LBCF 1689 Reflections (part 75)

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 6.5: “The corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated; and although it be through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself, and the first motions thereof, are truly and properly sin.”


God is more glorified to leave us in our sin than to completely remove us from it. He could “wipe the mind” out completely at our new births, but he doesn’t. This reminds us of the Cross daily in our worship. Even though sin dishonors God, he is more honored to leave us in it for a season than to remove us from it. One day, Christians will be entirely purified in both mind and environment with regard to sin. That day has not yet come. Romans 5:1-2 shows us that we “presently stand in” the grace of Christ “looking forward to” an even greater future. We have not been glorified. Our spirit, however, is already perfected— because that’s Christ inside of us, the hope (or certainty) of glory, Colossians 1:27. To love this takes a big, God-centered, eternity-sized gospel. Hint: that’s really the only gospel there is.


I’ve learned what it means to still have a “sin nature.” I’m absolutely certain that Romans 7 was written by a Christian Paul. To have a sin nature does not mean that my “old man” is still alive, but I do have sin “in my members” as Paul writes in Romans 7:23. In Christ, my “old man” was crucified, Galatians 2:20. Killed. He’s gone. God didn’t want him. He’s toast. Nothing of him remains, but my (the new me’s) mind is still being washed. Even my mind must be a new creation for 2 Corinthians 5:17 to be true, but it’s still being changed, and is not yet conformed to Christ. Therein lies the sin still in my members. My mind is still being conformed to the image of Christ. That’s the image fully placed inside me on day one of my regeneration.


The confession here reminds us that sin is still to be warred against in the life of the Christian. We are not now and never in this life will be entirely free of sin. Sin is real. We still break the law, and must still seek God’s grace in repentance. 1 John 3:4 still applies. Thus 1 John 1:9 applies all the more. Christians still sin, but sin has already been destroyed over them in its jurisdiction. According to Romans 7:1-6, the believer has died entirely to the power of the law, and been raised in the power of Christ’s Resurrection.


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