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

...ry of God would be fulfilled (Rev. 10:7). What we just had in chapter 7 was the Eternal State and happiness of the righteous in the New Heavens and New Earth, so why does John, after that vision, give us more pictures of God’s judgment upon the earth? These things obviously cannot be read chronologically.

In chapter 16, we had the outpouring of the seventh bowl, of which it was said that it will finish the wrath of God (Rev. 15:1), and there is a description of the fall of Babylon and Hell for unbelievers. But chapter 18 goes on to describe the nature of Babylon, i.e., the world system and pronounces judgment upon her (chapters 18-19). How many times does God judge Babylon? In Chapter 14 (the fourth cycle), there was a pronouncement of judgment against Babylon (Rev. 14:8), which just preceded the harvest of the earth, i.e., the Final Judgment (Rev. 14:14-20). In chapter 16 (the fifth cycle), we have God remembering “Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath” (Rev. 16:19). Well, wasn’t Babylon already judged in Chapter 14? Why is then God pouring out His wrath upon her in chapter 16? In chapter 18 (the sixth cycle), we also have a detailed judgment of Babylon. Just how many times is Babylon actually judged? Obviously once. These judgments which are described are not temporary, but final and irreversible. The most satisfying solution is that the cycles describe the same event (the Last Battle and Final Judgment) from different angles.

We had a clear picture of the Final Battle and the Last Judgment in chapter 19. The picture of total destruction of the wicked is as clear as and even more exhaustive than Revelation 6:14-17. Having seen that every cycle ends with the Final Judgment and/or Last Battle, what reason do we have to say that what we have in chapter 19 is the Second Coming and Parousia of the Lord Christ, and the Millennium in chapter 20, follows—chronologically—that glorious Second Advent? Everything that we have seen thus far shows us that each cycle ends with the Last Battle and/or Last Judgment. Therefore, isn’t it reasonable to say that chapter 19 ends a cycle and chapter 20 begins another? Yes, I believe so. Chapter 20 does not chronologically follow the Parousia in chapter 19, but starts a new cycle beginning with the Church Age.

Some Objections/Troubles

A common objection against the idea that chapter 20 begins a new chapter by our Premillennial brothers is that Revelation 20:10 says that “the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were”. This indicates that the casting of the beast and the false prophet which is described in Revelation 19:20 happened before the Millennium, and before the casting of the devil in 20:10. It sounds like a decent argument except that it has no basis in the original text. The verb “were” in the ESV has no textual basis in the Greek. Literally, the passage reads, “and the devil, the one who deceives them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where also the beast and false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.” There is no verb in the original in connection to the casting (or time of casting) of the beast and false prophet. If a verb is to be supplied it seems better to say “where the beast and false prophet were cast.” This is in harmony with Revelation 19:20 which describes the slaughter of all the wicked and of the beast and false prop...


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

...-Commentary"chapter 11), adopted (chapter 12), sanctified (chapter 13) and are kept by his power (chapter 17through faith (Chapter 14). God bestows every spiritual blessing upon those who are in Christ (Eph. 1:3) to bring them in Christ and to keep them for and in Jesus Christ (Jude 1:1). Only the elect are redeemed by Christ. Other people may appear to have redemption and to be called and justified. We are often deceived by hypocrites, but they cannot deceive God. These spiritual blessings enumerated here belong to the elect alone.


As affirmed in 2:1, God is the Sovereign of this world Who moves it to His appointed end. It doesn’t just run on its own. So is it also with election, He doesn’t merely elect and leave it at that; He also ordains the means by which His elect will come to know Him. We saw that above with the Golden Chain of Redemption how the link of being predestined is followed by the effectual calling of the Spirit, and then justification. God ordains the means by which His people are brought into loving communion with the Trinity.

God has loved us, chosen us, sanctified us, sanctifies us and has called us through the proclamation of the glorious gospel of His beloved Son (2 Thess. 2:13-14). And as we have tried to do an exposition of the Golden Chain of Redemption, we saw that the effectual calling came after predestination. Those whom God has chosen for eternal life, He also calls through the proclamation of the gospel as is said in 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14. He doesn’t leave the elect to themselves, but He sends His messengers to proclaim the gospel to them, which is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16).

2 Thess. 2:13-14 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice the emphasis on justification, adoption, and sanctification in this passage. This has nothing to do with ideas of “being elect and doing whatever sin you want because you’re elect.” In fact, it is the opposite. We are to live holy lives unto the glory and honor of God, our Redeemer because we are chosen. We are to be “zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14). Notice that Paul is not ashamed to talk of election and evangelism side by side. He thanks God for His love for them and His election of them, but he also acknowledges that God called the Thessalonians through the proclamation of the gospel by Paul. He does not see a conflict between sovereign election and evangelism, and neither do Calvinists.

For more on God’s effectual calling see chapter 10; for justification see chapter 11; for adoption see chapter 12; for sanctification see chapter 13.

The fact that God ordains both the ends as well as the means is not only logical but also Scriptural. By logical, I mean that a simple reflection on the passages which speak of God’s sovereignty over history (as in paragraph 1) would lead us to conclude that He must both ordain the ends and the means to the ends ordained. Such is the case with election as we saw from 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14. God elects and ordains the means to bring His elect to salvation. Outside of salvation, we read, for example, in 2 Samuel 17:14 the following:

And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel...


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

...

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 grace...to 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, how would their perseverance be (completely) dependent upon them? There is no debate among Calvinists about whether the elect can lose their salvation. Some...


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

...#fnf_vi.iv.vi.xvi-p25.1"here, but it will not be treated below. This list is by no means exhaustive. The citations given below are what I could find and what I deemed helpful and understandable for this topic. Many others could be found in the work referenced above.

Didache (50-120 A.D.)

The Didache, which means the Teaching (of the Twelve Apostles) is a document from the first century, which functioned as some kind of church manual. It is believed that it was certainly written before 120 A.D. This places it in the first century or at the most shortly thereafter. What interests us in the Didache is what is written of the Lord’s Day in Chapter 14:

14 On every Lord’s Day—his special day—come together and break bread and give thanks, first confessing your sins so that your sacrifice may be pure. 2 Anyone at variance with his neighbor must not join you, until they are reconciled, lest your sacrifice be defiled. 3 For it was of this sacrifice that the Lord said, “Always and everywhere offer me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, says the Lord, and my name is marveled at by the nations.” (Richardson)

Does it have to be pointed out that the echo of Acts 20:7 is very clearly heard in verse 1? The passage is so closely connected with Acts 20:7 that it contains the same elements there and also connects the Lord’s Day explicitly with spiritual sacrifices and worship. In verse 3, Malachi 1:11 is cited.

What is more interesting about this passage is the Greek of the first part of verse 1. Literally, it reads, “On every Lord’s Day of the Lord.” The Greek phrase is Κατὰ κυριακὴν δὲ κυρίου (kata kuriaken de kurion)which is a strange way to refer to the Lord’s Day. The word kuriaken is used here and it is the strong adjective meaning “belonging to the Lord” which is used in Revelation 1:10. What is interesting is that the word for “day” is absent in the Didache, though this does not cast doubt upon the fact that what is being spoken of here is, in fact, the Lord’s Day. What this indicates is that the designation “Lord’s Day” was so popular and in Christian usage that it was enough to use kuriaken without “day” (hemera). That this is speaking of the first day of the week is confirmed by its reliance upon Acts 20:7.

It is very interesting to see how biblical language, New Testament language to be specific, is so influential so early on. Neither the author of the Didache nor John invented the designation “the Lord’s Day”, but both authors use it expecting their readers to understand to which day they refer. The phrase was in common usage and was coined prior to the writing of the Didache and Revelation.

Ignatius of Antioch (ca. 35-108 A.D.)

Ignatius of Antioch was an early church father who lived in the first century and the beginning of the second. He was martyred in 108 A.D. He wrote a letter to the Magnesians which is relevant to the Lord’s Day. There is a shorter and longer version of the letter and of the chapter. Most scholars believe that only the shorter is original. In chapter 9, he speaks about the Jewish Sabbath and the Lord’s Day. The longer version further comments upon the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day, which will be noted below. In chapter 9, he writes:

If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and by His death—whom ...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary

...assive obedience in His death (1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 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 basis of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, that all the claims of the law are satisfied with respect to the sinner. It is unique in the application of the work of redemption in that it is a judicial act of God, a declaration respecting the sinner, and not an act or process of renewal, such as regeneration, conversion, and sanctification. While it has respect to the sinner, it does not change his inner life. It does not affect his condition, but his state, and in that respect differs from all the other principal parts of the order of salvation. It involves the forgiveness of sins, and restoration to divine favor.[3]

The Baptist A.H. Strong defined it as:

By justification we mean that judicial act of God by which, on account of Christ, to whom the sinner is united by faith, he declares that sinner to be no longer exposed to the penalty of the law, but to be restored to his favor. Or, to give an alternative definition from which all metaphor is excluded: Justification is the reversal of God’s attitude toward the sinner, because of the sinner’s new relation to Christ. God did condemn; he now acquits. He did repel; he now admits to favor.[4]

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

Not Infusion of Righteousness

Roman Catholics believe in what may be called “infused righteousness.” This means that in 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 own words, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

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:[5]

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 ...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith - Commentary

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Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith

What is faith? Is it simply believing something without any and contrary to evidence? Is it wishful thinking? Dr. Wayne Grudem defines faith as:

Trust or dependence on God based on the fact that we take him at his word and believe what he has said.[1]

The Confession, in chapter 11 paragraph 2, defines faith as:

Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification...

In this chapter, we will look at different aspects and things related to faith, such as: What is faith? What kinds of faith are there? Can our faith be strengthened? Is our faith a gift of grace? What is included in the nature of faith? What are the object, effects, ground, elements of faith? We will mind ourselves with such questions.

The formulations of the Confession in this chapter are not exactly ordered in the way that systematic theologies talk about faith. Although I would like to deal with many aspects of faith and not merely the ones directly mentioned. So, there will be quite some sending forth and back between the paragraphs and different chapters in the Confession where different things are dealt with. I pray that this may be a blessing to the church of Christ and for the strengthening of our personal faith.


§1 The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit

  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. 2
    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]
    2. Rom  4:11;  10:14, 17; Luke 17:5; Acts 20:32; 1 Peter 2:2

Faith is a grace that’s why the Confession specifically speaks about the grace of faith (Eph. 2:8-9). Our faith is a gift from God (chapter 11:1). This faith is said to be that whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls—it is the sole instrument of justification (chapter 11:2). Furthermore, this grace of faith...is the work of the Spirit of Christ (John 6:63; Ezek. 36:25-27). Faith is our response to the call of God, but it does not originate with us. It is granted to us by God and it is worked in us by the Holy Spirit through regeneration and the creation of the new man in Christ. It is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word (2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:23), i.e., by the preaching of the gospel coupled with the work of the Spirit of Christ. This faith is further strengthened by the means of grace. These are the gospel ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. But also prayer, Bible reading and study, the communion of the saints and other things prescribed and commended in the Word of truth. By these means, faith is not created, but it is increased and strengthened.


Greek Words

We will start our study of faith by first noting which words are used in the New Testament especially to denote faith and belief. The word faith or belief in our daily lives may be used in a lot of senses. We may say that we believe that someone is speaking the truth and mean that we have confidence. We may say, “I believe that I’ve read that book” when we actually mean that...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary

...-charles-j-commentary-for-english-readers/">Commentary For English Readers. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. In loc.
  • ^ Joseph Henry Thayer’s Greek Definitions. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. G4368.
  • ^ Benjamin L. Merkle, “The Biblical Role of Elders” in Baptist Foundations. Chapter 14.
  • ^ John Hammett, “The Way and Who of Church Membership” in Baptist Foundations. Chapter 8.
  • ^ Dever, The Church. p. 152.
  • ^ Scriptural references were supplied by Jonathan Leeman. A Church and Churches: Integration. (9Marks, 2013). Can also be found in Baptist Foundations, chapter 19.
  • ^ Strong, Systematic Theology. p. 898.
  • ^ Waldron, Exposition of 1689. pp. 410-411.
  • ...

    1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

    ...1 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 thus believed; and also acteth differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life and that which is to come; but the principal acts of saving faith have immediate relation to Christ, accepting, receiving, and resting upon him alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.
      1. Acts 24:14; 1 Thess. 2:13; Ps. 19:7-10; 119:72
      2. John 15:14; Rom. 16:26
      3. Isa. 66:2
      4. 1 Tim. 4:8; Heb. 11:13
      5. John 1:12; Acts 15:11; 16:31; Gal. 2:20
    1. This faith, although it be different in degrees, and may be weak or strong, yet it is in the least degree of it different in the kind or nature of it, as is all other saving grace, from the faith and common grace of temporary believers; and therefore, though it may be many times assailed and weakened, yet it gets the victory, growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance through Christ, who is both the author and finisher of our faith.
      1. Matt. 6:30; 8:10, 26; 14:31; 16:8; 17:20; Heb. 5:13-14; Rom. 4:19-20
      2. James 2:14; 2 Peter 1:1; 1 John 5:4
      3. Luke 22:31-32; Eph. 6:16; 1 John 5:4-5
      4. Ps. 119:114; Heb. 6:11-12; 10:22-23
      5. Heb. 12:2

    Chapter 15: Of Repentance Unto Life and Salvation [Return] [Commentary]

    1. Such of the elect as are converted at riper years, having sometime lived in the state of nature, and therein served divers lusts and pleasures, God in their effectual calling giveth them repentance unto life.
      1. Titus 3:2-5
      2. 2 Chron. 33:10-20; Acts 9:1-19; 16:29-30
    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.
      1. Ps. 130:3; 143:2; Prov...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 29: Of Baptism - Commentary

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    Chapter 29: Of Baptism

    What is baptism? What does it symbolize? Can I be saved without being baptized? Are professing believers alone to be baptized? What about infant baptism? What is the baptismal formula? How is baptism to be performed? Is it by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion?

    Let me start with a personal testimony. I was born in Iraq to an Armenian (not Arminian) family. The church of the Armenian people is the Armenian Apostolic Church, which is an Orthodox church and it is very much similar to Roman Catholicism. Infants would be baptized around 40 days old or something around that time. That was not different in my case. Throughout my youth, I saw my infant baptism as the basis that I was a Christian. What made it also difficult was the fact that in Iraq, everyone would have their religion on their ID card. I even served as an altar boy in the church when I was little. But to be honest, I did not know the gospel, yet I was not ashamed to proclaim that I am Christian, but don’t ask me what the gospel is! Thus, throughout my youth, I saw my baptism as the ground that I am a Christian, even though I did not pray often or did not know why Christ died. The Armenian Church, by the way, believes in baptismal regeneration and baptism by dipping the infant thrice in a bowl of holy water. My family came to the Netherlands in 2008 and I finally knew what freedom was, but not the freedom of the gospel (yet). Two years or so after that, I met with an old friend and stayed with him for a few days. He saw that I did not pray before bed, so he questioned me. He told me about prayer and how proper is it to pray to God and thank Him for everything. I told him that I don’t want to be religious. He directed me to videos and episodes of Zakaria Botros (Arabic) who shares the gospel with Muslims via TV and exposes Islam. Through his videos and episodes, I came to know the true gospel and was saved by God’s grace. After that, there grew in me a desire to study His Word, so I bought Bibles and study Bibles and started reading the Scriptures daily. Around that time, I started attending a Baptist church. I did not know that it was a Baptist church. We went there with some friends of mine and by God’s grace, kept attending church on the Lord’s Day.

    I started reading the Bible and I could not find anything about the baptism of infants or that baptism as the basis of my faith and all the things which I had simply assumed in my youth. So I set out to study this matter and came to the conclusion that infant baptism was unscriptural and what happened to me as an infant, was not biblical baptism. On a Saturday night, I fell on my knees and asked the Lord if He wanted me to be baptized that He would give me some sign. The next day, the Lord’s Day, the preacher talked about discipleship and following Christ no matter what and he said something like, “It doesn’t matter what your family will think of you if you want to be baptized”, which I saw as a sign from heaven. My family would not have been happy about my baptism because they think that my baptism as an infant was valid. Moreover, the Armenian Church is a national church. It does not get new converts, for example. Most infants are baptized and declared Christian, even if they know not the gospel. Therefore, the only baptism that is practiced and that I have heard of is infant baptism.

    I still feel guilty for asking the Lord for a sign when I had already concluded that believers’...


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

    ...data-scayt-word="Ordo"Ordo Salutis (Order of Salvation) is:

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

    See this helpful picture by Tim Challies.

    It is important to note that here we are speaking of the logical order of salvation and not how we experience salvation. In chapter 11, I argued for “Regeneration Precedes Faith”. From our experience, the new birth and faith in the Lord Jesus happened at the same time. So, when we speak of the Ordo Salutis, we do not mean the order in time, but logically. This has to do more with causation and which one is dependent on the other. Repentance is in stage four. Repentance and faith together 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.

    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...