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

... ...

1 Timothy 4:10, 'Savior of all men'

...28).

A short comment is made by RC Sproul in the ESV Reformation Bible:[2]

4:10 Savior of all people. The general call to repentance and salvation is extended to all people (Matt. 11:28). See “Definite Redemption” at John 10:15.

especially of those who believe. Salvation is God’s gift, in particular to those who trust in His provision in Christ (Matt. 22:14; Rom. 8:30).

The ESV Study Bible explains:[3]

1 Tim. 4:10 to this end. The goal of Paul’s labors is that people attain “godliness” (v. 8) and its eternal “value.” Toil and strive is typical of Paul’s description of gospel ministry (cf. 5:17; Rom. 16:6, 12; 1 Cor. 15:10; 16:16; Gal. 4:11; Eph. 4:28). The statement that God is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe could seem to teach universalism, that every person will eventually go to heaven. However, the rest of Scripture clearly denies this idea (see note on 1 Tim. 2:4). There are several other possible explanations for this phrase: (1) It means that Christ died for all people, but only those who believe in him are saved. (2) It means he is offered to all people, though not all receive him. (3) It means “the Savior of all people, namely, those who believe” (a different translation of Gk. malista, based on extrabiblical examples). (4) It means “the helper of all people,” taking Greek Sōtēr, “Savior,” to refer not to forgiveness of sins but to God’s common grace by which God helps and protects people in need. (5) It means “the Savior of all kinds of people, not Jews only but both Jews and Greeks.” In any case, the emphasis is on God’s care for the unsaved world, and in the flow of the letter Paul is stressing once more (cf. 2:3–5) that God’s will that people would be saved is the basis of the universal mission (cf. Matt. 28:19–20). On God as “Savior,” see note on 2 Tim. 1:8–10.

The ESV MacArthur Study Bible provides a commentary about this verse:[4]

1 Tim. 4:10 hope. Believers are saved in hope and live and serve in light of that hope of eternal life (Titus 1:2; 3:7; see note on Rom. 5:2). Working to the point of exhaustion and suffering rejection and persecution are acceptable because believers understand they are doing God’s work—which is the work of salvation. That makes it worth all of the sacrifices (Phil. 1:12–18, 27–30; 2:17; Col. 1:24–25; 2 Tim. 1:6–12; 2:3–4, 9–10; 4:5–8). the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. Paul is obviously not teaching universalism, that all people will be saved in the spiritual and eternal sense, since the rest of Scripture clearly teaches that God will not save everyone. Most will reject him and spend eternity in hell (Matt. 25:41, 46; Rev. 20:11–15). Yet, the Greek word translated “especially” must mean that all people enjoy God’s salvation in some way like those who believe enjoy his salvation. The simple explanation is that God is the Savior of all people, only in a temporal sense, while of believers in an eternal sense. Paul’s point is that while God graciously delivers believers from sin’s condemnation and penalty because he was their substitute (2 Cor. 5:21), all peop...


1 Timothy 2:4 & Titus 2:11, 'desires all people to be saved'

...d in His cross-work. He saves to the uttermost those who draw near to God, but then the question arises: Who draws near to God? The answer from Jesus’ lips is recorded in John 6:44 – No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. And on their behalf does He make His intercessory work. Imagine the Risen Lord of Glory interceding for someone for whom He did not died and for a one whom the Father had no chosen, He would fail miserably, but it’s impossible for the Lord of Glory to be rejected by the Father or for God to fail.

Commentaries

All Kinds of People

The ESV Study Bible explains: [3]

1 Tim. 2:4 Evangelistic prayer for all people is rooted in the fact that God desires all people to be saved. It appears that Paul is countering an exclusivist tendency in the false teachers or at least their downplaying of the importance of evangelizing the Gentiles (along with their emphasis on the Jewish law). This statement figures prominently in theological disagreements over the extent of the atonement. It cannot be read as suggesting that everyone will be saved (universalism) because the rest of the letter makes it clear that some will not be saved (4:1; 5:24; 6:10; cf. Matt. 25:30, 41, 46; Rev. 14:9–11). Does that mean God desires something (all people being saved) that he cannot fulfill? Both Arminian and Calvinist theologians respond that God “desires” something more than universal salvation. Arminians hold that God’s greater desire is to preserve genuine human freedom (which is necessary for genuine love) and therefore he must allow that some may choose to reject his offer of salvation. Calvinists hold that God’s greater desire is to display the full range of his glory (Rom. 9:22–23), which results in election depending upon the freedom of his mercy and not upon human choice (Rom. 9:15–18). However one understands the extent of the atonement, this passage clearly teaches the free and universal offer of the gospel to every single human being; “desires” shows that this offer is a bona fide expression of God’s good will. Come to the knowledge of the truth highlights the cognitive aspect of conversion, i.e., individuals must come to understand key truths in order to be converted. “The truth” occurs often in the Pastorals as a synonym for the gospel (cf. 1 Tim. 3:15; 4:3; 2 Tim. 2:15, 18, 25; 3:7, 8; 4:4; Titus 1:1, 14).

ESV Reformation Study Bible[4]

2:1 all people. As can be seen from the next expression (“for kings and all who are in high positions”), this does not mean “every human being,” but rather “all types of people,” whatever their station in life.

2:4 who desires all people to be saved. This does not mean that God sovereignly wills every human being to be saved (i.e., that God saves everyone). It may refer to God’s general benevolence in taking no delight in the death of the wicked, or to God’s desire that all types of people (v. 1 note) be saved (i.e., God does not choose His elect from any single group).

NLT Study Bible[5]

1 Timothy 2:1 all people: The prayers of the false teachers and their disciples were evidently not consonant with God’s will to save all kinds of people (2:3-4).

1 Timothy 2:2 all who are in authority: Those who had the power to persecute or to protect the church (see also Rom 13:1-7; 1 Pet 2:13-17). • live peaceful and quiet lives: The point was not for Christians to blend in and be unnoticed, but to display the be...


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

...spirits, were from the first, according as they were written, read with the Old Testament in the church (1Th 5:21; 1Th 5:27; Col 4:16) (Justin Martyr, 'Apology,' 1: 67). Probably the Spirit intended also to teach that the pastor's Scripture reading in general should be the fountain of all "exhortation" and "doctrine."[25]

Likewise, another commentary says:

(a) ἀνάγνωσις, reading, is not the private Study of Scripture (Chrys.), but the public reading of the O.T. in the congregation, a custom taken over from the synagogue (Luk 4:16; Act 15:21; 2Co 3:14). The Apostolic letters were also read in the Christian assemblies in the Apostolic age (Col 4:16; 1Th 5:27); and by the time of Justin Martyr’s Apology (i. 67) portions of O.T. and N.T. Scripture alike were read aloud by the ἀναγνώστης at the Sunday Service.[26]

It is essential for the people of God to hear and be fed the Word of God. The necessity of the public reading and hearing of God’s Word is seen when we understand that God speaks to us in the Bible and that His people must know His Word. This is something which the Jews continually did on the Sabbath and feast days and which Christians are likewise to do (Acts 15:21). There is a blessing in reading, hearing and meditating upon God’s holy Word. An explicit blessing is attached to the book of Revelation:

Rev. 1:3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

I suppose that this is also the case for our portions of Holy Writ. There is a blessing when God’s Word is heard. We thereby learn the will of God and God ministers to us.

2. The Preaching And Hearing Of The Scriptures

In Reformed churches, the pulpit stands supreme symbolizing the necessity and centrality of God’s Word. The pulpit is the place from which God, through His Word expounded by the faithful preacher, speaks to His people. Preaching the Word is an essential part of worship. Many people nowadays think that worship takes place when we sing, but that is dead wrong. It is true that we worship through song and music, but we worship likewise when we hear the Word of God faithfully expounded. The preaching of the Word is the most important aspect of the divine service. For in the faithful exposition of Scripture we hear God speaking to us and teaching us. The early church is described as those who “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42). They were dedicated to the teaching of Scripture by the Apostles. It is evident that the Apostles largely expounded upon the Old Testament, showing how the prophecies of old were being fulfilled in their days as they did on Pentecost, for example. There is a solemn and very serious task for pastors to preach the Word. The Apostle writes:

2Tim. 4:1-2 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

Timothy is solemnly charged to preach the Word. There is a necessity on his part to do this. He is given a solemn obligation as a pastor to do this for his congregation. For if the Word is not faithfully preached, people will find for themselves “pastors” who will “suit their passions” and “will turn away from listening to the truth” (2Tim. 4:3-4). Furthermore, the nece...


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

...bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Notice that even in upholding the necessity and authority of Scripture, the Lord Christ appeals to Scripture (Deut. 8:3). We do not truly live by physical bread and food alone, but we are to live by every word of God. Notice how the Scripture is here described. It is said to be “word[s] that comes from the mouth of God.” It has its origin with the God of the world and it is Him speaking by His mouth to us. We are to feed and live on this Word. The Lord does not say that we should feast on the Word, implying that we read and Study it occasionally. But the Word ought to be like bread to us—every day’s food. We are to read and Study Scripture daily so as to grow in our faith and in our relationship with God.

In 1 Peter 1:23-2:2, the Apostle Peter speaks about the “imperishable…[and]…the living and abiding word of God” (v. 23), which “remains forever” (v. 25; cf. Isa. 40:8) and which is “the good news that was preached to you” (v. 25). He goes on in chapter 2 to speak of us as “newborn infants” who “long for the pure spiritual milk” (2:2), which is the word of the Lord about which he is writing. Just like newborns cannot survive without the milk of their mothers, in the same way, Christians are dependent upon the Word of God.

The subject of mediation and delight of the Psalmist is “the law of the LORD” (Ps. 1:2). He does not occasionally think about the Word of God, rather, “he meditates day and night” on the Word of God. It is an essential part of his life. It is the light in which he walks (Ps. 119:105). He stores up God’s Word in his heart and has the desire to learn more from God (Ps. 119:11-12, 18, 20). His delight is in God’s Word (Ps. 119:16) and on it he meditates (Ps. 119:15, 23, 27, 48, 78, 148). And so goes the 119th Psalm praising God for giving us His Law and His Word as a guide and self-revelation. A Christian cannot be spiritually healthy without the Word of God.

Although general revelation reveals that there is a God, yet it is not enough to save us. General revelation condemns. That’s why special revelation is necessary for salvation and special revelation inscripturated in Holy Writ is necessary for Christian discipleship and spiritual growth.

Scripture Is The Self-Revelation Of God

The Scripture is the Word of God, which is our ultimate standard in all matters. It is the self-revelation of God to us. It is to be trusted, cherished, studied and obeyed. In the Scriptures, we have the God of the Universe speaking to us in human words, so that we may understand Him. There is a very interesting passage in 1 Samuel 3 which reads:

1Sam 3:21 And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

Notice how here Yahweh the Lord revealed and disclosed Himself, by His word. God revealed Himself to Samuel, who did not know the LORD yet (1Sam. 3:7), by His word. God revealed Himself savingly to Samuel by a Self-revelation. The word which the LORD spoke to Samuel was a revelation of Himself. It was the Lord of all the earth speaking to a man in human language so that he would understand. God condescends so as to reveal Himself in human language to us miserable sinners. What an amazing grace! What we have in Scripture, which is “the word of the LORD”, is, in fact, the self-disclosure and revelation of God Himself. He reveals to us things about His character, His promises, His p...


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

...ugh the weakness of man in his lapsed state) has been found weak and unprofitable as to this great end of a covenant because insufficient to accomplish it, God finds fault, abolishes it, and introduces another in which full provision is made for the perfect salvation of those that have interest in it (Hebrews 8:7, 8).[8]

Now that we know what a covenant is, let us delve into the covenants of which the Bible speaks.

The Covenant of Works

We begin our Study of the covenants with the Covenant of Works because that is the way our Confession starts this chapter. Some may be searching for the phrase "Covenant of Works" in paragraph 1 or the whole chapter. You won't find it. But that does not mean that the concept of the Covenant of Works is not here. A few reasons may be given as to why the Confession does not use the phrase "covenant of works" in this chapter, while the sister confessions do. First of all, if we compare the title of the chapter, in the Westminster and Savoy confessions we have "Of God's Covenant with Man", while in the 1689 we have "Of God's Covenant." The 1689 focuses on the revelation and establishment of the Covenant of Grace, while the others treat God's covenants from the beginning and not only focusing upon the Covenant of Grace. The 1689 "concentrates on the covenant of grace and either assumes or implies the covenant of works, making its explicit mention superfluous."[9] The fact that the Confession by its omission is not denying the doctrine of the Covenant of Works is seen in that it is both explicitly (19:6 [2x]; 20:1) as well as implicitly (6:1; 19:1) implied elsewhere:

19:6 Although true believers be not under the law as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned, yet it is of great use to them as well as to others, in that as a rule of life, informing them of the will of God and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the sinful pollutions of their natures, hearts, and lives, so as examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against, sin; together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ and the perfection of his obedience; it is likewise of use to the regenerate to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin; and the threatenings of it serve to shew what even their sins deserve, and what afflictions in this life they may expect for them, although freed from the curse and unallayed rigour thereof. The promises of it likewise shew them God's approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof, though not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works; so as man's doing good and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law and not under grace.

20:1 The covenant of works being broken by sin, and made unprofitable unto life, God was pleased to giveforththe promise of Christ, the seed of the woman, as the means of callingthe elect, and begetting in them faith and repentance; in this promise the gospel, as to the substance of it, was revealed, and[is]therein effectual for the conversion and salvation of sinners.

First of all, believers are subject to the law of God not as a covenant of works to earn righteousness and life by, but as a rule of life. What is, even more, is what is said in chapter 20. There, the doctrine of the Covenant of Works is clea...


Romans 5:18-19, 'justification and life for all men'

.../p

But by the grace of God, we have another Federal Head, namely our precious Lord Jesus, who stood in the stead of His people (Matt 1:21; 2 Co 5:21; Tit 2:14, Jn 10:15, etc..).

Not all the human race is in Him, but only those who believe in Him. All those who do not believe remain in Adam.

It is clear from contrasting verses 18 and 19 (and Romans 5 in general) that Paul does not see the whole human race as justified because of Christ, as that would contradict the idea of Hell and what was said before chapter 5, especially Romans 1-2 and what is in this chapter: Romans 5:12, 14, 16-17.

Commentaries

The ESV Study Bible explains: [1]

Rom. 5:18 The one trespass of Adam, as the covenantal head of the human race, brought condemnation and guilt to all people. In a similar way, Christ’s one act of righteousness (either his death as such or his whole life of perfect obedience, including his death) grants righteousness and life to all who belong to him. for all men. Some interpreters have advocated universalism (the view that all will be saved) based on these verses. But Paul makes it plain in this context that only those who “receive” (v. 17) God’s gift belong to Christ (see also 1:16–5:11, which indicates that only those who have faith will be justified). The wording “as … so” shows that Paul’s focus is not on the number in each group but on the method of either sin or righteousness being passed from the representative leader to the whole group: the first “all men” refers to all who are in Adam (every human being), while the second “all men” refers to all believers, to all who are “in Christ.” On the translation “men,” see note on 5:12.

The John MacArthur ESV Study Bible explains: [2]

Condemnation. See not on v. 16. One act of righteousness. Not a reference to a single event, but generally to Christ’s obedience (cf. v. 19; Luke 2:49; John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38), culminating in the greatest demonstration of this obedience, death on a cross (Phil. 2:8). Justification . . . for all men. This cannot mean that all men will be saved; salvation is only for those who exercise faith in Jesus Christ (cf. Rom 1:16-17; 3:22, 28; 4:5, 13). Rather, like the word many in 5:15, Paul is using “all” with two different meanings for the sake of parallelism, a common practice in the Hebrew OT.

The Reformation ESV Study Bible explains: [3]

5:18, 19 Paul returns to the main thrust of his analogy, namely that there is a parallel between Adam and Christ in that condemnation and justification are the direct fruits of their actions. On the basis of the actions of “one,” “many” are constituted either sinners or righteous. Adam is the representative head as well as the physical root of all, and all sinned and fell when he sinned. In contrast, “by the one man’s obedience” those whom Christ represents are “made righteous” in Him. Christ is their representative Head,  as well as the spiritual root of the new humanity, for through His resurrection they are given new birth and a living hope (1 Pet. 1:3; Eph 2:1-7)

John Gill in his Exposition of the Entire Bible[4]:

Therefore as by the offence of one,.... Or by one offence, as before, the guilt of which is imputed to, and

[judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; which word is used in a legal sense, and intends condemnation to eternal death, as appears from the antithesis in the text; for if "justification of life", means an adjudging to eternal life, as it certainly doe...


The Purpose For Writing The Commentary On The 1689

About a year ago or more,[1] I started diving into the 1689 Baptist Confession of faith to Study it. My main purpose was not to Study the Confession per sé, but to Study the doctrines asserted by the Confession and to see if they were biblical. My main focus was to teach myself to make a biblical case for cardinal doctrines which Reformed folk believe, and I believe that I have been able to make a biblical case for every (or almost all?) doctrine which is espoused by the Confession to my satisfaction. If you want a Study which focuses on the words of the Confession[2], this is not what you're looking for. If you're looking for a Study which intends to make a case for the doctrines asserted, you may be blessed by this Study. Basically, the purpose was to teach myself systematic theology and teach myself to defend Reformed doctrine biblically.

I cannot say that I disagree with any doctrine in the Confession, but there may be some who may question whether I hold to the Confession, especially chapter 1, because I consider myself a theological continuationist. I stress theological, because I do not practice “prophecy” or “speaking in tongues.” Practically, I'm a cessationist with a very high view of Holy Writ and critical of charismania and those weird things which you see on the Net of charismatics. The Study on the gifts is one which I started, but have not finished yet (I have not read all the books which I have purchased from both sides). But I must honestly say that I'm not convinced of cessationism because I don't believe the Bible teaches it. The statement in 1:1 which says “those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased” may be the only one which I would interpret differently.

I'm not big on names, it doesn't matter to me if one considers me a Reformed Baptist or not, I will not pride myself in that, either way it is not essential to me what title I have besides Δοῦλος Χριστοῦ.

Footnotes

  1. ^ The dates of publication which every post has for the Confession, do not mean that I finished the commentary on that day. At the beginning I commented very briefly (few lines) on the whole Confession, just because I was simply willing to know what it taught. Sometime after, I'm not sure when, maybe a year ago, I started enlarging the chapters and adding more of my thoughts and comments. The first longest chapter was chapter 7 on God's Covenants, which makes a case for 1689 Federalism.
  2. ^ https://1689commentary.org/ is such a Study.

 


God's Absolute Sovereignty: Resources used

...y/">Albert Barnes New Testament Notes ...

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

...em as they are knowing that if people are seeking holiness, it is because God is working in them (this is in essence sanctification, which is a work of God in man). The “holiness without which no one will see the Lord” is the holiness which He is working within us through discipline, His sacrifice (Heb. 10:14; 13:12) and other means.

Conclusion on Hebrews

The book of Hebrews definitely supports the Perseverance of the Saints in clear words and therefore the warning passages should be read in light of this clear testimony. Before going into this Study concerning Hebrews I did not know how much it said about Perseverance and the perfection of Christ's work, now I do. Knowing that I do not understand everything fully, though I seek to understand this second-favorite-Epistle of mine better.

Jude

Jude 1:1 – Kept For Jesus

Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:

1. The author identifies his audience as those who are (1) called, (2) beloved in God and (3) kept for Jesus. For more on the call see chapter 10 or the comments on Hebrews 3:1 above. His audience are further identified with those who are beloved in and by God the Father. This does not speak of God’s general love, but of His specific and elective love toward the believers which is restricted in Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:39). It is with this love that the Father chose the elect from before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4-5) and it is this love which provided Jesus as the propitiation for our sins (1John 4:10). Can God lose those whom He loved and chose from all eternity? Can He lose those whom He called through the Gospel based on His fore-love and fore-choice of them from all eternity?

2. The audience are described as those who are kept for Jesus. The Greek word here is τετηρημένοις (tetéremenois), the perfect tense, passive voice, participle mood of τηρέω (tereo, G5083) which we also encountered in 1 Peter 1:4. The believers are being guarded, preserved and kept for Jesus in the condition that they are in. They are being kept for the Lord Jesus and by (alt. reading ESV, HCSB, ISV) the Lord Jesus in the state which they are, because the elect of God are entrusted to His care (John 6:39-40). Therefore, those who are called and loved by God, are also the ones who are kept, guarded and preserved by, for, and in Jesus Christ our Lord. The passive voice of the verb denotes that it is an action done unto the subject, but not by the subject. The subject is receiving the action of being kept, guarded and preserved. We are not preserving and guarding ourselves, rather it is God who does that amazing work to keep His elect. The perfect tense of the verb denotes that we are speaking of a present state (being kept) resulting from a finished action. Or, an action that has been completed in the past yet has results still occurring in the present. The fact that we are now being kept by Jesus and for Jesus, is based on a particular thing in the past, whether it be the election of God in love, or the effectual call of God, or the propitiation He provided for the elect. But we are sure that this work of preservation by Jesus is based not on things in us, but of something(s) that God has done in the past.

3. Is it possible for those who are called by God, Whose call is irreversible (Rom. 11:29), loved by God from all eternity and in the present kept by God could lose or forfeit...