devotional

06APR
2015

LBCF 1689 Reflections (part 24).

 

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. This will be my personal reflections on this beloved written codification of the Christian faith according to a Baptist flavor.

 

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CHAPTER 2

Paragraph 2: “he is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things, and he hath most sovereign dominion over all creatures, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth…”

 

God is the fountain of all being. He is the source. Ever heard the expression about having health? If you don’t have it you don’t have anything? It really is true isn’t it? Life itself, however, comes even before health, and God alone has it to give. In Romans 11:36 we read: “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” Elsewhere Paul says: “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him,” Colossians 1:16. Without God there is no light. Without God himself there is no sight to see the light. Without the designer of the eye there is no eye to shape the light to see it. It is God who makes the atom spin daily. It is God who forms the waters and keeps the sun ablaze. Without him (he himself) there is nothing. Jacob sent his kids to Egypt because he “…heard that there [was] grain in Egypt.” God is the source of life, and like those earliest Israelites we too would do well to come to the one who has what we need.

 

     It was a teaching on the sovereignty of God that he used to change me into a Christian. I had heard of Jesus’ death on Calvary’s cross. I’d heard of my sin by the law. I’d even said prayers and was told I was a Christian by well-meaning people because I’d “made a decision” to follow Jesus a couple of times, but it was not until God had Isaiah 40:15-18 laid upon my heart that I was truly saved by him.

Isaiah says there:

Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
    they are regarded as dust on the scales;
    he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires,
    nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.
Before him all the nations are as nothing;
    they are regarded by him as worthless
    and less than nothing.

With whom, then, will you compare God?
    To what image will you liken him?

 

     WAIT A MINUTE!?! At the time I heard this I thought that we people were the most important thing on earth. That we were partners with God and that he needed us just about as much as we needed him? I thought we were the apple of his eye?! I thought he had a universe sized refrigerator with all our pictures on it? “…regarded by him as worthless.?!” All of us combined? Huh?! That didn’t square. The point here from Isaiah is not that God doesn’t care about us, but is the size and awesomeness of God in relation to his puny creation. We are nothing next to Him. This puts things in perspective. When I saw God as “sovereign” I feared him for the very first time in that kind of fear that the Bible says is good. I repented of my sin, namely and especially that I’d esteemed him so lightly, and everything changed from that day. God is sovereign. His job description is to do what pleases him. He does that. I love that.

 

     This kind of sovereign affirmation found here in the confession is so important today. It is omitted by and large today by the most famous faces of American Christianity. In another venue recently I posted how the following “preachers” are destroying lives. These people are regrettably the face of evangelicalism-

 

Jesse Duplantis
TD Jakes
Joyce Meyer
Kenneth Copeland
Rodney Howard Browne
Paula White
Benny Hinn
Paul Crouch
Christian Harfouche
Creflo Dollar
Joel Osteen
Joseph Prince
Juanita Bynum
Steve Munsey
Eddie Long
Oral Roberts
Kenneth Hagin
(Not an exhaustive list)

 

     These are enemies of the gospel. They are the enemies of men’s souls. They are false prophets for various reasons that are not shared by all listed like: 1) denial of God himself as triune (Jakes), 2) health and wealth silliness, 3) we’re little gods doctrine, 4) drunkenness in the holy spirit, 5) “fire” falling on people silliness, etc. In contrast to the self-centered, non-relevant-to-the-Apostles-or-Jesus-silliness professed by personalities like those in the list above, the LBCF here affirms the kind of message that really brings health and wealth forever. The kind of message affirmed in a true pulpit makes one truly rich. The folks listed above do not know the Jesus upheld in the LBCF. They, like many others, are idolatrous and have crafted a god to suit themselves that they call Jesus. They love money. They have a god who gives it. If they did know Jesus they would speak better of Him in line with truth.

 

AW Pink’s words are uber-relevant for all of us today:

 

The God of this 20th century…no more resembles the supreme Sovereign of holy writ than does the dim flickering of a candle against the glory of the midday sun. The god who is now talked about in the average pulpit, spoken of in the ordinary Sunday school, mentioned in much of the religious literature of the day and preached on in most of the so called Bible conferences of the day…is the figment of human imagination; an invention of maudlin sentimentality. The heathen outside of the pale of Christendom form gods out of wood and stone while the millions of heathen inside Christendom manufacture a god out of their own carnal minds. In reality they are but atheists for there is no other possible alternative between an absolute supreme God and no God at all. A god whose will is resisted, whose designs are frustrated, whose purpose is checkmated…possesses no title to Deity…and so far from being a fit object of worship merits not but contempt.

 

     

     God is sovereign. He is truly almighty. We are meant to wonder at this. The creed writers remind us that God does all things as he pleases. It’s all according to his will, cf. Ephesians 1:11.

     “Our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases,” Psalm 115:3. Nuff said. 

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