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

... for more). It is God who is responsible in 1 Thessalonians 5 to sanctify completely the believers. In 1 Corinthians, it is the Lord Jesus and in 1 Thessalonians it is God the Father. Both the Father and the Son are in the work of keeping the believers blameless, how can anyone dare to say that those who truly know the Son and the Father, may, in fact, fall away? Do the Father and Son fail in their purpose because of man's almighty will?!

7. In both passages believers are given hope and encouraged based on God's faithfulness. It is God who will sanctify them and keep them blameless. This does not mean that there is no responsibility for them to seek after the Holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Heb. 12:14), but it puts things into perspective. God's work is primary. We endure and preserve, because it is He who preserves us and causes us to endure and transforms us into the likeness of Christ our Lord (cf. Phil. 2:12-13). Therefore, truly, all is of pure grace and we have to pray to God to sanctify us daily and change our desires to conform to His own.

8. The believers are called into the fellowship of God. 1 Corinthians 1 lays a strong stress on the effectual calling of God. In verse 2 we read that the believers were “called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours”. All believers are called by God to be holy ones, set apart for His purpose. They did nothing to earn it, but were simply the objects of the Father's loving grace. Can God now reverse His judgment that the believers are indeed saints and holy ones in His sight, set apart for His use? If we were called into God's fellowship without any regard to our works and faithfulness, but based on God’s faithfulness, how can we through our works lose this blessed fellowship bestowed upon us by grace? Are we really saying that to enter the fellowship is by grace alone, but to remain in the fellowship is by our faithfulness? Those who truly know God and not merely profess to know Him, cannot be separated from His blessed fellowship.

9. Lastly, 1 Thessalonians 5:24 stress the fact that it depends ultimately on God to preserves us. It is God who will keep us blameless because God cannot fail nor goes back on His word. He has called us into His fellowship, and He will never cast us out, but rather He will work on us to make us more holy and more like Christ. We are given assurance that God will indeed sanctify us and keep us without blame. 

Philippians 1:6 – Will bring it to completion

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

1. We notice first of all the connection between the previous two passages discussed from Paul, 1 Corinthians 1:8 and 1 Thessalonians 5:23, and the present passage concerning the day of Jesus Christ. This is an important day and it is a day when final verdicts will be heard before all men and about all men. Therefore, it is understandable for Paul, when speaking about the security of the believer in the hands of God, to assure us that we will be safe and blameless on the Day of the Lord, for that is a day of rejoicing for the believer and a day of doom for the unbeliever (e.g. 2Thess. 1:5-12).

2. Paul is persuaded, sure, confident and convinced of one thing, namely, if God begins a work, He will surely complete it and not leave it undone. He does not think that God will ...


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

...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 serve the living and true God” (1Thess. 1:9).

The Independence of God

God is absolutely dependent on no other being than Himself. He is all sufficient in and of Himself. God is wholly happy, glorious, holy, loving and joyful in and of Himself. He was not unhappy before the Creation, nor was He less glorious or loving. All life, happiness, glory, and Holiness is in Himself. He is the I AM THAT I AM! Self-existent and self-sufficient, glorious, holy, just and loving. This attribute is also called God's self-sufficiency, self-existence, aseity.

‘The term aseity’, writes John Frame, ‘comes from the Latin phrase a se, meaning “from or by self.”’[3] To speak of God’s aseity, therefore, is to speak of His independence from anything and anyone but Himself. God is dependent on no one for His existence because He is the only Necessary Being—a being that must exist, in any possible world. He is the Being on Whom all reality and all creation depends, yet He Himself depends on nothing. Without Him all would turn into chaos and the world will not be, but because of Him, there is order and not chaos. All that the God of the Bible has, He has in and of Himself and is dependent upon no other being for it. The very name of God, which was given to Moses in Exodus 3:14 is “I AM WHO I AM.” It is a basic and most fundamental observation that in the Bible names represent the nature and character of the people who bear them. Names are not merely nice sounding, but, they say something about the name-bearer. The name of God, YHWH, represents all the perfections of God and God explains it as “I AM WHO I AM.” In essence and at the most minimal level, this name teaches the absolute independence of God. He is what He is because of Himself. John Gill notes on this passage saying that “This signifies the real being of God, his self-existence, and that he is the Being of beings; as also it denotes his eternity and immutability, and his constancy and faithfulness in fulfilling his promises, for it includes all time, past, present, and to come; and the sense is, not only I am what I am at present, but I am what I have been, and I am what I shall be, and shall be what I am.”[4]

The Bible over and over again declares the independence of God from the created world. Paul on the Areopagus declares that the true God is not “served by human hands, as though he needed anything,” but in contrast, “since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25). This is the scriptural proof for our assertion that God is the Independent Being on Whom all creation depends. Scriptures teaches that God owns all things (Deut. 10:14; Job 41:11; Ps. 24:1; 50:10-12; 80:11). He is called “the LORD, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth” (Gen. 14:22). 1 Chronicles 29:11 majestically declares, “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.” All that we have comes from His hand. John the Baptist says that “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven” (John 3:27; cf. Jas 1:...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 13: Of Sanctification - Commentary

...

Chapter 13: Of Sanctification

Now that we were elected, called and justified we enter into the Christian life, which is one of growth in Holiness with ups and downs. In this chapter, we will deal with the question concerning what sanctification is and how it works.


§1 Through The Virtue Of Christ's Death And Resurrection, Are Also Farther Sanctified, Really And Personally

  1. They who are united to Christ, effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them through the virtue of Christ's death and resurrection, are also farther sanctified, really and personally, through the same virtue, by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them; 4 the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of all true Holiness, 5 without which no man shall see the Lord. 6 
    1. 1 John 3:3-8; 1 John 2:29; 3:9-10; Rom. 1:7; 6:1-11; 15:16; 2 Cor. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Phil. 1:1; Col. 3:12; Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Cor. 1:2, 6:11[1]
    2. 1 Thess. 5:23; Rom. 6:19, 22
    3. 1 Cor. 6:11; Acts 20:32; Phil. 3:10; Rom. 6:5-6
    4. John 17:17, Eph. 5:26; 3:16-19; Rom. 8:13
    5. Rom. 6:13-14; Gal. 5:17, 24; Rom. 8:13; Col. 1:11; Eph. 3:16-19; 4:22-25; 2 Cor. 7:1
    6. Heb. 12:14

United, Called and Regenerated

I refer the interested reader to the previous chapters where we dealt with these things. I lightly touched upon our union with Christ in chapter 8 paragraph 5. We dealt with the effectual call or Irresistible Grace in chapter 10 and Regeneration and Justification were dealt with in chapter 11.

Sanctification

What is sanctification? Wayne Grudem defines sanctification in this way:

Sanctification is a progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives.[2]

In sanctification, God works in us to make us more Christ-like. It is a process throughout our whole Christian life on earth where God works to conform us to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:28-29). Throughout our Christian life, we will by the grace and work of the Holy Spirit learn to hate and forsake our sins and follow Christ more faithfully. We should not think of sanctification as happening in one moment as some have done who believe that the Christian can be sinless. Nor should we think of sanctification is a line going only upward. But rather, sanctification is a process of ups and downs.

Obviously, once we come to know Christ, especially if we had lived a gross life, we will realize that it is no longer acceptable for us to do certain things and we will try to stop doing them. Therefore, there is a direct growth and going upward in a sense, but as we read the Word of God and learn God's will for us we will discover more and more sin in us and we should call on the Spirit of Christ to help us in our war against sin. But Christians do sin and fall into sin, we sometimes have seasons of disobedience and negligence to the means that God has ordained to bless us and sanctify us as for example the Word of God, prayer, corporate worship, etc. Therefore, there are also downs in our Christian life. It is not a straight line gradually going upward, rather a sort of zig-zag or flatline.

Romans 8:28-30 is a life passage for me. I love it and I take great comfort in it. Let us look at this passage and see what it says about sanctification.

...

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

...y Uzza, whereas God had commanded that no one touch it (Num. 4:15).[15]

Uzzah, along with David, violated the commandments of God concerning the Ark and the carrying thereof. God explicitly commanded that the Ark should be 1) carried by the Kohathites (Num. 3:30-31; 4:15; 7:9); 2) that it was to be carried by poles (Ex. 25:14; Num. 7:9), not upon a cart; and 3) the Ark was not to be touched (Num. 4:15). But Uzzah, David and the priests who should have known better, violated the commands of God. God did not strike them all but only punished Uzzah to demonstrate His Holiness as He did with Nadab and Abihu. Right from the beginning, they went wrong in neglecting to inquire what God has actually said concerning how the Ark should be treated. John Gill notes on v. 3:

And they set the ark of God upon a new cart,.... Which was a great mistake, since it ought not to have been put upon a cart, old or new; it was to be borne upon men's shoulders, and carried by Levites only, and those of the family of Kohath, to whom no wagons were given, when others had them, for the above reason, Nu 7:9;[10]

Israel, in this instance (again), tried to follow the custom of the heathen. The Philistines had put the Ark on a cart (1Sam. 6:7-8), but God’s people should have listened to God’s Word. Uzzah was judged more harshly than the Philistines because he should have known better. The second time they try to bring the Ark to Jerusalem, they know better. David says to the priests:

1Chron. 15:13 Because you did not carry it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule.”

Williamson carefully observes:

Uzzah died because -- as David explained later on -- "we did not inquire of [God] about how to do it in the prescribed way" (I Chron. 15:13). It happened, in other words, because they failed to limit themselves to what God had expressly commanded.(12) But how different it was when "the Levites carried the ark of God . . . as Moses had commanded in accordance with the word of the Lord" (I Chron. 15:14). Again we see the same principle clearly revealed: the only thing that pleases God is what He has commanded.(13)[7]

Devised From His Own Heart

The last Old Testament example is that of Jeroboam’s idolatry. After the split of the united Kingdom of Israel into the northern and southern kingdoms, Jeroboam, the king of the northern kingdom, was afraid that the people abandon him and side with Judah, the southern kingdom. That was because of the absence of the Temple in the northern kingdom. What he does is foolishly repeat the sin of Israel at Sinai.

1Kgs. 12:28 So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, “You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

As we observed above on the Second Commandment, so likewise here we observe concerning the word “gods” which could also be translated as “god” in the singular. John Gill notes, “that these [the two calves] were representations of the true God, who had brought them out of Egypt; and that it might as well be supposed that God would cause his Shechinah to dwell in them as between the cherubim over the ark.”[10] These words sadly echo what Israel said at Sinai (Ex. 32:4). It appears that Israel had still not learned its lesson. Not only did Jeroboam institute this false worship of images, but also, instead of lettin...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 29: Of Baptism - Commentary

...> because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

This passage is often used to claim that children of even one believing parent are holy, and therefore, they may receive baptism. But there is nothing here said about baptism or covenant membership. Moreover, this is a notoriously difficult text with many differing interpretations. I do not claim to have a perfect grasp on it. I believe this Holiness to be not internal Holiness, but the external influence of a Christian and the Holiness which is determined by the subject at hand: the marriage of a Christian and a non-Christian. God will bestow His blessing upon them for the sake of the Christian, much like God did for Joseph when he was in Egypt (Gen. 39:5). The children will have the influence of their Christian parent and be taught in the things of God, and in this way, they will be separate (which is the basic meaning of "holy"). Furthermore, they are legitimate or "holy" because they are the offspring of a lawful marriage. There is nothing said here about the New Covenant membership or that children receive its blessings. That is far away from the mind of the Apostle.

It is interesting to note the comments of the great Presbyterian commentator, Alber Barnes on this passage. First, he says what this "Holiness" does not mean:

(1) That the unbelieving husband would become holy, or be a Christian, “by the mere fact” of a connection “with” a Christian, for this would be to do violence to the words, and would be contrary to facts everywhere; nor,

(2) That the unbelieving husband had been sanctified by the Christian wife (Whitby), for this would not be true in all cases; nor,

(3) That the unbelieving husband would gradually become more favorably inclined to Christianity, by observing its effects on the wife (according to Semler); for, though this might be true, yet the apostle was speaking of something then, and which rendered their children at that time holy; nor,

(4) That the unbelieving husband might more easily be sanctified, or become a Christian, by being connected with a Christian wife (according to Rosenmuller and Schleusner), because he is speaking of something in the connection which made the children holy; and because the word ἁγιάζω hagiazō is not used in this sense elsewhere.[4]

Right after this, he adds something which is beneficial to all Scriptural interpretation:

But it is a good rule of interpretation, that the words which are used in any place are to be limited in their signification by the connection; and all that we are required to understand here is, that the unbelieving husband was sanctified “in regard to the subject under discussion;” that is, in regard to the question whether it was proper for them to live together, or whether they should be separated or not...


1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

...e will by none of them be either denied to us, or taken ill from us. Our whole design is accomplished if we may have attained that justice as to be measured in our principles and practice, and the judgment of both by others, according to what we have now published, which the Lord (whose eyes are as a flame of fire) knoweth to be the doctrine which with our hearts we most firmly believe and sincerely endeavor to conform our lives to. And O that, other contentions being laid asleep, the only care and contention of all upon whom the name of our blessed Redeemer is called might for the future be to walk humbly with their God in the exercise of all love and meekness toward each other, to perfect Holiness in the fear of the Lord, each one endeavoring to have his conversation such as becometh the gospel; and also, suitable to his place and capacity, vigorously to promote in others the practice of true religion and undefiled in the sight of God our Father! And that in this backsliding day we might not spend our breath in fruitless complaints of the evils of others, but may every one begin at home, to reform in the first place our own hearts and ways, and then to quicken all that we may have influence upon to the some work, that if the will of God were so, none might deceive themselves by resting in and trusting to a form of godliness without the power of it, and inward experience of the efficacy of those truths that are professed by them. 

And verily there is one spring and cause of the decay of religion in our day which we cannot but touch upon and earnestly urge a redress of, and that is the neglect of the worship of God in families by those to whom the charge and conduct of them is committed. May not the gross ignorance and instability of many, with the profaneness of others, be justly charged upon their parents and masters, who have not trained them up in the way wherein they ought to walk when they were young, but have neglected those frequent and solemn commands which the Lord hath laid upon them, so to catechise and instruct them that their tender years might be seasoned with the knowledge of the truth of God as revealed in the Scriptures; and also by their own omission of prayer and other duties of religion of their families, together with the ill example of their loose conversation, having, inured them first to a neglect and the contempt of all piety and religion? We know this will not excuse the blindness and wickedness of any, but certainly it will fall heavy upon those that have been thus the occasion thereof; they indeed die in their sins, but will not their blood be required of those under whose care they were, who yet permitted them to go on without warning - yea, led them into the paths of destruction? And will not the diligence of Christians with respect to the discharge of these duties in ages past rise up in judgment against and condemn many of those who would be esteemed such now? 

We shall conclude with our earnest prayer that the God of all grace will pour out those measures of his Holy Spirit upon us, that the profession of truth may be accompanied with the sound belief and diligent practice of it by us, that his name may in all things be glorified through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

WE the MINISTERS and MESSENGERS of and concerned for upwards of one hundred baptized congregations in England and Wales (denying Arminianism), being met together in London, from the third of the seventh month to the eleventh o...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 18: Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation - Commentary

...ly pray to God, unless we are surely persuaded in our hearts, that he is our Father, when we so call him with our lips. To this there is a corresponding part, — that our faith has no true evidence, except we call upon God. It is not then without reason that Paul, bringing us to this test, shows that it then only appears how truly any one believes, when they who have embraced the promise of grace, exercise themselves in prayers.[3]

This infallible assurance, rather than leading us to arrogance, leads us to humility; rather than leading us to sin, it leads us to Holiness. The saint of God who has this blessed assurance does not need to be taught in this because he knows that he has no reason to be arrogant, because this blessed assurance is a gift from God granted to Him and is not based on anything in himself. The saint of God has the Spirit of God in himself, Who wages war against the flesh and therefore, cannot live in continual sin (Gal. 5:17ff; c.f. 1John 3:9). He will rather be led to a life of Holiness because of the great display of grace from God toward him whereby he will seek to preach this amazing Gospel to others so that they too may come to know God and have this unshakable peace, which is founded upon Christ the Victor.


§3 This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith

  1. This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties before he be partaker of it; yet being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation, in the right use of means, attain thereunto: and therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure, that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance; so far is it from inclining men to looseness.3 
    1. Acts 16:30-34; 1John 5:13
    2. Rom. 8:15-16; 1Cor. 2:12; Gal. 4:4-6 with 3:2;1John 4:13; Eph. 3:17-19; Heb. 6:11-12; 2Peter 1:5-11
    3. 2Peter 1:10; Ps. 119:32; Rom. 15:13; Neh. 8:10; 1John 4:19, 16; Rom. 6:1-2, 11-13; 14:17; Titus 2:11-14

Seek Assurance!

Assurance is not definitional or essential to the nature of saving faith. Some people are truly saved, have true faith, but do not have assurance. This means nothing to their eternal salvation, though it may have effects on the way they live now. The Confession says that infallible assurance is not essential to true faith. Even though it is not essential, yet God calls us to make our calling and election sure and thereby have assurance of salvation and grace. It is true that many saints have struggled and struggle with assurance and God may not give them assurance, or may give it to them later, yet all believers are nonetheless called to seek this assurance. We are commanded by Scripture to do so. This assurance may be attained even without any “extraordinary revelation”, but rather by the “right use of means” which God has given us to know if we are believers, these include the focus of our faith, the testimony of the Spirit to our spirit, obedience from the heart to God, etc. My favorite passage on assurance is 2 Peter 1 wherein the Apostle writes:

2Pet. 1:3-10 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, th...


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

...f these commandments before Moses. The primacy of the Decalogue has been argued for above.

Continuity Between The Moral Law and The Decalogue

The moral law, which is binding upon all men and which all men know, was summarized in Ten Commandments. The Confession says that the moral law is “a perfect rule of righteousness" this is so because the moral law is a reflection of God's perfection and of His moral excellency. The moral law does not contain arbitrary commands, but ones which are right based on God’s being and character. They reflect His righteousness and Holiness, therefore they are the standard, they are a perfect rule of what is right and what is contrary to them, is wrong and sinful. Before the Fall they were a perfect standard and after the Fall they remain a perfect standard of righteousness. The Fall did not change the perfection, Holiness and moral excellency of God, therefore, the moral law was also not changed. The Decalogue is certainly moral law which reflects God’s perfect character. Nine of the Ten Commandments are self-evident and obvious, there is only one positive precept which is also moral and part ceremoniala and that is the Sabbath (see for more chapter 22 on the question of the Christian Sabbath).

The Decalogue was not something new given to Israel, but rather it was the essence of the covenant with Israel (e.g. Ex. 34:28; Deut. 4:13) and it was given so that there would be no misunderstanding through weakened conscience about what God’s moral law was. That this was the case is seen in the general knowledge of the Ten Commandments prior to Sinai in the Pentateuch.

The First and Second Commandments Before Moses

The first commandment declares the exclusivity of Yahweh as the only God to be worshiped and adored (Ex. 20:3) and the second commandment declares how he should be worshiped and also forbids idolatry (Ex. 20:4-6). The first and second commandments are very similar to each other. This was obvious to Adam and Eve as they had perfect knowledge of God prior to the Fall wherein God would walk with them in the Garden. They knew no other God, but the LORD. Cain and Abel both worshiped and knew God, but one was accepted and the other denied. Cain worshiped God, but he broke the second commandment by not worshiping Him rightly. He brought that which the Lord had not commanded or that which was not pleasing as a sacrifice to Him and was rejected.

When we read of the patriarchs we see them also only devoting themselves and worshiping one God. When Abraham was called by God, he was an idolater as it was common in his day (Josh. 24:2), but the Lord called and he obeyed. We nowhere read of Abraham having any other god, but rather He held fast to the true God even to the point of offering his own son. He is the One whom Abraham declares to be the judge of all the earth (Gen. 18:25) and who demands from Abraham that he walk blamelessly before Him (Gen. 17:1).

Jacob, when he fled from Laban, unknown to him Rachel, his beloved wife had taken the idols of her father with her (Gen. 31:19). When Laban finds out that Jacob along with his family had fled and the household gods were no more, pursued Jacob and found him. When asked why did Jacob steal Laban’s gods, Jacob’s response is clear affirmation of his devotion to the only one God, he said, “Anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live” (Gen. 31:32). Here are two sins coupled together: one is theft and the other idolatry. Jacob was ready ...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 4: Of Creation - Commentary

...h are normally out of our visible sight, still bring glory to the Creator. When we see them, we are filled with awe and reverence for the Creator. The Creation is actually meant to display the glory of God to us. In Isaiah vision of the Lord Jesus, the host of heaven worships and praises God with the following words:

Isa. 6:3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

The earth does not merely contain His glory, but is full or filled with His glory. His Holiness displays itself in His glory in the created world. The Holiness of God is glorious and it fills the whole created world. That was God's purpose in creating, namely, to display His glory and for people to acknowledge it. In Romans 1:20, we read that God's “invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” The glory and power of God is displayed in the created world in such a way that no one would make an excuse before His Majesty. The power and divine nature of God displayed in the created world is undeniable and sufficient to render us without an excuse before Him. When God created, there was no higher goal than creating for Himself and to display His glory. He could not have depended for His glory on His creatures, which were yet uncreated, for He is completely independent of His creation for His perfections. The Trinity enjoyed fellowship and glory even before the creation of the world (John 17:5). God was not lacking anything. The host of heaven, in Revelation 4:11, declares:

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

God is worthy to receive, i.e., be credited of having glory, honor and power. Why? “for you created all things”. The fact that God is the Creator of all things makes it obligatory on us to bring Him glory, honor and praise. It is by His will that everything exists or has existed. It was He who determined if this thing existed or not, or that thing happened or not. He creates these things by His will so that they would bring glory and honor to Him. In Proverbs 16:4, we read, “ The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.” Everything that God created, He created with its assigned purpose. It is He who gave those things their purpose. It is not to be thought that the created things gave themselves a purpose. That is absurd. Even the wicked He has created for a purpose, namely, a purpose of destruction and punishment (see more in chapter 3 on Reprobation). All things exist and were created to display His glory in one way or another. The people of God are said to be that sons and daughters of God who were created for His glory, and they are called by His holy Name (Isa. 43:6-7). In Colossians 1:16, we read:

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and 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 ...


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

...our Lord. The horrific event of the crucifixion. Where the Immortal God having become man, died by the hands of His creation. Jesus Christ—the Son of God, Who is equal with the Father and Spirit, humbled Himself by becoming a man (Phil. 2:5-7) and died by the hand of His creation because of their wickedness. He was sinless (Heb. 4:15; 7:26; 9:14; 1Pet. 2:22; 1John 3:5; 2Cor. 5:21; John 8:46), yet crucified by His sinful and wicked image-bearers. The sinless, spotless Lamb of God was put on a cross and mocked by His creation. There is no greater sin than this for the Christian, while the world mocks the fact that we place Jesus’ death as the greatest evil, because of His infinite Holiness and worth, but every Christian should affirm and believe that Jesus’ crucifixion was the greatest evil done in history. But how does the Scripture describe this event? What is specifically God the Father’s role in this? First, let us establish the fact that it was prophesied and therefore it was made certain in the plan of God and that it had to come to pass.

In Psalm 22, we are given a picture of a man of God who suffers at the hands of the wicked and then is vindicated by God. This indeed is the song of every believer who suffers at the hands of the wicked, but it is especially typological of Christ, as it is quoted by the New Testament authors and applied to the Lord Jesus.

Ps. 22:16 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet

This verse describes the crucifixion of our Lord. In the time that David wrote this (~ 1000 BC), crucifixion was not yet invented, but the Father foretells the crucifixion of His Son by the mouth of David. Isaiah 53 is certainly one of the first places to go to when speaking of the Passion of the Christ in the Old Testament. There we are told that the Messiah “was despised and rejected by men” (v. 3), “he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (v. 4), “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” Read this to any unbelieving friend and ask: Of whom does this speak? Anyone with any idea of Jesus will answer that it is speaking of Jesus! Yet it was written some 700 years before His virgin birth! In the Gospels, we read of our Lord speaking about His certain crucifixion and resurrection. There are no “ifs”, but what is written must come to pass.

Luke 18:31-33 And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32 For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. 33 And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.”

In no uncertain terms, the Lord foretells His certain death, adding to that it will be the fulfillment of what the prophets wrote, we’ve already taken a look at a couple of examples. From Luke 22:22 and Matt. 26:24 we learn that prophecy is not just “God looking down the corridors of time,” but it’s God actually determining.

Luke 22:22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!”

Matt. 26:24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

In this parallel ac...