The Staunch Calvinist

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


You searched for 'Union With Christ'

I've found 17 results!

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

...will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification

The resurrection was necessary for our justification because His resurrection was the basis of us being born again (1 Pet. 1:3). Because His resurrection declared Him to be the victorious Risen Lord of all. Wayne Grudem explains this verse this way:

If God “raised us up with him” (Eph. 2:6), then, by virtue of our Union With Christ, God’s declaration of approval of Christ is also his declaration of approval of us. When the Father in essence said to Christ, “All the penalty for sins has been paid and I find you not guilty but righteous in my sight,” he was thereby making the declaration that would also apply to us once we trusted in Christ for salvation. In this way Christ’s resurrection also gave final proof that he had earned our justification.[19]

John Gill writes:

was raised again for our justification; he was raised again from the dead by his Father, to whom this is often ascribed; and by himself, by his own power, which proves him to be the mighty God; and this was done not only that he might live an immortal and glorious life in our nature, having finished the work he undertook and came about, but for “our justification”. He died in the room and stead of his people, and by dying made satisfaction for their sins; he rose again as their head and representative, and was legally discharged, acquitted, and justified, and they in him. Christ’s resurrection did not procure the justification of his people, that was done by his obedience and death; but was for the testification of it, that it might fully appear that sin was atoned for, and an everlasting righteousness was brought in; and for the application of it, or that Christ might live and see his righteousness imputed, and applied to all those for whom he had wrought it out.[6]

Ellicott observes the connection between His death and resurrection for our justification:

The death of Christ is the proper cause of justification, or means of atonement, according to St. Paul; the resurrection of Christ is only the mediate or secondary cause of it. The atoning efficacy lay in His death, but the proof of that efficacy—the proof that it was really the Messiah who died—was to be seen in the Resurrection. The Resurrection, therefore, gave the greatest impulse to faith in the atoning efficacy of the death upon the cross, and in this way helped to bring about justification. Comp. especially 1Co. 15:17, “If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins”—i.e., you have no guarantee that your sins have really been remitted; if the death of Christ had not been followed by His resurrection, the inference would have followed that it was merely the death of an ordinary man, and without any special saving efficacy.[10]

Here I end our brief study of Christ’s resurrection.

The Ascension of Christ

Luke tells us that the Lord Jesus taught His disciples about the Kingdom of God for forty days between His resurrection and ascension. With the same body, He blessed His disciples and was taken up from them:

Acts 1:8-11 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 ...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 29: Of Baptism - Commentary

  1. Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12; Gal. 3:27[1]
  2. Mark 1:4; Acts 22:16
  3. Rom. 6:4

Baptism is an ordinance of “positive and sovereign institution” (chapter 28:1) and it is an ordinance of the New Testament. Baptism is a sign of...fellowship (e.g., Gal. 3:27) and Union With Christ for the party baptized. Baptism is a sign, i.e., something visible representing something invisible (Union With Christ). Baptism signifies our fellowship with Him, in His death and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-5). As we are submerged in the water, we picture the Lord’s death and ours. As we come out of the water, we picture the Lord’s resurrection and ours. Baptism signifies our Union With Christ or as it is here called, our being engrafted into Him (Gal. 3:27; see chapter 27). It signifies the washing away or remission of sins (Acts 22:16). It also signifies our giving up into God or our determination to submit to God, through Jesus Christ and to live and walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4), which we have received from the Lord and which baptism pictures. Notice that baptism is called a sign and not the cause or an instrument of fellowship with Christ. It does not cause those things enlisted, but pictures these realities visibly. Which brings us to the subjects of Christian Baptism in the next paragraph.

That baptism is an institution and ordinance of our Lord is very clear from Matthew 28:18-20. There, we are given the command to make disciples of all nations by baptizing and teaching them. It is a given for Christians that it is Christ Who instituted it for all believers just like He did the Lord’s Supper. But what is baptism actually? According to the Confession, it is a sign. Being a sign means that it points beyond itself to something else and this something is the work of Christ on behalf of believers. Baptism has a mode in which it is to be performed and also specific subjects who should be its recipient. Hercules Collins in 1691 defined baptism as “an external washing, plunging or dipping a profest Believer, in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”[2] As the previous chapter explained, baptism is a “positive and sovereign institution”. This means that it is dictated by the will and directions of the Institutor. We dare not play around with it, add or take things from what He has commanded. We should be terrified if we neglect anything which He has commanded concerning this ordinance, or add to His ordinance. We dare not rest our case upon consequences, analogies, or even church history. The Sovereign Institutor has spoken His mind in the Holy Scriptures. Benjamin Keach, therefore, observed that “because Baptism (as well as Circumcision was) is a mere positive Law, and wholly depends on the Will and Pleasure of the Law-giver”[3].

Therefore, it is also our purpose to approach this subject asking what our Master says concerning it in His inerrant, sufficient, and infallible Word.

What Baptism Signifies

Christian Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water, in token of his previous entrance into the communion of Christ’s death and resurrection,—or, in other words, in token of his regeneration through Union With Christ.[4]

Baptism signifies the new life and the blessings thereof, which the believer has received through faith and repentance. The Confession describes it as “a sign of fellowship with” Christ. Baptism shows our Union With Christ, just as He Himself was baptized, so we share in a baptism similar to His and follow His exam...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 27: Of the Communion of Saints

...!DOCTYPE html

Chapter 27: Of the Communion of Saints

What does it mean that we are in Union With Christ? What are the benefits from being united with Christ? What are our obligations toward fellow believers?

§1 Union With Jesus Christ

  1. All saints that are united to Jesus Christ, their head, by his Spirit, and faith, 2 although they are not made thereby one person with him, have fellowship in his graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory; 4 and, being united to one another in love, they have communion in each others gifts and graces, 5 and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, in an orderly way, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man. 6
    1. Eph. 1:4; John 17:2, 6; 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 6:8; 8:17; 8:2; 1 Cor. 6:17; 2 Peter 1:4[1]
    2. Eph. 3:16-17; Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 3:17-18
    3. 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:18-19; 1 Tim. 6:15-16; Isa. 42:8; Ps. 45:7; Heb. 1:8-9
    4. 1 John 1:3; John 1:16; 15:1-6; Eph.2:4-6; Rom. 4:25; 6:1-6; Phil. 3:10; Col. 3:3-4
    5. John 13:34-35; 14:15; Eph. 4:15; 1 Peter 4:10; Rom. 14:7-8; 1 Cor. 3:21-23; 12:7, 25-27
    6. Rom. 1:12; 12:10-13; 1 Thess. 5:11,14; 1 Peter 3:8; 1 John 3:17-18; Col. 6:10; Gal. 6:10

All saints...are united to Jesus Christ (e.g., Eph. 1:1, 4; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:2). They are in Him and identified with Him. To be united to Jesus Christ means that they have fellowship in His graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory (Rom. 6:1-6; Col. 3:3-4; 1 John 1:3). They are united with Him in these aspects. For example, in the case of His death and resurrection, it is as if we died and rose again with Him. We did not literally and physically die with Him, but since we have been united to our Head, whatever He does or did on our behalf is counted as our own. This union with Jesus Christ is by His Spirit, and faith (Eph. 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 3:17-18). There is no other way in which we can be united to Jesus Christ and experience the benefits of this union. In all of this, we do not become one person with Him. We still remain us and separate from Him, but we share in Him and are one with Him spiritually and by virtue of His headship.

This union to Jesus Christ goes beyond us and the Lord. In fact, after we have been united to the Lord, we are united one another in love (John 13:34-35; Eph. 4:15). Union With Christ does not only make us one with the Lord, but also it unites us to others who are one with the Lord. In the same way, we share and have communion in each other gifts and graces. We seek to serve each other and bless others with the gifts and graces which God has bestowed upon us. We are, in fact, obliged to the performance of such duties which conduce to our mutual good (Rom. 1:12; 12:10-13). This duty is public and private, and it does not only concern spiritual things (in the, but also physically providing for those lacking supply and in need of help materially (in the...outward man).

Defining Union With Christ

All the elect are united to Christ. They were united in His death (Gal. 2:20) and share the undeserved blessings coming from his perfect life, death, resurrection, and ascension in glory. This Union With Christ does not make us one person with Him or with God, that is blasphemy. Rather, we become one with Him in spirit, love, and communion sharing 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 C...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 31: Of the State of Man after Death and Of the Resurrection of the Dead - Commentary

..., waiting until the resurrection and judgment of the last day. We conclude with the words of Vern Poythress who writes:

As the second death implicitly includes and accompanies an act of bodily resurrection, so the first resurrection implicitly includes and accompanies bodily death. We find an allusion to just this bodily death in 20:4, the souls of those who had been beheaded. The phrase refers to those who have suffered martyrdom for not worshiping the Beast. These are now disembodied souls living in the presence of God and of Christ, as represented in 6:9-10. The important thing to see is that these souls are living, triumphant, because of their Union With Christ and victory through his blood (12:11).[33] [emphasis original]

Blessed and Holy

Because of these things believers are blessed when they die. Revelation 14:13 says:

And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

They are blessed because they rest from their sins and persecution and they are reigning with Christ. They have the fulfillment of the promise made to them in Revelation 2:26; 3:21. Their rest does not imply that they are inactive or that they are not reigning. Meredith Kline writes that “the biblical concept of sabbath rest includes enthronement after the completion of labors by which royal dominion is manifested or secured (cf., e.g., Isa. 66:1).”[35] The Church is also told by the Savior to “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10-11). The believers will receive this crown after their death. Moreover, as Revelation 20:6 says in connection with the Millennium:

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

They are blessed because they become priests, serving God and their Christ, but not only that. They are not merely servants, but they have the blessing of sharing in the heavenly reign of Christ over the world. They reign together with their beloved Savior. Their existence in the Intermediate State is blessed and they are now vindicated before God for the testimony of Jesus, which some of them have sealed in their blood. Even so, their final and public vindication awaits the last day.

The Last Battle

Rev. 20:7-10 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Now that the Millennium is ended, Satan is released from his prison and all the restraints, which God had placed on him, are removed. He is free to do that which his heart has long desired: gather all the wicked to destroy the people of God. We again note the similarity in the description of the battle in cycles 5-7:

Revelation 16 (Cycle 5) Revelation 19 (Cycle 6) Revelation ...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 7: Of God's Covenant - Commentary off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

The first thing we should note is the stress that Paul lays upon the believer’s Union With Christ. We are in Him and we are with Him. We have become one with Himself. Paul says that we were circumcised. But how? Obviously not physically, but this must be a circumcision of the heart, a spiritual circumcision in accordance with the Old Testament promises (Deut. 30:6; Jer. 4:4; Ezek. 36:25-27). This is also clear when he says “circumcision without hands”. A circumcision without human doing, but solely the work of God on the heart of man. How did this happen? By putting off the body of flesh, meaning by putting off the fleshly desires and fighting against them, rather than being in the flesh as we formerly were (e.g., Rom. 8:1-11). This is confirmed by what is said in v. 13. Paul says that before Christ we were uncircumcised in the flesh, but more importantly, we were uncircumcised in our hearts. We were dead in sin and unrighteousness. But now that Christ has circumcised us (“the circumcision of Christ”) through His Spirit, we were raised from spiritual death to life. We were circumcised at heart and were forgiven of our wickedness.

Let us now observe the connection with baptism in v. 12. This passage, coupled with Romans 4:11 (which we looked to briefly above), is often used to prove that baptism has replaced circumcision and is the sign and seal of the covenant. Since our Presbyterian brethren believe that the Old Testament covenants were administrations of the Covenant of Grace and the New Covenant was the final administration of the Covenant of Grace, they argue that since children of believers were included in the Abrahamic Covenant, therefore they must be included in the New Covenant also, as the Abrahamic and the New have the same substance. Therefore, children should receive the sign of the New Covenant, which they believe is baptism. See here for a longer discussion on Colossians 2:11-12.

We’ve already taken issue with the idea of multiple administrations of the Covenant of Grace and tried to point out that the Abrahamic Covenant or any other covenant in the Old Testament is not an administration of the Covenant of Grace or is the Covenant of Grace, but they contain the promise of the Covenant of Grace. But now, let us get back to our text (v. 12). This verse shows us our union with our Lord and what baptism actually symbolizes. Baptism, the going into the water by immersion, perfectly symbolizes the believer’s going into the grave with the Lord Jesus, dying to self and burying the old man and putting off the body of flesh. But coming out of the water, symbolizes our spiritual resurrection with our Lord, that through Him we overcame death and sin and reign in life with and through Him. Such an intimate union that is connected with baptism cannot possibly be experienced or realized by an infant! This text is similar to that found in Romans 6, which points out an implication of the fact that we have been baptized:

Rom. 6:3-4 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary

...ore God, He stood as the Mediator of the New Covenant or the Covenant of Grace on their behalf. Therefore, they had to be members of the New Covenant or people who have been chosen to be in the New Covenant for Christ to represent them. This was, in fact, the covenant that the believers under the Old Testament were called into (Heb. 9:15-17; see here also). Dr. Sam Waldron observes that

the church is the climactic earthly expression of the people of God. Thus language is frequently used which equates the church with all those in Union With Christ. The church is the body and bride of Christ (Eph. 1:22; 4:11-16; 5:23-27, 29, 32; Col. 1:18, 24). Furthermore, the bride of Christ is composed in the last day of the saved from every age (Eph. 5:27; Rev. 21:9-14; note also Matt. 8:11-12; John 10:14-17; Heb. 11:39-40). Thus the church will one day be composed of all the redeemed. As the people of God, the church does consist ‘of the whole number of the elect’.[9]

That the universal church consists of the elect may be seen in a few ways. First, we may see the church as the members of the New Covenant. As noted above, Jeremiah 31 teaches us that all members of the New Covenant are regenerate believers, who live with God as their God in an unbreakable covenant. The Old Covenant was broken and in it, the people were faithless. But this New Covenant will not be like the Old. As only those who are part of the New Covenant can have Christ as their covenant head, so they are united with those who likewise have Christ as their covenant head into one body. They belong to each other because they belong to Christ. Furthermore, Christ is covenant head to no other than they for whom He mediates. Those who have Him as Mediator do not fail to come to God (Heb. 7:25; John 6:44). Therefore, they make up the society of His called-out ones.

Second, we may see the church as the body of believers because Christ gave His life for her. As Reformed people and as Holy Scripture teaches, we believe that Christ died sacrificially to save a specific people (see chapter 8:8). Ephesians 5:25 identifies the church as the object of Christ’s love and redemptive purpose.

Thirdly, we may see the church as the body of believers in the way in which the Bible speaks of it. In Matthew 16:18, the church of Christ is built upon confessing Peter who acknowledged Christ as the Messiah (Matt. 16:16). This is the confession of every true Christian. They are described as those who are “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” (1 Cor. 1:2). While undoubtedly wolves will creep among a local body, the description here given goes to the heart of the church. Every local body should be composed of only those people. But since the local body is human and has the human fallibility aspect to it, it does contain wolves. But the universal or spiritual body, as God sees it, has only believers in it. “The Lord knows those who are his”, infallibly (2 Tim. 2:19). The church is described as the body of Christ, in union with Him (e.g., Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18; 1 Cor. 12:12ff). No one who is united with Christ can be lost. Furthermore, everyone who is has been saved or will be saved is/will be united to Christ (see also here). The church, as the bride and body of Christ, for whom He gave His life are His elect and redeemed people, and only those who viewed from the point view of God. God knows who are His...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith - Commentary

...t Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles,” which is justification by faith. But why? The verse goes on to say “so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” See also Galatians 3:2, 5; Ephesians 1:13.

Communion with God: By faith, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us. Through the Spirit, we have access to the Father and the Son. Romans 5:1-2 after saying that we have peace with God through faith, explains that “Through [Christ] we also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand” (see also Eph. 2:18, 22). Ephesians 3:17 teaches that Christ dwells in our hearts through faith.

Union With Christ: All the blessings of salvation find their beginning with our Union With Christ. Let’s take for example Colossians 2:12. In this passage, Union With Christ is expressed in the words “with him.” Therefore, Paul says that we were “buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith”. Charles Hodge explains, “To be in Christ, and to believe in Christ, are, therefore, in the Scriptures convertible forms of expression. They mean substantially the same thing and, therefore, the same effects are attributed to faith as are attributed to Union With Christ.”[42] See chapter 27.

Inherit the promises: This is the great blessing which is attributed to the saints of old in Hebrews 11. In Hebrews 6:12, the Author calls his audience to be “imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

Live by faith: Finally, one blessing of salvation is to live by faith. Habakkuk 2:4 says, “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.” This passage is quoted in Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38. Romans 1:17 teaches that “the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith” and the basis of this is Habakkuk 2:4. Calvin, on Romans 1:17, explains “that the life of the righteous consists in faith.”[30] Albert Barnes observes that this statement does not speak about justification by faith, but about the persons justified by faith:

This expression, therefore, does not mean, as it is sometimes supposed, the “justified by faith” shall live; but it is expressive of a general principle in relation to people, that they shall be defended, preserved, made happy, not by their own merits, or strength, but by confidence in God. This principle is exactly applicable to the gospel plan of salvation. Those who rely on God the Saviour shall be justified, and saved.[19]

But, this is a sense given to the Habakkuk passage in Galatians 3:11. As Philip Schaff observes, “Paul clearly holds that if the righteous man truly lives, it is because he has been accounted righteous by faith; comp. Gal 3:11, where the same passage is quoted.”[43] In Galatians 2:20, Paul is able to say that “the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God”. Faith is not a passive thing for Paul; it is his drive or power of life. The apostle speaks of faith “as the element or atmosphere in which the Christian lives. He is, as it were, steeped in faith.”[37] Schaff observes that “faith is the living element in which Paul moved.”[43]

The last passage that I want to look at here is 2 Corinthians 5:7 wherein Paul says that “we walk by faith, not by sight.” In order to rightly understand the passage, we must first note the context. He speaks about our physical body and the body of our resurrection at the beginning of the chapter an...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary

... of this paragraph], is therefore a declarative act, as distinguished from an efficient act; an act of God external to the sinner, as distinguished from an act within the sinner’s nature and changing that nature; a judicial act, as distinguished from a sovereign act; an act based upon and logically presupposing the sinner’s Union With Christ, as distinguished from an act which causes and is followed by that Union With Christ.[4]

A little further, Strong observes:

It is worthy of special observation that, in the passages cited above [Deut. 25:1; Prov. 17:15; Matt. 12:37; Rom. 5:16, 18-19; 8:33-34], the terms “justify” and “justification” are contrasted, not with the process of depraving or corrupting, but with the outward act of condemning; and that the expressions used to explain and illustrate them are all derived, not from the inward operation of purifying the soul or infusing into it righteousness, but from the procedure of courts in their judgments, or of offended persons in their forgiveness of offenders.[15]

The Judge of the Universe, because of the atoning death of His Beloved Son on our behalf, declares us to be righteous. Our Union With Christ makes it so that His death becomes our death, His resurrection our resurrection, His life our life, His righteousness our righteousness. Although we have not yet been perfectly conformed to His image, we are certainly predestined to that end (Rom. 8:29). In other words, God will make us righteous, but this is not what the New Testament speaks about for our salvation. Rather, this is sanctification in which the Holy Spirit works to change us into Christ’s image, but it is a life-long process of ups and downs (see chapter 13).

Blessings of Justification

What is accomplished by God through justification? First of all, as the Confession states, “pardoning their sins” is one of the blessings coming from our justification. For example, Paul says:

Rom. 4:4-8 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” 

Notice how closely is justification tied to the forgiveness of sins that Paul calls upon Psalms 32:1-2 as evidence for the fruit of justification. In this passage, we come also to the second blessing of justification, namely, our faith being counted as righteousness (v. 5), or to state it in another way: “accounting and accepting their persons as righteous”. We spoke about this above (see here). In this connection, we should observe that justification does not only consist of the forgiveness of sins but also is tied to the fact that we are accounted righteous. Matthew Poole comments on v. 5 as follows:

This testimony is taken out of Psa 32:1, and it is well enough accommodated to the occasion, for those two, to remit sin, and to impute righteousness, are inseparable. The one is put here figuratively for the other. They mistake, who take occasion from hence to make justification to consist only in remission of sin: the text will not bear it. The apostle’s design is, not hereby to declare the full nature of justification, which he had done before; but only to prove the ...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 30: Of the Lord's Supper - Commentary

...blood being shed for our forgiveness. It is also given for the confirmation of the faith of believers to remind them of the sacrifice of Christ which is their only ground of hope and peace with God. It is for their spiritual nourishment, and growth in Him because the Lord comes very close to us as we partake of His supper and sit at His table. It reminds us also of all the duties which we owe to Him thanks to His sacrifice on our behalf. But it is also a bond and pledge of our communion with Him, and with each other. Since we are all in Union With Christ and as we partake of His blood and body, we also partake and are united with each other as believers. Christ unites all believers together and this is also signified by the Lord’s Supper and it is a pledge of it (i.e., a solemn promise or undertaking to keep this communion).

Institution And Command Of Observation

The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance that is directly commanded by Christ. It’s not a deduction from multiple passages, but a direct and positive command of the Sovereign Christ. It is meant to cause us to look back to the perfect sacrifice of Christ of Himself by Himself for the perfection of all the elect of God. We are to look back to the sacrifice and look forward to the Parousia when He will fulfill and bring to pass all the benefits of His sacrifice. We read of the institution of this blessed ordinance in Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:17-25; Luke 22:14-23 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. I will use Paul’s text as the basis (which was taken from Luke’s Gospel) to discuss the institution of the Lord’s Supper.

1 Cor. 11:23-26 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes

Before being betrayed by Judas, the Lord Jesus instituted a New Covenant meal in which His disciples would always have a way to remember and celebrate His work of redemption on their behalf. They were celebrating the Jewish Passover as the New Covenant Mediator instituted the New Covenant meal. The Passover was the remembrance of God’s great deliverance of the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt. The Lord’s Supper is a token and a sign of even a greater deliverance, i.e., the deliverance from the bondage of sin through the blood of Christ. This ordinance, Christ institutes simply based upon His authority as the New Covenant High Priest and Mediator, for His people to observe. He did not give this ordinance based on other authorities, but He gave it based on His authority and this is the way that we should receive this ordinance. Christ was pleased to institute this New Covenant meal as a means of remembering Him and His work by His people. Christ’s words are not “Do this, if you like to, in remembrance of me,” but as the Sovereign Lord that He is, His word is solemn and demands obedience: “Do this in remembrance of me.” All churches who name the name of Christ must of necessity, because of His clear command, celebrate this New Covenant meal. Virtually all churches from all backgrounds, as far as I know, celebrate the Lord’s Supper. A church, w...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 13: Of Sanctification - Commentary

... are also progressing toward holiness in being more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving grace. This is so that we would practice all true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Heb. 12:14). The Lord grants us holiness and calls us to holiness so that we would see Him.

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 (see chapter 27, paragraph 1 for more detail). We dealt with the effectual call or Irresistible Grace in chapter 10 and Regeneration and Justification were dealt with in chapter 11.


The answer to question 35 “What is sanctification?” of the Westminster Shorter Catechism is as follows:

Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.[2]

Having this definition, we can say that sanctification is a work of renewal and enablement. This enablement is twofold: to die unto sin and to live unto righteousness. It is a work of life and death by God. But before we dive into sanctification and its effect, we must first note that “to sanctify” something is to “make it holy”.


Sanctification has to do with making or declaring holy. Holiness essentially has to do with “otherness” or setting apart. This idea is conveyed in the Old Testament by the use of words like:

  • consecrate (e.g. firstborn [Ex. 13:2]; the people of Israel [Ex. 19:10; Josh. 3:5; 7:13], the priests [Ex. 19:10, 22; 28:3]; Mt. Sinai [Ex. 19:23]; gifts [Ex. 28:38]; offering [Ex. 29:27]; Passover lamb [2 Chron. 30:17]; altar [Ex. 29:36, 27, 44]; the tent of meeting and all its items [Ex. 30:26-29]; the temple [2 Chron. 29:5]; a fast [Joel 1:14; 2:15]),
  • set apart (e.g. Israel and the godly [Gen. 49:26; Deut. 10:8; Ps. 4:3]; priests [Num. 16:9]; musicians [1 Chron. 25:1]; land [Ex. 8:22]; newborn of man and beast [Ex. 13:12]; animals [Lev. 20:25]; cities [Deut. 4:41; Josh. 16:9]),
  • separate (e.g. Israel [Lev. 15:31; 20:24, 26]; priests [Num. 8:14; 1 Chron. 23:13]; animals [Lev. 20:25]; Nazarite [Num. 6:2, 3, 12]; a portion of the temple [Ezek. 48:21-22]).

While our initial idea may be that of making people holy or setting people apart, the usage of these words is very wide, ranging from people to things. If we consider the usage of the word “holy” then this would encompass these things above and even more. The basic idea conveyed from these passages is that a thing or a person is separated from a common purpose and given another purpose and it or they belong to another, e.g. God. William D. Mounce explains the concept of holiness and the Hebrew word used in the Old Testament:

Generally, qados [which is used 117 times] is translated as “holy,” “holy one,” or “saint.” It describes that which is by nature sacred or that which has been admitted to the sphere of the sacred by divine rite. It describes, therefore, that which is distinct or separate from the common or profane.[3]

All over the Bible, God is said to be holy. He Himself provides the standard which our holiness or the holiness of things are measured against. He is said to be “Holy, holy, holy” (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8). It is the only attribute of God that is raised to the third repetition. It is not an attribute among many others. Rather, it is the attribute that encompass...