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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

...f His name (Deut. 28:58; and many other places where the name of the Lord is lifted up high);
  • profess His name, but do not live consistently according to that profession (Tit. 1:6; Rom. 2:24);
  • use God’s name in idle discourse and for no reverent purpose;
  • merely worship Him outwardly, but not in our hearts (Matt. 15:8-9; Hos. 4:8; Ezek. 33:31);
  • pray to Him, but don’t believe in Him (Prov. 15:8);
  • profane and abuse His Word and Truth;
  • swear rashly and sinfully by God’s name (Matt. 5:34; Deut. 6:13; Heb. 6:16; see Chapter 23);
  • prefix God’s name to sinful actions (2 Sam. 15:7, 10);
  • speak wrongly about God (Num. 21:5);
  • falsify our promises to God and break our oath’s in His Name.
  • Holy is the Name of our God and therefore we should not use it carelessly, but we must be in awe, adoration, and reverence when we speak His Name. We abhor any and all violations of this commandment. We desire that the Name of the Lord not be taken in vain or profaned, but rather honored and glorified. For this is also what this commandment calls us to do. The WLC 112 teaches that to not take the Name of the Lord in vain means:

    That the name of God, his titles, attributes, ordinances, the Word, sacraments, prayer, oaths, vows, lots, his works, and: Whatsoever else there is whereby he makes himself known, be holily and reverently used in thought, meditation, word, and writing; by an holy profession, and answerable conversation, to the glory of God, and the good of ourselves, and others.[15]

    To not take the Name of the Lord in vain is to honor and glorify His Name. Aren’t the commands and summons to do that plenty in the Bible? To not take the Lord’s Name in vain is to pray “Hallowed be thy name” (Matt. 6:9). To not take the Lord’s Name in vain is to glorify Him, speak and honor the truth which He has revealed about Himself. The Bible calls on us to praise the name of our God (Ps. 7:17; 69:30; 113:1-3; 148:5; etc.) and to glorify Him (Isa. 24:15; Ps. 86:9, 12; John 12:28; Rev. 15:4).

    The purport of this Commandment is, that the majesty of the name of God is to be held sacred. In sum, therefore, it means, that we must not profane it by using it irreverently or contemptuously. This prohibition implies a corresponding precept—viz. that it be our study and care to treat his name with religious veneration. Wherefore it becomes us to regulate our minds and our tongues, so as never to think or speak of God and his mysteries without reverence and great soberness, and never, in estimating his works, to have any feeling towards him but one of deep veneration.[30]

    Will Not Hold Him Guiltless

    Watson observes that:

    This prohibition is backed with a strong reason, ‘For the Lord will not hold him guiltless;’ that is he will not hold him innocent. Men of place and eminence deem it disgraceful to have their names abused and inflict heavy penalties on the offenders. ‘The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain;’ but looks upon him as a criminal, and will severely punish him. The thing here insisted on is, that great care must be had, that the holy and reverend name of God be not profaned by us, or taken in vain.[30]

    God will not tolerate those who take His Name in vain. They will certainly be punished, He will not leave them without punishment, either in this life and certainly in the next. Under the Old Covenant, blasphemy was punishable by death (Lev. 24:11-16) because it is a serious sin, even if our modern society may not th...


    1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

    ...en, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations, but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.
    1. Exod. 20:8-11; Neh. 13:15-22; Isa. 58:13-14; Rev. 1:10
    2. Matt. 12:1-13; Mark 2:27-28

    Chapter 23: Of Lawful Oaths and Vows [Return] [Commentary]

    1. A lawful oath is a part of religious worship, wherein the person swearing in truth, righteousness, and judgement, solemnly calleth God to witness what he sweareth, and to judge him according to the truth or falseness thereof.
      1. Deut. 10:20; Exod. 20:7; Lev. 19:12; 2 Chron. 6:22-23; 2 Cor. 1:23
    1. The name of God only is that by which men ought to swear; and therein it is to be used, with all holy fear and reverence; therefore to swear vainly or rashly by that glorious and dreadful name, or to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful, and to be abhorred; yet as in matter of weight and moment, for confirmation of truth, and ending all strife, an oath is warranted by the word of God; so a lawful oath being imposed by lawful authority in such matters, ought to be taken.
      1. Deut. 6:13; Exod. 20:7; Jer. 5:7
      2. Heb. 6:13-16; Gen. 24:3; 47:30-31; 50:25; 1 Kings 17:1; Neh. 13:25; 5:12; Ezra 10:5; Num. 5:19.21; 1 Kings 8:31; Exod. 22:11; Isa. 45:23; 65:16; Matt. 26:62-64; Rom. 1:9; 2 Cor. 1:23; Acts 18:18
    1. Whosoever taketh an oath warranted by the Word of God, ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act, and therein to avouch nothing but what he knoweth to be truth; for that by rash, false, and vain oaths, the Lord is provoked, and for them this land mourns.
      1. Exod. 20:7; Lev. 19:12; Num. 30:2; Jer. 4:2; 23:10
    1. An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation or mental reservation.
      1. Ps. 24:4; Jer. 4:2
    1. A vow, which is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone, is to be made and performed with all religious care and faithfulness; but popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself.
      1. Num. 30:2-3; Ps. 76:11; Jer. 44:25-26
      2. Num. 30:2; Ps. 61:8; 66:13-14; Ecc. 5:4-6; Isa. 19:21
      3. 1 Cor. 6:18 with 7:2, 9; 1 Tim. 4:3; Eph. 4:28; 1 Cor. 7:23; Matt. 19:11-12

    Chapter 24: Of the Civil Magistrate [Return] [Commentary]

    1. God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under him, over the people, for his own glory and the public good; and to this end hath armed them with the power of the sword, for defence and encouragement of them that do good, and for the punishment of evil doers.
      1. Ps. 82:1; Luke 12:48; Rom. 13:1-6; 1 Peter 2:13-14
      2. Gen. 6:11-13 with 9:5-6; Ps. 58:1-2; 72:14; 82:1-4; Prov. 21:15; 24:11-12; 29:14,26; 31:5; Ezek. 7:23; 45:9; Dan. 4:27; Matt. 22:21; Rom. 13:3-4; 1 Tim. 2:2; 1 Peter 2:14
      3. Gen. 9:6; Prov. 16:14; 19:12; 20:2; 21:15; 28:17; Acts 25:11; Rom. 13:4; 1 Peter 2:14
    1. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate when called there unto; in the management whereof, as they ought especiall...

    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 biblical 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 (A 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)
    ...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 24: Of the Civil Magistrate - Commentary

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    Chapter 24: Of the Civil Magistrate

    Politics is not my thing. But I do not doubt that is an important aspect of our lives on earth. I’m not versed in political theories and things. I usually keep a distance. This is a subject that I’ve not studied in any considerable length. But I agree with Dr. Samuel Waldron that the sovereignty of God extends itself over all things, including politics and His people should influence those in high positions. Also, “To restrict Christianity to the ‘spiritual’ realm is, ultimately, to destroy it.”[1]

    In this chapter, we will concern ourselves with the civil government as ordained by God, its purpose, and power. We will take a look at Romans 13 to see what it teaches about the civil government? Must we obey the government in all things? May Christians work in the government?


    §1 God Hath Ordained Civil Magistrates To Be Under Him, Over The People

    1. God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under him, over the people, 1 for his own glory and the public good; 2 and to this end hath armed them with the power of the sword, for defence and encouragement of them that do good, and for the punishment of evil doers. 3
      1. Ps. 82:1; Luke 12:48; Rom. 13:1-6; 1 Peter 2:13-14[2]
      2. Gen. 6:11-13 with 9:5-6; Ps. 58:1-2; 72:14; 82:1-4; Prov. 21:15; 24:11-12; 29:14,26; 31:5; Ezek. 7:23; 45:9; Dan. 4:27; Matt. 22:21; Rom. 13:3-4; 1 Tim. 2:2; 1 Peter 2:14
      3. Gen. 9:6; Prov. 16:14; 19:12; 20:2; 21:15; 28:17; Acts 25:11; Rom. 13:4; 1 Peter 2:14

    God as the supreme Lord and King of all the world has ordained civil magistrates or the government to be under Him (Rom. 13:1-6). The government is subject to God and derives its authority to rule from God. The civil magistrates are over the people. They have authority over the people because they received that authority from God. This way of governing, God has chosen for his own glory and the public good. God’s glory is the proper end of everything that He does so likewise in ordaining civil magistrates. What is the purpose of the civil magistrates? The civil magistrates are ordained and called for defence and encouragement of them that do good (1 Peter 2:14). A good government should defend those who are doing good and protect them. Furthermore, a good government should encourage the doing of good for the betterment of society and the glory of God. But civil magistrates are also armed...with the power of the sword...for the punishment of evil doers (Rom. 13:4; 1 Peter 2:14). A good government should defend itself and defend those who do good, in necessary, by using the God-given power of the sword. Likewise, in punishing the evildoers, the power of the sword may be used when it is necessary. God has given it to the government to be used justly.


    Subject To God

    There are two things which are first of all asserted: 1) God is the supreme Lord, and 2) civil governments are to be subject to Him. That God is the supreme Lord over all, we don’t need to mention here. In chapter 21:2, we also read that “God alone is Lord of the conscience”. The government cannot see into our hearts and consciences. But God can. He determines even what is good and evil in that private realm. But He also rules us in the public realm through the civil magistrates. As the Supreme Lord, God is the ruler over the government also. Not only that, but as the supreme Lord of the government, the government is called to submit itself to Him...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 23: Of Lawful Oaths and Vows - Commentary

    ...

    Chapter 23: Of Lawful Oaths and Vows

    What does the Bible say about oaths and vows? Doesn’t the Bible mention them a lot? What about when Christ said that we should not swear? What is the difference between an oath and a vow?

    This chapter should be viewed in the context of the Anabaptists who refused oaths based on their understanding of Matthew 5:33-37. The Anabaptist Mennonite Network writes:

    Many [Anabaptists] refused to swear oaths. Oaths were very important in sixteenth-century Europe, encouraging truth-telling in court and loyalty to the state. Anabaptists often rejected these, citing Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5 and arguing that they should always be truthful, not just under oath. Nor would they swear loyalty to any secular authority.[1]

    An example of the Anabaptist stance on oaths and vows comes from their own mounts. The Schleitheim Confession of Faith comes from 1527 and was written by Michael Sattler in Germany. J. C. Wenger, a translator of the confession, explains:

    The Schleitheim Confession was widely circulated. Ulrich Zwingli translated it into Latin and attempted to refute it already in 1527. It was in print in its original German form as early as 1533. John Calvin used a now-lost French translation of the Seven Articles in his refutation of Anabaptism published in 1544.[2]

    All this means is that it is a very good representative of Anabaptist teaching. Therefore, it is also representative of what it says on vows and oaths:

    Seventh. We are agreed as follows concerning the oath: The oath is a confirmation among those who are quarreling or making promises. In the Law it is commanded to be performed in God’s Name, but only in truth, not falsely. Christ, who teaches the perfection of the Law, prohibits all swearing to His [followers], whether true or false, -- neither by heaven, nor by the earth, nor by Jerusalem, nor by our head, -- and that for the reason which He shortly thereafter gives, For you are not able to make one hair white or black. So you see it is for this reason that all swearing is forbidden: we cannot fulfill that which we promise when we swear, for we cannot change [even] the very least thing on us.[2]

    The seventh and last article goes on to answer some common objections made against the first statement. A century later (1632), the Dutch Mennonites still confessed the same of what was said by Sattler:

    XV. Of the Swearing of Oaths

    Concerning the swearing of oaths we believe and confess that the Lord Christ has set aside and forbidden the same to His disciples, that they should not swear at all, but that yea should be yea, and nay, nay; from which we understand that all oaths, high and low, are forbidden, and that instead of them we are to confirm all our promises and obligations, yea, all our declarations and testimonies of any matter, only with our word yea, in that which is yea, and with nay, in that which is nay; yet, that we must always, in all matters, and with everyone, adhere to, keep, follow, and fulfill the same, as though we had confirmed it with a solemn oath. And if we do this, we trust that no one, not even the Magistracy itself, will have just reason to lay a greater burden on our mind and conscience. Matt. 5:34, 35; Jas. 5:12; II Cor. 1:17.[3]

    ...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 25: Of Marriage - Commentary

    ...nd one woman (Matt. 19:5-6) and only that. It is neither lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband at the same time. Monogamy is essential to marriage as defined by the Creator. The question of homosexuality, as it hot now, never crossed the minds of the framers of the Confession as it was obvious that the Bible was against it.


    Marriage is a life-long covenant between a man and a woman wherein God is a witness (Mal. 2:15). It is a life-long vow (see Chapter 23 on oaths and vows). In marriage, the man and the woman call upon God as a witness to the vows that they make to each other and bind themselves by the vow, in presence of God, to be faithful to each other. Marriage was instituted by God in the Garden, before the Fall on day six. The Lord wanted to find for Adam a mate, so He brought to him all the animals, yet “for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:20). Therefore, the LORD put Adam to sleep and made a woman from his side. The Lord created a human with the same nature as Adam’s, yet, different character and with different parts which complement each other. Then we read:

    Gen. 2:22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 

    Herein we have the institution of marriage. Adam had finally found someone like him and yet, at the same time, not exactly like him. The mate of Adam was to be “a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:18, 20). She was to help and assist Adam, completing him. The various translations of this phrase all communicate the idea that Eve was not inferior in being to Adam, but was created to compliment him and complete him. In a sense, Adam was not yet whole without Eve. Verse 20 is translated as follows:

    ESV a helper fit for him
    NIV suitable helper
    ISV companion corresponding to him
    NET companion who corresponded to him
    NASB a helper suitable for him
    LXXE a help like to himself
    HCSB helper...as his complement
    KJV an help meet for him
    YLT an helper -- as his counterpart

    Adam and Eve were equal in nature, value, and being. Adam was not superior in being or value to Eve. But authority was given to Adam even before the Fall over Eve, yet this authority was not because Adam was superior in being. Albert Barnes notes on this phrase that it meant “an equal, a companion, a sharer of his thoughts, his observations, his joys, his purposes, his enterprises.”[2] Matthew Henry’s observation is well-known:

    That the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved. Adam lost a rib, and without any diminution to his strength or comeliness (for, doubtless, the flesh was closed without a scar); but in lieu thereof he had a help meet for him, which abundantly made up his loss: what God takes away from his people he will, one way or other, restore with advantage.[3]

    This Hebrew word in vv. 18, 20 means “‘as over against,’ ‘according to his front presence’ - i:e., corresponding to, his counterpart-one like himself in form and constitution, disposition, and affections, and altogether suitable to his nature and wants.”[4] Matthew Poole likewise notes:

    Meet for him; a most emphatical phrase, signifying thus much, one correspondent to him, suitab...