The Staunch Calvinist

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

Search


You searched for 'To Be Continued'

I've found 23 results!


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

..."a proportion of time, by God's appointment, be set apart for the worship of God, so by his Word, in a positive moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men, in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy unto him, which from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ was the last day of the week, and from the resurrection of Christ was changed into the first day of the week, which is called the Lord's day: and is To Be Continued to the end of the world as the Christian Sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week being abolished. 2
  1. Gen. 2:3; Exod. 20:8-11; Mark 2:27-28; Rev. 1:10
  2. John 20:1; Acts 2:1; 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1; Rev. 1:10; Col. 2:16-17

The law of nature reveals to us that in general a proportion of time, by God’s appointment, be set apart for the worship of God. This is also evidenced by the feasts and religious days that all religions have had. But this says nothing how long or when this proportion of time should be. That is revealed by His Word as, for example, is the acceptable way of worshiping Him revealed only by His Word (paragraph 1). The Confession then goes on to talk about the day of worship. The commandment is said to be a positive moral, and perpetual commandment. What do these words mean? Positive is something which is added to the law of nature or the moral law. It is not intuitive or part of that which is written in the hearts of men. That which is written in the hearts of men is that a proportion of time should be set apart for the worship of God. But as to when this time is, is revealed by His Word. It is also a moral commandment. It has its ground in God and its essence is written in the hearts of all men. Lastly, it is said to be a perpetual commandment, i.e., one which will not go away but remain with man forever. What does this commandment do? It is said to be binding on all men, in all ages that one day in seven is a sabbath to be kept holy unto Him (Ex. 20:8-11). This is the essence of the Sabbath commandment: one day in seven is a Sabbath unto the Lord. Finally, the Confession goes on to identify the specific day of the Sabbath under the Old Testament and the New Testament. Prior to the resurrection of Christ, it fell on the last day of the week. But from the resurrection of Christ, it was changed into the first day of the week (John 20:1, 19; Acts 20:7; 1Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10). The first day of the week is also called the Lord’s day in Scripture and history (see the sections below). The Lord’s day is To Be Continued as the Sabbath under the New Covenant, hence it is called the Christian Sabbath. The observation of the last day of the week has been abolished with the resurrection of Christ and the change of the specific day of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first (or eight).


Introduction

My Study

This is a topic that has fascinated me for some time. When I first read the Confession, I could remember that I had general agreement with what was said here, but I couldn’t have made a biblical case for it. At some times I thought that the Sabbath was abolished, other times I thought it was not. I was not sure. A desire came in me a while ago to study this subject and to understand why Reformed Christians observe the Christian Sabbath. By the grace of God, I was and am convinced that the Lord’s commandments are not burdens, but a path of joy and liberty. I could never understand those who limit th...


1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted

...strength of grace, with a purpose and endeavour, by supplies of the Spirit, to walk before God unto all well-pleasing in all things.
  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
  1. As repentance is To Be Continued through the whole course of our lives, upon the account of the body of death, and the motions thereof, so it is every man's duty to repent of his particular known sins particularly.
    1. Ezek. 16:60; Matt. 5:4; 1 John 1:9
    2. Luke 19:8; 1 Tim. 1:13, 15
  1. Such is the provision which God hath made through Christ in the covenant of grace for the preservation of believers unto salvation; that although there is no sin so small but it deserves damnation; yet there is no sin so great that it shall bring damnation on them that repent; which makes the constant preaching of repentance necessary.
    1. Ezek. 16:60; Matt. 5:4; 1 John 1:9
    2. Luke 19:8; 1 Tim. 1:13, 15

Chapter 16: Of Good Works [Return] [Commentary]

  1. Good works are only such as God hath commanded in his Holy Word, and not such as without the warrant thereof are devised by men out of blind zeal, or upon any pretence of good intentions.
    1. Micah 6:8; Rom. 12:2; Heb. 13:21; Col. 2:3; 2 Tim. 3:16-17
    2. Matt. 15:9 with Isa. 29:13; 1 Peter 1:18; Rom. 10:2; John 16:2; 1 Sam. 15:21-23; 1 Cor. 7:23; Gal. 5:1; Col. 2:8, 16-23
  1. These good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith; and by them believers manifest their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance, edify their brethren, adorn the profession of the gospel, stop the mouths of the adversaries, and glorify God, whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto, that having their fruit unto holiness they may have the end eternal life.
    1. James 2:18, 22; Gal. 5:6; 1 Tim. 1:5
    2. Ps. 116:12-14; 1 Peter 2:9, 12; Luke 7:36-50 with Matt. 26:1-11
    3. 1 John 2:3, 5; 3:18-19; 2 Peter 1:5-11
    4. 2 Cor. 9:2; Matt. 5:16
    5. Matt. 5:16; Titus 2:5, 9-12; 1 Tim. 6:1; 1 Peter 2:12
    6. 1 Peter 2:12, 15; Titus 2:5; 1 Tim. 6:1
    7. Eph. 2:10; Phil. 1:11; 1 Tim. 6:1; 1 Peter 2:12; Matt. 5:16
    8. Rom. 6:22; Matt. 7:13-14, 21-23
  1. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ; and that they may be enabled thereunto, besides the graces they have already received, there is necessary an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit, to work in them to will and to do of his good pleasure; yet they are not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty, unless upon a special motion of the Spirit, but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them.
    1. Ezek. 36:26-27; John 15:4-6; 2 Cor. 3:5; Phil. 2:12-13; Eph. 2:10
    2. Isaiah 64:7; Rom. 8:14; John 3:8; Phil. 2:12-13; 2 Peter 1:10; Heb. 6:12; 2 Tim. 1:6; Jude 20-21
  1. They who in their obedience attain to the greatest height which is possible in this life, are so far from being able to supererogate, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do.
    1. 1 Kings 8:46; 2 Chron. 6:36; Ps. 130:3; 143...

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

...enever we read of the call to repentance alone, we understand that faith is assumed and vice versa. When the Lord Jesus warned that “unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5), we see there the necessity of repentance for salvation, but we do not say that repentance is a work, or that faith is not necessary. We accept both as being the two sides of the one coin (conversion). Both of graces of the New Covenant. See also our discussion of these inseparable graces in the chapter on faith (see here).


§4 Repentance is To Be Continued through the whole course of our lives

  1. As repentance is To Be Continued through the whole course of our lives, upon the account of the body of death, and the motions thereof, 1 so it is every man's duty to repent of his particular known sins particularly. 2
    1. Ezek. 16:60; Matt. 5:4; 1 John 1:9
    2. Luke 19:8; 1 Tim. 1:13, 15

Repentance is not an act once performed or a turn once taken. Rather, our whole life is to be a life of continual repentance from sin and turning toward God. This means that repentance is To Be Continued through the whole course of our lives because this body of death will always produce sin that needs to be repented of. So it is the duty of every Christian to repent of his particular known sins particularly and ask for forgiveness from God for his sins. We may also ask for forgiveness of unknown sins to us or which we do not remember, but the Confession specifically calls us to confess and repent of sins which we particularly and definitely know (we can point a finger on them).


The very first point in of Martin Luther 95 Theses was:

1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ``Repent'' (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.[6]

The Bible and the Reformers thus taught that repentance was not something we merely did at the beginning, in conversion, but we repent—we turn away from sin and toward God every day. As we sin every day and confess our sins with repentant hearts. We make it our aim to repent every day from all known sins and to confess them to the Lord so that we may be forgiven (1John 1:8-2:2). We seek to live a life that is in constant war with the flesh (Gal. 5:17) and that is through faith and by grace overcoming the flesh.

There is not much more to say in this section. There is the one-time repentance where we turn from sin and toward God, and we place our faith in Christ and are justified. And there is the continued day to day repentance where we seek to mortify the flesh and turn from all our sins by the help of the Holy Spirit. We should live a life of repentance.


§5 There is no sin so great that it shall bring damnation on them that repent 

  1. Such is the provision which God hath made through Christ in the covenant of grace for the preservation of believers unto salvation; that although there is no sin so small but it deserves damnation; yet there is no sin so great that it shall bring damnation on them that repent; which makes the constant preaching of repentance necessary. 2
    1. Ezek. 16:60; Matt. 5:4; 1 John 1:9
    2. Luke 19:8; 1 Tim. 1:13, 15

This continual life of repentance is the provision which God hath made through Christ in the covenant of grace (1John 1:9). God has designed and commanded the Christian life to be a life of repentance and renewal unto salvation. For what reason? ...for the preservation of believers unto salvation. This is how God keeps us for Himself and in C...


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

Chapter 17: Of The Perseverance of the Saints

What do we mean by the Perseverance of the Saints? Does it matter what we do? Are we to be passive and do nothing? What passages support the doctrine of Perseverance? What about passages which speak of falling away and Hebrews 6?

Wayne Grudem defines the perseverance of the saints in this way:

The perseverance of the saints means that all those who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives, and that only those who persevere until the end have been truly born again.[1]

In this chapter, I want to mainly do two things: first, argue for the P in the TULIP, the Perseverance of the Saints; and second, examine some passages which are often brought up against the doctrine.


§1 Can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace

  1. Those whom God hath accepted in the beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, and given the precious faith of his elect unto, can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved, seeing the gifts and callings of God are without repentance, whence he still begets and nourisheth in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all the graces of the Spirit unto immortality; and though many storms and floods arise and beat against them, yet they shall never be able to take them off that foundation and rock which by faith they are fastened upon; notwithstanding, through unbelief and the temptations of Satan, the sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured from them, yet he is still the same, and they shall be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation, where they shall enjoy their purchased possession, they being engraven upon the palm of his hands, and their names having been written in the book of life from all eternity. 
    1. John 10:28-29; Phil. 1:6; 2 Tim. 2:19; 2 Peter 1:5-10; 1 John 2:19[2]
    2. Ps. 89:31-32; 1 Cor. 11:32; 2 Tim. 4:7
    3. Ps. 102:27; Mal. 3:6; Eph. 1:14; 1 Peter 1:5; Rev. 13:8

Those whom God hath accepted (chapter 11), effectually called (chapter 10), sanctified by His Spirit (chapter 13) and given the precious faith of His elect (chapter 14), can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace (e.g. John 10:28-29; 1John 2:19). If we follow what was said in the previous chapters, as this paragraph begins by enlisting these things, we cannot but expect such a declaration. If God is absolutely sovereign over all things (chapters 3 and 5), even electing, calling, justifying, adopting (chapter 12) and sanctifying us, how can it be that God could fail in His purpose and we be lost to eternal perdition? It cannot. The elect will certainly persevere in the state of grace...to the end. This is the essential difference between true and false faith. True faith perseveres to the end (1John 2:19). This is because the gifts and callings of God are without repentance (Rom. 11:29), in other words, He does not change His mind. Therefore, the elect are safe and He will grant them all these things which are necessary for their final salvation and perseverance.

This does not mean that the journey will be easy. In fact, the Confession speaks of storms and floods that arise and beat us. Nonetheless, no one and nothing can shake us off that foundation and rock which by faith we are fastened upon. In thes...


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

!DOCTYPE html

Chapter 19: Of the Law of God

Introduction

What is the relationship of the Christian and the Law? Do we have to obey the Law? What is the threefold division of the law? Are we saved by the Law? What are the threefold uses of the Law? What is the moral law and is it binding on all people? What are the Ten Commandments? Were the Ten Commandments known before Sinai? What is the relationship between the believer and the Ten Commandments? What is the doctrine of the Law and the Gospel?

There is a lot of work to be done in this chapter and I think that this is a crucial chapter, one that I want to study myself. I do believe what is confessed here, but I do also want to be able to make a biblical case for it. The case that I will lay down is obviously convincing to me, I will not be able to address every objection that may come up. What I want to lay down here is the binding authority and nature of the Decalogue on all people, whether saved or unsaved; what the relationship of the Christian is to the Law and such questions.

Defining Our Terms

Natural Law

The Natural Law is the Law of God as revealed in creation and which man knows by virtue of the fact that he’s a creature made in the image of God (see here on the image of God). Natural Law may be discovered by reason and innate knowledge. The Reformed Baptist theologian Richard Barcellos writes the following concerning the substance and form of the Moral Law:

Protestant Scholasticism taught that the Decalogue summarily contains the Moral Law and is the inscripturated form of the natural law, as to its substance. A distinction was made between substance and form. Substance is one; form (and function) may vary. For example, when the Westminster Larger Catechism Q. 98 says, “The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten commandments,” it refers to the fact that the substance (i.e., the underlying essence) of the Moral Law is assumed and articulated in the propositions of the Decalogue as contained in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. The form (and function) fits the redemptive-historical circumstances in which it was given. The substance, or underlying principles, are always relevant and applicable to man because he is created in the image of God. The application may shift based on redemptive-historical changes, such as the inauguration of the New Covenant, but its substance and utility never changes.[1]

Moral Law

The Moral Law, on the other hand, is the Law which is revealed and summarized by God in the Ten Commandments, the Decalogue, which is the substance of the Natural Law. Richard Muller is quoted in Barcellos on the definition of the Moral Law, saying:

specifically and predominantly, the Decalogus, or Ten Commandments; also called the lex Mosaica …, as distinct from the lex ceremonialis …and the lex civilis, or civil law. The lex moralis, which is primarily intended to regulate morals, is known to the synderesis [the innate habit of understanding basic principles of moral law] and is the basis of the acts of conscientia [conscience–the application of the innate habit above]. In substance, the lex moralis is identical with the lex naturalis …but, unlike the natural law, it is given by revelation in a form which is clearer and fuller than that otherwise known to the reason.[2]

And then Dr. Barcellos adds:

As noted above, the Moral Law is summarily comprehended in the Decalogue, not exhausted by it. Though the formal promulgation of the Decalog...


John 1:29, 'takes away the sin of the world'

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29 ESV)

(For a better and more recent defense see here.)

Those who advocate the doctrine of Unlimited Atonement obviously take “world” everyone who has lived or will live, all without exception. Not world in the sense of many people, not world in the sense of from every “tribe and language and people and nation” as Revelation 5:9 would put it

Here is what the ESV MacArthur Study Bible says: [1]

John 1:29 The next day. This phrase probably refers to the day after John’s response to the Jerusalem delegation. It also initiates a sequence of days (v. 43; 2:1) that culminated in the miracle at Cana (2:1–11). the Lamb of God. The use of a lamb for sacrifice was very familiar to Jews. A lamb was used as a sacrifice during Passover (Ex. 12:1–36); a lamb was led to the slaughter in the prophecies of Isaiah (Isa. 53:7); a lamb was offered in the daily sacrifices of Israel (Lev. 14:12–21; cf. Heb. 10:5–7). John the Baptist used this expression as a reference to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the cross to atone for the sins of the world, a theme which John the apostle carries throughout his writings (John 19:36; cf. Rev. 5:1–6; 7:17; 17:14) and that appears in other NT writings (e.g., 1 Pet. 1:19). sin of the world! See note on John 1:9; cf. 3:16; 6:33, 51. In this context “world” has the connotation of humanity in general, not specifically every person. The use of the singular “sin” in conjunction with “of the world” indicates that Jesus’ sacrifice for sin potentially reaches all human beings without distinction (cf. 1 John 2:2). John makes clear, however, that its efficacious effect is only for those who receive Christ (John 1:11–12). For discussion of the relation of Christ’s death to the world, see note on 2 Cor. 5:19.

The following is said by John Gill:[2]

  • and saith, behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world: he calls him a "lamb", either with respect to any lamb in common, for his harmlessness and innocence; for his meekness and humility; for his patience; and for his usefulness, both for food and clothing, in a spiritual sense; as well as for his being to be a sacrifice for the sins of his people: or else with respect to the lambs that were offered in sacrifice, under the legal dispensation; and that either to the passover lamb, or rather to the lambs of the daily sacrifice, that were offered morning and evening; since the account of them best agrees with what is said of this Lamb of God, who was slain in type, in the morning of the world, or from the foundation of the world; and actually in the evening of the world, or in the end of it; and who has a continued virtue to take away the sins of his people, from the beginning, to the end of the world; and their sins, both of the day and night, or which are committed every day: for as they are daily committed, there is need of the daily application of the blood and sacrifice of Christ, to remove them; or of continual looking unto him by faith, whose blood has a continual virtue, to cleanse from all sin: the Jewish doctors say {d}, that
  • "the morning daily sacrifice made atonement for the iniquities done in the night; and the evening sacrifice made atonement for the iniquities that were by day:''
  • and in various things they were typical of Christ, as that they were lambs of the first year, which may denote the we...

Review of Sam Waldron's To Be Continued?

...

To Be Continued?

Are The Miraculous Gifts For Today?

Dr. Waldron is a respectful and good Christian scholar, but this work was not written for the big scholars, but was written for the lay Christian who is interested in topic of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

I liked the book and I thought that it was a pretty good case for cessationism. He tried to interact for example with Grudem on some points.

The Argument

The argument is basically:

1. There are no apostles
2. Therefore there are no prophets
3. Therefore there are no tongue-speaks
4. Therefore there are no miracle-workers

1. Apostles

First of all, by the use of Ephesians 4:9-11 he spends a paragraph or two to say that the apostolate was a gift. The word for gift in verse 9 is not the usual χάρισμα (charisma). He does not interact with those who do not accept that the apostolate was a (spiritual) gift, but rather a ministry or an office. This in my opinion is the biggest flaw in his argument. 

The Cascade Argument is built around and based upon the point that the greatest "gift" – the apostolate has ceased in the first century. He in fact makes a good case on the cessation of the apostolate, but does not make a convincing case that it was a spiritual gift like those mentioned in 1Cor 12:7-10 for example. Therefore, his Cascading Argument becomes weak. This is a point that Matt Slick also brought in the back-and-forth in their debate.

The argument basically starts with, if the greatest gift has ceased, it is therefore possible that the other "miraculous" gifts have also ceased. I don't believe that the NT makes such a distinction between the gifts as the “ordinary” and “extraordinary”, or “non-miraculous” and “miraculous.” I have not been able to find this distinction yet in the text of Scripture. 

2. Prophets

He demonstrates from the OT that a prophet was simply the mouth of God to the people (Ex 4:10-17; 7:1-2).  Also, what the prophets said had to be 100% accurate according to the regulations of Deuteronomy 13:1-5 and 18:15-22. Therefore he proceeds to the New Testament with the same definition of prophecy and this is understandable.

He first considers few passages used in support of continuationism including Ephesians 4:11-13; 1 Cor 13:8-13 and the case of Agabus (Acts 21:10-11).

On Ephesians 4 he says that if we maintain that everything in verse 11 is needed for our maturity and unity in the faith then we are proving too much. If we follow that, then we must also say that the apostolate must continue, but we have proven that it in fact did not continue. Therefore, he says that the apostles must refer to the writings and teaching of the apostles that we have in the New Testament and prophets or prophecy refers to the book of Revelation. He does not dispute if we have prophecy (i.e. the book of Revelation), rather if we have ongoing or new prophecy.

I don't think that the putting of Revelation under the category of "prophets" is right. John was not writing as a prophet, but was writing with the authority of an Apostle, that is the case for every NT book. It was either written by an apostle or an associate. I know of no NT book whose author was an prophet. 

Therefore, I do indeed agree that we have the Apostles in their writings, but I know of nothing that we have from prophets, therefore, it would seem that they would be necessary for the building up and achieving the unity of faith. (I don't know how this practically looks, b...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 28: Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper - Commentary

...| Exposition of Chapter 28. ...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 32: Of the Last Judgment - Commentary

...kappa;όλασις  kolasis. The word ὄλεθρον olethron - “olethron” - occurs only here and in 1Co 5:5; 1Th 5:3; 1Ti 6:9; in each of which places it is rendered destruction. It does not denote annihilation, but is used in the same sense in which we use the word when we say that a thing is destroyed. Thus, health is destroyed when it fails; property is destroyed when it is burned or sunk in the ocean; a limb is destroyed that is lost in battle; life is destroyed when one dies. In the case before us, the destruction, whatever it be, is:

(1) To Be Continued forever; and,

(2) is to be of the nature of punishment.

The meaning then must be, that the soul is destroyed as to the great purposes of its being - its enjoyment, dignity, honor, holiness, happiness. It will not be annihilated, but will live and linger on in destruction. It seems difficult to conceive how anyone can profess to hold that this passage is a part of the Word of God, and yet deny the doctrine of future eternal punishment. It would not be possible to state that doctrine in clearer language than this. It is never is in clearer language in any creed or confession of faith, and if it is not true that the wicked will be punished forever, then it must be admitted that it would not have been possible to reveal the doctrine in human language![4]

John Gill likewise comments on the passage:

Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction,.... With destruction both of soul and body, though not with the annihilation of either; their gnawing worm of conscience will never die, and the fire of divine wrath will never be quenched; the smoke of their torment will ascend for ever. Sin being committed against an infinite and eternal Being, will be infinite in its duration; nor will it cease to be in the persons punished, who will not be in the least reformed or purged from sin by punishment; which will make the continuance of it just and necessary.[2]

Notice that the ungodly are said to suffer this everlasting destruction. Suffering and punishment presuppose consciousness, therefore their suffering this “eternal destruction” is a conscious suffering. A dead body is not punished nor can it suffer, the same goes for a rock, because these things lack consciousness. Neither could it be said that an annihilated body is suffering eternal destruction, for an annihilated body lacks consciousness. Yet the passage before us teaches the very fact that the wicked will experience and suffer this everlasting destruction. See also Robert A. Peterson's comments below on the destruction of the beast meaning his eternal torment (Rev. 17:8, 11 with Rev. 19:20; 20:10).

Degrees Of Punishment

A point which we discussed above and which I see as inconsistent with any idea of annihilation is the degrees of punishment in Hell. If the punishment of Hell is extinction and cessation of existence, then there is no “light beating” and “severe beating” (Luke 12:47-48), for all share in the same fate of annihilation. Therefore, the doctrine of degrees of punishment is annihilated by the teaching of annihilationism. It is no different for Chorazin or Bethsaida on the Day of Judgment than for Tyre and Sidon, for they will all meet the same fate, i.e., annihilation (Matt. 11:21-22). Why would the Day of Judgment be more “tolerable” for Sodom than Capernaum if they both share the same fate (Matt. 11:23-24)? What greater condemnation will the Pharisees receive if all men receive the same condemn...


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

Chapter 8: Of Christ the Mediator

What are the threefold offices of Christ? What does it mean that Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant? What is Christ's Active and Passive Obedience? Did Christ, by His death, atone for the sins of all mankind or only for His elect? What is 'limited' in 'Limited Atonement'? What about passages used against Limited Atonement?


§1 It pleased God, in His eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus

  1. It pleased God, 1 in His eternal purpose, 2 to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, his only begotten Son, according to the covenant made between them both, 3 to be the mediator between God and man; the prophetpriest, and king; head and saviour of the church, the heir of all things, and judge of the world; unto whom he did from all eternity give a people to be his seed and to be by him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified. 5
    1. Isa. 42:1; John 3:16[1]
    2. 1Pet. 1:19-20
    3. Ps. 110:4; Heb. 7:21-22; Isa. 42:1; 1Pet. 2:4-6
    4. 1 Tim. 2:5; Acts 3:22; Heb. 5:5-6; Ps. 2:6; Luke 1:33; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23; Heb. 1:2; Acts 17:31
    5. Rom. 8:30; John 17:6; Isa. 53:10; Ps. 22:30; 1 Tim. 2:6; Isa. 55:4-5; 1 Cor. 1:30

The only begotten Son was from all eternity chosen and ordained (Isa. 42:1; 1Pet. 1:19-20) to be the mediator between God and man (1Tim. 2:5). This means that having Christ to be the Savior of sinners and the Incarnation were not afterthoughts in God. God did not plan them after the Fall of man, but set them in motion after the Fall. This choosing and ordaining of Christ as mediator was according to the covenant made between them both, i.e., the Covenant of Redemption (see chapter 7:2). Even before sin and before the world was, the Lord Jesus was to be the Savior of His people. The Confession goes on to name the threefold offices of Christ as prophet, priest, and king. He is also the head and savior of the church (Col. 1:18; Acts 5:31). The heir of all things (Heb. 1:2), Who will inherit everything and believers are co-heirs with Him (Rom. 8:16-17). He is also the One Who will judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 17:31; 2Tim. 4:1). All these offices and functions were agreed upon by the Persons of the Trinity even before the foundation of the world. God from all eternity gave a people to be His seed and to be by Him in time redeemed (John 17:2, 6; Isa. 53:10) and given all the blessings of redemption. All these considerations make the Fall a necessity within God's decree. For if there is no Fall, then it means that there is no sin and therefore, no need of a savior. But if Christ is said to be ordained as Savior even before the creation of the world, then this means that there will be sinners who will be saved by Him, which makes the Fall an important part of God's plan.


Christ the Elect

Our Confession states that the Lord Jesus was chosen, called and ordained by God to the office of the mediator. He was chosen by God for this office according to the Covenant of Redemption between them (see chapter 7 on the Covenant of Redemption). We said in chapter 7 that the Covenant of Redemption was the eternal covenant between the Persons of the Trinity, which laid out their roles in the self-glorification of God and the redemption of God’s elect. The Father was to elect a people and give them to the Son. The Son was to redeem the people whom the Father gave to Him. The Spirit was to apply the benefits of Son on their behalf to them and indwel...