Any 1689ers out there?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ReformedBaptist, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    I know this might be a narrow group, but I wanted to see what any 1689ers, or other kinds of Reformed/Calvinistic Baptists think about the following statement from the 1689

    Chapter 30: The Lord's Supper

    7. Worthy receivers, outwardly taking the visible elements in this ordinance, also receive them inwardly and spiritually by faith, truly and in fact, but not carnally and corporally, and feed upon Christ crucified, and all the benefits of His death. The body and blood of Christ is not present corporally or carnally but it is spiritually present to the faith of believers in the ordinance, just as the elements are present to their outward senses.

    Particularly, I am interested in knowing what you believe the Lord is doing in the believer when the ordinace is observed in a worthy manner. Is it merely a memorial or, as the statement says, are we feeding upon Christ crucified, and allthe benefits of His death...that it is spiritually present to the faith of believers IN THE ORDINANCE.

    This is the confession of faith of our church, of which I have substantial agreement, but I have not agreed to this part yet.

    Of course, others may comment, but this is not meant to be a debate. I am truly seeking the truth of the Scriptures in the matter.

    The Scripture proofs provided in the confesion are 1 Corinthians 10:16; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
     
  2. larryjf

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    Since a sacrament is the visible sign of grace. The grace itself is communicated by the Holy Spirit, but through the means of the sacrament. Not because God has to work through it, but because He chooses to work through it.

    It is both a memorial and a sealing of benefits to true believers. We are spiritually nourished by it.

    It is also shows our binding ourselves to Christ and to each other as we share it together.

    It is a memorial in the sense that we do not consider it a perpetual sacrifice as the Roman Catholics, but as a remembrance of the once and for all sacrifice of Christ.

    In this sacrament we do truly feed upon Christ and His benefits by faith. The body and blood of Christ is really (spiritually, not physically) present to the faith of believers.
     
  3. ReformedBaptist

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    That grace is communicated through means cannot be denied. The grace of God that saves is communicated through the means of the preaching of the Gospel. What in the Scriptures leads you to believe that the 'sacrament' of the Lord's Table is a means through which God communicates grace. I also struggle with the use of the word sacrament. What do you mean by that term?
     
  4. TCGreek

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    1. Rather, How do we share/partake in the blood and body of Christ?

    2. I always thought that we did so as a memorial; I know what the confession says but I have always had a difficult time seeing what the confession states.
     
    #4 TCGreek, Sep 2, 2007
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  5. swaimj

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    larryjf said:
    Some questions for your:
    What grace is signified by the sacrament and what grace is communicated by means of the sacrament? The grace that saves us or something else? I really don’t understand what you mean by this statement.

    What benefits to the believer are sealed by the sacrament and what do you mean when you call it a sacrament?

    If the bread and the cup are not literally Christ, what do you mean that we “truly feed upon Christ”? How can we "truly" feed on Christ if what we are feeding on is not truly Christ?

     
  6. Tom Butler

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    I join TC and RB in having difficulty with the word sacrament. It may be that it is associated with the Roman Church and is retained by many Protestant churches, who attach a mysticism to it that I don't see.

    Since I hold that the Lord's Supper is flatly not a sacrament, it seems to me that the section of th 1689 Confession which discusses it has gone too far.
     
  7. larryjf

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    I will try to address some of the questions y'all have posted...

    The grace(s) that are signified:
    • Jesus gave his body and blood for our sins (Luke 22:19-20),
    • Jesus entered into a covenant with us (Luke 22:20, 1 Cor 11:25)
    • Jesus joined us into one body, his church (1 Cor 10:16).
    The same graces that are signified are communicated by the Holy Spirit.

    The benefits that are sealed to the believer are those listed above.

    If i'm not mistaken, I didn't say they weren't "literally" Christ, i said they weren't "physically" Christ. I think there is sometimes a false idea set up where we look at the physical as being "real"and the spiritual as being something less than real. In reality the spiritual is as real if not more real than the physical (more real in the sense of having more substance as our outer man is decaying but our inner man is being renewed daily).

    We truly feed on Christ spiritually by the work of the Holy Spirit who applies Christ to the believer by faith during the sacrament.
     
  8. larryjf

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    I don't think that i can do the explanation due service, so here are some quotes from An Overview of the Lord's Supper by Charles Hodge...




     
  9. ReformedBaptist

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    Thanks for the explainations and quotes from Hodge. I am going to truly need the illumination of God to see this, if He will be so gracious to grant it if this be the truth of Scripture.
     
  10. TCGreek

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    1. While there are many things in this quote from Hodge to commend itself, some I find to be man-made.

    2. When did the Supper become a sacrament to impart grace to the believer?

    3. Where in Scripture does it say, whether explicitly or implicitly, that through the Supper grace is imparted to us to will and to do His good pleasure, which is a quote from Phil. 2:13, but the Supper was not under consideration. Besides, God is the one does the work in us, but Paul doesn't say that it is by means of the Supper.

    4. Apart from the Word and the Spirit, the Supper has no significance as we partake.

    5. But Hodge must be forced to support his premise that the Supper is a sacrament, a means of imparting grace to the partaker.
     
  11. ~JM~

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    At one time I would have called myself a "Reformed" Baptist, but as John Gill wrote, "I am a Baptist, and he may call me, if he pleases, a new one, or an old Calvinistic one, or an Antinomian one; it is a very trifle to me."

    jm
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    Let me add to your list of questions.

    What form does the grace take that is supposedly imparted through the sacrament?

    Since grace is defined as unmerited favor, what is the favor that we receive?

    If God gives grace unilaterally, apart from anything we are or do, how can communion be called a "means of grace?"
     
  13. skypair

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    TC, I believe in the "memorial" view but I also have another, perhaps unique, view. As we take the wine, we testify to having partaken of Christ's death at the cross (this is why the unsaved ought not be encouraged to share communion -- they don't have that testimony.).

    Then I believe that the taking of the bread testifies that we partake of His life as His body daily on this earth. Even in Isa 53, I think it says "He will extend His life..." We ARE Christ's body to this world if we live by the Spirit.

    To this there is an "ominous" warning -- that those who partake unworthily do not discern the body. That is, they do not live the Christian life that partaking the bread calls for. That's a lying testimony, right? The body is not one if some are living to self and not to Christ.

    And how can we all at one time be living Christ's life? The preface to communion ought to be "foot washing" --- washing the "world" off one another's "spiritual feet." We ought "wait upon one another" and confess and forgive one another before partaking. Pastors will often give time for this by either silent prayer or allowing the members to circulate and TCB.

    skypair
     
    #13 skypair, Dec 1, 2007
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  14. StefanM

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    This discussion reminds me of the old joke...

    Where in church is Jesus most assuredly not to be found?

    The Lord's Supper!
     
  15. Rippon

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    Well , He is sure to be found AT the Lord's Supper .
     
  16. Dale-c

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    I believe that the 1689 LBC is the best summation of Biblical doctrine I have seen.
    Is it perfect?
    Infallible? Inerrant?
    Of course not.

    But neither are any of us.
     
  17. Rippon

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    Don't neglect our poor ancestor -- the 1644 , which was slighly expanded with the publishing of the 1646 document . The 1646 First London Baptist Confession of Faith also had 22 more articles ( or elaborations ) attached by Benjamin Cox .

    I think the 1689 Confession is fairly fine . But sometimes it is not as fulsome as the W.C.o F. ( 1646 ) or the Savoy Declaration ( 1658 ) . The Particular Baptists had a bit more in common with the Savoy Declaration . The SD also used the W.C.o F. as its basis . John Owen , Thomas Goodwin and Phillip Nye had a hand in it .
     
  18. TCGreek

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    Per 1 Cor 10:16ff that when we observe the LS, we are communing with the Lord in a real way, not just symbolically. Maybe we are saying the same thing.
     
  19. ~JM~

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    Quote:

    The differences between the First and Second London Confession of Faith and the faith, order, worship and works of those two generations of Particular Baptists were as real as life and death and as visible as daylight and darkness once a student knows what to look for and why. I will list some of the differences and not take up the space to explain nor vindicate these differences nor my proofs for them. This shall be done elsewhere, I hope, if the Lord wills.

    Source

    Interesting blog post:
    True Confessions- Baptist Documents in the Reformed Family
     
  20. skypair

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    "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" (1Cor 10:16) IOW, "is it not the communion of the saved? ...is it not the communion of those living for Christ?"

    I would say, yes, "when one or more are gathered in My name, there am I." But communion also involves a "body" of believers that many do not discern in the observance, wouldn't you say?

    I am particularly concerned that this is a "holdover" from Catholicism, aren't you? I mean, receiving them "inwardly and spiritually" does what? feeding on the benefits of Christ's death means what to those who are already saved and forgiven of all sins? I mean, they are flowery words with no apparent substance so far as I can see.

    skypair
     
    #20 skypair, Dec 3, 2007
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