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"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

...38:24 LXX;);
  • incest (1Cor. 5:1);
  • not discernable which specific act (Acts 15:20, 29; 21:25; 1Cor. 6:13; 2Cor. 12:2; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1Thess. 4:3; Rev. 9:21);
  • spiritual adultery (Rev. 2:21; 14:8; 17:2, 4; 18:3; 19:2).
  • It is best to see the passages listed under the category “not discernable which specific act” to be general warnings against all forms of unlawful sexual intercourse. Thayer’s Greek Definitions defines porneia as:

    1. illicit sexual intercourse  
    1. adultery, fornication, Homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc. 
    2. sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18 
    3. sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11, 
    1. metaph. the worship of idols  
    1. of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols[40]

    Both the Old and New Testament prohibitions are against all kinds of sexual intercourse outside of covenant marriage.

    Conclusion On The 7th Commandment

    Because God loves and wants His people to be faithful to Himself, He likewise requires faithfulness and purity between man and woman in a covenant of marriage. We are to abstain from both the act of actually adultery, sexual intercourse outside of marriage and the thought thereof—lust.

    The Eighth Commandment

    Exod. 20:15 “You shall not steal.

    See also Deut. 5:19.

    General Observations On The 8th Commandment

    The eighth commandment calls us not to covet what is not ours and not to steal that which is not ours. That stealing is wrong, is acknowledged by everyone inherently. They may say that it is not wrong, but when the sin of stealing is committed against them, they are not indifferent. As R.C. Sproul likes to say, if a person doesn’t believe in sin, steal their wallet. That will surely bring an inconsistent reaction. Keach (Q&A 81) says that

    The eighth commandment forbids whatsoever does or may unjustly hinder our own or our neighbor's wealth or outward state.[23]

    To steal is to be discontent with God’s providential care. It is God who allots us whatever we have, when we steal we say to God that what He has given us is not enough and we resort to take what is not ours. Stealing, first of all, begins in the heart when one is discontent with what they have, coveting what is not theirs and then going out to unlawfully get it. Calvin writes:

    In substance, then, the commandment forbids us to long after other men’s goods, and, accordingly, requires every man to exert himself honestly in preserving his own. For we must consider, that what each individual possesses has not fallen to him by chance, but by the distribution of the sovereign Lord of all, that no one can pervert his means to bad purposes without committing a fraud on a divine dispensation.[41]

    Thomas Watson identifies two internal causes of theft: 1) unbelief and 2) covetousness. Concerning the first he writes:

    Unbelief. A man has a high distrust of God's providence. "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?" Psalm 78:19. "Can God spread a table for me?" says the unbeliever. "No, he cannot." Therefore he is resolved he will spread a table for himself—but it shall be at other men's cost, and both first and second course shall be served in with stolen goods.[42]

    When man understands that whatever they have is from God, then they should be content with what God has allotted and pray for His blessing, but not take matters into their hand by sinning. That...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 25: Of Marriage - Commentary

    ...hey are two, but spiritually they should become of one mind and one soul. This also points to the inseparability of the man and woman in marriage. They become one and therefore it is not lawful to disjoint them by divorce. This is what our Lord said based on citing Genesis 2 in Matthew 19:5-6. Moreover and most importantly for the purpose of this paragraph, we see in this the monogamy of marriage. There was only one Adam and one Eve from the beginning. Not multiple wives. The first polygamist was Lamech (Gen. 4:19). Polygamy was a violation of this institution of monogamous marriage from the beginning. And this marriage between two persons was between persons of the opposite sexes. Homosexuality is clearly prohibited by the Scriptures.

    When the Pharisees ask the Lord Jesus concerning divorce in Matthew 19:3-9, He goes back to the beginning and the ideal picture of marriage even before the Fall. God “created them from the beginning made them male and female” and He also added, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Matt. 19:4-5). Then He concludes with, “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt. 19:6). The Lord Jesus goes back to the origin of marriage and concludes from thence not only monogamy but also, since marriage consists in the becoming one of the two, that divorce is not part of the original intent of God. Though, because of humanity's wickedness, God made provisions for divorce under the Mosaic economy (Matt. 19:7-9), yet as our Lord said, "from the beginning it was not so” (Matt. 19:8). Therefore, we admit without difficulty that what is said of Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and so on, in having more than one wife is not said with the approval of God, since “from the beginning it was not so.” We accept that these were broken people with a lot of problems, not least their understanding of marriage. The Lord never commanded men to marry more than one wife. The narrative in Genesis 2:23-24 clearly communicates the idea of monogamous marriage. This is even more strengthened when we consider the instance when our Lord touched on this passage in Matthew 19.

    As to the issue of Homosexuality, it was both far away from the minds of the inspired writers of Holy Writ, as it was from the framers of the Reformed Confessions. It was not until recent times that Homosexuality gained popularity and acceptance in Western culture. I do not claim that it did not exist in the ancient world, it clearly did. This is seen, among other things, from the fact that both testaments condemn it (Gen. 18; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27; 1Cor. 6:9-10; 1Tim. 1:8-11). But we can conclude that any sexual relationship outside of covenant marriage between a man and a woman is sinful simply from Genesis 2.


    §2 The Ends of Marriage

    1. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife, 1 for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and the preventing of uncleanness. ( Genesis 2:18; Genesis 1:28; 1 Corinthians 7:2, 9 )
      1. Gen. 2:18; Prov. 2:17; Mal. 2:14
      2. Gen. 1:28; Ps. 127:3-5; 128:3-4
      3. 1 Cor. 7:2, 9

    In this paragraph, the Confession describes three ends and purposes of marriage.

    Complementarity

    Eve was created to supplement and be a helper for Adam and we may also infer that Adam supplements and is a helper for Eve. They both complete each other and h...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 24: Of the Civil Magistrate - Commentary

    ...hand of God for the good of its citizens. God has put them in the positions that they are in. It is God who ordained them according to their roles as a president, governor and so on.

    The government should rule under the authority of God over the people. The government and those who work there have a higher responsibility and position in the world. They are to reign over the people for the people's good. They are to protect them and provide for them and promote peace and righteousness. It does not take us anytime to notice that this is not actually the world in which we live. This is a broken and rebellious world. Most governments in the western world promote Homosexuality and abortion, among other things which the Bible condemns. The ideal picture is that of a government which submits to the Lordship of Christ and serves its people in righteousness and peace. And citizens which submit to the Lordship of Christ and for Christ's sake submit to their governments too. But this sadly not the case.

    Romans 13

    The primary passage which the Confession draws on here and which is used in discussions concerning the place of the government is Romans 13:1-7. Therefore, it would be helpful for us if we take a look at the passage. I come to the passage and by no means do I intended to give a long exegesis about it. I'm merely sharing my short thoughts about the passage and its implications. As I said, politics is not my favorite subject.

    Rom. 13:1-7 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. 

    Verse 1

    The Apostle first gives a command and then goes on to explain and give the basis for his command. Everyone should be under and be subjected to “the governing authorities” and "the higher powers” (KJV). The reason of this is simply the fact that every authority exists because God, Who is sovereign over all and blessed forever, has ordained that authority and government to be. God is the ultimate authority and therefore, obedience to civil authority is obedience to God. ‘God often claims and asserts that “He” sets up one, and puts down another; Psa 75:7; Dan 2:21; Dan 4:17, Dan 4:25, Dan 4:34-35.’[3]

    But it is essential here that we must make an important caveat, lest we should claim that sinning is tolerated by God. For, we learn a general and a simple principle from Acts 4:19-20; 5:28-29 that when a command of civil (or religious) authority contradicts the Word of God, it is to be disobeyed. As John Knox noted long ago, “Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.” Dis...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 5: Of Divine Providence

    ...in what you want? Okay, here, I will give you over to your sin so that you will commit more sin.” And because they went into idolatry and “exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Rom. 1:25), God says, “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions” (Rom. 1:26). He sends more sin to them and gives them more freedom in sin than they had as a punishment on present sin. As it has been observed by wise theologians, the punishment of sin is more sin. From the second “giving up” of God comes Homosexuality and lesbianism (Rom. 1:26-27), and then the Apostle says, “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done” (Rom. 1:28). There is a progression of wickedness and sinfulness, and it is a miserable and wicked path to Hell. When God brings judgment on these people by giving them over to their sins, He is doing that which is right, for those who sin against Him. These are not some innocent people whom God is punishing, but these are criminals and rebels against God.

    Take a look at chapter 3, paragraph 3 where I try to lay a case out for Reprobation.


    §7 The Providence of God as it relates to His Church

    1. As the providence of God doth in general reach to all creatures, so after a more special manner it taketh care of his church, and disposeth of all things to the good thereof. 1
      1. Prov. 2:7-8; Isa. 43:3-5, 14; Amos 9:8-9; Rom. 8:28; Eph. 1:11, 22; 3:10-11, 21; 1 Tim. 4:10

    It is only the elect—the Church of God, the people of God, that have received the promise of Romans 8:28. For the reprobate, everything works for the bad, and for more condemnation. For the sake of the righteous, the godless often are blessed (e.g. Gen. 39:2-4). Joseph found favor with Potiphar because the Lord was with Him and God gave success both to Joseph and Potiphar, because of Joseph's presence. Laban says to Jacob, “If I have found favor in your sight, I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you” (Gen. 30:27). God takes care of all His creation, but especially of His covenant people, and He often blesses the godless for their sake.

    The love of God for His own is shown in Isaiah 43:3-5, 14 in how God gives other nations away as “ransom” for His covenant people. He regards these people as nothing compared to the love that He has for Israel, His covenant people, which He brought up from the Babylonian captivity. Why? “Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you” (Isa. 43:4). The love of God for His people is incomparable to the common grace and love which He displays toward the godless. God does not give up His people for the sake of the wicked, but He does give up the wicked for the sake of His people. Although it is true that “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth”, it is especially true that they do so as “to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (2Chron. 16:9). Although the Lord Christ, is God and ruler over all things (e.g. Matt. 28:18), yet He is especially given to His Church (Eph. 1:22). King Jesus exercises His sovereign reign for the good of His people, to whom He is given as ruler over all things, even for those who persecute them (Rev. 1:5). Although God is the Savior, i.e., Preserver and Protector, of all people without exception, yet He is “especially” the Savior of His people who...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary

    ...lvinists who believe that they alone are true Christians, but we should acknowledge other churches of Christ with whom we disagree on secondary and tertiary issues, but that they hold fast to the doctrine of the true Gospel. We should pray for them and for their prosperity, as our fellow brothers in Christ. We are not to be extreme separatists, neither are we to think of our own church alone. But rather, we should care and pray for all the true churches of Christ that they may prosper with the blessing of God and may abide in the pure doctrine of the Word and be a light in a dark world. This is all the more needed in our day when we see the world pressing Christians on things like Homosexuality, abortion or the authority of the Bible, some churches have already given in to the world. But we should pray for the churches of Christ that they stand uncompromised on His Word and His authority, not fearing man but fearing God.

    We should even partner and fellowship with Arminians. Yes, their views of election are wrong, but most of them are sincere Christians, truly loving the Lord and wanting to serve Him, but have a blind-spot concerning God's absolute sovereignty. The closest theological friends for Reformed Baptists are Presbyterians and other Reformed groups with whom we share a lot of common teachings but differ on secondary issues like baptism, church government (the content of this chapter is totally unique and not taken over from the Westminster), covenants (Westminster Federalism and 1689 Federalism). But we are united in the core teachings of the Bible and the Gospel of Christ, therefore we have unity of faith. We may not worship in the same local congregation, but we are brothers and sisters in the Lord and belong to the Universal Church of Christ.


    §15 Many Churches Holding Communion Together, Do, By Their Messengers, Meet To...

    1. In cases of difficulties or differences, either in point of doctrine or administration, wherein either the churches in general are concerned, or any one church, in their peace, union, and edification; or any member or members of any church are injured, in or by any proceedings in censures not agreeable to truth and order: it is according to the mind of Christ, that many churches holding communion together, do, by their messengers, meet to consider, and give their advice in or about that matter in difference, to be reported to all the churches concerned; howbeit these messengers assembled, are not intrusted with any church-power properly so called; or with any jurisdiction over the churches themselves, to exercise any censures either over any churches or persons; or to impose their determination on the churches or officers. 2
      1. Gal. 2:2; Prov. 3:5-7; 12:15; 13:10
      2. 1 Cor. 7:25. 36, 40; 2 Cor. 1:24; 1 John 4:1

    When there are troubles, problems, and errors, whether theological or practical concerning the church, the church may seek counsel from other churches. There are sometimes problems between two congregations, but these problems should be solved in a manner worthy of the name of Christ. A church may have difficulty with a particular doctrine or thing, and they may send representatives, whether the elders or others, to other churches to seek counsel from them. Notice the wording of the Confession, it speaks of "advice" and not a command, and also the last portion of the paragraph. The local church is autonomous—on its own. They are not to be dictated by other churche...


    Irresistible Grace, Effectual Calling - Scripture List

    ...? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.

    1Cor 3:16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?

    1Cor 6:9-11 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice Homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    1Cor 12:3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.

    1Cor 12:8-11 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

    2Cor 3:5-6 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

    2Cor 3:17-18 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

    Why some people don’t receive the Gospel

    Jn 10:25-26 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.

    Jn 12:37-40 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.”

    More in “Total depravity, Radical corruption” & “Sovereignty over the reprobate.”


    This content is taken from this document

    [1] I believe that Irresistible Grace is the logical conclusion to Unconditional Election, so, many of the verses for Unconditional Election apply also for Irresistible Grace, since God has set to save His elect, who can annul His purpose? (Isa 14:27)

    [2] James White, The Potter’s Freedom (New Revised Edition 2009) p. 40

    [3] “The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, and Documented” Ed. 2, pp. 7.

    [4] Isa 54:13

    [5] C.f. Ps 14:7; Ps 53:6; Isa 59:20-21; Jn 4:22; Heb 8:8-12

    [6] C.f. Isa 27:9; Rom 9:4; Heb 8:12

    ...