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The 1689 Baptist Confession [Chapter 21-32] PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONES! (Merely silencing them is not sufficient to remove interference.)

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Presentation on theme: "The 1689 Baptist Confession [Chapter 21-32] PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONES! (Merely silencing them is not sufficient to remove interference.)"— Presentation transcript:

1 The 1689 Baptist Confession [Chapter 21-32] PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONES! (Merely silencing them is not sufficient to remove interference.)

2 The 1689 Baptist Confession Quiz 4: 5:30 pm MCTS Classroom May 12 Final Exam: 9:00 AM MCTS Classroom May 15

3 Symbolics 3 The 1689 Baptist Confession [Chapters 21-32] Chapter 21 Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience

4 Introduction: Setting of Chapter 21 PART 1: THE FOUNDATIONS OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT (CH 1-9) PART 1: THE FOUNDATIONS OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT (CH 1-9) PART 2: THE OVERVIEW OF GOD’S SALVATION (CH 10-20) PART 2: THE OVERVIEW OF GOD’S SALVATION (CH 10-20) PART 3: THE SURVEY OF DIVINE INSTITUTIONS (CH 21-30) PART 3: THE SURVEY OF DIVINE INSTITUTIONS (CH 21-30) PART 4: THE TRUTHS ABOUT THE COMING WORLD (CH 31, 32) PART 4: THE TRUTHS ABOUT THE COMING WORLD (CH 31, 32)

5 Introduction: Setting of Chapter 21 PART 3: THE DIVINE INSTITUTIONS: (CH 21-30) PART 3: THE DIVINE INSTITUTIONS: (CH 21-30) SECTION 1 - Liberty of Conscience: (Ch 21) SECTION 1 - Liberty of Conscience: (Ch 21) SECTION 2 - Religious Worship: (Ch 22, 23) SECTION 2 - Religious Worship: (Ch 22, 23) SECTION 3 - Civil Government: (Ch 24) SECTION 3 - Civil Government: (Ch 24) SECTION 4 - Marriage: (Ch 25) SECTION 4 - Marriage: (Ch 25) SECTION 5 - The Church: (Ch 26-30) SECTION 5 - The Church: (Ch 26-30)

6 Introduction: Setting of Chapter 21 The basic divine institution is liberty of conscience. The basic divine institution is liberty of conscience. Others are the authority of the state, church, and family. Others are the authority of the state, church, and family. Liberty of conscience is self-government. Liberty of conscience is self-government. God bestowed on human authorities areas of life in which they govern. God bestowed on human authorities areas of life in which they govern. He reserves for Himself the rule of conscience. He reserves for Himself the rule of conscience.

7 Introduction: Content of Chapter 21 1aThe liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the gospel, consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the rigour and curse of the law, and in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin, from the evil of afflictions, the fear and sting of death, the victory of the grave, and ever-lasting damnation: as also in their free access to God, and their yielding obedience unto Him, not out of slavish fear, but a child-like love and willing mind. 1aThe liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the gospel, consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the rigour and curse of the law, and in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin, from the evil of afflictions, the fear and sting of death, the victory of the grave, and ever-lasting damnation: as also in their free access to God, and their yielding obedience unto Him, not out of slavish fear, but a child-like love and willing mind.

8 Introduction: Content of Chapter 21 1bAll which were common also to believers under the law for the substance of them; but under the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of a ceremonial law, to which the Jewish church was subjected, and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace, and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of. 1bAll which were common also to believers under the law for the substance of them; but under the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of a ceremonial law, to which the Jewish church was subjected, and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace, and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of.

9 Introduction: Content of Chapter 21 2God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to his word, or not contained in it. So that to believe such doctrines, or obey such commands out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience; and the requiring of an implicit faith, an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience and reason also. 2God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to his word, or not contained in it. So that to believe such doctrines, or obey such commands out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience; and the requiring of an implicit faith, an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience and reason also.

10 Introduction: Content of Chapter 21 3They who upon pretence of Christian liberty do practice any sin, or cherish any sinful lust, as they do thereby pervert the main design of the grace of the gospel to their own destruction, so they wholly destroy the end of Christian liberty, which is, that being delivered out of the hands of all our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righeousness before Him, all the days of our lives. 3They who upon pretence of Christian liberty do practice any sin, or cherish any sinful lust, as they do thereby pervert the main design of the grace of the gospel to their own destruction, so they wholly destroy the end of Christian liberty, which is, that being delivered out of the hands of all our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righeousness before Him, all the days of our lives.

11 Introduction: Analysis of Chapter 21 T heme: Christian Liberty T heme: Christian Liberty I.Its Composition I.Its Composition A.Under the Gospel A.Under the Gospel B.Under the Law B.Under the Law II.Its Corollary: Liberty of Conscience II.Its Corollary: Liberty of Conscience A.Its Foundational Principle A.Its Foundational Principle B.Its Basic Implications B.Its Basic Implications C.Its Necessary Requirements C.Its Necessary Requirements III.Its Corruption III.Its Corruption A.Its Essence A.Its Essence B.Its Fruits B.Its Fruits

12 Introduction: Origin of Chapter 21 Three factors form the historical backdrop of this chapter. Three factors form the historical backdrop of this chapter. Ecclesiastical Totalitarianism Ecclesiastical Totalitarianism Civil Totalitarianism Civil Totalitarianism Perverse Reactionism Perverse Reactionism

13 Ecclesiastical Totalitarianism The Roman Church claimed excessive authority over the consciences of Christians. The Roman Church claimed excessive authority over the consciences of Christians. It demanded men believe to be true its pronouncements without scriptural verification and assumed the right to make laws of divine authority which added to the Scriptures. It demanded men believe to be true its pronouncements without scriptural verification and assumed the right to make laws of divine authority which added to the Scriptures. It claimed authority to dictate to the state. It claimed authority to dictate to the state.

14 Civil Totalitarianism A centuries-long conflict was being fought before the Reformation between those who thought the Church was the supreme human authority and those who gave the state this status. A centuries-long conflict was being fought before the Reformation between those who thought the Church was the supreme human authority and those who gave the state this status. Many Reformers were influenced by the second viewpoint. Luther put his churches under the protection and authority of the civil rulers. Henry VIII claimed to be head of the church of England. Many Reformers were influenced by the second viewpoint. Luther put his churches under the protection and authority of the civil rulers. Henry VIII claimed to be head of the church of England. The Reformed insisted, though inconsistently, on the doctrine of Christian liberty and that neither church nor state possessed supreme authority. The Reformed insisted, though inconsistently, on the doctrine of Christian liberty and that neither church nor state possessed supreme authority.

15 Perverse Reactionism The Puritans could see a third danger all around them in their day. The Puritans could see a third danger all around them in their day. Men in throwing off the yoke of Rome and the totalitarian state would react against all constituted authority and go to terrible extremes. Men in throwing off the yoke of Rome and the totalitarian state would react against all constituted authority and go to terrible extremes. This would be just as dangerous as blindly following the aforementioned totalitarianisms. This would be just as dangerous as blindly following the aforementioned totalitarianisms.

16 The Case of the Missing Paragraph “Perverse Reactionism" is rejected by a paragraph left out of the 1689, but in the Westminster as paragraph 4. “Perverse Reactionism" is rejected by a paragraph left out of the 1689, but in the Westminster as paragraph 4. Fringe Anabaptist groups ‑ -those of Munster and the Fifth Monarchy Men ‑ -supported the violent overthrow of the established order by appeals to Christian liberty because Christ was King. Fringe Anabaptist groups ‑ -those of Munster and the Fifth Monarchy Men ‑ -supported the violent overthrow of the established order by appeals to Christian liberty because Christ was King. Such violence is rejected by the 1689 in 24:3. Such violence is rejected by the 1689 in 24:3. The Baptists deleted this paragraph because it said heresy could be proceeded against…by the power of the civil magistrate." The Baptists deleted this paragraph because it said heresy could be proceeded against…by the power of the civil magistrate."

17 The Separation of Church and State The Westminster was rejected by the English Baptists and Congregationalist and later revised by Presbyterians. The Westminster was rejected by the English Baptists and Congregationalist and later revised by Presbyterians. This cautions against "throwing out the baby with the bath water" by over-reacting to a secular view of separation of church and state. This cautions against "throwing out the baby with the bath water" by over-reacting to a secular view of separation of church and state. Early English Baptists and Congregationalists taught separation of church and state. Early English Baptists and Congregationalists taught separation of church and state. Civil government should not revoke the tax- exemption of liberal churches or suppress heresy. Civil government should not revoke the tax- exemption of liberal churches or suppress heresy.

18 I. Its Composition A.Under the Gospel—Described Positively A.Under the Gospel—Described Positively Free access to God and child-like obedience to God are two of the blessings of Christian liberty under the gospel (Eph 2:18; 3:12; Rom 8:15). Free access to God and child-like obedience to God are two of the blessings of Christian liberty under the gospel (Eph 2:18; 3:12; Rom 8:15). Eph 2:18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. Eph 2:18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. Eph 3:12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. Eph 3:12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. Rom 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" Rom 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"

19 I. Its Composition B.Under the Law B.Under the Law Christian liberty possessed a common substance under the law and was subsequently enlarged under the gospel. Christian liberty possessed a common substance under the law and was subsequently enlarged under the gospel. It is common to deny, ignore, or minimize the common substance of Christian liberty in the OT and NT and emphasize the differences to the exclusion of the common substance. It is common to deny, ignore, or minimize the common substance of Christian liberty in the OT and NT and emphasize the differences to the exclusion of the common substance.

20 I. Its Composition B.Under the Law B.Under the Law Christian liberty in the OT is a difficult subject. Christian liberty in the OT is a difficult subject. We must adhere to clear assertions of Scripture. We must adhere to clear assertions of Scripture. The guiding principle is stated in a classic text. The guiding principle is stated in a classic text. John 8:32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free John 8:32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free It is the truth that gives Christian liberty. It is the truth that gives Christian liberty. Did OT saints savingly know redemptive truth? Yes! Then, it set them free. Did OT saints savingly know redemptive truth? Yes! Then, it set them free. Do NT saints have enlarged and clearer views of truth? Yes! Then, they enjoy more freedom. Do NT saints have enlarged and clearer views of truth? Yes! Then, they enjoy more freedom.

21 I. Its Composition under the Law 1.Its Common Substance under the Law 1.Its Common Substance under the Law The common error today absolutizes texts like (Acts 15:10, 11; Gal. 4:1-5). These passages cannot mean that the OT revelation led only to bondage. Saints under the Law responded to the Law as liberating (Ps. 19:7-9; 119:14, 24, 45, 47, 48, 72, 97). The OT saints enjoyed liberation from the curse of the Law by justification (Rom. 4:5-11; Gal. 3:9). They triumphed over evil by faith in that OT revelation (Heb. 11:27, 33, 34). They were renewed and indwelt by the Spirit of liberty (2 Cor. 3:17; John 3:3, 5, 6; Rom. 8:7-9). The common error today absolutizes texts like (Acts 15:10, 11; Gal. 4:1-5). These passages cannot mean that the OT revelation led only to bondage. Saints under the Law responded to the Law as liberating (Ps. 19:7-9; 119:14, 24, 45, 47, 48, 72, 97). The OT saints enjoyed liberation from the curse of the Law by justification (Rom. 4:5-11; Gal. 3:9). They triumphed over evil by faith in that OT revelation (Heb. 11:27, 33, 34). They were renewed and indwelt by the Spirit of liberty (2 Cor. 3:17; John 3:3, 5, 6; Rom. 8:7-9).

22 I. Its Composition under the Law 2.Its Subsequent Enlargement under the Gospel 2.Its Subsequent Enlargement under the Gospel If we know savingly more truth, it must make us more free (John 1:17; Heb. 1:1, 2a; the `betters' of Hebrews (7:19, 22, 8:6, 9:23, 11:40). If we know savingly more truth, it must make us more free (John 1:17; Heb. 1:1, 2a; the `betters' of Hebrews (7:19, 22, 8:6, 9:23, 11:40). Better is a comparative. Better is a comparative. If the NC is better, the OC was not bad, but good. If the NC is better, the OC was not bad, but good. The difference between Christian liberty under the NT and the OT is not between bad and good, but good and better. The difference between Christian liberty under the NT and the OT is not between bad and good, but good and better.

23 2. Its Subsequent Enlargement under the Gospel a.Ceremonial Freedom from the Law a.Ceremonial Freedom from the Law Was the law a yoke? Was the law a yoke? Good rules for children ‑ -a bed time of 8 pm ‑ -are burdens to an adult. Good rules for children ‑ -a bed time of 8 pm ‑ -are burdens to an adult. Such rules are a source of freedom for children—the freedom to do well in school. Such rules are a source of freedom for children—the freedom to do well in school. OT saints were children in an earlier stage of redemptive history and such laws were good for them, but they would be a burden in the age of missions. OT saints were children in an earlier stage of redemptive history and such laws were good for them, but they would be a burden in the age of missions.

24 2. Its Subsequent Enlargement under the Gospel b.Greater Boldness in Prayer b.Greater Boldness in Prayer The revelation of the way to God through Christ gives boldness of access (Heb 10:19-21). The revelation of the way to God through Christ gives boldness of access (Heb 10:19-21). c.Fuller Supplies of the Spirit c.Fuller Supplies of the Spirit The language used—baptism, outpouring, river— all speaks of increase (John 7:38, 39). The language used—baptism, outpouring, river— all speaks of increase (John 7:38, 39). More truth requires more of the Spirit. More truth requires more of the Spirit. Do not depreciate OT saints (In experience and holiness, some may have exceeded NT saints!), but use your greater privileges! Do not depreciate OT saints (In experience and holiness, some may have exceeded NT saints!), but use your greater privileges!

25 II. Its Corollary—Liberty of Conscience Intro: The Significant Order of the Chapter Intro: The Significant Order of the Chapter We may think the substance of Christian liberty is the liberty of conscience of paragraph 2. We may think the substance of Christian liberty is the liberty of conscience of paragraph 2. Paragraph 1 speaks of what liberty consists in. Paragraph 1 speaks of what liberty consists in. Liberty of conscience is its outworking and must be built upon the foundation of spiritual freedom. Liberty of conscience is its outworking and must be built upon the foundation of spiritual freedom. Only those who know the liberating Christ are really free from other men (1 Cor. 7:22, 23). Only those who know the liberating Christ are really free from other men (1 Cor. 7:22, 23). Thank God that we live in freedom from papal, rabbinical, Islamic, and Marxist tradition. Thank God that we live in freedom from papal, rabbinical, Islamic, and Marxist tradition. Christian liberty is the foundation of our society. Christian liberty is the foundation of our society.

26 II. Its Corollary—Liberty of Conscience A.The Foundational Principle A.The Foundational Principle "God alone is Lord of the conscience". "God alone is Lord of the conscience". James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy… James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy… Rom 14:4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls… Rom 14:4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls… Gal 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Gal 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

27 II. Its Corollary—Liberty of Conscience B.The Basic Implications B.The Basic Implications The conscience "free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in anything contrary to His Word, or not contained in it“. The conscience "free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in anything contrary to His Word, or not contained in it“. Acts 4:19, 5:29 Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God you … judge…We must obey God rather than men. Acts 4:19, 5:29 Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God you … judge…We must obey God rather than men. 1 Cor 7:23 do not become slaves of men. 1 Cor 7:23 do not become slaves of men. Matt 15:9 but in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men Matt 15:9 but in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men

28 II. Its Corollary—Liberty of Conscience C.The Necessary Requirements C.The Necessary Requirements 1.For Followers 1.For Followers We must not out of conscience believe doctrines or obey commands not in the Word. We must not out of conscience believe doctrines or obey commands not in the Word. Col 2:20-23 … why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees … in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement … Col 2:20-23 … why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees … in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement … Gal 2:3 But not even Titus …, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. Gal 2:3 But not even Titus …, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.

29 II. Its Corollary—Liberty of Conscience C.The Necessary Requirements C.The Necessary Requirements 2.For Leaders 2.For Leaders Those who may require others to believe doctrines or obey commands must not require implicit faith or absolute and blind obedience. Those who may require others to believe doctrines or obey commands must not require implicit faith or absolute and blind obedience. "Implicit faith" is requiring someone to believe what we teach without proof from the Scriptures. "Implicit faith" is requiring someone to believe what we teach without proof from the Scriptures. "Absolute and blind obedience" is requiring someone to obey our commands as if they were the commands of God Himself (absolutely) without scriptural proof they are (blindly). "Absolute and blind obedience" is requiring someone to obey our commands as if they were the commands of God Himself (absolutely) without scriptural proof they are (blindly).

30 II. Its Corollary—Liberty of Conscience C.The Necessary Requirements C.The Necessary Requirements 2.For Leaders 2.For Leaders Deut 13:1-5 Deut 13:1-5 Isa 8:20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. Isa 8:20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble- minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily … Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble- minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily …

31 II. Its Corollary—Liberty of Conscience C.The Necessary Requirements C.The Necessary Requirements 2.For Leaders 2.For Leaders 2 Cor 1:24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm. 2 Cor 1:24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm. 1 Pet 5:3 nor yet as lording it over … your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. 1 Pet 5:3 nor yet as lording it over … your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. 1 John 3:24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him 1 John 3:24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him

32 II. Its Corollary—Liberty of Conscience How is the Confession to be reconciled with human authority? How is the Confession to be reconciled with human authority? Such authority implies the right to make laws or rules not contained in the Bible. Such authority implies the right to make laws or rules not contained in the Bible. The Bible tells wives, slaves, citizens, and children to submit to their authorities. The Bible tells wives, slaves, citizens, and children to submit to their authorities. The key is the phrase out of conscience. The key is the phrase out of conscience. We are not to obey human commands as though they were God's commands. We are not to obey human commands as though they were God's commands.

33 III. The Corruption of Christian Liberty The folly of perverting Christian liberty so that it is a nursery for lust is illustrated by the Exodus. The folly of perverting Christian liberty so that it is a nursery for lust is illustrated by the Exodus. The Exodus was the OT type of both redemption and liberation. The Exodus was the OT type of both redemption and liberation. Why did God liberate Israel from Egypt? Why did God liberate Israel from Egypt? Exo 7:16 The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, "Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness. But behold, you have not listened until now. Exo 7:16 The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, "Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness. But behold, you have not listened until now.

34 III. The Corruption of Christian Liberty Even so we are freed from slavery to sin, Satan, and men, that we might serve God. Even so we are freed from slavery to sin, Satan, and men, that we might serve God. Luke 1:74 To grant..that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear Luke 1:74 To grant..that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear Rom 14:9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Rom 14:9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Gal 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Gal 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

35 III. The Corruption of Christian Liberty Liberty is not the ultimate good. Liberty is not the ultimate good. It is to be limited by higher values. It is to be limited by higher values. It is a means to the end of serving God. It is a means to the end of serving God. There is a difference between Christian liberty and the liberty cult of our day. There is a difference between Christian liberty and the liberty cult of our day. Liberty is not the right to do as I please, but the right to do as God pleases without fear. Liberty is not the right to do as I please, but the right to do as God pleases without fear.


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