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Chapter XXI : Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience

1. The Liberty which Christ hath purchased for Believers under the Gospel, consists in their freedom from the guilt of Sin, the condemning wrath of God, the Rigour and (a) Curse of the Law; and in their being delivered from this present evil (b) World, Bondage to (c) Satan, and Dominion (d) of Sin; from the (e) Evil of Afflictions; the Fear, and Sting (f) of Death, the Victory of the Grave, and (g) Everlasting Damnation; as also in their (h) free access to God; and their yielding Obedience unto him not out of a slavish fear, (i) but a Child-like love, and willing mind. All which were common also to Believers under the Law (k) for the substance of them; but under the new Testament, the Liberty of Christians is further enlarged in their freedom from the yoke of the Ceremonial Law, to which the Jewish Church was subjected; and in greater boldness of access to the Throne of Grace; and in fuller Communications of the (l) Free Spirit of God, then Believers under the Law did ordinarily partake of.

a Gal. 3.13.

b Gal. 1.4.

c Act. 26.18.

d Rom. 8.3.

e Rom. 8.28.

f 1 Cor. 15.54,55,56.57.

g 2 Thes. 1.10.

h Rom. 8.15.

i Luk. 1.74,75. 1 Joh. 4 18.

k Gal 3:9,14

l Joh. 7.38,39. Heb. 10, 19,20,21.

2. God alone is (m) Lord of the Conscience, and hath left it free from the Doctrines and Commandments of men, (n) which are in any thing contrary to his Word, or not contained in it. So that to Believe such Doctrines, or obey such Commands out of Conscience, (o) is to betray true liberty of Conscience; and the requiring of an (p) implicit Faith, and absolute and blind Obedience, is to destroy Liberty of Conscience, and Reason also.

m Jam. 4.12, Rom. 14.4.

n Act. 4.19 & 5.29. 1 Cor. 7.23. Mat. 15.9

o Col: 2.20 22,23

p 1 Cor. 3.5: 2 Cor. 1.24.

3. They who upon pretence of Christian Liberty do practice any sin, or cherish any sinfull lust; as they do thereby pervert the main design of the Grace of the Gospel, (q) to their own Destruction; so they wholy destroy (r) the end of Christian Liberty, which is, that being delivered out of the hands of all our Enemies we might serve the Lord without fear in Holiness, and Righteousness before him, all the days of our Life.

q Rom. 6.1,2.

r Gal. 5.13. 2 Pet. 2.18.-21.

The 1677/89 Baptist London Confession of Faith

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Chapter XX : Of the Gospel, and of the extent of the Grace thereof

1. The Covenant of Works being broken by Sin, and made unprofitable unto Life; God was pleased to give forth the promise of Christ, (a) the Seed of the Woman, as the means of calling the Elect, and begetting in them Faith and Repentance; in this Promise, the (b) Gospel, as to the substance of it, was revealed, and therein Effectual, for the Conversion and Salvation of Sinners.

a Gen. 3.15.

b Rev. 13.8.

2. This Promise of Christ, and Salvation by him, is revealed only by (c) the Word of God; neither do the Works of Creation, or Providence, with the light of Nature, (d) make discovery of Christ, or of Grace by him; so much as in a general, or obscure way; much less that men destitute of the Revelation of him by the Promise, or Gospel; (e) should be enabled thereby, to attain saving Faith, or Repentance.

c Rom. 1.17.

d Ro. 10.14,15,17.

e Pro. 29.18. Isa. 25.7. with ch. 60.2,3.

3. The Revelation of the Gospel unto Sinners, made in divers times, and by sundry parts; with the addition of Promises, and Precepts for the Obedience required therein, as to the Nations, and Persons, to whom it is granted, is meerly of the (f) Soveraign Will and good Pleasure of God; not being annexed by vertue of any Promise, to the due improvement of mens natural abilities, by vertue of Common light received, without it; which none ever did (g) make, or can so do: And therefore in all Ages the preaching of the Gospel hath been granted unto persons and Nations, as to the extent, or streightning of it, in great variety, according to the Councell of the Will of God.

f Ps. 147,20. Act. 16.7.

g Rom. 1.18, &c.

4. Although the Gospel be the only outward means, of revealing Christ, and saving Grace; and is, as such, abundantly sufficient thereunto; yet that men who are dead in Trespasses, may be born again, Quickned or Regenerated; there is moreover necessary, an effectual, insuperable (h) work of the Holy Spirit, upon the whole Soul, for the producing in them a new spiritual Life; without which no other means will effect (i) their Conversion unto God.

h Ps. 110.3. 1 Cor. 2.14. Eph. 1.19 20.

i Joh. 6.44. 2 Cor. 4.4.6.

The 1677/89  Baptist London Confession of Faith

Chapter XVIII : Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation

1. Although temporary Believers, and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes, and carnal presumptions, of being in the favour of God, and state of salvation, (a) which hope of theirs shall perish; yet such as truely believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good Conscience before him, may in this life be certainly assured (b) that they are in the state of Grace; and may rejoyce in the hope of the glory of God which hope shall never make them (c) ashamed.

a Job 8.13.14. Mat. 7.22 23.

b 1 Joh. 2.3. ch. 3.14 18,19.21.24. ch. 5.13.

c Rom. 5.2.5.

2. This certainty is not a bare conjectural, and probable perswasion, grounded upon (d) a fallible hope; but an infallible assurance of faith founded on the Blood and Righteousness of Christ (e) revealed in the Gospel; and also upon the inward (f) evidence of those graces of the Spirit unto which promises are made, and on the testimony of the (g) Spirit of adoption, witnessing with our Spirits that we are the children of God; and as a fruit thereof keeping the heart both (h) humble and holy.

d Heb. 6.11.19.

e Heb. 6.17,18.

f 2 Pet. 1.4,5,10.11.

g Rom. 8.15,16.

h 1 Joh. 3 1,2,3.

3. This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true Believer, may wait long and conflict with many difficulties before he be (i) partaker of it; yet being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may without extraordinary revelation in the right use of means (k) attain thereunto: and therefore it is the duty of every one, to give all diligence to make their Calling and Election sure, that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the holy Spirit, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and chearfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper (l) fruits of this Assurance; so far is it (m) from inclining men to looseness.

i Isa. 50.10. Ps. 88. & Psa. 77.1-12.

k 1 Joh. 4 13. Heb. 6.11 12.

l Rom. 5.1,2.5. ch. 14,17. Ps. 119.32.

m Rom. 6.1,2. Tit. 2.11,12.14.

4. True Believers may have the assurance of their Salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as (n) by negligence in preserving of it, by (o) falling into som special Sin, which woundeth the Conscience, and grieveth the Spirit, by some sudden or (p) vehement temptation, by Gods withdrawing the (q) light of his countenance and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light; yet are they never destitute of the (r) seed of God, and Life (s) of Faith, that Love of Christ, and the brethren, that sincerity of Heart, and Conscience of duty, out of which by the operation of the Spirit, this Assurance may in due time be (t) revived: and by the which in the mean time they are (u) preserved from utter despair.

n Cant. 5.2,3.6.

o Ps. 51.8.12.14.

p Psa. 116.11. Ps. 77.7,8. Ps. 31 22.

q Ps. 30.7

r 1 Joh. 3.9.

s Luk. 22.32.

t Ps. 42.5.11.

u Lam. 3.26.27-31.

The 1677/89 London Baptist Confession of Faith

Chapter XVII : Of the Perseverance of the Saints

1. Those whom God hath accepted in the beloved, effectually called and Sanctified by his Spirit, and given the precious faith of his Elect unto, can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace; (a) but shall certainly persevere therein to the end and be eternally saved, seeing the gifts and callings of God are without Repentance, (whence 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 fastned upon: notwithstanding through unbelief and the temptations of Satan the sensible sight of the light and love of God, may for a time be clouded, and obscured from (b) them, yet he is still the same (c) 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 palm of his hands, and their names having been written in the book of life from all Eternity.

a Joh. 10.28,29. Phi. 1.6. 2 Tim. 2.19. 1 Joh. 2.19.

b Psal. 89.31,32. 1 Cor. 11.32.

c Mal. 3.6.

2. This perseverance of the Saints depends not upon their own free will; but upon the immutability of the decree of (d) Election flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ (e) and Union with him, the (f) oath of God, the abiding of his Spirit & the (g) seed of God within them, and the nature of the (h) Covenant of Grace from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.

d Rom. 8.30. ch. 9.11.16.

eRom. 5.9,10. John 14.19.

f  Heb. 6.17,18.

g 1 Joh. 3.9.

h Jer. 32.40.

3. And though they may through the temptation of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of means of their preservation fall into grievous (i) sins, and for a time continue therein; whereby they incur (k) Gods displeasure, and grieve his holy Spirit, come to have their graces and (l) comforts impaired have their hearts hardened, and their Consciences wounded, (m) hurt, and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgements (n) upon themselves: yet they shall renew their (o) repentance and be preserved through faith in Christ Jesus to the end.

i Mat. 26.70,72.74.

k Is. 64.5.9. Eph. 4.30

l Psal. 51.10.12.

m Psa. 32.3,4.

n 2 Sam. 12.14.

o Luk. 22.32. & v. 61 62.

The 1677/89 London Baptist Confession of Faith

Chapter XVI : Of Good Works

1. Good Works are only such as God hath (a) commanded in his Holy word; and not such as without the warrant thereof, are devised by men, out of blind zeal, (b) or upon any pretence of good intentions.

a Mic. 6.8. Heb. 13 21.

b Mat. 15.9. Isa. 29.13.

2. These good works, done in obedience to Gods commandments, are the fruits, and evidences (c) of a true, and lively faith; and by them Believers manifest their (d) thankfullness, strengthen their (e) assurance, edifie their (f) brethren, adorn the profession of the Gospel, stop the mouths of the adversaries and glorifie (g) God whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus (h) thereunto, that having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end (i) eternal life.

c Jam. 2.18.22.

d Ps. 116.12,13.

e 1 Joh. 2 3.5. 2 Pet. 1.5-11.

Mat. 5.16.

g 1 Tim. 6.1. 1 Pet. 2.15. Phil. 1.11

h Eph. 2.10.

i Rom. 6.22.

3. Their ability to do good works, is not at all of themselves; but wholly from the Spirit (k) of Christ; and that they may be enabled thereunto, besides the graces they have already received, there is necessary an (l) actual influence of the same Holy Spirit, to work in them to will, and to do, of his good pleasure; yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty, unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in (m) stirring up the Grace of God that is in them.

k Joh. 15.4.6.

l 2 Cor. 3.5. Phil. 2.13.

m Phil. 2.12. Heb. 6.11 12. Isa. 64.7.

4. They who in their obedience attain to the greatest height which is possible in this life, are so far from being able to superrogate, and to do more then God requires, as that (n) they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do.

n Job 9.23. Gal. 5.17. Luk. 17.10.

5. We cannot by our best works merit pardon of Sin or Eternal Life at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come; and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom by them we can neither profit, nor satisfie for the debt of our (o) former sins; but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants; and because as they are good they proceed from his (p) Spirit, and as they are wrought by us they are defiled (q) and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection that they cannot endure the severity of Gods judgement.

o Rom. 3.20. Eph. 2.8,9.Rom. 4.6.

p Gal. 5.22,23.

q Isa. 64.6. Ps. 143 2.

6. Yet notwithstanding the persons of Believers being accepted through Christ their good works also are accepted in (r) him; not as though they were in this life wholly unblameable and unreprovable in Gods sight; but that he looking upon them in his Son is pleased to accept and reward that which is (s) sincere although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections.

r Eph. 1.6. 1 Pet. 2.5.

s Mat. 25.21.23. Heb. 6.10

7. Works done by unregenerate men although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands, and of good use, both to themselves and (t) others; yet because they proceed not from a heart purified by (u) faith, nor are done in a right manner according to the (w) word, nor to a right end the (x) glory of God; they are therefore sinful and cannot please God; nor make a man meet to receive grace from (y) God; and yet their neglect of them is more sinful and (z) displeasing to God.

t 2 King. 10.30. 1 King. 21.27,29

u Gen. 4.5. Heb. 11 4.6.

w 1 Cor. 13.1.

x Mat. 6.2.5.

y Amos 5 21,22.Rom. 9.16 Tit. 3.5.

z Job 21.14,15. Mat. 25.41,42,43.

The 1677/89 London Baptist Confession of Faith

Chapter XV : Of Repentance unto Life and Salvation

1. Such of the Elect as are converted at riper years, having (a) sometimes lived in the state of nature, and therein served divers lusts and pleasures, God in their Effectual Calling giveth them Repentance unto Life.

a Tit. 3.2,3,4,5.

2. Whereas there is none that doth good, and sinneth (b) not; and the best of men may through the power, and deceitfulness of their corruption dwelling in them, with the prevalency of temptation, fall into great sins, and provocations; God hath in the Covenant of Grace, mercifully provided that Beleivers so sinning, and falling, (c) be renewed through Repentance unto Salvation.

b Eccl. 7.20.

c Luk. 22.31,32.

3. This saving Repentance is an (d) evangelical Grace, whereby a person being by the Holy Spirit made sensible of the manifold evils of his sin, doth, by Faith in Christ, humble himself for it, with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self abhorrency; (e) praying for pardon, and strength of grace, with a purpose and endeavour by supplies of the Spirit, to (f) walk before God unto all well pleasing in all things.

d Zech. 12.10. Act. 11.18.

e Ezek. 36.31. 2 Cor. 7.11.

f Ps. 119 6. Ps. 119.128.

4. As Repentance is to be continued through the whole course of our lives, upon the account of the body of death, and the motions thereof; so it is every mans duty, to repent of his (g) particular known sins, particularly.

g Luk. 19.8. 1 Tim. 1.13.15.

5. Such is the provision which God hath made through Christ in the Covenant of Grace, for the preservation of Believers unto Salvation, that although there is no sin so small, but it deserves (h) damnation; yet there is no sin so great, that it shall bring damnation on them that (i) repent; which makes the constant preaching of Repentance necessary.

h Rom. 6.23.

i Is. 1.16.18. Is. 55.7.

The 1677/89 London Baptist Confession of Faith

Chapter XIV : Of Saving Faith

1. The Grace of Faith, whereby the Elect are enabled to beleive to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ (a) in their hearts; and is ordinarily wrought by the Ministry of the (b) Word; by which also, and by the administration of Baptisme, and the Lords Supper, Prayer and other Means appointed of God, it is increased, (c) and strengthned.

a 2 Cor. 4.13. Eph. 2.8.

b Rom. 10 14.17.

c Luk. 17.5. 1 Pet. 2.2. Act. 20.32.

2. By this Faith, a Christian believeth to be true, (*) whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the Authority of God himself; and also apprehendeth an excellency therein, (d) above all other Writings; and all things in the world: as it bears forth the Glory of God in his Attributes, the excellency of Christ in his Nature and Offices; and the Power and Fullness of the Holy Spirit in his Workings, and Operations; and so is enabled to (e) cast his Soul upon the truth thus beleived; and also acteth differently, upon that which each particular, passage thereof containeth; yeilding obedience to the (f) commands, trembling at the (g) threatnings, and embracing the (h) promises of God, for this life, and that which is to come: But the principal acts of Saving Faith, have immediate relation to Christ, accepting, receiving, and resting upon (i) him alone, for Justification, Sanctification, and Eternal Life, by vertue of the Covenant of Grace.

* Act. 24.14.

d Ps. 19.7,8,9,10. Ps. 119.72.

e 2 Tim. 1.12.

f Joh. 15.14.

g Is. 66.2.

h Heb. 11.13.

i Joh. 1.12. Act. 1631. Gal. 2.20. Act. 15.11.

3. This Faith although it be different in degrees, and may be weak, (k) or strong; yet it is in the least degree of it, different in the kind, or nature of it (as is all other saving Grace) from the Faith, (l) and common grace of temporary beleivers; and therefore though it may be many times assailed, and weakned; yet it gets (m) the victory; growing up in many, to the attainment of a full (n) assurance through Christ, who is both the Author (o) and finisher of our Faith.

k Heb. 5.13.14. Mat. 6.30 Rom. 4.19 20.

l 2 Pet. 1.1.

m Eph. 6.16. 1 Joh. 5.4,5.

n Heb. 6.11,12.Col. 2.2.

o Heb. 12.2.

The 1677/89 London Baptist Confession of Faith