I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.
1 Corinthians 12:3 (CSB) Therefore I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
John 3:3 (CSB) Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Matthew 6:33 (CSB) But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
We believe in Jesus Christ
A person with reasonable intelligence can be taught written and reading language. They can be taught math. They can be taught many things.
But I don’t care how brilliant you are: you cannot be taught to believe in God.
It does not matter how often you went to church, how many Sunday Schools, Bible colleges, and seminaries you’ve attended. I don’t care how many churches you pastored. I don’t care how much you have given to the poor. I don’t care what you do.
The fact is for you to believe in God you must be born again.
Here is the greatest news that you will ever receive:
Luke 11:13 (CSB) If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
You know why this is bonafide guarantee? Because if you ask the Father for the Holy Spirit, surprise, you have the Holy Spirit. Why? Because of what Christ has done for you and what the Spirit has done in you.
Now that the Triune God has done his work, you now righteously and perfectly desire the things of God. Your heart wants God and you quote Scripture asking God for God. That’s because God has put his word in you and sealed you with the Holy Spirit.
Rejoice on this day.
His only Son
The 1689 confesses:
the Son is eternally begotten of the Father
John 3:16 (CSB) For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
John 1:14 (CSB) The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 8:28-29 (CSB) So Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own. But just as the Father taught me, I say these things. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what pleases him.”
The Gospel of John drips with the the most complete, thorough description of the only begotten Son of God the Father.
The Apostle Paul wraps up the Gospel of John in this way:
Colossians 1:15–20 (CSB)
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
16 For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through him and for him.
17 He is before all things, and by him all things hold together.
18 He is also the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.
19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,
20 and through him to reconcile everything to himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
When we speak of mankind, then a husband and a wife beget a child. You see this in older Bible translations: “Abraham begets Isaac begets Jacob begets Joseph”. But reminder that humans are created beings and therefore, by the definition of creation, they have a definite start date. In other words, we are not from eternal past.
When you speak of the Triune God and the word begotten, it is the same yet different. Christ is begotten from the Father. The Father brought about the Son. But Son is always eternal past. So you must say: the Son is eternally begotten from the Father. The Father eternally brought about the Son. That means there was never a time when he was not begotten. He has always been with the Father, living in distinct, perfect, loving, abiding, complete community.
Deuteronomy 6:4–6 (CSB) “Listen, Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart.
The Historic Baptist Confession starts the chapter on God with this: The Lord our God. From his book, Baptist Symbolics Volume 2., Dr. Renihan starts with this sweetest truth,
the paragraph begins with a personalized assertion about God—He is ours.
Renihan. Baptist Symbolics Volume 2. 167
Whatever God wants to reveal about himself to us, it will not be everything about God but it will be truly about God and we, as his people, know him truly. Let the world say what they want about our God. But the maker of the heavens and the earth, the Almighty God, from everlasting to everlasting, belongs to his people. God belongs to me and God belongs to you.
Song of Songs 2:16 For I am my Beloved’s and He is mine forever.
God personally belongs to me and I personally belong to him. For:
Exodus 19:5-6 (CSB) Now if you will carefully listen to me and keep my covenant, you will be my own possession out of all the peoples, although the whole earth is mine, and you will be my kingdom of priests and my holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to say to the Israelites.”
Titus 2:11-14 (CSB) For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people for his own possession, eager to do good works.
The Creedal Imperative.
Carl R. Trueman
To the Judicious and Impartial Reader: Baptist Symbolics Volume 2.
by James Renihan.
Founders Press. 2022.
A New Exposition of the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689
by Rob Ventura.
Mentor. January 17, 2023.
Truths We Confess: A Systematic Exposition of the Westminster Confession of Faith.
Sproul, R. C.
Orlando: Reformation Trust, 2019.