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

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

...” 

Christ is not only the Savior of the world (John 4:42; 1John 4:14), but He is also its righteous Judge. The Lord Jesus will come in vengeance toward those who have not obeyed the Gospel and demand from them an account for every sin and transgression of His Law (2Thess. 1). The Bible tells us that the Lord Jesus will judge both the living and the dead (2Tim. 4:1). Both believer and unbeliever will stand before Him, everyone must give an account (Act 10:42; Matt. 25:31-46; John 5:22-23; Rom. 2:5, 16;14:9-10; 1Cor. 4:5; 2Cor. 5:10; 2Tim. 4:1). See Chapter 32.

Some may object that only God can judge and God is the judge, but then how could Christ be the judge? Well...the simple answer is because HE IS God. Only God can judge and furthermore, the Father has appointed and wanted the Son to be the judge so that people will honor and worship the Son just as they honor and worship the Father, thus showing His full divinity and equality with the Father –

John 5:22-23 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 

He is our Savior also. On the day that He will come the believers will not be condemned by Him, but hear the words of commendation and the worlds of love –

Matt. 25:34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

But those who will stand on his left will be righteously judged according to the fruit of their hearts – their works, and be condemned by Him to the flames of Hell –

Matt. 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb. 10:31) and to stand before Him who can see you as you are (Rom. 2:16) and require an account of everything (Matt. 12:36).

Dear reader, do not face the Lord in judgment while today is the day of salvation. Repent, therefore, and place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and His righteousness alone so that when He comes you will not be terrified, but rejoice with the saints and not be taken away by judgment –

2Thess. 1:9-10 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. 

Christ's Seed

The Bible does not speak of the Messiah being married to a woman nor are any references in the New Testament which suggest such an idea. But the Bible does refer a few times to Christ's “offspring” or “children.” Obviously, those are His church – the believers. The first reference that we will look at occurs in the great Messianic Servant song in Isaiah 53. There we read –

Isa. 53:10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Here Isaiah speaks of the Messiah's death and then of His resurrection. The Lord willed and was pleased to crush His Servant and has made Him an offering for guilt – an atonement for sin, indeed. Yet even through His distress and death, the Servant will b...


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

...ation that His creation was “very good” (Gen. 1:31). It is to make death, which is any enemy (1Cor. 15:26), a friend. Death presupposes sin, but there was no sin prior to the Fall, therefore, there was no death. This means that if man had passed the time of probation, he would have eat from the tree of life and lived forever in body and soul. This means that God's original design was for man to be immortal in both body and soul. 

The immortality of the soul is also assumed when the Bible speaks of eternal punishment or bliss (e.g. Matt. 25:46; see also Chapter 32). For how can a person be eternally punished or be eternally in bliss if their soul is not immortal? Christians are said explicitly to “put on immortality” at the resurrection (1Cor. 15:53-54). Our souls will be united to our glorified and immortal physical bodies. At that time, not only will our souls be immortal, but our glorified bodies will likewise be immortal and perfect. The immortality of the soul is likewise assumed when the Bible teaches about the resurrection of the dead (e.g. Acts 24:15). The souls of men do not go out of existence once they die, but they wait either in heaven or in Hades to their final fate.

Physical Death

Death brings the separation between body and soul/spirit. As we noted above, death would have not come if man did not sin. Death exists because of sin. In fact, the Apostle Paul says that “death is the wages of sin” (Rom. 6:23; 5:12). Therefore, had there been no sin, there would not have been death. The Bible speaks in various ways about death. Sometimes it is said to be the termination of life (Matt. 2:20; Mark 3:4; Acts 15:26; 20:24; the word ψυχή [psoo-khay] being the word also for soul). Other times it is spoken in terms of separation of the spirit from the body (Eccl. 12:7; John 19:30; Acts 7:59; Jas. 2:26). Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body. The physical body of man decomposes and returns to the dust from whence it came, yet his spirit/soul returns to the God who gave it. The soul of man does not cease to exist and decompose, rather goes either into bliss or into doom.

The Bible speaks of death in terms of sleep. In the beginning this may seem to support the idea that the souls of men are unconscious until the resurrection and the judgment, but this is not the way that Scripture uses this word. Rather, I believe that when used in connection to death, sleep means death. But, why use this word if it is directly synonymous? Well, sleep is not exactly synonymous to death. When a man sleeps we assume that at sometime he will awake, otherwise we will say that he's in a coma, dead or something else. This means that the idea of sleep in connection to death, assumes the idea that the one sleeping will one day awake. In other words, when the Bible speaks of people's death in terms of sleep, it assumes and it communicates thereby, that they will one day be raised. For example, in the resurrection of Lazarus we have our Lord telling His disciples that “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep” (John 11:11), they understand Him to be speaking merely of normal sleep and that's why they say “if he has fallen asleep, he will recover” (John 11:12). They understood that sleep presupposed recovery or waking up, yet that was not the kind of sleep that the Lord Jesus was speaking about, rather, what Jesus meant is simply that “Lazarus had died” (John 11:14). Sleep, we see from here, means death, but it also expresses tha...


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

...hom I’ve benefited. I have consulted the following works:

I will have things to say myself, but I will likewise let men much wiser than me explain the Decalogue of God to us and to our benefit.

It was a great and very helpful observation that I read in Calvin first and which is expressed in the words of the WLC that “where a duty is commanded, the contrary sin is forbidden; and, where a sin is forbidden, the contrary duty is commanded: so, where a promise is annexed, the contrary threatening is included; and, where a threatening is annexed, the contrary promise is included” (Q. 99, rule 4)[15]. This is a very helpful observation to see that the Decalogue not only calls us to abstain from sin, but at the same time to do the contrary of sin. Thus the sixth commandment not only commands unlawful killing, but also calls us to protect the lives of people and count life as precious. The ninth commandment not only commands refraining from false witness and lies, but also telling the truth at all times. I believe this is what is meant by the statement that the moral law was “summarized” in the Decalogue. To preserve life, to speak the truth, to be faithful to one’s spouse, to love God, to honor elders are self-evident moral truths, yet they are not explicitly commanded in the Decalogue, but we implicitly acknowledge that they’re included in the moral law.

Preface To The Decalogue

Exod. 20:1-2 And God spoke all these words, saying, 2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

God delivered Israel from bondage by grace. They certainly did not deserve the greatest redemption in the Old Testament and throughout their history, they demonstrated that. But the Lord delivered them according to His promise to the fathers and brought them with a mighty arm from slavery. He freed them by grace and now He gave them His laws so that they would walk in His ways. Israel received the moral, ceremonial and civil laws of God. In Exodus 20, the Lord Himself speaks to them the Ten Words of His covenant.

It was the Lord Himself, not through the ministry of Moses as the other cases, Who spoke the Decalogue to all the people of Israel from Mt. Sinai (Deut. 4:33, 36; 5:4, 22). This demonstrates the special care of God concerning these commandments and displays their primacy that God Himself would declare their words to the people without a mediator. This shows us that God sees them as very important, but this also implies certain things as Thomas Watson observes. If God truly spoke these words then:

  1. We must hear all these words;
  2. We must attend to them with reverence;
  3. We must remember them;
  4. We must believe them;
  5. We must love them;
  6. We must teach them;
  7. We must obey them.[16]

We must ...


1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

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  • The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonour; the bodies of the just, by his Spirit, unto honour, and be made conformable to his own glorious body.
    1. Dan. 12:2; John 5:28-29
    2. Rom. 8:1, 11; 1 Cor. 15:45; Gal. 6:8
    3. 1 Cor. 15:42-49
    4. Rom. 8:17, 29-30; 1 Cor. 15:20-23, 48-49; Phil. 3:21; Col. 1:18; 3:4; 1 John 3:2; Rev. 1:5

  • Chapter 32: Of the Last Judgment [Return] [Commentary]

    1. God hath appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in righteousness, by Jesus Christ; to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father; in which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged, but likewise all persons that have lived upon the earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds, and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.
      1. John 5:22, 27; Acts 17:31
      2. 1 Cor. 6:3; Jude 6
      3. Matt. 16:27; 25:31-46; Acts 17:30-31; Rom. 2:6-16; 2 Thess. 1:5-10; 2 Peter 3:1-13; Rev. 20:11-15
      4. 2 Cor. 5:10, 1 Cor. 4:5, Matt. 12:36
    1. The end of God's appointing this day, is for the manifestation of the glory of his mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of his justice, in the eternal damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient; for then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fulness of joy and glory with everlasting rewards, in the presence of the Lord; but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast aside into everlasting torments, and punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.
      1. Rom. 9:22-23
      2. Matt. 18:8; 25:41, 46; 2 Thess. 1:9; Heb. 6:2; Jude 6; Rev. 14:9-11; Luke 3:17; Mark 9:43, 48; Matt. 3:12; 5:26; 13:41-42; 24:51; 25:30, 41, 46
    1. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin, and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity, so will he have the day unknown to men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour the Lord will come, and may ever be prepared to say, Come Lord Jesus; come quickly. Amen.
      1. 2 Cor. 5:10-11
      2. 2 Thess. 1:5-7
      3. Mark 13:35-37; Luke 12:35-40
      4. Rev. 22:20
    ...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling - Commentary

    ...an." We are to answer for what we have done in our body. Notice that we do not have to answer for Adam's sin. Adam's sin makes us incapable of righteousness and faith apart from the sovereign Holy Spirit. But we will not answer for Adam's sin, but our own. Romans 2:6 says, "He will render to each one according to his works". The Son of Man "will repay each person according to what he has done" (Matt. 16:27; see also 1Pet. 1:17; Rev. 2:23; 20:12; 22:12; see also Chapter 32). All this serves to demonstrate that we are not judged for Adam's sin, but for our own personal sinning and that this judgment is according to what we have done in the body.

    How Are They Saved?

    It is certainly a special operation of the Spirit unlike the one we know wherein He regenerates them. The Confession in this paragraph states, "Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit; who worketh when, and where, and how he pleases; so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word." They are saved by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit and by the Lord Jesus Christ. They are saved from damnation. Had they been sinless or not subjects of damnation, there would be no need for them to be saved. This is also the case for all who are incapable of being outwardly called. For those who are capable of being outwardly called, the Confession in the first paragraph said that this happens by "by his Word and Spirit". But since these persons under consideration in paragraph 3 are not capable of being outwardly called, they are saved by the special operation of the Holy Spirit and by Jesus Christ, their Savior.

    We don't have many examples, therefore, we must be careful in this. But there is the example of John the Baptist who was saved from the womb. Luke 1:15 says that John would be filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb. This language of being filled with the Holy Spirit is always associated with believers. Never with unbelievers. See for example Luke 1:41, 67; 4:1; Acts 2:4; 4:8; 6:3, 5; 7:55; 9:17; 11:24; 13:9, 52; Ephesians 5:18. In every instance, it speaks exclusively about believers, therefore we have the warrant to believe that John was indeed regenerated and given the Holy Spirit even from the womb – before he was born he was already saved. Therefore, it is perhaps also the case with those who die in the womb or infancy. The important thing is that they are saved by the Spirit and through Christ's blood, not because of their righteousness.

    Conclusion

    God is absolutely sovereign over life and death, salvation and damnation. It is not luck or fate which takes a child's life away, whether in the womb or outside of the womb. It is the Sovereign God Who takes life and gives life (Ex. 4:11; Deut 32:39; 1Sam. 2:6; Ps. 139:16; Job 1:21). For whatever wise and holy purposes, He was pleased to ordain the death of the child. We don't understand His ways. Sometimes they seem so unreasonable or cruel to us, but He is most just and holy and He will do that which will further His glory and His purposes. But we take comfort that the Lord in sovereign grace takes those who are mentally ill, disabled, unborn children, infants and those who are not yet mature in their thinking (children) into His fold and cleanses them by grace through Christ's blood.

    I think that I have tried to provide some positive evidence, namely David's case and some negative evidence, namely that only those who ha...


    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 4: Of Creation - Commentary

    ...d knowledge (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10). This was also true at the beginning of the creation. Redemption restores the fallen image of God in us to its original and perfected state. Man was made upright (Eccl. 7:29) and possessed a law in his heart by which he knew what it meant to be upright. By virtue of the fact that man is made in the image of God and possessing the law of God, man is morally accountable to God. This is not true of the immaterial creation or for the animals, for example. Every single man and woman will stand before the throne of God to give an account for their lives (see Chapter 32).

    Man is able to communicate similar to how God communicates. Man is able to love similar to God. Man is able to be just, be angry and so on. We are able to think similar to how God does. We are able to know God. We are able to be holy. As we learn more about God and how He is like, we likewise learn more about what it means to be made in the image of God. Notice that we reflect God in some way and we do things analogous to God, but never the same way. Our knowledge is not the same as God's, neither is our love, justice, anger or moral purity. This likeness to God is also carried over. In Genesis 5:3, we read, “When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.” The same words, likeness and image, which were used of man originally in Genesis 1:26, are repeated here. Adam's son, Seth, is in Adam's likeness and after his image. He is like his father, but is not identical to his father. This helps us to understand that being made in the image of God means that we are like God in some ways, but we are not identical to Him and we certainly are not God. Dr. Wayne Grudem observes:

    Seth was not identical to Adam, but he was like him in many ways, as a son is like his father. The text simply means that Seth was like Adam. It does not specify any specific number of ways that Seth was like Adam, and it would be overly restrictive for us to assert that one or another characteristic determined the way in which Seth was in Adam’s image and likeness. Was it his brown eyes? Or his curly hair? Perhaps it was his athletic prowess, or his serious disposition or even his quick temper? Of course, such speculation would be useless. It is evident that every way in which Seth was like Adam would be a part of his likeness to Adam and thus part of his being “in the image” of Adam. Similarly, every way in which man is like God is part of his being in the image and likeness of God.[8]

    This cautions us to not restrict the meaning of “image of God” to specific things or qualities in man. Rather, the image of God is everything and every way that man is like God. An important observation to be made is the fact that man does not possess the image of God as something extra, but man is the image of God. It is a matter of identity. 1 Corinthians 11:7 says that man, specifically, male man “is the image and glory of God”. Dr. Richard Barcellos observes, ‘In this text, whatever "image of God” means, it is what man is, not what man possesses.[9]

    All that we've said above is concerning man prior to the Fall. Is there anything changed after the Fall? Is man still in God's image? Even after the Fall, Scripture still affirms that man is in the image of God. Genesis 9:6 says, ‘“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.’ The death penalty is based upon the fact t...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 32: Of the Last Judgment - Commentary

    ...

    Chapter 32: Of the Last Judgment

    Now we come to the last chapter of the Confession, which deals with the last day, particularly, the Last Judgment. Is there a Day of Judgment? How will we be judged? Will believers be judged? Will angels also be judged? What is the relation of works to the judgment? What is Hell? Is it never-ending torment or annihilation? Who is the one who torments? How is God's glory manifested in Heaven and Hell?


    §1 All Persons That Have Lived Upon The Earth Shall Appear Before The Tribunal Of Christ

    1. God hath appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in righteousness, by Jesus Christ; to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father; in which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged, but likewise all persons that have lived upon the earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds, and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil. 4
      1. John 5:22, 27; Acts 17:31[1]
      2. 1 Cor. 6:3; Jude 6
      3. Matt. 16:27; 25:31-46; Acts 17:30-31; Rom. 2:6-16; 2 Thess. 1:5-10; 2 Peter 3:1-13; Rev. 20:11-15
      4. 2 Cor. 5:10, 1 Cor. 4:5, Matt. 12:36

    God has determined and appointed a day wherein He will judge the world in righteousness, by Jesus Christ (Acts 17:30-31), Who has all power and judgment...given to Him by the Father (John 5:22). It is certain that this day will come because God has determined and appointed in it. On this day, not only the apostate angels (Jude 6; 1Cor. 6:3) but also all persons that have lived upon the earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ (2Cor. 5:10). Even Christians will have to appear before the tribunal of Christ. What is the reason of their appearance? It is to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds (Matt. 12:36) and to be rewarded according to what they have done...whether good or evil (e.g. Rev. 20:11-15). God will reward us to take rewards away according to the works which we have done in the body. All our good works have been washed away by the blood of Christ and rewarded by grace. But there will be some who will lose rewards because of their works. The wicked will be condemned by their works because they demonstrate their nature as fallen and wicked.


    The Day of Judgment is not the day which will determine the destinies of men; their destinies were fixed at the time they died (Heb 9:27; see here). We deny the doctrine of soul-sleep, the righteous pass from this life into the Intermediate State in bliss, while the wicked go into misery upon their deaths. But what is then the difference between what the wicked and righteous experience now in the Intermediate State and what they will experience after the Day of Judgment? Well for one, they were already judged at death and their judgment was private (Heb 9:27), but the Day of Judgment is public in which the secrets of men will be disclosed. Second, the joy and also the misery of men in the Intermediate State is bodiless. Their bodies lie rotting in the grave, while their souls are in places of peace or anguish. At the Day of Judgment, all the dead will be resurrected, their souls uniting with their bodies, and then come to appear before the throne of God. The difference then is that their everlasting punishment or their everlasting bliss is in body and soul, while in the Intermediate State it is in the soul alone. Moreover, the wicked will then be publicly condemned before the wor...


    A Review of Hell Under Fire

    ...ful tone of the authors and their respectful and fair interaction with the other side. I enjoyed their fair and honest handling of the Scriptures. I loved the fact that the authors frequently referred back to earlier portions of the book, which tells me that the editor did a great job at putting the book together. Sometimes they even cite earlier portions. Much could be learned from this book, from both its theological as well as pastoral tone, and I will no doubt return and look up the arguments and the texts again. Lord willing, I will try to update my commentary on Chapter 32 of the 1689 sometime in the future with the insights I've gained from this work.

    My final advice is: tolle lege! 

    ...