The Staunch Calvinist

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

Search


You searched for 'Holy Scriptures'

I've found 17 results!


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

...ty over all; is just, good and doth good unto all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart and all the soul, and with all the might. 1 But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures2
  1. Jer. 10:7; Mark 12:33[1]
  2. Gen. 4:1-5; Exod. 20:4-6; Matt. 15:3, 8-9; 2 Kings 16:10-18; Lev. 10:1-3; Deut. 17:3; 4:2; 12:29-32; Josh. 1:7; 23:6-8; Matt. 15:13; Col. 2:20-23; 2 Tim. 3:15-17

The light of nature or natural revelation as we call it shows that there is a God, Who hath lordship and sovereignty over all (Rom. 1:19-23). That there is a God, no one will be able to deny when they stand before God. Both creation and the Creator testify to God. This is basic Romans 1. Furthermore, this God is just, good and doth good unto all (Ps. 145:9) as evidenced by the things which we have and receive. Therefore, He is to be worshiped and served with the whole of our being. Yet He is not to be worshiped as we like. But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is instituted by Himself (Ex. 20:4-6; Deut. 4:2; 12:29-32). It is God Who determines how He is to be worshiped. This acceptable way is limited by His revealed will, i.e., Holy Scripture. The unacceptable way of worshipping God as according to the imagination and devices of men (Acts 17:29; Col. 2:23), the suggestions of Satanvisible representations (Ex. 20:4-6) and any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures (Lev. 10:1-3) is abominable to God and He is not pleased with it. God is not to be worshiped as we think He would like to be worship. Why should we think of ways of worshipping Him when He has revealed how He desires to be worshiped? Neither is He to be worshiped through or by any visible representations. This excludes all images and statues of the persons of the Godhead as well as the saints who according to Roman Catholic theology can act as intercessors between us and God/Jesus. The most important aspect of what is called the Regulative Principle of Worship is expressed in the last clause: any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures. Not only is He to be worshiped according to His revealed will, but He is not to be worshiped through that which He has not revealed. If it is not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures, it should not be an element of His worship. If it is prescribed in the Holy Scriptures, it should.


There Is A God

Creation testifies to everyone without question that there is God. General Revelation is sufficient to reveal God to the world and to hold them accountable (see chapter 20). Everyone knows that there is a God. But not only that there is a God, but also that this is a God that must be worshiped. This explains the countless religions that have existed and still exist. It is all because of the Fall that we have a multitude of religions rather than only one. Romans 1 speaks about those who suppress the truth about God through idolatry. All religions in one way or another try to appease the god(s) and serve them. That is the sense that they get from General Revelation. There is a God to Whom they owe their existence and blessings, therefore they are to serve and love Him. But the Confession is quick t...


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

...b. 10:31). But for all those who have put their faith in the Mediator, the Substitute in our place, they are freed from the wrath of God and that wrath which they rightly deserve is taken by Christ because He loved them. By placing our sins upon Jesus, He is shown to be both just and the justifier of those who put their faith in the Substitute (Rom. 3:26).

This is our God. He's awesome and Sovereign and we are not ashamed to say that we know no characteristics/attributes (as mentioned in the confession) of Him aside from His revelation and condensation in Holy Writ. All that we certainly and clearly know about God is based upon His divine condensation in the Holy Scriptures by revealing Himself to undeserving sinners. 


§2 The Self-Sufficiency Of God

  1. God, having all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of himself, is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creature which he hath made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting his own glory in, by, unto, and upon them; 1 he is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things, and he hath most sovereign dominion over all creatures, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth; 2 in his sight all things are open and manifest, his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to him contingent or uncertain; he is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands; 4 to him is due from angels and men, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience, as creatures they owe unto the Creator, and whatever he is further pleased to require of them. 5
    1. John 5:26; Acts 7:2; Ps 148:13; 119:68; 1 Tim 6:15; Job 22:2-3; Acts 17:24-25
    2. Rev. 4:11; 1 Tim. 6:15; Rom. 11:34-36; Dan 4:25, 34-35
    3. Heb. 4:13; Rom. 11:33-34; Ps. 147:5; Acts 15:18; Ezek. 11:5
    4. Ps. 145:17; Rom. 7:12
    5. Rev. 5:12-14

God is in and unto Himself all-sufficient because he has all life, glory, goodness, and blessedness without being dependent upon any other. Even His glory is not derived from any creature, rather He manifests His glory in, by, unto and upon Hs creatures. What we give God is ascribed glory. We do not increase His glory, we acknowledge it and are changed by it. As paragraph 1 said, He is most absolute, meaning that He is the foundation of all being and reality. He is most sovereign over His creation and He does by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth (Dan. 4:34-35; Ps. 115:3; 135:6; Eph. 1:11). There is no one who can resist this Majesty of Heaven (Dan. 4:34-35; Rom. 9:19). Everything is open and naked before Him. He does not have to go and search for somebody or search for motives in people. All things are open and known before Him for his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent. Because His knowledge is infinite, meaning exhaustive, it cannot be fallible, therefore it is infallible (cannot be wrong). Furthermore, His knowledge is independent upon creatures and what they will do, therefore, nothing is contingent or uncertain about His knowledge. Contingent basically means uncertain or with the possibility of not happening. In other words, if God knows that event X will happen, then it is no longer contingent, but it must happen. This great and Sovereign God is not an arbitrary God. In fact, He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commandments. He has purposes which He is willing to...


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

...

Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scriptures

What does the Bible itself teach about the Word of God? Which books are contained in the Bible? Are the Apocryphal books God-inspired and authoritative? Who made the Bible authoritative? What is Sola Scriptura? What does it mean that Scripture is inerrant and infallible? Is Scripture sufficient? What does it mean that the Scripture is inspired? Are creeds and confessions above or subordinate to the Scriptures? In this chapter, we will explore the Bible’s view of the Word of God. The paragraphs in which I deal with parts of the Scripture's doctrine are not necessarily in logical order, therefore, here are the topics in a somewhat more logical order:

  1. Necessity of Scripture (paragraph 1)
  2. Scripture As Self-Revelation (paragraph 1)
  3. Canon of the Old Testament (paragraph 4)
  4. Canon of the New Testament (paragraph 3)
  5. Inspiration of Scripture (paragraph 2)
  6. Inerrancy and Infallibility of Scripture (paragraph 1)
  7. Authority of Scripture (paragraph 4)
  8. Sufficiency of Scripture (paragraph 6)
  9. Sola Scriptura (paragraph 110)
  10. Authentication of Scripture (paragraph 5)
  11. Perspicuity of Scripture  (paragraph 7)
  12. Interpretation of Scripture (paragraph 9)

This chapter is in many ways based upon the truths in 2 Timothy 3:16. All the particular subjects which are treated are part of a unified whole doctrine about God's Word.


§1 The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule

  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[1]
    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

Holy Scripture, which is defined to be the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is “sufficient, certain, and infallible”. This means that Scripture is enough; true and sure; and cannot err. What is the scope of this sufficiency, certainty, and infallibility? The Confession says that Scripture is the only infallible “rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience”. Holy Scripture is given as a measuring line and a standard. It is a standard of standards. There are other standards and rules besides the Bible, but the Bible alone is the “sufficient, certain, and infallible rule”. The Bible is the norm and ...


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

... but the manner and clarity of revelation is different. However wounded and seared our conscience may be, it is enough to testify against us. The conscience may be wounded and through continual sin taught to approve evil, yet the written revelation of God can never be changed to say that evil is good and good is evil. The written revelation has more clarity, and on the basis of that, those who have lived under that written revelation have more light than those who have not known the Scriptures. The former is judged harsher than the latter because of the light of knowledge which they had. Every child of Adam has access to the law of God, first of all, within their hearts and secondly, in the Holy Scriptures.

Did People Sin Before The Law?

The question sounds ridicules, but we must ask it here. What is sin? 1 John 3:4 says that sin is “lawlessness” or as the KJV has it “sin is the transgression of the law.” Transgression of what law? Laws made by man or the law of God? The obvious answer is that sin is the transgression of the moral law of God. This point supports the assertion in this paragraph that all people have the law on their heart, in that there is a standard against which people sin. The mere existence of sin and of sinning proves that people had the moral law to sin against. The Apostle in the previous passage above, Romans 2:12, does not claim that people did not sin when they were not under the written law. No, they certainly did sin and they perished. Sin cannot exist without the moral law of God. Where there is no law of God, there cannot be sin, for sin is the transgression of that law. What does the Apostle then mean when he says sin is not counted where there is no law in Romans 5?

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

1. The first observation is the Apostle’s claim that death has come through the consequence of sin, which he repeats in Romans 6:23. There was no death when there was no sin. But in Adam, all his posterity sinned in him. We did not personally sin with him, but he, being our representative, his disobedience is imputed to all his descendants. We sinned when our covenant head sinned.

2. What is the “law that was given” in v. 13? I believe the obvious answer is that this is speaking about the written Mosaic Law, for the Apostle had already established (in Romans 2:12-14) that all people have access to the law of God, whether written on tablets of stone or written on the heart. Therefore, Romans 5:13 cannot refer to the moral law absolutely, but rather, the written and therefore, clearer light of the law in stone. If the Apostle says that sin was in the world, then this necessarily means the existence of the moral law of which sin is a the transgression. If the law did not exist at all, either on stone or on the heart, then there would be no sin, but the Apostle claims the opposite. Therefore, it seems to me that there are two senses in which this passage may be taken. a) The first sense is to see the law to be speaking here of the clearer light of the written law, which cannot be wounded and seared like our consciences. When we sin with...


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

!DOCTYPE html

Chapter 7: Of God's Covenant

What is Covenant Theology? How many covenants does the Bible have and which are those? What is the Reformed Baptist and Paedobaptist understanding of the covenants? What is 1689 Federalism? Is the New Covenant the Covenant of Grace? Was the Covenant of Grace established before the New Covenant? Were the Old Testament covenants administrations of the Covenant of Grace?

Here we come to a chapter that is different than the one in the Westminster and Savoy confessions (see the confessions side by side here). Were the Baptists trying to be original or were they trying to communicate something else? I and many other brothers do believe that the framers of the Confession were trying to communicate a different Covenant Theology than that of their Westminster and Savoy brethren. Let not the reader suppose that I will exhaustively deal with every point or seek to rebut oppositions and answer objections. My objective here is to lay an understanding of Covenant Theology as I see it in the Scripture and as I was helped by the books and men mentioned below. This is not meant to be lengthy (although I guess it will kinda be), but concise. [22/09/2015 – It did become lengthy]


§1 The Covenant Of Works

  1. The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience to him as their creator, yet they could never have attained the reward of life but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant.1
    1. Job 35:7-8; Ps. 113:5-6; Isa. 40:13-16; Luke 17:5-10; Acts 17:24-25[1]

This distance between God and the creature is not spatial distance, but the Creator-creature distinction. God is different in His being than man. Even before the Fall, this distance was so great. Paragraph 1 does not only speak of covenants in general, but also specifically of the first covenant—the Covenant of Works with Adam. All reasonable creatures owe obedience to Him because He is their creator (Luke 10:17; Rom. 1:23-25). They must honor and worship Him because He created them and caused them to be (see chapter 2:2). They owe Him obedience and worship, but even in their innocence, they could never have attained the reward of life. This is in reference to the Adamic Covenant of Works which promised life upon perfect obedience. Even in the original Covenant of Works, God promised this reward of life by some voluntary condescension. This voluntary condescension to communicate with man and promise Him rewards God has expressed by way of covenant. In other words, a covenant made by God is His way of communicating with us, giving us rewards for obedience and punishments for disobedience. We, by nature, owe Him obedience, therefore, there is no reason for Him to reward our obedience. If He rewards our obedience then it must be upon another ground. This another basis is a covenant.


Introduction to Covenant Theology

Covenant theology (also known as Covenantalism, Federal theology, or Federalism) is a Calvinist conceptual overview and interpretive framework for understanding the overall flow of the Bible. It uses the theological concept of covenant as an organizing principle for Christian theology. The standard description of covenant theology views the history of God's dealings with mankind, from Creation to Fall to Redemption to Consummation, under the framework of the three overarching theological covenants of redemptio...


1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

... part without any variation of the terms, we did in like manner conclude it best to follow their example in making use of the very same words with them both in these articles (which are very many) wherein our faith and doctrine are the same with theirs; and this we did the more abundantly to manifest our consent with both in all the fundamental articles of the Christian religion, as also with many others whose orthodox Confessions have been published to the world on the behalf of the Protestant in diverse nations and cities. And also to convince all that we have no itch to clog religion with new words, but do readily acquiesce in that form of sound words which hath been, in consent with the Holy Scriptures, used by others before us; hereby declaring, before God, angels, and men, our hearty agreement with them in that wholesome Protestant doctrine which, with so clear evidence of Scriptures, they have asserted. Some things, indeed, are in some places added, some terms omitted, and some few changed; but these alterations are of that nature as that we need not doubt any charge or suspicion of unsoundness in the faith from any of our brethren upon the account of them.

In those things wherein we differ from others we have expressed ourselves with all candor and plainness, that none might entertain jealousy of aught secretly lodged in our breasts that we would not the world should be acquainted with; yet we hope we have also observed those rules of modesty and humility as will render our freedom in this respect inoffensive, even to those whose sentiments are different from ours. 

We have also taken care to affix texts of Scripture at the bottom, for the confirmation of each article in our Confession; in which work we have studiously endeavored to select such as are most clear and pertinent for the proof of what is asserted by us; and our earnest desire is that all into whose hands this may come would follow that (never enough commended) example of the noble Bereans, who searched the Scriptures daily that they might find out whether the things preached to them were so or not. 

There is one thing more which we sincerely profess and earnestly desire credence in - viz., that contention is most remote from our design in all that we have done in this matter; and we hope that the liberty of an ingenuous unfolding our principles and opening our hearts unto our brethren, with the Scripture grounds of our faith and practice 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 fruitl...


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

!DOCTYPE html

Chapter 3: Of God's Decree

What does it mean that God is sovereign? Does God control all things? Does God ordain and is sovereign even over sin? What about election? Does God choose who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell? Did God predestine because He saw what was going to come to pass? Does it matter what we do? Does God ordain the ends as well as the means?


§1 God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity...whatsoever comes to pass

  1. God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably1 all things, whatsoever comes to pass2 yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein; 3 nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather establishedin which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree. 5
    1. Prov. 19:21; Isa 14:24-27; 46:10-11; Ps. 115:3; 135:6; Rom. 9:19; Heb. 6:17[1]
    2. Dan. 4:34-35; Rom. 8:28; 11:36; Eph. 1:11
    3. Gen. 18:25; James 1:13; 1 John 1:5
    4. Gen. 50:20; 2 Sam. 24:1; Isa. 10:5-7; Matt. 17:12; John 19:11; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28
    5. Num. 23:19; Eph. 1:3-5

God hath decreed in Himself means that He decreed by Himself alone without considering others. As the modern translation puts it: “From all eternity God decreed everything that occurs, without reference to anything outside himself.” He was not influenced when He decreed everything. But what does mean that God “decreed”? A decree, in this context, means putting everything in order and planning everything that is to occur in history. This decree of God was from all eternity and therefore is unchangeable. To further stress the “decreed in himself” part, the Confession adds that this decree was made freely. God was not limited by anything outside Himself. Furthermore, this decree was according to the most wise and holy counsel of His own will. It was not arbitrary or random. Rather, it was ordained by the Wisdom Himself Who does nothing without a goal, reason or a purpose (cf. Eph. 1:11). What did God decree? All things, whatsoever comes to pass. There is nothing that occurs that was not already decreed by God from all eternity. But this does not mean that God is the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein. God does not create sin or author it, nor does He have delight in it. Rather, He orders it and ordains it to be for His own holy purposes, according to the most wise and holy counsel of His will. Even evil and sin are ordained according to His holy purposes. Our redemption came about by the greatest sin committed by man, the crucifixion of the Son of God, which was ordained by God (Acts 4:27-28).

When God ordains sin, He does no violence to the will of the creature, nor is their liberty hundred or taken away. Everyone committing sin and evil does so because they will and desire so. In the example about the crucifixion of the Lord, everyone in the act was a willing participant: Judas, the Jewish leaders, the Romans. All really wanted to do these things and they were not forced to will so. Nonetheless, the Scriptures are clear that they came to “do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” According to Reformed theology, God's decree establishes the liberty of creatures, because their liberty is found within God's decree. This high and mysterious doctrine shows the wi...


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

Chapter 31: Of the State of Man after Death and Of the Resurrection of the Dead

This chapter concerns itself with eschatology, which is the doctrine of the last things. It discusses questions concerning what happens after we die, the second coming of the Lord Jesus, and the resurrection of the just and unjust.

I hold to the Amillennial view of eschatology, therefore what is written here will reflect that eschatology. Basically, Amillennialism teaches that the thousand years of Revelation 20 are symbolic for the whole time between Christ's Ascension and Second Coming. When He comes that will be the end of everything. The rapture, general resurrection and final judgment will take place, then God will usher in the World to Come. There are neither multiple resurrections nor multiple judgments. There are no 7 years of Great Tribulation. There are no two peoples of God, Israel and the Church. Rather, the Church is the Israel of God. The promises of restoration and blessing pertain not to the Fallen World, but to the World to Come. We do not believe that the Bible teaches a golden age on this Fallen Earth.

In paragraphs 2-3 there is a case for Amillennial eschatology and a critique of Premillennialism throughout the sections.


§1 The Intermediate State

  1. The bodies of men after death return to dust, and see corruption; but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them. The souls of the righteous being then made perfect in holiness, are received into paradise, where they are with Christ, and behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies; and the souls of the wicked are cast into hell; where they remain in torment and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day; besides these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth none.
    1. Gen. 2:17; 3:19; Acts 13:36; Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:22[1]
    2. Gen. 2:7; James 2:26; Matt. 10:28; Eccles. 12:7
    3. Ps. 23:6; 1 Kings 8:27-49; Isa. 63:15; 66:1; Luke 23:43; Acts 1:9-11; 3:21; 2 Cor. 5:6-8; 12:2-4; Eph. 4:10; Phil. 1:21-23; Heb. 1:3,4:14-15; 6:20; 8:1; 9:24; 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11; 14:13; 20:4-6
    4. Luke 16:22-26; Acts 1:25; 1 Peter 3:19; 2 Peter 2:9

The bodies of men after death return to dust (Gen. 3:19), the original substance, but their souls...having an immortal subsistence (i.e., a state of existence)...neither die nor sleep and immediately return to God (Eccles. 12:7 ). Our bodily death is not the 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 Jes...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling - Commentary

...ed so that they may at the present behold the glory of God and in the future in our flesh see God (Job 19:26-27). God reveals Himself to His children through His Spirit and infallible Word.

The natural person does not understand the things of God, but the one who is spiritual, i.e., led by the Spirit, is made able to understand the things of God (1Cor. 2:9-16). We have received the mind of Christ in His Word and Spirit to understand the things of God. This is not given to everyone but only to those who are led by the Spirit of Christ and who are called according to His purpose. The Apostle calls us to continually strive to live according to God’s will, which is revealed in the Holy Scriptures. We are not to be conformed to the pattern of this world, rather we are to “be transformed by the renewal of [our] mind[s]” so that we would know what God’s will is for us (Rom. 12:2). We are commanded to continually walk according to the light given to us in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Renewal of Nature

We are renewed. A completely new nature is given to us at the new birth. Paul says that when we are in Christ, we become a new creation. The old passes away, but now the new has come (2Cor. 5:17). There is a change in nature through which we are now willing to come to the Lord Jesus. This is the promise that I love about the New Covenant:

Ezek. 36:25-27 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. 

The heart is the center of one's being. It is where their will and nature is. This is what the Lord promises to do, He will change our nature. He will change the most fundamental aspect of our being, which has been corrupted by lawlessness and sin. The cold, dead heart of stone will be exchanged for a living heart of flesh. It is a heart that will be made willing and able by the Spirit Who will be given to us to obey God and His Law. The new heart will be able and willing to love God because it is no longer a heart of stone and dead in sins. A similar promise is in Jeremiah 31:31-34. He makes us alive from the state of “dead in our trespasses” (Eph. 2:5-6). This is nothing less than a spiritual resurrection (John 5:25-26) by which we are brought to life with God. We are made new creations, indeed (2Cor. 5:17).

Effectual Drawing

The Confession speaks of God drawing those who were called effectually to Jesus Christ. The foremost passage upon God drawing people must be John 6:44. We have discussed this passage in chapter 3 on divine election, but let's take a quick look at it again here.

John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 

It is pretty simple actually and the words are not difficult nor ambiguous. No one has the power, desire or ability to come to the Lord Jesus. All are unable and unwilling to come to the Lord Jesus because they have no desire to come to Him. They are unable because they are unwilling. That would mean that no one can get saved. But thanks be to God for the “unless” in the passage. No one can come unless the Father draws them. No one has the willingness or ability unless drawn by God. It is God ...


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

...nowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall

1. It is God, and God by His divine power, who has granted us everything necessary for our salvation and sanctification. He has given us by grace everything that is necessary for us to live godly lives in Jesus Christ including His Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures (2Tim. 3:16-17). The way that God did this was through giving us His knowledge. God did this when He saved us, when we received the knowledge of truth in sincerity and faith. Furthermore, God is described as the One Who effectually called (see chapter 10) and summoned the believer to "his own glory and excellence”. God summoned the believer to partake of the divine nature, to share in His joy and life. God who in eternity past existed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; ever-glorious, ever-joyful and ever-excellent, has promised those who deserve nothing but His wrath to share in Himself and His joy. It is God who called us and His call is irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). It is God who has granted us His knowledge through which we were saved and were granted all that we need for life and godliness. It is all the work of God.

2. The purpose for the "precious and very great promises" of God is that we "become partakers of the divine nature." Does that mean that we become God? No. The Apostle "intended to say that when divested of all the vices of the flesh, we shall be partakers of divine and blessed immortality and glory, so as to be as it were one with God as far as our capacities will allow."[3] John Gill comments on this:

that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature; not essentially, or of the essence of God, so as to be deified, this is impossible, for the nature, perfections, and glory of God, are incommunicable to creatures; nor, hypostatically and personally, so as the human nature of Christ, in union with the Son of God, is a partaker of the divine nature in him; but by way of resemblance and likeness, the new man or principle of grace, being formed in the heart in regeneration, after the image of God, and bearing a likeness to the image of his Son, and this is styled, Christ formed in the heart, into which image and likeness the saints are more and more changed, from glory to glory, through the application of the Gospel, and the promises of it, by which they have such sights of Christ as do transform them, and assimilate them to him; and which resemblance will be perfected hereafter, when they shall be entirely like him, and see him as he is:[4]

Matthew Poole notes on this passage:

That by these ye might be partakers of the Divine nature: we are said to be partakers of the Divine nature, not by any communication of the Divine essence to us, but by God’s impressing upon us, and infusing into us, those divine qualities and dispositions (knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness) which do express and resemble the perfections of God, and are called his image, Eph 4:24; Col 3:10. And we are said to be made partakers of this Divine nature by the promises of the gospel, because they are the effectual means of our regeneration, (in which that Divine nature is communicated to us), by reason of that quickening Spirit which accompanieth them, 2Co 3...