The Staunch Calvinist

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

Search


You searched for 'SANCTIFICATION'

I've found 29 results!


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 13: Of Sanctification - Commentary

...

Chapter 13: Of SANCTIFICATION

Now that we were elected, called and justified we enter into the Christian life, which is one of growth in holiness with ups and downs. In this chapter, we will deal with the question concerning what SANCTIFICATION is and how it works.


§1 Through The Virtue Of Christ's Death And Resurrection, Are Also Farther Sanctified, Really And Personally

  1. They who are united to Christ, effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them through the virtue of Christ's death and resurrection, are also farther sanctified, really and personally, through the same virtue, by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them; 4 the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of all true holiness, 5 without which no man shall see the Lord. 6 
    1. 1 John 3:3-8; 1 John 2:29; 3:9-10; Rom. 1:7; 6:1-11; 15:16; 2 Cor. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Phil. 1:1; Col. 3:12; Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Cor. 1:2, 6:11[1]
    2. 1 Thess. 5:23; Rom. 6:19, 22
    3. 1 Cor. 6:11; Acts 20:32; Phil. 3:10; Rom. 6:5-6
    4. John 17:17, Eph. 5:26; 3:16-19; Rom. 8:13
    5. Rom. 6:13-14; Gal. 5:17, 24; Rom. 8:13; Col. 1:11; Eph. 3:16-19; 4:22-25; 2 Cor. 7:1
    6. Heb. 12:14

United, Called and Regenerated

I refer the interested reader to the previous chapters where we dealt with these things. I lightly touched upon our union with Christ in chapter 8 paragraph 5. We dealt with the effectual call or Irresistible Grace in chapter 10 and Regeneration and Justification were dealt with in chapter 11.

SANCTIFICATION

What is SANCTIFICATION? Wayne Grudem defines SANCTIFICATION in this way:

SANCTIFICATION is a progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives.[2]

In SANCTIFICATION, God works in us to make us more Christ-like. It is a process throughout our whole Christian life on earth where God works to conform us to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:28-29). Throughout our Christian life, we will by the grace and work of the Holy Spirit learn to hate and forsake our sins and follow Christ more faithfully. We should not think of SANCTIFICATION as happening in one moment as some have done who believe that the Christian can be sinless. Nor should we think of SANCTIFICATION is a line going only upward. But rather, SANCTIFICATION is a process of ups and downs.

Obviously, once we come to know Christ, especially if we had lived a gross life, we will realize that it is no longer acceptable for us to do certain things and we will try to stop doing them. Therefore, there is a direct growth and going upward in a sense, but as we read the Word of God and learn God's will for us we will discover more and more sin in us and we should call on the Spirit of Christ to help us in our war against sin. But Christians do sin and fall into sin, we sometimes have seasons of disobedience and negligence to the means that God has ordained to bless us and sanctify us as for example the Word of God, prayer, corporate worship, etc. Therefore, there are also downs in our Christian life. It is not a straight line gradually going upward, rather a sort of zig-zag or flatline.

Romans 8:28-30 is a life passage for me. I love it and I take great comfort in it. Let us look at this passage and see what it says about SANCTIFICATION.

...

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

... hear John 6:39-40. The same concept of the Son being responsible to keep the elect is present here. He is given the responsibility to raise them up in John 6, but here it is expressed in being kept guiltless until the day of resurrection. Therefore, to claim that some of those who were given to Christ will not be kept blameless until the day of Jesus Christ, is to claim that the Son fails in His work, which should not even be thought of!

6. This passage is in many ways parallel to 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, the same ideas are present there as are here. What here is explicitly missing, though not implicitly is the idea of SANCTIFICATION. Obviously, to be guiltless on the day of the Lord, would have to be because of abiding faith in Jesus Christ and growing in Him, which is the essence of SANCTIFICATION (see chapter 13 for more). It is God who is responsible in 1 Thessalonians 5 to sanctify completely the believers. In 1 Corinthians, it is the Lord Jesus and in 1 Thessalonians it is God the Father. Both the Father and the Son are in the work of keeping the believers blameless, how can anyone dare to say that those who truly know the Son and the Father, may, in fact, fall away? Do the Father and Son fail in their purpose because of man's almighty will?!

7. In both passages believers are given hope and encouraged based on God's faithfulness. It is God who will sanctify them and keep them blameless. This does not mean that there is no responsibility for them to seek after the holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Heb. 12:14), but it puts things into perspective. God's work is primary. We endure and preserve, because it is He who preserves us and causes us to endure and transforms us into the likeness of Christ our Lord (cf. Phil. 2:12-13). Therefore, truly, all is of pure grace and we have to pray to God to sanctify us daily and change our desires to conform to His own.

8. The believers are called into the fellowship of God. 1 Corinthians 1 lays a strong stress on the effectual calling of God. In verse 2 we read that the believers were “called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours”. All believers are called by God to be holy ones, set apart for His purpose. They did nothing to earn it, but were simply the objects of the Father's loving grace. Can God now reverse His judgment that the believers are indeed saints and holy ones in His sight, set apart for His use? If we were called into God's fellowship without any regard to our works and faithfulness, but based on God’s faithfulness, how can we through our works lose this blessed fellowship bestowed upon us by grace? Are we really saying that to enter the fellowship is by grace alone, but to remain in the fellowship is by our faithfulness? Those who truly know God and not merely profess to know Him, cannot be separated from His blessed fellowship.

9. Lastly, 1 Thessalonians 5:24 stress the fact that it depends ultimately on God to preserves us. It is God who will keep us blameless because God cannot fail nor goes back on His word. He has called us into His fellowship, and He will never cast us out, but rather He will work on us to make us more holy and more like Christ. We are given assurance that God will indeed sanctify us and keep us without blame. 

Philippians 1:6 – Will bring it to completion

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it t...


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

.../p

The grand reason for changing the Jewish Sabbath to the Lord’s-day is that it puts us in mind of the ‘Mystery of our redemption by Christ.’ The reason why God instituted the old Sabbath was to be a memorial of the creation; but he has now brought the first day of the week in its room in memory of a more glorious work than creation, which is redemption. Great was the work of creation, but greater was the work of redemption.[32]

Concerning the SANCTIFICATION of the Lord’s day, the WLC 117 says:

Question 117: How is the sabbath or the Lord's day to be sanctified?

Answer: The sabbath or Lord's day is to be sanctified by an holy resting all the day, not only from such works as are at all times sinful, but even from such worldly employments and recreations as are on other days lawful; and making it our delight to spend the whole time (except so much of it as is to betaken up in works of necessity and mercy) in the public and private exercises of God's worship: and, to that end, we are to prepare our hearts, and with such foresight, diligence, and moderation, to dispose and seasonably dispatch our worldly business, that we may be the more free and fit for the duties of that day.[15]

That we are to rest does not imply that we are to do absolutely nothing even if there is a need. This is expressed beautifully by the WLC 119:

Question 119: What are the sins forbidden in the fourth commandment?

Answer: The sins forbidden in the fourth commandment are, all omissions of the duties required, all careless, negligent, and unprofitable performing of them, and being weary of them; all profaning the day by idleness, and doing that which is in itself sinful; and by all needless works, words, and thoughts, about our worldly employments and recreations.[15]

We are not to be idle, that is not what it means to sanctify the Sabbath, rather we should be taken up in performing the things of God and the worship of God. It should be our joy to expect eagerly the Lord’s Day every week looking forward to meet the Lord with His people, but all the more to look forward to the eschatological Sabbath in the New Heavens and the New Earth!

The Fifth Commandment

Exod. 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

See also Deut. 5:16.

General Observations On The 5th Commandment

This commandment teaches us to honor our parents and those who are over us. We are to honor them and not disrespect or dishonor them. We should render honor to whom it is due because it is right and also because it is for our own good too. Now, dealing with the first four commandments on the first table of the Decalogue we come to the second table concerning our duty toward our fellow man. But we should see these tables as dependent upon each other, for the one who loves God will love their neighbor and the one who truly and sacrificially loves their neighbor loves God. “The fifth commandment requires the preserving the honor, and performing the duties, belonging to every one in their several places and relations, as superiors, inferiors, or equals. (Lev. 19:32; 1 Peter 2:17; Rom. 13:1; Eph. 5:21,22; Eph. 6:1,5,9; Col. 3:19-22; Rom. 12:10)”[23] (Keach, Q&A 70).

Honor is due to our parents because they were the ones who begat us and gave us life and the Lord requires that we honor them. They were the ones who taught us and cared for us and may continue to do so. Al...


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

...nce and faith so that we may have the full assurance of hope until we inherit the promises. All the promises of God, which are in Christ, are the believers’ also (2Cor. 1:20). This does not only speak of the consummated Kingdom, but also of our eternal life, eternal happiness, and joy, our fellowship with the Triune God in harmony, our resurrection, worldwide peace, cleansing us from every bit of sin, living in perfect righteousness before God, etc...

1 Peter 1:4 speaks of “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for” us. This is our complete redemption. Our resurrection and finished SANCTIFICATION are what Peter has in mind here (1Pet. 1:5, 9, 13). Romans 8:17 speaks of us being co-heirs with Christ. That which He has inherited, we may also share with Him in it. For example, as He sits on the throne of the Universe ruling everything, so likewise Ephesians 2:6 says that we are seated with Christ in heavenly places. As He received glory after His suffering, so likewise the believers will be glorified and honored by God for their suffering for His sake.

Galatians 3:29 tells us that we are children of Abraham based on the fact that we are in Christ. As Gentiles that he was largely writing to, it would have been crazy to say that non-Jews are children of Abraham. But that is not so with Christ. As He was a true Jew, so whoever is in Him, i.e., whoever is represented by Himself, is also a Jew through Him. All Christians are children of Abraham not because they are physical descendants of Abraham, but because they are united to Christ, the true child of Abraham, and through Him, they are also children of Abraham. It is in light of this that Paul calls the believers the Israel of God in Galatians 6:16. This is likewise the case of the believers, both Jewish and Gentile being the Israel of God. As they are in Him who is the Servant of the LORD in Isaiah, who is called Israel (Isa. 41:8; 49:1-7), so likewise as they were through Him children of Abraham, they are also the Israel of God. This is also seen from Ephesians 2:11ff, where we are told that believing Jews and believing Gentiles, have become one new man. That would be the New Israel or Spiritual/True Israel. We were made citizens of “the commonwealth of Israel” in Christ (Eph. 2:12-13, 19).

From Ephesians 2 Paul continues the discussion under hand concerning believing Jews and Gentiles. In Ephesians 3:6 Paul speaks of a mystery, something that was hidden, but now revealed. This mystery is the fact that the believing Gentiles belong to the same body as the believing Jews, that is, they belong to the commonwealth of Israel. They belong to Abraham to whom the promises of God were made concerning having offspring as the stars of heaven. The believing Gentiles will inherit along with the believing Jews the promises made to Israel in the OT as all the promises of God find their Yes (fulfillment) in Him and His body (2Cor. 1:20).

Our inheritance consists in us obtaining eternal life, the New Heavens and New Earth, i.e., the consummated Kingdom of God – the New Jerusalem. Becoming spiritual Jews in Christ. Becoming the Israel of God in Christ. Becoming co-heirs in everything that Christ has inherited from the Father. Glory to the God who has planned this from long ago and purposed to bless us, undeserving sinners in the Beloved. 


§6 The virtue, efficacy, and benefit thereof were communicated to the elect in all ages

  1. Although the pr...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 3: Of God's Decree - Commentary

...e conformed to the image of Christ; and that this was necessary, he had before declared. There is therefore no reason for us to be grieved, or to think it hard and grievous, that we are afflicted, unless we disapprove of the Lord’s election, by which we have been foreordained to life, and unless we are unwilling to bear the image of the Son of God, by which we are to be prepared for celestial glory.

But the foreknowledge of God, which Paul mentions, is not a bare prescience, as some unwise persons absurdly imagine, but the adoption by which he had always distinguished his children from the reprobate. (269) In the same sense Peter says, that the faithful had been elected to the SANCTIFICATION of the Spirit according to the foreknowledge of God. Hence those, to whom I have alluded, foolishly draw this inference, — That God has elected none but those whom he foresaw would be worthy of his grace. Peter does not in deed flatter the faithful, as though every one had been elected on account of his merit; but by reminding them of the eternal counsel of God, he wholly deprives them of all worthiness. So Paul does in this passage, who repeats by another word what he had said before of God’s purpose. It hence follows, that this knowledge is connected with God’s good pleasure; for he foreknew nothing out of himself, in adopting those whom he was pleased to adopt; but only marked out those whom he had purposed to elect. […]

(269) Much controversy has been about the meaning of the verb προέγνω,  in this place. Many of the Fathers, such as [Jerome ], [Chrysostom ], and [Theodoret ], regarded it in the sense of simple prescience, as having reference to those who would believe and obey the gospel. The verb is found only in this place, and in the following passages, Rom 11:2; Act 26:5; 1Pe 1:20; 2Pe 3:17. In the second, and in the last passage, it signifies merely a previous knowledge or acquaintance, and refers to men. In 1Pe 1:20, it is applied to Christ as having been “foreordained,” according to our version, “before the foundation of the world.” In this Epistle, Rom 11:2, it refers to God, — “God hath not cast away his people whom he foreknew;” and according to the context, it means the same as elected; for the Apostle speaks of what God did “according to the election of grace,” and not according to foreseen faith.

The noun derived from it is found in two places, Act 2:23, and 1Pe 1:2. In the first it evidently means decree, foreordination, and in the second, the same; where it is said, that those addressed by the Apostle were elected, “according to the foreknowledge of God, κατὰ πρόγνωσιν Θεοῦ, through the SANCTIFICATION of the Spirit, unto obedience;” they were not then elected, according to God’s foreknowledge or foreordination, because of their obedience. This entirely subverts the gloss put on the verb in this passage.

The usual meaning given to the verb here is fore-approved, or chosen. [Grotius ], [Turrettin ], and others, consider that γινώσκω has the same meaning with the verb ידע, in Hebrew, which is sometimes that of approving or favoring, or regarding with love and approbation. So the compound verb may be rendered here, “whom he fore-approved, or foreknew,” as the objects of his choice: and this idea is what alone comports with the rest of the passage.

[Stuart ] prefers another meaning, and that which it seems to have in 1Pe 1:20, “foreordained.” He says that γινώσκω  means sometimes to will, to determine, to ordain, to decree,...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 27: Of the Communion of Saints

...ring in all those blessings which the Father has given to Christ. This union with Christ spans from eternity past to eternity future. What is then this union with Christ actually? Simply said, it is the application of Christ's accomplished redemption for the elect in space and time. R. L. Dabney writes:

When made one with His Redeeming Head, then all the communicable graces of that Head begin to transfer themselves to him. Thus we find that each kind of benefit which makes up redemption is, in different parts of the Scripture, deduced from this union as their source; Justification, spiritual strength, life, resurrection of the body, good works, prayer and praise, SANCTIFICATION, perseverance, etc., etc. Eph. 1:4, 6, 11, 13; Col. 1:24; Rom. 6:3-6, 8; Col. 2:10; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:9; John 15:1-5.[2]

John Murray, in his Redemption: Accomplish and Applied, noted that in the Christian life “Nothing is more central or basic than union and communion with Christ.”[3] Therefore, it should be beneficial to us to take the time and see what the Scriptures say about our union with the Savior. In the same place, Murray notes that union with Christ is not an aspect of the application of redemption as repentance, faith, effectual calling, but it “underlies every step of the application of redemption.”[3] In all the steps of our salvation we have to do with our union with Christ. The whole process of salvation, from beginning to end, is the realization of our union with Christ. A. H. Strong defines union with Christ as “a union of life, in which the human spirit, while then most truly possessing its own individuality and personal distinctness, is interpenetrated and energized by the Spirit of Christ, is made inscrutably but indissolubly one with him, and so becomes a member and partaker of that regenerated, believing, and justified humanity of which he is the head.”[4] Louis Berkhof defines it as “that intimate, vital, and spiritual union between Christ and His people, in virtue of which He is the source of their life and strength, of their blessedness and salvation.[5]

How This Union Is Spoken Of In Scripture

In the New Testament, especially in the Epistles of Paul, this blessed union with Christ is variously mentioned whether by pictures or by the words used. For instance, Paul says that “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Eph. 2:20-22). In this analogy we see the Apostle comparing our union with Christ with a building and its stones. We are a temple, but we are a temple because we are in Christ Who is building us into a temple for God. This is similar to what is said by Peter in 1 Peter 2:4-5. In this passage and others like it, we see that our union with Christ is the foundation for our communion with the believers (par. 2). We are also described as members of a body and Christ being the Head (Eph. 3:6; 5:29-30; 1Cor. 12:12-27; Col. 2:19).

R. L. Dabney gives a helpful summary of the images used by Scripture to illustrate this blessed union:

The nature of this union is to be deduced from a full comparison of all the representations by which the Word illustrates it. In one place it is described by the union of a vine with its branches; and in another, of the stock of an olive tree with...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 9: Of Free Will - Commentary

...Paul says that there is still an aspect to our redemption (Rom. 8:22-23). Thus in a sense, our redemption is not yet complete. It does not mean that the Lord Christ did not provide a perfect atonement for the elect, forbid the thought! But it means that the application of all the benefits of that atonement are not applied at once. For example, when we come to newness of life at the point the Spirit of grace regenerates us and gives us a new heart, which now has different desires. It wants to obey God and please Him, unlike our previous sinful desires. But we do not directly obey God in everything. There are still things that we struggle with. Then comes the lifelong process of SANCTIFICATION. That is the process through which the Spirit works on us to transform us into Christ’s image and destroy sin in us slowly. SANCTIFICATION is a lifelong process of ups and downs. It is not a constant line going upward, but upward and downward. When we die then our SANCTIFICATION is complete and we are freed from the presence of sin, but still await the redemption of our bodies.

Now we are engaged in a war. As Paul says in Romans 6:13, we should present ourselves no longer as instruments of sin and unrighteousness, but instruments fit to be used by God. We should present our members as instruments for righteousness. To do that which God is pleased with. But sadly that is not as easy as it sounds and Paul knows this, that’s why he writes of the struggle that there is within him in Romans 7. So now we turn our attention to Romans 7. In vv. 1-6, Paul uses an analogy, which seeks to demonstrate how we have been freed from the law by dying just as a wife is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives, but if he dies she is free from that particular law. But for our purposes, we need to look at vv. 7 and beyond.

From his previous discussion about the effect of the law when we are under sin, some people might get the idea that Paul says that the law is of sin and is actually sinful, which is not even remotely in Paul’s mind. His point was that the law for a person under sin can only increase sin, as it has no power to forgive, but it condemns all who do not obey it (Gal. 3:10). Rather, he says that the law actually brings the knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20; 7:7). The law is not the problem; sin is the problem (Rom. 7:8), which uses the “holy and righteous and good” (Rom. 7:12) commandments to produce sin in us. Where there is no law, there is no sin (Rom. 5:13) because sin is lawlessness (1John 3:4), but all are indeed under the law either the one written on stone or on the conscience (Rom. 2:12-15; see chapter 19). Sin has no power without the law (Rom. 7:8), but since we were under the law as a covenant of works (i.e., in the State of Sin), sin reigned over us and used even the good and holy to produce more sin and impurity. Thus Paul says that in a sense he was alive or unaware of his sin apart from the law, but when he understood the requirements of the law, he died (Rom. 7:9-11).

The problem of why the law is ineffective to bring life and SANCTIFICATION to a person under the State of Sin is because the law is spiritual (Rom. 7:14). It is not designed to produce life and SANCTIFICATION in the lives of those under sin, but only condemnation and fear. For the law to produce righteousness and SANCTIFICATION, its subject must be those who are spiritual (Col. 2:13-15). Spiritual does not mean non-physical, but rather a person who is led by the ...


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

...ke holy a thing means to set it apart from common use. Dr. Pipa helpfully observes what it means that the Sabbath was sanctified and blessed at the Creation:

God’s purpose in blessing the day is made clearer when we understand what is meant by His “sanctifying” the day, by declaring it to be holy. When God sanctified something, He removed it from its common use and set it apart for a special religious use connected with His worship and service. For example, He declared to be holy or sanctified the garments of the priest, the altar, the sanctuary, and all the furnishings and utensils in the tabernacle and, later, the temple. On account of this SANCTIFICATION, these things were to be used only for the holy purposes of worship (e.g. Exod 30:37-38).[47]

The Sabbath Day is no ordinary day, but is a high and special day by God’s own sovereign appointment. There is some truth to the claim that “all days are holy,” but it is a half-truth. God has explicitly blessed the Sabbath day. Waldron remarks:

God's blessing in these passages [Gen. 1:22, 28; 5:2; 9:1, where the idea of blessing also occurs in the early chapters of Genesis] undoubtedly expresses the Creator's good will, favor, and delight in His creatures. There is, however, much more than this. God's blessing is effectual. It powerfully makes that which is blessed a source of good. Thus God in blessing the seventh day made it a source of blessing--of good—not (obviously) for Himself--but for men.[48]

A few doubt that the Sabbath Day instituted at the Creation was, in fact, the seventh day of the week. But notice that the holiness of the seventh day is not in the day itself, but rather in the blessing of God. There is nothing special in any of the seven days. There is nothing special, until—God distinguishes one above the others, by blessing it and making it holy. The “holiness” of the day is not in the seventh day itself. Therefore, a change could be made without offering violence to the essence of the Sabbath. The word “Sabbath” does not mean “the seventh day of the week,” rather it means “rest”, "cessation" or something similar. Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology writes on the word “Sabbath”:

The origin of the Hebrew sabbat [שַׁבָּת] is uncertain, but it seems to have derived from the verb sabat, meaning to stop, to cease, or to keep. Its theological meaning is rooted in God's rest following the six days of creation ( Gen 2:2-3 ).[49]

The particular day of the week is not of the essence for the Sabbath. The day was decided by the positive command and institution of God. The Lord blessed the seventh day and made it the Sabbath. He could, likewise, if He chose to, move it to the first day. But more on this later. A.A. Hodge observes that “it is evident that the particular day set apart is not in the least of the essence of the institution, and that it must depend upon the positive will of God, which of course may substitute one day instead of another on suitable occasions for adequate reasons.”[50]Therefore, in the subsequent discussion, it will not do to repeat the claim, “for four thousand years the Sabbath was known as the seventh day of the week” over and over again. It is not of the essence of the commandment that it should be the seventh day of the week. The essence is simply: one day of rest in seven. The particular day of the week must be decided by the divine will.

To close our discussion on Genesis 2, let me give you a quote from John Owe...


1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

... Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the punishment thereof

  • Of God's Covenant

  • Of Christ the Mediator

  • Of Free Will

  • Of Effectual Calling

  • Of Justification

  • Of Adoption

  • Of SANCTIFICATION

  • Of Saving Faith

  • Of Repentance unto Life and Salvation

  • Of Good Works

  • Of the Perseveraance of the Saints

  • Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation

  • Of the Law of God

  • Of the Gospel and the Extent of Grace thereof

  • Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience

  • Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day

  • Of Lawful Oaths and Vows

  • Of the Civil Magistrate

  • Of Marriage

  • Of the Church

  • Of the Communion of Saints

  • Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper

  • Of Baptism

  • Of the Lord's Supper

  • Of the State of Man after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead

  • Of the Last Judgement

  • (More) Scriptural references have been added from Sam Waldron's excellent Modern Exposition of 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.


    Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scriptures [Return] [Commentary]

    1. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience 1, although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable 2; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation 3. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church 4; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary 5, those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased. 6
      1. Isa 8:20; Luke 16:29; Eph 2:20; 2 Tim 3:15-17
      2. Ps 19:1-3; Rom 1:19-21, 32; 2:12a, 14-15
      3. Ps 19:1-3 with vv. 7-11; Rom 1:19-21; 2:12a, 14-15 with 1:16-17; and 3:21
      4. Heb 1:1-2a
      5. Prov 22:19-21; Luke 1:1-4; 2 Peter 1:12-15; 3:1; Deut 17:18ff; 31:9ff, 19ff; 1 Cor 15:1; 2 Thess 2:1-2, 15; 3:17; Rom 1:8-15; Gal 4:20; 6:11; 1 Tim 3:14ff; Rev 1:9, 19; 2:1 etc.; Rom 15:4; 2 Peter 1:19-21
      6. Heb 1:1-2a; Acts 1:21-22; 1 Cor 9:1; 15:7-8; Eph 2:20
    2. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these: 
      ...
      OF THE OLD TESTAMENT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
      Genesis Matthew
      Exodus Mark
      Leviticus Luke
      Numbers John
      Deuteronomy Paul's Epistle to the Romans
      Joshua  I Corinthians & II Corinthians
      Judges Galatians
      Ruth Ephesians
      I Samuel & II Samuel Philippians
      I Kings & II Kings Colossians
      I Chronicles, II Chronicles I Thessalonians & II Thessalonians
      Ezra I Timothy & II Timothy
      Nehemiah To Titus
      Esther To Philemon
      Job The Epistle to the Hebrews
      Psalms Epistle of James
      Proverbs

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary

    ...fused righteousness." That means that at 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 words:

    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:[3]

    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).[4]

    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 plus anything in us.

    Imputed Righteousness

    Christ's active obedience is what was imputed to us, which we discussed in chapter 8 (see here). His active obedience refers Lord's keeping the Law of God perfectly for us and in our place. All that righteousness which the Lord Jesus earned, the Father credits to us. It is as though we had lived the perfect life of Christ in complete obedience to God. That is how God sees His children. But it is not only His active but also passive obedience which justifies us. His passive obedience refers to His obedience to the Father even to the point of death and torture. It is through Christ's righteousness and death that we are justified and are in the right with God. Christ provided us a perfect righteousness by perfectly obeying and living the Law of God in our place and He took the penalty of the Law, which was ours upon Himself. Christ’s righteousness is given and credited to us. It is not mixed and infused with our own righteousness. The Apostle Paul says:

    Phil. 3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith

    Paul does not find comfort in his own righteousness, which comes through the law and doing "good" things which the law commands. But he finds his comfort, peace, and rest in the righteousness which comes thro...