Archive for May 2016

Christ Offered His Death to God One Time Only

May 22, 2016

Hebrews 7: 26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he DID THIS ONCE FOR ALL WHEN HE OFFERED UP HIMSELF.

A W Pink–The description given of Him as “High Priest” in Hebrews 7:26 has no reason whatever if it does not treat of what He was here upon earth. Understanding it to describe one of Christ’s perfections while He was here in the world, it is full of significance.

George Smeaton declare, “Hebrews 7:26, 27 show Christ on earth, as both Priest and Sacrifice. The ‘such’ of verse 26 refers not back to verses 1-25, but to verse 27, The qualifications described, holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, are descriptive of what He was here on earth when brought into contact with sin and sinners”.

Once upon a time, in once place, there was not only a death but a ritual legal death given by God the Son. No other death is the effectual sacrifice to God. Romans 6: 9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. 10 For in light of the fact that He died, He died to sin once for all time

AW Pink— “Made higher than the heavens” in Hebrews 7:26. Who was? The first part of the verse tells us:–our “High Priest”! Note also that the last clause of verse 27, “this He did once, when He offered up Himself”. In what specific character is Christ there viewed? Why, as “High Priest”. As we are told in Hebrews 2:17, “He was a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation (Greek) for the sins of the people”, and as Romans 3:25 plainly declares, He made propitiation AT THE CROSS. So again, in Hebrews 4:14 we read, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest that is passed into the heavens”.

HE DID NOT ENTER HEAVEN TO BECOME A PRIEST. Christ was “Priest” when He “passed into the heavens”.

Pink–There is no excuse whatever for a mistake at this point, and our only reason for laboring it is that many who have boasted so loudly of their orthodoxy have systematically denied it. That Christ’s sacrifice was a priestly one is clear from Ephesians 5:2, “Christ . . . hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God”: not only as a “sacrifice” but as “an offering”, and none offered to God the sacrifices of Israel save the priests.

Pink–That Christ did NOT become Priest after He entered into heaven is also unequivocally established by Hebrews 9:11, 12, “But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands . . . by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, HAVING OBTAINED eternal redemption for us”.

Pink–Therefore we say that they who teach Christ became priest after His ascension are unconsciously or consciously, ignorantly or maliciously, corrupting the Truth of God and denying one of the most cardinal articles of our holy faith.

Romans 3:25–”Christ Jesus, whom God put forth as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith…”

Andrew Fuller, an enemy of the gospel (Reply to Philanthropos, Complete Works,II, p 499) comments: “There would be no propriety in saying of Christ that He is set forth to be an expiatory sacrifice THROUGH FAITH IN HIS BLOOD, because He was a sacrifice for sin prior to the consideration of our believing in Him. The text does not express what Christ WAS as laying down His life , but what He IS in consequence of it.”

Though Andrew Fuller affirmed a particular atonement in a certain sense– in that the atonement will procure faith for only the elect–he is not willing to say that Christ was only the propitiation for the elect alone. Instead of telling the plain truth, that Christ either already died for a sinner or already did not, Andrew Fuller wanted to say that Christ died for all sinners in some sense. The Marrow people say it this way—Christ is dead for you. But Christ is not dead. Christ died only the one time. Christ certainly does not go back and die again if you choose to accept him! Christ is not “timelessly dying”.

Andrew Fuller denied that Christ in the past propitiated the Tri-une God for the sins of any specific person. Rather, Andrew Fuller promoted the lie that Christ died to make an offer of propitiation to every sinner. According to Andrew Fuller, this is the nature and design and intent of what Christ did, that there could be propitiation now if the Holy Spirit were to cause a sinner to accept the offer of propitiation and thus join themselves to Christ through faith .
Andrew Fuller asserted an universal conditional sufficiency in Christ’s death for all sinners. It is a sneaky and subtle doctrine, but Andrew Fuller was a sneaky and subtle man, much like John Wesley.

What did Andrew Fuller accomplish by shifting from what Christ DID ONE TIME back then over there to who Christ Is and what He can do here and now if the Spirit helps a sinner to take up the offer?

Andrew Fuller changed the meaning of the propitiatory death of Christ. With the Arminians, Andrew Fuller makes the propitiation to be dependent on the sinner having faith. The sneaky part is that, with the Calvinists, Andrew Fuller also makes the having faith part be dependent on what God (now?) procures by means of Christ’s death.

Andrew Fuller ends up putting the emphasis on sovereignty as opposed to justice. God is sovereign now to procure faith for sinners with Christ’s death. The idea that God has already been justly propitiated for a sinner (or not) is no longer in the picture. Andrew Fuller opposed the gospel of God being justified in justifying the ungodly. Fuller set aside justice in the name of grace.

Two comments. First, even though those who follow Andrew Fuller claim that the only way to be consistent in teaching a definite propitiation (what Christ WAS as laying down his life) is to teach an eternal justification, where the elect only subjectively find out that they were always justified, I do not (and Abraham Booth did not) teach that any unbeliever is justified.

All the justified elect are people who believe the gospel. Belief in the gospel is an immediate consequence (not a condition) of God’s imputation of the righteousness of Christ’s death to the elect. “Through faith” in Romans 3:25 does not mean “conditioned on faith”. Faith for the elect is what justice demands AFTER righteousness is imputed to them. Faith as a gift to the elect is Christ’s right because of what Christ WAS AND DID.

So I can and do say to any unbeliever, unless you believe the gospel, you are not yet justified. But I also say to those unbelievers: your believing is not something you can or will do unless Christ died for you, and you will never know if Christ did until you believe the gospel.

Andrew Fuller was teaching that God is governmentally sovereign and therefore God can do whatever God wants to do now with what Christ did then. If so, why did Christ die that one time ? To make something possible? So that propitiation “might” happen?

To ask such questions leads to another question. If God’s sovereignty makes justice unnecessary in His government, why did Christ need to die at all? If the meaning was only to be assigned later, is that meaning a matter of justice or only arbitrary?

Smeaton—We Died When He Died—Don’t Reduce Substitution Into Participation

May 1, 2016

Smeaton, The Apostles Doctrine of the Atonement : To understand what is meant by dying with Christ, we need to see the connection between the previous chapter and Romans 6. In Romans 5:12-19 Paul described our standing in Christ, and then he added “where sin abounded, grace much more abounded.” Anticipating the objection that would be made to such a view of God’s grace, Paul says, “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” and then he rejects that thought with total abhorrence of the idea.

But not content with his mere “God forbid” rejection of the thought, he then goes on to prove that this type of perversion of grace could not logically follow for a reason which touches the deep elements of God’s moral government, and makes it totally impossible. Paul argues from a fact-the great objective change of relation that comes from dying with Christ.

We need to ask, then, what Paul means by these expressions that he uses, on which he makes his point so strongly (verse 12): “dying with Christ”, “dying to sin”, “buried with Christ”, “crucified with Christ”. One particular verse of Scripture will give us a key to the meaning of the above phrases: For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 2 Corinthians 5:14

In this passage, Paul uses two expressions interchangeably; that is, “He died for all”, and “all died in Him.” He is describing the same thing from two different points of view. The first of these expressions describes the vicarious death of Christ as an objective fact. The second phrase speaks of the same great transaction, in terms that indicate that we too have done it. So then, we may either say, “Christ died for us”, or “we died in Him.” Both are true. We can equally affirm that He was crucified for us, or we were co-crucified with Him.

We are not referring here to two acts-one on Christ’s side and another on ours. Rather,we have but one public representative, corporate act performed by the Son of God, in which we share as truly as if we had accomplished the atonement ourselves.
It is a mistake to not carry Romans 5 into Romans 6. If we carry the thought of the representative character of the two Adams from the one chapter into the other, then the difficulty vanishes.

All men sinned in the first man’s act of sin; for that public act was representative, and all Adam’s offspring were included in it. From God’s perspective, there have been but two men in the world, with the two families of which they are the heads; there have been just two public representatives. The idea of Christ being our Surety and the representation of His atonement as the act of “one for many”, run through this entire section of Romans. But the passage we are studying (Romans 6:1-8) contains one difference as compared with other passages, and that is that here we are described as doing what our representative did.

Let us notice the expressions used in Romans 6:1-8: It is said that “we died to sin (verse 2). As this phrase is misunderstood quite requently, we must discover what it really means. It frequently occurs in the writings of Paul in different forms, and it always alludes, not to an inward deliverance from sin, but to the Christian’s objective relation. It means that we are legally dead to sin in Jesus Christ.

This is made very clear by two other expressions occurring in the section. The first of these passages applies the same language to the Lord Himself; for He is said to have died to sin once (verse 10). Now the only sense in which the Sinless One can be regarded as dying to sin, is that of dying to its guilt, or to the condemning power which goes along with sin, and which must run its course wherever sin has been committed. He died to the guilt or criminality of sin when it was laid on Him. He certainly did not die to sins indwelling power.

The second of these phrases shows that this dying was the meritorious cause of our justification. “He that is dead has been justified from sin” (verse 7). The justification of the Christian is thus based on his co-dying with Christ; that is, we are said to have died when Christ died, and to have done what Christ did. The words undoubtedly mean a co-dying with Christ in that one corporate representative deed; that is, they mean that we were one with Christ in His obedience unto death, just like we were one with Adam in his disobedience.

Christ’s death to sin belongs to us, and is as much ours as if we had born the penalty ourselves. And the justification by which we are forgiven and accepted has no other foundation. It is noteworthy that Romans 5 describes all this in the third person, whereas Romans 6 describes it in the first person, and from our own share in it.

Paul also says in this section that our old man is crucified, or co-crucified with Him. The entire section of which this is a part is to be regarded not as an exhortation, but as the simple statement of fact; this passage does not set forth anything done by us, but something done on our account, or for our sake, by a Surety, in whose performance we participate.

It might be asked, “can’t we understand that these statements designate two separate actions, one done by Christ, and a similar or parallel one by us?” NO. The acts are not two, but one, described from two different points of view. There is not one crucifixion on the part of Christ, and a second, parallel and similar but different, crucifixion on the part of His people. There is but one corporate act—the act of “one for many.”

But what is the old man that is said to be co-crucified with the Lord? Does not this refer to our inward corruption? NO it does not. Such an explanation is untenable, as it would make the expression synonymous with the next clause which is not only bad theology but also inept reasoning. Instead, the first clause is made the condition of the second.

The old man is crucified in order that the body of sin (sin within us, or the flesh) be destroyed. Now there must be a difference between the two clauses, as the former is in order to attain the latter. The old man said to be crucified with Christ, is therefore our standing “in Adam”, which is terminated so that we have a new relationship to God in the crucified Surety.

To summarize, Romans 6:1-5 says we have been crucified with Christ, which tells us that our standing has changed from being “in Adam” (with its curse and condemnation) to being “in Christ” (with all of its blessings and benefits). The first five verses of Romans 6 are statements of fact, then verse 6 is an exhortation, so a one-sentence summary is, “because we were crucified with Christ, we should no longer be slaves of sin.”

But to bring even more clarity to the mind of his readers Paul says we were baptized into His death (verse 3). Christ is presented to us as laden with sin, and satisfying divine justice; and baptism, as a symbolical representation, shows our connection with Him, or rather our participation in that great corporate act which Jesus did on the cross, in the place of all His people.

We are seen as having done what He did, and to have done what He did, and to have undergone what He underwent, to satisfy divine justice. The symbol of baptism teaches this, and Paul tells us the fact that it was a baptism into His death, an emblem of oneness with Christ, or fellowship with Him in His death to sin (verse 10).

The death was the price of the life. The one was the cause, the other was the unfailing reward or consequence. The apostle declares that not only was the death of Christ a substitution in our place, but that the consequences of it being a substitution are that we may be said to have done what He did. And, because of our oneness with Him, we are discharged from sin as a master.

The Glory of the Atonement

Is Hell Where God Lets Some Sinners Keep Living and Sinning?

May 1, 2016

Revelation 22: 14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, in order to have the right to the tree of life and to enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

Revelation 21: 8 But the cowards, unbelievers,[f]vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars—their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Revelation 21: 25 Each day its gates will never close because it will never be night there. 26 They will bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. 27 Nothing profane will ever enter it: no one who does what is vile or false, but only those written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Are those who have not been given the right to the tree of life going to live also, but just in another place?

http://www.afterlife.co.nz/2013/theology/evangelical-annihilationism/revelation-221415-the-fate-of-the-wicked/ Don Fortner—-We are creatures made in the image and likeness of God. We live in these bodies but we are immortal, undying souls. You are going to spend eternity somewhere, either in everlasting life in heaven or in everlasting death in hell.
http://www.donfortner.com/sermon_notes/47_2_corinthians/2co%2005v01-06v02%20We%20Persuade%20Men%201485.htm

CS Lewis, The Weight of Glory—“there are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal”

Genesis 1: 20 Then God said, “Let the water swarm with living beings, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the large sea-creatures and every living being that moves and swarms in the water, according to their kinds.

Genesis 2: 7 Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.

Matthew 10: 28 Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body
Mark 8: 36 For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his LIFE ? 37 What can a man give in exchange for his LIFE

C.S. Lewis describes Gehenna as filled with sinners to whom God says “your will be done”, with the gates are “locked from the inside”. But no human has life or will have the lasting life of the age to come unless God has elected them and give them this life by grace. The lake of fire is “the second death” and that will be final and permanent closure, with no more life for all sinners who die outside Christ.

Revelation 20: 13 Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works. 14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH, the lake of fire. 15 And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Many people seem to assume that a second death after a first death means there will be more dying to come, and they conclude that this means that death is not really death. But a dying which never gets dead is NOT death. The confusion about different kinds of death (one death is not another kind of death) is caused by the reality that all humans are born dead. We are born guilty, and deserve death because of God’s imputation of Adam’s guilt to us. Even though as babies we just started to live (we were not immortal) we were born condemned, without justification, without any right to the lasting life of the age to come. Even though the first death and the second death have not yet happened to a new born baby, all babies are without the life which comes by being placed into Christ’s death (being imputed with Christ’s righteousness.)

John 3: 17 For God did not send His Son into the world in order to condemn the world, but in order that the world be saved through Him. 18 Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.

These verses do not mean that babies are not condemned until after they reject the gospel. The gospel is a promise to only as many as believe, and there is never any grace for the non-elect. These verses teach us that God by God’s sovereign nature will not and does not give life apart from the gospel. Those who don’t hear the gospel stay condemned in the guilt in which they were born. Those who reject the gospel are not condemned by the gospel but they do stay condemned in the guilt in which they were born.

I John 5: 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us the lasting life of the age to come , and this life is in His Son. 12 The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesn’t have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you know that you have the lasting life of the age to come.

Despite talk of an “absolute contrast” between the saved and the lost, many traditional preachers assume that both the saved and the lost will “live for eternity”. So they don’t think the antithesis between life in Christ and “existing in eternity” without Christ is so opposite as they say.

Revelation 21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed. 2 I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
3 Then I heard a loud voice from the throne:
Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity,
and He will live with them.
They will be His people,
and God Himself will be with them
and be their God.

One day the old will be gone. One day the old age will be gone. One day heaven will come to earth. One day heaven and earth will be together. One day heaven and earth will be new.

Ephesians 1: according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to UNITE ALL THINGS in him, things in HEAVEN and things on EARTH.

Isaiah 66: 17 “For I will create a new heaven and a new earth;
the past events will not be remembered or come to mind.

Revelation 21: 25 Each day its gates will never close because it will never be night there. 26 They will bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. 27 Nothing profane will ever enter it: no one who does what is vile or false, but only those written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Why will the gates of the New Jerusalem never be closed? Why will the new Jerusalem have gates? Is it because the condemned non-elect will still living outside the gates and still wanting to bring their sin into the city? No. There will be no inequality in the new Jerusalem, no margins, no fringes, no one percent, no death…

Revelation 21: 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will no longer exist;
grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer,
because the previous things have passed away.
5 Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.”

Revelation 21: 8 But unbelievers….their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

God does not plead with the sinners—“believe in me or go your way with your life and your own sin”. God says to sinners— you were born legally dead and you will die. You will not go your own way. You will stop going. You will die. The wages of sin is death. Your only hope for life is the gospel.

II Timothy 1: 9 God has saved us and called us
with a holy calling,
not according to our works,
but according to His own purpose and grace,
which was given to us in Christ Jesus
before the ages began.
10 This has now been made evident
through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus,
who has ABOLISHED DEATH
and has brought life and immortality to light
through the gospel.
11 For this gospel I was appointed a herald, apostle, and teacher, 12 and that is why I suffer these things

According to the purpose of God, death will be abolished. Now that Christ was both priest and and sacrifice on earth, Christ has died the one death which abolishes death. Even though the abolishing of death has been legally secured by Christ’s one act of righteousness, that death is not legally counted to all elect babies when they are born, but only in time with the result being life by God’s effectual calling.

If the Lord Jesus does not come before they die, the justified elect will die the first death but they will not die the second death. Those without justification WILL die the second death and then there will be no more death. Death will be abolished. God does not give the life of the age to come apart from the gospel, but through the gospel.

Revelation 14 : 9 And a third angel followed them and spoke with a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he will also drink the wine of God’s wrath, which is mixed full strength in the cup of His anger. He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the sight of the holy angels and in the sight of the Lamb, 11 and the smoke of their torment will go up forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or anyone who receives the mark of his name. 12 This demands the perseverance of the saints, who keep God’s commands and their faith in Jesus.”

Revelation 20: 10 The Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night for ages and ages 11 Then I saw a great white throne and One seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. 12 I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and BOOKS were opened. ANOTHER BOOK was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books. 13 Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works. 14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Earth and heaven fled from the presence of the one seated on the throne, and no place was found for earth and heaven?

Death and Hades gave up their dead.

Death and Hades were thrown into the second death.

Matthew 25: 45 “Then He will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me either.’ 46 “And they will go away into permanent punishment of the age to come, but the righteous into the lasting life of the age to come.”

Packer: The assertion that in the age to come life is the sort of thing that goes on while punishment is the sort of thing that ends —begs the question.

mark: would it change anything if we said that life is the sort of thing that goes on living while death is the sort of thing which stays dead?

if you stay dead, is that a “sustained event”?

if you substitute punishment for “perish” or ‘destruction”, does that change anything?

is ‘eternal redemption” a “sustained event’?

if redemption is “once for all time”, does that mean that redemption is not “everlasting’?

why does exclusion rule out destruction?

has the thing destroyed been excluded?

or does it have to be destroyed in such a way that it is never destroyed in order to keep on being excluded?