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

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

...> John Calvin, Institutes. 3.21.1.
...

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

...er be able to take them off that foundation and rock which by faith they are fastened upon; notwithstanding, through unbelief and the temptations of Satan, the sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured from them, yet he is still the same, and they shall be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation, where they shall enjoy their purchased possession, they being engraven upon the palm of his hands, and their names having been written in the book of life from all ETERNITY. 
  1. John 10:28-29; Phil. 1:6; 2 Tim. 2:19; 2 Peter 1:5-10; 1 John 2:19[2]
  2. Ps. 89:31-32; 1 Cor. 11:32; 2 Tim. 4:7
  3. Ps. 102:27; Mal. 3:6; Eph. 1:14; 1 Peter 1:5; Rev. 13:8

The Impossibility Of Final Apostasy For The Elect

The biblical and Reformed doctrine of perseverance is a great mountain, which gives the saints assurance and faith in God’s almighty power in overcoming sin in us and completely saving us. The doctrine does not teach, contrary to non-Protestant caricatures, that Christians after being saved can do whatever they want to do and still remain saved. Rather, the doctrine teaches that those who have the Spirit of God indwelling in them will persevere in the faith by the almighty power of God. The Lord will chastise, sanctify and lead them toward a holier life.

That the doctrine is true and biblical may be seen from many ways (see paragraph 2), including (1) the decree of election, (2) regeneration, (3) justification and (4) Christ’s obedience.

Election: It has pleased God from all ETERNITY to select a particular people in the Lord Jesus Christ whom He will redeem from sin to be with Him forever without any consideration of foreseen faith or works, merely because of His good pleasure. Seeing that their salvation was not dependent upon them, how would their perseverance be (completely) dependent upon them? There is no debate among Calvinists about whether the elect can lose their salvation. Someone who accepts Unconditional Election must believe in perseverance. It is logically necessary, for to contend otherwise is to say that God has unconditionally chosen a person to be saved, but has not chosen to preserve that particular person, which is absurd on its face. Therefore, the one who accepts Unconditional Election inevitably must accept the Perseverance of the Saints. For to reject the doctrine is to contend that God fails to save those whom He intends to save. See chapter 3, paragraph 5 for more on Unconditional Election.

Regeneration: Through regeneration, we have been made new creatures, given a new heart and a new spirit. Plus, the Spirit of the Almighty has come into our hearts (e.g. Ezek. 36:25-27). We’ve been given a new nature with the Law of the God written upon our hearts (Jer. 31:31-34). What happens when (supposedly) a person loses their salvation? Do they become unregenerate? Do they receive their old nature back? Do they become unborn again? Do you see the difficulty that such an idea of “falling away” brings with it? It is simply impossible that such a thing will happen. And what if the person loses their salvation and then comes to the Lord Jesus again, does God cause him to be born again for a second time? See chapter 11 for more on regeneration.

Justification: Justification is a legal act of God by which He declares guilty sinners free because of Christ's work. Our sin is put upon Him, and we receive His righteousness (e.g. 2Cor. 5:21; Rom. 3:21-31). ...


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

...h 3. In this paragraph, we will take a brief look at the attributes of God. Systematic theologies spend several chapters discussing the attributes of God, but here we will merely give a very brief biblical data for the attributes of God.

The Incommunicable Attributes of God

Theologians commonly distinguish between the communicable and incommunicable attributes of God. The communicable attributes of God are those attributes which man and God have in common. For example, both man and God are able to be just, love, show mercy, have knowledge. On the other hand, the incommunicable attributes of God are those perfections which are not shared with others, like His triune nature, ETERNITY, immutability, absolute sovereignty, omnipresence, omnipotence. God's attributes are God's perfections and excellencies. They are the things which shine forth His glory and majesty.

The Singularity Of God[2]

The Bible is clear on the fact that there is but one God. The Scriptures are manifold proving this in both Testaments. The doctrine of the Trinity is monotheistic and Christianity is at the core monotheistic. In Mark 12:29, the Lord Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:4 saying that the most important commandment “is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.’" The Lord Christ Himself affirmed the doctrine of monotheism, which teaches that there is but one Being of God. Isaiah 43:10 is definite in its affirmation of monotheism:

“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.

Before Yahweh, there was no other god and after Him, there shall be no other god. He is the only God that exists and He is but one God. We also come back to this point in paragraph 3 when we will discuss the doctrine of the Trinity, which teaches that although there is but one Being of God, yet this Being exists in three Persons.

The Lord our God is described as a living God, that implies that He is active and interacts with the world. He is not a god who set up the world and left it on its own. Rather, He is the living God Whose providence guides every step. The expression “living God” is used 28 times in the Scriptures, which implies the activity of God in this world, and it is also an expression against the dead idols of the heathen. In Leviticus 26:30, the Lord warns Israel if they go astray to serve idols saying: “And I will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars and cast your dead bodies upon the dead bodies of your idols, and my soul will abhor you.” Their bodies will be cast upon the dead bodies of their idols. They will be just like their idols with whom they provoked Him to anger—dead.

He is not only the singular and living God, but He is also the true God. He is the only God that exists and He is likewise truthful. He is the “God of truth” (Isa. 65:16). The expression “true God” is used 5 times in the Bible (2Chron. 15:3; Jer. 10:10; John 17:3; 1Thess. 1:9; 1John 5:20), and it is often connected with God being a living God. Jeremiah 10:10 declares, “But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation.” To say that God is the living and true God is to separate Him from the idols. Paul writes of the Thessalonians and of all Christians that we “turned to God from idols to serve the l...


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

...ffa07a;"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[1]
  2. 1Pet. 1:19-20
  3. Ps. 110:4; Heb. 7:21-22; Isa. 42:1; 1Pet. 2:4-6
  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

Christ the Elect

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

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

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

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

Christ the Priest and Mediator

Our Lord is not only the prime elect of God, the Son of God, God the Son, the Savior and Awaited One, but He is also the High Priest of God’s people. The task of the priest is to be a mediator between God and man. This was the case in the Old Testament also for example when the people would come with their sacrifices to the Levitical priests, or on the Day of Atonement when the High Priest would intercede and make atonement for the people of Israel (Lev. 16). Christ the Lord is the High Priest and Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 8:6; 12:24). The priests were to stand between God and man, but the problem with the Levitical priesthood was the fact that the priests themselves were not pure. They themselves were full of weaknesses and sin and they were to stand between sinful man (themselves being sinful) and holy God. That’s problematic. 

After the Order of Melchizedek

The Book of Hebrews (which is now my second favo...


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

...ks will be opened, and the judgment will proceed with great strictness and justice, and will issue in the everlasting perdition of devils and wicked men, yet the saints will have boldness in it: while evil men and devils tremble at the thoughts of it now, they [the saints] rejoice and are glad; they love it, look for it, long for it, and hasten to it; and will stand fearless, and without the least dread, while others will flee to the rocks, and into the holes of the earth; and they will use freedom of speech with Christ, as the word here signifies; they will sing his new song, and ascribe the glory of their salvation to him, and express their praises of him, and love to him, then and to all ETERNITY...[2]

Then there is the question related to the bad works of believers: will they be judged? Will they be brought into judgment? It seems to me that they will in fact be brought into judgment (1Cor. 4:5). 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 speaks about our works being revealed on the Day of Christ's coming and our works tested by fire, although the passage clearly states that this has nothing to do with our salvation (“though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire”). Well, how does this then fit with the general attitude of boldness and confidence which the believer has? I believe the resolution to this problem is that these works will be revealed as forgiven works. Our sins and our shortcomings will be revealed as forgiven, and thus will not be condemned. Paul says:

1Cor. 4:5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.

Although things hidden will come to light and the purposes of the heart will be disclosed, yet the fact remains that each Christian will “receive his commendation from God.” The KJV, HCSB, ISV say “praise.” The word is ἔπαινος (epainos, G1868) which basically means “approbation, commendation, praise” and is used in the NT 11 times (Rom. 2:29; 13:3; 1Cor. 4:5; 2Cor. 8:18; Eph. 1:6, 12, 14; Phil. 1:11; 4:8; 1Pet. 1:7; 2:14). It is never used in a negative way. It is used of the government praising or commending the good done (Rom. 13:3; 1Pet. 2:14); it is used of God (1Cor. 4:5); it is said to be the purpose to which we were predestined (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14), and finally our faith will “be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1Pet. 1:7). Here we have again confirmed what we learned from 1 John 4:17: believers have no need to dread the Day of Judgment. It is a day which will result in their praise, glory and honor. They will receive their commendation, praise and approbation from God, not condemnation. The point in looking to the uses of the word is to confirm that it is never used in relation to unbelievers, therefore, only believers will be commended. But if this is true then the way in which the judgment is described in 1 Corinthians 4:5 seems to imply that not all things revealed of believers were only good. I mean, the language of bringing things to light and disclosing the purposes of the heart implies that there are some bad works/sins to be revealed. Still, Paul does not say that believers will be condemned because of their bad works, but rather, “each one”, every believer, “will receive his commendation from God.” Our works will be tested by fire and some will be consumed...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 27: Of the Communion of Saints

...:34-35; 14:15; Eph. 4:15; 1 Peter 4:10; Rom. 14:7-8; 1 Cor. 3:21-23; 12:7, 25-27
  • Rom. 1:12; 12:10-13; 1 Thess. 5:11,14; 1 Peter 3:8; 1 John 3:17-18; Col. 6:10; Gal. 6:10
  • Defining Union with Christ

    All the elect are united to Christ. They were united in His death (Gal. 2:20) and share the undeserved blessings coming from his perfect life, death, resurrection, and ascension in glory. This union with Christ does not make us one person with Him or with God, that is blasphemy. Rather, we become one with Him in spirit, love, and communion sharing in all those blessings which the Father has given to Christ. This union with Christ spans from ETERNITY past to ETERNITY future. What is then this union with Christ actually? Simply said, it is the application of Christ's accomplished redemption for the elect in space and time. R. L. Dabney writes:

    When made one with His Redeeming Head, then all the communicable graces of that Head begin to transfer themselves to him. Thus we find that each kind of benefit which makes up redemption is, in different parts of the Scripture, deduced from this union as their source; Justification, spiritual strength, life, resurrection of the body, good works, prayer and praise, sanctification, perseverance, etc., etc. Eph. 1:4, 6, 11, 13; Col. 1:24; Rom. 6:3-6, 8; Col. 2:10; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:9; John 15:1-5.[2]

    John Murray, in his Redemption: Accomplish and Applied, noted that in the Christian life “Nothing is more central or basic than union and communion with Christ.”[3] Therefore, it should be beneficial to us to take the time and see what the Scriptures say about our union with the Savior. In the same place, Murray notes that union with Christ is not an aspect of the application of redemption as repentance, faith, effectual calling, but it “underlies every step of the application of redemption.”[3] In all the steps of our salvation we have to do with our union with Christ. The whole process of salvation, from beginning to end, is the realization of our union with Christ. A. H. Strong defines union with Christ as “a union of life, in which the human spirit, while then most truly possessing its own individuality and personal distinctness, is interpenetrated and energized by the Spirit of Christ, is made inscrutably but indissolubly one with him, and so becomes a member and partaker of that regenerated, believing, and justified humanity of which he is the head.”[4] Louis Berkhof defines it as “that intimate, vital, and spiritual union between Christ and His people, in virtue of which He is the source of their life and strength, of their blessedness and salvation.[5]

    How This Union Is Spoken Of In Scripture

    In the New Testament, especially in the Epistles of Paul, this blessed union with Christ is variously mentioned whether by pictures or by the words used. For instance, Paul says that “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Eph. 2:20-22). In this analogy we see the Apostle comparing our union with Christ with a building and its stones. We are a temple, but we are a temple because we are in Christ Who is building us into a temple for God. This is similar to what is said by Peter in 1 Peter 2:4-5. In this passage and others like it, we see that our...


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

    ... to their final, unalterable, and eternal state, Rom. 14:10; 2Co 5:10; Jud 1:6; Rev. 20:11-15.[5]

    Some take the judgment spoken of in Hebrews 9:27 to be the final judgment. To be sure, there is no definite article for “judgment" in the Greek and this is correctly translated by the ESV, in contrast to translations which supply a definite article (e.g. KJV, NKJV). The definite article makes the idea that this passage is speaking about the Final Judgment more appealing, yet the definite article is not in the original. But a stronger case that death fixes our ETERNITY destiny can be made from Luke 16:19-31. There is a chasm which separates the saved in heaven and the damned in Hades in the Intermediate State. No one can cross over and this takes place after physical death. That’s why death should be terrifying to those who do not know God and who have not obeyed the Gospel of our Lord. There are no second chances. All that awaits those who have not put their trust in Christ is doom and misery.

    The Souls Of The Righteous In Heaven

    Already in the Old Testament believers were expecting a blissful existence with God after their physical death. David says, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Ps. 23:6; cf. Ps. 16:10-11; 17:15; 73:24; 115:18). He expects to ever live in the presence of God. He did not only live with and for God in his earthly life, but he believes that God's presence will always be with Him. He will dwell in His house and this is said at a time when the Temple was not yet built. Elijah is said to have “went up by a whirlwind into heaven” (2Kings 2:11). Jesus shows that there will be a resurrection from the fact that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are living before the presence of God (Matt. 22:31-32; Luke 20:37-38).

    But there is the greater revelation of this fact in the New Testament. There is general agreement amongst Christians that once they die, they will be in the presence of the Lord. (1) The Lord Jesus, before being crucified and going back to the Father, tells His disciples that He will go before them to prepare a place for them, and then come and take them to that place (John 14:1-4). The Lord Jesus, through His atonement on the cross and resurrection, made a place for His people and then He comes and takes them in their death to Himself. (2) Paul says that it is better for him to die because dying is gain, why? Because in dying we will go to the place where the Lord Christ is (Phil. 1:21-23). To depart and to die is to be with Christ, which is better. (3) To an another church he writes that as long as we live in the body, we are away from the Lord. His greater desire is to be “away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2Cor. 5:8). As long as we live our lives here, we are with the Lord and the Lord is with us, but it is not the same as being “at home with the Lord.” Then we will see Him face to face and have close and direct communion with Him. (4) The Author of Hebrews says that Christians join in worship with those in heaven, which includes “the spirits of the righteous made perfect” (Heb. 12:22-23). In heaven they reach sinless perfection, yet they still await the resurrection of their body. Notice that these are said to be the “spirits of the righteous”, the Author is not speaking of a bodily resurrection, for that is after the Intermediate State is over and Christ has come back. (5) John describes the martyrs of t...


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

    ...; 17:2, 6, 9, 24).
  • The Son has accomplished what the Father has given Him (John 17:4; 4:34).
    • What was His commission and when was it given?
  • All these points and others that may be added imply the necessity of an eternal agreement or covenant within the Trinity concerning the salvation of the elect.

    The Covenant of Redemption is the archetypical covenant for all the other covenants of God. All the other covenants in history flow out of the Covenant of Redemption made in ETERNITY past within the Trinity. Douglas Van Dorn expresses it in this way:

    In fact, the Covenant of Redemption is prerequisite for the main categories of covenants found in history and the various administrations of those covenants in time. Without this covenant, the other covenants do not exist or make sense, either separately or in conjunction with one another. This covenant undergirds them; the fullness of each covenant flows out of the plans, performances, and purposes of the Godhead in the Covenant of Redemption.[21]

    The Godhead planned the redemption of the elect by the blood of Christ and this came about through the different covenants that were made by God with man. Our Confessions, in paragraph 3, says that the Covenant of Grace was "founded in that eternal covenant transaction that was between the Father and the Son about the redemption of the elect". It is interesting to note that only the 1689 speaks of the Covenant of Redemption explicitly in here. The sister confessions conern themselves with the Covenant of Works and the different administrations of the Covenant of Grace.


    §3 The Covenant of Grace is revealed by farther steps

    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

    The Covenant of Grace

    We cannot answer the question "what does Covenant of Grace mean” if we do not know what the Covenant of Redemption is. Most concisely put: the Covenant of Grace is the historical outworking of the Covenant of Redemption. The Triune God has decreed from all ETERNITY the salvation of His elect. In the Covenant of Grace, He calls them into fellowship with Him and realizes His plan by bringing them to saving faith. One of the glories of Covenant Theology is its clear doctrine of salvation in all of redemptive history. As our Confession says in this paragraph: “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…” We know that the Patriarchs did not have so much knowledge of the Lord Jesus as we now do. But the point is clear that salvation is by grace through faith in bo...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary

    ...aith” is merely their assertion that they have faith with no evidence. On this basis, James says in verse 17 that if this is what you think faith is, i.e., merely the assertion of faith without the accompanying fruit, then that “faith” that you actually have is dead, false and fake. It is useless; it is not going to help you. It is not saving faith.

    We keep our faith alive through acting out on our faith and bearing the fruit that comes from the fact that the Spirit is within us. We want to do good works so that our Father would be glorified (Matt. 5:16). We want to do the good works, which the God who saved us by grace and through faith, had prepared for us from ETERNITY (Eph. 2:10).

    Jas. 2:18-19 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

    Again, we continue with what we established before, the mere claim of possession of faith and the actual possession of faith. We are justified by the possession of faith, not by the mere profession of faith. Faith is something that is internal between oneself and God, it is not something invisible to others. But there is a way in which true faith can be seen, namely, by our deeds to the glory of God. God knows if we have true and saving faith because He knows everything and knows us better than ourselves, but people cannot know if we have true saving faith. The only way for them to have an idea if we have faith is to observe our walk of life and our deeds. That’s the reason that James says that it is impossible to demonstrate your faith before people without your works, i.e., the fruits of your repentance and faith (Matt. 3:8; Acts 26:20). The context of James’ discussion is not justification before God, rather the discussion is the demonstration of your justification and faith before people. James is not concerned here with what dwells inside a believer, but his discussion concerns those who profess the faith but do not act like it. It is those people who cannot demonstrate their justification before men.

    Jas. 2:20-26 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

    The discussion continues. The profession of the faith is useless without works by which you can demonstrate the genuineness of your faith. Now we get to the justification of Abraham. Paul has clearly argued in Romans 4 that Abraham was justified by faith apart from works (see above). But what is James speaking about here? We have already argued that the discussion of James concerns the demonstration of our faith before people. It is not about whether we have saving faith or not before God. God knows our hearts and knows if we have true faith, people don’t the way they c...


    1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

    ...an style="line-height: 20.7999992370605px;"Heb 4:13; Rom 11:33-34; Ps 147:5; Acts 15:18; Ezek 11:5
  • Ps 145:17; Rom 7:12
  • Rev 5:12-14
    1. In this divine and infinite Being there are three subsistences, the Father, the Word or Son, and Holy Spirit, 1 of one substance, power, and ETERNITYeach having the whole divine essence, yet the essence undividedthe Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Sonall infinite, without beginning, therefore but one God, who is not to be divided in nature and being, but distinguished by several peculiar relative properties and personal relations; which doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and comfortable dependence on him. 3
      1. Matt 3:16-17; 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14
      2. Ex 3:14; John 14:11; 1 Cor 8:6
      3. Prov 8:22-23; John 1:1-3, 14, 18; 3:16; 10:36; 15:26; 16:28; Heb 1:2; 1 John 4:14; Gal 4:4-6

    Chapter 3: Of God's Decree [Return] [Commentary]

    1. God hath decreed in himself, from all ETERNITY, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably1 all things, whatsoever comes to pass2 yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein; 3 nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established; in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree. 5
      1. Prov 19:21; Isa 14:24-27; 46:10-11; Ps 115:3; 135:6; Rom 9:19; Heb 6:17
      2. Dan 4:34-35; Rom 8:28; 11:36; Eph 1:11
      3. Gen 18:25; James 1:13; 1 John 1:5
      4. Gen 50:20; 2 Sam 24:1; Isa 10:5-7; Matt 17:12; John 19:11; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28
      5. Num 23:19; Eph 1:3-5
    1. Although God knoweth whatsoever may or can come to pass, upon all supposed conditions, 1 yet hath he not decreed anything, because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions. 2
      (Acts 15:18; Romans 9:11, 13, 16, 18)
      1. Sam 23:11-12; Matt 11:21, 23; Acts 15:18
      2. Isa 40:13-14; Rom 9:11-18; 11:34; 1 Cor 2:16
    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
    1. These angels and men thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished. 1
      1. Matt 2:1-14; John 13:18; Rom 11:5-6; 1 Cor 7:22-22; 2 Tim 2:19
    1. Those of mankind that are predestinated to life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love, 1 without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving him thereunto. 2    
      1. Rom 8:30; Eph 1:4-6, 9, 11; 2 Tim 1:9; 1 Thess 5:9
      2. Rom 9:11-16; 11:5-6; Eph 2:5
    1. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so he hath, by the eternal and most free purpose of his wil...