Now That I have Told You I Used to Be Harsh and Self-righteous, Won’t You Stop Being So Harsh and Comfort Me?

How do I know I am elect and now justified? Because I believe the gospel. Did my believing the gospel cause justification to happen? No! Did being imputed with Christ’s death cause me to believe the gospel? Yes.

Suppose the disciple Peter would say that he was operating out of legal fear when he betrayed Jesus. That doesn’t mean that Peter really was. Maybe he wasn’t. Well, you could say, he sure got bad results, since he ended up betraying the Lord three times. That’s why he messed up so bad, because of his legal fears.

But we all still sin. We are still all getting bad results. The justified elect are still habitual sinners. They are still not doing so well in morality, when they are measured by God’s standards for morality.
They are often still harsh, judgmental, and unforgiving.

My concern at this point is not only with sinning, not only with moralistic and self-righteous pride, not only with trying to figure out if you are really sorry this time, not only if you still make repenting of your repenting the future condition of your future salvation.

My concern at this point is if a person is knowing and thinking gospel. Or is a person not understanding and explaining the gospel but still talking about her sins?

I know that the Galatians were not always being motivated by the gospel. But there is a before and after, a beginning to believing the gospel. We can’t say: I was born believing it. We can’t say we were born reconciled and justified.

Conversion is about an in and out. The sheep follow the Shepherd and not the voice of strangers. They do not stay where we they not belong. Ecclesia means: called out, gathered together (here from there), separated by doctrine.

Immediate regeneration in the order of salvation results in a separatist ecclesiology. No church has a monopoly on the “means of grace” so that conversion must come gradually after a period of sacramental preparation.

What is the gospel, and do you believe it? John 20:23–“If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven if you with-hold forgiveness from anyone, it is with-held.”

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4 Comments on “Now That I have Told You I Used to Be Harsh and Self-righteous, Won’t You Stop Being So Harsh and Comfort Me?”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    Thanks, David. Even though Stott denies sovereign grace and election in the atonement, this insight on Romans 6 gets right to the real point;Robert Haldane and even John Piper see this also about Romans 6.

    Why can’t preachers talk about getting legally joined to Christ’s righteousness, instead of
    talking about their own changed attitudes?

    1. Their attitudes have not changed as much as they think (now they judge a different group of people, now they are catholic legalists judging sectarian legalists)

    2. Their attitudes will keep changing, and we can have no assurance in emotional phases we go through.

  2. JackMiller Says:

    Stott’s commentary on Rom. 6 really helped me also.

  3. markmcculley Says:

    Richard Muller—“Use of the language of personal relationship with Jesus often indicates a qualitative loss of the traditional Reformation language of being justified by grace alone through faith in Christ and being, therefore, adopted as children of God in and through our graciously given union with Christ. Personal relationships come about through mutual interaction and thrive because of common interests. They are never or virtually never grounded on a forensic act such as that indicated in the doctrine of justification by faith apart from works – in fact personal relationships rest on a reciprocity of works or acts. The problem here is not the language itself: The problem is the way in which it can lead those who emphasize it to ignore the Reformation insight into the nature of justification and the character of believer’s relationship with God in Christ.

    Such language of personal relationship all too easily lends itself to an Arminian view of salvation as something accomplished largely by the believer in cooperation with God. A personal relationship is, of its very nature, a mutual relation, dependent on the activity – the works – of both parties.

  4. Mark Mcculley Says:

    IF IT PERSONALLY COMFORTS ME to say that “justification is timeless and eternal”, why are you self-righteous people with your “perfect theology” disturbing my peace? —“ It is impossible for God to have loved His people everlastingly apart from God regarding them as forgiven and justified in His sight”

    Mystical antinomians teach that the source of our ongoing peace and assurance, are not  based upon our  being forgiven our continuing sins (they don’t talk about any sins anymore, except other people’s self righteousness ).
     
    Antinomians reject any imitating Jesus Christ as works -righteousness


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