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


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

...e ability and willingness to obey. It does not come from our flesh. It is the Lord Who works in us 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)


  1. ^ Richard Barcellos. Definition of Key Terms and Phrases. pp. 1-2.
  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, f 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., p. 111.
  11. a, b, c, d bid., 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. ^ Robert L. Dabney. Systematic Theology. (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1985, originally 1871). p. 358. Scripture references have been modernized in all citations.
  22. ^ Ibid., p. 361.
  23. ^ Calvin, Institutes, 2.8.17
  24. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j Benjamin Keach. The Baptist Catechism
  25. a, b Watson, Ten Commandments. Chapter 2.2
  26. ^ Thomas Vincent. A Family Instructional Guide.
  27. ^ Pastor Joe V. Why Did John Calvin and the Reformers Forbid All Images of the Divine Persons?
  28. ^ John Murray. Pictures of Christ and the Second Commandment
  29. ^ The Holy Bible: English Standard Version: The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles (2008). Taken from the Online Version at in loc.
  30. a, b, c Watson, Ten Commandments. Chapter 2.3
  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. ^ Dabney, Systematic Theology. p. 400.
  39. a, b Watson, Ten Commandments. Chapter 2.6.
  40. ^ Dabney, Systematic Theology. p. 407.
  41. ^ Joseph Henry Thayer’s Greek Definitions. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. G4202
  42. ^ Calvin, Institutes 2.8.45.
  43. a, b Watson, Ten Commandments. Chapter 2.8
  44. ^ Calvin, Institutes 2.8.47.
  45. ^ The ...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 3: Of God's Decree - Commentary fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Notice that the Lord Jesus makes a distinction between the eleven and Judas in Chapter 13, and how He clearly speaks of sovereign election to salvation in chapter 15. In John 15:16, the Lord chose them for a purpose, namely, to bear fruit, but this is not said of Judas who was not present here (John 13:27-30). There is a distinction between the Lord Jesus choosing the disciples as a group of 12 followers, and choosing them for salvation and this distinction is seen when we compare the instances which speak of the election of the disciples.

Romans 8:29-30 – The Golden Chain Of Redemption

Although I honestly believe that John 6 and the Gospel of John, in general, is very strong about God’s sovereignty in salvation, yet the passage that is most associated with Calvinism is Romans 9. It is indeed probably the strongest passage in the Bible on divine sovereignty. The truth of God’s absolute sovereignty is clearly shown there. People will read it and won’t want to believe what is taught there. I’ve had someone respond, after me simply reading Romans 9, in amazement and unbelief, they were like: If we are to take this literally it says that God chooses who gets saved. The point of Romans 9 is clear. People will want to make it to be about nations to escape divine sovereignty, but they become inconsistent in their “exegesis” and they will not follow the flow of the text. Let us not forget what comes before Romans 9. The Golden Chain of Redemption is also very strong on divine sovereignty. Indeed, Paul talks about it before going into the discussion about Israel’s unbelief and God’s promises in Romans 9-11. We will leave Romans 9 and will not deal with it because it would take too long to deal with the whole chapter. People understand what it means, but do not want to believe it. The difficulty lies not in the text, but in what the text teaches, which is hateful to human nature.

The Golden Chain is a sequence of five things that follow each other and depend upon each other. It is found after the great promise of Romans 8:28, which every Christian should take comfort in.

Rom. 8:28-30 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

In this passage, we are told about the plan of salvation from eternity past to eternity future. In this Golden Chain, we are promised that God works everything in our lives for our good, because we are called according to HIS purpose. My purpose is to go through all 5 points of the golden chain and try to explain them and provide biblical support for them.

Important Considerations

All these five things that are described (forekn...

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

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  • Ps. 89:31-32; 1 Cor. 11:32; 2 Tim. 4:7
  • 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; 1 John 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 the end. This is the essential difference between true and false faith. True faith perseveres to the end (1 John 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 salvation was not dependent upon them, ho...

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


    Keil & Delitzsch note concerning the place of this command:

    Strictly speaking, the warning against inclining to the idolatry of the Canaanites (Deu 12:29-31) forms a transition from the enforcement of the true mode of worshipping Jehovah to the laws relating to tempters to idolatry and worshippers of idols (ch. 13).[13]

    Therefore, until the previous chapter, God, through Moses, taught His people the right way of worshiping Him and now He moves to the discussion of idolatry and what ought not to be done in Chapter 13. Lastly, Matthew Henry comments:

    He therefore concludes (v. 32) with the same caution concerning the worship of God which he had before given concerning the word of God (ch. iv. 2): “You shall not add thereto any inventions of your own, under pretence of making the ordinance either more significant or more magnificent, nor diminish from it, under pretence of making it more easy and practicable, or of setting aside that which may be spared; but observe to do all that, and that only, which God has commanded.” We may then hope in our religious worship to obtain the divine acceptance when we observe the divine appointment. God will have his own work done in his own way.[14]

    Uzzah And The Ark

    The Ark of the Covenant fell into the hands of the Philistines and was later on delivered from their hands and they placed it in the house of Abinadab (1Sam. 7:1). Now as they are trying to bring the Ark back to Jerusalem from the house of Abinadab, a terrible thing happens. They had brought a new cart, with what it seems to be good intentions so that the Ark of God may not be defiled by an old cart. They were happy, singing and praising the Lord with music. But all the sudden, “the oxen stumbled” and without any intervention, this would have caused the Ark to fall into the dirt. With, what seems to be, all good intentions Uzzah puts his hand so that the Ark would not fall to the ground and is struck down by God. What’s the reason that God judged him so harshly?

    Greg L. Price notes that there were three things which caused God’s judgment to come severely upon Uzzah:

    The violation of God’s Regulative Principle was at least in three areas: (1) Uzza was apparently not a Levite (he was the son of Abinadab from Kirjath Jearim of the tribe of Judah, cf. 2 Sam. 7:1; 1 Chron. 2:50; 1 Chron 13:6-7) and according to Numbers 4:15 God commanded Levites to move the Ark (cf. 1 Chron. 15:2); (2) The Ark of God was not to be carried on a cart as the heathen Philistines had done in 1 Samuel 6:10-11 (Israel was not to follow the ways in which the heathens served their gods, Deut. 12:30-32). God had specifically commanded the Ark to be carried on the shoulders with poles (Ex. 25:12-15); and (3) The Ark of God was touched by Uzza, whereas God had commanded that no one touch it (Num. 4:15).[15]

    Uzzah, along with David, violated the commandments of God concerning the Ark and the carrying thereof. God explicitly commanded that the Ark should be 1) carried by the Kohathites (Num. 3:30-31; 4:15; 7:9); 2) that it was to be carried by poles (Ex. 25:14; Num. 7:9), not upon a cart; and 3) the Ark was not to be touched (Num. 4:15). But Uzzah, David and the priests who should have known better, violated the commands of God. God did not strike them all but only punished Uzzah to demonstrate His holiness as He did with Nadab and Abihu. Right from the beginning, they went wrong in neglecting to inquire what God has actually said concerning how t...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary

    ...our behalf, declares us to be righteous. Our union with Christ makes it so that His death becomes our death, His resurrection our resurrection, His life our life, His righteousness our righteousness. Although we have not yet been perfectly conformed to His image, we are certainly predestined to that end (Rom. 8:29). In other words, God will make us righteous, but this is not what the New Testament speaks about for our salvation. Rather, this is sanctification in which the Holy Spirit works to change us into Christ’s image, but it is a life-long process of ups and downs (see Chapter 13).

    Blessings of Justification

    What is accomplished by God through justification? First of all, as the Confession states, “pardoning their sins” is one of the blessings coming from our justification. For example, Paul says:

    Rom. 4:4-8 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” 

    Notice how closely is justification tied to the forgiveness of sins that Paul calls upon Psalms 32:1-2 as evidence for the fruit of justification. In this passage, we come also to the second blessing of justification, namely, our faith being counted as righteousness (v. 5), or to state it in another way: “accounting and accepting their persons as righteous”. We spoke about this above (see here). In this connection, we should observe that justification does not only consist of the forgiveness of sins but also is tied to the fact that we are accounted righteous. Matthew Poole comments on v. 5 as follows:

    This testimony is taken out of Psa 32:1, and it is well enough accommodated to the occasion, for those two, to remit sin, and to impute righteousness, are inseparable. The one is put here figuratively for the other. They mistake, who take occasion from hence to make justification to consist only in remission of sin: the text will not bear it. The apostle’s design is, not hereby to declare the full nature of justification, which he had done before; but only to prove the freedom of it from any respect to works, in the instance of this principal and essential part of it. Remission of sin and the imputation of righteousness differ, as the cause and the effect. Remission of sin presupposeth imputation of righteousness; and he that hath his sins remitted, hath Christ’s righteousness first imputed, that so they may be remitted and forgiven to sinners.[16]

    Philip Schaff comments on the blessedness of v. 6:

    Pronounceththe blessedness; speaks the congratulation, the pronouncing blessed. The quotation is of forgiveness, of not being reckoned a sinner; but the Apostle takes this as equivalent to the Lord reckoneth righteousness. ‘It is implied by Paul, that the remission of sin is equivalent to the imputation of righteousness, that there is no negative state of innocence, none intermediate between acceptance for righteousness, and rejection for sin’ (Alford).[17]

    These are the two blessings of justification: forgiveness of sins and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, by which we are also declared righteous. Albert Barnes further comments on v. 6 in these wo...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith - Commentary

    ...s it the ground. The only reason and ground of justification is the active and passive obedience of Christ. Faith merely receives Christ Who has done everything for our justification. See chapter 11.

    Sanctification: We are not justified by faith and then left to be sanctified by works. Christians are described as “those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:18). Galatians 5:6 says that faith works through love, which is a growing fruit of holiness. See Chapter 13.

    Eternal life: The most popular verse of the Bible declares: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, 36; 6:40, 54, 68; 10:27-28). This eternal life is not only endless life, but it is a spiritual life wherein God the Father and the Son are personally and relationally known (John 17:3). Eternal life is a present blessing (John 5:24)!

    Peace: Romans 5:1 says that “since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” This peace is the peace of reconciliation and a restored relationship between God and man as Paul goes on to explain. By faith, the hostility between God and man has been removed because God’s wrath has been satisfied on behalf of those who believe. This is so because God poured out His wrath upon His Son and credits His Son’s righteousness to those who believe. Therefore, there is really no ground for God to be hostile toward those who believe in Christ and thus are in Christ.

    Adoption: By faith, we become children of the living God. Not all are children of God. Only those who belong to Jesus, become sons of God. Galatians 3:26 says, “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.” It is only in Christ that we are “sons of God” and this is “through faith.” See chapter 12.

    Perseverance: We are kept in the faith by faith. 1 Peter 1:5 beautifully says that we are they “who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Albert Barnes explains the word kept or guarded which is used here:

    That is, “kept” or preserved in the faith and hope of the gospel; who are preserved from apostacy, or so kept that you will finally obtain salvation. The word which is used here, and rendered “kept,” (φρουρέω phroureō,) is rendered in 2Co 11:32, kept with a garrison; in Gal 3:23, and here, kept; in Phi 4:7, shall keep. It does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It means to keep, as in a garrison or fortress; or as with a military watch. The idea is, that there was a faithful guardianship exercised over them to save them from danger, as a castle or garrison is watched to guard it against the approach of an enemy.[19]

    See chapter 17.

    Holy Spirit: Not only the Holy Spirit works faith in our hearts through regeneration, but through faith, we receive Him too! He comes to make His abode in us as His temple. John 7:38, which is a difficult text, says, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” But thankfully, we are not in the dark as to what it means because John explains it in the next verse: “Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive” (John 7:39). Everyone who belongs to Jesus Christ has His Spirit (Rom. 8:9). Galatians 3:14 explains that “in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles,” which is justification by faith. But why? The ver...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary

    .../sup The church is the assembly of God’s redeemed. The word congregation or assembly is a better fit for translation than the word church, which most often denotes the building in our society. We’ve argued in paragraph 2 that local churches should be composed of those who profess the true faith and live in a way consistent with that profession. But whom does He call to congregate? He calls those whom He died for to Himself. We’ve noted the Confessional use of the “Word and Spirit” formula in Chapter 13:1

    We must understand and believe that the church is the creation of Jesus Christ. It belongs to Him. It is His wife. He takes the initiative to call her to Himself. The way in which He calls her is through His Word and Spirit. Which word is this? It is the word of the gospel which creates spiritual life. Peter speaks of this precious word when he says, “you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God...this word is the good news that was preached to you” (1 Pet. 1:23, 25). God’s word, in the beginning, created the universe, and God’s word has recreated us spiritually. The apostle Paul says, ‘For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ’ (2 Cor. 4:6). He compares the creation of the world with the “new creation” of the believer (2 Cor. 5:17). The preached Word is called “the words of this Life” (Acts 5:20). It creates spiritual life and it points to the source of all life. This “word of life” is something to be held onto (Phil. 2:6). It nourishes us as a baby is nourished by milk (1 Pet. 2:1-2).

    But this word is not alone. To call His people out of the world, the Lord Jesus sends both His Word and His Spirit. The Word alone, while powerful, convincing, true and good, cannot create life by itself. For that, the Spirit and His work are necessary. But the Spirit does not come alone. He comes with the Word which He has inspired for us. In 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14, the apostle connects their being “saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth”. Furthermore, the apostle clarifies that they were called to this salvation “through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Both the work of the Spirit and the gospel were necessary for their conversion. Earlier, he said, “And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Cor. 2:3-5). His words were not grounded in the wisdom of man, but in the power of the Spirit. He imparts the things revealed by the Spirit “in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:13). To the Thessalonians, he said that “our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” (1 Thess. 1:5). The believers, whether universal or local, are called to be “members of the same body...through the gospel” (Eph. 3:6).

    All that this means is that Word and Spirit create and call the church from the darkness into the light. The gospel, as used by the Spirit, creates the church. Since it creates the church, it stands at the center and core of the church. The gospel simply is Jesus Christ in all His beauty, glory...

    1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

    ..."color: #008000;"never cast off, but sealed to the day of redemption, and inherit the promises as heirs of everlasting salvation.7
    1. Gal. 3:24-26
    2. 1 John 3:1-3
    3. Eph. 1:5; Gal. 4:4-5; Rom. 8:17, 29
    4. Rom. 8:17; John 1:12; 2 Cor. 6:18; Rev. 3:12
    5. Rom. 8:15; Eph. 3:12; Rom. 5:2; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 2:18
    6. Ps. 103:13; Prov. 14:26; Matt. 6:30, 32; 1 Peter 5:7; Heb. 12:6; Isa. 54:8-9; Lam. 3:31; Eph. 4:30
    7. Rom. 8:17; Heb. 1:14; 9:15

    Chapter 13: Of Sanctification [Return] [Commentary]

    1. They who are united to Christ, effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection, are also farther sanctified, really and personally, through the same virtue, by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them; 4 the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of all true holiness, 5 without which no man shall see the Lord. 6 
      1. John 3:3-8; 1 John 2:29; 3:9-10; Rom. 1:7; 6:1-11; 15:16; 2 Cor. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Phil. 1:1; Col. 3:12; Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Cor. 1:2, 6:11
      2. 1 Thess. 5:23; Rom. 6:19, 22
      3. 1 Cor. 6:11; Acts 20:32; Phil. 3:10; Rom. 6:5-6
      4. John 17:17, Eph. 5:26; 3:16-19; Rom. 8:13
      5. Rom. 6:13-14; Gal. 5:17, 24; Rom. 8:13; Col. 1:11; Eph. 3:16-19; 4:22-25; 2 Cor. 7:1
      6. Heb. 12:14
    1. This sanctification is throughout the whole man, yet imperfect in this life; there abideth still some remnants of corruption in every part, whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war;the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. 3
      1. 1 Thess. 5:23; 1 John 1:8, 10; Rom. 7:18, 23; Phil. 3:12
      2. 1 Cor. 9:24-27; 1 Tim. 1:18; 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7
      3. Gal. 5:17; 1 Peter 2:11
    1. In which war, although the remaining corruption for a time may much prevail,yet through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome; and so the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, pressing after an heavenly life, in evangelical obedience to all the commands which Christ as Head and King, in His Word hath prescribed them. 3
      1. Rom. 7:23
      2. Rom. 6:14; 1 John 5:4; Eph. 4:15-16
      3. 2 Peter 3:18; 2 Cor. 3:18; 7:1; Matt. 28:20

    Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith [Return] [Commentary]

    1. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word; by which also, and by the administration of baptism and the Lord’s supper, prayer, and other means appointed of God, it is increased and strengthened.
      1. John 6:37, 44; Acts 11:21, 24; 13:48; 14:27; 15:9; 2 Cor. 4:13; Eph. 2:8; Phil. 1:29; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2
      2. Rom. 4:11; 10:14, 17; Luke 17:5; Acts 20:32; 1 Peter 2:2
    1. By this faith a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word for the authority of God himself, and also apprehendeth an excellency therein above all other writings and all things in the world, as it bears forth the glory of God in his attributes, the excellency of Christ in his nature and offices, and the power and fullness of the Holy Spirit in his workings and operations: and so is enabled to cast his soul upon the truth ...

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

    ...edesFaith"Regeneration (chapter 11)
  • Conversion (chapter 14 Of Saving Faith and chapter 15, the current one on repentance)
  • Justification (chapter 11)
  • Adoption (chapter 12)
  • Sanctification (Chapter 13)
  • Perseverance (chapter 14)
  • 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 constitute conversion and they describe what conversion consists in. 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; 1 John 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.


    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 ...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 13: Of Sanctification - Commentary

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    Chapter 13: Of Sanctification

    Now that we were elected, called and justified we enter into the Christian life, which is one of growth in holiness with ups and downs. In this chapter, we will deal with the question concerning what sanctification is and what Scripture says about it.

    §1 Through The Virtue Of Christ’s Death And Resurrection, Are Also Farther Sanctified, Really And Personally

    1. They who are united to Christ, effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection, are also farther sanctified, really and personally, through the same virtue, by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them; 4 the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of all true holiness, 5 without which no man shall see the Lord. 6 
      1. John 3:3-8; 1 John 2:29; 3:9-10; Rom. 1:7; 6:1-11; 15:16; 2 Cor. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Phil. 1:1; Col. 3:12; Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Cor. 1:2, 6:11[1]
      2. 1 Thess. 5:23; Rom. 6:19, 22
      3. 1 Cor. 6:11; Acts 20:32; Phil. 3:10; Rom. 6:5-6
      4. John 17:17, Eph. 5:26; 3:16-19; Rom. 8:13
      5. Rom. 6:13-14; Gal. 5:17, 24; Rom. 8:13; Col. 1:11; Eph. 3:16-19; 4:22-25; 2 Cor. 7:1
      6. Heb. 12:14

    Those who have been saved have a new heart and a new spirit created in them in accordance with the promise of the New Covenant (Ezek. 36:25-27). What this means is that they have a new nature and no longer are they enslaved by the old sinful nature inherited from Adam. This is all through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection. Christ’s work is the basis that we have a new nature. After having this new nature created in them, they are farther sanctified, really and personally (1 Thess. 5:13; Rom. 6:22). To be sanctified means to be set apart. If we are being sanctified by the Holy Spirit it means that we are being made more like Christ. This sanctification is through the same virtue as our receiving the new nature, i.e., by Christ’s death and resurrection. The way that He sanctifies us is by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them (John 17:17; Rom. 8:13; Eph. 3:16-19; 5:26). Word and Spirit is also how He calls us to Himself (chapter 10:1). It is also how He keeps us for and to Himself. By this new nature and sanctification, the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed (Rom. 6:13-14). The dominion is destroyed, but sin is not yet uprooted. We are to fight. Several lusts of the flesh are more and more weakened and mortified (killed). Not only are we fighting and overcoming sin and temptation, but we are also progressing toward holiness in being more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving grace. This is so that we would practice all true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Heb. 12:14). The Lord grants us holiness and calls us to holiness so that we would see Him.

    United, Called and Regenerated

    I refer the interested reader to the previous chapters where we dealt with these things. I lightly touched upon our union with Christ in chapter 8 paragraph 5 (see chapter 27, paragraph 1 for more detail). We dealt with the effectual call or Irresistible Grace in chapter 10 and Regeneration and Justification were dealt with in chapter 11.


    The answer to question 35 “What is sanctification?” of the Westminster Shorter Catechism is as follows: