1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, Chapter 10.3 The Calling of God Independent of Us

Table of Contents

The Text

Romans 1:18-19 (CSB) For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them.

The Chapter

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.

The Confession

John 3:3–6 (CSB) Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” “How can anyone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?” 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.

Matthew 6:33 (CSB) But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.

When you depart from right, proper, historical, orthodox theology, you end up having to make up some additional theories in order to cover what your new theology has left behind. Departure and rejection of Calvinistic soteriology and placed the salvation of man on man himself now exposes the question:

What about those who cannot choose God for themselves?

The confession starts by talking about infants but also addresses "who are incapable". In other words, the mentally handicap.

I am reminded of my dear friend's sweet uncle whose elderly mom spent her entire life caring for him. When I met him, he was in his 60s. When he was quite young, he suffered a head injury that kept his IQ and maturity around two years old. What about him who cannot choose God for himself?

The age of accountability concept that is one, not Biblical at all, and two, tends to bend the believer's heart into thinking that they can judge a person's salvation from the outside in.

But what does the Bible say?

You must be born again in order to see the kingdom of God.

The Bible has already declared of those who--and stop me if you've heard this before--who are weak, who cannot believe apart from the Spirit, who are not good, who are not righteous, no, not one and who are incapable of choosing God for themselves unless God gives his Spirit and his heart.

To tell you the truth, when it comes to the power of our wills and whether we can choose God or not God, we are just as weak and feeble as an infant or like my friend's uncle. The Bible has already declared: for us to follow the command of Christ to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, we must be born again. Otherwise, we lack the power to choose God and see his kingdom because we are not born of the Spirit.

We are just like the infant. We are just like the mentally handicap. All the IQ and EQ and knowledge and smarts and wisdom will not save us. God must have mercy on our souls. God must choose us. God must save us.

John 3:8 (CSB) 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.”

The Spirit must give life. And to the elect--that would include the miscarried, the stillborn, the mentally handicap, dare I say, the emotionally handicap, the infant, the child, the teenager, the adult, or the elderly--the Spirit gives life so that God's people will now seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.