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God

I have selected the seventh chapter, Of God’s Covenant, to demonstrate why I do not subscribe to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. First, it fails to adequately explain the purpose of a covenant; Second, it makes the gracious covenant subservient to the fall of man; Third, it makes the gracious covenant a free offer to sinners; Fourth, it makes the gracious covenant conditional on the sinner’s faith; Fifth, it implies the gracious covenant is different from the gospel; Sixth, it implies the gracious covenant is different from the eternal covenant; Seventh, it fails to highlight the distinct roles assumed by the Triune Jehovah in the gracious covenant. Henceforth, I believe this statement falls short of giving a concise and accurate account of God’s covenant.

Now, lest I be charged with departing from the orthodox faith, it should be understood…

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Introduction

1 Jun 2015, by Jared Smith

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John Gill was born in Kettering, Northamptonshire, England, on November 23rd, 1697. At age 12, he was converted to Christ under the preaching ministry of William Wallis. However, he waited six years before agreeing to be baptized, after which he became a member of his local church. At the age of 23, he was inducted as pastor of the Strict Baptist Horselydown church, where he remained until his death on October 14th, 1771. His 50 year pastoral ministry was accompanied by a prolific written ministry. Not only is he the only man to…

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Theology is nothing else than speaking of God—his nature, names, perfections, and persons; his purposes, providences, ways, works, and word. As I have undertaken to write a System of Theology, or a Body of Doctrinal Divinity, I shall begin with the Being of God, and the proof and evidence of it.

The Being of God is the foundation of all religion. If there is no superior Being to whom we are accountable for faith and practice, then religion is vain, and it matters not what we believe, nor what we do. There have been some to think that the existence of God should not be admitted as a matter of debate, since the Being of God is a first principle and a self-evident proposition. However, such is the malice of Satan, that he does frequently…

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As it is difficult to understand that nature which belongs to each of God’s creatures, so there is a mystery about the nature of God, the Creator of heaven and earth.

1. Indirect Inferences that there is a Nature in God.

That a “Nature” may be predicated of God is inferred by the Apostle Paul in Galatians 4:8, where these Christians are described, prior to their conversion, as serving idols, who “by nature, were no gods”—as these false gods were assumed to have a nature, so the one true and living God must have a Nature. A similar inference is made by the Apostle Peter in…

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That there is but one God is the first principle of the Christian faith. It is the chief commandment given by God, on which all religion, doctrine and faith depend (Mk 12:28-30). He that says there is more than one God is as much a fool as he that believes there is no God. Indeed, Tertullian observed, “If God is not one, He is not at all.” This premise is a most certain truth, and most surely to be believed, as it is affirmed by the voice of reason and revelation.

1. The Light of Nature.

As the light of nature teaches men there is a God, so it also teaches them there is but one God. This is observable even among those nations which neglected the true God and chose not to retain Him in their knowledge—having been given over to a reprobate mind, or to judicial blindness, to believe the father of lies—they were led by degrees…

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Having proved the unity of the divine Being, and explained the sense in which it is to be understood, it is proper to enlarge on the subject of the plurality in the Godhead. The scriptures reveal the true and living God exists in three Persons in the unity of the one indivisible essence. Now, there are some who refuse to identify the Godhead by terms such as Essence, Unity, Trinity and Person. It is argued that since the Bible does not refer to God by these terms, so it is illegitimate language if used when identifying the nature of the Godhead. However, as the purpose of words is designed to accurately convey ideas, so these aforementioned terms exist to identify those concepts of the Godhead revealed in the scriptures. From this standpoint, it is perfectly acceptable to use extra-biblical terms to identify and explain biblical truth.

I shall treat of this subject under two heads: First, I shall prove that there is a plurality of Persons in the one Godhead; Second, I will identify the Three Persons in the one Godhead.

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Having considered the distinct personality and deity of the Father, attention is now given to that of the Son.

I. The Personality of the Son.

1. Affirmed by Formal Definition.

Personality has been defined by some as, “An individual that subsists, is living, intelligent, is not sustained by another, nor is a part of another.” If this statement be accepted as a formal definition of a person, then it is true of each of the three Persons in the Godhead—Father, Son and Spirit. Of particular note, we shall consider the personality of the Son: (1) “An individual…”—He is an individual, distinct, though not separate from…

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Before looking into the perfections of the Godhead, it is proper to begin with a consideration of His names. Now, properly speaking, there is no need to identify God by a name. Not only is He incomprehensible, and therefore transcends the restrictions of a label, but since He is the one and only true God, it is unnecessary to distinguish Him from others. Henceforth, Plato observes that God has no name, and frequently calls Him, “The Being”. Even Moses, when asking the Lord what he should say to the children of Israel, should they ask the name of Him that sent him to them, was told by God, “I am that I am”—that is, I am the eternal Being, the Being of beings, of which the name Jehovah is expressive. Nevertheless, there are names attributed to God throughout the scriptures, taken from one or other of His attributes, which are worthy of notice. After all, is it not the names of persons and things that are usually the first that are known of them? And, if these names are not known…

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I. The Attributes of God.

The attributes of God are distinguished by Theologians under a variety of classifications.

1. Negative and Positive Attributes.

Distinctions are sometimes made between the “negative” and “positive” attributes. The Negative Attributes are such as remove from God whatever is imperfect in creatures—since God is not finite, mutable and mortal, so He is infinite, immutable and immortal. The Positive, or Affirmative Attributes, are such as assert a perfection in God, which is in and of Himself—if these attributes are in any measure true of the creatures, such as wisdom, goodness, justice, holiness, &c., they are derived from God. Some discard this classification of attributes, for though it is easier to say what God is not, than what He is, yet in all negative attributes, some positive excellency is found.

2. Essential and Analogical Attributes.

Another arrangement is to distribute the attributes into a “twofold order”—the first and second. The essential properties of the “first order”, declare the essence of God as in Himself, such as His simplicity, perfection, infinity and immutability. These perfections are not found in the creatures. The essential properties of the “second order”, declare the essence of God as in Himself, but are also found in the creatures, such as life, immortality…

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I. The Infinity of God.

The infinity of God is the next attribute to be considered. To say that God is infinite, means that He is unbounded and unlimited, unmeasurable or immense, unsearchable and incomprehensible. These are appropriate titles and epithets of the Godhead. (1) God is Immense. This means that Jehovah is unmeasurable—He measures all things, but is measured by none. Who can take His dimensions? They are “as high as heaven, what canst thou do? Deeper than hell, what canst thou know?” If the heavens above cannot be measured, and the foundations of the earth beneath cannot be searched out, how should He be measured or searched out to perfection that made all these? (Job 11:7-9; Jer 31:37) As there is an height, a depth, a length and breadth in the love of God, immeasurable (Eph 3:18), so there is in every attribute of God, and consequently in His nature. (2) God is Incomprehensible. As the immensity of Jehovah is His magnitude, and of His “greatness” it is said, that it is “unsearchable” (Ps 145:3), so upon the whole, He must be incomprehensible. The incomprehensibility of God is…

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