LBCF 1689 Reflections (part 22).


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 according to a Baptist flavor.





Paragraph 1: “…and withal most just and terrible in his judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty…”


God is terrible outside Christ. It is very important that the church always stand ready to declare this. We are ambassadors between two warring kingdoms. I couldn’t understand this as a baby Christian. I could not at all grasp that God could love like he does yet have created hell alongside the universe. I hear well-meaning people say all the time that, “God didn’t create hell for men.” I think that’s very shortsighted. After all if God is omniscient (meaning he knows all things from all time) then didn’t he have to create hell for men and for angels? He didn’t create it believing it’d just be for fallen angels. He knew men would be there. He also didn’t create hell hoping he was wrong because he’s infallible. That means that before hell was formed, the people he himself just condemned to it as I wrote this sentence tonight were surely one day to arrive.

     God’s being terrible is in no way an impugning of his goodness. He is terrible because that’s what sin deserves. His terribleness is like that of any good judge who condemns the murderer without restraint. The Bible says God is severe, Romans 11:22, angry daily, Psalm 7:11, hostile against sinners, Psalm 50:22, and a lot more. The Bible says that it’s him and no one else that sends men to hell: “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell,” Matthew 10:28. Hell is terrible. Hell is God’s hell.

     God hates sin. He also hates the sinner who will not repent. I know this is difficult for many, but reader, there is no homosexuality in hell, there will only be homosexuals. There is no lying in hell, there will only be liars. There is no moral character to any sin without the sinner. Sin is not condemned, but sinners who will not apologize (repent) and put their faith in Christ alone are. Now, God separates sinners all the time from the punishment for their sin. This is why people say God loves the sinner and hates the sin. There is some merit to this. Nonetheless, God hates sin. If a man is found in it then he (not merely sin) is the object of the wrath of God.

     God will by no means simply “look the other way” regarding sin. There must be a payment or satisfaction in God’s justice for sin. This is where Jesus’ work on the cross enters in. The cross justifies the outrageous idea that men like me will be in heaven. This is not a “clearance” for sin. There is a difference between being found innocent and being declared not guilty. We who are in Christ are not innocent, but God will declare us not guilty on the Day of Judgment for the sake of Christ. 

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