Author: Matt Sherro

THE PHILADELPHIA CONFESSION OF FAITH, 1742

THE PHILADELPHIA CONFESSION OF FAITH, 1742

Chapter 1

Of the Holy Scriptures

1. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary, those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.

(2Tim. 3:15-17; Isa. 8:20; Luke 16:29, 31; Eph. 2:20; Rom. 1:19-21, 2:14,15; Psalm 19:1-3; Heb.1:1; Prov. 22:19-21; Rom. 15:4; 2 Pet. 1:19,20)

2. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these:

OF THE OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Solomen, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zachariah, Malachi

OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, The Acts of the Apostles, Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians, I Timothy, II Timothy, To Titus, To Philemon, The Epistle to the Hebrews, Epistle of James, The first and second Epistles of Peter, The first, second, and third Epistles of John, The Epistle of Jude, The Revelation

All of which are given by the inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life. (2 Tim. 3:16)

3. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon or rule of the Scripture, and, therefore, are of no authority to the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved or made use of than other human writings.

(Luke 24:27, 44; Rom. 3:2)

4. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God (who is truth itself), the author thereof; therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God.

(2 Pet. 1:19-21; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 John 5:9)

5. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church of God to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scriptures; and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, and the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, and many other incomparable excellencies, and entire perfections thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God; yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.

(John 16:13,14; 1 Cor. 2:10-12; 1 John 2:20, 27)

6. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word, and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.

(2 Tim. 3:15-17; Gal. 1:8,9; John 6:45; 1 Cor. 2:9-12; 1 Cor. 11:13, 14; 1 Cor. 14:26,40)

7. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all; yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of ordinary means, may attain to a sufficient understanding of them.

(2 Pet. 3:16; Ps. 19:7; Psalm 119:130)

8. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentic; so as in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal to them. But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have a right unto, and

interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded in the fear of God to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.

(Rom. 3:2; Isa. 8:20; Acts 15:15; John 5:39; 1 Cor. 14:6, 9, 11, 12, 24, 28; Col. 3:16)

9. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself; and therefore when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched by other places that speak more clearly.

( 2 Pet. 1:20, 21; Acts 15:15, 16)

10. The supreme judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved.

(Matt. 22:29, 31, 32; Eph. 2:20; Acts 28:23)

Chapter 2

Of God and of the Holy Trinity

1. The Lord our God is but one only living and true God; whose subsistence is in and of himself, infinite in being and perfection; whose essence cannot be comprehended by any but himself; a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; who is immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, every way infinite, most holy, most wise, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will for his own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek him, and withal most just and terrible in his judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.

(1 Cor. 8:4, 6; Deut. 6:4; Jer. 10:10; Isa. 48:12; Exod. 3:14; John 4:24; 1 Tim. 1:17; Deut. 4:15, 16; Mal. 3:6; 1 Kings 8:27; Jer. 23:23; Ps. 90:2; Gen. 17:1; Isa. 6:3; Ps. 115:3; Isa. 46:10; Prov. 16:4; Rom. 11:36; Exod.34:6, 7; Heb. 11:6; Neh. 9:32, 33; Ps. 5:5, 6; Exod. 34:7; Nahum 1:2, 3)

2. God, having all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of himself, is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creature which he hath made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting his own glory in, by, unto, and upon them; he is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things, and he hath most sovereign dominion over all creatures, to do by them, for them,

or upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth; in his sight all things are open and manifest, his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to him contingent or uncertain; he is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands; to him is due from angels and men, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience, as creatures they owe unto the Creator, and whatever he is further pleased to require of them.

(John 5:26; Ps. 148:13; Ps. 119:68; Job 22:2, 3; Rom. 11:34-36; Dan. 4:25, 34, 35; Heb. 4:13; Ezek. 11:5; Acts 15:18; Ps. 145:17; Rev. 5:12-14)

3. In this divine and infinite Being there are three subsistences, the Father, the Word or Son, and Holy Spirit, of one substance, power, and eternity, each having the whole divine essence, yet the essence undivided: the Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son; all infinite, without beginning, therefore but one God, who is not to be divided in nature and being, but distinguished by several peculiar relative properties and personal relations; which doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and comfortable dependence on him.

(1 John 5:7; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Exod. 3:14; John 14:11; I Cor. 8:6; John 1:14,18; John 15:26; Gal. 4:6)

Chapter 3

Of God’s Decree

1. God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein; nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken way, but rather established; in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree.

(Isa. 46:10; Eph. 1:11; Heb. 6:17; Rom. 9:15, 18; James 1:13; 1 John 1:5; Acts 4:27, 28; John 19:11; Num. 23:19; Eph. 1:3-5)

2. Although God knoweth whatsoever may or can come to pass, upon all supposed conditions, yet hath he not decreed anything, because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.

(Acts 15:18; Rom. 9:11, 13, 16, 18)

3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated, or foreordained to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the praise of his glorious grace; others being left to act in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of his glorious justice.

(I Tim. 5:21; Matt. 25:34; Eph. 1:5, 6; Rom. 9:22, 23; Jude 4)

4. These angels and men thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.

(2 Tim. 2:19; John 13:18)

5. Those of mankind that are predestinated to life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love, without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving him thereunto.

(Eph. 1:4, 9, 11; Rom. 8:30; 2 Tim. 1:9; I Thess. 5:9; Rom. 9:13, 16; Eph. 2:5, 12)

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; wherefore they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ, by his Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power through faith unto salvation; neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.

(1 Pet. 1:2; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Thess. 5:9, 10; Rom. 8:30; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:5; John 10:26, 17:9, 6:64)

7. The doctrine of the high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men attending the will of God revealed in his Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election; so shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God, and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel.

(1 Thess. 1:4, 5; 2 Pet. 1:10; Eph. 1:6; Rom. 11:33; Rom. 11:5, 6, 20; Luke 10:20)

Chapter 4

Of Creation

1. In the beginning it pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, to create or make the world, and all things therein, whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days, and all very good.

(John 1:2, 3; Heb. 1:2; Job 26:13; Rom. 1:20; Col. 1:16; Gen. 1:31)

2. After God had made all other creatures, he created man, male and female, with reasonable and immortal souls, rendering them fit unto that life to God for which they were created; being made after the image of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness; having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfil it, and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject to change.

(Gen. 1:27; Gen. 2:7; Eccles. 7:29; Gen. 1;26; Rom. 2:14, 15; Gen. 3:6)

3. Besides the law written in their hearts, they received a command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which whilst they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures.

(Gen. 2:17; Gen. 1:26, 28)

Chapter 5

Of Divine Providence

1. God the good Creator of all things, in his infinite power and wisdom doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, to the end for the which they were created, according unto his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will; to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, infinite goodness, and mercy.

(Heb. 1:3; Job 38:11; Isa. 46:10, 11; Ps. 135:6; Matt. 10:29-31; Eph. 1;11)

2. Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly; so that there is not anything befalls any by chance, or without his providence; yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.

(Acts 2:23; Prov. 16:33; Gen. 8:22)

3. God, in his ordinary providence maketh use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them at his pleasure.

(Acts 27:31, 44; Isa. 55:10, 11; Hosea 1:7; Rom. 4:19-21; Dan. 3:27)

4. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God, so far manifest themselves in his providence, that his determinate counsel extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sinful actions both of angels and men; and that not by a bare permission, which also he most wisely and powerfully boundeth, and otherwise ordereth and governeth, in a manifold dispensation to his most holy ends; yet so, as the sinfulness of their acts proceedeth only from the creatures, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.

(Rom. 11:32-34; 2 Sam. 24:1, 1 Chron. 21:1; 2 Kings 19:28; Ps. 76;10; Gen. 1:20; Isa. 10:6, 7, 12; Ps. 1;21; 1 John 2:16)

5. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave for a season his own children to manifold temptations and the corruptions of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled; and to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself; and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for other just and holy ends. So that whatsoever befalls any of his elect is by his appointment, for his glory, and their good.

(2 Chron. 32:25, 26, 31; 2 Cor. 12:7-9; Rom. 8:28)

6. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as the righteous judge, for former sin doth blind and harden; from them he not only withholdeth his grace, whereby they might have been enlightened in their understanding, and wrought upon their hearts; but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had, and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasion of sin; and withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan, whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, under those means which God useth for the softening of others.

(Rom. 1:24-26, 28, 11:7, 8; Deut. 29:4; Matt. 13:12; Deut. 2:30; 2 Kings 8:12, 13; Ps. 81:11, 12; 2 Thess. 2:10-12; Exod. 8:15, 32; Isa. 6:9, 10; 1 Pet. 2:7, 8)

7. As the providence of God doth in general reach to all creatures, so after a more special manner it taketh care of his church, and disposeth of all things to the good thereof.

(1 Tim. 4:10; Amos 9:8, 9; Isa. 43:3-5)

Chapter 6

Of the Fall of Man, Of Sin, And of the Punishment Thereof

1. Although God created man upright and perfect, and gave him a righteous law, which had been unto life had he kept it, and threatened death upon the breach thereof, yet he did not long abide in this honour; Satan using the subtlety of the serpent to subdue Eve, then by her seducing Adam, who, without any compulsion, did willfully transgress the law of their creation, and the command given unto them, in eating the forbidden fruit, which God was pleased, according to his wise and holy counsel to permit, having purposed to order it to his own glory.

(Gen. 2:16, 17; Gen. 3:12,13; 2 Cor. 11:3)

2. Our first parents, by this sin, fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and we in them whereby death came upon all: all becoming dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.

(Rom. 3:23; Rom 5:12, etc; Tit. 1:15; Gen. 6:5; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:10-19)

3. They being the root, and by God’s appointment, standing in the room and stead of all mankind, the guilt of the sin was imputed, and corrupted nature conveyed, to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation, being now conceived in sin, and by nature children of wrath, the servants of sin, the subjects of death, and all other miseries, spiritual, temporal, and eternal, unless the Lord Jesus set them free.

(Rom. 5:12-19; 1 Cor. 15:21, 22, 45, 49; Ps. 51:5; Job 14:4; Eph. 2:3; Rom. 6:20, 5:12; Heb. 2:14, 15; 1 Thess. 1:10)

4. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.

(Rom. 8:7; Col. 1:21; James 1:14, 15; Matt. 15:19)

5. The corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated; and although it be through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself, and the first motions thereof, are truly and properly sin.

(Rom. 7:18, 23; Eccles. 7:20; 1 John 1:8; Rom. 7:23-25; Gal. 5:17)

Chapter 7

Of God’s Covenant

1. The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience to him as their creator, yet they could never have attained the reward of life but by some voluntary condescension on God’s part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant.

(Luke 17:10; Job 35:7,8)

2. Moreover, man having brought himself under the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace, wherein he freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him, that they may be saved; and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life, his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.

(Gen. 2:17; Gal. 3:10; Rom. 3:20, 21; Rom. 8:3; Mark 16:15, 16; John 3:16; Ezek. 36:26, 27; John 6:44, 45; Ps. 110:3)

3. This covenant is revealed in the gospel; first of all to Adam in the promise of salvation by the seed of the woman, and afterwards by farther steps, until the full discovery thereof was completed in the New Testament; and it is founded in that eternal covenant transaction that was between the Father and the Son about the redemption of the elect;

and it is alone by the grace of this covenant that all the posterity of fallen Adam that ever were saved did obtain life and blessed immortality, man being now utterly incapable of acceptance with God upon those terms on which Adam stood in his state of innocency.

(Gen. 3:15; Heb. 1:1; 2 Tim. 1:9; Tit. 1:2; Heb. 11;6, 13; Rom. 4:1, 2, &c.; Acts 4:12; John 8:56)

Chapter 8

Of Christ the Mediator

1. It pleased God, in His eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, his only begotten Son, according to the covenant made between them both, to be the mediator between God and man; the prophet, priest, and king; head and saviour of the church, the heir of all things, and judge of the world; unto whom he did from all eternity give a people to be his seed and to be by him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified.

(Isa. 42:1; 1 Pet. 1:19, 20; Acts 3:22; Heb. 5:5, 6; Ps. 2:6; Luke 1:33; Eph. 1:22, 23; Heb. 1:2; Acts 17:31; Isa. 53:10; John 17:6; Rom. 8:30)

2. The Son of God, the second person in the Holy Trinity, being very and eternal God, the brightness of the Father’s glory, of one substance and equal with him who made the world, who upholdeth and governeth all things he hath made, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man’s nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit coming down upon her: and the power of the Most High overshadowing her; and so was made of a woman of the tribe of Judah, of the seed of Abraham and David according to the Scriptures; so that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion; which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only mediator between God and man.

(John 1:14; Gal. 4;4; Rom. 8:3; Heb. 2:14, 16, 17, 4:15; Matt. 1:22, 23; Luke 1:27, 31, 35; Rom. 9:5; 1 Tim. 2:5)

3. The Lord Jesus, in his human nature thus united to the divine, in the person of the Son, was sanctified and anointed with the Holy Spirit above measure, having in Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; in whom it pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell, to the end that being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth, he might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of mediator and surety; which office he took not upon himself, but was thereunto called by his Father; who also put all power and judgment in his hand, and gave him commandment to execute the same.

(Ps. 45:7; Acts 10:38; John 3:34; Col. 2:3; Col. 1:19; Heb. 7:26; John 1:14; Heb. 7:22; Heb. 5:5; John 5:22, 27; Matt. 28:18; Acts 2;36)

4. This office the Lord Jesus did most willingly undertake, which that he might discharge he was made under the law, and did perfectly fulfil it, and underwent the punishment due to us, which we should have borne and suffered, being made sin and a curse for us; enduring most grievous sorrows in his soul, and most painful sufferings in his body; was crucified, and died, and remained in the state of the dead, yet saw no corruption: on the third day he arose from the dead with the same body in which he suffered, with which he also ascended into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of his Father making intercession, and shall return to judge men and angels at the end of the world.

(Ps. 40:7, 8; Heb. 10:5-10; John 10:18; Gal 4:4; Matt. 3:15; Gal. 3:13; Isa. 53:6; 1 Pet. 3:18; 2 Cor. 5:21; Matt. 26:37, 38; Luke 22:44; Matt. 27:46; Acts 13:37; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4; John 20:25, 27; Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9-11; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 9:24; Acts 10:42; Rom. 14:9, 10; Acts 1:11; 2 Pet. 2:4)

5. The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself, which he through the eternal Spirit once offered up unto God, hath fully satisfied the justice of God, procured reconciliation, and purchased an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto Him.

(Heb. 9:14, 10:14; Rom. 3:25, 26; John 17:2; Heb. 9:15)

6. Although the price of redemption was not actually paid by Christ till after his incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefit thereof were communicated to the elect in all ages, successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices wherein he was revealed, and signified to be the seed which should bruise the serpent’s head; and the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, being the same yesterday, and to- day and for ever.

(1 Cor. 4:10; Heb. 4:2; 1 Pet. 1:10, 11; Rev. 13:8; Heb. 13:8)

7. Christ, in the work of mediation, acteth according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself; yet by reason of the unity of the person, that which is proper to one nature is sometimes in Scripture, attributed to the person denominated by the other nature.

(John 3:13; Acts 20:28)

8. To all those for whom Christ hath obtained eternal redemption, he doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same, making intercession for them; uniting them to himself by his Spirit, revealing unto them, in and by his Word, the mystery of salvation, persuading them to believe and obey, governing their hearts by his Word and Spirit, and overcoming all their enemies by his almighty power and wisdom, in such

manner and ways as are most consonant to his wonderful and unsearchable dispensation; and all of free and absolute grace, without any condition foreseen in them to procure it.

(John 6:37, 10:15, 16, 17:9; Rom. 5:10; John 17:6; Eph. 1:9; 1 John 5:20; Rom. 8:9, 14; Ps. 110:1; 1 Cor. 15:25, 26; John 3:8; Eph. 1:8)

9. This office of mediator between God and man is proper only to Christ, who is the prophet, priest, and king of the church of God; and may not be either in whole, or any part thereof, transferred from him to any other.

(Tim. 2:5)

10. This number and order of offices is necessary; for in respect of our ignorance, we stand in need of his prophetical office; and in respect of our alienation from God, and imperfection of the best of our services, we need his priestly office to reconcile us and present us acceptable unto God; and in respect to our averseness and utter inability to return to God, and for our rescue and security from our spiritual adversaries, we need his kingly office to convince, subdue, draw, uphold, deliver, and preserve us to his heavenly kingdom.

(John 1:18; Col. 1:21; Gal. 5:17; John 16:8; Ps. 110:3; Luke 1:74, 75)

Chapter 9

Of Free Will

1. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty and power of acting upon choice, that it is neither forced, nor by any necessity of nature determined to do good or evil.

(Matt. 17:12; James 1:14; Duet. 30:19)

2. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which was good and well-pleasing to God, but yet was unstable, so that he might fall from it.

(Eccles. 7:29; Gen. 3:6)

3. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able by his own strength to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.

(Rom. 5:6, 8:7; Eph. 2:1, 5; Tit. 3:3-5; John 6:44)

4. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, he freeth him from his natural bondage under sin, and by his grace alone enables him freely to will and

to do that which is spiritually good; yet so as that by reason of his remaining corruptions, he doth not perfectly, nor only will, that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil.

(Col. 1:13; John 8:36; Phil. 2:13; Rom. 7:15, 18, 19, 21, 23)

5. This will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone in the state of glory only.

(Eph. 4:13)

Chapter 10

Of Effectual Calling

1. Those whom God hath predestinated unto life, he is pleased in his appointed, and accepted time, effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.

(Rom. 8:30, 11:7; Eph. 1:10, 11; 2 Thess. 2:13, 14; Eph. 2:1-6; Acts 26:18; Eph. 1:17, 18; Ezek. 36:26; Deut. 30:6; Ezek. 36:27; Eph. 1:19; Ps. 110:3; Cant. 1:4)

2. This effectual call is of God’s free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, nor from any power or agency in the creature, being wholly passive therein, being dead in sins and trespasses, until being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit; he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, and that by no less power than that which raised up Christ from the dead.

(2 Tim. 1:9; Eph. 2:8; 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 2:5; John 5:25; Eph. 1:19, 20)

3. Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit; who worketh when, and where, and how he pleases; so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.

(John 3:3, 5, 6; John 3:8)

4. Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet not being effectually drawn by the Father, they neither will nor can truly come to Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: much less can men that receive not the Christian religion be saved; be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature and the law of that religion they do profess.

(Matt. 22:14, 13:20, 21; Heb 6:4, 5; John 6:44, 45, 65; 1 John 2:24, 25; Acts 4:12; John 4:22, 17:3)

Chapter 11

Of Justification

1. Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ’s active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in his death for their whole and sole righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God.

(Rom. 3:24, 8:30; Rom. 4:5-8; Eph. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:30, 31; Rom. 5:17-19; Phil. 3:8, 9; Eph. 2:8-10; John 1:12; Rom. 5:17)

2. Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification; yet it is not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love.

(Rom. 3:28; Gal. 5:6; James 2:17, 22, 26)

3. Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are justified; and did, by the sacrifice of himself in the blood of his cross, undergoing in their stead the penalty due unto them, make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice in their behalf; yet, inasmuch as he was given by the Father for them, and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead, and both freely, not for anything in them, their justification is only of free grace, that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners.

(Heb. 10:14; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19; Isa. 53:5, 6; Rom. 8:32; 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 3:26; Eph. 1:6, 7, 2:7)

4. God did from all eternity decree to justify all the elect, and Christ did in the fullness of time die for their sins, and rise again for their justification; nevertheless, they are not justified personally, until the Holy Spirit doth in time due actually apply Christ unto them.

(Gal. 3:8; 1 Pet. 1:2; 1 Tim. 2:6; Rom. 4:25; Col. 1:21, 22; Tit. 3:4-7)

5. God doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified, and although they can never fall from the state of justification, yet they may, by their sins, fall under God’s fatherly displeasure; and in that condition they have not usually the light of his

countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.

(Matt. 6:12; 1 John 1:7, 9; John 10:28; Ps. 89:31-33; Ps. 32:5; Ps. 51; Matt. 26:75)

6. The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament.

(Gal. 3:9; Rom. 4:22-24)

Chapter 12

Of Adoption

All those that are justified, God vouchsafed, in and for the sake of his only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption, by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God, have his name put upon them, receive the spirit of adoption, have access to the throne of grace with boldness, are enabled to cry Abba, Father, are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by him as by a Father, yet never cast off, but sealed to the day of redemption, and inherit the promises as heirs of everlasting salvation.

(Eph. 1:5; Gal. 4:4, 5; John 1:12; Rom. 8:17; 2 Cor. 6:18; Rev. 3:12; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 2:18; Ps. 103:13; Prov. 14:26; 1 Pet. 5:7; Heb. 12:6; Isa. 54:8, 9; Lam. 3:31; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 1:14, 6:12)

Chapter 13

Of Sanctification

1. They who are united to Christ, effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection, are also farther sanctified, really and personally, through the same virtue, by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them; the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of all true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

(Acts 20:32; Rom. 6:5, 6; John 17:17; Eph. 3:16-19; 1 Thess. 5:21-23; Rom. 6:14; Gal. 5;24; Col. 1:11; 2 Cor. 7:1; Heb. 12:14)

2. This sanctification is throughout the whole man, yet imperfect in this life; there abideth still some remnants of corruption in every part, whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war; the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.

(1 Thess. 5:23; Rom. 7:18, 23; Gal. 5:17; 1 Pet. 2:11)

3. In which war, although the remaining corruption for a time may much prevail, yet through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome; and so the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, pressing after an heavenly life, in evangelical obedience to all the commands which Christ as Head and King, in His Word hath prescribed them.

(Rom. 7:23; Rom. 6:14; Eph. 4:15, 16; 2 Cor. 3:18, 7:1)

Chapter 14

Of Saving Faith

1. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word; by which also, and by the administration of baptism and the Lord’s supper, prayer, and other means appointed of God, it is increased and strengthened.

(2 Cor. 4:13; Eph. 2:8; Rom. 10:14, 17; Luke 17;5; 1 Pet. 2:2; Acts 20:32)

2. By this faith a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word for the authority of God himself, and also apprehendeth an excellency therein above all other writings and all things in the world, as it bears forth the glory of God in his attributes, the excellency of Christ in his nature and offices, and the power and fullness of the Holy Spirit in his workings and operations: and so is enabled to cast his soul upon the truth thus believed; and also acteth differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life and that which is to come; but the principal acts of saving faith have immediate relation to Christ, accepting, receiving, and resting upon him alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.

(Acts 24:14; Ps. 19:7-10, 119:72; 2 Tim. 1:12; John 15:14; Isa. 66:2; Heb. 11:13; John 1:12; Acts16:31; Gal. 2:20; Acts 15:11)

3. This faith, although it be different in degrees, and may be weak or strong, yet it is in the least degree of it different in the kind or nature of it, as is all other saving grace, from the faith and common grace of temporary believers; and therefore, though it may be many times assailed and weakened, yet it gets the victory, growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance through Christ, who is both the author and finisher of our faith.

(Heb. 5:13, 14; Matt. 6:30; Rom. 4:19, 20; 2 Pet. 1:1; Eph. 6:16; 1 John 5:4, 5; Heb. 6:11, 12; Col. 2:2; Heb. 12:2)

Chapter 15

Of Repentance Unto Life and Salvation

1. Such of the elect as are converted at riper years, having sometime lived in the state of nature, and therein served divers lusts and pleasures, God in their effectual calling giveth them repentance unto life.

(Titus 3:2-5)

2. Whereas there is none that doth good and sinneth not, and the best of men may, through the power and deceitfulness of their corruption dwelling in them, with the prevalency of temptation, fall into great sins and provocations; God hath, in the covenant of grace, mercifully provided that believers so sinning and falling be renewed through repentance unto salvation.

(Eccles. 7:20; Luke 22:31, 32)

3. This saving repentance is an evangelical grace, whereby a person, being by the Holy Spirit made sensible of the manifold evils of his sin, doth, by faith in Christ, humble himself for it with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrency, praying for pardon and strength of grace, with a purpose and endeavour, by supplies of the Spirit, to walk before God unto all well-pleasing in all things.

(Zech. 12:10; Acts 11:18; Ezek. 36:31; 2 Cor. 7:11; Ps. 119:6, 128)

4. As repentance is to be continued through the whole course of our lives, upon the account of the body of death, and the motions thereof, so it is every man’s duty to repent of his particular known sins particularly.

(Luke 19:8; 1 Tim. 1:13, 15)

5. Such is the provision which God hath made through Christ in the covenant of grace for the preservation of believers unto salvation; that although there is no sin so small but it deserves damnation; yet there is no sin so great that it shall bring damnation on them that repent; which makes the constant preaching of repentance necessary.

(Rom. 6:23; Isa. 1:16-18, 55:7)

Chapter 16
Of Good Works

1. Good works are only such as God hath commanded in his Holy Word, and not such as without the warrant thereof are devised by men out of blind zeal, or upon any pretence of good intentions.

(Mic. 6:8; Heb. 13:21; Matt. 15:9; Isa. 29:13)

2. These good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith; and by them believers manifest their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance, edify their brethren, adorn the profession of the gospel, stop the mouths of the adversaries, and glorify God, whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto, that having their fruit unto holiness they may have the end eternal life.

(James 2:18, 22; Ps. 116:12, 13; 1 John 2:3, 5; 2 Pet. 1:5-11; Matt. 5:16; 1 Tim. 6:1; 1 Pet. 2:15; Phil. 1:11; Eph. 2:10; Rom. 6:22)

3. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ; and that they may be enabled thereunto, besides the graces they have already received, there is necessary an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit, to work in them to will and to do of his good pleasure; yet they are not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty, unless upon a special motion of the Spirit, but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them.

(John 15:4, 5; 2 Cor. 3:5; Phil. 2:13; Phil. 2:12; Heb. 6:11, 12; Isa. 64:7)

4. They who in their obedience attain to the greatest height which is possible in this life, are so far from being able to supererogate, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do.

(Job 9:2, 3; Gal. 5:17; Luke 17:10)

5. We cannot by our best works merit pardon of sin or eternal life at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come, and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom by them we can neither profit nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins; but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants; and because as they are good they proceed from his Spirit, and as they are wrought by us they are defiled and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God’s punishment.

(Rom. 3:20; Eph. 2:8, 9; Rom. 4:6; Gal. 5:22, 23; Isa. 64:6; Ps. 143:2)

6. Yet notwithstanding the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in him; not as though they were in this life wholly unblameable and unreprovable in God’s sight, but that he, looking upon them in his Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections.

(Eph. 1:6; 1 Pet. 2:5; Matt. 25:21, 23; Heb. 6:10)

7. Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands, and of good use both to themselves and others; yet because they proceed not from a heart purified by faith, nor are done in a right manner according to the word, nor to a right end, the glory of God, they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, nor make a man meet to receive grace from God, and yet their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing to God.

(2 Kings 10:30; 1 Kings 21:27, 29; Gen. 4:5; Heb. 11:4, 6; 1 Cor. 13:1; Matt. 6:2, 5; Amos 5:21, 22; Rom. 9:16; Tit. 3:5; Job 21:14, 15; Matt. 25:41-43)

Chapter 17

Of The Perseverance of the Saints

1. Those whom God hath accepted in the beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, and given the precious faith of his elect unto, can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved, seeing the gifts and callings of God are without repentance, whence he still begets and nourisheth in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all the graces of the Spirit unto immortality; and though many storms and floods arise and beat against them, yet they shall never be able to take them off that foundation and rock which by faith they are fastened upon; notwithstanding, through unbelief and the temptations of Satan, the sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured from them, yet he is still the same, and they shall be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation, where they shall enjoy their purchased possession, they being engraven upon the palm of his hands, and their names having been written in the book of life from all eternity.

(John 10:28, 29; Phil. 1:6; 2 Tim. 2:19; 1 John 2:19; Ps. 89:31, 32; 1 Cor. 11:32; Mal. 3:6)

2. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father, upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ and union with him, the oath of God, the abiding of his Spirit, and the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace; from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.

(Rom. 8:30, 9:11, 16; Rom. 5:9, 10; John 14:19; Heb. 6:17, 18; 1 John 3:9; Jer. 32:40)

3. And though they may, through the temptation of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins, and for a time continue therein, whereby they incur God’s displeasure and grieve his Holy Spirit, come to have their graces and comforts

impaired, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded, hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves, yet shall they renew their repentance and be preserved through faith in Christ Jesus to the end.

(Matt. 26:70, 72, 74; Isa. 64:5, 9; Eph. 4:30; Ps. 51:10, 12; Ps. 32:3, 4; 2 Sam. 12:14; Luke 22:32, 61, 62)

Chapter 18

Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation

1. Although temporary believers, and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God and state of salvation, which hope of theirs shall perish; 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.

(Job 8:13, 14; Matt. 7:22, 23; 1 John 2:3, 3:14, 18, 19, 21, 24, 5:13; Rom. 5:2, 5)

2. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion grounded upon a fallible hope, but an infallible assurance of faith founded on the blood and righteousness of Christ revealed in the Gospel; and also upon the inward evidence of those graces of the Spirit unto which promises are made, and on the testimony of the Spirit of adoption, witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God; and, as a fruit thereof, keeping the heart both humble and holy.

(Heb. 6:11, 19; Heb. 6:17, 18; 2 Pet. 1:4, 5, 10, 11; Rom. 8:15, 16; 1 John 3:1-3)

3. This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties before he be partaker of it; yet being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation, in the right use of means, attain thereunto: and therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure, that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance; -so far is it from inclining men to looseness.

(Isa. 50:10; Ps. 88; Ps. 77:1-12; 1 John 4:13; Heb. 6:11, 12; Rom. 5:1, 2, 5, 14:17; Ps. 119:32; Rom. 6:1,2; Tit. 2:11, 12, 14)

4. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as by negligence in preserving of it, by falling into some special sin which woundeth the conscience and grieveth the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temptation, by God’s withdrawing the light of his countenance, and suffering

even such as fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light, yet are they never destitute of the seed of God and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart and conscience of duty out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may in due time be revived, and by the which, in the meantime, they are preserved from utter despair.

(Cant. 5:2, 3, 6; Ps. 51:8, 12, 14; Ps. 116:11; 77:7, 8, 31:22; Ps. 30:7; 1 John 3:9; Luke 22:32; Ps. 42:5, 11; Lam. 3:26-31)

Chapter 19

Of the Law of God

1. God gave to Adam a law of universal obedience written in his heart, and a particular precept of not eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; by which he bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it, and endued him with power and ability to keep it.

(Gen. 1:27; Eccles. 7:29; Rom. 10:5; Gal. 3:10, 12)

2. The same law that was first written in the heart of man continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness after the fall, and was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables, the four first containing our duty towards God, and the other six, our duty to man.

(Rom. 2:14, 15; Deut. 10:4)

3. Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties, 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.

(Heb. 10:1; Col. 2:17; I Cor. 5:7; Col. 2:14, 16, 17; Eph. 2:14, 16)

4. To them also he gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any now by virtue of that institution; their general equity only being of modern use.

(1 Cor. 9:8-10)

5. The moral law doth for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof, and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in

respect of the authority of God the Creator, who gave it; neither doth Christ in the Gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.

(Rom. 13:8-10; James 2:8, 10-12; James 2:10, 11; Matt. 5:17-19; Rom. 3:31)

6. Although true believers be not under the law as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned, yet it is of great use to them as well as to others, in that as a rule of life, informing them of the will of God and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the sinful pollutions of their natures, hearts, and lives, so as examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against, sin; together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ and the perfection of his obedience; it is likewise of use to the regenerate to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin; and the threatenings of it serve to shew what even their sins deserve, and what afflictions in this life they may expect for them, although freed from the curse and unallayed rigour thereof. The promises of it likewise shew them God’s approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof, though not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works; so as man’s doing good and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law and not under grace.

(Rom. 6:14; Gal. 2:16; Rom. 8:1, 10:4; Rom. 3:20, 7:7, etc; Rom. 6:12-14; 1 Pet. 3:8-13)

7. Neither are the aforementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it, the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely and cheerfully which the will of God, revealed in the law, requireth to be done.

(Gal. 3:21; Ezek. 36:27)

Chapter 20

Of the Gospel, and of the Extent of the Grace Thereof

1. The covenant of works being broken by sin, and made unprofitable unto life, God was pleased to give forth the promise of Christ, the seed of the woman, as the means of calling the elect, and begetting in them faith and repentance; in this promise the gospel, as to the substance of it, was revealed, and [is] therein effectual for the conversion and salvation of sinners.

(Gen. 3:15; Rev. 13:8)

2. This promise of Christ, and salvation by him, is revealed only by the Word of God; neither do the works of creation or providence, with the light of nature, make discovery of Christ, or of grace by him, so much as in a general or obscure way; much less that men destitute of the revelation of Him by the promise or gospel, should be enabled thereby to attain saving faith or repentance.

(Rom. 1;17; Rom. 10:14,15,17; Prov. 29:18; Isa. 25:7; 60:2, 3)

3. The revelation of the gospel unto sinners, made in divers times and by sundry parts, with the addition of promises and precepts for the obedience required therein, as to the nations and persons to whom it is granted, is merely of the sovereign will and good pleasure of God; not being annexed by virtue of any promise to the due improvement of men’s natural abilities, by virtue of common light received without it, which none ever did make, or can do so; and therefore in all ages, the preaching of the gospel has been granted unto persons and nations, as to the extent or straitening of it, in great variety, according to the counsel of the will of God.

(Ps. 147:20; Acts 16:7; Rom. 1;18-32)

4. Although the gospel be the only outward means of revealing Christ and saving grace, and is, as such, abundantly sufficient thereunto; yet that men who are dead in trespasses may be born again, quickened or regenerated, there is moreover necessary an effectual insuperable work of the Holy Spirit upon the whole soul, for the producing in them a new spiritual life; without which no other means will effect their conversion unto God.

(Ps. 110:3; 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 1:19, 20; John 6:44; 2 Cor. 4:4, 6)

Chapter 21

Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience

1. The liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the gospel, consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the rigour and curse of the law, and in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin, from the evil of afflictions, the fear and sting of death, the victory of the grave, and ever- lasting damnation: as also in their free access to God, and their yielding obedience unto Him, not out of slavish fear, but a child-like love and willing mind. . All which were common also to believers under the law for the substance of them; but under the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of a ceremonial law, to which the Jewish church was subjected, and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace, and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of.

(Gal. 3:13; Gal. 1:4; Acts 26:18; Rom. 8:3; Rom. 8:28; 1 Cor. 15:54-57; 2 Thess. 1:10; Rom. 8:15; Luke 1:73-75; 1 John 4:18; Gal. 3;9, 14; John 7:38, 39; Heb. 10:19-21)

2. God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to his word, or not contained in it. So that to believe such doctrines, or obey such commands out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience; and the requiring of an implicit faith, an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience and reason also.

(James 4:12; Rom. 14:4; Acts 4:19, 29; 1 Cor. 7:23; Matt. 15:9; Col. 2:20, 22, 23; 1 Cor. 3:5; 2 Cor. 1:24)

3. They who upon pretence of Christian liberty do practice any sin, or cherish any sinful lust, as they do thereby pervert the main design of the grace of the gospel to their own destruction, so they wholly destroy the end of Christian liberty, which is, that being delivered out of the hands of all our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righeousness before Him, all the days of our lives.

(Rom. 6:1, 2; Gal. 5:13; 2 Pet. 2:18, 21)

Chapter 22

Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day.

1. The light of nature shews that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all; is just, good and doth good unto all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart and all the soul, and with all the might. But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.

(Jer. 10:7; Mark 12:33; Deut. 12:32; Exod. 20:4-6)

2. Religious worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and to him alone; not to angels, saints, or any other creatures; and since the fall, not without a mediator, nor in the mediation of any other but Christ alone.

(Matt. 4:9, 10; John 6:23; Matt. 28:19; Rom. 1:25; Col. 2:18; Rev. 19:10; John 14:6; 1 Tim. 2:5)

3. Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one part of natural worship, is by God required of all men. But that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son, by the help of the Spirit, according to his will; with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance; and when with others, in a known tongue.

(Ps. 95:1-7, 65:2; John 14:13, 14; Rom. 8:26; 1 John 5:14; 1 Cor. 14:16, 17)

4. Prayer is to be made for things lawful, and for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter; but not for the dead, nor for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned the sin unto death.

(1 Tim. 2:1, 2; 2 Sam. 7:29; 2 Sam. 12:21-23; 1 John 5:16)

5. The reading of the Scriptures, preaching, and hearing the Word of God, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord; as also the administration of baptism, and the Lord’s supper, are all parts of religious worship of God, to be performed in obedience to him, with understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear; moreover, solemn humiliation, with fastings, and thanksgivings, upon special occasions, ought to be used in an holy and religious manner.

(1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 4:2; Luke 8:18; Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19; Matt. 28:19, 20; 1 Cor. 11:26; Esther 4:16; Joel 2:12; Exod. 15:1-19, Ps. 107)

6. Neither prayer nor any other part of religious worship, is now under the gospel, tied unto, or made more acceptable by any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed; but God is to be worshipped everywhere in spirit and in truth; as in private families daily, and in secret each one by himself; so more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly nor wilfully to be neglected or forsaken, when God by his word or providence calleth thereunto.

(John 4:21; Mal. 1:11; 1 Tim. 2:8; Acts 10:2; Matt. 6:11; Ps. 55:17; Matt. 6:6; Heb. 10:25; Acts 2:42)

7. As it is the law of nature, that in general a proportion of time, by God’s appointment, be set apart for the worship of God, so by his Word, in a positive moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men, in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy unto him, which from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ was the last day of the week, and from the resurrection of Christ was changed into the first day of the week, which is called the Lord’s day: and is to be continued to the end of the world as the Christian Sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week being abolished.

(Exod. 20:8; 1 Cor. 16:1, 2; Acts 20:7; Rev. 1:10)

8. The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations, but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.

(Isa. 58:13; Neh. 13:15-22; Matt. 12:1-13)

Chapter 23

Of Singing Psalms, & c.

We believe that (Acts 16:25, Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16) singing the praises of God, is a holy ordinance of Christ, and not a part of natural religion, or a moral duty only; but that it is

brought under divine institution, it being enjoined on the churches of Christ to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; and that the whole church in their public assemblies, as well as private Christians, ought to (Heb. 2:12, Jam. 5:13) sing God’s praises according to the best light they have received. Moreover, it was practiced in the great representative church, by (Matt.26:30, Matt. 14:26) our Lord Jesus Christ with His disciples, after He had instituted and celebrated the sacred ordinance of His Holy Supper, as commemorative token of redeeming love.

Chapter 24

Of Lawful Oaths and Vows

1. A lawful oath is a part of religious worship, wherein the person swearing in truth, righteousness, and judgement, solemnly calleth God to witness what he sweareth, and to judge him according to the truth or falseness thereof.

(Exod. 20:7; Deut. 10:20; Jer. 4:2; 2 Chron. 6:22, 23)

2. The name of God only is that by which men ought to swear; and therein it is to be used, with all holy fear and reverence; therefore to swear vainly or rashly by that glorious and dreadful name, or to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful, and to be abhorred; yet as in matter of weight and moment, for confirmation of truth, and ending all strife, an oath is warranted by the word of God; a lawful oath being imposed by lawful authority in such matters, ought to be taken.

(Matt. 5:34, 37; James 5:12; Heb. 6:16, 2 Cor. 1:23; Neh. 13:25)

3. Whosoever taketh an oath warranted by the Word of God, ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act, and therein to avouch nothing but what he knoweth to be truth; for that by rash, false, and vain oaths, the Lord is provoked, and for them this land mourns.

(Levit. 19:12; Jer. 23:10)

4. An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation or mental reservation.

(Ps. 24:4)

5. A vow, which is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone, is to be made and performed with all religious care and faithfulness; but popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself.

(Ps. 76:11; Gen. 28:20-22; 1 Cor. 7:2, 9; Eph. 4:28; Matt. 19:11)

Chapter 25

Of the Civil Magistrate

1. God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under him, over the people, for his own glory and the public good; and to this end hath armed them with the power of the sword, for defense and encouragement of them that do good, and for the punishment of evil doers.

(Rom. 13:1-4)

2. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate when called there unto; in the management whereof, as they ought especially to maintain justice and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each kingdom and commonwealth, so for that end they may lawfully now, under the New Testament wage war upon just and necessary occasions.

(2 Sam. 23:3; Ps. 82:3, 4; Luke 3:14)

3. Civil magistrates being set up by God for the ends aforesaid; subjection, in all lawful things commanded by them, ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but for conscience sake;and we ought to make supplications and prayers for kings and all that are in authority, that under them we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty.

(Rom. 13:5-7; 1 Pet. 2:17; 1 Tim. 2:1, 2)

Chapter 26

Of Marriage

1. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman; neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband at the same time.

(Gen. 2:24; Mal. 2:15; Matt. 19:5,6)

2. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife, for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and the preventing of uncleanness.

(Gen. 2:18; Gen. 1:28; 1 Cor. 7:2, 9)

3. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry, who are able with judgment to give their consent; yet it is the duty of Christians to marry in the Lord; and therefore such as profess the true religion, should not marry with infidels, or idolaters; neither should such as are

godly, be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresy.

(Heb. 13:4; 1 Tim. 4:3; 1 Cor. 7:39; Neh. 13:25-27)

4. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity, forbidden in the Word; nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful, by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife.

(Levit. 18; Mark 6:18; 1 Cor. 5;1)

Chapter 27

Of the Church

1. The catholic or universal church, which (with respect to the internal work of the Spirit and truth of grace) may be called invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ, the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

(Heb. 12:23; Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:10, 22, 23, 5:23, 27, 32)

2. All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, not destroying their own profession by any errors everting the foundation, or unholiness of conversation, are and may be called visible saints; and of such ought all particular congregations to be constituted.

(1 Cor. 1:2; Acts 11:26; Rom. 1:7; Eph. 1:20-22)

3. The purest churches under heaven are subject to mixture and error; and some have so degenerated as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan; nevertheless Christ always hath had, and ever shall have a kingdom in this world, to the end thereof, of such as believe in him, and make profession of his name.

(1 Cor. 5; Rev. 2, 3; Rev. 18:2; 2 Thess. 2:11, 12; Matt. 16:18; Ps. 72:17, 102:28; Rev. 12:17)

4. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church, in whom, by the appointment of the Father, all power for the calling, institution, order or government of the church, is invested in a supreme and sovereign manner; neither can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof, but is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God; whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.

(Col. 1:18; Matt. 28:18-20; Eph. 4:11, 12; 2 Thess. 2:2-9)

5. In the execution of this power wherewith he is so intrusted, the Lord Jesus calleth out of the world unto himself, through the ministry of his word, by his Spirit, those that are given unto him by his Father, that they may walk before him in all the ways of obedience, which he prescribeth to them in his word. Those thus called, he commandeth to walk together in particular societies, or churches, for their mutual edification, and the due performance of that public worship, which he requireth of them in the world.

(John 10:16; John 12:32; Matt. 28:20; Matt. 18:15-20)

6. The members of these churches are saints by calling, visibly manifesting and evidencing (in and by their profession and walking) their obedience unto that call of Christ; and do willingly consent to walk together, according to the appointment of Christ; giving up themselves to the Lord, and one to another, by the will of God, in professed subjection to the ordinances of the Gospel.

(Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2; Acts 2:41, 42, 5:13, 14; 2 Cor. 9:13)

7. To each of these churches thus gathered, according to his mind declared in his word, he hath given all that power and authority, which is in any way needful for their carrying on that order in worship and discipline, which he hath instituted for them to observe; with commands and rules for the due and right exerting, and executing of that power.

(Matt. 18:17, 18; 1 Cor. 5:4, 5, 5:13 2 Cor. 2:6-8)

8. A particular church, gathered and completely organized according to the mind of Christ, consists of officers and members; and the officers appointed by Christ to be chosen and set apart by the church (so called and gathered), for the peculiar administration of ordinances, and execution of power or duty, which he intrusts them with, or calls them to, to be continued to the end of the world, are bishops or elders, and deacons.

(Acts 20:17, 28; Phil. 1:1)

9. The way appointed by Christ for the calling of any person, fitted and gifted by the Holy Spirit, unto the office of bishop or elder in a church, is, that he be chosen thereunto by the common suffrage of the church itself; and solemnly set apart by fasting and prayer, with imposition of hands of the eldership of the church, if there be any before constituted therein; and of a deacon that he be chosen by the like suffrage, and set apart by prayer, and the like imposition of hands.

(Acts 14:23; 1 Tim. 4:14; Acts 6:3, 5, 6)

10. The work of pastors being constantly to attend the service of Christ, in his churches, in the ministry of the word and prayer, with watching for their souls, as they that must give an account to Him; it is incumbent on the churches to whom they minister, not only to give them all due respect, but also to communicate to them of all their good things

according to their ability, so as they may have a comfortable supply, without being themselves entangled in secular affairs; and may also be capable of exercising hospitality towards others; and this is required by the law of nature, and by the express order of our Lord Jesus, who hath ordained that they that preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel.

(Acts 6:4; Heb. 13:17; 1 Tim. 5:17, 18; Gal. 6:6, 7; 2 Tim. 2:4; 1 Tim. 3:2; 1 Cor. 9:6-14)

11. Although it be incumbent on the bishops or pastors of the churches, to be instant in preaching the word, by way of office, yet the work of preaching the word is not so peculiarly confined to them but that others also gifted and fitted by the Holy Spirit for it, and approved and called by the church, may and ought to perform it.

(Acts 11:19-21; 1 Pet. 4:10, 11)

12. As all believers are bound to join themselves to particular churches, when and where they have opportunity so to do; so all that are admitted unto the privileges of a church, are also under the censures and government thereof, according to the rule of Christ.

(1 Thess. 5:14; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14, 15)

13. No church members, upon any offence taken by them, having performed their duty required of them towards the person they are offended at, ought to disturb any church- order, or absent themselves from the assemblies of the church, or administration of any ordinances, upon the account of such offence at any of their fellow members, but to wait upon Christ, in the further proceeding of the church.

(Matt. 18:15-17; Eph. 4:2, 3)

14. As each church, and all the members of it, are bound to pray continually for the good and prosperity of all the churches of Christ, in all places, and upon all occasions to further every one within the bounds of their places and callings, in the exercise of their gifts and graces, so the churches, when planted by the providence of God, so as they may enjoy opportunity and advantage for it, ought to hold communion among themselves, for their peace, increase of love, and mutual edification.

(Eph. 6:18; Ps. 122:6; Rom. 16:1, 2; 3 John 8-10)

15. In cases of difficulties or differences, either in point of doctrine or administration, wherein either the churches in general are concerned, or any one church, in their peace, union, and edification; or any member or members of any church are injured, in or by any proceedings in censures not agreeable to truth and order: it is according to the mind of Christ, that many churches holding communion together, do, by their messengers, meet to consider, and give their advice in or about that matter in difference, to be reported to all the churches concerned; howbeit these messengers assembled, are not intrusted with any church-power properly so called; or with any jurisdiction over the churches themselves,

to exercise any censures either over any churches or persons; or to impose their determination on the churches or officers.

(Acts 15:2, 4, 6, 22, 23, 25; 2 Cor. 1:24; 1 John 4:1)

Chapter 28

Of the Communion of Saints

1. All saints that are united to Jesus Christ, their head, by his Spirit, and faith, although they are not made thereby one person with him, have fellowship in his graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory; and, being united to one another in love, they have communion in each others gifts and graces, and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, in an orderly way, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man.

(1 John 1:3; John 1:16; Phil. 3:10; Rom. 6:5, 6; Eph. 4:15, 16; 1 Cor. 12:7; 3:21-23; 1 Thess. 5:11, 14; Rom. 1:12; 1 John 3:17, 18; Gal. 6:10)

2. Saints by profession are bound to maintain an holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God, and in performing such other spiritual services as tend to their mutual edification; as also in relieving each other in outward things according to their several abilities, and necessities; which communion, according to the rule of the gospel, though especially to be exercised by them, in the relation wherein they stand, whether in families, or churches, yet, as God offereth opportunity, is to be extended to all the household of faith, even all those who in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus; nevertheless their communion one with another as saints, doth not take away or infringe the title or propriety which each man hath in his goods and possessions.

(Heb. 10:24, 25, 3:12, 13; Acts 11:29, 30; Eph. 6:4; 1 Cor. 12:14-27; Acts 5:4; Eph. 4:28)

Chapter 29

Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

1. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances of positive and sovereign institution, appointed by the Lord Jesus, the only lawgiver, to be continued in his church to the end of the world.

(Matt. 28:19, 20; 1 Cor. 11;26)

2. These holy appointments are to be administered by those only who are qualified and thereunto called, according to the commission of Christ.

(Matt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 4:1)

Chapter 30

Of Baptism

1. Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized, a sign of his fellowship with him, in his death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into him; of remission of sins; and of giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.

(Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2;12; Gal. 3:27; Mark 1:4; Acts 22:16; Rom. 6:4)

2. Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance.

(Mark 16:16; Acts 8;36, 37, 2:41, 8:12, 18:8)

3. The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water, wherein the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

(Matt. 28:19, 20; Acts 8:38)

4. Immersion, or dipping of the person in water, is necessary to the due administration of this ordinance.

(Matt. 3:16; John 3:23)

Chapter 31

Of Laying on of Hands

We believe that (Heb 5:12, 6:1-2, Acts 8:17-18, 19:6) laying on of hands (with prayer) upon baptized believers, as such, is an ordinance of Christ, and ought to be submitted unto by all such persons that are admitted to partake of the Lord’s Supper; and that the end of this ordinance is not for the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, but for (Eph. 1:13-14) a farther reception of the Spirit of promise, or for addition of the graces of the Spirit, and the influences thereof; to confirm strengthen, and comfort them in Jesus Christ; it being ratified and established by the (Acts 8 and 19:6) extraordinary gifts of the Spirit in the primitive times to abide in the Church, as meeting together on the first day of the week was, (Acts 2:1) that being the day of worship, or Christian Sabbath, under the gospel; and as preaching the Word was, (Acts 10:44) and as baptism was, (Mat 3:16) and prayer was, (Acts 4:31) and singing psalms & c. was, (Acts 16: 25-26) so this the laying on of hands was, (Acts 8, 19) for as the whole gospel was confirmed by ( Heb 2:3-4) signs and wonders, and divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost in general, so was every ordinance in like manner confirmed in particular.

Chapter 32

Of the Lord’s Supper

1. The supper of the Lord Jesus was instituted by him the same night wherein he was betrayed, to be observed in his churches, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance, and shewing forth the sacrifice of himself in his death, confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment, and growth in him, their further engagement in, and to all duties which they owe to him; and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other.

(1 Cor. 11:23-26; 1 Cor. 10:16, 17,21)

2. In this ordinance Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sin of the quick or dead, but only a memorial of that one offering up of himself by himself upon the cross, once for all; and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same. So that the popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominable, injurious to Christ’s own sacrifice the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect.

(Heb. 9:25, 26, 28; 1 Cor. 11;24; Matt. 26:26, 27)

3. The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance, appointed his ministers to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to a holy use, and to take and break the bread; to take the cup, and, they communicating also themselves, to give both to the communicants.

(1 Cor. 11:23-26, etc.)

4. The denial of the cup to the people, worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and reserving them for any pretended religious use, are all contrary to the nature of this ordinance, and to the institution of Christ.

(Matt. 26:26-28, 15:9, Exod. 20:4, 5)

5. The outward elements in this ordinance, duly set apart to the use ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that truly, although in terms used figuratively, they are sometimes called by the names of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ, albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before.

(1 Cor. 11;27; 1 Cor. 11:26-28)

6. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ’s body and blood, commonly called transubstantiation, by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant not to Scripture alone, but

even to common sense and reason, overthroweth the nature of the ordinance, and hath been, and is, the cause of manifold superstitions, yea, of gross idolatries.

(Acts 3:21; Luke 14:6, 39; 1 Cor. 11:24, 25)

7. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death; the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.

(1 Cor. 10:16, 11:23-26)

8. All ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with Christ, so are they unworthy of the Lord’s table, and cannot, without great sin against him, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted thereunto; yea, whosoever shall receive unworthily, are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, eating and drinking judgment to themselves.

(2 Cor. 6:14, 15; 1 Cor. 11:29; Matt. 7:6)

Chapter 33

Of the State of Man after Death and Of the Resurrection of the Dead.

1. The bodies of men after death return to dust, and see corruption; but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them. The souls of the righteous being then made perfect in holiness, are received into paradise, where they are with Christ, and behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies; and the souls of the wicked are cast into hell; where they remain in torment and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day; besides these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth none.

(Gen. 3:19; Acts 13:36; Eccles. 12:7; Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:1, 6,8; Phil. 1:23; Heb. 12;23; Jude 6, 7; 1 Peter 3:19; Luke 16:23, 24)

2. At the last day, such of the saints as are found alive, shall not sleep, but be changed; and all the dead shall be raised up with the selfsame bodies, and none other; although with different qualities, which shall be united again to their souls forever.

(1 Cor. 15:51, 52; 1 Thess. 4:17; Job 19:26, 27; 1 Cor. 15:42, 43)

3. The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonour; the bodies of the just, by his Spirit, unto honour, and be made conformable to his own glorious body.

(Acts 24:15; John 5:28, 29; Phil. 3:21)

Chapter 34

Of the Last Judgment

1. God hath appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in righteousness, by Jesus Christ; to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father; in which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged, but likewise all persons that have lived upon the earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds, and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.

(Acts 17:31; John 5:22, 27; 1 Cor. 6:3; Jude 6; 2 Cor. 5:10; Eccles. 12:14; Matt. 12:36; Rom. 14:10, 12; Matt. 25:32-46)

2. The end of God’s appointing this day, is for the manifestation of the glory of his mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of his justice, in the eternal damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient; for then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fulness of joy and glory with everlasting rewards, in the presence of the Lord; but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast aside into everlasting torments, and punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.

(Rom. 9:22, 23; Matt. 25:21, 34; 2 Tim. 4:8; Matt. 25:46; Mark 9:48; 2 Thess. 1;7-10)

3. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin, and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity, so will he have the day unknown to men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour the Lord will come, and may ever be prepared to say, Come Lord Jesus; come quickly. Amen.

(2 Cor. 5:10, 11; 2 Thess. 1:5-7; Mark 13:35-37; Luke 12:35-40; Rev. 22:20)

ESV Large Print Bible Review

ESV Large Print Bible Review

 

One of the top 4 English Bible Translations that I use is the English Standard Version. It is no secret that I love Crossway’s Bibles and when the chance to review a large print ESV Bible came up, I had to jump on it.

Crossway sent me the top grain leather edition free of charge in exchange for an honest review; my opinions are my own. Also, some of the pictures were taken outdoors to capture this exquisite Bible in natural light.

 

A little from the publisher to get us started…

The ESV Large Print Bible features generous 11.5-point type and clear black letter text for easier reading and reference. A true large print edition, it includes an extensive concordance and helpful full-color maps. Readers of all ages will find it ideal for daily reading and study.

  • Size: 6.375″ x 9.25″
  • 11.5-pt type
  • 1,312 pages
  • Black letter text
  • Double-column, paragraph format
  • Concordance with nearly 12,000 references
  • Ribbon marker
  • Presentation pages
  • Full-color maps in back
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Lifetime quality guarantee

The Translation

ESV is an essentially literal translation, meaning it falls on the word-for-word or form based end of the translation spectrum. It is as accurate as NASB but not as rigid, I have found that is sounds very liturgical and the rhythm and cadence lends to reading aloud. It is ideal for congregational reading as well as personal study.

The Cover

This is top grain leather and we need to stop and ask the question, “What is top grain leather?” Buffalo Jackson trading company states “Top grain leather is the second highest grade of leather, and has the outermost layer of the hide removed. This difference makes the leather thinner and more workable for the manufacturer, which is reflected in the price compared to full grain leather.”

Based on the feel and smell, this top grain leather is almost certainly a calfskin. The grain is somewhat pronounced but I lack an adjective to describe the softness of the cover and the delight it brings to the touch. I own a couple goatskin, full grain leather Bibles that are not this delightful to have in my hands. I swear that Crossway does something to the leather to make you want to open your Bible over and over again. The best way I can describe the leather is to say that it is limp and supple and an absolute delight to touch.

Binding

Crossway is well known for their sewn Bibles, so well known, in fact, that they come with a lifetime guarantee. This particular Bible has what I describe as medium tightness. Some Bibles like R. L. Allan’s are very loose and tend to feel like they might fall apart at any second while other Bibles like Cambridge Bibles are very tight and even though they lay flat are not as loose in the hand. The ESV Large Print Bible is the perfect blend, loose enough to be comfortable for one handed use yet tight enough to not leave you wondering if it will fall apart.

Paper, Font, and Layout

The font is spectacular, 11.5-point; it is a true large print, unlike many who deem a 9-point font to be a large print. This size incredibly easy to read. Crossway uses fonts in the Lexicon Family which are somewhat bold, with deep rich blacks. This is not a red letter edition and you may have mixed feelings about that but I do not find them useful on my podium when I am trying to teach.

36 GSM Thinopaque paper is what Crossway uses for paper. This is an ideal choice with the double column paragraph format that we are treated to here. The paper is thin enough to keep the Bible from being cumbersome yet still thick enough that you can mark in the Bible without bleed through and while we are on that subject, this is a line matched Bible and there is no show through of the text.

As a Ministry Bible

During my review period, the ESV Large Print Bible came with me into my secular employment arena alongside my NLT. For one on one ministry it cannot be beat. The overall size fits on almost any desk easily. On the lectern, it was everything I wanted- large font, easy to read, portable; I could not ask for more.

Overall Thoughts

It is hard for Crossway to outdo itself and I doubt that any other publisher could out perform Crossway. The quality offered by Crossway is unmatched anywhere. I highly recommend their Bibles to anyone.

 

Scarlet Women, White as Snow

Scarlet Women, White as Snow

Our chronological study in the Gospels now brings us to the genealogies in Matthew and Luke. (We will circle back to the story of John the Baptist next week)

Matthew opens his Gospel with the Family Tree of Jesus and he does so to demonstrate 3 critical facts:

  1. Though Jesus was, in fact, God the Son, He was also a flesh and blood human being.
  2. Matthew illustrates that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah, the Divine King who would rule Israel, and even the nations, forever. Matthew proves his claim by providing the patrilineal genealogy of Jesus.
  3. Jesus has power to save the whole world. Matthew, conspicuously, includes gentiles in the lineage of Jesus thereby showing that Messiah has come to redeem from the whole of the world.

I want to give you a thought to keep in mind as we go: In the days of Jesus, the Oral Tradition was very important and a recitation of a genealogy would call to mind the stories of the individuals listed and would serve as a record of God’s Grace.

Text: Matthew 1 (TLB)

Note that in the reading of our text, I have made the names of the women red in keeping with the idea that God used women who sinned to be a part of Messiah’s lineage. This week, we are not looking at the whole genealogy but we are looking at the 5 most important women in the Old Testament: Sarah, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. I call these women the most important in the Old Testament for two reasons, Sarah is the mother of the Nation of Israel, who gave us the Savior, and the other 4 are included, by direction of the Holy Spirit, in the Legal Genealogy of Christ as King

Our text…

These are the ancestors of Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David and of Abraham:

Abraham was the father of Isaac; Isaac was the father of Jacob; Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah (Tamar was their mother); Perez was the father of Hezron; Hezron was the father of Aram; Aram was the father of Amminadab; Amminadab was the father of Nahshon; Nahshon was the father of Salmon; Salmon was the father of Boaz (Rahab was his mother); Boaz was the father of Obed (Ruth was his mother); Obed was the father of Jesse; Jesse was the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon (his mother was the widow of Uriah); Solomon was the father of Rehoboam; Rehoboam was the father of Abijah; Abijah was the father of Asa; Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat; Jehoshaphat was the father of Jehoram; Jehoram was the father of Uzziah; Uzziah was the father of Jotham; Jotham was the father of Ahaz; Ahaz was the father of  Hezekiah; 10 Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh; Manasseh was the father of Amos; Amos was the father of Josiah; 11 Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers (born at the time of the exile to Babylon). 12 After the exile: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel; Shealtiel was the father of Zerubbabel; 13 Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud; Abiud was the father of Eliakim; Eliakim was the father of Azor; 14 Azor was the father of Zadok; Zadok was the father of Achim; Achim was the father of Eliud; 15 Eliud was the father of Eleazar; Eleazar was the father of Matthan; Matthan was the father of Jacob; 16 Jacob was the father of Joseph (who was the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ the Messiah). 17 These are fourteen[a] of the generations from Abraham to King David; and fourteen from King David’s time to the exile; and fourteen from the exile to Christ. 18 These are the facts concerning the birth of Jesus Christ: His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph, her fiancé,[b] being a man of stern principle,* decided to break the engagement but to do it quietly, as he didn’t want to publicly disgrace her. 20 As he lay  awake[c] considering this, he fell into a dream, and saw an angel standing beside him. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “don’t hesitate to take Mary as your wife! For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a Son, and you shall name him Jesus (meaning ‘Savior’), for he will save his people from their sins. 22 This will fulfill God’s message through his prophets—

23 ‘Listen! The virgin shall conceive a child! She shall give birth to a Son, and he shall be called “Emmanuel” (meaning “God is with us”).’”

24 When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel commanded and brought Mary home to be his wife, 25 but she remained a virgin until her Son was born; and Joseph named him “Jesus.”

 

Textual Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 1:17These are fourteen, literally, “So all the generations from Abraham unto David are fourteen.”
  2. Matthew 1:19her fiancé, literally, “her husband.” a man of stern principle, literally, “a just man.”
  3. Matthew 1:20As he lay awake, implied in remainder of verse.

The following notes give us a high level overview of the 5 most important women of the Old Testament.

 

SARAH: Laughing all the way to redemption

Genesis 18:9-15

Why is Sarah so important? She is the mother of the people of Israel and it is from Israel that we receive Messiah the King. Sarah, then is “mother” of the Redeemer.

Strengths and accomplishments

  • Was intensely loyal to her own child
  • Became the mother of a nation and an ancestor of Jesus
  • Was a woman of faith, the first woman listed in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11

Weaknesses and mistakes

  • Had trouble believing God’s promises to her
  • Attempted to work problems out on her own, without consulting God
  • Tried to cover her faults by blaming others

Lessons from her life

  • God responds to faith even in the midst of failure
  • God is not bound by what usually happens; he can stretch the limits and cause unheard-of events to occur

Key verse

“It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise” (Hebrews 11:11).

Sarah’s story unfolds in Genesis 11—25. She is also mentioned in Isaiah 51:2; Romans 4:19; 9:9; Hebrews 11:11; 1 Peter 3:6.

TAMAR: Holding the Line

Genesis 38:1-30

Why is Tamar important to the Old Testament? Tamar held fast the line of Judah by forcing him to father an heir for her and, it is this line that leads to Jesus.

Fast Facts:

  • Widowed by Er, Judah’s 1st born son.
  • Widowed a 2nd time by Onan, Judah’s 2nd son, who was struck dead by God for refusing to consummate the marriage with Tamar.
  • Pretended to be a prostitute to trick Judah into fathering an heir for her.

Life lessons:

  • Even when a person refuses to obey, God’s plans cannot be thwarted.
  • Though wicked deeds are not encouraged, they can be redeemed for God’s glory

 

RAHAB: A prodigal daughter comes home

Joshua 6:22-23

Why is Rahab so important? Rahab kept the 12 spies safe as they scouted the promised land. She fathered Boaz, the kinsman redeemer who plays a major role in the life of Ruth and also gives a picture of redemption.

Strengths and accomplishments

  • Relative of Boaz, and thus an ancestor of David and Jesus
  • One of only two women listed in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11
  • Resourceful, willing to help others at great cost to herself

Weakness and mistake

  • She was a prostitute

Lesson from her life

  • She did not let fear affect her faith in God’s ability to deliver

Key verse

“It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies” (Hebrews 11:31).

Rahab’s story unfolds in Joshua 2 and 6:22, 23. She is also mentioned in Matthew 1:5; Hebrews 11:31; and James 2:25.

RUTH: Foretelling the gathering gentiles

Ruth 1:6–4:16

Why is Ruth important? Ruth was from Moab making her a gentile. Her story foretells that Messiah the King will redeem from the whole world.

Strengths and accomplishments (Stem from her relationship with Naomi, her mother in law)

  • A relationship where the greatest bond was faith in God
  • A relationship of strong mutual commitment
  • A relationship in which each person tried to do what was best for the other

Life Lessons from Ruth

  • God’s living presence in a relationship overcomes differences that might otherwise create division and disharmony

Key verses

“But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!’ ” (Ruth 1:16, 17).

Ruth’s Story unfolds in the book that bears her name. Ruth is also mentioned in Matthew 1:5.

BATHSHEBA (wife of Uriah): the Mistress who became queen

2 Samuel 11:2-5; 1 Kings 1:11-53; 2:13-25

Why is Bathsheba important? Bathsheba was consort and later wife to David, Israel’s most important King, David, who gives Messiah his right to rule. Bathsheba is the mother of the Royal line of Messiah the King.

Strengths and accomplishments

  • Became influential in the palace alongside her son Solomon
  • Was the mother of Israel’s wisest king and an ancestor of Jesus Christ

Weakness and mistake

  • Committed adultery
  • Lost her son through divine judgment

Lessons from her life

  • Although we may feel caught up in a chain of events, we are still responsible for the way we participate in those events
  • A sin may seem like one small seed, but the harvest of consequences is beyond measure
  • In the worst possible situations, God is still able to bring about good when people truly turn to him
  • While we must live with the natural consequences of our sins, God’s forgiveness of sin is complete

Key verses

“When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. When the period of mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her to the palace, and she became one of his wives. Then she gave birth to a son. But the Lord was displeased with what David had done” (2 Samuel 11:26, 27).

Bathsheba’s story unfolds in 2 Samuel 11—12 and 1 Kings 1—2. A related passage is Psalm 51.

Do you find yourself with “unsavory” characters in your family history? You are in good company, so did Jesus. Take comfort in the fact that, even though you cannot see the whole story, God is at work for His purposes and His glory. Someday, Heaven will tell the tale of the role you played in redemptive history. Who knows but you might lead the next missionary to Christ and share in his reward at the Bema seat.

Grace to you.

A Beginner’s Guide to Marking in Your Bible/In-Depth Study

A Beginner’s Guide to Marking in Your Bible/In-Depth Study

 

As a pastor, I am asked, quite often, for advice on how to mark in a Bible. Finally, after answering more than 2 dozen times, I decided to share this advice with all of you, my beloved readers.

You will need:

  • A new, unmarked Bible (As it happens, the writing of this article coincides with my beginning to mark in a new ESV Large Print Bible in top grain leather.) There are a number of excellent choices available, but I recommend avoiding the ones with artwork already in the margins; you want your markings to be your own.
  • A set of marking tools (For highlighting, I recommend Bible Hi-Glider from GT Luscombe, for underlining, I recommend Prang colored pencils, and for your annotations, I recommend Pilot Brand Better Retractable Ball Point Pen in fine point). You can use any or all of the three.
  • A plan for how you will study (Chapter and Verse, Topical, Systematic Theology)
  • A journal (Moleskine is nice as is Picadilly Essential Notebook)
  • A Bible Dictionary. a Concordance, and a single volume commentary (I recommend either the MacArthur Bible Commentary (Single Volume) or the Wycliff Bible Commentary. (Warren Wiersbe has an excellent 2-volume set if you like)

 

Before you begin, Pray. You want to be sure that you are being guided by the Holy Spirit. Ensure that you have decided on if/how you will color code before your first session. Will you simply highlight verses you want to commit to memory (ideal for 1st time students of the Bible) or will you have a more detailed approach.

 

Here is my approach for this new Bible:

I will be using the GT Luscombe Hi-Gliders. There are 6 colors and I will be highlighting Six Essentials of Christianity

 

  • Orange = Sin
  • Yellow = Grace
  • Pink = Salvation
  • Green = Fruit of the Spirit
  • Purple = the Kingdom
  • Blue = New Heaven and New Earth

 

Here are the steps I recommend following:

  1. Choose your topic. For our example we will choose sin.
  2. Look up your topic in your concordance and turn to the first passage.
  3. Read the passage the 1st time without making any marks
  4. Read the passage again with your journal handy. Write down any words you are not familiar with and leave room to note definitions. Also make note of any questions that you may have as you are reading.
  5. Read the passage for a third time, this time underlining or highlighting as you go.
  6. Make any marginal notes that will help jog your memory about what you have learned so far.
  7. Consult your commentary for further insight. Read any cross-references you find and mark the passage address (John 1:1) in your journal
  8. Pray for the 2nd time, ensuring that you thank the Holy Spirit for His word and to ask him to illuminate His truth to your mind.

 

Repeat the process as often as you have planned for your study. Some people stretch this process out for a week and others repeat daily. There is no correct or incorrect option; follow the pace best suited to how you learn. A quality study is what we are after, not a quantity of verses studied.

Wesley Study Bible Review (CEB Edition)

Wesley Study Bible Review (CEB Edition)

 

Once in a while you come across a Bible that makes you stop cold in your tracks, you absolutely have to know more about the features that are included with the Bible text. Enter the Wesley Study Bible…(By way of background, I was raised in a Pentecostal Church, Pentecostalism having grown out of the Wesleyan Holiness Movement)

 

Note: This Bible was provided free of charge by Abingdon Press in exchange for an honest review.

 

First published February 1, 2009 the initial release, from Abingdon Press, was an NRSV Bible, without the Deuterocanonical/Apocrypha books. In November 2012, the Wesley Study Bible was republished, this time in the Common English Bibletranslation (also without the Apocrypha).

 

Where did the Wesley Study Bible come from? The Wesley Study Bible was developed by scholars from 11 denominations, in North America, with roots in the Wesleyan/Methodist Movement: The United Methodist Church, African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Christian & Missionary Alliance (Pentecostal/charismatic), Christian Methodist Episocpal Church, Church of the Nazarene, Church of God (Anderson, IN also pentecostal/charismatic), Free Methodist Church of North America, The Wesleyan Church, Salvation Army, and the United Church of Canada. The Wesley Study Bible is not just for those in the Wesleyan/Methodist/Pentecostal/Holiness Movements; every Christian can benefit from features that are in this Bible…

 

From the Publisher

“Lead an abundant life, grow as a faithful disciple, and find new avenues to serve. By studying The Wesley Study Bible, readers will share God’s grace and find the good gifts God has for them. As God transforms them through study, they will be inspired to transform the world. Contributors from across the Wesleyan family join together to help others experience God in fresh ways. The Wesley Study Bible highlights the depth of John Wesley’s perspectives on scripture and features accessibly written notes and articles contributed by pastors, theologians, and Bible scholars. Easy-to-understand explanations of core terms encompass the following themes: eternal life, forgiveness, grace, heaven, holiness, justice, and mission.”

 

About the Common English Bible

 

What is the CEB? (From commonenglishbible.com)

The Common English Bible is not simply a revision or update of an existing translation. It is a bold new translation designed to meet the needs of Christians as they work to build a strong and meaningful relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

A key goal of the translation team was to make the Bible accessible to a broad range of people; it’s written at a comfortable level for over half of all English readers. As the translators did their work, reading specialists working with seventy-seven reading groups from more than a dozen denominations review the texts to ensure a smooth and natural reading experience. Easy readability can enhance church worship and participation, and personal Bible study. It also encourages children and youth to discover the Bible for themselves, perhaps for the very first time

I do not care for the fact that the CEB changes Son of Man (a decidedly Messianic Term) to the Human One. I feel this takes away from the deity of Christ and fails to give Him the reverence due.

 

 

Holiness of Heart and Life Articles (for every Christian)

One of the hallmarks of John Wesley’s ministry was his emphasis on practical holiness, essentially being the hands of God in the world. (Please note, I am not talking about works based salvation.)

 

There are approximately 150 side-bar articles on the fruit of your salvation, holiness of heart and life. These offer wisdom and applicable advice on what it looks like. As a pastor once told me, you don’t do works to be holy but because you have been made holy. In these valuable articles you will find tangible and measurable examples of holiness.

 

Wesleyan Core Terms (mostly for Methodists of all stripes)

No matter which Christian Fellowship you belong to, there are terms that are important to understand such as Free Grace, Holy Spirit, Personal Holiness, etc. These terms are essential to understanding your faith and committing that faith to others.

 

As with the Holiness of Heart and Life Articles, there are approximately 150 side-bar articles explaining these terms.

 

Study Notes & Introductions

There are approximately 7500 Study Notes. The notes are designed to be of a very pastoral/practical nature, that is to say, to guide you into ways to put your faith into action.

 

The introductions are not as detailed as you will find in other study Bibles. I think that is done in keeping with the pastoral tone of the Bible.

 

 

This is a Bible that is designed to be experiential. If you are using it correctly, you will find yourself motivated to live out the holiness that has been gifted to you (James 1:22). If you look at Matthew 25, Jesus meant it when he said “I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink, sick and in prison and you visited me.”

 

Overall, I really enjoy this particular study Bible. It is, candidly, difficult to discuss with someone who is not from this background. It’s a niche Bible but at the same time it isn’t. No matter your denominational background, you will be able to find something in the Wesley Study Bible that will benefit you.

 

Gospel Presentations of Christ

Gospel Presentations of Christ

The 4 Evangelists each gave us a unique picture of the Lord Jesus Christ and we summarize, here, as an aid to our study of the Life of Christ

 

  Matthew Mark Luke John
Jesus is King Servant Son of Man Son of God
Written to.. Jews Romans Greeks the World
Emphasizes His Sermons His Deeds His Humanity His Deity
Writing Style Teacher Story Teller Historian Theologian
Themes Jesus the promised King The Savior in Action Fully God and Fully Man Faith in Jesus required for Salvation

 

Logos Part 3: The Word Became Flesh

Logos Part 3: The Word Became Flesh

We are continuing our chronological study of the 4 Gospels and this week we look at John 1:14…

John 1:14

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

STOP! Pause and read that again. You can’t just read this verse and move on; in this verse we have either the most stupendous miracle in all of recorded history or the most vicious lie ever told and you must choose. There is no middle of the road option, either the sovereign God of the universe executed the greatest miracle in history or we are duped. Now, of course, we, who carry the name Baptist, believe the former, that in this verse we find a miracle so incredible that it confronts every being in history.

The Doctrine of the Incarnation

The Doctrine of the Incarnation is the teaching of the Church that the Lord Jesus, the eternal Logos, who was with God from before time and who was, Himself, God, took on a human body. As John put it, the Word became flesh…

The Incarnation Was Not the Divine Son’s Beginning

The virgin conception and birth in Bethlehem does not mark the beginning of the Son of God. Rather, it marks the eternal Son entering physically into our world and becoming one of us. John Murray writes, “The doctrine of the incarnation is vitiated if it is conceived of as the beginning to be of the person of Christ. The incarnation means that he who never began to be in his specific identity as Son of God, began to be what he eternally was not” (quoted in John Frame, Systematic Theology, 883).

In Psalm 90:2 we see that God was before the mountains were born, before He even brought forth the earth and the world. He was from everlasting to everlasting.

The person or, rather, the active subject of the incarnation is the eternal Son.

John 1:14 is clear: “The Word became flesh.” So, it was the Son from eternity who became incarnate, not the divine nature but the actual person of the Son. The Son, who is in eternal relation to the Father and Spirit, willingly humbled himself and chose to assume a human nature in obedience to his Father and for our salvation (Philippians 2:6–8).

As the eternal Son, the second person of the triune Godhead, he is the full image and expression of the Father and is thus fully God. In writing to the church in Colosse, Paul declares that, “In Him {Christ} dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9)

Remember, Jesus exercises all of the prerogatives of Godhood.

Along with the Father and Spirit, the Son fully and equally shares the divine nature. As the image and exact correspondence of the Father (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3), the Son is fully God. All of God’s perfections and attributes are his since Christ is God the Son (Colossians 2:9). As the Son, he participates in the divine rule, receives divine worship, and does all divine works as the Son (Psalm 110:1; Ephesians 1:22; Philippians 2:9–11; Colossians 1:15–17; Hebrews 1:2–3; Revelation 5:11–12).

As God the Son, he has always existed in an eternally ordered relation to the Father and Spirit, which now is gloriously displayed in the incarnation. It was fitting that the Son alone, who is from the Father by the Spirit, became incarnate rather than the other divine persons (John 1:1–2, 14, 18). In the incarnation, the Son displayed his divine-filial dependence on the Father and always acted in relation to the Father by the Spirit (John 5:19–30; Mark 1:12; Luke 4:1–21). From eternity and in the incarnation, the Son never acted on his own or independently, but always in relation to and inseparably from his Father and the Spirit.

The Incarnation Shows Jesus’s Humility

Jesus is no typical king. Jesus didn’t come to be served. Instead, Jesus came to serve (Mark 10:45). His humility was on full display from the beginning to the end, from Bethlehem to Golgotha. Paul glories in the humility of Christ when he writes that, “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking on the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:2-8).

The Incarnation Fulfills Prophecy

The incarnation wasn’t random or accidental. It was predicted in the Old Testament and in accordance with God’s eternal plan. {I lean toward a Supralapsarian view of God’s decrees with regard to redemption and so I believe that the Incarnation was decreed long before the world was even created since, in the Supralapsarian view, God had always planned and decreed that He would be a redeemer.} Perhaps the clearest text predicting the Messiah would be both human and God is Isaiah9:6 -“To us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

In this verse, Isaiah sees a son that is to be born, and yet he is no ordinary son. His extraordinary names — Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace — point to his deity. And taken together — the son being born and his names — point to him being the God-man, Jesus Christ.

The Incarnation Is Mysterious

The Scriptures do not even attempt to answer all of our questions about the Incarnation. Some things remain shrouded in mystery. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God,” Moses wrote, “but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever” (Deuteronomy 29:29).

Answering how it could be that one person could be both fully God and fully man is not a question that the Scriptures focus on and, indeed, it could probably drive one insane trying to figure it out. The early church fathers preserved this mystery at the Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.) when they wrote that Jesus is “recognized in two natures, God and man, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Definition of Chalcedon
“Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.”

The Incarnation Is Necessary for Salvation

The incarnation of Jesus does not save by itself, but it is an essential link in God’s plan of redemption. John Murray explains: “The blood of Jesus is blood that has the requisite efficacy and virtue only by reason of the fact that he who is the Son, the effulgence of the Father’s glory and the express image of his substance, became himself also partaker of flesh and blood and thus was able by one sacrifice to perfect all those who are sanctified” (Redemption Accomplished and Applied, 14).

And the author to the Hebrews likewise writes that Jesus “had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).

The incarnation is an act of addition, not subtraction.

In the incarnation, the eternal Son who has always possessed the divine nature has not changed or set aside his deity. Instead, he has added to himself a second nature, namely a human nature consisting of a human body and soul (Philippians 2:6–8). As a result, the individual Jesus is one person—the Son—who now subsists in two natures, and thus is fully God and fully man.

The human nature assumed by the divine Son is fully human and completely sinless.

Christ’s human nature was unfallen and untainted by the effects of sin. Our inborn inclination to anti-God rebellion was not part of Jesus’s human makeup. Jesus fully experienced the effects of living in a fallen world, but he did not share the guilt or disposition of Adam’s sin passed on to the human race. In fact, Jesus never committed a sin, nor could he (Matthew 3:15; John 8:46; Hebrews 4:15; 7:26; 1 Peter 1:19). Although he was tempted like us, he perfectly obeyed his Father, even unto death, as our covenant mediator, thus accomplishing our salvation as the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 5:5–10).

The virgin conception was the supernatural means by which the incarnation took place.

The incarnation was thoroughly supernatural and a demonstration of our triune God’s sovereign and gracious initiative to redeem his people (Matthew 1:1–25; Luke 1:26–38). The virgin conception was the time and means by which the divine Son added to himself a human nature, having been conceived in the womb of Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. By the act of the virgin conception, the triune God created a new human nature for the Son, and as a result of this action, in Jesus we truly meet God face-to-face—not indwelling or overshadowing human flesh but in full undiminished glory.

From conception, the Son limited his divine life in such a way that he did not override the limitations of his human nature.

As a result of the incarnation, the divine Son lives as a true man with the normal physical, mental, volitional, and psychological attributes and capacities of original humanity. As the incarnate Son, he experienced the wonder and weaknesses of a completely human life. He grew in wisdom and physical stature (Luke 2:52), experienced tears and joy, and suffered death and a glorious resurrection for his people’s salvation (John 11:33, 35; 19:30; 1 Corinthians 15:3–4).

The Son was not limited to his human nature alone since he continued to exercise divine prerogatives. Specifically, this is called the kenosis

This truth is best demonstrated in the incarnate Son’s continuing to sustain the universe (Colossians 1:16–17; Hebrew 1:3), alongside Christ’s other divine actions during his life and ministry. In Christ, there are two natures that remain distinct and retain their own attributes and integrity, yet the Son is able to act through both natures. For this reason, the Son is not completely circumscribed by his human nature; he is also able to act outside of it in his divine nature.

Properly, this is called the kenosis and the term kenosis comes from the Greek word for the doctrine of Christ’s self-emptying in His incarnation. The kenosis was a self-renunciation, not an emptying Himself of deity nor an exchange of deity for humanity. Philippians 2:7 tells us that Jesus “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” Jesus did not cease to be God during His earthly ministry. But He did set aside His heavenly glory of a face-to-face relationship with God. He also set aside His independent authority. During His earthly ministry, Christ completely submitted Himself to the will of the Father.

As part of the kenosis, Jesus sometimes operated with the limitations of humanity (John 4:6; 19:28). God does not get tired or thirsty. Matthew 24:36 tells us, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” We might wonder if Jesus was God, how could He not know everything, as God does (Psalm 139:1-6)? It seems that while Jesus was on earth, He surrendered the use of some of His divine attributes. Jesus was still perfectly holy, just, merciful, gracious, righteous, and loving – but to varying degrees Jesus was not omniscient or omnipotent.

When considering the kenosis, we often focus too much on what Jesus gave up. The kenosis also deals with what Christ took on. Jesus added to Himself a human nature and humbled Himself. Jesus went from being the glory of glories in Heaven to being a human being who was put to death on the cross. Philippians 2:7-8 declares, “taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!” In the ultimate act of humility, the God of the universe became a human being and died for His creation. The kenosis, therefore, is Christ taking on a human nature with all of its limitations, except with no sin.

When and how the Son acts through both natures is best explained in terms of Trinitarian relations worked out in redemptive history for the sake of our salvation. The Son, who has always inseparably acted from the Father and by the Spirit, continues to do so but now as the obedient Son acting as our covenant representative and substitute. In the incarnation, neither the Son’s deity nor his humanity is diminished.

By taking on our human nature, the Son became the first man of the new creation, our great mediator and new covenant head.

As the Son incarnate, our Lord Jesus Christ in his life, death, and resurrection, reverses the fall of the first Adam and forges ahead as the last Adam, our great trailblazer and champion (Hebrews 2:10). As a result of the incarnation, God the Son becomes perfectly qualified to meet our every need, especially our need for the forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 2:5–18; 7:22–28; 9:15–10:18).

God the Son incarnate is utterly unique and alone Lord and Savior.

Jesus is in a category all by himself. Given who God is in all of his glory and moral perfection, and what sin is before God, apart from the Son’s incarnation and his entire work for us, there is no salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:11).

As the divine Son, he alone satisfies God’s own judgment against us and the demand for perfect obedience (Romans 5:12–21).

As the incarnate Son, he alone can identify with us as our representative and substitute (Hebrews 5:1).

While on earth, and now forever in Heaven, Jesus is in hypostatic union.

The hypostatic union is the term used to describe how God the Son, Jesus Christ, took on a human nature, yet remained fully God at the same time. Jesus always had been God (John 8:58, 10:30), but at the incarnation Jesus became a human being (John 1:14). The addition of the human nature to the divine nature is Jesus, the God-man. This is the hypostatic union, Jesus Christ, one Person, fully God and fully man.

Jesus’ two natures, human and divine, are inseparable. Jesus will forever be the God-man, fully God and fully human, two distinct natures in one Person. Jesus’ humanity and divinity are not mixed, but are united without loss of separate identity. Jesus sometimes operated with the limitations of humanity (John 4:6, 19:28) and other times in the power of His deity (John 11:43; Matthew 14:18-21). In both, Jesus’ actions were from His one Person. Jesus had two natures, but only one personality.

The doctrine of the hypostatic union is an attempt to explain how Jesus could be both God and man at the same time. It is ultimately, though, a doctrine we are incapable of fully understanding. It is impossible for us to fully understand how God works. Jesus is God’s Son in that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). But that does not mean Jesus did not exist before He was conceived. Jesus has always existed (John 8:58, 10:30). When Jesus was conceived, He became a human being in addition to being God (John 1:1, 14).

Jesus is both God and man. Jesus has always been God, but He did not become a human being until He was conceived in Mary. Jesus became a human being in order to identify with us in our struggles (Hebrews 2:17) and, more importantly, so that He could die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (Philippians 2:5-11). In summary, the hypostatic union teaches that Jesus is both fully human and fully divine, that there is no mixture or dilution of either nature, and that He is one united Person, forever.

 

TLB Large Print Review

TLB Large Print Review

 

I am really excited for today’s review as I am reviewing one of the most influential Bible versions ever produced, the very first one to receive a Quadruple Diamond Award (1 Diamond = 10 million units) from the ECPA, The Living Bible Paraphrase. For 40+ years, with over 40,000,000 units sold, the Living Bible has been impacting lives. In 1996 TLB gave birth to one of the two most used English translations of the Bible the New Living Translation, also published by Tyndale and, itself, a Triple Diamond winner. This is one of a very few English versions that I think every single English speaking Christian needs to have.

 

Tyndale House has provided a large print two-tone, thumb indexed, version for free in exchange for an honest review. I have a padded green hardcover (probably 2 or three, actually) that I use on a regular basis.

Product Description

The Living Bible is a “thought-for-thought” translation of the Bible. It is a “paraphrase” – a summary of Scripture- rather than a word-for-word translation of Scripture. As such, its purpose is to summarize what the writers of the Scriptures meant rather than quoting them directly. The Living Bible may be particularly helpful for those who are new to the Bible, or for those who have difficulty understanding the words of the Bible.

Features Include:

  • Double column format
  • 10- point type
  • Footnotes
  • Bible Reading Plan
  • 2 Maps black & white
  • Topical Concordance

 

Format: Imitation Leather
Number of Pages: 1184
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 10 X 7.3 X 1.6 (inches)
ISBN: 1496433521
ISBN-13: 9781496433527
Text Layout: Double Column

 

 

What is The Living Bible?

The Living Bible is a paraphrase of the English Revised Bible, American Standard Version of 1901 (American Standard Version or ASV for short). The ASV, long held to be one of the best English Translations, is an ideal source for a paraphrase given its meticulous nature and attention to detail in translating.

 

Why paraphrase the Bible?

In Dr. Taylor’s own words, “The children were one of the chief inspirations for producing the Living Bible. Our family devotions were tough going because of the difficulty we had understanding the King James Version, which we were then using, or the Revised Standard Version, which we used later. All too often I would ask questions to be sure the children understood, and they would shrug their shoulders—they didn’t know what the passage was talking about. So I would explain it. I would paraphrase it for them and give them the thought. It suddenly occurred to me one afternoon that I should write out the reading for that evening thought by thought, rather than doing it on the spot during our devotional time. So I did, and read the chapter to the family that evening with exciting results—they knew the answers to all the questions I asked!”

 

Doesn’t a paraphrase take away from God’s Holy Word?

It can but that is entirely dependent on the person doing the paraphrase and their commitment to the Scripture. In the case of TLB, there is nothing taken away from the Scripture. It is clear, when reading, that Dr. Taylor held the Scripture in high esteem and truly wanted even the simplest and most childlike to be able to understand the Scripture.

 

Cover and Binding

This review copy is TuTone/Imitation Leather and, as best as I can tell, has an adhesive binding, though it could very well be sewn. The binding is nice and tight, which lends to the possibility of smythe sewing and the TuTone cover is very soft, though it is distinguishable from real leather. It should easily last for 10 plus years of service.

 

Paper and Font

We are given a crisp white paper with minimal show through and almost no glare; in most light settings, I had no issue with reading. The font that Tyndale chose is really stellar and is incredibly easy on my eyes. Many Bible publishers call a 9-point font large print, which irritates me to no end; in academia 10-point is the standard for large print so Tyndale choosing to follow the academic standard is incredibly helpful.

 

Layout and Indexing

For layout, we have a double column paragraph format, with double column being the most common format for Bibles. While my preference is for verse by verse, the paragraph format does lend toward easier reading. The plain text format will lend to easy reading and you will find limited footnoting interspersed throughout the text.

 

True to form, Tyndale has provided thumb indexing to make the Bible more accessible to the reader. Thumb indexing is still done by hand so some Bibles may appear uneven.

 

As a carry Bible

The size of this Bible works really well in my briefcase; this is very important for me because I do a tremendous amount of 1 on 1 ministry as a bi-vocational pastor.

Should I buy this Bible?

You should buy a copy of the Living Bible Paraphrase in whichever format your budget will allow. For ESL Bible Students, the Bible is rendered into an easy to understand level of English that will grow with you as you increase your command of the English language. First time Bible readers will find that the approachable language makes the Bible easy to internalize. For the pastor and the professor, the TLB will be of immense help in capturing the thought. We have two goals as Bible students, to find out exactly what the words say and then to find out what they mean and the TLB, paired with a word-for-word translation will give a tremendous amount of help in communicating the Gospel of Christ.

 

Why I will use The Living Bible Paraphrase and Reject the Message

Why I will use The Living Bible Paraphrase and Reject the Message

I have been asked, a few times, why I will use The Living Bible Paraphrase but reject The Message Bible Paraphrase with some even saying that both are simply harmless paraphrases. After careful research there are a couple reasons why I reject The Message. Let’s start with the language and we will use the Model Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 as our example text.

 

The Living Bible The Message
“Pray along these lines: ‘Our Father in heaven, we honor your holy name. 10 We ask that your kingdom will come now. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven. 11 Give us our food again today, as usual, 12 and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. 13 Don’t bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One.[a] Amen.’

 

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

 

 

There is a lack of reverence in the Message. While “we honor your holy name” is not the greatest word choice, we are still left with the idea that God is apart from us and deserving of honor and reverence. “You’re in charge! You can do anything you want!” does not really fit with either the Greek or Latin renditions of this text. We pray “lead us not into temptation” asking God to lead us away from the storms of life and into His best for us. “Deliver us from the Evil One” is our ultimate prayer. Like Peter Satan has demanded to try us and our prayer is for deliverance from his power and from the end result of yielding to Satan but The Message Paraphrase removes that. Lastly, the ending of the Model Prayer in The Message Paraphrase is less of a prayer and more of orgasmic language; The Message repeatedly fails to give the Scripture its reverence due and we don’t even have time to discuss the New Age language (as above, so below).

 

There are some concerns that I have about Dr. Peterson that prevent me from ever endorsing any of his works and most especially The Message Paraphrase. In 2017 Dr. Peterson affirmed “gay marriage” and then retracted his statements as soon as he realized that Life Way, the largest “Christian” Bookstore would stop selling his materials.

 

The Message Bible waters down, if not removes entirely, the deity of Christ. Consider John 10:30 “I and the Father are one” where the Message reads, ” I and the Father are one heart and mind.” This gives a different connotation entirely from the statement of Trinitarian unity that is in John 10:30.As Justin Peters points out (link to article below), The NASB, NIV, and KJV are all practically identical, save for the insertion of a personal pronoun found in the latter. Not so The Message’s rendering. The Message denigrates the uniqueness and deity of Jesus. Let us remember that David was a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22) but he was not God.

 

To read further from Justin Peters…https://fortheloveofhistruth.com/2011/10/07/why-is-the-message-bible-not-safe/

 

The Message does not give proper reverence to holiness nor does it give sin its proper place. See http://www.doveministries.com/topical_listing/dangers-of-the-message-bible

 

To bring out a little more from my research and Dove Ministries:

Following is a comparison between The New King James Version and “The Message” of the words used in Galatians 5:19-21:

New King James – The Message

  • Idolatry –  Trinket gods
  • Sorcery –  Magic show religion
  • Hatred  – Paranoid loneliness
  • Contentions or strife  – Cut-throat competition
  • Jealousies  – All-consuming yet never satisfied wants
  • Outbursts of wrath  – Brutal temper
  • Selfish ambitions  – An impotence to love or be loved
  • Dissensions  – Divided homes and divided lives
  • Heresies  – Small-minded and lopsided pursuits
  • Envy  – The vicious habit of depersonalising everybody into a rival
  • Drunkenness  – Uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions
  • Revelries  – Ugly parodies of community

 

Also from my research

Eugene Peterson’s distinct lack of awe and reverence explains his apparent lack of esteem for serious Bible study. In“A Conversation with Eugene Peterson,” in “Mars Hill Review (Autumn 1995, Issue 3: pages 73-90) Peterson is quoted as saying: “Why do people spend so much time studying the Bible? How much do you need to know? We invest all this time in understanding the text which has a separate life of its own and we think we’re being more pious and spiritual when we’re doing it…. Christians should be studying less, not more. You just need enough to pay attention to God…. I’m just not at all pleased with all the emphasis on Bible study as if it’s some kind of special thing Christians do, and the more they do the better.”

 

The Pagan Bible: The Message Bible Exposed

Before we go, a little from and about Dr. Kenneth Taylor, paraphraser of The Living Bible and his paraphrase

 

The Living Bible (TLB) is an English paraphrase of the Bible created by Kenneth N. Taylor and first published in 1971. Taylor used the American Standard Version of 1901 as his base text. According to “Ken Taylor, God’s Voice In The Vernacular” by Harold Myra in a 1979 issue of Christianity Today, Taylor explained the inspiration for preparing The Living Bible:

The children were one of the chief inspirations for producing the Living Bible. Our family devotions were tough going because of the difficulty we had understanding the King James Version, which we were then using, or the Revised Standard Version, which we used later. All too often I would ask questions to be sure the children understood, and they would shrug their shoulders—they didn’t know what the passage was talking about. So I would explain it. I would paraphrase it for them and give them the thought. It suddenly occurred to me one afternoon that I should write out the reading for that evening thought by thought, rather than doing it on the spot during our devotional time. So I did, and read the chapter to the family that evening with exciting results—they knew the answers to all the questions I asked!

 

Overall, I find The Living Bible Paraphrase to be much more faithful to the Scriptures and therefore

I am left to conclude that The Message Paraphrase is NOTsufficient for Christian use and therefore cannot support it.

Logos (Part 2) God is the Word

Logos (Part 2) God is the Word

Continuing our exposition of John 1:1, this week we are looking further at Jesus as God the Son and Son of God.

Jesus Christ has all the attributes of Godhood

  • He is eternal(John 1:1-3 1 John 1:1-4 John 1:15 John 8:58 John 17:5, 24 Hebrews 1:11)
  • He is omnipresent (John 3:13 Matthew 18:20 Ephesians 1:23)
  • He is omniscient (John 16:30 John 21:17 Colossians 2:3 John 4:29 Luke 6:8)
  • He is omnipotent (John 5:19 Hebrews 1:2-3 Matthew 28:18)
  • He is immutable (Hebrews 1:12 Hebrews 13:8)
  • Jesus Christ is Creator and Sustainer (John 1:3 Colossians 1:15-17 Hebrews 1:3, 10 Psalm 33:6)
  • Jesus Christ has the prerogatives of God (Matthew 9:2, 6 Luke 7:47 John 5:25-29 John 6:39 John 11:25-26 John 5:22)

Jesus Christ is identified with Jehovah

  • Creator (Psalm 102:24-27 Hebrews 1:10-12
  • Seen by Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-4 John 12:41)
  • Holy (Isaiah 8:13 1 Peter 3:15)
  • Object of faith (Joel 2:32 Romans 10:9, 13)

 

Jesus appropriates God’s personal Name,“I AM”  Consider His “I AM” statements in John

  • the Bread of Life (6:35, 41)
  • the Light of the world (8:12)
  • the Good Shepherd (10:11, 14)
  • the Door (10:7, 9)
  • the Way the Truth and the Life (14:6)
  • the Resurrection and the Life (11:25-26)
  • the True Vine (15:1)

 

The Title, Lord Jesus Christ
The title/appellation, “Lord Jesus Christ,” is a proper name. It is never applied in the New Testament, either to the Father or to the Holy Spirit. It therefore belongs exclusively to the Son of God. (Romans 1:1-3,7 2 John 3)

The Lord Jesus Christ, God with Us
The Lord Jesus Christ, as to His divine and eternal nature, is the proper and only Begotten of the Father, but as to His human nature, He is the proper Son of Man. He is therefore, acknowledged to be both God and man; who because He is God and man is “Immanuel,” God with us.  (Matthew 1:23 1 John 4:2 1 John 4:10 1 John 4:14 Revelation 1:13 Revelation 1:17)

The Title, Son of God
Since the name “Immanuel” embraces both God and man in the one Person, our Lord Jesus Christ, it follows that the title, Son of God, describes His proper deity, and the title, Son of Man, His proper humanity. Therefore, the title Son of God, belongs to the order of eternity, and the title, Son of Man, to the order of time. (Matthew 1:21-23 2 John 1:3 1 John 3:8 Hebrews 7:3 Hebrews 1:1-13)

Transgression of the Doctrine of Christ
Wherefore, it is a transgression of the Doctrine of Christ to say that Jesus Christ derived the title, Son of God, solely from the fact of the incarnation, or because of His relation to the economy of redemption. Therefore, to deny that the Father is a real and eternal Father, and that the Son is a real and eternal Son, is a denial of the distinction and relationship in the Being of God; a denial of the Father, and the Son; and a displacement of the truth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. (2 John 9 John 1:1 John 1:2 John 1:14 John 1:18 John 1:29 John 1:49 1 John 2:22,23 1 John 4:1-5 Hebrews 12:2

Exaltation of Jesus Christ as Lord
The Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, having by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; angels and principalities and powers having been made subject unto Him. And having been made both Lord and Christ, He sent the Holy Spirit that we, in the name of Jesus, might bow our knees and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father until the end, when the Son shall become subject to the Father that God may be all in all. Hebrews 1:3 1 Peter 3:22 Acts 2:32-36 Romans 14:111 Corinthians 15:24-28

Equal Honor to the Father and to the Son
Wherefore, since the Father has delivered all judgment unto the Son, it is not only the express duty of all in heaven and on earth to bow the knee, but it is an unspeakable joy in the Holy Spirit to ascribe unto the Son all the attributes of Deity, and to give Him all honor and the glory contained in all the names and titles of the Godhead except those which express relationship (see Distinction and Relationship in the Godhead, Unity of the One Being of Father, Son and Holy Spirit , and Identity and Cooperation in the Godhead) and thus honor the Son even as we honor the Father.John 5:22,231 Peter 1:8 Revelation 5:6-14 Philippians 2:8,9 Revelation 7:9-10 Revelation 4:8-11

The Lordship Issue in our salvation

Submitting to Christ as Lord goes hand-in-hand with trusting in Christ as Savior. To call this doctrine Lordship salvation is a bit of a misnomer because it implies that anything else is the Gospel. When we are saved from sin it is because we recognize Christ as who He is, Lord and God, we have a change of mind about who we are, what sin is, and our need for a savior, and we confess/say the same things about sin that He does.

John MacArthur: “The gospel that Jesus proclaimed was a call to discipleship, a call to follow Him in submissive obedience, not just a plea to make a decision or pray a prayer. Jesus’ message liberated people from the bondage of their sin while it confronted and condemned hypocrisy. It was an offer of eternal life and forgiveness for repentant sinners, but at the same time it was a rebuke to outwardly religious people whose lives were devoid of true righteousness. It put sinners on notice that they must turn from sin and embrace God’s righteousness. Our Lord’s words about eternal life were invariably accompanied by warnings to those who might be tempted to take salvation lightly. He taught that the cost of following Him is high, that the way is narrow and few find it. He said many who call him Lord will be forbidden from entering the kingdom of heaven (cf. Matthew 7:13-23).”

“Lordship salvation” teaches that a true profession of faith will be backed up by evidence of faith.If a person is truly following the Lord, then he or she will obey the Lord’s instructions. A person who is living in willful, unrepentant sin has obviously not chosen to follow Christ, because Christ calls us out of sin and into righteousness. Indeed, the Bible clearly teaches that faith in Christ will result in a changed life (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:22–23; James 2:14–26).

Lordship salvation is not a salvation-by-works doctrine. Advocates of lordship salvation are careful to say that salvation is by grace alone, that believers are saved before their faith ever produces any good works, and that Christians can and do sin. However, true salvation will inevitably lead to a changed life. The saved will be dedicated to their Savior. A true Christian will not feel comfortable living in unconfessed, unforsaken sin.

9 Key Teachings set “lordship salvation” apart from easy-believism:

First, Scripture teaches that the gospel calls sinners to faith joined in oneness with repentance (Acts 2:3817:3020:212 Peter 3:9). Repentance is a turning from sin (Acts 3:19Luke 24:47) that consists not of a human work but of a divinely bestowed grace (Acts 11:182 Timothy 2:25). It is a change of heart, but genuine repentance will effect a change of behavior as well (Luke 3:8Acts 26:18-20). In contrast, easy-believism teaches that repentance is simply a synonym for faith and that no turning from sin is required for salvation.

Second, Scripture teaches that salvation is all God’s work. Those who believe are saved utterly apart from any effort on their own (Titus 3:5). Even faith is a gift of God, not a work of man (Ephesians 2:1-58). Real faith therefore cannot be defective or short-lived but endures forever (Philippians 1:6; cf. Hebrews 11). In contrast, easy-believism teaches that faith might not last and that a true Christian can completely cease believing.

Third, Scripture teaches that the object of faith is Christ Himself, not a creed or a promise (John 3:16). Faith therefore involves personal commitment to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:15). In other words, all true believers follow Jesus (John 10:27-28). In contrast, easy-believism teaches that saving faith is simply being convinced or giving credence to the truth of the gospel and does not include a personal commitment to the person of Christ.

Fourth, Scripture teaches that real faith inevitably produces a changed life (2 Corinthians 5:17). Salvation includes a transformation of the inner person (Galatians 2:20). The nature of the Christian is new and different (Romans 6:6). The unbroken pattern of sin and enmity with God will not continue when a person is born again (1 John 3:9-10). Those with genuine faith follow Christ (John 10:27), love their brothers (1 John 3:14), obey God’s commandments (1 John 2:3John 15:14), do the will of God (Matthew 12:50), abide in God’s Word (John 8:31), keep God’s Word (John 17:6), do good works (Ephesians 2:10), and continue in the faith (Colossians 1:21-23Hebrews 3:14). In contrast, easy-believism teaches that although some spiritual fruit is inevitable, that fruit might not be visible to others and Christians can even lapse into a state of permanent spiritual barrenness.

Fifth, Scripture teaches that God’s gift of eternal life includes all that pertains to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3Romans 8:32), not just a ticket to heaven. In contrast, according to easy-believism, only the judicial aspects of salvation (e.g., justification, adoption, and positional sanctification) are guaranteed for believers in this life; practical sanctification and growth in grace require a post-conversion act of dedication.

Sixth, Scripture teaches that Jesus is Lord of all, and the faith He demands involves unconditional surrender (Romans 6:17-1810:9-10). In other words, Christ does not bestow eternal life on those whose hearts remain set against Him (James 4:6). Surrender to Jesus’ lordship is not an addendum to the biblical terms of  salvation; the summons to submission is at the heart of the gospel invitation throughout Scripture. In contrast, easy-believism teaches that submission to Christ’s supreme authority is not germane to the saving transaction.

Seventh, Scripture teaches that those who truly believe will love Christ (1 Peter 1:8-9Romans 8:28-301 Corinthians 16:22). They will therefore long to obey Him (John 14:1523). In contrast, easy-believism teaches that Christians may fall into a state of lifelong carnality.

Eighth, Scripture teaches that behavior is an important test of faith. Obedience is evidence that one’s faith is real (1 John 2:3). On the other hand, the person who remains utterly unwilling to obey Christ does not evidence true faith (1 John 2:4). In contrast, easy-believism teaches that disobedience and prolonged sin are no reason to doubt the reality of one’s faith.

Ninth, Scripture teaches that genuine believers may stumble and fall, but they will persevere in the faith (1 Corinthians 1:8). Those who later turn completely away from the Lord show that they were never truly born again (1 John 2:19). In contrast, easy-believism teaches that a true believer may utterly forsake Christ and come to the point of not believing.

A person who has been delivered from sin by faith in Christ should not desire to remain in a life of sin (Romans 6:2). Of course, spiritual growth can occur quickly or slowly, depending on the person and his circumstances. And the changes may not be evident to everyone at first. Ultimately, God knows who are His sheep, and He will mature each of us according to His perfect time table.

Is it possible to be a Christian and live in lifelong carnality, enjoying the pleasures of sin, and never seeking to glorify the Lord who bought him? Can a sinner spurn the lordship of Christ yet lay claim to Him as Savior? Can someone pray a “sinner’s prayer” and go about his life as if nothing had happened and still call himself a “Christian”? Lordship salvation says “no.” Let us not give unrepentant sinners false hope; rather, let us declare the whole counsel of God: “You must be born again” (John 3:7).

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