|Question||What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?|
|Answer||The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience,1 joy in the Holy Spirit2 increase of grace,3 and perseverance therein to the end.4|
The Baptist Catechism Set to Music
Benjamin Beddome’s Exposition
Hath a full assurance of God’s love been attained by Christians in the present life?
We have known and believed the love which God hath to us,
1 John 4:16
Is this assurance built upon the testimony of the Spirit?
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God,
And upon the testimony of conscience?
Our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience,
2 Corinthians 1:12
And upon the concurrent testimony of the word?
That we through patience and comfort of the scripture might have hope,
Do all the saints attain to this assurance?
There are some who walk trembling after the Lord,
And may those that have attained to it, lose it?
By thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong, thou hidest thy face, and I was troubled,
Should those that want assurance wait for it?
I will wait upon the Lord that hideth his face,
And hope for it?
Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise him,
And labour for it?
Show the same diligence unto the full assurance of hope unto the end,
And should those who have it be thankful for it?
I will joy in the God of my salvation,
And improve it?
Thy loving kindness is before mine eyes, and I have walked in the truth,
Is peace of conscience the privilege of the saints?
My peace I give unto you,
And of none but the saints?
For there is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked,
Doth this peace follow upon our justification?
Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee,
Is it the fruit of our sanctification?
“Tis peace in believing,
And is it the usual concomitant of a regular course of obedience?
Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing shall offend them,
Is this a great privilege to those who possess it?
For if our hearts condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God,
1 John 3:21
Doth it preserve them in life?
The peace of God shall keep your hearts and minds,
And support them in death?
The end of that man is peace,
And follow them into the other world?
They shall enter into peace,
Have the saints joy in the Holy Ghost?
For believing we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory,
1 Peter 1:8
Are precious promises given that they might rejoice?
These things I speak that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves,
And a gospel ministry settled?
Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy,
2 Corinthians 1:24
And comfortable prospects afforded?
We rejoice in hope of the glory of God,
Is it therefore the duty of such to rejoice?
1 Thessalonians 5:16
And of none but such?
Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people, for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God,
Is it the saints’ duty to grow in grace?
Grow in grace,
2 Peter 3:18
Is it their desire thus to grow?
Lord, increase our faith,
And is it certain that they shall grow?
They shall grow as the vine,
Do the saints grow in all grace?
For they grow up unto him in all things, which is the head, even Christ,
But does this growth more visibly appear in some graces than in others?
Thus the apostle tells the Thessalonians, that their faith grew exceedingly, and their charity towards each other abounded,
2 Thessalonians 1:3
Shall true believers persevere unto the end?
They shall be holden up, for God is able to make them to stand,
Shall they be kept from fundamental errors?
For they are established in the truth,
2 Peter 1:12
And retain the vital principle of grace implanted in their souls?
For it is that good part that shall not be taken away,
And never relapse into a settled course of wickedness?
For we are not of them that draw back unto perdition,
May a profession of religion be renounced?
Demas hath forsaken me,
2 Timothy 4:10
May great gifts be lost?
His arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye be utterly darkened,
May appearances of grace vanish?
From him that hath not shall be taken away, even that which he seemeth to have,
And may real grace decline?
Thou hast left thy first love,
But may it be totally lost?
His seed remaineth in him,
1 John 3:9
The Westminster Larger Catechism
|Question||Can true believers be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and that they shall persevere therein unto salvation?|
|Answer||Such as truly believe in Christ, and endeavor to walk in all good conscience before him,1 may, without extraordinary revelation, by faith grounded upon the truth of God's promises, and by the Spirit enabling them to discern in themselves those graces to which the promises of life are made,2 and bearing witness with their spirits that they are the children of God,3 be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and shall persevere therein unto salvation.4|
|Question||Are all true believers at all times assured of their present being in the estate of grace, and that they shall be saved?|
|Answer||Assurance of grace and salvation not being of the essence of faith,1 true believers may wait long before they obtain it;2 and, after the enjoyment thereof, may have it weakened and intermitted, through manifold distempers, sins, temptations, and desertions;3 yet are they never left without such a presence and support of the Spirit of God as keeps them from sinking into utter despair.4|