LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 83

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 8, paragraph 1: “It pleased God, in His eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, his only begotten Son, according to the covenant made between them both, to be the mediator between God and man; the prophet, priest, and king; head and savior of the church, the heir of all things, and judge of the world; unto whom he did from all eternity give a people to be his seed and to be by him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified.”


To begin this confessional paragraph with the words “it pleased God” is perhaps more valuable today than in the day it was first written. If God was not pleased to be the God of this world there would be no world in any fashion. Here’s I think good place to find God’s job description: “Whatever the LORD pleases He does, In heaven and in earth, In the seas and in all deep places.” Psalm 135:6. Over both the bad and the good, God is right now “pleased” to be God.

He has “eternal purpose” in it all. Under that we all have our own. Our surmisings on why God made this world, and furthermore why God made this world the precise way that it now is, must have higher purposes than man. That purpose must be for his own glory. God has purpose in everything. In every single thing.

Jesus being called only begotten here, as in Christian history from its earliest days, is not to denote a creation of the Son, but an eternal coordinate relationship with the two other members of the Trinity. The mention of him being “heir of all things” relates to and emerges from the numerous references of his being called the first born in Scripture. By virtue of his fully Deity all things were made through and for him. By virtue of his humanity alone he has inherited the title deed of the earth.

It speaks of covenant here between Father and Son. Affirming the biblical doctrine of the Trinity means affirming that there is and was always community in the Godhead for all eternity. There was conversation. There was love. There is relationship between the three members of God. They are both co-eternal and relational. God is one in essence and three in being. There was a decree agreed upon by God. A covenant made that this world would be until the fullness of the time appointed for it was finished. That’s why God is not a careless God merely waiting on everyone to be saved, but has appointed an elect group. Until that group is brought in, and until all of his purposes are set forth among us, the world will persist as he is pleased to permit it to.

There is one mediator and only one between all men and the one God. 1 Timothy 2:5. Jesus mediates only because he has the right to. He has offered himself for the sins of the world. It is based upon his propitiation on the Cross that his mediation is now even available. No one else, in any form, properly speaking, mediates anything between God and men except God.

The last phrase here from after the last semicolon clearly hearkens the reader, among other things, to passages such as John 6:37; John 17:6 and Romans 8:29-30 etc. where it’s made abundantly clear that only some are given to the Son by the Father to be saved, and thus brought to the Son through the Father’s eternal counsel. Christ has come to save his sheep. He has a fold. He has a number he’ll leave secure to go after another given to him. He came to ransom them and they are many.

One thing that my mind has been conformed quite against its natural self to adore in God is his freedom. For most of my life I was comfortable with an idol of god that made him weak, beggarly, needing acceptance, careless and somewhat backwards against hell. This was ok so long as he still appeared nice. In short, I was quite comfortable with a shackled god. A god though I’d never say it who was sort of stuck with the world and only doing his best day and night while we slept to make something good come of it. As I’ve grown, I’ve come to love the total freeness of God. He is not the least restrained. He is not stuck. He is not frustrated in heaven or on earth. There is no rock he made that he himself cannot lift. He was free, is free and will always be free, to do whatever he pleases. His freedom is something I’ve come to love about him. This confession helps me remember that Christ was free to die on the Cross, not constrained.

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