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Baptist Confession of Faith (1689)

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Chapter 11 - Of Justification

1. Those whom God effectually calls, he also freely justifies, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ's active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in his death for their whole and sole righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God.  ( Rom 3:24; Rom 8:30; Rom 4:5-8; Eph 1:7; 1 Cor 1:30, 31; Rom 5:17-19; Php 3:8, 9; Eph 2:8-10; John 1:12; Rom 5:17 )

2. Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification; yet it is not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but works by love.  ( Rom 3:28; Gal 5:6; James 2:17, 22, 26 )

3. Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are justified; and did, by the sacrifice of himself in the blood of his cross, undergoing in their stead the penalty due unto them, make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God's justice in their behalf; yet, inasmuch as he was given by the Father for them, and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead, and both freely, not for anything in them, their justification is only of free grace, that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners.  ( Heb 10:14; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; Isa 53:5, 6; Rom 8:32; 2 Cor 5:21; Rom 3:26; Eph 1:6,7; Eph 2:7 )

4. God did from all eternity decree to justify all the elect, and Christ did in the fullness of time die for their sins, and rise again for their justification; nevertheless, they are not justified personally, until the Holy Spirit does in time due actually apply Christ unto them.  ( Gal 3:8; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Tim 2:6; Rom 4:25; Col 1:21,22; Titus 3:4-7 )

5. God continues to forgive the sins of those that are justified, and although they can never fall from the state of justification, yet they may, by their sins, fall under God's fatherly displeasure; and in that condition they have not usually the light of his countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.  ( Matt 6:12; 1 John 1:7, 9; John 10:28; Ps 89:31-33; Ps 32:5; Ps 51; Matt 26:75 )

6. The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament.  ( Gal 3:9; Rom 4:22-24 )

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Chapter 12 - Of Adoption

All those that are justified, God vouchsafed, in and for the sake of his only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption, by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God, have his name put upon them, receive the spirit of adoption, have access to the throne of grace with boldness, are enabled to cry Abba, Father, are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by him as by a Father, yet never cast off, but sealed to the day of redemption, and inherit the promises as heirs of everlasting salvation.  ( Eph 1:5; Gal 4:4, 5; John 1:12; Rom 8:17; 2 Cor 6:18; Rev 3:12; Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6; Eph 2:18; Ps 103:13; Prov 14:26; 1 Peter 5:7; Heb 12:6; Isa 54:8, 9; Lam 3:31; Eph 4:30; Heb 1:14; Heb 6:12 )

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Chapter 13 - Of Sanctification

1. They who are united to Christ, effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them through the virtue of Christ's death and resurrection, are also farther sanctified, really and personally, through the same virtue, by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them; the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of all true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.  ( Acts 20:32; Rom 6:5, 6; John 17:17; Eph 3:16-19; 1 Thes 5:21-23; Rom 6:14; Gal 5:24; Col 1:11; 2 Cor 7:1; Heb 12:14 )

2. This sanctification is throughout the whole man, yet imperfect in this life; there abides still some remnants of corruption in every part, whence arises a continual and irreconcilable war; the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.  ( 1 Thes 5:23; Rom 7:18, 23; Gal 5:17; 1 Peter 2:11 )

3. In which war, although the remaining corruption for a time may much prevail, yet through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part overcomes; and so the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, pressing after an heavenly life, in evangelical obedience to all the commands which Christ as Head and King, in His Word hath prescribed them.  ( Rom 7:23; Rom 6:14; Eph 4:15, 16; 2 Cor 3:18; 2 Cor 7:1 )

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Chapter 14 - Of Saving Faith

1. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word; by which also, and by the administration of baptism and the Lord's supper, prayer, and other means appointed of God, it is increased and strengthened.  ( 2 Cor 4:13; Eph 2:8; Rom 10:14, 17; Luke 17:5; 1 Peter 2:2; Acts 20:32 )

2. By this faith a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word for the authority of God himself, and also apprehends an excellency therein above all other writings and all things in the world, as it bears forth the glory of God in his attributes, the excellency of Christ in his nature and offices, and the power and fullness of the Holy Spirit in his workings and operations: and so is enabled to cast his soul upon the truth thus believed; and also acts differently upon that which each particular passage thereof contains; yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life and that which is to come; but the principal acts of saving faith have immediate relation to Christ, accepting, receiving, and resting upon him alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.  ( Acts 24:14; Ps 27:7-10; Ps 119:72; 2 Tim 1:12; John 14:14; Isa 66:2; Heb 11:13; John 1:12; Acts 16:31; Gal 2:20; Acts 15:11 )

3. This faith, although it be different in degrees, and may be weak or strong, yet it is in the least degree of it different in the kind or nature of it, as is all other saving grace, from the faith and common grace of temporary believers; and therefore, though it may be many times assailed and weakened, yet it gets the victory, growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance through Christ, who is both the author and finisher of our faith.  ( Heb 5:13, 14; Matt 6:30; Rom 4:19, 20; 2 Peter 1:1; Eph 6:16; 1 John 5:4, 5; Heb 6:11, 12; Col 2:2; Heb 12:2 )

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Chapter 15 - Of Repentance Unto Life and Salvation

1. Such of the elect as are converted at riper years, having sometime lived in the state of nature, and therein served divers lusts and pleasures, God in their effectual calling gives them repentance unto life.  ( Titus 3:2-5 )

2. Whereas there is none that does good and sins not, and the best of men may, through the power and deceitfulness of their corruption dwelling in them, with the prevalency of temptation, fall into great sins and provocations; God hath, in the covenant of grace, mercifully provided that believers so sinning and falling be renewed through repentance unto salvation.  ( Eccl 7:20; Luke 22:31, 32 )

3. This saving repentance is an evangelical grace, whereby a person, being by the Holy Spirit made sensible of the manifold evils of his sin, does, by faith in Christ, humble himself for it with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrency, praying for pardon and strength of grace, with a purpose and endeavor, by supplies of the Spirit, to walk before God unto all well-pleasing in all things.  ( Zech 12:10; Acts 11:18; Ezek 36:31; 2 Cor 7:11; Ps 119:6; Ps 119:128 )

4. As repentance is to be continued through the whole course of our lives, upon the account of the body of death, and the motions thereof, so it is every man's duty to repent of his particular known sins particularly.  ( Luke 19:8; 1 Tim 1:13, 15 )

5. Such is the provision which God hath made through Christ in the covenant of grace for the preservation of believers unto salvation; that although there is no sin so small but it deserves damnation; yet there is no sin so great that it shall bring damnation on them that repent; which makes the constant preaching of repentance necessary.  ( Rom 6:23; Isa 1:16-18 Isa 55:7 )

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