devotional

25AUG
2019

LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 157

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 18. “Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation.” Paragraph 2a: “This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion grounded upon a fallible hope, but an infallible assurance of faith founded on the blood and righteousness of Christ revealed in the Gospel…”

 

We’ll talk more about evidences of grace again next week in the next section even though I’ll speak on them here this week as well.

 

I am no mere “evidentialist.” I’m not 99% sure Jesus is Lord. I’m 100% sure. 99% would offer me zero comfort. Christianity is entirely supernatural. If evidences bring men “A step closer” to God via apologetics it’s never enough to save them. Evidences, even such as those so overwhelmingly convincing as those we have to offer, must be accompanied by another “step” from God to save sinners. Only God gives life. It isn’t evidence that saves. It’s a regeneration that men cannot even partially enact that does. There is therefore nothing “blind” about a Christian’s faith in my study. Nothing. I can speak of the grace of Jesus Christ brought to me in my life via the Cross as fully as Paul could. I can go along with the idea many seem to hold up principally when they speak of faith as a sort of “blind trusting” in that when times get tough, God asks us to trust him. The faith can sometimes feel like a fully illumined trail on which the sun has quickly set, or a lit hallway just gone pitch dark. We saw it, and we know we’re still on it, but it’s now dark. Sometimes, in such a state, surely there is a sort of blind trust we must all honor God through, and through which he establishes trust in ways only possible in the dark. Faith, in that sense, is sometimes experienced as belief in one area- God’s control, transcending our understanding in what we thought we knew would be when it seems he’s not watching. But Christianity is knowing faith.

 

If one’s hope of heaven is a sort of Pascalian wager kind of a thing. A, “I hope I’m right about Jesus, and what do I lose if I’m wrong?” sort of a thing, I say it’s not saving faith at all. Repent of it. If it’s the kind of faith not rooted in sure revelation, then it’s not faith as God gives it to everyone to whom he gives it. I have been well aided in my regenerate life by the following analogy from Mr. Ray Comfort. I’m tweaking it a bit. He said, “Imagine you got a phone call today from a lawyer who informed you that a rich aunt of yours that you didn’t know about just died and left you $7,000,000.00 in her will. He asked you to head to the airport soon where a ticket awaited you to come to where he is to make it all official, but that according to the stipulations of her will, for good faith, he was authorized to just now wire you $1,000,000.00 to your checking account to show you it’s for real. With bated breath you log into your account and see that the funds were indeed deposited. What would that do? It would produce an evidence of validity, and also assure you that you’re going to get $6,000,000.00 more dollars soon. That knowledge would produce in you energy.” Reader, if you’ve been given the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:12-14; Hebrews 7:22; Romans 8:12-17, then you know what’s coming for you…because of him. We don’t hope in what we’ve not yet seen blindly. We hope in what we’ve not yet seen because of what we’ve already seen in the God who raised us to life and calls us to still look ahead to what we’ve not yet seen. It’s because of what he’s done that we have hope in what he’s said he’ll do! Our water baptism is supposed to look back to what we declare Christ has already done, and only then also to our coming sure glorification. Both men and women are to profess this in that blessed work of righteousness.

 

None of what we do is in vain hope. It’s through the very weight of truth we have who have Jesus. It’s by the Spirit we believe this. It’s by the supernatural illumination of God, the Holy Spirit alone that we’re made as sure that Jesus rose up from the dead as those on the hill of the Ascension with him that day. Not one iota less of an assurance should we have, reader. Not one shred. I know Jesus is alive because of all that God has given me in his truth. And I was born in 1978.

 

If the blood doesn’t assure you of your faith, then it’s not faith you’ve got. Assurance comes to all those who seek it rightly at the Cross. Seek it. You’ll know it. And I’m here to delight in it with you if you’d like to share.

 

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