The Staunch Calvinist

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


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

...: or “he made to rush, or fall upon him the iniquity of us all” (s); our sins, like a large and mighty army, beset him around, and fell upon him in a hostile manner, and were the cause of his death; by which means the law and justice of God had full satisfaction, and our recovery from ruin and destruction is procured, which otherwise must have been the consequence of turning to our own ways; so the ancient Jews understood this of the Messiah. R. Cahana (t) on these words, “binding his ass’s colt to the choice vine”, Genesis 49:11 says,

”as the ass bears burdens, and the garments of travellers, so the King Messiah will bear upon him the sins of the Whole World; as it is said, “the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all”,’’ Isaiah 53:6.[6]

Verse 8 asks a rhetorical question:

Isa. 53:8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?

Who would have thought that He, on the cross was really being punished for the sins of God’s people? Who would have thought of this? The unbelieving Jews thought that He was being punished by God because of His own sins, while those who followed Him were confused and thought He was unrighteously delivered into the hands of the Romans by their leaders. Yet this was God’s plan all along. It was the will of the LORD, says v. 10 to have the Servant being crushed so that His soul would be an offering for the guilt of God’s people. This passage is glorious and in it, the penal substitutionary atonement of the Messianic Servant most clearly shines even in the Old Testament.

Galatians 3:13 – Christ the Curse

Paul, in Galatians, is set against the Judaizers who were seeking to put people under the yoke of the Mosaic Law again. They were teaching people that they would need to be circumcised and keep the whole Mosaic Law to be saved. Paul is strongly against that. He argues here that no one is able to keep the Law, but also that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, how? By becoming a curse in our place.

Gal. 3:10-14 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith

It is clear, Paul says, that everyone who relies on the works and “good deeds” of the law is under a curse. That means, that anyone who depends on the law for their justification is actually under a curse. For they do not understand the purpose of the law nor the righteousness of God. The purpose of the Law was to lead to Christ (Gal. 3:24-25) and to reveal sin (Rom. 3:20), not to justify since no one is able to perfectly obey. They are under a curse because for eternal life and justification the law demands not sincere, but full, perfect and constant obedience. Paul quotes Deuteronomy 27:26 to make his point clear. The Law demands perfect and total obedience. Therefore, anyone who has not perfectly and...

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

...hat God made promises. Moreover, the true children of Abraham are not those who are physically descended from him, but those who share his faith. It is by faith that we are children of Abraham. Galatians 3:29 explains how we may be children of Abraham and thus heirs to the promises which were made to Abraham and to Christ. It is through Christ, the true and faithful child of Abraham, that we are made children of Abraham. Being a child of Abraham is a matter of faith, not of fleshly descent. The promises included that we will be the people of God and inherit the Promised Land. But Romans 4:13 teaches that the Promised Land is not limited to that land in the Middle East, but rather, it is the Whole World. This is in accordance with one of the beatitudes of our Lord (Matt. 5:5). John the Baptist teaches that it is of no avail, contrary to Jewish opinion, that they have the favor of God and they will be in peace because they are physical children of Abraham, for God is able to raise children of Abraham from stones. Rather, the people should repent and have the same faith as Abraham (Matt. 3:9; Luke 3:8). The promises given to Jews after the flesh were conditioned upon their obedience through the Mosaic Covenant (e.g., Deut. 7:11-12). It is needless, for the student of the Bible, to mention the many places when Israel’s prosperity and occupation of the Land are conditioned upon their obedience (see Deut. 32 for example; Lev. 18:24-28). The Abrahamic Covenant was not an unconditional covenant, but had the condition of being circumcised and obeying the law of God (Gen. 18:19; 26:4-5; Rom. 2:25). See for more chapter 7 on the Abrahamic Covenant.

By being children of Abraham by faith, this means that we are also Jews by faith, entitled to the promises of God which are in Christ (2 Cor. 1:20). In Romans 2:25-29, Paul teaches us that the one who is circumcised ought to keep the whole Law of God, otherwise his circumcision is useless. Therefore, circumcision obliges and binds one to obey the whole law. Circumcision is not a physical matter, but a spiritual matter. It is a circumcision of the heart, not the foreskin as expected from Old Testament prophecy about the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 36:25-27). Being a Jew and thus a child of Abraham is a matter of the heart and spiritual, not physical descent. It is to be circumcised not (merely) in the flesh, but in the heart by the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:3). In a similar passage, written to the Philippians, Paul says that “we are the [true] circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3). To Gentiles, Paul says that they’re the circumcision because they (1) worship God by His Spirit, (2) glory in the cross our Lord, and (3) they put no confidence in them being physical children of Abraham. “The circumcision” is the name given to the Jews who required Gentile Christians to be circumcised (see Acts 11:2-3; Galatians 2:11-14; cf. Acts 15:1). We learned also from above that being a child of Abraham is a matter of faith and not physical descent (Gal. 3:7-10, 29). Therefore, to be a true Jew after the will of God is to be circumcised not in the flesh, but in the heart according to the promise of the New Covenant.

Believers are also said to be the Israel of God in Galatians 6:16. The passage reads:

Gal. 6:15-16 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And as for all who walk by th...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary Catholic church is an oxymoron. Roman is specific, while catholic is general and universal. The church of Christ is not an ethnically or geographically limited body. It is a church which is one “with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:2). It is a church that has people from all nationalities. The primary divide in the Bible is between Jews and Gentiles. The Old Covenant was an exclusive covenant by design. But the New Covenant and its commission are universal. Christ’s call is to go and “make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). He did not send the church to Israel alone, or to Rome alone, but to the Whole World. Even that divide which permeated the Jewish mind has been torn down in the New Testament. As noted above, the dividing wall has been torn down and as a result, God has made one new man from Jew and Gentile believers (Eph. 2:14). The apostle Paul speaks of the oneness of the church in gender, nationality, and social status (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11). When the apostle John saw the heavenly vision in Revelation 5, he described the redeemed as they “people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9; 7:9). While there are countless local churches all around the world, yet they constitute one universal church by their faith in Christ.

Apostolicity of the Church

The apostolicity of the church points to the foundation of the church. Ephesians 2:20 speaks of the church which is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone”. Roman Catholics, obviously, interpret this attribute with reference to the Papacy. But this attribute has nothing to do with the Papacy. Rather, it points to the fact that the church of Christ was built, instituted, and taught by the representatives of Christ. As we noted above on Matthew 16 and Peter, the Lord told him that he is the rock on which He will build His church. This was also the case as Peter preached the gospel to Jews, Gentiles, and Samaritans. The apostles, even now, remain to build the church through their writings which God has preserved. The early church is described as those who “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). A church that distances itself from the apostolic teaching is no church at all.

Holiness of the Church

The holiness of the church is primarily found in that it is the abode of the Spirit of holiness (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19). That the church is holy means that it is separated from the world. Indeed, it is in the world but not of it. As the church finds its identity in Christ, it cannot but be holy. The church is also holy because it is the only body of the redeemed in the world. The church is the society or the people in which God has determined to dwell and have a relationship with. He has set the church apart. As with the unity of the church, the holiness of the church is both a fact as well as an imperative. The holiness of the church is composed of the holiness of its individual members. As the holiness of its members is increased, so also the testimony of the holiness of the church in the world is more visibly seen. Our Lord sets Himself apart for His people to be set apart (John 17:17-19). Its members are predestined to “be holy and blameless before him” (Eph. 1:4). Its Husband has given His life “that he may sanctify that he might present the church to ...

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

... years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half.

What this dramatic picture shows is the fact that when in ancient times people would make covenants, animals would be cut in half and that would symbolize and say, “let this be done to me if I break the covenant.” God was very serious about making His covenant promises come to pass to Abram. This was the way to make very clear to Abram that He was set on blessing him and making him a blessing to the Whole World. Out of mere mercy and love, God promises to give the land of Canaan to Abraham’s offspring:

Gen. 15:18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,

The land promise was solely of grace. There was nothing that Abram had done to deserve such a blessing. But as the Law of Moses makes clear, remaining in the land for the people was based on their obedience and was not of grace, strictly speaking (e.g., Deut. 28; Lev. 18:24-28; 26). See “The Promises Fulfilled to the Natural Seed” for the fulfillment of the land promise in biblical history.

Genesis 17

One other thing people may know about Abraham is that it was to him that God gave circumcision. Of this, we read in chapter 17. The Lord appears to Abram to confirm His promises and changes his name. Let us first read what the Lord promises to do:

Gen. 17:6-8 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8 And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”

We see in this portion the Lord promising great blessings upon His servant Abraham and his offspring which is yet to come. He is promised to be a father of a multitude, the meaning of his new name (Gen. 17:5). Nations and even kings will come out of him. We can at least name two nations which came out of him: from Ishmael, the Arabs; from Isaac, the Israelites. He will give his offspring the land which Abraham saw but had no possession in it but a burial place (Acts 7:5). What is amazing about this text is that we get the basic promise of God in His covenants, in which He promises to be a God to us. Nehemiah Coxe points out that this promise does not have the same meaning in every covenant. Of this he writes and quotes Joseph Whiston:

It is evident that this promise, “I will be their God,” and the earlier one found in Genesis 17:7 give a general assurance of some good to the people in covenant. But it should not be supposed that they are promises of some particular good or blessing that is of a higher nature than is comprehended in any other promises of the covenant. For the true import of this general promise is “that God has engaged himself and all the properties of his nature for the exact fulfilling of all the promises of the covenant now made with them, according to the true character and conditions of a said covenant.” All the divine perfections are laid in as pledges that the promises will not fail on God’s part since they will be all e...

John Owen's Case For Particular Atonement

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The next argument which follows simply cites John 17:9, 19, in which we learn that Christ, before going to the cross, did not even pray for the world of unbelievers. Furthermore, His consecration was only for His own, which the Father had given Him. He was consecrated to them as an offering and a mediator, but He was not so consecrated nor for the purpose of them being sanctified for the reprobates.

Universal Language in Scripture

It is no surprise for Calvinists that Scripture does speak of the atonement of Christ in universal language as "world”, “Whole World”, “every man” and the like. The non-Calvinists sometimes act as if the Calvinists are not aware of these Scriptures. We actually do know them and try to interpret them according to their context and by comparing Scripture with Scripture. Very often, the reason for the rejection of Particular Atonement hangs upon these universal expressions. In fact, Owen says, ‘Upon these expressions hangs the whole weight of the opposite cause, the chief if not the only argument for the universality of redemption being taken from words which seem to be of a latitude in their signification equal to such an assertion, as the worldthe Whole Worldall, and the like; which terms, when they have once fastened upon, they run with, “Io triumphe,” as though the victory were surely theirs’[31] (Book IV, chapter 1). This is still true today.

The Reason

According to Owen, the purpose for the use of general and indefinite or universal language has to do with several things. Here are the two most important summarized:

  1. Showing the infinite value of the work of Christ for all the world without exception, if the Lord had so willed. Yea, even for 10,000 worlds! Therefore, in our proclamation, we should declare the exclusivity of Christ as the only way of salvation. There is no other name (Acts 4:12).
  2. The change of the covenant from the Old to the New. The Old was exclusive to Israel after the flesh, while the New is inclusive of everyone who believers from all four corners of the earth (Rev. 5:9). Therefore, it is certainly right to speak of the atonement and work of Christ in universal terms, but it is something else to conclude that this is an absolute universality. This is a significant point considering how the Jews generally thought that they would be the only benefactors of the Messiah's work. By using words like “world" and other universal designations, the authors of Scripture make clear that salvation is no longer confined in Israel.
  3. That the engrafting of the Gentiles was a serious issue at the beginning of the church could be seen from the Jewish exclusivity even outside of Jerusalem until Acts 11. In Acts 15, even some of the apostles were questioning the status of the Gentile believers among the people of God. Therefore, using universal and general language about the atonement and work of Christ, dispells this Jewish exclusivity.

These are all important factors which Owen gives for the use of universal and indefinite language in the NT.


It is simply false to claim that whenever the word "world” is used that it speaks of all of humanity without exception. In fact, Owen finds several senses of the word in both testaments, which I have put into a list:

  1. For the created world:
    1. The whole fabric of heaven and earth (Job 34:13; Acts 17:24; Eph. 1:4);
    2. Heaven distinguished from the earth (...

1 John 2:2, 'for the sins of the whole world'


[5] Matthew Henry, Whole Bible Commentary, taken from the Bible software The Word. See “Resources.”


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


(iv) Lastly, the fact that Christ is seated at the right hand of God to intercede for us assures that we will not be condemned. The Lord Jesus appeals before God on our behalf. Hebrews 7:25 teaches us that through His intercession the Lord Jesus is able to save completely everyone who draws close to God through Him. By His intercession, the Lord Jesus prays for us that our faith may not fail as He did for Peter whose faith did not completely fail (Luke 22:32). Christ is said to be our Advocate before the Father whenever we sin, knowing that a propitiation was provided for our sins in Christ (1 John 2:1-2).

6. Whatever may come, we are victorious in Christ. Let the Whole World be against the elect of God. It does not matter. God is with us and we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us. Not because we fight, but because we are loved by Him Who possesses all power and authority. Whatever this world has to bring, let it bring, it will not be able to separate the elect from God. Paul is sure that nothing is able to separate us and he names all kinds of things. Whatever it may be, Paul is certain based on God’s love and sovereignty that it will not succeed in separating the elect from God’s love, which is in Jesus Christ.

7. To conclude, the passage as a whole provides an unshakable foundation for assurance concerning the perseverance of God’s elect. From eternity past to eternity future, it is God Who brings the elect to faith, it is God Who preserves them and it is God Who will finally glorify them.

1 Corinthians 1:4-9 – Sustain you to the end, guiltless

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, 5 that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— 6 even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— 7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 

1. Paul starts his letter as he often does with thanksgiving to God for the work done in the believers he’s writing to. He gives thanks because grace was given to the believers and the believers are growing in the knowledge of God. They are maturing and becoming more like Christ everyday. Grace–the unmerited favor of God, was given to the believers in Christ that they escape from the punishment of their sins, yet not only in that way, but grace also to be enriched in Christ.

2. The believers are supplied with the charismata of the Spirit as they await the blessed hope (Titus 2:13). It is God’s grace which gives them the gifts of the Spirit and thereby sustains them to the end.

3. It is the Lord Jesus, say vv. 7b-8, Who will sustain the believers guiltless. First, let us start with what that does not mean. It obviously does not mean that we will never sin, for if we claim that we deny the truth (1 John 1:8). But rather it means that we will be found guiltless before God, because the penalty of our sin was paid for. We have, through justification by faith, received the perfect righteousness of Christ, so when God looks upon us, He does not see our sin, but Christ’s perfect and sinless righteousness. The word sustain in the Greek is βεβαιόω (bebaioo, G950) which means “to make firm, establish, confirm, make sure” [3] and “to confirm, establish; to...

Limited Atonement, Definite Redemption - Scripture List & Case to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.

1Jn 2:1-2 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the Whole World.[4]

1Jn 4:10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Christ took the sins of the elect & intercedes for the elect

Jn 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.[5]

Jn 10:14-18 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

Jn 11:49-52 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.

Jn 17:1-2 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.

Jn 17:6-10 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.

Jn 17:19-21 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. 20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

John 17:24-26 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know ...

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

...unlike all the Old Testament books which are in the Protestant Bible. At this time we must inquire what the general thought of the Jews was concerning the canon of Scripture.

Romans 3:2

In Romans 3:2, Paul says that the foremost advantage of being a Jew is that “the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.” The oracles of God were the words of God. It is to them, the Jewish nation, that the words of God were entrusted. John Calvin notes, “Now the oracles were committed to them, for the purpose of preserving them as long as it pleased the Lord to continue his glory among them, and then of publishing them during the time of their stewardship through the Whole World: they were first depositories, and secondly dispensers.”[18] John Gill notes that

in a word, [what is meant by the oracles of God are] all the books of the Old Testament, and whatsoever is contained in them; which are called so, because they are of divine inspiration, contain the mind and will of God, and are infallible and authoritative: and it was the privilege and profit of the Jews that they were intrusted with them, when other nations were not, and so had the advantage of them; they had them for their own use; for hereby they had a more clear and distinct knowledge of God than the Gentiles could have by the light of nature; and besides, became acquainted with the doctrines of a trinity of persons in the Godhead, of the sonship and deity of the Messiah, of the sacrifice, satisfaction, and righteousness of the Redeemer, and of salvation by him; and also with the manner of worshipping of God according to his will; all which the Gentiles were ignorant of. Moreover, they had the honour of being the keepers of these sacred books, these divine oracles, and of transmitting them to posterity, for the use of others.[8] [Words within brackets mine]

Jewish Testimony To The Canon

It was their foremost advantage and honor to possess the Word of God and to guard it. Therefore, we must now ask the question, “What did the Jews believe to be the inspired Old Testament canon?” We go to a person who lived near to the time of our Lord, Josephus, who wrote various histories of the Jewish people after the destruction of Jerusalem. Concerning the Sacred Writings, he wrote:

For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from and contradicting one another, [as the Greeks have,] but only twenty-two books, which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly believed to be divine; and of them five belong to Moses, which contain his laws and the traditions of the origin of mankind till his death. This interval of time was little short of three thousand years; but as to the time from the death of Moses till the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, who reigned after Xerxes, the prophets, who were after Moses, wrote down what was done in their times in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God, and precepts for the conduct of human life. It is true, our history hath been written since Artaxerxes very particularly, but hath not been esteemed of the like authority with the former by our forefathers, because there hath not been an exact succession of prophets since that time; and how firmly we have given credit to these books of our own nation is evident by what we do; for during so many ages as have already passed, no one has been so bold as either to add any thing to them, to take any thing from them, or to make any change in t...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 29: Of Baptism - Commentary

...isciple is a student, but he is more than a student. A disciple is a follower and a copier of his teacher. Our Lord describes His followers using this word. The Lord demands everything from His followers, saying, ​“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 ​Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26-27). His disciples abide in His Word and therefore, know the truth (John 8:31-32). In other words, they are to make Christ-followers, i.e., Christians of all nations. The scope of this mission is the Whole World. No longer is the true religion and gospel limited to Israel, but is sent into the Whole World and the Whole World is invited to repent and believe the gospel.

The next question concerns the way in which disciples are made. Disciples are made by the gospel and the Holy Spirit. It is a supernatural work of God. Baptism and teaching do not, in themselves, make disciples, they feed and maintain disciples. But it is the gospel used by the Holy Spirit which is the disciple-maker. Nonetheless, disciples are those who are taught and who imitate their Master. Therefore, these disciples are fed and maintained by teaching. Yet the way in which they publicly become disciples is by baptism. The “them” in “baptizing them” is a reference back to those who were discipled. John Gill notes:

baptizing them; not all nations, for the antecedent to the relative “them”, cannot be “all nations”; since παντα τα εθνη, the words for “all nations”, are of the neuter gender, whereas αυτους, “them”, is of the masculine: nor can it be thought that it should be the mind of Christ, that all the individuals of all nations should be baptized, as Heathens, Turks, and Jews; but μαθευτας, “disciples”, supposed and contained in the word μαθετευσατε, “teach”, or “make disciples”; such as are taught, and made disciples by teaching, or under the ministry of the word by the Spirit of God[10]

In this connection, baptism comes after the making of disciples by the preaching of the gospel. Baptism, as we argued above on its significance, portrays the gospels and is an act by which we profess our allegiance to Christ (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:11-12; 1 Pet. 3:21). Therefore, it is to be given to those who are disciples (i.e., Christians) who have had the reality which baptism portrays. Furthermore, they are instructed in all things which our Lord commanded so that they would obey. But evangelism and discipleship come first. The King did not give a commission to baptize those who were not discipled. He did not give a commission to baptize the nations. Rather, we are to preach the gospel to the nations and teach everyone who becomes a disciple that they are to take their cross upon themselves and follow the Lord Jesus. Keach observes that 

there must be teaching, they must be first Taught, or made Disciples, for the word μαθητεύσατε, as is well known and confessed by all, doth signify, to discipulize, or make Disciples, and next baptize them. And this also we find was his own practice, first to make Disciples, and then to baptize them.[41]

In this connection, it is good to observe the passage which Keach refers to which is John 4:1-2:

Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but onl...