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.