The Staunch Calvinist

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

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

...kquote

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. Prince 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 act...


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

...ognize 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, Institutes 2.8.45.
  42. a, b Watson, Ten Commandments. Chapter 2.8
  43. ^ Calvin, Institutes 2.8.47.
  44. ^ The Free Dictionary. Slander
  45. ^ Watson, Ten C...

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

...be 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 showed 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 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. It is plain to anyone who can read what it means. 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 which follow each other and depend upon each other. It is found after the great promise of Romans 8:28, which every Christian takes 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 point 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...


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

...e given to Christ will not be kept blameless until the day of Jesus Christ, is to claim that the Son fails in His work, which should not even be thought of!

6. This passage is in many ways parallel to 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, the same ideas are present there as are here. What here is explicitly missing, though not implicitly is the idea of sanctification. Obviously, to be guiltless on the day of the Lord, would have to be because of abiding faith in Jesus Christ and growing in Him, which is the essence of sanctification (see Chapter 13 for more). It is God who is responsible in 1 Thessalonians 5 to sanctify completely the believers. In 1 Corinthians, it is the Lord Jesus and in 1 Thessalonians it is God the Father. Both the Father and the Son are in the work of keeping the believers blameless, how can anyone dare to say that those who truly know the Son and the Father, may, in fact, fall away? Do the Father and Son fail in their purpose because of man's almighty will?!

7. In both passages believers are given hope and encouraged based on God's faithfulness. It is God who will sanctify them and keep them blameless. This does not mean that there is no responsibility for them to seek after the holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Heb. 12:14), but it puts things into perspective. God's work is primary. We endure and preserve, because it is He who preserves us and causes us to endure and transforms us into the likeness of Christ our Lord (cf. Phil. 2:12-13). Therefore, truly, all is of pure grace and we have to pray to God to sanctify us daily and change our desires to conform to His own.

8. The believers are called into the fellowship of God. 1 Corinthians 1 lays a strong stress on the effectual calling of God. In verse 2 we read that the believers were “called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours”. All believers are called by God to be holy ones, set apart for His purpose. They did nothing to earn it, but were simply the objects of the Father's loving grace. Can God now reverse His judgment that the believers are indeed saints and holy ones in His sight, set apart for His use? If we were called into God's fellowship without any regard to our works and faithfulness, but based on God’s faithfulness, how can we through our works lose this blessed fellowship bestowed upon us by grace? Are we really saying that to enter the fellowship is by grace alone, but to remain in the fellowship is by our faithfulness? Those who truly know God and not merely profess to know Him, cannot be separated from His blessed fellowship.

9. Lastly, 1 Thessalonians 5:24 stress the fact that it depends ultimately on God to preserves us. It is God who will keep us blameless because God cannot fail nor goes back on His word. He has called us into His fellowship, and He will never cast us out, but rather He will work on us to make us more holy and more like Christ. We are given assurance that God will indeed sanctify us and keep us without blame. 

Philippians 1:6 – Will bring it to completion

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

1. We notice first of all the connection between the previous two passages discussed from Paul, 1 Corinthians 1:8 and 1 Thessalonians 5:23, and the present passage concerning the day of Jesus Christ. This is an important day and it is a day...


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. 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 11: Of Justification - Commentary

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

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 Ju...


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

...eration (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 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 more easy for us to fall into sin. God would be just and holy if He were to abandon us the moment we sin again after being in Christ and leave us in our sin, yet as our Father and the faithful covenant God, He will not leave or forsake us even ...


    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)
    ...

    A Review of Jeffrey D. Johnson's The Fatal Flaw

    ...ant was abolished in order to establish the New (Heb 8:6-11).
  • Different Efficacies – “The old covenant did not contain or offer grace (unmerited mercy – justification, or inward power – sanctification) to its members, while the new covenant does.” (p. 163) The efficacy of the Mosaic was depended upon the obedience of the people as can be seen in many places in the Old Testament (e.g. Ex 19:5-6; Deut 30:19; Gal 3:10). But the efficacy of the New Covenant is not depended upon man, but upon the God-Man. It is He who provides that which God requires. He is the Covenant Keeper and by His doing we are made righteous and have a loving relationship with God. Chapter 13 is dedicated to the discussion of this topic along with questions concerning the law, justification and sanctification established by the New Covenant.
  • I very much enjoyed these two chapters and benefited from his insights and was strengthened in my position.

    In chapter 14 he lays out the nature of the New Covenant in contrast to the Mosaic Old Covenant. The differences include federal headship, theocracy, carnal perpetuity. He furthermore examines a few things like substitutionary atonement, the efficacy of infant baptism and nature of the Church in light of the knowledge gained about the nature of the New and Old covenants.

    Chapter 15 is titled “The Meaning of Circumcision.” Here he brings up the two texts most often used by Paedobaptists to make the connection between baptism and circumcision. Those are Genesis 17:10 and Romans 4:11. He examines Romans 4:11 and shows the difference between Abraham’s circumcision and infant circumcision. He furthermore argues that the covenant of circumcision was pertaining to the natural seed of Abraham and not the spiritual seed.

    This leads us to the next chapter which is titled “The Error of Integrating the Flesh with the Spirit.” In chapter 16 he seeks to show “the impossibility of applying this verse [Romans 4:11] to new covenant baptism without mixing physical and spiritual realities in the process.” (p. 195)

    Covenantal Dichotomism

    This book is dividing into two parts. The first was the Fatal Flaw where the Paedobaptist Covenant Theology is examined and combated. The second part is dedicated to the study of continuity and discontinuity between the covenants of God.

    Part 2 is a very quick read containing small chapters exploring the connection between the various covenants of God. He focuses on the Abrahamic, Mosaic and Davidic.

    Throughout his work (part 1 as well as part 2), Johnson tried to establish and make clear the distinction between Abraham’s twofold seed. So here he also shows and stresses that. It is crucial not apply those things which pertain to the fleshly seed of Abraham to the spiritual seed.

    I very much enjoyed the second part also. It was a quicker read, but nonetheless helpful and biblical.

    Johnson believes that the covenant with Abraham concerning the fleshly seed under which circumcision was included was a covenant of works. On the other hand the covenant concerning Abraham and his Seed was a covenant of grace as Abraham did not need to do anything. It was a covenant of grace, not the Covenant of Grace (as I seek to capitalize). The Abrahamic Covenant was both conditional and unconditional. It was unconditional for him. He did not do anything to earn such great promises by God, but his fleshly seed had to obey to receive the blessings.

    The Abrahamic Covenant had a dual nature a...


    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 how it works.


    §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. 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

    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. We dealt with the effectual call or Irresistible Grace in chapter 10 and Regeneration and Justification were dealt with in chapter 11.

    Sanctification

    What is sanctification? Wayne Grudem defines sanctification in this way:

    Sanctification is a progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives.[2]

    In sanctification, God works in us to make us more Christ-like. It is a process throughout our whole Christian life on earth where God works to conform us to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:28-29). Throughout our Christian life, we will by the grace and work of the Holy Spirit learn to hate and forsake our sins and follow Christ more faithfully. We should not think of sanctification as happening in one moment as some have done who believe that the Christian can be sinless. Nor should we think of sanctification is a line going only upward. But rather, sanctification is a process of ups and downs.

    Obviously, once we come to know Christ, especially if we had lived a gross life, we will realize that it is no longer acceptable for us to do certain things and we will try to stop doing them. Therefore, there is a direct growth and going upward in a sense, but as we read the Word of God and learn God's will for us we will discover more and more sin in us and we should call on the Spirit of Christ to help us in our war against sin. But Christians do sin and fall into sin, we sometimes have seasons of disobedience and negligence to the means that God has ordained to bless us and sanctify us as for example the Word of God, prayer, corporate worship, etc. Therefore, there are also downs in our Christian life. It is not a straight line gradually going upward, rather a sort of zig-zag or flatline.

    Romans 8:28-30 is a life passage for me. I love it and I take great comfort in it. Let us look at this passage and see what it says about sanctification.

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