The 1689 Baptist Confession gives us an extensive doctrine of sola scriptura. This is a glorious inheritance from our Baptist forefathers. We must not truncate its meaning or significance.
We should not even speak of man possessing the image of God. For the image is not something man possesses. It is something man is. Man is the image of God.
With such clear and crucial scriptural truth and confessional affirmation before us, it is nothing less than shocking to be confronted in recent years with assertions by Reformed men that (seem to me) directly undermine the truth of the supremacy and sufficiency of sola scriptura.
I have arranged my treatment of 21 Misunderstandings of Calvinism in the order of T-U-L-I-P.
Rather than making God an impersonal thing with whom it is impossible to have a relationship, we saw that His simplicity means that His character and affection toward us His people will never change. This is the theme of the next cluster of attributes mentioned in the Confession.
It seems to me that there are few things of which the Christian church and, indeed, our society, in general, need more than a return to the majestic view of God taught in the Scriptures and confessed in Chapter 2 of the 1689 Baptist Confession.
Although there are myriads of angels of the LORD, there is only one called “The Angel of the LORD”. The OT usually refers to Him when it speaks of a single “Malak” or messenger, especially under the designation “angel of the LORD” or “angel of God”. This is the messenger we want to focus our attention on in this study. As we will see, He is not a human nor an angelic messenger. Instead, He is a messenger in a category all His own!
The first and most basic question answered by the Confession is the question, For what are the Scriptures sufficient? The Confession makes clear that the Scriptures are not sufficient for every conceivable purpose in human life. They are sufficient for “all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life.” The sufficiency of Scripture is vertical in nature. It has to do with our relationship to God. It tells the Christian how to glorify God, what he needs to do to be saved, what He must believe as a matter of Christian doctrine, and how he must live in order to please God. There is nothing that we need about those matters that are not in Scripture. Still, the Scriptures are not a math, biology, or Spanish textbook.
Why does Scripture have authority with the Christian? The Confession answers that is not because of the testimony of any man or church, but because it is the Word of God. Last time we saw that this means that the Scripture is self-authenticating. It does not need the authentication of a supposedly infallible church, because it is itself the infallible Word of God. Rome’s claim to authenticate the Scripture to the Christian (and thus claim final authority over the Christian) is wrong because it usurps the authority of the Word of God over the Christian.
Reformed Contentions It is a popular assertion of those who oppose the doctrine of common grace to claim that in the...