1689 Sources & The Gospel & the Extent of Its Grace

THE 1689 BAPTIST CONFESSION
CHAPTER 20

Chapter 20 - Paragraph 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 [cont.]

Ch. 20 – P. 1 [cont.]
 …In

this promise the gospel in its substance was revealed and made effectual for the conversion and salvation of sinners.2

1 2

Genesis 3:15.

Revelation 13:8.

Chapter 20 - Paragraph 2
 This

promise of Christ and of salvation through him is revealed in the Word of God alone.3 The works of creation and providence, when assisted only by the light of nature, do not reveal Christ or grace through him, even in a general or obscure way.4 [cont.]

Ch. 20 – P. 2 [cont.]
 …Much

less are those without the revelation of him in the promise or gospel enabled to attain saving faith or repentance by seeing these works of God.5
Romans 1:17.

3

4
5

Romans 10:14,15,17.

Proverbs 29:18; Isaiah 25:7; Isaiah 60:2, 3.

Chapter 20 - Paragraph 3
 The

gospel has been revealed to sinners in various times and in different places, along with the promises and precepts describing the obedience it requires. The particular nations and individuals who are granted this revelation are chosen solely according to the sovereign will and good pleasure of God.6 [cont.]

Ch. 20 – P. 3 [cont.]
 …This

choice does not depend on any promise to those who demonstrate good stewardship of their natural abilities based on common light received apart from the gospel. No one has ever done this nor can anyone do so.7 [cont.]

Ch. 20 – P. 3 [cont.]
 …Therefore,

in every age the preaching of the gospel to individuals and nations has been granted in widely varying degrees of expansion and contraction, according to the counsel of the will of God.
Psalms 147:20; Acts 16:7. Romans 1:18-32.

6 7

Chapter 20 - Paragraph 4
 The

gospel is the only outward means of revealing Christ and saving grace, and it is abundantly sufficient for that purpose. Yet to be born again, brought to life or regenerated, those who are dead in trespasses also must have an effectual, irresistible work of the Holy Spirit in every part of their souls to produce in them a new spiritual life.8 [cont.]

Ch. 20 – P. 4 [cont.]
 …Without

this no other means will bring about their conversion to God.9

8
9

Psalms 110:3; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 1:19, 20. John 6:44; 2 Corinthians 4:4, 6.

Compared [ch. 1 – p. 1]:
W | SD | LB

Compared [ch. 2 – p. 3]:
W | SD | LB

Compared [ch. 7]:
W | SD | LB

Compared [ch. 20]:
W | SD

|

LB

Huh?
 Why

isn‟t this in the WCF?  What are the confession's sources?

“What documents were used in editing the Confession? I imagine a scene like this: on the table is placed an English Bible, a Hebrew Old Testament, A Greek New Testament, copies of the Confession of Faith as well as the Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the Presbyterian Westminster Assembly of 1643-1648, the Savoy Declaration and Platform of Polity produced by the Congregationalists who met at the Savoy in London in 1658, and a copy of the First London Baptist Confession of 1646. [cont.]

…Perhaps there were other books on the table also. But certainly, the editors employed each of these in thinking through and expressing the system of Christian theology they bequeathed us.”
- Dr. James Renihan
Forward to The Baptist Confession of Faith and The Baptist Catechism (ARBCA, Solid Ground Books: 2010), pg. ix.

Sources:
 Bible: English Greek

Bible OT NT

Hebrew

 Westminster
Shorter  Savoy  First

Documents:
of Faith

Confession

& Larger Catechism

Declaration & Platform of Polity

London Confession of Faith

Order of Importance:
 Westminster  Savoy  First

Confession of Faith [1646]

Declaration of Faith & Order [1658]

London Confession of Faith [1644]

 William

Collins (and other contributions of the 1677 general meeting [i.e. Nehemiah Coxe])
- Samuel Waldron
A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith (Evangelical Press), Appendix A

1. Westminster Documents
 Prepared

by [121] Puritan theologians at the Westminster Assembly [1643]  Published in 1646  Puritans of a Presbyterian persuasion were dominant at the assembly  Church government through a hierarchy of presbyteries and synods, infant baptism, and the idea of a Presbyterian state church.*

2. Savoy Declaration F&O
 Modest

revision of WCF (appended 30 brief paragraphs describing Congregational church order)  Published 1658 by six Puritans of Congregational persuasion [i.e. Thomas Goodwin, John Owen]

2. Savoy Declaration F&O
 Rejected

Presbyterian church government (hierarchy of church courts,) and insisted on the independence of each local congregation.  Rejected the idea of a state church and approached the idea of religious freedom.

3. First London Baptist CF
 Prepared

by seven Particular Baptist churches in the London area in 1644.  Set forth in 52 articles: Doctrines of Grace Baptist view of baptism & church Explicitly repudiated a number of distinctive tenets of Anabaptist (Pelagian free will, anti-divinely instituted government, etc.)

4. Collins & Coxe
 Elder

William Collins of the Petty France Church in London and perhaps others, including Nehemiah Coxe, his co-pastor, were responsible for combining extracts from each of the previously mentioned documents into a coherent statement of faith.

BUT 1677 Was Anonymous!
 Joseph

Ivimey [1823] who, speaking of Nehemiah Coxe and his co-pastor William Collins, said:

- http://pettyfrance.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/nehemiah-coxe-cordwainer-and-confession-maker/

Petty France Church Book from Aug. 26, 1677

Petty France Church Book from Aug. 26, 1677 [zoom]

“With no other viable theory as to the identity of the editor(s) of the confession, this material provides a „strong possibility‟ that Coxe and Collins were indeed the co-editors of the confession. Comparison of the confession with the works of Coxe as well as Collins‟ relation to the catechism bolster this possibility.
[see Dr. James Renihan’s introductory biography of Coxe in Covenant Theology: From Adam to Christ]

- Pastor Sam Renihan

“In Samuel Waldron‟s book, A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, he indicates that his studies, and that of others, shows that the Westminster Confession was not the ‘direct and immediate’ document used by Collins and Coxe. Evidence shows that the Savoy Declaration was the primary source Confession. The Westminster Confession was an indirect source for the 1689 Confession via the Savoy Declaration.”[cont.]

“…While a majority of the 1689 Confession text parallels the Savoy Declaration (the Savoy Declaration using the Westminster Confession), there is a fair amount of variance. The major source for most of these variances is the 1644 First London Confession. The other remaining variants are likely to be accounted for by the wording of Collins and Coxe.”

1689 commentary.org

A Layman's Commentary of the 1689 Baptist Confession

1689 Confession Use:
 160

paragraphs in the 1689 146 derived from the Savoy (which reflects at points the Westminster) 8 derived from the 1st London 6 from Collins/Coxe

1689 Confession Sources

The Sources Significance
 1.

It teaches that these revered fathers in the faith placed no premium on originality Rather valued unity They sensed that novelty is often another word for heresy Emphasized oneness with historic Christianity rather than party distinctives

1677 Preface
“…our hearty agreement with them [Presbyterians & Congregationalist] in that wholesome Protestant doctrine which, with so clear evidence of Scripture, they have asserted”

The Sources Significance
 1.

These revered fathers in the faith placed no premium on originality  2. It teaches the reformed and Puritan origins of the Particular and reformed Baptist movements

The Sources Significance
 1.

These revered fathers in the faith placed no premium on originality  2. Reformed and Puritan origins of the Particular and reformed Baptist movements  3. It teaches the place for a proper independence of judgment on the basis of the Word of God [No slavish dependence on tradition]

Back to the questions.
 What

are the confession's sources?  Why isn‟t this in the WCF? In once sense it is.

Compared [ch. 20]:
W | SD

|

LB

Savoy Preface General Note
“A few things we have added for obviating [preventing] some erroneous opinions, that have been more broadly and boldly here of late maintained by the asserters, than in former times; and made other additions and alterations in method, here and there, and some clearer explanations, as we found occasion.”

“After the 19th cap. [Law] we have added a cap. of the Gospel, it being a title that may not well be omitted in a Confession of Faith: In which chapter, what is dispersed, and by intimation [indirectly] in the Assemblies‟ Confession, with some little addition, is here brought together, and more fully, under one head.”

Savoy Preface Ch. 20 Note

Back to the questions.
 What

are the confession's sources?  Why isn‟t this in the WCF? In once sense it is. Savoy summarized, concentrated teaching already found in the WCF

Back to the questions.
 What

are the confession's sources?  Why isn’t this in the WCF?  Then why was this inserted in the 1689? Or inserted into the Savoy?

Back to the questions.
 What

are the confession's sources?  Why isn’t this in the WCF?  Then why was this inserted in the 1689? Or inserted into the Savoy?  What error(s) were they addressing?

Of the Gospel & the Extent of Its Grace
 What

error(s) were they addressing? No hard evidence Clue to specific theme found in the emphasis on revelation throughout each chapter “Reveal” is found in each chapter (in various forms) The Special Revelation of the Gospel

“The contents of the chapter indicate that the error in view depreciated the necessity of the special revelation contained in the Scriptures for salvation. A general knowledge of the period permits the educated guess that the Puritan authors had already sensed the intellectual tendency which would later produce Deism, with its emphasis on the sufficiency of human reason and natural revelation and its opposition to supernatural revelation and the distinctive tenants of Christianity. [cont.]

…Such men wanted to establish a completely ration basis for the existence of God and morality. They disliked the idea that a special revelation given only to some men was necessary to worship and serve God acceptably.” - Sam Waldron

“This differs sharply from views of creation that were on the rise when the confession was written. Deists metaphorically saw God as the great clock maker in the sky. He designed the clock, builds it, winds it up, and then lets it operate on its own internal power. Although the religion of Deism is long gone, its philosophy has captured our modern culture. [cont.]

…For the Christian and the Hebrew, however, God created the world and the world remains dependent on him for its continued existence.”
- R.C. Sproul

Issues related to the Gospel
 The  The

inadequacy of natural revelation & the necessity of supernatural revelation sovereign prerogative of God to give the gospel to whom he will

 The

necessity of the Spirit‟s direct, divine and supernatural intervention in regenerating power for salvation of the individual.

20 – Outline
The Special Revelation of the Gospel - Revelation… I. Inaugurated II. Necessary III. Sovereign IV. Sufficienct

Ch.20 – P.1 [Inauguration]
 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 [cont.]

Ch.20 – P.1 [Inauguration]
 …In

this promise the gospel in its substance was revealed and made effectual for the conversion and salvation of sinners.2

1 2

Genesis 3:15.

Revelation 13:8.

[Inauguration]
 Gen.

3:15 – Promise of the Gospel  Rom. 16:20; Rev. 12:17 – Seed of the women embraces all her righteous seed [not physical]  Eph. 2:12 – “covenants of promise”  Gal. 4:4 – “in the fulness of time… born of a woman”  Heb. 11:13, 39 – Gained approval by faith in the promise of salvation

Ch.20 – P.2 [Necessary]
 This

promise of Christ and of salvation through him is revealed in the Word of God alone.3 The works of creation and providence, when assisted only by the light of nature, do not reveal Christ or grace through him, even in a general or obscure way.4 [cont.]

Ch.20 – P.2 [Necessary]
 …Much

less are those without the revelation of him in the promise or gospel enabled to attain saving faith or repentance by seeing these works of God.5
Romans 1:17.

3

4
5

Romans 10:14,15,17.

Proverbs 29:18; Isaiah 25:7; Isaiah 60:2, 3.

[Necessary] Rom. 10:9-17
People will call on Jesus to save them only if they believe he can do so 2. Belief in Christ cannot exist without knowledge of him 3. One hears about Christ only when one proclaims the message 4. The message of Christ won‟t be proclaimed unless God sends them
1.

Ch.20 – P.3 [Sovereign]
 The

gospel has been revealed to sinners in various times and in different places, along with the promises and precepts describing the obedience it requires. The particular nations and individuals who are granted this revelation are chosen solely according to the sovereign will and good pleasure of God.6 [cont.]

Ch.20 – P.3 [Sovereign]
 …This

choice does not depend on any promise to those who demonstrate good stewardship of their natural abilities based on common light received apart from the gospel. No one has ever done this nor can anyone do so.7 [cont.]

Ch. 20 – P. 3 [cont.]
 …Therefore,

in every age the preaching of the gospel to individuals and nations has been granted in widely varying degrees of expansion and contraction, according to the counsel of the will of God.
Psalms 147:20; Acts 16:7. Romans 1:18-32.

6 7

[Sovereign]
 Ps.

147:20 – “He has not dealt thus with any nation; And as for His ordinances, they have not known them. Praise the LORD!” 16:7 – “And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them”

 Acts

Chapter 20 - Paragraph 4
 The

gospel is the only outward means of revealing Christ and saving grace, and it is abundantly sufficient for that purpose. Yet to be born again, brought to life or regenerated, those who are dead in trespasses also must have an effectual, irresistible work of the Holy Spirit in every part of their souls to produce in them a new spiritual life.8 [cont.]

Ch. 20 – P. 4 [cont.]
 …Without

this no other means will bring about their conversion to God.9

8
9

Psalms 110:3; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 1:19, 20. John 6:44; 2 Corinthians 4:4, 6.

How Sweet & Awesome is this Place?
“Why was I made to hear Thy voice, And enter while there‟s room, When thousands make a wretched choice, And rather starve than come?” ‟Twas the same love that spread the feast That sweetly drew us in; Else we had still refused to taste, And perished in our sin.

How Sweet & Awesome is this Place? Pity the nations, O our God! Constrain the earth to come; Send Thy victorious Word abroad, And bring the strangers home. We long to see Thy churches full, That all the chosen race May with one voice, and heart and soul, Sing Thy redeeming grace.

1689 Sources & The Gospel & the Extent of Its Grace
THE 1689 BAPTIST CONFESSION
CHAPTER 20