LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 156

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. These are my personal reflections on this beloved historic Particular Baptist confession of the Christian Faith.


Chapter 18. “Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation.” Paragraph 1b: “Yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before him, may in this life be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed.”

Romans 10:11 jumps immediately to mind. Hope in Christ endures.

Talk of assurance of a future in heaven is virtually everywhere in the NC. Two verses contribute to the immediate witness of the Spirit of God in my heart regarding these truths as I read this part of the devotional:

1) Romans 5:1-2: “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.” It’s because of the rooting in truth that I have that I can look ahead with hope to future glory. Like a skier who looks down to his skis to latch them on before sliding down the hill, one has taken place before the other in the life of those born again.

2) Romans 8:14-17: 14“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”

Question, reader: do you hate your sin? In light of the Cross of Jesus Christ and God’s love? I do. Like, do you get violently mad at your sin sometimes? Are you “at war” with it? If so, pray to God for eyes to see what assurance this should bring you in Christ. Here’s a part- Romans 8:12-13 gives us the context for vv. 14-17 quoted just above. It is the leading of the Holy Spirit in the war against our sin that evidences our union with Christ! This is without doubt primarily what it means to be “Led by the Spirit…” Hatred for sin, a hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness, a love of the truth, sound theology, etc. These are all powerful contributors to an assured life in Jesus. We don’t have to generate them, but they should be obvious to us. Endeavoring to walk as such is a holy calling. And it confers without presumption a knowledge of one’s state of grace with God. It leads to grasping truths like Galatians 6:14a: “God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…”

Understanding the Cross is understanding justification by faith alone. Jesus did not die to aid sinners, but to save sinners. The devilish idea that the Cross (and he who was on it) is merely a crutch almost as if one could get by without it is utterly absurd. God is no co-savior. The Cross is no self-aid buddy care. It purchases literal life from literal death. Once the truth of the Cross roots down into us, we begin to stand firmly upon the redemption that’s been brought to us in Christ. 1 Peter 1:13; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 4:4-8. Those who have grown up in such Bible truths are immovable. It’s in such a Spirit-led life that God reveals himself. John 14:23. The joy of someone in it cannot be shaken. Such a person’s assurance is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

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