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1689 - Chapter 1 (Part One)

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*To view the first chapter uninterrupted, see the site included below this article

The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet they are not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and His will which is necessary unto salvation.

Salvation comes only through the medium of hearing or reading the Word of God. There is no other way in which man can be saved. Anything outside of the scriptures is man-centered. A person with no knowledge of Jesus Christ cannot stand atop Machu Picchu gazing across the vast wonder of God's creation and find salvation in Christ. This experience may cause a sense of awe or wonder drawing the individual to know that they are small in this God-given world, and that maybe there is something greater. They may experience what C.S. Lewis so intelligibly explains as the Numinous in his book "The Problem with Pain." In a nutshell, Numinous is this feeling of dread, awe, wonder, or fear of some greater spiritual reality than the man himself. This cannot, no matter how chilling the experience, save a man's soul from condemnation.

"In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory." Ephesians 1:13-14

See also: Romans 1:18-20

Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in diversified manners to reveal Himself, and to declare (that) His will unto His church;

Sundry is an old, oft used term meaning "various, many." In the Old Testament, on many different occasions from Genesis to Malachi, we read of the Lord visiting His people and speaking to them. The ways in which he communicated to them were diverse. He would send angels (Genesis 22:11), he would speak to them perhaps in the Spirit (1 Samuel 3:4-8), he spoke through a bush and even a donkey (Numbers 22:21-39)! The peak of it all was the incarnation of the Son of God in Jesus Christ, whose teachings we have recorded in the New Testament. All of these theophany's are recorded in the Holy Bible.

and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which makes the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary,

Before the foundation of the world it was God's intention to have His law and revelations in written form that the church for all ages may have a guiding light to protect us from the world, the flesh, and the devil.

"For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." (Romans 15:4)

those former ways of God's revealing His will unto His people being now completed.

God no longer reveals himself to mankind. The Holy Bible is sufficient for our salvation and for making man wise and complete, equipped for every good work.

"and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:15-17)

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Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these:


Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy Joshua Judges Ruth 1 Samuel 2 Samuel 1 Kings 2 Kings 1 Chronicles 2 Chronicles Ezra Nehemiah Esther Job Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes The Song of Solomon Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations Ezekiel Daniel Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi


Matthew Mark Luke John Acts Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 1 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 1 Timothy 2 Timothy Titus Philemon Hebrews James 1 Peter 2 Peter 1 John 2 John 3 John Jude Revelation

All of which are given by the inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life.

The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon or rule of the Scripture, and, therefore, are of no authority to the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved or made use of than other human writings.

The Protestant bible contains 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. These books were canonized, or agreed upon as a whole, by some men a long time ago. I am not a church historian, but you can read this article for more information on the canonization of scripture. These two paragraphs were critical to include in the confession because the document was organized around 150 years after the Protestant reformation. Congregations everywhere were still breaking the bonds of catholicity. Catholicism includes extra books in their bible, known as the apocrypha. This is a statement right away that those adhering to the 1689 do not identify themselves with Catholicism.

Having only read through three paragraphs, we begin to see the importance of confessions. It may be that you do not hold entirely to the 1689 or any other confessions, as John Piper and his elders found themselves and subsequently made their own, but two issues that were prominent in the church (and still are) have already been addressed. One being the heresy that God still speaks to us. This dangerous water is where captains wreck their boats. Think of many modern day cults that were formed over one leader claiming that God was speaking to him secretly? How much harm could be caused to the Church of Christ if it were agreed upon that God still speaks to His people outside of the scriptures? The church would be unrecognizable. The depravity rooted greed and despotic nature of man would have brought that ship to the bottom of the ocean centuries ago. The second issue is that of the apocrypha. There are several fine lines drawn between the Catholic and protestant churches and this is one of the foundational errors. A lot of the heretical doctrine of the Catholic church is rooted in the apocrypha.

Many more doctrines are divulged throughout the 1689. Why wouldn't there be? That is its primary purpose. Continue to follow along with this series and as always, thank you for reading.

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. -1 Thessalonians 5:23-24-23

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