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The Staunch Calvinist

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


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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 19: Of the Law of God - Commentary

...ruption of His unique glory.  There is no essential difference between pointing to an icon or statue of an imaginary person and saying “this is Jesus,” and Aaron referring to the golden calf as “the Lord (Yahweh).” (Exodus 32:5).[27]

John Murray made a compelling case against pictures of the Lord Jesus and summarizes his brief case in this way:

In summary, what is at stake in this question is the unique place which Jesus Christ as the God-Man occupies in our faith and worship and the unique place which the Scripture occupies as the only revelation, the only medium of communication, respecting him whom we worship as Lord and Saviour. The incarnate Word and the written Word are correlative. We dare not use other media of impression or of sentiment but those of his institution and prescription. Every thought and impression of him should evoke worship. We worship him with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God. To use a likeness of Christ as an aid to worship is forbidden by the second commandment as much in his case as in that of the Father and Spirit.[28]

See also:

Two Parts of the 2nd Commandment

It is likewise important to observe that this commandment has two parts, namely: 1) making graven images and 2) worshipping God by graven images. The commandment reads:

Exod. 20:4-5 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image...5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them...

Now some critics will say that if we take this passage literally and strictly then we should be like the Amish, who take no pictures or similar groups. But this is proven false even in the Old Testament as God commanded the making of the cherubim and other like objects, which were not intended to represent God. Furthermore, the first four commandments clearly speak about our obligation to the true God. We are not to make images representing the true God, nor are we to worship Him through those self-made images. This does not mean that we have in the second commandment two different commandments, but merely that the second commandment has two parts: 1) do not make images of God, and 2) neither worship Him by or through images. This observation answers the complaint of those who say that they use or make images of the Divine, but not for the purpose of worship. Since in the second commandment, God not only forbids the worship of Him through images but also the making of those images which purport to represent Him. In his commentary on Exodus 20:4, John Calvin observed:

Now we must remark, that there are two parts in the Commandment — the first forbids the erection of a graven image, or any likeness; the second prohibits the transferring of the worship which God claims for Himself alone, to any of these phantoms or delusive shows. Therefore, to devise any image of God, is in itself impious; because by this corruption His Majesty is adulterated, and He is figured to be other than He is. There is no need of refuting the foolish fancy of some, that all sculptures and pictures are here condemned by Moses, for he had no other object than to rescue God’s glory from all the imaginations which tend to corrupt it. And assuredly it is a most gross indecency to make God like a stock or a stone. Some expound the words, “Thou shalt not make to...

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

...orm, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

This passage is glorious. Words cannot express the truths and glories contained here, but I would like to take a few things from this text. Paul calls on the Christians to look as an example of humility to their Lord—Jesus Christ, the God-Man. He is the greatest example of humility. He is the One Whom Paul describes as existing in the form of God. That is, He was truly God before Him becoming human. This speaks of a time before His incarnation and conception in the womb of Mary. This speaks of a time before the point when He willingly decided to take on the form of man.

He was equal with God the Father. He had every authority that the Father had and He was as much divine as the Father and the Spirit are. But because of the purposes of God the Father and the Covenant of Redemption wherein He would grant an elect people to the Son to be redeemed from sin by Him and the Spirit would apply the benefits of Christ to them, the Son had to become man. He was equal with God, yet did not count that as something to be grasped, or something to be held onto. Some people like to say that Jesus was an angel or a plan before His incarnation, but that is absurd. If He was an angel or anything less than God Almighty, then there is no humility in the fact that He became man. There is only humility when the Creator becomes a creature and enters into His own creation. Laying aside His prerogative and His privileges and for the sake of the Father and His elect, becoming man. As Barnes notes on v. 6, “If he was truly divine, then his consenting to become a man was the most remarkable of all possible acts of humiliation.”[2] Mathew Poole notes on the words “who” and “being” in Philippians 2:6:

Who, i.e. relative to Christ Jesus, the eternal Son of God by nature, very God extant with his Father before the beginning, Joh 1:1; Gal 4:4; 1Ti 3:16; 6:14-16; Tit 2:13; the express image and character of his Father’s person, which implies a peculiar subsistence distinct from the subsistence of his Father, Joh 8:42; 2Co 4:4; Col 1:15; Heb 1:3; concerning whom, every word that follows, by reason of the Socinians, and some Lutherans, is to be well weighed.

Being; i.e. subsisting, in opposition to taking or assuming, Phi 2:7; and therefore doth firmly prove Christ pro-existing in another nature to his so doing, namely, his actual existing of himself in the same essence and glory he had from eternity with the Father, Joh 1:1,2; 17:5; 2Co 8:9; Rev 1:4,8,11.[4]

The point is, He was fully divine.

His self-emptying was not by laying aside His divinity, but rather as the text tells us—He emptied Himself by becoming man—by becoming one of the creatures that He Himself made. That is the humility of the Creator. The Creator entered His own creation and communicated with it. This is glorious. This humbling also manifested itself in His complete obedience to the will of God the Father (economic Trinity) to die on the cross. He went there like an obedient servant of God. Jesus was at the same time both God and the servant of God. This may sound a bit weird, but think about what Dr. James White has ofte...

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

... received by Moses and the priests of the Old Covenant. The reason is seen in the fact that our beloved Lord is the Mediator of the Covenant (Heb. 9:15; 12:24). The Lord is a mediator to no other covenant than the New Covenant and that’s why it is much better and perfect than any preceding covenant. The Book of Hebrews is all about showing how the ministry of Christ and the New Covenant is much greater and more excellent than anything that has come before. One of these things is the fact how the Lord Christ is a better Mediator of a better covenant (8:6; 9:15; 12:24). Christ is the surety, guarantee, and guarantor of the New Covenant (Heb. 7:22), therefore just like He, being the God-Man, cannot fail, so likewise the Covenant that He mediates cannot fail.

The promises of this covenant are likewise much better. They do not concern life in Canaan, but of eternal life in the Jerusalem above (Heb. 11:16, 35). Here we are promised that all the members of the covenant will really know God and not just know about Him. They will have God as their God in its fullest sense and will savingly know Him. This is a promise concerning all the members of this covenant, no such thing exist for the Mosaic Covenant. Likewise, the complete forgiveness of our sins is promised in this covenant for all of its members. The Lord will remove our sins as far as the east is from the west and will cast them into the sea of forgetfulness (Ps. 103:12; Mic. 7:19). The complete forgiveness of sins and justification are promises unique to the New Covenant. The Old Covenant sacrifices never saved or took away sin (Heb. 11:4).

The first covenant, that is, the first covenant with Israel, the Mosaic Covenant was not faultless. It was not without fault otherwise the Lord would not have needed to over and over again promise and picture the New Covenant. It was faulty because of the people and that’s why we needed the New Covenant. The fault lies within the people who could not obey the demands of the Law and who misinterpreted its end, which was to show sin and not to justify, and lead to Christ (Rom. 3:20; Gal. 3:24). But the text also finds fault with the covenant itself. Had there been sinless people, they could have perfectly kept the Mosaic Covenant. But that is obviously not the case. In vv. 8-12, follows the citation of Jeremiah 31:31-34 with no significant difference for our purpose here, which the Author sees as the present covenant established in Christ’s blood, which He mediates. The New Covenant is a present reality for the whole people of God, Jews and Gentiles, and not something restricted to Israel after the flesh in some future earthly kingdom. The first covenant, i.e., the Mosaic Covenant had become obsolete and without effect when the Mediator of the New Covenant shed His precious blood. It no longer pleased the Lord and it was officially and publicly done away within in 70 A.D. with God’s judgment upon the people who rejected the Lord who came to His temple, as He foretold (Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21). Since 70 A.D., biblical Judaism has not existed since there is no Temple and its sacrifices which was central to the Old Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant is no longer in effect, it is past and it is old. The New Covenant is here now. The New Covenant is the rule of the church of God. The Old Covenant began to vanish away from the moment that the New Covenant was promised and the Old Covenant was repeatedly broken. As soon as the New Covenant was establish...

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

...is given to magistrates or to angels, yet here the argument requires us to understand it as used in a sense superior to what it ever is when applied to an angel - or of course to any creature, since it was the express design of the argument to prove that the Messiah was superior to the angels.

Matthew Poole likes notes, “In the Father’s apostrophe to the Son, he giveth him the name of God, and thereby is he proved to have a better one than angels, made by, and servants to, him; and as the great gospel Minister hath a kingdom, in which they are his ministers and servants: this proof is quoted out of Psa 45:6,7. It was not to Solomon or David, but to the Son God-Man, spoken by the Father.”[13] Then Matthew Poole goes on to describe a common evasion for the words:

Thy throne, O God: some heretics, to elude this proof of Christ’s Deity, would make God the genitive case in the proposition, as: Thy throne of God, expressly contrary to the grammar, both in Hebrew and Greek: others gloss it, that ο θεος is the nominative case, as, God is thy throne for ever, &c. i.e. He doth and will establish it: but this is cavilling, since it is the Father’s speech to and of his Son, describing his nature in opposition to the angels before. They were created spirits, but he was God; they were ministers and servants in his kingdom, where he was King; therefore his name and person is better than theirs.[13]

Therefore, without any ambiguity, the Son is clearly called “God” by God the Father, which proves His full divinity and equality with the Father.

Titus 2:13

In Titus 2:13, we are waiting for the ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ (tes doxes tou megalou theou kai soteros houmon Christou Isou).

Titus 2:13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ

We are waiting for the coming of our great God and Savior who is Jesus Himself. There are interesting associations of the words megas (G3173) and theos (G2316) in the LXX. There is no direct “τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ,” but these individual words are used of God in the Old Testament. Note these verses:

  • Isa. 26:4 ἤλπισαν κύριε ἕως τοῦ αἰῶνος ὁ θεὸς ὁ μέγας ὁ αἰώνιος
    • LXXE they have trusted with confidence for ever, the great, the eternal God;
  • Deut. 7:21 οὐ τρωθήσῃ ἀπὸ προσώπου αὐτῶν ὅτι κύριος ὁ θεός σου ἐν σοί θεὸς μέγας καὶ κραταιός
    • LXXE Thou shalt not be wounded before them, because the Lord thy God in the midst of thee [is] a great and powerful God. 
  • Deut. 10:17 ὁ γὰρ κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν οὗτος θεὸς τῶν θεῶν καὶ κύριος τῶν κυρίων ὁ θεὸς ὁ μέγας καὶ ἰσχυρὸς καὶ ὁ φοβερός ὅστις οὐ θαυμάζει πρόσωπον οὐδ’ οὐ μὴ λάβῃ δῶρον
    • LXXE For the Lord your God, he [is] God of gods, and the Lord of lords, the great, and strong, and terrible God, who does not accept persons, nor will he by any means accept a bribe:
  • Jer. 32:18 (39:18 LXX) ...ὁ θεὸς ὁ μέγας καὶ ἰσχυρός
    • Jer. 39:18 LXXE ...the great, the strong God;
  • Dan 2:45 ...ὁ θεὸς ὁ μέγας ἐσήμανε τῷ βασιλεῖ τὰ ἐσόμενα ἐπ’ ἐσχάτων τῶν ἡμερῶν...
    • LXXE ...the great God has made known to the king what must happen hereafter...
  • Ezra 5:8 ...εἰς οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ μεγάλου...
    • LXXE ...to the house of the great God...

It seems that from these instances that Paul may have been borrowing terminology from the Old Testament LXX to speak of the Lord Jesus as divine, equal with the God of the Old Testament. Charles J. Ellicott notes on this passa...

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

...gle. We will come to that later.

Vision 2: Revelation 4-7

In this cycle, we have a vision of God’s glory and of His heavenly reign, sovereignty over all things and the ceaseless praise which He receives. In chapter 4, we receive a vision of the awesome glory of God and the ceaseless worship which He rightly receives. In chapter 5, we receive a vision of Christ after His ascension. Because of His sacrifice, He has received authority from God as the Mediator to execute His sovereign purpose. He is the only One who is able to take the plan of God in His hand and execute it. He is the only One who is worthy and He is the only One who is fit for the task because He is the God-Man. In chapter 6, after the Lamb receiving the scroll from the hand of the Father in Revelation 5:7, the Lamb starts to break the seven seals with which the scroll was sealed (Rev. 5:1), and the things described in Revelation 6:1-8:5 come to pass, which includes the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. As we move on with the breaking of the seals, we see the signs being intensified in their effects, this is especially true when the sixth seal is broken. When the sixth seal is broken we have the contents of Revelation 6:12-7:17 coming to pass which describe the doom of the wicked and the eternal happiness of the righteous. In this, we see a Progressive Parallelism. The visions are moving toward the end of the world. I believe that Revelation 6 clearly teaches the Final Judgment of Christ upon the wicked on the Day of the Lord:

Rev. 6:12-17 When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. 14 The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

Wouldn’t one without any presuppositions conclude that this is basically a description of the final judgment and destruction of the wicked? When the sixth seal is broken, the end of the world comes. Even the inanimate objects in the cosmos will react to the breaking of the sixth seal. Things will get weird not only on the earth but also in the heavens. Verse 14 points us to the direction that we must take this as a description of the Final Judgment. Why? Because that is how the Final Judgment is described Revelation 16:20, but more clearly and definitely in Revelation 20:11 and 2 Peter 3:10. This is the time, just before the coming of the New World, at which the present cosmos goes and the New comes (Rev. 21:1). Notice also the extent of those being subjects of the Lamb’s wrath, they are said to be:

  • the kings of the earth;
  • the great ones;
  • the generals;
  • the rich;
  • the powerful;
  • everyone, slave and free.

Does it seem that John is clearly describing a universal judgment upon the wicked or am I being biased? Obviously, the unbiased reading will agree with me that this is a judgment upon all the wicked, all over the earth. They are terrified at the s...

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

...now the law of God by virtue of us being made in the Imago Dei, and therefore, we know some things concerning the will of God and right and wrong. But as we noted above, just like general revelation has been corrupted through the Fall, so likewise our perception of the moral law is corrupted and not clear. Therefore, it pleased God to reveal His perfect law to us in the Bible with words, so that His people would more clearly know what He said and what He meant (see chapter 19). The Scripture is necessary for us as Christians because it is our spiritual food. Our Master, as the God-Man, repeatedly appealed and relied on Scripture, how much more should we? When tempted by Satan, the Lord famously said:

Matt. 4:4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Notice that even in upholding the necessity and authority of Scripture, the Lord Christ appeals to Scripture (Deut. 8:3). We do not truly live by physical bread and food alone, but we are to live by every word of God. Notice how the Scripture is here described. It is said to be “word[s] that comes from the mouth of God.” It has its origin with the God of the world and it is Him speaking by His mouth to us. We are to feed and live on this Word. The Lord does not say that we should feast on the Word, implying that we read and study it occasionally. But the Word ought to be like bread to us—every day’s food. We are to read and study Scripture daily so as to grow in our faith and in our relationship with God.

In 1 Peter 1:23-2:2, the apostle Peter speaks about the “imperishable…[and]…the living and abiding word of God” (v. 23), which “remains forever” (v. 25; cf. Isa. 40:8) and which is “the good news that was preached to you” (v. 25). He goes on in chapter 2 to speak of us as “newborn infants” who “long for the pure spiritual milk” (2:2), which is the word of the Lord about which he is writing. Just like newborns cannot survive without the milk of their mothers, in the same way, Christians are dependent upon the Word of God.

The subject of mediation and delight of the Psalmist is “the law of the LORD” (Ps. 1:2). He does not occasionally think about the Word of God, rather, “he meditates day and night” on the Word of God. It is an essential part of his life. It is the light in which he walks (Ps. 119:105). He stores up God’s Word in his heart and has the desire to learn more from God (Ps. 119:11-12, 18, 20). His delight is in God’s Word (Ps. 119:16) and on it he meditates (Ps. 119:15, 23, 27, 48, 78, 148). And so goes the 119th Psalm praising God for giving us His Law and His Word as a guide and self-revelation. A Christian cannot be spiritually healthy without the Word of God.

Although general revelation reveals that there is a God, yet it is not enough to save us. General revelation condemns. That’s why special revelation is necessary for salvation and special revelation inscripturated in Holy Writ is necessary for Christian discipleship and spiritual growth.

Scripture Is The Self-Revelation Of God

The Scripture is the Word of God, which is our ultimate standard in all matters. It is the self-revelation of God to us. It is to be trusted, cherished, studied and obeyed. In the Scriptures, we have the God of the Universe speaking to us in human words, so that we may understand Him. There is a very interesting passage in 1 Samuel 3 which reads:

1 Sam. 3:21 And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, ...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 4: Of Creation - Commentary

Chapter 4: Of Creation

Did God create for His glory? How did God create? Why did God create? How long did God take to create? What did God create?

Creation: there are a few topics like this which generate heat between believer and unbeliever, and even among believers. But it is essential. Here is the foundation of everything. If there was no creation, there would obviously be nothing. Whom can we trust to tell us how it happened? The only Witness has been pleased to reveal to us the way He created this world. The question is: Was everything that He revealed accurate and true? Can we gain any knowledge from outside the special revelation of God that can supply or actually radically change our view of Genesis? Which is primary, the exegesis of Scripture or the findings of modern (secular) science?

There was a time when my interest in this topic was immense, but that is for some reason no longer the case. Therefore, my comments will be short.

§1 In the beginning it pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to make the world

  1. In the beginning it pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, to create or make the world, and all things therein, whether visible or invisible, in the space of six daysand all very good. 5
    1. Heb. 1:2; John 1:2-3; Gen. 1:2; Job 26:13; 33:4[1]
    2. Rom. 1:20; Jer. 10:12; Ps. 104:24; 33:5-6; Prov. 3:19; Acts 14:15-16
    3. Gen. 1:1; John 1:2; Col. 1:16
    4. Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11
    5. Gen. 1:31; Ecc. 7:29; Rom. 5:12

All things were created in the beginning. This is the beginning of time, space and matter. The universe was is not eternal, but had a definite beginning when God started to create out of nothing. This Creator God is specifically said to be the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:1-2; John 1:2-3). The Confession does not speak about a generic God or Creator, but about the true God revealed in Scripture. The God of Scripture began to create for the manifestation of his glory (Rom. 1:20; 11:36). God did not create because He lacked anything, but created to manifest His glory. He created the world and all things in the world, whether visible or invisible (Col. 1:16). He created the earth, the stars, the atoms, spirits, angels, humans, animals, rocks, trees and things invisible to the naked eye. Everything that “exists” was created or is created by the will of God (Rev. 4:11). Everything that was created, was created in the space of six days (Ex. 20:11). I think it is indisputable as to what these words meant for the writers of the Confession. When reading old authors from the 17th century, it is not unusual to read them dating events from the creation of Adam. The six days of creation had the same span as normal six days as they experienced them. They have no knowledge of the mess that theologians have made about the simple reading of Genesis 1 in our modern time. It is not that there was absolutely nothing said about the days, but it was not such a mess as it is now (Augustine, for example, believed that everything was created in a moment). All these things were created very good (Gen. 1:31). Nothing was created as evil or sinful, but they were all good and sinless.

For His Glory

The Lord God King of the Universe is the Creator God Who created the world ex-nihilo (out of nothing) in the space of six days. The Creator did this not because He lacked something, but was pleased to m...

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

...ies punished for what they have done to us. It is with this thought in mind that we accept suffering at the hands of the wicked and do not resist evil with evil, but with good (Rom. 12:17-21). It has pleased the Lord, to shake off all carnal security and to cause us to be always watchful (Mark 13:35-37) to make the day unknown to men (Matt. 24:36). He has not revealed it to us so that the wicked would not be prepared and the righteous may always be watchful for the Lord’s coming and ever be prepared to say, Come Lord Jesus; come quickly. Amen (Rev. 22:20).

Christ, the God-Man, spoke more about Hell than Heaven, because He knew it is terrible and he forewarns us about where our choices will bring us. Therefore, it is a mercy from God that He has given us special revelation about this terrible place called Hell in which the ungodly will suffer without end, so that we would be saved from it through the Savior. Paul, after speaking about the judgment seat of Christ, says, “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others” (2 Cor. 5:11). He knows how terrible it is to be a subject of God’s condemnation and of His punishment. Paul knows what he was saved from, he was saved from God and from His holy wrath. Hebrews 10:31 gives a sobering warning: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” He is our Judge and He will inflict the punishment and it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of God, but this God is described as the true and living God. According to the Bible and to Jonathan Edwards, this God is an Angry God against sinners, therefore, Sinners [are] in the Hands of an Angry God outside of Christ. There is no protection from the wrath of God outside of Christ Who bore His wrath in our place. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord and knowing what the Bible says about the afterlife for the ungodly, we should be more earnest in our evangelism and in persuading people to be reconciled with God.

On the Day of Judgment, the Lord’s people will be in joy, in peace, and have confidence as we saw in paragraph 1, as they will be vindicated and rewarded for their works done in faith through the Spirit. Therefore, the thought of the Day of Judgment brings encouragement to the believer in that their works are not in vain and that God works everything according to His will and will reward them on the last day. Moreover, the Day of Judgment gives the believers encouragement in enduring trials in this life, knowing that they will be vindicated and their foes will be judged on the last day. They will see the downfall of their enemies and their enemies will see the glory and praise of the children of God. We are the children of the King, and therefore anyone who “messes” with us, “messes” with the King.

Until He comes, we are to engage in the business of our Master, doing His work and expecting His return, although we know not at what hour He will come. The Lord was explicit that no man will know the day or hour of His Second Coming (e.g., Matt. 24:36). Therefore, we should always be awake (Mark 13:35-37), and busy with the Master’s work, so that when He returns, He will see us doing His work. We don’t want the Master to come back and see us sleeping and neglecting His work. Therefore, we should always be watchful and in the expectation that He would come, crying from the bottom of our hearts and longingly saying, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20).

...he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling - Commentary

... God’s wrath for the world (1 John 2:2; Rom. 3:25). He is the only sacrifice that was provided for the forgiveness of sins. To receive forgiveness, we must have faith in Him. That is the way that we receive the application and effects of the propitiation made for us on the cross. No other religion provides man with a solution to this major sin problem. Essentially, all other religions are work-based. You have to do something to earn heaven or whatever it is. While biblical Christianity alone is the religion of pure grace. It answers the need of man. It answers the problem of man’s sin. But not only that, it presents us with Someone Who can go between us and between God—the God-Man—Christ (see chapter 8 on Christ the Mediator). He Who is sinless would stand between us and God to plead on our behalf on the basis of His finished work on the cross and not because of anything that we’ve done. Sinful man needs a mediator who would go between him and a most holy and just God. That mediator was provided in the God-Man, the Lord Christ, Who died for our sins, purchasing our salvation and ourselves for God (Rev. 5:9-10) and in due time, bringing us into a harmonious and loving relationship with God.

That the Lord Christ is the only way may also be seen in passages that plainly say that. In John 14:6, the Lord Himself claims to be “the Way” to the Father. He is not merely a way, but He is the ἡ ὁδὸς (he hodos). He is the only and definite Way to the Father. All other ways do not lead to Him. All roads do lead to God, but not all roads lead to heaven and peace. We must all appear before God, but only those who come through Christ will receive acceptance, all others will perish and pay for their sins because there was no propitiation for their sins, therefore they have to try to propitiate God in their suffering. Peter says that there is no other name given to man by which we can be saved (Acts 4:11-12). Among all mankind, there is no one who can stand between us and God and reconcile us back, save the Lord Christ. It is only through Him that we find forgiveness and salvation. There is no other. All other roads lead to damnation, but only Christ gives us eternal life. See also Acts 10:42-43; John 3:36; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 1 John 5:11-12.

There is a lot of pressure on Christians in the name of love to compromise on this vital point. It is not “loving,” some complain, to tell people that they cannot come to the Father any other way than through the Lord Christ. But it is loving. It is, in fact, hateful not to tell them, because you are not telling them the truth as witnessed by God Himself. It would lead them to damnation. God has not provided us with multiple ways of salvation, but there is only one way. The Way is through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who is the only propitiation provided by God for our sins (1 John 2:1-2). We must not compromise. We will not compromise. We must stand fast on the Word of Christ.


To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(2 Thessalonians 2:14)



  1. ^ Many Scriptural references have been supplied by Samuel Waldron’s Modern Exposition of 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith which was apparently supplied by the Westminster Confession of Faith 1646.
  2. ^ Some editions of Dr. Waldron’s exposition leave out the word “elect,” but those editions were written when he was using Spurgeon’s version and later came to know that “elect infants” is origin...

1 Timothy 2:4 & Titus 2:11, 'desires all people to be saved'


2:5 there is one God. There is no other way of salvation (Acts 4:12); hence there is the need to pray for the lost to come to know the one true God (cf. Deut. 4:35, 39; 6:4; Isa. 43:10; 44:6; 45:5-6, 21, 22; 46:9; 1 Cor. 8:4,6). Mediator. This refers to someone who intervenes between two parties to resolve a conflict or ratify a covenant. Jesus Christ is the only “mediator” who can restore peace between God and sinners (Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24). The man Christ Jesus. The absence of the article before “man” in the Greek suggest the translation, “Christ Jesus, himself a man.” Only the perfect God-Man could bring God and man together. Cf. Job 9:32-33

2:6 a ransom. This describes the result of Christ’s substitutionary death for believers, which he did voluntarily (John 10:17-18), and reminds one of Christ’s own statement in Matt. 20:28, “a ransom for many.” The “all” is qualified by the “many.” Not all will be ransomed (though his death would be sufficient), but only the many who believe by the work of the Holy Spirit and for whom the actual atonement was made. See note on 2:9. Christ did not pay a ransom only; he became the object of God’s just wrath in the believer’s place –he died his death and bore his sin (cf. 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet 2:24). For all. This should be taken in two senses; 1) there are temporal benefits of the atonement that accrue to all people universally (see note on 1 Tim. 4:10), and 2) Christ’s death was sufficient to cover the sins of all people. Yet the substitutionary aspect of his death is applied to the elect alone (see above and notes on 2 Cor. 5:14-21). Christ’s death is therefore unlimited in it’s sufficiency, but limited in its application. Because Christ’s expiation of sin is indivisible, inexhaustible, and sufficient to cover the guilt of all the sins that will ever be committed, God can clearly offer it to all. Yet only the elect will respond and be saved, according to his eternal purpose (cf. John 17:12). At the proper time. At the appropriate time for God’s redemptive plan (see note on Gal. 4:4)

[3]  ESV Study Bible, 2008 (Crossway). Taken from the Online Version at www.esvbible.org

[4]  R.C. Sproul, The Reformation Study Bible ESV 2005, Ligonier Ministries. Taken from the free online version at BibleGateway

[5]  NLT Study Bible

[6]  John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible 2010, Crossway. Taken from the online version at www.esvbible.org