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

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

...rine of Christ’s mediation. Christ is no longer important and He is no longer the only way to God when such heresies are taught. Catholics pray to Mary, ascribing to her all kinds of titles and positions which the Bible doesn’t give her, thinking that their prayers will be better answered, rather than going to the Father directly through the Son. Contrary to this blasphemous doctrine, the Bible states that we may have confidence in our approach to God:

Heb. 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive MERCY and find grace to help in time of need.

The only Mediator between man and God, is Christ Jesus. There are no other viable candidates. We go to God through Christ and in His Name alone do we make our prayers (John 14:13-14; 16:23-24). To try to put any other person between man and God is to reject the intercession and mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ, our faithful High Priest who “ever liveth to make intercession for [us]” (Heb 7:25 KJV). We have a perfect Mediator through Whom we can confidently come to God by the power of the Spirit. Why should we seek another? Let’s put away all human traditions and heresies and worship God in spirit and truth, according to His Holy Word alone.


§3 The Doctrine Of Prayer

  1. Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one part of natural worship, is by God required of all men. But that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son, by the help of the Spirit, according to his will; with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance;  and when with others, in a known tongue. (Psalms 95:1-7; Psalms 65:2; John 14:13, 14; Romans 8:26; 1 John 5:14; 1 Corinthians 14:16, 17 )
    1. Ps. 95: 1-7; 100:1-5
    2. John 14:13-14
    3. Rom. 8:26
    4. 1 John 5:14
    5. Ps. 47:7; Eccles. 5:1-2; Heb. 12:28; Gen. 18:27; James 5:16; 1:6-7; Mark 11:24; Matt. 6:12,14-15; Col. 4:2; Eph 6:18
    6. 1 Cor. 14:13-19, 27-28

What Is Prayer?

Praying to God is “one part of natural worship”. This means that no special revelation is needed to teach us that we should worship God through prayer. It is natural. We want to thank God when there is goodness in our lives and we seek His help when bad things happen. Dr. Wayne Grudem defines prayer as “personal communication with God.”[21] Keach’s Catechism 109 defines prayer as “Prayer is an offering up of our desires to God, for things agreeable to His will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins and thankful acknowledgment of His mercies.”[22] God is described as a God who hears our prayers (e.g. Ps. 65:2) and Who answers our prayers (Ps. 143:1). Prayer is an essential and necessary part of religious worship. In fact, the Apostle Paul teaches us to “pray without ceasing” (1Thess. 5:17) and to pray “at all times” (Eph. 6:18). The Lord Jesus taught us a model of how we ought to pray (Matt. 6:9-13). J.I. Packer beautifully writes of prayer in these words:

God made us and has redeemed us for fellowship with himself, and that is what prayer is. God speaks to us in and through the contents of the Bible, which the Holy spirit opens up and applies to us and enables us to understand. We then speak to God about himself, and ourselves, and people in his world, shaping what we say as response to what he has said. This unique form of two-way conversation continues as long as life lasts.[23]

But for prayer to be acceptable, certain things have to be followed which we now turn our attention to.

Accepta...


Romans 11:32, 'he may have mercy on all'

...

For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have MERCY on all. (Romans 11:32, ESV)

This is a verse I’ve seen used by Universalists and obviously they take the all’s to mean the whole human race without exception. But is this really what the verse teaches after the section of Romans known as God’s Sovereign Choice (Rom 9-11)?

It can be reasonably seen that all here refers to Jews and Gentiles, but not every single one of them that has lived or will live. The earlier chapters (9-11) very well emphasize God’s sovereignty in salvation. God has MERCY on whom He wills (Rom 9:15), MERCY only comes from God and it’s entirely depended on God (Rom 9:16). It seems then very inconsistent for us to take the all without exception rather than all without distinction. 

Commentaries

A brief comment is made by the ESV Study Bible: [1]

Rom. 11:32 The word all here refers to Jews and Gentiles (all without distinction, not all without exception). The sin and disobedience of both Jews and Gentiles is highlighted, to emphasize God’s MERCY in saving some among both Jews and Gentiles.

John Gill writes:

For God hath concluded them all in unbelief,.... Both Jews and Gentiles, particularly God's elect among them: some think the metaphor is taken from the binding up of sheaves in bands; and that Jews and Gentiles are the sheaves, and unbelief the band, in which they are bound together; but the apostle is not speaking of their being together in unbelief, but as separate, first the Gentiles, and now the Jews: rather it seems to be taken from a prison, and Jews and Gentiles are represented as prisoners, and unbelief the prison, in which they are shut up by God: not that God is the author of unbelief, or of any other sin in men; he does not put it into them, or them into that, but finding them in unbelief, concludes them in it, or leaves them in such a state, and does not as yet however deliver out of it, or say to the prisoners, go forth: moreover, to be "concluded in unbelief", is the same as to be "concluded under sin", Ga 3:22; that is, to be thoroughly convinced of it; and to be held and bound down by such a sense of it in the conscience, as to see no way to escape deserved punishment, or to obtain salvation, but by fleeing to the MERCY of God in Christ:

that he might have MERCY upon all: not upon all the individuals of Jews and Gentiles; for all are not concluded in, or convinced of the sin of unbelief, but only such who are eventually believers, as appears from the parallel text, Ga 3:22; and designs all God's elect among the Jews, called "their fulness",  Ro 11:12; and all God's elect among the Gentiles, called "the fulness of the Gentiles",  Ro 11:25; for whom he has MERCY in store, and will bestow it on them; and in order to bring them to a sense of their need of it, and that he may the more illustriously display the riches of it, he leaves them for a while in a state of unbelief, and then by his Spirit thoroughly convinces them of it, and gives them faith to look to, and believe in, the MERCY of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto eternal life. John Gill, Exposition of the Entire Bible

...

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

... estranged from God. It provided no atonement, neither forgiveness of sins. This point is brought up by Coxe in this way:

As to the terms and condition of this covenant that God made with Adam and all mankind in him, it was a covenant of works. With respect to immediate privilege and relationship it was a covenant of friendship. With regard to the promised reward it was a covenant of rich bounty and goodness. But it did not include or intimate the least iota of pardoning MERCY. While its law was perfectly observed it raised man within a degree of the blessed angels. But the breach of that law inevitably brought him under that curse which sank him to the society of apostate devils and left him under a misery like theirs.[14]

While its blessings were greater than man could ever deserve, even in his sinless state, yet breaking the covenant had severe consequences. To summerize, Pink says it in this way:

The compact which the Lord God entered into with Adam is appropriately termed “the covenant of works” not only to distinguish it from the covenant of grace, but also because under it life was promised on condition of perfect obedience, which obedience was to be performed by man in his own creature strength.[15]

Disobedience to the Covenant of Works brought the whole human race into ruin and perdition, rendering them unable to attain and unfit for the life for which they were created.

Is It A Covenant?

Some may object to this covenant seeing that there is nothing in Genesis 1-3 said about a covenant. Well, if by that they mean that the word "covenant" is not found, they're right. But that's not satisfying. The word "Trinity" is not found in the Bible, but all its elements are taught in the Bible (see chapter 2). We have the same in Genesis 1-3 about the Adamic Covenant of Works. There are the covenant people (Adam and Eve) and the covenant God (Yahweh). There are the blessings (to eat of the Tree of Life, Gen. 3:22, which he would have done had he obeyed). There are the curses (death for eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Gen. 2:16-17). There are the “symbols” (if they may be called thus) of the covenant, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for disobedience; the tree of life for obedience. These are the necessary elements for a covenant and there we have them. Since the elements of a covenant are present in the text, the covenant must also be there. Like the Trinity, while the word is not in the Bible, the concept is certainly there. But it is also nice that there is a place in Holy Writ where this relationship is called a covenant:

Hos. 6:7 But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me.

What covenant did Adam transgress? Well, we're aware of one relationship (covenant) that God had with Adam. This cannot refer to anything other than the Covenant of Works found in Genesis 1-3. Thus we have direct confirmation that it is rightly called a covenant. Subsequent revelation looks back at the account of Adam and Eve and says that there was a covenant there which has been transgressed and broken. Isaiah 24:5-6 could also be noted here which says:

Isa. 24:5-6 The earth lies defiled under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore a curse devours the earth, and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched, and few men a...


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

...at they bear children (e.g. Gen. 20:17-18; 30:2; Ruth 4:13). After all the calamity that God (Job 42:11) brought upon Job and the death of his children, what did Job say?

Job 1:21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”

Who took? Yahweh. The Lord doesn’t owe us anything, even if we do all that He says we should do, we will only do our duty (Luke 17:7-10). We owe our very existence to His MERCY and there is not a single obligation upon God that He would give us life or keep us alive. Therefore, He gives life whenever He pleases and takes life how, and whenever He pleases. All that Job had, wealth, family, cattle and whatever else he may have had, the Lord had given all of that to him. None of it ultimately came from Job, rather it was Yahweh Who gave it and He is to be blessed for that. But likewise, it is Yahweh Who ultimately took it. Yes, He did use secondary agents as Satan, the Sabeans (Job 1:15), fire from heaven (Job 1:16), the Chaldeans (Job 1:17), a great wind (Job 1:18-19). Job never says that Satan took anything from him, the Chaldeans or anything or anyone else. His charge was always against God. He connected His misery directly to the will of God. To be honest, by my reading of Job, I do not hear him or any of his friends say any word about Satan. Satan is totally absent from Job's mind and the narrative of his friends. It is likewise an interesting observation, and in many ways sobering, that Job and his friends, never once questioned the absolute sovereignty of God, but over and over again confessed and affirmed it. That is usually the first thing which we question at the time of tragedy, but not so Job.

It is often customary when an elder sister or brother dies on their death bed or in their sleep, we say that the Lord took them to Himself. But what about when one dies at the hands of ISIS, in a car crash or any other horrendous way to die? Does the manner of death, how horrible it may be, invalidate the statements that the "LORD kills" (1Sam. 2:6) and the "LORD has taken away" (Job 1:21)? Job's children did not die in a painless way, rather a great wind came which caused the house, in which they were feasting, to fall upon them. Still, Job cries, "the LORD has taken away" and blesses God. What about if one is eaten by a lion? Still, the Lord kills and the Lord has taken away (1Kgs. 13:24-28). What about if people die from a famine? The Lord has called the famine upon the land (2Kgs. 8:1; Ezek. 5:17). In whatever way we die, whether "normally" or in a dreadful way, still the Lord kills and the Lord has taken away:

Deut. 32:39 “‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.

Deuteronomy 32:39 goes even farther than life and death, but touches even upon sickness and the power of God over it. None can deliver out of His hand. He takes life when He pleases and gives life when He pleases. It’s totally under His control and He does it according to His pleasure. Sometimes He takes it directly, other times He uses means to do so, such as illness (e.g. 2Sam. 12:15), people, nature, etc. He even determines the span of our lives before we are born. God has predetermined how long I will live before I even became into existence (Job 14:4-6; Ps. 139:16; Eccl. 5:18). This obviously means that the ...


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

...ts and there is no other. There is only One God Who is not uni-personal, but tri-personal as the Confession confesses and clarifies especially in paragraph 3. In this paragraph, we will take a brief look at the attributes of God. Systematic theologies spend several chapters discussing the attributes of God, but here we will merely give a very brief biblical data for the attributes of God.

The Incommunicable Attributes of God

Theologians commonly distinguish between the communicable and incommunicable attributes of God. The communicable attributes of God are those attributes which man and God have in common. For example, both man and God are able to be just, love, show MERCY, have knowledge. On the other hand, the incommunicable attributes of God are those perfections which are not shared with others, like His triune nature, eternity, immutability, absolute sovereignty, omnipresence, omnipotence. God's attributes are God's perfections and excellencies. They are the things which shine forth His glory and majesty.

The Singularity Of God[2]

The Bible is clear on the fact that there is but one God. The Scriptures are manifold proving this in both Testaments. The doctrine of the Trinity is monotheistic and Christianity is at the core monotheistic. In Mark 12:29, the Lord Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:4 saying that the most important commandment “is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.’" The Lord Christ Himself affirmed the doctrine of monotheism, which teaches that there is but one Being of God. Isaiah 43:10 is definite in its affirmation of monotheism:

“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.

Before Yahweh, there was no other god and after Him, there shall be no other god. He is the only God that exists and He is but one God. We also come back to this point in paragraph 3 when we will discuss the doctrine of the Trinity, which teaches that although there is but one Being of God, yet this Being exists in three Persons.

The Lord our God is described as a living God, that implies that He is active and interacts with the world. He is not a god who set up the world and left it on its own. Rather, He is the living God Whose providence guides every step. The expression “living God” is used 28 times in the Scriptures, which implies the activity of God in this world, and it is also an expression against the dead idols of the heathen. In Leviticus 26:30, the Lord warns Israel if they go astray to serve idols saying: “And I will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars and cast your dead bodies upon the dead bodies of your idols, and my soul will abhor you.” Their bodies will be cast upon the dead bodies of their idols. They will be just like their idols with whom they provoked Him to anger—dead.

He is not only the singular and living God, but He is also the true God. He is the only God that exists and He is likewise truthful. He is the “God of truth” (Isa. 65:16). The expression “true God” is used 5 times in the Bible (2Chron. 15:3; Jer. 10:10; John 17:3; 1Thess. 1:9; 1John 5:20), and it is often connected with God being a living God. Jeremiah 10:10 declares, “But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation.” To say that God is the livi...


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

... and always viewed, as an indivisible whole.[12]

Therefore, we, along with Dr. Ross, conclude with “In giving these designations it was not Justin, Aquinas or the Westminster Assembly that first distinguished those laws as the Ten Commandments. Moses is entirely to blame.”[11]

MERCY And Not Sacrifice

In many places we read of the preference of obedience to God and MERCY to fellow man, rather than rituals and sacrifices (e.g. Hos. 6:6; Ps. 50:7-9; 51:17; Jer. 7:21-23; Mic. 6:8; 1Sam. 15:22-23; Isa. 1:11-17). To me this clearly points to a division of the law and rejection of the idea that the law is an indivisible whole and God expects us or expected Israel to obey the law equally in all points. If this observation is right, then we have proven that the Old Testament believers were conscience of the division. Let’s take the example of David. He sinned against God and against Bathsheba when he committed adultery with her and in his prayer of repentance in Psalm 51, he declares:

Ps. 51:15-17 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

God would not delight in sacrifice, because that is not a proof of true and godly repentance, rather what God delights in is a broken spirit who knows that he is broken God's Law and has defied God. One must have a broken and a repentant heart, that is what God delights in and not sacrifice. In this we see clearly, the distinction and division between the moral and ceremonial, and David places the moral law above the ceremonial. But what is interesting is the fact that he thereby does not nullify the ceremonial law for he was still under its administration. But what he clearly does is distinguish between the moral and ceremonial law and puts the moral law above the ceremonial laws of sacrifice. In v. 19 David declares:

then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

When the sacrifices are offered from a repentant heart, then the Lord will take delight in them because He has ordained them under the Old Covenant as part of the ceremonial law. God did desire their proper and faithful observance, as that is what He has commanded, but He and His servants acknowledge that these are subordinate to the moral law.

Another example is Saul. God commanded him to wipe out the Amalekites in 1 Samuel 15, yet Saul did not obey the voice of the Lord leaving cattle and Agag the king alive. When Samuel comes to know of this, his reaction is telling:

1Sam. 15:22-23 And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king.”

Saul uses the excuse that he had spared the cattle for sacrifice to the Lord, but Samuel knew better, he was motivated and moved by the people (1Sam. 15:24). Notice that this passage does not say that the Lord has completely no delight, but rather “as great delight”, it compares the delight of the Lord in sacrifices and obedience. The Lor...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 32: Of the Last Judgment - Commentary

...eby shows no favoritism toward Jew or Gentile (which is the reason that this passage was written). Since God judges both the Jew and the Gentile, including believers on the same basis, therefore, God shows no partiality. We must not separate the perfect righteousness of Christ from the evaluation of the believer's works by God. Without Christ, we are doomed. Since God has imputed Christ's righteousness, including His active obedience, to our account, therefore that perfect righteousness legally is ours and that is the only basis which we should have in thinking of the Day of Judgment with joy, confidence, and boldness.


§2 The Manifestation Of The Glory Of His MERCY And Of His Justice

  1. The end of God's appointing this day, is for the manifestation of the glory of his MERCY, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of his justice, in the eternal damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient; for then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fulness of joy and glory with everlasting rewards, in the presence of the Lord; but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast aside into everlasting torments, and punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. 2
    1. Rom. 9:22-23
    2. Matt. 18:8; 25:41, 46; 2 Thess. 1:9; Heb. 6:2; Jude 6; Rev. 14:9-11; Luke 3:17; Mark 9:43, 48; Matt. 3:12; 5:26; 13:41-42; 24:51; 25:30, 41, 46

On the Day of Judgment, God's decree of election and reprobation will fully come to pass and be manifested. God has ordained all things which come to pass, including the salvation and damnation of people, for the glory of His holy Name. He saves those who are not righteous and accepts them as righteous because of Jesus Christ to demonstrate His grace. At the same time, He leaves those who likewise are not righteous in their unrighteousness to demonstrate His justice and His wrath. The one group gets that which they do not deserve, the other gets that which they deserve. The center of the Day of Judgment is God, not man, as God will on that day vindicate His holiness and His justice. Jesus Christ will sit in judgment to vindicate the Name of the Triune God. The righteous, who are so because of imputed righteousness and not inherit righteousness, will be received into the New Heavens and New Earth, the home of righteousness and will be welcomed with the words: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34). Those are the ones of whom Christ said, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (Matt. 25:35-36). The righteous are shown to be righteous by their deeds. Their deeds testify to their righteousness. On the other hand, to the wicked He says, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41). The wicked will share the same fate as the fallen angels in the eternal fire. The wicked are described as the opposite of the righteous: “For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me” (Matt. 25:42-43). They will be condemned...


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

...ot understand how we feel when we are tempted and sin, yet the Bible warns us not to think in such a way:

Heb. 4:14-16 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we areyet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive MERCY and find grace to help in time of need. 

The fact that He was sinless is here used as encouragement to look to Him and to see Him as a friend in time of temptation and trouble. We are to look to Him Who was tempted by Satan throughout His life, not only in the wilderness, with the same aspects and things that we deal with, yet withstood the temptations. It is obviously harder to withstand the temptations than to give in and thus He understands and He sympathizes with our weaknesses when we fall and He is willing to help us and grant grace that would cleanse us from all our unrighteousness (1John 1:8-9).

The Virgin Birth

One doctrine that is essential to orthodox Christianity that was confessed (Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed) from the earliest days along with the divinity and humanity of the Lord Christ is His virgin birth. The virgin birth teaches that the mother of Jesus, Mary, was a virgin when she conceived the Lord Jesus in her womb. She did not have any intercourse with any man prior to giving birth to the Lord Jesus. The doctrine is important to the truthfulness of the Scriptures and to the sinless humanity of Christ. This doctrine is obviously difficult to the natural mind as anyone would admit. Just because we as Christians and Bible-believers accept this doctrine doesn't mean we find it normal or ordinary. We believe that it was supernatural and a miracle, that's why it happened only once in history. The God Who created all existence is able to create life without intercourse between a male and a female. That Mary was a virgin before giving birth to Christ is obvious to the one who can read the Bible. It's not a point of controversy to those who accept the work of God within history. Those who have a problem with the virgin birth are those who have a problem with the involvement of God in history. It was not something natural, rather supernatural, wrought by the Spirit of God.

Luke 1:34-35, 37 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy— the Son of God...37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 

The angel tells Mary of the great promises about the Messiah. That He will be the Son of the Most High and the Son of David. But obviously, Mary wasn't born yesterday. She knew for a birth to occur there needs to be sexual intercourse between a male and a female. That's why she questions the angel's proclamation that she would bear a son. She objects that this is impossible because she has not sexually known any man and obviously to have a son you need sex. Literally, the text says “`How shall this be, seeing a husband I do not know?'” This knowing refers to sexual intimacy as in Genesis 4:1, for example. The birth of this child shall be supernatural. It shall come to pass by the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spiri...


Unconditional Election, Sovereign Grace - Scripture List

...

Unconditional Election, Sovereign Grace

God elects a specific people unto Himself without reference to anything they do. This means the basis of God’s choice of the elect is solely within Himself: His grace, His MERCY, His will. It is not man’s actions, works, or even foreseen faith, that “draws” God’s choice. God’s election is unconditional and final.[1]

God’s choice of certain individuals for salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response or obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause, of God’s choice. Election, therefore, was not determined by, or conditioned upon, any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God sovereignly elected He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. Thus, God’s choice of the sinner, not the sinner’s choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.[2]

For a defense and case for this doctrine see here.

General verses regarding Unconditional Election

Ps 65:4 ​Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!

Mt 11:25-30 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Mt 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Jn 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

Jn 13:18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.[3]

Jn 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Acts 2:39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

Acts 2:47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Acts 13:46-48 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.

Rom 8:29-30 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the im...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling - Commentary

...om. You cannot see or choose the kingdom unless you have been born again. This is all the work of the Spirit of God as the Lord says, “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” referring back to the promise of the New Covenant in Ezekiel 36:25-27. Entering and seeing the kingdom is the same thing. We need to be born again by the Holy Spirit to be able to do that.

Here is a list of the things to which we have been called:

  • we have been called to belong to Jesus Christ and be saints (Rom. 1:6-7; cf. 1Cor. 1:2);
  • we have been called to be justified (Rom. 8:29-30);
  • we have been called to vessels of MERCY, prepared beforehand for glory (Rom. 9:23-24);
  • we have been called into the fellowship of God’s Son (1Cor. 1:8);
  • we have been called to peace (1Cor. 17:15);
  • we have been called to the grace of Christ (Gal. 1:6);
  • we have been called to freedom (Gal. 5:13);
  • we have been called to the hope of the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints (Eph. 1:18; cf. 4:4);
  • we have been called to belong to the one body (Col. 3:15);
  • we have been called into God’s kingdom and glory (1Thess. 2:12; cf. 1Pet. 5:10; 2Pet. 1:3);
  • we have been called to holiness (1Thess. 4:7);
  • we have been called through the gospel to obtain the glory of the Lord Jesus (2Thess. 2:14);
  • we have been called to eternal life (1Tim. 6:12);
  • we have been called to be holy (1Pet. 1:15);
  • we have been called out of darkness into God’s marvelous light (1Pet. 2:9);
  • we have been called to suffer for the sake of Christ (1Pet. 2:21);
  • we have been called to bless those who curse us that we may obtain a blessing (1Pet. 3:9).

Thanks, glory, honor, and praise be to the mighty Spirit of God Who has caused us to be born from above.

State of Death and Sin

It is not good people whom the Lord calls by His Word and Spirit. Neither it is those who are neutral and would love to be with God, rather it is those who are in the state of sin. It is those who are totally depraved. It is those who are dead and soaked in sin. All they know is sin (Rom. 14:23). It is those people who by their sinful nature and thanks to the fall of Adam, are dead in sins and trespasses. This is who we were before the Spirit called us to that which we do not deserve which God had beforehand ordained that we would attain.

See for more chapter 6 on the Total Depravity of man (see also this) and chapter 9 on the will of man in the State of Sin.

Enlightening our Minds

God changes our nature and cleanses us (Ezek. 36:25-27) and thereby He also cleanses and enlightens our minds and enables to understand the things of God. The commission which Paul received was:

Acts 26:18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ 

We lived in sin and darkness (Eph. 2:1-3; Matt. 4:16), but the light of the Lord has enlightened us. He has turned us from the darkness and sin that we previously loved to the light of the glorious Gospel. We were blinded by sin and Satan, but God has shone His light in us–

2Cor. 4:4-6 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servan...