devotional

17JUN
2019

LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 151

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.

 

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Section 17, “Of the Perseverance of the Saints.” 17.2d: “…the abiding of his Spirit…”

 

I come from a fake Christian background of a Word of Faith cult. In that silly hell-bound frivolity, emotions and feelings are easily and even purposefully imagined as “The moving of the holy spirit.” Unrepentant people can be seen weekly in such idleness rolling on the floor, writhing in convulsions, uncontrollably laughing, getting drunk in a spirit, babbling in gibberish, speaking supposed prophetic utterances, etc. The next week they’re entirely uninterested in Jesus, but last week, they were “touched” by God. The fruit doesn’t last. These cults have turnover rates higher than McDonald’s with a very few goats who remain hooked.

The abiding of the Spirit is different. Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 3:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:8. He wins with the truth. 2 Corinthians 13:8; 1 Peter 1:22. God speaks directly to the soul of a man in a voice that cannot be faked. John 10:4-5, 27-28; Matthew 11:25, 16:17. He changes hearts to make them immutably changed. John 3:3, 6:39. The truth, when won by it, keeps us. It “abides” with us always because the Spirit does. John 16:12-15. The truth of God is what sustains, enriches and strengthens. The life Jesus gives, if ever he gives it to someone, is never anything but eternal from the moment it’s given because he knows all things. Experiences are nothing; truth that may or may not be accompanied by certain experiences is everything. Word of Faith cults ideologically have a maxim. It varies among its people, but goes something like: “A man with an experience is not at the mercy of a man with an argument.” Well, what we experience can be false, right? I’ve met plenty of Mormons who’ve had “experiences” with god. But it’s a false god, and so, whatever experiences one has matter little to me. The question is, have we experienced the truth by the Spirit? Truth, time and fruit will tell. The Spirit abides. If he doesn’t, it wasn’t him. The abiding/telling/fruit-bearing/Scripturally saturated truth is the fruit that shows the Faith. That is the experience that a man who has it is not at the mercy of a man with an experience.

The Spirit abides. In the good times and the bad. Christians do not/cannot ultimately lose heart.

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