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

...ist’s death effected reconciliation between God and men (chapter 6).
  • (iii). From the fact that Christ’s death made satisfaction for sins (chapter 789).
  • (iv). From the fact that Christ’s death merited salvation for men (Chapter 10).
  • (v). From the fact that Christ died for men (Chapter 10).
  • From particular texts: Gen. 3:15: Matt. 7:33; 11:25; John 10:11ff.; Rom. 8:32-34; Eph. 1:7; 2 Cor. 5:21; John 17:9; Eph. 5:25 (chapter 11).
  • These are great chapters, especially chapters XI-XV, which deal with important essential benefits of Christ's death in some detail as they retain to the subject of atonement. I'd like to take a quick look at a few of his arguments.

    The New Covenant (Arg. I)

    The Covenant of Grace, i.e., the New Covenant according to 1689 Federalism, is made only with the elect (see chapter 7 for more on Covenant Theology). If that is truly the case, then we have a problem with universal atonement. For more see chapter 7 on Jeremiah 31:31-34; chapter 17 here and here.

    Owen's basic argument is as follows:

    The first argument may be taken from the nature of the covenant of grace, which was established, ratified, and confirmed in and by the death of Christ; that was the testament whereof he was the testator, which was ratified in his death, and whence his blood is called “The blood of the new testament,” Matt. 26:28. Neither can any effects thereof be extended beyond the compass of this covenant. But now this covenant was not made universally with all, but particularly only with some, and therefore those alone were intended in the benefits of the death of Christ.[37] (Book III, chapter 1)

    The Two Classes of Men (Arg. IV)

    Owen's argument here is that since the Bible separates people into two categories, namely, believers and unbelievers, and various other designations of the groups, therefore, when Christ is said to die for one, it is implicit that He did not die for the other. In his own words:

    If all mankind be, in and by the eternal purpose of God, distinguished into two sorts and conditions, severally and distinctly described and set forth in the Scripture, and Christ be peculiarly affirmed to die for one of these sorts, and nowhere for them of the other, then did he not die for all; for of the one sort he dies for all and every one, and of the other for no one at all.[38] (Book III, chapter 2)

    The elect are designated also as:

    those whom he “loves”…Rom. 9:13; whom he “knoweth,”...John 10:14, “I know my sheep;” 2 Tim. 2:19, “The Lord knoweth them that are his;” Rom. 8:29, “Whom he did foreknow;” chap. 11:2, “His people which he foreknew;” “I know you not,” Matt. 25:12: so John 13:18, “I speak not of you all; I know whom I have chosen.” Those that are appointed to life and glory, and those that are appointed to and fitted for destruction, — “elect” and “reprobate;” those that were “ordained to eternal life,” and those who “before were of old ordained to condemnation:” as Eph. 1:4, “He hath chosen us in him;” Acts 13:48, “Ordained to eternal life;” Rom. 8:30, “Whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” So, on the other side, 1 Thess. 5:9, “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation;” Rom. 9:18–21, “He hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that ...


    John Owen's Case For Particular Atonement

    ...fact that Christ’s death effected reconciliation between God and men (chapter 6).
  • (iii). From the fact that Christ’s death made satisfaction for sins (chapter 7, 8, 9).
  • (iv). From the fact that Christ’s death merited salvation for men (Chapter 10).
  • (v). From the fact that Christ died for men (Chapter 10).
  • From particular texts: Gen. 3:15: Matt. 7:33; 11:25; John 10:11ff.; Rom. 8:32-34; Eph. 1:7; 2 Cor. 5:21; John 17:9; Eph. 5:25 (chapter 11).
  • These are great chapters, especially chapters XI-XV, which deal with important essential benefits of Christ's death in some detail as they retain to the subject of atonement. I'd like to take a quick look at a few of his arguments.

    The New Covenant (Arg. I)

    The Covenant of Grace, i.e., the New Covenant according to 1689 Federalism, is made only with the elect (see chapter 7 for more on Covenant Theology). If that is truly the case, then we have a problem with universal atonement. For more see chapter 7 on Jeremiah 31:31-34; chapter 17 here and here.

    Owen's basic argument is as follows:

    The first argument may be taken from the nature of the covenant of grace, which was established, ratified, and confirmed in and by the death of Christ; that was the testament whereof he was the testator, which was ratified in his death, and whence his blood is called “The blood of the new testament,” Matt. 26:28. Neither can any effects thereof be extended beyond the compass of this covenant. But now this covenant was not made universally with all, but particularly only with some, and therefore those alone were intended in the benefits of the death of Christ.[16] (Book III, chapter 1)

    The Two Classes of Men (Arg. IV)

    Owen's argument here is that since the Bible separates people into two categories, namely, believers and unbelievers, and various other designations of the groups, therefore, when Christ is said to die for one, it is implicit that He did not die for the other. In his own words:

    If all mankind be, in and by the eternal purpose of God, distinguished into two sorts and conditions, severally and distinctly described and set forth in the Scripture, and Christ be peculiarly affirmed to die for one of these sorts, and nowhere for them of the other, then did he not die for all; for of the one sort he dies for all and every one, and of the other for no one at all.[17] (Book III, chapter 2)

    The elect are designated also as:

    those whom he “loves”…Rom. 9:13; whom he “knoweth,”...John 10:14, “I know my sheep;” 2 Tim. 2:19, “The Lord knoweth them that are his;” Rom. 8:29, “Whom he did foreknow;” chap. 11:2, “His people which he foreknew;” “I know you not,” Matt. 25:12: so John 13:18, “I speak not of you all; I know whom I have chosen.” Those that are appointed to life and glory, and those that are appointed to and fitted for destruction, — “elect” and “reprobate;” those that were “ordained to eternal life,” and those who “before were of old ordained to condemnation:” as Eph. 1:4, “He hath chosen us in him;” Acts 13:48, “Ordained to eternal life;” Rom. 8:30, “Whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” So, on the other side, 1 Thess. 5:9, “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation;” Rom. 9:18–21, “He hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his wil...


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

    ...he-Fall-Of-Man-Of-Sin-And-Of-The-Punishment-Thereof/1025"chapter 6)
  • Unconditional Election
  • Limited Atonement (see our case in chapter 8)
  • Irresistible Grace (see Chapter 10)
  • Perseverance of the Saints (see chapter 17)
  • There is a logical direction toward which these doctrines move. First, people are depraved, cut off from the life of God and are unable to come to Him. That’s the way that God sees them and He has chosen them as fallen sons in Adam. That is unconditional election. Then comes the Son who pays their debt. The Spirit applies the work of the Son and they are kept forever for and by God. Total Depravity is defined as:

    Because of the Fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is dead, blind and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free; it is in bondage to his evil nature. Therefore, he will not –indeed, he cannot—choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, takes much more than the Spirit’s assistance to bring a sinner to Christ. Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not salvation, but itself a part of God’s gift of salvation. It is God’s gift to the sinner, not the sinner’s gift to God.[22]

    The five points go from one who is utterly, radically depraved, to one who is made holy and blameless because of Christ’s atoning death and kept safe forever in the arms of God. So, in thinking about election we must presuppose the depravity and fall of man. When God chose, He chose those who would by Adam’s Fall, fall into sin, misery, and depravity. We are told that He chose them to be “holy and blameless” (Eph. 1:4), presupposing that we were not holy and blameless. When thinking and speaking of Unconditional Election, we do not have in mind the election of people who were good, but the election of people who were fallen in Adam and on their way to Hell, if God did not intervene. If there was no election, no one would be saved, because man cannot and desires not to come to God, without the special and gracious work of God in his heart. This point is taken into consideration in the 6th chapter of the Confession.

    Unconditional Election From Scripture

    After laying the basis for man’s utter depravity—the fact that He cannot and will not come to God (Rom. 3:11; 8:7-8), the Five Points of Calvinism move to Unconditional Election, which as I have pointed out above by quoting some theologians, it is God’s free decision to choose out of the fallen race of Adam, before creating the world, some who would not receive their just punishment, but instead will be saved from God’s righteous wrath on the basis of Christ’s work. While a case for absolute divine election can be made if one goes to church history, but that is not much of interest to me. The Scripture teaches it, church history confirms it. The Scripture is the only standard for the truth and we should go into this inquiry about election to the God-breathed Scripture as the highest and infallible authority (see chapter 1). There should be humility to submit to the Word of God in what it teaches about election and reprobation and to no other authority than God Himself in the Word.

    There are others who, when they would cure this disease, recommend that the subject of predestination should scarcely if ever be mentioned, and tell us to shun every question concerning it as we would a rock. Although their moderation is justly commendable in thinki...


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

    ...n this life, we are properly reflecting His image in the world. Even when we obey His commandments out of love for God and our own duty, we should recognize that it is actually God who gives us the ability and willingness to obey. It does not come from our flesh. It is the Lord who works in His to do His pleasure. See for more particular sections of chapter 7chapter 9Chapter 10chapter 13, chapter 16. For more see Richard C. Barcellos, How the “uses of the law . . . sweetly comply with . . . the grace of the Gospel” (2LCF 19.7).

    In conclusion on the whole chapter—

    The end of the matter; all has been heard.

    Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

    (Ecclesiastes 12:13)


    Footnotes

    1. ^ Richard Barcellos. Definition of Key Terms and Phrases. pp. 1-2. http://www.1689federalism.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Barcellos_LawWritings.pdf
    2. ^ Ibid. p. 2.
    3. ^ Ibid. pp. 2-3.
    4. ^ Many Scriptural references have been supplied by Samuel Waldron's Modern Exposition of 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith which was apparently supplied by the Westminster Confession of Faith 1646.
    5. ^ William D. Mounce. Physis
    6. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p Albert Barnes. Barnes' New Testament Notes. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. In loc.
    7. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n John Calvin. Commentaries. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. In loc.
    8. a, b, c, d, e John Gill. Exposition of the Entire Bible. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. In loc.
    9. ^ Philip S. Ross. From the Finger of God: The Biblical and Theological Basis for the Threefold Division of the Law. (Fearn, Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2010). pp. 114-115.
    10. ^ Ibid. 111.
    11. a, b, c, d ibid. p. 108
    12. ^ Ibid. pp. 109-110.
    13. ^ Ibid. p. 159.
    14. ^ Ibid. p. 282, note 65.
    15. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m The Westminster Larger Catechism.
    16. a, b, c Thomas Watson, The Ten Commandments. Chapter 1.3.
    17. ^ Calvin, Institutes, 2.8.15
    18. a, b, c Watson, Ten Commandments. Chapter 2.1.
    19. ^ Calvin, Institutes. 2.8.16.
    20. ^ The Athanasian Creed.
    21. a, b Robert L. Dabney. Systematic Theology. Chapter 31.
    22. ^ Calvin, Institutes, 2.8.17
    23. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j Benjamin Keach. The Baptist Catechism
    24. a, b Watson, Ten Commandments. Chapter 2.2
    25. ^ Thomas Vincent. A Family Instructional Guide.
    26. ^ Pastor Joe V. Why Did John Calvin and the Reformers Forbid All Images of the Divine Persons?
    27. ^ John Murray – Pictures of Christ and the Second Commandment
    28. ^ The Holy Bible: English Standard Version: The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles (2008). Taken from the Online Version at www.esvbible.org. in loc.
    29. a, b Watson, Ten Commandments. Chapter 2.3
    30. ^ Calvin, Institutes. 2.8.22.
    31. ^ I will at least be reading the 4 perspectives book on the Sabbath, Robert Paul Martin's new book on the Christian Sabbath, Joseph A. Pipa's The Lord Day, various writings from Dabney on the Sabbath, Jonathan Edwards and I hope also to read some from A.W. Pink and Owen.
    32. a, b, c Watson, Ten Commandments. Chapter 2.4
    33. a, b  Chapter 2.5
    34. ^ Calvin, Institutes. 2.8.38
    35. ^ Noah Webster. Webster's Dictionary 1828. Murder
    36. ^ Noah Webster. Webster's 1913 Dictionary. Kill
    37. ^ J. Warner Wallace. The Difference Between Killing and Murdering.
    38. a, b Dabney, Systematic Theology. Chapter 32
    39. a, b Watson, Ten Commandments. Chapter 2.6.
    40. ^ Joseph Henry Thayer's Greek Definitions. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. G4202
    41. ^ Calvin, Institutes 2.8.45.
    42. a, b Watson, Ten Commandm...

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

    ...
    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 these storms and floods and by the temptations of Satanthe sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured for us (so also with our assurance, see chapter 18:4). This does not mean that God has changed; he is still the same. But we are being attacked by the enemy and are fighting or giving into temptation and are in need of restoration. Even in these storms and floods, we may be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation and the enjoyment of our purchased possession. The fact that the elect cannot lose their salvation is further shown from the fact that we are engraven upon the palm of His hands (Isa. 49:16) and our names having been written in the book of life from all eternity (Rev. 13:8; 20:15). All this is given for the confidence and encouragement of the believers in God’s faithfulness, goodness, grace, promise, and power. 


    The Impossibility Of Final Apostasy For The Elect

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

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

    Election: It has pleased God from all eternity to select a particular people in the Lord Jesus Christ whom He will redeem from sin to be with Him forever without any consideration of foreseen faith or works, merely because of His good pleasure. Seeing that their salvat...


    1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

    ...le="line-height: 20.7999992370605px;"
  • This will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone in the state of glory only. 1
    1. Eph 4:13; Heb 12:23
  • In the intermediate state and the new heavens and earth we will be endowed with the non posse peccare (no ability to sin). We will be truly free. We will truly only desire and do that which is pleasing to God. No more sorrow, no more sin, but endlessly glorifying God.


    Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling [Return] [Commentary]

    1. Those whom God 1 hath predestinated unto life, he is pleased in his appointed, and accepted time, 3 effectually to call, 4 by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; 10 yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace. 11
      1. Rom. 8:28-29
      2. Rom. 8:29-30; 9:22-24; 1 Cor. 1:26-28; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:9
      3. John 3:8; Eph. 1:11
      4. Matt. 22:14; 1 Cor. 1:23-24; Rom. 1:6; 8:28; Jude 1; Ps. 29; John 5:25; Rom. 4:17
      5. 2 Thess. 2:14; 1 Peter 1:23-25; James 1:17-25; 1 John 5:1-5; Rom. 1:16-17; 10:14; Heb. 4:12
      6. John 3:3, 5-6, 8; 2 Cor. 3:3, 6 Rom. 8:2; 1 Cor. 1:9; Eph. 2:1-6; 2 Tim. 1:9-10
      7. Acts 26:18; 1 Cor. 2:10, 12; Eph. 1:17-18
      8. Ezek. 36:26
      9. Deut. 30:6; Ezek. 36:27; John 6:44-45; Eph. 1:19; Phil. 2:13
      10. Ps. 110: 3; John 6:37; Rom. 6:16-18
    1. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, nor from any power or agency in the creature, being wholly passive therein, being dead in sins and trespasses, until being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit; he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, and that by no less power than that which raised up Christ from the dead. 3
      1. 2 Tim. 1:9, Titus 3:4-5; Eph. 2:4-5,8-9; Rom. 9:11
      2. 1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 8:7; Eph. 2:5
      3. John 6:37; Ezek. 36:27; John 5:25; Eph 1:19-20
    1. Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit; who worketh when, and where, and how he pleases; 1 so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
      1. John 3:3, 5, 6, 8 
    1. Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet not being effectually drawn by the Father, they neither will nor can truly come to Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: much less can men that receive not the Christian religion be saved; 2 be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature and the law of that religion they do profess. 3
      1. Matt. 7:22; 13:20-21; 22:14; Heb 6:4-5
      2. John 6:44-45, 64-66; 8:24; 1 John 2:24, 25
      3. Acts 4:12; John 4:22; 17:3

    Chapter 11: Of Justification [Return] [Commentary]

    1. Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's ...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary

    ...ey have not of themselves; it is the gift of God. 4
    1. Rom. 8:30; 3:24[1]
    2. Rom. 4:5-8; Eph. 1:7
    3. 1 Cor. 1:30-31; Rom. 5:17-19
    4. 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Titus 3:5, 7; Rom. 3:22-28; Jer. 23:6; Phil. 3:9; Acts 13:38-39; Eph. 2:7-9; Phil 1:29; 2Pet 1:1

    Those whom God has predestined He effectually calleth (Chapter 10) and He also freely justifieth (Rom. 8:30). In this chapter, the Confession is setting forth the biblical doctrine of justification as well as countering the doctrine of justification as taught by the Roman Catholic Church. This justification is not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous...for Christ's sake alone (Rom. 4:5-8; Eph. 1:7). God does not mix righteousness in us, but puts the righteousness of Christ into our account and counts it as our own. It is on this basis alone that we are righteous before God. Faith and obedience are not our righteousness, but our righteousness comes from Christ's active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in His death (1Cor. 1:30; 2Cor. 5:21; chapter 8:5). We stand in this righteousness by faith, but even this faith is not of themselves but is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8-9; see also chapter 14:1). Therefore, even the condition for our justification and life with God was provided by God. This is the glory and greatness of the New Covenant of Grace in which we stand and have our relationship with God. All the requirements of the covenant are provided by God through His Spirit based on Christ's work and obedience.


    Now that we've dealt with the first three things in Romans 8:29-30, namely God (1) foreknowing us and (2) electing us in chapter 3 and (3) effectually calling us in Chapter 10 we come to the to the 4th point in the five-pointed chain–justification. What is justification? Dr. Wayne Grudem defines it in this way:

    Justification is an instantaneous legal act of God in which he (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight.[2]

    Section one first deals with a distortion about justification and then gives the biblical position.

    Not Infusion of Righteousness

    Roman Catholics believe what may be called "infused righteousness." That means that at salvation the merits of the Lord Jesus on the cross are infused with the righteousness of the sinner and together they constitute the basis of salvation. Meaning, Christ’s righteousness is not enough, rather it is given to help us with our own righteousness through works and obedience to God and the Roman Catholic Church. In their words:

    1999 The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of sanctification:[3]

    This “infused righteousness” is attained by a work, namely baptism. That is the way you get this righteousness. Basically, this position teaches that salvation by grace alone is not enough. You have to add your works and obedience to the work of Christ. It is wrong to think that Roman Catholics do not believe in the necessity of grace. Rather, they don’t believe in the sufficiency of grace. Grace alone is not enough to justify. In their own words from the Council of Trent:

    "If any one saith, that by faith alon...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling - Commentary

    ...!DOCTYPE html

    Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling

    This entire chapter is about the Calvinistic doctrine that has been called Irresistible Grace. Unfortunately, that has been misunderstood to mean that men never disobey and resist God, but that is not how the phrase has been historically defined. Rather, it means that the resistance which natural man always has to the Spirit (Acts 7:51) is overcome when God decides to save a person.

    The material in this chapter has a connection with what we have already dealt with. There would be no effectual calling if there was no predestination, so that should be kept in mind. Predestination is dealt with in chapter 3, so I will not make a case for predestination here, but will take it for granted.


    §1 Those whom God hath predestinated unto life, he is pleased in his appointed, and accepted time, effectually to call

    1. Those whom God 1 hath predestinated unto life, he is pleased in his appointed, and accepted time, 3 effectually to call, 4 by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; 10 yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace. 11
      1. Rom. 8:28-29[1]
      2. Rom. 8:29-30; 9:22-24; 1 Cor. 1:26-28; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:9
      3. John 3:8; Eph. 1:11
      4. Matt. 22:14; 1 Cor. 1:23-24; Rom. 1:6; 8:28; Jude 1; John 5:25; Rom. 4:17
      5. 2 Thess. 2:14; 1 Peter 1:23-25; James 1:17-25; 1 John 5:1-5; Rom. 1:16-17; 10:14; Heb. 4:12
      6. John 3:3, 5-6, 8; 2 Cor. 3:3, 6
      7. Rom. 8:2; 1 Cor. 1:9; Eph. 2:1-6; 2 Tim. 1:9-10
      8. Acts 26:18; 1 Cor. 2:10, 12; Eph. 1:17-18
      9. Ezek. 36:26; Jer. 31:33
      10. Deut. 30:6; Ezek. 36:27; John 6:44-45; Eph. 1:19; Phil. 2:13
      11. Ps. 110:3; John 6:37; Rom. 6:16-18

    Those whom God hath predestinated unto life, He, in His appointed and accepted timeeffectually calls to Himself by His Word and Spirit (Rom. 8:28-29; 1Cor. 1:23-24; 2Thess. 2:13-14; John 3:5-6; 6:63; 2Cor. 3:3, 6). That which was planned from eternity is applied and actualized in time. They are called out of that state of sin and death (Eph. 2:1-6) and transferred to the “state of grace” (chapter 9:4). He enlightens our minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God (1Cor. 2:10; Eph. 1:17-18 ), for fallen man cannot accept and understand the things of God (1Cor. 2:14). He takes from us that heart of stone, which is full of sin and gives a new heart of flesh (Ezek. 36:26), which desires to love and obey Him. He renews our wills and sets us free from slavery to sin. The ability and willingness to desire and do the good comes by His almighty power (e.g. Phil. 2:12-13; Heb. 13:20-21). It is by grace alone and it is the work of God in us. He draws to Jesus Christ in such a way that we will effectually and certainly come to Him, yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace (Ps. 110:3; John 6:37; Rom. 6:16-18 ). God changes our nature and gives us the desire to believe and come to Christ. This is the miracle of regeneration. No one comes to Christ against their will. But works so powerfully in us that those who did not desire Christ, come to desire Him and most willingly and freely cast themselves upon Him...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 15: Of Repentance Unto Life and Salvation - Commentary

    ...m of darkness to the Kingdom of Christ. He grants us faith and repentance and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. The Reformed understanding of the Ordo Salutis (Order of Salvation) is:

    1. Election (chapter 3)
    2. Effectual Calling (Chapter 10)
    3. Regeneration (chapter 11)
    4. Conversion (chapter 14 Of Saving Faith and chapter 15, the current one on repentance)
    5. Justification (chapter 11)
    6. Adoption (chapter 12)
    7. Sanctification (chapter 13)
    8. Perseverance (chapter 14)
    9. Glorification

    See this helpful picture by Tim Challies.

    It is important to note that here we are speaking of the logical order of salvation and not how we experience salvation. In chapter 11, I argued for “Regeneration Precedes Faith”. From our experience, the new birth and faith in the Lord Jesus happened at the same time. So, when we speak of the Ordo Salutis, we do not mean the order in time, but logically. This has to do more with causation and which one is dependent on the other. Repentance is in stage four. Repentance and faith together are under conversion and they describe what conversion is. There would not be a conversion if there was no regeneration. There would be no regeneration if there was no effectual calling. There would be no effectual calling if there was no sovereign election in eternity past. One is dependent upon the other and springs forth from the other.


    §2 God has mercifully provided that believers so sinning and falling be renewed through repentance unto salvation

    1. Whereas there is none that doth good and sinneth not, and the best of men may, through the power and deceitfulness of their corruption dwelling in them, with the prevalency of temptation, fall into great sins and provocations; God hath, in the covenant of grace, mercifully provided that believers so sinning and falling be renewed through repentance unto salvation. 3
      1. Ps. 130:3; 143:2; Prov. 20:9; Eccl. 7:20
      2. 2 Sam. 11:1-27; Luke 22:54-62
      3. Jer. 32:40; Luke 22:31-32; 1 John 1:9

    There is none that doth good and sinneth not; everyone sins (Ps. 130:3). This is the sad reality of fallen man and even of redeemed man. Even Christians, through the power and deceitfulness of their corruption dwelling in them...fall into great sins (David's adultery in 2 Sam. 11). Those who underestimate the power of sin will certainly fall into it. Sin is powerful and deceiving and it calls us back to itself because it wants us to be its slaves again. But this is the good news when we fall into sin: God hath, in the covenant of grace, mercifully provided that believers so sinning and falling be renewed through repentance unto salvation (Jer. 32:40; 1John 1:8-9). We are not saved again, but we are renewed and are back in a harmonious relationship with God. The promise of 1 John 1:9 is very dear to me: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” What a gracious and an amazing God we serve. He saved us from all kinds of corruptions and sins, forgiving it completely and keeps to forgive and renew us!


    Paragraph 1 dealt with unbelievers turning to Christ, now paragraph 2 deals with Christians turning back to Christ after sin and restoring their relationship to their merciful Savior.

    Forgiveness

    Christians can testify that they sin daily and seek God's forgiveness for known and unknown sins daily. But sometimes we fall into greater sins. It is a greater sin to commit adultery in actuality, than in the heart, obviously. Bot...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 29: Of Baptism - Commentary

    ...Christian parents.”[36] 

    The ones who were baptized on the day of Pentecost are explicitly said to be the ones who “received his word” (Acts 2:41). Nothing is said of infants. Rather, the point is that this promise is always available to you and to your posterity on the condition of repentance and faith in the crucified and risen Messiah.

    The next group is the “far off”, which are the Gentiles. This is seen from Ephesians 2:13 where they are so designated. The Gospel came to the Gentiles through Peter in Chapter 10 and they were baptized after they received the Spirit (Acts 10:44-48). This promise is available not only to Jews but also to Gentiles.

    Then there is the controlling clause which, as Dr. James White often says, we as Calvinists should directly recognize and see the sovereignty of God in it. “everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself” (Acts 2:39). This is the controlling phrase in the passage. It is also the limiting phrase for the identification of "you and...your children and...all who are far off". It is God who calls His people. They do not call themselves, but it is God who effectually calls them to salvation by His Spirit. The “you”, the “your children” and the “far off” who will, in fact, receive the promise of the Holy Spirit are the ones whom “the Lord our God calls to himself.” This is the controlling phrase in the passage by which we may know what is meant by children. We do not deny that, often, children raised in Christian homes come to faith early on. Some get baptized before adulthood, I do not see a problem in that. But the fact is, they get baptized because they show signs of faith and signs of repentance, not because their parents are Christian and not because of a theology of “covenant children.” They get and they should get baptized because they profess faith. The parents and the elders should see if it's proper to baptize young people, but this is very different from baptizing an infant who knows nothing of the Gospel on the basis of their parents’ faith.

    It is interesting that this controlling clause, which restricts those who are called from the “you”, the “your children” and the “far off”, is treated as non-existent by an eminent exegete as John Calvin, although he is so bold to declare that “This place, therefore, doth abundantly refute the manifest error of the Anabaptists, which will not have infants, which are the children of the faithful, to be baptized, as if they were not members of the Church.”[17] No, brother John, it does not refute the Baptists, but now you know better. All the attempts to get a support for infant baptism from this passage are vain. The signs of the covenant, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, are to be administered only to those “whom the Lord our God calls to himself” and have repented of their wicked ways. Hübner writes:

    The reason why baptism (and not circumcision) is a sign of new life (Col. 2:12),