith they are fastened upon; notwithstanding, through unbelief and the temptations of Satan, the sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured from them, yet he is still the same, and they shall be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation, where they shall enjoy their purchased possession, they being engraven upon the palm of his hands, and their names having been written in the book of life from all eternity. 
    1. John 10:28-29; Phil. 1:6; 2 Tim. 2:19; 2 Peter 1:5-10; 1 John 2:19[2]
    2. Ps. 89:31-32; 1 Cor. 11:32; 2 Tim. 4:7
    3. Ps. 102:27; Mal. 3:6; Eph. 1:14; 1 Peter 1:5; Rev. 13:8

Those whom God hath accepted (Chapter 11), effectually called (Chapter 10), sanctified by His Spirit (Chapter 13) and given the precious faith of His elect (Chapter 14), can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace (e.g. John 10:28-29; 1John 2:19). If we follow what was said in the previous chapters, as this paragraph begins by enlisting these things, we cannot but expect such a declaration. If God is absolutely sovereign over all things (chapters 3 and 5), even electing, calling, justifying, adopting (Chapter 12) and sanctifying us, how can it be that God could fail in His purpose and we be lost to eternal perdition? It cannot. The elect will certainly persevere in the state of grace...to the end. This is the essential difference between true and false faith. True faith perseveres to the end (1John 2:19). This is because the gifts and callings of God are without repentance (Rom. 11:29), in other words, He does not change His mind. Therefore, the elect are safe and He will grant them all these things which are necessary for their final salvation and perseverance.

This does not mean that the journey will be easy. In fact, the Confession speaks of storms and floods that arise and beat us. Nonetheless, no one and nothing can shake us off that foundation and rock which by faith we are fastened upon. In t...


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

...ws the Law of God and the Lawgiver and they are obligated to obey, their disobedience and rejection of the true God lead to their demise. The Ten Commandments sealed and made sure the Law given in the Garden to man. It did not leave “maybes” and “ifs.” It made certain what the Law of Creation was by summarizing it for us in stone. Because our nature is sinful, our conscience could at time approve of that which is wicked and condemn that which is good, but God left no more “maybes” when He gave the Law on Sinai. For more see Chapter 19 on God's Law generally and this section, specifically.

Shadows & Types

One important aspect of Covenant Theology is the Christ-centered interpretation of Scripture, both in the Old and the New Testaments. If we believe that the whole Scripture testifies of Christ (Luke 24:27, 44; John 1:45; 5:39, 45-47; Acts 3:22-24; 10:43; 13:27-29) and His work, we must look for shadows and types (Col. 2:16-17; Heb. 10:1). I want to provide such a section on all the covenants, answering the question: What does this covenant reveal about the New Covenant/Covenant of Grace and about Christ our Lord?

God Living With Man

In this covenant, we learn of the Creator God, Who is also the covenant Lord, committed to having a relationship with His image-bearers. But His image-bearers, after some time, chose to rebel rather than obey Him. This pictures every one of us and what we, even believers, so often do. This harmonious relationship, in which God walked among man (Gen. 3:8) in the Garden, was hindered by the Fall. Still, God was and is committed to living with man and we see the realization of this plan in the New Heavens and New Earth:

Rev. 21:1-3 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God

The harmony that existed before the Fall between God and man dwelling together is restored in the New Earth never to be broken again. What man ruined, God has renewed, restored and perfected.

Federal Headship

In this covenant, we also learn of Federal Headship, Adam's representations of all his descendants. He stands in the place of all his posterity. His obedience and disobedience affect the whole race, not only himself. In the New Testament, especially in Romans 5:12-21, this subject of the Federal Headship is taken up by Paul. He not only speaks of Adam's headship but also of Christ's. Christ is the Head of the new humanity – the redeemed humanity in Him. We have received grace upon grace because of Him. Because of His obedience, because of His perfect work on our behalf. Because we are in Him, we, therefore share in His blessings. Read and study Romans 5:12-21. It's deep. Read more about Adam's Federal Headship in chapter 6.

The Seed

Right after the Fall, God displays awesome grace in not destroying and sending Adam and Eve straight to Hell for their rebellion, but in promising a Seed who would crush the serpent's head. Genesis 3:15 is what is called the proto-Evangelium. It is the first telling of the Gospel. It was promised by God to Adam and Eve. God promised that the Seed will destroy the one who destroyed the relat...


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

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The Second Commandment

Exod. 20:4-6 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

First of all, we have dealt with this commandment briefly in Chapter 19 on the Law of God (see here for that). What does this commandment concern itself with? In the simple, brief or basic form of the commandment, it says, “You shall not make yourself a carved image” or “You shall not have any idols.” The first commandment says “You shall have no other gods.” What is then the difference between the first and the second commandments? I believe the difference lies in this:

  1. The first commandment teaches us not to have any other god or object of worship other than the LORD God.
  2. While the second commandment teaches us how we are not to worship this one God.

It is here necessary to dispel the idea that we sometimes may have of the ancients. No one thought that the idol itself (i..e, the image) was the deity they're worshiping. Rather, the idolaters wanted to get to the deity through that dumb idol. Second, we need to reconsider the idolatry of the golden calf. It is often thought that Israel quickly went astray after others gods in that instance. But in actuality, that is not the case. They had clearly seen the power of God working among them. They were not so dumb as to quickly go after others gods. They knew that there is but one God and He had manifested Himself clearly to them. Well, what was their sin then? Their sin was to worship God through the golden calf! Israel tried to worship God in a way which He explicitly forbad in the Second Commandment, which was declared by God in their hearing. Aaron, who made the golden calf, said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD” (Ex. 32:5). That’s the Tetragrammaton! A feast to Yahweh, the true God. As to the “gods” in vv. 1 and 4, the word Elohim is plural even when speaking of the true God, therefore, its translation, among other things, is dependent on the context and the margins mention that it also can be translated “a god” and not “gods.” Support for seeing that it is speaking of a singular god is seen in Aaron’s declaration above. The feast is to be to Yahweh, and not to other false gods. They tried to worship Yahweh in a way which He clearly had forbad in the Second Commandment. They tried to make representations of Him, which He clearly forbad and His wrath was kindled against them. It is generally understood in the Reformed tradition that the Second Commandment has to do with worship. Therefore, the Westminster Larger Catechism says:

Question 109: What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?

Answer: The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and anywise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; tolerating a false religion; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature: Whatsoever; all worshiping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any repr...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 19: Of the Law of God - Commentary

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Chapter 19: Of the Law of God

Introduction

What is the relationship of the Christian and the Law? Do we have to obey the Law? What is the threefold division of the law? Are we saved by the Law? What are 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. 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 redempti...


1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

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  • Of the Last Judgement

  • (More) Scriptural references have been added from Sam Waldron's excellent Modern Exposition of 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.


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

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

            All of which are given by the inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life. 1

    1. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no par...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith - Commentary

    ...

    Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith

    What is faith? Is it simply believing something without any and contrary to all evidence? Is it wishful thinking? Dr. Wayne Grudem defines faith as:

    Trust or dependence on God based on the fact that we take him at his word and believe what he has said.[1]

    The confession in Chapter 11 paragraph 2 defines faith as:

    Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification...

    In this chapter, we will explore such things concerning faith as what it is, what is its nature and how it is increased and strengthened. Can we have temporal faith? Can we lose our faith? Such things we will try to deal with here.


    §1 The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit

    1. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word; by which also, and by the administration of baptism and the Lord's supper, prayer, and other means appointed of God, it is increased and strengthened. 2
      1. John 6:37, 44; Acts 11:21, 24; 13:48; 14:27; 15:9; 2 Cor. 4:13; Eph. 2:8; Phil. 1:29; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2[2]
      2. Rom  4:11;  10:14, 17; Luke 17:5; Acts 20:32; 1 Peter 2:2

    Faith is a grace that's why the Confession specifically speaks about the grace of faith (Eph. 2:8-9). Our faith is a gift from God (Chapter 11:1). This faith is said to be that whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls–it is the sole instrument of justification (Chapter 11:2). Furthermore, this grace of faith...is the work of the Spirit of Christ (John 6:63; Ezek. 36:25-27). Faith is our response to the call of God, but it does not originate with us. It is granted to us by God and it is worked in us by the Holy Spirit through regeneration and the creation of the new man in Christ. It is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word (2 Thess. 2:13 ; 1Pet. 1:23), i.e., by the preaching of the Gospel coupled with the work of the Spirit of Christ. This faith is further strengthened by the means of grace. These are the Gospel ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. But also prayer, Bible reading and study, the communion of the saints and other things prescribed and commended in the Word of truth. By these means, faith is not created, but it is increased and strengthened.


    The Grace of Faith

    We have already argued that faith is a gift in Chapter 11 on Justification. It is something that God gave us to exercise. We Calvinists do not believe that God believes for us, but that our faith finds its origin in God and comes to us through regeneration (1John 5:1, see our discussion on this passage). By this faith, which is granted to us (Phil. 1:19) by the grace of God, we believe and are justified. The Word tells us that "whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). We believe, are justified and received into the arms of God (Rom. 1:16-17; 5:1; 10:9). Again and again we are told that we are justified by faith (e.g. Rom. 3:28-30; 4:5-10; 9:30; 10:4; 11:6; Gal. 2:15-16; Phil. 3:9) and then we understand that even our faith was by grace granted to us by God (Eph. 2:8-9; Acts. 3:16; 18:27; 2Pet. 1:1). So that we can truly say: Soli Deo Gloria! There is no contribution on our part for our salvation except the sin th...