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

...nly begotten Son was from all eternity chosen and ordained (Isa. 42:1; 1Pet. 1:19-20) to be the mediator between God and man (1Tim. 2:5). This means that having Christ to be the Savior of sinners and the Incarnation were not afterthoughts in God. God did not plan them after the Fall of man, but set them in motion after the Fall. This choosing and ordaining of Christ as mediator was according to the covenant made between them both, i.e., the Covenant of Redemption (see Chapter 7:2). Even before sin and before the world was, the Lord Jesus was to be the Savior of His people. The Confession goes on to name the threefold offices of Christ as prophet, priest, and king. He is also the head and savior of the church (Col. 1:18; Acts 5:31). The heir of all things (Heb. 1:2), Who will inherit everything and believers are co-heirs with Him (Rom. 8:16-17). He is also the One Who will judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 17:31; 2Tim. 4:1). All these offices and functions were agreed upon by the Persons of the Trinity even before the foundation of the world. God from all eternity gave a people to be His seed and to be by Him in time redeemed (John 17:2, 6; Isa. 53:10) and given all the blessings of redemption. All these considerations make the Fall a necessity within God's decree. For if there is no Fall, then it means that there is no sin and therefore, no need of a savior. But if Christ is said to be ordained as Savior even before the creation of the world, then this means that there will be sinners who will be saved by Him, which makes the Fall an important part of God's plan.


Christ the Elect

Our Confession states that the Lord Jesus was chosen, called and ordained by God to the office of the mediator. He was chosen by God for this office according to the Covenant of Redemption between them (see Chapter 7 on the Covenant of Redemption). We said in Chapter 7 that the Covenant of Redemption was the eternal covenant between the Persons of the Trinity, which laid out their roles in the self-glorification of God and the redemption of God’s elect. The Father was to elect a people and give them to the Son. The Son was to redeem the people whom the Father gave to Him. The Spirit was to apply the benefits of Son on their behalf to them and indwell them.

Christ was chosen by the Father from before the foundation of the earth to be the Savior of God’s people. God’s plans had Him as the center. In Ephesians 1:3-6 we read that before the foundation of the world we were chosen and predestined in Christ for salvation, meaning that Christ was already then chosen to be the Savior of God’s elect. He is the only One who can save us. We also read about the Servant Messiah in Isaiah’s prophecies. In Isaiah 42, we read –

Isa. 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.

The Servant of the Lord is none other than the Lord Jesus who is prophesied about before He came on the scene. He is the Lord’s chosen and He is in whom God delights (Matt. 3:17; 17:5, etc). We also read of Christ being the chosen of God and in whom God delights in the New Testament Scriptures often with allusion to the Old Testament (John 6:27; 1Pet. 2:4-6). Christ is the prime elect of God, and all the believers have been elected in Him and when they believe they are united with Him.

Christ the Priest and Mediator

Our Lord is not only the prime elect of God, the Son of Go...


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

...vens and New Earth.

The following is diagram of Dispensational eschatology:

Dispensational Problems

In addition to the problems with Historic Premillennialism, which are common with Dispensationalism, I see the following problems with this system.

It is obviously a recent innovation starting with John Nelson Darby in the 1830’s and is certainly not confessional. Dispensationalists reject Covenant Theology (Chapter 7), the abiding validity of the moral Law of God (chapter 19), the Christian Sabbath (chapter 22), and the eschatology of the Confession (chapter 31) among other things. But the biblical problems are greater.

Two Peoples Of God

First of all, its novel idea that the Church and Israel are a separate people of God. From the earliest times of the Church, the Church saw itself as coming in place of Israel as the people of God. Dispensationalists derogatorily refer to this as Replacement Theology. Call it what you want, the Scriptures teach that the Church, Jewish and Gentile believers, are the Israel of God and the history of Christian theology up to Darby proves this. If you would read the old commentators, they would always refer to the Old Testament prophecies of restoration and prosperity as relating to the Church as the singular people of God. No doubt, a lot of the commentators saw also a latter day restoration of Israel (e.g. John Gill does this very often), but not as a separate people of God. But there came a change with the prominence of Dispensationalism, and the promises of God to His Church were taken away and given to an earthly and fleshly people, i.e., only to physical descendants of Abraham. They contended that we must separate Israel and the Church. They are not one people, but two different peoples of God, one heavenly and the other earthly with two separate plans. To defend this novel teaching, Dispensationalists do not allow the New Testament to interpret the Old. It is our belief that the New Testament should take precedence over the Old, not because the Old was not inspired or the New is more inspired. Rather, it is our belief that there is a greater clarity in the New Testament than in the Old. The Old was filled with types and shadows, but in the New we have the reality in Christ. Moreover, the interpretation of the Apostles of the Old Testament is the correct interpretation of the Old Testament, not the “literal” interpretation of Dispensationalists. Let me give you a few examples.

In Galatians 3, the Apostle Paul interprets the Abrahamic Covenant to have had promises made to Abraham to his singular Offspring who is Christ (Gal. 3:16). Then he goes on to say that “if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:29). Also,

Gal. 3:7-9 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

It is the teaching of Dispensationalism that the Abrahamic Covenant forms the basis that Israel must remain as the people of God and is always entitled to the Promised Land, and that Israel has not yet attained to the (complete) fulfillment of that promise. But this is contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture that all the promises were indeed fulfilled to Israel (e.g. Josh. 2...


John Owen's Case For Particular Atonement

...p;all and intercedes only for some will scarcely be squared to this text, especially considering the foundation of all this, which is (verse 32) that love of God which moved him to give up Christ to death for us all; upon which the apostle infers a kind of impossibility in not giving us all good things in him; which how it can be reconciled with their opinion who affirm that he gave his Son for millions to whom he will give neither grace nor glory, I cannot see.[5] (book I, Chapter 7)

Dr. Owen obviously does not neglect to take a look at the book of Hebrews in connection to this subject, as it largely deals with the priestly office of our Savior and His priestly work on our behalf. We have tried to exegete some passages from the book of Hebrews in connection to the atonement below. The reader is referred to the chapter[6] for the rest of the passages which he surveys (e.g. Heb. 7:24-25; 9:11-13; 10:19-22).

The Fruits of Christ’s Intercession

The fruits of Christ’s intercession is the application of the work of redemption to those for whom it was intended. It is the granting of the gift of faith, it is the calling, justification, adoption, sanctification and all the countless graces of God poured out upon us.

In Romans 8:32, Paul argues from the death of Christ that God will certainly “with him [Christ] graciously give us all things”. Since God went to such ways to demonstrate His glory and redeem us, what doubt can we have that He will not give us all good things which He intended for His glory and our good? This is in the immediate context of Christ’s intercession. Christ intercedes before the Father on behalf of those for whom He offered Himself, that the benefits of His work may be applied to them. That through the intercession of Christ, God does indeed graciously give us all things that we need.

In John 17, the great High Priestly Prayer, the Lord Christ intercedes before the Father on behalf of those who were given to Him, in direct opposition to “the world” (John 17:9), i.e., those who were not given to Him. Right before offering His great sacrifice, the Lord Jesus, our great High Priest, finds it necessary to explicitly say that His intercession is certainly not for the world, but only those given to Him. In the same chapter, Christ’s prays...

  • that His own may be kept in the Father’s name and from the evil one (John 17:11, 15);
  • for the sanctification of His church in the truth of God’s Word (John 17:17, 19);
  • for the union of Christ’s universal church in the Trinity (John 17:20-23);
  • for them seeing His glory and the love which the Father has for the Son (John 17:24);
  • that the love which the Father has for the Son may be in them (John 17:26).

Hebrews 7:25 tells us that Christ “is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” The basis for the fact that He is able to save them to the uttermost, or “save completely” (NET), “save forever” (NASB), “save to the very end” (YLT), is grounded upon His intercession. Those who draw near to God, draw near to God through Him (cf. John 14:6). But we know that it is God Himself who draws us to Himself through Christ (John 6:44). In this way, everyone who draws near to Christ, Christ is able and willing to save to the uttermost—to the very end and thus accomplish the will of the Father.

Christ does much more than we ask. Just as He prayed for Peter (Luke 22:31-32), so likewi...


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

...rvations are in order.

1. In contrast to the priestly ministry under the Mosaic Covenant, Christ's ministry is more excellent, why? (i) The covenant under which He ministers is better and (ii) the covenant is established on better promises. (i) The New Covenant is better than the Old mainly because it has Christ as its Mediator and High Priest (Heb. 7:21-22). Not only that, but also because the Old Covenant was not a pure covenant of grace and the New Covenant is the Covenant of Grace established in time (see Chapter 7 for more on 1689 Federalism). (ii) The promises of the New Covenant do not merely pertain to the earthly things, but have their focus on the heavenly and eternal things. We do not have shadows and earthly temporary things like the Temple and the sacrifices, but we now have the reality in Christ. This is what makes the priestly ministry of Christ more excellent and places it above the old Mosaic priesthood.

2. The Mosaic Covenant was not without fault for it demanded perfect righteousness from those who were sinful from birth. This did not work together and therefore, the Lord from the days of Moses (and before) declared the coming of the Christ and thereby the New Covenant which will deal with the problem of our sin and will not be a covenant with which the Lord will find fault. This Old Covenant is described as a covenant in which "they did not continue in my covenant"; a covenant that was broken. The people were faithless from the beginning. The covenant contained unbelievers and believers alike. That the covenant was broken from the beginning may be seen from the fact that when Moses came down from the Mountain of God and broke the Ten Commandments, in that way he pictured the fact that Israel had broken the covenant they just ratified with God. They wandered away so quickly from Him Whose voice shook the earth. The Mosaic Covenant is a covenant which demands perfect obedience in all points (Gal. 3:10), and therefore, sinful man is not able to keep the terms of this covenant. The fault of the covenant mainly lies in the fact that it was given to a sinful people and it had not the ability to deal with their sins as did the New Covenant. It was a subservient covenant point to the sin of man and the need for redemption (e.g. Rom. 3:20; Gal. 3:23-26).

3. In contrast to the Old Covenant, the New is not like the Old. Meaning, it will not be broken and its people will, in fact, continue in the covenant. This is the exact point which is here ascribed to the Mosaic and it is said that the New Covenant is unlike the Old. Therefore, the New Covenant is at least unlike the Mosaic Covenant respecting this point. Genuine apostasy from the covenant will be impossible, but that was not impossible under the Old Covenant. This does not mean that all the covenantees will obey God perfectly, but it means that no one will be cast out of the covenant. For the covenant is first of all made with Christ Who has fulfilled all conditions of the covenant and then in Christ with every believer. It is a covenant which certainly has conditions, but those conditions are fulfilled by and in the Mediator of the covenant. There are no covenants absolutely without conditions, but the question is merely what these conditions are and who is to fulfill them.

4. That true believers falling away from grace is impossible in this covenant is seen in the fact that they have the Law of God written on their hearts. The Law of God, which is summar...


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

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Chapter 7: Of God's Covenant

What is Covenant Theology? How many covenants does the Bible have and which are those? What is the Reformed Baptist and Paedobaptist understanding of the covenants? What is 1689 Federalism? Is the New Covenant the Covenant of Grace? Was the Covenant of Grace established before the New Covenant? Were the Old Testament covenants administrations of the Covenant of Grace?

Here we come to a chapter that is different than the one in the Westminster and Savoy confessions (see the confessions side by side here). Were the Baptists trying to be original or were they trying to communicate something else? I and many other brothers do believe that the framers of the Confession were trying to communicate a different Covenant Theology than that of their Westminster and Savoy brethren. Let not the reader suppose that I will exhaustively deal with every point or seek to rebut oppositions and answer objections. My objective here is to lay an understanding of Covenant Theology as I see it in the Scripture and as I was helped by the books and men mentioned below. This is not meant to be lengthy (although I guess it will kinda be), but concise. [22/09/2015 – It did become lengthy]


§1 The Covenant Of Works

  1. The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience to him as their creator, yet they could never have attained the reward of life but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant.1
    1. Job 35:7-8; Ps. 113:5-6; Isa. 40:13-16; Luke 17:5-10; Acts 17:24-25[1]

This distance between God and the creature is not spatial distance, but the Creator-creature distinction. God is different in His being than man. Even before the Fall, this distance was so great. Paragraph 1 does not only speak of covenants in general, but also specifically of the first covenant—the Covenant of Works with Adam. All reasonable creatures owe obedience to Him because He is their creator (Luke 10:17; Rom. 1:23-25). They must honor and worship Him because He created them and caused them to be (see chapter 2:2). They owe Him obedience and worship, but even in their innocence, they could never have attained the reward of life. This is in reference to the Adamic Covenant of Works which promised life upon perfect obedience. Even in the original Covenant of Works, God promised this reward of life by some voluntary condescension. This voluntary condescension to communicate with man and promise Him rewards God has expressed by way of covenant. In other words, a covenant made by God is His way of communicating with us, giving us rewards for obedience and punishments for disobedience. We, by nature, owe Him obedience, therefore, there is no reason for Him to reward our obedience. If He rewards our obedience then it must be upon another ground. This another basis is a covenant.


Introduction to Covenant Theology

Covenant theology (also known as Covenantalism, Federal theology, or Federalism) is a Calvinist conceptual overview and interpretive framework for understanding the overall flow of the Bible. It uses the theological concept of covenant as an organizing principle for Christian theology. The standard description of covenant theology views the history of God's dealings with mankind, from Creation to Fall to Redemption to Consummation, under the framework of the three overarching theological covenants of redemp...


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

...ebrews 3-4. But I have read the abridged version of Exercitations in what is called "A Treatise On The Sabbath". John Owen is not an easy author to read. I find him to be very lengthy and verbose and thus it is hard to have the patience to read, for example, 42-page commentary on two passages (e.g. Heb. 2:1-2). I do not doubt the benefit I would receive from his insight. I have, in fact, read his commentary on Hebrews 8:6-13, which has greatly helped me understand Covenant Theology as expounded by Reformed Baptists who affirm what is known as 1689 Federalism, for which I have argued in Chapter 7. What I have read are the works of those who employ Owen’s contribution concerning the Sabbath question in their works and in their words.

I would like to discuss this passage under the following headings:

  1. Who is the one who has entered God’s rest?
  2. How is this an argument for present Sabbath-keeping?
  3. How the change of the day takes place.

The last two points will be treated under one heading.

Who is the one who has entered God’s rest?

The majority of commentators answer that this refers to the believer’s entrance into God’s rest (Adam Clarke, Albert Barnes, Jamieson-Fausset-Brown, Matthew Henry, Matthew Poole). Yet Owen stands both against the majority in his day and our day in his opinion that, literally, the “he” should be the “He” of the Lord Jesus Christ. Some have likewise followed him in this understanding (John Gill, Henry Alford, Joseph Pipa, Robert Paul Martin, Richard Barcellos). This was not the first unique observation and contribution of Owen. In chapter 17, when dealing with Hebrews 10:29 (see here), we likewise noted Owen’s contribution.

Before beginning this important inquiry, let us get the literal translation of this passage. The ESV is unfortunately not wholly accurate in this verse.

Heb. 4:10 YLT for he who did enter into his rest, he also rested from his works, as God from His own.

Heb. 4:10 KJV For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his.

What are the arguments for the assertion that v. 10 speaks of the Lord’s Jesus Christ here?

The Singular Person

It is to be noted that this is the first time in which the Author speaks of the one who has entered God’s rest in the singular person. The Author speaks of:

  • “they” in Hebrews 3:11, 18, 19; 4:3, 5;
  • the plural “you” in Hebrews 4:1, 7;
  • “us” in Hebrews 4:2, 11;
  • “we” in Hebrews 4:3;
  • “some” in Hebrews 4:6;
  • “he” in Hebrews 4:10.

Isn’t it interesting to see that throughout Hebrews 3:11-4:13 the singular person is only once employed for entering God’s rest? Whenever the Author speaks of the believer’s entering God’s rest, he always speaks of us collectively and in the plural number. Even after v. 10, in v. 11, the Author calls upon “us” that we should “strive to enter God’s rest”. If the Author is speaking of believers in v. 10, why doesn’t he continue with his use of the plural and say “for we have entered God’s rest and have also rested from our works…” It is certainly strange because that is how the Author speaks throughout his discourse. Moreover, notice that this rest which is entered into is Christ's own rest or alternatively, the believer's. But all throughout the Author's discourse, the believers do not enter their rest, but God's.

The Tense Of The Verbs

The work of the one under discussion is said to be in the past. He has both “entered” and “rest...


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

...above, the Reformation Study Bible writes:

Paul is rejecting the law as the way of salvation. But since the law as moral demand was not given to sinners in order to justify them (vv. 19, 20), the principle of salvation by grace through faith cannot be a contradiction of the law. As he later demonstrates, the gospel upholds and furthers the law’s ultimate goal (8:3, 4; 13:8–10).[78]

Romans 7

Romans Chapter 7 is an excellent discussion on concerning the law, the Christian and sin. I will not be able to give a whole exegesis on the passage, but I would to take a look at some verses from here.

Died To The Law

Rom 7:4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.

Here the Apostle sees the law is being antithetical to the work of Christ. We cannot at the same time in the same sense as Rom 7:4 belong to Christ and to the law. But in what sense is law being used here. Is it being used as a rule of righteousness which shows us what God desires, or is it being used as something else?

We have died to the law because we have died with Christ. We have died to the curse of the law in our Substitute. Those who were under the law were “held…captive” and served merely “in the old way of the written code” (Rom 7:6). We are dead to the law, not absolutely as a rule of righteousness, but in the way which the Apostle in these passages describes the law and contrasts that with Christ. Barnes notes:

Ye also are become dead to the law. Rom 6:3, Rom 6:4, Rom 6:8. The connexion between us and the law is dissolved, so far as the scope of the apostle's argument is concerned. He does not say that we are dead to it, or released from it as a rule of duty, or as a matter of obligation to obey it; for there neither is, nor can be, any such release; but we are dead to it as a way of justification and sanctification. In the great matter of acceptance with God, we have ceased to rely on the law, having become dead to it, and having embraced another plan.[6]

Read in this way, this passage is similar to an earlier, Romans 3:27-31. We are released from the law as a covenant binding us, demanding perfect obedience and cursing us when we disobey (e.g. Gal 3:10-13). We are not free to follow our own will, or to disregard the moral law in direct contradiction to what the Apostle said in Romans 3:31. Rather, we are freed from the cruses of the law and from the law as a covenant of works because the demands of the law were fulfilled in our Substitute.

Moreover, v. 5 adds more information about the way that Paul is speaking here. He speaks of the  time before Christ when we, having the law either on the heart or in stone, were aroused by the law to sin. But how was that possible? Is the fault within the law? Such an idea Paul refutes in the following verses, but sin, used even that which is good to work more sin in us. But, this was specifically the time before we came to know Christ. This was the time we were married to the law, bound to it as a covenant of works, held captive by it and were subject to its curses.

As a last observation, notice the end of v. 4 and the purpose why we have died to the law. We are to bear fruit. We did not die to the law to be lawless, but to bring fruit that is pleasing to God in freedom and through the Spirit. This passage does not destroy our oblig...


1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

...nerated; and although it be through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself, and the first motions thereof, are truly and properly sin. ( Romans 7:18,23; Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8; Romans 7:23-25; Galatians 5:17 )
  1. 1 John 1:8-10; 1 Kings 8:46; Ps 130:3; 143:2; Prov 20:9; Ecc 7:20; Rom 7:14-25; James 3:2
  2. Ps 51:4-5; Prov 22:15; Eph 2:3; Rom 7:5, 7-8, 17-18, 25; 8:3-13; Gal 5:17-24; Gen 8:21; Prov 15:26; 21:4; Matt 5:27-28

Chapter 7: Of God's Covenant [Return] [Commentary]

  1. The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience to him as their creator, yet they could never have attained the reward of life but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant. 1
    1. Job 35:7-8; Ps 113:5-6; Isa 40:13-16; Luke 17:5-10; Acts 17:24-25
  1. Moreover, man having brought himself under the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace, wherein he freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him, that they may be saved; 2 and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life, his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe. 3
    1. Gen 2:17; 3:15; Ps 110:4 (with Heb 7:18-22; 10:12-18); Eph 2:12 (with Rom 4:13-17 and Gal 3:18-22); Heb 9:15
    2. John 3:16; Rom 10:6, 9; Gal 3:10-11
    3. Ezek 36:26-27; John 6:44-45
  1. This covenant is revealed in the gospel; first of all to Adam in the promise of salvation by the seed of the woman, and afterwards by farther steps, until the full discovery thereof was completed in the New Testament; and it is founded in that eternal covenant transaction that was between the Father and the Son about the redemption of the elect; 2 and it is alone by the grace of this covenant that all the posterity of fallen Adam that ever were saved did obtain life and blessed immortality, man being now utterly incapable of acceptance with God upon those terms on which Adam stood in his state of innocency. 3
    1. Gen 3:15; Rom 16:25-27; Eph 3:5; Titus 1:2; Heb 1:1-2
    2. Ps 110:4; Eph 1:3-11; 2 Tim 1:9
    3. John 8:56; Acts 4:12; Rom 4:1-25; Gal 3:18-22; Heb 11:6, 13, 39-40

Chapter 8: Of Christ the Mediator [Return] [Commentary]

  1. It pleased God, 1 in His eternal purpose, 2 to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, his only begotten Son, according to the covenant made between them both, 3 to be the mediator between God and man; the prophetpriest, and king; head and saviour of the church, the heir of all things, and judge of the world; unto whom he did from all eternity give a people to be his seed and to be by him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified. 5
    1. Isa 42:1; John 3:16
    2. 1 Peter 1:19-20
    3. Ps 110:4; Heb 7:21-22
    4. 1 Tim 2:5; Acts 3:22; Heb 5:5-6; Ps 2:6; Luke 1:33; Eph 1:22-23; 5:23; Heb 1:2; Acts 17:31
    5. Rom 8:30; John 17:6; Isa 53:10; Ps 22:30; 1 Tim 2:6; Isa 55:4-5; 1 Cor 1:30
  1. The Son of God, the second person in the Holy Trinity, being very and eternal God, the brightness of the Father's glory, of one substance and equal with him who made the world, who upholdeth and governeth all things he hath made, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man's nature, with all the essential properties 3 and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the Holy ...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary

... Rom. 4:22-24

The justification of believers under the Old Testament was likewise by grace alone because they were saved by faith alone based on the work of Christ (Gal. 3:9; Rom. 4:1-10; 22-24; chapter 8:6) and by the Covenant of Grace (Chapter 7:3). Therefore, it is one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament. They were not justified by works and we, under the New Testament, by grace through faith. No. Salvation and justification  has  always been by grace through faith from the Fall until the end of the world.


All the saints of the Old Testament were justified by grace through faith by virtue of the Covenant of Grace as it was in promise form. This we have argued in Chapter 7 under the Mosaic, but especially in chapter 8 about the Retroactive Blood of Christ. See also above in paragraph 3 about Abraham's justification in Paul and in James.

Oh, what amazing grace to know that our justification is not depended upon us. What comfort and what thankfulness to God! Thank You, Lord God King, for everything that You have done for such a miserable wretch like me. All glory to the Blessed Trinity!

 

And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works

(Romans 4:5-6)

 

Footnotes

  1. ^ Many Scriptural references have been supplied by Samuel Waldron's Modern Exposition of 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith which was apparently supplied by the Westminster Confession of Faith 1646.
  2. ^ Wayne Grudem. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994). Chapter 36, p. 723.
  3. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church.
  4. ^ Taken from Matt Slick at CARM, The Roman Catholic view on justification.
  5. a, b, c, d Joseph Henry Thayer's Greek Definitions. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. See reference for the Strong's number.
  6. ^ William D. Mounce. Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. (Zondervan, 2006). p. 146.
  7. ^ Ibid., p. 374.
  8. ^ The Holy Bible: English Standard Version: The ESV Study Bible. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles. 2008). p. 2265.
  9. a, b Mickelson's Enhanced Strong's Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. See reference for the Strong's number.
  10. ^ Jamieson, Fausset, Brown. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Abridged). Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. In loc.
  11. ^ Explaining Regeneration Preceding Faith.
  12. ^ Grudem, Systematic Theology. Chapter 34, p. 704, n. 10.
  13. ^ 50 Things the Holy Spirit Does.
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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling - Commentary

...ll from his Word, which testifies that the children of believers are holy, not by nature but by virtue of the gracious covenant in which they together with their parents are included, godly parents ought not to doubt the election and salvation of their children whom God calls out of this life in infancy." As Reformed Baptists, we have a different Covenant Theology and our issue would be with the idea that the natural offspring of believers are included in someway in their parents' covenant. See Chapter 7 on the covenants and chapter 29 on baptism.

Children of believers are not sent to heaven or specially favored by God because they're children of believers. It is no doubt a great blessing to have faithful parent(s). But it does not place once in a Covenant of Grace with God or special covenantal privileges. John 1:13 says that the children of God “were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” They are reborn by the will of God. It is the children of promise, not of the flesh who are heirs of salvation (Rom. 9:8). Therefore, if God has decided to choose between infants who would go to hell and those who would go to heaven, I don't see any reason for believing parents to have confidence that their child is with God just because they're believers that their children would also be favored by God. Plus the fact that God does not punish the sin of the parents (e.g. unbelief) on the children (Ezek. 18:20; Deut. 24:16). Rather, everyone pays for their own sins. Therefore, in this case, unbelieving parents could also have confidence (but unbelievers want nothing to do with the true God). The consequences of sin may come upon more generations, but the sin of the father is not imputed to the son. Therefore, I believe that God will not consider the sin of the parents in making His choice, otherwise it would not be free in the highest sense as in Romans 9:11 (see above).

The Lord was angry with the generation of the Israelites in the wildresness who continually tempted Him. He promised that they shall not enter into His rest (Heb. 3:16-19). The Lord promised that "Not one of these men of this evil generation shall see the good land that I swore to give to your fathers" (Deut. 1:35). The Lord waited 40 years until that generation completely died out (Num. 32:13). Yet, in Deuteronomy 1, the Lord answers the concern of this "evil generation" about their children. The Lord said, "And as for your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there. And to them I will give it, and they shall possess it" (Deut. 1:39). The Lord denied the blessings to the fathers, yet granted them to the children. They are described as those who "have no knowledge of good or evil". This means that they are not mature enough to understand and act upon that understanding as their parents were. Notice also that the description of "have no knowledge of good or evil" is directly atted to "your children" and "your little ones". It is not spoken of those who are of age and understanding. Dr. Albert Mohler writes:

We believe that this passage bears directly on the issue of infant salvation, and that the accomplished work of Christ has removed the stain of original sin from those who die in infancy. Knowing neither good nor evil, these young children are incapable of committing sins in the body – are not yet moral agents – and die secure in the gra...