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


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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 30: Of the Lord's Supper - Commentary


Chapter 30: Of the LORD'S SUPPER

What is the Lord’s Supper? Are we obliged to observe it? What does it signify? What is the Roman Catholic view? What is the Reformed view? Why should the Roman Catholic view of Transubstantiation be rejected? Doesn't Christ saying ‘this is my body’ mean that the bread and wine are Christ's literal body and blood? How is the Lord’s Supper a Means of Grace? Who may partake of the LORD'S SUPPER?

This is, I believe, the most anti-Roman Catholic chapter in the Confession. This chapter provides a positive presentation of the Reformed view on the LORD'S SUPPER and rejects the repugnant doctrine of Transubstantiation. It is important for us to understand the different views on the LORD'S SUPPER. The most important of those different views is the Roman Catholic view of Transubstantiation. In this case, I will try to let Roman Catholics themselves explain to us their doctrine and then provide a biblical case of what the LORD'S SUPPER is and what it is not.

§1 To Supper Of The Lord Jesus

  1. The supper of the Lord Jesus was instituted by him the same night wherein he was betrayed, to be observed in his churches, unto the end of the world, 3 for the perpetual remembrance, and shewing forth the sacrifice of himself in his death, 4 confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment, and growth in him, their further engagement in, and to all duties which they owe to him; 7 and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other. 8
    1. 1 Cor. 11:23-26; Matt. 26:20-29; Mark 14:17-25; Luke 22:14-23[1]
    2. Acts 2:41-42; 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:17-22, 33-34
    3. Mark 14:24-25; Luke 22:17-22; 1 Cor. 11:24-26
    4. 1 Cor. 11:24-26; Matt. 26:27-28; Luke 22:19-20
    5. Rom. 4:11
    6. John 6:29, 35, 47-58
    7. 1 Cor. 11:25
    8. 1 Cor. 10:16-17

Institution And Command Of Observation

The LORD'S SUPPER is an ordinance which is directly commanded by Christ. It's not a deduction from multiple passages, but a direct and positive command of the Sovereign Christ. It is meant to cause us to look back to the perfect sacrifice of Christ of Himself by Himself for the perfection of all the elect of God. We are to look back to the sacrifice and look forward to the Parousia when He will fulfill and bring to pass all the benefits of His sacrifice. We read of the institution of this blessed ordinance in Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:17-25; Luke 22:14-23 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. I will use Paul's text as the basis (which was taken from Luke's Gospel) to discuss the institution of the LORD'S SUPPER.

1Cor. 11:23-26 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes

Before being betrayed by Judas, the Lord Jesus instituted a New Covenant meal in which His disciples would always have a way to remember and celebrate His work of redemption on their behalf. They were celebrating the Jewish Passover as the New Covenant Mediator instituted the New Covenant meal. The Passover was the remembrance of God's g...

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

... Religious Worship of God
  1. The reading of the Scriptures1 preaching, and hearing the Word of God, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord; as also the administration of baptism, and the LORD'S SUPPERare all parts of religious worship of God, to be performed in obedience to him, with understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear; moreover, solemn humiliation, with fastings, and thanksgivings, upon special occasions, ought to be used in an holy and religious manner. 7 
    1. Acts 15:21; 1 Tim. 4:13; Rev. 1:3
    2. 2 Tim. 4:2; Acts 2:42; 10:42; 14:7; Rom. 10:14-17; 1Cor. 9:16
    3. Eph 5:19; Col. 3:16
    4. Matt. 28:19-20
    5. 1 Cor. 11:26
    6. Esther 4:16; Joel 2:12; Matt. 9:15; Acts 13:2-3; 1 Cor. 7:5
    7. Exod. 15:1-19; Ps. 107

The elements of worship refer to what worship actually is. As Challies was quoted saying above, they are the “what” of worship. They are the essence of the true and acceptable worship of God. Our Confession lists in this paragraph 5 points, but I believe that an additional point must be added which was treated in paragraphs 3-4—prayer—is likewise an element of worship. In fact, it is called “one part of natural worship” in paragraph 3, so how much more it is an element and a part of acceptable and revealed worship. Therefore, I will try to provide a brief biblical testimony to the six elements of Reformed Worship.

1. The Reading Of The Scriptures

It is essential, especially in this age of ignorance of God’s Word, to have the Scriptures read at Church. Many so-called Christians do not read their Bibles, know very little of it, read only the parts they like and misuse the Holy Scriptures. God has given us His Word as a guide and light for our lives. His Word is the rule and measuring rod of our life. We should live our lives in accordance with what we learn from the Holy Scriptures and do that which is pleasing to God. But if we are ignorant of the Word, how should we do this? Therefore, careful attention should be given to the public reading of Scripture in the Church.

The Apostle Paul in instructing the young elder Timothy, tells him: “devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture” (1Tim. 4:13). The Greek word for read is used in Acts 13:15; 2 Corinthians 3:14 and in these instances is meant the public reading of Scripture. Jamieson, Fausset, Brown note concerning the word “reading”:

especially in the public congregation. The reading of Scripture was transferred from the Jewish synagogue to the Christian church (Luk 4:16-20; Act 13:15; Act 15:21; 2Co 3:14). The gospels and letters being recognized as inspired by those who had the gift of discerning spirits, were from the first, according as they were written, read with the Old Testament in the church (1Th 5:21; 1Th 5:27; Col 4:16) (Justin Martyr, 'Apology,' 1: 67). Probably the Spirit intended also to teach that the pastor's Scripture reading in general should be the fountain of all "exhortation" and "doctrine."[25]

Likewise, another commentary says:

(a) ἀνάγνωσις, reading, is not the private study of Scripture (Chrys.), but the public reading of the O.T. in the congregation, a custom taken over from the synagogue (Luk 4:16; Act 15:21; 2Co 3:14). The Apostolic letters were also read in the Christian assemblies in the Apostolic age (Col 4:16; 1Th 5:27); and by the time of Justin Martyr’s Apology (i. 67) portions of O.T. and N.T...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 29: Of Baptism - Commentary

...he 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 person of a crucified and risen Savior, of salvation secured for each human soul that is united to Christ, of obedience to Christ as the way to life and glory. Thus baptism stands from age to age as a witness for God—a witness both to the facts and to the doctrine of Christianity. To change the form of administering the ordinance is therefore to strike a blow at Christianity and at Christ, and to defraud the world of a part of God's means of salvation.[8]

Colossians 2:11-12

Another passage which is quite similar to Romans 6:3-5 is Colossians 2:11-12:

In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 

The elect were united with Christ in His death and they were buried with their Covenantal Head, but also raised together with Him. In contrast to Jewish circumcision of the flesh, Christians still have a circumcision, namely, that of the heart (Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Jer. 4:4; Rom. 2:28-29; Phil. 3:3). Circumcision continues in the New Covenant, yet it is not of the flesh but of the heart, which is regeneration. This passage is often claimed by our Paedobaptist brethren to teach that the sign or seal of the New Covenant is baptism because they see a connection here between circumcision of the foreskin and Christian baptism. But I believe that Paul has an another counterpart to the Old Covenant circumcision. The language of circumcision stays the same, but the object of circumcision and its spiritual significance are changed in the New Covenant. The sign of the Old Covenant was circumcision of the males, but in the New Covenant, there is a “circumcision made without hands” by Christ for every member of the New Covenant, male and female. Th


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 7: Of God's Covenant - Commentary and guarantee of and in the New Covenant (Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; 2Cor. 1:22; 5:5). It is not circumcision, baptism or anything else. It is the Spirit of the Lord whom He has given to us, which sets the people of God apart from the reprobate. As for those using Romans 4:11 to argue that baptism now is the seal of the covenant I direct above to my exegesis of the text.

As for the sign or signs of the covenant, I argue in chapter 29, that the signs of the New Covenant are baptism and the LORD'S SUPPER. Circumcision is not replaced by baptism, rather, circumcision is fulfilled by circumcision of the heart.

Need I mention, that only those in the New Covenant are entitled to the Covenant sacraments and promises?


First things first, I must ask for forgiveness because I said that I would like to keep this short, but failed miserably. I actually enjoyed this study of Covenant Theology that took me something like a month or more to finish writing. I had to revisit a lot of books that I've read on Baptist Covenant Theology to check how things were. I tried to use the Scriptures and explain the Scriptures as much as possible since I believe often with the study of Covenant Theology, I do not hear much Scripture but names of men who have stood on both sides (Westminster and 1689), while that is great and encouraging, I wanted to focus on the Scripture. Not to deny that I've benefited a lot from reading Owen obviously and made me stronger 1689 Federalist than I was beginning this study.

What sets 1689 Federalism apart is our insistence that the Covenant of Grace was not established, enacted and “cut” any time before the death of Christ. The Covenant of Grace did indeed exist since Genesis 3:15, but it did exist in the form of a promise, not an established covenant. Every covenant of God did shadow and typify it and contained promises concerning it, but was not an administration of it. The Covenant of Grace was established, ratified, enacted and "cut" in the blood of Christ and in the New Covenant. We believe that the Covenant of Grace was established and cut in the New Covenant, thus, the Covenant of Grace is the retroactive New Covenant. Lastly, this is diagram is from Pascal Denault's work which represents the 1689 Federalist understanding of the Covenant of Grace as being revealed by farther steps but was concluded and established in the New Covenant/Testament.

1689 Federalist Covenant Theology Diagram


Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,

(Deuteronomy 7:9)

[updated 03/11/2016]


  1. ^ Many Scriptural references have been supplied by Samuel Waldron's Modern Exposition of 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith which was apparently supplied by the Westminster Confession of Faith 1646.
  2. ^ Wikipedia. Covenant Theology
  3. ^ Theopedia. Covenant
  4. ^ Nehemiah Coxe in Nehemiah Coxe & John Owen. Covenant Theology: From Adam To Christ. Edited by Ronald D. Miller, James M. Renihan, Francisco Orozco. (Palmdale, CA: Reformed Baptist Academic Press, 2005). p. 36.
  5. ^ Cited in Recovering A Covenantal Heritage: Essays In Baptist Covenant Theology. Edited by Richard C. Barcellos. (Palmdale, CA: RBAP, 2014). p. 230, n. 10.
  6. ^ Arthur W. Pink. The Divine Covenants. (Memphis, TN: Bottom of the Hill Publishing, 2011). p. 26.
  7. ^ Richard Barcellos. The Covenant of Works: Its Confessional and Scriptural Ba...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 28: Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper - Commentary


Chapter 28: Of Baptism and the LORD'S SUPPER

What does it mean that the ordinances are positive institution? What is the difference between the Reformed and Roman Catholic understanding of the sacraments? Who may administer the ordinances?

§1 Ordinances Of Positive And Sovereign Institution

  1. Baptism and the LORD'S SUPPER are ordinances of positive and sovereign institution, appointed by the Lord Jesus, the only lawgiver, to be continued in his church to the end of the world. 2
    1. Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:24-25[1]
    2. Matt. 28:18-20; Rom. 6:3-4; 1 Cor. 1:13-17; Gal. 3:27; Eph. 4:5; Col. 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21; 1 Cor. 11:26; Luke 22:14-20

Baptism and the LORD'S SUPPER are two ordinances or sacraments which the Lord Jesus by sovereign authority instituted and commanded us to observe. Now, what does the word “positive” mean in the sentence “positive and sovereign institution”? Does it mean something that is happy and good, over against something negative and bad? No, that is not the contextual meaning of the word. Rather, by “positive institution” or “positive command,” the Confession means an institution or a command that is not inherently moral. A person who has not read the Bible or heard of the God of the Bible, still knows that murder is wrong and lying is bad. But, can it be argued that they know that not being baptized is sin and not partaking of the LORD'S SUPPER is sin? Obviously not. So, these things, just like the command of Genesis 2:16-17 in the Garden, are things which are not inherently moral, but become moral when God commands them. They are things that are good because commanded, in contrast to pure moral laws that are commanded because they are good. The Lord Christ, by His own power and authority, established two ordinances for the New Covenant people of God. But, what do we mean by ordinance or sacrament? A.H. Strong writes, "By the ordinances, we mean those outward rites which Christ has appointed to be administered in his church as visible signs of the saving truth of the gospel. They are signs, in that they vividly express this truth and confirm it to the believer.”[2] They are the only visible signs which God has given His people to show the truths of the Gospel with. He has not allowed us to use image of any of the blessed Persons of the Trinity (see here), but has given us the bread and wine, and the waters of baptism as signs which symbolize the truths of the Gospel.

These two ordinances are to be continued to the end of this world. In the case of the Supper, this could be seen in 1 Corinthians 11:26. We proclaim the Lord's death until He comes. Therefore, since He has not yet come, we should celebrate the LORD'S SUPPER. Furthermore, His coming will be at the end of the age (Matt. 13:36-43). Therefore, as long as this present age goes on, the people of God ought to proclaim the Lord's death through the cup and the bread. As for baptism, the Lord, before ascending to His rightful throne, commanded us:

Matt. 28:19-20 ​Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” 

An important part of discipleship is the baptism of believers. Therefore, as long as people believe, baptism should be practiced. As long as the Lord Jesus receives new disciples, baptism should be observed. After t...

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


cf. Isa. 14:27.

Can the purpose of God for Christ to save His people fail to accomplish its intended goal without destroying the power and intention of God? Such thoughts are blasphemous and are unworthy of anyone who bears the name of Christ. We not only see the purpose of the atonement here, but also its extent. It is not extended to all men everywhere, but it is extended as far as those who belong among “his people.” He is born for the specific purpose of saving His people from their sins. He was born to die.

Why was Christ's precious blood spilled? Matthew records the Lord's words when He instituted the LORD'S SUPPER

Matt. 26:27-28 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 

cf. Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20.

The purpose that the precious blood of Christ was poured out was to forgive the sins of many. This is similar to Matthew 20:28 wherein our Lord tells the purpose of His mission –

Matt. 20:28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” 

cf. Mark 10:45.

The question again is, did Christ fail in His mission or not? Did He attain that which was commanded Him by the Father? Did He, as He said before He went to the cross, finish the work that was given to Him (John 17:4)? His blood, which the blood of the New Covenant (Heb. 12:24; 13:20; Luke 22:20), naturally would be poured out for those in the covenant. In Old Testament times, the atonement was nationally limited. It was limited in scope to the nation of Israel. The high priest did not pray, intercede or offer sacrifice on behalf of the Babylonians, Assyrians or any other nation. The atonement was nationally limited to those who bore the sign of the covenant. It was limited to those who were within the covenant wherein the sacrificial system was instituted. This truth would also naturally be applied to the New Covenant. Though the difference is that the New Covenant is a perfectly salvific covenant, meaning, it does not have unregenerate members within it (Heb. 8:6-13). The Lord Jesus limits the scope of people for whom His blood is shed. It is not for every single man in the world or all humanity that the Savior shed His precious blood, but He says that He shed His blood for many. "Many" certainly is correct as the elect are a multitude that no man can number (Rev. 5:9; 7:9).

Matthew 20:28 says that His perfect life was the ransom for the many. The Greek word λύτρον (lutron, G3083) is defined by Thayer’s Greek Definitions as:

- Original: λύτρον
- Transliteration: Lutron
- Phonetic: loo'-tron
- Definition:

1.  the price for redeeming, ransom

a.  paid for slaves, captives

b.  for the ransom of life

2.  to liberate many from misery and the penalty of their sins

- Origin: from G3089
- TDNT entry: 4:328 & 4:340,543
- Part(s) of speech: Noun Neuter[7]

So, if the Lord Christ did shed His precious blood and gave His life as a ransom, did He or did He not redeem us from the power of sin and from the slave market of sin? The obvious answer should be that He certainly did on the cross by the shedding of His blood ransomed us from sin and at the appointed time, by His Holy Spirit, applied the benefits that He bought for us on the cross to us. But if our Arminian brothers want to insist that Christ th...

1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

  • 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: 
      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
      Psalms Epistle of James
      Proverbs The first and second Epistles of Peter
      Ecclesiastes The first, second, and third Epistles of John
      The Song of Solomen The Epistle of Jude
      Isaiah The Revelation

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith - Commentary

    ... the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit
    1. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word; by which also, and by the administration of baptism and the LORD'S SUPPER, prayer, and other means appointed of God, it is increased and strengthened. 2
      1. John 6:37, 44; Acts 11:21, 24; 13:48; 14:27; 15:9; 2 Cor. 4:13; Eph. 2:8; Phil. 1:29; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2[2]
      2. Rom  4:11;  10:14, 17; Luke 17:5; Acts 20:32; 1 Peter 2:2

    The Grace of Faith

    We have already argued that faith is a gift in chapter 11 on Justification. It is something that God gave us to exercise. We Calvinists do not believe that God believes for us, but that our faith finds its origin in God and comes to us through regeneration (1John 5:1, see our discussion on this passage). By this faith, which is granted to us (Phil. 1:19) by the grace of God, we believe and are justified. The Word tells us that "whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). We believe, are justified and received into the arms of God (Rom. 1:16-17; 5:1; 10:9). Again and again we are told that we are justified by faith (e.g. Rom. 3:28-30; 4:5-10; 9:30; 10:4; 11:6; Gal. 2:15-16; Phil. 3:9) and then we understand that even our faith was by grace granted to us by God (Eph. 2:8-9; Acts. 3:16; 18:27; 2Pet. 1:1). So that we can truly say: Soli Deo Gloria! There is no contribution on our part for our salvation except the sin that made it necessary, as Jonathan Edwards said.

    This faith is worked in us through the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who regenerates us and gives us new life (John 3:5-8) by which faith comes (1John 5:1). Regeneration precedes faith. The Spirit uses the Word of God preached to us in the Gospel. The Gospel proclamation goes out and the Spirit uses the Gospel proclamation to draw the elect to the Son (John 6:44, 63). 2 Thessalonians 2:14 says that God called us through the Gospel. The Lord did not merely elect a people and leave them. No, He goes out and through the Gospel preachers/witnesses draws them to the Son in faith and repentance. Peter writes:

    1Pet 1:22-23 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God

    It is through the Word of God that regeneration came and we became Christians. It is not without the Gospel that we became Christians. But it is through the Spirit of God working on our hearts in many ways through Bible reading, discussions and the proclamation of the Gospel which is the power of God unto salvation among other things that God saves us. Peter says that "this word is the good news that was preached to you" (1Pet. 1:25). It is through the Gospel that the Sovereign Lord chooses to work.

    Means Appointed For the Strengthening of our Faith

    It is common sense and obvious I believe that things like Bible reading/study, the ordinances, namely—the LORD'S SUPPER and Baptism, prayer, fellowship with other believers are means through which our faith grows stronger. Bible reading, Bible study, the preaching of the Word are obviously the highest means which God has appointed and given to us for the s...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary

    ... of commendation to you or from you?”

    (i) 1 Tim. 5:9—“Let none be enrolled as a widow under threescore years old”; cf. Acts 6:1—“there arose a murmuring of the Grecian Jews against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.”

    (j) 1 Cor. 11:16—“But if any man seemeth to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.”

    (k) Acts 2:41—“They then that received his word were baptized”; 1 Cor. 11:23-26—“For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you”—the institution of the LORD'S SUPPER.

    (l) 1 Cor. 14:40—“let all things be done decently and in order”; Col. 2:5—“For though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.”

    (m) Mat. 28:19—“Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”; Acts 2:47—“And the Lord added to them day by day those that were being saved.”

    (n) Phil. 2:30—“because for the work of Christ he came nigh unto death, hazarding his life to supply that which was lacking in your service toward me.”[12]

    §8 A Particular Church Consists Of Officers And Members

    1. A particular church, gathered and completely organized according to the mind of Christ, consists of officers and members; and the officers appointed by Christ to be chosen and set apart by the church (so called and gathered), for the peculiar administration of ordinances, and execution of power or duty, which he intrusts them with, or calls them to, to be continued to the end of the world, are bishops or elders, and deacons. 1
      1. Phil. 1:1, 1 Tim 3:1-13; Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5-7; 1 Peter 5:2

    Any church has got to have officers and members, there is no church of members alone or officers alone—at least not according to the Word of God. The officers are ordained by God to maintain order in the congregation and to see to it that the proper worship of God is followed as prescribed in His Word. The officers of the church are chosen by the church. There is no outside body which determines what happens in a particular church. In Baptist (and I believe, biblical) understanding, the local church is autonomous—it is on its own. There is no higher authority above it other than her Lord. A local assembly does not have to answer to a synod, for example. The officers are said to be those who are the proper persons who may administer the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism. They are those who are recognized in the church and by the church, as officers. Often, the elders will take these tasks upon themselves, but I do not believe that members may not participate in administration. Though it is wiser to let the elders who are thus ordained administer the sacraments and they may occasionally choose some members to help them in the administration. 

    Now we should make a brief case for church membership and the two church offices, elders and deacons. I've been greatly helped in my understanding of the Church and Church Government by Dr. Wayne Grudem in part 6 of his Systematic Theology.


    I attended the current church I go to for more than 2 years until I became a member. I did not see the necessity of me becoming a member and to be honest, I was unwilling to commit myself to the congregation. I thought, if I would want to leave, then it would not be a problem. I would just sto...

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    ...gistrate-Commentary/" target="_blank">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 State Of Man After Death And Of The Resurrection Of The Dead (Intermediate State Hades, Sheol, Heaven; A Case for Amillennial Eschatology; critique of Premillennialism)
  • Of The Last Judgment (Endless punishment in Hell contra Annihilationism)
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