Category Archives: Advent Series

Advent Series – WCF 8.5-6 (4)

Every year during the season of Advent I do a four part series in to match up with the four Sunday’s of Advent. In 2014 we explored the various heresies which facilitated the controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries. In 2015 we took an in depth look at the Niceno-Constantinopolitian Creed. This year, we will take a look at the eight clauses of chapter eight of the Westminster Confession of Faith. Each week we will tackle two clauses.


5. The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience, and sacrifice of himself, which he, through the eternal Spirit, once offered up unto God, hath fully satisfied the justice of his Father; and purchased, not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto him.

This section teaches us three important truths. First, that it was both the active and passive righteousness of which satisfies God. It is not just that Christ died, but that he lived perfectly. Second, we see that the work of the Holy Spirit is central in Christ’s ministry. The perfect obedience and sacrifice which he gave to the Father to satisfy justice, was given through the Holy Spirit. Finally, the benefit which Christ purchased for us is not just that we are no longer at war with God, but we have become his sons and daughters. This section also notes that only those whom the Father has appointed to be the Son’s had the benefit purchased on their behalf, affirming the doctrine of Particular Atonement.

6. Although the work of redemption was not actually wrought by Christ till after his incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefits thereof were communicated unto the elect, in all ages successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices, wherein he was revealed, and signified to be the seed of the woman which should bruise the serpent’s head; and the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world; being yesterday and today the same, and forever.

All saints throughout history were saved by this sacrifice, even though it happened in a point in time. These benefits were displayed to the saints by means of the promises given, types demonstrated, and through the sacrificial system which prefigures Christ.

Advent Series – WCF 8.3-4 (3)

Every year during the season of Advent I do a four part series in to match up with the four Sunday’s of Advent. In 2014 we explored the various heresies which facilitated the controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries. In 2015 we took an in depth look at the Niceno-Constantinopolitian Creed. This year, we will take a look at the eight clauses of chapter eight of the Westminster Confession of Faith. Each week we will tackle two clauses.


3. The Lord Jesus, in his human nature thus united to the divine, was sanctified, and anointed with the Holy Spirit, above measure, having in him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; in whom it pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell; to the end that, being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth, he might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of a mediator, and surety. Which office he took not unto himself, but was thereunto called by his Father, who put all power and judgment into his hand, and gave him commandment to execute the same.

Although Christ never sinned, he was sanctified according to his human nature just as we will be, by union with God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. For us, our indwelling is finite, because we are finite. However, for the Son who is infinite, his union with the Spirit is likewise infinite. It is only through this infinite union that he can fulfill his role as both Mediator, and Guarantor, of the Covenant of Grace. This office was appointed to him by his Father, not by his own human will. All the authority we see Christ execute as a human, he executes because it was given to him by his Father.

4. This office the Lord Jesus did most willingly undertake; which that he might discharge, he was made under the law, and did perfectly fulfill it; endured most grievous torments immediately in his soul, and most painful sufferings in his body; was crucified, and died, was buried, and remained under the power of death, yet saw no corruption. On the third day he arose from the dead, with the same body in which he suffered, with which also he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of his Father, making intercession, and shall return, to judge men and angels, at the end of the world.

Although he was appointed by his Father, the Son also executed this office by his own will, since they share a singular will. While on earth, Christ merited a perfect active righteousness by positively fulfilling every command of the law. He also merited a perfect passive righteousness by suffering physically and spiritually. He really bodily endured suffering, died, was buried, and rose again. He really bodily was taken to heaven and reigns in power with is Father. He really bodily will return to judge all rational creatures in the end times. This article affirms the historical nature of the Gospel accounts of Christ’s life, death, resurrection, ascension, and looks forward to the historical nature of his return. This excludes all forms of Full Preterism which denies a future advent of the Lord, as well as all forms of Liberalism which deny a historical bodily resurrection. It also excludes any form of Gnosticism or Docetism which deny a historical bodily incarnation or death.

Advent Series – WCF 8.1-2 (2)

Every year during the season of Advent I do a four part series in to match up with the four Sunday’s of Advent. In 2014 we explored the various heresies which facilitated the controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries. In 2015 we took an in depth look at the Niceno-Constantinopolitian Creed. This year, we will take a look at the eight clauses of chapter eight of the Westminster Confession of Faith. Each week we will tackle two clauses.


1. It pleased God, in his eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, his only begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and man, the Prophet, Priest, and King, the Head and Savior of his church, the Heir of all things, and Judge of the world: unto whom he did from all eternity give a people, to be his seed, and to be by him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified.

This clause roots the incarnation not in a reaction to sin, but as part of God’s eternal purpose. God did not discover the sin of Adam and formulate a plan, but eternally intended his Son to serve as a mediator between himself and his people. This eternal appointment of the Lord Jesus is called the Covenant of Redemption, and should not be understood as an obeyed command by the Son, but as a mutual agreement between two (actually three, but not explicitly so here) Persons of equal nature, authority, and standing. The Son joyfully serves as the Mediator, and as a reward for his faithful service he receives from the Father a people to be his very own. These are the people who would be the beneficiaries of, and only intended recipients of, the atonement.

2. The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man’s nature, with all the essential properties, and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.

As was alluded to by the apposition in the first article, the second article makes explicit that this Mediator who was appointed by the Father is a single Person. That Person is the second Person of the Trinity, God the Son. the Son is fully and truly God, not only of the same kind of nature… but of one singular nature with the Father. This Son truly took on our nature, along with all its natural limitations and weaknesses, however he did not sin. Because he shares a single nature with the Father, Arianism is excluded. Because he took on all of our essential properties, Apollinarianism is excluded. This second article is essentially a restatement and reaffirmation of the Chalcedonian Definition and refutes both Nestorianism and Eutychainism. Furthermore, the historical reality of the virgin conception is affirmed, excluding various liberal errors.