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

...ares that Christ perfectly obeyed the moral law for us. Therefore, by obedience to the moral law, we do not try to gain justification or acceptance with God, but rather we display our love for Him. We are already accepted and therefore we obey. Not vice versa.

This objection which the Apostle expects is wrong because it assumes that the law has only one function, that is, to justify. That is clearly not the case as the Apostle showed before (v. 20) that knowledge of sin comes from the law. Moreover, through the law, we know our duty as redeemed believers of what God expects from us (see above The Moral Law In John especially). Matthew Henry notes on this passage:

He [Paul] obviates an objection (Rom 3:31), as if this doctrine did nullify the law, which they knew came from God: “No,” says he, “though we do say that the law will not justify us, yet we do not therefore say that it was given in vain, or is of no use to us; no, we establish the right use of the law, and secure its standing, by fixing it on the right basis. The law is still of use to convince us of what is past, and to direct us for the future; though we cannot be saved by it as a covenant, yet we own it, and submit to it, as a rule in the hand of the Mediator, subordinate to the law of grace; and so are so far from overthrowing that we establish the law.” Let those consider this who deny the obligation of the moral law on believers.[77]

As justified believers, we do not seek justification by the law, but we seek God’s will which is found in His law. We strive to obey God’s commandments as a way of expressing our gratitude and love for Him, not to gain acceptance. The moral law moreover, sends us back to the cross where we should always be. When we sin, the moral law shows us our sin and as believers, we know Who dealt once for all with sin. The Law sends us to the cross and the cross sends us to the Law by pointing to the gratitude and love that we owe God which is expressed by keeping His commandments (e.g. 1John 5:3). The Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible writes:

The glory of God's law, in its eternal and immutable obligations, is then only fully apprehended by the sinner, and then only felt in the depths of his soul, when, believing that "He was made sin for him who knew no sin," he sees himself "made the righteousness of God in Him." [2Cor 5:21] Thus we do not make void the law through faith; yea, we establish the law.[73]

The law that we are under is not the law of works, but of faith. It is based on principle and doctrine of justification by faith alone, and not by the law in any way. It is a law of grace, to lead us in the paths that God desires us to be and to conform us to His will. As a summary of what was discussed above, the Reformation Study Bible writes:

Paul is rejecting the law as the way of salvation. But since the law as moral demand was not given to sinners in order to justify them (vv. 19, 20), the principle of salvation by grace through faith cannot be a contradiction of the law. As he later demonstrates, the gospel upholds and furthers the law’s ultimate goal (8:3, 4; 13:8–10).[78]

Romans 7

Romans chapter 7 is an excellent discussion on the law, the Christian and sin. I will not be able to give a whole exegesis on the passage, but I would like to take a look at some verses from here.

Died To The Law

Rom 7:4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may ...


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

...amp; Delitzsch note concerning the place of this command:

Strictly speaking, the warning against inclining to the idolatry of the Canaanites (Deu 12:29-31) forms a transition from the enforcement of the true mode of worshipping Jehovah to the laws relating to tempters to idolatry and worshippers of idols (ch. 13).[13]

Therefore, until the previous chapter, God, through Moses, taught His people the right way of worshiping Him and now He moves to the discussion of idolatry and what ought not to be done in chapter 13. Lastly, Matthew Henry comments:

He therefore concludes (v. 32) with the same caution concerning the worship of God which he had before given concerning the word of God (ch. iv. 2): "You shall not add thereto any inventions of your own, under pretence of making the ordinance either more significant or more magnificent, nor diminish from it, under pretence of making it more easy and practicable, or of setting aside that which may be spared; but observe to do all that, and that only, which God has commanded." We may then hope in our religious worship to obtain the divine acceptance when we observe the divine appointment. God will have his own work done in his own way.[14]

Uzzah And The Ark

The Ark of the Covenant fell into the hands of the Philistines and was later on delivered from their hands and they placed it in the house of Abinadab (1Sam. 7:1). Now as they are trying to bring the Ark back to Jerusalem from the house of Abinadab, a terrible thing happens. They had brought a new cart, with what it seems to be good intentions so that the Ark of God may not be defiled by an old cart. They were happy, singing and praising the Lord with music. But all the sudden, “the oxen stumbled” and without any intervention, this would have caused the Ark to fall into the dirt. With, what seems to be, all good intentions Uzzah puts his hand so that the Ark would not fall to the ground and is struck down by God. What’s the reason that God judged him so harshly?

Greg L. Prince notes that there were three things which caused God’s judgment to come severely upon Uzzah:

The violation of God’s Regulative Principle was at least in three areas: (1) Uzza was apparently not a Levite (he was the son of Abinadab from Kirjath Jearim of the tribe of Judah, cf. 2 Sam. 7:1; 1 Chron. 2:50; 1 Chron 13:6-7) and according to Numbers 4:15 God commanded Levites to move the Ark (cf. 1 Chron. 15:2); (2) The Ark of God was not to be carried on a cart as the heathen Philistines had done in 1 Samuel 6:10-11 (Israel was not to follow the ways in which the heathens served their gods, Deut. 12:30-32). God had specifically commanded the Ark to be carried on the shoulders with poles (Ex. 25:12-15); and (3) The Ark of God was touched by Uzza, whereas God had commanded that no one touch it (Num. 4:15).[15]

Uzzah, along with David, violated the commandments of God concerning the Ark and the carrying thereof. God explicitly commanded that the Ark should be 1) carried by the Kohathites (Num. 3:30-31; 4:15; 7:9); 2) that it was to be carried by poles (Ex. 25:14; Num. 7:9), not upon a cart; and 3) the Ark was not to be touched (Num. 4:15). But Uzzah, David and the priests who should have known better, violated the commands of God. God did not strike them all but only punished Uzzah to demonstrate His holiness as He did with Nadab and Abihu. Right from the beginning, they went wrong in neglecting to inquire what God has actually said c...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scriptures - Commentary

...n from the Law until all is accomplished.

Here the Lord Jesus demonstrates His commitment to the full authority and infallibility of the Old Testament. The Lord Jesus goes to the most insignificant detail of the Scriptures and affirms that they will not by any means pass away. This demonstrates that He believed in the inspiration, inerrancy as well as the preservation of Scripture. John MacArthur notes, “Here Christ was affirming the utter inerrancy and absolute authority of the OT as the word of God—down to the smallest stroke or letter.”[9] Matthew Henry comments on this place:

Heaven and earth shall come together, and all the fulness thereof be wrapped up in ruin and confusion, rather than any word of God shall fall to the ground, or be in vain. The word of the Lord endures for ever, both that of the law, and that of the gospel. Observe, The care of God concerning his law extends itself even to those things that seem to be of least account in it, the iotas and the tittles; for whatever belongs to God, and bears his stamp, be it ever so little, shall be preserved.[10]

The same is asserted for the Lord Jesus’ teaching, and by extension to His teaching through the Apostles, in Matthew 24:35. His words will not fail to accomplish that which He intends. They are the words of God and are more powerful than the cosmos itself. It would be easier for the whole cosmos to vanish away than the Words of our God to pass away.

Words of men are known to contain lies, but the words of God have no lies whatsoever in them (Titus 1:2) because this God is a God of truth (Isa. 65:16; John 14:6; 17:17). Paul says in Romans 3:4:

By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”

God is always true and every time when He opens His holy mouth and when He speaks to His people through His God-breathed Word. Words of men may contain errors, but the God of the Word cannot lie and His words are always true.

Believing the doctrine of inerrancy is the natural implication if we affirm that the Bible is the Word of God. Affirming the doctrine of inerrancy is simply submitting to the absolute Lordship of God, even in thinking about His Word and following the Messiah’s view of Scripture. Since we are Christians, we, therefore, should share the same view of Jesus on Scripture, which was clearly that they were inerrant and infallible, and fully trustworthy.

Sola Scriptura

The Scriptures are the sole infallible rule of faith for the Church. Since they are Theopneustos, God-speaking (Matt 22:31; 2Tim 3:16-17; 2Pet 1:20-21), they are, by definition, ultimate in authority, for there can be no higher authority than God Himself. All other rules of faith, creeds, councils, or anything else produced by the Church herself, is subject to the ultimate correction of God’s Word.

This subject is related to the truthfulness and infallibility of Scripture (see above), the inspiration of Scripture (paragraph 2), the authority of Scripture (paragraph 4), and the sufficiency of Scripture (paragraph 6). If all these things are true, what we get is Sola Scriptura. What does Sola Scriptura actually mean? Does it mean that the Church is not to use anything but the Bible? Does it mean that the Bible is the only authority? Does Sola Scriptura deny the validity of using creeds and confessions?

We can assume that the answer to the last question i...


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

...on the New Testament. Commentary on Hebrews 6, here
  • Albert Barnes - Notes on the New Testament. Commentary on Hebrews 6, here. He accepts that the descriptions describe a true Christian, but rejects that it is possible for a true Christian to apostatize.
  • Robert Jamieson, Andrew Robert Fausset, David Brown – Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Commentary on Hebrews 6, here.
  • Matthew Henry – Complete Commentary on the Bible. Commentary on Hebrews 6, here.
  • Bob Utley – You Can Understand The Bible (Not that explicit). Commentary on Hebrews 6, here and here.
  • John Owen – Exposition of Hebrews. Commentary on Hebrews 6, here.
  • Steven J. Cole – Lesson 17: When Repentance Becomes Impossible (Hebrews 6:4-8).
  • The passage describes regenerate believers who have fallen away:

    I have collected some commentaries, articles, and sermons on this passage in a document which you can download (it does not include all the commentaries listed above).

    I believe that the passage speaks about false believers and warns those who have sat under the preaching of the Word of God, the manifestation of the Spirit’s work and who themselves have professed to belong to Christ that they will perish eternally without no possibility of true repentance if they do not have true faith. The description is not definitive proof that those spoken of are true believers, because the analogy in vv. 7-8 moves us to say that those spoken of were unbelievers from the start. I don’t claim that by me consulting articles and commentaries on this passage that I will have an answer to every question on this passage. But what I do want to claim is that there are interpretations which are credible and do not force us to deny other biblical doctrines (i.e., the Perseverance of the Saints). I do want to stress the context of Hebrews that it is an epistle written to Hebrew Christians steeped into the Old Testament and Israel’s history, therefore I will try to interpret it with this in mind and not try to make a modern application every time.

    Audience

    Who are the ones being described in this passage? Is the audience the ones being described in vv. 4-6? No, they are not. Rather, they are a different group spoken of in the third person (“those” v. 4, “them…they…their own” v. 6). The Author is not describing his present audience. In fact, he explicitly says that in v. 9. Previous to this passage the author spoke in the plural “you” to the audience (e.g. Heb. 5:11-13), including himself in 6:1 by using “us”. After v. 9, he speaks of the “beloved” and those whom he encourages to “have the full assurance of hope until the end”. The warning is not about them, but about those who receive a clear light of God’s Gospel, make a profession of faith and appear to all to be true believers, yet later fall away. It is those who will not be brought to true repentance by God and be left in their sins to perish eternally.

    The audience the Author is writing to is one of Hebrew Christians in general who are being tempted to go back to the old Judaism and abandon their current religion. The Author throughout the letter shows that the New Covenant and its Mediator are better and they are the fulfillment of the promises and shadows in the Ol...


    Hebrews 6:4-6, Apostasy and Calvinism

    ...on the New Testament. Commentary on Hebrews 6, here
  • Albert Barnes - Notes on the New Testament. Commentary on Hebrews 6, here. He accepts that the descriptions describe a true Christian, but rejects that it is possible for a true Christian to apostatize.
  • Robert Jamieson, Andrew Robert Fausset, David Brown – Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Commentary on Hebrews 6, here.
  • Matthew Henry – Complete Commentary on the Bible. Commentary on Hebrews 6, here.
  • Bob Utley – You Can Understand The Bible (Not that explicit). Commentary on Hebrews 6, here and here.
  • John Owen – Exposition of Hebrews. Commentary on Hebrews 6, here.
  • Steven J. Cole – Lesson 17: When Repentance Becomes Impossible (Hebrews 6:4-8).
  • The passage describes regenerate believers who have fallen away:

    I have collected some commentaries, articles and sermons on this passage in a document which you can download (it does not include all the commentaries listed above).

    I believe that the passage speaks of false believers and warns about those who have sat under the preaching of the Word of God, the manifestation of the Spirit’s work and who themselves have professed to belong to Christ, that they will perish eternally without no possibility of true repentance. That the description is not definitive proof that those spoken of are true believers, yet the analogy in vv. 7-8 moves us to say that those spoken of were unbelievers from the start.

    I don’t claim that by me consulting articles and commentaries on this passage that I will have an answer to every question on this passage, but what I do want to claim is that there are interpretations which are credible and do not force us to deny other biblical doctrines (i.e., the Perseverance of the Saints).

    I do want to stress the context of Hebrews that it is an epistle written to Hebrew Christians steeped into the Old Testament and Israel’s history, therefore I will try to interpret it with this in mind and not try to make a modern application every time.

    Audience

    Who are the ones being described in this passage? Is the audience the ones being described in vv. 4-6? No, they are not. Rather, they are a different group spoken of in the third person (“those” v. 4, “them…they…their own” v. 6). The Author is not describing his present audience, in fact he explicitly says that in v. 9. Previous to this passage the author spoke of the plural “you” to the audience (e.g. Heb 5:11-13), including himself in 6:1 by using “us”. After v. 9 he speaks of the “beloved” and those who he encourages to “have the full assurance of hope until the end”. The warning is not about them, but about those who receive a clear light of God’s Gospel, make a profession of faith and appear to all to be true believers, yet later fall away. It is those who will not be brought to true repentance by God and be left in their sins to perish eternally.

    The audience the Author is writing to is one of Hebrew Christians in general who are being tempted to go back to the old Judaism and abandon their current religion. The Author throughout the letter shows that the New Covenant and its Mediator are better and they are the fulfillment of the promises and shadows in the Old Testament and therefore...


    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 25: Of Marriage - Commentary

    ...nt KJV an help meet for him YLT an helper -- as his counterpart

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

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

    This Hebrew word in vv. 18, 20 means “'as over against,' 'according to his front presence' - i:e., corresponding to, his counterpart-one like himself in form and constitution, disposition, and affections, and altogether suitable to his nature and wants.”[4] Matthew Poole likewise notes:

    Meet for him; a most emphatical phrase, signifying thus much, one correspondent to him, suitable both to his nature and necessity, one 

    altogether like to him in shape and constitution, disposition and affection; a second self; or one to be at hand and near to him, to stand continually before him, familiarly to converse with him, to be always ready to succour, serve, and comfort him; or one whose eye, respect, and care, as well as desire, Gen 3:16, should be to him, whose business it shall be to please and help him.[5]

    Adam Clarke's words concerning v. 18 are likewise of profit to note:

    I will make him a help meet for himezer kenegdo, a help, a counterpart of himself, one formed from him, and a perfect resemblance of his person.  If the word be rendered scrupulously literally, it signifies one like, or as himself, standing opposite to or before him.  And this implies that the woman was to be a perfect resemblance of the man, possessing neither inferiority nor superiority, but being in all things like and equal to himself.  As man was made a social creature, it was not proper that he should be alone; for to be alone, i.e. without a matrimonial companion, was not good.  Hence we find that celibacy in general is a thing that is not good, whether it be on the side of the man or of the woman.[6]

    The woman in the same time was to be like Adam and also unlike him in some ways. He was not to marry someone exactly like him, but one who has likeness unto himself, but also differences. Before the creation of Eve, there was only one Adam and after the creation of Eve, there was only one Eve. When the Lord brings her to Adam and Adam sees that she was the one who completes him, there the Lord joins them in marriage and Adam bursts out in poetry:

    Gen. 2:23-24 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh

    Adam has finally found in the woman “a help...


    Acts 7:51, 'You always resist the Holy Spirit'

    ...o;Resources.”

    [2] ESV Study Bible, 2008 (Crossway). Taken from the Online Version at www.esvbible.org

    [4] Matthew Henry, Whole Bible Commentary on Acts 7:51-53. http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/acts/7.html

    ...

    1 Timothy 4:10, 'Savior of all men'
    Calvinism Limited Atonement Election Sovereignty ESV Study Bible ESV MacArthur Study Bible HCSB Study Bible Bob Utley Matthew Henry

    ...through their actions. As Savior, Christ grants repentance and forgiveness of sin (Ac 5:31), protects and saves the church (Eph 5:23), will come again to deliver His people from this world (Php 3:20), has made possible the outpouring of the Spirit (Titus 3:6), has abolished death (2Tim 1:10), and has authority in His kingdom (2Pe 1:11). God is "the Savior of everyone, especially of those who believe" (1Tim 4:10), and "wants everyone to be saved" (1Tim 2:4). He manifested His love in His saving acts toward the church (Titus 3:4), He poured out the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:6), and He deserves praise and adoration (Jd 25).

    What Matthew Henry said about 1 Timothy 4:8-10:[6]

    II. The encouragement which we have to proceed in the ways of godliness, and to exercise ourselves to it, notwithstanding the difficulties and discouragements that we meet with in it. He had said (v. 8) that it is profitable for all things, having the promise of the life which now is. But the question is, Will the profit balance the loss? For, if it will not, it is not profit. Yes, we are sure it will. Here is another of Paul's faithful sayings, worthy of all acceptation--that all our labours and losses in the service of God and the work of religion will be abundantly recompensed, so that though we lose for Christ we shall not lose by him. Therefore we labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, v. 10. Observe,

    1. Godly people must labour and expect reproach; they must do well, and yet expect at the same time to suffer ill: toil and trouble are to be expected by us in this world, not only as men, but as saints.

    2. Those who labour and suffer reproach in the service of God and the work of religion may depend upon the living God that they shall not lose by it. Let this encourage them, We trust in the living God. The consideration of this, that the God who has undertaken to be our pay-master is the living God, who does himself live for ever and is the fountain of life to all who serve him, should encourage us in all our services and in all our sufferings for him, especially considering that he is the Saviour of all men. (1.) By his providences he protects the persons, and prolongs the lives, of the children of men. (2.) He has a general good-will to the eternal salvation of all men thus far that he is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. He desires not the death of sinners; he is thus far the Saviour of all men that none are left in the same desperate condition that fallen angels are in. Now, if he be thus the Saviour of all men, we may hence infer that much more he will be the rewarder of those who seek and serve him; if he has such a good-will for all his creatures, much more will he provide well for those who are new creatures, who are born again. He is the Saviour of all men, but especially of those that believe; and the salvation he has in store for those that believe is sufficient to recompense them for all their services and sufferings. Here we see, [1.] The life of a Christian is a life of labour and suffering: We labour and suffer. [2.] The best we can expect to suffer in the present life is reproach for our well-doing, for our work of faith and labour of love. [3.] True Christians trust in the living God; for cursed is the man that trusts in man, or in any but the living God; and those that trust in him shall never be ashamed. Trust in him at all times. [4.] God is the general Saviour of ...


    God's Absolute Sovereignty: Resources used
    Calvinism Election Predestination Limited Atonement Mercy Sovereignty Verse List God Is In Control Theword Modules

    ...es

    Commentaries

    The Word software resources

    Modules for the commentaries

    ...

    1 John 2:2, 'for the sins of the whole world'
    1 John 2:2 Propitiation For The Sins Of The Whole World Calvinism Election Predestination Limited Atonement Mercy Sovereignty

    ... a propitiation, [See comments on Ro 3:25]. The Jews have no notion of the Messiah as a propitiation or atonement; sometimes they say {w} repentance atones for all sin; sometimes the death of the righteous {x}; sometimes incense {y}; sometimes the priests' garments {z}; sometimes it is the day of atonement {a}; and indeed they are in the utmost puzzle about atonement; and they even confess in their prayers {b}, that they have now neither altar nor priest to atone for them; [See comments on 1Jo 4:10]. John Gill, Exposition of the Bible

    What Matthew Henry said about 1 John 2:1-2 -- [5]

    By the plea he has to make, the ground and basis of his advocacy: And he is the propitiation for our sins, v. 2. He is the expiatory victim, the propitiatory sacrifice that has been offered to the Judge for all our offences against his majesty, and law, and government. In vain do the professors of Rome distinguish between and advocate of redemption and an advocate of intercession, or a mediator of such different service. The Mediator of intercession, the Advocate for us, is the Mediator of redemption, the propitiation for our sins. It is his propitiation that he pleads. And we might be apt to suppose that his blood had lost its value and efficacy if no mention had been made of it in heaven since the time it was shed. But now we see it is of esteem there, since it is continually represented in the intercession of the great advocate (the attorney-general) for the church of God. He ever lives to make intercession for those that come to God through him. 4. By the extent of his plea, the latitude of his propitiation. It is not confined to one nation; and not particularly to the ancient Israel of God: He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only (not only for the sins of us Jews, us that are Abraham's seed according to the flesh), but also for those of the whole world (v. 2); not only for the past, or us present believers, but for the sins of all who shall hereafter believe on him or come to God through him. The extent and intent of the Mediator's death reach to all tribes, nations, and countries. As he is the only, so he is the universal atonement and propitiation for all that are saved and brought home to God, and to his favour and forgiveness.

    We Have An Advocate With The Father

    My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father,  Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2:1 (ESV)

    Often critics seem to ignore or miss the significance of 1 John 2:1. Who's advocate is the Lord Jesus? For whom is He interceding? Are we seriously gonna say that He intercedes for those who are in Hell? How about those whom He knows they're never going to repent and receive Him? Are we really going to say that Christ fails in His intercession? I dare not say such thing to the mighty finished work of the Lord Jesus, when He said "it is finished!" He meant it.

    For whom does Christ intercede?

    Rom 8:34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

    Heb 7:25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

    Heb 9:24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in t...