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Confession statement 31

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.

XXXI ALL believers in the time of this life, are in a continual warfare and combat against sin, self, the world, and the devil; and are liable to all manner of afflictions, tribulations and persecutions, being predestinated and appointed thereunto, and whatsoever the saints possess or enjoy of God spiritually, is by faith; and outward and temporal things are lawfully enjoyed by a civil right by them who have no faith.

Rom.7:23,24; Eph.6:10,11,etc.; Heb.2:9,10; 2 Tim.3:12; Rom.8:29; 1 Thess.3:3; Gal.2:19,20; 2 Cor.5:7; Deut.2:5.

The First London Baptist Confession 1644/46

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Perseverance Comes by God’s Grace

Mark you well, that the next series of steps which we call sanctification, or perseverance, or better still, gracious conservation, all of those must be of grace too. No man has any claim upon God to keep him from going into sin. I am bound to keep from sin, it is my duty, but for God to send me grace by which I am enabled to keep from sin, is no right of mine; it must be his free love that does it; and if from day to day he is pleased to direct my waywardness and bring my wandering spirit back, if after a thousand slips he still restores my soul and establishes my goings, I dare not praise myself for it, but I must gratefully put the crown of my perseverance in righteousness upon the head of that infinite grace which has wrought all my works in me.

Charles H. Spurgeon–Sermon No. 958 “Dei Gratia”

Chapter III: Of God’s Decrees

1. God hath (a) Decreed in himself from all Eternity, by the most wise and holy Councel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things whatsoever comes to passe; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin, (b) 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 away, but rather (c) established, in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power, and faithfulness (d) in accomplishing his Decree.

a Is. 46.10. Eph. 1.11. Heb. 6.17.Rom. 9.15,18.

b Jam. 1.15,17. 1 Joh. 1.5.

c Act 4.27,28. Joh. 19.11.

d Numb. 23.19. Eph. 1.3,4,5.

2. Although God knoweth whatsoever may, or can come to passe upon all (e) supposed conditions; yet hath he not Decreed anything, (f) because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.

e Act. 15.18.

f Rom. 9.11.13.16.18.

3. By the decree of God for the manifestation of his glory (g) some men and Angels, are predestinated, or fore-ordained to Eternal Life, through Jesus Christ to the (h) praise of his glorious grace; others being left to act in their sin to their (i) just condemnation, to the praise of his glorious justice.

g 1 Tim. 5.21. Mat. 25.41.

h Eph. 1.5,6.

i Rom. 9.22,23. Jud. 4.

4. These Angels and Men thus predestinated, and fore-ordained, are particularly, and unchangeably designed; and their (k) number so certain, and definite, that it cannot be either increased, or diminished.

k 2 Tim. 2.19. Joh. 13.18

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

l Eph. 1.4.9.11.Rom. 8.30. 2 Tim. 1.9. 1 Thes. 5.9.

m Rom. 9.13.16. Eph. 1.6.12.

6. As God hath appointed the Elect unto glory, so he hath by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, fore-ordained (o) all the means thereunto, wherefore they who are elected, being faln in Adam, (p) are redeemed by Christ, are effectually (q) called unto faith in Christ, by his spirit working in due season, are justifyed, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power through faith (r) unto salvation; neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the Elect (s) only.

o 1 Pet. 1.2. 2 Thes. 2.13.

p 1 Thes. 5.9,10.

q Rom. 8.30. 2 Thes. 2.13.

r 1 Pet. 1.5.

s Joh. 10.26. Joh. 17.9. Joh. 6.64.

 7. The Doctrine of this 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 yeilding obedience thereunto, may from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their (t) eternal election; so shall this doctrine afford matter (u) of praise, reverence, and admiration of God, and (x) of humility, diligence, and abundant (y) consolation, to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.

t 1 Thes. 1.4,5. 2 Pet. 1.10.

u Eph. 1.6.Rom. 11.33.

x Rom. 11.5,6.

y Luk. 10.20.

The 1677/89 London Baptist Confession

 

 

Afflictions Conform Us

The winter prepares the earth for the spring, so do afflictions sanctified prepare the soul for glory.

Richard Sibbes