1689 Confession of faith

Discussion in 'Reformed Theology' started by Anthony D'Arienzo, Jan 18, 2017.

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    Chapter 1

    1.1 The Holy Scriptures are the only sufficient, certain and infallible rule1 for saving knowledge, faith, and obedience.2

    Although the light of nature and the works of creation and providence give such clear testimony to the goodness, wisdom and power of God that they leave people without excuse,3 yet they are not sufficient to give the knowledge of God and his will that is necessary for salvation.4 Therefore it pleased the Lord to reveal himself at various times and in different ways, and to declare his will to his church.5 To ensure the preservation and propagation of the truth, and to establish and support the church against human corruption, the malice of Satan, and the world, he committed his complete revelation to writing. The Holy Scriptures are therefore absolutely indispensable,6 for God's former ways of revealing his will to his people have now ceased.7

    (1) Or, standard
    (2) Isa 8:20; Luk 16:29; Eph 2:20; 2Ti 3:15-17
    (3) Psa 19:1-3; Rom 1:19-21,32; 2:12a,14-15
    (4) Psa 19:1-3 with 7-11; Rom 1:19-21; 2:12a,14-15 with 1:16-17 and 3:21
    (5) Heb 1:1-2a
    (6) Pro 22:19-21; Luk 1:1-4; 2Pe 1:12-15; 3:1; Deu 17:18ff; 31:9ff,19ff; 1Co 15:1; 2Th 2:1-2,15; 3:17; Rom 1:8-15; Gal 4:20; 6:11; 1Ti 3:14ff; Rev 1:9,19; 2:1, etc.; Rom 15:4; 2Pe 1:19-21
    (7) Heb 1:1-2a; Act 1:21-22; 1Co 9:1; 15:7-8; Eph 2:20

    1.2 The Holy Scriptures, or the Word of God written, consist of all the books of the Old and New Testament. These are:

    The Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

    The New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation

    All of these are given by the inspiration of God to be the rule1 of faith and life.2

    (1) Or, standard
    (2) 2Ti 3:16 with 1Ti 5:17-18; 2Pe 3:16

    1.3 The books commonly called the Apocrypha were not given by divine inspiration, and are not part of the canon or rule of Scripture. Therefore they have no authority in the church of God, nor are they to be accepted or made use of in any way different from other human writings.1

    (1) Luk 24:27,44; Rom 3:2

    1.4 Holy Scripture demands belief, yet its authority does not depend on the testimony of any person or church,1 but entirely on God its author, who is truth itself. Therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God.2

    (1) Luk 16:27-31; Gal 1:8-9; Eph 2:20
    (2) 2Ti 3:15; Rom 1:2; 3:2; Act 2:16; 4:25; Mat 13:35; Rom 9:17; Gal 3:8; Rom 15:4; 1Co 10:11; Mat 22:32; Luk 16:17; Mat 22:41ff; Joh 10:35; Gal 3:16; Act 1:16; 2:24ff; 13:34-35; Joh 19:34-36; 19:24; Luk 22:37; Mat 26:54; Joh 13:18; 2Ti 3:16; 2Pe 1:19-21; Mat 5:17-18; 4:1-11

    1.5 We may be influenced and persuaded by the testimony of the church of God to hold a high and reverent regard for the Holy Scriptures.1 Moreover the glory of its contents, the efficacy of its doctrine, the majesty of its style, the agreement among all its parts, the expanse of the whole (which is to give all glory to God), the full revelation it gives of the only way for human salvation, together with many other incomparable characteristics and its complete perfection—all these arguments provide abundant evidence that it is indeed the Word of God.2 Yet, not withstanding this, our full persuasion and assurance of its infallible truth and divine authority comes from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.3

    (1) 2Ti 3:14-15
    (2) Jer 23:28-29; Luk 16:27-31; Joh 6:63; 1Pe 1:23-25; Heb 4:12-13; Deu 31:11-13; Joh 20:31; Gal 1:8-9; Mar 16:15-16
    (3) Mat 16:17; 1Co 2:14ff; Joh 3:3; 1Co 2:4-5; 1Th 1:5-6; 1Jo 2:20-21 with 27

    1.6 The whole revelation of God concerning all things essential for his own glory, human salvation, faith and life, is either explicitly set down or implicitly contained in the Holy Scriptures. Nothing is ever to be added, whether by a new revelation of the Spirit, or by human traditions.1 Nevertheless, we acknowledge that the inward enlightenment of the Spirit of God is necessary for the saving understanding of the things revealed in the Word.2 There are also some aspects of the worship of God and of church government common to human activities and organizations which may be determined by the light of nature and Christian common-sense, but in accordance with the general rules of the Word which must always be observed.3

    (1) 2Ti 3:15-17; Deu 4:2; Act 20:20,27; Psa 19:7; 119:6,9,104,128
    (2) Joh 6:45; 1Co 2:9-14
    3) 1Co 14:26,40

    1.7 Not all things in Scripture are equally plain in themselves,1 nor equally clear to everyone.2 Yet those things that are essential to be known, believed and obeyed for salvation are so clearly set forth and explained in one place of Scripture or another, that not only the educated but also the uneducated may attain a satisfactory understanding of them by using ordinary means.3

    (1) 2Pe 3:16
    (2) 2Ti 3:15-17
    (3) 2Ti 3:14-17; Psa 19:7-8; 119:105; 2Pe 1:19; Pro 6:22-23; Deu 30:11-14

    1.8 The Old Testament in Hebrew (the national language of the people of God of ancient Israel)1 and the New Testament in Greek (the common language of that time) were inspired directly by God, and were kept pure throughout the ages by his particular care and providence. They are therefore authentic,2 so that in all religious controversies the church must appeal to them as final.3 But these original languages are not known to all the people of God, who have a right to and an interest in the Scriptures, and who are commanded in the fear of God to read and search them.4 They are therefore to be translated into the common language of every nation to which they come,5 so that (with the Word of God living richly in all) people may worship God in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.6

    (1) Rom 3:2
    (2) Mat 5:18
    (3) Isa 8:20; Act 15:15; 2Ti 3:16-17; Joh 10:34-36
    (4) Deu 17:18-20; Pro 2:1-5; 8:34; Joh 5:39,46
    (5) 1Co 14:6,9,11,12,24,28
    (6) Rom 15:4; Col 3:16

    1.9 The infallible rule for the interpretation of Scripture is Scripture itself. Therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any [part of] Scripture (which is not a miscellany, but a unity) it must be understood in the light of other passages that speak more clearly.1

    (1) Isa 8:20; Joh 10:34-36; Act 15:15-16

    1.10 The supreme judge by which all religious controversies are to be settled, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, human doctrines and individual thinkers are to be examined, can be none other than the Holy Scriptures delivered by the Spirit. In the verdict of Scripture our faith is finally determined.1

    (1) Mat 22:29,31-32; Act 28:23-25; Eph 2:20
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    Chapter 2

    2.1 The Lord our God is the one and only living and true God.1

    His substance is in and of himself, he is infinite in being and perfection.2 His essence cannot be understood by any but himself.3 He is an absolutely pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts or passions. He alone has immortality, living in light which no one can approach.4 He is immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, in every way infinite, perfectly holy, perfectly wise, absolutely free, completely absolute.5 He works all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and entirely righteous will for his own glory.6

    He is perfectly loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth; he forgives iniquity, transgression and sin.7 He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him, yet at the same time he is entirely just and terrible in his judgments, hating all sin, and he will by no means clear the guilty.8

    (1) Deu 6:4; Jer 10:10; 1Co 8:4,6; 1Th 1:9
    (2) Isa 48:12
    (3) Exo 3:14; Job 11:7-8; 26:14; Psa 145:3; Rom 11:33-34
    (4) Joh 4:24;1Ti 1:17; Deu 4:15-16; Luk 24:39; Act 14:11,15; Jas 5:17
    (5) Mal 3:6; Jas 1:17; 1Ki 8:27; Jer 23:23-24; Psa 90:2; 1Ti 1:17; Gen 17:1; Rev 4:8; Isa 6:3; Rom 16:27; Psa 115:3; Ex 3:14
    (6) Eph 1:11; Isa 46:10; Pro 16:4; Rom 11:36
    (7) Exo 34:6-7; 1Jo 4:8
    (8) Heb 11:6; Neh 9:32-33; Psa 5:4-6; Nah 1:2-3; Exo 34:7

    2.2 God has all life, glory, goodness, blessedness in and of himself; he is unique in being, all-sufficient in and to himself, not standing in need of any creature which he has made, nor deriving any glory from them, but rather demonstrating his own glory in them, through them, to them, and upon them.1

    He alone is the source of all being, from whom, through whom, and to whom are all things;

    He has absolute sovereign dominion over all creatures, to do through them, for them, or to them whatever he pleases.2

    In his sight all things are open and plain, his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent of created beings, so for him nothing is contingent or uncertain.3

    He is perfectly holy in all his plans, in all his works, and in all his commands.4

    Angels and human beings owe him, as creatures to the Creator, worship, service, and obedience, and whatever else he is pleased to require of them.5

    (1) Joh 5:26; Act 7:2; Psa 148:13; 119:68; 1Ti 6:15; Job 22:2-3; Act 17:24-25
    (2) Rev 4:11; 1Ti 6:15; Rom 11:34-36; Dan 4:25,34-35
    (3) Heb 4:13; Rom 11:33-34; Psa 147:5; Act 15:18; Eze 11:5
    (4) Psa 145:17; Rom 7:12
    (5) Rev 5:12-14

    2.3 In this divine and infinite Being there are three persons, the Father, the Son (or the Word) and the Holy Spirit.1 They are one in substance, power, and eternity, each having the whole divine essence, yet this essence is undivided.2

    The Father is not derived from anyone, he is neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.3 All three are infinite, without beginning, and therefore but one God, who is not to be divided in nature and being. Yet they are distinguished by several distinctive characteristics and personal relations.

    This doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our fellowship with God, and of the comfort of our dependence on him.

    (1) Mat 3:16-17; 28:19; 2Co 13:14
    (2) Exo 3:14; Joh 14:11; 1Co 8:4-6
    (3) Pro 8:22-31; Joh 1:1-3,14,18; 3:16; 10:36; 15:26; 16:28; Heb 1:2; 1Jo 4:14; Gal 4:4-6
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    Chapter 3

    3.1 God has decreed all things that occur,1 and this he has done in himself, from all eternity, by the perfectly wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably.2

    Yet he has done this in such a way that God is neither the author of sin, nor does he share with anyone in sinning,3 nor does this violate the will of the creature, nor is the free working or contingency of second causes taken away but rather established.4

    In all this, God's wisdom is displayed in directing all things, as is his power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree.5

    (1) Dan 4:34-35; Rom 8:28; 11:36; Eph 1:11
    (2) Pro 19:21; Isa 14:24-27; 46:10-11; Psa 115:3; 135:6; Rom 9:19
    (3) Gen 18:25; Jas 1:13; 1Jo 1:5
    (4) Gen 50:20; 2Sa 24:1; Isa 10:5-7; Mat 17:12; Joh 19:11; Act 2:23; 4:27-28
    (5) Num 23:19; Eph 1:3-5

    3.2 Although God knows everything which may or can come to pass under all imaginable conditions,1 yet he has not decreed anything because he foresaw it in the future, or because it would come to pass [anyway] under certain conditions.2

    (1) 1Sa 23:11-12; Mat 11:21,23; Act 15:18
    (2) Isa 40:13-14; Rom 9:11-18; 11:34; 1Co 2:16

    3.3 By God's decree, and for the demonstration of his glory, certain human beings and angels are predestined (or foreordained) to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the praise of his glorious grace.1 Others are left to continue in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of his glorious justice.2

    (1) Mat 25:34; 1Ti 5:21
    (2) Joh 12:37-40; Rom 9:6-24; 1Pe 2:8-10; Jude 1:4

    3.4 Those angels and human beings who are predestined and foreordained to eternal life, are specifically and irreversibly designated, and their number is so certain and definite that it cannot be either increased or diminished.1

    (1) Mat 22:1-14; Joh 13:18; Rom 11:5-6; 1Co 7:20-22; 2Ti 2:19

    3.5 God chose those human beings who are predestined to life before the foundation of the world, in accordance with his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will. God chose them in Christ for eternal glory, solely out of his free grace and love,1 without anything in the creature as a condition or cause moving him to choose them.2

    (1) Rom 8:30; Eph 1:4-6,9; 2Ti 1:9
    (2) Rom 9:11-16; 11:5-6

    3.6 As God has appointed the elect to glory, so he has by the eternal and completely free purpose of his will foreordained all the means.1 Therefore those who are elected (being fallen in Adam) are redeemed by Christ,2 effectually called to faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season, justified, adopted, sanctified,3 and kept by his power through faith to salvation.4 None but the elect are redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved.5

    (1) Eph 1:4; 2:10; 2Th 2:13; 1Pe 1:2
    (2) 1Th 5:9-10; Tit 2:14
    (3) Rom 8:30; Eph 1:5; 2Th 2:13
    (4) 1Pe 1:5
    (5) Joh 6:64-65; 8:47; 10:26; 17:9; Rom 8:28; 1Jo 2:19

    3.7 The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care,1 so that those who are heeding the will of God revealed in his Word, and who are obeying it, may be assured of their eternal election from the certainty of their effectual calling.2 So shall this doctrine promote the praise, reverence, and admiration of God,3 and encourage humility4 and diligence,5 and bring much comfort6 to all who sincerely obey the Gospel.

    (1) Deu 29:29; Rom 9:20; 11:33
    (2) 1Th 1:4-5; 2Pe 1:10
    (3) Eph 1:6; Rom 11:33
    (4) Rom 11:5,6,20; Col 3:12
    (5) 2Pe 1:10
    (6) Luk 10:20
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    Chapter 4

    4.1 In the beginning it pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,1 to create the world and all things in it, both visible and invisible,2 in six days,3 and all very good.4 This was a demonstration of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness.5

    (1) Heb 1:2; Joh 1:2-3; Gen 1:2; Job 26:13; 33:4
    (2) Gen 1:1; Joh 1:2; Col 1:16
    (3) Gen 2:1-3; Exo 20:8-11
    (4) Gen 1:31; Ecc 7:29; Rom 5:12
    (5) Rom 1:20; Jer 10:12; Psa 104:24; 33:5-6; Pro 3:19; Act 14:15-16

    4.2 After God had made all other creatures, he created human beings, male and female, with reasoning and immortal souls, making them fitted for that life for God for which they were created.1 They were made in the image of God, with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness.2 They had the law of God written in their hearts, and the power to fulfil it; yet they also had the possibility of transgressing, and were left to the liberty of their own changeable wills.3

    (1) Gen 1:27; 2:7; Jas 2:26; Mat 10:28; Ecc 12:7
    (2) Gen 1:26-27; 5:1-3; 9:6; Ecc 7:29; 1Co 11:7; Jas 3:9; Col 3:10; Eph 4:24
    (3) Rom 1:32; 2:12a,14-15; Gen 3:6; Ecc 7:29; Rom 5:12

    4.3 Apart from the law written in their hearts, they received a command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. While they kept this commandment they were happy in their fellowship with God, and had dominion over all other creatures.1

    (1) Gen 1:26,28; 2:17
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    Chapter 5

    5.1 God, the good Creator of all things,1 in his infinite power and wisdom,2 upholds, directs, organizes and governs3 all creatures and things, from the greatest to the least,4 by his perfectly wise and holy providence,5 to the end for which they were created.6 He governs in accordance with his infallible foreknowledge and the free and immutable counsel of his own will,7 to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, infinite goodness and mercy.8

    (1) Gen 1:31; 2:18; Psa 119:68
    (2) Psa 145:11; Pro 3:19; Psa 66:7
    (3) Heb 1:3; Isa 46:10-11; Dan 4:34-35; Psa 135:6; Act 17:25-28; Job 38-41
    (4) Mat 10:29-31
    (5) Pro 15:3; Psa 104:24; 145:17
    (6) Col 1:16-17; Act 17:24-28
    (7) Psa 33:8-11; Eph 1:11
    (8) Isa 63:14; Eph 3:10; Rom 9:17; Gen 45:7; Psa 145:7

    5.2 Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God who is the first cause, all things occur immutably and infallibly, so that nothing happens to anyone by chance, or outside his providence.1 Yet by his providence he arranges them to occur according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.2

    (1) Act 2:23; Pro 16:33
    (2) Gen 8:22; Jer 31:35; Exo 21:13; Deu 19:5; Isa 10:6-7; Luk 13:3,5; Act 27:31; Mat 5:20-21; Phi 1:19; Pro 20:18; Luk 14:25ff; Pro 21:31; 1Ki 22:28,34; Rut 2:3

    5.3 God in his ordinary providence makes use of means,1 yet is free to work outside,2 above3 and against4 them at his pleasure.

    (1) Act 27:22,31,44; Isa 55:10-11; Hos 2:21-22
    (2) Hos 1:7; Luk 1:34-35
    (3) Rom 4:19-21
    (4) Exo 3:2-3; 2Ki 6:6; Dan 3:27

    5.4 The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God, are so far expressed in his providence, that his sovereign purposes extend even to the first fall and all other sinful actions of angels and human beings.1 This is not merely by a bare permission, for he most wisely and powerfully limits and by other means arranges and governs sinful actions, so that they bring about his own holy purposes.2 Yet [in all this] the sinfulness of these actions comes entirely from the creature, and not from God, who is altogether holy and righteous neither is he nor can he be the author or approver of sin.3

    (1) Rom 11:32-34; 2Sa 24:1; 1Ch 21:1; 1Ki 22:22-23; 2Sa 16:10; Act 2:23; 4:27-28
    (2) Act 14:16; 2Ki 19:28; Gen 50:20; Isa 10:6,7,12
    (3) Jas 1:13,14,17; 1Jo 2:16; Psa 50:21

    5.5 The perfectly wise, righteous, and gracious God often leaves for a time [even] his own children to various temptations, and to the corruption of their own hearts. He does this to chastise them for their former sins, or to show them the hidden strength of the corruption and deceitfulness still in their hearts so that they may be humbled, and to bring them to a closer and more constant dependence on him for their support, and to make them more watchful against future occasions of sin, and for various other just and holy ends.1 So whatever happens to any of his elect it is by his appointment, for his glory and for their good.2

    (1) 2Ch 32:25,26,31; 2Sa 24:1; Luk 22:34-35; Mar 14:66f; Joh 21:15-17
    (2) Rom 8:28

    5.6 As for those evil and ungodly people whom God as a righteous judge blinds and hardens1 because of their sins, he not only withholds his grace from them by which they might have been enlightened in their understanding and affected in their hearts,2 but sometimes he also withdraws the gifts which they had,3 and exposes them to situations which their corruption makes an occasion for sin.4 Moreover, God gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan,5 so that eventually they harden themselves by the very means which God uses for the softening of others.6

    (1) Rom 1:24-26,28; 11:7-8
    (2) Deu 29:4
    (3) Mat 13:12; 25:19
    (4) Deu 2:30; 2Ki 8:12-13
    (5) Psa 81:11-12; 2Th 2:10-12
    (6) Exo 7:3; 8:15,32; 2Co 2:15-16; Isa 6:9-10; 8:14; 1Pe 2:7; Act 28:26-27; Joh 12:39-40

    5.7 As the providence of God reaches out in a general way to all creatures, so, in a very special way, it takes care of his church and controls all things for the good of his church.1

    (1) Pro 2:7-8; Isa 43:3-5,14; Amo 9:8-9; Rom 8:28; Eph 1:11,22; 3:10-11,21; 1Ti 4:10
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    Chapter 6

    6.1 God created Adam upright and perfect, and gave him a righteous law which secured life for him while he kept it, but threatened death if he broke it. Yet Adam did not live long in this position of honour.1Satan used the subtlety of the serpent to subdue Eve, she seduced Adam, and Adam (without any compulsion) willfully transgressed the law of their creation and the command given to them by eating the forbidden fruit.2 God was pleased to permit this act, according to his wise and holy counsel, as it was his purpose to direct it toward his own glory.3

    (1) Ecc 7:29; Rom 5:12a,14-15; Gen 2:17; 4:25-5:3
    (2) Gen 3:1-7; 2Co 11:3; 1Ti 2:14
    (3) Rom 11:32-34; 2Sa 24:1; 1Ch 21:1; 1Ki 22:22-23; 2Sa 16:10; Act 2:23; 4:27-28

    6.2 By this sin our first parents fell from their original righteousness and communion with God. We fell in them, for by it death came upon all;1 all became dead in sin and totally defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.2

    (1) Gen 3:22-24; Rom 5:12ff; 1Co 15:20-22; Psa 51:4-5; 58:3; Eph 2:1-3; Gen 8:21; Pro 22:15
    (2) Gen 2:17; Eph 2:1; Tit 1:15; Gen 6:5; Jer 17:9; Rom 3:10-18; 1:21; Eph 4:17-19; Joh 5:40; Rom 8:7

    6.3 By God's appointment, they were the root, standing in the place of the whole human race. The guilt of this sin was imputed to, and their corrupted nature passed on to all their posterity by ordinary birth. Their descendants are therefore conceived in sin, and are by nature children of wrath, the servants of sin, the subjects of death and all other miseries—spiritual, temporal, and eternal—unless the Lord Jesus sets them free.1

    (1) Gen 5:12ff, 1Co 15:20-22; Psa 51:4-5; 58:3; Eph 2:1-3; Gen 8:21; Pro 22:15; Job 14:4; 15:14

    6.4 All actual transgressions proceed from this original corruption.1 By it we are completely incapacitated and disabled, antagonistic to all good and entirely biased towards evil.2

    (1) Mat 7:17-20; 12:33-35; 15:18-20
    (2) Mat 7:17-18; 12:33-35; Luk 6:43-45; Joh 3:3,5; 6:37,39,40,44,45,65; Rom 3:10-12; 5:6; 7:18; 8:7-8; 1Co 2:14

    6.5 During this life, this corruption of nature remains in those who are regenerated.1 Although it is pardoned and put to death through Christ, yet both this corrupt nature and all its actions are truly and actually sin.2

    (1) 1Jo 1:8-10; 1Ki 8:46; Psa 130:3; 143:2; Pro 20:9; Ecc 7:20; Rom 7:14-25; Jas 3:2
    (2) Psa 51:4-5; Pro 22:15; Eph 2:3; Rom 7:5,7-8,17-18,25; 8:3-13; Gal 5:17-24; Gen 8:21; Pro 15:26; 21:4; Gen 8:21; Mat 5:27-28
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    Chapter 7

    7.1 The distance between God and the creature is so great, that (although reasonable creatures owe obedience to him as their Creator) they could never have attained the reward of life except by an act of voluntary condescension on God's part. This he has been pleased to express by way of a covenant.1

    (1) Job 35:7-8; Psa 113:5-6; Isa 40:13-16; Luk 17:5-10; Act 17:24-25

    7.2 Moreover, as Adam had brought himself and his posterity under the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace.1 In this covenant he freely offers to sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring from them faith in him that they may be saved,2 and promising to give his Holy Spirit to all who are elected to eternal life, to make them willing and able to believe.3

    (1) Gen 3:15; Psa 110:4 with Heb 7:18-22 and 10:12-18; Eph 2:12 with Rom 4:13-17 and Gal 3:18-22; Heb 9:15
    (2) Joh 3:16; Rom 10:6,9; Gal 3:11
    (3) Eze 36:26-27; Joh 6:44-45

    7.3 This covenant is revealed through the Gospel; first of all to Adam in the promise of salvation by the seed of the woman, and afterwards step by step until the full revelation of it was completed in the New Testament.1 This salvation rests on that eternal covenant transaction between the Father and the Son which concerns the redemption of the elect.2 It is by the grace of this covenant alone that all the descendants of fallen Adam who have ever been saved have obtained life and blessed immortality. Human beings are now utterly incapable of gaining acceptance with God on those terms by which Adam stood in his state of innocency.3

    (1) Gen 3:15; Rom 16:25-27; Eph 3:5; Tit 1:2; Heb 1:1-2
    (2) Psa 110:4; Eph 1:3-11; 2Ti 1:9
    (3) Joh 8:56; Rom 4:1-25; Gal 3:18-22; Heb 11:6,13,39-40
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    Chapter 8

    8.1 It pleased God,1 in his eternal purpose,2 to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, his only Son, in accordance with the covenant made between them both,3 to be the Mediator between God and the human race; to be prophet, priest, and king; to be the head and savior of his church, the heir of all things, and judge of the world.4 From all eternity he gave to him a people to be his progeny. In time these would be redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified by him.5

    (1) Isa 42:1; Joh 3:16
    (2) 1Pe 1:19
    (3) Psa 110:4; Heb 7:21-22
    (4) 1Ti 2:5; Act 3:22; Heb 5:5-6; Psa 2:6; Luk 1:33; Eph 1:22-23; 5:23; Heb 1:2; Act 17:31
    (5) Rom 8:30; Joh 17:6; Isa 53:10; Psa 22:30; 1Ti 2:6; Isa 55:4-5; 1Co 1:30

    8.2 The Son of God, the second person in the Holy Trinity, is truly and eternally God. He is the brightness of the Father's glory, of the same substance1 and equal with him who made the world, who upholds and governs all things he has made.2

    When the fullness of time was come,3 he took upon himself human nature, with all its essential properties4 and common infirmities,5 yet without sin.6 He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary. The Holy Spirit came down upon her and the power of the Most High overshadowed her, so that he was born to a woman from the tribe of Judah, a descendant of Abraham and David, in accordance with the Scriptures.7

    So two whole, perfect, and distinct natures were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, mixing, or confusion. This person is therefore truly God8 and truly human,9 yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and the human race.10

    (1) Or, essence
    (2) Joh 8:58; Joe 2:32 with Rom 10:13; Psa 102:25 with Heb 1:10; 1Pe 2:3 with Psa 34:8; Isa 8:12-13 with 3:15; Joh 1:1; 5:18; 20:28; Rom 9:5; Tit 2:13; Heb 1:8-9; Phi 2:5-6; 2Pe 1:1; 1Jo 5:20
    (3) Gal 4:4
    (4) Heb 10:5; Mar 14:8; Mat 26:12,26; Luk 7:44-46; Joh 13:23; Mat 9:10-13; 11:19; Luk 22:44; Heb 2:10; 5:8; 1Pe 3:18; 4:1; Joh 19:32-35; Mat 26:36-44; Jas 2:26; Joh 19:30; Luk 23:46; Mat 26:39; 9:36; Mar 3:5; 10:14; Joh 11:35; Luk 19:41-44; 10:21; Mat 4:1-11; Heb 4:15 with Jas 1:13; Luk 5:16; 6:12; 9:18,28; 2:40,52; Heb 5:8-9
    (5) Mat 4:2; Mar 11:12; Mat 21:18; Joh 4:7; 19:28; Joh 4:6; Mat 8:24; Rom 8:3; Heb 5:8; 2:10,18; Gal 4:4
    (6) Isa 53:9; Luk 1:35; Joh 8:46; 14:30; Rom 8:3; 2Co 5:21; Heb 4:15; 7:26; 9:14; 1Pe 1:19; 2:22; 1Jo 3:5
    (7) Rom 1:3-4; 9:5
    (8) See ref.1 above
    (9) Act 2:22; 13:38; 17:31; 1Co 15:21; 1Ti 2:5
    (10) Rom 1:3-4; Gal 4:4-5; Phi 2:5-11

    8.3 The Lord Jesus, his human nature thus united to the divine in the person of the Son, was sanctified and anointed with the Holy Spirit without limit, so in him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. It pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell in him, so that being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth, he might be perfectly qualified to execute the office of a mediator and surety.1 He did not take this office upon himself, but was called to it by his Father, who also put all power and judgment in his hands, and commanded him to execute these.2

    (1) Psa 45:7; Col 1:19; 2:3; Heb 7:26; Joh 1:14; Act 10:38; Heb 7:22
    (2) Heb 5:5; Joh 5:22,27; Mat 28:18; Act 2:36

    8.4 The Lord Jesus undertook this office entirely willingly.1 To discharge it he was subject to the law2 and perfectly fulfilled it. He also underwent the punishment due to us which we should have borne and suffered.3 He was made sin and was accursed for us;4 he endured the extremities of agonizing distress in his soul and painful suffering in his body.5 He was crucified, and died,6 and remained in the state of the dead, yet his body did not decay.7 On the third day he rose from the dead with the same body in which he had suffered,8 with which he also ascended into heaven,9 where he sits at the right hand of his Father making intercession [for his people].10 At the end of the world he will return to judge human beings and angels.11

    (1) Psa 40:7-8 with Heb 10:5-10; Joh 10:18; Phi 2:8
    (2) Gal 4:4
    (3) Mat 3:15; 5:17
    (4) Mat 26:37-38; Luk 22:44; Mat 27:46
    (5) Mat 26-27
    (6) WCF adds: was buried
    (7) Phi 2:8; Act 13:37
    (8) Joh 20:25,27
    (9) Act 1:9-11
    (10) Rom 8:34; Heb 9:24
    (11) Act 10:42; Rom 14:9-10; Act 1:11; Mat 13:40-42; 2Pe 2:4; Jude 1:6

    8.5 The Lord Jesus has fully satisfied the justice of God1 by his perfect obedience and his once-for-all sacrifice2 which he offered up to God through the eternal Spirit.3 He has procured reconciliation,4 and has purchased an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven5 for all those whom the Father has given to him.6

    (1) Rom 3:25-26; Heb 2:17; 1Jo 2:2; 4:10
    (2) Rom 5:19 Eph 5:2
    (3) Heb 9:14,16; 10:10,14
    (4) 2Co 5:18-19; Col 1:20-23
    (5) Heb 9:15; Rev 5:9-10
    (6) Joh 17:2

    8.6 Although the price1 of redemption was not actually paid2 by Christ till after his incarnation, yet its value, efficacy, and benefits were communicated to the elect in all ages from the beginning of the world.3 This was accomplished through those promises, types, and sacrifices in which he was revealed and represented as the seed of the woman who should bruise the serpent's head,4 and the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world,5 for he is the same, yesterday and today and for ever.6

    (1) WCF: work
    (2) WCF: wrought
    (3)Gal 4:4-5; Rom 4:1-9
    (4) Gen 3:15; 1Pe 1:10-11
    (5) Rev 13:8
    (6) Heb 13:8

    8.7 In his work of mediation, Christ acts according to both natures, in each nature doing that which is appropriate to itself. Yet, because of the unity of his person, that which is appropriate to one nature is sometimes in Scripture attributed to the person indicated by the other nature.1

    (1) Act 20:28; Joh 3:13

    8.8 To all those for whom Christ has obtained1 eternal redemption, he certainly and effectually applies and communicates this redemption,2 making intercession for them.3 He unites them to himself by his Spirit,4 he reveals to them the mystery of salvation in and by the Word,5 he persuades them to believe and obey6 controlling their hearts by his Word and Spirit,7 and he overcomes all their enemies by his almighty power and wisdom8 using methods and ways which are perfectly consistent with his wonderful and unsearchable providence.9 All this is by free and absolute grace, without any foreseen condition in them to obtain it.10

    (1) WCF: purchased
    (2) Joh 6:37,39; 10:15-16; 17:9
    (3) 1Jo 2:1-2; Rom 8:34
    (4) Rom 8:1-2
    (5) Joh 15:13,15; 17:6; Eph 1:7-9
    (6) 1Jo 5:20
    (7) Joh 14:6; Heb 12:2; Rom 8:9,14; 2Co 4:13; Rom 15:18-19; Joh 17:17
    (8) Psa 110:1; 1Co 15:25-26; Col 2:15
    (9) Eph 1:9-11
    (10) 1Jo 3:8; Eph 1:8

    8.9 This office of Mediator between God and the human race belongs exclusively to Christ, who is the Prophet, Priest, and King of the Church of God. This office may not be transferred from him to any other, either in whole or in part.1

    (1) 1Ti 2:5

    8.10 The number and order of offices is essential. Because of our ignorance we need his prophetic office.1 Because of our alienation from God and the imperfection of the best of our service we need his priestly office to reconcile us and present us to God as acceptable.2 Because of our antagonism and our utter inability to return to God, and because we need to be rescued and kept from spiritual enemies, we need his kingly office to convince, subdue, draw, sustain, deliver, and preserve us for his heavenly kingdom.3

    (1) Joh 1:18
    (2) Col 1:21; Gal 5:17; Heb 10:19-21
    (3) Joh 16:8; Psa 110:3; Luk 1:74-75
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    Chapter 9

    9.1 God has provided the human will by nature with liberty and power to act upon choice; it is neither forced, nor determined by any intrinsic necessity to do good or evil.1

    (1) Mat 17:12; Jas 1:14; Deu 30:19

    9.2 In his state of innocence, Adam had freedom and power to will and to do what was good and well-pleasing to God;1 but he was unstable so that he might fall from this condition.2

    (1) Ecc 7:29
    (2) Gen 3:6

    9.3 The human race through the fall into a state of sin, has completely lost all ability of will to perform any spiritual good accompanying salvation. In our natural state we are altogether opposed to spiritual good and dead in sin; we are not able, by our own strength, to convert ourselves, or even to prepare ourselves for conversion.1

    (1) Rom 6:16,20; Joh 8:31-34; Eph 2:1; 2Co 3:14; 4:3-4; Joh 3:3; Rom 7:18; 8:7; 1Co 2:14; Mat 7:17-18; 12:33-37; Luk 6:43-45; Joh 6:44; Jer 13:23; Joh 3:3,5; 5:40, 6:37,39,40,44,45,65; Act 7:51; Rom 3:10-12; Jas 1:18; Rom 9:16-18; Joh 1:12-13; Act 11:18; Phi 1:29; Eph 2:8-9

    9.4 When God converts sinners and transfers them into the state of grace, he frees them from their natural bondage to sin, and by his grace alone he enables them freely to will and to do what is spiritually good.1 Nevertheless, because of their remaining corruption, they do not perfectly nor exclusively will what is good, but also will what is evil.2

    (1) Col 1:13; Joh 8:36; Phi 2:13
    (3) Rom 7:14-25; Gal 5:17

    9.5 Only in the state of glory will our wills be made perfectly and permanently free to do good alone.1

    (1) Eph 4:13; Heb 12:23
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    #11 Anthony D'Arienzo is a Verified MemberAnthony D'Arienzo, Oct 7, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
    Chapter 10

    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 infants3._____ Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit; who worketh when, and where, and how he pleases; so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
    ( John 3:3, 5, 6; John 3:8 )

    (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

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    Chapter 11

    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
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    Chapter 12

    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
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    Chapter 13

    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
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    Chapter 14

    14.1 The grace of faith (by which the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls) is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts. It is normally brought into being by the ministry of the Word.1 It is increased and strengthened by the ministry of the Word, and by the administration of baptism and the Lord's supper, prayer, and other means appointed by God.2

    (1) Joh 6:37,44; Act 11:21,24; 13:48; 14:27; 15:9; 2Co 4:13; Eph 2:8; Phi 1:29; 2Th 2:13; 1Pe 1:2
    (2) Rom 10:14,17; Luk 17:5; Act 20:32; Rom 4:11; 1Pe 2:2

    14.2 By this faith, a Christian believes to be true whatever is revealed in the Word for it is the authority of God himself. We also perceive an excellency in the Word above all other writings and everything else in the world, because it shows forth the glory of God and his attributes, the excellency of Christ and his nature and offices, and the power and fullness of the Holy Spirit in his works and operations.

    So believers are enabled to trust implicitly the truth they have believed,1 and to respond appropriately to each particular passage in Scripture, yielding obedience to the commands,2 trembling at the threatenings,3 and embracing the promises of God for this life and that which is to come.4

    But the principal acts of saving faith are those directly to do with Christ—accepting, receiving, and resting on him alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.5

    (1) Act 24:14; 1Th 2:13; Psa 19:7-10; 119:72
    (2) Joh 15:14; Rom 16:26
    (3) Isa 66:2
    (4) 1Ti 4:8; Heb 11:13
    (5) Joh 1:12; Act 15:11; 16:31; Gal 2:20

    14.3 This faith may differ in degree, and may be weak or strong,1 yet even at its weakest it is different in kind and nature (as is all saving grace) from the faith and common grace of temporary believers.2Therefore, though it may be frequently attacked and weakened, it gains the victory,3 and develops in many until they attain full assurance4 through Christ, who is both the author and finisher of our faith.5

    (1) Mat 6:30; 8:10,26; 14:31; 16:8; 17:20; Heb 5:13-14; Rom 4:19-20
    (2) Jas 2:14; 2Pe 1:1; 1Jo 5:4
    (3) Luk 22:31-32; Eph 6:16; 1Jo 5:4-5
    (4) Psa 119:114; Heb 6:11-12; 10:22-23
    (5) Heb 12:2

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