Who Gets to Decide if the Bible Says This is a Gospel Issue?

Zechariah 7:11 But they refused to pay attention, turned a stubborn shoulder and closed their EARS so they could not hear.

Luke 2: 22 And when the days of purification according to the law of Moses were finished, they brought the baby Jesus up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord: Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord 24 and to offer a sacrifice (according to what is stated in the law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons)

Was the death of Jesus only the part that takes away sins, but this presentation in the temple part of the righteousness that is the “active obedience” which obtains the positive blessngs of salvation?

Luke 2 25 There was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon who was righteous, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on Simeon 26 It had been revealed to Simeon by the Holy Spirit that Simeon would not see death before he saw the Messiah.

But isn’t it always better to die, and not delay death, so we can go straight to heaven to see God?

Luke 2:27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon entered the temple complex. When the parents brought in the baby Jesus to perform for the baby what was traditional under the law, 28 Simeon took the baby Jesus up in his arms, praised God, and said: 29 Now, Master, You can dismiss Your slave in peace, as You promised. 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation. 34 Then Simeon told Mary the mother of Jesus “Indeed, this baby is destined to cause the fall and rise of many and be opposed. The thoughts of many will be revealed.”

Romans 11: I have left 7,000 for Myself who have not bowed down to Baal. 5 In the same way, then, there is also at the present time a
remnant CHOSEN by grace. 6 Now if by grace, then it is not by works. OTHERWISE grace ceases to be grace.
7 What then? Israel did not find what it was looking for, but the ELECT did find it. The rest were hardened, 8 as it is written:
God gave them a spirit of insensitivity, eyes that cannot see and EARS that CANNOT hear,

Communication is difficult. Sometimes people listen to us and even understand what we are saying, but then “translate” what we say into something they believe. They erase the difference between what they think and what we think, in the interests of what they call peace and unity. When we notice the difference, we see that what we said has been erased—-their “translating” is them turning what everybody says into something they say. We are the dummies—they are speaking through us.

But,at many times, it’s mutual. We translate the other incorrectly because we misunderstand each other. Paul Newman–in the movie Cool Hand Luke—-“failure to communicate”. Yes, they don’t “get it” but the reason they don’t receive it is because God has not yet revealed it to them.

Or to say “it” differently, we don’t understand and don’t receive it because God has not yet revealed it to us. God is going to have to teach it to us if we get taught. God is going to use somebody to teach them what they don’t know and understand yet, but perhaps it will not be us who God is going to use to teach it to them.

When “they” cut off discussion, and start making accusations, we become defensive. It’s not a good indictment of us or of the truth for us to be told “well, you are being defensive”. Nor does it really prove anything one way or the other that they are the ones who shut down the conversation and started “hurling invective” at us. It’s possible that a person who says “there is nothing to discuss here” is correct about the thing they think needs no discussion. It’s possible that even the truth needs discussion.

To say that something is (or is not) part of the gospel begs the question—WHAT IS THE GOSPEL. I myself already had my current view on immortality as the gift of God BEFORE I learned the gospel. We can be very correct about election and still very wrong on the gospel. Before I learned that Christ’s righteousness is Christ’s death as that which justifies God and sinners, I did not yet know the gospel because I did not yet know the Bible doctrine of justification. But I think I was already correct about God’s permanent punishment for the condemned This is why I don’t worry about others separating themselves from me. It makes sense to avoid me if that allows you to keep thinking and talking about the gospel. Surely none of us should intentionally misrepresent the views of others. And we should attempt to be careful enough not to unintentionally “mistranslate” what others are saying. But at the end of the day, we all need to be taught the gospel by God.

denying the traditional view of sinners sinning forever and
being totrured forever
that just feels wrong to me
therefore it is wrong

i mean there are bad people on both sides of the wall
so don’t be saying bad stuff about real americans unless you are fair and balanced
about mexicans and other people who won’t salute the flag

you see, there are different aspects and senses to justification
in a sense, the wall has been built
but in another sense, the wall needs to be built
if the wall is in the purpose of God, in one sense the wall has been built
but in another sense, the money has not yet been appropriated,
the wall needs to be built

you can go either way with eternal justification
because there are two justifications
one before God, and in that sense you were never justified but already always justified
but justification number two not before God but before your
conscience, and in that sense you can doubletalk like trump

even though the Bible does not talk like that
sure, sanctified already (or not), and the elect were always sanctified
but in another sense, growing and progressing in sanctification
and if you should happen to say
well, that’s not what sanctification means

we could answer with a question, but is it a gospel issue?
and do we have a pope to tell us?
that eternal justification is not a gospel issue
because there are different senses to justification
but progressive sanctification is a gospel issue
shall we take a vote on the other stuff?

is a future for the Jews a gospel issue?
is keeping a day as sabbath a gospel issue?
who’s voting?
and is the vote taking place
on one side of a wall in texas?

Are those who feel that the nature of permanent death is “no big gospel deal” calling God a liar?

Is Sonny H taking sides with “tradition”? Does Sonny H have more scruples than others? Is Sonny H less “benighted” than those who have written in detail about the various Bible texts in question?

Since Sonny H sees no difference between “unitarians” and “univeralists” and those who teach that God can and does destroy the non-elect who perish, does this mean that Sonny H cannot tell the difference between a person who still teaches Armninianism (Christ died for all without saving any) and those who have been regenerated by means of a different gospel?

Sonny–“Many of those who say very Arminian things don’t really believe those things and even though they don’t know yet know the truth, they are saved by the power of the gospel.—“If a professing Arminian is saved, it is despite their Arminianism. There are professing Arminians who are in the rudimentary stages of their faith that may be unlettered or ill advised about what they really know. However, if they are regenerate, they are not Arminian.”

What is the righteousness revealed in the gospel?
Is the righteousness revealed God’s sovereignty in regeneration or is the righteousness revealed in the gospel Christ’s death only for the sins of the elect?

Is the righteousness revealed in the gospel the infinite torture of Christ or is it Christ’s death?

Sonny Hernandez, High Calvinism, p 91—The problem of the new Calvinists lies especially in conduct…You cannot have Puritan soteriology without Puritan sanctification….p45 The sure promise of God which God realises IN US makes it impossible that we not bring forth fruits

“Hurling invective” is a phrase associated with Jean Shepherd, the writer of The Christmas Story.


if you want to think about IN THE PRIVACY OF YOUR OWN HOME the topic of immortality given and the persmenant punishment of the non-elect









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18 Comments on “Who Gets to Decide if the Bible Says This is a Gospel Issue?”

  1. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Sonny H—“That is why ignorant men will teach annihilationism—which is an aberration that cannot be demonstrated in the Bible—because the word “annihilationism” does not appear in either the Hebrew or Greek manuscripts.”
    troll–This is why ignorant preachrs will teach about hell—because the word “hell” does not appear in either the Hebrew or Greek manuscripts. of course we do know that all three English words “eternal” and “conscious” and “torment” do appear in the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts
    Only ignorant people will teach against yellow dog journalism, because Yellow dog journalism does not appear in either the Hebrew or Greek Mansucripts.?


  2. Mark Mcculley Says:


    Sonny H—The conditional immortality argument—which is not exactly synonymous
    with annihilationism—is also a derogation.

    But meanwhile let’s keep talking it annihilationism


  3. Mark Mcculley Says:

    When I say that only the elect alone are raised to life, I am not denying that the non-elect are raised after the first death in order to be destroyed in the second death. Since God is holy and just, that future judgment of the non-elect is necessary and important.

    Even though non-elect do not suffer until the second coming, Christ has never known them and they have no safety from His coming wrath.

    Hebrews 9: 27-28, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”


    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?

  4. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Carson–X is a gospel issue” is a useless argument where there is
    little agreement as to what the gospel is. For example, if by “gospel”
    we mean the sort of thing that is often taught in
    lowest-common-denominator evangelicalism—e.g., “Jesus died on the cross for my sins,” without any attempt to establish what is meant by the confession—then in what sense is penal, substitutionary atonement a gospel issue? It may be a gospel issue in that in some sense or other it is tied to Jesus’ death, but that is not enough to make the statement “Penal, substitutionary atonement is a gospel issue” say anything important (my second point, above). More precisely: if “Jesus died on the cross for my sins” is a sufficient definition of the gospel, then it is not clear that failing to believe in penal, substitutionary atonement adversely affects or threatens the gospel, for in itself this formulation of the gospel does not specify with any precision what understanding of the atonement the formulation presupposes. By contrast, if by the gospel we specify something a bit more robust (though scarcely comprehensive)—e.g., “the gospel is the good news that in Christ, and especially in his death and resurrection, God has taken decisive action to save his people from their sins, such that by Jesus’s death sin is cancelled, the judicial\ wrath of God is averted, believers receive what Christ merited while he receives what we sinners merited, the devil is defeated, and God displays his incalculable love, pouring out his Spirit upon us so as to convict us, regenerate us, and transform us, in anticipation of the consummation still to come” (or something of that order)—then clearly penal, substitutionary atonement is a gospel issue in a tight sense.

    Carson—“To affirm something is or is not a gospel issue is not a
    transparent expression. It is likely to be clearest among those who
    share a common confession as to what the gospel is. It is useful only
    when it means something more stringent than that X can be tied in some way to the gospel: one must show that without this X the gospel itself is seriously threatened.” This is key: “It is always wise to recognize that some topics are hugely important on grounds other than gospel
    issues and that our choice of topics is generated in part by our
    perception of the threats and errors of our own age.” In other words,
    it’s not necessary to demand a doctrine is acknowledged as a gospel
    issue in order to affirm its importance.


    When we preach generally that Christ is a Savior to the lost, and
    persuade everyone that sees his lost estate to flee to him, we do it
    not under the idea that they are elected or redeemed, but as ruined;
    thusthey are to go to him.” The call of the gospel is not to believe
    as one who is among the elect, but as one who is among the fallen.
    “You must believe as a sinner before you can know anything. This is
    the order of things for the Christian as an individual, and it is also
    the approach we should take with our listeners,

    Election is true and real, a precious doctrine of the Bible. But it is
    not the summons of the gospel. We do not wait until we are convinced that a person is among the elect before we call upon him to put his faith in Christ. We do not tell unbelievers to concern themselves with
    whether or not they have been chosen by God. No, we preach the gospel trusting that it will expose their sin, confront their
    unrighteousness, and save their souls. The only way they can be
    certain they are among the elect is when they have put their faith in




  5. Mark Mcculley Says:

    The Gospel is the Good News of God’s Eternal Salvation
    and final glory in heaven conditioned on the Lord Jesus Christ, based on His righteousness alone. The Gospel, in light of the sinfulness of
    man (Romans 1:18–3:21), and the utter impossibility of any sinner
    being saved based on that sinner’s best efforts at obedience, reveals
    how a holy and just God can save sinners in mercy, love, and grace,
    and still remain holy and just. The Gospel reveals that all this is
    possible based on the merits of a God-sent Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ, who would become incarnate, obey the law perfectly, and satisfy justice by His death on the cross in order to establish a
    righteousness whereby God could be both a just God and a Savior (Isa. 45:21-22). The Gospel excludes all the works of man and any work done by or in man as to the ground of this great salvation. It calls on sinners to believe in and trust Christ for all righteousness and life. It calls on sinners to repent of ever thinking that salvation or any part of it could have been conditioned on the sinner. It leaves
    sinners with no hope of salvation but that which is found in the
    Person and accomplished work of Christ.” –

    Bobby Bullignton, election is not a gospel issue
    .– Before conversion God’s Gospel is addressed to the ungodly,
    enemies of God, those under the wrath of God, spiritually kin to
    Satan, guilty, defiled sinners, who have nothing in them nor anything
    done by them to recommend them to God Almighty! After conversion to the truth these very same people are judged by God Himself to be holy, without blame, righteous, adopted into God’s family before they make the first move to obey the Lord! The Gospel of Grace is God’s
    unconditional promise to freely give all of salvation, including all
    the work of the Holy Spirit IN US , based solely upon the
    righteousness of His Son, established by His obedient death as the
    Substitute and Representative


    mark mcculley; I did not agree with Bobby about this, neither did Bill
    Parker nor David Adkins aagree with him I remember talking to Bobby about this very idea of ‘gospel issue” in the parking lot at a conference in the Smokey Mountains. I do think his co-author (Manard) put an “offer” spin on Bullington’s trajectory….

    it’s not an either or—no righteousness, no gospel, no
    sovereignty (election) no gospel—need

    the people at present truth (Paxton, Brinsmead) and trinity foundaton
    (robbins) also thought election could be left out of the
    gospel—–not that they didn’t agree with it but


  6. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Hebrews 13: 20 “The God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus—the great Shepherd of the sheep—with the blood of the lasting covenant”. The lasting covenant of Hebrews is the new
    covenant, the one mediated by the blood (the death) of Jesus

    Romans 8: 3 What the law could not do since it was limited[ by the
    flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending HIS OWN SON IN FLESH like ours under sin and as a sin offering

    Thank God for the flesh of Christ! The flesh of Christ was not
    corrupted nor did it become corrupt. Christ under the guilt of sin
    by God’s legal imputation.

    Hebrews 9: 14 how much more will the blood of the Christ who through the lasting Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to serve the living God? 15 Therefore, Christ is the mediator of A NEW COVENANT, in order that those who are called receive the promise of the lasting inheritance, because A DEATH HAS TAKEN PLACE for redemption from the transgressions committed

    “perfectly satisfied God’s law and justice”

    What’s the diffrence between law and justice? Is this difference a
    gospel issue? is this difference described somewhere in the Bible?

    were all the conditions of the new covenant met by Christ’s death alone?
    was it law or justice which was met by Christ’s death?

    or were all the conditons of the new covenaant satisfied by the combination of Christ’s obedience and death?
    Was His death obedience?
    Was His obedience something else combined with death?

    is the answer to these questions part of the specific basic kernel
    of the gospel? or do they depend on who is preaching or to whom one is preaching?

    is the command to believe the gospel part of the specific basic kernel
    of the gospel?

    When God makes a promise, is that promise fulfilled as soon as God
    makes the promise?

    Am I missing something the Bible says abput “infinite”?


    “the ground of salvation”?

    “and final glory in heaven”?

    do all these ideas (not the English words) need to be in the unchanging gospel?

  7. Mark Mcculley Says:

    John Robbins–By emphasizing the phrase “according to the Scriptures,” Paul is emphasizing the fact that the Gospel is part of a system of truth given to us in the Bible. All of the parts of this system fit together. All the statements in the Bible are logically consistent with one another. To give but one ex ample of this, Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection fulfilled specific prophecies given centuries earlier. The exact town where he would be born was predicted hundreds of years before his birth; the fact that his birth would be unusual, for his mother would be a virgin, was predicted centuries before his birth; his death among the wicked and his burial among the rich were predicted; and Christ himself predicted his resurrection. The specific propositions that Paul calls the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15 do not stand alone. They imply and are implied by many others. The choosing by God the Father of those that should be saved, the suffering of the ddeath due them for their sins by Jesus Christ at Calvary, and the gift of faith to the elect people by God the Holy Spirit are all part of the system of truth taught in the Bible. They are the three great aspects of redemption: election, atonement, and faith. And the Gospel, the doctrine of the atonement, is the central theme. It is impossible to defend the Gospel, or even to preach the Gospel, without defending and explaining the system of truth of which it is a part.

    Paul’s emphatic phrases in 1 Corinthians 15 indicate that those who wish to separate the Gospel from the system of truth found in the Bible cannot do so. The Gospel, while a distinct part of the Biblical system, is nevertheless a part of the system. This system is fully expressed in the Scriptures. The propositions that Paul calls the Gospel are some of the propositions of Scripture. Because the Gospel is part of the Scriptural system of truth, it is impossible to defend the Gospel without defending the whole system. An exclusive emphasis on the “fundamentals” of the faith, rather than the “whole counsel of God,” which is the phrase the Bible uses, is futile.


    The Gospel is not “Christians should take dominion over the Earth.”

    The Gospel is not “Make Jesus Lord of your life.”

    The Gospel is not “You must be born again.”

  8. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Justification has Priority over the New Birth, by Geoffrey Paxton
    For many evangelicals the new birth is the distinguishing mark of true Christianity. With them it has uncontested centrality. Raising any questions about the centrality of the new birth is regarded as virtually denying it. This view teaches that a good thing is the best thing, that the work of the Spirit is greater than that of the Son. This robs Christ of His glory by putting the Spirit’s work in the believer above and therefore against what Christ has done for the believer in His doing and dying.

    The Reformers charged Rome, and in particular the pope, with being the antichrist. Calvin knew that this judgment seemed to be slander and railing. Nevertheless he maintained his position. It was clear that the Roman pontiff had shamelessly transferred to himself what belonged to God alone, and especially to Christ. For Calvin the tyranny of the Roman pontiff was all the more serious because it did “not wipe out . . . the name of Christ or of the church but rather misuses a semblance of Christ and lurks under the name of the church as under a mask.”.

    Regarding the new birth as the greatest news in the world is anti-christ. Antichrist puts something good in place of the best. “The ultimate evil is not the denial but the corruption of the truth. This is the point which the Protestant Reformation made in leveling the charge of Antichrist against the church itself. Many modern-day evangelicals equate gospel and new birth. “Ye must be born again” is their gospel. They see the doing and dying of Christ as subordinate to the inner life of the Spirit. Reconciliation of the sinner for them is “but the beginning of the story.”

    While some would not formally equate gospel and new birth, they fall into this error on the level of piety. They refer to the new birth as the authentic sign of true religion. “Are you a born-again Christian?” But why point to the new birth as the authenticating sign? Regarding the new birth as the great saving act of God places the emphasis on the internal rather than the external. It elevates the subjective to the status of the objective.

    Making the new birth our emphasis elevates what God does in us to the level of what He does for us. It subordinates what God does for us to what He does in us. Faith always points away from the believing subject to Christ, the Object of faith. Instead of saying, “I am born again,” faith says, “Christ lived and died for me.” Rather than saying, “He is a born-again believer,” why not say “He trusts in the doing and dying of Christ”?

    Faith is not directed to what has happened in the believer but what has happened for the believer. Faith looks out and not in, up and not down (Col. 3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory)

    Much evangelicalism gives the impression that God accepts a person on the ground that he is born again. But this is not biblical. Evangelicals desperately need to properly relate the doing and dying of Christ to the work of the Spirit. The subordination of the work of Christ to the work of the Spirit is all too common. Much of our teaching here has more affinity with Rome than with the Reformation. The sole ground of acceptance with God is the doing and dying of Jesus Christ alone.

    Does God give His Holy Spirit to one who is not yet justified, or does God justify before He gives His Holy Spirit? Further, what is the nature of the change which regeneration brings? Is it a “physical” change? First, the sovereignty of God in the matter of regeneration is incontestable. Both Mary and Nicodemus ask, “How can this be?” Both Gabriel and Jesus point to the sovereign operation of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35; John 3:5-8). Mary’s song recognizes the sovereignty of God in the miracle of the new creation in Jesus Christ (Luke 1:46-55).

    Second, neither Gabriel nor Jesus gives psychological descriptions of what happens in regeneration. Gabriel does not explain to Mary how God is going to pneumatically impregnate her. Mary is simply and tastefully informed, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35). Jesus promptly refers Nicodemus to the ineffable and mysterious operations of the Holy Spirit: “The wind blows where ever it pleases . . . You cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). The focus is on the mighty acts of God and not on physiological or psychological processes.

    “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35). This language is anything but internalistic. Mary’s song concentrates on the historical perspective of God’s operations (esp. Luke 1:55). The focus of John 3 is not on the internals of Nicodemus but on the serpent of Moses and the lifting up of the Son of Man (John 3:13-15). Internalism in the matter of regeneration is another instance of evangelical fixation with “gracious infusion” over against the “Christ alone” of the gospel.

  9. Mark Mcculley Says:

    immortality is not conditional on the sinner

    God on the last day will give immortality to all those God has UNCONDITIONALLY ELECTED

    God has not yet given immortality to any of those God has justified

    God has not yet iomputed Christ’s death to all that God has UNCONDTIONALLY ELECTED

    Telling people that God “has justifiedyou” is not the gospel

    The people who say that’s the gospel don’t have the same gospel as those who say that there is no justification apart from knowing the gospel.

    I Corinthians 15: –I want to clarify for you the gospel —you received the gospel and have taken your stand on the gospel 2 You are also saved by the gospel messag—unless you believed for no purpose.

    The gospel of Christ — is the power of God unto salvation, to each and every one that believes the gospel ” — Romans 1:16.

    The doctrine of the cross is to us who are saved the power of God” — 1 Corinthians 1:18.

    God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed, from the heart, the model of doctrine into which ye were delivered” — Romans 6:17.

    He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” — 2 Thessalonians 2:14.

  10. Mark Mcculley Says:

    115–Others are clear that their believing is not the ground up[on
    which God justifies them. They CALIM that God first imputes Christ’s
    righteousenss to the person as the ground of justification and then
    the holy Spirit gives faith to that person by whjich he comes to
    believe in Christ. This may sound a little confusing, but it is not

    they still CLAIM that imputed righteousness is the GROUND
    of justification, but that God waits to impute it to us until the time
    that God brings us to believe in Christ. This is really confusing
    because it says that God gave spiritual life before God imputes
    righteousness from which all spiritual life and faith come. It is
    therefore heresy.”

    quotation–“Their sins, having been imputed to Christ, were never
    imputed to them by God. God sees our sins but God will not and cannot impute our sins against us.”

    Who’s the “our” and the”us”?
    Is the “us” all the elect, so that the elect were never imputed with
    Adam’s sin or condemned?

    The sins having been imputed to Christ were always imputed to Christ?
    The sins having been imputed to Christ are still imputed to Christ?
    The sins having been imputed to Christ were never imputed to Christ?

    If you teach that all the elect are always justified, you need to
    change the Bible to read—-the One who did not know sin
    was never made anything
    legally or spiritually
    Christ never changed legal states
    and we the elect
    never became justifed either
    we also never changed legal states
    we always were the righteousness of God
    and never became anything, never were condemned

    2 Corinthians 5:21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, in order that we would become the righteousness of God IN HIM

    response from mark mcculley—
    1. This accusation of heresy is confusing because it does not name
    names and use quotations. If should say, this is not what I say, you
    can simply say, well then I was not talking about you.

    2. what did you yourself believe before you changed your theology?

    3. I myself teach that all the elect move from one legal state to
    another legal state, so that God’s imputation of Christ’s
    righteousness results in immediate spiritual life and faith in the
    true gopspel. The legal transfer of Christ’s righteousness in time is
    not logically the same as God’s declaration of justification. But without exception, all thosem who have been imputed with Christ’s righteousenss believe the gospel.
    You seem to teach not only the possibility but the necessity for thje
    elect to have been justified long before they receive spiritual life
    and faith.

    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.

    4. Did Christ obtain righteousness at the same time God imputed righteousness?

    5. Did God impute righteousness to Abraham before God obtained
    righteousness for Abraham?

    6. Had God already obtained righjteousness before God created the world?

    7. Had God already obtained righteousness before God the Son became Incarnate?

    8. Are you confusing the imputation of righteousness with righteousness?

  11. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Bill Parker, What is the Righteousness? p 115, ” says that God gives spiritual life BEFORE God imputes”. No, it doesn’t. –but when a writer is making up categories and generalizations without quoting anybody specific, then the writer can make up anything. It’s not like Bill Parker hasn’t read John Owen.

    Parker does not identify the “they”. Even when he uses some direct
    quotations from Fortner, he does not identify who “they”

    I don’t like this ambiguity , because it allows Bill to say, well I
    wasn’t talking about what you wrote but what somebody else said.
    (Nobody bothered to read what you wrote) But there’s no evidence that anybody “said” what “they said”. This is certainly NOT saying “timing is not a gospel issue”. When Bill Parker says “heresy”, not only is that accusation confusing but it makes it about the nature of

    p102–“the word baptism describes the union of Christ
    with all whom God gave Him before the foundation of the world”. Does “union” mean “us in Christ by election” or “us dressed in the wedding clothes of Christ’s righteousness” or does it mean “Christ in us by regeneration”? I agree that timing and logic help us to think about the nature of being “in Christ”, but It’s not clear what Bill is
    saying about two states in Romans 6–were the elect always not “free from righteousness”? https://rofgrace.com/inc/sdetail/458/5788

  12. Mark Mcculley Says:

    In reacting against “Christ made corrupt”. if you read my letter to Reisinger back when i was converted (2000), you will see what I was being taught then by David Adkins and Bill Parker. I think that is what I am still teaching today.
    What is the Righteousness of God, 2019, Bill Parker p 145—” The only way the elect have ever been under God’s wrath is as they stood legally in Christ…This means that God’s elect have never personally been under God’s wrath.

    So what does ‘by nature the children of wrath” mean in Ephesians 2? For Bill Parker, it turns out that elect sinners were only “spiritually dead”, never legally dead or guilty before God, because Bill Paarker now teaches that the elect were always justified before God, and never alienated legally from God. Romans 6: 9 we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Christ 10 For in light of the fact that Christ died, Christ died to sin once for all time. Bill Parker is clear that Christ was never spiritually dead, never in need of spiritual life or regeneration.

    But Parker over-reacts to those who say that Christ was made corrupt to also deny that Christ was ever made legally guilty before God. Though Bill agrees that Christ was made incarnate and then later made “the life-giving Spirit”, Parker views Christ as having only been imputed with guilt in God’s purpose but not in history.

    I certainly don’t agree that we have to talk personally about an issue before writing it—–Bill Parker is not the first to write about this issue, and he certainly had not need to talk to me about it personally, even though I have been writing about it for many years,

    The gospel is about the nature of justification—questions like “are there two kinds of justification”. The Bible does not teach that.
    And the Bible does not teach”justification before and without faith”.

    I personally am very concerned when people who don’t know the gospel or who are hostile to the gospel hear preachers saying things like “justification has nothing to do with faith , That kind of statement is not nearly clear and precise enough. We can make it claar that faith is not the righteousness without denying that God gies faith as soon as God imputes righteouensss.

    These questions needs to be considered—and these quiestions cannot and should not be kept behind close doors.

    one additionaal comment–in the book, Parker does always refer to the righteousness as “Christ’s obedience to death”. I like that. Parker never brings up the difference between preachers who say it’s only the law-keeping imputed for postive blessing and the eath for remission. Interesting that he doesn’t discuss the question, in a book called What is the Righteousness. Also I would add, God’s righteousness is not only what Christ obtained but also God’s attribute that demands that righteousenss. God’s righteouensss demands the righteousness. Not only the attribute is “revealed in the gospel”, but the gospel makes no sense without God’s attrbute/ demand. Both justifier of the ungodly and JUST.

  13. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Immortality is not conditional on the sinner
    God on the last day will give immortality to all of hose God has
    God has not yet given immortality to any of those God has justified
    God has not yet imputed Christ’s death to all of those God has
    Telling people that God “has justified you” is not the gospel
    The people who say that’s the gospel don’t have the same gospel as
    those who say with me that there is no justification apart from
    knowing the gospel.
    I Corinthians 15: –I want to clarify for you the gospel —you received
    the gospel and have taken your stand on the gospel 2 You are also
    saved by the gospel messag—unless you believed for no purpose.
    The gospel of Christ — is the power of God unto salvation, to each and
    every one who believes the gospel ” — Romans 1:16.
    The doctrine of the cross is to us who are saved the power of God” — 1
    Corinthians 1:18.
    God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed,
    from the heart, the doctrine to which you were handed over —
    Romans 6:17.
    He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord
    Jesus Christ” — 2 Thessalonians 2:14.

  14. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Jesus became incarnate in order to die under law and wrath for the sins of the elect imputed to Him. By His death Jesus obtained the righteousness revealed in the gospel. When God imputes that righteousness to the elect, they believe the gospel and are justified before God. You don’t have to use the same words (imputation, righteousness) to define the gospel, but you do have to believe the same gospel or you are not yet justified. Three questions. 1. What is the gospel (is any part of Arminianism the gospel?) 2. Does God’s sovereignty mean that God justifies some without any gospel? 3. If God only justifies by using the gospel, isn’t that a different gospel from the false gospel that claims that God justifies without the gospel?

  15. Billy Meeks Says:

    So in the small paragraph above you asked the question: “what is the Righteousness revealed in the Gospel?” By posing this question: in this way: “it’s” what separated wheat from tares; sheep from goats; it all hinges on Christ Jesus: how can God justify the ungodly? Only God can save us from God. You stated and i surely agree: “But at the end of the day we all need to be taught the GOSPEL by God” and this is according to Scripture stated time and again: God’s elect speak his language. It seems in “the nature of justification” the easy overreaction is to dismiss the final work of “revelation of Christ” to the elect: as you say: “faith is not justification not the instrument” but how can one be justified if God has not by His supernatural work removed the guilt and open the blind eyes and deaf ears of “really truly dead” sinner’s who cannot gain reconciliation nor do they want it God’s Way “by Grace freely”

  16. Mark Mcculley Says:

    I am NOT saying that faith in the gospel is the “instrument” of justification. But you seem to be confusing the imputation of Christ’s death with the justification of the sinner. Faith in the gospel is a result of God’s imputation of Christ’s death and comes logically i n time before God’s declaration of a justified status for the elect sinner. Faith in the gospel is not a result of a previous justification.

    Billy, I think the first thing you learn here is that there are more than two alternatives. Justification before faith is not the answer, because the Bible does not teach that. But the alternative to justification before faith is not “faith is the instrument”. Nor is it that “faith is the righteousness.


  17. Mark Mcculley Says:

    I don’t know if it’s chicken or egg, or which idea leads to the other idea, but many of these preachers also are dogmatic that “only destruction” or “only “perishing” or “only death” is not enough punishment for the non-elect. Some even say that the righteousness of the gospel would mean nothing to them if they thought the righteousness only saved them from destruction or perishing. So they re-define destruction and perish as meaning infinite torture that never ends. Instead of some permanent second death for the non-elect, they re-define death to mean never-dying but continuing to sin and to be tormented. The mere death of the non-elect is not enough for them.
    I don’t know if it was their philosophical intuition about what the non-elect deserve and “have coming” which came first, or if their first though was a docetic explanation which denies that Christ can really die. But either way, they fail to see that the death of the non-elect will never satisfy God’s wrath in the way that Christ’s death appeased God and expiated the sins of the elect to protect the elect from God.https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/only-dying-would-not-be-enough-righteousness/

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