The 1646 London Baptist Confession of Faith in Today’s English

The 1646 edition of the London Baptist Confession is a beautiful statement of the beliefs of Baptist congregations in England at the time, and remains as biblical as it was then and useful for churches today seeking a time-honored and carefully written expression of the truths of the Scriptures. It is especially notable for its high view of Christ as head of the church and mediator of the New Covenant. This makes it specially suited for Christians holding to God’s absolute sovereignty and to New Covenant Theology. Its original division into 52 articles of faith also makes it easy to use in weekly family devotions through the year.

Combining my college education in English literature with my new appreciation for this mid-seventeenth century document, I have converted the original text (widely available on the Internet) into today’s English. In doing so, I have made every effort not to alter the meaning. I offer the below rendition of the London Baptist Confession to the public domain.


I.
The Lord our God is but one God, whose subsistence is in himself and whose essence cannot be comprehended by anyone but himself, who alone is immortal and lives in unapproachable light. He is, in himself, most holy, every way infinite in greatness, wisdom, power, and love. He is merciful and gracious, forbearing, and abundant in goodness and truth. He is the source of being, motion, and preservation to all created things.

1 Cor. 8:6, Isa. 44:6, 46:9, Exod. 3:14, 1 Tim 6:16, Isa. 43:15; Ps. 147:5, Deut. 32:3; Job 36:5; Jer. 10:12, Exod. 34:6,7, Acts 17:28; Rom. 11:36

II.
In this divine and infinite being there is the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, each having the whole divine essence, yet the essence is undivided. All are infinite without any beginning, and therefore are but one God, who is not to be divided in nature and being, but distinguished by several distinct relative properties.

1 Cor. 1:3; John 1:1, 15:26, Exod. 3:14; 1 Cor. 8:6

III.
Before creation, God had decreed in himself concerning all things, whether necessary, accidental or voluntary, with all their circumstances, to work, dispose, and bring about all events according to the counsel of his own will, to his glory (yet without being the author or participant of any sin). In this his wisdom in disposing all things, his immutability, power, and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree become evident. And God, before the foundation of the world, foreordained some people to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the praise of his glorious grace. The others he has left in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of his justice.

Isa. 46:10; Eph. 1:11, Rom. 11:33, Ps. 115:3; 135:6, 33:15; 1 Sam. 10:9, 26, Prov. 21:6; Exod. 21:13; Prov. 16:33, Ps. 144, Isa. 45:7, Jer. 14:22, Matt. 6:28, 30; Col. 1:16, 17; Num. 23:19, 20; Rom. 3:4; Jer. 10:10; Eph. 1:4,5; Jude 4, 6; Prov. 16:4

IV
In the beginning God made all things very good. He created humankind in his own image, with all appropriate perfection of nature, and free from all sin. But they did not remain in this state of honor long: Satan used the craftiness of the serpent to seduce first Eve, then, by her, to seduce Adam, who without any compulsion, by eating the forbidden fruit, transgressed the command of God and fell. In this way death came upon all his posterity, who now are conceived in sin, and by nature deserving of wrath, the slaves of sin, and the subjects of death and other miseries in this world and forever, unless the Lord Jesus Christ sets them free.

Gen. 1:1, Col. 1:16, Isa. 45:12, 1 Cor. 15:45, 46; Eccles. 7:29; Gen. 3:1,4,5; 2 Cor. 11:3, 1 Tim. 2:14; Gal. 3:22; Rom. 5:12, 18, 19, 6:22; Eph. 2:3

V
God in his infinite power and wisdom disposes all things to the end for which they were created, so that neither good nor evil befalls anyone by chance or without God’s providence, and so that whatever happens to the elect does so by God’s appointment, for his glory and their good.

Job 38:11; Isa. 46:10,11, Eccles. 3:14, Mark 10:29,30; Exod. 21:13; Prov. 16:33, Rom. 8:28

VI
All the elect, since they are loved by God with an everlasting love, are redeemed, regenerated, and saved, not by themselves or their own work, so that no one can boast, but solely and wholly by God, of his own free grace and mercy, through Jesus Christ, who has become for us wisdom from God, our righteousness, holiness and redemption, and all in all, so that those who rejoice would rejoice in the Lord.

Jer. 31:2; Eph. 1:3, 7, 2:8,9; 1 Thess. 5:9, Acts 13:48; 2 Cor. 5:21; Jer. 9:23,24; 1 Cor. 1:30,31; Jer. 23:6

VII
This is eternal life: that we know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent. On the contrary, the Lord will render vengeance in flaming fire to those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ.

John 17:3; Heb. 5:9, 2 Thess. 1:8; John 6:36

VIII
The rule of this knowledge, faith, and obedience, concerning the worship of God, in which is contained the whole duty of humankind is only the Word of God written in the Holy Scriptures (not human laws or unwritten traditions). All that is necessary for us to know, believe, and practice is plainly recorded in the Scriptures. The Scriptures are the only rule of holiness and obedience for all God’s sanctified people, at all times in all places to be observed.

Col. 2:23; Matt 15:6, 9; John 5:39, 2 Tim. 3:15, 16, 17; Isa. 8:20; Gal. 1:8, 9; Acts 3:22, 23

IX
The Lord Jesus, of whom Moses and the prophets wrote and the Apostles preached, is the Son of God, the brightness of God’s glory, through whom God made the world. He upholds and governs all things he has made. It was he who also, when the set time had fully come, was born of a woman of the tribe of Judah, of the seed of Abraham and David—Mary, a virgin, by means of the Holy Spirit coming upon her and the power of the Most High overshadowing her. And Jesus was tempted just as we are, yet did not sin.

Gen. 3:15, 22:18, 49:10; Dan. 7:13, 9:24, etc.; Prov. 8:23; John 1:1,2,3; Heb. 1:8; Gal. 4:4; Heb. 7:14; Rev. 5:5; Gen. 49:9,10, Rom. 1:3, 9:10; Matt. 1:16; Luke 3:23,26; Heb. 2:16; Isa. 53:3,4,5; Heb. 4:15

X
Jesus Christ is made the mediator of the new and everlasting covenant of grace between God and humankind, ever to be perfectly and fully prophet, priest, and king of the church of God forevermore.

1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 9:15; John 14:6; Isa. 9:6,7

XI
To this office he was appointed by God from everlasting. And in respect to his manhood, he was called from the womb, separated, and anointed most fully and abundantly with all necessary gifts, God having poured out his Spirit upon him without limit.

Prov. 8:23; Isa. 42:6, 49:15; 11:2,3,4,5, 61:1,2; Luke 4:17, 22; John 1:14, 26, 3:34

XII
Concerning Jesus’ mediatorship, the Scriptures teach that Christ was called to this office. For no one takes this honor upon himself but he who is called by God, as was Aaron, by God’s action. By God’s calling and special promise, God ordained his Son to this office, the promise being that Christ should be made a sacrifice for sin, that he should see his offspring and prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord would prosper in his hand. All this was of mere free and absolute grace towards God’s elect, and without any condition foreseen in them to procure it.

Heb. 5:4,5,6, Isa. 53:10,11; John 3:16; Rom. 8:32

XIII
This office of mediator, that is, of prophet, priest, and king of the church of God, is so proper to Christ, that it can neither in whole nor in part be transferred from him to anyone else.

1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 7:24; Dan. 7:14; Acts 4:12; Luke 1:33; John 14:6

XIV
The office to which Christ is called is threefold: a prophet, priest, and king. This number and order of offices is necessary, for in respect to our ignorance, we need his prophetic office; in respect to our great alienation from God, we need his priestly office to reconcile us; and in respect to our averseness and total inability to return to God, we need his kingly office to convince, subdue, draw, uphold, and preserve us to his heavenly kingdom.

Deut. 18:15; Acts 3:22,23; Heb. 3:!, 4:14,15; Ps. 2:6; 2 Cor. 5:20; Acts 26:18; Col. 1:21; John 16:8, Ps. 110:3; Song of Sol. 1:3; John 6:44; Phil. 4:13; 2 Tim. 4:18

XV
The prophecy of Christ is that by which he has revealed the will of God in whatever his servants need to know and obey. Therefore, he is called not only a prophet and healer and the Apostle of our profession and the messenger of the covenant, but also the very wisdom of God, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and who forever reveals the same truth of the gospel to his people.

John 1:18; 12:49,50; 17:8; Deut. 18:15; Matt. 23:10; Heb. 3:1; Mal. 3:1; 1 Cor. 1:24; Col. 2:3

XVI
That Christ might be a prophet in every way complete, it was necessary that he should be God and also that he should be human. For unless he had been God, he could never have perfectly understood the will of God; and unless he had been human, he could not rightly have unveiled the will of God in his own person to human beings.

John 1:18; Acts 3:22; Deut. 18:15; Heb. 1:1

XVII
Concerning his priesthood, Christ, having sanctified himself, appeared once to put away sin by the offering up of himself as a sacrifice for sin, by which he has fully finished and suffered all things God required for the salvation of his elect, and rendered all foreshadowing rites and rituals obsolete. He has now entered within the curtain into the true Most Holy Place, which is the presence of God. He makes his people a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through him. The Father does not accept, and Christ does not offer to the Father, any other worship or worshippers.

John 17:19; Heb. 5:7,8,9,10,12; Rom. 5:19, Eph. 5:2; Col. 1:20; Eph. 2:14, etc.; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 9:24; 8:1; 1 Pet. 2:5; John 4:23,24

XVIII
This priesthood was not legal or temporary, but in the order of Melchizedek, and is stable and perfect, not for a time but forever, as is suitable to Jesus Christ, the one who forever lives. Christ was the priest, sacrifice, and altar. He was a priest according to both natures. He was a sacrifice according to his human nature, which is why in Scripture it is attributed to his body, to his blood. Yet the effectiveness of this sacrifice depended on his divine nature; therefore Jesus’ blood is called the blood of God. He was the altar according to his divine nature, since the altar sanctified that which was offered upon it, and so it ought to be of greater dignity than the sacrifice itself.

Heb. 7:16, etc.; Heb. 5:6, 10:10; 1 Pet. 1:18,19; Col. 1:20, 22; Heb. 9:13; Acts 20:28; Heb. 9:14, 13:10,12,15; Matt. 23:17; John 17:19

XIX
Concerning his kingly office, Christ, being risen from the dead and ascended into heaven and having all power in heaven and earth, spiritually governs his church and exercises his power over all, both angels and people, good and bad, to the preservation and salvation of the elect, and to the overruling and destruction of his enemies. By this kingly power he applies the benefits, virtue, and fruits of his prophecy and priesthood to his elect, subduing their sins, preserving and strengthening them in all their conflicts against Satan, the world, and the flesh, keeping their hearts in faith and filial fear by his Spirit. By this mighty power of his he rules those subject to his wrath, using, limiting and restraining them as it seems good to him in his infinite wisdom.

1 Cor. 15:4; 1 Pet. 3:21,22; Matt. 28:18,19; Luke 24:51; Acts 1:1, 5:30,31; John 19:36; Rom. 14:9; John 5:26,27; Rom. 5:6,7,8; 14:17; Gal. 5:22,23; Mark 1:27; Heb. 1:14; John 16:15; Job 2:8; Rom. 1:21, [9:17-18]; Eph. 4:17,18; 2 Pet. 2

XX
The kingly power of Jesus Christ shall be more fully manifested when he comes in glory to reign among his sanctified people, when he shall subdue all rule and authority under his feet, that the glory of the Father may be perfectly manifested in his Son, and the glory of the Father and the Son in all his people.

1 Cor. 15:24,28; Heb. 9:28; 2 Thess. 1:9,10; 1 Thess. 4:15,16,17; John 17:21, 26

XXI
Jesus Christ, by his death, purchased salvation for the elect that God gave him. Only these have any interest in Christ, and fellowship with him, and only for these does he intercede to his Father on their behalf. To them alone does God by his Spirit apply this redemption, as likewise the free gift of eternal life is given to them and to no one else.

Eph. 1:14; Heb. 5:9; Matt. 1:21; John 17:6; Heb. 7:25; 1 Cor. 2:12; Rom. 8:29,30; 1 John 5:12; John 15:13, 3:16

XXII
Faith is the gift of God, produced in the hearts of the elect by the Spirit of God, by which they come to know and believe the truth of the Scriptures and the excellence of them above all other writings and all things in the world, as the Scriptures proclaim the glory of God in his attributes, the excellence of Christ in his nature and offices, and the power and fullness of the Spirit in his workings and operations. And so, by this faith, the elect are enabled to cast their souls upon God’s truth thus believed.

Eph. 2:8; John 6:29, 4:10; Phil. 1:29; Gal. 5:22; John 17:17; Heb. 4:11,12; John 6:63

XXIII
All those who have this precious faith produced in them by the Spirit can never finally nor totally fall away, for the gifts of God are irrevocable. He still generates and nourishes faith in them, as well as repentance, love, joy, hope, and all the graces of the Spirit which result in everlasting life. And though many storms and floods arise and beat against them, these never can knock them off that foundation and rock to which they are secured by faith. Nevertheless, through unbelief and the temptations of Satan, the sensible sight of this light and love may be clouded and overwhelmed for a while; yet God is still the same, and God’s elect will surely be kept by his power for salvation, and through salvation will enjoy their purchased possession, for they have been engraved upon the palms of God’s hands, and their names have been written in the book of life from all eternity.

Matt. 7:24,25; John 13:10, 10:28,29; 1 Pet. 1:4,5,6; Isa. 49:13,14,15,16

XXIV
Faith ordinarily comes by the preaching of the gospel, or word of Christ, without respect to any power or agency in the person receiving the message. People, being wholly passive and dead in trespasses and sins, believe and are converted by no less power than that which raised Christ from the dead.

Rom. 10:17; 1 Cor. 1:28; Rom. 9:16; Ezek. 16:16; Rom. 3:12, 1:16; Eph. 1:19, Col. 2:12

XXV
The preaching of the gospel leading to the conversion of sinners is absolutely free. It in no way requires as absolutely necessary any qualifications, preparations, terrors of the law, or preceding ministry of the law, but only and alone the naked soul, an ungodly sinner, to receive Christ as crucified, dead and buried, risen again and made a Prince and a Savior for those sinners who through the gospel shall be brought to believe in him.

John 3:14,15, 1:12; Isa. 55:1; John 7:37; 1 Tim. 1:15; Rom. 4:5, 5:8; Acts 5:30,31, 2:36, 1 Cor. 1:22,24

XXVI
The same power that converts to faith in Christ, carries the soul through all duties, temptations, conflicts, and sufferings. And whatever a believer is, he or she is by grace, and is carried by that grace through all obedience and temptations.

1 Pet. 1:5, 2 Cor. 12:9, 1 Cor. 15:10; Phil. 2:12, 13; John 15:5; Gal. 2:19,20

XXVII
All believers are by Christ united to God. By this union, God is one with them, and they are one with God. All believers are the children of God and co-heirs with Christ, and to them belong all the promises of this life and of the life to come.

1 Thess. 1:1; John 17:21, 20:17; Heb. 2:11, 1 John 4:16; Gal 2:19,20

XXVIII
Those who have union with Christ are justified from all their sins by his blood. This justification is the gracious and full acquittal of a guilty sinner from all sin, by God, through the satisfaction made by Christ by his death for all their sins; and this is applied, in the experience of the believer, through faith.

1 John 1:7; Heb. 10:14, 9:26; 2 Cor. 5:19; Rom. 3:23; Acts 13:38,39; Rom. 5:1, 3:25,30

XXIX
All believers are a holy and sanctified people, and that sanctification is a spiritual grace of the New Covenant, and an effect of the love of God manifested in the soul. By this grace, the believer presses on toward a heavenly and evangelical obedience to all the commands which Christ as head and king in his New Covenant has prescribed.

1 Cor. 12; 1 Pet. 2:9; Eph. 1:4; 1 John 4:16; Matt. 28:20

XXX
All believers, through the knowledge of their justification which brings life given by the Father and brought about by the blood of Christ, have, as their great privilege of the New Covenant, peace with God, reconciliation, through which they who were far off are brought near by that blood, and have a peace that transcends all understanding; indeed, they have joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom they have received atonement.

2 Cor. 5:19; Rom. 5:9,10; Isa. 54:10; Eph. 2:13,14, 4:7; Rom. 5:10,11

XXXI
All believers during this life are in a continual fight against sin, self, the world, and the devil. All believers are also susceptible to all kinds of afflictions, trials, and persecution, being destined and appointed to such. Furthermore, whatever God’s sanctified people possess or enjoy of God spiritually is possessed and enjoyed by faith. Unbelievers have a legitimate civil right to enjoy outward and earthly things as well.

Rom. 7:23,24; Eph. 6:10,11, etc.; Heb. 2:9,10, 2 Tim. 3:12; Rom. 8:29; 1 Thess. 3:3; Gal. 2:19,20; 2 Cor. 5:7; Deut. 2:5

XXXII
The only strength by which God’s sanctified people are enabled to encounter all opposition and trials is the strength of Jesus Christ, who is the Captain of their salvation, having been made perfect through his suffering. Christ has engaged his faithfulness and strength to assist his people in all their afflictions and to uphold them in all their temptations and to preserve them by his power for his everlasting kingdom.

John 16:33, 15:5; Phil. 4:11, Heb. 2:9,10; 2 Tim. 4:18

XXXIII
Jesus Christ has here on earth a spiritual kingdom, his church, which he has purchased and redeemed to himself as a special inheritance. The church is a visible company of sanctified people, called and separated from the world by the Word and Spirit of God, to the outward profession of the faith of the gospel, being baptized into that faith and joined to the Lord and each other by mutual agreement and the practical enjoyment of the ordinances commanded by Christ, their head and king.

Matt. 11:11; 2 Thess. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:2; Eph. 1:1; Rom. 1:7; Acts 19:8,9, 26:18; 2 Cor. 6:17; Rev. 18:4; Acts 2:37, 10:37; Rom. 10:10; Matt. 18:19,20; Acts 2:42, 9:26; 1 Pet. 2:5

XXXIV
To this church Christ has made his promises and given the signs of his covenant, presence, acceptance, love, blessing, and protection. Here are the fountains and springs of his heavenly graces flowing forth to refresh and strengthen them.

Matt. 28:18, etc.; 1 Cor. 11:24, 3:21; 2 Cor. 6:18; Rom. 9:4,5; Ps. 133:3; Rom. 3:7,10; Ezek. 47:2

XXXV
All servants of Christ, of whatever social standing, are to acknowledge him to be their prophet, priest, and king, and are called into the church to be enrolled as servants in God’s household, to present their bodies and souls, and to bring their gifts, which God has given them, to be under his heavenly guidance and government. Christ’s servants are to lead their lives in this walled sheepfold and watered garden, to have communion here with his sanctified people, that they may be assured that they have been qualified to partake of their inheritance in the kingdom of God. They should supply each other’s needs, physical and spiritual. Though each person has a legal right to his or her own estate, yet church members are to provide for each other as needs require, so that the name of Jesus Christ may not be blasphemed through the deprivation of anyone in the church. Those in the church are in the church by Christ’s appointment, to be placed and used as he sees fit, being neatly crafted and knit together according to the effective working of every part, to its own edification in love.

Acts. 2:41,47; Isa. 4:3, 1 Cor. 12:6,7, etc.; Ezek. 20:37,40; Song of Sol. 4:12; Eph. 2:19; Rom. 12:4,5,6; Col. 1:12, 2:5,6,19; Acts 20:32, 5:4, 2:44,45, 4:34,35; Luke 14:26; 1 Tim. 6:1; Eph. 4:16

XXXVI
Being thus formed, every local church has authority given to them from Christ for their wellbeing to choose among themselves qualified persons for elders and deacons—so qualified in accordance with the Word, as those whom Christ has appointed in the New Testament for the feeding, governing, serving, and building up of his church. No outside body has the authority to impose a choice of church officers on a local congregation.

Acts 1:23,26, 6:3, 15:22,25; Rom. 12:7,8; 1 Tim. 3:2,6,7; 1 Cor. 12:8,28; Heb. 13:7,17; 1 Pet. 5:1,2,3,4:15

XXXVII
Ministers lawfully called, as stated above, ought to continue in their calling and place according to God’s ordinance, and carefully to feed the flock of God committed to them, not for dishonest gain, but with willingness.

Heb. 5:4; John 10:3,4; Acts 20:28,29; Rom. 12:7,8; Heb. 13:7,17; 1 Pet. 5:1,2,3

XXXVIII
Ministers of Christ ought to have whatever they need freely supplied by the church, that according to Christ’s ordinance, those who preach the gospel should receive their living by the gospel, by the law of Christ.

1 Cor. 9:7,14; Gal. 6:8; Phil. 4:15,16; 2 Cor. 10:4; 1 Tim. 1:2; Ps. 110:3

XXXIX
Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament given by Christ to be administered to persons professing faith, or that are made disciples. These, upon profession of faith, should be baptized and afterwards partake of the Lord’s Supper.

Matt. 28:18,19; John 4:1; Mark 16:15,16; Acts 2:37,38, 8:36,37, etc.

XL
The mode and manner of administering the ordinance of baptism is dipping or immersing the body under water. Baptism being a sign, it must correspond to the things signified, which include: the interest believers have in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ; and that as certainly as the body is buried under water and risen again, so certainly shall the bodies of God’s sanctified people be raised by the power of Christ on the day of the resurrection, to reign with Christ.

Matt. 3:16; Mark 15:9 reads (into Jordan) in Greek; John 3:23, Acts 8:38; Rev. 1:5, 7:14; Heb. 10:22; Rom. 6:3,4,5,6; 1 Cor. 15:28,29

XLI
The person intended by Christ to administer baptism, the Scriptures hold forth, is a disciple. It is nowhere tied to a particular church officer or person extraordinarily sent, since the commission that commands the administration of baptism was given to those considered disciples who are men able to preach the gospel.

Isa. 8:16; Eph. 2:7; Matt 28:19; John 4:2; Acts 20:7, 11:10; 1 Cor. 11:2, 10:16,17; Rom. 16:2; Matt. 18:17

XLII
Christ has likewise given authority to his church to receive in and put out any member who deserves it; and this authority is given to every congregation, and not to one particular person, either member or officer, but in relation to the whole body, in reference to their faith and fellowship.

Rom. 15:2; Matt. 18:17; 1 Cor. 5:4,11,14, 12:6, 2:3; 2 Cor. 2:6,7

XLIII
Each and every member of Christ’s church, no matter how esteemed, great, or educated, is subject to this discipline and judgment. The church ought only to take such actions against its members with great care and tenderness, and due advice, and by the rule of faith.

Matt. 18:16, 17:18; Acts 11:2,3; 1 Tim. 5:19, etc.; Col. 4:17; Acts 15:1,2,3

XLIV
Christ, for the keeping of his church in holy and orderly communion, places some special men over the church. They by their office are to govern, oversee, visit, and watch. So likewise, for the better keeping of the church in all places by the members themselves, Christ has given authority and laid duty upon all to watch over one another.

Acts 20:27,28; Heb. 13:17,24; Matt. 24:45; 1 Thess. 5:2, 14; Jude 3,20; Heb. 10:34,35 [cf. 24,25], 12:15

XLV
Also, those to whom God has given gifts in the church may and ought to prophesy according to the proportion of their faith, publicly teaching the Word of God for the edification, exhortation, and comfort of the church.

1 Cor. 14:3, etc.; Rom 12:6; 1 Pet. 4:10, 11; 1 Cor. 12:7; 1 Thess. 5:19, etc.

XLVI
Thus being rightly gathered, and continuing in the obedience of the gospel of Christ, none are to separate from the church for faults and corruptions (for as long as the church consists of human beings subject to failings there will be differences in the true constituted church) until they have in due order and tenderness sought redress.

Rev. 2, 3; Acts 15:12; 1 Cor. 1:10; Heb. 10:25; Jude 19; Rev. 2:20,21,27; Acts 15:1,2; Rom. 14:1; 15:1,2,3

XLVII
Although the particular congregations be distinct and several bodies, each as a compact and knit city within itself, yet they are all to walk by one rule of truth. So also, by all means convenient, they are to have the counsel and help of one another, as needed, as members of one body in the common faith, under Christ their head.

1 Cor. 4:17, 14:33,36, 16:1; Ps. 122:3; Eph. 2:12,19; Rev. 21; 1 Tim. 3:15, 6:13,14; 1 Cor. 4:17; Acts 15:2,3; Song of Sol. 8:8,9; 2 Cor. 8:1,4, 13:14

XLVIII
Civil government is instituted by God, established for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do good. In all lawful things mandated by them, we ought to subject ourselves to them in the Lord, not only to avoid punishment, but for conscience’ sake. We are also to make supplications to God and prayers for governing officers and all those in authority, so that we may live a peaceable and quiet life under them in all godliness and honesty.

Rom. 13:1,2, etc.; 1 Pet. 2:13,14; 1 Tim. 2:1,2,3

XLIX
However, should we find that the government does not favor us in these things, we dare not suspend our practices, because we believe we must obey Christ in professing the faith once delivered to God’s sanctified people—the faith declared in the Holy Scriptures—and this Confession of Faith also. We are to testify to the truth of the Old and New Testaments, to the point of death if necessary, in the midst of all trials and afflictions, as God’s people of old have done, not counting our goods, land, spouses, children, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and indeed even our own lives dear to us, so we might finish our course with joy, always remembering that we ought to obey God rather than man. For God, when we have finished our course and kept the faith, will give us the crown of righteousness, and to him we must give account of all our actions. No person is able to discharge us of this responsibility.

Acts 2:40,41, 4:19, 5:28,29, 20:23; 1 Thess. 3:3; Phil. 1:28,29; Dan. 3:16,17, 6:7,10,22,23; 1 Tim. 6:13,14; Rom. 12:1,8; 1 Cor. 14:37; Rev. 2:20; 2 Tim. 4:6,7,8; Rom. 14:10, 12; 2 Cor. 5:10; Ps. 49:7,50:22

L
It is lawful for a Christian to hold office in civil government. And it is lawful to take an oath, if truthfully and in good judgment and in righteousness for the confirmation of truth and to settle disputes. By anger and vain oaths the Lord is provoked and this land mourns.

Acts 8:38, 10:1,2,35; Rom. 16:23; Deut. 6:13; Rom. 1:9; 2 Cor. 10,11; Jer. 4:2; Heb. 6:16

LI
We are to give to all people their due, as their place, age, or estate may require. We are to defraud no one of anything, but to do for all as we would have them to for us.

1 Thess. 4:6; Rom. 13:5,6,7; Matt. 22:21; Titus 3; 1 Pet. 2:15,17, 5:5; Eph. 5:21,23, etc. , 6:1,9; Titus 3:1,2,3

LII
There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the righteous and the unrighteous, and all shall give account of themselves to God so that all may receive their due in accordance with things done during their lives, whether good or bad.

Acts 24:15; 1 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:12, Matt. 25; Rev. 22:11–15


To the extent possible under law, Jordan Quinley has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to The 1646 London Baptist Confession of Faith in Today’s English. This work is published from: United States.

If you enjoyed The 1646 London Baptist Confession of Faith in Today’s English, you might appreciate The Redeemer Catechism, available on Amazon.com, an 87-question catechism in the stream of the classic Reformed catechisms, but which approaches law and covenant from a New Covenant Theolgy or Progressive Covenantalist understanding. Also, tell your friends! SDG.