The Staunch Calvinist

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


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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary

...trongreceiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the only instrument of justification (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:9). We are declared righteous by faith alone and not by faith plus our works or anything else. This is Sola Fide. But it should not be thought that this faith is alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces (Gal. 5:6; Jas. 2:17, 22, 26; Titus 2:11-14). We are saved by faith alone, but this faith is not alone. It is not a dead faith, but worketh by love (Gal. 5:6). Good works are the fruit of True Faith. They are not a ground of justification, they are fruits which demonstrate our justification.

The Case for Sola Fide

It is by faith alone that we are saved from God’s wrath and welcomed into a loving relationship with Him. Faith alone is the instrument, which is given to us by God so that we would be brought into His fold. Manifold are the passages which mention saving faith alone (which is always accompanied by repentance, Acts 20:21) as the condition or instrument of justification. But Roman Catholics may object that the Bible nowhere says “faith alone” and the only places where that phrase appears is in James 2:24 when it’s in the negative. We will deal with that below. But when we read of faith being the instrument of justification and in the same verse excluding works, then we are justified (intended pun) to say that the Bible teaches that faith alone is the sole instrument of justification. Romans 3 is my favorite passage on justification. It’s clear and to the point. The Holy Spirit says—

Rom. 3:28-30 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.

What are the works of the Law but the things that God delights in and has commanded in the Mosaic Law, including the Ten Commandments? But still, Paul says that is not the way that we are justified. That is not the way that we are declared righteous before the thrice holy God. It is by faith. For the Jew and the Gentile, it is the same way whereby comes the equality of Jewish and Gentile Christians (e.g. Gal. 3:28; Eph. 2:11ff). The Jews had the idea that justification was through their efforts, but Paul here combats that idea. Justification by works is the essence of all man-made religions and the path to perdition. John Calvin comments on Romans 3:28 with these words:

He now draws the main proposition, as one that is incontrovertible, and adds an explanation. Justification by faith is indeed made very clear, while works are expressly excluded. Hence, in nothing do our adversaries labor more in the present day than in attempts to blend faith with the merits of works. They indeed allow that man is justified by faith; but not by faith alone; yea, they place the efficacy of justification in love, though in words they ascribe it to faith. But Paul affirms in this passage that justification is so gratuitous, that he makes it quite evident, that it can by no means be associated with the merit of works.[7]

He mentions the evasion which Roman Catholics made (and still make). Poole says:

A man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law; a phrase equivalent to that which is so much spoken against, that we are justified by faith only; as if we should say, That God is to be worshipped, ...

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

...n-Chapter-3:-Of-Gods-Decree-Commentary"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 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 these storms and floods and by the temptations of Satanthe sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured for us (so also with our assurance, see chapter 18:4). This does not mean that God has changed; he is still the same. But we are being attacked by the enemy and are fighting or giving into temptation and are in need of restoration. Even in these storms and floods, we may be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation and the enjoyment of our purchased possession. The fact that the elect cannot lose their salvation is further shown from the fact that we are engraven upon the palm of His hands (Isa. 49:16) and our names having been written in the book of life from all eternity (Rev. 13:8; 20:15). All this is given for the confidence and encouragement of the believers in God’s faithfulness, goodness, grace, promise, and power. 

The Impossibility Of Final Apostasy For The Elect

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

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

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

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith - Commentary

...rong many times assailed and weakened, yet it gets the victory, growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance through Christ, who is both the author and finisher of our faith. 5
  1. Matt. 6:30; 8:10, 26; 14:31; 16:8; 17:20; Heb. 5:13-14; Rom. 4:19-20
  2. James 2:14; 2 Peter 1:1; 1 John 5:4
  3. Luke 22:31-32; Eph. 6:16; 1 John 5:4-5
  4. Ps. 119:114; Heb. 6:11-12; 10:22-23
  5. Heb. 12:2

Justification is not by strong faith alone, but by true faith alone. Weak faith is still faith—if it is True Faith. It is different in kind and nature from that faith given to temporary believers. Temporary believers are those who for a time seem to believe and then abandon their profession. Temporary faith is no True Faith at all. The fundamental difference about true weak faith and temporary faith, other than that the one the work is a grace of the Spirit and the other is not, is that true weak faith may be many times assailed and weakened, yet it gets the victory and it perseveres (1John 5:4-5). Thereby, it grows up in many to the attainment of a full assurance through Christ. The Confession is careful not to say that all will attain this full assurance, but there are some brothers and sister who struggle throughout their whole life about their faith and justification. God, for some reason, has not chosen to give them this assurance. Nonetheless, we are all called to make our calling and election sure (2Pet. 1:10; see also chapter 18).

The Temporal Faith

Temporal faith is not true saving faith. Dr. Sam Waldron says the following about false and True Faith:

False faith is different from genuine faith, not merely in duration, but in kind and nature. One of the major differences between True Faith and false faith is that false faith is temporary.[3]

Judas Iscariot

We may observe temporal faith in the life of Judas. Judas was a disciple and friend of Jesus. No doubt like the other apostles he had some kind of faith in Jesus, that he was the Messiah (whatever that meant to him). He, I believe, no doubt worked miracles along with the other disciplines (Luke 10:17). When the Lord Christ told his disciples that one among them is going to betray him, no one suspected Judas. In other words, he was just like the others. No one noticed he was false because he couldn't work miracles or something else. But we know that he was a wicked and a vile man. The Lord Jesus calls him the “son of destruction” or as the NET puts it “the one destined for destruction” (John 17:12). He did not have true, lasting and saving faith in Christ, otherwise, he would not be a son of perdition. If he had true and saving faith in Christ he would be called a son of God, but that was not the case with Judas. He had merely temporal, and not saving faith. Judas is the foremost example of one who had outward and temporal faith, which is no faith in the biblical sense.

Simon the Magician

A second example is Simon the magician in Acts 8. Philip brings the Gospel to Samaria, people including Simon the magician believed and were baptized (Acts 8:13). The Holy Spirit did not come upon them until the Apostles came and laid their hands upon them to receive the Spirit. When Simon saw that, he envied the unique privilege that the risen Lord had given to His apostles at that time. He wanted to buy it and at that point, Peter observes the still unregenerate condition of Simon. Peter says “...your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours…For I...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 29: Of Baptism - Commentary

...d prior to his baptism, as it may be seen from Acts 9:17-18 about him being filled with the Holy Spirit. After that, the only proper response is to identify with the Lord Who appeared to him by baptism. Baptism was a public act which identified Paul with the Lord and His people, even if there were not many people, yet, his baptism still would have been seen as a sign about an inward reality. Even John Calvin, the Paedobaptist, agrees that baptism came after Paul's faith. He wrote on this passage:

It is not to be doubted but that Ananias did faithfully instruct Paul in the principles of godliness; for he would not have baptized him if he had been void of True Faith. But Luke passeth over many things, and doth briefly gather the sum. Therefore, seeing Paul doth understand that the promised redemption is now given in Christ, Ananias saith, for good causes, that nothing ought to stay him from being baptized. But when he saith, Why tarriest thou? he doth not chide Paul, neither doth he accuse him of slackness, but he doth rather amplify the grace of God by adding baptism.[17]

Then Calvin cites Acts 10:47 where we have clearly baptism happening after faith. Moreover, there is also a call, as in this passage (Acts 10:47), for the urgency of baptism and of identifying with Christ, just like in Acts 22:16. What is also to be noted is the connection between Acts 10:47 and Acts 9:17-18. Paul is filled with the Holy Spirit and gets baptized, in the same way the Gentile believers receive the Holy Spirit and then they are water baptized. Washing away of sin is symbolized by baptism, but the way sins are washed away is by “calling on His name”, i.e., by faith in Christ, Who by His blood washed all our sins away. Not faith plus water baptism. There is no efficacy in the water of washing away sin, but the efficacy is in the Savior Whom we trust washing us by His blood. As John Gill noted:

"And wash away thy sins"; or "be washed from thy sins"; not that it is in the power of man to cleanse himself from his sins; the Ethiopian may as soon change his skin, or the leopard his spots, as a creature do this; nor is there any such efficacy in baptism as to remove the filth of sin; persons may submit unto it, and yet be as Simon Magus was, in the gall of bitterness, and bond of iniquity;[7]

The stress for the forgiveness and washing away of sins, i.e., justification, as Paul elsewhere says (Rom. 10:9-10), is not in the water but in calling upon the name of the Lord Christ.

Conclusion On The Things Signified By Baptism

We have seen from the texts above that water baptism signifies/typifies/shows/demonstrates union with Christ in His life, death, and resurrection. The believer is vitally united to their Lord. They were united with Him on the cross as well as in His resurrection and they come to share in the blessings of this union when they come to faith (see more here). Water baptism likewise signifies the fact that we are walking in newness of life with Christ our Lord, because of His resurrection and the r


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

...s God must also love his brother.

Love for God is the duty of the first table of the Decalogue and love for neighbor, the second table. But, true love for God works itself out in love for our neighbor. The argument that the Apostle makes here is that it is impossible for someone to claim that they love God while at the same time they hate their brother. Love for God is an unseen claim. Anyone can claim that they love God, but how can they prove that claim. This is similar to what James says concerning the one who claims to have faith, while they do not have works, which are the evidence and fruit of True Faith. Likewise here, to merely say that one loves God is not enough. That love for God must work itself out in a way that it will be known to others. In what way? In love for our neighbor.

It is impossible (“cannot”), says the Apostle, that one can truly love God without loving their brothers and sisters, or more frequently expressed—their neighbor. In v. 21, the Apostle confirms the idea that love for neighbor must come forth from love for God. The commandment that God gave us is that the one who, first of all, loves God, must also love his brother. This, I believe, is the summary of the Decalogue. Love for God and love for neighbor are inseparable. Love for God summarizes the duty of the first table, while love for our neighbor summarizes the duty of the second table. There is no reason to think that here we are given two new commandments and that the ten commandments are no longer binding. These two commandments are the summary of the Ten. If the summary is binding, it follows that which it summarizes is likewise binding. These commandments show us the basic point of the Decalogue, namely, love. But the Decalogue shows us how we are to love God and our neighbor.

Keeping His Commandments

Especially in John’s epistles, emphasis is laid upon obedience to God’s commandments which he, as we saw above, summarizes in the duty to love God and likewise our neighbor. John does not name all the Ten Commandments but uses the summary which the Lord gave on which “depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matt 22:40). If the summary is binding, that which it summarizes is likewise binding.

A point which is made repeatedly by John is that we show our love to God by obedience to His commandments. In 1 John 2, the Apostle writes:

1John 2:3-6 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

Here he gives a way, a test to us of how we can know if we truly have been saved or not. The test is to see whether we keep His commandments. If we keep His commandments, then we know Him. But if we do not keep His commandments then we are liars and the truth is not in us. In other words, the one who does not keep nor has a desire to keep God’s commandments is a false convert.

God’s word and commandment are connected to each other, and the “word” refers to God’s commandments (1John 2:7). We are to keep His word and commandments. The verb basically means “to keep, guard, obey, observe”.[74] But whoever observes, obeys and keeps God’s commandment, it is in that person that God’s love becomes to maturation, is completed and is p...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 18: Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation - Commentary

... 1106, number 1010.
  • ^ ibid., pp. 1106-1107, number 1011.
  • ...

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


    This is nothing less than I have tried to prove above and similar to what the Confession says. First of all, repentance is a saving grace. It is not something that comes from us but rather given to us. Second, it is a grace which makes us aware of the true sense of our sin, i.e., that it is committed against an infinitely righteous and holy God, but at the same time, we know that we may find mercy and grace in the arms of Christ. Third, repentance involves a turning away from sin toward God and obedience.

    Repentance & Faith: Interconnected And Necessary

    I believe that the Bible teaches that there is no True Faith without repentance, neither is there true repentance without faith in Christ. Therefore, I reject and abhor the views of those who would say that one can have Christ as their Savior, but doesn't need to have Christ as their Lord to be saved. They want to basically claim that if you ever believed that Christ died for your sins and you accepted Him, it doesn't matter what you do, you will be saved from God's wrath. You don't have to repent and amend your ways, but you simply have to put faith in Christ and accept Him. These groups also believe in what is called "once saved, always saved", which combined with their easy believism teaches that if one ever made a commitment to put their faith in Christ, even if they sin without repentance in the future, it doesn't matter, they're saved. They do not have to obey Christ as Lord of their life.

    It is necessary to mention here that this is what a lot of non-Protestants see the doctrine of justification by faith alone leading to. They think that if we're justified apart from anything in us, then this would mean that even if we sin, it doesn't matter because it's all grace. That is a distortion of the doctrine, obviously. The Reformers and the Bible stress the command of obedience to the Lord and at the same time justification by faith alone through faith. We can only be Jesus' friends if we do what He says (John 15:14). James argues in his epistle that a faith that does not produce works, is not real faith, but a dead faith and it is useless (see James 2:14-26, see my exposition of the text when brought against Justification By Faith Alone). Those who advocate for salvation without repentance are advocating for what James is condemning, that is, a dead faith which is useless.

    The Scriptural teaching is that both salvation and faith are required and are seen to be two sides of one coin. The Lord Jesus begins His ministry by calling on people to “repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). His message is thus characterized to be one of calling people to repentance and faith. The Apostle Paul recounts his ministry among the Ephesians and says that he testified “both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). We have no reason to assume that this preaching of repentance and faith was unique to the Ephesians, but we have every reason to believe that, if they are interconnected, the preaching of repentance and faith characterizes Paul's ministry. Standing in the Areopagus Paul says:

    Acts 17:30-31 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

    It is ridiculous to think that God...

    Hebrews 6:4-6, Apostasy and Calvinism

    ... events (Rom. 6:10; Heb. 7:27; 9:12; 10:10).

    Finally, Matthew Henry notes that:

    “Balaam was the man whose eyes were opened (Num. xxiv. 3), and yet with his eyes opened he went down to utter darkness.”[5]

    This description is not particular to true believers alone. But what we also must take note of is the fact that these people, whose renewal to repentance is an impossibility after apostasy, were not regular backsliders, but were those who knew the truth of the Gospel clearly, confessed it and professed the True Faith for a time, but then turned their back on it. While in their time of profession, I don’t think we would have been able to say that they were not true believers as they appeared to be on all accounts as many apostates are (e.g. 2Pet 2:20-22). To be enlightened does not mean that we were saved, but rather that we received instruction and knowledge in the truth.

    2. Those who tasted the heavenly gift

    The word “tasted” is used concerning the heavenly gift, the word of God and the powers of the age to come. What does it mean to “taste” something? I think that the basic meaning is to know it by experience.

    The word γεύομαι (geuomai) and its basic meaning is “to taste” and “perceive the flavour of, partake of, enjoy” (Thayer’s. G1089). It is used in Heb 2:9 about Christ who “taste[d] death for everyone.” It speaks of an experience which is real, yet merely momentary. Even in the case of Christ the Lord who died for our sake, His “taste of death” was momentary and not never-ending. It is used in Matt 27:34 where it is expressly said that tasting does not meaning accepting the thing. I mean, the Lord tasted the wine, He tried it, but rejected it later. Therefore, this word does not have the meaning of tasting and then accepting in it, the acceptance of the thing or rejection is not included in the word. It merely speaks of an experience of knowledge of a thing.

    These apostates have tasted – they have had an experience with the heavenly gift, but this tasting does not imply that they’ve received the heavenly gift in truth or eternally. They have tasted it, but after a time rejected the heavenly gift.

    Arthur W. Pink observes the following on the meaning of “taste”:

    Second, they had "tasted" of the heavenly gift. To "taste" is to have a personal experience of, in contrast from mere report. "Tasting does not include eating, much less digesting and turning into nourishment what is so tasted; for its nature being only thereby discerned it may be refused, yea, though we like its relish and savor, on some other consideration. The persons here described, then, are those who have to a certain degree understood and relished the revelation of mercy; like the stony-ground hearers they have received the Word with a transcient joy" (John Owen). The "tasting" is in contrast from the "eating" of John 6:50-56.[6]

    Dr. Grudem observes the following in a footnote about the word “taste”:

    The word tasted is also used in Heb. 2:9 to say that Jesus “tasted death,” indicating that he came to know it by experience (but “tasted” is an apt word because he did not remain dead). The same could be true of those who had some experience of heavenly gifts, as can be true even of unbelievers (cf. Matt. 7:22; 1 Cor. 7:14; 2 Peter 2:20–22). In Heb. 6:4–5 these people’s experience of the Holy Spirit’s power and of the Word of God was of course a genuine experience (just as Jesus genuinely died), but that by itself does n...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 16: Of Good Works - Commentary

    ...lorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

    We see again that Paul connects works and faith here, not as a means of salvation, but that a living faith will produce works through which God will be glorified. Furthermore, we see that it is God who equips us and enables us to do those things which are pleasing in His sight and which are for His glory. The only thing that counts is “faith working through love” (Gal 5:6).

    We also know of James’ discussion of faith and works in James 2. There James argues that a faith that does not produce works is dead and it cannot justify. A True Faith will produce works which will display and confirm the person's justification. See here for our discussion of this passage relating to the doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone.

    Performed To The Glory Of God

    The purpose of all good works should be to display the glory of God. As image bearers, we should seek to be witnesses of His goodness and kindness toward all. Numerous are the commands to do good works for God's glory. The Lord Jesus teaches us the purpose of good works in Matthew 5:

    Matt 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. 

    The Lord Jesus begins by telling us that we are the salt of the earth. That means that the believers have a preserving and savoring effect on the world as salt does to earthly things. The eminent Bible commentator John Gill writes the following on this phrase:

    Ye are the salt of the earth,.... This is to be understood of the disciples and apostles of Christ; who might be compared to "salt", because of the savoury doctrines they preached; as all such are, which are agreeable to the Scriptures, and are of the evangelic kind, which are full of Christ, serve to exalt him, and to magnify the grace of God; and are suitable to the experiences of the saints, and are according to godliness, and tend to promote it: also because of their savoury lives and conversations; whereby they recommended, and gave sanction to the doctrines they preached, were examples to the saints, and checks upon wicked men.[2]

    We are not only the salt of the earth but also the light of the world. The believers have an important task in the world, indeed as some have said, the world stands for the sake of the elect. But what we also learn from verse 15 is that others benefit from the light, meaning other people than us should benefit from our works. Our light, which is our character, deeds and walk in the Lord, should move others to seek God and see God in us. Therefore, it is undoubtedly true that all good works should be done to the glory of God and that thereby the glory of God may be manifested to others.

    The Apostle Paul also says:

    1Cor 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

    Anything that we do in life should be done to the glory of God, whether it be good works or studying, or eating and drinking. All things we should do with thankfulness to God and to...

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary

    ...ldren” (compare both here). In other words, their children are included as visible saints and as part of a local church. But the 1689 rejects this in saying that only they who profess the gospel and obedience unto God may be called visible saints.

    All Christians are saints. It's not a title special which the Pope places on some people who were “holy.” Being a saint, contrary to the usual meaning of the term, does not mean being perfect, but it means being someone who is set apart by God for holy use. Everyone who professes the True Faith of the Gospel may be called a saint and welcomed as a brother or sister. Obviously, some professing believers will be just that—professors of the faith, but not possessors of the faith. They are welcomed into our fellowships, receive the sacraments unbeknown to us that they're actually not true believers. We cannot look into peoples’ hearts, but we must listen to what comes out of their mouths and what their conduct is. Those who participate in church fellowship, but are not true believers, will certainly have some restraints because of the preaching of God's Word. This is the case for example in 2 Peter 2:17-22 (see here). Some of them may remain professing believers until death. Some will fall away from the church and go into other religions or atheism. Some will come to true repentance and faith in Christ. But the fact is, such professing believers, should be treated as believers unless their mouth or their lives prove otherwise.

    1Cor. 1:2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, 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:

    Paul writes to a local church of God which is located in Corinth, but his words apply to the universal church as well. Paul did not have special insight into who is a true believer and who is not. He took people at their word and judged from their conduct if they're true believers or not. Some were successful in deceiving him (e.g. 2Tim. 2:10, 16). He is writing to those who are sanctified in Christ. They have been set apart in Christ for God. They are made unique, not because they were unique, but God by bestowing His grace upon them has made them unique. Therefore, if they're sanctified they are to be known as those who are sanctified by the title “saints.” They are called by God to be saints. They are called to be sanctified in Christ by the Spirit. Here we see a simple congregation, who certainly was not free of error, being unhesitatingly called saints by Paul. He did not apply this title to particular persons alone, but to all those who are “sanctified in Christ Jesus” and who “call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. The same is true of the believers in Rome (Rom. 1:7). We may distinguish certain people for their work for the Church or the impact that they had, but “saint” is not the word for that, as all members of the New Covenant are saints by calling.

    §3 Christ Always Hath Had, And Ever Shall Have A Kingdom In This World

    1. The purest churches under heaven are subject to mixture and error; and some have so degenerated as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan; nevertheless Christ always hath had, and ever shall have a kingdom in this world, to the end thereof, of such as believe in him, and make profession of his name. 3
      1. 1 Cor. 1:11; 5:1; 6:6; 11:17-19; 3 John 9-10; Rev. 2; 3
      2. Rev. 2:5 with 1:20; 1 ...