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


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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scriptures - Commentary

...vine-name"LORD are pure words” (Ps. 12:6), and “Every word of God proves true” (Prov. 30:5). If they are truthful, they cannot contain error. Never in the many disputes of the Lord Jesus with the Pharisees do we read of any doubt, from both parties, about the truthfulness, inerrancy or canonicity of Scripture. Never.

In fact, we believe the Lord affirmed the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture with no opposition from the Jews, i.e., the Jews did not reject the doctrine. In John 10:35, we have our Lord saying that “Scripture cannot be broken”. There is no way to annul or to make ineffective what the Scripture says. It is altogether true. The ESV Study Bible notes that ‘Jesus is depending on just one word (“gods”) in the OT for his argument. When he says that Scripture “cannot be broken,” he implies that every single word in Scripture is completely true and reliable. His opponents do not differ with this high view of Scripture, either here or anywhere else in the Gospels.’[6] Have you noticed, in Jesus’ discussion with the Jews, the offhanded nature of this remark? It is a big deal to us, but it is just thrown there by the Lord as a way of saying, “and just like we agree that the Scripture cannot be broken, therefore…” The statement does not form an essential part of his argument, rather, it is an offhanded comment about what they both believe about Scripture. Kevin DeYoung writes:

In John 10:35 lou carries the sense of breaking, nullifying, or invalidating. It’s Jesus’s way of affirming that no word of Scripture can be falsified. No promise or threat can fall short of fulfillment. No statement can be found erroneous.[7]

Do you also remember Luke 20:27-40 where the Lord Jesus made a whole argument on the basis of the verb “I am” being present tense? Would He have made such an argument if there was a question about the fallibility and errancy of Scripture? The whole argument was that God said to Moses “I am the God of…” and not “I was the God of…” and it is said that “they no longer dared to ask him any question” (Luke 20:40). Such trustworthiness in the Scripture and faith in its complete truthfulness is the doctrine of inerrancy. John Gill comments on John 10:35 that the Scripture cannot

be made null and void; whatever that says is true, there is no contradicting it, or objecting to it: it is a Jewish way of speaking, much used in the Talmud {y}; when one doctor has produced an argument, or instance, in any point of debate, another says, איכא למיפרך, “it may be broken”; or objected to, in such and such a manner, and be refuted: but the Scripture cannot be broken, that is not to be objected to, there can be no confutation of that.[8]

In Matthew 5:17-18, the Lord said:

Matt. 5:17-18 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Here the Lord Jesus demonstrates His commitment to the full authority and infallibility of the Old Testament. The Lord Jesus goes to the most insignificant detail of the Scriptures and affirms that they will not by any means pass away. This demonstrates that He believed in the inspiration, inerrancy as well as the preservation of Scripture. John MacArthur notes, “Here Christ was affirming the utter inerrancy and absolute authority of the OT as the word of God—down to the smallest ...

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

...1"^ Pastor Joe V. Why Did John Calvin and the Reformers Forbid All Images of the Divine Persons?
  • ^ John Murray. Pictures of Christ and the Second Commandment
  • ^ The Holy Bible: English Standard Version: The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles (2008). Taken from the Online Version at in loc.
  • a, b, c Watson, Ten Commandments. Chapter 2.3
  • ^ I will at least be reading the 4 perspectives book on the Sabbath, Robert Paul Martin’s new book on the Christian Sabbath, Joseph A. Pipa’s The Lord Day, various writings from Dabney on the Sabbath, Jonathan Edwards and I hope also to read some from A.W. Pink and Owen.
  • a, b, c Watson, Ten Commandments. Chapter 2.4
  • a, b  Chapter 2.5
  • ^ Calvin, Institutes. 2.8.38
  • ^ Noah Webster. Webster’s Dictionary 1828. Murder
  • ^ Noah Webster. Webster’s 1913 Dictionary. Kill
  • ^ J. Warner Wallace. The Difference Between Killing and Murdering.
  • ^ Dabney, Systematic Theology. p. 400.
  • a, b Watson, Ten Commandments. Chapter 2.6.
  • ^ Dabney, Systematic Theology. p. 407.
  • ^ Joseph Henry Thayer’s Greek Definitions. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. G4202
  • ^ Calvin, Institutes 2.8.45.
  • a, b Watson, Ten Commandments. Chapter 2.8
  • ^ Calvin, Institutes 2.8.47.
  • ^ The Free Dictionary. Slander
  • ^ Watson, Ten Commandments. Chapter 2.9
  • ^ Calvin, Institutes 2.8.48.
  • ^ Ibid., 2:8:49.
  • a, b, c Watson, Ten Commandments. Chapter 2.10
  • ^ John MacArthur. The MacArthur Study Bible: English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2010). p. 1789, note on Colossians 3:5.
  • ^ Kenneth L. Barker, Donald W. Burdick, & Kenneth Boa. Zondervan NASB Study Bible. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House., 1999). p. 1724, note on Ephesians 5:5.
  • ^ Calvin, Institutes. 2.8.51.
  • ^ C. P. Arand, C. L. Blomberg, S. MacCarty, & J. A. Pipa. Perspectives on the Sabbath. Ed. C. J. Donato. (Nashville: B & H Pub. Group, 2011). p. 125.
  • ^ HCSB Study Bible, Holman Christian Standard Bible. (Nashville, Tenn. 2010). p. 2058.
  • ^ William D. Mounce.
  • ^ Perspectives on the Sabbath: Four Views. p. 146.
  • ^ Ross, From The Finger Of God. pp. 277-278.
  • ^ What does the Bible say about the death penalty / capital punishment?
  • ^ Ross, From The Finger Of God. p. 298.
  • ^ Perspectives on the Sabbath: Four Views. p. 125.
  • ^ R. Barcellos, S. Waldron, E. Blackburn, & P. R. Martin. Going Beyond The Five Points. Ed. by Rob Ventura. (San Bernardino, CA: [CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform], 2015). p. 31.
  • ^ William D. Mounce, καταλύω
  • ^ Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. G2647.
  • ^ Ross, From The Finger of God. p. 200.
  • a, b, c Thayer’s Greek Lexicon. G4137
  • a, b TDNT Dictionary. Taken from Bible Works. Number 639, p. 870.
  • ^ Ernest C. Reisinger. Law and Gospel. Chapter 11: The Law and the Savior
  • ^ Arthur W. Pink. An Exposition on the Sermon on the Mount. Chapter 6: Christ and the Law
  • ^ Ross, From The Finger of God. p. 202.
  • ^ Ibid., p. 215.
  • ^ Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. G1096.
  • ^ Ross, From The Finger of God. pp. 218-219.
  • ^ Ibid. 219.
  • a, b, c, d, e, f Jamieson, Fausset, Brown. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Full). Taken from the TheWord Bible SoftwareIn loc.
  • ^ William D. Mounce. τηρέω.
  • ^ Joseph Henry Thayer’s Greek Definitions. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. G2673.
  • ^...

  • 1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 7: Of God's Covenant - Commentary, but also about the animals that He has made. That is why He commands Noah and He brings into the Ark two of every sort of animal having the breath of life in it (Gen. 7:8-9).

    God Remembered

    In passing, we note Genesis 8:1 –

    But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.

    Oh, so God was so busy that He had forgotten about the Flood that He had brought upon the face of the earth? That is so stupid that it cannot be imagined. Rather, as the ESV Study Bible rightly notes, when the Bible uses this expression, it refers to God’s promises and covenants. In this case, the promise of a covenant with Noah.

    Gen. 8:1 God remembered Noah. This marks the turning point in the flood story. When the Bible says that God “remembers” someone or his covenant with someone, it indicates that he is about to take action for that person’s welfare (cf. 9:15; 19:29; 30:22; Ex. 2:24; 32:13; Ps. 25:6–7; 74:2). All life on the land having been destroyed, God now proceeds to renew everything, echoing what he did in Genesis 1. God made a wind blow over the earth. The Hebrew word for wind, ruakh, is also sometimes translated “Spirit” (e.g., 1:2; 6:3). While the context normally enables the reader to distinguish ruakh meaning “wind” from ruakh meaning “Spirit,” the present verse intentionally echoes 1:2.[38]

    The re-creational aspect, as noted by the ESV Study Bible, is surely interesting given the fact that the Lord gives the same commission of being fruitful both to Adam (Gen. 1:28) and to Noah (Gen. 9:1). This indicates that God is starting out again with Noah as a new Adam. The parallels between Adam and Noah are brought up by Douglas Van Dorn:

    The second instance of “covenant” with Noah occurs after the flood, after Noah has been saved. Curiously—and this is important for enriching an understanding of the earliest biblical covenant—this covenant repeats ideas found not in Genesis 6, but in Genesis 1. “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen 9:1; cf. 1:28). There are also references to the created animals,[71: Compare Gen 8:17 and 1:22, 24] the day and night,[72: Compare Gen 8:22 and 1:5] the image of God,[73: Compare Gen 9:6 and 1:26-27] and Noah’s dominion.[74: Compare Gen 9:2-5 and 1:26, 28.] In this way, Noah is a new Adam starting on a new earth that was completely covered by water (see Gen 1:2).

    The Establishment Of The Covenant

    It is only after coming out of the Ark that the Lord establishes the promised covenant (Gen. 6:18) with Noah. What is the main point of this covenant? It is mentioned in Genesis 9:15–

    I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.

    God will never again destroy all life by water; the second time it will be by fire, but that is another subject (2 Pet. 3:10; see here). When speaking of covenants, we assume that the members are either God and man or man and man. But in this covenant, even the animals are included. As the reminder and sign of the covenant, the rainbow was put by God in the sky (Gen. 9:12-13) to remind man that God will never again destroy the whole earth by water (Gen. 9:14-15). The Lord even calls this covenant an “everlasting” covenant (Gen. 9:16). This covenant secures against the destruction of all flesh by water.

    What is promised or given?

    First ...

    1 Timothy 4:10, 'Savior of all men'

    ... 17:28).

    A short comment is made by RC Sproul in the ESV Reformation Bible:[2]

    4:10 Savior of all people. The general call to repentance and salvation is extended to all people (Matt. 11:28). See “Definite Redemption” at John 10:15.

    especially of those who believe. Salvation is God’s gift, in particular to those who trust in His provision in Christ (Matt. 22:14; Rom. 8:30).

    The ESV Study Bible explains:[3]

    1 Tim. 4:10 to this end. The goal of Paul’s labors is that people attain “godliness” (v. 8) and its eternal “value.” Toil and strive is typical of Paul’s description of gospel ministry (cf. 5:17; Rom. 16:6, 12; 1 Cor. 15:10; 16:16; Gal. 4:11; Eph. 4:28). The statement that God is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe could seem to teach universalism, that every person will eventually go to heaven. However, the rest of Scripture clearly denies this idea (see note on 1 Tim. 2:4). There are several other possible explanations for this phrase: (1) It means that Christ died for all people, but only those who believe in him are saved. (2) It means he is offered to all people, though not all receive him. (3) It means “the Savior of all people, namely, those who believe” (a different translation of Gk. malista, based on extrabiblical examples). (4) It means “the helper of all people,” taking Greek Sōtēr, “Savior,” to refer not to forgiveness of sins but to God’s common grace by which God helps and protects people in need. (5) It means “the Savior of all kinds of people, not Jews only but both Jews and Greeks.” In any case, the emphasis is on God’s care for the unsaved world, and in the flow of the letter Paul is stressing once more (cf. 2:3–5) that God’s will that people would be saved is the basis of the universal mission (cf. Matt. 28:19–20). On God as “Savior,” see note on 2 Tim. 1:8–10.

    The ESV MacArthur Study Bible provides a commentary about this verse:[4]

    1 Tim. 4:10 hope. Believers are saved in hope and live and serve in light of that hope of eternal life (Titus 1:2; 3:7; see note on Rom. 5:2). Working to the point of exhaustion and suffering rejection and persecution are acceptable because believers understand they are doing God’s work—which is the work of salvation. That makes it worth all of the sacrifices (Phil. 1:12–18, 27–30; 2:17; Col. 1:24–25; 2 Tim. 1:6–12; 2:3–4, 9–10; 4:5–8). the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. Paul is obviously not teaching universalism, that all people will be saved in the spiritual and eternal sense, since the rest of Scripture clearly teaches that God will not save everyone. Most will reject him and spend eternity in hell (Matt. 25:41, 46; Rev. 20:11–15). Yet, the Greek word translated “especially” must mean that all people enjoy God’s salvation in some way like those who believe enjoy his salvation. The simple explanation is that God is the Savior of all people, only in a temporal sense, while of believers in an eternal sense. Paul’s point is that while God graciously delivers believers from sin’s condemnation and penalty because he was their substitute (2 Cor. 5:21), all ...

    1 Timothy 2:4 & Titus 2:11, 'desires all people to be saved'

    ...ooted in His cross-work. He saves to the uttermost those who draw near to God, but then the question arises: Who draws near to God? The answer from Jesus’ lips is recorded in John 6:44 – No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. And on their behalf does He make His intercessory work. Imagine the Risen Lord of Glory interceding for someone for whom He did not died and for a one whom the Father had no chosen, He would fail miserably, but it’s impossible for the Lord of Glory to be rejected by the Father or for God to fail.


    All Kinds of People

    The ESV Study Bible explains: [3]

    1 Tim. 2:4 Evangelistic prayer for all people is rooted in the fact that God desires all people to be saved. It appears that Paul is countering an exclusivist tendency in the false teachers or at least their downplaying of the importance of evangelizing the Gentiles (along with their emphasis on the Jewish law). This statement figures prominently in theological disagreements over the extent of the atonement. It cannot be read as suggesting that everyone will be saved (universalism) because the rest of the letter makes it clear that some will not be saved (4:1; 5:24; 6:10; cf. Matt. 25:30, 41, 46; Rev. 14:9–11). Does that mean God desires something (all people being saved) that he cannot fulfill? Both Arminian and Calvinist theologians respond that God “desires” something more than universal salvation. Arminians hold that God’s greater desire is to preserve genuine human freedom (which is necessary for genuine love) and therefore he must allow that some may choose to reject his offer of salvation. Calvinists hold that God’s greater desire is to display the full range of his glory (Rom. 9:22–23), which results in election depending upon the freedom of his mercy and not upon human choice (Rom. 9:15–18). However one understands the extent of the atonement, this passage clearly teaches the free and universal offer of the gospel to every single human being; “desires” shows that this offer is a bona fide expression of God’s good will. Come to the knowledge of the truth highlights the cognitive aspect of conversion, i.e., individuals must come to understand key truths in order to be converted. “The truth” occurs often in the Pastorals as a synonym for the gospel (cf. 1 Tim. 3:15; 4:3; 2 Tim. 2:15, 18, 25; 3:7, 8; 4:4; Titus 1:1, 14).

    ESV Reformation Study Bible[4]

    2:1 all people. As can be seen from the next expression (“for kings and all who are in high positions”), this does not mean “every human being,” but rather “all types of people,” whatever their station in life.

    2:4 who desires all people to be saved. This does not mean that God sovereignly wills every human being to be saved (i.e., that God saves everyone). It may refer to God’s general benevolence in taking no delight in the death of the wicked, or to God’s desire that all types of people (v. 1 note) be saved (i.e., God does not choose His elect from any single group).

    NLT Study Bible[5]

    1 Timothy 2:1 all people: The prayers of the false teachers and their disciples were evidently not consonant with God’s will to save all kinds of people (2:3-4).

    1 Timothy 2:2 all who are in authority: Those who had the power to persecute or to protect the church (see also Rom 13:1-7; 1 Pet 2:13-17). • live peaceful and quiet lives: The point was not for Christians to blend in and be unnoticed, but to display th...

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

    ...color: #ff9900;"Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 

    Everlasting Father is not to be confused with God the Father. As the revelation of the Trinity took place after the coming of Christ and the Blessed Persons were not clearly revealed in the Old Testament. The expression, literally, as most acknowledge, is “father of eternity,” which emphasizes His eternality and His being Lord of time. Matthew Poole notes that “though as man he was then unborn, yet was and is from everlasting to everlasting”[13]. The ESV Study Bible says ‘A “father” here is a benevolent protector (cf. Isa. 22:21; Job 29:16), which is the task of the ideal king and is also the way God himself cares for his people (cf. Isa. 63:16; 64:8; Ps. 103:13). (That is, this is not using the Trinitarian title “Father” for the Messiah; rather, it is portraying him as a king.)’[43] The child—the Son—is called Mighty God—El-Gibbor. He is the almighty God Himself. In the next chapter, in Isaiah 10:21, Yahweh Himself is called El-Gibbor. Therefore, this makes Christ equal with the Father, and the same Yahweh. These and many other verses teach the deity of the Son. Albert Barnes comments on this passage, saying:

    The mighty God - Syriac, ‘The mighty God of ages.’ This is one, and but one out of many, of the instances in which the name God is applied to the Messiah; compare Joh 1:1; Rom 9:5; 1Jo 5:20; Joh 20:28; 1Ti 3:16; Heb 1:8. The name ‘mighty God,’ is unquestionably attributed to the true God in Isa 10:21. Much controversy has arisen in relation to this expression; and attempts have been made to show that the word translated “God,” אל  ’ĕl, may refer to a hero, a king, a conqueror...But after all such controversy, it still remains certain that the natural and obvious meaning of the expression is to denote a divine nature. So it was evidently understood by the ancient versions; and the fact that the name God is so often applied to Christ in the New Testament proves that it is to be understood in its natural and obvious signification.[12]

    This is not the only place that the Lord Jesus is called God, but it is one among many in the Bible. John Calvin comments on this passage and shows us the relation of Christ as divine and our trust in Him:

    The mighty God. אל (El) is one of the names of God, though derived from strength, so that it is sometimes added as an attribute. But here it is evidently a proper name, because Isaiah is not satisfied with it, and in addition to it employs the adjective גבור, (gibbor,) which means strong. And indeed if Christ had not been God, it would have been unlawful to glory in him; for it is written,

    Cursed be he that trusteth in man. (Jer. 17:5.)

    We must, therefore, meet with the majesty of God in him, so that there truly dwells in him that which cannot without sacrilege be attributed to a creature.

    He is, therefore, called the mighty God, for the same reason that he was formerly called Immanuel. (Isa 7:14.) For if we find in Christ nothing but the flesh and nature of man, our glorying will be foolish and vain, and our hope will rest on an uncertain and insecure foundation; but if he shows himself to be to us God and the mighty God, we may now rely on him with safety. With good reason does he call him strong or mighty, because our contest is with the devil, death, and sin, (Eph 6:12,) enemies too powerful and strong, by whom we would be immediately vanquished, if the strength of Christ had not rendered us invincible. Thus we learn from ...

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

    ...translates it with “err from the truth”. It is most likely an error in practice or principle. Therefore, the one who sees their brother wandering into error and confronts him with his error and shows him the error of his ways, will be an instrument in the hand of the Lord to save the erring brother and thereby save him from eternal destruction. The passage does not say that some true believers will fall into error and thereby becoming unregenerate and subject of eternal damnation. Rather, it merely warns the stronger believers to bring back others who are following after error into sound doctrine. Those who hold this general Calvinistic interpretation as Gill, MacArthur, Calvin, ESV Study Bible understand the death spoken of here to be the second death, i.e., eternal death.

    Sam Stormsian Interpretation

    I was searching the net on this passage and came across an article by Sam Storms on this passage and the interpretation sounded very contextual to me, more than the “general interpretation” view. “Wandering from the truth” according to this interpretation likewise means erring in doctrine and/or practice. The one who brings this erring brother back will save his soul. What is meant by soul? At first sight, we may conclude that this refers to our immaterial part, but the word ψυχή (psyche) is translated as “life” in the HCSB with a footnote saying “life: The same Greek word (psyche) can be translated life or soul.” This is the only place that James uses psyche and therefore, we cannot say that it must mean the immaterial part of man. It is, therefore, better to follow the general meaning of the word as life and not specifically a reference to the immaterial aspect of man.

    As for the words “save” and “death” we must go back a little bit in the context. We must first realize that this section is about prayer. The author begins in v. 13 by declaring, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.” And he goes on from vv. 14-16 to talk about prayer for healing. I believe that the key for this interpretation is to see the connection between the verses in the section on prayer and healing, and vv. 19-20. In vv. 14-15, those who are sick are encouraged (and commanded?) to call the elders to pray for them and anoint them so that they may be healed. This “healing” is referred to with the word “save” in v. 15 although it was not about their salvation, but about healing (saving) from physical illness. The same exact σώσει (sosei) for “save” in v. 15 is used in v. 20, which lends more support to the interpretation that vv. 19-20 are not about eternal salvation since the same word is used to refer to salvation from physical illness. What is also interesting is that forgiveness of sins is mentioned alongside healing. In fact, v. 16 connects forgiveness of sins and healing saying, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” Why is this significant you ask? Well, because the idea of “save” and forgiveness of sins (“cover a multitude of sins”) appears in v. 20. Therefore, if it is true that “save” in v. 20 does not refer to eternal salvation, but to physical salvation, i.e., deliverance from sickness, then “death” in v. 20 does not refer to eternal death, but physical death.

    How does one understand vv. 19-20 according to this view? This passage refers to someone, who because of their unconfessed sin, which is wandering and erring from the truth, is being disciplined by God through sickness which ...

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


    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.


    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.

    The John MacArthur ESV Study Bible explains: [2]

    Condemnation. See not on v. 16. One act of righteousness. Not a reference to a single event, but generally to Christ’s obedience (cf. v. 19; Luke 2:49; John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38), culminating in the greatest demonstration of this obedience, death on a cross (Phil. 2:8). Justification . . . for all men. This cannot mean that all men will be saved; salvation is only for those who exercise faith in Jesus Christ (cf. Rom 1:16-17; 3:22, 28; 4:5, 13). Rather, like the word many in 5:15, Paul is using “all” with two different meanings for the sake of parallelism, a common practice in the Hebrew OT.

    The Reformation ESV Study Bible explains: [3]

    5:18, 19 Paul returns to the main thrust of his analogy, namely that there is a parallel between Adam and Christ in that condemnation and justification are the direct fruits of their actions. On the basis of the actions of “one,” “many” are constituted either sinners or righteous. Adam is the representative head as well as the physical root of all, and all sinned and fell when he sinned. In contrast, “by the one man’s obedience” those whom Christ represents are “made righteous” in Him. Christ is their representative Head,  as well as the spiritual root of the new humanity, for through His resurrection they are given new birth and a living hope (1 Pet. 1:3; Eph 2:1-7)

    John Gill in his Exposition of the Entire Bible[4]:

    Therefore as by the offence of one,.... Or by one offence, as before, the guilt of which is imputed to, and

    [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; which word is used in a legal sense, and intends condemnation to eternal death, as appears from the antithesis in the text; for if "justification of life", means an adjudging to eternal life, as it certainly do...

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

    ...and create calamity

    Clearly, light is the antithesis of darkness and whatever well-being is, calamity is its antithesis. Both are made and controlled by God. Over both, He has control and is not ashamed to say “I do these things.” It is interesting to look at the use of the Hebrew word ra`(H7451) in the Bible. The word is variously rendered depending on context as evil, distress, misery, injury, calamity.[9] In Jonah chapter 1, a chart in the ESV Study Bible observes the multiple meanings that ra` has:

    Jonah 1:2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.”

    Jonah 3:10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

    Jonah 4:1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry.

    Jonah 4:2 And he prayed to the LORD and said, “O LORD, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.

    Jonah 4:6 Now the LORD God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant.

    Thus we see that the word has a range of meanings according to the context. But we have already noted the antithetical statements of Isaiah 45:7. Whatever “well-being” is, “calamity” is its total opposite, as darkness is the total opposite of light. Therefore, what we have here said by the Lord is that He controls and makes, peace as well as disaster, good as well as evil. Let’s take a look at what commentators say about this verse. Calvin says:

    Making peace, and creating evil. By the words “light” and “darkness” he describes metaphorically not only peace and war; but adverse and prosperous events of any kind; and he extends the word peace, according to the custom of Hebrew writers, to all success and prosperity. This is made abundantly clear by the contrast; for he contrasts “peace” not only with war, but with adverse events of every sort. Fanatics torture this word evil, as if God were the author of evil, that is, of sin; but it is very obvious how ridiculously they abuse this passage of the Prophet. This is sufficiently explained by the contrast, the parts of which must agree with each other; for he contrasts “peace” with “evil,” that is, with afflictions, wars, and other adverse occurrences. If he contrasted “righteousness” with “evil,” there would be some plausibility in their reasonings, but this is a manifest contrast of things that are opposite to each other. Consequently, we ought not to reject the ordinary distinction, that God is the author of the “evil” of punishment, but not of the “evil” of guilt.

    But the Sophists are wrong in their exposition; for, while they acknowledge that famine, barrenness, war, pestilence, and other scourges, come from God, they deny that God is the author of calamities, when they befall us through the agency of men. This is false and altogether contrary to the present doctrine; for the Lord raises up wicked men to chastise us by their hand, as is evident from various passages of Scripture. (1Kg 11:14.) The Lord does not indeed inspire them with malice, but he uses it for the purpose of chastising us, and exercises the office of a judge, in the same manner as h...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary

    ...gEphesians 2:8-9 states—

    For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

    We are saved by God’s grace, which comes to us through the channel of faith. This is how we are justified: by grace through faith. Both are present. But the question here is to what does “this” refer to? The ESV Study Bible says:

    this. The Greek pronoun is neuter, while “grace” and “faith” are feminine. Accordingly, “this” points to the whole process of “salvation by grace through faith” as being the gift of God and not something that we can accomplish ourselves. This use of the neuter pronoun to take in the whole of a complex idea is quite common in Greek (e.g., 6:1); its use here makes it clear that faith, no less than grace, is a gift of God. Salvation, therefore, in every respect, is not your own doing.[24]

    The “this” refers to the whole “by grace through faith”; it refers to the whole of our salvation. Neither our faith nor our repentance (2 Tim. 2:26) originate with us, but were given to us by grace (demerited favor). Our entire salvation, including faith and repentance (Acts 20:21), was given to us as a gift with the purpose that we would have no ground to boast. In fact, Ephesians 2:10 even says that God beforehand prepared works for us to walk in them. This also is a gift so that we may glorify Him through them. So, even in our good works, we cannot actually boast. Charles J. Ellicott observes that “This attribution of all to the gift of God seems to cover the whole idea—both the gift of salvation and the gift of faith to accept it.”[7] The Expositor’s Greek Testament observes:

    τῇ γὰρ χάριτί ἐστε σεσωσμένοι: for by grace have ye been saved. More exactly “by the grace,” i.e., by this grace, the grace already mentioned. Grace is the explanation of their own salvation, and how surpassingly rich the grace must be that could effect that!—διὰ τῆς πίστεως: through faith. That is, by faith as the instrument or means. Paul never says διὰ τὴν πίστιν, as if the faith were the ground or procuring cause of the salvation. It is the χάριτι, not the explanatory πίστεως that has the first place in Paul’s thoughts here.—καὶ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐξ ἡμῶν: and that not of yourselves. That is, not as proceeding from yourselves or of your own performance...But to what does the τοῦτο refer? To the πίστεως say some (Chrys., Theod., Jer., Bez., Beng., Bisp., Moule, etc.). The neut. τοῦτο would not be irreconcilable with that. The formula καὶ τοῦτο indeed might rather favour it, as it often adds to the idea to which it is attached. It may also be granted that a peculiarly suitable idea results—the opportune reminder that even their faith, in which at least they might think there was something of their own, has its origin in God’s grace, not in their own effort. But on the other hand the salvation is the main idea in the preceding statement, and it seems best to understand the καὶ τοῦτο as referring to that salvation in its entire compass, and not merely to the one element in it, its instrumental cause, appended by way of explanation...[25]

    While a bit technical, the point is clear that the “gift relates not merely to faith immediately preceding, but to the whole sentence”[16], which means that our salvation from the first to the last is of God’s grace and gift, including faith.

    Now we move to the next passage, Philippians 1:29

    For it has been granted to you tha...