The SECOND LONDON CONFESSION OF FAITH (1689)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

  1. The Holy Scripture
  2. God and the Holy Trinity
  3. God’s Decree
  4. Creation
  5. Divine Providence
  6. The Fall of Man: Sin and its Punishment
  7. God’s Covenant
  8. Christ the Mediator
  9. Free Will
  10. Effectual Calling
  11. Justification
  12. Adoption
  13. Sanctification
  14. Saving Faith
  15. Repentance unto Life and Salvation
  16. Good Works
  17. The Perseverance of the Saints
  18. The Assurance of Grace and Salvation
  19. The Law of God
  20. The Gospel and its Gracious Extent
  21. Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience
  22. Religious Worship, and the Lord’s Day
  23. Lawful Oaths and Vows
  24. Civil Government
  25. Marriage
  26. The Church
  27. The Fellowship of Saints
  28. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
  29. Baptism
  30. The Lord’s Supper
  31. The State of Man after Death and The Resurrection of the Dead
  32. The Last Judgment

About THE SECOND LONDON CONFESSION

The Second London Confession of 1689 (also known as The Second London Baptist Confession) was written by Reformed Baptists. It was based on the Westminster Confession of Faith (Presbyterian) and the Savoy Declaration (Congregationalist), with modifications to reflect Baptist views on baptism and church governing.

About Creeds & confessions

The Christian church has a rich heritage of creeds, catechisms, and confessions. These confessional standards are subordinate to the Bible, while striving to faithfully summarize its teachings. They are simply a way for the church to declare what it believes and write it down for others to read and confirm in scripture (2 Tim 1:13; Titus 1:9).

Chapter 1 | The Holy Scripture

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The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience,1 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.2  Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in diversified manners to reveal Himself, and to declare (that) His will unto His church;3 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, those former ways of God’s revealing His will unto His people being now completed.4

1. 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Isa. 8:20; Luke 16:29,31; Eph. 2:20
2. Rom. 1:19-21, 2:14,15; Psalm 19:1-3
3. Heb. 1:1
4. Prov. 22:19-21; Rom. 15:4; 2 Pet. 1:19,20

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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:

Old Testament: 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

New Testament: 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.5

5. 2 Tim. 3:16

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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.6

6. Luke 24:27,44; Rom. 3:2

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The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, depends not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God (who is truth itself), the author thereof; therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God.7

7. 2 Pet. 1:19-21; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 John 5:9

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    We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church of God to a high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scriptures; and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, and the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, and many other incomparable excellencies, and entire perfections thereof, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God; yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.8

    8. John 16:13,14; 1 Cor. 2:10-12; 1 John 2:20,27

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      The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men.9  Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word,10 and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.11

      9. 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Gal. 1:8,9
      10. John 6:45; 1 Cor. 2:9-12
      11. 1 Cor. 11:13,14; 1 Cor. 14:26,40

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      All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all;12 yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of ordinary means, may attain to a sufficient understanding of them.13

      12. 2 Pet. 3:16
      13. Ps. 19:7; Psalm 119:130

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      The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old),14 and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and by His singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentic; so as in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal to them.15  But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have a right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded in the fear of God to read,16 and search them,17 therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come,18 that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.19

      14. Rom. 3:2
      15. Isa. 8:20
      16. Acts 15:15
      17. John 5:39
      18. 1 Cor. 14:6,9,11,12,24,28
      19. Col. 3:16

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      The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself; and therefore when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which are not many, but one), it must be searched by other places that speak more clearly.20

      20. 2 Pet. 1:20, 21; Acts 15:15, 16

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      The supreme judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved.21

      21. Matt. 22:29, 31, 32; Eph. 2:20; Acts 28:23

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