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

...t’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 m...


    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 19: Of the Law of God - Commentary

    ...fe, 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 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, Institut...

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

    ...h5Jude 1:1 – Kept For Jesus

    Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:

    1. The author identifies his audience as those who are (1) called, (2) beloved in God and (3) kept for Jesus. For more on the call see Chapter 10 or the comments on Hebrews 3:1 above. His audience are further identified with those who are beloved in and by God the Father. This does not speak of God’s general love, but of His specific and elective love toward the believers which is restricted in Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:39). It is with this love that the Father chose the elect from before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4-5) and it is this love which provided Jesus as the propitiation for our sins (1John 4:10). Can God lose those whom He loved and chose from all eternity? Can He lose those whom He called through the Gospel based on His fore-love and fore-choice of them from all eternity?

    2. The audience are described as those who are kept for Jesus. The Greek word here is τετηρημένοις (tetéremenois), the perfect tense, passive voice, participle mood of τηρέω (tereo, G5083) which we also encountered in 1 Peter 1:4. The believers are being guarded, preserved and kept for Jesus in the condition that they are in. They are being kept for the Lord Jesus and by (alt. reading ESV, HCSB, ISV) the Lord Jesus in the state which they are, because the elect of God are entrusted to His care (John 6:39-40). Therefore, those who are called and loved by God, are also the ones who are kept, guarded and preserved by, for, and in Jesus Christ our Lord. The passive voice of the verb denotes that it is an action done unto the subject, but not by the subject. The subject is receiving the action of being kept, guarded and preserved. We are not preserving and guarding ourselves, rather it is God who does that amazing work to keep His elect. The perfect tense of the verb denotes that we are speaking of a present state (being kept) resulting from a finished action. Or, an action that has been completed in the past yet has results still occurring in the present. The fact that we are now being kept by Jesus and for Jesus, is based on a particular thing in the past, whether it be the election of God in love, or the effectual call of God, or the propitiation He provided for the elect. But we are sure that this work of preservation by Jesus is based not on things in us, but of something(s) that God has done in the past.

    3. Is it possible for those who are called by God, Whose call is irreversible (Rom. 11:29), loved by God from all eternity and in the present kept by God could lose or forfeit their salvation? How will not the purpose of God fail, who declares that He accomplishes all His purpose (Isa. 46:10)? How will He accomplish the purpose to keep the elect, if it is genuinely possible for some of them to wander from the faith and be doomed to hell?

    Jude 1:24-25 – Present you blameless

    Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. 

    1. God is here described as the One who has the ability to (1) keep the believers from stumbling and (2) to present them blameless before Himself. Before we consider these two things we must not forget the call to per...


    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 3: Of God's Decree - Commentary

    ...l-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 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, for 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, 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 not go into this inquiry about election to the God-breathed Scripture as the highest and infallible authority. 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 thinking that such mysteries should be tr...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary

    ...id="bpx2t"[1]
  • Rom. 4:5-8; Eph. 1:7
  • 1 Cor. 1:30-31; Rom. 5:17-19
  • 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
  • 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 alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema," (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9).[4]

    Rome, in these words, has denied the Gospel of Christ. They place their curse upon the Protestant and biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone. which is the Gospel of our salvation. They have denied justification by faith alone, which I will seek to make a case for below. They confess that faith is necessary, but it is not enough. They confess that grace is necessary, but it is, again, not enough. I assert and will seek to prove that the Bible teaches that faith alone is that which justifies the wicked and not grace/faith plus anything in us.

    Imputed Righteousness

    Christ's active obedience is what was imputed to us, which we discussed in chapter 8 (see here). His active obedience refers Lord's keeping the Law of God perfectly for us and in our place. All that righteousness which the Lord Jesus earned, the Father credits to us. It is as though we had lived the perfect life of Christ in complete obedience to God. That is how God sees His children. But it is not only His active but also passive obedience which justifies us. His pa...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling - Commentary

    ...

    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

    Called by the Word and Spirit

    It is the Word of God–the precious Gospel, which comes to us, which is the message of salvation used by the Spirit to awaken us to newness of life. God has ordained to call His elect people through the means of preaching the Gospel. Notice that the Confession says effectually call because there are two types of calling: 1) the general call and 2) the effectual call. By the general call of the Gospel, we mean the simple preaching of the Gospel to all who are able to hear and understand the proclamation. In this sense, all who are able to hear (or read) and understand the call of the Gospel are invited but are not supplied with the Spirit to make them willing to accept the Gospel. This is the case in Matthew. 22:14, which I believe is the only explicit instance on which this “general call” is based. Clearly, our Lord there distinguishes between those who are called and those who are chosen. A lot of people are called, in the sense of Matthew 22:14, but few people are chosen. The effectual call is the call of the Gospel proclamation used by the Spirit to cause us to be born again. We don’t merely hear the Gospel, but the Spirit applies the message of the Gospel to our life and grants us the ability to accept the call of the Gospel and respond positively. It is in this sense that most passages that speak of God’s calling are concerned with. My favorite passage on the effectual calling of the S...


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

    ...ess 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

    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. Both are a sin, but one is greater than the other. It is a greater sin to murder someone than to merely hate someone. It is possible for Christians to fall into the “greater” sins.  There have been believers who have committed adultery, been involved in sexual immorality, stolen, cheated and done other things which God has forbidden. They have fallen into sin, but they have not fallen beyond recovery...if they truly were believers! This is the test of true believers: a true believer will always be brought back to repentance by God. It may take days, months or years, but the Shepherd will not lose any of His sheep and will seek them out one by one.

    We may sometimes think too highly of ourselves and our ability to overcome sin, and also think too lowly of the remaining corruption in us and the fallen world around us. With such a mindset we leave ourselves open to Satan's attacks. We may think “no, not me” and “I will not fall into that sin”, but we forget about the “power and deceitfulness of [our] corruption dwelling in [us]” which makes it all the...


    Welcome To The Staunch Calvinist

    Welcome to The Staunch Calvinist. This is a place where Calvinistic Theology will be displayed. A place where the Doctrines of Grace will be explained and defended. This is a place where the Sovereignty of God is cherished and promoted. We hope you will be ministered to through the material on the website. Our goal is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and honor Him. “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14

    The following document may help you to understand the Biblical case for ‘Calvinism’: God's Absolute Sovereignty – A case for Calvinism

    I have two sections dedicated to the Doctrines of Grace, defining the Doctrines of Grace & defending the Doctrines of Grace which are taken from the document above. In the General section you will find some book reviews and the resources from which I mainly drew the content of the “God’s Absolute Sovereignty” document.

    As a Reformed Baptist, I started the 1689 Confession section wherein I seek to explain the chapters and make a case for what is said on a particular subject. As of 18/09/2016 the commentary is complete:

    1. Of the Holy Scriptures
    2. Of God and the Holy Trinity (the attributes of God and a case for the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity)
    3. Of God’s Decree (I make a case for predestination, election, reprobation and absolute sovereignty even over evil and sin)
    4. Of Creation
    5. Of Divine Providence
    6. Of the Fall of Man, Of Sin, And of the Punishment Thereof (Total Depravity)
    7. Of God’s Covenant (1689 Federalism)
    8. Of Christ the Mediator (including a case for the Substitutionary Atonement, Active and Passive Obedience of Christ, Definite Atonement and answers to passages used against the doctrine)
    9. Of Free WIll (with the help of Jonathan Edwards, the consistency of moral agency being found in carrying one's desires, the inconsistencies of libertarian free will, explanation of necessity and inability)
    10. Of Effectual Calling (with a case for infant salvation)
    11. Of Justification (faith is a gift and regeneration precedes faith)
    12. Of Adoption
    13. Of Sanctification
    14. Of Saving Faith
    15. Of Repentance Unto Life and Salvation
    16. Of Good Works
    17. Of The Perseverance Of The Saints (Positive case for the Reformed doctrine and responses to passages such as Hebrews 6 and the like)
    18. Of The Assurance Of Grace And Salvation
    19. Of The Law Of God (Threefold Division of the Law, the Decalogue before Moses, a brief exposition of the Decalogue, ceremonial and civil laws, the abiding moral law under the New Covenant in the OT prophecy and the NT, Threefold Uses of the Law, The Law and the Gospel)
    20. Of The Gospel, And Of The Extent Of The Grace Thereof
    21. Of Christian Liberty And Liberty of Conscience
    22. Of Religious Worship And the Sabbath Day (A case for the Regulative Principle of Worship and the Christian Sabbath)
    23. Of Lawful Oaths And Vows
    24. Of The Civil Magistrate
    25. Of Marriage
    26. Of The Church
    27. Of the Communion of Saints
    28. Of Baptism And The Lord's Supper
    29. Of Baptism
    30. Of The Lord's Supper
    31. Of The State Of Man After Death And Of The Resurrection Of The Dead (Intermediate State Hades, Sheol, Heaven; A Case for Amillennial Eschatology; critique of Premillennialism)
    32. Of The Last Judgment (Endless punishment in Hell contra Annihilationism)
    ...