devotional

04APR
2016

LBCF 1689 Reflections (part 55)

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 which is according to a Baptist flavor.

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Chapter 4: Of Creation, paragraph 2c: “having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfil it, and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject to change.”

 

When I think of most of the cartoon level, goofy, Noah’s Ark with a giraffe’s head sticking out a window, Jesus walking around hugging everyone, fairy tale style, storybook, feel good junk that so many churches feed our kids it makes me realize why most churches produce more false converts than true ones. A Jesus like the one most churches are comfortable relaying is sadly the only one they know, and simply cannot be reconciled with the true Jesus as we grow up, and sadly most people in church don’t ever “grow up” in their understanding because they’re not saved. Consequently, the real presence of evil in the world becomes irreconcilable with the cartoon Jesus with no answers as to why, but only warm Olafesque hugs to give.

 

THIS PART OF THE CONFESSION REMINDS ME THAT NOTHING CAN BE ULTIMATELY EXPLAINED APART FROM GOD.

 

Most lay people in the church have no ability to understand the relationship of God to the Fall by any Scripturally sustainable means. This confession would have it otherwise for you. It wants you to see God at the Fall. It wants you to funnel your beliefs about the Fall (along with everything else you believe) through your beliefs about God. Most Christians, though they would not even be able to actually define their understanding of it, do not usually associate The Almighty God with the Fall of Adam and Eve. Many seem to think he was not present while they disobeyed, or that God’s question of “where are you” to Adam meant that he actually didn’t know. If I say, “God purposed the Fall of mankind from before Adam was made”, though I doubt most would deny it, it’d be a thought very foreign to the vast majority of Christians today.

 

God has made the world so that sin, hell, and judgment fall solely upon us. His election just puts a whole lot of people in heaven who wouldn’t be there otherwise. Our actual sins are never wrong to condemn us for. He planned the Fall. Our SIN was his plan…and we are all completely culpable in it.

 

Adam was not deceived, 1 Timothy 2:14. The “law”, a knowledge that what he did in the garden was wrong, was present with him. Like Israel that received the Ten Commandments long after, he was a transgressor of an express command of his God, Romans 5:14. His nature, his being, was “mutable”. He was changeable. He (that is his very nature) changed when he sinned against God. This creature from the dirt defied the eternal God and suffered therefore for it. It’s on him. Adam’s will was previously free. He (and his wife) had “liberty” as the confession affirms. Their wills were free. In SIN it was no longer so. The bad news for us is that we all died in Adam too. Romans 5:12; cf. John 8:34. We are like Adam post-Fall. In our natural state we can now only relate to God as Adam did post-Fall. We are not free to love God now. We are not at all free. A libertarian free will is an enemy of the Faith.

Adam surrendered his liberty when he sinned. In Christ alone can true liberty be restored, Luke 4:18. As it is written: “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17. Christ sets men free from the death that holds them since birth and their salvation is as immutable as the God by which they’ve been saved.

2 responses to “LBCF 1689 Reflections (part 55)”

  1. I do believe all the concepts you’ve presented to your post. They’re very convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very short for beginners. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

    • Joseph Pittano says:

      I try to ride the line between being too long or too short often. It’s a difficult balance. There are articles of greater length available here, and links to others all over made available to you anytime you like.

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