devotional

28MAY
2020

LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 187

Reflections on the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689

23 Aug 14 began a perhaps unbroken, orderly, and personal journey through my favorite written confession of faith. These are my personal reflections on this beloved historic Particular Baptist confession of the Christian Faith.

NEXT-

Chapter 22. Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day. Paragraph 1a: “The light of nature shows that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all; is just, good and doth good unto all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart and all the soul, and with all the might…”

This section begins with talk on what’s often called in theological circles “natural revelation.” This is to distinguish it from “special revelation.” We’ll see more about special revelation next time.

When this was written no one had seen a light bulb. There were no telescopes to see what we now see outside of Earth in God’s universe. No one had stepped on the moon. Yet what they say here in the confession can be proven more true today than when they first wrote it. The sciences can teach us about God, and God teaches us in the sciences.

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It’s only relatively recently that man has spiritually devolved enough to publicly assert (against even themselves) that there is no God on any grand scale. They’re like flees on the back of a dog debating the dog. It took time for sin to darken even already darkened minds that far, but everyone still knows there’s a God. I literally don’t care what someone says, God does not believe in atheists and I too have never met one. I’ve met hundreds of “professing atheists,” sure, but none who pass the test. There are many agnostics, but I’m glad to report that there are no atheists. God says, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard.” Psalm 19:1-2. If you have working eyes and a brain then earth is its own apologetic. It is God’s and everyone knows it, God says. Ray Comfort calls it God’s “Great big cosmic duh.” You can no more have creation without its Creator than a painting without its painter. Period. Even natural men know this. It is quite literally “natural revelation.”

The perhaps most underestimated words in Romans read, “Because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:19-20. This shows us man’s problem.

I took the picture above in my study. It’s four sticky pads stuck to the floor in a row. No one looking at it would assume it could ever happen on its own. That’s literally how easy it is. You look at the world in every legitimate science and you see God there. Period. But it’s not just foolish to deny God in this. It’s spiritually evil. It evidences an evil within us, not just error. God made us for himself and we say no. There’s hostility at work against him shown in our denial of him as our Creator.

The “light of nature” as they call it here is that which even the fallen senses of man should perceive. And for which mankind is accountable for denying. So, what’s the problem? The problem is the fallen nature of man. The Bible says just above verses 19-20 just cited that: “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” Romans 1:18. The “suppress the truth.” It’s not just foolishness then it’s an active hostility that makes professing atheists talk their talk. It’s the suppression of truth. The atheist’s problem is the same as anyone’s here- in sin they suppress all that they see and know.

The confession speaks of the fact that in light of life and creation men should worship God. If we don’t we’re like fat spoiled kids never saying thanks. I love the way Barnabas and Paul taught this to a group of people while traveling. They said: “In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” Acts 14:16-17. God did that. For every feast. Every baby. Every sunrise. Every bit of enjoyable sex between a man and a woman. For every harvest it was wickedness to not give the true God his worship in it. Yet he was good over all to give it all still. Billions of tons an hour of fruits and vegetables and fish and animals continue to multiply. We should say thanks to Jesus today for all this.

Christians have their senses heightened to see God in his world. The Gospel that delivered us from the bondage of spiritual death delivers us into new sight. New perceptions. New realities of the God who is good, who made it all good, and will soon again make it all good immutably. What makes the grass grow? God. What makes the grass grow? Photosynthesis. Who made photosynthesis? God. We should worship him.

 

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