devotional

07SEP
2019

LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 159

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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Chapter 18. “Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation.” Paragraph 3a: “This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties before he be partaker of it; yet being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation, in the right use of means, attain thereunto.”

 

When I read this my heart fills with joy. These writers want people to rest in Jesus. They want readers to plug their lives into the socket of truth and feel the amperage pulling from within provided by the voltage from without.

But God knows full well when and how to water his varying and stubborn plants. God knows what each believer needs to grow in this “infallible assurance.” Sometimes, we grow in simple education and taste of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes in prayer we grow and taste of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes in trials we draw near to God and taste of the Holy Spirit. And at all times it’s some of these sometimes. But what do you need, reader, if you’re in Christ? The answer is that it’s the same thing that I need, but, how God provides it to us, though not mysterious, is diverse in its many biblically outlined means.

When they write here of, “…the right use of means” they’re speaking of what’s often called, “Means of grace.” Baptism, the highest work of righteousness we perform, is a means of grace. The Lord’s Supper, another repeated one, is also a means of grace. Both would be done usually in the fellowship of the church which is itself another means of grace. Evangelism is a means of grace. When we bring the Gospel to someone else, we are literally loving them like Jesus. It’s a means of grace to imitate him and the Apostles. So, it’s reading, prayer, fellowship, evangelism, and on and on it goes that are the means of grace. So, in the church, we want to help each be about all and all about each. God, through them, combines just the right parts in the mixture to grow each flower. He adds the right sunlight to the right depth of soil, to the perfect measure of water, and he enjoys the beauty he creates thereby…and so do the rest of the flowers turned upward with open faces in the light of the Son.

Believer, it is no mystery. Be about these “means of grace” and you will come to know the triune God of grace. You gain assurance similarly to gaining endurance, by running longer and longer. 1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1.

Repent to Jesus- 1 John 1:8-9.

Learn from Jesus- Matthew 11:28-30.

Pray to God as bidden by Jesus- John 16:23-26.

Share the Gospel- Matthew 28:18-20.

“O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8.

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