Catechism Insight – Doctrinal Standard WSC #29

Doctrinal Standard #29

  • Q. How are we made to take part in the redemption Christ bought?
  • A. We take part in the redemption Christ bought when the Holy Spirit effectively applies it to us.

Memory Verses

  • “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21, ESV).


  • Study Passage: Hebrews 5:11-6:12
    • Support Passages: Matthew 7:15-23, 13:1-23,; Romans 2:17-3:8, 11:1-10; I Corinthians 2:1-16; II Timothy 2:14-21; Titus 3:4-7
  • Bible Story: Acts 5:1-11


  • The London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 provides a thorough and well-balanced explanation between the effectiveness of God’s salvation in the lives of believers and the responsibility to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
  • LBC 18.1 “Although temporary believers, and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions that [in an unspiritual way they take it for granted] they are in the favour of God and in a state of salvation, such a hope on their part will perish [die away]. Yet those who truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love Him in sincerity, and who endeavour to walk in all good conscience before Him, may be certainly assured in this life that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And such a hope shall never make them ashamed. [It will never disappoint them or let them down, for God will bless them, hear their prayers, and finally take them to glory.]”
  • LBC 18.2 “This assurance is not merely a conjectural persuasion nor even a probable persuasion [something supposed to be true on slender grounds] based upon a fallible hope. It is an infallible assurance of faith founded on the blood and righteousness of Christ revealed in the Gospel. [It is based on a historical act of the Savior of the world.] It is also founded upon the inward evidence of those graces of the Spirit [marks or evidence of grace] in connection with definite promises made in the Scriptures, and also on the testimony [evidence] of the Spirit of adoption who witnesses with our spirits that we are the children of God [a felt, spiritual assurance], and who uses the experience of assurance to keep our hearts both humble and holy.”
  • LBC 18.3 “This infallible assurance is not so joined to the essence of faith that it is an automatic and inevitable experience. A true believer may wait long and fight with many difficulties before he becomes a partaker of it. Yet, being enabled by the spirit to know the things which are freely given to him by God, he may, without any extraordinary revelation attain this assurance by using the means of grace in the right way. Therefore it is the duty of every one to give the utmost diligence to make his calling and election sure, so that his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness for carrying out the duties of obedience. These duties are the natural fruits of assurance, for it is far from inclining men to slackness.”
  • LBC 18.4 “True believers may have the assurance of their salvation in various ways shaken, diminished, or intermitted [suspended for a time]. This may be because of their negligence in preserving it, or by their falling into some special sin which wounds the conscience and grieves the Spirit, or by some sudden or forceful temptation, or by God’s withdrawing the light of His countenance, and causing even those who fear Him to walk in darkness and to have no light. Yet, [whatever the cause or duration of the impairment of assurance] believers are never left without the seed of God [essential spiritual identity] and life of faith [that hold on eternal values], that love of Christ and the brethren that sincerity of heart and that conscience about their spiritual duty. Out of these things, by the operation of the Spirit, their assurance can in due time be revived, and in the meantime the presence of these graces preserves them from utter despair.” [1]

Discussion Questions

  • Who is the author of our salvation?
  • How does the Holy Spirit help us with our salvation?
  • How can we know if we are saved?
  • Philippians 2:12 says, “therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” What does this mean?
  • Why should we be both confident yet cautious with our salvation?

[1] Masters, Peter (1982). The Baptist Confession of Faith 1689 – Notes by Peter Masters. Ashland, Ohio, USA; BookMasters, Inc.

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warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone mature in Christ."
(Colossians 1:28, ESV)

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