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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]

Introduction to Covenant Theology

Covenant theology (also known as Covenantalism, Federal theology, or Federalism) is a Calvinist conceptual overview mand 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 redemption, works, and grace.[2]

Covenant Theology helps us see the story of the whole Bible. Covenant Theology unites the people of God and their purpose. Covenant Theology helps us see the importance given to covenants in the Bible. Covenant Theology is opposed to Dispensationalism which seeks to divide the people of God, their purpose and focuses on the discontinuity of the covenants. In this chapter, I will try to lay out how I understand 1689 Baptist Covenant Theology and make a case for it from Holy Writ. I've been greatly helped by the following books and men:

I don't pretend to have an answer to every quest...


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

...e not talking here about the New Covenant specifically, this passage is important in its teaching that the New Covenant is a covenant whose members are all regenerate, therefore, a few observations 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...


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

...s the promise that through his Seed the nations would be blessed. Under Moses, it was the sacrifices and types of the Temple. With the Davidic covenant, the people were expecting a King. All those covenants pointed to the one central covenant of Scripture, the New Covenant, whose mediator is Christ the Lord. It is by virtue of this covenant that anyone who was ever saved is saved. Because this is the covenant which Christ mediates. This is the covenant which has as its head Christ the Lord and promises of eternal life and complete forgiveness (Heb. 8:6-13).

Okay, but how were the promises of the coming New Covenant a reality for the Old Testament saints? By virtue of the Covenant Of Grace. In 1689 Federalist understanding, the Covenant Of Grace is the New Covenant in promise form, i.e., it was the New Covenant before it was established. We reject the Westminster understanding of the covenants in the Old Testament being administrations of the one Covenant Of Grace. Rather we believe that the covenants of the OT were of works or dichotomous and only the New Covenant is purely and true the Covenant Of Grace. For more on this see my case in chapter 7 for 1689 Federalism. It is by virtue of the Covenant Of Grace in promise form that all the elect prior to the death of Christ and the establishment of the Covenant Of Grace in time, i.e., the establishment of the New Covenant were saved. The Lord God did not count the sin of the elect under the OT against them but cleansed and regenerated them based on the certain finished work of Christ on their behalf in the future. This is seen, for example, from Romans 3 -

Rom. 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. 

Let us notice a few things about this glorious passage of Sola Fide. I think it is absolutely clear that Paul argues here that justification has always been by faith. But not only that, but this justification is likewise by grace and it is a gift. This is based on the redemption that is in Christ, i.e., His atoning death. God, who put Christ as a propitiation, i.e., a sacrifice that satisfies divine wrath and brings divine favor, purposed for Him to be received by faith. This was by the believing according to the knowledge they had in the types and shadows. They obviously did not possess as much knowledge as we have been privileged with, yet still, salvation was by grace and thanks to Christ. Justification by faith under the OT was based upon Christ's future propitiatory death. Justification by faith in New Testament times is based upon Christ's past propitiatory death.

God, in His patience, passed over those sins committed by the elect prior to Christ, not punishing them immediately because He had in eternity purposed to save those people, but waited until Christ the Lord was sacrificed on their behalf. Paul says the fact that God passed over former sins is to show His righteousness. It would not have been righteous if God passed over their sins without the proper punishment for those sins. But Paul had already declared that Christ was the pr...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 29: Of Baptism - Commentary

...-2" id="footnote-marker-2-1" rel="footnote">[2]

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 the benefits of the Covenant Of Grace and our pledge to be the Lord’s.[3]

We will look at the different aspects of baptism as presented in the New Testament below.

Union With Christ In Death, Resurrection, Newness Of Life

Galatians 3:27

Gal. 3:25-27 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 

We are children of God, why? Because we have been baptized into Christ. What does this mean? It means that we identify with Christ and we declare that we belong to Him. What is the meaning of “have put on Christ”? This means that we “have put on his sentiments, opinions, characteristic traits”[4] (Rom. 13:14). We are identifying with Him and saying to those watching that we belong to Him. To Paul's argument, this then would mean that all who are baptized into Christ are children of God because they have put on His characteristics. They identify with Him. Jamieson, Fausset, Brown give the input of Paul's argument well when they write: “By baptism ye have put on Christ; therefore, He being the Son of God, ye become sons by adoption, by virtue of His Sonship by generation. God regards us in Him, as bearing Christ's name and character, rather than our own.”[5] These are realities which baptism signifies, but are not caused by water baptism. The baptism into Christ is not the same as water baptism in the name of Christ. But we will see why that is the case below.

Romans 6:3-5

Rom. 6:3-5 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 

...

A Review of Jeffrey D. Johnson's The Fatal Flaw

...ldren are regenerate from the womb. Basically, Christian parents receive Christian and thus believing children from God. “God gives us children with faith. Covenant children begin life as believers, not in need of conversion, but endurance (cf. Heb. 10:36). They should be received and raised as children of God.” (p. 18, from Mark Horne, Why Baptist Babies?)

Although it was really nice to know about all the different positions about infant baptism, the author seeks to directly combat one position and that is the Westminster position (positions 4 and 5). It’s not like from the earliest days of infant baptism that the church understood it was the sign of the Covenant Of Grace, or that it did not wash away sin. That is clearly not the case.

The old church practiced infant baptism for other reasons, than the Reformed Paedobaptist churches since the Reformation.

Although I do not believe that infant baptism is a biblical practice, but I must agree with Jeffery Johnson that the Westminster position of Covenant Theology and infant baptism is the closest to the Scripture from the above options. For some people to be truly “Reformed” you have to hold to Covenant Theology which supports the practice of infant baptism, forgetting that there is a difference between Baptist and Presbyterian Covenant Theology. If you would like to learn more about 1689 Baptist Covenant Theology, which is called 1689 Federalism see my attempt to make a case for it when expositing the 7th chapter of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith here.

The Westminster Position

The author spends some time first to explain the Presbyterian/Westminster. The basis of the Westminster position is continuity between the covenants of the Bible.

They understand that the Lord established a covenant of works in the Garden with Adam as the representative of the human race which he broke. Then the Lord established the Covenant Of Grace in Genesis 3:15 and onward. This was Covenant Of Grace was differently administered under Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus. But the essence of these covenants was the same.

The logic is understandable. If infants were admitted into the covenant under Moses and Abraham and the New Covenant is basically and essentially the same, then infants should also be admitted into the New Covenant. The question is, whether if these covenants truly were administrations of the one Covenant Of Grace.

The Westminster says the following of the Covenant Of Grace in chapter 7 –

Man, by his fall, having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the Covenant Of Grace; wherein He freely offers unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe. (paragraph 3)

As Calvinists, our Presbyterian brethren along with us believe in salvation by grace and in Christ throughout the ages. This is what is here conveyed in the Confession. The essence of the Covenant Of Grace is faith and salvation in Christ, although that had different outer form under the various covenants. Abraham did not have as much clarity about the Messiah as we now by the grace of God have. This is expressed in the fifth paragraph –

This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the Gos...


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

...enter God's rest…the long promised rest has been inaugurated in Christ.”[97]

Under The New Covenant

But is the Sabbath only a sign for the Old Covenant? Does the Sabbath have any “sign” function under the New Covenant? Does it only signify that God separated physical Israel and claimed them as His own? Aside from Dispensationalism, we all recognize that the church is the Israel of God. The church is the true people of God. God does not have two peoples, one earthly and one heavenly, but only one people united together in Christ and in the Covenant Of Grace. This would imply that we should not restrict the promises made to Israel under the Old Covenant to the ethnic people of Israel, but carefully apply them to the true Israel of God. Of course, this must be done with care and with consideration of what the New Testament also says.

We have seen that the Sabbath is a visible sign of an invisible reality, namely, that God has sanctified His people and claimed them as His own. Do we have any reason to disregard this significance of the Sabbath under the New Covenant? I don’t think so. This is furthermore strengthened by the fact that (1) the Sabbath was not unique to Israel, but it was made for man at the Creation (Mark 2:27-28), and (2) the New Testament does not teach the abrogation of the Sabbath (as we shall see below). Yes, we understand that the Sabbath was specifically given in the texts above to Israel as a sign of the Mosaic Covenant, but is this sign limited only to the Old Covenant people of God? Does not God, giving us the Lord’s Day Sabbath, likewise show to us that He has set His people apart and claimed them as His own in the New Covenant also? The Old Testament assumes the abiding validity of the Sabbath in the last days (e.g. Isaiah 56, 58), and not its abrogation. Joseph Pipa writes concerning the moral nature of the Sabbath command pointing that even Gentiles within Israel were required to keep the Sabbath holy. He writes:

Nevertheless, Nehemiah [13:15-21] applied the Fourth Commandment to Gentiles as well as Jews. From this we conclude that the Fourth Commandment was more than a sign of God’s covenant people with Israel. He required Gentiles living in the land to keep the law as well.[98]

That the Sabbath was given as a sign of the Mosaic Covenant does in no way diminish its original institution, namely, on the seventh day of the Creation. From thence was the Sabbath made and instituted for man. It was not first instituted at Sinai, as we’ve tried to argue. Therefore, its application cannot be limited to physical Israel, but it binds all men everywhere. Yet, it cannot be denied that the Sabbath played a huge role in the Old Testament. God took that which He made for all people in the Creation, renewed it (for it was neglected) and applied it specifically to His covenant people. The fact that the Sabbath was made as a sign of the covenant and a sign between God and His people, in no way limits its application and obligation to His people. The Sabbath commandment itself obligates foreigners to observe the Sabbath (Ex. 20:10; Deut. 5:14). This observation adds to the strength and significance of the Sabbath. To use the example which Dr. Waldron employed from a friend of his, this is like a woman marrying on her birthday. Now the date of her birth becomes more important and receives more significance because from now on she will not only celebrate her birthday but also the day of her marriage. For Is...


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

...re, Christ says that His blood is the means of forgiveness. In Matthew's account, He gives the following explanation of the wine: “for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26:28). This is the blood which institutes the New Covenant, but it is also the blood which brings about the forgiveness of sins by its sacrifice. Therefore, when believers celebrate the Lord's Supper, they celebrate the Lord's death in all of its benefits. The life of Christ which lead to His vicarious sufferings on our behalf, His perfect atonement on behalf of His New Covenant people on the Cross, the institution of the Covenant Of Grace in time and in His blood, i.e., the New Covenant, in all of its blessings, and His peoples’ participation in these blessings bought for us by His blood and given by grace.

Names

The regular name of the ordinance among Protestants is the Lord's Supper, but there are also other names which are used for this ordinance.

The Lord's Supper

This name comes from 1 Corinthians 11:20. There, the Apostle calls this ordinance the Lord's Supper. This indicates that this is a special supper, set aside from regular ones because the Lord Christ claims it as His own and as is usual in the ancient world, a supper with someone was not a parallel to eating something with a stranger at McDonald's. But dining with someone included communion with that person, therefore, the Lord's Supper is a supper of close communion with the Lord Who redeemed us and invites us to His table.

The Table Of The Lord

Instead of going to the pagan tables of the false gods and offering their sacrifices there, the Christians are invited to the Lord's Table (1Cor. 10:21). Eating at this table indicates close communion with Christ. Paul says, if you're going to the table of false gods, you are participating and communing with demons. Therefore, when one goes to the table of the true and only Lord, they are communing and participating with the true God. This table is holy because the Lord claims it as His own for His communion with His people. In this connection, we may call the Lord's Supper, Communion, because in partaking of it, the faithful have a real and spiritual communion with their Savior as He administers grace to them.

The Breaking Of Bread

This is the first designation of the Lord's Supper in the New Testament. It is used in Luke 24:35; Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7, 11; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17. The early Christians were continually celebrating the Lord's Supper in the manner which their Lord did. As Christ took bread and broke it, so the Christians called this ordinance the breaking of bread, which reminded them of Christ's body given for them. Notice that in Acts 20:7, the purpose of the Church gathering on the Lord's Day, is to break bread. They were gathered on the Christian Sabbath, as a Church, to celebrate the Lord's Supper.

Eucharist

Eucharist means thanksgiving and refers to the words of Christ in Luke 22:19 before breaking and distributing the bread to His disciples. The Greek verb for giving thanks is εὐχαριστήσας (eucharistēsas). There is no doubt that thanksgiving should play a fundamental part as we celebrate the Lord's Supper, thinking of the work of Christ and receiving the benefits thereof anew in a spiritual and close communion with our Savior. But unfortunately, this name is closely associated with the abominable sacrifice of the Mass, therefore, it is not used by...


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

...give them to Christ; and of grace and condescension in him to receive them, and take the care of them; and of distinguishing goodness to them: and though Christ here expresses this act of his Father's in the present tense, "giveth", perhaps to signify the continuance and unchangeableness of it; yet he delivers it in the past tense, in Joh 6:39, "hath given"; and so all the Oriental versions render it here. And it certainly respects an act of God, antecedent to coming to Christ, and believing in him, which is a fruit and effect of electing love, as is clear from what follows:

shall come unto me; such who are given to Christ in eternal election, and in the everlasting Covenant Of Grace, shall, and do, in time, come to Christ, and believe in him to the saving of their souls; which is not to be ascribed to, any power and will in them, but to the power and grace of God. It is not here said, that such who are given to Christ have a "power" to come to him, or "may" come if they will, but they shall come; efficacious grace will bring them to Christ, as poor perishing sinners, to venture on him for life and salvation:

and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out; such who come to Christ in a spiritual manner, and are brought to believe in him truly and really, he not only receives kindly, but keeps and preserves them by his power, and will not cast them out, or thrust them from him into perdition: the words are very strongly and emphatically expressed in the original, "I will not, not, or never, never, cast out without"; or cast out of doors. Christ will never cast them out of his affections; nor out of his arms; nor out of that family that is named of him; nor out of, and from his church, which is his body, and of which they are members; nor out of a state of justification and salvation; and therefore they shall never perish, but have everlasting life. The three glorious doctrines of grace, of eternal election, efficacious grace in conversion, and the final perseverance of the saints, are clearly contained in these words.[2]

Jesus’ purpose is to be obedient to the Father. Yes, although He is equal to God (Phil. 2:6-8), He humbled Himself and submitted to God for the glory of the Father’s name, because He loves the Father and always does what pleases the Father (John 8:29, 55), therefore He cannot fail in doing the Father’s will. The will of the Father for the Son is that He would lose nothing, not a single person that was given Him, and raise them (individually and collectively) up on the last day. All those given to Him by the Father are the ones who will never be cast out and will be raised up on the last day, the Day of Resurrection. The Son always does the will of the Father and He will not fail, because He, as God cannot fail! To say that some of them given to Him by the Father will not come to Him or that the Son loses them is to blaspheme the holy Name of the Son. This is the will of the Father for Him, and He never disappoints or disobeys the Father.

John 6:40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

At verse 40, free-willers will object and say, “see, these people have to look and it says everyone, not only the elect”, or other objections of this kind. When one understands what Calvinism truly teaches, they will see that this is not a valid objection to what we actually teach. For indeed, people h...


1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

...ough 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 Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit coming down upon her: and the power of the Most High overshadowing her; and so was made of a woman of the tribe of Judah, of the seed of Abraham and David according to the Scriptures; so that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion; which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only mediator between God and man. 9
    1. John 8:58l Joel 2:32 with Rom 10:13; Ps 102:25 with Heb 1:10; 1 Peter 2:3 with Ps 34:8...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary

...ter-15:-Of-Repentance-Unto-Life-And-Salvation-Commentary/1034">chapter 15 paragraph 2.


§6 The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects

  1. The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament. 1
    1. Gal. 3:9; Rom. 4:22-24

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.
...