LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 91.

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 6: “Although the price of redemption was not actually paid by Christ till after his incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefit thereof were communicated to the elect in all ages, successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices wherein he was revealed, and signified to be the seed which should bruise the serpent’s head; and the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, being the same yesterday, and to-day and for ever.”

A common question is, “What about those who came before Jesus? How were they saved? Were they saved at all?” People who ask this see no continuity between the Old and New Covenants. The confession here contains the answer to the question. How? The Bible is what we call a ‘metanarrative’. It explains where we’ve come from, why we’re here, and where we’re going. The revelation God gave through the prophets of old shows God’s plan of redemption over not only Israel, but over the Gentiles as well. God’s newer prophets, the Apostles who wrote Scripture, reveal the fullness of it all. Everyone who was saved from their sin before Jesus came in the flesh, everyone who has ever been saved since the foundation of the world, was only saved by Jesus’ Cross. It was a single sacrifice for all ages. They before he came looked forward to it as we are commanded to look back to it today. Jesus is the only way that anyone’s sin is ever forgiven at any time.

The confession also reminds us that Jesus did not come and die at age five. He lived and died in absolute righteousness. He lived a righteous life, and died a righteous death. His life and his death were the work he came to do.

Everything in the Bible points to Jesus like a magnet points north. Jesus read Scripture written sometimes 1,400 years before him and held the people around him accountable for knowing it and living it out. He says on one occasion to those who opposed him, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” John 5:39. All of the Bible tells us of Jesus. His nature, his ways, his grace, etc. He himself being utterly indispensable to their synthesis and meaning. He is the promises both made and fulfilled. What he requires of his people may have differing factors, but he himself never changes.

The Gospel was contained in the Old Covenant. It is only more revealed in the New Covenant. What both covenants reveal is the same Jesus reigning over both as the Savior of sinners.

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