devotional

07NOV
2015

LBCF 1689 Reflections (Part 45)

 

 

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 Christ faith which is according to a Baptist flavor.

 

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Chapter 3, paragraph 5: “…without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving him thereunto.”

A mature confession of faith abandons self-accreditation. A Christian boasts in Christ alone! They will give themselves absolutely not one shred of credit for having their sins forgiven. Salvation is by grace alone. This completely excludes Arminianism as a mature confession of faith.

     I was just telling a friend about this on the phone last night. When I was first confronted by the claims of the Reformed Faith (which I now hold in nearly every respect) I fought it tooth and nail. I wrote numerous letters vehemently opposed to everything I “thought” it taught. There was a day when I was in a field alone in Florida hating the Apostle Paul’s writings for what they were so clearly telling me. God was completely stripping me of all my self-righteousness that day. John 6 and Romans 9 together made me Reformed that day. Looking back at it now it felt like I was standing on the edge of an abyss with several sheets of something being pulled out from under my feet like a magician snags a tablecloth. I felt very awkward and unstable. God ripped out my water baptism and dropped it off the edge. That ain’t what saved me. He ripped out my idea of free will. That ain’t what saved me. He ripped away all my evangelism, my fasting, my financial giving, my obedience to church ordinances. None of those are what saved me. I was frustrated and seriously asking what was left. What do I have to know I’m even saved then Lord?! What’s left?!? I was desperate. I was pushed off the cliff and caught by Christ. I had Christ. I then understood! He’s all I have, and that’s far more than enough. I can only boast in him and what he has done for me!

     What the writers here want to affirm is that God didn’t choose anyone because they met the criteria. Well, we were sinners in need of grace; we did meet that criteria. God did not save anyone because of foreseen faith (which would basically be works) or anything else they ever did. He saved his elect for reasons wholly within himself. He was not moved to act by us; we were moved to act by him, Philippians 2:13. 

Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:12-13; Galatians 6:14; Titus 3:4-7. 

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