The Staunch Calvinist

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


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

...f. Gen. 38:24 LXX);
  • incest (1 Cor. 5:1);
  • not discernable which specific act (Acts 15:20, 29; 21:25; 1 Cor. 6:13; 2 Cor. 12:2; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1 Thess. 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[41]

    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 husband and wife in a covenant of marriage. We are to abstain from both the act of actual 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 liked 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.[24]

    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 taking that which 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.[42]

    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.[43]

    When a man understands that whatever they have is from God, they should then be content with what God has allotted and pray for His blessing, but not take matters into their hand by sinning. That is never God’s command. ...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 25: Of Marriage - Commentary

    ...than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband at the same time. 1
    1. Gen. 2:24 with Matt. 19:5-6;1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6; Mal 2:15[1]

    Marriage is a life-long covenant between one man and one woman (Matt. 19:5-6) and only that. It is neither lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband at the same time. Monogamy is essential to marriage as defined by the Creator. The question of Homosexuality, as it hot now, never crossed the minds of the framers of the Confession as it was obvious that the Bible was against it.

    Marriage is a life-long covenant between a man and a woman wherein God is a witness (Mal. 2:15). It is a life-long vow (see chapter 23 on oaths and vows). In marriage, the man and the woman call upon God as a witness to the vows that they make to each other and bind themselves by the vow, in presence of God, to be faithful to each other. Marriage was instituted by God in the Garden, before the Fall on day six. The Lord wanted to find for Adam a mate, so He brought to him all the animals, yet “for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:20). Therefore, the LORD put Adam to sleep and made a woman from his side. The Lord created a human with the same nature as Adam’s, yet, different character and with different parts which complement each other. Then we read:

    Gen. 2:22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 

    Herein we have the institution of marriage. Adam had finally found someone like him and yet, at the same time, not exactly like him. The mate of Adam was to be “a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:18, 20). She was to help and assist Adam, completing him. The various translations of this phrase all communicate the idea that Eve was not inferior in being to Adam, but was created to compliment him and complete him. In a sense, Adam was not yet whole without Eve. Verse 20 is translated as follows:

    ESV a helper fit for him
    NIV suitable helper
    ISV companion corresponding to him
    NET companion who corresponded to him
    NASB a helper suitable for him
    LXXE a help like to himself
    HCSB his complement
    KJV an help meet for him
    YLT an helper -- as his counterpart

    Adam and Eve were equal in nature, value, and being. Adam was not superior in being or value to Eve. But authority was given to Adam even before the Fall over Eve, yet this authority was not because Adam was superior in being. Albert Barnes notes on this phrase that it meant “an equal, a companion, a sharer of his thoughts, his observations, his joys, his purposes, his enterprises.”[2] Matthew Henry’s observation is well-known:

    That the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved. Adam lost a rib, and without any diminution to his strength or comeliness (for, doubtless, the flesh was closed without a scar); but in lieu thereof he had a help meet for him, which abundantly made up his loss: what God takes away from his people he will, one way or other, restore with advantage.[3]

    This Hebrew word in vv. 18, 20 means “‘as over against,’ ‘according to his front presence’ - i:e., corresponding to, his counterpart-one like himself in form and constitution, dis...

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

    ...gistrate is to acknowledge that and bow the knee to the King of kings and the Lord of lords. 

    The government should rule under the authority of God over the people. The civil government has 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. The government is to peace and righteousness. It does not take us any time to notice that this is not actually the world in which we live. This is a broken and rebellious world. The majority of the government in the world live in open rebellion to the design of God. Most governments in the western world promote Homosexuality and abortion, among other things, which the Word of God condemns. The ideal picture is that of a government that submits to the Lordship of Christ and serves its people in righteousness and peace. The citizens, in turn, who, first of all, submit to the Lordship of Christ and consequently submit to their governments, too. But this sadly not the case. Sin has broken and tainted every human institution and it is impossible to escape, until the Consummation when we can say, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). 

    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 that passage. I come to the passage and by no means do I intended to give it a long exegesis. 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. 

    Government is Ordained by God (v. 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 for 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 that we must make an important caveat here, lest we should claim that sinni...

    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


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 5: Of Divine Providence - Commentary

    ...;is sin 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 to those who sin against Him. These are not some innocent people whom God is punishing, but these are criminals and rebels against the Lord of heaven and earth. 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

    The promise of Romans 8:28 is given to His church. It is for them that “all things work together for good”. The Lord Christ is given as head over all things “to the church” (Eph. 1:22). He exercises His sovereign rule for the good of the church and disposeth of all things to the good thereof. What a comfort and what a blessing to know that all things work together for our good and that nothing is outside of His control. 

    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 His people up for the sake of the wicked, but He does give the wicked up 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” (2 Chron. 16:9)....

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary

    ...g sending greetings from one church to another (Rom. 16:5, 16; 1 Cor. 6:19; 2 Cor. 13:13; Eph. 1:15; Col. 1:4) or praying for each other (Eph. 6:18; cf. Rom. 1:9; Eph. 1:16; Col. 1:9; 2 Tim. 1:3) or financially supporting other churches (Rom. 12:13; 15:25-26; 2 Cor. 8:1-2; 9:12).[71] This should be done with 2 John 10-11 in mind, “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting” (see also 1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 7-8). 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. Yet they 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), and the 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. We have secondary and tertiary differences which means that our conscience may not allow us to worship together each Lord’s Day, yet that does not mean we don’t acknowledge each other as brothers and sisters from the same family of God. 

    §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 cases of difficulties or difference which a church cannot resolve on its own or between multiple churches, either in point of doctrine or administration, they may call the help of other churches. This is to be done among churches holding communion together, which probably means other Reformed Baptists churches for Reformed Baptists. They are to have messengers or representatives present to consider, and give their advice in or about that matter in difference. Notice that these messengers do not give a command of what ought ...