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Confession statement 23

Published in 1646

The Text used: There has been some updating of Old English words but otherwise no changes have been made to the original texts.

CONFESSION OF FAITH of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London. which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno 1646.

XXIII ALL those that have this precious faith wrought in them by the Spirit, can never finally nor totally fall away; seeing the gifts of God are without repentance; so that 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; not withstanding, through unbelief, and the temptations of Satan, the sensible sight of this light and love, be clouded and overwhelmed for a time; yet God 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 palms of His hands, and their names having been written in the book of life from all eternity.

Matt.7:24.25; John 13:10.10:28,29; 1 Pet.1:4.5,6; Isa.49:13.14,15,16.

The First London Baptist Confession 1644/46

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Fresh supplies of the Spirit bring new strength and comfort

January 1, 2013 1 comment

Arthur Pink“For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith” (Gal. 5:5). It is the stirrings of hope, however faint, which keeps the soul alive in seasons of disappointment and despondency. But for the renewings of the gracious Spirit, the believer would relinquish his hope and sink into abject despair. “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert” (Isa. 35:5, 6): it is by fresh supplies of the Spirit (Phil. 1:19) that there comes not only further light, but new strength and comfort. Amid the perturbations caused by indwelling sin and the anguish from our repeated defeats, it is one of the Spirit’s greatest works to sustain the soul by the expectation of things to come.

Arthur W. Pink—Studies in the Scriptures April, 1937 The Spirit Preserving

Proof that the warnings are towards the church body

December 26, 2012 Leave a comment

To the Churches as bodies, so composed, are all the fearful passages in question addressed. To the members of the Church at Rome for example, Paul said―”If ye live after the flesh ye shall die.”

To those of the Churches of Galatia, “Be not deceived God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap; for he that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption.”

To the members of the old Jewish Church the prophet Ezekiel said―”When the righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he love? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned; in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sins that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.”

Does any one deny that these, and all similar threatenings, are, in fact, addressed to the members of the Churches. If they are not addressed to members of the Churches, they can have no influence upon the argument; they are directed to those who are not members, and whose claims to religion, since all truly religious men unite with the Churches, are at best, exceedingly questionable. They are in truth, however, addressed to the Churches, all of whose members are professedly righteous, and claim to be accepted of God through Christ. They are so regarded by their brethren, and by all others. For a season, they all act in accordance with their profession. No difference in zeal, and good works, can be perceived between the truly converted and unconverted. They all, whatever may be really the fact, bear the same character. They are known as Christians―men of God.

R. B. C. Howell—Perseverance of the Saints

The Spirit constrains our new nature and restrains the old nature

December 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Arthur Pink“I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me” (Jer. 32:40). This statement casts much light upon the means and method employed by God in the preserving of His people. The indwelling Spirit not only constrains the new nature by considerations drawn from the love of Christ (2 Cor. 5:14), but He also restrains the old nature by a sense of God’s majesty. He often drops an awe on the believer’s heart, which holds him back from running into that excess of riot which his lusts would carry him unto. The Spirit makes the soul to realise that God is not to be trifled with, and delivers from wickedly presuming upon His mercy. He stimulates a spirit of filial reverence in the saint, so that he shuns those things which would dishonour his Father. He causes us to heed such a word as “Be not highminded, but fear: for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee” (Rom. 11:20, 21). By such means does God fulfill His promise “I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes” (Ezek. 36:27).

Arthur W. Pink—Studies in the Scriptures April, 1937 The Spirit Preserving

The Spirit preserves us in this world

The preservation of God’s people through all the vicissitudes of their pilgrim journey is accomplished, immediately, by the Holy Spirit. He it is who watches over the believer, delivering him when he knows it not; keeping him from living in the world’s sinks of iniquity, lifting up a standard when the Enemy comes like a flood against him (Isa. 59:19). He it is who keeps him from accepting those fatal heresies which deceive and destroy so many empty professors. He it is who prevents his becoming contented with a mere “letter” ministry or satisfied with head-knowledge and notional religion. And how does the Spirit accomplish the Christian’s preservation? By sustaining the new nature within him, and calling it forth into exercise and act. By working such graces in him that he becomes “established” (2 Cor. 1:21). By keeping him conscious of his utter ruin and deep need of Christ. By bringing him to a concurrence with His gracious design, moving him to use appropriate means.

Arthur W. Pink—Studies in the Scriptures April, 1937 The Spirit Preserving

God provides the means to the end

November 28, 2012 Leave a comment

A third preliminary remark―Final perseverance in grace is never accomplished without the divinely appointed instrumentalities. The means, and the ends, are invariably associated. And will believers in Christ always employ those means? If they do, the result can never be doubtful. Messiah himself says they will. If a man love me he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.””This is the love of God that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous.”The saints of the Redeemer―

 

“Have proclaimed him King, and in their hearts His title is engraven, with a pen Dipt in the fountain of eternal love,”

 

With these considerations before you, we proceed to weigh carefully, and prayerfully, in the balances of divine truth, the principal objections to the conclusion that all believers in Christ will persevere in grace unto the attainment of final and complete salvation, never “totally losing their faith, and regeneration,” but pressing onward till they reach, and wear, the crown of eternal life.

 

R. B. C. Howell—Perseverance of the Saints

God’s work on us will bring us eternal delight and joy

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

What pleasure it now gives the Christian to hear of the varied and wondrous ways in which God regenerates His people! What delight will be ours in Heaven when we learn of the loving care, abiding faithfulness, and mighty power of God in the preservation of each of His own! What joy will be ours when we learn the details of how He made good His promise “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee” (Isa. 43:2)—His providence working for us externally, His grace operating internally: preserving amid the tossings and tempests of life, recovering from woeful backslidings, reviving us when almost dead.

Arthur W. Pink—Studies in the Scriptures April, 1937 The Spirit Preserving