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

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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 bodies of men after death return to dust (Gen. 3:19), the original substance, but their souls...having an immortal subsistence (i.e., a state of existence)...neither die nor sleep and immediately return to God (Eccles. 12:7). Our bodily death is not the cessation of our life. When our bodies die, our souls immediately return to God Who gave them. There is no period between our physical death and our returning to God. After our last breath, we immediately return to God. There is no period of waiting or soul sleep. But this returning to God of our souls does not mean we remain with God. Only the souls of the righteous now having been made perfect...are received into paradise, where they are with Christ (Heb. 12:23; Phil. 1:21-23). What a blessing and a privilege to be with Christ for all eternity. The One Whom we love and adore and to behold His face is the greatest blessing which we can imagine. We will likewise behold the face of God in light and glory, no longer afraid or trembling at His sight or in fear of our lives because of His glory. The souls of the righteous await in heaven the redemption of their bodies (Rom. 8:23) at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The souls of the wicked on the other hand are cast into hell where they are in torment and utter darkness and await the judgment of the great day (Luke 16:23; 2 Peter 2:9). The word “hell” in this context is not really accurate as Hell describes the place of torment after the resurrection, where the wicked are c...


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 17: Of The Perseverance of the Saints - Commentary

...sp;storms and floods and by the temptations of Satanthe sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured for us (so also with our assurance, see chapter 18:4). This does not mean that God has changed; he is still the same. But we are being attacked by the enemy and are fighting or giving into temptation and are in need of Restoration. Even in these storms and floods, we may be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation and the enjoyment of our purchased possession. The fact that the elect cannot lose their salvation is further shown from the fact that we are engraven upon the palm of His hands (Isa. 49:16) and our names having been written in the book of life from all eternity (Rev. 13:8; 20:15). All this is given for the confidence and encouragement of the believers in God’s faithfulness, goodness, grace, promise, and power. 


The Impossibility Of Final Apostasy For The Elect

The biblical and Reformed doctrine of perseverance is a great mountain, which gives the saints assurance and faith in God’s almighty power in overcoming sin in us and completely saving us. The doctrine does not teach, contrary to non-Protestant caricatures, that Christians after being saved can do whatever they want to do and still remain saved. Rather, the doctrine teaches that those who have the Spirit of God indwelling in them will persevere in the faith by the almighty power of God. The Lord will chastise, sanctify and lead them toward a holier life.

That the doctrine is true and biblical may be seen from many ways (see paragraph 2), including (1) the decree of election, (2) regeneration, (3) justification and (4) Christ’s obedience.

Election: It has pleased God from all eternity to select a particular people in the Lord Jesus Christ whom He will redeem from sin to be with Him forever without any consideration of foreseen faith or works, merely because of His good pleasure. Seeing that their salvation was not dependent upon them, how would their perseverance be (completely) dependent upon them? There is no debate among Calvinists about whether the elect can lose their salvation. Someone who accepts Unconditional Election must believe in perseverance. It is logically necessary, for to contend otherwise is to say that God has unconditionally chosen a person to be saved, but has not chosen to preserve that particular person, which is absurd on its face. Therefore, the one who accepts Unconditional Election inevitably must accept the Perseverance of the Saints. For to reject the doctrine is to contend that God fails to save those whom He intends to save. See chapter 3, paragraph 5 for more on Unconditional Election.

Regeneration: Through regeneration, we have been made new creatures, given a new heart and a new spirit. Plus, the Spirit of the Almighty has come into our hearts (e.g. Ezek. 36:25-27). We’ve been given a new nature with the Law of the God written upon our hearts (Jer. 31:31-34). What happens when (supposedly) a person loses their salvation? Do they become unregenerate? Do they receive their old nature back? Do they become unborn again? Do you see the difficulty that such an idea of “falling away” brings with it? It is simply impossible that such a thing will happen. And what if the person loses their salvation and then comes to the Lord Jesus again, does God cause him to be born again for a second time? See chapter 11 for more on regeneration.

Justification: Justification is a legal act of God b...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary

...h 5:23), 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.[24]

Christ, the Son of God alone deserves and has ascribed to Him this position of headship over the church, not Peter, nor the Papacy, nor any other person. Therefore, all teaching which seeks to put someone aside Christ as the Head or anyone with him, 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 are 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 (cf. Eph. 5:25-32).

The Pope Of Rome, Antichrist

I don’t agree that the Pope is the antichrist, but he and his office are certainly 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 by grace through faith in Christ, and not also by performing good works, the church of Rome has constituted itself a synagogue of Satan. 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? 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 themselves, but have been the patr...


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!

...

Hebrews 6:4-6, Apostasy and Calvinism

... the 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 viewpoint, they would have been identified as true Christians. 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 have love (Heb 6:1...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary

...n style="color: #99cc00;"on the basis of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, that all the claims of the law are satisfied with respect to the sinner. It is unique in the application of the work of redemption in that it is a judicial act of God, a declaration respecting the sinner, and not an act or process of renewal, such as regeneration, conversion, and sanctification. While it has respect to the sinner, it does not change his inner life. It does not affect his condition, but his state, and in that respect differs from all the other principal parts of the order of salvation. It involves the forgiveness of sins, and Restoration to divine favor.[3]

The Baptist A.H. Strong defined it as:

By justification we mean that judicial act of God by which, on account of Christ, to whom the sinner is united by faith, he declares that sinner to be no longer exposed to the penalty of the law, but to be restored to his favor. Or, to give an alternative definition from which all metaphor is excluded: Justification is the reversal of God’s attitude toward the sinner, because of the sinner’s new relation to Christ. God did condemn; he now acquits. He did repel; he now admits to favor.[4]

Section one first deals with a distortion about justification and then gives the biblical position.

Not Infusion of Righteousness

Roman Catholics believe in what may be called “infused righteousness.” This means that in salvation, the merits of the Lord Jesus on the cross are infused with the righteousness of the sinner and together they constitute the basis of salvation. Meaning, Christ’s righteousness is not enough, rather it is given to help us with our own righteousness through works and obedience to God and the Roman Catholic Church. In their own words, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

1999 The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of sanctification:[5]

This “infused righteousness” is attained by a work, namely baptism. That is the way you get this righteousness. Basically, this position teaches that salvation by grace alone is not enough. You have to add your works and obedience to the work of Christ. It is wrong to think that Roman Catholics do not believe in the necessity of grace. Rather, they don’t believe in the sufficiency of grace. Grace alone is not enough to justify. In their own words from the Council of Trent:

“If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema,” (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9).[6]

Rome, in these words, has denied the gospel of Christ. They place their curse upon the Protestant and biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone. which is the gospel of our salvation. They have denied justification by faith alone, which I will seek to make a case for below. They confess that faith is necessary, but it is not enough. They confess that grace is necessary, but it is, again, not enough. I assert and will seek to prove that the Bible teaches that faith alone is that which justifies the wicked and not grace/faith plu...


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

...s 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 (1 Sam. 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

Now we finally come to the concrete definition of what repentance is. First of all, it is a saving repentance. In other words, through it, coupled with faith, we are saved from the punishment of our sins. Second, it is an evangelical grace. In other words, it has to do with the gospel and gospel-obedience and it is a grace (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Tim. 2:25). This means that it is God Who gives it to us as a gift as paragraph 1 said. Now we come to learn what this saving repentance consists of. This repentance comes when we, by the Holy Spirit are made sensible of the manifold evils of our sin. This conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit coupled with faith in Christ, moves us to godly sorrowdetestation of sin, and self-abhorrency (2 Cor. 7:10-11; Ezek. 16:60-63; 36:31-32). There are two kinds of griefs which 2 Corinthians 7:10 talks about. There is a grief which leads to life and the other to death. The grief/sorrow spoken of here is meant to lead us to ...


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

...I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.

God will never again destroy all life by water; the second time it will be by fire, but that is another subject (2 Pet. 3:10; see here). When speaking of covenants, we assume that the members are either God and man or man and man. But in this covenant, even the animals are included. As the reminder and sign of the covenant, the rainbow was put by God in the sky (Gen. 9:12-13) to remind man that God will never again destroy the whole earth by water (Gen. 9:14-15). The Lord even calls this covenant an “everlasting” covenant (Gen. 9:16). This covenant secures against the destruction of all flesh by water.

What is promised or given?

First of all, as already noted, God promises that He will never again destroy all flesh by water (Gen. 8:21; 9:11, 15). And therefore, God will preserve life upon the earth. This does not mean that God will not allow the extinction of animals, but He will not allow the cessation of life upon earth. God promises the uniformity of nature. God promises that as long as the earth will remain, regular things as planting (seedtime), harvest, summer, and heat; winter and cold; day and light; night and darkness will continue and will not cease. God promises here that He will preserve the earth. He promises that He will preserve the natural world, as He has promised in the Noahic Covenant to preserve life on earth.

Gen. 8:22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

God gives the animals as food to man. Formerly, man was vegetarian, but now he was given animals as food (Gen. 9:3-4). The death penalty is officially established here. We read–

Gen. 9:4-6 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. 6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.

This is also what is called the law of retaliation or in Latin the lex talion. It is mentioned in Exodus 21:23, “But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life”. Let us, in closing, note what the ESV Study Bible notes on Genesis 9:5-6:

Gen. 9:5–6 Following his comments about the killing of animals, God addresses the issue of homicide. Violence by “all flesh” (v. 11), i.e., by man and animals, prompted God to send the flood (6:11, 13). If human nature has not improved after the flood (6:5; 8:21), how is violence to be prevented in the future? This legal enactment is the answer: From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. This means that any animal or person that takes a human life will be held accountable by God, working through human representatives (e.g., Ex. 20:13; 21:28). Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed. Here the principle of talion, a life for a life, is applied (see Ex. 21:23). This measured response is preferable to Lamech’s seventy-sevenfold vengeance (Gen. 4:24). Human life is to be valued so highly that it is protected by this system of punishment because God made man in his own image, and so to murder another human being is to murder what is most like God, and is thus implicitly an attack on God himself. Many would s...


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

...he 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[11]

The Lord Jesus as our advocate, defender, and friend in time of sin. He 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 effect of that propitiation we must repent and believe, it puts the “difference-making” within man and not God (cf. 1 Cor. 1:30). If Christ has satisfied the wrath of God on behalf of X in the same way for 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. 

John Calvin writes:

Though then I allow that what has been said is true [“Christ suffered sufficiently for the whole world, but efficiently only for the elect”], yet I deny that it is sui...