devotional

19OCT
2018

LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 125

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. This will be my personal reflections on this beloved written codification of the Christian Faith which is according to a Baptist flavor.

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Section 14.2a: “By this faith a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word for the authority of God himself, and also apprehendeth an excellency therein above all other writings and all things in the world, as it bears forth the glory of God in his attributes, the excellency of Christ in his nature and offices, and the power and fullness of the Holy Spirit in his workings and operations: and so is enabled to cast his soul upon the truth thus believed…”

Today, in preparation for an up-coming service I’ve been studying Isaiah’s Book. In Isaiah 6, Isaiah sees a vision of God on his throne that has enraptured the hearts of every one made able to see it by faith who’s read it ever since. We go there with Isaiah by faith. Isaiah sees the Lord, “…sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said,

“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts,
The whole earth is full of His glory.”

The vision continues to show one of the most blessed pictures of the imputation of righteousness between Genesis 15:6 and Romans 3:21-31 in all of the Scripture with the coal from the fire purifying Isaiah of his sin from the outside in. This looked forward to what the Cross would truly do. As I continued studying, I turned to John 12:37-41 where the Apostle John tells us, by context (and in some translations of the text for clarity (emphasis vs. 41)) that it was none other than Jesus himself that Isaiah saw in Isaiah 6. John tells us that Isaiah saw the pre-incarnate Son. Men could never dream to write such glorious things 700 years apart. Only God could do so, and only in the Bible is such a thing shown. I will never come near the depth of this book. Never. The book reveals God. I’m neither worthy nor ready to see him yet, but I have his words.

I truly love this section’s wording. The words these men chose are like a refined gold. In my own mind, such could only have been written by the very best of men in Christ. God speaks to his sheep through his word. Others believe they hear through other books they claim come from a god yet contradict the Christian Faith because the devil is at times a phenomenally exhaustive liar, but it is through the Bible alone that the only true God speaks. I hear Muhammed’s words and I know that he did not speak for God. I know that the Qu’ran is a created thing contrary to their claims. I read Joseph Smith’s words and I know that he did not speak for God. The Bible, however, is God speaking to his people. The church has nearly unanimously recognized this in God’s 66 books ever since the canon concluded in the first century. It is inspired, infallible, inerrant and all-sufficient. It was perfect in its autographs, and has been preserved in its transmission onto our shelves today without question. Having the Bible is what it means that he has spoken to us in these last days through his Son, Hebrews 1:1-2.

Jesus repeatedly said things like, “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.” Matthew 13:16; Luke 10:23. If your ears hear God in his word. If your eyes can see him through his word. If your heart pounds a glorious beat because of that most blessed and sacred truth in letter format then oh how blessed you are, dear friend! Oh, how blessed! Hearing God speak to you in his word, as Calvin attested, is to have that book, “Elevated above the realm of controversy.”

Both Old and New Covenants are equally necessary for a full enlightenment in God. God’s canon is not an either/or. It is a both/and. I esteem how they wrote here in the confession that it’s through the gift of the kind of faith so warmly acknowledge by the confession that a believer is, “…enabled to cast his soul upon the truth.” That is precisely what it looks like. I am totally abandoned to the text. I’m persuaded. I’m confident. God has proven his word to me too many times, John 14:23. To doubt it now would be tantamount to the insanity of doubting the existence of oxygen. It would be pure insanity if I were to doubt him now. Such is the confidence built by God through it.

The Bible is not God. No Christian worships it. To worship a book would be idolatry. We worship only the triune God who gave us it, and who stooped down to reveal himself in it.

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