1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, Chapter 3.6 The Free Purpose of the Will of God

Table of Contents

The Text

Romans 5:12 (CSB) Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned.

The Chapter

As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so he hath, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto; wherefore they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ, by his Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power through faith unto salvation; neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.

The Confession

As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so he hath, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will

1 Peter 1:2 (CSB) according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient and to be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

It is this point, I want to jump on a table and yell, "Have you not known!"

No! We have not known because we don't know who is elect! Who all has God chosen? We don't know. Who has God chosen thus far? Ah, it is you and me because we believe in the Holy One of God.

Spurgeon said it definitively:

If God would have painted a yellow stripe on the backs of the elect I would go around lifting shirts. But since He didn’t I must preach “whosoever will” and when “whatsoever” believes I know that he is one of the elect.

Charles Spurgeon. The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit. Volume 1. London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1855.

We don't know whom has he elected. I believe in Christ and that faith that God has given me has been counted to me as righteousness of Christ. Therefore, logic dictates that I am his elected.

What about you? Don't you believe in the One who has bled and died for you? That your most grievous, most wicked, most vile, most monstrous sins were all lavished upon the Perfect Spotless Lamb? Don't you know, the entire Roman kingdom bear witness that God's only begotten Son was slain in your place? Don't you know that Jesus Christ, the son of Mary and Joseph from Nazarene, perfectly sinless and perfectly obeyed his Father. Because he was blameless, good, and holy, by the sovereign grace of the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit, he was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven. He is seated at the right hand of the Father.

And because all of that, you have not your filthy self-righteousness but rather the righteousness of Christ alone.

Your most grievous sins? Cleansed.

Isaiah 1:18 (CSB) Come, let’s settle this,”
says the LORD.
“Though your sins are scarlet,
they will be as white as snow;
though they are crimson red,
they will be like wool.

Your most wicked sins? Covered.

Psalms 85:2 (CSB) You forgave your people’s guilt;you covered all their sin. Selah

Your most vile sins? Removed.

Psalms 103:12 (CSB) As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Your most monstrous sins? Forgiven.

Psalms 103:3 (CSB) He forgives all your iniquity;he heals all your diseases.

And because of what God has done through Jesus Christ his Son by the power of the Holy Spirit alone, you are his elect.

foreordained all the means thereunto

2 Thessalonians 2:13 (CSB) But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

Acts 17:26-27 (CSB) From one man he has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live. He did this so that they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

From the preaching of the gospel to Adam and Eve, through the Law and the Prophets and through the birth of the Church through the Protestant Reformation to the churches you have attended and under the preached word of God, God has foreordained from the beginning all the means so that you would look upon his Son and be saved. Salvation is of the Lord and his sanctifying work in your life is of the Lord.

wherefore they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ

1 Thessalonians 5:9–10 (CSB) For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.


Romans 5:12-16 (CSB) Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned. In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not charged to a person’s account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. He is a type of the Coming One.

But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift which comes through the grace of the one man Jesus Christ overflowed to the many. And the gift is not like the one man’s sin, because from one sin came the judgment, resulting in condemnation, but from many trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification.

Because of Adam, we were all born into sin and we choose to sin. We were born to die.

But because of Christ, the Second Adam, we are now born again not to die but to live forever with him.

Adam broke creation. Christ restored creation.

Adam broke covenant. Christ fulfilled the covenant.

Adam died. Christ rose from the dead.

Adam was cursed. Christ was blessed.

Adam sinned. Christ redeems.

are effectually called unto faith in Christ

Romans 8:30 (CSB) And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.

So God predestines. From there, God calls. When He actually calls, He actually saves. Salvation includes and new heart that springs forth new desires for God and His Spirit dwells within us.

If God charged a prophet to a call out to the valley of dry bones and they live, how much more powerful is the calling of God on those who are far from Him.

Consider the ultimate calling of God from death unto life.

John 11:38–44 (CSB) Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. “Remove the stone,” Jesus said. Martha, the dead man’s sister, told him, “Lord, there is already a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you heard me. I know that you always hear me, but because of the crowd standing here I said this, so that they may believe you sent me.” After he said this, he shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and let him go.”

We know Jesus has raised those who were extremely ill to the point of being thought of as death. But Jesus quickly corrects with, “She’s just asleep”. But Lazarus was someone who was dead for four days. His body was wrapped and laid in the tomb.

This is the first time we’ve seen Christ step before not just His friend’s dead body but at Death itself. Through the deepest and darkest grief and pain of losing his friend, even for a moment, Christ looked upon His Father and with tears running down his cheeks, he simply prays, “Father, I thank you that you hear me and have heard me. I knew that you always heard me but I want everybody around here to know that as well so that they believe in me.”

It is Jesus Christ—the Lord ruling over heaven, earth, and hell; the upcoming victor over Satan and his demons—faced death and with His own voice cut through Death’s power and call his friend back to life: “Lazarus, come out!”

When God calls us to himself, he saves us to himself. It is a 1:1 ratio. Romans 8:30 doesn't say, "For those whom he predestined, some were called..." No!

Let us theorized that we know the number of the elect. That number is 92,203,292,301. If 92,203,292,301 people have been predestined, then 92,203,292,301 people have been called, and then 92,203,292,301 have been justified and then 92,203,292,301 have been glorified. That means 92,203,292,301 have elected and that means 92,203,292,301 have been saved.

have been saved - I didn't make a mistake on the past tense of that statement. It is past tense because Christ died over 2,000 years ago. It's already done because of what he has done for us.

by his Spirit working in due season

John 3:5-8 (CSB) Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

It is the work of the Spirit that brings us to faith in Christ. We don't know when the Spirit starts or just how he does it. But the moment you first believe, that is evident of the work of the Spirit.

Let me take this moment to assure some of my brothers and sisters in Christ. If you ever been taught that you need to be filled with the Spirit, or you need to be baptized in the Spirit after you have been saved, then praise be to God, that has already happened when you first believed. You don't need more of God because you already have the Infinite God! That hole of eternity in your heart is already filled with the Eternal God! (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

There is no second baptism. There is no second or third or forth baptism of the Spirit. There is no higher life Christianity. There is no varsity level of Christianity. The moment you believed, the Triune God dwells in you. You already have everything you need to live a life that is pleasing to God because God has laid out those good works for you. Go and do in the name of Christ.

are justified, adopted, sanctified

Romans 8:14–17 (CSB) For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Philippians 1:6 (CSB) I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 12:1–2 (CSB) Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

What God has started in you, God will finish in you. It is a done deal. We start things all the time and not finish them. God is not like us. What he starts, he completes it. If he started this work in you, he will bring it to completion. For:

Psalm 17:15 (CSB) But I will see your face in righteousness; when I awake, I will be satisfied with your presence.

God will bring us all the way home. That is the gospel.

kept by his power through faith unto salvation

1 Peter 1:5 (CSB) You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

Ephesians 2:8–9 (CSB) For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast.

Pop quiz: What is God's gift to us in Ephesians 2:8-9? Is it:

A) Salvation
B) Grace
C) Faith

The answer is yes! It's D) All of the above.

Salvation is the gift of God to you. Grace is the gift of God to you.

Did that faith come from within you or is it because God gave you a new heart and his Spirit and now you believe?

Because God gives the gifts to his children to save them unto himself and it's not dependent on us at all to keep ourselves to God, we are locked in forever.

John 10:25-30 (CSB) “I did tell you and you don’t believe,” Jesus answered them. “The works that I do in my Father’s name testify about me. But you don’t believe because you are not of my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

This is the double snatch almighty grip of Almighty God the Father and the Almighty Lord Jesus Christ sealed by the Almighty Holy Spirit.

More math. How much strength is in infinite mighty times three? Answer: all of the strength.

God has three times infinite grip on you. God is the perfect Father who does not lose his kids.

neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.

John 10:26 (CSB) But you don’t believe because you are not of my sheep.

John 17:9 (CSB) “I pray for them. I am not praying for the world but for those you have given me, because they are yours.

John 6:64 (CSB) But there are some among you who don’t believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning those who did not believe and the one who would betray him.)

Remember, election is not of us. It is not dependent on us. This is the secret counsel of God in his most holy and most wise.

The oft pushback I have heard of other Christians is, "Why would God violate my free will like that? That sounds like a tyrant."

God did not violate your will. You were dead in your trespasses and sins. Your will was imprisoned and wanted sin and death. Your will was in bondage to sin and death.

If God did any bit less than what he did to save you, my friend you would not be saved. It takes all of God to save all of his people.

Consider this.

Romans 8:34 (CSB) Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; he also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.

Whom is Christ intercedes for the elect and non-elect? No, he intercedes for his people alone.

Does Romans 1:16 says that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to all who believe and don't believe? No, the gospel has no power to save those who do not believe. The gospel only has power to save those believe and trust in Christ.

Does John 3:16 states that God so loved the world in this way that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes and does not believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life?

Only those who are elect are saved by God. Election is of God and we are the people of God. And the blessing of salvation belong to the people of God alone.

My question to you, the reader and to any of my neighbors who would listen: What do you want? Do you want your own way? Do you want to figure out your own life? Do you hope that there isn't a God or if he exists, then you hope he grades on a curve because you are not as bad as Adolf Hitler?

You are going to take your destiny based on your comparison to someone like Adolf Hitler? Make that make sense.

Do you want God? Do you want to believe? Do you trust and believe that God has done it all to save you from yourself and unto him?

2 Corinthians 6:2 (CSB) For he says:
At an acceptable time I listened to you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.
See, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation!

Today, you can believe, Today, you can trust in Christ. Today marks your day of salvation. I don't care what your life was like before. Believe and trust in the one who has done it all for you.

Ask God for God and you will have God. Why? Because you have God.