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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary

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Chapter 11: Of Justification

Now we come to the great biblical and Protestant doctrine of Justification. Calvin said that “Justification is the main hinge on which salvation turns.” There is no salvation without a proper understanding of Justification. This is not a secondary issue, it is a foremost essential of true and biblical Christianity. It is one of the things which separates confessional Protestantism from Roman Catholicism. There will be a lot of things which I will point the interested reader to previous chapters, rather than expound again here.


§1 Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth

  1. Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ's active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in his death for their whole and sole righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God. 4
    1. Rom. 8:30; 3:24[1]
    2. Rom. 4:5-8; Eph. 1:7
    3. 1 Cor. 1:30-31; Rom. 5:17-19
    4. 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Titus 3:5, 7; Rom. 3:22-28; Jer. 23:6; Phil. 3:9; Acts 13:38-39; Eph. 2:7-9; Phil 1:29; 2Pet 1:1

Those whom God has predestined He effectually calleth (chapter 10) and He also freely justifieth (Rom. 8:30). In this chapter, the Confession is setting forth the biblical doctrine of Justification as well as countering the doctrine of Justification as taught by the Roman Catholic Church. This Justification is not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous...for Christ's sake alone (Rom. 4:5-8; Eph. 1:7). God does not mix righteousness in us, but puts the righteousness of Christ into our account and counts it as our own. It is on this basis alone that we are righteous before God. Faith and obedience are not our righteousness, but our righteousness comes from Christ's active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in His death (1Cor. 1:30; 2Cor. 5:21; chapter 8:5). We stand in this righteousness by faith, but even this faith is not of themselves but is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8-9; see also chapter 14:1). Therefore, even the condition for our Justification and life with God was provided by God. This is the glory and greatness of the New Covenant of Grace in which we stand and have our relationship with God. All the requirements of the covenant are provided by God through His Spirit based on Christ's work and obedience.


Now that we've dealt with the first three things in Romans 8:29-30, namely God (1) foreknowing us and (2) electing us in chapter 3 and (3) effectually calling us in chapter 10 we come to the to the 4th point in the five-pointed chain–Justification. What is Justification? Dr. Wayne Grudem defines it in this way:

Justification is an instantaneous legal act of God in which he (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight.[2]

Section one first deals with a distortion about Justification and then gives the biblical position.

Not Infusion of Righteousness

Roman Catholics believe what may be call...


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

...sp;we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our peace comes from the fact that Jesus atoned for our sin and we receive the benefits of that atonement through faith. It is because of the fact that Jesus died as a substitute that we can now come to God with the empty hand of faith. When we do so, we will have peace–the shalom of God. That shalom of God comes only through the Lord who died on our behalf, just like Isaiah said centuries before Paul penned Romans 5:1. His wounds and bleeding are the source of peace, Justification, and cleansing from sin. His wounds healed us from our sin. His wounds paradoxically healed us from our spiritual sickness. Peter, having in mind Isaiah 53 says –

1Pet. 2:21-25 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousnessBy his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 

Christ’s suffering for us should motivate us in our suffering too. We should see that as an example for us to follow. He was sinless, yet was treated as if He was sin itself. He was the Truth, yet was accused of misrepresenting God. Throughout His suffering and crucifixion His hope was set on the Father, so likewise should ours be when we suffer for His name’s sake. It is He, says Peter, who bore and carried our sins in His body, that is in the physical punishment being afflicted on Him by the Romans. He bore our sins in His body on the tree, that is the cross. When He was in pain, He was in pain for us. When He was crucified, He was crucified for us. When He was spit upon, He was spit upon for us. The purpose of His suffering is so that we would die to sin and live to righteousness. The purpose is so that we would leave our old life. So that we no longer would be slaves of sin, but slaves of Christ. His wounds have healed us of our sin. It was His suffering that did it. Because we like sheep went away from our Shepherd, but He laid down His life for the sheep and He will seek them and bring them to His fold.

Now we turn to look at the last portion of Isaiah 53:6. The LORD–Yahweh laid on Him our iniquity and sin. It was God who did this. It was God who wanted the Messiah, the Servant to suffer. It was ultimately God who killed Jesus. It was God who laid upon Him all our wrongdoing and rebellion so that He would be punished instead of us. It was God’s work. Verse 8 asks a rhetorical question:

Isa. 53:8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?

Who would have thought that He, on the cross was really being punished for the sins of God’s people? Who would have thought of this? The unbelieving Jews thought that He was being punished by God because of His own sins, while those who followed Him were confused and thought He was unrighteously delivered into the hands of the Romans by their leaders. Yet this was God’s plan all along. It was the will of the LORD, says verse 10 to have the Servant ...


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

...ere is nothing above God. We will stand before Him and give an account on the Day of Judgment and the standard to be judged by is His perfection, as expressed in the Decalogue/moral law. If you are afraid, you should be, because none of us can live such a perfect life, therefore, flee to Christ the Savior!

4. What does Paul mean to say in v. 13? He present two groups: 1) the hearers of the law which are the Jews, and 2) the doers of the law which are presumably Jews and Gentiles. Is the Apostle here teaching that people can be justified by works despite what his conclusion in chapter 3 on chapters 1-2 says? I don’t think so. Perhaps he is here speaking about the hypothetical Justification by the law, by this I mean, that theoretically, it is possible to be justified by the law, but only if you do all what God commands without any disobedience (Gal. 3:10). Oh, and did I mention, that men are born in and prone to sin from the womb (Ps. 51:4-5; Gen. 6:5; 8:21)? Therefore, this is an impossible task for anyone, but the Lord Christ. I don’t have a firm opinion on this passage and I don’t think that its proper understanding is essential to the points I’m trying to making here about the moral law, therefore, I will move on.

5. Now the Apostle in v. 14 connects vv. 12-13 together. The Gentiles do not have the written law, but, says the Apostle, they actually do what the law requires! How can this be? Here the Apostle is referring to moral laws like stealing, murder, adultery, which have not been seen as virtues. and from which tons of godless people have abstained. They abstained from these things because they knew the unwritten moral law of God. They do that “by nature.” The Greek word is here φύσις (phusis) and is defined by Mounce as:

essence, Gal. 4:8; native condition, birth, Rom. 2:27; 11:21, 24; Gal. 2:15; Eph. 2:3; native species, kind, Jas. 3:7; nature, natural frame, 2 Pet. 1:4; nature, native instinct, Rom. 2:14; 1 Cor. 11:14; nature, prescribed course of nature, Rom. 1:26[5]

They do what the law requires by “nature”, by virtue of what they are, namely creatures in the image of God. They do that by “native instinct.” Albert Barnes observes, “The expression means clearly by the light of conscience and reason, and whatever other helps they may have without revelation. It denotes simply, in that state which is without the revealed will of God. In that condition they had many helps of tradition, conscience, reason, and the observation of the dealings of Divine Providence, so that to a considerable extent they knew what was right and what was wrong.”[6]

6. When Gentiles follow the law externally, without themselves being conscience of following the true God’s will, they become the law to themselves. This does not mean that whatever they think is good, becomes good, but rather, they, or more exactly, their conscience wherein God’s law is, becomes the measure of good and evil. The same moral law is revealed to the Jew as well as to the Gentile, what differs is the mode of revelation. The Gentile, as we see in v. 14, becomes the law to himself. But the Jew, has the written law already in his hands and knows God’s will more clearly and more unmistakably than a Gentile who has no access to Scripture whereby he may know the will of God. The Gentile becomes the law to himself, although he does not possess the written Ten Commandments. The moral law, which was later summarized in the Ten Commandments on Sinai, was already...


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

...00;"engraven upon the palm of his hands, and their names having been written in the book of life from all eternity. 
  1. John 10:28-29; Phil. 1:6; 2 Tim. 2:19; 2 Peter 1:5-10; 1 John 2:19[2]
  2. Ps. 89:31-32; 1 Cor. 11:32; 2 Tim. 4:7
  3. Ps. 102:27; Mal. 3:6; Eph. 1:14; 1 Peter 1:5; Rev. 13:8

Those whom God hath accepted (chapter 11), effectually called (chapter 10), sanctified by His Spirit (chapter 13) and given the precious faith of His elect (chapter 14), can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace (e.g. John 10:28-29; 1John 2:19). If we follow what was said in the previous chapters, as this paragraph begins by enlisting these things, we cannot but expect such a declaration. If God is absolutely sovereign over all things (chapters 3 and 5), even electing, calling, justifying, adopting (chapter 12) and sanctifying us, how can it be that God could fail in His purpose and we be lost to eternal perdition? It cannot. The elect will certainly persevere in the state of grace...to the end. This is the essential difference between true and false faith. True faith perseveres to the end (1John 2:19). This is because the gifts and callings of God are without repentance (Rom. 11:29), in other words, He does not change His mind. Therefore, the elect are safe and He will grant them all these things which are necessary for their final salvation and perseverance.

This does not mean that the journey will be easy. In fact, the Confession speaks of storms and floods that arise and beat us. Nonetheless, no one and nothing can shake us off that foundation and rock which by faith we are fastened upon. In these storms and floods and by the temptations of Satanthe sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured for us (so also with our assurance, see chapter 18:4). This does not mean that God has changed; he is still the same. But we are being attacked by the enemy and are fighting or giving into temptation and are in need of restoration. Even in these storms and floods, we may be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation and the enjoyment of our purchased possession. The fact that the elect cannot lose their salvation is further shown from the fact that we are engraven upon the palm of His hands (Isa. 49:16) and our names having been written in the book of life from all eternity (Rev. 13:8; 20:15). All this is given for the confidence and encouragement of the believers in God’s faithfulness, goodness, grace, promise, and power. 


The Impossibility Of Final Apostasy For The Elect

The biblical and Reformed doctrine of perseverance is a great mountain, which gives the saints assurance and faith in God’s almighty power in overcoming sin in us and completely saving us. The doctrine does not teach, contrary to non-Protestant caricatures, that Christians after being saved can do whatever they want to do and still remain saved. Rather, the doctrine teaches that those who have the Spirit of God indwelling in them will persevere in the faith by the almighty power of God. The Lord will chastise, sanctify and lead them toward a holier life.

That the doctrine is true and biblical may be seen from many ways (see paragraph 2), including (1) the decree of election, (2) regeneration, (3) Justification and (4) Christ’s obedience.

Election: It has pleased God from all eternity to select a particular people in the Lord Jesus Christ whom He will redeem from sin to be with Him fo...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith - Commentary

... E. Waldron. A Modern Exposition Of The 1689 Baptist Confession Of Faith. (Darlington: Evangelical Press, 2013). p. 234. ...

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

...cluded Noah from the people in Genesis 6:5? Well, Genesis 6:8 (KJV) puts it this way:

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

It pleased the Lord to grant mercy to Noah and his family and to start over with them. In the midst of God’s terrible decree of destruction overflowing with righteousness (a phrase borrowed from Isa. 10:22), God decided, out of mere grace, to persevere Noah and his family. Now it is true that the Bible describes Noah as “a righteous man, blameless in his generation” (Gen. 6:9), but it would be a great error, opposing the Bible’s doctrine of Justification by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9), to ascribe the cause of the Lord’s choice to Noah’s intrinsic (an intrinsic property is an essential or inherent property of a system or of a material itself or within) righteousness. Noah was righteous and blameless because he had found grace in the eyes of the Lord. The grace of God was the cause of his righteousness, not the other way around. Otherwise, it would contradict the very meaning of grace, which is unmerited favor.

But I Will Establish My Covenant With You

Now that God’s plan to “clean” the planet is in place, He commands Noah to build an Ark wherein he, his family and the animals can survive God's decree of destruction (Gen. 6:18-22). The Lord first promises the covenant before He establishes it (in a way like the Covenant of Grace and the New Covenant with much shorter time in between). We read:

Gen. 6:17-18 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.

Yet another “but.” God will destroy all life upon the earth, but He will spare the lives of Noah and his family. Out of millions (billions?) of people, the Lord chose to display amazing grace to eight people—Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives. This is the main point of the Covenant of Grace/New Covenant: Redemption by grace, not merit. Not that the Covenant of Grace was formally established, but it was in a state of promise and was retroactive. Not only does God care about the man that He has made, but also about the animals that He has made. That is why He commands Noah and He brings into the Ark two of every sort of animal having the breath of life in it (Gen. 7:8-9).

God Remembered

In passing, we note Genesis 8:1 –

But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.

Oh, so God was so busy that He had forgotten about the Flood that He had brought upon the face of the earth? That is so stupid that it cannot be imagined. Rather, as the ESV Study Bible rightly notes, when the Bible uses this expression, it refers to God's promises and covenants. In this case, the promise of a covenant with Noah.

Gen. 8:1 God remembered Noah. This marks the turning point in the flood story. When the Bible says that God “remembers” someone or his covenant with someone, it indicates that he is about to take action for that person’s welfare (cf. 9:15; 19:29; 30:22; Ex. 2:24; 32:13; Ps. 25:6–7; 74:2). All life on the land having been destroyed, God now proceeds to renew everything, echoing what he did in Genesis 1. God made a wind blow over the earth. The Hebrew word for wind,...


John Owen's Case For Particular Atonement

..." rel="footnote"[1]

  1. “that which was effectually fulfilled and accomplished by it” (book I, chap. 1):
    1. Reconciliation:
      1. Rom. 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
      2. 2Cor. 5:18-19; Eph. 2:14-16.
    2. Justification:
      1. Rom. 3:23-25 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
      2. Heb. 9:12; Gal. 3:13; 1Pet. 2:24.
    3. Sanctification:
      1. Heb. 13:12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.
      2. Heb. 1:3; 9:14; 1John 1:7; Eph. 1:3; 5:25-27; Phil. 1:29.
    4. Adoption:
      1. Gal. 4:4-5 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
      2. Eph. 1:14; Heb. 9:15.

The obvious question now is: “Is God able to accomplish that which He intends?” We see that by the blood-shedding of Christ, the Father intends for the Son to be an actual ransom (Matt. 20:28) and to actually save, and not try to save sinners (Luke 19:10; 1Tim. 1:15). He is said to deliver us from “the present evil age” and not to try to deliver us by the self-giving of Himself for our wickedness (Gal. 1:4). Well…did He or did He not? Not only do we see the intention of the atonement in Scripture, but also its effects and application, which correspond to the intention of God in it.

The Work of the Trinity

Secondly, he enquires about the intention of the Persons of the Blessed Trinity in the work of redemption. What did the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit plan to accomplish through the death of Christ? This is still how many Calvinists at the present time argue for Definite Redemption (i.e. James White). What effect did God want the atonement to have, and is He able to bring it to pass?

  • God the Father (book I, chap. 3):
    1. “The sending of his Son into the world for this employment”:
      • John 3:16-17; 5:37; 10:36;  Rom. 8:3-4; Gal. 4:4-5; Isa. 19:20; 48:16.
      • An authoritative imposition of the office of Mediator:
        • Purpose: Ps. 2:7-8; 110:1, 4; Heb. 1:2; Rom. 1:4; 8:29.
        • Inauguration: John 5:22; Acts 2:36; Heb. 3:1-6; Dan. 9:24 [“anointing of the most Holy”]; Matt. 3:15-17; Heb. 10:5; 1:3; 2:7-8; Matt. 28:18; Phil. 2:9-11.
      • “entering into covenant and compact with his Son concerning the work to be undertaken”:
        • The Father’s promise to assist the Son in the accomplishment of redemption: Isa. 63:8-9; Zech. 13:7; Isa. 63:2-3 and 53:4-5; 49:2-3; Ps. 2:2, 4, 6; 118:22-23; Matt. 21:42; Isa. 28:16; Matt. 21:44.
        • The Father’s promise of “a happy accomplishment and attainment of the end of his great undertaking”: Isa. 49:5-6, 6-12; 53:10-12.
    2. “laying the punishment due to our sin upon him”:
      • Zech. 13:7; Matt. 26:31; Isa. 53:4, 6, 10; 2Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13.
  • God the Son (book I, chap. 4):
    1. The “agent in this great work”:
      • Heb. 5:6-7; Matt. 3:17; John 4:34; 6:38; 17:4; Luke 2:49.
    2. The Incarnation:
      • John 1:14; Gal. 4...

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

...merely used it for good, no. In the one deed, there were two intentions. Joseph’s brothers wholly evil, God’s wholly good. There were two intentions and "meanings." God intended the selling of Joseph for good; his brothers, on the other hand, meant it for evil. God was absolutely sovereign over this event and his brothers were responsible for the evil they had done, they even acknowledge their sin (Gen. 50:17). Both absolute sovereignty and human responsibility are in this passage with no conflict or contradiction. In fact, nowhere in the Bible, where absolute sovereignty and responsibility are mentioned, does the author try to make a philosophical Justification for it. It is just there. The Bible teaches both truths side by side. What the Bible does not teach is libertarian free will (see chapter 9 for more on that). John Gill says the following about Genesis 50:20:

But as for you, ye thought evil against me,.... That must be said and owned, that their intentions were bad; they thought to have contradicted his dreams, and made them of none effect, to have token away his life, or however to have made him a slave all his days:

[but] God meant it unto good; he designed good should come by it, and he brought good out of it: this shows that this action, which was sinful in itself, fell under the decree of God, or was the object of it, and that there was a concourse of providence in it; not that God was the author of sin, which neither his decree about it, nor the concourse of providence with the action as such supposes; he leaving the sinner wholly to his own will in it, and having no concern in the ataxy or disorder of it, but in the issue, through his infinite wisdom, causes it to work for good, as follows:

to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive; the nation of the Egyptians and the neighbouring nations, as the Canaanites and others, and particularly his father's family: thus the sin of the Jews in crucifying Christ, which, notwithstanding the determinate counsel of God, they most freely performed, was what wrought about the greatest good, the salvation of men.[2]

We'll take a look at a second example and close on this paragraph. Isaiah 10 is very strong on utter sovereignty and man’s responsibility. The Lord calls Assyria "the rod of my anger" (v. 5). He will use this rod to punish idolatrous Israel. He sends them to “to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.” But in v. 7, we encounter the same conflict between the divine will and human will as in Genesis 50:20. Assyria does not want to be used as an instrument of God’s justice. Assyria is prideful and wants to destroy for its own glory. But there is Someone else Who is seeking HIS glory and the glory of HIS holy Name. Assyria wants to destroy Israel for their own pride and their name, but Israel’s covenant God wants to use Assyria, with its desires, to punish His rebellious people. God always gets His will. His will, purpose, and counsel are never frustrated, but the same could not be said about man (Ps. 33:10-11). In v. 12, the work of Assyria in punishing Israel (which is a prophecy, actually) is described as the work of the Lord: "When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem." God was utterly sovereign over Assyria such so that its work can be described as His own work. But, we come to a confusion in verse 12b.

Isa. 10:12 When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion ...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 29: Of Baptism - Commentary

...h Christ, and their communion with him in his death, but also their being dead to sin by the grace of Christ, and therefore ought not to live in it: for the apostle is still pursuing his argument, and is showing, from the nature, use, and end of baptism, that believers are dead to sin, and therefore cannot, and ought not, to live in it; as more fully appears from the end of baptism next mentioned;[7].

Paul here is not teaching that baptism is the vehicle which brings regeneration and the new life, for that is contradicted by everything he laid down in the previous chapters about how Justification is by faith and grace alone. Rather, baptism is that which signifies and symbolizes the truths of Justification and regeneration. Moreover, we should remember the fact that in the early church, the believers did not wait a long time or wait at all for their baptism after faith. Therefore, baptism came to be identified with the beginning of the new life. People did not wait months and years to be baptized, as most of us do, but as with the three thousand on Pentecost and the Ethiopian eunuch, they were baptized immediately after believing in Christ. They did not receive regeneration, faith, or Justification by water baptism, but they showed that they possessed these things by water baptism. All these truths are clearly represented and symbolized in water baptism by immersion. But, is the Apostle actually speaking of water baptism here? Dr. John MacArthur calls the baptism in Romans 6 a "dry baptism” in a sermon of his. This baptism which Paul is writing about is a spiritual baptism into Christ. Baptism symbolizes our union with Christ but it is not the means which brings our union with Him. To claim so would make salvation to be dependent upon baptism and reject what the Apostle had laid before this chapter about Justification by faith alone. The baptism of Romans 6 is a metaphorical baptism into Christ at the moment of faith, when the believer is united to their Savior and experiences the blessings of this union. But does this overthrow everything that I've said above? Not for a bit! The truths of union with Christ in His death and resurrection are still represented and shown by baptism in water, but they are not the effects of water baptism. If baptism was the means of union with Christ, i.e., salvation, then that would mean that salvation is by faith and works, which is contrary to the foundation which the Apostle had laid in chapters 3-5. Although I deny that this passage is directly speaking of water baptism, yet, I believe that Paul had water baptism in mind because it was a sign given by the Lord to symbolize our union in His death, burial, and resurrection. Therefore, its use for the meaning and mode of baptism is proper. Although the baptism here is spiritual baptism, yet it cannot be denied that water baptism signifies spiritual baptism, i.e., regeneration.

A.H. Strong makes the following observation on the significance of Christian baptism:

Baptism, like the Fourth of July, the Passover, the Lord's Supper, is a historical monument. It witnesses to the world that Jesus died and rose again. In celebrating it, we show forth the Lord's death as truly as in the celebration of the Supper. But it is more than a historical monument. It is also a pictorial expression of doctrine. Into it are woven all the essential truths of the Christian scheme. It tells of the nature and penalty of sin, of human nature delivered from sin in the pe...


1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

...reation

  • Of Divine Providence

  • Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the punishment thereof

  • Of God's Covenant

  • Of Christ the Mediator

  • Of Free Will

  • Of Effectual Calling

  • Of Justification

  • Of Adoption

  • Of Sanctification

  • Of Saving Faith

  • Of Repentance unto Life and Salvation

  • Of Good Works

  • Of the Perseveraance of the Saints

  • Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation

  • Of the Law of God

  • Of the Gospel and the Extent of Grace thereof

  • Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience

  • Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day

  • Of Lawful Oaths and Vows

  • Of the Civil Magistrate

  • Of Marriage

  • Of the Church

  • Of the Communion of Saints

  • Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper

  • Of Baptism

  • Of the Lord's Supper

  • Of the State of Man after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead

  • Of the Last Judgement

  • (More) Scriptural references have been added from Sam Waldron's excellent Modern Exposition of 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.


    Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scriptures [Return] [Commentary]

    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
      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
    2. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these: 
      OF THE OLD TESTAMENT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
      Genesis Matthew
      Exodus Mark
      Leviticus Luke
      Numbers John
      Deuteronomy Paul's Epistle to the Romans
      Joshua  I Corinthians & II Corinthians
      Judges Galatians
      Ruth Ephesians
      I Samuel & II Samuel Philippians
      I Kings & II Kings Colossians
      I Chronicles, II Chronicles I Thessalonians & II Thessalonians
      Ezra I Timothy & II Timothy
      Nehemiah To Titus
      Esther To Philemon
      Job The Epistle to the Hebrews
      Ps...