LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 165

I’ll be out of town for a few weeks.


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.




Chapter 19. “Of the Law of God.” Paragraph 2: “The same law that was first written in the heart of man continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness after the fall, and was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables, the four first containing our duty towards God, and the other six, our duty to man.”


The Gospel Jesus both is and brought was never apart from the whole counsel of God in his mind. It was thoroughly biblical. It was a rooted, accomplishing, completing, work he came to do that he preached as the complete reason for all of God’s work among Israel’s people. The fact that it was a work for the world was as much a part of the whole counsel of God for Jesus as possible. The entirety of God’s 39 book first covenant canon, which of course contains the giving of the Ten Commandments, is a part of the Gospel Christians proclaim today. Paul saw the Law, and most specifically he made import of the Ten Commandments I think with his use of the Law, that he wrote: “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.” Galatians 3:24. The whole of the Law leads to the whole of the Gospel.


When Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40.


The first four of the ten deal vertically and take priority. It is not our first duty to love our neighbors; it’s the second. The last six of the ten commandments deal horizontally. Under God, doing them from our hearts to the first priority makes the love of God work itself out in our sanctification. Jesus said that these ten commandments merely further explicate his summation of it all. If we seek to do the Ten Commandments, we seek his two commandments. If we seek his two commandments, the priorities it brings in between us, our Creator and the rest of his creation make sense.


The Law shows us a lot about God’s character. The confession here speaks of it going from him to the Ten Commandments. These commandments reflect God’s own character. Therefore they remain.


We’ll see a bit more on the sabbath in chapter 22. I believe wholeheartedly in being a regular member and attendee of my local church. In fact, I believe that if I wasn’t such it’d be evidence that I’m probably going to hell. Every single week I want to build my life around the church, and make every effort conform to worshiping my God on Sunday and doing works toward that end. The Sabbath Law (the fourth commandment) is the only one of the ten explicitly abrogated in the New Covenant. Matthew 11:28-30; Colossians 2:16-17; Hebrews 4:9-16; Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:27. And it is only abrogated when one enters the Faith. Its abrogation is the fulfillment of it in us who enter into the rest of Jesus. We worship on Sundays (typically) from a description of what the Christians always did from Acts. It is no prescription. Romans 14:5-7 shows us the liberty believers have always had in Christ. There is no day above another required of us so that there are punitive measures in a non-compliance. None. No one can judge regarding a sabbath day today. We pattern our lives, however, wisely, on one day a week. That day has always been Sunday. We in the west (and many places) have a five day workweek. In Israel it was six. We rejoice in this! Let’s set aside a day. If we’re not, it’s likely we’re not very diligent students of Jesus’ and have therefore missed both the Law and the Gospel in this regard.

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