Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Second London Baptist Confession

5.6 God, as a righteous judge, deals otherwise with wicked and ungodly men. He awards them blindness and hardness of heart for their sins. He withholds from them the grace which might have enlightened their minds and exercised their hearts, and in some cases recalls the gifts He had bestowed upon them. Also, He sets them in situations which their evil hearts seize upon as opportunities for sin. In other words, He abandons them to their own innate corruptions, to the temptations of the world, and to the power of Satan, with the consequence that they harden themselves by the use of the very means which God employs for softening the hearts of others. [Exod. 8:15,32; Deut. 2:30; 29:4; 2 Kings 8:12,13; Ps. 81:11,12; Isa. 6:9, 10; Matt. 13:12; Rom. 1:24-26,28; 11:7,8; 2 Thess. 2:10-12; 1 Pet. 2:7,8.]

5.7 God's general providence reaches out to all creatures, but in a very special way it is directed to the care of His church. All things are controlled providentially for the good of the church. [Isa. 43:3-5; Amos 9:8,9; 1 Tim. 4:10.]

I would like to note in regards to the last statement that, by citing these Scripture references, the confession shows some confusion regarding the nature of the church. It assumes that ancient Israel may be called the "church." But this is incorrect. The church properly so-called began on the day of Pentecost.

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