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

...ath.i.ix.viii.html"89).
  • (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 and 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.[46] (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.[47] (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 repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath...


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

    ...for five months, but not kill them (Rev. 9:4-5).
  • The Sixth Trumpet: kill a third of mankind (Rev. 9:15).
  • The case is different with the Seventh Trumpet. Scripture says that “in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled” (Rev. 10:7). The sounding of the seventh trumpet brings the plan of God to fruition and completion. This sounds similar to Acts 3:21 and the restoration of all things mentioned there. The Seventh Trumpet is seen here as the last trumpet, which sounds the end of the world. This is, I believe, the "last trumpet" of Paul (1Cor. 15:52; cf. 1Thess. 4:16).

    Chapter 11 takes us to a vision of the temple of God and the Two Witnesses. The Temple of God is the Temple which is spoken of in Matthew 26:61 (Jesus refers to Himself, actually, see John 2:19) and the Church as the Temple of God (2Cor. 6:16; 2Thess. 2:4). The Universal Church is the temple of God spoken of here, and the “court outside the temple” are the unbelieving within the Visible Church. The angel is to measure the true temple of God, but not the hypocrites. To measure them indicates that God sets the Church Universal especially under His care. God wants to distinguish the true Church, therefore He measures them and sets them apart. The true Church alone is safe from God’s wrath. They may die because of God’s judgment, but they will not taste His eternal wrath (Rom. 8:1). In other words, the bodies of the faithful may be subject to pain and destruction, but their souls are safe in the hand of God who will give them a new body at His coming. Here, the imagery of measuring is used while in Revelation 7 the saints of God are sealed so as to be protected from the wrath of God. Both pictures symbolizing the same thing.

    The nations will trample the holy city, which is the Jerusalem of the fallen world system. By that I mean the designation “the great city” given by John, which is “symbolically…called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified” (Rev. 11:8), which also persecutes His people. This trampling of the holy city is only for 42 months, which is the same as the 1,260 days in which the Two Witnesses prophesy (Rev. 11:3). While the Church is being persecuted, the Two Witnesses are still proclaiming the Word of the Lord.

    The “holy city” spoken of here is the Church of God as in Revelation 20:9; 21:2, 10, 19. They will be trampled by the world and its system. They will suffer physical harm, but no spiritual harm will touch them. They will suffer as they remain faithful to their Savior who also suffered at the hands of wicked men. But the period of their suffering is limited to 42 months; 1,260 days; a time, and times, and half a time; which are 3,5 years. The time for the suffering of the Church is a broken seven and a short time. It is an imperfect and incomplete attempt by the world to destroy the Church. It is said to be ten days in Revelation 2:10. The time of persecution and trampling for the Church is also the time when the Church prophecies and proclaims the Gospel. This persecution will obviously intensify as the Church faithfully and unashamedly proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This 3,5 years of persecution has its basis in Daniel 7:25; 12:7, 11-12 and the persecution which the Jews suffered at the hands of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. This period which is noted in three ways in the Revelation is the same:

    • 1,260 days (Rev. 11:3; 12:6),
    • forty-two months (Rev. 11:2; 13:...

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

    ...ngNoah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

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

    But I Will Establish My Covenant With You

    Now that God’s plan to “clean” the planet is in place, He commands Noah to build an ark wherein he, his family and the animals can survive God's decree of destruction (Gen. 6:18-22). The Lord first promises the covenant before He establishes it (in a way like the Covenant of Grace and the New Covenant with a much shorter time in between). We read:

    Gen. 6:17-18 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.

    Yet another “but.” God will destroy all life upon the earth, but He will spare the lives of Noah and his family. Out of millions (billions?) of people, the Lord chose to display amazing grace to eight people—Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives. This is the main point of the Covenant of Grace/New Covenant: redemption by grace, not merit. Not that the Covenant of Grace was formally established, but it was in a state of promise and was retroactive. Not only does God care about the man that He has made, but also about the animals that He has made. That is why He commands Noah and He brings into the Ark two of every sort of animal having the breath of life in it (Gen. 7:8-9).

    God Remembered

    In passing, we note Genesis 8:1 –

    But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.

    Oh, so God was so busy that He had forgotten about the Flood that He had brought upon the face of the earth? That is so stupid that it cannot be imagined. Rather, as the ESV Study Bible rightly notes, when the Bible uses this expression, it refers to God's promises and covenants. In this case, the promise of a covenant with Noah.

    Gen. 8:1 God remembered Noah. This marks the turning point in the flood story. When the Bible says that God “remembers” someone or his covenant with someone, it indicates that he is about to take action for that person’s welfare (cf. 9:15; 19:29; 30:22; Ex. 2:24; 32:13; Ps. 25:6–7; 74:2). All life on the land having been destroyed, God now proceeds to renew everything, echoing what he did in Genesis 1. God made a wind blow over the earth. The Hebrew word for wind, ruakh, is also sometimes translated “Spirit” (e.g., 1:2; 6:3). While th...


    John Owen's Case For Particular Atonement

    ...hofdeath.i.ix.viii.html"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 will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hat...


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

    ... p. 200.
  • a, b, c Thayer's Greek Lexicon. G4137
  • a, b TDNT Dictionary. Taken from Bible Works. Number 639, p. 870.
  • ^ Ernest C. Reisinger. Law and Gospel. Chapter 11: The Law and the Savior
  • ^ Arthur W. Pink. The Sermon On The Mount. Chapter 6: Christ and the Law
  • ^ Ross, From The Finger of God. p. 202.
  • ^ Ibid. 215.
  • ^ Mickelson's Enhanced Strong's Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. G1096.
  • ^ Ross, From The Finger of God. pp. 218-219.
  • ^ Ibid. 219.
  • a, b, c, d, e, f Jamieson, Fausset, Brown. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Full). Taken from the TheWord Bible SoftwareIn loc.
  • ^ William D. Mounce. τηρέω.
  • ^ Joseph Henry Thayer's Greek Definitions. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. G2673.
  • ^ BDAG Lexicon. Taken from Bible Works. Number 3754.
  • a, b, c Matthew Henry. Commentary On The Whole Bible (Full). By default in The Word. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. In loc.
  • ^ The Reformation Study Bible ESV. Ed. R.C. Sproul. Ligonier Ministries (2015). p. 1984, note on Romans 3:31.
  • ^ John MacArthur. The MacArthur Study Bible: English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2010). p. 1660.
  • ^ Ibid. p. 1661.
  • ^ Reformation Study Bible ESV. p. 1991, note on Romans 7:14.
  • ^ See Joy Community Fellowship. How is the Righteous Requirement of the Law Fulfilled in us? 
  • a, b Philip Schaff. A Popular Commentary on the New Testament. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. In loc.
  • a, b, c The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. In loc.
  • ^ R. Barcellos, S. Waldron, E. Blackburn, & Paul R. Martin. Going Beyond The Five Points. Ed. by Rob Ventura. (San Bernardino, CA: [CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform], 2015). p. 38.
  • ^ Ibid. p. 39.
  • ^ As quoted in Ross, From The Finger of God. p. 340.
  • a, b Arthur W. Pink. The Law And The Saint
  • ^ Joseph Henry Thayer's Greek Definitions. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. G2570.
  • ^ Joseph S. Exell, H.D.M Spence. The Pulpit Commentary. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. In loc. 
  • a, b, c Richard Barcellos. An Ethical Manifesto: 1 Timothy 1:8-11 and the Decalogue. Founders Journal.
  • ^ Joseph Henry Thayer's Greek Definitions. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. G506.
  • ^ Mickelson's Enhanced Strong's Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. G506.
  • ^ TDNT Dictionary. Taken from BibleWorks. Page 105, number 133.
  • ^ The Free Dictionary. Perjury.
  • ^ The NASB Study Bible. p. 1806, note on James 2:8.
  • ^ The MacArthur Study Bible: ESV. p. 1879, note on James 2:10.
  • ^ The NASB Study Bible. p. 1808, note on James 4:11.
  • ^ Richard Winston. Christ the End of the Law: The Interpretation of Romans 10:4. Puritan Reformed Journal. June 2015, volume 7, number 2. p. 22.
  • ^ Ibid. p. 40, footnote 89.
  • ^ Ibid. p. 40. The content in the square brackets is mine.
  • ^ Ibid. pp. 40-41.
  • ^ Calvin, Institutes 2.7.7.
  • a, b, c Louis Berkhof. Systematic Theology. VII.II.II.
  • a, b Bob Schilling. The Three-Fold Use of Moral Law. Grace & Truth Community Church
  • ^ Calvin, Institutes 2.7.10.
  • ^ Ibid. 2.7.11.
  • ^ Ibid. 2.7.12.
  • ^ Ibid. 2.7.14.
  • ^ Charles H. Spurgeon. The Treasury of David. Psalm 19. Note on verse 11.
  • ^ Francis Turretin. Elenctic Theology, 2.11.23 (II:143). As quoted in Richard C. Barcellos, How the “uses of the law . . . sweetly comply with . . . the grace of the Gospel” (2LCF 19.7). p. 9.
  • ......

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

    ... his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

    More on Justification in Chapter 11. We cannot stress the connection between each link enough. The same group is the object of the five verbs, which have God as their subject. 

    He Also Glorified

    This link refers to the final perseverance of the saints (see chapter 17 on that). This link is about God keeping them as He is the Faithful One Who called them, He also is faithful to keep them for Himself. This link ultimately refers to heavenly glory.

    Rom. 8:17-18 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

    2Cor. 4:17-18 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

    John Gill says the following about justification and glorification:

    and whom he justified, them he also glorified; which is not meant of being made glorious under sufferings; nor of being made glorious by the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit; for the word is never used in this sense, nor is God ever said to glorify his people in this way; and the apostle is speaking of the saints in general, and not of particular ones: if this was the sense, none would be predestinated, called, and justified, but such who have the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit; and none would have the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, but such persons; whereas many have had these, and yet no interest in the grace of God, and everlasting happiness: but eternal glory is here meant, which is what the apostle had been speaking of in the context; is what the elect are predestinated and called unto; and which their justification gives them a right and title to; and will consist in a likeness to Christ, in communion with him, in an everlasting vision of him, and in a freedom from all that is evil, and in an enjoyment of all that is good; and so the great end of predestinating grace will be answered in them mentioned in the foregoing verse: now this glorification may be said to be already done, with respect to that part of God's elect, who are in heaven, inheriting the promises; and is in some sense true also of that part of them which is on earth, who are called and justified; being made glorious within by the grace of Christ, and arrayed and adorned with the glorious robe of his righteousness; by the one they have a meetness, and by the other a right to eternal glory; of which this grace they have received is the beginning, pledge, and earnest: besides, they are already glorified in Christ, their head and representative, and in the view of God, and with respect to the certainty of it, it being prepared and made ready for them, is in the hands of Christ for them, and is insured to their faith and hope. It is an observation of a Jewish writer {n},

    "that a thin...


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

    ...m 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 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 conside...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary

    ...!DOCTYPE html

    Chapter 11: Of Justification

    Now we come to the great biblical and Protestant doctrine of justification. Calvin said that “Justification is the main hinge on which salvation turns.” There is no salvation without a proper understanding of justification. This is not a secondary issue, it is a foremost essential of true and biblical Christianity. It is one of the things which separates confessional Protestantism from Roman Catholicism. There will be a lot of things which I will point the interested reader to previous chapters, rather than expound again here.


    §1 Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth

    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 sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ's active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in his death for their whole and sole righteousness by faith, which faith they 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 (chapter 3) and (3) effectually calling us (chapter 10), we come 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]

    We could go on and on by giving Protestant theologians who defined justification in this way. Louis Berkhof says:

    Justification is a judicial act of God, in which He declares, on the bas...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith - Commentary

    ...osition of 1689. p. 234. ...

    1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

    ...t 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 sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ's active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in his death for their whole and sole righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God. 4
      1. Rom. 8:30; 3:24
      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
    1. Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification; yet it is not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love. 2
      1. Rom. 1:17; 3:27-31; Phil. 3:9; Gal. 3:5
      2. Gal. 5:6; James 2:17, 22, 26
    1. Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are justified; and did, by the sacrifice of himself in the blood of his cross, undergoing in their stead the penalty due unto them, make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God's justice in their behalf; yet, inasmuch as he was given by the Father for them, 2 and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead, 3 and both freely, not for anything in them, their justification is only of free grace, that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners5
      1. Rom. 5:8-10, 19; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; Heb. 10:10, 14; Isa. 53:4-6, 10-12
      2. Rom. 8:32
      3. 2 Cor. 5:21; Matt. 3:17; Eph. 5:2; Rom 3:26
      4. Rom. 3:24; Eph. 1:6-7
      5. Rom. 3:26; Eph. 2:7
    1. God did from all eternity decree to justify all the elect, 1 and Christ did in the fullness of time die for their sins, and rise again for their justification; nevertheless, they are not justified personally, until the Holy Spirit doth in time due actually apply Christ unto them. 3
      1. Gal. 3:8; 1 Peter 1:2, 19-20; Rom. 8:30
      2. Gal. 4:4; 1 Tim. 2:6; Rom. 4:25
      3. Col. 1:21-22; Gal. 2:16; Titus 3:4-7; Eph. 2:1-3
    1. God doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified, and although they can never fall from the state of justification, 2 yet they may, by their sins, fall under God's fatherly displeasure; and in that condition they have not usually the light of his countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance. 3 
      1. Matt. 6:12; 1 John 1:7-2:2; John 13:3-11
      2. Luke 22:32; John 10:28; Heb. 10:14
      3. Ps. 32:5; 51:7-12; Matt. 26:75; Luke 1:20
    1. The justification of believers un...