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

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

...olor: #cc99ff;"ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.

The line of argumentation goes like this:

  • Christ's ministry is better because
    • the covenant under which He ministers is better because
      • it is established on better promises

What makes the ministry of Christ better is not only the amazing person and worth of the Lord Jesus Christ, our precious and loving Savior, but it is also the New Covenant promised in Jeremiah 31:31-34. It is a covenant which is not a ministry of Condemnation, but of life and righteousness (2Cor. 3:9). The promises of the covenant include, but are not limited to, forgiveness of sins, the personal and salvific knowledge of God for everyone in the covenant, the writing of God's law upon the heart and not stone, the Lord becoming our covenant God and we His covenant people in an intimate way (Heb. 8:10-12).

Summary

Christ is the great High Priest of God's people. He is a priest not after the order of Aaron and Levi, but of Melchizedek, the priestly king. This was necessary because of the failure of the Mosaic Covenant and the Levitical priesthood. He has made atonement for His people. He intercedes for us and stands as the bridge between God and His people. He intercedes and prays for us and on our behalf before the Father on the basis of His finished work. See paragraph 10 for our benefit from this office.

Christ the Prophet

Deut. 18:15-18 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— 16 just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ 17 And the LORD said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.

Since the time of Moses, who could be called the prime prophet of the Old Testament, God promised His people about the coming of the true and prime prophet of God. Moses prophesied about the coming of the true prophet of God, the One who would reveal to us who God is. He would speak the words of God to us and explain Him as He is. In this prophecy, Moses foretells that God Himself, the God of Israel, will raise a prophet like Moses, that is, one that would teach the people the will of God, be a mediator of the covenant and lead the people of God to freedom. This prophet will be raised from among the Old Covenant community, He will not come from outside of Israel, but will come from within Israel. This prophet shall be a brother to the Israelites. Indeed, in Matthew 1 we read of Abraham as the Lord’s ancestor (Matt. 1:1). He indeed was descended from Abraham, the father of the Jews. The prophet that will arise in the time to come (from the perspective of Moses) will speak the very words of God and be obedient to God. This is exactly what we find to be the case with the Lord Jesus:

John 3:31-34 He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one re...


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

...

A. The purpose of the law, since, the fall, is to reveal the perfect righteousness of God, that His people may know his will for their lives and the ungodly, being convicted of their sin, may be restrained therein and brought to Christ for salvation. (Ps. 19:7-11; Rom. 3:20,31; 7:7; 12:2; Titus 2:12-14; Gal. 3:22,24; 1 Tim. 1:8)

It is by the law that we know what sin truly is. There is no sin without the law (see above). It shows us our sin and therefore what judgment awaits us. Without the law there is no true understanding of salvation for we must understand that we have broken God’s law and have come under His Condemnation. What Jesus does is to take the curse of the law upon Himself in our behalf and obey the law perfectly also in our behalf. What God does is He imputes that perfect righteousness of Christ to His elect and therefore God sees wretched sinners through the perfect righteousness of Christ. Amazing grace!

After the Q&A on the Decalogue, the Reformed catechisms follow with the fact that we are unable to keep God’s law, the punishment for sin and then provide the remedy to our sins. Keach’s Catechism Q&A 92 says:

Q. 92. What does God require of us, that we may escape His wrath and curse, due to us for sin?

A. To escape the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin, God requires of us faith in Jesus Christ, repentance unto life, with the diligent use of all the outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption. (Acts 20:21; Acts 16:30,31; 17:30)[23]

Only faith in Jesus Christ saves. Law-keeping does not save, but true and loving law-keeping demonstrates that one is saved and loves God (1John 5:3). The law shows us our sin and therefore drives us to the cross again and again. When we are at the foot of the cross we receive forgiveness and then the cross points us to our duty in the law towards God and man. Law and Gospel are not contrary when used rightly, but more on that in paragraph 7.


§3 The Ceremonial Laws

  1. Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties, all which ceremonial laws being appointed only to the time of reformation, are, by Jesus Christ the true Messiah and only law-giver, who was furnished with power from the Father for that end abrogated and taken away. 
    1. 1 Cor. 5:7; 2 Cor. 6:17; Jude 23
    2. Col. 2:14, 16-17; Eph. 2:14-16
    3. Heb. 10:1; Col. 2:16-17

This law of the Ten Commandments is called moral law. Besides this law and in addition to it, God gave Israel ceremonial laws. Notice that the ceremonial laws are not said to be universal or concern all humanity, but specifically the people of Israel. What did this law contain or consist of? It consisted of typical ordinances, i.e., things which pointed beyond themselves to Christ, His people, and the New Covenant. These were partly of worship. This is important to note as the threefold division of the law is not so rigid that we can separate each commandment and give them only one category. Under the Mosaic, many things were both moral and had a ceremonial or judicial application, hence the careful wording of partly of worship. The ceremonial laws were prefiguring Christ and His work (e.g. Col. 2:16-17). Then we come to ...


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

...fact that the Confession had already said things concerning the Covenant of Works, which the sister confessions did not (compare 6:1 here).

But what is a covenant of works? Simply said: a covenant wherein one needs to earn its blessings. Pascal Denault defines it thus:

The Covenant of Works had a simple way of functioning: if Adam had obeyed, he and his posterity after him would have retained life and would have been sealed in justice; but his disobedience marked the entrance of death into the world. The fall placed Adam and all of his posterity under Condemnation. The Covenant of Works was conditional and provided no way to expiate the offence in case of disobedience.[10]

Nehemiah Coxe, probably the chief editor of the Confession, defined it thus:

If the covenant be of works, the restipulation [condition, requirement] must be by doing the things required in it, even by fulfilling its condition in a perfect obedience to its law. Suitably, the reward is of debt according the terms of such a covenant. (Do not understand it of debt absolutely but of debt by compact.)[11]

Dr. Richard Barcellos gives the following definition for the Covenant of Works:

that divinely sanctioned commitment or relationship God imposed upon Adam, who was a sinless representative of mankind (or a public person), an image-bearing son of God, conditioned upon his obedience, with a penalty for disobedience, all for the bettering of man's state. Here we have the following: 1) sovereign, divine imposition; 2) representation by Adam (i.e., federal or covenantal headship), a sinless image-bearing son of God; 3) a conditional element (i.e., obedience); 4) a penalty for disobedience (i.e., death); and 5) a promise of reward (i.e., eschatological potentional or "betterment").[12]

When Adam, as a Federal Head (see chapter 6), was placed in the Garden, he was told to obey upon the threat of punishment. Life and blessing were not simply given to him; he had to earn the enjoyment of that which he had and the higher blessing which awaited him by his obedience in his time of probation (which the Bible does not say how long it would have lasted). Simply said, Adam had to obey for the blessing; disobey for the curse.

As the Federal Head for the whole human race, his disobedience brought Condemnation upon all men (Rom. 5:12-21). Had he obeyed and earned eternal life, his righteousness would have been credited to all his posterity, much like Christ's (see Romans 5:12-21). The Covenant of Works does not imply that God treated Adam strictly according his works. Our Confession declares that God condescended Himself, even before the Fall, to make a covenant with Adam. Every covenant of God is a condescension and seasoned with grace. God was far more gracious to Adam even in Adam's innocence than he deserved. Indeed, God has no obligation to bless man, but He condescends to do that for His glory and the joy of man. It was of grace that God walked with Adam in the Garden, that God revealed Himself to Adam and communed with him. Thus, a covenant of works or the Covenant of Works does not teach that every part of Adam's blessed life had to be earned. No, it has a specific point. Adam was given a command to obey for life. If he disobeyed he would've brought death—which he did. He had to obey to earn life for himself and for all his descendants after him, whom he represented as the Federal Head.

Furthermore, notice what the Confession says: although reasonable creatu...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 3: Of God's Decree - Commentary

...to be and was unrestrained by anything outside of Himself.


§3 Reprobation

  1. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated, or foreordained to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the praise of his glorious grace1 others being left to act in their sin to their just Condemnationto the praise of his glorious justice. 
    1. Matt. 25:34; 1 Tim. 5:21
    2. John 12:37-40; Rom. 9:6-24; Eph. 1:5-6; 1 Pet. 2:8-10; Jude 4

For the manifestation of his glory, which is the primary goal and end of everything that God does, God has both predestined to life as he has to Condemnation. To the praise of his glorious grace (Rom. 9:23; Eph. 1:6), the Sovereign God has predestined and foreordained to eternal life some men and angels. Not all are predestined to life and blessedness with God. The Confession is carefully following Scripture when it includes angels among those predestined unto life because 1 Timothy 5:21 speaks of “elect angels”, yet many things remain unrevealed about this election of angels. This predestination to eternal life was through Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:4). It is through and in Him that we were chosen and predestined unto eternal life as Ephesians 1:4-5 also teaches. He was our Federal Head and our High Priest, even from eternity. As foreordained unto eternal life, we were never considered without reference to Jesus Christ.

As to the rest of men and angels, they were left to act and live in their sin to their just Condemnation (Rom. 9:22). The predestination unto Condemnation and death is a passive act of God (also called reprobation). He leaves those to act in their sin, leading to their just Condemnation for their sin and rebellion against God. He does not give Jesus Christ as their Head, neither does He send His Son to die in their place or give them His Holy Spirit. In redemption, God is getting His hands nailed in Jesus Christ. In reprobation, God is leaving those in Adam to their just Condemnation. Therefore, predestination unto life and predestination unto death are not symmetrical. Even reprobation is to the praise of His glorious justice, just as Scripture teaches (Rom. 9:22-24).


Preliminary Comments

Everything that God does and has done has been for His glory above all things because He is the only and highest motivation He can have. When we do things, we try to do them for the glory and honor of God because He is the highest standard and the One worthy to be thanked and blessed. He is the Most High! God has no one higher than Himself, He is the standard, He is the highest, and that's why He swears by His own Name (Heb. 6:13). 

Notice that on the basis of 1 Timothy 5:21 elect angels, and not only men are included in the Confessional statement, which is astounding. God had absolute control and determination over the Fall and rebellion of Satan and it could not have happened unless He decreed, ordained, willed and permitted it.

There are some who in 3:6 of this chapter will be recognized as “fallen in Adam” since God has decreed the Fall, which would make salvation possible, He would redeem them from their sins through Jesus. Jesus was already the means of salvation even before the Creation. That's why Adam was a type of Christ. Now the question is, did Adam become a type of Christ when Paul wrote Romans 5:14 or was that God's intention when He created Adam? Well, I think the answer is that when God created Adam, He consciously made Him as a type of Christ. ...


Romans 5:18-19, 'justification and life for all men'

...

Therefore, as one trespass led to Condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:18-19 (ESV)

(For a recent defense of this see here.)

This to me seems a pretty simply one, but it’s going to be troublesome if people only quote verse 18 and you’re not aware of verse 19 which clarifies verse 18. 

Adam Christ
One trespass led to Condemnation for “all One act of righteousness leads to justification and life for “all

One disobedience leads to “the many” made sinners

One obedience leads to the justification of “the many

Throughout the discussion in Romans 5 the Apostle groups humanity into to groups: they’re either in Adam or in Christ.

All those outside of Christ are in Adam, they are his natural children and have inherited the sinful nature from their father Adam, who is the root of the human tree. He was the representative of all the human race in the Garden.

But by the grace of God, we have another Federal Head, namely our precious Lord Jesus, who stood in the stead of His people (Matt 1:21; 2 Co 5:21; Tit 2:14, Jn 10:15, etc..).

Not all the human race is in Him, but only those who believe in Him. All those who do not believe remain in Adam.

It is clear from contrasting verses 18 and 19 (and Romans 5 in general) that Paul does not see the whole human race as justified because of Christ, as that would contradict the idea of Hell and what was said before chapter 5, especially Romans 1-2 and what is in this chapter: Romans 5:12, 14, 16-17.

Commentaries

The ESV Study Bible explains: [1]

Rom. 5:18 The one trespass of Adam, as the covenantal head of the human race, brought Condemnation and guilt to all people. In a similar way, Christ’s one act of righteousness (either his death as such or his whole life of perfect obedience, including his death) grants righteousness and life to all who belong to him. for all men. Some interpreters have advocated universalism (the view that all will be saved) based on these verses. But Paul makes it plain in this context that only those who “receive” (v. 17) God’s gift belong to Christ (see also 1:16–5:11, which indicates that only those who have faith will be justified). The wording “as … so” shows that Paul’s focus is not on the number in each group but on the method of either sin or righteousness being passed from the representative leader to the whole group: the first “all men” refers to all who are in Adam (every human being), while the second “all men” refers to all believers, to all who are “in Christ.” On the translation “men,” see note on 5:12.

...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 21: Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience - Commentary

...The freedom and liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the gospel consists in the freedom from the dominion of sin, the punishment for sin and the free access (Eph. 2:18; 3:12) which we received through Christ to God. Furthermore, our obedience to God and His commandments is not out of slavish fear (1John 4:18), but a child-like love and willing mind (Rom. 8:14-15). We obey because we love our Father and not because we are afraid of how He might punish us. In our obedience there is reverence, but no fear of punishment or Condemnation. All these things were common also to believers under the law although those living under the law were still under the yoke of a ceremonial law (e.g. Col. 2:16-17), which believers under the New Testament are not. With the doing away of the ceremonial law, our we have a greater boldness of access to the throne of grace (Heb. 4:16) now that we know what Christ has accomplished and what it means for us. The Spirit of God is more fully communicated to us with His gifts and graces than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of (John 7:38-39). There are no believers without the Holy Spirit, but under the New Testament, there is a fuller communication of the free Spirit of God.


The Children Of God Are Freed From

Oh, brothers and sisters, how thankful should we be to our Lord for the many liberties which He has blessed us with as His children. The Confession mentions ten things which we have been freed from. As His children and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are slaves to no one, but God. Paradoxically, true freedom comes from slavery to none other than Christ. We belong to Him and we are called to walk in freedom (Gal. 5:1). We are under grace and are free, but our freedom does not consist in doing our own will, but the will of the Father and seeking His good pleasure. We were called out of the bondage of sin to walk in the freedom of God and the Gospel.

1. The guilt of sin

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the Just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Before The Throne of God Above, verse 2.

Christ, our precious Lord and Savior, makes an end of our sin and thereby also end of the guilt of sin. The guilt of sin does not only consist in the psychological terror of breaking God’s Law, but also the moral culpability and responsibility for breaking His Law, for sin is the breaking and transgressing of His Law (1John 3:4 KJV). Christ, our High Priest, “put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Heb. 9:26) and thereby made also an end to the Condemnation and punishment of sin for His people. Romans 8:1 declares that there is “no Condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. Why? Because of His sacrificial work on their behalf. He has satisfied the wrath of God on their behalf and has been punished according to the demand of the law in place of His elect (Rom. 3:25-26; Gal. 3:10-13).

According to Romans 8:32-34, the reason that no Condemnation is possible for the children of God is because of:

  1. the death of Christ on their behalf;
  2. the resurrection of Christ on their behalf; and
  3. the intercession of Christ on their behalf.

These threefold reasons do not depend upon them and are not things done by them. Rather, they are things done for them ...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 9: Of Free Will - Commentary

...llow sin to reign in us as it did before we knew Christ. Indeed, sin will no longer have dominion over us because we have been freed from the curse and demands of the law as a covenant of works (Rom. 6:14; see here). When we were under the law, either the one written on stone or the one written on the heart (see the Law of Creation). The law condemned us whenever we sinned and brought us under Condemnation. But that power of the law has been destroyed for the believers through Christ. Now the law points us to Christ through Whom we receive forgiveness for every sin (Acts 13:38-39). We are now under grace. We are under the Covenant of Grace whose promises are “confess your sins and you will be clean” (cf. 1John 1:8-9). There is no Condemnation for us who are in Christ as He was the One who paid by His precious blood for every sin we would commit (Rom. 8:1). How different than the covenant of works! The one condemns and administers death and Condemnation; the other administers righteousness and eternal glory (2Cor. 3:7-11). Thus those who are under sin and “continue in sin” are under the bondage and Condemnation of the law, that will only bring death (Rom. 6:16, 23), impurity, lawlessness (Rom. 6:19) and shame (Rom. 6:21). But Paul bursts into thanks to God for His amazing grace:

Rom. 6:16-18 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 

Glory be to the Sovereign Who has freed us from our slavery to sin. We would have never come to Christ through our free will because our will was only free to do what accords with our desires, which at that time was only sin (Rom. 14:23; 2Tim. 2:24-26; Eph. 2:1-3). But it is God who has bought us from the slave market of sin and made us slaves of Himself. We no longer are under the harsh dominion of sin, but are under the dominion of the gracious God Who saved us. It is an axiom that whomever or whatever we obey and love the most, to that we are slaves. So, when we were in the State of Sin, we were obedient to sin and thus were slaves of sin. But now thanks be to God, we have become and are becoming more obedient to God. We have been set free from sin and now we have a new goal: we now, thanks to the new nature, want to be slaves of righteousness and no longer slaves of sin. We want God to rule in our lives. We want to produce fruit in keeping with our repentance and demonstrate our love for God by being obedient slaves to Him and not defy Him through sin. We no longer want to be ashamed of the things that we did before we came to Christ, but we want to be obedient slaves of God and produce fruit which is consistent with our new nature, which does not lead to death, but instead to life eternal with God! (Rom. 6:21-22) 

Rom. 6:14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Thanks be to God!

Remaining Corruptions

The fact that we have been freed from the dominion of sin does not mean that we no longer sin. If we claim that we no longer sin, we disqualify ourselves from being Christians (1John 1:7). We do sadly sin, but this is because of the remaining cor...


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

...em Him. Paul states that the purpose of us all appearing before Christ is “so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2Cor. 5:10). The wicked will be paid back for their wickedness (Col. 3:25), and the righteous will be paid back for their righteousness (Eph. 6:8).

The reason that Christians should not dread the Day of Judgment is because Christ said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24). We must understand these words to mean that the believer does come under Condemnation and judgment, and not to mean that believers will not appear at the Last Judgment. The confidence of believers on the Day of Judgment and their lack of dread thereof, is based on their faith in the Christ of God. Romans 8:1 declares plainly that “There is therefore now no Condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Therefore, every believer has 100% confidence that God will not reject them or sentence them to Hell, if they had sincerely believed on Christ and turned from their sin toward God. John says:

1John 4:16-18 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 

Since we know that God loves us, His people, therefore, we should have no fear of the judgment, but rather we should have “confidence for the day of judgment”. John Calvin noted on v. 17, saying:

It is, however, an invaluable benefit, that we can dare boldly to stand before God. By nature, indeed, we dread the presence of God, and that justly; for, as he is the Judge of the world, and our sins hold us guilty, death and hell must come to our minds whenever we think of God. Hence is that dread which I have mentioned, which makes men shun God as much as they can. But John says that the faithful do not fear, when mention is made to them of the last judgment, but that on the contrary they go to God’s tribunal confidently and cheerfully, because they are assured of his paternal love. Every one, then, has made so much proficiency in faith, as he is well prepared in his mind to look forward to the day of judgment. [3]

This “confidence” and “boldness” which we have for the day of judgment, a day naturally to be dreaded, especially when we know how sinful we are, is based only upon the love of God demonstrated for us in the cross. We do not fear the Day of Judgment, because, says John, fear has to do with punishment and in that scheme love does not work. John taught that our sins were washed away by the blood of Christ, and therefore, the punishment for sins was also satisfied (e.g. 1John 1:7-2:2). Therefore, Christians have nothing to dread. Unlike the righteous, the wicked, Scripture declares, “will not stand in the judgment” (Ps. 1:5). Their position and their condition at the Last Judgment is utterly different. The wicked will be in pain and will be in full dread of the everlasting judgment ahead of them, while the righteous have nothing to fear. John Gill notes on 1 John 4:17:

the future judgment, whic...


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

... His Son (Rom. 6:23), how and on what basis will God revoke His gift? We're not even talking about the Arminian idea that people have the ability and choice to either accept or reject the gift of God, but we are talking here about those who have (supposedly) already received the gift and have fallen away from the faith. According to this idea, which maintains that eternal life is a gift from God, but could be lost or forfeited, then we would say that it is given by grace but maintained by obedience. But how is this not a works-based damnable gospel which the Scriptures (e.g. Galatians) warn against? Having eternal life means not entering into God's judgment and coming under His Condemnation, but rather going from spiritual death to life eternal with God in the present and also in the future (John 5:24). How does this fit with the idea of people losing their salvation? Do they after losing their salvation go from life back into spiritual death? Do they now enter into the judgment of God? Do you see what impossible ideas this doctrine of losing one's salvation leads to?

Therefore, consistent with the two other passages from John we maintain that eternal life presupposes the fact that those who possess it are unable to lose it.

Pauline Corpus

After considering the Apostle John and particularly the Lord Jesus's words in the Gospel, we will move beyond the direct words of Jesus into the writings of the disciples beginning with Paul. Paul has 13 Epistles attributed to his name. He is the one who has some warning passages, passages about “falling away”, but he is also the one who often speaks of assurance of salvation and perseverance. Here, I want to look at a few passages from which we see that Paul taught the doctrine of Perseverance.

Romans 8:28-39 – Nothing can separate us

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

The Golden Chain of Redemption is a great passage on assurance of salvation from the beginning until the end and the victory of God's unconquerable love. Few observations on this passage are in order.

1. First ...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 6: Of the Fall of Man, Of Sin, And of the Punishment Thereof - Commentary

... us all in the Garden. If he had passed the probation, all his posterity would have been counted as righteous and would have remained in that state. But because he failed, all his natural posterity fell in him and with him. Thereby even the cutest baby is born with a sinful nature and is dead in sin. This is best seen in Paul's treatment of Federal Headship in Romans 5:

Rom. 5:12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 

Rom. 5:18 Therefore, as one trespass led to Condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

Sin entered into the world through the disobedience of one man, Adam. Through sin, the punishment of sin also entered into the world—death. In Adam all sinned and thereby also came under the punishment of death. The "all sinned" in Romans 5:12c is not personal sin, but the sin of the representative, Adam. We all sinned because he sinned. His sin and trespass did not only lead to our death, but also to our judgment and Condemnation. His sin brought both physical and spiritual death; natural and eternal death.

When sin entered into the world, separation came between man and God. Separation from all good, physical and spiritual death also, the second death, the death of all eternity and torment in Hell. Sin creates separation between the Creator and creature. The sin that is in us causes Him to grief and be angry with us and make His wrath abide on us (Gen. 6:5-6; John 3:36).

Isa. 59:2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. 


§3 Original Sin and Federal Headship

  1. They being the root, and by God's appointment, standing in the room and stead of all mankind, the guilt of the sin was imputed, and corrupted nature conveyed, to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation, being now conceived in sin, and by nature children of wrath, the servants of sin, the subjects of death, and all other miseries, spiritual, temporal, and eternal, unless the Lord Jesus set them free. 1
    1. Rom. 5:12-19; 1 Cor. 15:21, 22, 45, 49; Ps 51:5; 58:3; Job 14:4; 15:14; Gen. 8:21; Prov. 22:15; Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 6:20; Heb. 2:14, 15; 1 Thess. 1:10

They were not only the root, i.e., the first parents of all humans, but also by God's appointment, standing in the room and stead of all mankind (Rom. 5:12-19). It was God Who decided that Adam be the federal head of all his descendants. This meant that whatever Adam did in the Covenant of Works (see chapter 7) counted for his descendants also. Since Adam disobeyed, all the curses of the Covenant came upon us, too. Thus the guilt of sin was imputed (Rom. 5:12) to us and the corrupted nature conveyed by ordinary generation, i.e., procreation. Note especially the word ordinary, which excludes our Lord from being under Adam since His birth or generation was unordinary. From our first point of life we are sinful. We are conceived in sin. Conceived in and not by sin. We are by nature children of wrath (Eph. 2:3), not children of God. And we are subject to all the curses of God because of Adam's law-breaking and our own sins against God and will remain so unless the Lord Jesus sets us free.


Here is the Confession's full statement on the classic doctrine of Original Sin, or as Dr. Wayne Grudem suggests, Inherited Sin. We see that Adam and E...