The Staunch Calvinist

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


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

...battle against sin.

Christ the Returning Judge

See Christ the Judge above.

§5 The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself

  1. The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself, 1 which he through the eternal Spirit once offered up unto God, hath fully satisfied the justice of God, procured Reconciliation, 4 and purchased an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto Him. 
    1. Rom. 5:18-19; Eph. 5:2
    2. Heb. 9:14, 16; 10:10, 14
    3. Rom. 3:25-26; Heb. 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:10
    4. 2 Cor. 5:18-19; Col. 1:20-23
    5. Heb. 9:15; Rev. 5:9-10
    6. John 17:2

How did the Lord Jesus purchase an everlasting inheritance for all those whom the Father hath given unto Him (Heb. 9:15; Rev. 5:9-10)? By His perfect obedience and sacrifice of Himself (Rom. 5:6-10, 18-19). His perfect obedience refers to what theologians call the active obedience of Christ. This is His obedience to the law of God to provide our righteousness. Through faith in Christ, His obedience to the law and to God is counted as our own. We stand clean in His righteousness. The sacrifice of Himself theologians call the passive obedience of Christ. It is passive because the sufferings came upon Himself. He endured the wrath of God due to our sin, was crucified and died in our place. It is through His active and passive obedience that Christ fully satisfied the justice of God. He brought us Reconciliation with our God. By faith, we are no longer enemies of God, but children! He gave us an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, i.e., in eternity and in the new world. All these things and every spiritual blessing and grace are thanks to the twofold obedience of Christ.

The Active Obedience of Christ

The active obedience of Christ is 

...Jesus’ actively fulfilling all the law of God. This active obedience is imputed to the believer when he believes, that is, God reckons to the believer the righteousness of Christ when the believer trusts in Christ and His work.[22]

This is the doctrine which teaches that the Lord never broke a commandment and obeyed the whole Law of God is His active obedience. He had to obey, He was active in obeying God. In contrast, His passive obedience was in receiving the curse of the law on our behalf. It was something done to Him, not by Him. The main passage that speaks of the Lord’s active obedience is Romans 5:18-19. Therefore, now I will attempt to give a case for Christ’s active obedience based on the exegesis of this passage. 

Rom. 5:18-19 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous

Paul in Romans 5:12ff speaks first of the federal headship of Adam and then of Christ. To be a federal head means to be a representative for a group of people. In the case of Adam, it is for all those who descended from him (aside from the Lord Jesus Christ, see above). In the case of Christ, He is the federal head of all believers. For all who are in the covenant of which He is the mediator. Adam’s one trespass, i.e., eating from the forbidden fruit, brought condemnation and damnation upon all whom he represented in the Garden, i.e., all men. This is the doctrine of Adam’s federal headship and it has implications upon a lot of things including T...

John Owen's Case For Particular Atonement

...s, and towards whom, — namely, to save us, to deliver us from the evil world, to purge and wash us, to make us holy, zealous, fruitful in good works, to render us acceptable, and to bring us unto God; for through him “we have access into the grace wherein we stand” Rom. 5:2.[1]

  1. “that which was effectually fulfilled and accomplished by it” (book I, chap. 1):
    1. Reconciliation:
      1. Rom. 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
      2. 2Cor. 5:18-19; Eph. 2:14-16.
    2. Justification:
      1. Rom. 3:23-25 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
      2. Heb. 9:12; Gal. 3:13; 1Pet. 2:24.
    3. Sanctification:
      1. Heb. 13:12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.
      2. Heb. 1:3; 9:14; 1John 1:7; Eph. 1:3; 5:25-27; Phil. 1:29.
    4. Adoption:
      1. Gal. 4:4-5 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
      2. Eph. 1:14; Heb. 9:15.

The obvious question now is: “Is God able to accomplish that which He intends?” We see that by the blood-shedding of Christ, the Father intends for the Son to be an actual ransom (Matt. 20:28) and to actually save, and not try to save sinners (Luke 19:10; 1Tim. 1:15). He is said to deliver us from “the present evil age” and not to try to deliver us by the self-giving of Himself for our wickedness (Gal. 1:4). Well…did He or did He not? Not only do we see the intention of the atonement in Scripture, but also its effects and application, which correspond to the intention of God in it.

The Work of the Trinity

Secondly, he enquires about the intention of the Persons of the Blessed Trinity in the work of redemption. What did the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit plan to accomplish through the death of Christ? This is still how many Calvinists at the present time argue for Definite Redemption (i.e. James White). What effect did God want the atonement to have, and is He able to bring it to pass?

  • God the Father (book I, chap. 3):
    1. “The sending of his Son into the world for this employment”:
      • John 3:16-17; 5:37; 10:36;  Rom. 8:3-4; Gal. 4:4-5; Isa. 19:20; 48:16.
      • An authoritative imposition of the office of Mediator:
        • Purpose: Ps. 2:7-8; 110:1, 4; Heb. 1:2; Rom. 1:4; 8:29.
        • Inauguration: John 5:22; Acts 2:36; Heb. 3:1-6; Dan. 9:24 [“anointing of the most Holy”]; Matt. 3:15-17; Heb. 10:5; 1:3; 2:7-8; Matt. 28:18; Phil. 2:9-11.
      • “entering into covenant and compact with his Son concerning the work to be undertaken”:
        • The Father’s promise to assist the Son in the accomplishment of redemption: Isa. 63:8-9; Zech. 13:7; Isa. 63:2-3 and 53:4-5; 49:2-3; Ps. 2:2, 4, 6; 118:22-23; Matt. 21:42; Isa. 28:16; Matt. 21:44.
        • The Father’s promise of “a happy accomplishment and attainment of the end of his great undertaking”: Isa. 49:5-6, 6-12; 53:10-12.
    2. “laying the punishment due to our sin upon him”:
      • Zech. 13:7;...

2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 'he died for all'

...r:#EE82EE;">all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of Reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of Reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:14-21)

“Can it get plainer than this? Don’t you see that it says ‘he died for all.’” Well, we could take the “all’s” there to mean “every individual who has ever lived on this planet”, but we will lose biblically consistency.

This is going to be a little bit lengthy and that because I decided that we must deal with the clear context of the passage about Christ's death for a specific people rather than addressing verses 14-15 only.

The context speaks of the ministry of Reconciliation which we as believers and evangelists have received to share with the world. We are to call everyone to repentance and faith in Christ.

In verse 14 Paul says that the love of Christ controls, constrains and compels us based on the fact that Christ has died for all. But we must dig deeper to understand the meaning of the word “all” in this context.

We must illustrate what verses 14 and 15 are saying in a table:

The action The Result
One has died for all All have died
He died for all “ longer live for themselves, but for him who for their sake died and was raised”

The death of Christ was also the death of all. How can this be if this speaks of all men without exception? For all men were already dead in sin and trespasses because of Adam (Eph 2:1-3), but this speaks of Christ substitutionary death. This is seen from the fact that Paul speaks of us being united to Christ in His death. See for example Gal 2:20 –

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Who else but the elect can say these words? Can any reprobate truly say that they were united with Christ in His death and they frustrated the purpose of His death? Because from Ga...

Colossians 1:19-20, 'reconcile to himself all things'

...t the verse speaks about institutions and not persons, I mean, about rule and authority, and not rulers and authorities.

In 1Cor 15:24, Christ at His glorious Parousia will destroy all evil “every rule and every authority and power.” That those things are evil which Christ will destroy, needs not be argued about.

In Eph 1:21, Christ reigns supreme “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion” in heavenly places. His reigns is over and above all rule and authority, whether it be good or bad, Paul is not concerned in Ephesians 1. Notice also in Eph 1:10 the uniting together of all things in Christ, similar to the “Reconciliation” in Colossians 1:20.

In Eph 3:10 we read that it pleased God to display His wisdom through the Church, so that His wisdom may be known to “the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” The Lord wanted to demonstrate His wisdom in that He works all things after the counsel of His will and has brought salvation to the Gentiles and Christ through His blood has brought Jewish and Gentile together in one Body (Eph 2). God wanted to clearly demonstrate His victory over the wicked powers which had the unbelieving Gentiles, which now are in Christ, under their sway.

In Eph 6:12 I believe we read the clearest example that this phrase often refers to evil authorities. Paul says:

Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers [τὰς ἀρχάς], against the authorities [τὰς ἐξουσίας], against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Our struggle against sin, is also our struggle against those powers. These rulers and authorities want to bring us down, but God has provided the way in which we can resist and overcome them.

There is a last use of the phrase under question in Titus 3:10 where Paul says that believers should “be submissive to rulers and authorities”. This does not refer to the rulers and authorities as in Eph 6:12, i.e the evil spiritual rulers and authorities, but it refers to the government, which was not really good in the time of the Romans. They were not pro-Christian, but anti-Christ. But still, Paul calls believers to be submissive and obedient to the government.

By now you may rightly question, why I went through this research of the phrase “rulers and authorities”. The reason I believe is, to demonstrate the clear context of Colossians and the sovereignty of Christ over the whole of the created order. Namely, that both good and evil rule and authority exists for His purpose and are under His reign.

In Him All Things Hold Together

The whole cosmos holds together and stays in exists because it is Christ who reigns. This is what Col 1:17 is teaching when it says that “in him all things hold together”. It is because of Him they were created. It is because of Him they still exist. It is for His purpose they exist.

The reason that order rather than chaos exists, is exactly because Christ reigns supreme over all things. It is He who is sovereign over every minute thing and it is He who is directing all things to their purpose (e.g. Heb 1:3; Eph 1:11).

We should keep this mind while we proceed further, that it is because of Christ that even the evil powers exist. It is to demonstrate His glory. It is He who keeps them in existence. Even they “hold together” in Him.


19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through h...

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

...13:20. And the Lord Christ dying as the mediator and surety of the covenant, he purchased all good things for the church; and as a testator bequeathed them unto it.
  • Difference 7
    • They differ in the priests that were to officiate before God in the behalf of the people. In the old covenant, Aaron and his posterity alone were to discharge that office; in the new, the Son of God himself is the only priest of the church.
  • Difference 8
    • They differ in the sacrifices whereon the peace and Reconciliation with God which is tendered in them doth depend.
  • Difference 9
    • They differ in the way and manner of their solemn writing or enrolment. The old covenant, as to the principal, fundamental part of it, was “engraven in tables of stone,” which were kept in the ark, Exo 31:18; Deu 9:10; 2Co 3:7. But the new covenant is written in the “fleshy tables of the hearts” of them that do believe 2Co 3:3; Jer. 31:33.
  • Difference 10
    • They differ in their ends.
      1. Of the Old Covenant, the principal end of the first covenant was to discover sin, to condemn it, and to set bounds unto it.
        1. By conviction: for “by the law is the knowledge of sin;” it convinced sinners, and caused every mouth to be stopped before God.
        2. By condemning the sinner, in an application of the sanction of the law unto his conscience.
        3. By the judgments and punishments wherewith on all occasions it was accompanied. In all it manifested and represented the justice and severity of God.
      1. The end of the new covenant is, to declare the love, grace, and mercy of God; and therewith to give repentance, remission of sin, and life eternal.
  • Difference 11
    • They differed in their effects. For the first covenant being the “ministration of death” and “condemnation,” it brought the minds and spirits of them that were under it into servitude and bondage; whereas spiritual liberty is the immediate effect of the new testament. See Rom. 8:15; 2Co 3:17; Gal 4:1-7; Gal 4:24; Gal 4:26; Gal 4:30-31; Heb 2:14-15. This, therefore, we must a little explain.
      1. Wherefore the bondage which was the effect of the old covenant arose from several causes concurring unto the effecting of it: —
        1. The renovation of the terms and sanction of the covenant of works contributed much thereunto.
        2. It arose from the manner of the delivery of the law, and God’s entering thereon into covenant with them. This was ordered on purpose to fill them with dread and fear.
        3. From the severity of the penalties annexed unto the transgression of the law. This kept them always anxious and solicitous, not knowing when they were safe or secure.
        4. From the nature of the whole ministry of the law, which was the “ministration of death” and “condemnation,” 2Co 3:7; 2Co 3:9; which declared the desert of every sin to be death, and denounced death unto every sinner, administering by itself no relief unto the minds and consciences of men. So was it the “letter that killed” them that were under its power.
        5. From the darkness of their own minds, in the means, ways, and causes of deliverance from all these things. It is true, they had a promise before of life and salvation, which was not abolished by this covenant, even the promise made unto Abraham; but this belonged not unto this covenant, and the way of its accomplishment, by the incarnation and mediation of the Son of God, was much hidden from them, —  yea, from the prophets themselves who yet foretold them. This left them under much bondage. For the pr...

  • 1 John 2:2, 'for the sins of the whole world'

    ...pitiated or satisfied God. For the sins of the whole world. This is a generic term, referring not to every single individual, but to mankind in general. Christ actually paid the penalty only for those who would repent and believe. A number of Scripture indicates that Christ died for the world (John 1:29; 3:16; 6:51; 1 Tim. 2:6; Heb 2:9). Most of the world will be eternally condemned to hell to pay for their own sins, so they could not have been paid for by Christ. The passages that speak of Christ’s dying for the whole world must be understood to refer to mankind in general (as in Titus 2:3-4). “World” indicates the sphere, the beings toward whom God seeks Reconciliation and has provided propitiation. God has mitigated his wrath on sinners temporarily, by letting them live and enjoy earthly life. In that sense, Christ has provided a brief, temporal propitiation for the whole world. But he actually satisfied fully the wrath of God eternally only for the elect who believe. Christ’s death in itself had unlimited and infinite value because he is Holy God. Thus his sacrifice was sufficient to pay the penalty for all the sins of all whom God brings to faith. But the actual satisfaction and atonement was made only for those who believe (cf. John 10:11, 15; 17:9, 20; Acts 20:28; Rom 8:32, 37; Eph 5:25). The pardon for sin is offered to the whole world, but received only by those who believe (cf. 1 John 4:9, 14; John 5:24). There is no other way to be reconciled to God.

    The HCSB Study Bible says:  [3]

    Jesus' perfect obedience and sacrificial death satisfied God's just demand for sin to be punished ( propitiation). But His punishment was for others, not for Himself. The phrase for those of the whole world does not mean the salvation of all people. It does mean that, in keeping with God's promise to bless all the nations through Abraham and his descendants (Gen 12:3), Jesus' saving death extends the offer of salvation to all nations.

    This is what John Gill said: [4]

    • And he is the propitiation for our sins,.... For the sins of us who now believe, and are Jews:
    • and not for ours only; but for the sins of Old Testament saints, and of those who shall hereafter believe in Christ, and of the Gentiles also, signified in the next clause:
    • but also for [the sins] of the whole world; the Syriac version renders it, "not for us only, but also for the whole world"; that is, not for the Jews only, for John was a Jew, and so were those he wrote unto, but for the Gentiles also. Nothing is more common in Jewish writings than to call the Gentiles עלמא, "the world"; and
    • כל העולם, "the whole world"; and אומות העולם, "the nations of the world" {l}; [See comments on John 12:19]; and the word "world" is so used in Scripture; see Joh 3:16; and stands opposed to a notion the Jews have of the Gentiles, that אין להן כפרה, "there is no propitiation for them" {m}: and it is easy to observe, that when this phrase is not used of the Gentiles, it is to be understood in a limited and restrained sense; as when they say {n},
    • "it happened to a certain high priest, that when he went out of the sanctuary, כולי עלמא, "the whole world" went after him;''
    • which could only design the people in the temple. And elsewhere {o} it is said,
    • "amle ylwk, "the "whole world" has left the Misna, and gone after the "Gemara";''
    • which at most can only intend the Jews; and indeed only a majority of their doctors, who were conversant with these writings: and in ano...

    1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

  • Phil. 2:8; Acts 13:37
  • John 20:25, 27
  • Acts 1:9-11
  • Rom. 8:34; Heb. 9:24
  • Acts 10:42; Rom. 14:9-10; Acts 1:11; Matt. 13:40-42; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6
    1. The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself, 1 which he through the eternal Spirit once offered up unto God, hath fully satisfied the justice of God, procured Reconciliation, and purchased an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto Him. 
      1. Rom. 5:19; Eph. 5:2
      2. Heb. 9:14, 16; 10:10, 14
      3. Rom. 3:25-26; Heb. 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:10
      4. 2 Cor. 5:18-19; Col. 1:20-23
      5. Heb. 9:15; Rev. 5:9-10
      6. John 17:2
    1. Although the price of redemption was not actually paid by Christ till after his incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefit thereof were communicated to the elect in all ages, successively from the beginning of the world, 1 in and by those promisestypes, and sacrifices wherein he was revealed, and signified to be the seed which should bruise the serpent’s head; 2 and the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, being the same yesterday, and to-day and for ever. 4
      1. Gal. 4:4-5; Rom. 4:1-9
      2. Gen. 3:15; 1 Peter 1:10-11
      3. Rev. 13:8
      4. Heb. 13:8
    1. Christ, in the work of mediation, acteth according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself; yet by reason of the unity of the person, that which is proper to one nature is sometimes in Scripture, attributed to the person denominated by the other nature. 1
      1. John 3:13; Acts 20:28
    1. To all those for whom Christ hath obtained eternal redemption, he doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same, 1 making intercession for them; uniting them to himself by his Spirit, revealing unto them, in and by his Word, the mystery of salvation, 4 persuading them to believe and obey, 5 governing their hearts by his Word and Spirit, 6 and overcoming all their enemies by his almighty power and wisdom, 7 in such manner and ways as are most consonant to his wonderful and unsearchable dispensation; and all of free and absolute grace, without any condition foreseen in them to procure it. 9
      1. John 6:37, 39; 10:15-16; 17:9
      2. 1 John 2:1-2; Rom. 8:34
      3. Rom. 8:1-2
      4. John 15:13, 15; 17:6; Eph. 1:7-9
      5. 1 John 5:20
      6. John 14:16; Heb. 12:2; Rom. 8:9, 14; 2 Cor. 4:13; Rom. 15:18-19; John 17:17
      7. Ps. 110:1; 1 Cor. 15:25-26; Col. 2:15
      8. Eph. 1:9-11
      9. John 3:8; Eph. 1:8
    1. This office of mediator between God and man is proper only to Christ, who is the prophet, priest, and king of the church of God; and may not be either in whole, or any part thereof, transferred from him to any other. 1
      1. 1 Tim. 2:5
    1. This number and order of offices is necessary; for in respect of our ignorance, we stand in need of his prophetical office; and in respect of our alienation from God, and imperfection of the best of our services, we need his priestly office to reconcile us and present us acceptable unto God; 2 and in respect to our averseness and utter inability to return to God, and for our rescue and security from our spiritual adversaries, we need his kingly office to convince, subdue, draw, uphold, deliver, and preserve us to his heavenly kingdom. 3
      1. John 1:18
      2. Col. 1:21; Gal. 5:17; Heb. 10:19-21
      3. John 16:8; Ps. 110:3; Luke 1:74-75

    Chapter 9: Of Free Will [Return] [Commentary]

    1. God hath endued the wi...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith - Commentary

    ...on-Commentary"See chapter 13.

    Eternal life: The most popular verse of the Bible declares: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, 36; 6:40, 54, 68; 10:27-28). This eternal life is not only endless life, but it is a spiritual life wherein God the Father and the Son are personally and relationally known (John 17:3). Eternal life is a present blessing (John 5:24)!

    Peace: Romans 5:1 says that “since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” This peace is the peace of Reconciliation and a restored relationship between God and man as Paul goes on to explain. By faith, the hostility between God and man has been removed because God’s wrath has been satisfied on behalf of those who believe. This is so because God poured out His wrath upon His Son and credits His Son’s righteousness to those who believe. Therefore, there is really no ground for God to be hostile toward those who believe in Christ and thus are in Christ.

    Adoption: By faith, we become children of the living God. Not all are children of God. Only those who belong to Jesus, become sons of God. Galatians 3:26 says, “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.” It is only in Christ that we are “sons of God” and this is “through faith.” See chapter 12.

    Perseverance: We are kept in the faith by faith. 1 Peter 1:5 beautifully says that we are they “who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Albert Barnes explains the word kept or guarded which is used here:

    That is, “kept” or preserved in the faith and hope of the gospel; who are preserved from apostacy, or so kept that you will finally obtain salvation. The word which is used here, and rendered “kept,” (φρουρέω phroureō,) is rendered in 2Co 11:32, kept with a garrison; in Gal 3:23, and here, kept; in Phi 4:7, shall keep. It does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It means to keep, as in a garrison or fortress; or as with a military watch. The idea is, that there was a faithful guardianship exercised over them to save them from danger, as a castle or garrison is watched to guard it against the approach of an enemy.[19]

    See chapter 17.

    Holy Spirit: Not only the Holy Spirit works faith in our hearts through regeneration, but through faith, we receive Him too! He comes to make His abode in us as His temple. John 7:38, which is a difficult text, says, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” But thankfully, we are not in the dark as to what it means because John explains it in the next verse: “Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive” (John 7:39). Everyone who belongs to Jesus Christ has His Spirit (Rom. 8:9). Galatians 3:14 explains that “in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles,” which is justification by faith. But why? The verse goes on to say “so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” See also Galatians 3:2, 5; Ephesians 1:13.

    Communion with God: By faith, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us. Through the Spirit, we have access to the Father and the Son. Romans 5:1-2 after saying that we have peace with God through faith, explains that “Through [Christ] we also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand” (see also Eph. 2:18, 22...

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

    ...tely is put to death on the basis of 2 or 3 witnesses, how much worse should the punishment be who rejects the true religion after knowing and experiencing that it is indeed true? The comparison is from the lesser to the greater and this concerns the severity of God’s judgment. On this point John Calvin observes:

    This severity of God is indeed dreadful, but it is set forth for the purpose of inspiring terror. He cannot, however, be accused of cruelty; for as the death of Christ is the only remedy by which we can be delivered from eternal death, are not they who destroy as far as they can its virtue and benefit worthy of being left to despair? God invites to daily Reconciliation those who abide in Christ; they are daily washed by the blood of Christ, their sins are daily expiated by his perpetual sacrifice. As salvation is not to be sought except in him, there is no need to wonder that all those who willfully forsake him are deprived of every hope of pardon: this is the import of the adverb ἔτι,  more. But Christ’s sacrifice is efficacious to the godly even to death, though they often sin; nay, it retains ever its efficacy, for this very reason, because they cannot be free from sin as long as they dwell in the flesh. The apostle then refers to those alone who wickedly forsake Christ, and thus deprive themselves of the benefit of his death.[7]

    The apostate is described as:

    1. Someone who has trampled underfoot the Son of God;
    2. Someone who has profaned the blood of the covenant;
    3. Someone who has outraged the Spirit of grace.

    (1) To trample the Lord Christ underfoot has the same meaning as “they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt” as in Hebrews 6:6 (see my comments). They, rejecting the only sacrifice that can atone for their sins, are putting Him under their feet as something unworthy to be adored, thanked, worshiped, and praised. This is spoken about people who at one time claimed to belong to Christ which heightens their sin. They claimed to know what it means to be Christian and what His sacrifice means. They rejected Him and His sacrifice with the knowledge of what it actually means and not with ignorance of what it means.

    (2) Someone who has profaned the blood of the covenant, which is the blood of Christ (e.g., Heb. 13:20-21), has declared the blood of Christ to be “an unholy thing” (KJV) and counts the blood of Christ as “a common thing” (YLT), just like the blood of the animal sacrifices. The apostate rejects and treats as unholy, rather than glorious and holy the efficacy of Christ’s blood and sacrifice. The important thing we must inquire about is who is the “he” who “was sanctified”? There are two options really, either it is (1) the apostate or it is (2) Christ. I believe that it is the latter and for the following reasons.

    First of all, the closest antecedent of “he” is “the Son of God” and therefore it seems probable that the one sanctified, i.e., set apart, is, in fact, the Son of God. Second, the word “sanctify” is used only once concerning outward sanctification for the purification of the flesh under the Old Testament sacrifices (Heb. 9:13), but all the remaining uses do not refer to an unbeliever (Heb. 2:11; 10:10, 14; 13:12). We see the perfect work of God in these texts. In all these texts, except Hebrews 9:13, we see the perfect work of Christ in our lives. He has sanctified us, made us holy and set us apart for God through His offering. There is ...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary

    ...y gathering and thus, it is not to be like other gatherings. On the Lord’s Day, we meet with our God as a corporate body and we should have everything in order and maintain the Regulative Principle of Worship. Even if a person is offended, there must be no disturbance of the church service because of that. Neither, as members, they are to neglect to gather on the Lord’s Day with God’s people (Heb. 10:25) or miss the Lord’s Table. Rather than disturbing the church order, they are to seek Reconciliation and commit their cause to Christ, the all-knowing and righteous Judge of all.

    §14 Pray Continually For The Good And Prosperity Of All The Churches Of Christ

    1. As each church, and all the members of it, are bound to pray continually for the good and prosperity of all the churches of Christ, in all places, and upon all occasions to further every one within the bounds of their places and callings, in the exercise of their gifts and graces, so the churches, when planted by the providence of God, so as they may enjoy opportunity and advantage for it, 2 ought to hold communion among themselves, for their peace, increase of love, and mutual edification. 3
      1. John 13:34-35; 17:11, 21-23; Eph. 4:11-16; 6:18; Ps. 122:6; Rom. 16:1-3; 3 John 8-10 with 2 John 5-11; Rom. 15:26; 2 Cor. 8:1-4, 16-24; 9:12-15; Col. 2:1 with 1:3, 4, 7 and 4:7, 12
      2. Gal. 1:2, 22; Col. 4:16; Rev. 1:4; Rom. 16:1-2; 3 John 8-10
      3. 1 John 4:1-3 with 2 and 3 John; Rom. 16:1-3; 2 Cor. 9:12-15; Josh. 22

    Each church should pray continually for the good and prosperity of all the churches of Christ (e.g., John 13:34-35; Eph. 6:18; 2 Cor. 8:1-4) because we are one in Christ even if we have some doctrinal differences. We should seek the prosperity, the growth and the spread of the church of Christ on the earth. And as they are planted by the providence of God, they may enjoy the opportunity and advantage to hold communion among themselves. Even if we have disagreements among other-minded brothers and sisters, we should still pray for them and their church because of the fundamental unity between us on the gospel.

    We should not be like the Hyper-Calvinists who believe that they alone are true Christians. We should acknowledge other churches of Christ with whom we disagree on secondary and tertiary issues who hold fast to the doctrine of the true gospel. We may differ on church order, but if we do not differ on the gospel, then we are brothers and sisters and we ought to pray for each other. We are not to be extreme separatists, neither are we to think of our own church alone. But rather, we should care and pray for all the true churches of Christ that they may prosper with the blessing of God and may abide in the pure doctrine of the Word and be a light in a dark world. Many are the instances in Paul’s letters concerning sending greetings from one church to another (Rom. 16:5, 16; 1 Cor. 6:19; 2 Cor. 13:13; Eph. 1:15; Col. 1:4) or praying for each other (Eph. 6:18; cf. Rom. 1:9; Eph. 1:16; Col. 1:9; 2 Tim. 1:3) or financially supporting other churches (Rom. 12:13; 15:25-26; 2 Cor. 8:1-2; 9:12).[71] This should be done with 2 John 10-11 in mind, “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting” (see also 1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 7-8). This is all the more needed in our day when we see the world pressing Christians on things like homosexuality, abortion or the authority of the Bible, some churches have alre...