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

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

...n-Chapter-7:-Of-Gods-Covenant-Commentary/1026#redemption"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 allusions to the Old Testament (John 6:27; 1 Pet. 2:4-6). Christ is the prime elect of God, and all the believers have been elected in Him and when they come to faith, they become 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 favorite epistle after Romans) lays great stress, especially in chapter 7, on Melchizedek and his priesthood. Melchizedek comes on the scene in the life of Abraham after the slaughter of the kings in Genesis 14. He comes at once on the scene and the text tells us that “He was priest of God Most High” (Gen. 14:18). Even at that time, there were more people who knew God other than the ones we meet in the Bible. Melchizedek was a priest of God the Most High. He comes here on the scene and for centuries we hear nothing about him until we come to the Messianic Psalm 110:4.

Ps. 110:4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

Here, Yahweh promises to David’s Adonai (Lord) that He would be a priest forever. The strange part that His priesthood would not be after the order of Levi and Aaron, as it was the only acceptable form o...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary

... sees it, has only believers in it. “The Lord knows those who are his”, infallibly (2 Tim. 2:19). The church is described as the body of Christ, in union with Him (e.g., Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18; 1 Cor. 12:12ff). No one who is united with Christ can be lost. Furthermore, everyone who is has been saved or will be saved is/will be united to Christ (see also here). The church, as the bride and body of Christ, for whom He gave His life are His elect and redeemed people, and only those who viewed from the point view of God. God knows who are His. Ephesians 1:22-23 speaks of the headship of Christ being for the church. Obviously, the reference to the church in this passage does not speak of the Ephesian local body, but the church as a whole everywhere. Ephesians 3:10 speaks of the “manifold wisdom of God” being known unto all “through the church”. This reference likewise, does not refer merely to a local body. God has determined that the church is the people in whom and among whom His glory will be manifested. To this effect, Paul doxologizes: “to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Eph. 3:21). When Paul speaks of God appointing apostles, prophets, teachers and et cetera, he is not speaking of a local church, but of the church everywhere (1 Cor. 12:28). Ephesians 4:11-14 is likewise to the same effect. The body spoken of there is the universal body of Christians for whose upbuilding the offices are given. They will be equipped to achieve unity among all believers. Apostleship is not a continuous office of the church. It was given once for all for the upbuilding of the whole body of believers. This is the church (or temple) which is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets” (Eph. 2:20).

In these ways, we see that the church is a universal and spiritual body of born again believers. Therefore, A. H. Strong defines the church as:

The church of Christ, in its largest signification, is the whole company of regenerate persons in all times and ages, in heaven and on earth (Mat. 16:18; Eph. 1:22, 23; 3:10; 5:24, 25; Col. 1:18; Heb. 12:23). In this sense, the church is identical with the spiritual kingdom of God; both signify that redeemed humanity in which God in Christ exercises actual spiritual dominion (John 3:3, 5).[10]

Later he adds, “Union with Christ is the presupposition of the church.”[11] Stephen J. and Kirk Wellum explain this truth beautifully:

Through its union with him, the new covenant church is a new assembly and new temple who are born, empowered, and indwelt by the Spirit. The church is not a mixed entity but a regenerate, believing community precisely because all whom Christ calls come (John 10:27). And all who come he keeps (v. 28). Those who are not his sheep don’t hear and don’t come (v. 26).[12]

Apostolic Attributes of the Church

In the Nicene Creed, the church of all ages has confessed:

We believe also in only One, Universal, Apostolic, and Holy Church

The Apostles’ Creed speaks of “I believe in...the holy catholic church.” These attributes speak of the church which Christ established—the community of His elect people. These attributes describe what the church is. These attributes speak primarily about the universal and invisible church, while secondarily, the local church. We will briefly take a look at these attributes biblically speaking.

Unity of the Church

The unity or oneness of the church is, first of all, grounded in it...


Ephesians 1:10, 'unite all things in him'

...lleges. Taken from the Bible software The Word. See “Resources.”

...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 17: Of The Perseverance of the Saints - Commentary
The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Perseverance Of The Saints Preservation Of The Saints Assurance Of Salvation Eternal Security Apostasy Falling Away. Hebrews 6

...s the word “world” instead of “age” (ESV, HCSB, ISV, NET, NKJV) as the majority of English translations do, but I believe that the idea is captured in the KJV that this speaks of the renewed world. I believe that the “coming age” or “the age to come” refers to the eternal state. The eternal state where there will be no sin, no sickness, and no pain. About the sin against the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus says that the person committing that sin “will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matt. 12:32) by which He means that the person will never be forgiven, either in this life or in the next. In Ephesians 1:21, Paul writes about the sovereignty of Christ that He is “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” In Mark 10:30, the age to come is connected with eternal life (cf. Luke 18:30). 

Based on that, I believe that this verse means that these apostates experienced some things from the new world, like healing and miracles. When God heals, He displays His graciousness and care and He gives a foretaste of the eternal state where all sin and sickness will be removed. These apostates had some experience with the powerful working of the Spirit in the church as Hebrews 2:4 says, “while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” These things are the effects of the Spirit’s work in the world and the effect of Christ’s Kingdom. God has given us a taste of this even now. In a sense, the age to come has partially arrived, though not fully, just like God’s Kingdom which is among us (e.g., Luke 18:21), yet we still pray “Thy kingdom come!” (Matt. 6:10).

These apostates had some taste and experience of the Holy Spirit’s work, yet it was not evidence that they were truly regenerate believers. They merely tasted the Spirit’s work, but we’re not being filled or indwelt by the Spirit

6. Putting the descriptions together

These apostates had (1) received instruction in the word of truth and have been made familiar with the way of truth. (2) They’ve had an experience with the Holy Spirit and His Work. (3) They had participated in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. (4) They had seen the truth of the gospel from the Word of God, the fulfillment of the long-awaited Messiah in the Lord Jesus. (5) Finally, they had seen and themselves were recipients of God’s powerful working in the church by the Holy Spirit. After experiencing all these things, which would have naturally led to their true conversion (as the land analogy in vv. 7-8 shows), they still remained unfruitful and in their unregenerate state. They had a form of godliness, but it was not the true godliness of the regenerate believer. These apostates were like Judas as we described above. Sam Storms observes the following about the apostates:

Those in Matthew 7:22-23 preached, prophesied, performed miracles, and cast out demons in Christ’s name . . . but were not saved. Jesus said to them: “I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers” (v. 23). These, then, “have tasted” the power and blessings of the new covenant, but they have not personally prized, cherished, embraced, loved, trusted, treasured, or savored the atoning death of Jesus as their only hope for eternal life.[22]

Dr. Grudem observes the following on these apostates:

What has happened to these people? They are at least...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith - Commentary
The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 14 Chapter Fourteen Saving Faith True Faith Temporal Faith Historical Faith Nature Of Faith Ground Of Faith Elements Of Faith Blessings Of Faith Gift Of Faith Pisteuo Pistis Greek Word Study Expressions For Faith

...k"τῇ πίστει τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ, te pistei tou onamatos autou]” and “faith that is through Jesus [ἡ πίστις ἡ δι’ αὐτοῦ, he pistis he di autou]”. The passage very simply teaches that our faith is not only in Christ, but it is always through Christ! Faith in Christ may also be seen in the following passages: Acts 24:24; Romans 3:22, 26; Ephesians 3:12; Galatians 2:20; 3:22, 26; Ephesians 1:15; Colossians 1:4; Philippians 1:29; 1 Timothy 1:14; 3:13; 2 Timothy 1:13; 3:15; James 2:1. While not directly, it is also deducible from the context as in Romans 1:8; 5:1-2; 1 Corinthians 2:5; 15:14, 17; Ephesians 2:8 and passages about justification by faith (e.g., Acts 15:19; Rom. 3:28, 30; 9:30, 32; Gal. 3:8; see chapter 11).

Faith is also spoken of as the set of doctrine or religion. This sense is found in 1 Timothy 1:19 where he is told to “[hold] faith [πίστιν, pistin] and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith [πίστινpistin]”. Matthew Poole observes here, “By faith here is meant, the doctrine of faith, and the holding of it signifies a steadiness of the mind’s assent unto it, without wavering or fluctuation, much less deserting or denying it.”[6] “Hymenaeus and Alexander” have shipwrecked their (profession of) faith (1 Tim. 1:20). In Philippians 1:27, Paul speaks of “the faith of the gospel [τῇ πίστει τοῦ εὐαγγελίου, te pistei tou euangeliou]” for which they are to strive, which seems to mean the doctrine or teaching of the gospel. In Titus 2:2, older men are to be “sound in faith [τῇ πίστει, te pistei]”, which means sound in doctrine. Jude 3 calls us “to contend for the faith [πίστει, pistei (it occurs at the end of the sentence)] that was once for all delivered to the saints.” This faith was handed down to the saints by them who came before us. It was said of Paul in Galatians 1:23 that ‘“He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.”’ We are called to stand firm in the faith in which the sense is given of continuing in the teaching and doctrine (1 Cor. 16:13; Acts 13:8; 14:22; 2 Cor. 13:5; Phil. 1:25; Col. 2:7; 1 Tim. 3:9; 4:1, 6; 2 Tim. 4:7; Titus 3:15). Christians are spoken of as “those who are of the household of the faith [τοὺς οἰκείους τῆς πίστεως, tous oikeious tes pisteos]” (Gal. 6:10).

Finally, pistis “can also denote a conviction or certainty of belief.”[7] So, the Lord Jesus speaks of faith which is able to move mountains (Matt. 17:20; Mark 11:23; cf. 1 Cor. 13:2). One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is faith, which cannot be that which is common to all believers because not all have the same gifts (1 Cor. 12:9; 13:2).

Pisteuo

We see that the noun pistis can be used to designate faith in God, in Christ; or the set of doctrine; the certainty of belief. Now we move to the verb πιστεύω (pisteuo, G4100), which comes from pistis and Thayer defines as “to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in” and “to entrust a thing to one, i.e. his fidelity”[3]. According to my Bible software, it is used 217x in the NA28. Mounce observes that

pisteuo generally means “to believe, be convinced of something,” and in a more specific way “to have faith” in God or Christ. It can also mean to “entrust something to someone.”[8]

So faith and believing (as this is the verb) has to do with having trust and confidence in something or someone. So James Boyce observes about the word faith:

It corresponds with our words, belief and trust,—wit...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary
The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 11 Chapter Eleven Justification Justification By Faith Alone Sola Fide Sola Gratia Imputed Righteousness Infused Righteousness Roman Catholicism Protestantism

... doth in time due actually apply Christ unto them (Titus 3:4-7). We are justified by faith and not election. Election ensures that we will be justified, but it is not the instrument of justification.


The Work of the Trinity

One of the best ways for me to understand the Trinity and see the Trinity in action is in the redemption of man. The Father plans the redemption, the Son accomplishes the redemption and the Holy Spirit applies the redemption. The work of all three Persons of the Blessed Trinity may be seen in Ephesians 1. Verses 3-6 speak of the work of the Father, vv. 7-12 of the work of the Son, and vv. 13-14 speak of the work of the Spirit.

It is God the Father Who chose us before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:3-6). It is He Who planned our salvation from all eternity (2 Tim. 1:9). It is He Who foreknew us, predestined us, called us, justified us and will glorify us (Rom. 8:29-30). It is the Father, says the Lord Jesus, Who draws us to Him so that we are saved (John 6:44). It is the Father Who sent the Son on a mission (John 3:16; 17:3-5). It is He Who adopts us to become His children (Eph. 1:5; 1 John  3:1; Rom. 8:14-17). It is the Father Who planned the redemption of the elect. It is the Father Who ordained the cross of Christ from all eternity (Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; Isa. 53:10) which is the means and ground by which we are saved from His wrath.

It is God the Son Who perfectly obeys the Father in accomplishing all that the Father had sent Him for (John 17:3-5). It is He Who laid down His life for all His sheep (John 10:14-15). It is He Who gives life to all whom the Father has given Him (John 17:2). It is He Who prays for His own (John 17:9). It is He who intercedes for the elect (Rom. 8:34). It is He Who mediates between the Father and sinful man (1 Tim. 2:5). It is in and through Him that our redemption is found (Eph. 1:7). It is by His blood that we are cleansed and bought (1 Cor. 6:19-20; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). It is to Him that the Father draws us (John 6:44). It is He Who raises all those given to Him by the Father on the last day (John 6:37-40). It is He Who keeps us in faith and in His hands (John 6:39; 10:27-28).

It is God the Spirit Who applies to us the work accomplished by the Son. It is He Who convicts us of our sin (John 16:8). It is He Who regenerates us (Ezek. 36:25-27; John 3:5-8; Titus 3:5) and thus gives us the new life in Christ. It is He Who applies the words of Christ to us. Without Him, they’re empty words but He makes them living and regenerates us (John 6:63). It is His person that we receive the moment we believe (Acts 2:38). The Spirit dwells in us (Rom. 8:9; John 3:16; 14:17; 2 Tim. 1:14). We are sealed by the Spirit the moment we believe (Eph. 1:13-14). It is He Who guides us into all truth (John 16:13). We are led by the Spirit (Rom 8:14; Gal 5:18). The Spirit sanctifies us (1 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2). The Spirit makes us more like Christ and transforms us (2 Cor. 3:18). The Spirit prays with us and for us (Rom 8:26-27). The Spirit bears witness to us that we are redeemed and are children of the living God (Rom 8:16). The Spirit works fruits in us (Gal. 5:22-23). The Spirit gives spiritual gifts to the body (1 Cor. 12:4, 8-10; Heb. 2:4). The Spirit gives life to our mortal bodies (Rom. 8:11). The Spirit reveals the deep things of God to us (2 Cor. 2:10). It is in the Spirit that we are spiritually baptized into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). It is through the Spirit that we have acces...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 3: Of God's Decree - Commentary
The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 3 God's Decree Predetermination Predestination Sovereignty Compatibilism Reprobation Unconditional Election Calvinism

...g, “the whole work of Providence is set out by upholding; ferwn imports sustaining, feeding, preserving, governing, throwing down, raising up, comforting, and punishing, &c. All would have fallen in pieces on man’s sin, had not he interposed, and stopped the world when it was reeling back into nothing, Col 1:17; and to this instant he preserveth and ruleth all, Isa. 9:6; Joh 5:22.”[5] The same Word Who created the world out of nothing (John 1:1-3), sustains and upholds the world in existence by the word of His power.

In Ephesians 1, we read of God’s absolute sovereignty in these words:

Eph. 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will

This is the God of the Bible. He is not the God Who lets people frustrate His purposes because He must respect their “libertarian free will” (not that free will, biblically defined, is contrary to divine sovereignty), but He is the God Who works above, under and through the free wills of men (Phil. 2:12-13). Surely in “all things” is included all actions of men, angels and everything else. He works as He wills and according to His decretive counsel in Heaven and also on the earth (Dan. 4:35). He is the God of the big things and small things. Indeed, as Dr. R.C. Sproul has observed: “There are no maverick molecules in the Universe.” God doesn’t need our advice, nor is He dependent upon us, rather, He works all things according to the counsel of His will. One cannot deny the absolute God-centeredness of Ephesians 1. It starts with a clear doctrine of divine election in vv. 3-6 and in v. 11, which begins by a restatement about election, which is also said to be according to His will (Eph. 1:5; see the case for election below in paragraph 5). This predestination of the elect is an example of what it means for God to “work all things according to His will.” Albert Barnes comments on this verse, saying:

His agency is not confined to one thing, or to one class of objects. Every object and event is under his control, and is in accordance with his eternal plan. The word rendered “worketh” - ἐνεργέω energeō - means to work, to be active, to produce; Eph. 1:20; Gal 2:8; Phi 2:13. A universal agency is ascribed to him. “The same God which “worketh” all in all;” 1Co 12:6. He has an agency in causing the emotions of our hearts. “God, who worketh in you both to Will and to do of his good pleasure;” Phi 2:13. He has an agency in distributing to people their various allotments and endowments. “All these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will;” 1Co 12:11.

The agency of God is seen everywhere. Every leaf, flower, rose-bud, spire of grass; every sun-beam, and every flash of lightning; every cataract and every torrent, all declare his agency; and there is not an object that we see that does not bespeak the control of an All-present God. It would be impossible to affirm more explicitly that God’s agency is universal, than Paul does in the passage before us. He does not attempt to prove it. It is one of those points on which he does not deem it necessary to pause and reason, but which may be regarded as a conceded point in the discussion of other topics, and which may be employed without hesitation in their illustration. Paul does not state the “mode” in which this is done. He affirms merely the fact. He does not say that he “compels” men, or that h...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 29: Of Baptism - Commentary
The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 29 Baptism Believer's Baptism Immersion Dipping Infant Baptism Covenant Theology 1689 Federalism Westminster Federalism

...or these are no seals, nor are they ever so called; but the Spirit of God himself, as the Holy Spirit of promise; for the same who, in the next clause, is called the earnest, is the seal;[10]

Moreover, in the same passage, the Spirit is said to be given as “a guarantee,” a “pledge,” or an “earnest.” A pledge is a “solemn binding promise to do, give, or refrain from doing something”[28]. Both this passage and Ephesians 1:14 identify the Spirit as the guarantee given to believers. Neither the ordinances nor anything else other than the Spirit is the seal and pledge of the New Covenant and its members. For more on the Spirit as the seal and pledge see here. The signatories of the Confession, in an appendix to the Confession, said the following on this topic (excuse their bad spelling!):

If our brethren do suppose baptism to be the seal of the Covenant which God makes with every beleiver (of which the Scriptures are altogether silent) it is not our concern to contend with them herein; yet we conceive the seal of that Covenant is the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ in the particular and individual persons in whom he resides, and nothing else, neither do they or we suppose that baptism is in any such manner substituted in the place of circumcision, as to have the same (and no other) latitude, extent, or terms, then circumcision had; for that was suited only for the Male children, baptism is an ordinance suited for every beleiver, whether male, or femal. That extended to all the males that were born in Abrahams house, or bought with his money, equally with the males that proceeded from his own loynes; but baptisme is not so far extended in any true Christian Church that we know of, as to be administred to all the poor infidel servants, that the members thereof purchase for their service, and introduce into their families; nor to the children born of them in their house.[29]

Often, Romans 4:11 along with Colossians 2:11-12 are used to argue that just like circumcision functioned as a sign and seal of the Abrahamic Covenant, so in the same way, baptism in the New Covenant functions as a sign and seal. Therefore, because the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant was given to infants, in like manner, the sign of the New Covenant ought to be given to infants of believing parents. Colossians 2 is used to show that circumcision is replaced with baptism and Romans 4 is used to show that circumcision of the flesh functioned as a sign and seal of the Abrahamic Covenant and was administered to infants.

There are several things to respond to. First, we reject the fundamental pillar of Westminster Federalism, namely, that there is one Covenant of Grace administered differently throughout the biblical covenants. Westminster Federalism sees the Abrahamic, Mosaic, and Davidic as essentially the same as the New Covenant. We, 1689 Federalists, deny this. There is an essential difference between the covenants. Only the New Covenant is the Covenant of Grace. Prior to the establishment of the New Covenant in Christ’s blood, the Covenant of Grace existed in promise form. It was promised in every covenant and was typified in every covenant, yet it was not a formal covenant until ratified in the blood of its Mediator. Therefore, arguments along the lines of “infants received the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant, therefore, they ought to receive the sign(s) of the New Covenant” will not work. Secondly, we’ve tried to show that using Colossians 2:11-12 to arg...


Hebrews 6:4-6, Apostasy and Calvinism
Hebrews 6 Apostasy Perseverance Of The Saints Reformed Theology Calvinism Falling Away From Grace

...es the word “world” instead of “age” (ESV, HCSB, ISV, NET, NKJV) as the majority of English translations do, but I believe that the idea is captured in the KJV that this speaks of the renewed world. I believe that the “coming age” or “the age to come” refers to the eternal state. The eternal state where there will be no sin, no sickness, and no pain. About the sin against the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus says that the person committing that sin “will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matt 12:32) by which He means that the person will never be forgiven, either in this life or in the next. In Ephesians 1:21 Paul writes about the sovereignty of Christ that He is “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” In Mark 10:30 the age to come is connected with eternal life (c.f. Luke 18:30).

Based on that I believe that this verse means that these apostates experienced some things from the new world, like healing and miracles. When God heals He displays His graciousness and care and He gives a foretaste about the eternal state where all sin and sickness will be removed. These apostates had some experience with the powerful working of the Spirit in the church as Hebrews 2:4 says, “while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” These things are the effects of the Spirit’s work in the world and the effect of Christ’s Kingdom. God has given us a taste of this even now. In a sense, the age to come has partially arrived, though not fully, just like God’s Kingdom which is among us (e.g. Luke 18:21), yet we still pray “Thy kingdom come!” (Matt 6:10)

These apostates had some taste and experience of the Holy Spirit’s work, yet it was not evidence that they were truly regenerate believers. They merely tasted the Spirit’s work, but we’re not being filled or indwelt by the Spirit

Putting the descriptions together

These apostates had (1) received instruction in the word of truth and have been made familiar with the way of truth. (2) They’ve had an experience with the Holy Spirit and His Work. (3) They had participated in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. (4) They had seen the truth of the Gospel from the Word of God, the fulfillment of the long-awaited Messiah in the Lord Jesus. (5) Finally, they had seen and themselves were recipients of God’s powerful working in the church by the Holy Spirit. After experiencing all these things, which would have naturally led to their true conversion (as the land analogy in vv. 7-8 shows), they still remained unfruitful and in their unregenerate state. They had a form of godliness, but it was not the true godliness of the regenerate believer. These apostates were like Judas as we described above. Sam Storms observes the following about the apostates:

These, then, “have tasted” the power and blessings of the new covenant, but they have not personally prized, cherished, embraced, loved, trusted, treasured, or savored the atoning death of Jesus as their only hope for eternal life.

Those in Matthew 7:22-23 preached, prophesied, performed miracles, and cast out demons in Christ’s name . . . but were not saved. Jesus said to them: “I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers” (v. 23). These, then, “have tasted” the power and blessings of the new covenant, but they have not personally prized, cherished, em...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 4: Of Creation - Commentary
The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 4 Creation Young Earth Creationism Image Of God Imago Dei

...nd for him.

The Son of God was not only the Agent of Creation, but He was the goal of Creation. Not only were all things that were created, created by Him and through Him, but also for Him. Do not miss this bit. The reason that the Creation exists is for the Son—for His pleasure and for His glory. Everything is set up and is created for the praise of Jesus’ glory. Such is the Father’s good pleasure that the Son may be glorified in all things, just like the Father (John 5:22-23).

Even salvation has the glory of God as its end and goal. Three times in Ephesians 1 we are told that we have been predestined and saved “to the praise of his glorious grace” (Eph. 1:6) and “to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:12, 14). See also Isaiah 43:7; 60:21; 61:3; Psalm 143:11; Ezekiel 36:21-22; 39:7; Ephesians 3:9-10.

In Romans 9:22-23, it is said:

What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 

God will display both the glory of His justice and wrath in bringing just punishment upon the reprobate, as He will glorify Himself in the riches of His glory for the elect. Proverbs 16:4 says, “The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.” Romans 9:17 says of Pharaoh, ‘For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”’

All things were created and exist to glorify God and God will glorify Himself in all things, no doubt!

See also John Piper, Why Did God Create the World?

The Days

This controversy concerning the days of Genesis started with Augustine, I believe. He believed that God basically made everything in a moment, as time means nothing to an Eternal God. But many have taken Augustine’s position and pointed to it to “excuse” or “support” their radical departure from a straightforward reading of Genesis. What can we learn from the Bible about the days of creation? I believe that a straightforward reading of the account will give us nothing apart from 6 days of God’s work in creating everything and the 7th day for rest. But this has been challenged by the rise of secular theories of origin, and some Christians have been comfortable to come up with all sort of ways to make the Bible fit with “science.” All of these secular theories do not acknowledge that the days of Genesis are straightforward 24 hour days. If Christians accept these theories, then they say that the days of Genesis are long ages. They sometimes even mix and change the chronology of the days. I don’t want to rebut those positions here, but I want to lay down my position. For those wanting to learn of the Creationist position, I point you to Creation.com and AnswersInGenesis.org. This is not the place to learn anything new from this debate.

First, the fact that the days spoken of in Genesis are regular days, much like the ones we have (they may have been an hour shorter or something, but basically they are not long ages) is seen from the way that God closes His work every day. Remember, this is the account of the only Witness that could see the creation and He has been pleased to reveal it to us. At the end of day 1 through 6, there is this reoccurring phrase, “there was evening and there ...