Confession The Faith–The 1689 Baptist Confession for the 21st Century

Chapter 12 – Adoption

1. God has granted that all those who are justified would receive the grace of adoption, in and for the sake of his only Son Jesus Christ.1 By this they are counted among the children of God and enjoy the freedom and privileges of that relationship.2 They inherit his name,3 receive the spirit of adoption,4 have access to the throne of grace with boldness, and are enabled to cry “Abba, Father!”5 They are given compassion,6 protected,7 provided for,8 and chastened by him as a father.9  Yet they are never cast off10 but are sealed for the day of redemption11 and inherit the promises as heirs of everlasting salvation.12

1Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 4:4, 5. 2John 1:12; Romans 8:17. 32 Corinthians 6:18; Revelation 3:12. 4Romans 8:15. 5Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 2:18. 6Psalms 103:13. 7Proverbs 14:26. 81 Peter 5:7. 9Hebrews 12:6. 10Isaiah 54:8, 9; Lamentations 3:31. 11Ephesians 4:30. 12Hebrews 1:14; 6:12.

Confession The Faith–The 1689 Baptist Confession for the 21st Century

Chapter 11- Justification

 

1. Those God effectually calls he also freely justifies.1  He does this, not by infusing righteousness into them but by pardoning their sins and accounting and accepting them as righteous.2 He does this for Christ’s sake alone and not for anything produced in them or done by them.3  He does not impute faith itself, the act of believing, or any other gospel obedience to them as their righteousness. Instead, he imputes Christ’s active obedience to the whole law and passive obedience in his death as their whole and only righteousness by faith.4  This faith is not self-generated; it is the gift of God.5 1Romans 3:24; 8:30. 2Romans 4:5–8; Ephesians 1:7. 31 Corinthians 1:30, 31; Romans 5:17–19. 4Philippians 3:8, 9; Ephesians 2:8–10. 5John 1:12; Romans 5:17.

 

2. Faith that receives and rests on Christ and his righteousness is the only instrument of justification.6  Yet it does not occur by itself in the person justified, but it is always accompanied by every other saving grace. It is not a dead faith but works through love.7 6Romans 3:28. 7Galatians 5:6; James 2:17, 22, 26.

 

3. By his obedience and death, Christ fully paid the debt of all those who are justified. He endured in their place the penalty they deserved. By this sacrifice of himself in his bloodshed on the cross, he legitimately, really, and fully satisfied God’s justice on their behalf.8  Yet their justification is based entirely on free grace, because he was given by the Father for them, and his obedience and satisfaction were accepted in their place. These things were done freely, not because of anything in them,9 so that both the exact justice and the rich grace of God would be glorified in the justification of sinners.108Hebrews 10:14; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; Isaiah 53:5, 6. 9Romans 8:32; 2 Corinthians 5:21. 10Romans 3:26; Ephesians 1:6,7; 2:7.

 

4. From all eternity God decreed to justify all the elect,11 and in the fullness of time Christ died for their sins and rose again for their justification.12  Nevertheless, they are not justified personally until the Holy Spirit actually applies Christ to them at the proper time.1311Galatians 3:8; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Timothy 2:6. 12Romans 4:25. 13Colossians 1:21, 22; Titus 3:4–7.

 

5. God continues to forgive the sins of those who are justified.14  Even though they can never fall from a state of justification,15 they may fall under God’s fatherly displeasure  because of their sins.16  In that condition they will not usually have the light of his face restored to them until they humble themselves, confess their sins, plead for pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.1714Matthew 6:12; 1 John 1:7, 9. 15John 10:28. 16Psalms 89:31–33. 17Psalms 32:5; Psalms 51; Matthew 26:75.

 

6. In all these ways, the justification of believers under the Old Testament was exactly the same as the justification of believers under the New Testament.18 18Galatians 3:9; Romans 4:22–24.

Confession The Faith–The 1689 Baptist Confession for the 21st Century

Chapter 10 – Effectual Calling

1. In God’s appointed and acceptable time, he is pleased to call effectually,1 by his Word and Spirit, those he has predestined to life. He calls them out of their natural state of sin and death to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ.2  He enlightens their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God.3 He takes away their heart of stone and gives them a heart of flesh.4  He renews their wills and by his almighty power turns them to good and effectually draws them to Jesus Christ.5  Yet he does all this in such a way that they come completely freely, since they are made willing by his grace.6

1Romans 8:30; Romans 11:7; Ephesians 1:10, 11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14. 2Ephesians 2:1–6. 3Acts 26:18; Ephesians 1:17, 18. 4Ezekiel 36:26. 5Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 36:27; Ephesians 1:19. 6Psalm 110:3; Song of Solomon 1:4.

 

2. This effectual call flows from God’s free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in those called. Neither does the call arise from any power or action on their part;7 they are totally passive in it. They are dead in sins and trespasses until they are made alive and renewed by the Holy Spirit.8  By this they are enabled to answer this call and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it. This response is enabled by a power that is no less than that which raised Christ from the dead.9

72 Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 2:8. 81 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:5; John 5:25. 9Ephesians 1:19, 20.

 

3. Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit,10 who works when and where and how he pleases.11   The same is true of every elect person who is incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.

10John 3:3, 5, 6. 11John 3:8.

 

4. Those who are not elected will not and cannot truly come to Christ and therefore cannot be saved, because they are not effectually drawn by the Father.12  They may even be called by the ministry of the Word and may receive some ordinary working of the Spirit without being saved.13  Much less can any be saved who do not receive the Christian religion, no matter how diligently they live their lives according to the light of nature and the teachings of the religion they profess.14

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

Confession The Faith–The 1689 Baptist Confession for the 21st Century

Chapter 9–Free Will

 

1. God has endowed human will with natural liberty and power to act on choices so that it is neither forced nor inherently bound by nature to do good or evil.1

1Matthew 17:12; James 1:14; Deuteronomy 30:19.

 

2. Humanity in the state of innocence had freedom and power to will and to do what was good and well-pleasing to God.2  Yet this condition was unstable, so that humanity could fall from it.3

2Ecclesiastes 7:29. 3Genesis 3:6.

 

3. Humanity, by falling into a state of sin, has completely lost all ability to choose any spiritual good that accompanies salvation.4  Thus, people in their naturala state are absolutely opposed to spiritual good and dead in sin,5 so that they cannot convert themselves by their own strength or prepare themselves for conversion.6

awithout the Spirit
4Romans 5:6; Romans 8:7. 5Ephesians 2:1, 5. 6Titus 3:3–5; John 6:44.

 

4. When God converts sinners and transforms them into the state of grace, he frees them from their natural bondage to sin7 and by his grace alone enables them to will and to do freely what is spiritually good.8  Yet because of their remaining corruption, they do not perfectly nor exclusively will what is good but also will what is evil.9

7Colossians 1:13; John 8:36. 8Philippians 2:13. 9Romans 7:15, 18, 19, 21, 23.

 

5. Only in the state of glory is the will made perfectly and unchangeably free toward good alone.10

10Ephesians 4:13.

The 1689 Baptist Confession for the 21st Century

Chapter 8 – Christ the Mediator

1. God was pleased, in his eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, his only begotten Son, according to the covenant made between them, to be the mediator between God and humanity.1  God chose him to be prophet,2 priest,3and king,4 and to be head and savior of the church,5 the heir of all things,6 and judge of the world.7  From all eternity, God gave to the Son a people to be his offspring. In time these people would be redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified by him.8

1Isaiah 42:1; 1 Peter 1:19, 20. 2Acts 3:22. 3Hebrews 5:5, 6. 4Psalms 2:6; Luke 1:33. 5Ephesians 1:22, 23. 6Hebrews 1:2. 7Acts 17:31. 8Isaiah 53:10; John 17:6; Romans 8:30.

 

2. The Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity, is truly and eternally God. He is the brightness of the Father’s glory, the same in substance and equal with him. He made the world and sustains and governs everything he has made. When the fullness of time came, he took upon himself human nature, with all the essential properties and common weaknesses of it9 but without sin.10  He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary. The Holy Spirit came down upon her, and the power of the Most High overshadowed her. Thus, he was born of a woman from the tribe of Judah, a descendant of Abraham and David in fulfillment of the Scriptures.11  Two whole, perfect, and distinct natures were inseparably joined together in one person, without converting one into the other or mixing them together to produce a different or blended nature. This person is truly God and truly man, yet one Christ, the only mediator between God and humanity.12

9John 1:14; Galatians 4;4. 10Romans 8:3; Hebrews 2:14, 16, 17; Hebrews 4:15. 11Matthew 1:22, 23; Luke 1:27, 31, 35. 12Romans 9:5; 1 Timothy 2:5.

 

3. The Lord Jesus, in his human nature united in this way to the divine in the person of the Son, was sanctified and anointed with the Holy Spirit beyond measure.13  He had in himself all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.14  The Father was pleased to make all fullness dwell in him15 so that—being holy, harmless, undefiled,16 and full of grace and truth17—he was thoroughly qualified to carry out the office of mediator and guarantor.18  He did not take this office upon himself but was called to it by his Father,19 who put all power and judgment in his hand and commanded him to carry them out.20

13Psalms 45:7; Acts 10:38; John 3:34. 14Colossians 2:3. 15Colossians 1:19. 16Hebrews 7:26. 17John 1:14. 18Hebrews 7:22. 19Hebrews 5:5. 20John 5:22, 27; Matthew 28:18; Acts 2:36.

 

4. The Lord Jesus most willingly undertook this office.21  To discharge it, he was born under the law22 and perfectly fulfilled it. He also experienced the punishment that we deserved and that we should have endured and suffered.23  He was made sin and a curse for us.24  He  endured extremely heavy sorrows in his soul and extremely painful sufferings in his body.25  He was crucified and died and remained in a state of death, yet his body did not decay.26  On the third day he arose from the dead27 with the same body in which he suffered.28  In this body he also ascended into heaven,29 where he sits at the right hand of his Father, interceding.30  He will return to judge men and angels at the end of the age.31

21Psalms 40:7, 8; Hebrews 10:5–10; John 10:18. 22Gal 4:4; Matthew 3:15. 23Galatians 3:13; Isaiah 53:6; 1 Peter 3:18. 242 Corinthians 5:21. 25Matthew 26:37, 38; Luke 22:44; Matthew 27:46. 26Acts 13:37. 271 Corinthians 15:3, 4. 28John 20:25, 27. 29Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9–11. 30Romans 8:34; Hebrews 9:24. 31Acts 10:42; Romans 14:9, 10; Acts 1:11; 2 Peter 2:4.

 

5. The Lord Jesus has fully satisfied the justice of God, obtained reconciliation, and purchased an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven for all those given to him by the Father.32  He has accomplished these things by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself, which he once for all offered up to God through the eternal Spirit.33

32John 17:2; Hebrews 9:15. 33Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 10:14; Romans 3:25, 26.

 

6. The price of redemption was not actually paid by Christ till after his incarnation. Yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefit of it was imparted to the elect in every age since the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices that revealed him and pointed to him as the seed that would bruise the serpent’s head34 and the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.35  He is the same yesterday and today and forever.36

341 Corinthians 4:10; Hebrews 4:2; 1 Peter 1:10, 11. 35Revelation 13:8. 36Hebrews 13:8.

 

7. In his work of mediation, Christ acts according to both natures, by each nature doing what is appropriate to itself. Even so, because of the unity of the person, that which is appropriate to one nature is sometimes in Scripture attributed to the person under the designation of the other nature.37

37John 3:13; Acts 20:28

 

8. To all those for whom Christ has obtained eternal redemption, he certainly and effectually applies and imparts it. He intercedes for them,38 unites them to himself by his Spirit, and reveals to them in and by his Word the mystery of salvation. He persuades them to believe and obey39 and governs their hearts by his Word and Spirit.40  He overcomes all their enemies by his almighty power and wisdom,41 using methods and ways that are perfectly consistent with his wonderful and unsearchable governance. All these things are by free and absolute grace, apart from any condition for obtaining it that is foreseen in them.42

38John 6:37; John 10:15, 16; John 17:9; Romans 5:10. 39John 17:6; Ephesians 1:9; 1 John 5:20. 40Romans 8:9, 14. 41Psalms 110:1; 1 Corinthians 15:25, 26. 42John 3:8; Ephesians 1:8.

 

9. This office of mediator between God and humanity is appropriate for Christ alone, who is the prophet, priest, and king of the church of God. This office may not be transferred from him to anyone else, either in whole or in part.43

431 Timothy 2:5.

 

10. The number and character of these offices is essential. Because we are ignorant, we need his prophetic office.44  Because we are alienated from God and imperfect in the best of our service, we need his priestly office to reconcile us and present us to God as acceptable.45  Because we are hostile and utterly unable to return to God, and so that we can be rescued and made secure from our spiritual enemies, we need his kingly office to convince, subdue, draw, sustain, deliver, and preserve us for his heavenly kingdom.46

44John 1:18. 45Colossians 1:21; Galatians 5:17. 46John 16:8; Psalms 110:3; Luke 1:74, 75.

Confession The Faith–The 1689 Baptist Confession for the 21st Century

Chapter 7 – God’s Covenant

1. Though rational creatures are responsible to obey God as their Creator, the distance between God and these creatures is so great that they could never have attained the reward of life except by God’s voluntary condescension. He has been pleased to express this through a covenant framework.1

1Luke 17:10; Job 35:7, 8.

2. Since humanity brought itself under the curse of the law by its fall, it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace.2  In this covenant he freely offers to sinners life and salvation through Jesus Christ. On their part he requires faith in him, that they may be saved,3 and promises to give his Holy Spirit to all who are ordained to eternal life, to make them willing and able to believe.4

2Genesis 2:17; Galatians 3:10; Romans 3:20, 21. 3Romans 8:3; Mark 16:15, 16; John 3:16. 4Ezekiel 36:26, 27; John 6:44, 45; Psalms 110:3.

 

3. This covenant is revealed in the gospel. It was revealed first of all to Adam in the promise of salvation through the seed of the woman.5  After that, it was revealed step by step until the full revelation of it was completed in the New Testament.6  This covenant is based on the eternal covenant transaction between the Father and the Son concerning the redemption of the elect.7  Only through the grace of this covenant have those saved from among the descendants of fallen Adam obtained life and blessed immortality. Humanity is now utterly incapable of being accepted by God on the same terms on which Adam was accepted in his state of innocence.8

5Genesis 3:15. 6Hebrews 1:1. 72 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2; 8Hebrews 11:6, 13; Romans 4:1, 2ff.; Acts 4:12; John 8:56.

 

Additional:  Covenant of Works

 

6.1 God created humanity upright and perfect. He gave them a righteous law that would have led to life if they had kept it but threatened death if they broke it.1  Yet they did not remain for long in this position of honor. Satan used the craftiness of the serpent to seduce Eve, who then seduced Adam.

19.1 1 God gave Adam a law of comprehensive obedience written in his heart and a specific precept not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.1  By these God obligated him and all his descendants to personal, total, exact, and perpetual obedience.2  God promised life if Adam fulfilled it and threatened death if he broke it, and he gave Adam the power and ability to keep it.3

1Genesis 1:27; Ecclesiastes 7:29. 2Romans 10:5. 3Galatians 3:10, 12.

20.1 Because the covenant of works was broken by sin and was unable to confer life, God was pleased to proclaim the promise of Christ, the seed of the woman, as the means of calling the elect and producing in them faith and repentance.1  In this promise the gospel in its substance was revealed and made effectual for the conversion and salvation of sinners.2

1Genesis 3:15. 2Revelation 13:8.

The Fall of Mankind, and Sin and Its Punishment

Confession The Faith–The 1689 Baptist Confession for the 21st Century

Chapter 6 – The Fall of Mankind, and Sin and Its Punishment

1. God created humanity upright and perfect. He gave them a righteous law that would have led to life if they had kept it but threatened death if they broke it.1  Yet they did not remain for long in this position of honor. Satan used the craftiness of the serpent to seduce Eve, who then seduced Adam. Adam acted without any outside compulsion and deliberately transgressed the law of their creation and the command given to them by eating the forbidden fruit.2 God was pleased, in keeping with his wise and holy counsel, to permit this act, because he had purposed to direct it for his own glory.

1Genesis 2:16, 17. 2Genesis 3:12, 13; 2 Corinthians 11:3.

 

2. By this sin our first parents fell from their original righteousness and communion with God. We fell in them, and through this, death came upon all.3  All became dead in sin4 and completely defiled in all the capabilities and parts of soul and body.5

3Romans 3:23. 4Romans 5:12ff. 5Titus 1:15; Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10–19.

 

3. By God’s appointment, they were the root and the representatives of the whole human race. Because of this, the guilt of their sin was accounted, and their corrupt nature passed on, to all their offspring who descended from them by ordinary procreation.6  Their descendants are now conceived in sin7 and are by nature children of wrath,8 the servants of sin, and partakers of death9 and all other miseries—spiritual, temporal, and eternal—unless the Lord Jesus sets them free.10

6Romans 5:12–19; 1 Corinthians 15:21, 22, 45, 49. 7Psalms 51:5; Job 14:4. 8Ephesians 2:3. 9Romans 6:20; 5:12. 10Hebrews 2:14, 15; 1 Thessalonians 1:10.

 

4. All actual transgressions arise from this first corruption.11  By it we are thoroughly biased against, and disabled and antagonistic toward all that is good, and we are completely inclined toward all that is evil.12

11James 1:14, 15; Matthew 15:19. 12Romans 8:7; Colossians 1:21.

 

5. During this life, this corruption of nature remains in those who are regenerated.13  Even though it is pardoned and put to death through Christ, yet both this corruption of nature and all actions arising from it are truly and actually sin.14

13Romans 7:18,23; Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8. 14Romans 7:23–25; Galatians 5:17.