The Staunch Calvinist

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


You searched for 'Eternity'

I've found 31 results!

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

...>^ Calvin, Institutes. 3.21.1.

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 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

Those whom God hath accepted (chapter 11), effectually called (chapter 10), sanctified by His Spirit (chapter 13) and given the precious faith of His elect (chapter 14), can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace (e.g., John 10:28-29; 1 John 2:19). If we follow what was said in the previous chapters, as this paragraph begins by enlisting these things, we cannot but expect such a declaration. If God is absolutely sovereign over all things (chapters 3 and 5), even electing, calling, justifying, adopting (chapter 12) and sanctifying us, how can it be that God could fail in His purpose and we be lost to eternal perdition? It cannot. The elect will certainly persevere in the state of the end. This is the essential difference between true and false faith. True faith perseveres to the end (1 John 2:19). This is because the gifts and callings of God are without repentance (Rom. 11:29), in other words, He does not change His mind. Therefore, the elect are safe and He will grant them all these things which are necessary for their final salvation and perseverance.

This does not mean that the journey will be easy. In fact, the Confession speaks of storms and floods that arise and beat us. Nonetheless, no one and nothing can shake us off that foundation and rock which by faith we are fastened upon. In these storms and floods and by the temptations of Satanthe sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured for us (so also with our assurance, see chapter 18:4). This does not mean that God has changed; he is still the same. But we are being attacked by the enemy and are fighting or giving into temptation and are in need of restoration. Even in these storms and floods, we may be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation and the enjoyment of our purchased possession. The fact that the elect cannot lose their salvation is further shown from the fact that we are engraven upon the palm of His hands (Isa. 49:16) and our names having been written in the book of life from all Eternity (Rev. 13:8; 20:15). All this is given for the confidence and encouragement of the believers in God’s faithfulness, goodness, grace, promise, and power. 

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 ch...

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

...our salvation is attached to faith; but not the faith to which James here alludes: Can this faith save him?—this dead, barren faith; this mere speculative belief in the doctrines of the Gospel.[17]

We keep our faith alive by 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 visible 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 Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges observes on James 2:17, where it is said that faith without works is dead, that

The assent to a dogma, beginning and ending in itself, has no power to justify or save. St Paul’s language in Rom 2:13 shews that he was in substantial agreement with St James.[20]

Showing my faith by my works means that “I will furnish in this way the best and most certain proof of the existence of faith. It is implied here that true faith is adapted to lead to a holy life, and that such a life would be the appropriate evidence of the existence of faith. By their fruits the principles held by men are known.”[9] Jamieson, Fausset and Brown observe on the meaning of showing our faith in James 2:18:

show me thy faith without thy works—if thou canst; but thou canst not SHOW, that is, manifest or evidence thy alleged (Jas 2:14, “say”) faith without works. “Show” does not mean here to prove to me, but exhibit to me. Faith is unseen save by God. To show faith to man, works in some form or other are needed: we are justified judicially by God (Ro 8:33); meritoriously, by Christ (Isa 53:11); mediately, by faith (Ro 5:1); evidentially, by works. The question here is not as to the ground on which believers are justified, but about the demonstration of their faith: so in the case of Abraham. In Ge 22:1 it is written, God did tempt Abraham, that is, put to the test of demonstration the reality of his faith, not for the satisfaction of God, who already knew it well, but to demonstrate it before men. The offering of Isaac at that time, quoted here, Jas 2:21, formed no part of the ground of his justification, for he was justified previously on his simply believing in the promise of spiritual heirs, that is, believers, numerous as the stars. He was then justified: that justification was showed or manifested by his off...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 8: Of Christ the Mediator - Commentary
The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Exposition Reformed Baptist Chapter 8 Christ The Mediator Prophet Priest King Definite Redemption Limited Atonement Arminianism Universal Atonement Hypostatic Union Humanity Of Christ God-Man

...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. 1 Pet. 1:19-20
  3. Ps. 110:4; Heb. 7:21-22; Isa. 42:1; 1 Pet. 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

The only begotten Son was from all Eternity chosen and ordained (Isa. 42:1; 1 Pet. 1:19-20) to be the mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5). This means that having Christ to be the Savior of sinners and the Incarnation were not afterthoughts in God. God did not plan them after the Fall of man, but set them in motion after the Fall. This choosing and ordaining of Christ as mediator was according to the covenant made between them both, i.e., the Covenant of Redemption (see chapter 7:2). Even before sin and before the world was, the Lord Jesus was to be the Savior of His people. The Confession goes on to name the threefold offices of Christ as prophet, priest, and king. He is also the head and savior of the church (Col. 1:18; Acts 5:31). The heir of all things (Heb. 1:2), Who will inherit everything and believers are co-heirs with Him (Rom. 8:16-17). He is also the One Who will judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 17:31; 2 Tim. 4:1). All these offices and functions were agreed upon by the Persons of the Trinity even before the foundation of the world. God from all Eternity gave a people to be His seed and to be by Him in time redeemed (John 17:2, 6; Isa. 53:10) and given all the blessings of redemption. All these considerations make the Fall a necessity within God’s decree. For if there is no Fall, then it means that there is no sin and therefore, no need of a savior. But if Christ is said to be ordained as Savior even before the creation of the world, then this means that there will be sinners who will be saved by Him, which makes the Fall an important part of God’s plan.

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 ...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 32: Of the Last Judgment - Commentary
The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 32 Last Judgment Eternal Hell Eternal Suffering Lake Of Fire

...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 (1 Cor. 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. The passage, though, 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 should have? 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:

1 Cor. 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 11 times in the New Testament (Rom. 2:29; 13:3; 1 Cor. 4:5; 2 Cor. 8:18; Eph. 1:6, 12, 14; Phil. 1:11; 4:8; 1 Pet. 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; 1 Pet. 2:14); it is used of God (1 Cor. 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” (1 Pet. 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 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 ...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 2: Of God and of the Holy Trinity - Commentary
The Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Chapter 2 God Trinity Attributes Of God Immutability Repentance Of God Love Of God Justice Of God Spirituality Of God Monotheism

...aragraph, 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 survey of the 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 will 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 (2 Chron. 15:3; Jer. 10:10; John 17:3; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 John 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 ser...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 31: Of the State of Man after Death and Of the Resurrection of the Dead - Commentary
The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 31 Resurrection Intermediate State The Last Day Second Coming Parousia General Judgment Final Judgment Amillennialism Premillennialism Dispensationalism Postmillennialism Revelation Recapitulation Revelation 20 The First Resurrection The Binding Of Satan

... cessation of our life. When our bodies die, our souls immediately return to God Who gave them. There is no period between our physical death and our returning to God. After our last breath, we immediately return to God. There is no period of waiting or soul sleep. But this returning to God of our souls does not mean we remain with God. Only the souls of the righteous now having been made perfect...are received into paradise, where they are with Christ (Heb. 12:23; Phil. 1:21-23). What a blessing and a privilege to be with Christ for all Eternity. The One Whom we love and adore and to behold His face is the greatest blessing which we can imagine. We will likewise behold the face of God in light and glory, no longer afraid or trembling at His sight or in fear of our lives because of His glory. The souls of the righteous await in heaven the redemption of their bodies (Rom. 8:23) at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The souls of the wicked on the other hand are cast into hell where they are in torment and utter darkness and await the judgment of the great day (Luke 16:23; 2 Peter 2:9). The word “hell” in this context is not really accurate as Hell describes the place of torment after the resurrection, where the wicked are cast in body and soul. What would be more accurate here is to say that the souls of the wicked are cast into Hades as the rich man was (Luke 16:23). The wicked are reserved for a greater judgment in both body and soul on that great day in Hell, which is the second death.

Finally, aside from Heaven and Hell, Scripture knows of no other place. Therefore, Purgatory does not exist and is unbiblical. 

The body returns to the dust from whence it came, but the souls are immortal from the time they begin to exist; they cannot just disappear and go out of existence. They will exist without a body in heaven or Hades until Christ comes to end the world and bring in the New Heavens and New Earth. The elect then will receive a glorious body like that of Jesus and enjoy endless fellowship with the God Triune, while the reprobates will receive physical bodies just to be tormented in the lake of fire.

The Intermediate State describes the time between death and the resurrection of the body, this includes a discussion of the immortality of the soul, heaven, and Hades.

The Immortality Of The Soul

While people are buried and their bodies return to the dust from whence they came, their souls do not cease to exist, they are immortal. While the body decomposes and returns to dust, the soul of man lives evermore. It is important to define the usage of the word “immortal” and “immortality” here. This immortality which the souls of men and angels possess is obviously not like the essential immortality of God. In 1 Timothy 6:16 we read that God “alone has immortality”. This speaks about God essentially and by nature having immortality. He ever was and ever will be immortal, i.e., undying. Albert Barnes noted on that passage that God has immortality “by his very nature, and it is in his case underived, and he cannot be deprived of it. It is one of the essential attributes of his being, that he will always exist, and that death cannot reach him”.[2] But this word is often used in reference to men and angels, so what does it mean? It means that the souls of men and angels are undying from the moment that they come to exist. It means that the soul of man does not simply decompose or disappear after death, like the physical body ...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 27: Of the Communion of Saints
The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 27 Of The Communion Of Saints Fellowship Christian Love Union With Christ

...(in the, but also physically providing for those lacking supply and in need of help materially (in the...outward man).

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 union with Christ is the foundation for our communion wi...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 7: Of God's Covenant - Commentary
The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 7 God's Covenant 1689 Federalism Westminster Federalism Presbyterian Covenant Theology Covenant Of Works Covenant Of Redemption Covenant Of Grace Nohaic Covenant Abrahamic Covenant Mosaic Covenant Old Covenant Davidic Covenant New Covenant

... 10:29; 17:2, 6, 9, 24).
  • The Son has accomplished the work that the Father had 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.[28]

    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 Confession, 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”. Dr. Sam Renihan points us to the arrangement of this covenant as revealed in Isaiah’s Servant songs:

    In the Servant Songs of Isaiah [Isa. 42:1-7; 49:8-9; 50:4-9; Luke 4:17-21], God the Father gave a mission to His Servant. In fact, the very name the Servant of Jehovah is an indicator of this fact. The Father laid the Son under certain obligations or commitments. He commanded Him to become incarnate, to obey the law perfectly, and to offer Himself up as a substitutionary sacrifice for a special people. God the Father gave work to God the Son. The Covenant of Redemption was a covenant of works. God the Son had to fulfill commands to obtain the blessings of the covenant.

    The mission of the Son and its effects will extend to a people represented by the Son. He is appointed a federal head in this covenant. Jesus Himself spoke of this in John 10:17-18. He said, “17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” And later in the same chapter, in verses 27-29 Jesus said, “27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” The Father gave a people to the Son. And the Son was commanded to lay down His life for that people as their federal head.

    God the Son was sent to die for a people. But His mission included much more than simply His death. He was appointed by the Father to be a Mediator for His people, and as that Mediator to be the King, Priest, and Prophet of God’s elect.[29]

    Notice how Dr. Renihan speaks of the Covenant of Redemption as a covenant of works. Not for us. For us it is the foundation of a pure covenant of gr...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary
    The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 26 Church Church Government Elders Deacons Members Universal Church Local Church Congregationalism Polity

    ...ievers and their children, so also the church. In chapter 7, we’ve questioned this constitution and argued that the Covenant of Grace was made with the elect in Christ. We will rehearse a few points below, no doubt, but for a longer discussion on the basis of these points, see chapter 7.

    The New Covenant consists only of believers. This is one of the major points which 1689 Federalism stresses. The New Covenant, which is wholly salvific, is only for the elect. In other words, all the members of this covenant, unlike all previous covenants, are redeemed and elect of God from Eternity. All the members of the New Covenant are truly regenerate and Spirit-dwelt believers. This is seen, for example, from Hebrews 8:6-13 where all members of the New Covenant, from the oldest to the youngest know the LORD. Not merely know about Him, but truly know Him. Furthermore, this New Covenant is unlike the Mosaic Covenant which had members who were unbelievers and members who were believers. This New Covenant is one which will not be broken like the Mosaic was and thus, apostasy is impossible in the New Covenant (see chapter 17 and our exposition of texts used to argue for actual apostasy from faith). So basically, the universal or the invisible church consists of the members of the New Covenant, all redeemed and elect believers throughout all ages.

    Jeremiah 31:31-34 is one of the most important texts on the New Covenant. It tells us what kind of covenant it is, namely, unlike the Old Covenant. It tells us what its blessings are, namely: (1) God will put His law within us; (2) God will write His law on our hearts; (3) God will be our God and we will be His people; (4) we will know the Lord; (5) God will forgive our sins and remember them no more. It describes its members as those who know the LORD. To know about God is one thing and a necessary thing. But to know God is wholly another. Various attempts have been made from various groups to make exceptions to what is said in this passage about the New Covenant, its nature and its members. Dispensationalists usually say that this covenant is not yet inaugurated because it speaks of Israel and Judah. Some of them say that it will be fulfilled in the Millennium, others say that the New Covenant which we enjoy is a foretaste of Jeremiah 31. Our paedobaptist brethren usually say that only in the eschaton will everyone know the LORD and thus, it is not necessary for membership in the administration of the covenant or a local church.[5] In this way, they justify infant church membership. Our position is that this Jeremiah 31 covenant, as interpreted by the Holy Spirit in Hebrews, is the fully inaugurated New Covenant in Christ’s blood. We make a distinction between the invisible church (this paragraph) and the visible church (next paragraph). While those who make up the visible church should have been part of the invisible church, we know that this is not the case. They are falsely laying a claim upon a privilege which is only for those who are part of the invisible church. But if we read Jeremiah’s description of the New Covenant, what we have is members who truly, and not merely by profession, know and love the Lord. In other words, they are regenerate believers. What Jeremiah speaks about are the true members of the New Covenant. Another thing which we distinguish from our brethren is that for us local church membership is not the same as New Covenant membership. There are many local church members who...