Corruption Not the Condition of Guilt, The New Birth Not the Condition of Justification, by AA Hodge

The question is one as to order, not of time, but of cause and effect. All agree (1) That the satisfaction and merit of Christ
are the necessary precondition of regeneration and faith as directly as of justification; (2) That regeneration and justification are both
gracious acts of God; (3) That they take place at the same moment of time. The only question is, What is the true order of causation?

Is the righteousness of Christ imputed to us that we may believe, or is it imputed to us because we believe? Is justification an analytic
judgment, to the effect that this man, though a sinner, yet being a believer, is justified? Or is it a synthetic judgment, to the effect
that this sinner is justified for Christ’s sake.

“By consequence, the imputation of Christ’s righteous to us is the necessary precondition of the restoration to us of the influences of
the Holy Spirit, and that restoration leads by necessary consequence to our regeneration and sanctification.

“The notion that the necessary precondition of the imputation to us of Christ’s righteousness is our own faith, of which the necessary
precondition is regeneration, is analogous to the rejected theory that the inherent personal moral corruption of each of Adam’s descendants is the necessary precondition of the imputation of his guilt to them.

“On the contrary, if the imputation of guilt is the causal antecedent of inherent depravity, in like manner the imputation of righteousness
must be the causal antecedent of regeneration and faith.”

From The Princeton Review —A. A. Hodge, “The Ordo Salutis”

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2 Comments on “Corruption Not the Condition of Guilt, The New Birth Not the Condition of Justification, by AA Hodge”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    Charles Hodge— If that assertion is, ‘all men are regarded as sinners on account of Adam,’ the meaning and pertinency of these verses are clear. But if Romns 5: 12 asserts merely that all men are sinners, then verses. 13, 14 must be regarded as proving that men were sinners before the time of Moses – a point which no one denied, and no one doubted, and which is here entirely foreign to the apostle’s object

    Of course it is not denied that men are subject to death for their own sins; but that is nothing to the point which the apostle has in hand. His design is to show that there is penal evil to which men are subject, anterior to any personal transgression or inherent corruption.


    In other words, it was “by the offense of one man that judgment came on all men to condemnation.” It is of course not implied in this statement or argument, that men are not now, or were not from Adam to Moses, punishable for their own sins, but simply that they are subject to penal evils which cannot be accounted for on the ground of their personal transgressions

  2. markmcculley Says:

    A A Hodge—Protestant advocates of Baptismal Regeneration, without committing themselves to the Romish theory of an opus operatum, hold that baptism is God’s ordained instrument of communicating the benefits of redemption in the first instance. That whatever gracious experiences may be enjoyed by the unbaptized, are uncovenanted mercies. That by baptism the guilt of original sin is removed, and the Holy Ghost is given, whose effects remain like a seed in the soul, to be actualized by the free-will of the subject, or neglected and hence rendered abortive. Every infant is regenerated when baptized. If he dies in infancy the seed is actualized in paradise. If he lives to adult age, its result depends upon his use of it (Blunt’s “Dict. of Theology,” Art. Baptism). See above, Ch. 29., Ques. 4.

    Hodge–1st. Faith and repentance are the fruits of regeneration. But faith and repentance are required as conditions prerequisite to baptism.- Acts 2:38;8:37;10:47, 11:17.

    2nd. This doctrine is identical with that of the Pharisees, which Christ and his apostles constantly rebuked.–Matt. 23:23-26. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith that worketh by love–but a new creature.”–Gal. 5:6, and 6:15; Rom. 2:25-29. Faith alone is said to save, the absence of faith alone to damn.–Acts 16:31, and Mark 16:16.

    3rd. The entire spirit and method of the gospel is ethical not magical. The great instrument of the Holy Ghost is the TRUTH, and all that is ever said of the efficacy of the sacraments is said of the efficacy of the truth. They are means of grace therefore in common with the word and as they contain and seal it (1 Pet. 1:23, and John 17:17,19). Our Savior says “by their fruits ye shall know them.”–(Matt. 7:20).

    4th. This doctrine is disproved by experience. Vast multitudes of the baptized of all ages and nations bring forth none of the fruits of regeneration. Multitudes who were never baptized have produced these fruits. The ages and communities in which this doctrine has been most strictly held have been conspicuous for spiritual barrenness.

    5th. The great evil of the system of which the doctrine of baptismal regeneration is a part, is that it tends to make religion a matter of external and magical forms, and hence to promote rationalistic skepticism among the intelligent, and superstition among the ignorant and morbid, and to dissociate among all classes religion and morality.”

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