The Staunch Calvinist

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

Search


You searched for 'Elders'

I've found 17 results!


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary

...ng to His body on earth. That is why the epistles call on us to walk in a way worthy of the gospel (Eph. 4:1; 5:2; Col. 1:10; Phil. 1:27; 3:17; 1 Thess. 4:1). We should outwardly manifest what is true in us. But since human judgment is necessary to admit one to baptism or membership, this means that this is a fallible process. While the ideal situation is that only those in the invisible church should be admitted to membership in a local church, this is impossible to achieve. The impossibility lies in the fact that we cannot see into people’s hearts. We are not God. Therefore, the way in which God has given to determine this is by profession of faith and by conduct of life. God-loving Elders and congregations determine this by these fallible means. This process will undoubtedly admit those who do not belong to the universal church into a local church. There are people who are deceived and think are believers. They even show some outward fruit that they are believers, but are not. While there are those who merely "walk the walk and talk the talk," but their hearts are still enslaved to sin. This means that this process allows for tares/weeds among the wheat (Matt. 13:24-30). But this is not a process which allows anyone with interest to join up. There should be a profession of faith which is in accord with the conduct of one’s life and vice versa. Those who follow what Scripture says about the church and of whom it is constituted will not knowingly admit unbelievers among themselves. When that takes place, the blame is not upon the leadership and the church, but upon the false professor. Those who belong to the church are described as those who remain. While false professors will have their time to leave: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19).

The Wellums even point to the warning passages as proof that the church should be constituted of those who are true believers. They write:

The New Testament knows of false professions and spurious conversions. In fact, that’s why Paul exhorted, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith” (2 Cor 13:5 NIV; see also 2 Pet 1:10). Still the New Testament views the church on earth as a heavenly (tied to the “age to come” and the new creation) and spiritual (born of and empowered by the Spirit) community. It is “the outcropping of the heavenly assembly gathered in the Jerusalem that is above.” [D. A. Carson] Scripture simply does not treat it as a mixed community of believers and unbelievers like ancient Israel. It is constituted as a regenerate people who profess to have crossed from death to life, to have been united to Christ, to be participants in the new creation and the new covenant age.[16]

There would be no point to call for the purity of the church if its membership does not matter, or that its membership may be mixed between regenerate and unregenerate. The fact is, the membership of the visible church on earth should reflect that of the invisible church. The way we know that is by profession of faith and walk of life. We may even take the example of the apostle Paul. In 1 Corinthians 1:2, Paul writes to a local church of God which is located at Corinth, but his words apply to the universal church as well. Paul did not have a special insight into who is a true believer and who is not. He took people at their w...


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

...rongtradition of men.”

Now we come to the New Testament and there is not a hint that the Regulative Principle, so clearly articulated in the Old Testament, has been changed or that we now operate under a different principle. Obviously, some things have been changed such as sacrifices, the Temple, the priesthood and so on. But concerning those, we have a warrant to understand they’re done away with and fulfilled. But there is not a hint in the New Testament that God no longer regulates His worship or that God is no longer jealous for His worship.

The Jews in this passage were bringing a tradition of the Elders to the same authority as the Scriptures. They required that they wash in a particular way before eating. Therefore, when they saw the disciples of our Lord eating with “defiled hands” they accused them of “not walk[ing] according to the tradition of the Elders” (Mark 7:5). Our Lord’s response is cited above. The first accusation is that they’re hypocrites. They merely appear religious and try to be religious on the outside, but on the inside they’re false. They present themselves as devout to the Word of God, but pay more careful attention to the “tradition of men” than the “commandment of God”. They try to invent ways of pleasing and worshiping God. But God’s response to their innovations is that they are “vain”. This passage the Lord Jesus cites from Isaiah 29:13 from the LXX, which is slightly different from the Hebrew:

Isa 29:13 LXXE And the Lord has said, This people draw nigh to me with their mouth, and they honour me with their lips, but their heart is far from me: but in vain do they worship me, teaching the commandments and doctrines of men.

Their worship is merely outward and is therefore false. Even if it would have contained the right “parts of worship” it would have been false because it was not from the heart. But that was not the only case with the Pharisees. Their heart was not right, but the content of worship was likewise not right. They had added to the worship and commandments of God as the Lord accuses them of doing. In the way that they elevated their “tradition of the Elders”, they made void the Word of God and worshiped God falsely and in vain. Calvin notes:

But in vain do they worship me The words of the prophet run literally thus: their fear toward me has been taught by the precept of men. But Christ has faithfully and accurately given the meaning, that in vain is God worshipped, when the will of men is substituted in the room of doctrine. By these words, all kinds of will-worship, ( ἐθελοθζησκεία,) as Paul calls it, ( Col 2:23,) are plainly condemned. For, as we have said, since God chooses to be worshipped in no other way than according to his own appointment, he cannot endure new modes of worship to be devised. As soon as men allow themselves to wander beyond the limits of the Word of God, the more labor and anxiety they display in worshipping him, the heavier is the condemnation which they draw down upon themselves; for by such inventions religion is dishonored.[12]

Philip Schaff notes on Matthew 15:9 that this “vain worship” is “both groundless (without true principle) and fruitless (without proper results).”[16]Christ still, under the New Testaments, holds tightly to the Regulative Principle of Worship. He elevates the commandments of God above the tradition of men. God is to be worshiped in the way which He Himself has instituted. It is His worship and He alone has the prerogat...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 28: Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper - Commentary

...and thereunto called, according to the commission of Christ. 1
  1. Matt. 24:45-51; 28:19-20; Luke 12:41-44; 1 Cor. 4:1; Titus 1:5-7

The holy appointments or ordinances are to be administered by those only who are qualified and called to this task, according to the commission of Christ.


Now here there is a little difficulty. Who are the persons qualified to do these things? In a local church, those persons would be the Elders. But, does this exclude any regular member in administering the ordinances or helping in the administration thereof? I do not see any biblical command that only the Elders may do these things, nor any prohibition against regular members helping. Obviously, within the local gathering of God’s people, the Elders would undertake to administer the Lord’s Supper and Baptism. They may, perhaps, ask the help of some brothers or sisters for the Lord’s Supper, for example, to pray for the bread and wine and distribute the elements. I do not see why that would not be permissible. Obviously, having the Elders administer the ordinances is much better, as they are the ones who are in the position to lead the church and are known as the church leaders. Therefore, having them baptize a person or administer the Lord’s Supper, is much more authoritative than a regular member. Philip, for example, who was not an elder, baptized the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:38). I do not advise people to go and baptize others outside the church. That is not my point. But rather, my point is that I see nothing in the Bible (I am open for change) which restricts the administration of the ordinances to Elders alone.

As for the Lord’s Table, the disciples in the early church in Jerusalem, it seems, were regularly celebrating it (e.g., Acts 2:42). But the Lord’s Supper was especially celebrated on the Lord’s Day in the corporate gathering of God’s people (Acts 20:7). The people of God were gathered on the first day in Troas to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. The Corinthians, when they came “together as a church” (1 Cor. 11:18) observed the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:20). This would indicate that the Lord’s Supper is generally to be administered on the Lord’s Day in the corporate gathering of God’s people. The Lord’s Supper should not be celebrated by one person, but rather in a gathering of more people. There may be occasions when a group would want to celebrate the Lord’s Supper outside of the gathering of the church, or a sick brother or sister not in the corporate gathering may want to partake of the Lord’s Table. I do not see any prohibition of such a thing. But we should note that the common, regular, and normal observance of the Lord’s Supper is within the corporate gathering of God’s people on the Lord’s Day. The Lord’s Supper is not a “me and Jesus” moment, but it is “me and Jesus and the congregation” unity moment. It is vertical as well as horizontal. In fact, the believers at Troas were gathered one the first day of the week to “break bread” (Acts 20:7). When Paul spoke against the Corinthian misuse of the Lord’s Supper, he addressed it in the context of corporate worship (1 Cor. 11:17ff). Therefore, private celebrations should be discouraged. The gathering of God’s people is the proper context for the Lord’s Supper as well as Baptism.

In conclusion, we give the words of Bob Carr:

While there is nothing in the Bible that says that only ministers may administer the ordinances, surely it is reasonable to believe that the baptism of ...


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

...g.

In 1 Timothy 6:14, Paul charges Timothy to keep all that Paul has commanded him in the letter (the commandment) “unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ [τῆς ἐπιφανείας τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, tēs epiphaneias tou Kyriou hēmōn Iēsou Christou]”. Timothy should continue following Paul’s commands concerning Elders, deacons, “fighting the good fight” and so on, until the coming of Christ. In 2 Timothy 4:1 Paul charges Timothy under oath in the presence of God and Christ “who is to judge the living and the dead” and “by his appearing [τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν αὐτοῦ, tēn epiphaneian autou] and his kingdom”. His appearing will also bring the appearing and consummation of His kingdom. Paul charges Timothy by 1) God, 2) Christ, 3) Christ’s Second Advent, and 4) Christ’s Kingdom. In 2 Timothy 4:8 Paul says that “the Lord, the righteous judge” will reward him on “that Day” the “crown of righteousness”, but the Lord will not only reward Paul, but “all who have loved his appearing [τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν αὐτοῦ, tēn epiphaneian autou].” At first reading this may indicate that this appearing is about the first appearing, but consulting v. 1 and seeing that the descriptions of both passages fit together. For example, in both verses, Jesus is described as Judge and also the use of the word appearing (epiphaneia). Paul is speaking about those who desire and love His Second Coming already! They are eagerly awaiting His Second Coming when His people will be vindicated, their enemies crushed, God glorified and they rewarded. Finally, Titus 2:13 speaks to Christians about fighting against sin and worldliness as we await for “our blessed hope” which is “the appearing of the glory [ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης, epiphaneian tēs doxēs] of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”. Jesus Christ is described both as our Savior and as our God, and the day when He will come, He will come as such with all the glory that belongs to Him. This is the blessed hope as then our striving against sin and the persecution against us will stop. We will be granted relief, and all sin will be destroyed in our life. We will be perfectly free from sin. Our enemies and the enemies of God will receive their due punishment.

The only use of epiphaneia which is not in reference to His Second Advent is in 2 Timothy 1:10. Paul teaches that the eternal electing gift of God has now been manifested through “the appearing [τῆς ἐπιφανείας, tēs epiphaneias] of our Savior Christ Jesus”. This could not be understood to be speaking of the Second Advent, but it could be easily understood to be speaking of the Logos becoming flesh (John 1:1, 14). Christ is in the same verse described as the one “who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel”. We have passed from death to life and we have eternal life (John 5:24; 1John 5:13). All these things were accomplished by the Lord Christ and will be fully consummated at His Second Advent. At the present, although we physically die, yet our death serves as the “train ticket” into God’s presence. Death is an enemy which has been forced to serve for the good of God’s people.

The epiphaneia of Christ is the blessed hope of Christians, which is His Second Coming, revelation, and appearing. On that day the Christians will receive a “crown of righteousness” when their “righteous Judge” will come. Until His appearing, Christians should follow God’s commandments and keep them unstained.

The Day Of The Lord...


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

... it is said that “Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.” But as to his precise identification or what he taught, we don’t know. Either way, they seemed to be teachers in the church and thus in a high position that Paul himself had to excommunicate them from the church. The reasons that Alexander and Hymenaeus exercised (some) teaching authority in the church are given by Pastor MacArthur in connection to those “certain persons” in v. 3:

certain persons. The false teachers were few in number, yet had a wide influence. Several reasons point toward these men being Elders in the church at Ephesus and in the churches in the surrounding region: 1) They presumed to be teachers (1 Tim. 1:7), a role reserved for Elders (3:2; 5:17). 2) Paul himself had to excommunicate Hymenaeus and Alexander, which impels they occupied the highest pastoral positions. 3) Paul detailed the qualifications of an overseer (3:1-7), implying that unqualified men, who needed to be replaced by qualified ones, were occupying those roles. 4) Paul stressed that sinning overseers were to be publically disciplined (5:19-22)…[11]

The expression “handed over to Satan” refers to excommunication whereby one is placed outside of the believing community – the church. He is placed back in the world where Satan’s reign is manifest. Away from the Word of God, the power of God, the Lord’s ordinances, godly fellowship, and conduct. Notice the purpose of this excommunication, it is namely “that they may not learn to blaspheme.” These two were excommunicated on grounds of blasphemy and the purpose of this excommunication is that they may not blaspheme. The word βλασφημέω (blasphemeo, G987) means “to speak reproachfully, rail at, revile, calumniate, blaspheme” often with reference to God though not limited to that (e.g., Paul in Acts 13:45). The purpose of this excommunication is that they learn not to blaspheme. Paul describes himself as a blasphemer in 1 Timothy 1:13, but no longer remained a blasphemer when he received the grace of Christ. The apostles wishes the same for Hymenaeus and Alexander and wants to accomplish this through excommunication, which even if it did not lead them to true repentance it would save the church from their false teaching. But will Satan himself, in fact, teach them to seek Christ? No, he will not. But the idea here is that they learn to see the difference of their life within the faith community and outside of the faith community and see the error of their ways. On “learn” and “blaspheme” a commentary notes:

learn—Greek, “be disciplined,” namely, by chastisement and suffering.

blaspheme—the name of God and Christ, by doings and teachings unworthy of their Christian profession (Rom 2:23; Rom 2:24; Jas 2:7). Though the apostles had the power of excommunication, accompanied with bodily inflictions, miraculously sent (2Co 10:8), it does not follow that fallible ministers now have any power, save that of excluding from church fellowship notorious bad livers.[9]

To conclude, therefore, this passage does not, in fact, teach that Alexander and Hymenaeus were true and regenerate believers and now are no longer believers and are unregenerate. But it does show that these men have destroyed their previous religious profession and abandoned their Christian profession.

Hebrews 6:4-6 – It is impossible to restore them again to repentance

Heb 6:4-6 For it is impossible, in the case of those wh...


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

...e of faith.

Sola Scriptura teaches that since the Bible is the only God-breathed revelation to the church and the world, therefore, it is the highest authority for the church. Sola Scriptura does not deny other authorities in the church, as is often erroneously thought. There is a difference between Sola and Solo Scriptura. Sola Scriptura teaches that the Scriptures are the only and sole sufficient, certain, infallible, inerrant, and absolutely authoritative rule of faith for the church. A special and hard emphasis is placed on the adjectives describing the rule of faith. This does not imply that the church has no other authorities as the Elders, confessions, creeds, but what Sola Scriptura teaches is that all other authorities are subject to the sole infallible and sufficient authority of the Word. Solo Scriptura on the other hand, which is not the Reformed position, teaches that the Bible is the only authority for the church, period. It teaches that the church cannot benefit from creeds, confessions, councils, writings of dead men and so on. We, on the other hand, accept all these things, but we do not blindly accept them, but we have to test them against the “only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience” (paragraph 1).

Since the Scriptures teach their truthfulness, inspiration, sufficiency, and authority, therefore, it follows that they are the only infallible and certain rule of faith given to the church. To be sure, this does not mean that we may not use other authorities, as councils, creeds, and confessions, but, these authorities are subordinate and are to be examined by “the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience”. Notice that the Holy Scriptures are said to be sufficient on matters of faith and obedience, not all things. We do not find in the Scriptures where we should go to work, how we should start our car and a ton of other things. But that is not the Reformed position on the sufficiency and the sole authority of Scripture. Rather, Scripture is the sole authority and sufficient on matters of faith and obedience, because those things are only known through special revelation, which the Bible is. Scripture is the only and highest authority to decide matters of religion. As paragraph 10 of this chapter asserts:

The supreme judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved.

Scripture alone is the supreme judge (notice the adjective), not councils, ancient writers or doctrines of men. In all these disputes, only Scripture is the infallible and highest authority in the possession of the church. All these things are judged by the Scriptures, but Scripture is not to be judged by these things. We may indeed be corrected in our interpretation of Scripture by these things, but Scripture is not judged or corrected by them. If, in the writings of men we find things for which we see no warrant in the infallible Word, we are not bound to believe these. But if in the Word we find doctrines which we don’t want to believe, we are sinning and are disobeying God Whose Word Scripture is. Sola Scriptura teaches that the Bible alone can b...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 29: Of Baptism - Commentary

...o;, which I saw as a sign from heaven. My family would not have been happy about my baptism because they think that my baptism as an infant was valid. Moreover, the Armenian Church is a national church. It does not get new converts, for example. Most infants are baptized and declared Christian, even if they know not the gospel. Therefore, the only baptism that is practiced and that I have heard of is infant baptism.

I still feel guilty for asking the Lord for a sign when I had already concluded that believers’ baptism is the biblical position and that infant baptism was unscriptural. His Word was clear on this subject. So, after that service, I directly went to one of the Elders and told him that I want to be baptized. After giving my testimony, I was baptized on 16-06-2013.

It is not my purpose in this chapter to overthrow the paedobaptist position by directly arguing against it, but by presenting a positive case for credobaptism—baptism upon the profession of faith. No doubt, we would have to touch upon some arguments or texts which our paedobaptist brethren like to use. But mainly, this is meant to be a positive case of what we (Reformed) Baptists believe.


§1 What Baptism Is And Is Not

  1. Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized, a sign of his fellowship with him, in his death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into him; of remission of sins; and of giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life. 3
    1. Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12; Gal. 3:27[1]
    2. Mark 1:4; Acts 22:16
    3. Rom. 6:4

Baptism is an ordinance of “positive and sovereign institution” (chapter 28:1) and it is an ordinance of the New Testament. Baptism is a sign of...fellowship (e.g., Gal. 3:27) and union with Christ for the party baptized. Baptism is a sign, i.e., something visible representing something invisible (union with Christ). Baptism signifies our fellowship with Him, in His death and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-5). As we are submerged in the water, we picture the Lord’s death and ours. As we come out of the water, we picture the Lord’s resurrection and ours. Baptism signifies our union with Christ or as it is here called, our being engrafted into Him (Gal. 3:27; see chapter 27). It signifies the washing away or remission of sins (Acts 22:16). It also signifies our giving up into God or our determination to submit to God, through Jesus Christ and to live and walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4), which we have received from the Lord and which baptism pictures. Notice that baptism is called a sign and not the cause or an instrument of fellowship with Christ. It does not cause those things enlisted, but pictures these realities visibly. Which brings us to the subjects of Christian Baptism in the next paragraph.


That baptism is an institution and ordinance of our Lord is very clear from Matthew 28:18-20. There, we are given the command to make disciples of all nations by baptizing and teaching them. It is a given for Christians that it is Christ Who instituted it for all believers just like He did the Lord’s Supper. But what is baptism actually? According to the Confession, it is a sign. Being a sign means that it points beyond itself to something else and this something is the work of Christ on behalf of believers. Baptism has a mode in which it is to be performed and also specific subjects who should be its recipient. Hercules Collins in 1691 defined baptism as “an e...


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

...t takes place in Exodus 19. Let’s take a look.

My Treasured Possession

Exod. 19:5-8 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” 7 So Moses came and called the Elders of the people and set before them all these words that the LORD had commanded him. 8 All the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD. 

This is a classic case of a covenant. The Lord lays a condition upon the people of Israel. This condition is that they must obey Him and keep His covenant, then His blessings will follow. The blessings, among other things, are that Israel would be God’s treasured people from among all peoples and they will be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, reflecting the holiness of their covenant Lord and spreading His fame. We can already see the conditionality laid upon the covenant blessings. Just like it was the case with the Abrahamic (Gen. 17:9-14), so it is with the Mosaic. The people of Israel would need to be obedient to the Lord to be His treasured possession and enjoy His covenant blessings. The text begins with a condition and then follows with promises of what Israel shall be. Likewise, we see the response of the people to the Lord’s covenant, which is important to note. This is unlike what happens, for example, in the New Covenant where the Lord sovereignly and unilaterally initiates the covenant and fulfills its condition through His Spirit in His people. In this covenant, there is a condition for the people to fulfill themselves. They must obey God and keep His covenant, otherwise, those promises will not be fulfilled. A. W. Pink summarizes the terms in this way:

Not only is the word covenant used, but the transactions at Sinai contained all the elements of a covenant: the contracting parties were the Lord God and Israel; the condition was, “If ye will obey my voice indeed”; the promise was, “Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:6); the penalty was the curses of Deuteronomy 28:15, and so forth.[55]

The Covenant Lord Speaks

Exod. 19:17-18 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the LORD had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 

The sight is terrifying. God has condescended to make a covenant with sinful man and that in some kind of visible way. By coming down on Mount Sinai, the people truly were terrified by the awful sight. The Lord then warns Moses that the thought should not come to the people to come upon the Mountain lest they perish. What follows then in chapter 20 are the Ten Commandments, which are the summary of the moral law written upon every heart (see chapter 19 more on the Law of God and an exposition of the Ten Commandments). But now it is spoken by God to His covenant people as the summary of this covenant which He is making with them and the heart of it.

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments are common to man. They are the basic moral law, which we know by virtue of the fact that we are created in the Imago Dei (in the image of Go...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith - Commentary

...t is believing on Christ for your life—eternal life! He is the Light of the world and to believe in Him is to believe in the light and truth (John 12:35-36) and leave the darkness and falsehood behind (John 12:46). Believing in Christ is our only hope for the forgiveness of sins for “To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him [πιστεύοντα εἰς αὐτόν, pisteuonta eis auton] receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43). In Acts 14:23, Paul and Barnabas, “with prayer and fasting they committed [the Elders] to the Lord in whom they had believed.” The Lord is worthy of commitment and trust that He will protect the Elders. One does not entrust a person to someone they do not know or they do not trust. But the disciples were committed to Christ because they knew that He is the Lord their Protector and Help. We believe in God to be justified thanks to the work of Christ (Rom. 4:5, 24). Our righteousness comes through faith in Christ (Gal. 2:16). To believe in Christ is to forsake all self-righteousness and commit one’s self to Christ and trust in Him alone. This construction “expresses the sinner’s complete repose and reliance in Christ alone.”[15] Berkhof writes, ‘This construction has a very pregnant meaning, expressing, as it does, “an absolute transference of trust from ourselves to another, a complete self-surrender to God.”’[14] Grudem observes:

The Greek phrase pisteuō eis auton could also be translated “believe into him” with the sense of trust or confidence that goes into and rests in Jesus as a person. Leon Morris can say, “Faith, for John, is an activity which takes men right out of themselves and makes them one with Christ.” He understands the Greek phrase pisteuō eis to be a significant indication that New Testament faith is not just intellectual assent but includes a “moral element of personal trust.” Such an expression was rare or perhaps nonexistent in the secular Greek found outside the New Testament, but it was well suited to express the personal trust in Christ that is involved in saving faith.[16]

As Reymond observes:

But all these expressions of believing “in” or “upon” or “into” Jesus connote, at the very least, that one believes that Jesus always tells the truth and that what the Bible teaches upon him is also always true, for saving faith necessarily entails believing propositional truths about him.[15]

While I agree, I must add that it likewise minimally means putting one’s whole confidence, trust, and hope in Him.

Expressions for Faith

There are some expressions used in Scripture to denote faith. I’ve been able to find the following from different systematic theologies:

Looking to Christ

In John 3:14-15, the Lord Jesus tells us that just as the serpent in Numbers 21 was lifted up, and everyone who looked to it was spared from God’s judgment (Num. 21:9), so also “must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” We must see Christ as our only hope of salvation and must look to Him and expect from Him everything that is necessary for our salvation and life. Berkhof observes:

This is a very appropriate figure, because it comprises the various elements of faith, especially when it refers to a steadfast looking to anyone, as in the passage indicated. There is in it an act of perception (intellectual element), a deliberate fixing of the eye on the object (volitional element), and a certain satisfaction to which this concentr...


1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

...tdPastor Exon Devon William Hankins Pastor Dimmock Gloucester Samuel Ewer Pastor Hemstead Herts Edward Man Pastor Houndsditch London Charles Archer Pastor Hick-Norton Oxon
In the name of and on the behalf of the whole assembly.

 


CONFESSION OF FAITH

Put forth by the Elders and BRETHREN Of many CONGREGATIONS OF Christians

(baptized upon Profession of their faith) in London and the Country.

With the Heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the Mouth Confession is made unto Salvation, Rom. 10:10.
Search the Scriptures, John 5:39.


Table of Contents

  1. Of the Holy Scriptures
  2. Of God and the Holy Trinity
  3. Of God’s Decree
  4. Of Creation
  5. Of Divine Providence
  6. Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the punishment thereof
  7. Of God’s Covenant
  8. Of Christ the Mediator
  9. Of Free Will
  10. Of Effectual Calling
  11. Of Justification
  12. Of Adoption
  13. Of Sanctification
  14. Of Saving Faith
  15. Of Repentance unto Life and Salvation
  16. Of Good Works
  17. Of the Perseveraance of the Saints
  18. Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation
  19. Of the Law of God
  20. Of the Gospel and the Extent of Grace thereof
  21. Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience
  22. Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day
  23. Of Lawful Oaths and Vows
  24. Of the Civil Magistrate
  25. Of Marriage
  26. Of the Church
  27. Of the Communion of Saints
  28. Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
  29. Of Baptism
  30. Of the Lord’s Supper
  31. Of the State of Man after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead
  32. Of the Last Judgement

(More) Scriptural references have been added from Sam Waldron’s excellent Modern Exposition of 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.


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

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