The Staunch Calvinist

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

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

... 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 will 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 living and true God is to separate Him from the idols. Paul writes of the Thessalonians and of all Christians that we “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1Thess. 1:9).

The Independence of God

God is absolutely dependent on no other being than Himself. He is all sufficient in and of Himself. God is wholly happy, glorious, holy, loving and joyful in and of Himself. He was not unhappy before the Creation, nor was He less glorious or loving. All life, happiness, glory, and holiness is in Himself. He is the I AM THAT I AM! Self-existent and self-sufficient, glorious, holy, just and loving. This attribute is also called God's self-sufficiency, self-existence, or aseity.

‘The term aseity’, writes John Frame, ‘comes from the Latin phrase a se, meaning “from or by self.”’[3] To speak of God’s aseity, therefore, is to speak of His independence from anything and anyone but Himself. God is depende...


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

...ill always remain debate among Christians about this subject until the Lord returns to settle the debate. The subject of Calvinism and Arminianism is difficult for some, especially when the former is filled with caricatures and false representations. But the most important truths of the Scripture are set forth plainly: the truth of God as Creator (Genesis 1), the sinfulness and salvation of man by grace (Rom. 3:9-26, Eph. 2:8-9), the deity of the Lord Jesus (John 1:1-3, 14-18, 28:20), His virgin birth (Matt. 1:23; Luke 1:27, 34-35), His death, burial and resurrection (1Cor. 15:3-4), His Second Coming (Acts 1:11; Rev. 22:7), the deity of the Spirit (Acts 5:3-5), Monotheism (Deut. 6:4), the existence of Heaven and Hell (Matt. 25:46). Those things cannot be denied without damage to the perspicuity of Scripture.

When the Lord gave Israel the Law, God said to the people, “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off” (Deut. 30:11). The Israelites had to teach the law of the Lord even to their children. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” These things include the Ten Commandments in the previous chapter and the first greatest commandment to love God (Deut. 6:4-5). These things were to be taught and spoken to children, therefore, this shows the plainness of God’s revelation. This does not mean that there is no difficulty in the interpretation of the Law. Rather, most of it was understandable to the Israelites at that time. Undoubtedly, the reason that we have some difficulties in understanding of the Law would have to do with our context and knowledge of those times, which the Israelites probably did not have. The idea of the Scripture being clear to even children is repeated in the New Testament. In 2 Timothy 3:15, the Apostle writes concerning Timothy who “from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” From childhood he knew the Scriptures and from childhood, even the Old Testament Scriptures could make him wise for salvation through Jesus Christ. This much was clear even to children in the Old Testament, Paul asserts.

The difficulty in understanding Scripture does not lie in Scripture itself, but in our understanding of it. We are to blame. In none of His conversations with the Pharisees did the Lord blame the Scriptures of being unclear, rather, He always rebuked them and directed their attention to Scripture. He said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life” (John 5:39-40). He blames their misinterpretation of Scripture. In Luke 24:25, the Lord Jesus likewise does not blame the Scriptures, but his disciples, saying: ‘And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!’ Then He went on to correct their understanding of the Bible: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). He accused the Sadducees who rejected the resurrection saying, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Script...