devotional

15SEP
2019

LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 160

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 3b: “…and therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure, that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Every Christian should be moving toward maturity and rest in Jesus. I pray you are, reader. And God bless you who call on the Lord.

I have long been served by the statement from Jonathan Edwards that “we gain more assurance by running than by considering.” Christians don’t “think their way” into Jesus. They do, however, at the same time, by thinking, come to see how it is that they’re in Jesus. Without complicating it too far, it simply has to be said that those who hunger and thirst after righteousness must eventually come to recognize the drink and food that sustains them. John 6:35. God starts men off to the race. He takes up the dry corpse, breathes life into us and puts us in our lane on the track to run and we hit the ground running. There is nothing but surety in me that his unconditional election is alone the consistent explanation for why I’ve now been running this race for about 17 years.

What the confession’s writers here are saying is that it is the “duty” of those in a race to consider their pace, hydration and cramping. This is to aid runners. Making one’s calling and election sure means that we grow in our assurance of salvation by seeing if we measure up. We see if we measure up because God has given us Jesus to measure ourselves by. He’s given us his word to perceive Jesus at work in us. The Spirit leads us in warfare. Romans 8:12-17. It is then the “duty” of those who say they love him to portray him in their lives public and private.

The more fruit we bear to this end, the more “our hearts are enlarged” in the Gospel by it. And assurance comes. Jesus said it like this: “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. When we see fruit, we should be humbly confirmed that we’re in him by it.

Be diligent about resting in Christ. It’s even more needed at mile ten than two. It’s no secret how to grow in Christ.

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