Let’s Not compete to be Worst Sinner—More Sin does not get us More Grace.

Posted February 12, 2020 by markmcculley
Categories: arminians, atonement, death, election

Tags: , ,

The attempt to bribe Ukraine was not “inappropriate”.The call was perfect. I have the absolute right and power to pardon myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?

https://babylonbee.com/news/trump-declares-he-has-right-to-pardon-himself-on-day-of-gods-judgment/

I Timothy 1 :13 I was formerly a cruel persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus would  demonstrate His extraordinary patience as an example to those who would BELIEVE IN HIM FOR LASTING LIFE 

I John 1:7 The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and RIGHTEOUS to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We could have a contest about who’s the chief sinner, or we could be “subjective” and say “well everybody should feel like they are the chief sinner and the lowest in the dust”, but then that would turn the gospel into something about us.

It’s not a sin to confess our sins.
God does not forgive sins because we confess our sins.
It’s not a sin for us to confess the gospel.
God does not forgive sins because we confess the gospel. Doing good works is not sin.
God does not forgive sins because sinners refuse to do anything for their neighbors.

Many Republicans are telling me that we are all sinners and argue there is no need to save ourselves (or God) from Donald Trump (because Trump is only another sinner, like the rest of us). And then they explain that it’s perfectly appropriate to kill people or vote against socialism for the poor, as long as we keep that a “separate issue” from the gospel. They will not be trying to keep their country “Christian”, but they will be working to keep their country the way it used to be.

One Trump supporter deplored what he called “theological perfectionism”— “piety and pragmatism are not mutually exclusive. We are supporting Trump not because he is the best Christian, but because he is the leader best suited to defend Christians.
This Trump supporter also thinks that making a distinction between universal sufficient atonement and specific sins imputed to Christ is “theological perfectionism”

Jerry Falwell—A poor person never gave anyone a job. A poor person never gave anybody charity, not of any real volume. It’s just common sense to me. In the earthly kingdom, the responsibility is to choose leaders who will do what’s best for your country.”

“This poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their wealth, but she
from her poverty….” Mark 12:43-44

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2007/05/jerry-falwell-faith-based-fraud.html

Unlike that other sinner over there,
at least I know I am a sinner
Because I am a sinner in my own eyes
this proves that Jesus died for me
because at least I am sorry
even if I don’t plan to do any better
because if you agree that you are a sinner
one time for real in your heart believe you are a sinner,
then that’s enough.

My preacher says if he can find a sinner
hearing his preaching can save me.

Then these same preachers say it would be “perfectionism” to “make an issue” about if Adam’s guilt is imputed to infants or to even discuss if Christ really died under guilt for sins. (Meanwhile, either in their preaching or in their books, they deny that either Christ or the elect were really under wrath in history, but they are proclaiming not discussing or explaining.)

Though only ungodly sinners are justified
or need to be justified by God,
this does not mean that God justifies all ungodly sinners

You can know you are a sinner without being justified
God never will justify all sinners.
It makes no sense to compete with other sinners about
“but I really know I am a sinner but you don’t. ”

Christ rejects many sinners as His guilty clients, because Christ was never the mediator for many guilty sinners. God never imputed the sins of non-elect sinners to Christ. These sinners are not only condemned for their wrong gospel. They were condemned already through Adam’s guilt at their birth.

God’s election of the elect came first before Christ’s atoning death.
Atonement to satisfy justice is a result of God’s love for the elect.
God’s love for the elect is not a result of Atonement for the elect.
This means that election is not the same thing as the atonement.
This means that election is not the same thing as justification.

Antinomian clergy to would be pacifists—-“God doesn’t care what you do. God loves and comforts you no matter what you do.

Does hating law (like Trump and the antinomian preachers do) eliminate the possibility of your being a hypocrite? For many antinomians, avoiding hypocrisy is their main gospel solution for sin. “Well, I may be profane and cruel , but at least I’m honest about it.”

Antinomian preachers say that only the gospel teaches what sin is.
Antinomian preachers think self-righteousness is the only sin.

But when “we don’t preach any law” preachers say that it’s not preaching unless it’s only gospel, they are confusing law with gospel

I have had some experience with people who accuse me of being self-righteousness if I say anything about any other sin than self-righteousness. But of course they don’t think they are self-righteous when they accuse me of being self-righteous.

Self-righteousness is not our only sin. Sin against the gospel is not the only sin. Adam’s first sin was not against the gospel because (before sin) there was no gospel. Adam sinned against the law. The law is not of faith. The law is–do not sin.

Romans 4: 7 How joyful are those whose lawless acts are forgiven and whose sins are covered!
8 How joyful the sinner
the Lord will never charge with sin! (Psalm 32)

The only hope for those born under the reign of sin is the reign of grace, by means of Christ’s death for imputed sins.

Psalm 103: For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
15 our days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, gone and forgotten

Sin is a problem that God’s grace “overcomes”. In no way is our sin or honestly about sin an addition to the truth and power of grace. This is something Tullian (and Forde) never learned. Talking about your sin is not that much different from talking about yourself (or your grandfather).

Romans 3: 5 But if our unrighteousness highlights God’s righteousness, what are we to say? Is God unrighteous to inflict wrath on sinners? 6 Absolutely not!
Romans 3: 7 But if by my lie God’s truth is amplified to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 Some slander us and claim that we say, “Let us do what is evil so that good may come”? Their condemnation is deserved!

Romans 5: 20 where sin increased grace increased even more 21 As sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in lasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6: 7 a person who has died is justified from sin’s guilt which is the power of sin. 9 we know that Christ, HAVING BEEN raised from the dead, will not die again. Death NO LONGER rules over Him. 10 Christ died to sin once for all time.

Adam sinned as a substitute for sinners. In the reign of death, the guilt of Adam is imputed by God to all sinners. But there is a reign of righteousness, because Jesus Christ actually died INSTEAD OF elect sinners, as their substitute.

Some antinomians take the language of “we died with Christ” to mean that the elect were baptized into Christ PRIOR TO the accomplishment of Christ’s death, so that when Christ died, the elect died with Him. In this false gospel, the elect are not legally placed by God into a FINISHED death, but were already legally in Christ as He was dying on the cross.

Some antinomians take the error even further, and claim that Christ Himself never died and that Christ Himself was never under guilt and sin before God. And then they say the same about Christ’s elect.

This error changes the nature of Christ’s death on the cross from a substitutionary sacrifice, made by the holy Lamb apart from the
sinners, to a corporate non-event that includes the elect. As these false teachers deny that anybody is ever ultimately condemned for
Adam’s guilt (but only for their own unbelief) , they also deny that Christ Himself ever became condemned or ever became justified.

Romans 4:24 God raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 Jesus was handed over to guilt and Jesus was raised because of justification.

Grace does not reign because of our sin. Grace does not reign because of our lack of self-righteousness. Grace does not reign because of Christ’s law keeping. Grace reigns because of Christ’s death, not because of our death.

The elect who are justified are not justified because they were always justified. Christ was justified because of Christ’s death
because of guilt imputed. The justification of the elect is not the same thing as the justification of Christ.

The elect were not always imputed righteous. Christ was not always imputed righteous. Christ’s death brought in the righteousness that justifies (even Abraham). Christ was raised from the dead because Christ was justified by death. Christ was raised from the dead because all His elect will become justified.

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made the One who did not know sin to become guilty for us, in order that we would become the righteousness of God in Him

It is a very bad over-reaction against those who say that Christ was made corrupt to deny redemptive history and to falsely claim that Christ was never MADE anything.

The second person of the Trinity is not a person in abstraction from the human nature that this person would in future take on.
The Logos is not a mediator between the two natures of Christ the person.
The lifting up of Christ the person to death is the revelation and exaltation of Christ the person.
The immutability of Christ cannot mean that Christ does not die and rise from the dead in history

I Corinthians 15:45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam BECAME a living being”. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Christ before and after incarnation is God
God the Son always has the Father
Christ’s death is not God’s apology to sinners
Christ’s death is God’s satisfaction to God for the sins of the sinners who God loves

I John 4: 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that God loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

God is not our love.
God is not our idea of “eternity”.
God the Father sent the Son to die for the sins of the elect.
God the Son is the man who obtained righteousness by death

Romans 5: 17 Because by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man Adam, how much more will those who receive the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ

Romans 6 teaches that grace is either grace or not. There is not more or less grace, but either grace or no grace. More sin does not get the elect more grace, because all those God justifies have all the grace any other elect person has.

While unbelievers trust in God to help them to sin less, those who have been delivered to the gospel will remember even in the age to come that there are only two kind of sinners,—guilty sinners and justified sinners .

Revelation 5:9 “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

We justify God because God has revealed God. And God has revealed that God is more than sovereign. God’s words reveal God to be Righteous and Just. And God’s word is justified in history by what God did when Christ gave Himself up to death on the cross because of the imputed guilt of the elect.

We were wrong: God was right and God is still right. God prevails, but it is not only a matter of “sovereignty always wins”. One. We have no right to make a negative judgment on God. Two, it is God who will be making a negative judgment on many sinners. Let that cause us to fear God and to confess the gospel and our sins before God.

My Prayer for Hope and Wisdom in a New Decade

Posted January 2, 2020 by markmcculley
Categories: faith

Tags: , ,

For the new year, I am praying for myself, for more faith in the truth

James 1:4 Endurance must do its complete work, in order that you become mature 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously and without criticizing, and wisdom will be given to them . 6 But ask in faith without doubting. Because the doubter is like the sea, driven up and down by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 To be indecisive is to be unstable

Lord willing, I am turning 65 this year, in May. I have even less friends this year than I had last year. The only way I could go back to any “church” I know about is to be dishonest. These “churches” are way more welcoming when we agree to disagree—we don’t say anymore what we think, they don’t want to hear it–“church” works better when we don’t think about what we don’t think about…

It is difficult to get a person to understand something when their entire way of life depends on them not understanding it. I am not only talking about professionals who make an easy living off of religion. I am talking about people who want to keep going to the same church.

That church down in White Settlement, Texas, the one that kills people who come into their space to kill them, that church is not so different from other churches. We don’t kill for Jesus, but the people we do kill are not human but evil. We are heroes not evil. We are just “human”, so if you don’t vote or support the military, then maybe it’s you who is not saved. When you kill, that’s for one kingdom and not for the other kingdom, and everybody has different roles. Everybody has at least two masters.

Why not fake being normal and going back to some church? I don’t want to. Any church I know would accuse me now for not going to some church. In or out of “church”, we believe whatever we think we need to believe.

If they need the metaphors to not be metaphors, they can and do believe this without more questions. If they don’t like “legal metaphors”, they make for themselves a distinction between the legal and the personal.
I accuse them of talking about “covenant” because they don’t want to talk about election or about Christ’s death being limited to only the elect.

“Do you have to talk about that?”

When they accuse me of being “abstract”, I accuse them of rejecting the objective penal meaning of Christ’s death and of not caring much about the truth of who Christ the person is. They have a more or less personal relationship with some people in their church.

Romans 4: 19 Abraham considered his own body to be already dead (since he was about 100 years old). Abraham also thought about Sarah’s dead womb. Without weakening in the faith. 20 Abraham did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise. God caused Abraham to be stronger in his faith. Abraham gave glory to God, 21 because Abraham was fully convinced that what Abraham had promised Abraham was also able to perform.

God did not credit Abraham’s faith as the righteousness. God credited to Abraham the righteousness of Christ’s death. Abraham’s faith was not in his faith. Abraham’s faith was in the righteousness that did not yet exist. Abraham’s faith was in the righteousness not yet obtained by Christ’s death. Abraham believed that Christ would die. Abraham did not believe that Christ had already died. But God then and there imputed Christ’s death to Abraham. Back then at that time, God justified Abraham.

The justification of Abraham meant that Abraham had immunity from condemnation before God.
Before that, Abraham was condemned before God.
Before God justified Abraham, God imputed sins to Abraham.
After God justified Abraham, God no longer imputed sins to Abraham.

You can dismiss “justification before God” as a tattoo that cannot be removed, or as a “get out of punishment pass”. But Abraham had lasting security before God. Abraham could lose friends and family, but Abraham could not lose God.

Romans 4:17 Abraham believed in God, who gives life to the dead and calls things into existence that do not exist

Humans being in the image of God does not mean that humans will always live somewhere.
Humans being in the image of God does not mean that death is another form of life.
Satan was lying when Satan said we would not die.
God being God does not mean that everything has already happened.
God being God does not mean that God does not cause us to believe and hope for the future.

James 2: 21 After Abraham was justified by God before God, Abraham offered Isaac his son on the altar. 22 Abraham’s faith was not perfect but also Abraham’s faith was not fake. Abraham was called God’s friend.

So I ask God for myself faith and hope for this new year

James 3: 33 Who really is wise and has understanding? Who has wisdom’s gentleness? 14 Do not brag about believing the truth, Do not deny the truth. Do not fake the truth….16 Anywhere selfish ambition exists, there is disorder and every kind of evil. 17 But the wisdom given from above is pure and peace-loving, gentle, full of mercy and free from hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace

Job had too many friends
Satan accused God
Satan accused Job
Satan says that none of us will die

Job was a sinner
Job was not fake.
Job accused his friends.
Job accused God.

James 5: 11 we count as blessed those who have been patient. You have heard of Job’s patience and have seen the outcome of that patience. The Lord is very merciful. 12 Now above all, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. Your “yes” must be “yes,” and your “no” must be “no,”.
Do not be fakes. 13 Are you suffering? Pray. Are you cheerful? Sing praises…19 if anybody strays from THE TRUTH and someone turns them back to the TRUTH, 20 they will save their life from death

John 7: So the family of Jesus said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, in order that others also see what you are doing. 4 Because no one works in secret if they seeks to be known openly. Show yourself to the world.”

Some think we will show the world what the gospel is without words, simply by what we do and by not being sinners like other people are. Matthew 5:16 let your light shine before others, in order that they give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Only by the light of the gospel can others see in what we do that our faith is NOT in what we do to prove our faith to other people.

John 7:17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, they will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.
John 7:17 is not teaching us that learning is not important. That would be ironic indeed–learning that learning is not important. Nor is John 7:17 teaching that learning depends on us doing God’s will, or on “wanting to” do God’s will. There is no such thing as doing God’s will before we know what God’s will is. But there is such a thing as “dead works” in which our doing is sin against God. Any doing done in order to get God to bless us is doing that God hates.

We can’t do stuff in order to trigger our believing, because we need to repent of our doing. Not only do we need to repent of doing what God never commanded us to do, but also we need to repent of any doing which displaces faith in what Christ has already done by His death and resurrection.
We can’t just do stuff, because some doing is evil in God’s sight. Some do what is true, some do what is not true.

John 3:19 This is the judgment–the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light BECAUSE their works were evil. 20 They hate the light and doe not come to the light, because their good works would be exposed as sin. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light…

Romans 6:20—when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. The fruit you were getting at that time now shames you as self–righteousness The end of that doing is death

https://theneongaslamp.wordpress.com/2018/05/19/there-is-no-hope-for-any-sinner-apart-from-christs-death-as-a-propitiation-for-his-elect-alone/

Not only God’s Purpose, Immanuel with Us Lifted Up to Death Once for the Sins of the Elect

Posted December 11, 2019 by markmcculley
Categories: death, election, resurrection

Tags: , ,

God the Son became incarnate in order to die under law and wrath for the sins of the elect imputed to Him. By His death Jesus Christ obtained the righteousness revealed in the gospel. Christ was raised from the dead because Christ’s death has obtained reconciliation (righteousness) for all those whose sins had been imputed to Christ by God. When God imputes that righteousness to the elect, they believe the gospel and are justified before God. You don’t have to use the same words (imputation, righteousness, reconciliation) to define the gospel, but you do have to believe the same gospel or you are not yet justified.

Hebrews 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of God’s nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, the Son sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

If Jesus Christ made purification for all the sins of all sinners, and if not all sinners are justified, then the death of Jesus Christ was neither just nor effective nor necessary. Though God cannot die, the person Jesus Christ who is both God and human did die. This is not only a “plan”. The gospel good news is something that happened in history.

Hebrews 2: 10 it was entirely appropriate that God…should make the source of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For the One who sanctifies and those who sanctified all have one Father.

God’s sovereignty does NOT mean that God justifies some sinners without any gospel. God does not give “salvation” without Christ having once died to obtain that salvation. God does not impute Christ’s death to those for whom Christ died until God also teaches them not only to know the meaning of the gospel but causes them to obey this gospel by believing this gospel and repenting of other false gospels (which are not gospel). Being justified is not something caused by water. Sinners are either justified and sanctified before God, or they are not justified and sanctified before God. There is no intermediate state of “justified but needing to be more justified” (or sanctified) .

Hebrews 5: 7 The Son offered prayers and appeals with loud cries and tears to the One who was able to save Him from death, and the Son was heard because of His reverence. 8 Though He was God’s Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. 9 After the Son was perfected, the Son became the source of lasting salvation for all who obey Him

God only justifies those who obey the gospel. The claim that God justifies without the gospel is a false gospel.

Acts 17: You worship in ignorance, so I proclaim to you. 24 “The God who made the world and all things in it, because God is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is God served by humans, as though God needed anything, since God Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and God made from one human every group of humans to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 in order that they would seek God, perhaps to grasp for God and to find God, though God is not far from each one of us; 28 for in God we live and move and exist… we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of humans

Those who teach (or leave implied) that Jesus Christ died for all humans are teaching a false gospel. Those who find assurance in water or church or temple membership find comfort in a false gospel.

Isaiah saw and worshiped God the Son, the person who always was but who in time, became also human, GOD WITH US, Immanuel.

Isaiah 6: Then I said:
Woe is me for I am ruined
because I am a man of unclean lips
and live among a people of unclean lips,
and because my eyes have SEEN the King,
the Lord of Hosts.

Isaiah 7:14 The Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.

Isaiah 9: 6 For a child will be born for us,
a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Lasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 50: 6 I gave My back to those who beat Me,
and My cheeks to those who tore out My beard.
I did not hide My face from scorn and spitting.

Isaiah 53: He was despised and rejected by humans…
He was someone people turned away from
He was despised, and we did not value Him.
We regarded Him as stricken and struck down by God

If we are mistaken to believe in imputation and substitution happening in history, then Christ’s death was NOT an accomplishment. If no sins were actually imputed by God to Christ, then Christ’s death was merely an injustice brought about by humans. If the elect were never SEEN BY GOD in their sins, and if Christ was never legally imputed with sins, there is no good NEWS.

Luke 9: 29 As Jesus was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly, two men were talking with Jesus—Moses and Elijah. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of His DEPARTURE (his death), which Jesus was about to ACCOMPLISH in Jerusalem

John 3: 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man MUST be lifted up, 15 in order that as many as who believe in Him will have lasting life.

John 8:26 the One who sent Me is true, and what I have heard from Him—these things I tell the world.” 27 They did not know He was speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the Son of Man…”

John 12: 34 Then the crowd replied to Jesus, “We have heard from the scripture that the Messiah will remain forever. So how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up”….37 Even though He had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in Him. 38 This was to FULFILL THE WORD of Isaiah the prophet
Lord, who has believed our message?
39 They were unable to believe, because Isaiah said:
40 He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts,
in order that they would not see with their eyes
or understand with their hearts, and be converted,
41 Isaiah said these things because Isaiah saw His glory and spoke about Him.

John 14:9 The one who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 I am in the Father and the Father is in Me.

John 1: 1 In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.

God the Son is not only God, because God the Son ALSO was and is WITH GOD. God the Son was and is with God the Father and with God the Holy Spirit. This same person is NOW WITH US. Even though God the Son is now absent from us in His humanity (yes this is strange). God the Son up in heaven now is and always from now on will be in our humanity.

God the Son was under law and wrath, because God the Son died in strict substitution for all the sins of all the elect, and all those elect will be given the reconciliation accomplished by the death of God the Son. God the Son is no longer under law and wrath. God the Father was never under law and wrath .

Romans 6: 9-10,”We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives to God.

The gospel good news is not only Christ’s death but also Christ’s resurrection because Christ obtained justification that will be given to all the elect for whom Christ died.

Jonah 2:6 — “The earth with its prison bars was around me olam, but You have brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God.” (Olam means “indefinite duration. )

Matthew 12: 40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.

Psalm 71: 20 God, who is like You?
You caused me many troubles
but You will bring me up again,
even from the depths of the earth.

Revelation 1: 18 I am the First and the Last and the Living One. I was dead, but look—I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.

God did NOT create us with human minds that are separate from human bodies. God did NOT create us with “immortal immaterial consciousness” . God did NOT create us with “disembodied free wills that exist forever”. Genesis 2:7 teaches that God gives breath to dust to create “living souls” (persons). God warns us that persons not justified before God are “souls that sin and shall die”. The gospel teaches us to fear the God who can and will destroy souls to whom Christ’s death will never be imputed.

I Corinthians 15: 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless and you are still in your sins. 18 Therefore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ would also PERISHED….. But Christ HAS BEEN RAISED from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep

Resurrection is the only solution and our only hope. The traditional idea of a death that is only “separation” but not perishing is nothing but Satan’s lie republished (you shall not die)

Acts 2: 29 David is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Since he was a prophet, David knew that God had sworn an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing this in advance, David spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ. Jesus was not left in Hades. 32 God has resurrected this Jesus from death and the grave.

The Gospel of Election and Justification in the Book of Acts

Posted November 14, 2019 by markmcculley
Categories: arminians, atonement, election, PCA, Reformed clergy

Tags: , ,

Many men who want to be paid as “Reformed” clergy don’t want to ever preach about the doctrines of election and non-election.

“Of course we know that the apostles were not Arminians, but from the book of Acts we can’t tell if yet if they are “Reformed”, so we can present the gospel without any reference to the doctrine of election.  For example, we know for sure that the thief on the cross who lived in Israel had never heard about election. So what Jesus Himself taught about election in some times or places is not necessarily model for us.” (Jesus didn’t have a famlly or a pension plan. )

Acts 16: 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.

Reformed clergy– and we have no idea what word they spoke to them, and how “seeker-friendly” it might have been, but we know for sure that they didn’t talk about the new birth, which is an act of God not of man, and a secret thing. And we also know for sure that they didn’t talk about how “Christt’s finished atonement” is received by imputation, because imputation is not an experience but secret and invisible and the atonement was in the past and not in our hearts.   

Acts 2:23 this Jesus, HANDED OVER according to the DEFINITE  and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

Acts 4: 27 Truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your PLAN HAD PREDESTINED to take place.

Acts 13: 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying in the word of the Lord, and as many as HAD BEEN APPOINTED BY GOD to lasting life believed.

Matthew 11: 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 18 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Acts 17: 30 God now commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because God has set a day when God  is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man God has appointed. God has provided proof of this to everyone by raising this Man from the dead.”

John 8:  24 You will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am He who I told you I was, you will die in your sins.

John 8: 32 Only the truth will set you free.” 33 “We are in the covenant family of  Abraham,” they answered Him, “and we have never been slaves to anyone. How can You say, ” become free’?

John 8:46  I tell the truth, but you don’t believe me. 47 The one who is from God listens to God’s words. You don’t listen, because you are not from God.”

John 10: 5 The sheep  will never follow a stranger; instead th sheep  will run away from a straner, because the sheep don’t recognize the voice of strangers.

John 10: 15 I lay down My life for the sheep

John 10: 26 Some of  you don’t believe because some of you are not My sheep. 27 My sheep hear My voice,

The Reformed clergy who won’t preach election disagree with Jesus about what Jesus says about electiion.   These clergy believe that, even if you reverse what Jesus tught and believe that “people are not sheep because they don’t believe”, this still has nothing to do one way or the other with the gospel you need to believe.

These clergy deny that anybody who believes the gospel needs to agree with Jesus about election . First of all, they teach that you can completely disagree with Jesus and say instead that “you become a sheep because you believe”. Second, the clergy  insist that those outside the covennant (and most of those inside, except the people in the Sproul video class)  you should only pay attention to what is taught in the book of Acts.  Christ dying only for the elect is not in Acts, they claim, therefore election should not be taught.  Jesus being raised after death is enough, except if you want to become a Reformed clergy person (then you need to sign if not study what the Confessions teach).

The idea is that, whatever gospel may be taught by Jesus in the gospels, or by the apostles in the epistles, the lost should only pay attention to the gospel found in Acts. Without speculating about their greedy  motives for this dogma about “only in Acts”, we have to ask where the Bible teaches “the gospel for the lost is found only in one place” and “the gospel for the found is found in other places”.

Though Reformed clergy never boast in election or glory in teaching the truth about Christ having died only for the elect so that all the elecct will be justified, Reformed clergy do boast in NOT BEING DISPENSATIONALIST ( with one gospel for some people, and another gospel for another time and place and people) Even so, these same clergy despise  the doctrine of unconditional election so much that they teach that 1. the doctrine of unconditional election is not to be found in the book of Acts and that 2. anything about election in other parts of the Bible does not need to be taught, either to those outside the covenant faamily or to those inside the covenant family.  Indeed, one device in their campaign of silence against election is the idea of “the covenant” which makes no distinction between elect and non-elect.

In Assured by God ( 2006, p 45), Philip Ryken informs us that “election is a family secret”. Ryken writes: “To ask if you are among the elect is to really ask if you are in Christ. If you want to know whether God has chosen you, all you need to know is it you are in Christ.”

This sounds simple but it’s not true.  Which Christ? Is the Christ of the people who deny election the same Christ as the Christ of the people who rejoice in the good news of election? And perhaps more to the point, is the Christ of people who “don’t know about election” the same Christ as the Christ of the people who do know about election?

Is election to be kept a secret from those not in the covenant family or election also so not necessary to the gospel that it can be kept secret (and/or denied) when clergy preach to the “covenant family”?

I certainly agree that nobody can know if they are elect before they believe the gospel. But this is NOT the same thing as saying that nobody CAN OR SHOULD  know about election before they believe the gospel. The Bible teaches election as inherently part of  the gospel, and as something to be proclaimed to all who read the Bible and who hear the gospel. (Romans 9:11 Though they were not yet born and had done nothing good or bad-in
order that God’s purpose of ELECTION woul continue, not because of works but because of His call.

The Christ who died only for the elect is not the same Christ as the counterfeit Christ who died for everybody. Those who believe that Christ died for everybody do not believe in what the Bible says about election and therefore do not believe in the gospel.

It does not matter if we say that these people (most evangelicals) don’t know about election or if we say that they know about election and reject it in favor of their preference for a “Jesus” who died for everybody. Most Reformed clergy have “don’t ask don’t tell rule” by which they never talk about election even to professing Christians for fear or rejection (of the clergy?, or of the true Christ?)

In either case, be it ignorance or rejection. most professing Christians do NOT believe that all for whom Jesus died will be justified. Even most people who do not profess to be Christians are sure that Jesus died for them. In most places in the United States, even most of the non-professing Christians (emocrats or Republicans) think they know that God loves everybody,

We shall not find proof of our election in ourselves. But neither can we find proof of our election in our believing a false gospel which teaches a false Christ who died for those who will perish. Ryken writes: “Since election is in Christ, it is often best understood after one becomes a Christian…While you are outside of God’s family, you may not hear about predestination at all; once you are in the family, however, it makes the most perfect sense in the world.”

The DISHONSTY of this claim by Ryken is that he knows that most who claim to be now in God’s family STILL do not believe in election. Ryken knows that most of these people have not even heard about election, and all the soundbites about “they re Calvinists when they pray” do not change this reality. Many of Ryken’s fellow evangelicals say that God knew ahead of time who to “elect” because God saw ahead of time who would “accept Jesus by faith”. Now it could be said that this shows that they do believe in a kind of election, but becoming elect by accepting Jesus is not what the Bible teaches.

Ryken claims that the kind of election which he describes  makes good sense to people after they become Christians. How then does he explain that most “Christians” still don’t know the family secret? If there were indeed an election-free gospel which one could accept and thus get oneself united to Christ, why would it be important for these Christians to learn later the “family secret”?

Ryken does not question the salvation of those who don’t learn the “family secret”. Nor does he question the salvation of those who deny the “family secret”. Nor does he pause to doubt the assurance of those who think the “secret” is that God knew ahead of time who would believe.

Too many Arminians belong to “the covenant family” which pays the salary of Reformed clergy for them to ever doubt that these folks have believed the gospel. Whatever their “gospel”, Reformed clergy agrees with their congregations that their Arminian  faith in their Arminian  gospel has effectively united them to Christ so that they are now “in Christ”.

Why talk about Romans 8 or John 10 when you can quote Donald Gray Barnhouse? “Imagine a cross like the cross on which Jesus died, only so large that it has a door in it and a sign over it: whosoever may come….On the other side of the door, a happy surprise waits the one who enters. From the inside, anyone glancing back can see the words on this side of the door: chosen…”

Reformed clergy who never talk about election cannot and should not be surprised that so many don’t ever look back and read the word “chosen”? Why do so many still understand that “chosen” to mean “because you chose first and God saw you would choose”? Why do so many clergy insist that “election is not something to be preached” if it’s such a “happy and wimsome surprise”?

The problem here is not “how much” or “how little” is being taught by Arminians. The problem is that Arminians are teaching the OPPOSITE of the truth. Does the holy God of truth justfy sinners from their sins for God’s glory by using the opposite of the truth? We need antithesis. Which of the five false doctrines believed by Arminians is part of the gospel? If none of them is the gospel, why would we think that those who are teaching those five false doctrines are teaching the gospel?

What is the gospel? Is the idea that “Christ finished the atonement” the gospel? Is it still the gospel if clergy teach that this “finished atonement” is only imputed to some of the sinners for whom it was finished?

Is it still the gospel if other clergy teach that this “finished atonement” is already imputed to sinners who still don’t know the “secrets” about election or regeneration or justification?

Is ‘finished the atonement” still the gospel if clergy teach that since “finished means already imputed”, that no elect person ever was condemned or needed to become imputed with Christ’s death”?

Is “finished the atonement” still the gospel if clergy teach that “the atonement was always already finished” ? Some clergy now are even teaching the error that God elected those who were always already justified.

The Guilt Issue Between God and You

Posted November 5, 2019 by markmcculley
Categories: atonement, election

Tags: , , , ,

What follows is not an attempt to be scholarly or technical. I am trying to write plainly, to people who either are right now condemned before God or justified before God. I don’t have a system that finds three or four realms of meaning for “justification” in the Bible. God is your creator. God is my creator. God is not off somewhere in some timelesss space, where God forgets our guilt. God is not “out there” in some “never now and never then” time, where God never knew we were born guilty. If we do not yet believe the gospel, guilt before God is an objective issue (the thing itself) between us and God. If we do not yet believe the gospel, we can know right now that God is our enemy. It’s not only that we are enemies of God.

Even though you did not sin when Adaam sinned, the guilt of Adam’s first sin is imputed by God to you when you are born. All of us are born guilty and condemned. None of us can be justified by our keeping the law.

Romans 1 The gospel is about God the Son, Jesus Christ the Lord, who was a descendant of David according to his humanity and who has been declared to be just by resurrection from the dead

Romans 1: 16 The gospel is God’s power for salvation to AS MANY AS WHO BELIEVE

The prophet Habakkuk wrote—-Those justifed will live by faith.

I write to warn you. 2 Corinthians 2:15 For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To some we are an aroma of death leading to death, but to others, an aroma of life leading to life.

You may protest and say that “the only gospel you want to hear” is that which assures you and tells you that you were already justified before God without knowing the gospel. You may want a different “not so scary” gospel. But I plainly warn you that you were born guilty before God and already condemned by God. You don’t need to hear the gospel in order to be condemned. But you do need to hear and believe the gospel in order to be justified. And if you hear the gospel but don’t believe the gospel, this leaves you at the same place as not hearing the gospel—-“an aroma of death leading to death”.

John 3: 17 God did not send His Son into the world because all the elect were already justified. The Son did not come into the world in order to cause God to love the elect. God sent His Son because God loved the elect and the death of the Son was necessary for the justification of all the elect.
18 Anyone who believes in the Son is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned.

There is no exception here. There is NO QUALIFICATION that says “those who will believe are already not condemned”

John 3:36 The one who believes in the Son already has lasting life, but the one who does not believe in the Son will not see life. The wrath of God remains on the one who does not believe in the Son.

There is again NO QUALIFICATION that says “the wrath of God is never on those who in the future will believe in the Son.” To the contrary, as long as you do not know or believe the gospel, the wrath of God remainss on you. Believing the gospel is not the righteousness which takes away the wrath of God. Christ’s death imputed to you is the ONLY THING which will take away the wrath of God. But if you do not yet believe the gospel, this is evidence that you remain in condemnation before God. Speculating that you might be elect is no solution for you. There is no justification for those who do not yet believe the gospel.

Romans 2:12 All those who sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all those who sinned under the law will be judged by the law

Romans 3:6 Is God unrighteous to judge the world? Absolutely not.

Romans 3:19 Every mouth will be shut. The whole world is subject to God’s judgment.

All of us are born guilty and condemned. None of us can be justified by our keeping the law.

There is a foolish philosphy that speculates that because God is morally unchanging in character and nature, that this means that God cannot act in time. This vanity sugggest that God creating in time would be “God changing”. This sophistry claims that God has no past and that God has no future. But the Bible gospel teaches that God the Son became incarnate (added a human nature, and died as the mediator “man”). The death and resurrection of God the Son is now done. That part of God’s history is finished, even though God the Son now remains both God and man.

The same God who has a past has a future. As Christ already died for all God’s elect, even so Christ will come back to give immortality to all God has elected and will have justified,

Hebrews 9: 26 Christ has appeared one time for the REMOVAL OF SIN by the sacrifice of Himself. 28 so also Christ , having been offered ONCE to BEAR THE SINS of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him

The sins of the elect were not already removed before Christ died. Christ was imputed with sins, Christ bore sins, Christ died for sins. Christ is no longer imputed with sins, Christ is no longer dead, and God will impute Christ’s death to all those for whom Christ died. It was not only us who “had an issue with God”. God still has an issue with all sinners who are not yet justified. Those who do not yet believe the gospel give evidence that GOD STILL HAS AN ISSUE WITH THEM. if God did not still “have an issue” with you, then you would be already be believing the gospel. If God had already imputed Christ’s death to you, then you would already believe the gospel.

The issue God has with those God still condemens is the ISSUE OF GUILT. Christ’s death for imputed sins is the ONLY THING that removed guilt. Until God imputes Christ’s Death to you, you are guilty before God. It is not your “experience” or faith in the gospel which removes guilt. But you can know for sure that you are still condemned before God as long as you do not yet believe the gospel.

Romans 6: 9-10 Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death NO LONGER rules over Christ 10 Christ DIED TO SIN once for all time

Romans 6: 17 Thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred to.

God has not yet imputed Christ’s death to those who are still slaves of sin, who still have not yet obeyed the gospel.

Romans 3:22 God’s righteousness THROUGH FAITH in Jesus Christ, come to all who BELIEVE the gospel. 23 Because all have sinned

Those who are justified before God are justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption that was obtained by Christ Jesus.

Romnas 3:26 God presented Christ as a propitiation through FAITH IN His blood, to demonstrate God’s righteousness, in order that God would be BOTH righteous and declare justified the one WHO HAS FAITH IN Jesus.

God has an unchanging righteous character and nature. Before Abraham believed the gospel, God had a “guilt issue” with Abraham. God did not change but when God imputed Christ’s death to Abraham, then Abraham believed the gospel and God justified Abraham.

God has an unchanging righteous character and nature. Before Christ died, God the Trinity had a “guilt issue” with Christ. When Christ “died to sin”, Christ became the righteousness of God. When Christ “died to sin”, Christ became the propitation that “takes away guilt”. After Christ “died to sin”, Christ became the reconciliation. This “reconciliation” is NOT what God does inside the hearts of sinners, to make them friends of God. The “reconcilition” Christ obtained by His death is that which “takes away God’s wrath to the guilty”. When Abraham “received this reconciliation”, God imputed the reconciliation by death to Abraham and God justified Abraham, who had been born guilty, ungodly and condemned.

All of us are born guilty and condemned. None of us can be justified by our keeping the law. If you do not yet believe the gospel, this is all the evidence you need to know that God is still your enemy. If God is still your enemy, you have not yet “received the reconciliation” and this is why you still do not believe the gospel.

Romans 3:28 a sinner is justified THROUGH FAITH apart from works

Romans 4 Abraham was not justified before Abraham believed God, God did not count Abraham’s faith as righteousness or justification. Abraham believed God when God credited Christ’s death to ungodly Abraham. God counted Christ’s death as Abrahaam’s righteousness when Abraham believed God. Abraham was born ungodly.

Those God has already elected are also born guilty before God and condemned by God. None of us can be justified by our keeping the law (or any part of the law). Justification is God’s verdict only when and where God has imputed Christ’s death. God’s character and nature do not change, and God does not justify those God has not yet placed into Christ’s death. God does not bypass the law or the death demanded by God’s law. Only Christ’s death is the reconciliation that takes away “the guilt issue”.

Romans 4: 2 To the one who obeys law or works, reward is not considered a gift but as something owed. 5 But to the ungodly who do NOT WORK BUT BELIEVE on Him God declares the ungodly to be justified

Romans 4: 16 God gives life to the dead and calls things into existence that do not yet exist

Romans 4: 24 Christ’s death will be credited to as many as who believe in God who raised Jesus the Lord from the dead. 25 God the Son was handed over because of our sins and God the Son was raised up from the dead because of our certain justification.

God did not ask your permission for you to be born. God did not ask your permission to impute Adam’s sin to you.

Even though you did not sin when Adam sinned, the guilt of Adam’s first sin is imputed by God to you when you are born. All of us are born guilty and condemned. None of us can be justified by our keeping the law.

Christ died because of some of those to whom Adam’s sin was imputed. Christ did not die for all to whom Adam’s sin was imputed. But Christ did die because of all the sins of those God has elected in Christ.
All the sinners born elect in Christ were born guilty in Adam, and Christ was raisied up from the dead because all of these elect will certainly and legally be justified, when Christ’s death is imputed by God to them and when they believe the gospel.

The faith God commands in the gospel is not faith that you are elect or justified. The faith that God commands in the gospel is not you giving God permission to elect you or to justify you.
Faith in the gospel is obedience and submission to the God who has already elected those who will be justified.

Romans 9: 11 God’s PURPOSE according to election WILL STAND— 12 not from works but from the One who calls

Faith in the gospel is obedience and submission to the God who will not justify by your works.
Faith in the gospel is obedience and submission to the God who only justifies by means of “the righteousness through faith”.

Romans 9:30 There is the righteousness that COMES THROUGH FAITH

Romaans 10: 3 Many disregard the righteousness from God and attempted to establish their own righteousness. They have not themselves SUBMITTED TO God’s righteousness. 4 Because only Christ is the removal of guilt and wrath before the law for righteousness to AS MANY AS WHO BELIEVE.

If YOU do not yet belive the gospel, this shows that God is still your enemy. If YOU do not yet believe the gospel, this is plain evidence that you still do not believe that God ever had a “guilt issue” with you that is only removed for the elect by Christ’s death. You may think your faith removes the “guilt issue”. You may believe that God is so far out of time and space that God has no “guilt issues”. But whatever you believe, if you are not yet submitted through faith to God’s righteousness, then you are still condemned in your guilt.

Romans 5: When these ungodly sinners have been declared righteous THROUGH FAITH , they will not only have peace in their own minds but they will have peace with God through the death of the Lord Jesus. The death of the Lord Jesus was required by God in order for God to have peace with those imputed with Christ’s death. The death of the Lord Jesus happened in history because the God who already loved the elect in Christ handed over Christ to death in order to satisfy God’s requirement for death because of sin.

Even though Satan had said that sinners won’t die, Christ died for elect sinners in order that those elect sinners would not permanently die but instead would certainly and legally be justified because of
Christ’s death.

This is not simply an issue in your head, only having to do with what you think about yourself or about who you think “God” is or is not. This is not a mere “effect of preaching”.
This is an issue about God’s requiring the death of God the Son as the only just and effective satisfaction for the sin of Adam or for any other sin.

Even though you did not sin when Adam sinned, the guilt of Adam’s first sin is imputed by God to you when you are born. All of us are born guilty and condemned. None of us can be justified by our keeping the law.

Romans 5:9 There are some elect sinners who have now been declared righteous by Christ’s death and they will be saved through Christ from wrath. 10 While they were God’s enemies (not only enemies of God), they were reconciled to God through the death of His Son.

Having now been reconciled, those who are now justified will be saved by Christ’s resurrection 11 Those who have now received God’s reconciliation have been legally given by God Christ’s death.

Christ’s past death is NOT “what Adam could have done”. Christ’s past death is NOT “what was always done” (and therefore by implicatio never done)

Romans 5:12 Sin entered the world through one man Adam. Guilt entered the world through one man’s guilt. Corruption to all came because of the guilt of the one human. Corruption to all came because the guilt of the one man was imputed to all humans.

Death entered the world through one man’s guilt. Before sin came through death, death came through the guilt of Adam. Dying, you shall die. Mortal humans began to die because of Adam’s sin imputed. All became sinners because Adam sinned. All became guilty because Adam was guilty and Adam’s gullt was imputed by God to all humans.

Death spread to all men, because all sinned.

Even though you did not sin when Adam sinned, the guilt of Adam’s first sin is imputed by God to you when you are born. All of us are born guilty and condemned. Have you believed the gospel yet? Do you know what the good news is? Is the good news “who God is” but “not what Christ did new in history”?

IF GOD STILL HAS A GUILT ISSUE WITH YOU, then “who God is” IS NOT GOOD NEWS FOR YOU.

God condemns all who are born with Adam’s guilt. That’s who God is. The only good news is for those who believe the good news. The good news is “Christ died to sin”. If you choose to believe that “this can only be good news if Christ died for sins for everybody imputed with Adam’s sin”, then there is no good news for you. If you decide to believe that “God does not change and God has no guilt issues”, then there is no good news for you, because there is only one God and the only God there is declares guilty all whose not yet imputed with Christ’s death to sin.

Hebrews 10: 5 You prepared a body for Me.

Hebrews 10: 10 Those who are now sanctified have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all time

Hebrews 10: 17 I will never again remember their sins 18 Now where there is forgiveness of sins, there is no more offering for sin.

Does God still count your guilt against you? You were born guilty, and if you do not yet believe the gospel, that is basic evidence that Christ’s death offering for the guilt of the elect has not yet been imputed to you. There is no good news for those who have not yet believed the news about Christ’s death TO TAKE AWAY GUILT AND WRATH.

Hebrews 10: 28 If anyone disregarded the law of Moses, they died without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, and regarded as common (universal) the blood of the covenant by which Christ was sanctified?

There is nothing “hypothetical” about this warning (or the others in Hebrews). The logic of “there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin” is not that Christ died for every sinner, and that every sinner had a “chance” or an “opportunity” to be saved, if they accepted “the offer”. NO. The logic rather is that now and always there has been only sacrifice that really IN HISTORY TAKES AWAY GUILT AND GOD’S WRATH. Only the death sacrifice of the one who is both God and man takes way the guilt issue. The same God who condemns as guilty all those who are born is the only God who gives Christ’s death to take away the sins of the elect. The same God who condemns as guilty all those who are born is the only God who imputes Christ’s death to the elect and justifies them.

For any sinner, there is only one sacrifice that take away sins, and it’s Christ’s propitiatory death. This does not at all mean that Christ has died for every sinner. It means that everyone born guilty needs Christ’s death. But only the guilt of the elect the Father has given the Son was imputed by God to the Son, and the Son was only made a propitiation for that guilt. Christ’s death is not enough for every sinner, because it was never intended for every sinner. I don’t ask if you are a “believer”. If you deny this gospel about propitiation for guilt imputed, then you deny the God revealed in the Bible.

Even though nobody died with Christ when Christ died, the righteousness of Christ’s death is imputed by God to all for whom Christ died at some point in their history, after they are born condemned and guilty before God. This imputation of Christ’s death results in them believing the gospel and being justified by God before God.

Romans 5:14 death reigns over those who did not sin the sin of Adam but who are nevertheless imputed with Adam’s sin.

Romans 5:21 As sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through Christ’s death, resulting in lasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord

Grace reigns over those whose death cannot themslevvess satisfy God for their sins but who are nevertheless imputed with Christ’s death. When God imputes to the ungodly Christ’s death, these sinners are given life to believe the gospel and are justified. This is the reign of grace, which results in lasting life

Justification and Comfort for All who Believe the Gospel

Posted October 2, 2019 by markmcculley
Categories: faith

Tags: ,

Tianqi Wu– BEFORE we were converted, we were SLAVES OF SIN. IF we have been joined to Christ’s death, then we are not under Law but under grace. People who are slaves of sin and under law WERE NOT YET JUSTIFIED. There is no room for a “justified” but “unconverted” persons, because there is no such a thing as being “under grace”, “dead to sin”, “alive to God” but still a “slave of sin”. This exposes the fundamental falsehood of certain versions of “gospels” that are now tolerated under the name of “different views on
timing of justification”.

John 3:18 The one believing into Him is not condemned; but the one not believing has already been condemned—he has not believed into the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Romans 7: 4 You yourselves were put to death in relation to the law through the crucified body of Christ in order that you belong to another—to Him who was raised from the dead—in order that we bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the flesh we bore fruit for death.

Because Christ’s death to sin was legally applied to us, we were put to death in relation to law and in that way justified before God. We were not always justified. Christ’s death was not always legally applied to us and we were not always justified.

It was not enough that the sins of the elect be imputed to Christ. Christ had to die to sin, Christ was not always dead to sin
When we were in the flesh, we did not know the gospel
When we were in the flesh, our election did not mean that we already belonged to Christ.
When we were in the flesh, we belonged to another and bore fruit for another
When we were in the flesh, we were not yet justified

Romans 8: 7 The understanding of the flesh is hostile to God because the understanding of the flesh does not submit itself to God’s law,
for it is unable to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God …But the Spirit is life because of righteousness

Those who are living after the flesh are not justified yet.
Those who are living after the flesh do not believe the gospel.
Those who do not believe the gospel are not justified yet.

Denying that justification is through faith in the gospel is an antinoimian denial of the gospel revealed by brother apostles in the Bible. The power of the gospel is that elect sinners come to understand the
nature of jkstification . Teaching justification before or without understanding of justification is not merely about “timing”. It is ignoring what the Bible teaches about the nature of justification

A change of our legal state before God occurs through a “baptism” into Christ’s death.

Romans 6:4 Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death,

Romans 6:10-11 For in that Christ died, Christ died to sin once for all time; but in that Christ now lives again, Christ lives to God. Count yourselves to be truly dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Can there be a time lag between the change of legal state and the change of heart? Can a person have a changed legal state without a changed heart at the SAME time? The Romans 6 text does NOT allow for it

Romans 6:17-18 But thanks be to God that you were slaves of sin, but you obeyed from the heart the form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you were enslaved to
righteousness.

1) Conversion is clearly in this text – “obeyed from the heart the
form of doctrine…”

2) Yet, conversion alone cannot account for the radical language used here, unless we think conversion is perfection. What is in view includes a change of heart, but also a change of legal state, in which
one’s sins are NO LONGER imputed to them..

Paul says BEFORE we were converted, we were SLAVES OF SIN. Paul also says IF we have been joined to Christ’s death, then we are not under
Law, but UNDER GRACE. There is no room for a “justified” but “unconverted” person, because there is no such a thing as being “under grace”, “dead to sin”, “alive to God” but still a “slave of sin”.

John 3:18 The one believing into Him is not condemned; but the one not believing has already been condemned, for he has not believed into the name of the only begotten Son of God.

All the future sins of the elect were paid up by Jesus
but the sins we have not yet committed are not yet forgiven by God

those who teach that redemption is not accomplished if not already legally applied are teaching a false antinomian gospel. About 2000 years ago, Christ by His death accomplished by death (point
in time) redemption. But this redemption was imputed by God to Abraham (at a point in time before Abraham was circumcised) long before Christ “died to sin”, (Romans 6:9-10) . This was on the same timeline (not some timeless zone)

Today, elect sinners ( like me) are imputed by God with the redemption (accomplished long before I existed) when this “objective something” redemption is legally applied by God, I believe the gospel and I am declared justified by God (again, not timelessly, but on the same time line).

Christ’s obtaining the redemption is not the same as God imputing that righteousness. The gospel error says that righteousness is not really obtained until it is imputed. The gospel error teaches Christ’s death is already imputed to all for whom Christ died. But the correlation of faith and justification is in time. The correlation can be found nowhere else. Justification through faith alone does not only mean that faith is a gift of God. Justification through faith alone means that faith is not works. Justification through faith in the gospel alone means no justification apart from faith in the gospel alone. Faith in Christ’s
death alone excludes faith in what God has enabled us to do. Faith in Christ’s death aone excludes faith in our faith. Faith in Christ’s death alone excludes any idea that “faith is a work”

Romans 3: 26 God presented Him as a propitation through faith in His blood, in order that God would be righteous and declare righteous then one who has faith in Jesus.

Romans 3:28 a sinner is justified through faith apart from the works of the law.

Since we know that assurance is found in knowing and believing the gospel, why is this reactionary gospel error so determined to say that people already justified are still believing the false gospel that the flesh
believes? Even though those who teach the gospel error of justification without the gospel are divided among themselves about if all thse “justified already” ” will be converted to the gospel in this life, what is the practical point of reacting to Arminianism by down-playing the significance of justification?

If those already justified are still practically seen as unholy because of their not knowing the gospel yet, what is the day to day consequence of putting all the focus on regeneration (which happens now) and NOT on justification (which according to their error could not possibly happen now) ? Why are these guys insisting on their view of the nature of justification, but in the day to day not bothering with any implications of their view? Do they want to speak only comfort and peace to anybody? If they want to say that faith in the gospel has nothing to do with justification, why are they
disturbing the peace about “spiritual life” and faith in the gospel? Won’t that cause some people doubt and discomfort?

The gospel promises justification to all those who believe the gospel

The gospel does not promise peace to mark mcculley

The gospel does not promice peace to all those who speak peace to mark mcculley

Some of these preachers are telling us–it’s just not an issue, because it has no implications, and so that’s why I am going to call you an Arminian conditionalist if you don’t say that all the elect are now already justified!

It is possible to be correct about the extent of the redemption (only for the elect) without being correct about the nature of the redemption (the sins of the elect were imputed to Christ, and Christ died under the wrath of God for those sins) But it is not possible to be incorrect about the extent of the redemption (teaching redemption for all sinners) and ever possibly be correct about the nature of redemption ( because this view will teach a redemption that does not redeem)

In a similar way, it is possible to be correct about the extent of justification (only the elect will be justified) and still be incorrect about the nature of justification (teaching that all the
elect were always justified, or denying that Christ –the elect one-was ever under the legal wrath and death of God)

Acts 13:39 everyone who BELIEVES IN this man is justified from everything that you could not be justified from

Acts 13: The Gentiles REJOICED and glorified the message of the Lord, and all who had been appointed to lasting life BELIEVED
“Appointed to lasting life” is election, not justification

if God never saw any of your sins, God would not need to justify you, because you would need no justification. But even for those who do sin, God does not justify all sinners
if you were never condemned, then God will never justify you.

Even though the sheep are always sheep, elect sheep are NOT free from condemnation before being “baptized into Christ”. Justification through faith alone does not only mean that faith is a gift of God. Justification through faith alone means that faith is not works. Justification through faith in the gospel alone means no justification apart from faith in the gospel alone. Faith in Christ’s death alone excludes faith in what God has enabled us to do. Faith in Christ’s death alone excludes faith in our faith. Faith in Christ’s death alone excludes any idea that “faith is a work” . Romans 3: 26 God presented Him as a propitation through faith in His blood , in order that God would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.

Romans 3:28 a sinner is justified through faith apart from the works of the law.

The gospel is not justification only.
The gospel is not regeneration only.
Justification and regeneration are not the same thing
All those who are justified are also regenerate
All those who are not regenerate yet are also not justified yet
All those living in the flesh (still believing the false gospel) are
not justified yet

Agreeing not to talk about “eternal justification” is like agreeing not to talk about “universal atonement”

1. agree that we are both Christians
2. agree to disagree
3. agree not to discuss further

It’s very much like an Arminian saying, first agree that I am saved, and then we can talk about the Arminianism
Second , agree that we are brothers, and after that there’s no point to talking about Arminianism, so let’s let it all go

From a letter to John Reisinger after my conversion—-I know you are not an universalist like I was. You will not say that all humans are your brothers and sisters. You are very right to focus on the elder brother’s refusal to say that the one who came home was his brother. My question: WERE they brothers? If the elder brother goes on like he is, never repenting of his legalism, is he in the family of God? Your assumption, suited to your purpose of attacking “these people” who say that Arminians are lost, is that both are brothers. But that is a false assumption.

I do not know need to know who is and is not non-elect to tell the truth that Christ did not die for those who reject the the promise and command of the gospel. I do not need to know who is elect to shout the glad tidings that all the elect will hear the voice of the Shepherd instead of the voices of Arminians. If you really do think that God saves people while still leaving them thinking that salvation is conditioned on them, then your God is very much like the God of the Arminian. https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/from-the-year-2000-my-letter-to-john-reisinger/

What’s the difference between being an universalist and teaching justification only for some but before these some know the gospel?
Perhaps the only difference is cruelty

some say–it’s just not an issue, because it has no implications, and so that’s why I am going to call you an Arminian conditionalist if you talk about “justification through faith” or “the righteousness of faith”

A gospel that tells some sinners to “start believing that you had life before you heard the gospel” is a false gospel.

God did not ask any sinner for their input on God’s decision to impute their sins to Jesus Christ, and all the sins that would ever be imputed to Christ were already imputed to Christ by God and then satisfied for by Christ’s death. Assurance that I am justified is not an objective proposition of the gospel. Assurance that I believe the gospel is not an objective proposition of the gospel.
Before or after you believe, the gospel never says “ you have believed the gospel” “I now have life” is not part of the gospel. The gospel is not to be explained only to those those have life.
If a person tells us that “well I have believed the gospel but I still am not sure that I am justified yet”, they are in reality saying “I have not yet believed the gospel”. If they had believed the gospel, they would believe the part of the gospel that says “as many as who believe the gospel are justified”

Tianqi Wu–The gospel error that teaches justification before God without faith in the gospel reduces the gospel and its power to create faith to only a delayed assurance of a justification that happened before you are born. Those who teach that all the elect were justified when Christ died are teaching by implication that the OT elect were never justified in their lifetime and that the NT elect were never condemned. Though those who teach this gospel error may rant at the implications of teaching universal atonement, and though they not talk about the implications of their own error, those implications neverthess remain. They are teaching justification without the gospel, even if they impose their system on the Bible to talk about different justifications (as they see fit)

The idea of “born justified but unconverted” is something utterly foreign to the Bible, which teaches that those not yet submitted to the gospel are condemned already, children of wrath, under curse, under law, slaves of sin, not righteous, not under grace, not belonging to Christ, not children of God.The gospel error that says “yes by nature but never in history” is not a distinction you will find in the Bible.

Tianqi Wu– Justification is not God’s response to the Spirit-produced faith of the elect sinner. Rather, Justification comes with faith together to the unbelieving elect who has been legally united by God to the Christ who had died for them. When the elect are “baptized into Christ’s death” by God, God justifies them because God now sees a righteousness in their account, and simultaneously God sends the Spirit into them to convert them to the gospel. Justification before God is not the same thing as conversion in the heart to believe the gospel . Believing the gospel is not the righteousness. The righteousness is not repenting of living by the flesh and believing the false gospel. But God acts in history in both ways, not only inside us but also outside us with regard to us ( not only timelessly). Where God has not yet imputed Christ’s death, sinners live by the flesh. Where God has not yet imputed Christ’s death, sinners are still in condemnation.

Romans 4:24-25 “righteousness will be counted to us who believe in Him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was handed over BECAUSE OF our trespasses and raised BECAUSE OF our justification.”
This text of brother Paul does not mean that all the elect were already justified before they even existed. This means that God’s legal APPLICATION of Christ’s ACCOMPLISHMENT IN HISTORY IN DEATH is made certain. Brother Paul is not teaching that Accomplishment and Application must or will happen at the same time. And certainly Romans 4:24-25 is not teaching that there is no accomplishment if that accomplished is not immediately applied.
Nor is brother Paul in Romans 4:24-25 teaching that Christ was never really imputed with sins or condemned under God’s wrath for those sins imputed.

Galatians 2: 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in regard to me. The life I now live in the body,I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Again, Galatians 2 is not teaching that all the elect existed as persons before they were born. . Some few “primitive baptists” have taught this philosophy, but it’s not what Galatians is saying. Nor is
Galatains 2 saying that the elect at some point no longer exist as persons. Brother Paul is teaching that Christ is no longer imputed with sins, even though Christ was once imputed with the sins of the elect and died for those sins. Christ now lives, and when that death is imputed by God to them, they are “crucified with Christ.”
Romans 6: 9-10 Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Christ 10 For in light of the fact that Christ died, Christ died to sin once for all time.

Romans 8: 7 The understanding of the flesh is hostile to God because the understanding of the flesh does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God …But the Spirit is life because of righteousness

Those who are living after the flesh are not justified yet
Those who are living after the flesh do not believe the gospel

Those who do not believe the gospel are not justified yet
The power of the gospel is that elect sinners come to understand the nature of justification
Teaching justification before or without understanding of justification is not merely about “timing”. It’s ignoring what the Bible teaches about the nature of justification

The Cause is Justification, The Resulting Creation is Worship Pleasing to God.

Posted September 3, 2019 by markmcculley
Categories: good works, imputation

Tags: ,

Romans 7:4 You were put to death in relation to the law through the crucified body of the Messiah, in orer to belong to another—to Him who was raised from the dead—IN ORDER TO BEAR FRUIT FOR GOD.

Ephesians 2: 8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this salvation is not from yourselves. Salvation is God’s gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are His CREATION. We are created in Christ Jesus for GOOD WORKS

Those who are justified before God are not still ‘totally depraved”. Those who are justified before God now worship God acceptably.

Our Works and our Worship are not the Causes of our Salvation.

Work acceptable to God is one of the Results of Salvation.
Worship acceptable to God is one of the Results of Salvation.

Our Work and Worship are not Accepted by God as any part of our righteousness.
Our Work and Worship are Accepted by God because we ourselves have become justified before God.

Romans 6:17 Thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred to.

The false gospel teaches the opposite of the true gospel. The false gospel say that, IF you don’t have to “keep paying the costs”, then your salvation can’t be worth much.

The false gospelasks— IF you didn’t accept your salvation by your own freedom, then just how valuable could your salvation be?

Although there is such a thing as “hating without a cause”, what the false gospel hates is the very idea of God loving the elect “without cause”. The false gospel wants to be in control of the cause of its salvation. If you didn’t pay for it, you stole it. If you didn’t work for it, you stole it.

This is why the false gospel teaches a salvation also by your own works. If you do not also work for your salvation, you can’t boast in it and that would make you a free loader socialist. Not working at all for your final salvation would leave you belonging to Jesus instead of Jesus giving you salvation partly in consideration of your work.

But let me copy here some Bible verses that teach about sinners being justified before God in order to then Worship God

Matthew 7:17 every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit.

Hebrews 13:15 Through Christ then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share whatyou have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

I Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a Holy Spirit house for a Holy priesthood, to offer up Spirit-controlled sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His CREATION. We are created in Christ Jesus for good works

Titus 2:14 Christ gave Himself FOR US to REDEEM US from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.

1 Peter 2:12 Conduct yourselves honorably …so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do what is evil, they seeing your good works will glorify God on the day

The commands of Jesus Christ to those who are justified are NOT “only MORE GUILT FOR EVERYBODY.” If you reduce the law of God to your ability, then you reduce the law to nothing. The fulfillment of God’s law (by Christ’s death) was NOT the abolition of God’s law

Romans 6:11 consider yourselves NOW ALREADY dead to sin but NOW ALREADY alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Christ’s death is the object to which sinners are joined when they are justified. God’s imputation is the means by which sinners are joined to Christ’s death. The once for all death of Christ is not once for all sinners. The once for all death of Christ is once for all time. No other death justifies.

Therefore it is NOT Christ’s death PLUS our death which justifies. To be joined with the likeness of Christ’s death is to be legally placed in Christ’s death. Our regeneration is not the death.

Romans 8:3 God condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in FLESH LIKE OURS under sin’s guilt and as a sin offering

Philippians 2: 5 Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus,
6 who humbled Himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death— even to death on a cross

Romans 6:13 as those who ARE ALIVE from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as tools for righteousness

Galatians 3:27 you have put on Christ

Romans 13: 14 put on Christ
Galatians 5:1 you are free, be free
Galatians 5:25 since we live in the Spirit, then live in the Spirit

Ephesians 2: 6 Together with Christ Jesus God raised us

Colossians 2 12 You were also raised with Christ through faith in the working of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
13 God made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses

But what does it matter if we work for God or worship God? If we are already justified before God, who cares if our work and worship are acceptable anyway?

Romans 3: 7 But if by my sin God’s truth is amplified to God’s glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say, as some people slanderously claim we say, “Let us do what is evil in order that good will come”?

The answer to the question is NOT that “works and worship are necessary to find out if you are justified”

Romans 3:24 They are justified WITHOUT CAUSE by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus who God presented as a propitiation through faith in His blood

Those who are not justified before God cannot and do not worship God. Those who are justified before God can and do worship God, not only in some “the church in theory” but in real life.

Those with the false gospel think they already know what God is like. But while they are checking to see if Jesus is like the God in their heads, they forget to learn from Jesus what the real God of the Bible is like. They forget that God’s grace is not our works. They forget that our works are not the same thing as our God-given faith in the grace of the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The “church in theory” will only preach some things from the Bible. Its preachers will only teach from the Bible stuff they think is comforting and enouraging for “spiritual life”. Other things they say they will not “get into”. Because the law of Jesus is not the same as the gospel, they will say either that Jesus has no law or that we can all live together without any reference to any law from Jesus. If you are justified by Jesus, why is it necessary to hear anything else from Jesus? Why not simply try to be a little better in terms of the morality of those in the place where you live temporarily now on earth? Election to “go to heaven” they will preach, but what Christ commands as worship they will not teach. Why feel guilty for not doing what we can’t do anyway?

But this is a bad excuse for the truth. If we have already made it clear that justification before God is not a result of our works and worship, what are we saying if we don’t think we can even think about or teach work and worship acceptable to God? Is the problem that we ourselves think that the only way not to think of “good works” as our justification before God is to deny that we ever have any “good works”?

Romans 12 by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to discern what is the good, and PLEASING TO God.

Hebrews 13:15 through Christ let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of our lips that confess His name. 16 Don’t neglect to do what is good and to share, for God is PLEASED such sacrifices

Philippians 4:18 But I have received everything in full, and I have an abundance. I am fully supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you provided—a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.

Colossians 1:10 in order that you walk worthy of the Lord, fully PLEASING to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.

Hebrews 9:11 Christ has appeared, high priest of the GOOD THINGS THT HAVE COME (not of the old creation)

2 Corinthians 5:17 For those in Christ, there is a new creation. Old things have passed away, New things have come.

Philippians 3: 12 Not that I have already reached the goal, but I make every effort to take hold of the prize because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 I do not consider myself to have taken hold of the goal. But one thing I do— Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, 14 I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s call in Christ Jesus.