LBCF 1689 Reflections (Part 42)


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 Christ faith which is according to a Baptist flavor.




Chapter 3, paragraph 5: “…according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will…”


     God has a plan. I have come to love this about him. This sentence speaks of his salvation of sinners in light of the elect God has predestined. Salvation, like all things, is according to purpose. It is orderly and unchangeable. Immutable means unchangeable. In Romans 9 we see how God’s election is always according to his secret will. It was true of Abraham, then of Isaac, then Jacob, then Moses, and then of all of you and me among the Jews or Gentiles too. In the chapter, Paul is presenting election’s presence, and is explicitly showing the intricacies of it in the lives of several generations of the patriarchs, and of Moses and that day’s pharaoh as well. He then relates this to all men be they Jew or Gentile as the chapter closes. In Romans 9:11 we read: “…(for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand…” God has purposes in election as Paul goes on to show in his decree to save Jacob and not Esau. He does not share them with us. This is why we call it secret. The Bible speaks of election in Israel, as it does here, as the demonstration of God's mercy, and the propogation or preservation of the descendants of its people, Romans 9:29. In the whole scheme of things we know that God's free mercy is what salvation is based on in any era. God's mercy=salvation. Just two chapters later Paul reflects on God’s preservation and knowledge of the faithful all the way back in the days of Elijah. He sees that it’s the same in his own time. Paul knows that no one gets saved by themselves; that it’s all of God’s mercy so he exclaims that even in his own day “…there is a remnant according to the election of grace,” Romans 11:5. The election of grace is God’s secret will. He knows who the elect are. He is not willing that any of them perish, 2 Peter 3:9, so we wait for the end of the world.

     God’s purposes in election are unchanging. He has a good will. In the grandest scheme of things his good will includes absolutely everything happening today, and every single thing we’ve ever seen happen in the world since it began.

     It is an amazing thing when a person realizes that their salvation is part of God’s eternal plan. Romans 8:29-30 makes this abundantly clear. It didn’t begin with you, your hearing, or your faith. It began with God in an eternal and immutable plan.


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