General Outline of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith

I am currently preparing to engage in a lengthy teaching series at my church on the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.  I say lengthy, because the Confession consists of 32 chapters and 160 paragraphs.  I’ll likely make the series teachable in a one year (52 lessons) period, though this is a difficult task, and therefore I may end up having more lessons.  So smaller chapters will be taught in one lesson, whereas larger chapters will be taught in multiple lessons.  The purpose of this series is to help Reformed Baptists become more acquainted with their Confession, and in turn to become more grounded in the teachings of Scripture.  The following is a general outline of the Confession, as I see it.  There are six parts to the Confession:

Part I: Foundational Doctrines: Scripture, God, Man & Christ (CH. 1-8)

Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scriptures

Chapter 2: Of God and of the Holy Trinity

Chapter 3: Of God’s Decree

Chapter 4: Of Creation

Chapter 5: Of Divine Providence

Chapter 6: Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment Thereof

Chapter 7: Of God’s Covenant

Chapter 8: Of Christ the Mediator

Part II: Salvation Applied: God’s Work in His People (CH. 9-18)

Chapter 9: Of Free Will

Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling

Chapter 11: Of Justification

Chapter 12: Of Adoption

Chapter 13: Of Sanctification

Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith

Chapter 15: Of Repentance unto Life and Salvation

Chapter 16: Of Good Works

Chapter 17: Of the Perseverance of the Saints

Chapter 18: Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation

Part III: Law & Gospel: The Nature of the Law & the Necessity of the Gospel (CH. 19-20)

Chapter 19: Of the Law of God

Chapter 20: Of the Gospel and of the Extent of the Grace Thereof

Part IV: Religious Principles & Duties: Captive to the Word of God (CH. 21-23)

Chapter 21: Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience

Chapter 22: Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day

Chapter 23: Of Lawful Oaths and Vows

Part V: Sacred Institutions: Society, the Home & the Church (CH. 24-30)

Chapter 24: Of the Civil Magistrate

Chapter 25: Of Marriage

Chapter 26: Of the Church

Chapter 27: Of the Communion of Saints

Chapter 28: Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

Chapter 29: Of Baptism

Chapter 30: Of the Lord’s Supper

Part VI: Last Things: The Judgment of the Wicked & the Hope of Believers (CH. 31-32)

Chapter 31: Of the State of Man After Death and of the Resurrection of the Dead

Chapter 32: Of the Last Judgment


13 thoughts on “General Outline of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith

  1. Pingback: Confessions, Creeds, Cooperation, & Calvinism… Oh, My! – SBC, Renihan, Finn, Fuller + More | The Confessing Baptist

  2. Thank you brother. Yeah, I can’t wait to get into it. Are you going paragraph by paragraph or are you teaching through multiple paragraphs at a time (or both)?

    • Paragraph by paragraph,… mostly. We have taught through several systematic theologies before so some of the topics we’ve covered a lot at our church… but when we hit others we will be going slower. Particularly what your outlines labels as “Part V: Sacred Institutions: Society, the Home & the Church (CH. 24-30)”

  3. I’m thinking of doing something similar. Have you prepared your 52 (or more) lesson outlines? Do you know of any teaching lesson plan of the confession in 52 weeks as per Heidelberg Catechism?

    • Pastor Keith,

      No, I haven’t outlined all of my lessons yet. I have gone through and somewhat sectioned off paragraphs that will be grouped together in a single lesson, but I won’t get to the actual full-blown outline of each lesson until I get to the respective lessons. Also, I doubt I’ll be able to do it in 52 lessons; it will probably end up being more than that (in the 60’s?).

      No, unfortunately I haven’t come across any lesson plans for the Confession. That’s actually something I’m hoping to develop as I make my way through the Confession; but that’s going to be a slow process.

      As I complete my lessons on the Confess I will make them available here:

      Grace and peace

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