If Christ Were Made Sin Not Only By Imputation, by Flavel

They tell us, (1.) That the righteousness of Christ is subjectively and inherently in us, in the same fulness and perfection as it is in Christ; grant that, and then it will follow indeed, That Christ himself is not more righteous than the believer is. (2.) That not only the guilt of sin was laid on Christ by way of imputation: but sinfulness itself, was transferred from the elect to Christ: and that by God’s laying it on him, the sinfulness or fault itself was essentially transfused into him.

First, we thankfully acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ to be the Surety of the New Testament, Heb. 7.22, and that as such, all the guilt of our sins were laid upon him, Isa. 53.5,6. That is, God imputed, and he bare it in our room and stead. God the Father, as supreme Lawgiver and Judge of all, upon the transgression of the law, admitted the surety-ship of Christ, to answer for the sins of men, Heb. 10.5,6,7. And for this very end he was made under the law, Gal. 4.4,5. A

God by imputing the guilt of our sins to Christ, thereby our sins became legally his; as the debt is legally the surety’s debt, though he never borrowed any of it: Thus Christ took our sins upon him, though in him was no sin, 2 Cor. 5.21, “He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin.”

We thankfully acknowledge, that Christ hath so fully satisfied the law for the sins of all that are his, that the debts of believers are fully discharged. His payment is full, and so therefore is our discharge and acquittal, Rom. 8.1,31. The guilt of believers is so perfectly abolished, that it shall never more bring him under condemnation, John 5.24. And so in Christ they are without fault before God.

As the guilt of our sins was by God’s imputation laid upon Christ, so the righteousness of Christ is by God imputed to believers, by virtue of their legal union with Christ; and becomes thereby truly theirs, for the justification of their particular persons before God, as if they themselves had in their own persons  suffered the death  threatened.

No inherent righteousness in our own persons, is, or can be more truly our own, for this end and purpose, than Christ’s imputed righteousness is our own. He is the Lord our righteousness, Jeremiah 23.6, We are made the righteousness of God in him, 1 Cor. 5.21.

But notwithstanding all this, we cannot say, that over and above the guilt of sin, that Christ became as completely sinful as we are. He that transgresses the precepts, sins: and the personal sin of one, cannot be in this respect, the personal sin of another. There is no transfusion of the transgression of the precept from one subject to another. This is utterly impossible; even Adam’s personal sins, considered in his single private capacity, are not infused to his posterity.

The guilt of our sin was that which was imputed unto Christ. I know but two ways in the world by which one man’s sins can be imagined to become another’s. Either by imputation, which is legal, and what we affirm; or by essential transfusion from subject to subject. We have as good ground to believe the absurd doctrine of transubstantiation, as this wild notion of the essential transfusion of sin.

If we should once imagine, that the very acts and habits of sin, with the odious deformity thereof, should pass from our persons to Christ and subjectively to inhere in him, as they do in us; then it would follow that our salvation would thereby be rendered utterly impossible. For such an inhesion of sin in the person of Christ is absolutely inconsistent with the hypostatical union, which union is the very foundation of his satisfaction, and our salvation. Though the Divine nature can, and doth dwell in union with the pure and sinless human nature of Christ, yet it cannot dwell in union with sin.

This supposition would render the blood of the cross altogether unable to satisfy for us. He could not have been the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world, if he had not been perfectly pure and spotless, 1 Pet. 1.19.

If the way of making our sins Christ’s by imputation, be thus rejected and derided; and Christ asserted by SOME OTHER WAY to become as completely sinful as we; then I cannot see which way to avoid it, but that the very same acts and habits of sin must inhere both in Christ and in believers also. For I suppose our adversaries will not deny, that notwithstanding God’s laying the sins of believers upon Christ, there remain in all believers after their justification, sinful inclinations and aversations; a law of sin in their members, a body of sin and death.

Did this indwelling sin pass from them to Christ? Why do they complain and groan of indwelling sin (as in Romans 7) if indwelling sin itself be so transferred from them to Christ? Sure, unless men will dare to say, the same acts and habits of sin which they feel in themselves, are as truly in Christ as in themselves, they have no ground to say, that by God’s laying their iniquities upon Christ, that Christ became as completely sinful as they are; and if they should so affirm, that affirmation would undermine the very foundation of their own salvation.

Nothing which Christ did or suffered, nothing that he undertook, or underwent, did, or could constitute him subjectively, inherently, and thereupon personally a sinner, or guilty of any sin of his own. To bear the guilt or blame of other men’s faults makes no man a sinner. So then this proposition, that by God’s laying our sins upon Christ (in some OTHER WAY THAN BY IMPUTATION of guilt) he became as completely sinful as we, will not, ought not to be received as the sound doctrine of the gospel.

Explore posts in the same categories: imputation

Tags: , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

11 Comments on “If Christ Were Made Sin Not Only By Imputation, by Flavel”


    Torrance can say that Jesus believed for us, or repented for us, but he ends up denying that Jesus paid legal satisfaction for anybody (bear sins).

    Torrance sneers at, disapproves of penal satisfaction, as an external forensic thing. But he never shows that “made sin” in II Cor 5:21 means anything other than imputation.

  2. markmcculley Says:

    he thesis is that for Christ to identify with us in our fallen condition, it was necessary for him to have a fallen human nature. By assuming humanity in its fallenness he redeemed it from where it actually is, otherwise he could not have saved us in our actual state as fallen human beings. This is akin to the teachings of Edward Irving and Karl Barth, as well as Torrance.
    This argument is a protest against all tendencies to docetism. An unfallen nature, it is held, would mean his humanity was not a real one for it would be detached from the world in which we find ourselves. Rather, Christ acted in redeeming love from within our own nature, sanctifying it and offering it up to the Father. Like Irving, Barth, and Torrance, the authors defend Christ’s sinlessness vigorously (p. 121–22). Indeed, they argue that his triumph is magnified by his living a sinless life from out of the depths of our own fallen nature.
    There are a range of problems with the claim. At best, it entails a Nestorian separation of the human nature from the person of Christ. The eternal Son—the person who takes humanity into union—is absolutely free from sin but the assumed humanity is fallen. If that were to be avoided, another hazard lurks; since Christ’s humanity never exists by itself any attribution of fallenness to that nature is a statement about Christ, the eternal Son.
    The authors do not consider biblical passages that tell against their views. Romans 5:12–21, crucial for understanding Paul’s gospel, is not mentioned. If Christ had a fallen human nature it is unavoidable that he would be included in the sin of Adam and its consequences. In short, he could not have saved us since he would have needed atonement himself, if only for his inclusion in the sin of Adam.
    The authors state that Christ assumed flesh “corrupted by original sin in Adam” (p. 116, italics original). He took a humanity “ruined and wrecked by sin” (p. 119), “corrupted human nature bent decisively toward sin” (p. 121). He healed the nature he took from us (p. 117). In this they acknowledge that a sinful nature and original sin are inextricably linked and that Christ himself needed healing. Such a Christ cannot save us for he needed saving himself.
    Christ’s healing of human nature happened from the moment of conception (p. 121–22). He was without sin. Thankfully this obviates the problem mentioned in the previous paragraph but simultaneously it destroys the argument for it means Christ’s humanity was not entirely like ours after all. Indeed, a citation of John Webster follows, in which he emphasises that Christ does not identify with us to the extent of being a sinner, has “a peculiar distance” from our own performance, does not follow our path, and has an “estrangement from us” due to his obedience (p. 122–23).
    The book’s argument can be turned on its head. For it to be sustained Christ should have a complete identity with fallen human nature and be a sinner. In this case he really would have been just like us. This Clark and Johnson, quite rightly, find unacceptable. A line has to be drawn somewhere.
    Throughout, the authors oppose the idea that Christ took into union a nature like Adam’s before the fall. However, this is not the only alternative. Reformed theology has taught that Christ lived in a state of humiliation, sinless and righteous but with a nature bearing the consequences of the fall in its mortality, its vulnerability and its suffering—but not fallen. Furthermore, the NT witness is that the incarnation is a new creation, the start of the new humanity, not a re-pristinization of the old. Christ is the second Adam, not the first. In the position the book opposes I fail to recognize the classic Reformed Christology.
    The authors’ premise is that anything other than a fallen nature would diminish Christ’s identification with us in our humanity. However, a fallen nature is intrinsic to a fallen human being but it is not definitive of, but incidental to, a human being. http://themelios.thegospelcoalition.org/review/the-incarnation-of-god-mystery-of-gospel-foundation-of-evangelical-theology

    • markmcculley Says:

      F F Bruce The point at issue is simply this: whether Christ’s flesh had the grace of sinlessness and incorruption from its proper nature, or from the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. I say the latter. I assert, that in its proper nature it was as the flesh of His Mother, but, by virtue of the Holy Ghost’s quickening and inhabiting of it, it was preserved sinless and incorruptible.

      While B W Newton repudiated Irving’s view that Christ accordingly inherited a sinful nature, he suggested that it was because of His federal relationship to Adam that He inherited such side-effects of the fall as ‘hunger, thirst, weariness, sorrow, etc.’, together with ‘the being possessed of a mortal body’. Some years later he repudiated this view in favour of one which accounted for Christ’s suffering such ills as flesh is heir to ‘in virtue of His having been made of a woman’. He realized that the view he had previously expressed might be thought to imply the corollary that Adam’s sin was imputed to Christ j

      In other papers Newton gave further consideration to the subject of Christ’s sufferings during His life (‘non-atoning’ sufferings, as he reckoned them) by expounding some of the ‘individual laments’ in the Psalter in a christological sense

      J. N. Darby, who led the attack against Newton, ran into trouble himself twelve years later because of papers on ‘The Sufferings of Christ’ contributed to The Bible Treasury in 1858 and 1859.6 Here he distinguished, in addition to Christ’s ill-treatment at the hands of men and the atoning sufferings endured vicariously on men’s behalf (the ‘cup’ which His Father gave him to drink), a third category, endured under the ‘governmental’ dealing of God when He ‘entered in heart into the indignation and wrath that lay on Israel’

      One symptom of the docetic tendency appears in the description of our Lord’s manhood as ‘heavenly humanity’, found in the works of C. H. Mackintosh and others..

      Writing in 1901, W. B. Neatby said, ‘A year or two ago I heard an address from a Brother of the Open Section, who actually taught that Christ did not die from crucifixion, but by a mere miraculous act.

      C. F. Hogg’s pamphlet, The Traditions and the Deposit: ‘What He did not know, He knew that He did not know’


  3. markmcculley Says:

    Balthasar argues that Christ must have suffered after death
    He rejects the idea of the limbo of the fathers, holding instead that Christ descended to the place (or state) of eternal punishment. Balthasar prefers to call this abode Sheol rather than hell, in part because he holds that Sheol is something worse than hell. There, Christ suffers the fate of unredeemed mankind: complete rejection by the Father. The Father’s rejection is just, since Christ is “literally ‘made sin’” in Sheol.

    Balthasar thinks that sin is something like a substantial reality due to the energy invested in it by the sinner. This idea has been criticized elsewhere for philosophical reasons, but merely to illustrate it here we might say that, by sinning, a person not only forfeits the good he might otherwise have become but also perverts that potentially positive part of his reality into something negative.

    Balthasar stresses that Sheol is not a place, however, but a condition and thus an intimate spiritual reality. Hence, just as a soul is united to God through the beatific vision , so likewise Christ does not merely “see” sin objectively outside himself but is subjectively united and conformed to it: He is “literally ‘made sin.’” Sin becomes embodied (technically, enhypostasized ) in the Son. The Father’s rejection of sin thus takes the form of his abandonment of the Son in Sheol .

    According to Balthasar, Christ descends not so much in his human soul united to his divine person but ultimately in his divinity alone: Christ’s humanity is “stretched” until “the whole superstructure of the Incarnation” is stripped away. . In Balthasar’s theology, Christ’s descent is expiatory rather than being the first application of the fruit of salvation. Humanity is redeemed by Christ’s cross insofar as the guilt of all sins is actually transferred to him there, but these sins remain to be expiated in Sheol through his suffering their punishment


    I’m told that some Eastern Orthodox Christians spit on the floor and stomp on it during their Holy Saturday observances. Lex orandi, lex credendi, the rule of prayer is the rule of faith. We often practice what we think should be preached. This curious liturgical practice makes sense if you hold to the traditional majority understanding of Holy Saturday. Here “he descended into hell” is actually understood in some sense to be a glorious ascent, as the newly enthroned Crucified King displays his regality by showing that he indeed is the one who holds “the keys of Death and Hades”. He preaches good news not to all the dead, but to the righteous dead, vindicating God’s promises to the Old Covenant faithful in the first inaugural act of his unfolding Easter reign.

    Calvin affirmed that Christ “descended into hell” but thought that a literal visit to the realm of the dead was childish mythology without real biblical foundations. How could Christ preach to the righteous dead in his descent? There are no righteous dead because all the dead Jew and Gentile alike are under the power of sin. (Rom 3:19-20) A passage like 1 Peter 3:19 can’t be taken literally according to Calvin. The proclamation to the spirits in prison is a symbolic one, indicating that the effects of Christ’s death penetrated even to the realm of the dead, emphasizing what was already true: God’s elect came to know that the grace which they only experienced in hope was manifest in the world, and the wicked came to know all the more clearly the nature of their lostness. The descent into hell means that Christ didn’t just die a physical death on the cross, but a spiritual one. He became sin for us and suffered the experience of death in God abandonment. The descent really happens when Christ bears the full weight of human sin at Calvary. Unlike the first view however, this understanding of the descent sees Christ’s victory not as the overcoming of death, but as taking place through his death.

    Von Balthasar affirms with the tradition a literal descent into hell on the day between his death and resurrection. However he doesn’t think it’s a victorious descent. With the tradition he assumes that the unassumed is the unhealed. With Calvin and Barth he affirms that Christ’s vicarious sacrifice must include not just the physical consequences of sin but the spiritual ones as well. He sees this as not just happening on the cross, but including a real suffering in perdition. In his descent Christ experiences the Godlessness of hell for us and our salvation. “And so it is really God who assumes what is radically contrary to the divine, what is eternally reprobated by God, in the form of supreme obedience of the Son towards the Father.” Holy Saturday involves a second death for Christ. On the cross Christ actively assumes the burden of human sin and God’s judgment on it. In hell, Christ passively embraces the same things, in solidarity with the dead’s passivity through accepting and sharing the absolute rejection of God.

    For von Balthasar hell is a Christological reality. We can only be certain that its population numbers one. On Holy Saturday we commemorate the Sheol of the Old Testament becoming the hell of the New one. Hell is a product of the redemptive work of Christ, “a product which henceforth must be ‘contemplated’ in its own ‘for itself’ by the Redeemer, so as to become, in its state of sheer reprobation that which exists ‘for him’: that over which, in his Resurrection, he receives the power and the keys.” Christ has power over death and hell because he suffered their fullness, and yet prevailed. As a result he defines hell, and in his risenness is Lord over it as well.

  4. markmcculley Says:

    Objective factual guilt can and is transferred legally but not as a “substance” , and so is righteousness (which is God’s value placed on Christ’s death and thus transferred legally not as a substance) Christ did not become corrupt in his humanity, as some Lutherans teach when they teach that all humanity is “objectively justified”

    Many say that only the punishment of our sins was transferred to Christ but not our guilt, some of them also say that justification is transferred to Christians but deny that objective righteousness is transferred to Christians because they say that “righteousness not a gas or a liquid or a solid or a thing”——-

    I quote one of them (john thomson)—–When we say Christ bore our ‘sins’ we do not mean that the guilt of sins as such were laid on Jesus, we believe that only the penalty for these sins is borne by him https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/righteousness-is-not-an-objective-thing-out-there/

  5. markmcculley Says:

    Erich Phillips explains heresy in Christology,—Paulson interprets the communicatio idiomatum not as God the Son sharing in human nature, but sharing in human sin (92). He interprets the Patristic dictum, “What was not assumed cannot be healed,” in the same willfully twisted way: “what Christ assumes from sinners is their sin” (103). As if I wanted my sin to be healed! No, I want to be healed of my sin! That is what the dictum actually means.

    How could Christ make a fitting sacrifice of Himself , if taking Human Nature meant taking Original Sin? Paulson’s two great errors flow together in his treatment of the Atonement, and the result is nothing short of appalling. How did Jesus save us? By breaking the Law Himself: Christ goes deeper yet into flesh to take our sin and acknowledged sins as his own, that is, he confessed them. This is like a man whose son has committed a crime, and out of selfless love the father steps in to take the punishment, but then goes so far that he irrationally comes to confess this crime so vehemently that he believes he has committed it—and as Luther famously said, “as you believe, so it is.” …

    Paulson teaches that Christ came to believe that his Father was not pleased with him, thus multiplying sin in himself just like any other l sinner who does not trust a promise from God. …Then finally in the words on the cross, “My God, my God…” Paulson teaches that Christ made the public confession of a sinner, “why have you forsaken me?” Confessing made it so, and thus Paulson teaches that Christ committed his own, personal sin

    Paulson—-Christ felt God’s wrath and took that experience as something truer than God’s own word of promise to him (“This is My Son, with whom I am well pleased”). Christ committed his own, personal sin.”(104) That’s exactly how Paulson defines Original Sin in another part of the book: “It is to receive a word from God in the form of a promise, and then to accuse God of withholding something of himself—calling God a liar” (152). Paulson defines sin as against grace, not as sin against law.

    And how is this supposed to work salvation for sinners, that the spotless Lamb should join them in the mud? Paulson says that by identifying so deeply with human beings as to take their sin and actually experience the act of sin, He confessed not just that He was a sinner, but that He was every sinner, the only sinner. The result of this confession, for some reason, was that “once the Law accused Christ, it looked around and found no other sin anywhere in the world and suddenly, unexpectedly, when Christ was crucified, its proper work came to a halt” (110). It is not clear at all by what principle this works. It seems a bizarre and inadequate theory to prefer to the Substitutionary Atonement taught in the Lutheran Confessions, but this is what Paulson means when he says that Christ “fulfilled the law


  6. markmcculley Says:

    a sovereign grace preacher —To say that Christ’s identifying with me the sinner was only legal and not actual would leave me only legally righteous and therefore not righteous so as to be able to enter God’s presence. What Christ suffered in His humanity did not alter His deity. Rather, He sacrificed His humanity on the altar of His deity. When Christ died, that death was the clearest evidence that He had been made sin for us. Don’t look for Bible for any of this Lent stuff


    Traditionalist —Christ didn’t suffer eternally. Jesus also was not annihilated. So in either case, Jesus’ punishment does not equally demonstrate the punishment of the wicked.While I do not holistically disagree with the conclusion, I also do not fully agree with the premise.

    Jesus experienced God’s wrath for us on the cross. The punishment was not solely death, but suffering God’s wrath

    Jesus should have died long before He hung on that cross because of the way He was beaten. But because He was sinless, and had not yet had sin imputed and placed upon Him the body He had was not yet ready to die.

    Why would Jesus have to experience the Father’s wrath if the punishment is truly realized in His death as some teach?

    It was only after sin was was imputed and laid upon He that He could cry, “It is finished!” And this was before he died physically. Jesus was able to endure sufficiently God’s wrath.

    Because of who Jesus was, just one tiny drop of blood spilled from an open wound inflicted upon Him would have been sufficient to save infinite legions of depraved sinners. He could have just had His throat slit like the lambs of the Old Testament. He could have had a swifter execution. But instead He chose one of the most excruciating death, with torture.

    Jesus was more than a substitute. He was THE Surpassing Substitute.. He didn’t just suffer a little of God’s wrath, but endured as much as was necessary to appease and satisfy His justice as a propitiation for our sins. And this was still infinitely more than He deserved. He endure more suffering, more pain, more sorrow, more agony not because of how long He was on the cross, but because He was on the cross!

    The punishment was not exactly what we should have received in its duration. But it was way more than we’ll ever experience, because He was innocent. This finite duration of punishment was of infinite value. in a finite amount of time

    • markmcculley Says:

      How many Deaths did Christ Die? , by J C Settlemoir, in The Grace Proclamator and Promulgator, July 2016

      Some people say that Jesus died spiritually before he died physically. They say Christ died TWO DEATHS. John Calvin, “If Christ had died only one death, it would have been ineffectual”.

      B H Carrol—“Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body, and spiritual death is the separation of the soul from God. So just before that darkness passed away, Christ died the spiritual death”,

      The first question we ask when men tell us that Jesus died spiritually, is, where is the Scripture which teaches this? Just saying it does not make it so.

      Scripture tells us when Christ died. Daniel 9:26 says that the Messiah will be CUT OFF from life. This cutting off occurred only once. Christ only died once. I Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all time, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God.

      Scripture does not speak of Christ’s deaths.
      Hebrews 10: 5
      You prepared a body for Me.
      6 You did not delight
      in whole burnt offerings and sin offerings.
      7 Then I said, “See—
      it is written about Me
      in the volume of the scroll—
      I have come to do Your will, God!”
      8 After He says above, You did not want or delight in sacrifices and offerings, whole burnt offerings and sin offerings (which are offered according to the law), 9 He then says, See, I have come to do Your will, He takes away the first to establish the second. 10 By this will of God, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all time

      If Christ Died Spiritually Before He Yielded up His Spirit, Then His Sacrifice was not Acceptable. Philippians 2: 8 He was obedient to death. Christ could not be obedient in a swoon. Was Christ obedient all the Way? If so, Christ did not die before His death.

  7. markmcculley Says:

    Flavel vs antinomian proposition, That we are as completely righteous as Christ is; or, that Christ is not more righteous than a believer.


    I cannot imagine what should induce any man so to express himself, unless it be a groundless conceit and fancy, that there is an essential transfusion of Christ’s justifying righteousness into believers, whereby it becomes theirs by way of subjective inhesion, and is in them in the very same manner it is in him: and so every individual believer becomes as completely righteous as Christ. And this conceit they would fain establish upon that text, 1 John 3.7, “He that doeth righteousness, is righteous, even as he is righteous.”

    But neither this expression, nor any other like it in the scriptures gives the least countenance to such a general and unwary position. It is far from the mind of this scripture, That the righteousness of Christ is formally and inherently ours, as it is his. Indeed it is ours relatively, not formally and inherently; not the same with his for quantity, though it be the same for verity. His righteousness is not ours in its universal value, though it be ours as to our particular use and necessity. Nor is it made ours to make us so many causes of salvation to others; but it is imputed to us as to the subjects, that are to be saved by it ourselves.

    It is true, we are justified and saved by the very righteousness of Christ, and no other; but that righteousness is formally inherent in him only, and is only materially imputed to us. It was actively his, but passively ours. He wrought it, though we wear it. It was wrought in the person of God-man for the whole church, and is imputed (not transfused) to every single believer for his own concernment only. For,

    (1.) It is most absurd to imagine that the righteousness of Christ should formally inhere in the person of every, or any believer, as it doth in the person of the mediator. The impossibility hereof appears plainly from the incapacity of the subject. The righteousness of Christ is an infinite righteousness, because it is the righteousness of God-man, and can therefore be subjected in no other person beside him. It is capable of being imputed to a finite creature, and therefore, in the way of imputation we are said to be made the righteousness of God in him; but though it may be imputed to a finite creature, it inheres only in the person of the Son of God, as in its proper subject. And indeed,

    (2.) If it should be inherent in us, it could not be imputed to us, as it is, Rom. 4.6,23. Nor need we go out of ourselves for {583} justification, as now we must, Phil. 3.9, but may justify ourselves by our own inherent righteousness. And,

    (3.) What should hinder, if this infinite righteousness of Christ were infused into us, and should make us as completely righteous as Christ; but that we might justify others also as Christ doth, and so we might be the saviours of the elect, as Christ is? Which is most absurd to imagine. And,

    (4.) According to Antinomian principles, What need was there that we should be justified at all? or, What place is left for the justification of any sinner in the world? For, according to their opinion, the justification of the elect is an immanent act of God before the world was; and that eternal act of justification, making the elect as completely righteous as Christ himself, there could not possibly be any the least guilt in the elect to be pardoned; and consequently no place or room could be left for any justification in time. And then it must follow, that seeing Christ died in time, for sin, according to the scriptures; it must be for his own sins that he died, and not for the sins of the elect; diametrically opposite to Rom. 4.25, and the whole current of scripture, and faith of Christians.

  8. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Numbers 23.21—“He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, nor seen perverseness in Israel.” Jeremiah 50.20, “In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.”

    Flavel–It is true, and we thankfully acknowledge it, that God sees no sin in believers as a judge sees guilt in a malefactor, to condemn him for it; that is a sure and comfortable truth for us: but to say he sees no sin in his children, as a displeased father, to correct and chasten them for it, is an assertion repugnant to scripture.

    (1.) It is injurious to God’s omniscience, Psalm 139.2, “Thou” (saith holy David), “knowest my down-sitting, and my up-rising, and understandest my thoughts afar off, and art acquainted with all my ways.” Job 28.24, “He looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heavens.” Prov. 15.3, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” Psalm 33.14,15, “From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth; he fashioneth their hearts alike, he considereth all their works.” He that denies that God seeth his most secret sins, therein, consequentially denies him to be God.

    (2.) This assertion is inconsistent with God’s providential dispensations to his people. When David, a justified believer, had sinned against him in the matter of Uriah, it is said, 2 Sam. 11.27, “the thing that David had done displeased the Lord:” and, as the effect of that displeasure, it is said, chapter 12.15. “The Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.” Among the Corinthians some that should not be {573} condemned with the world, were judged and chastened of the Lord for their undue approaches to his table, 1 Cor. 11.32.

    Now, I would ask the Antinomians these two questions. Question 1. Whether it can be denied, that David, under the Old Testament, and these Corinthians under the New, were justified persons; and yet the former stricken by God in his child, with its sickness and death; and the latter in like manner smitten by God in their own persons; and both for their respective sins committed against God; and yet God saw no sin in them? Did God smite them for sin, and yet behold no sin in them?

    “He hath not beheld wrong against Jacob, nor hath he seen grievance against Israel.” So that the meaning is not, that God did not see sin in Israel, but that he beheld not with approbation the wrongs and injuries done by others against his Israel; and shews at large, by divers solid reasons, why the Antinomian sense cannot be the proper sense of that place, it being cross to the main tenor of the story, and truth of God’s word; which shews, that God often complained of their sins, often threatened to avenge them; yea, did actually avenge them by destroying them in the wilderness.

    Balaam himself, who uttered these words unto Balak, did not so understand them, as appears by the advice he gave to Balak, to draw them into sin, that thereby God would be provoked to withdraw his protection from them.

  9. Mark Mcculley Says:

    1 John 5 16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not bring death, he should ask, and God will give life to him—to those who commit sin that doesn’t bring death. There is sin that brings death. I am not saying he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin that does not bring death.

    I John 5: 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, in order that we know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and lasting life.

    21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.

    Colossians 3:5 Put to death sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: