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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 30: Of the Lord's Supper - Commentary

...ual remembrance, and shewing forth the sacrifice of himself in his death, 4 confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment, and growth in him, their further engagement in, and to all duties which they owe to him; 7 and to be a bond and pledge of their Communion with him, and with each other. 8
  1. 1 Cor. 11:23-26; Matt. 26:20-29; Mark 14:17-25; Luke 22:14-23[1]
  2. Acts 2:41-42; 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:17-22, 33-34
  3. Mark 14:24-25; Luke 22:17-22; 1 Cor. 11:24-26
  4. 1 Cor. 11:24-26; Matt. 26:27-28; Luke 22:19-20
  5. Rom. 4:11
  6. John 6:29, 35, 47-58
  7. 1 Cor. 11:25
  8. 1 Cor. 10:16-17

The supper of the Lord is a “positive and sovereign institution” (chapter 28:1) by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He commanded it to be observed in His churches, unto the end of the world (1 Cor. 11:26). Why did He command it to be observed? ...for the perpetual remembrance, and shewing forth the sacrifice of Himself in His death (1 Cor. 11:24-26). The Lord Supper signifies and shows forth the Lord’s suffering on our behalf, His body being broken for us and His blood being shed for our forgiveness. It is also given for the confirmation of the faith of believers to remind them of the sacrifice of Christ which is their only ground of hope and peace with God. It is for their spiritual nourishment, and growth in Him because the Lord comes very close to us as we partake of His supper and sit at His table. It reminds us also of all the duties which we owe to Him thanks to His sacrifice on our behalf. But it is also a bond and pledge of our Communion with Him, and with each other. Since we are all in union with Christ and as we partake of His blood and body, we also partake and are united with each other as believers. Christ unites all believers together and this is also signified by the Lord’s Supper and it is a pledge of it (i.e., a solemn promise or undertaking to keep this Communion).


Institution And Command Of Observation

The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance that is directly commanded by Christ. It’s not a deduction from multiple passages, but a direct and positive command of the Sovereign Christ. It is meant to cause us to look back to the perfect sacrifice of Christ of Himself by Himself for the perfection of all the elect of God. We are to look back to the sacrifice and look forward to the Parousia when He will fulfill and bring to pass all the benefits of His sacrifice. We read of the institution of this blessed ordinance in Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:17-25; Luke 22:14-23 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. I will use Paul’s text as the basis (which was taken from Luke’s Gospel) to discuss the institution of the Lord’s Supper.

1 Cor. 11:23-26 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes

Before being betrayed by Judas, the Lord Jesus instituted a New Covenant meal in which His disciples would always have a way to remember and celebrate His work of redemption on their behalf. They were celebrating the Jewish Passover as the New Covenant Mediator instituted t...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 27: Of the Communion of Saints

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Chapter 27: Of the Communion of Saints

What does it mean that we are in union with Christ? What are the benefits from being united with Christ? What are our obligations toward fellow believers?


§1 Union With Jesus Christ

  1. All saints that are united to Jesus Christ, their head, by his Spirit, and faith, 2 although they are not made thereby one person with him, have fellowship in his graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory; 4 and, being united to one another in love, they have Communion in each others gifts and graces, 5 and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, in an orderly way, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man. 6
    1. Eph. 1:4; John 17:2, 6; 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 6:8; 8:17; 8:2; 1 Cor. 6:17; 2 Peter 1:4[1]
    2. Eph. 3:16-17; Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 3:17-18
    3. 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:18-19; 1 Tim. 6:15-16; Isa. 42:8; Ps. 45:7; Heb. 1:8-9
    4. 1 John 1:3; John 1:16; 15:1-6; Eph.2:4-6; Rom. 4:25; 6:1-6; Phil. 3:10; Col. 3:3-4
    5. John 13:34-35; 14:15; Eph. 4:15; 1 Peter 4:10; Rom. 14:7-8; 1 Cor. 3:21-23; 12:7, 25-27
    6. Rom. 1:12; 12:10-13; 1 Thess. 5:11,14; 1 Peter 3:8; 1 John 3:17-18; Col. 6:10; Gal. 6:10

All saints...are united to Jesus Christ (e.g., Eph. 1:1, 4; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:2). They are in Him and identified with Him. To be united to Jesus Christ means that they have fellowship in His graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory (Rom. 6:1-6; Col. 3:3-4; 1 John 1:3). They are united with Him in these aspects. For example, in the case of His death and resurrection, it is as if we died and rose again with Him. We did not literally and physically die with Him, but since we have been united to our Head, whatever He does or did on our behalf is counted as our own. This union with Jesus Christ is by His Spirit, and faith (Eph. 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 3:17-18). There is no other way in which we can be united to Jesus Christ and experience the benefits of this union. In all of this, we do not become one person with Him. We still remain us and separate from Him, but we share in Him and are one with Him spiritually and by virtue of His headship.

This union to Jesus Christ goes beyond us and the Lord. In fact, after we have been united to the Lord, we are united one another in love (John 13:34-35; Eph. 4:15). Union with Christ does not only make us one with the Lord, but also it unites us to others who are one with the Lord. In the same way, we share and have Communion in each other gifts and graces. We seek to serve each other and bless others with the gifts and graces which God has bestowed upon us. We are, in fact, obliged to the performance of such duties which conduce to our mutual good (Rom. 1:12; 12:10-13). This duty is public and private, and it does not only concern spiritual things (in the inward...man), but also physically providing for those lacking supply and in need of help materially (in the...outward man).


Defining Union with Christ

All the elect are united to Christ. They were united in His death (Gal. 2:20) and share the undeserved blessings coming from his perfect life, death, resurrection, and ascension in glory. This union with Christ does not make us one person with Him or with God, that is blasphemy. Rather, we become one with Him in spirit, love, and Communion sharing in all those blessings which the Father has given to Christ. This union with Christ spans from eternity past to eternity future. What is then this union with C...


1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

...up" href="#chap20" name="chap20_up"Of the Gospel and the Extent of Grace thereof
  • Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience
  • Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day
  • Of Lawful Oaths and Vows
  • Of the Civil Magistrate
  • Of Marriage
  • Of the Church
  • Of the Communion of Saints
  • Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
  • Of Baptism
  • Of the Lord’s Supper
  • Of the State of Man after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead
  • Of the Last Judgement
  • (More) Scriptural references have been added from Sam Waldron’s excellent Modern Exposition of 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.


    Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scriptures [Return] [Commentary]

    1. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience 1, although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable 2; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation 3. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church 4; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary 5, those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased. 6
      1. Isa. 8:20; Luke 16:29; Eph. 2:20; 2 Tim. 3:15-17
      2. Ps. 19:1-3; Rom. 1:19-21, 32; 2:12a, 14-15
      3. Ps. 19:1-3 with vv. 7-11; Rom. 1:19-21; 2:12a, 14-15 with 1:16-17; and 3:21
      4. Heb. 1:1-2a
      5. Prov. 22:19-21; Luke 1:1-4; 2 Peter 1:12-15; 3:1; Deut. 17:18ff; 31:9ff, 19ff; 1 Cor. 15:1; 2 Thess. 2:1-2, 15; 3:17; Rom. 1:8-15; Gal. 4:20; 6:11; 1 Tim. 3:14ff; Rev. 1:9, 19; 2:1 etc.; Rom. 15:4; 2 Peter 1:19-21
      6. Heb. 1:1-2a; Acts 1:21-22; 1 Cor. 9:1; 15:7-8; Eph. 2:20
    2. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these: 
      OF THE OLD TESTAMENT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
      Genesis Matthew
      Exodus Mark
      Leviticus Luke
      Numbers John
      Deuteronomy Paul’s Epistle to the Romans
      Joshua  I Corinthians & II Corinthians
      Judges Galatians
      Ruth Ephesians
      I Samuel & II Samuel Philippians
      I Kings & II Kings Colossians
      I Chronicles, II Chronicles I Thessalonians & II Thessalonians
      Ezra I Timothy & II Timothy
      Nehemiah To Titus
      Esther To Philemon
      Job The Epistle to the Hebrews
      Psalms Epistle of James
      Proverbs The first and second Epistles of Peter
      Ecclesiastes The first, second, and third Epistles of John
      The Song of Solomen The Epistle of Jude
      Isaiah The Revelation
      Jeremiah  
      Lamentations  
      Ezekiel  
      Daniel  
      Hosea  
      Joel  
      Amos  
      Obadiah  
      Jonah  
      Micah  
      Nahum  
      Habakkuk  
      Zephaniah  
      Haggai  
      Zechariah  
      Malachi   

            All of which are given by the inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life. 1

    1. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon or rule of the Scripture, and, therefore, are of no authority to the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved or m...

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

    ...pSimply said, a covenant is the way that God communicates with man. It must be noted that the covenants made by God are made up by God—what I mean is that God doesn’t ask people’s opinion about what they think of the covenant, blessings, and curses. It is something imposed by God. It is a sovereign arrangement. This is seen in Nehemiah Coxe’s definition of Covenant, which is...

    “A declaration of his sovereign pleasure concerning the benefits he will bestow on them, the Communion they will have with him, and the way and means by which this will be enjoyed by them.”[4]

    Walter Chantry defines a covenant as “a sovereignly given arrangement by which man may be blessed.”[5] A. W. Pink defines it as:

    Briefly stated, any covenant is a mutual agreement entered into by two or more parties, whereby they stand solemnly bound to each other to perform the conditions contracted for.[6]

    From these definitions, we observe that a covenant seeks to bring man to a better state of existence or being. It doesn’t seek to leave man in the place he was prior to the covenant. Dr. Richard Barcellos observes:

    Think of the Noahic covenant. Prior to its revelation as found in Genesis 6-9, the earth was potentially subject to a universal flood due to the justice of God being executed on the earth against the wickedness of man. We know this for certain because that is exactly what happened. The Noahic covenant, which includes man (Noah and his descendants), also involves every living creature (Genesis 9:9-10, 15, 16). It embraces and benefits the earth as well (Genesis 8:22...Genesis 9:13...Jeremiah 33:20, 50...). That divine covenants are revealed to man for “the advancing and bettering of his state” [Nehemiah Coxe] can also be said of all other divine covenants with man throughout the Bible. Abraham (along with his carnal and spiritual seed) was better off for the covenant revealed to him. The Israelites were better off for the covenant revealed to them. It promised them blessings from God that were not promised to them prior to its promulgation. David and the Israelites were better off for the covenant revealed to them, and believers of all ages are much better off for the revelation of the new covenant in its promissory form in the Old Testament and in its concluded, or historically ratified, form in the New Testament.[7]

    Nehemiah Coxe writes:

    The immediate and direct end therefore, of God’s entering into covenant with man at any time (so far as concerns man himself) is the advancing and bettering of his state. God never made a covenant with man in which his goodness to him was not abundantly manifest. Yes, such is his infinite bounty that he has proposed no lower end to his covenant transactions with men than to bring them into a blessed state in the eternal enjoyment of himself. And therefore, when one covenant (through the weakness of man in his lapsed state) has been found weak and unprofitable as to this great end of a covenant because insufficient to accomplish it, God finds fault, abolishes it, and introduces another in which full provision is made for the perfect salvation of those that have interest in it (Hebrews 8:7, 8).[8]

    Now that we know what a covenant is, let us delve into the covenants of which the Bible speaks.

    The Covenant of Works

    We begin our study of the covenants with the Covenant of Works because that is the way our Confession starts this chapter. Some may be searching for the phrase “Covenant of Works” in ...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 2: Of God and of the Holy Trinity - Commentary

    ... “most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin”. The love of God is infinite for His people in that He predestined them in love (Eph. 1:4-5) and because of love, He sent His Son into the world for us (John 3:16). God’s love for the elect is an everlasting love, which extends from eternity past to eternity future. It is the same kind of love which the Father has for the Son (John 17:26). This is what to me is mind-blowing. The Father loves the elect in the same way that He loves the Son. It has pleased the Trinity to create and redeem so that we may enjoy and join the Trinity in their loving Communion and live with Them.

    God is love (1 John 4:8). He loved us while we were sinners and gave up Christ for our sake (Rom. 5:8-9). By His grace—His unmerited favor—we have been saved from Himself, by Himself and for Himself. While we were wicked and God-hating, Christ died for us. We did not deserve this, but He is the Sovereign Lord who is sovereign in dispensing His grace, which He does most freely and without any obligation to save anyone (Rom. 9:18). He is the God Who is long-suffering. The Bible many times says that He is “slow to anger” (Ex. 34:6; Num. 14:18), which is demonstrated clearly in allowing us to live so long and sin, without directly sending us to Hell. He bears with us and grants us good gifts and blessings. He is good to all; He is Omni-benevolent (Ps. 145:9). Even to the wicked He is good and demonstrates His goodness. But to the righteous, God is especially good, gracious and loving, because they are peculiarly His. Even after granting us faith and repentance, He still bears with us and is slow to anger toward us. The difference between mercy and grace lies in this: Grace is grating that which we do not deserve, while mercy is not getting what we deserve. Mercy gets us out of Hell, while grace grants us all the blessings of Christ and His covenant. For the elect, mercy and grace go hand-in-hand. God demonstrates His mercy and common grace even to the wicked in allowing them to live and his riches and happiness in their lives, which He absolutely does not owe them for the continual sinning against Him.

    He forgave us by the sacrifice of His beloved Son. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” God took our sin and placed it on His beloved and most holy Son, Who is equal to Him, and punished Him instead of us. God is most holy and therefore He must punish all sin. He cannot tolerate sin. The Good News to us is summarized in Romans 3:23-26: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” A great substitution has taken place where Christ has taken the punishment of all the elect upon Himself and thereby satisfying the holy wrath and law of God.

    The Justice of God

    Those who seek Him will indeed find Him (Jer. 29:13; 33:3). He does not reject those who seek Him, yet He rewards them (Heb. 11:6), although they don’t deserve it (Luke 17:1...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary

    ...n their unregenerate state, the elect are not part of the universal church until they are gathered into Christ. Christ is the head (Col 1:18) and the church is the spouse (Eph. 5:25), the body (Col 1:18) and the fullness (Eph. 1:23) of Christ.


    The word “catholic” means universal and hereby, our forefathers are agreeing with the last part of the Apostles’ Creed: 

    I believe in the Holy Spirit, 9. the holy catholic Church, the Communion of saints, 10. the forgiveness of sins, 11. the resurrection of the body, 12. and the life everlasting. Amen.

    Neither the Nicene Creed nor the Confession refers to the Roman Catholic Church in the word “catholic”, but to the universal Christian Church of Jesus Christ. This church is the universal invisible church. This designation refers to true believers, who were chosen before the foundation of the world, are members of the New Covenant and not merely members of a local church. They are true believers and part of the New Covenant in Christ’s blood. This is what the New Covenant consists of and this is what makes up the invisible church, which only God infallibly knows its members. There will be professing believers in our churches, even members or on the staff, who are not true believers and thus not part of the invisible church, but they are part of the visible church. The invisible church becomes visible. The universal church becomes local. John Dagg defines these distinctions as follows:

    By the church invisible, they [theologians] mean all true Christians; and by the church visible, all those who profess the true religion. The invisible consists wholly of those who are sons of light; and the visible includes sons of light and sons of darkness in one community.[3]

    The Presbyterian Louis Berkhof defines the distinction in the following way:

    the invisible Church is the Church as God sees it, a Church which contains only believers, while the visible Church is the Church as man sees it, consisting of those who profess Jesus Christ with their children and therefore adjudged to be the community of the saints.[4]

    We see in this definition the distinction between paedobaptist covenant theology and 1689 Federalism carried out to the church. As the Covenant of Grace, in paedobaptist conception, includes believers and their children, so also the church. In chapter 7, we’ve questioned this constitution and argued that the Covenant of Grace was made with the elect in Christ. We will rehearse a few points below, no doubt, but for a longer discussion on the basis of these points, see chapter 7.

    The New Covenant consists only of believers. This is one of the major points which 1689 Federalism stresses. The New Covenant, which is wholly salvific, is only for the elect. In other words, all the members of this covenant, unlike all previous covenants, are redeemed and elect of God from eternity. All the members of the New Covenant are truly regenerate and Spirit-dwelt believers. This is seen, for example, from Hebrews 8:6-13 where all members of the New Covenant, from the oldest to the youngest know the LORD. Not merely know about Him, but truly know Him. Furthermore, this New Covenant is unlike the Mosaic Covenant which had members who were unbelievers and members who were believers. This New Covenant is one which will not be broken like the Mosaic was and thus, apostasy is impossible in the New Covenant (see chapter 17 and our exposition of texts used to argue for actual apostasy from faith). ...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith - Commentary

    ... Spirit of Christ (John 6:63; Ezek. 36:25-27). Faith is our response to the call of God, but it does not originate with us. It is granted to us by God and it is worked in us by the Holy Spirit through regeneration and the creation of the new man in Christ. It is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word (2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:23), i.e., by the preaching of the gospel coupled with the work of the Spirit of Christ. This faith is further strengthened by the means of grace. These are the gospel ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. But also prayer, Bible reading and study, the Communion of the saints and other things prescribed and commended in the Word of truth. By these means, faith is not created, but it is increased and strengthened.


    Greek Words

    We will start our study of faith by first noting which words are used in the New Testament especially to denote faith and belief. The word faith or belief in our daily lives may be used in a lot of senses. We may say that we believe that someone is speaking the truth and mean that we have confidence. We may say, “I believe that I’ve read that book” when we actually mean that we “think we read that book.” We use it when we have confidence or trust in something without evidence. In secular eyes, faith is always connected with believing something without or contrary to evidence. But is this the nature of biblical faith? Before we answer that, we must take a survey of the Greek words and expressions used to denote faith, particularly in the New Testament.

    Pistis

    The primary word in the New Testament for faith is the Greek noun πίστις (pistis, G4102). According to Joseph Henry Thayer, pistis primarily means the “conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it”[3]. According to my Bible software (TheWord), it is used 227x in the NA28. William D. Mounce says that 'pistis means “belief, trust, confidence,” though it can also mean “faithfulness.”’[4] If we may at the outset observe, the basic meaning of the word has to do with conviction, trust, reliance, and confidence. It has nothing to do with “faith without evidence.” Louis Berkhof observes:

    In classical Greek. The word pistis has two meanings in classical Greek. It denotes: (a) a conviction based on confidence in a person and in his testimony, which as such is distinguished from knowledge resting on personal investigation; and (b) the confidence itself on which such a conviction rests. This is more than a mere intellectual conviction that a person is reliable; it presupposes a personal relation to the object of confidence, a going out of one’s self, to rest in another. The Greeks did not ordinarily use the word in this sense, to express their relation to the gods, since they regarded these as hostile to men, and therefore as objects of fear rather than of trust.[5]

    Now let us observe the different uses of the noun pistis in the New Testament. First of all, there are a few instances in which it is used in a passive sense of faithfulness. This is the case in Romans 3:3 when Paul says, “Does [the Jews’] faithlessness [ἀπιστία, apistia] nullify the faithfulness [πίστιν, pistin] of God?” Or in Galatians 5:22 of the fruit of “faithfulness [πίστις, pistis]”, or in Matthew 23:2, “the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness [...


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

    ...ott expresses this relationship in this way:

    With God.—These words express the co-existence, but at the same time the distinction of person. They imply relation with, intercourse with. (Comp. the “in the bosom of the Father” of Joh. 1:18, and “Let us make man” of Gen. 1:26.) “Throned face to face with God,” “the gaze ever directed towards God,” have been given as paraphrases, and the full sense cannot be expressed in fewer words. The “with” represents “motion towards.” The Being whose existence is asserted in the “was” is regarded as distinct, but not alone, as ever going forth in Communion with God. (Comp. the use of the same word “with” in Mat. 13:56; Mat. 26:11; Mar. 6:3; Mar. 9:19; 1Co. 16:6-7; Gal. 1:18; Gal. 4:18.)[10]

    It is this Word that became flesh. The Word which was fully divine became man. Took on flesh and dwelt among us. Barnes notes that ‘The word “flesh,” here, is evidently used to denote “human nature” or “man.” See Mat 16:17; Mat 19:5; Mat 24:22; Luk 3:6; Rom 1:3; Rom 9:5. The “Word” was made “man.”’[2] The word used for “dwelt” in the Greek is ἐσκήνωσεν (eskénésen, G4637), which is defined as “to fix one’s tabernacle, have one’s tabernacle, abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent), tabernacle”[11], which takes us back to the promises of God and the Lord’s tabernacle with Israel in the wilderness. Now the Lord whom we sought has come and made His tabernacle among us (Mal. 3:1). Notice that the Word did not cease being the Word or being divine when He became human. Rather, these two natures were united in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Again, Barnes notes:

    Was made - This is the same word that is used in Joh 1:3; “All things were made by him.” It is not simply affirmed that he was flesh, but that he was made flesh, implying that he had pre-existence, agreeably to Joh 1:1. This is in accordance with the doctrine of the Scriptures elsewhere. Heb 10:5; “a ‘body’ hast thou prepared me.” Heb 2:14; “as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same.” 1Jo 4:2; “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” See also 1Ti 3:16; Phi 2:6; 2Co 8:9; Luk 1:35. The expression, then, means that he became a man, and that he became such by the power of God providing for him a body. It cannot mean that the divine nature was “changed” into the human, for that could not be; but it means that the λόγος  Logos, or “Word,” became so intimately united to Jesus that it might be said that the Logos, or “Word” “became” or “was” a man, as the soul becomes so united to the body that we may say that it is one person or a man.[2]

    Other passages could be called upon to prove the incarnation of the Lord Jesus, but I think that these two are sufficient.

    Common Infirmities of the Human Nature

    The Son of God in His incarnation truly became human. He did not seem like He was human, but He was truly, in every essential sense, man. It is enough to acknowledge the fact that He was born. God, by definition, does not have a beginning. But the fact that the Lord Jesus in His human nature did have a beginning and that from a human, from Mary, proves that He truly was human. Humans beget humans. But this is also proven by the way that the Bible describes the Lord Jesus.

    Body

    The Lord Jesus, contrary to the Gnostic heretics, did truly have a human nature and body. He could be touched (Matt. 14:36; Mark 6:56). Even as an infant, He had a true human body, which could be touched and was not a phantom or...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 29: Of Baptism - Commentary

    ...llowship (e.g., Gal. 3:27) and union with Christ for the party baptized. Baptism is a sign, i.e., something visible representing something invisible (union with Christ). Baptism signifies our fellowship with Him, in His death and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-5). As we are submerged in the water, we picture the Lord’s death and ours. As we come out of the water, we picture the Lord’s resurrection and ours. Baptism signifies our union with Christ or as it is here called, our being engrafted into Him (Gal. 3:27; see chapter 27). It signifies the washing away or remission of sins (Acts 22:16). It also signifies our giving up into God or our determination to submit to God, through Jesus Christ and to live and walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4), which we have received from the Lord and which baptism pictures. Notice that baptism is called a sign and not the cause or an instrument of fellowship with Christ. It does not cause those things enlisted, but pictures these realities visibly. Which brings us to the subjects of Christian Baptism in the next paragraph.


    That baptism is an institution and ordinance of our Lord is very clear from Matthew 28:18-20. There, we are given the command to make disciples of all nations by baptizing and teaching them. It is a given for Christians that it is Christ Who instituted it for all believers just like He did the Lord’s Supper. But what is baptism actually? According to the Confession, it is a sign. Being a sign means that it points beyond itself to something else and this something is the work of Christ on behalf of believers. Baptism has a mode in which it is to be performed and also specific subjects who should be its recipient. Hercules Collins in 1691 defined baptism as “an external washing, plunging or dipping a profest Believer, in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”[2] As the previous chapter explained, baptism is a “positive and sovereign institution”. This means that it is dictated by the will and directions of the Institutor. We dare not play around with it, add or take things from what He has commanded. We should be terrified if we neglect anything which He has commanded concerning this ordinance, or add to His ordinance. We dare not rest our case upon consequences, analogies, or even church history. The Sovereign Institutor has spoken His mind in the Holy Scriptures. Benjamin Keach, therefore, observed that “because Baptism (as well as Circumcision was) is a mere positive Law, and wholly depends on the Will and Pleasure of the Law-giver”[3].

    Therefore, it is also our purpose to approach this subject asking what our Master says concerning it in His inerrant, sufficient, and infallible Word.

    What Baptism Signifies

    Christian Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water, in token of his previous entrance into the Communion of Christ’s death and resurrection,—or, in other words, in token of his regeneration through union with Christ.[4]

    Baptism signifies the new life and the blessings thereof, which the believer has received through faith and repentance. The Confession describes it as “a sign of fellowship with” Christ. Baptism shows our union with Christ, just as He Himself was baptized, so we share in a baptism similar to His and follow His example. Stanford E. Murrell defines baptism as “an ordinance wherein the washing with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, signifies and seals the engrafting of a soul into Christ, and the partaking of...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 4: Of Creation - Commentary

    ...:-Of-Free-Will-Commentary/1028"chapter 9 (Of Free Will) and chapter 19 (Of God’s Law) for more on these subjects.


    §3 Besides the law written in their hearts, they received a command

    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

    Besides the law of God which was written in their hearts, they receive a positive commandment (Gen. 2:16-17). Something which is not grounded in the nature of God. The Ten Commandments, for example, are things that are grounded in the nature of God. They are commanded because they are good and reflect God. Positive commands, on the other hand, are good because they are commanded. Examples of positive commands are the Lord’s Supper and Baptism. They do not have their ground in the nature of God neither in man. But since they are commanded by God, they are good and they are to be obeyed. So also, in addition to the moral law of God in their hearts, God gave Adam and Eve the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16-17) and while they kept it, they were happy in their Communion with God. Not only that, but this obedience to God and His command made it such that Adam and Eve had dominion over the creatures. Their obedience did not only affect their vertical relationship, but also the horizontal so much so that all other creatures helped them to fulfill or was obedient to their God-given commission to subdue the earth and have dominion over the other creatures (Gen. 1:28).


    Not only was the Law written on their hearts, but they also had a positive command delivered to them verbally so as to cast away any doubt or excuse. The command was simple and to the point:

    Gen. 2:15-17 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” 

    But our parents did disobey God’s command and brought condemnation to all men. But all those who trust in Christ are justified because of what Christ did on their behalf by His perfect life and on Golgotha (Rom. 5:17-21). Our parents, at the moment of their rebellion, lost holy and sinless Communion with God for themselves and for all their descendants when they took and ate of the forbidden fruit, and thus bringing condemnation and death upon all men. See chapter 7 for more on the Covenant of Works and chapter 6 for more on the Fall.

     

    In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 

    (Genesis 1:1)

    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. ^ See more at Creation Ministries International. For example Jonathan Sarfati. How could the days of Genesis 1 be literal if the sun wasn’t created until the fourth day?
    3. ^ What Luther Says. A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian, compiled by Ewald M. Plass, Concordia, 1959, p. 93.
    4. ^ John Calvin. Institutes of the Christian Religion. 3.21.4.
    5. ^ Louis Berkhof. Systematic Theology. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Banner of Tru...