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Overall Structure of the Confession

  • First Principles (chs. 1-6)
  • The Covenant (chs. 7-20)
  • God-Centered Living (chs. 21-30)
  • The World to Come (chs. 31-32)

What is ‘Covenant Theology’?

  • Often viewed as the alternative to Dispensationalism (a system arising in the 19th century that sees a sharp distinction between Israel and the Church)
  • A tradition that was developed during the 16th and 17th centuries coming out of the Reformation
  • A way of putting the Bible together that uses the Bible’s own language and movement
    • Covenant = terms of a relationship
    • Two Categories of Covenants:
      • Covenant of Works = a relationship with God where our obedience earns blessings and our disobedience deserves curses
      • Covenant of Grace = a relationship based on God’s unconditional, unilateral promises
    • Biblical Covenants:
      • Adamic Covenant
      • Noahic Covenant
      • Abrahamic Covenant
      • Mosaic Covenant/Old Covenant
      • Davidic Covenant
      • Christ’s Covenant/New Covenant

Which Covenants Go in Which Category?

  • All Covenant Theologians agree that the Adamic Covenant was a Covenant of Works
  • Presbyterian and Reformed Covenant Theologians see all the other covenants as essentially part of the one Covenant of Grace under different administrations, thus stressing the continuity between the Old and New Covenants
  • Let’s see how Baptist Covenant Theology differs…

Paragraph 1: The Necessity of Covenant

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.

  • Creator/creature Distinction – The distance between God and the creature is so great…  (e.g. Ps. 113:5-6; Is. 40:13-14)  God is infinitely above us.
  • Obedience Owed – …that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience to Him as their creator… (e.g. Ps. 100:2-3)  As rational creatures made in God’s image we are automatically obligated to serve him.
  • Obedience Not Innately Meritorious – …yet they could never have attained the reward of life… (e.g. Luke 17:10)  Our creaturely service does not obligate God to do anything for us.
  • Condescension in Covenant (of Works) – …but by some voluntary condescension of God’s part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant.  (e.g. Gen. 2:15-17)  God benevolently initiates a relationship that offers a reward if we obey.

Paragraph 2: The Complication of Sin

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 offers 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.

  • Not Just Created, But Fallen – Moreover, man having brought himself under the curse of the law by his fall…  (e.g. Gen. 3:17-19)  The Covenant of Works didn’t work to bring about eternal life.
  • Covenant of Grace – …it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace…  (e.g. Lk. 12:32)  God mercifully initiates a relationship that promises a reward regardless of our obedience.
  • Made Possible by Christ – …wherein He freely offers unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ… (e.g. 2Tim. 1:9)  We sinners get out of punishment and get reward on account of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.
  • Faith Is the Only Requirement – …requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved… (e.g. Eph. 2:8a)  We don’t have to do anything to get this salvation; we simply trust Christ.
  • Faith Itself Is a Gift – …and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life, His Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe. (e.g. Eph. 2:8b)  We are unable to even meet the condition of faith, so God graciously supplies that too.

Thus far Reformed Baptists and other Reformed Traditions agree.  The 1689 basically follows the WCF up to this point.  But the next paragraph is completely re-written.

Paragraph 3: The Revelation of the Covenant of Grace

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.

  • Gospel – This covenant is revealed in the gospel…  (e.g. Acts 20:24)  It’s good news that we can have a relationship with God not based on works but sheer grace and we would never expect this unless God told it to us.
  • Protoevangelium – …first of all to Adam in the promise of salvation by the seed of the woman… (e.g. Gen. 3:15) The gospel was announced in a basic form in the OT (see Gal. 3:8; Heb. 4:2), even right after the failure of the Covenant of Works.
  • Progressive Revelation – …and afterwards by farther steps… (e.g. Gal. 3:19)  The gospel came into clearer focus as time went on with each subsequent covenant building upon the next and moving towards Christ.

Noahic => Abrahamic => Mosaic/Old => Davidic =>

  • Covenant of Grace = New Covenant – …until the full discovery thereof was completed in the New Testament… (e.g. Heb. 8:6-7)  The New Covenant enacted in Christ is not just a new administration of the Covenant of Grace, it is the full unveiling of the Covenant of Grace, which the previous covenants only hinted at.

“By farther steps, until the full discovery… was completed in the New Testament” is the key phrase that distinguishes Baptist Covenant Theology.  Compare with WCF:[1]

This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the gospel: under the law it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all fore-signifying Christ to come, which were for that time sufficient and efficacious, through the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, by whom they had full remission of sins, and eternal salvation, and is called the Old Testament.

Under the gospel, when Christ the substance was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed, are the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper; which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity and less outward glory, yet in them it is held forth in more fulness, evidence, and spiritual efficacy, to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles; and is called the New Testament. There are not, therefore, two covenants of grace differing in substance, but one and the same under various dispensations.

This has significant implications for our understanding of the Church (the covenant community) and baptism (the covenant sign).

Were the previous covenants Covenants of Works or Grace?  (see Eph. 2:12)

Noahic = largely unconditional, but dealing with common grace to sustain the world within which the plan of salvation can carry on (Gen. 9)

Abrahamic = unconditional/conditional, dealing with the people of Israel within which the plan of salvation carries on (Gen. 15, 17)

Mosaic = conditional (Dt. 5)

Davidic = unconditional, narrowing down the line from which the seed of the woman and Abraham will come (2Sam. 7)

  • Eternal Covenant – …and it is founded in that eternal covenant transaction that was between the Father and the Son about the redemption of the elect… (e.g. Tit. 1:2)  The establishment of the Covenant of Grace in history is due to the establishment of an intra-Trinitarian pact made before the beginning of time.
  • Only One Way of Salvation – …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. (e.g. Rom. 4:2-3)  Since Adam’s breaking of the Covenant of Works, the only way to eternal life is via the Covenant of Grace, which includes OT believers in the promise.

Some Takeaways:

  • The Bible is an intricate, unfolding narrative culminating in Christ.
  • You can be Reformed, Confessional, Historically Rooted… and Baptist!
  • There are deep, theological reasons for not baptizing babies!
  • Praise God that we are in a covenant relationship with him based on grace.  The gospel is glorious!

[1] See www.proginosko.com/docs/wcf_lbcf.html for a helpful tabular comparison of 1689 vs. WCF

(available with footnotes and better formatting here)

Paragraph 1: The Nature of the Fall

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 honor; 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 to 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.

  1. Original state of Adam and Eve
    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”
    1. Adam and Eve were created “upright and perfect”, i.e. “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
    2. God entered into a covenant relationship with Adam, establishing the Covenant of Works: 
      1. Although the word “covenant” is not found in Scripture’s account of Adam and Eve in the Garden, the concept is there. A covenant is “a divinely sanctioned commitment defining the relationship between God and another party.” It “provides blessings and benefits for man that would otherwise be unavailable by nature,” and it contains “sanctions or threats … to guarantee the fulfillments of the parties’ commitments.”
      2. Adam was given “a righteous law” that forbid him from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If he obeyed, he would be blessed. If he disobeyed, he would be punished. Hence, this is called the Covenant of Works.
      3. God promised a reward for Adam upon obedience (“a righteous law…unto life”). This reward was confirmed eternal life with God, where Adam and his posterity would be raised above the possibility of sinning and dying. 
      4. God threatened punishment for Adam upon disobedience. This punishment was death (“threatened death upon the breach thereof”).
      5. In addition, Adam was designated as the representative head (i.e. federal head) of the entire human race. The blessings and punishments of the covenant would apply to him and everyone he represented.
  2. The Fall
    yet he did not long abide in this honor…”
    1. Adam disobeyed and broke the covenant. The Confession summarizes the events of the Fall as recorded in Genesis 3:1-19 (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:3).
    2. The Confession makes the assertion that the will of Adam was not violated in the Fall. He “willfully transgress[ed] the law” “without any compulsion.” This upholds the full responsibility and guilt of Adam for his sin.
    3. The Confession also makes the assertion that the Fall was within the “wise and holy counsel” of God, which He purposed “to His own glory.” As terrible as the Fall was, it did not catch God by surprise. In fact, it was all part of God’s plan, established from eternity past, to bring glory to Himself by redeeming those who have fallen in Adam.

Paragraph 2-3: The Results of the Fall and their Transmission

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.

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.

  1. Results of the Fall
    1. Physical death (and temporal miseries): Adam and Eve’s physical lives became subject to weakness and disease, resulting in discomfort and pain. This culminated in physical death, the separation of body and soul.
    2. Spiritual death (and spiritual/eternal miseries): consists of guilt and corruption/depravity.
      1. Adam was found guilty of breaking the covenant and disobeying God’s commands.
        1. Guilt is a legal status.
      2. Adam and Eve’s human nature became corrupted/depraved so that it was completely opposed to God. The mind, will, and affections all became bent towards sin and away from God.
        1. With the mind, man actively suppresses the knowledge of God, exchanging the truth about God for a lie (Romans 1:18-25). Though he may be extremely intelligent, his mind is darkened (Ephesians 4:18) and cannot discern spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14).
        2. With the will, man is unable to choose or do spiritual good. Though he may do things that are outwardly good or good for society, he cannot do anything that would recover him from a sinful state or please God or satisfy God’s law (Matthew 7:17-18; Romans 5:6; 8:7-8; Titus 3:3).
        3. With the affections, man loves evil and hates good. Man lives in the passions of the flesh and carries out the desires of the body and mind (Ephesians 2:3). Man’s affections are disordered.
        4. This doctrine is commonly called “total depravity.” It does not mean that man is as evil as he can be. Instead, it means that every part of man is corrupted by sin. The Fall affects our whole person, not just certain parts. Said another way, the extent of man’s corruption is total, while the degree of our corruption is not. As the Confession puts it, man is “wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.”
      3. The culmination and completion of guilt and corruption is eternal death on the day of final judgment. This is where, on the last day, there is a final separation, and the “full weight of the wrath of God descends on the condemned.”
    3. If guilt and a corrupt nature are the results of Adam’s fall, how are those effects transmitted to the whole human race?
  2. The guilt of Adam’s sin is imputed to us
    “the guilt of the sin was imputed”
    1. Adam served as the representative head (i.e. federal head) of all humanity in the Covenant of Works. As representative, Adam stood in our place. The results that he obtained from his obedience/disobedience would be counted as ours. Therefore, the guilt that he incurred due to his disobedience is counted as ours (i.e. imputed to us) as well. “In Adam’s fall, sinned we all.”
      1. An illustration of federal headship: a president represents the whole nation. If he decides to go to war, the entire nation (including every citizen) is now at war.
    2. How do we know this is true? Biblical proof: all humanity’s relationship to Adam is like the believer’s relationship to Christ. One man’s action affected many others.
      1. Romans 5:18-19 – “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”
  3. The corrupt nature is conveyed to us
    …and corrupted nature conveyed”
    1. The Bible is not explicit about how the corrupt nature is conveyed from Adam to us.
    2. At the end of the day, what is clear is the fact that we do inherit a sinful, corrupt nature from Adam.
    3. Together, imputed guilt and conveyed corruption form a package that’s known as original sin. Original sin is what we inherit from Adam as a result of his fall.
    4. What is beautiful is that Christ’s work of salvation corresponds to our guilt and our corrupt nature. His righteousness is imputed to us, clearing us of our guilt (i.e. justification), and His Spirit then works in us, transforming our corrupt nature (i.e. sanctification). Justification is the solution to imputed guilt, and sanctification is the solution to conveyed corruption.
  4. Who does original sin apply to?
    to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation”
    1. This applies to those who are the natural offspring of Adam and Eve (i.e. descended through the normal means of reproduction). This qualification is important because it preserves the sinlessness of Christ, which is crucial for our salvation.
      1. Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, not by ordinary generation. Thus, Adam did not represent him as federal head in the Covenant of Works. As a result, guilt and corruption are not transmitted to Christ – He is sinless (Hebrews 7:26; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
      2. Christ must be sinless because a sinful human can never pay for the sins of another (Hebrews 7:26-27; 1 Peter 3:18). He must be sinless in order to secure our justification and sanctification, solving the problem of our guilt and corruption and reconciling us to God.
      3. Christ is the last Adam. He succeeds where Adam failed. He perfectly obeys God’s commands and earns eternal life for those He represents.

Paragraph 4: The Nature of Original Sin and its Fruits

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.

  1. What are the effects of guilt and corruption on our day-to-day lives?
    1. Are we sinners because we sin? Or do we sin because we are sinners?
  2. The Confession focuses on the corrupt nature that is conveyed to us, and reiterates the doctrine of total depravity.
  3. Then, the Confession draws a distinction between original sin and actual sins:
    1. Original sin is the state of guilt and corruption that all men are born into as a result of Adam’s sin; Adam standing as the representative of the entire human race.
    2. Actual sins are the individual sins that we commit (“act out”) as a result of our corrupt nature and total depravity. Actual sins spring forth from original sin.
    3. Matthew 7:17 – “So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.”
  4. The proper relationship between original and actual sin is important to understand because it shows us our need for a comprehensive salvation and our utter helplessness before God.

Paragraph 5: Sin and the Believer

The corruption of nature, during this life, does 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.

  1. As believers, our corrupt nature will remain with us.
    1. Christ forgives all of our sins, both original and actual, through His death on the cross.
    2. Christ also sanctifies our corrupt nature in this life by the power of His Spirit. However, the sanctification process will never be complete on this side of glory.
      1. This should cause us to reject any form of perfectionism that claims that Christians can be perfect and sinless in this life.
      2. 1 John 1:8 – “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
  2. Both the corrupt nature itself as well as its “first motions” are “truly and properly sin.”
    1. “First motions” are the first impulses/inclinations/desires of the heart towards sin, before they are acted upon by the will. These first impulses are truly sin and violate God’s law. 
    2. Romans 7:7-8 – “What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead.”
    3. Galatians 5:17 – “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
      1. Galatians 5:24 – “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
    4. Why does this matter?
      1. It has implications for how we think about sexual ethics in our current day and age.
        1. Is same-sex attraction/desire considered sin in and of itself? Or is it only sin when acted upon?
      2. It should give us a deeper understanding of our own corruption and sin.
      3. It should give us greater hope.
        1. Even our most deep-seated, hell-bent desires that we feel powerless to control and cause us to commit actual sins over and over again are not beyond the saving power of Christ.
      4. It should give us a greater love for Christ.

Luke 7:47 – “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

IBC Sunday School – 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith

Introduction

 

  1. Purpose of this study
    1. Three perspectives to approaching Scripture:
      1. Redemptive-historical / Christocentric: what has God done in history? How do God’s acts in history point towards and culminate in God’s ultimate revelation to us in the person of Christ?
      2. Ethical / exemplary: what should I do?
      3. Theological: what should I believe?
    2. Our study of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith (“1689 Confession,” also known as the “Second London Baptist Confession”) will be primarily theological.
      1. We will go through the 1689 Confession and explore its teaching chapter-by-chapter, paragraph-by-paragraph.
      2. The Confession summarizes the Biblical teaching on a wide range of topics, one topic at a time, allowing topics to mutually inform each other. Thus, by walking through the Confession in this way we will be engaging in systematic theology: making sense of all the Biblical data on individual topics.
        1. Sometimes the confession will be explicit about connections between doctrines. Other times, connections between doctrines are implicit. As much as we can, we will try to spell out these connections in our study.
      3. The theological perspective will have ethical and Christocentric implications. Right doctrine should lead to right living (Romans 12:1-2). As well, a systematic understanding of Biblical covenants will help us see the Christocentric nature of redemptive history.
  2. What is a confession of faith?
    1. Creed: short, concise statement of the essential truths of the Christian faith
      1. “Credo” means “I believe” in Latin.
      2. E.g. Nicene Creed (381), Chalcedonian Creed (451)
    2. Confession: longer, more extensive statement of Christian doctrine
      1. E.g. 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, New Hampshire Confession of Faith (1833)
    3. Creeds/confessions serve two purposes: define truth, isolate falsehood.
      1. Different groups throughout church history have issued creeds/confessions to define what they believe, in contrast to error.
    4. Biblical warrant for confessions
      1. The church is a “pillar and buttress of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). It is an institution designed by God to preserve the truth, defend it against error, and pass it on to future generations.
      2. One way that the church has been able to carry out its duty is by publishing confessions of faith. This is in keeping with Paul’s instruction to Timothy to “follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” (2 Timothy 1:13-14).
      3. Examples of creeds in Bible
        1. Deuteronomy 6:4 – “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”
        2. 1 Timothy 3:16 – “Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.”
  3. Practical uses and benefits of confessions
    1. Systematic and condensed theological reference
    2. Tool for discipleship
    3. Public standard to promote church unity and fellowship
    4. Public standard for church discipline
    5. Standard for evaluating elders
    6. Historical connection to Christians who have come before
  4. Historical background of the 1689 Confession
    1. The development of the 1689 Confession took place in the context of 17th century England. The Confession had three main influences.
    2. First London Baptist Confession of Faith (first ed. 1644, second ed. 1646)
      1. Published by seven Particular Baptist churches.
      2. The primary purpose of this confession was for the English Baptists to disavow any ties with the Anabaptists of Continental Europe and instead show that they shared the same basic theological perspectives as the Puritan churches around them.
      3. The Confession taught the doctrines of grace, believer’s baptism and congregationalism (among others), and repudiated the Anabaptist view of free will and of civil government.
    3. Westminster Confession of Faith (1646)
      1. Published by the Westminster Assembly, a council of theologians called by Parliament to restructure the Church of England. The council was mostly comprised of Puritans of the Presbyterian persuasion.
      2. The Confession taught a Presbyterian view of church government, a Presbyterian state-church, and infant baptism, among others.
    4. Savoy Declaration (1658)
      1. Published by six Puritans of the Congregational persuasion (including John Owen).
      2. The Confession was a modest revision of the Westminster Confession. The revision rejected the Presbyterian form of church government and instead insisted on the independence of each local congregation. It also rejected the idea of a state-church and approached the idea of religious freedom.
    5. Second London Baptist Confession (published 1677, adopted 1689)
      1. Published in 1677 by elders William Collins and Nehemiah Coxe of the Petty France Church in London. Adopted by 100 Particular Baptist churches in 1689.
      2. The Confession combined extracts from the First London Baptist Confession, Westminster Confession, and Savoy Declaration. Of the 160 paragraphs in the Confession, 146 are derived from the Savoy Declaration (which often reflects Westminster), 8 are derived from the First London Confession, and 6 originated from elder Collins.
      3. The Confession adopted the Congregational view of church government and religious freedom. It rejected infant baptism in favor of believer’s baptism (with an Appendix explaining its reasoning), and also adopted a distinctive view of covenant theology.
  5. Significance of the 1689 Confession
    1. It stands in line with Christian orthodoxy
      1. In particular, it teaches the classical doctrine of God and Christology.
    2. It stands in line with the Reformation tradition
      1. It is in substantial agreement with the Westminster Confession and the Savoy Declaration, and upholds the doctrines of grace, the Reformed doctrine of Scripture, justification by faith alone, etc.
    3. It articulates Baptist distinctives
      1. In particular, believer’s baptism, covenant theology, and congregational church government
    4. It exerted a wide-ranging influence on (American) Baptist life
      1. The 1689 Confession “quickly became the standard of Calvinistic Baptist orthodoxy in England, North America, and today, in many parts of the world.”
  6. Overview/outline of the 1689
    1. Part 1: First Principles (chapters 1-6)
      1. Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scriptures
      2. Chapter 2: Of God and the Holy Trinity
      3. God’s Decree
        1. Chapter 3: Of God’s Decree
        2. Chapter 4: Of Creation
        3. Chapter 5: Of Divine Providence
      4. Chapter 6: Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the punishment thereof
    2. Part 2: God’s Covenant (chapters 7-20)
      1. Chapter 7: Of God’s Covenant
      2. Chapter 8: Of Christ the Mediator
      3. Setting of the Covenant
        1. Chapter 9: Of Free Will
      4. Blessings of the Covenant
        1. Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling
        2. Chapter 11: Of Justification
        3. Chapter 12: Of Adoption
        4. Chapter 13: Of Sanctification
      5. Graces of the Covenant
        1. Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith
        2. Chapter 15: Of Repentance unto Life and Salvation
        3. Chapter 16: Of Good Works
        4. Chapter 17: Of the Perseverance of the Saints
        5. Chapter 18: Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation
      6. Means of the Covenant
        1. Chapter 19: Of the Law of God
        2. Chapter 20: Of the Gospel and the Extent of Grace thereof
    3. Part 3: Christian Liberty (or, God-centered Living – Freedom and Boundaries) (chapters 21-30)
      1. Chapter 21: Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience
      2. Religious Worship
        1. Chapter 22: Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day
        2. Chapter 23: Of Lawful Oaths and Vows
      3. Chapter 24: Of the Civil Magistrate
      4. Chapter 25: Of Marriage
      5. On the Church
        1. Chapter 26: Of the Church
        2. Chapter 27: Of the Communion of Saints
        3. Chapter 28: Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
        4. Chapter 29: Of Baptism
        5. Chapter 30: Of the Lord’s Supper
    4. Part 4: Last Things (chapters 31-32)
      1. Chapter 31: Of the State of Man after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead
      2. Chapter 32: Of the Last Judgment
  7. Concluding remarks and resources
    1. We commend the 1689 Confession to you as an accurate summary of Scriptural truths. But the Confession is a fallible human document and may be wrong. Ultimately, the teachings of the 1689 Confession should be tested against Scripture itself, which is our only infallible standard for all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience – the Confession even says as much.
      1. If you find yourself in disagreement with a teaching in the Confession, I would urge you to humbly examine the Confession’s teaching and any alternative teachings by the standard of Scripture. Do not dismiss the Confession’s teaching lightly – as the most influential Baptist confession ever written, it has the weight of history behind it.
    2. Resources
      1. Online
        1. Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA), https://www.arbca.com/1689-confession
        2. Founder’s Press, “The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith in Modern English,” https://founders.org/library/1689-confession/
      2. Apps
        1. iOS: “Christian Creeds & Confessions,” https://apps.apple.com/us/app/christian-creeds-confessions/id359513722
        2. Android: “Creeds and Confessions,” https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nz.co.conglomo.confessions
      3. Books
        1. Samuel E. Waldron, A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, (Welwyn Garden City: EP Books, 2016), 5th edition.

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