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Confession statement 3

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.

III GOD hath decreed in Himself, before the world was, concerning all things, whether necessary, accidental or voluntary, with all the circumstances of them, to work, dispose, and bring about all things according to the counsel of His own will, to His glory: (Yet without being the author of sin, or having fellowship with anything therein) in which appears His wisdom in disposing all things, unchangeableness, power, and faithfulness in accomplishing His decree: And God hath before the foundation of the world, foreordained some men to eternal life, through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of His grace; and leaving the rest in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of His justice.

Isa.46:10; Eph.1:11; Rom.11:33; Ps.115:3, 135:6, 33:15; 1 Sam.10:9.26; Prov.21:6; Exod.21:13; Prov.16:33; Ps.144; Isa.45:7:

Jer.14:22; Matt.6:28,30; Col.1:16, 17; Num.23:19.20 Rom.3:4; Jer.10:10; Eph.1:4,5. Jude 4.6; Prov.16:4.

The First London Baptist Confession of 1644/1646

A sinner forges the chains that will bind him for eternity

With your own hand, you are now forging those chains which will bind you down in eternal darkness and despair. To you the Saviour calls. Turn you-turn you at my reproof.

Asahel Nettleton-The Destruction of Hardened Sinners

 

An alarm to the aged sinner

Our subject is full of alarm to the aged sinner. My aged fathers; how long have you lived without God in the world? How many warnings have you heard and lost? So many years have you lived, and so many warnings have you heard and lost them all. I now appeal to your own experience. Do you not find that the longer you live, the harder are your hearts? Can you not bear testimony to the truth of our text? O where are you now? Once you enjoyed a season of youth; but alas, it is over and gone forever. Why stand ye here all the day idle? Your day of salvation is almost gone.

I address you on the very brink of the grave. You are just ready to launch into eternity, and if you are not suddenly saved, you will be suddenly destroyed, and that without remedy. You now live at an interesting crisis-the season of a revival. It has an important bearing on the aged in this congregation. O how many younger than yourselves have hopefully entered the kingdom of God before you. In this, you have been often reproved. And are you still out of Christ? Your case is becoming more and more hopeless. The probability, I fear, is a thousand to one that you will be lost. You have no prospect of witnessing another revival in your day. Let the present season slip, and your case may be considered hopeless, and where are you? This very warning neglected will render your case more hopeless. The voice of mercy, spare a little longer, waxes feebler, and while the voice of justice is waxing louder and louder.

Asahel Nettleton-The Destruction of Hardened Sinners

By hardening his neck, a sinner closes the doors of heaven

When sinners are lost their consciences will forever reproach them for destroying themselves. They are made to eat of the fruit of their own ways, and are filled with their own devices. They utterly perish in their own corruption. By hardening his neck, the sinner, with his own hand, closes the door of heaven against himself.

Asahel Nettleton-The Destruction of Hardened Sinners

 

The hardened sinner seeks peace and safety, but treasures up wrath

September 26, 2012 Leave a comment

The sinner says, peace and safety. Let us alone. God says, He is joined to idols, let him alone. The sinner says, Go thy way for this time. God says, My Spirit shall no longer strive. The sinner chooses not to be under conviction, and now suppose God’s choice and the sinner’s should happen to coincide. All can see the equity of his punishment. If he will not lay up treasure in heaven, then he must lay up treasure in hell. And this is done by hardening his own heart. After thy hardness and impenitent heart thou treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath.

Asahel Nettleton-The Destruction of Hardened Sinners

A Sinner who is not convinced that he is under the sentence of death cannot be saved

September 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Sinner! If you cannot be alarmed, you cannot be saved. If you do not believe that you are under the sentence of death from God’s holy law, then you do not feel your need of pardon, and “Ye will not come to Christ that ye might have life.” He that believeth not is condemned already, and the wrath of God abideth on him. And the sinner who does not feel the awful conviction of this truth cannot be pardoned or saved.

The language of the gospel is “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” But no sinner ever repented without conviction of sin. Even the Spirit of God never interposes to rescue the sinner from destruction in any other way than by arousing his guilty conscience to perform its office. Its genuine effects on the heart are thus described, “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” But, you are not to be frightened. When they heard this they were pricked in the heart, and exclaimed, Men and brethren, what shall we do? But you are not to be frightened. When the commandment came, sin revived and I died; but you are not to be frightened. The sinner who talks in this strain is either an infidel, or ignorant of the contents of the Bible.

For such a sinner, with such views and such feelings, the gospel contains no remedy. To such a sinner, the Spirit of God offers no remedy. He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed. And there is no remedy. The sinner who will not take reproof, must be destroyed. The physician, who has exhausted his skill, and tried every experiment upon his patient can only look on and see him die.-So fares it with the incorrigible sinner; you may soothe him in his sins-you may flatter his vanity -But this is only hastening the work of destruction. The only salutary application is, conviction of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come. But this his proud heart will not endure. Every attempt to rescue him from destruction will be resisted-It will only exasperate. He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Therefore, saith the wise man, Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee.

Asahel Nettleton-The Destruction of Hardened Sinners

The Sinner who Hardens his Neck Cannot be Saved

September 5, 2012 3 comments

There is no remedy. The sinner who continues to harden his neck under reproof cannot be saved. He shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy, because it cannot be prevented. Here is a sinner who will not take reproof-the question arises, What shall be done to prevent the loss of his soul? The answer is nothing. He is marching forward to eternity and to the pit of destruction with a proud heart and with a stiff neck, and nothing can stop him in his mad career. Such a sinner must go to destruction and no means can prevent it. This is the meaning of our text.

There is no remedy. The only remedy which can be applied for the salvation of sinners is the gospel. And this remedy never takes effect without alarming and arousing the guilty conscience. But, when warned to break off his sins, and to flee from the wrath to come, the hardened sinner says, “He is not to be frightened to heaven.” Thus it was with the old world. Noah, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world. By his preaching, and by his example, he warned the wicked world of the coming flood. But, they were not to be frightened. Thus it was with the inhabitants of Sodom. The preacher applied the most powerful means, the only remedy to prevent their destruction. Up, get ye out of this place: for the Lord will destroy thee. But, they were not to be frightened. He seemed as one that mocked. They would not be alarmed. And so there was no remedy. What could the preacher do more? Nothing.

Asahel Nettleton-The Destruction of Hardened Sinners