devotional

23DEC
2018

LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 130

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.

 

NEXT-

 

Section 15.1: “Such of the elect as are converted at riper years, having sometime lived in the state of nature, and therein served divers lusts and pleasures, God in their effectual calling giveth them repentance unto life.”

 

At no matter what age God chooses to redeem his elect, the elect get redeemed. This does not exclude the idea that God might regenerate someone before they can walk. The language, in fact, explicitly shows the belief that God can and does regenerate as he wishes in our lives no matter the age. We know in Scripture that God works when he pleases to and did at several times deem it fit to show us his redemption in infants. We simply are not to presume on that today since we have no divine revelation about the regenerate state of anyone not able to have the fruit of the Spirit detectable in their lives. I pray that all four of my kids when they’re adults never remember a day when they didn’t believe in Jesus, but I know they’re not mine to save. I’m not an Arminian after all. Take that Leighton Flowers.

 

I like the term “riper years.” That was me. I wasn’t “older” I was “riper” when God saved me. God began a work in me that I know was life-changing when I was 24 years old. By 26, I was soundly converted to the Christian religion. I had given up many external things in those first two years. I had moved from Arizona to Florida on my own, and was in an entirely new world knowing only one person, a friend, in the state I was in. It was an exciting place of new beginnings for me. From the first day I made a profession of faith in those days, fornication was gone. Drunkenness was gone. I held on in some modified format to pornography, but its hold began to wane instantly. I stopped pursuing business and began pursuing Jesus. I had a zeal for Jesus in a false gospel of word-faith heresy. From age 12, I had become open to the demonic. To the sensual. To the occult. By 14 yrs old, I was about as engrossed in sex and other soul-damning sins as I could be. That continued for ten years literally across the country. I had lived in that state until I was 24, and then, again as I said, was soundly saved by the time I was 26. What God was doing in those first two years I call “an outward work”, or “outward reform.” I am certain of the inward reform (regeneration) from sometime in age 26. I don’t know the date, and the seasons all run together in Florida, so I only know it was a beautiful sunny day, but I can remember the sermon I was listening to alone in my Tampa living room when God converted me. I was listening to an old Irish preacher expounded Isaiah 40. It’s from that sermon on that I know it all changed! Since then, that very day, for sure, I know it. God knows it all from eternity; I know it from that sermon.

 

Effectual calling is a Reformed understanding of that moment when God raises a person from death to life. At that point, that person’s heart has been made new. They’ve been born again. We call this his “effectual call.”

 

God gave me repentance that day in my living room, and I, with my new free will, ran with it joyously. I’m still running with it.

 

God grants repentance. We don’t grant it to ourselves. Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25; John 6:44; Romans 8:29-30.

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