LBCF 1689 Reflections (part 60)

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.




Chapter 5, Of Divine Providence, paragraph 2: “Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly; so that there is not anything befalls any by chance, or without his providence…”


God is the “first cause”. He has decreed and he will not change his mind. We’ll see how these theologians make distinctions between the 1st and 2nd causes of things. God is the first cause of all things, but we cannot understand this rightly without understanding what they mean by 2nd causes. There is no power for existence, in any sphere, outside of God’s own power.


The prophet Amos is part of the Lord revealing his ways to those who love him. Amos 3:6 says: “If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it?” God reminds his people that he is sovereign over calamity here. God wills evil to exist. The devil is God’s devil. Suffering is God’s suffering. Joy is God’s joy. Happiness is God’s happiness. There is a ton of presumption in the church today, fostered by certain wimps with microphones, that leads men to believe either directly or indirectly that God has nothing to do with evil. He does. It’s as if some would have us to believe that God didn’t create hell. The account of Job is the primary example of just how far this goes. Job’s story isn’t necessarily a model that shows God’s relation to Satan over us all, but it is illustrative of what can be.


I address this part of the confession this way because most in my day have no problem “seeing God’s hand” in their blessings. It’s in our struggles that we deny the Lord’s wisdom. I don’t say this to condemn. We all need to prepare for the tests well by meditating on the word. What’s in us will be manifested on the day God shakes us.


No one asks for suffering. This is, of course, normal. It’s understandable. We don’t ask for it, but God sends it. Those in Christ who’ve been proven by it are the strongest among us and likely the closest to the cross. Would it comfort you in your distresses to truly know for certain that “…not anything befalls any by chance, or without his providence”? I hope so. I hope it comforts me tomorrow too!

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