LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 126

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.


Section 14.2b: “…and also acteth differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life and that which is to come…”

Chapter and verse divisions in Scripture are very new ideas. They certainly were not part of the original writings themselves. I do see each passage, even if we just divide it up as separate yet united thoughts, as a gold mine of truth. I like the subtitle for John MacArthur’s Grace to You program- Unleashing God’s Truth. One Verse at a Time. That is what Scripture is. Truth one verse at a time. Some passages are certainly more potent than others, but each are like the bricks in the needed wall.

I list as an eighth “essential truth” in my own ministry faith statement that a non-Lordship salvation is not Christianity. Christians will live like it. John is clear on how it’s only those who “practice righteousness” that are righteous. Obedience is required for assurance. That obedience is not just to Romans 10:9-10. Any, “say this prayer and that’s all you need” approach is paganism. I hate it. Christians obey by necessity because they want to. If we love him, we will keep his commandments.

We should fear God. Scripture is clear that this fear is the beginning of wisdom. Yes, we need to distinguish between this fear and say, a fear of sharks, but a deep fear of God is purifying. Jesus is not anyone’s “homeboy.” God is to be feared. He makes galaxies and never had a start. He’s not just like your daddy. He’s holy.

I believe that a true faith must produce a present peace with God. I must have full pardon with God to know him as Father. My reasoning is that if one act of rebellion can cast all of creation into chaos with our first parents. If one act of sin can fracture everything as it did, then what must Christ do in me if I’m ever to quote something like Romans 5:1-2? The passage reads in the NASB, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” How could any such thing be said of me unless all my sin has been dealt with? This bleeds into my understanding of the justification of the Cross. The Gospel must be a total pardon for sin. For all sin past, present and even future. The promise of this from passages like Romans 4 and Ephesians 2 are wonderfully Sabbath-like. The believer enters into Christ and rests. That is what true religion does. True religion finds a man working in his present reality in peace with God and eagerly striving toward the realities he’s assured are yet to come.

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