LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 167

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 19. “Of the Law of God.” Paragraph 3b: “…all which ceremonial laws being appointed only to the time of reformation, are, by Jesus Christ the true Messiah and only law-giver, who was furnished with power from the Father for that end abrogated and taken away.”


Jesus removed the need of sacrifice. Hebrews 7:27. The forgiveness men need from God is a grace far beyond mere “repayment” for sin. We need immutable perfection to dwell with God. Revelation 21:27. If we actually have such a perfection, then it’s denial to offer anything else in light of it. Romans 5:1-2; 1 Peter 1:18-21. And where could we ever get such a perfection other than the only immutable perfect being in existence? No one less than Jesus will do. We must get righteousness from God. By his current indestructible intercession Jesus removes the need for sub-mediation. 1 Timothy 2:15. This means that when his perfection is involved, it needn’t be improved or augmented or supported by any imperfections. “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean…” John 13:10.


The time of “reformation” in view here is not the blessed Protestant Reformation. This is Jesus’ First Advent, his birth, life, etc. Paul, though twisted before salvation, was a diligent student of the Mosaic Law. Post his salvation under inspiration/his reformation, he writes of the Law in the following way: “…if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” Galatians 3:21b-25. In Romans we read a similar idea of the Law finding not an enemy, but its realization or fullest purpose in the person of Christ: “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh.” Romans 8:3. Jesus, in effect, did what the Law alone said he would do—he brought in absolute righteousness to fallen mankind. “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14.

There are, I think, two approaches to how we New Covenant members can approach our love for and study of the Old Covenant. Both usually lead to the same place: 1) All of it is abrogated unless expressly reiterated in the new. 2) All of it is in place unless expressly abrogated in the new. I tend toward the former as a better model. “We are no longer under a tutor” God says. Priestly laws are done away with in the Great High Priest’s current ministry for his covenant people. These ceremonial laws, which showed my fathers just how particular and exacting God is, are done away with today in Jesus. Jesus is equally particular. But seated. Eternally finished in his particularity.

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