LBCF 1689 Reflections (Part 46)


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 6: “As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so he hath, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto…”

You know, as a side note I have to say, I really don’t think we as a church could write something like this these days. We’d spend too much time bickering to be this precise with these few words. This section is about understanding our role in God’s plans of redemption.  

     When we speak on evangelism or “how someone gets saved” we’re often confronted with the question: “if God elects people to be saved then why go share our faith at all”? It’s a good question. Notice that I presupposed the doctrine of election and spent no time qualifying it. The ability to presuppose this these days is partly why we likely couldn’t produce something in writing like this today in any general convention type sense. You almost have to go back like 3-400 years for wisdom here. Almost. Really it’s since God has elected people to salvation from before the earth…then why go share our faith at all? That’s what we should be asking. These writers simply wished to affirm here that the God of the ends is also the God of the means.

     How does God save people? Answer: “…it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe”, 1 Corinthians 1:21. God uses preaching (and/or evangelism) and prayer to save people. Period. When it boils down to it there are zero exceptions to this since Jesus Ascended. The gospel has to be communicated in order to be believed. Romans 10:9-10. Since the beginning, God has sent his people to tell others, John 17:20. He could’ve done it any number of ways, but he chose to communicate the gospel’s truth through our words. Not lifestyles. Words. Lifestyles are but silent weaker partners!

     Notice also their wonderfully repeated refrain throughout this confession in reference to the “freedom” of God. Oh, how most modern gospel messages make everyone free but God! God is free.

     Why do we go out to make disciples? Because he said so. We foot soldiers have been ordered to go do so by the highest ranking man in the universe. Why do we go out to make disciples? Because Jesus deserves the reward of his suffering. Why do we go out to make disciples? Because it’s how he saves people. Why do we go out to make disciples? Because we know we’ll be successful as laborers in his pre-appointed harvest. Why do we go out to make disciples? Because it’s our great reward to serve God and man with and in love and truth. The God of the ends is also the God of the means. You’re the means.

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