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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 31: Of the State of Man after Death and Of the Resurrection of the Dead - Commentary

...and unjust.

I hold to the Amillennial view of eschatology, therefore what is written here will reflect that eschatology. Basically, Amillennialism teaches that the thousand years of Revelation 20 are symbolic for the whole time between Christ's Ascension and Second Coming. When He comes that will be the end of everything. The rapture, general resurrection and final judgment will take place, then God will usher in the World to Come. There are neither multiple resurrections nor multiple judgments. There are no 7 years of Great Tribulation. There are no two peoples of God, Israel and the Church. Rather, the Church is the Israel of God. The promises of RESTORATION and blessing pertain not to the Fallen World, but to the World to Come. We do not believe that the Bible teaches a golden age on this Fallen Earth.

In paragraphs 2-3 there is a case for Amillennial eschatology and a critique of Premillennialism throughout the sections.


§1 The Intermediate State

  1. The bodies of men after death return to dust, and see corruption; but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them. The souls of the righteous being then made perfect in holiness, are received into paradise, where they are with Christ, and behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies; and the souls of the wicked are cast into hell; where they remain in torment and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day; besides these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth none.
    1. Gen. 2:17; 3:19; Acts 13:36; Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:22[1]
    2. Gen. 2:7; James 2:26; Matt. 10:28; Eccles. 12:7
    3. Ps. 23:6; 1 Kings 8:27-49; Isa. 63:15; 66:1; Luke 23:43; Acts 1:9-11; 3:21; 2 Cor. 5:6-8; 12:2-4; Eph. 4:10; Phil. 1:21-23; Heb. 1:3,4:14-15; 6:20; 8:1; 9:24; 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11; 14:13; 20:4-6
    4. Luke 16:22-26; Acts 1:25; 1 Peter 3:19; 2 Peter 2:9

The body returns to the dust from whence it came, but the souls are immortal from the time they begin to exist; they cannot just disappear and go out of existence. They will exist without body in heaven or Hades until Christ comes to end the world and bring in the New Heavens and New Earth. The elect then will receive a glorious body like that of Jesus and enjoy endless fellowship with the God Triune, while the reprobates will receive physical bodies just to be tormented in the lake of fire.

The Intermediate State describes the time between death and the resurrection of the body, this includes a discussion of the immortality of the soul, heaven and Hades.

The Immortality Of The Soul

While people are buried and their bodies return to the dust from whence they came, their souls do not cease to exist, they are immortal. While the body decomposes and returns to dust, the soul of man lives evermore. It is important to define the usage of the word “immortal” and “immortality” here. This immortality which the souls of men and angels possess is obviously not like the essential immortality of God. In 1 Timothy 6:16 we read that God “alone has immortality”. This speaks about God essentially and by nature having immortality. He ever was and ever will be immortal, i.e., undying. Albert Barnes noted on that passage that God has immortality “by his very nature, and it is in his case underived, and he cannot be deprived of it. It is one of the essential attributes o...


Review of Dean Davis' The High King of Heaven on Amillennialism

...Evil One, then second stage wherein all evil is removed and the cosmos is transformed.

The New Covenant Hermeneutic

This indeed is the Master Key. Here is the best portion of the book, this goes deep into the proper interpretation of Old Testament prophecies. This also builds upon the foundation laid previously of the two staged Kingdom and its people, the Israel of God and not Israel after the flesh. The people of the New Covenant, both Jew and Gentile believers in Christ.

The NCH is concerned chiefly with the interpretation of Old Testament Kingdom prophecies. These are prophecies like Ezekiel 36-37 and Jeremiah 31-33 where Israel is promised eschatological RESTORATION. These are not simple kingdom prophecies or prophecies about the Messiah which did indeed come to pass very literally.

Part 3 of the book is dedicated to the interpretation of OTKP in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and Zechariah using the New Covenant Hermeneutic.

Dean introduces us to 7 important principles for properly interpreting the Old Testament (Kingdom Prophecy).

  1. Literal
    1. Regular OT narrative is to be taken literally. When the Bible speaks of Adam, Abraham, Noah and the Flood, these are literal, true and historical things.
  2. Ethical
    1. The OT is a revelation of God’s good pleasure and His will toward His creatures. Therein is contained His will of precept, what He commands and desires from us.
    2. "Thus, for the apostles, all OT indicatives contain imperatives—Gospel imperatives—that NT revelation alone can bring out into the full light of day.” Page 230
  3. Typological
    1. According to our Lord, the Scriptures testify of Him (Jn 5:39; Lk 24:25-27), thus we should be able to find Him (and His covenant people) in shadow and type (1Cor 15:45-47; Col 2:17; Heb 8:4-5; 9:11-12; 10:1)
  4. Eschatological
    1. Having learned from explicit and clear NT teaching about the nature of the Kingdom of God and its twofold stages, we interpret OTKP according to it. We don’t posit a time between the present age and the age to come otherwise known as the Millennial Kingdom for these OTKP to be fulfilled.
    2. They are to be fulfilled in the two stages of the Kingdom. 1) The Kingdom of the Son and 2) The Kingdom of the Father.
    3. Typology is inseparable here and OTKP is to be interpreted as speaking of the NT people of God, Jews and Gentiles.
  5. Covenantal
    1. When we read of the New Covenant, RESTORATION, giving of a new heart we believe that they’re speaking of the New Covenant in Christ’s blood, with the people of God, Jew and Gentile believers.
    2. There are two ways to read OTKP covenantally:

i.“The contrasting mode of covenantal reading is very valuable, since it highlights and magnifies the true greatness of the New Covenant, a greatness that consists in the fact that it is none other than the Eternal Covenant; the one true redemptive plan that God conceived in eternity past, veiled in OT times, and unveiled in these last days through his Son, so that now and forevermore, his people may worship him in spirit and truth (John 1:14, 17, 4:23-24).” Page 236

ii.In the Comparative Reading we look for the inferiority of the Old Covenant as opposed to the New Covenant blessings.

  1. Christological
    1. We see Christ and Him crucified. We look for types, shadows and prophecies about the Messiah and His work.
  2. Ecclesiological
    1. We see OTKP fulfilled in the Israel of God (Gal 6:16) which is comprised ...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 15: Of Repentance Unto Life and Salvation - Commentary

...ievers for the confession of their sins. In Psalm 51 David prays to God to forgive his sins and create in him a clean heart so that he would not sin and do things which are displeasing to his God. We should not miss the fact that God did discipline David for his sin. The son born of adultery died as a punishment for David's sin (1Sam. 12). Nonetheless, he was cleansed and restored to the joy of God's salvation.

In the case of Peter, the Lord Jesus foretold his certain repentance when He told him about his fall. The Lord Jesus told Peter that He has prayed for him and uses that as the basis of Peter's RESTORATION (Luke 22:31-32). The Lord personally restores Peter in John 21:15-19 by making him confess his love for his Lord three times instead of his previous denial of his Lord three times.

These examples should be a lesson for us. If Peter and David can fall, who were great and holy saints of God, then this means that any Christian, when letting their guard down, can fall into great sins like them. Let us see these stories as tragic accounts of the remaining corruptions of sin in us, but also as lessons of God's great love for us and forgiveness of our sins. We should never let our guard down. We should always be prepared to fight against sin and not underestimate it and thus fall into it and dishonor the name of Christ. But if we do, let us not be unbelieving and faithless as to think that we will never be accepted and forgiven by God. But let us approach the throne of grace to receive that which our sins do not merit, but is ours solely based upon Christ work, and restore our relationship with God standing on the promise of His Word that He has both forgiven and cleansed us from our sins.


§3 Repentance – Definition and Case for its Necessity

  1. This saving repentance is an evangelical grace, whereby a person, being by the Holy Spirit made sensible of the manifold evils of his sin, doth, by faith in Christ, 3 humble himself for it with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrency, praying for pardon and strength of grace, with a purpose and endeavour, by supplies of the Spirit, to walk before God unto all well-pleasing in all things. 5 
    1. Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Tim. 2:25
    2. Ps. 51:1-6; 130:1-3; Luke 15:17-20; Acts 2:37-38
    3. Ps. 130:4; Matt. 27:3-5; Mark 1:15
    4. Ezek. 16:60-63; 36:31-32; Zech. 12:10; Matt. 21:29; Acts 15:19; 20:21; 26:20; 2 Cor. 7:10-11; 1 Thess. 1:9
    5. Prov. 28:13; Ezek. 36:25; 18:30-31; Ps. 119:59, 104, 128; Matt. 3:8; Luke 3:8; Acts 26:20; 1 Thess. 1:9

Repentance Is An Evangelical Grace

Repentance is a grace that pertains to the Gospel, for that is what is meant by evangelical here. It is a gift given to us by God. God gives this evangelical gift to all the elect whom He effectually calls. We remind ourselves of what repentance was:

Repentance is a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ.[1]

True and godly repentance includes sorrow for the sins committed, a commitment to hate our sin and fight against temptation and walk in the way of Christ. We see in Grudem's definition of repentance two things, the first one is turning away from sin and the second turning toward obedience. The word for repent in the New Testament, μετανοέω (metanoeo, G3340) means “to change one's mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one's past sins”[4]. We have to change our minds and our foc...


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

...baptismal pledge of an inward renovation, though really they were not partakers thereof. But this estate was their ἀνακαινισμός, their “renovation.” From this state they fell totally, renouncing Him who is the author of it, his grace which is the cause of it, and the ordinance which is the pledge thereof.[13]

Their repentance and change of mind was merely outward and not internal and produced by the Spirit of God, otherwise it would have lasted. Therefore, this “renewal” or “RESTORATION” spoken of is about their outward repentance. It is impossible to bring them back to that state again because of two reasons.

(1) By falling away and rejecting the Christian faith, they are in a sense re-crucifying Christ the Lord. They are siding with the Jews who shouted “crucify Him!” and demanded His death. They are siding with the enemies of Christ after their rejection of the Christian religion. They are crucifying Him once again to their own harm. They are rejecting the only way of salvation. They are siding with those who will be judged severely by Him. They reject the only way of salvation that God has provided and therefore, it is not possible that they be saved, for there is salvation in no One else and no other way. True and godly repentance is granted by God (e.g. 2Tim. 2:25), yet God has declared here that He will not give it to such apostates.

(2) The apostates by their rejection of Christianity hold the Lord Christ up to contempt, they hold Him as an object of hate and scorn, siding again with His enemies who demanded His death. They, in a sense, say that His death was well deserved for a false prophet (as they perceived) and if He were here again they would have done the same again. On this point Albert Barnes observes:

Their apostasy and rejection of the Saviour would be like holding him up publicly as deserving the infamy and ignominy of the cross. A great part of the crime attending the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, consisted in exhibiting him to the passing multitude as deserving the death of a malefactor. Of that sin they would partake who should reject him, for they would thus show that they regarded his religion as an imposture, and would, in a public manner, hold him up as worthy only of rejection and contempt.[24]

Therefore, the RESTORATION to their previous state is impossible because they have rejected the only way of salvation, after knowing and experiencing it.

How the apostates were not described

We have tried to argue that all of these five descriptions given in vv. 4-5 were not exclusive to regenerate believers, but could also be applied to false professors. By giving these descriptions, the Author was not intending to say that these persons were regenerate and true believers, but rather, as seen from a human viewpoint they would have been identified as true Christian. It is important to note how these apostates are not described in contrast to how the believers are described in the book of Hebrews. The following is taken from Sam Storms’ article:[22]

  1. God has forgiven their sins (Heb. 10:17; 8:12),
  2. God has cleansed their consciences (Heb. 9:14; 10:22),
  3. God has written his laws on their hearts (Heb. 8:10; 10:16),
  4. God is producing holiness of life in them (Heb. 2:11; 10:14; 13:21),
  5. God has given them an unshakable kingdom (Heb. 12:28),
  6. God is pleased with them (Heb. 11; 13:16,21),
  7. They have faith (Heb. 4:3; 6:12; 10:22,38,39; 12:2; 13:7; etc.),
  8. They have hope (Heb. 6:11,...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary

...23), that he is the Head and Governor, his chosen and called being the proper subjects of his special kingdom, the choice body, unto which he doth more peculiarly relate, Col 1:24, for the guiding and governing of it, he being that to it which the head is to the natural body, and more especially in the two former respects:

1. Of their union to God, which was chiefly designed and expressed in those words, who is the beginning, i.e. the first foundation or principle of their union to God, whereupon the first corner-stone of the church’s happiness is laid, he being the beginning of the second creation, as of the first, Rev 3:14. And: 

2. Of their RESTORATION from sin and death, being brought into that first-designed happiness, which is the great intention of that union, as appears from the following expression, the firstborn from the dead, in a special distinction from the dead, here too of the creature, Col 1:15.[8]

Christ, the Son of God alone deserves and has ascribed to Him this position of headship over the Church, not Peter nor the Papacy ever has this description attached to it in the Bible. Therefore, all teaching which seeks to put someone aside Christ as head is anti-Christ. In Ephesians 1:22-23, Christ is described as head over all the world, not only over the Church. But the interesting part is that Christ as head and sovereign over all things is given to the Church. This means that His sovereignty and headship is for the good of His body, the Church. His bride whom He loved to death, even death on a cross and redeemed her from sin. It is Christ who builds His Body by supplying His body with all the graces that are necessary for her nourishment. As a shepherd feeds his sheep, so Christ likewise feeds His sheep.

The Pope Of Rome, Antichrist

I don't agree that the Pope is the antichrist, but he is surely an antichrist with his church because they have so degenerated from the way of Christ in many ways. By denying the people the peace of the Gospel which comes through faith and grace in Christ, and not by performing good works, coming to the blasphemous Mass, giving alms, being baptized and the list goes on. But I don't believe that the Papacy is the ultimate manifestation of the antichrist (the beast, the man of sin). It was usual for the Reformers to think of the Roman Papacy as the antichrist and who can question that seeing how Rome persecuted the Reformers and was gone astray from the true gospel of Christ, that the Reformers did see it in this way. Furthermore, the actions of the Roman Church and the Papacy fitted and still fit the description of 2 Thessalonians 2. There was a period where the Popes were clearly not virtuous and good people, but openly wicked. They condemned the righteous and sought to please themselves, therefore, the description of “man of lawlessness” fitted them very well. John Gill, writing in the 18th century said:

here it intends the whole hierarchy of Rome, monks, friars, priests, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and especially popes, who may well be called "the man of sin", because notoriously sinful; not only sinners, but sin itself, a sink of sin, monsters of iniquity, spiritual wickednesses in high places: it is not easy to reckon up their impieties, their adulteries, incest, sodomy, rapine, murder, avarice, simony, perjury, lying, necromancy, familiarity with the devil, idolatry, witchcraft, and what not? and not only have they been guilty of the most notorious crimes...


Hebrews 6:4-6, Apostasy and Calvinism

...he baptismal pledge of an inward renovation, though really they were not partakers thereof. But this estate was their ἀνακαινισμός, their “renovation.” From this state they fell totally, renouncing Him who is the author of it, his grace which is the cause of it, and the ordinance which is the pledge thereof.[2]

Their repentance and change of mind was merely outward and not internal and produced by the Spirit of God, otherwise it would have lasted. Therefore, this “renewal” or “RESTORATION” spoken of is about their outward repentance. It is impossible to bring them back to that state again because of two reasons.

(1) By falling away and rejecting the Christian faith, they are in a sense re-crucifying Christ the Lord. They are siding with the Jews who shouted “crucify Him!” and demanded His death. They are siding with the enemies of Christ after their rejection of the Christian religion. They are crucifying Him once again to their own harm. They are rejecting the only way of salvation. They are siding with those who will be judged severely by Him. They reject the only way of salvation that God has provided and therefore, it is not possible that they be saved, for there is salvation in no other way. True and godly repentance is granted by God (e.g. 2Tim 2:25), yet God has declared here that He will not give it to such apostates.

(2) The apostates by their rejection of Christianity hold the Lord Christ up to contempt, they hold Him as an object of hate and scorn, siding again with His enemies who demanded His death. They in a sense say that His death was well deserved for a false prophet (as they perceived) and if He were here again they would have done the same again. On this point Albert Barnes observes:

Their apostasy and rejection of the Saviour would be like holding him up publicly as deserving the infamy and ignominy of the cross. A great part of the crime attending the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, consisted in exhibiting him to the passing multitude as deserving the death of a malefactor. Of that sin they would partake who should reject him, for they would thus show that they regarded his religion as an imposture, and would, in a public manner, hold him up as worthy only of rejection and contempt.[15]

Therefore, the RESTORATION to their previous state is impossible because they have rejected the only way of salvation, after knowing and experiencing it.

How the apostates were not described

We have tried to argue that all of these five descriptions given in vv. 4-5 were not exclusive to regenerate believers, but could also be applied to false professors, by giving these descriptions the Author was not intended to say that these persons were regenerate and true believers inwardly, but rather, as seen from a human view point they would have been identified as true Christian. It is important to note how these apostates are not described in contrast to how the believers are described with the book of Hebrews. The following is taken from Sam Storms’ article:[12]

  1. God has forgiven their sins (Heb 10:17; 8:12)
  2. God has cleansed their consciences (Heb 9:14; 10:22)
  3. God has written his laws on their hearts (Heb 8:10; 10:16)
  4. God is producing holiness of life in them (Heb 2:11; 10:14; 13:21)
  5. God has given them an unshakable kingdom (Heb 12:28)
  6. God is pleased with them (Heb 11; 13:16,21)
  7. They have faith (Heb 4:3; 6:12; 10:22,38,39; 12:2; 13:7; etc.)
  8. They have hope Heb 6:11,18; 7:19; 10:23)
  9. They...

A Review of O. Palmer Robertson's The Israel of God

... the opinion that “all Israel” means “all elect Jews throughout history”, but seeing “all Israel” as the Israel of God, is likewise a valid and exegetically sound interpretation within the context. I find Romans 11 to be a difficult chapter, but it is a chapter I want to spend more time on so that I may have a position on it. I will not be too quick to say that I agree with everything Dr. Robertson said, but I think he presented a very well argued case for his interpretation on all points.

More importantly, Dr. Robertson notes what the chapter actually does not say:

Nothing in this chapter says anything about the RESTORATION of an earthly Davidic kingdom, or of a return to the land of the Bible, or of the RESTORATION of a national state of Israel, or of a church of Jewish Christians separated from Gentile Christians. (p. 191)

While ethnic Israelites will always be part of God’s plan, there is nothing in Romans 11 about a distinct (future) plan for ethnic Israelites apart of the Israel of God—the Church of Christ.

Conclusion

The book then closes with a chapter which sets in propositions what Dr. Robertson has argued for.

I found this book a very enjoyable read and will recommend it to everyone wanting to know what covenant theologians teach about Israel in the plan of God. I have learned a lot from this book and I would no doubt return back to it to check some stuff again. Get this book and read it. You won’t regret it!

...

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

...ll the other instances in the Gospel refer to the Holy Spirit. The word means:

1.  summoned, called to one's side, esp. called to one's aid

a.  one who pleads another's cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant, an advocate

b.  one who pleads another's cause with one, an intercessor[7]

The Lord Jesus as our advocate, defender and the friend in time of sin goes before the Father and pleads for our forgiveness and RESTORATION on the basis of His perfect once for all time work (see here for Christ's intercessory work). Intercession and mediation is part of the priestly work. The Lord intercedes on behalf of and pleads for the people for whom He offered His sacrifice much like He does in John 17. Christ's intercessory work is perfect and limited to the believers (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25; 9:24). John speaks of us having an advocate, not everyone. It is the believers who have Christ as their Parakletos. The unbelieving will not come to Christ as their advocate as they are enemies of His and do not desire Him unless the Father draws them to Him (Rom. 3:11; 8:7-8; John 6:44). The fact that we have Christ as our Advocate is based in that He is the "propitiation for our sins.” It is because He has made satisfaction to the wrath that was against us that He is our Advocate and now applies the benefits of the cross to us in time of need and sin. It is Christ alone who is the propitiation for our sins. Christ's sacrifice was meant to take away sin (see above). The question at hand is: Did Christ appease the wrath of God or not?

If He did and the phrase “whole world” means all people without exception, then God will not count anyone’s sin against them and all will be forgiven on the basis of Christ's appeasement of God’s wrath against all humanity. But if Christ, the spotless sacrifice, did not appease the wrath of God on behalf of every single individual, then it explains the fact why people must still try to “appease” God’s wrath and pay for their sins in hell. Propitiation is limited to those who believe (Rom. 3:26). But that, in turn, does not mean that Christ has propitiated God on behalf of every single individual and now they have to "actuate" or "activate" that propitiation by their faith. The reason that this is wrong is that it does not trust in the finished work of Christ on our behalf, and gives man reason to boast. If Christ has propitiated the Father on behalf of everyone and to receive the propitiation we must repent and believe, it puts the “difference making” within man and not God (cf. 1Cor. 1:30). If Christ has satisfied the wrath of God on behalf of X in the same way Y, and X believes while Y does not believe then the difference was in man and not God. There is something that X can boast about that made him different than Y. No true Christian boasts in his salvation, neither will I claim that Arminians think that they saved themselves or have a reason to boast. But what I’m trying to argue is that their position, as I laid it out above, that propitiation is made on behalf of everyone yet we have to believe for it to be affected is true, then man does in this scenario have a reason to boast. Though Arminians as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ will not boast about their salvation.

Second, that would not make the propitiation actually the satisfaction of divine wrath, rather possibly upon the fulfilling of a condition. That is why I began our discussion of the atonement first ...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary

...clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ.

Never Fall

The elect can never fall away from the state of grace. They may have times when they neglect God and the things of God, but they can never fall as God is the One who keeps them (e.g. 1John 3:9). Remember the story of Peter? Peter did for a little while fall and denied his Lord, but the Lord Jesus promised Him beforehand: "I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers" (Luke 22:32). The Lord both foretold Peter's fall and his RESTORATION. So likewise it may be with some children of God when they have seasons in their life which God for reasons unknown to us has in His wisdom ordained for some of His children to walk through. That they can never fall is seen in many texts, particularly in the Gospel of John–

John 10:28-29 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 

We already have eternal life (John 3:16, 36) and we cannot lose it. We have been born by the Spirit, we cannot be unborn. God will work in us His pleasure (Phil. 2:11-12), which is for the sheep of Christ not to perish. It is the Lord Jesus and the Father who hold us in Their hands. It is impossible for His sheep to be lost. This is the Father's will for the Son (John 6:39) and there is no way for the Son who always does what the Father pleases to fail in this task (John 8:29). See also chapter 17 on The Perseverance of the Saints where we will Lord willing make a case for that doctrine and also a Scripture List supporting the Perseverance of the Saints.

Renew Their Faith and Repentance

See chapter 15 paragraph 2.


§6 The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects

  1. The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament. 1
    1. Gal. 3:9; Rom. 4:22-24

All the saints of the Old Testament were justified by grace through faith by virtue of the Covenant of Grace as it was in promise form. This we have argued in chapter 7 under the Mosaic, but especially in chapter 8 about the Retroactive Blood of Christ. See also above in paragraph 3 about Abraham's justification in Paul and in James.

Oh, what amazing grace to know that our justification is not depended upon us. What comfort and what thankfulness to God! Thank You, Lord God King, for everything that You have done for such a miserable wretch like me. All glory to the Blessed Trinity!

 

And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works

(Romans 4:5-6)

 

Footnotes

  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. ^ Wayne Grudem. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994). Chapter 36, p. 723.
  3. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church.
  4. ^ Taken from Matt Slick at CARM, The Roman Catholic view on justification.
  5. a, b, c, d Joseph Henry Thayer's Greek Definitions. Tak...

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

...he body handling the bread!"[16] The same goes for the blood. According to this interpretation, there remains no significance in the sacrament. In fact, as some observe, the literalist interpretation destroys any significance for this ordinance. For as we celebrate the Lord's Supper we anticipate the day when we will celebrate it with Him in body and spirit (Matt 26:29), yet the Roman Catholic doctrine claims that Christ is there in spirit and body, divine and human. Yet, Scripture claims that Christ's human nature is in heaven and will stay in heaven until the RESTORATION of all things (Acts 3:21). Therefore, to say that Christ's human nature is present in the bread and wine is to contradict that Scripture. The words of Christ, rather, are figurative. The bread which He had in His hand and which He broke, symbolized His body which was given up for our sins. And the wine symbolized His blood which was shed for the forgiveness of our sins. This is the natural way of understanding these words and not in a literalist manner which contradicts Scripture. Christ saying "this is my body" and "this is my blood" should not be interpreted literally as His similar statement, like, "I am the door" (John 10:9) and "I am the true vine" (John 15:1) would be interpreted literally. Rather, the meaning is that the bread and wine symbolize and are signs of His body and blood.

The next place which Roman Catholics appeal to is John 6. There, they claim, the Lord taught upon the Eucharist and His presence therein. We must repeat the words of Dabney here:

For though we strenuously dispute, against Rome, that the language of this passage [John 6:50-55] is descriptive of the Lord's Supper, it is manifest that the Supper was afterwards devised upon the analogy which furnished the metaphor of the passage. And the didactic and promissory language, "This is My body,!" "This is My blood," sacramentally understood, obviously convey the idea of nutrition offered to the soul.[17]

In other words, this passage is not directly speaking about the Lord's Supper, for this passage records a discussion which happened prior to the establishment of the Lord's Supper. But this passage speaks about what the Lord's Supper symbolizes. Roman Catholics stress the following phrases:

John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” 

John 6:53-56 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 

They stress the statements of Jesus when He says that it is necessary for people to feed on His flesh (body) and drink His blood to have eternal life, hence they see Baptism and the Lord's Supper as necessary for salvation. But the only problem here is that these words do not speak of the Lord's Supper. Moreover, a literalist interpretation would put one in the shoes of those whom Christ is rebuking. The Jews understood Him to be speaking of literal flesh and blood. Roman Catholics believe that Jesus is literally present in His whole Person in the Eucharist. The fact that feeding on Christ's flesh and dri...