The Staunch Calvinist

"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

...alvation for all without exception, but it is applied only to those who believe. In other words, the obtaining of redemption, or the death of Christ is for everyone, but the application only to those who believe, i.e., the elect. Owen explains that “by impetration we mean the meritorious purchase of all good things made by Christ for us with and of his Father; and by application, the actual enjoyment of those good things upon our believing;”[34] (book II, Chapter 4). Owen answers this objection, among other things, by pointing to Scriptures which enjoin and do not disjoin these two things.

But first let us deal with the question of faith and it being a condition. The condition for enjoying the work of redemption on our behalf is itself a gift of God. Faith, which is the key to justification and enjoyment of the benefits of Christ's work, is itself a result of His work and is conferred on us absolutely, without any condition. There is no condition on our side, as the glory of the New Covenant is that God, thanks to the death of Christ, supplies the condition for its members Himself, making it most evident that it is certainly all of grace! Faith, which is our trust in Christ's work on our behalf, is something which we do, but it is nonetheless granted to us by God and does not have its origin in us. Philippians 1:29 says, “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake”. It has been given to us, granted to us, for Christ's sake, not our own, that we believe in Him. The faith, the belief itself, has been granted to us and gifted to us by God Himself! Faith is a spiritual blessing, yea, the chiefest spiritual blessing and it is certainly granted to us by Christ (Eph. 1:3). See for more on faith being a gift here. Owen deals with this question in book III, Chapter 4, argument IX, specifically.

If faith be granted of grace, the disjunction between the obtaining and application of redemption as proposed by non-Calvinists will not stand. Since all the good things which God has and is pouring upon us are thanks to the work of Christ, then no doubt, faith is the highest grace which He gives us, and is a fruit of Christ's self-giving.

Now let us turn our attention to the enjoining of the obtaining and application of redemption in Scripture. In Isaiah 53:11, we read of Suffering Servant making “many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.” These two things are enjoined together, in fact, the KJV says “for” instead of “and.” Upon citing Isaiah 53:5, Owen says, “His wounding and our healing, impetration and application, his chastisement and our peace, are inseparably associated”[35] (book II, chapter 4). In  Romans 4:25, the death of Christ and justification are enjoined together. So likewise in Romans 5:18-19, on which he says, ‘So Rom. 5:18, “By the righteousness of one” (that is, his impetration), “the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life,” in the application’[35] (book II, chapter 4). Romans 8:32-34 likewise is an important passage which enjoins those two things under consideration, which we have dealt with above.

Both the obtaining and the application of redemption concerns and is limited to the same group, namely, the elect. Lastly, in chapter 5 of book II, Owen uses some common sense as to the meaning of Christ obtaining redemption. He argues, (1) that is contrary to common sense so say that something is obtained for ...


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

... that these "ten days" symbolize the whole time between Christ's Ascension and Second Coming. It has actually been about 2000 years up untill now. Compared to eternity and the glories which are for the children of God, this period of persecution is like nothing (cf. Rom. 8:18-25). The time of persecution is seen to be short, but the time of the saints' reign is said to be a thousand years, which describes the same period but from a different angle. We will come to that later.

Vision 2: Revelation 4-7

In this cycle we have a vision of God’s glory and of His heavenly reign, sovereignty over all things and the ceaseless praise which He receives. In Chapter 4, we receive a vision of the awesome glory of God and the ceaseless worship which He rightly receives. In chapter 5, we receive a vision of Christ after His ascension. Because of His sacrifice, He has received authority from God as the Mediator to execute His sovereign purpose. He is the only One who is able to take the plan of God in His hand and execute it. He is the only One who is worthy and He is the only One who is fit for the task, because He is the God-Man. In chapter 6, after the Lamb receiving the scroll from the hand of the Father in Revelation 5:7, the Lamb starts to break the seven seals with which the scroll was sealed (Rev. 5:1), and the things described in Revelation 6:1-8:5 come to pass, which includes the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. As we move on with the breaking of the seals, we see the signs being intensified in their effects, this is especially true when the sixth seal is broken. When the sixth seal is broken we have the contents of Revelation 6:12-7:17 coming to pass which describe the doom of the wicked and the eternal happiness of the righteous. In this we see a Progressive Parallelism. The visions are moving toward the end of the world. I believe that Revelation 6 clearly teaches the Final Judgment of Christ upon the wicked on the Day of the Lord:

Rev. 6:12-17 When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. 14 The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

Wouldn’t one without any presuppositions conclude that this is basically a description of the final judgment and destruction of the wicked? When the sixth seal is broken, the end of the world comes. Even the inanimate objects in the cosmos will react to the breaking of the sixth seal. Things will get weird not only on the earth, but also in the heavens. Verse 14 points us to the direction that we must take this as a description of the Final Judgment. Why? Because that is how the Final Judgment is described Revelation 16:20, but more clearly and definitely in Revelation 20:11 and 2 Peter 3:10. This is the time, just before the coming of the New World, at which the present cosmos goes and the New comes (Rev. 21...


John Owen's Case For Particular Atonement

...sed salvation for all without exception, but it is applied only to those who believe. In other words, the obtaining of redemption, or the death of Christ is for everyone, but the application only to those who believe, i.e., the elect. Owen explains that “by impetration we mean the meritorious purchase of all good things made by Christ for us with and of his Father; and by application, the actual enjoyment of those good things upon our believing;”[13] (book II, Chapter 4). Owen answers this objection, among other things, by pointing to Scriptures which enjoin and do not disjoin these two things.

But first let us deal with the question of faith and it being a condition. The condition for enjoying the work of redemption on our behalf is itself a gift of God. Faith, which is the key to justification and enjoyment of the benefits of Christ's work, is itself a result of His work and is conferred on us absolutely, without any condition. There is no condition on our side, as the glory of the New Covenant is that God, thanks to the death of Christ, supplies the condition for its members Himself, making it most evident that it is certainly all of grace! Faith, which is our trust in Christ's work on our behalf, is something which we do, but it is nonetheless granted to us by God and does not have its origin in us. Philippians 1:29 says, “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake”. It has been given to us, granted to us, for Christ's sake, not our own, that we believe in Him. The faith, the belief itself, has been granted to us and gifted to us by God Himself! Faith is a spiritual blessing, yea, the chiefest spiritual blessing and it is certainly granted to us by Christ (Eph. 1:3). See for more on faith being a gift here. Owen deals with this question in book III, Chapter 4, argument IX, specifically.

If faith be granted of grace, the disjunction between the obtaining and application of redemption as proposed by non-Calvinists will not stand. Since all the good things which God has and is pouring upon us are thanks to the work of Christ, then no doubt, faith is the highest grace which He gives us, and is a fruit of Christ's self-giving.

Now let us turn our attention to the enjoining of the obtaining and application of redemption in Scripture. In Isaiah 53:11, we read of Suffering Servant making “many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.” These two things are enjoined together, in fact, the KJV says “for” instead of “and.” Upon citing Isaiah 53:5, Owen says, “His wounding and our healing, impetration and application, his chastisement and our peace, are inseparably associated”[14] (book II, chapter 4). In Romans 4:25, the death of Christ and justification are enjoined together. So likewise in Romans 5:18-19, on which he says, ‘So Rom. 5:18, “By the righteousness of one” (that is, his impetration), “the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life,” in the application’[14] (book II, chapter 4). Romans 8:32-34 likewise is an important passage which enjoins those two things under consideration, which we have dealt with above.

Both the obtaining and the application of redemption concerns and is limited to the same group, namely, the elect. Lastly, in chapter 5 of book II, Owen uses some common sense as to the meaning of Christ obtaining redemption. He argues, (1) that is contrary to common sense to say that something is o...


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

...promises of God. Just as there has always been war between the seed of Satan and the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15), so likewise it was between Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau and now between Gentile Christians and Jewish "Christians". These Jews who are seeking to draw the Gentile believers from freedom under Christ into the yoke of slavery, may profess the name of Christ, but they demonstrate through their works and beliefs that they are still under the slavery of the Old Covenant and therefore have no inheritance with the children of promise, i.e., they are not true believers.

It is in light of this clear teaching we proceed to chapter 5. We have seen from the end of Chapter 4 that Paul identifies his audience as believers and children of promise and contrasts those who are troubling them to be sons of Hagar, sons of slavery. What the Apostle now does is call upon the believers to enjoy their freedom in Christ and to resist and reject those who are seeking to bring the believers under the yoke of slavery of the Jews, for this slavery did not merely consist in observing the whole law, ceremonial, judicial and moral, but also in obeying their man-made traditions and commandments not based in Scripture. Paul is against circumcision in this context, not merely because it is circumcision, but because of what it actually means in this context. In this context and for the Jews, it means the obligation to keep the whole law and if anyone fails in any point, he is condemned (Gal. 3:10; Jas. 2:10). In other contexts, Paul says that it doesn't matter if one is circumcised or uncircumcised (e.g. Gal. 5:6; 6:15; 1Cor. 7:17-18). In this context, if one is circumcised he places himself under the obligation to keep the whole law and thereby he is severed and separated from Christ. He has no part of Him. Why? Because thereby he is trying to justify himself by law, rather than by faith. These two things are antithetical and mutually exclusive. Therefore, if one seeks to be justified by law rather than by grace, he has, in fact, fallen away from grace. 

We must here notice the fact that Paul, in fact, does not say that the believers have fallen from grace, but rather says, taking the teaching of the circumcision party to its conclusion means falling away from Christ and rejecting Him. But as we have seen from Galatians 4:28-31, these false teachers were, in fact, not true believers, they were never part of the New Covenant of peace, but were still under the Mosaic Covenant of slavery and condemnation. In contrast, the Apostle affirms, in fact, that his audience are children of promise and belong to the New Covenant of peace from which apostasy is an impossibility (see above). The Apostle acknowledges that the believers are, in fact, troubled by this false teaching, but he does not say that they are false believers or they have fallen from grace. He says:

Gal 5:7-10 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion is not from him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. 

The circumcision party has caused a lot of trouble for the believers in such a way that they're beginning to doubt the truth of the Gospel, but Paul assures them that their teaching is not from the God who called them to His Gospel. He is so set against this false teaching because...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 7: Of God's Covenant - Commentary

... he would have have eternal life and blessings thanks to his obedience and works. But that is not the case. Adam brought us ruin and misery and the Lord Christ by his obedience and works takes us where the first Adam failed to take us.

The Law of Creation

It is important to mention something about what is called the Law of Creation or the Moral Law here. What I mean by that is the Moral Law of God that is put in us by virtue of us being in His image (see Chapter 4 on the image of God). This Law of Creation was given to Adam and Eve from their creation. The Lord put into their minds and hearts certain basic laws which all humans have. This basic Law was summarized in the Ten Commandments and given at Sinai. You don't have to know the Ten Commandments to know, for example, that stealing, coveting, lying, murdering and dishonoring God are wrong. You know it intuitively. You know it by virtue of the fact that you are a creature of God, in covenant with Him either in Adam or in Christ. All this means that the Ten Commandments were not new commandments, but were a summary of the basic moral law which is on the mind and heart of every image-bearer. Of the fact that everyone has the basic moral law, we read in Romans 1-2. I would like to look at Romans 2:12-16:

For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. 

We could go all ways into this passage, but let me focus on what I want to prove, namely, that every human has the basic moral law stamped upon them. This is clear from reading the passage. What we must realize is the two-fold way that Paul is using the word law. When in reference to Jews, he's using it as the complete revelation of God's Law given under Moses, the written law of God. But when speaking of the Gentiles, they do not have such a revelation of God, but they sure know Him and His Law (Rom. 1:18ff, 32). Gentiles do not have the written law, but they, by nature, do what the law requires. Why? Because the law contains the basic moral precepts for all humans and everyone knows right from wrong. Obviously, let us not suppose that this means that everyone does what is right because men are sinful and our consciences can be weakened. The work of the Law, or the summary of the Law, is written on their hearts and in their consciences. From there they also know the God they deny and that is the basis of their condemnation.

To not go more than necessary, I summarize, every image-bearer knows the Law of God and the Lawgiver and they are obligated to obey, their disobedience and rejection of the true God lead to their demise. The Ten Commandments sealed and made sure the Law given in the Garden to man. It did not leave “maybes” and “ifs.” It made certain what the Law of Creation was by summarizing it for us in stone. Because our nature is sinful, our conscience could at time approve of that which is wicked and condemn ...


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

...n of Israel did to God in the wilderness and being careful lest there be in them “an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God” (Heb. 3:12). It is because of disobedience that the crooked generation “who left Egypt by Moses” (Heb. 3:16), “whose bodies fell in the wilderness” (Heb. 3:17) did not enter God’s rest. It was not possible because of their unbelief (Heb. 3:19). They kept testing God and rebelling against His commandments, therefore, God had it with them and condemned them to death in the forty years of the wilderness.

We By Faith Enter God’s Rest (Hebrews 4:1-7)

But the Author, in Chapter 4 (the original does not have chapter divisions), begins by stating the relevance of God’s rest to people living under the New Covenant. He writes:

Heb. 4:1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.

Now moving away from the instance which the Psalm described, which took place around 1200-1400 years from the time of writing the Epistle, the Author speaks of God’s rest as something that could be entered to in the present time. The “promise of entering his rest still stands” and the Author wants His audience to enter that rest. But what is that rest? I believe that this rest refers to the rest of believers in heaven (cf. Rev. 14:13; 2Thess. 1:7), but not exclusively to that. It refers also to the rest of the believers from their toils and working for their salvation as they rest in Christ who provides them that rest (Matt. 11:28-29). There is a tension in the whole chapter between the already and not-yet. Although that rebellious generation did hear the good news, it did not benefit them because it was not enjoined with faith, therefore, they were condemned (Heb. 4:2). In contrast, “we,” the Author now speaks of the present time, enter that rest because “we…have believed” (Heb. 4:3). Furthermore, this rest, which is entered through faith, is specifically connected with the seventh day of creation and the Author cites Genesis 2:3 in v. 4. This is the rest into which the believers by faith enter both in the present time and in eternity. The rest referred to is God’s eternal and unending Sabbath. Believers do not enter into their own rest but enter into God’s rest. The word “enter” in the Greek is in the present tense indicating that this rest could be entered to now in the present, the moment we believe. As with the general already and not-yet eschatology of the New Testament, so likewise, this rest has two aspects. It is here and now, but it is not yet consummated. Nonetheless, the present rest which we have by faith does not undermine a present Sabbath keeping as we shall see below.

The Typology Of The Seventh-Day Sabbath (Hebrews 4:8)

Heb. 4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.

The person here designated is Joshua the son of Nun and not the Lord Jesus, contrary to the KJV and other old translations, which may give us that idea. It was Joshua who was to lead the people into Canaan (e.g. Josh. 1:6) and under Joshua, after the conquest of Canaan, the Israelites did indeed have rest in the Promised Land, as the Lord promised to the Patriarchs (Josh. 21:43-45). Therefore, is the Author of Hebrews wrong here? Obviously not.

The Author here is pointing to the eschatological and typological function of the seventh-day Sabbath. As we discussed above (...


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

...
  1. Gen. 1:27; Eccles. 7:29; Rom. 2:12a, 14-15[4]
  2. Gen. 2:16-17
  3. Gen. 2:16-17; Rom. 10:5; Gal. 3:10,12

Adam was given a law of universal obedience written in his heart (Rom. 2:14-15). Even in his innocence, man was never without the law of God (Chapter 4:2). This law is a law of universal obedience, i.e., it concerns everyone. The location of this law was not in stone, but in his heart; it was inward. In addition to this law, he was also given a particular precept of not eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16-17). By obedience to the law and the precept he was given, he was bound along with all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedienceEveryone was to obey all of the law, exactly as God required and forever. This law being given in the context of the Covenant of Works had promises and threats. For a law without a covenant has no rewards or threats. But when it is placed in a covenantal context it has rewards and threats. The reward or promised life was upon the condition of obedience, which is implied if they did not breach the covenant but would eat of the tree of life (Gen. 2:9; 3:22). But death was the punishment for the breach of the commandments and the covenant (Gen. 2:17). Furthermore, God endued Adam with the power and ability to keep all those things which He commanded and gave him. Therefore, Adam was not placed in a disadvantaged state.


The Law Upon The Hearts Of All Men

We believe that when Adam stood in the Garden, he stood as a representative of all his posterity (see here on Adam's federal headship). He did not stand to represent himself alone, but God placed him as the covenant head over the whole human race. His obedience would be our obedience and his disobedience would be our disobedience. Sadly, we know what Adam did. Therefore, we believe that Adam did have the perfect Law of God upon His heart. The moral law, or the natural law, which he knew simply by being a man in God's image, knowing what morality is. Adam certainly knew that he was present in a good creation with a good God. There was a standard before the Fall. The moral law, we believe was summarized in the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai (paragraph 2). But how does it make sense then to say that Adam had the moral law upon his heart even when there was no sin and there was no Fall? The objection would be, what does "Thou shalt not steal” and “Thou shalt not commit adultery” mean to a creature who is sinless? It is a valid objection, but obviously it is not convincing for it assumes that the only way that the moral law can be expressed is in the negatives (thou shalt not) and not positives (thou shalt). For example, we can state the seventh commandment in the negative just like it is in the text, “You shall not commit adultery” (Ex. 20:14), or we can state it positively as “You shall remain faithful to your spouse.” The same idea is communicated, whether stated negatively or positively, and that idea is that one should be faithful to their spouse. Let's take for example the third commandment. Negatively, “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain” (Ex. 20:7), or we can also say “You shall honor and glorify the name of the LORD your God.” It is only because of the wicked perversity of man that these commandments had to stated negatively, because disobedience to them is part of our depraved nature.

Adam stood in our place. If he had obeyed God in his time ...


1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

...bsp;3 and of humilitydiligence5 and abundant consolation 6 to all that sincerely obey the gospel.
  1. Deut 29:29; Rom 9:20; 11:33
  2. Thess 1:4-5; 2 Peter 1:10
  3. Eph 1:6; Rom 11:33
  4. Rom 11:5, 6, 20; Col 3:12
  5. 2 Peter 1:10
  6. Luke 10:20

Chapter 4: Of Creation [Return] [Commentary]

  1. In the beginning it pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, to create or make the world, and all things therein, whether visible or invisible, in the space of six daysand all very good. 5
    1. Heb 1:2; John 1:2-3; Gen 1:2; Job 26:13; 33:4
    2. Rom 1:20; Jer 10:12; Ps 104:24; 33:5-6; Prov 3:19; Acts 14:15-16
    3. Gen 1:1; John 1:2; Col 1:16
    4. Gen 2:1-3; Ex 20:8-11
    5. Gen 1:31; Ecc 7:29; Rom 5:12
  1. After God had made all other creatures, he created man, male and female, with reasonable and immortal souls, rendering them fit unto that life to God for which they were created; being made after the image of Godin knowledgerighteousness, and true holinesshaving the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfill it, and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject to change. 3
    1. Gen 1:27; 2:7; James 2:26; Matt 10:28; Ecc 12:7
    2. Gen 1:26-27; 5:1-3; 9:6; Ecc 7"29; 1 Cor 11:7; James 3:9; Col 3:10; Eph 4:24
    3. Rom 1:32; 2:12a, 14-15; Gen 3:6; Ecc 7:29; Rom 5:12
  1. Besides the law written in their hearts, they received a command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which whilst they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures. 1
    1. Gen 1:26, 28; 2:17

Chapter 5: Of Divine Providence [Return] [Commentary]

  1. God the good Creator of all things, 1 in his infinite power and wisdom 2 doth upholddirectdispose, and govern all creatures and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, to the end for the which they were created, according unto his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will;  7 to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, infinite goodness, and mercy. 8
    1. Gen 1:31; 2:18; Ps 119:68
    2. Ps 145:11; Prov 3:19; Ps 66:7
    3. Heb 1:3; Isa 46:10-11; Dan 4:34-35; Ps 135:6; Acts 17:25-28; Job 38-41
    4. Matt 10:29-31
    5. Prov 15:3; Ps 104:24; 145:17
  1. Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly; so that there is not anything befalls any by chance, or without his providence; yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently. 2
    1. Acts 2:23; Prov 16:33
    2. Gen 8:22; Jer 31:35; Ex 21:13; Deut 19:5; Isa 10:6-7; Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 27:31; Matt 5:20-21; Phil 1:9; Prov 20:18; Luke 14:25ffProv 21:31; 1 Kings 22:28, 34; Ruth 2:3
  1. God, in his ordinary providence maketh use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them at his pleasure. 
    1. Acts 27:22, 31, 44; Isa 55:10-11; Hosea 2:21-22
    2. Hosea 1:7; Luke 1:34-35
    3. Rom 4:19-21
    4. Ex 3:2-3; 2 Kings 6:6; Dan 3:27
  1. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God, so far manifest themselves in his providence, that his determinate counsel extendeth itself 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 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 5: Of Divine Providence - Commentary

...rects every step in the Universe. He is the standard of goodness. He means and intends everything for good (defined by Himself), while man means it for evil (Gen. 50:20). Everything He does is most holy and wise, free and immutable, and for His glory (Isa. 46:8-11). He upholds the universe by the power of His word and He directs history to its predetermined end (Heb. 1:3; Eph. 1:11). He disposes of good and evil and governs every molecule and atom the way He pleases (Dan. 4:34-35; Isa. 45:7; Ps. 115:3; 135:6; Eph. 1:11). Why? To the glorification of His attributes! See Chapter 4 for the purpose of Creation. This is closely connected with God's decree in chapter 3 (see the commentary there). God's sovereign decree could be seen as the blueprint of history, while God's Providence is the execution of that blueprint or plan.


§2 God, the First Cause

  1. Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly; so that there is not anything befalls any by chance, or without his providence; yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently. 2
    1. Acts 2:23; Prov. 16:33
    2. Gen. 8:22; Jer. 31:35; Ex. 21:13; Deut. 19:5; Isa. 10:6-7; Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 27:31; Matt. 5:20-21; Phil. 1:9; Prov. 20:18; Luke 14:25ff; Prov. 21:31; 1 Kings 22:28, 34; Ruth 2:3

God is the first cause of all things and all things come to pass immutably and infallibly in relation to His foreknowledge and decree (Acts 2:23; Prov. 16:33; Isa. Isa. 37:26; 46:8-11). Although God is the first cause of all things, yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes. In other words, all things are carried out willingly by the second causes (e.g. humans). They are not forced to do that which God has ordained, but  willingly  carry out His sovereign decree because He orders all things. His providence is so vast and so without limits that there is no chance and nothing comes to pass without His providence. All things come to pass by His providence and the second causes, either necessarilyfreely, or contingentlyNecessarily has to do with the nature and order of things as God has created them and what we commonly call the laws of nature. Freely has to do with volitional agents as men and angels. They freely carry out God's providence and  are not hindered by His providence neither  is their freedom violated nor blame or praise taken away. Contingently means things which are dependent upon others. There are no contingent events to God, but for  us  many things are contingent and dependent upon many other things. Even these are ordered by His most wise providence.


He is the primary and first cause, even of sin, but not the doer thereof. As affirmed in 3:6 and will be affirmed here below, God has not decreed what He has willed and left it alone. Rather, He guides it to its predetermined end by the means He decrees. God's decree is His sovereign plan and blueprint. God's providence is the working out of that decree in actual history. God's sovereignty does not “violate” man's will or coerces him to do something against his will, but works according to the nature of second causes, that is, the nature of man and his abilities. Look at chapter 3 for God's sovereignty over evil and His eternal decree where it is shown that God is absolutely sovereign ove...