Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day (1689)

By Steven Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they give after each section but written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. I plan on doing the whole confession so keep checking back or subscribe!

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 22 – Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day (In Full) 

The light of nature demonstrates that there is a God who has lordship and sovereignty over all. He is just and good and does good to everyone. Therefore, he should be feared, loved, praised, called on, trusted in, and served—with all the heart and all the soul and all the strength. But the acceptable way to worship the true God is instituted by him, and it is delimited by his own revealed will. Thus, he may not be worshipped according to human imagination or inventions or the suggestions of Satan, nor through any visible representations, nor in any other way that is not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.

Religious worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and to him alone—not to angels, saints, or any other creatures. Since the fall, worship is not to be given without a mediator nor through any mediation other than of Christ alone.

Prayer with thanksgiving is an element of natural worship and so is required by God of everyone. But to be acceptable, it must be made in the name of the Son, by the help of the Spirit, according to his will. It must be accompanied by understanding, reverence, humility, fervor, faith, love, and perseverance. Prayer with others must be in a language that is understood.

Prayer is to be made for lawful things and for all kinds of people who are alive now or will live later. But prayer should not be made for the dead nor for those known to have sinned the sin that leads to death.

The elements of religious worship of God include reading the Scriptures, preaching and hearing the Word of God, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord, as well as the administration of baptism and the Lord’s supper. They must be performed out of obedience to him, with understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear. Also, purposeful acts of humbling with fasting and times of  thanksgiving should be observed on special occasions in a holy and religious manner.

Under the gospel, neither prayer nor any other part of religious worship is now restricted to or made more acceptable by the place where it is done or toward which it is directed. Instead, God is to be worshipped everywhere in spirit and in truth—daily in each family and privately by each individual. Also, more formal worship is to be performed in public assemblies, and these must not be carelessly or deliberately neglected or forsaken, when God by his word or providence calls us to them.

It is the law of nature that in general a portion of time specified by God should be set apart for the worship of God. So by his Word, in a positive-moral and perpetual commandment that obligates everyone in every age, he has specifically appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy to him. From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ the appointed day was the last day of the week. After the resurrection of Christ it was changed to the first day of the week, which is called the Lord’s Day. This day is to be kept to the end of the age as the Christian Sabbath, since the observance of the last day of the week has been abolished.

The Sabbath is kept holy to the Lord when people have first prepared their hearts appropriately and arranged their everyday affairs in advance. Then they observe a holy rest all day from their own works, words and thoughts about their secular employment and recreation. Not only that, but they also fill the whole time with public and private acts of worship and the duties of necessity and mercy.

 

Chapter 22 – Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day (w/ Scripture) ESV

 -The light of nature demonstrates that there is a God who has lordship and sovereignty over all. He is just and good and does good to everyone. Therefore, he should be feared, loved, praised, called on, trusted in, and served—with all the heart and all the soul and all the strength.

(Jeremiah 10:7, Who would not fear you, O King of the nations? For this is your due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like you.)

(Mark 12:33, And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”)

-But the acceptable way to worship the true God is instituted by him,

(Deuteronomy 12:32, “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.)

-and it is delimited by his own revealed will. Thus, he may not be worshipped according to human imagination or inventions or the suggestions of Satan, nor through any visible representations, nor in any other way that is not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.

(Exodus 20:4–6, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.)

-Religious worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and to him alone

(Matthew 4:9-10, And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”)

(John 5:23, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.)

(Matthew 28:19, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,)

-not to angels, saints, or any other creatures.

(Romans 1:25, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.)

(Colossians 2:18, Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,)

(Revelation 19:10, Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.)

-Since the fall, worship is not to be given without a mediator

(John 14:6, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.)

-nor through any mediation other than of Christ alone.

(1 Timothy 2:5, For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,)

-Prayer with thanksgiving is an element of natural worship and so is required by God of everyone.

(Psalms 95:1–7, Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice,)

(Psalms 65:2, O you who hear prayer, to you shall all flesh come.)

-But to be acceptable, it must be made in the name of the Son,

(John 14:13-14, Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.)

-by the help of the Spirit,

(Romans 8:26, Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.)

-according to his will.

(1 John 5:14, And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.)

-It must be accompanied by understanding, reverence, humility, fervor, faith, love, and perseverance. Prayer with others must be in a language that is understood.

(1 Corinthians 14:16-17, Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up.)

-Prayer is to be made for lawful things and for all kinds of people who are alive now or will live later.

(1 Timothy 2:1-2, First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.)

(2 Samuel 7:29, Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”)

-But prayer should not be made for the dead

(2 Samuel 12:21–23, Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”)

-nor for those known to have sinned the sin that leads to death.

(1 John 5:16, If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.)

-The elements of religious worship of God include reading the Scriptures,

(1 Timothy 4:13, Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.)

-preaching and hearing the Word of God,

(2 Timothy 4:2, preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.)

(Luke 8:18, Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”)

-teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord,

(Colossians 3:16, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.)

(Ephesians 5:19, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,)

-as well as the administration of baptism

(Matthew 28:19-20, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”)

-and the Lord’s supper.

(1 Corinthians 11:26, For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.)

-They must be performed out of obedience to him, with understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear. Also, purposeful acts of humbling with fasting

(Esther 4:16, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”)

(Joel 2:12, “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;)

-and times of  thanksgiving should be observed on special occasions in a holy and religious manner.

(Exodus 15:1–19, Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider[a] he has thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him,  my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name. “Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea, and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea. The floods covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone. Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy. In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries; you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble. At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up; the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea. The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them. I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.’ You blew with your wind; the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters. “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? You stretched out your right hand; the earth swallowed them. “You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode. The peoples have heard; they tremble; pangs have seized the inhabitants of Philistia. Now are the chiefs of Edom dismayed; trembling seizes the leaders of Moab; all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away. Terror and dread fall upon them; because of the greatness of your arm, they are still as a stone, till your people, O Lord, pass by, till the people pass by whom you have purchased. You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain, the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode, the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established. The Lord will reign forever and ever.” For when the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought back the waters of the sea upon them, but the people of Israel walked on dry ground in the midst of the sea.

(Psalms 107, Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons, for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High. So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor; they fell down, with none to help. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron. Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction; they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy! Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep. For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the evil of its inhabitants. He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in; they sow fields and plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield. By his blessing they multiply greatly, and he does not let their livestock diminish. When they are diminished and brought low through oppression, evil, and sorrow, he pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes; but he raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks. The upright see it and are glad, and all wickedness shuts its mouth. Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord.)

-Under the gospel, neither prayer nor any other part of religious worship is now restricted to or made more acceptable by the place where it is done or toward which it is directed. Instead, God is to be worshipped everywhere in spirit and in truth

(John 4:21, Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.)

(Malachi 1:11, For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.)

(1 Timothy 2:8, I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;)

-daily

(Matthew 6:11, Give us this day our daily bread,)

(Psalms 55:17, Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.)

-in each family

(Acts 10:2, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God.)

-and privately by each individual.

(Matthew 6:6, But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.)

-Also, more formal worship is to be performed in public assemblies, and these must not be carelessly or deliberately neglected or forsaken, when God by his word or providence calls us to them.

(Hebrews 10:25, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.)

(Acts 2:42, And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.)

-It is the law of nature that in general a portion of time specified by God should be set apart for the worship of God. So by his Word, in a positive-moral and perpetual commandment that obligates everyone in every age, he has specifically appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy to him.

(Exodus 20:8, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.)

-From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ the appointed day was the last day of the week. After the resurrection of Christ it was changed to the first day of the week, which is called the Lord’s Day.

(1 Corinthians 16:1-2, Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.)

(Acts 20:7, On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.)

(Revelation 1:10, I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet)

-This day is to be kept to the end of the age as the Christian Sabbath, since the observance of the last day of the week has been abolished. The Sabbath is kept holy to the Lord when people have first prepared their hearts appropriately and arranged their everyday affairs in advance. Then they observe a holy rest all day from their own works, words and thoughts about their secular employment and recreation.

(Isaiah 58:13, “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;)

(Nehemiah 13:15–22, In those days I saw in Judah people treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys, and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them on the day when they sold food. Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of goods and sold them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah, in Jerusalem itself! Then I confronted the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Now you are bringing more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.” As soon as it began to grow dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I stationed some of my servants at the gates, that no load might be brought in on the Sabbath day. Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. But I warned them and said to them, “Why do you lodge outside the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the Sabbath. Then I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.)

-Not only that, but they also fill the whole time with public and private acts of worship and the duties of necessity and mercy.

(Matthew 12:1–13, At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” He went on from there and entered their synagogue. And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him. He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other.)

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

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Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience (1689)

By Steven Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they give after each section but written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. I plan on doing the whole confession so keep checking back or subscribe!

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 21 – Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience (In Full) 

The liberty Christ has purchased for believers under the gospel is found in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, and the severity and curse of the law. It also includes their deliverance from this present evil age, bondage to Satan, the dominion of sin, the suffering of afflictions, the fear and sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation. In addition, it includes their free access to God and their obedience to him, not from slavish fear but from a childlike love and willing mind.

All these liberties were also enjoyed in their essence by believers under the law. But under the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further expanded. They are free from the yoke of the ceremonial law to which the Jewish congregation was subjected; they have greater confidence of access to the throne of grace; and they have a fuller supply of God’s free Spirit than believers under the law usually experienced.

God alone is Lord of the conscience, and he has left it free from human doctrines and commandments that are in any way contrary to his word or not contained in it. So, believing such doctrines, or obeying such commands out of conscience, is a betrayal of true liberty of conscience. Requiring implicit faith or absolute and blind obedience destroys liberty of conscience and reason as well.

Those who use Christian liberty as an excuse to practice any sin or nurture any sinful desire pervert the main objective of the grace of the gospel to their own destruction, and they completely destroy the purpose of Christian liberty. This purpose is that we, having been delivered from the hands of all our enemies, may serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our lives.

 

Chapter 21 – Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience (w/ Scripture) ESV

-The liberty Christ has purchased for believers under the gospel is found in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, and the severity and curse of the law.

(Galatians 3:13, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”)

-It also includes their deliverance from this present evil age,

(Galatians 1:4, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,)

-bondage to Satan,

(Acts 26:18, to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’)

-the dominion of sin,

(Romans 8:3, For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,)

-the suffering of afflictions,

(Romans 8:28, And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.)

-the fear and sting of death, the victory of the grave,

(1 Corinthians 15:54–57, When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.)

-and everlasting damnation.

(2 Thessalonians 1:10, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.)

-In addition, it includes their free access to God and their obedience to him, not from slavish fear

(Romans 8:15, For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”)

-but from a childlike love and willing mind.

(Luke 1:73–75, the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.)

(1 John 4:18, There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.)

-All these liberties were also enjoyed in their essence by believers under the law.

(Galatians 3:9, So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.)

(Galatians 3:14, so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.)

-But under the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further expanded. They are free from the yoke of the ceremonial law to which the Jewish congregation was subjected; they have greater confidence of access to the throne of grace; and they have a fuller supply of God’s free Spirit than believers under the law usually experienced.

(John 7:38-39, Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.)

(Hebrews 10:19–21, Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God,)

-God alone is Lord of the conscience,

(James 4:12, There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?)

(Romans 14:4, Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.)

-and he has left it free from human doctrines and commandments that are in any way contrary to his word or not contained in it.

(Acts 4:19, But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge,)

(Acts 4:29, And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,)

(1 Corinthians 7:23, You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.)

(Matthew 15:9, in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”)

-So, believing such doctrines, or obeying such commands out of conscience, is a betrayal of true liberty of conscience.

(Colossians 2:20, If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations)

(Colossians 2:22-23, (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.)

-Requiring implicit faith or absolute and blind obedience destroys liberty of conscience and reason as well.

(1 Corinthians 3:5, What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.)

(2 Corinthians 1:24, Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.)

-Those who use Christian liberty as an excuse to practice any sin or nurture any sinful desire pervert the main objective of the grace of the gospel to their own destruction,

(Romans 6:1-2, What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?)

-and they completely destroy the purpose of Christian liberty. This purpose is that we, having been delivered from the hands of all our enemies, may serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our lives.

(Galatians 5:13, For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.)

(2 Peter 2:18, For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error.)

(2 Peter 2:21, For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.)

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @theshaws @psalmlife @fitcore

The Gospel and the Extent of Its Grace (1689)

By Steven Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they give after each section but written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. I plan on doing the whole confession so keep checking back or subscribe!

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 20 – The Gospel and the Extent of Its Grace (In Full) 

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

This promise of Christ and of salvation through him is revealed in the Word of God alone. 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. 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.

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. 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. 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.

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. Without this no other means will bring about their conversion to God.

 

Chapter 20 – The Gospel and the Extent of Its Grace (w/ Scripture) ESV

-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.

(Genesis 3:15, I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”)

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

(Revelation 13:8, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.)

-This promise of Christ and of salvation through him is revealed in the Word of God alone.

(Romans 1:17, For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”)

-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.

(Romans 10:14-15, How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”)

(Romans 10:17, So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.)

-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.

(Proverbs 29:18, Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.)

(Isaiah 25:7, And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations.)

(Isaiah 60:2-3, For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.)

-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.

(Psalms 147:20, He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his rules. Praise the Lord!)

(Acts 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.)

-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.

(Romans 1:18–32, For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.)

-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. 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.

(Psalms 110:3, Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours.)

(1 Corinthians 2:14, The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.)

(Ephesians 1:19-20, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,)

-Without this no other means will bring about their conversion to God.

(John 6:44, No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.)

(2 Corinthians 4:4, In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.)

(2 Corinthians 4:6, For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.)

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @theshaws @psalmlife @fitcore

The Law of God (1689)

By Steven Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they give after each section but written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. I plan on doing the whole confession so keep checking back or subscribe!

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 19 – The Law of God (In Full) 

God gave Adam a law of comprehensive obedience written in his heart and a specific precept not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. By these God obligated him and all his descendants to personal, total, exact, and perpetual obedience. God promised life if Adam fulfilled it and threatened death if he broke it, and he gave Adam the power and ability to keep it.

The same law that was first written in the human heart continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness after the fall. It was delivered by God on Mount Sinai in ten commandments and was written in two tables. The first four commandments contain our duty to God and the other six our duty to humanity.

In addition to this law—usually called the moral law—God was pleased to give the people of Israel ceremonial laws, containing several typological ordinances. In some ways these concerned worship, by prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits. In other ways they revealed various instructions about moral duties. Since all of these ceremonial laws were appointed only until the new order arrived, they are now abolished and taken away by Jesus Christ. As the true Messiah and the only law-giver, he was empowered by the Father to do this.

To Israel he also gave various judicial laws, which ceased at the same time their nation ended. These laws no longer obligate anyone as part of that institution. Only their general principles of justice continue to have moral value.

The moral law forever requires obedience of everyone, both those who are justified as well as others. This obligation arises not only because of its content but also because of the authority of God the Creator who gave it. Nor does Christ in any way dissolve this obligation in the Gospel; instead he greatly strengthens it.

True believers are not under the law as a covenant of works, to be justified or condemned by it. Yet it is very useful to them and to others as a rule of life that informs them of the will of God and their duty. It directs and obligates them to live according to its precepts. It also exposes the sinful corruptions of their natures, hearts, and lives. As they examine themselves in light of the law, they come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred of sin, along with a clearer view of their need for Christ and the perfection of his obedience. The law is also useful to the regenerate to restrain their corruptions because it forbids sin. The punishment threatened by the law shows them what even their sins deserve and what troubles they may expect in this life due to their sin, even though they are freed from the curse and undiminished severity of it. The promises of the law likewise show them God’s approval of obedience and the blessings they may expect when they keep it, even though these blessings are not owed to them by the law as a covenant of works. If people do good and refrain from evil because the law encourages good and discourages evil, that does not indicate that they are under the law and not under grace.

These uses of the law are not contrary to the grace of the Gospel but are in sweet harmony with it, for the Spirit of Christ subdues and enables the human will to do freely and cheerfully what the will of God as revealed in the law requires.

 

Chapter 19 – The Law of God (w/Scriptures) ESV

-God gave Adam a law of comprehensive obedience written in his heart and a specific precept not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

(Genesis 1:27, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.)

(Ecclesiastes 7:29, See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.)

-By these God obligated him and all his descendants to personal, total, exact, and perpetual obedience.

(Romans 10:5, For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them.)

-God promised life if Adam fulfilled it and threatened death if he broke it, and he gave Adam the power and ability to keep it.

(Galatians 3:10, For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”)

(Galatians 3:12, But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.”)

-The same law that was first written in the human heart continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness after the fall.

(Romans 2:14-15, For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them)

-It was delivered by God on Mount Sinai in ten commandments and was written in two tables. The first four commandments contain our duty to God and the other six our duty to humanity.

(Deuteronomy 10:4, And he wrote on the tablets, in the same writing as before, the Ten Commandments that the Lord had spoken to you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly. And the Lord gave them to me.)

-In addition to this law—usually called the moral law—God was pleased to give the people of Israel ceremonial laws, containing several typological ordinances. In some ways these concerned worship, by prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits.

(Hebrews 10:1, For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.)

(Colossians 2:17, These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.)

-In other ways they revealed various instructions about moral duties.

(1 Corinthians 5:7, Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.)

-Since all of these ceremonial laws were appointed only until the new order arrived, they are now abolished and taken away by Jesus Christ. As the true Messiah and the only law-giver, he was empowered by the Father to do this.

(Colossians 2:14, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.)

(Colossians 2:16-17, Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.)

(Ephesians 2:14, For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility)

(Ephesians 2:16, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.)

-To Israel he also gave various judicial laws, which ceased at the same time their nation ended. These laws no longer obligate anyone as part of that institution. Only their general principles of justice continue to have moral value.

(1 Corinthians 9:8–10, Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop.)

-The moral law forever requires obedience of everyone, both those who are justified as well as others.

(Romans 13:8–10, Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.)

(James 2:8, If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.)

(James 2:10–12, For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.)

-This obligation arises not only because of its content but also because of the authority of God the Creator who gave it.

(James 2:10-11, For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.)

-Nor does Christ in any way dissolve this obligation in the Gospel; instead he greatly strengthens it.

(Matthew 5:17–19, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.)

(Romans 3:31, Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.)

-True believers are not under the law as a covenant of works, to be justified or condemned by it.

(Romans 6:14, For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.)

(Galatians 2:16, yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.)

(Romans 8:1, There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.)

(Romans 10:4, For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.)

-Yet it is very useful to them and to others as a rule of life that informs them of the will of God and their duty. It directs and obligates them to live according to its precepts. It also exposes the sinful corruptions of their natures, hearts, and lives. As they examine themselves in light of the law, they come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred of sin,

(Romans 3:20, For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.)

(Romans 7:7, What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”)

-along with a clearer view of their need for Christ and the perfection of his obedience. The law is also useful to the regenerate to restrain their corruptions because it forbids sin. The punishment threatened by the law shows them what even their sins deserve and what troubles they may expect in this life due to their sin, even though they are freed from the curse and undiminished severity of it. The promises of the law likewise show them God’s approval of obedience and the blessings they may expect when they keep it, even though these blessings are not owed to them by the law as a covenant of works. If people do good and refrain from evil because the law encourages good and discourages evil, that does not indicate that they are under the law and not under grace.

(Romans 6:12–14, Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.)

(1 Peter 3:8–13, Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?)

-These uses of the law are not contrary to the grace of the Gospel but are in sweet harmony with it,

(Galatians 3:21, Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.)

-for the Spirit of Christ subdues and enables the human will to do freely and cheerfully what the will of God as revealed in the law requires.

(Ezekiel 36:27, And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.)

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @theshaws @psalmlife @fitcore

Assurance of Grace and Salvation (1689)

By Steven Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they give after each section but written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. I plan on doing the whole confession so keep checking back or subscribe!

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 18 – Assurance of Grace and Salvation (In Full) 

Temporary believers and other unregenerate people may deceive themselves in vain with false hopes and fleshly presumptions that they have God’s favor and salvation, but their hope will perish. Yet those who truly believe in the Lord Jesus and love him sincerely, endeavoring to walk in all good conscience before him, may be certainly assured in this life that they are in a state of grace. They may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, and this hope will never make them ashamed.

This certainty is not merely an inconclusive or likely persuasion based on a fallible hope. It is an infallible assurance of faith founded on the blood and righteousness of Christ revealed in the Gospel. It is also built on the inward evidence of those graces of the Spirit about which promises are made. It is further based on the testimony of the Spirit of adoption, witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God. As a fruit of this assurance, our hearts are kept both humble and holy.

This infallible assurance is not such an essential part of faith that it is always fully experienced alongside faith, but true believers may wait a long time and struggle with many difficulties before obtaining it. Yet with the enabling of the Spirit to know the things freely given to them by God, they may attain this assurance using ordinary means appropriately without any extraordinary revelation. Therefore, it is the duty of all to be as diligent as possible to make their calling and election sure. In this way their hearts may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience. These effects are the natural fruits of this assurance. Thus, it does not at all encourage believers to be negligent.

True believers may in various ways have the assurance of their salvation shaken, decreased, or temporarily lost. This may happen because they neglect to preserve it or fall into some specific sin that wounds their conscience and grieves the Spirit. It may happen through some unexpected or forceful temptation or when God withdraws the light of his face and allows even those who fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light. Yet they are never completely lacking the seed of God, the life of faith, love of Christ and the brethren, sincerity of heart, or conscience concerning their duty. Out of these graces, through the work of the Spirit, this assurance may at the proper time be revived. In the meantime, they are kept from utter despair through them.

 

Chapter 18 – Assurance of Grace and Salvation (w/ Scriptures) ESV

-Temporary believers and other unregenerate people may deceive themselves in vain with false hopes and fleshly presumptions that they have God’s favor and salvation, but their hope will perish.

(Job 8:13-14, Such are the paths of all who forget God; the hope of the godless shall perish. His confidence is severed, and his trust is a spider’s web.)

(Matthew 7:22-23, On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’)

-Yet those who truly believe in the Lord Jesus and love him sincerely, endeavoring to walk in all good conscience before him, may be certainly assured in this life that they are in a state of grace. They may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God,

(1 John 2:3, And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.)

(1 John 3:14, We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.)

(1 John 3:18-19, Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him;)

(1 John 3:21, Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;)

(1 John 3:24, Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.)

(1 John 5:13, I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.)

-and this hope will never make them ashamed.

(Romans 5:2, Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.)

(Romans 5:5, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.)

-This certainty is not merely an inconclusive or likely persuasion based on a fallible hope. It is an infallible assurance of faith

(Hebrews 6:11, And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end,)

(Hebrews 6:19, We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,)

-founded on the blood and righteousness of Christ revealed in the Gospel.

(Hebrews 6:17-18, So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.)

-It is also built on the inward evidence of those graces of the Spirit about which promises are made.

(2 Peter 1:4-5, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,)

(2 Peter 1:10-11, Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.)

-It is further based on the testimony of the Spirit of adoption, witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God.

(Romans 8:15-16, For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,)

-As a fruit of this assurance, our hearts are kept both humble and holy.

(1 John 3:1–3, See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.)

-This infallible assurance is not such an essential part of faith that it is always fully experienced alongside faith, but true believers may wait a long time and struggle with many difficulties before obtaining it.

(Isaiah 50:10, Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.)

(Psalms 88, O Lord, God of my salvation, I cry out day and night before you. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry! For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am a man who has no strength, like one set loose among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand. You have put me in the depths of the pit, in the regions dark and deep. Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah. You have caused my companions to shun me; you have made me a horror to them. I am shut in so that I cannot escape; my eye grows dim through sorrow. Every day I call upon you, O Lord; I spread out my hands to you. Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the departed rise up to praise you? Selah. Is your steadfast love declared in the grave, or your faithfulness in Abaddon? Are your wonders known in the darkness, or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? But I, O Lord, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you. O Lord, why do you cast my soul away? Why do you hide your face from me? Afflicted and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am helpless. Your wrath has swept over me; your dreadful assaults destroy me. They surround me like a flood all day long; they close in on me together. You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me; my companions have become darkness.)

(Psalms 77:1–12, I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah. You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I consider the days of old, the years long ago. I said, “Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.” Then my spirit made a diligent search: “Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah. Then I said, “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.)

-Yet with the enabling of the Spirit to know the things freely given to them by God, they may attain this assurance using ordinary means appropriately without any extraordinary revelation.

(1 John 4:13, By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.)

(Hebrews 6:11-12, And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.)

-Therefore, it is the duty of all to be as diligent as possible to make their calling and election sure. In this way their hearts may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience. These effects are the natural fruits of this assurance.

(Romans 5:1-2, Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.)

(Romans 5:5, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.)

(Romans 14:17, For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.)

(Psalms 119:32, I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!)

-Thus, it does not at all encourage believers to be negligent.

(Romans 6:1-2, What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?)

(Titus 2:11-12, For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,)

(Titus 2:14, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.)

-True believers may in various ways have the assurance of their salvation shaken, decreased, or temporarily lost. This may happen because they neglect to preserve it

(Song of Solomon 5:2-3, I slept, but my heart was awake. A sound! My beloved is knocking. “Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one, for my head is wet with dew, my locks with the drops of the night.” I had put off my garment; how could I put it on? I had bathed my feet; how could I soil them?)

(Song of Solomon 5:6, I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had turned and gone. My soul failed me when he spoke. I sought him, but found him not; I called him, but he gave no answer.)

-or fall into some specific sin that wounds their conscience and grieves the Spirit.

(Psalms 51:8, Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.)

(Psalms 51:12, Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.)

(Psalms 51:14, Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.)

-It may happen through some unexpected or forceful temptation

(Psalms 116:11, I said in my alarm, “All mankind are liars.”)

(Psalms 77:7-8, “Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time?)

(Psalms 31:22, I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your sight.” But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help.)

-or when God withdraws the light of his face and allows even those who fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light.

(Psalms 30:7, By your favor, O Lord, you made my mountain stand strong; you hid your face; I was dismayed)

-Yet they are never completely lacking the seed of God,

(1 John 3:9, No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.)

-the life of faith,

(Luke 22:32, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”)

-love of Christ and the brethren, sincerity of heart, or conscience concerning their duty. Out of these graces, through the work of the Spirit, this assurance may at the proper time be revived.

(Psalms 42:5, Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation)

(Psalms 42:11, Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.)

-In the meantime, they are kept from utter despair through them.

(Lamentations 3:26–31, It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him; let him put his mouth in the dust—there may yet be hope; let him give his cheek to the one who strikes, and let him be filled with insults. For the Lord will not cast off forever,)

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @theshaws @psalmlife @fitcore

The Perseverance of the Saints (1689)

By Steven Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they give after each section but written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. I plan on doing the whole confession so keep checking back or subscribe!

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 17 – The Perseverance of the Saints (In Full) 

Those God has accepted in the Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, and given the precious faith of his elect can neither totally nor finally fall from a state of grace. They will certainly persevere in grace to the end and be eternally saved, because the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable. Therefore, he still brings about and nourishes in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all the graces of the Spirit that lead to immortality. Even though many storms and floods arise and beat against them, yet these things will never be able to move the elect from the foundation and rock to which they are anchored by faith. The felt sight of the light and love of God may be clouded and obscured from them for a time through their unbelief and the temptations of Satan. Yet God is still the same;  they will certainly be kept by the power of God for salvation, where they will enjoy their purchased possession. For they are engraved on the palms of his hands, and their names have been written in the book of life from all eternity.

This perseverance of the saints does not depend on their own free will but on the unchangeableness of the decree of election, which flows from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father. It is based on the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ and union with him, the oath of God, the abiding of his Spirit, the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace. The certainty and infallibility of their perseverance is based on all these things.

They may fall into grievous sins and continue in them for a time, due to the temptation of Satan and the world, the strength of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of means of their preservation. In so doing, they incur God’s displeasure and grieve his Holy Spirit; their graces and comforts become impaired; their hearts are hardened and their consciences wounded; they hurt and scandalize others and bring temporary judgments on themselves. Nevertheless, they will renew their repentance and be preserved through faith in Christ Jesus to the end.

 

Chapter 17 – The Perseverance of the Saints (w/ Scripture) ESV

-Those God has accepted in the Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, and given the precious faith of his elect can neither totally nor finally fall from a state of grace. They will certainly persevere in grace to the end and be eternally saved, because the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable. Therefore, he still brings about and nourishes in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all the graces of the Spirit that lead to immortality.

(John 10:28-29, I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.)

(Philippians 1:6, And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.)

(2 Timothy 2:19, But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”)

(1 John 2:19, They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.)

-Even though many storms and floods arise and beat against them, yet these things will never be able to move the elect from the foundation and rock to which they are anchored by faith. The felt sight of the light and love of God may be clouded and obscured from them for a time through their unbelief and the temptations of Satan.

(Psalms 89:31-32, if they violate my statutes and do not keep my commandments, then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes,)

(1 Corinthians 11:32, But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.)

-Yet God is still the same;  they will certainly be kept by the power of God for salvation, where they will enjoy their purchased possession. For they are engraved on the palms of his hands, and their names have been written in the book of life from all eternity.

(Malachi 3:6, “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.)

-This perseverance of the saints does not depend on their own free will but on the unchangeableness of the decree of election,

(Romans 8:30, And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.)

(Romans 9:11, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who call)

(Romans 9:16, So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.)

-which flows from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father. It is based on the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ and union with him,

(Romans 5:9-10, Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.)

(John 14:19, Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.)

-the oath of God,

(Hebrews 6:17-18, So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.)

-the abiding of his Spirit, the seed of God within them,

(1 John 3:9, No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.)

-and the nature of the covenant of grace.

(Jeremiah 32:40, I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.)

-The certainty and infallibility of their perseverance is based on all these things. They may fall into grievous sins and continue in them for a time, due to the temptation of Satan and the world, the strength of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of means of their preservation.

(Matthew 26:70, But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.”)

(Matthew 26:72, And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.”)

(Matthew 26:74, Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed.)

-In so doing, they incur God’s displeasure and grieve his Holy Spirit;

(Isaiah 64:5, You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways. Behold, you were angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?)

(Isaiah 64:9, Be not so terribly angry, O Lord, and remember not iniquity forever. Behold, please look, we are all your people.)

(Ephesians 4:30, And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.)

-their graces and comforts become impaired;

(Psalms 51:10, Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.)

(Psalms 51:12, Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.)

-their hearts are hardened and their consciences wounded;

(Psalms 32:3-4, For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up[a] as by the heat of summer.)

-they hurt and scandalize others and bring temporary judgments on themselves.

(2 Samuel 12:14, Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.”)

-Nevertheless, they will renew their repentance and be preserved through faith in Christ Jesus to the end.

(Luke 22:32, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”)

(Luke 22:61-62, And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly)

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @theshaws @psalmlife @fitcore

Good Works (1689)

By Steven Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they give after each section but written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. I plan on doing the whole confession so keep checking back or subscribe!

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 16 – Good Works (In Full) 

Good works are only those works that God has commanded in his holy Word. Works that do not have this warrant are invented by people out of blind zeal or on a pretense of good intentions and are not truly good.

These good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the fruit and evidence of a true and living faith. Through good works believers express their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance, build up their brothers and sisters, adorn the profession of the gospel, stop the mouths of opponents, and glorify God. Believers are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, so that they bear fruit leading to holiness and have the outcome, eternal life.

Their ability to do good works does not arise at all from themselves but entirely from the Spirit of Christ. To enable them to do good works, they need—in addition to the graces they have already received—an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit to work in them to will and to do his good pleasure. Yet this is no reason for them to grow negligent, as if they were not required to perform any duty without a special motion of the Spirit. Instead, they should be diligent to stir up the grace of God that is in them.

Those who attain the greatest heights of obedience possible in this life are far from being able to merit reward by going beyond duty or to do more than God requires. Instead, they fall short of much that is their duty to do.

We cannot, even by our best works, merit pardon of sin or eternal life from God’s hand, due to the huge disproportion between our works and the glory to come, and the infinite distance between us and God. By these works we can neither benefit God nor satisfy him for the debt of our former sins. When we have done all we can, we have only done our duty and are unprofitable servants. Since our good works are good, they must proceed from his Spirit; and since they are performed by us, they are defiled and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection that they cannot withstand the severity of God’s punishment.

Nevertheless, believers are accepted through Christ, and thus their good works are also accepted in him. This acceptance does not mean our good works are completely blameless and irreproachable in God’s sight. Instead, God views them in his Son, and so he is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, even though it is accompanied by many weaknesses and imperfections.

Works done by unregenerate people may in themselves be commanded by God and useful to themselves and others. Yet they do not come from a heart purified by faith and are not done in a right manner according to the Word nor with a right goal—the glory of God. Therefore, they are sinful and cannot please God. They cannot qualify anyone to receive grace from God, and yet their neglect is even more sinful and displeasing to God.

 

Chapter 16 – Good Works (w/Scriptures) ESV

-Good works are only those works that God has commanded in his holy Word.

(Micah 6:8, He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?)

(Hebrews 13:21, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.)

-Works that do not have this warrant are invented by people out of blind zeal or on a pretense of good intentions and are not truly good.

(Matthew 15:9, in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”)

(Isaiah 29:13, And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,)

-These good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the fruit and evidence of a true and living faith.

(James 2:18, But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.)

(James 2:22, You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;)

-Through good works believers express their thankfulness,

(Psalms 116:12-13, What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,)

-strengthen their assurance,

(1 John 2:3, And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.)

(1 John 2:5, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:)

(2 Peter 1:5–11, For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.)

-build up their brothers and sisters, adorn the profession of the gospel,

(Matthew 5:16, In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.)

-stop the mouths of opponents, and glorify God.

(1 Timothy 6:1, Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled.)

(1 Peter 2:15, For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.)

(Philippians 1:11, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.)

-Believers are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,

(Ephesians 2:10, For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.)

-so that they bear fruit leading to holiness and have the outcome, eternal life.

(Romans 6:22, But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.)

-Their ability to do good works does not arise at all from themselves but entirely from the Spirit of Christ.

(John 15:4-5, Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.)

-To enable them to do good works, they need—in addition to the graces they have already received—an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit to work in them to will and to do his good pleasure.

(2 Corinthians 3:5, Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,)

-Yet this is no reason for them to grow negligent, as if they were not required to perform any duty without a special motion of the Spirit. Instead, they should be diligent to stir up the grace of God that is in them.

(Philippians 2:12-13, Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.)

(Hebrews 6:11-12, And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.)

(Isaiah 64:7, There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have made us melt in[a] the hand of our iniquities.)

-Those who attain the greatest heights of obedience possible in this life are far from being able to merit reward by going beyond duty or to do more than God requires. Instead, they fall short of much that is their duty to do.

(Job 9:2-3, “Truly I know that it is so: But how can a man be in the right before God? If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand times.)

(Galatians 5:17, For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.)

(Luke 17:10, So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”)

-We cannot, even by our best works, merit pardon of sin or eternal life from God’s hand, due to the huge disproportion between our works and the glory to come, and the infinite distance between us and God. By these works we can neither benefit God nor satisfy him for the debt of our former sins.

(Romans 3:20, For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.)

(Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.)

(Romans 4:6, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works)

-When we have done all we can, we have only done our duty and are unprofitable servants. Since our good works are good, they must proceed from his Spirit;

(Galatians 5:22-23, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.)

-and since they are performed by us, they are defiled and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection that they cannot withstand the severity of God’s punishment.

(Isaiah 64:6, We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.)

(Psalms 143:2, Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.)

-Nevertheless, believers are accepted through Christ, and thus their good works are also accepted in him.

(Ephesians 1:6, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.)

(1 Peter 2:5, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.)

-This acceptance does not mean our good works are completely blameless and irreproachable in God’s sight. Instead, God views them in his Son, and so he is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, even though it is accompanied by many weaknesses and imperfections.

(Matthew 25:21, His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’)

(Matthew 25:23, His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’)

(Hebrews 6:10, For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.)

-Works done by unregenerate people may in themselves be commanded by God and useful to themselves and others.

(2 Kings 10:30, And the Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.”)

(1 Kings 21:27, And when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about dejectedly.)

(1 Kings 21:29, “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son’s days I will bring the disaster upon his house.”)

-Yet they do not come from a heart purified by faith

(Genesis 4:5, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.)

(Hebrews 11:4, By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.)

(Hebrews 11:6, And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.)

-and are not done in a right manner according to the Word

(1 Corinthians 13:1, If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.)

-nor with a right goal—the glory of God.

(Matthew 6:2, “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.)

(Matthew 6:5, “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.)

-Therefore, they are sinful and cannot please God. They cannot qualify anyone to receive grace from God,

(Amos 5:21-22, “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them.)

(Romans 9:16, So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.)

(Titus 3:5, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,)

-and yet their neglect is even more sinful and displeasing to God.

(Job 21:14-15, They say to God, ‘Depart from us! We do not desire the knowledge of your ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’)

(Matthew 25:41–43, “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’)

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

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