devotional

09SEP
2017

LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 99

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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Section 9, paragraph 2: “Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which was good and well-pleasing to God, but yet was unstable, so that he might fall from it.”

 

I mentioned this briefly in last week’s post already. Man, in Adam and Eve, were perfect in their created state. They loved God. They knew God. They enjoyed a harmony of spirit and existence that we simply cannot fathom as now fallen creatures. How in the world they could succumb to the wiles of the devil is a true difficulty. I cringe when I think how incapable I am to approach the whys of such a question.

 

They loved God in more pure a way than we do. They did so sinlessly. They were created into it. They were formed fully formed in love. They weren’t “forced” to love God. They did so naturally. Contrary to the misguided views of some Christians today, sin did not “liberate them” so that man could know what love actually was by the virtues of a will freed by it. The Fall was not a liberation, or a progression. It did not make love possible. It was enslavement. It was digression. (See article on the subject here). The Fall was designed.

There is no avoiding the conclusions here. God did not respond to the Fall with the plan of redemption. God’s knowledge is too exhaustive for such a conclusion to hold biblical merit. The Fall was planned as the means of the redemption in Christ to come. Man was made mutable. That word means changeable. Its opposite is immutable. Man was made able to fall, and so did. It was not forced, but it was known to God.

God was not absent. He did not have to allow the serpent into the garden after Lucifer sinned and fell with the other non-elect angels. Somewhere between God ordaining the Fall, and God allowing man to make his free-willed choices, we find the balance of doctrine between man’s responsibility and God’s control. Man fell by an act of volitional sin. God did not demand it or force it, but it was God’s plan nonetheless. God is not the author of evil. Yet Revelation 13:8 calls Jesus, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” In Acts 15:18, we see that James, full of God’s Spirit, instinctively knows that, “known to God from eternity are all His works.” This passage shows that God’s plan of redemption through the Cross to all nations was in fact always known to God. They knew it through the Scriptures by the Spirit God. Our conclusion over all is that God’s plan for this world is being carried out today, just as since the very start. He is revealing all he wishes to in every way imaginable.

The Fall of mankind was not forced, but it was planned. Jesus, and the redemption available to all today as a result of it, was always the plan. What role are you playing in it? Are you telling others about him? If so, you’re part of a glorious plan.

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