Sermon: “Chosen to Rest” (Part II)
4 Primary Christian Documents:
1) The Heidelberg Catechism!
2) The Canons of Dordt
3) The 1689 London Baptist Confession
4) The SBC Principles Of Abstract
6 Reasons We’re Learning From Them:
They’re historically proven.
They’re “time-tested” to be Biblically accurate.
They’re meant to be (and specifically written for) the very purpose of being:
Defenders … and …
Preservers of the truth!
They’re also meant to be (and were specifically written to be):
Short concise “summaries” of important Biblical truth!
Studying these documents (as a church) also serves to familiarize our congregation with these “bulwarks” of the faith!
The SBC Abstract of Principles:
“Election is God’s eternal choice … of some persons … unto everlasting life – (not because of foreseen merit in them but because of His mere mercy in Christ!) – in consequence of which choice all of those are also: …
Justified … and …
The 1689 London Baptist Confession
Chapter 10 - EFFECTUAL CALLING
10.1 Those whom God1 has predestined to life,2 he is pleased (in his appointed and accepted time)3 to effectually call4 by his Word5 and Spirit.6 He calls them out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ.7 He enlightens their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God.8 He takes away their heart of stone, and gives to them a heart of flesh.9 He renews their wills, and by his almighty power causes them to do what is good.10 He effectually draws them to Jesus Christ,11 yet in such a way that they come completely freely, for they are made willing by his grace.12
(1) Rom 8:28-29 (2) Rom 8:29-30; 9:22-24; 1Co 1:26-28; 2Th 2:13-14; 2Ti 1:9 (3) Joh 3:8; Eph 1:11 (4) Mat 22:14; 1Cor 1:23-24; Rom 1:6; 8:28; Jude 1:1; Psa 29; Joh 5:25; Rom 4:17 (5) 2Th 2:14; 1Pe 1:23-25; Jas 1:17-25; 1Jo 5:1-5; Rom 1:16-17; 10:14; Heb 4:12 (6) Joh 3:3,5-6,8; 2Co 3:3,6 (7) Rom 8:2; 1Co 1:9; Eph 2:1-6; 2Ti 1:9-10 (8) Act 26:18; 1Co 2:10,12; Eph 1:17-18 (9) Eze 36:26 (10) Deu 30:6; Eze 36:27; (11) Joh 6:44-45; Eph 1:19; Phi 2:13 (12) Psa 110:3; Joh 6:37; Rom 6:16-18
10.2 This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not on account of anything at all foreseen in us. It is not made because of any power or action in us,1 for we are altogether passive in it, we are dead in sins and trespasses until we are made alive and renewed by the Holy Spirit.2 By this [regeneration] we are enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, this power being none other than that which raised up Christ from the dead.3
(1) 2Ti 1:9; Tit 3:4-5; Eph 2:4-5,8-9; Rom 9:11 (2) 1Co 2:14; Rom 8:7; Eph 2:5 (3) Joh 6:37; Eze 36:27; Joh 5:25; Eph 1:19-20
10.3 Infants1 dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit who works when and where and how he pleases.2 So also are all elect persons regenerated who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the word.
(1) WCF: Elect infants (2) Joh 3:8
10.4 Those who are not elected, even though they may be called by the ministry of the Word and may experience some common operations of the Spirit,1 cannot be saved because they are not effectually drawn by the Father, therefore they will not and cannot truly come to Christ. Much less can those who do not profess the Christian religion be saved,2 no matter how diligently they order their lives according to the light of nature and the teachings of the religion they profess.3
(1) Mat 13:20-21; 22:14; Heb 6:4-5; Mat 7:22 (2) Joh 6:44-45,64-66; 8:24 (3) Act 4:12; Joh 4:22; 17:3
Chapter 11 - JUSTIFICATION
11.1 Those whom God effectually calls he also freely justifies.1 He does this, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting them as righteous,2 not for anything done in them or by them, but for Christ's sake alone.3 They are not justified because God imputes4 as their righteousness either their faith itself, or the act of believing, or any other act of obedience to the gospel. They are justified by God imputing Christ's active obedience to the whole law and his passive obedience in death. By faith they receive and rest on his righteousness, and this faith they do no have of themselves for it is the gift of God.5
(1) Rom 8:30; 3:24 (2) Rom 4:5-8; Eph 1:7 (3) 1Co 1:30-31; Rom 5:17-19 (4) i.e. accounts or reckons (5) 2Co 5:19-21; Tit 3:5,7; Rom 3:22-28; Jer 23:6; Phi 3:9; Act 13:38-39; Eph 2:7-8
11.2 Faith which receives and rests on Christ and his righteousness is the sole instrument of justification.1 Yet it is never alone in the person justified, but is always accompanied by all the other saving graces; it is not a dead faith, for it functions by love.2
(1) Rom 1:17; 3:27-31; Phi 3:9; Gal 3:5 (2) Gal 5:6; Jas 2:17,22,26
11.3 By his obedience and death, Christ fully discharged the debt of all those who are justified. By his sacrifice in the blood of his cross, he underwent in their place the penalty due to them, so making an appropriate, real, and full satisfaction of God's justice on their behalf.1 Yet their justification is entirely of free grace, because he was given by the Father for them,2 and his obedience and satisfaction was accepted in their place,3 both actions being done freely, and not because of anything in them.4 So both the exact justice and the rich grace of God are glorified in the justification of sinners.5
(1) Rom 5:8-10,19; 1Ti 2:5-6; Heb 10:10,14; Isa 53:4-6,10-12 (2) Rom 8:32 (3) 2Co 5:21; Mat 3:17; Eph 5:2 (4) Rom 3:24; Eph 1:7 (5) Rom 3:26; Eph 2:7
11.4 From all eternity God decreed to justify all the elect,1 and Christ in the fullness of time died for their sins, and rose again for their justification.2 Nevertheless they are not justified personally until the Holy Spirit in due time actually applies Christ to them.3
(1) Gal 3:8; 1Pe 1:2,19-20; Rom 8:30 (2) Gal 4:4; 1Ti 2:6; Rom 4:25 (3) Col 1:21-22; Gal 2:16; Tit 3:4-7; Eph 2:1-3
11.5 God continues to forgive the sins of those who are justified;1 and although they can never fall from the state of justification,2 yet they may fall under God's fatherly displeasure because of their sins. In that condition they will not usually have fellowship with God3 restored to them until they humble themselves, confess their sins, ask for pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.4
(1) Mat 6:12; 1Jo 1:7-2:2; Joh 13:3-11 (2) Luk 22:32; Joh 10:28; Heb 10:14 (3) Literally, the light of his countenance (4) Psa 32:5; 51:7-12; Mat 26:75; Luk 1:20
11.6 The justification of believers under the Old Testament was in all these respects exactly the same as the justification of believers under the New Testament.1
(1) Gal 3:9; Rom 4:22-24
Chapter 12 - ADOPTION
12.1 God has granted1 that, in and for his only Son Jesus Christ,3 all those who are justified3 share in the grace of adoption. By this they are numbered with and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God. They have his name put upon them,4 and receive the Spirit of adoption. They have access to the throne of grace with boldness, and are able to cry, 'Abba, Father!'5 They are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by him as by a father, yet they are never cast off, but are sealed to the day of redemption,6 and inherit the promises as heirs of everlasting salvation.7
(1) 1Jo 3:1-3 (2) Eph 1:5; Gal 4:4-5; Rom 8:17,29 (3) Gal 3:24-26 (4) Rom 8:17; Joh 1:12; 2Co 6:18; Rev 3:12 (5) Rom 8:15; Eph 3:12; Rom 5:2; Gal 4:6; Eph 2:18 (6) Psa 103:13; Pro 14:26; Mat 6:30,32; 1Pe 5:7; Heb 12:6; Isa 54:8-9; Lam 3:31; Eph 4:30 (7) Rom 8:17; Heb 1:14; 9:15
Chapter 13 - SANCTIFICATION
13.1 Those who are united to Christ, effectually called and regenerated, have a new heart and a new spirit created in them through the efficacy of Christ's death and resurrection.1 Furthermore, they are also really and personally sanctified2 through the same means,3 by his Word and Spirit dwelling in them.4 The power of every part of the body of sin is destroyed, and its various lusts are increasingly weakened and put to death, and saving graces are increasingly brought to life and strengthened in them so that they practice true holiness5 without which no one shall see the Lord.6
(1) Joh 3:3-8; 1Jo 2:29; 3:9-10; Rom 1:7; 2Co 1:1; Eph 1:1; Phi 1:1; Col 3:12; Act 20:32; 26:18; Rom 15:16; 1Co 1:2; 6:11; Rom 6:1-11 (2) 1Th 5:23; Rom 6:19,22 (3) 1Co 6:11; Act 20:32; Phi 3:10; Rom 6:5-6 (4) Joh 17:17; Eph 5:26; 3:16-19; Rom 8:13 (5) Rom 6:14; Gal 5:24; Rom 8:13; Col 1:11; Eph 3:16-19; 2Co 7:1; Rom 6:13; Eph 4:22-25; Gal 5:17 (6) Heb 12:14
13.2 This sanctification extends throughout the whole person, yet it remains incomplete in this life. Some remnants of corruption still remain in every part,1 from which arise a continual and irreconcilable war,2 the flesh desiring what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.3
(1) 1Th 5:23; 1Jo 1:8,10; Rom 7:18,23; Phi 3:12 (2) 1Co 9:24-27; 1Ti 1:18; 6:12; 2Ti 4:7 (3) Gal 5:17; 1Pe 2:11
13.3 In this war, the remaining corruption may often predominate for a time,1 yet, through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part gains the victory.2 So believers grow in grace, moving towards mature holiness in the fear of God, pressing on towards the heavenly life in gospel obedience to all the commands which Christ as Head and King has prescribed for them in his Word.3
(1) Rom 7:23 (2) Rom 6:14; 1Jo 5:4; Eph 4:15-16 (3) 2Pe 3:18; 2Co 7:1; 3:18; Mat 28:20
The Canons of Dordt
Article 1 - All Mankind Condemnable Before God
Since all men have sinned in Adam, lie under the curse, and deserve eternal death, God would have done injustice to no one if He had willed to leave the whole human race in sin and under the curse, and to condemn it on account of its sin, according to these words of the apostle: that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God (Rom. 3:19). All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23); and, the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23).
Article 2 - The Sending of the Son of God
But in this the love of God was made manifest, that He sent His only-begotten Son into the world, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life (1 John 4:9; John 3:16).
Article 3 - The Preaching of the Gospel
So that men may be brought to faith, God mercifully sends heralds of this most joyful message to whom He will and when He wills. By their ministry men are called to repentance and to faith in Christ crucified. For how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men preach unless they are sent? (Rom. 10:14, 15)
Article 4 - A Twofold Outcome
The wrath of God remains upon those who do not believe this gospel (Jn 3:36!). But those who receive it and embrace Jesus the Saviour with a true and living faith are delivered by Him from the wrath of God and from destruction, and are given eternal life.
Article 5 - The Cause of Unbelief, The Source of Faith
The cause or guilt for this unbelief, as well as for all other sins, is by no means in God, but rather in man. Faith in Jesus Christ and salvation through Him, however, is the free gift of God, as it is written: By grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God (Eph 2:8). Similarly, It has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should believe in Him (Phil. 1:29).
Article 6 - God’s Eternal Decree
That God in time confers the gift of faith on some, and not on others, proceeds from His eternal decree. For all His works He knows from eternity (Acts 15:18), and He accomplishes all things according to the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11). According to this decree He graciously softens the hearts of the elect, no matter how hard they may be, and inclines them to believe; those not elected, however, He leaves in their own wickedness and hardness by a just judgment. And here especially is disclosed to us the profound, merciful, and at the same time just distinction between men equally worthy of condemnation, or that decree of election and reprobation which has been revealed in God’s Word. Although perverse, impure, and unstable men twist this decree to their own destruction, it provides unspeakable comfort for holy and God-fearing souls.
Article 7 - Election Defined
Election is the unchangeable purpose of God whereby, before the foundation of the world, out of the whole human race, which had fallen by its own fault out of its original integrity into sin and perdition, He has, according to the sovereign good pleasure of His will, out of mere grace, chosen in Christ to salvation a definite number of persons, neither better nor more worthy than others, but with them involved in a common misery. He has also from eternity appointed Christ to be the Mediator and Head of all the elect and the foundation of salvation and thus He decreed to give to Christ those who were to be saved, and effectually to call and draw them into His communion through His Word and Spirit. He decreed to give them true faith in Him, to justify them, to sanctify them, and, after having powerfully kept them in the fellowship of His Son, finally to glorify them, for the demonstration of His mercy and the praise of the riches of his glorious grace. As it is written: God chose us in Christ, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. He predestined us in love to be His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved (Eph. 1:4, 5, 6). And elsewhere, Those whom He predestined He also called; and those whom He called He also justified; and those whom He justified He also glorified (Rom 8:30).
Article 9 - Election Not Based On Foreseen Faith
This election is not based on foreseen faith, the obedience of faith, holiness, or any other good quality of disposition, as a cause or condition in man required for being chosen, but men are chosen to faith, the obedience of faith, holiness, and so on. Election, therefore, is the fountain of every saving good, from which flow faith, holiness, and other saving gifts, and finally eternal life itself, as its fruits and effects. This the apostle teaches when he says, He chose us (not because we were, but) that we should be holy and blameless before Him (Eph. 1:4).
Article 10 - Election Based on God’s Good Pleasure
The cause of this gracious election is solely the good pleasure of God. This good pleasure does not consist in this, that out of all possible conditions God chose certain qualities or actions of men as a condition for salvation, but in this, that out of the common mass of sinners (Rom 9:17-29) he adopted certain persons to be His own possession. For it is written, Though they (the children) were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad, and so on, she (namely, Rebecca), was told, "The elder will serve the younger." As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." (Rom. 9:11, 12, 13) And, as many as were ordained to eternal life believed (Acts 13:48).
Article 11 - Election Unchangeable
As God Himself is most wise, unchangeable, allknowing and almighty, so His election can neither be undone and redone, nor changed, revoked, or annulled; neither can the elect be cast away, nor their number be diminished.
Article 12 - The Assurance of Election
The elect in due time, though in various stages and in different measure, are made certain of this their eternal and unchangeable election to salvation. They attain this assurance, however, not by inquisitively prying into the hidden and deep things of God, but by observing in themselves, with spiritual joy and holy delight, the unfailing fruits of election pointed out in the Word of God—such as a true faith in Christ, a childlike fear of God, a godly sorrow for their sins, and a hungering and thirsting after righteousness.
Article 13 - The Value of This Assurance
The awareness and assurance of this election provide the children of God with greater reason for daily humbling themselves before God, for adoring the depth of His mercies, for cleansing themselves, and for fervently loving Him in turn who first so greatly loved them. It is therefore not true at all that this doctrine of election and the reflection on it makes them lax in observing the commands of God or falsely secure. In the just judgment of God, this usually happens to those who rashly presume to have the grace of election, or idly and boldly chatter about it, but refuse to walk in the ways of the elect.
Article 14 - How Election Is To Be Taught
This doctrine of divine election, according to the most wise counsel of God, was preached by the prophets, by Christ Himself, and by the apostles, under the Old as well as the New Testament, and was then committed to writing in the Holy Scriptures. Therefore, also today this doctrine should be taught in the Church of God, for which it was particularly intended, in its proper time and place, provided it be done with a spirit of discretion, in a reverent and holy manner, without inquisitively prying into the ways of the most High, to the glory of God’s most holy Name, and for the living comfort of His people (Acts 20:27; Rom. 11:33, 34; 12:3; Heb. 6:17, 18).
Article 15 - Reprobation Described
Holy Scripture illustrates and recommends to us this eternal and undeserved grace of our election, especially when it further declares that not all men are elect but that some have not been elected, or have been passed by in the eternal election of God. Out of His most free, most just, blameless, and unchangeable good pleasure, God has decreed to leave them in the common misery into which they have by their own fault plunged themselves, and not to give them saving faith and the grace of conversion. These, having been left in their own ways and under His just judgment, God has decreed finally to condemn and punish eternally, not only on account of their unbelief but also on account of all their other sins, for the declaration of His justice. This is the decree of reprobation, which by no means makes God the author of sin (the very thought is blasphemous!), but rather declares Him an awesome, blameless, and just judge and avenger thereof.
Article 16 - Responses to the Doctrine of Reprobation
Some do not yet clearly discern in themselves a living faith in Christ, an assured confidence of heart, peace of conscience, a zeal for childlike obedience, and a glorying in God through Christ; nevertheless, they use the means through which God has promised to work these things in us. They ought not to be alarmed when reprobation is mentioned, nor to count themselves among the reprobate. Rather, they must diligently continue in the use of these means, fervently desire a time of more abundant grace, and expect it reverently and humbly. Others seriously desire to be converted to God, to please Him only, and to be delivered from the body of death. Yet they cannot reach that point on the way of godliness and faith which they would like. They should be even less terrified by the doctrine of reprobation, since a merciful God has promised not to quench the smoking flax nor to break the bruised reed.
Still others disregard God and the Saviour Jesus Christ and have completely given themselves over to the cares of the world and the lusts of the flesh. For them this doctrine of reprobation is rightly fearsome as long as they are not seriously converted.
Article 18 - Not Protest, But Adoration
To those who argue against this grace of undeserved election and the severity of righteous reprobation, we reply with this word of the apostle: But who are you, a man, to answer back to God? (Rom. 9:20) And with this word of our Saviour, Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to Me? (Matt. 20:15) We, however, with reverent adoration of these mysteries, exclaim with the apostle: O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counsel? Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory for ever. Amen. (Rom. 11:33-36).
What is OUR Application(s) from this passage?
If you’re NOT already a “redeemed Christian” (and you LONG for forgiveness and peace and rest from the guilt and bondage of your sins):
Take to heart the words of Jesus:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Mt 11:28-30)
If you ARE already a “redeemed Christian”:
RELISH in that miracle of Grace! (Knowing that it is JESUS who has DONE IT ALL)!
MEDITATE on (at home, in private) and DISCUSS (at your Growth Group, with each other) the meaning and personal application (to you) of our closing verses:
“How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and
call on the name of the Lord.” (Ps 116: 12, 13)
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (Ps 107:1)
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to YOUR name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” (Ps 115:1)
(Mt 11:27-30); (Mt 11: 27); (Mt 11:25-27); (Mt 11:27-30); (Mt 11:28-30); (Mt 11:25-27); (Mt 23:4); (Mt 11:28-30); (Ps 116: 12, 13); (Ps 107:1); (Ps 115:1)