Then and Now.

Can the justified but not yet regenerate do good works? BAD QUESTION.

There are NO Justified sinners who are not yet believers in the gospel. This means that there are NOT Justified Sinners who are not yet regenerate. There are NO regenerate sinners who are not yet believing the gospel.

Luke 6: 3 “A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs aren’t gathered from thorn bushes, or grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.”

I have questions for those who teach “eternal justification”. Is a new legal state not enough to make good works possible?

If the elect are never under the wrath of God, how could there be such a thing as a new legal state for the elect?

Was there ever a new legal state for Christ?

Does Christ’s death to sin mean that Christ became corrupt fallen flesh but then later was “infused” with the divine nature? God forbid.

Does Christ’s death to sin mean that Christ by being in the environment of the world and of the old covenant age needed a deliverance from “the flesh” or even from the physical body? Once more, God forbid.

What does it mean that Christ died to sin? It means that the law of God demanded death for the sins of the elect imputed to Christ. As long as those sins were imputed to Christ, Christ was under sin, Christ became under law, Christ was under death.

Now death has no more power over Him? Why? Because the sins are no longer imputed to Him, but have been paid for and satisfied. The gospel is not only about God justifying, but also about God being justified when God justifies.

But what does the atonement and justification have to do with our doing good works?

is it really regeneration (not the legal state) which decides if we are good trees producing good fruit and offering acceptable works?

Romans 6:17 But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred to, 18 and having been liberated from sin,

mark asks—having been justified, or were you always that? having been regenerated?

Romans 6:17 you BECAME enslaved to righteousness.

mark asks—does “enslaved to righteousness” mean “justified,” or were you always that? or does “enslaved to righteousness” mean “having been regenerated?

“live” does not equal “regeneration’
“new creation” does NOT equal “regeneration”\
eternal life is not the new birth

John 5:24 “I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.

John 5: 25 “I assure you: An hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted to the Son to have life in Himself. 27 And He has granted Him the right to pass judgment, because He is the Son of Man.

I Corinthians 5:14 “one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live would no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, we regard no one according to the flesh”.

“Those who live” means those who are JUSTIFIED. The category of “we died” is not about a change of nature but about an imputed legal reality leading to a change of legal state.

The new man is not gradual transformation. it’s an either or—- this legal state or that legal state. The new is not continually caused by infusion or a “sacramental feeding on Christ” but by God’s imputation of what God did in Christ in His death and resurrection.

God the Father is the Imputer of God the Son’s Righteousness. God gives one of His elect faith when God imputes Christ’s Righteousness to his or her person. Before this act of imputation occurs that sinner is in a “STATE OF CONDEMNATION” and a “servant of sin”.

Romans 6: 17 But God be thanked, that ye WERE the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine whereto ye were delivered
18 Being THEN made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

“BEING THEN” not BEFORE THEN!” Under that form of doctrine God imputed His Sons Righteousness to your person and your STATE WAS FOREVER CHANGED from a state of guilt and condemnation ( having sins imputed to you) to a glorious STATE OF JUSTIFICATION, NOT GUILTY, JUSTIFIED by Christ’s Righteousness imputed to you THEN. Sin never again being imputed to you, your STATE was forever changed BY GOD.

Those who hold to this false doctrine of the imputation of Christ’s Righteousness to the elect in a timeless eternity do not deny the necessity of God not only purposing a thing but also actually accomplishing this purpose by Christ’s incarnation and death and resurrection. But logically their position on the eternal justification of elect sinners should also teach the eternal justification of Christ Himself. If indeed elect sinners were never under the wrath of God, then how could it be said that Christ was ever under the wrath of God for the sins of the elect imputed?

If elect sinners were justified in eternity, then these elect never needed to be placed into Christ’s death. And if Christ Himself was eternally justified, and never came under God’s wrath, then Christ Himself never needed to die under the law.

Eternal purpose was not enough. Christ took into union with His Divine nature that perfect, sinless humanity. Christ became incarnate in time, not in some timeless eternity. Christ in time came under the condemnation of the law for sins imputed. Christ in time by His death and resurrection was justified in time, not only in God’s purpose or God’s timeless eternity.

God’s imputation is so real and legal , that when the Father imputed the sins of the elect to Christ , THEN Christ who was innocent was accounted GUILTY, and God the Trinity was JUST and RIGHT to pay Christ the Subtitute the wages of their sins. Christ became the PROPITIATION to God’s justice for their sins, so much so that none for whom Christ died can or will perish.

Romans 6: 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death NO LONGER has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died HE DIED TO SIN once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.

Christ was never under grace and is still not under grace. Christ was under the law because of the imputed sins of the elect. Romans 6 is about Christ’s condemnation by the law and His death as satisfaction of that law. Christ after His resurrection is no longer under law. Christ’s elect, after their legal identification with Christ’s death, are no longer under law.

The death of the justified elect is the SAME legal death that Christ died. The “definitive resurrection” of the elect in Romans 6 is the result of being set apart with Christ (and His death) from being under law.

Christ was never under the power of sin in the sense of being unable not to sin. Christ was always unable to sin. The only way Christ was ever under the power of sin is by being under the guilt of sin. The guilt of the elect’s sin was legally transferred by God to Christ. Christ’s death to sin was death to the guilt of sin, and since the elect are united with His death, the death of the elect is also a death to the guilt of sin. Romans 6:7: “For one who has died has been justified from sin.

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6 Comments on “Then and Now.”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    omans 1: 16 does NOT READ For I am not ashamed of the gospel, For in the gospel God’s love is revealed

    Romans 1: 16 reads For I am not ashamed of the gospel,because it is God’s power for salvation to as many as who believe, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. 17 For in the gospel God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS is revealed

    Romans 1 :17 it is written: The righteous will live by faith

    Romans 1:17 does NOT teach that the elect are already justified apart from faith in God’s revealed righteousness

    Romans 1:17 does NOT teach that election is God’s righteousness

    Romans 1:17 does NOT teach that Christ already obtained justice for the elect before the ages

    Romans 1;17 does NOT teach that God’s purpose in Christ to obtain justice for the elect is the very same as Christ having already obtained justice for the elect

    God loved the elect before God made justice for the elect.
    God has already made justice for the elect

    God does demand justice
    But the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel is not God’s demand for justice
    The Righteousness of God revealed in the gospel is Christ’s death for the Elect to Bring in Justice for the Elect
    God has not placed all the elect into Christ’s death
    God has not yet imputed this justice accomplished and obtained to all the Elect

  2. markmcculley Says:

    in context, Ephesians 2 is talking about legal death and legal resurrection, not about corruption and the new birth—Ephesians 2 is about identification and quickening by Christ’s justifying death. It’s about Christ not about Christ’s Spirit Eph 2: 5 made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! 6 Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens… 10 For we are His CREATION, created in Christ Jesus for good works

  3. markmcculley Says:

    the claim is
    1. we don’t make timing an issue before we even start talking, we will say—even if you make timing an issue, we agree that you are brothers
    2. but if you don’t agree that we are brothers , then at that point we might have to question if you are brothers
    3. but remember, you say, you (not us) are the ones who made the issue. all we did was teach that the elect were justified at the same time (a timeless eternity) that they were elected
    4. we never said to anybody that Christ Himself was never under the wrath of God, we only said that the elect were never under the wrath of God
    well, let me ask you, was Christ the elect one, ever under the wrath of God? Was Christ himself in history ever under the condemnation of the law?
    maybe you just want to talk about the “application” of the atonement, but it’s impossible to say that the atonement was applied to all the elect before history, without also talking about Christ having completed the atonement. Did Christ complete the atonement before history? if Christ had already died for all the elect in some timeless eternity, then when was Christ ever under the wrath of God? If Christ had already died for all the elect before history, then why was His incarnation and death in redemptive history necessary?

  4. markmcculley Says:

    Revelation 13:8 written from the foundation of the ages n the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered
    Revelation 13: 10
    If anyone is destined for captivity,
    into captivity he goes.
    If anyone is to be killed with a sword,
    with a sword he will be killed.

    Jesus is not dying and has not been dying forever, but it has been God’s purpose forever that Jesus die only one TIME

    John 17: 24
    Father, I desire those You have given Me
    to see My glory,
    which You have given Me
    because You loved Me before the world’s foundation.

    I Peter 1:20 Christ, like a lamb without defect or blemish, was chosen before the foundation of the world but was revealed at the end of the ages

  5. markmcculley Says:

    2 Peter 1: 1 To those who have obtained a faith of equal privilege with ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ
    Romans 8:10–”Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin,the Spirit is life BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
    Galatians 4:– And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

    Ursinus: At first view it seems absurd that we should be justified by anything without us, or by something that belongs to another. We explain how the satisfaction of Christ becomes ours. Unless Christ’s righteousness be applied unto us, we cannot be justified by it, . God himself applies Christ’s righteousness unto us, that is, God makes the righteousness of Christ over unto us, and accepts of us as righteous on account of Christ’s righteousness.

    A. A. Hodge–In Protestant Soteriology, there is– 1st. clear distinction between the change of relation signalized by justification, and the change of character signalized by regeneration. . 2nd. The change of relation, the remission of penalty, and the restoration to favor involved in justification, necessarily precedes, and makes certain the change expressed by regeneration. The continuance of judicial condemnation precludes the exercise of grace. Remission of punishment must precede the work of the Holy Spirit. We are pardoned in order to be good, never made good in order to be pardoned.

    Election is not the Atonement, but God’s election decided for whom Christ Atoned. (God does not love the elect because of Christ’s death, Christ’s death for the elect was because of God’s love). The atoning death is not the justification, but all for whom Christ died have been or will be justified.

    Romans 4: Righteousness will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up because of our trespasses and raised because of our justification.

    ”Raised” is not the cause of the justification of the last elect person to be justified, but the justification of that last elect sinner is the cause of “raised”. Abraham’s justification while he was not yet circumcised is also the cause of “raised”

    One point of clarification. I deny that anybody is justified before God without believing the gospel, as I deny that any non-elect are in the new covenant. The elect are not born justified. The elect are not “eternally justified”. Christ’s righteousness is not justification. God’s imputation of righteousness results in faith. Nobody is justified (logically or temporally) before faith in the gospel. I do not teach two kinds of justification.

    Bavinck–Under the influence of…. Amyraldianism, there developed the neonomiam representation of the order of redemption which made forgiveness of sins and eternal life dependent on faith and obedience which man had to perform in accordance with the new law of the gospel. Parallel with this development, Pietism and Methodism arose which, with all their differences, also shifted the emphasis to the subject, and which either demanded a long experience or a sudden conversion as a condition for obtaining salvation.

    Bavinck–As a reaction against this came the development of anti-neonomianism, which had justification precede faith, and antinomianism which reduced justification to God’s eternal love. Reformed theologians usually tried to avoid both extremes, and for that purpose soon made use of the distinction between “active” and “passive justification.” This distinction is not found in the reformers; as a rule they speak of justification in a “concrete sense.” They do not treat of a justification from eternity, or of justification in the resurrection of Christ, or in the gospel, or before or after faith, but combine everything in a single concept.

    Bavinck–Efforts were made to keep both elements as close together as possible, while accepting only a logical and not a temporal distinction. However, even then, there were those who objected to this distinction inasmuch as the gospel mentions no names and does not say to anyone, personally: Your sins have been forgiven. Therefore it is not proper for any man to take as his starting point the belief that his sins have been forgiven.

    Bavinck– There is no reason to recommend speaking of eternal justification. If one says that “justification as an act immanent in God” must of necessity be eternal, then it should be remembered that taken in that sense everything, including creation, incarnation, atonement, calling, regeneration, is eternal. Whoever would speak of an eternal creation would give cause for great misunderstanding. Besides, the proponents of this view back off themselves, when, out of the fear of antinomianism, they assert strongly that eternal justification is not the only, full, and complete justification, but that it has a tendency and purpose to realise itself outwardly. This amounts really to the usual distinction between the decree and its execution. The counsel of God and all decrees contained therein as a unit are without doubt eternal “immanent acts”, but the external works of God, creation, preservation, governing, redemption, justification, etc., are in the nature of the case “transient acts.” As works they do not belong to the plan of God’s ordering but to the execution of it

  6. markmcculley Says:

    I hear this preacher soundbite—“it’s a precious and rare thing to find a sinner” It’s like preachers are saying that’s the end of the story, and thee is no more need to know about Christ and how Christ atoned or how Christ justifies

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

    you can be a sinner without being justified
    you can know you are a sinner without being justified
    God never will justify all sinners

    Jesus rejects many sinners as His guilty clients, because Jesus was never the mediator for many guilty sinners

    God’s election comes first before Christ’s atonement
    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.


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