The Staunch Calvinist

"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

...death nor resurrection ever entered their minds. What Scriptures spoke of Him being raised? References to Him being raised include: Psalm 16:10 (quoted in Acts 2:25-32; 13:32-39); Psalm 22:22-23; Isaiah 53:10-12; Hosea 6:2. Of these the most noteworthy is Acts 2:25-32. The case that Peter makes there is that it was Jesus ultimately of whom David spoke in Psalm 16:8-11. This is so because the patriarch David was not raised from the dead, in fact, his body was still with them, rotting in the grave. But David, being a prophet and a recipient of God's Covenant promises, knew that God would raise for him Someone who is from his descent who would forever sit on his throne. The Holy Spirit-inspired Peter says that with the fact that the Lord was always before Him, he foresaw the resurrection of Jesus. The Lord spoken of by David is the risen Lord Jesus, just like in Psalm 110. David knew that God would not abandon his descendant and his Lord to the grave. He would not remain in the state of the dead as the confession says but will be raised. It was not possible for death to hold the Son of God down (Acts 2:24).

The Epistles

The epistles, especially Paul's, are filled with references to the resurrection of Christ. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15, makes a case from the resurrection of Christ to our own resurrection at the Parousia of Christ. He combats those who rejected the resurrection. Paul sees the resurrection of Christ as God's declaration of Christ as being the Son of God and the Lord (Rom. 1:4). His resurrection shows that God was satisfied with what the Son did. His resurrection is the proof that God was pleased with the work of the Son. It was the proof that He did not die as a failure but was vindicated. Paul assures us in Romans 6:5 that just like Christ's death was not for His own sin and for Himself, but rather we were united in His death, so likewise we will be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We will be raised in a resurrection body just like His, glorified, free from sin and victorious. Our resurrection, based on the fact that Jesus was raised, was Paul's and should be our hope (Phil. 3:10-11; Acts 24:15). In the resurrection, God demonstrated His infinite love to the Son by declaring Him to be victorious and accepting His work, likewise, we will be revealed to be the sons of God (Rom. 8:23). Part of proclaiming the Gospel is to proclaim Jesus Christ as risen from the dead (2Tim. 2:8; 1Cor. 15:3-4). This demonstrates the fact that God was satisfied with His work and He vindicated the Lord Jesus.

The book of Hebrews sees the resurrection as something that is basic and elemental to the Christian faith (Heb. 6:2). It is one of the basic things to Christianity. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, it is the hinge on which our faith rests. Peter says that the great mercy and grace of God demonstrated in regeneration was through the resurrection of Christ from the dead (1Pet. 1:3). It was because of the resurrection that we were born again to a living hope. To be right with God. To have a harmonious relationship with Him, one of love, not enmity. 

The Same Physical Body

That the Lord suffered and was raised in the same physical body could be illustrated by the fact that people recognized Him and also by the holes in His hands. Let's go through John 20.

Mary Magdalene, weeping outside the tomb because her Teacher was dead and she supposed that His body was stolen, hears a voice. The voice was that of the two a...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 29: Of Baptism - Commentary the Old, at least in these aspects directly mentioned in this passage. This is why the New Covenant is a better covenant because it is an unbreakable and an infallible covenant. This means that apostasy from the New Covenant is impossible. There are no New Covenant members who will end up in Hell. There will be a lot of church members in Hell, but not New Covenant members. For a covenant member to be lost means that Christ was not a perfect Mediator and the New Covenant was, in fact, like the Old Covenant in which a lot of people apostatized from the true God. In summary, the New Covenant is unbreakable, faultless, and its members will, in fact, continue in God's Covenant. There is clearly a contrast in this passage between both covenants and not merely in the outward things, but in their essence.

3. The reason why the New Covenant is better is because of Christ Who is its Mediator. Therefore, we need to know a few things about what Christ, as a Mediator, does in this covenant. Christ is the High Priest of God’s people who offered Himself as the sacrifice that atones for their sins. After His work of sacrifice, He entered into Heaven to intercede for His people. As Reformed people, we know that there is a perfect connection between those for whom Christ died (the elect) and those for whom He mediates (the elect). They are the same group. The work of mediation and intercession is the continuation of His sacrifice and is for the same people for whom His sacrifice was offered. He is the Mediator and thus, all who are called of God receive the promised eternal inheritance (Heb. 9:15). He stands between God and man (1Tim. 2:5) and mediates for His people. The Lord Jesus cannot fail in His mediation and the Father never rejects Him (e.g. John 11:42). Therefore, since He is a Mediator, He must be a Mediator of a particular covenant. Mediators are always mediators based on an agreement or a covenant. The covenant which He mediates is the One established in His blood, the New Covenant. The people on whose behalf He gave His life were His covenant people, those given to Him from all eternity by the Father. He is said to make propitiation for the sins of the people (Heb. 2:17). All His covenant people, for whom He mediates, have their sins propitiated—a satisfaction has been made on their behalf for their sins. The book of Hebrews is thoroughly covenantal. The Lord Jesus is “a forerunner on our behalf” (Heb. 6:19), His people, appearing before God for us. A new hope and a new way has been opened for the people to draw near to God, by the abolishment of the Old Covenant system and replacing it with the New Covenant ministry (Heb. 7:18-19). It is a better hope, because “Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises” (Heb. 8:6). The Lord Jesus is said to be the surety of a better covenant (Heb 7:22 KJV). He is the guarantor and guarantee that the New Covenant is better than the Old. Jesus is the guarantee that the New Covenant is better. The New Covenant is better because of Jesus being its Mediator and High Priest. Because He is everlasting and has an indestructible life, His priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek is permanent and He makes intercession for His people (Heb. 7:23-25). Since He is the surety of the New Covenant, the High Priest who lives permanently, conse


1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted decimal;"
  • Of the Holy Scriptures

  • Of God and the Holy Trinity

  • Of God's Decree

  • Of Creation

  • Of Divine Providence

  • Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the punishment thereof

  • Of God's Covenant

  • Of Christ the Mediator

  • Of Free Will

  • Of Effectual Calling

  • Of Justification

  • Of Adoption

  • Of Sanctification

  • Of Saving Faith

  • Of Repentance unto Life and Salvation

  • Of Good Works

  • Of the Perseveraance of the Saints

  • Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation

  • Of the Law of God

  • Of the Gospel and the Extent of Grace thereof

  • Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience

  • Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day

  • Of Lawful Oaths and Vows

  • Of the Civil Magistrate

  • Of Marriage

  • Of the Church

  • Of the Communion of Saints

  • Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper

  • Of Baptism

  • Of the Lord's Supper

  • Of the State of Man after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead

  • 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: 
      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 Philippians
      I Kings & II Kings Colossians
      I Chronicles, II Chronicles I Thessalonians & II Thessalonians
      Ezra I Timothy & II Timothy