Archive for October 2019

Justification and Comfort for All who Believe the Gospel

October 2, 2019

Tianqi Wu– BEFORE we were converted, we were SLAVES OF SIN. IF we have been joined to Christ’s death, then we are not under Law but under grace. People who are slaves of sin and under law WERE NOT YET JUSTIFIED. There is no room for a “justified” but “unconverted” persons, because there is no such a thing as being “under grace”, “dead to sin”, “alive to God” but still a “slave of sin”. This exposes the fundamental falsehood of certain versions of “gospels” that are now tolerated under the name of “different views on
timing of justification”.

John 3:18 The one believing into Him is not condemned; but the one not believing has already been condemned—he has not believed into the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Romans 7: 4 You yourselves were put to death in relation to the law through the crucified body of Christ in order that you belong to another—to Him who was raised from the dead—in order that we bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the flesh we bore fruit for death.

Because Christ’s death to sin was legally applied to us, we were put to death in relation to law and in that way justified before God. We were not always justified. Christ’s death was not always legally applied to us and we were not always justified.

It was not enough that the sins of the elect be imputed to Christ. Christ had to die to sin, Christ was not always dead to sin
When we were in the flesh, we did not know the gospel
When we were in the flesh, our election did not mean that we already belonged to Christ.
When we were in the flesh, we belonged to another and bore fruit for another
When we were in the flesh, we were not yet justified

Romans 8:7 The understanding of the flesh is hostile to God because the understanding of the flesh does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God …But the Spirit is life because of righteousness

Those who are living after the flesh are not justified yet.
Those who are living after the flesh do not believe the gospel.
Those who do not believe the gospel are not justified yet.

Denying that justification is through faith in the gospel is an anti-nomian denial of the gospel revealed by in the Bible. The power of the gospel is that elect sinners come to understand the nature of justification. Teaching justification before or without understanding of justification is not merely about “timing”. It is ignoring what the Bible teaches about the nature of justification

A change of our legal state before God occurs through a “baptism” into Christ’s death.

Romans 6:4 Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death,

Romans 6:10-11 For in that Christ died, Christ died to sin once for all time; but in that Christ now lives again, Christ lives to God. Count yourselves to be truly dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Can there be a time lag between the change of legal state and the change of heart? Can a person have a changed legal state without a changed heart at the SAME time? The Romans 6 text does NOT allow for this.

Romans 6:17-18 But thanks be to God that you were slaves of sin, but you obeyed from the heart the form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you were enslaved to
righteousness.

1) Conversion is clearly in this text – “obeyed from the heart the
form of doctrine…”

2) Yet, conversion alone cannot account for the radical language used here, unless we think conversion is perfection. What is in view includes a change of heart, but also a change of legal state, in which one’s sins are NO LONGER imputed to them..

Paul says BEFORE we were converted, we were SLAVES OF SIN. Paul also says IF we have been joined to Christ’s death, then we are not under law, but under grace. There is no room for a “justified” but “unconverted” person, because there is no such a thing as being “under grace”, “dead to sin”, “alive to God” but still a “slave of sin”.

John 3:18 The one believing into Him is not condemned; but the one not believing has already been condemned, for he has not believed into the name of the only begotten Son of God.

All the future sins of the elect were paid up by Jesus but the sins we have not yet committed are not yet forgiven by God

Those who teach that redemption is not accomplished if not already legally applied are teaching a false antinomian gospel. About 2000 years ago, Christ by His death accomplished by death (point in time) redemption. But this redemption was imputed by God to Abraham (at a point in time before Abraham was circumcised) long before Christ “died to sin”, (Romans 6:9-10). This was on the same timeline (not some timeless zone).

Today, elect sinners (like me) are imputed by God with the redemption (accomplished long before I existed) when this “objective something” redemption is legally applied by God, I believe the gospel and I am declared justified by God (again, not timelessly, but on the same time line).

Christ’s obtaining the redemption is not the same as God imputing that righteousness. One gospel error says that righteousness is not really obtained until it is imputed. The gospel error teaches Christ’s death is already imputed to all for whom Christ died. But the correlation of faith and justification is in time. The correlation can be found nowhere else. Justification through faith alone does not only mean that faith is a gift of God. Justification through faith alone means that faith is not works. Justification through faith in the gospel alone means no justification apart from faith in the gospel alone. Faith in Christ’s death alone excludes faith in what God has enabled us to do. Faith in Christ’s death alone excludes faith in our faith. Faith in Christ’s death alone excludes any idea that “faith is a work”

Romans 3: 26 God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, in order that God would be righteous and declare righteous then one who has faith in Jesus.

Romans 3:28 a sinner is justified through faith apart from the works of the law.

Since we know that assurance is found in knowing and believing the gospel, why is this reactionary gospel error so determined to say that people already justified are still believing the false gospel that the flesh
believes? Even though those who teach the gospel error of justification without the gospel are divided among themselves about if all these “justified already” ” will be converted to the gospel in this life, what is the practical point of reacting to Arminianism by down-playing the significance of justification?

If those already justified are still practically seen as unholy because of their not knowing the gospel yet, what is the day to day consequence of putting all the focus on regeneration (which happens now) and NOT on justification (which according to their error could not possibly happen now) ? Why are these guys insisting on their view of the nature of justification, but in the day to day not bothering with any implications of their view? Do they want to speak only comfort and peace to anybody? If they want to say that faith in the gospel has nothing to do with justification, why are they
disturbing the peace about “spiritual life” and faith in the gospel? Won’t that cause some people doubt and discomfort?

The gospel promises justification to all those who believe the gospel

The gospel does not promise peace to Mark Mcculley

The gospel does not promise peace to all those who speak peace to mark Mcculley

Some of these preachers are telling us–it’s just not an issue, because it has no implications (and so that’s why I am going to call you a conditionalist if you don’t say that all the elect are now already justified)!

It is possible to be correct about the extent of the redemption (only for the elect) without being correct about the nature of the redemption (the sins of the elect were imputed to Christ, and Christ died under the wrath of God for those sins). But it is not possible to be incorrect about the extent of the redemption (teaching redemption for all sinners) and ever possibly be correct about the nature of redemption ( because this view will teach a redemption that does not redeem).

In a similar way, it is possible to be correct about the extent of justification (only the elect will be justified) and still be incorrect about the nature of justification (teaching that all the elect were always justified, or denying that Christ –the elect one-was ever under the legal wrath and death of God)

Acts 13:39 everyone who BELIEVES IN this man is justified from everything that you could not be justified from

Acts 13: The Gentiles REJOICED and glorified the message of the Lord, and all who had been appointed to lasting life BELIEVED

“Appointed to lasting life” is election, not justification

if God never saw any of your sins, God would not need to justify you, because you would need no justification. But even for those who do sin, God does not justify all sinners. If you were never condemned, then God will never justify you.

Even though the sheep are always sheep, elect sheep are NOT free from condemnation before being “baptized into Christ”. Justification through faith alone does not only mean that faith is a gift of God. Justification through faith alone means that faith is not works. Justification through faith in the gospel alone means no justification apart from faith in the gospel alone. Faith in Christ’s death alone excludes faith in what God has enabled us to do. Faith in Christ’s death alone excludes faith in our faith. Faith in Christ’s death alone excludes any idea that “faith is a work” . Romans 3: 26 God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood , in order that God would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.

Romans 3:28 a sinner is justified through faith apart from the works of the law.

The gospel is not justification only.
The gospel is not regeneration only.
Justification and regeneration are not the same thing
All those who are justified are also regenerate
All those who are not regenerate yet are also not justified yet
All those living in the flesh (still believing the false gospel) are
not justified yet

Agreeing not to talk about “eternal justification” is like agreeing not to talk about “universal atonement”

1. agree that we are both Christians
2. agree to disagree
3. agree not to discuss further (let it all go)

From a letter to John Reisinger after my conversion—-I know you are not an universalist like I was. You will not say that all humans are your brothers and sisters. You are very right to focus on the elder brother’s refusal to say that the one who came home was his brother. My question: WERE they brothers? If the elder brother goes on like he is, never repenting of his legalism, is he in the family of God? Your assumption, suited to your purpose of attacking “these people” who say that Arminians are lost, is that both are brothers. But that is a false assumption.

I do not know need to know who is and is not non-elect to tell the truth that Christ did not die for those who reject the the promise and command of the gospel. I do not need to know who is elect to shout the glad tidings that all the elect will hear the voice of the Shepherd instead of the voices of Arminians. If you really do think that God saves people while still leaving them thinking that salvation is conditioned on them, then your God is very much like the God of the Arminian.

A gospel that tells some sinners to “believe that you had life before you heard the gospel” is a false gospel.

God did not ask any sinner for their input on God’s decision to impute their sins to Jesus Christ, and all the sins that would ever be imputed to Christ were already imputed to Christ by God and then satisfied for by Christ’s death. Assurance that I am justified is not an objective proposition of the gospel. Assurance that I believe the gospel is not an objective proposition of the gospel.
Before or after you believe, the gospel never says “ you have believed the gospel” “I now have life” is not part of the gospel. The gospel is not to be explained only to those those have life.
If a person tells us that “well I have believed the gospel but I still am not sure that I am justified yet”, they are effectively saying “I have not yet believed the gospel”. If they had believed the gospel, they would believe the part of the gospel that says “as many as who believe the gospel are justified”

Tianqi Wu–The gospel error that teaches justification before God without faith in the gospel reduces the gospel and its power to create faith to only a delayed assurance of a justification that happened before you are born. Those who teach that all the elect were justified when Christ died are teaching by implication that the OT elect were never justified in their lifetime and that the NT elect were never condemned. Though those who teach this gospel error may rant at the implications of teaching universal atonement, and though they not talk about the implications of their own error, those implications nevertheless remain. They are teaching justification without the gospel, even if they impose their system on the Bible to talk about different justifications (as they see fit)

The idea of “born justified but unconverted” is something utterly foreign to the Bible, which teaches that those not yet submitted to the gospel are condemned already, children of wrath, under curse, under law, slaves of sin, not righteous, not under grace, not belonging to Christ, not children of God.The gospel error that says “yes by nature but never in history” is not a distinction you will find in the Bible.

Tianqi Wu– Justification is not God’s response to the Spirit-produced faith of the elect sinner. Rather, Justification comes with faith together to the unbelieving elect who has been legally united by God to the Christ who had died for them. When the elect are “baptized into Christ’s death” by God, God justifies them because God now sees a righteousness in their account, and simultaneously God sends the Spirit into them to convert them to the gospel. Justification before God is not the same thing as conversion in the heart to believe the gospel . Believing the gospel is not the righteousness. The righteousness is not repenting of living by the flesh and believing the false gospel. But God acts in history in both ways, not only inside us but also outside us with regard to us ( not only timelessly). Where God has not yet imputed Christ’s death, sinners live by the flesh. Where God has not yet imputed Christ’s death, sinners are still in condemnation.

Romans 4:24-25 “righteousness will be counted to us who believe in Him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was handed over BECAUSE OF our trespasses and raised BECAUSE OF our justification.”
This text of brother Paul does not mean that all the elect were already justified before they even existed. This means that God’s legal APPLICATION of Christ’s ACCOMPLISHMENT IN HISTORY IN DEATH is made certain. Brother Paul is not teaching that Accomplishment and Application must or will happen at the same time. And certainly Romans 4:24-25 is not teaching that there is no accomplishment if that accomplished is not immediately applied.
Nor is brother Paul in Romans 4:24-25 teaching that Christ was never really imputed with sins or condemned under God’s wrath for those sins imputed.

Galatians 2: 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in regard to me. The life I now live in the body,I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Again, Galatians 2 is not teaching that all the elect existed as persons before they were born. . Some few “primitive baptists” have taught this philosophy, but it’s not what Galatians is saying. Nor is
Galatians 2 saying that the elect at some point no longer exist as persons. Brother Paul is teaching that Christ is no longer imputed with sins, even though Christ was once imputed with the sins of the elect and died for those sins. Christ now lives, and when that death is imputed by God to them, they are “crucified with Christ.”
Romans 6: 9-10 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.

Romans 8: 7 The understanding of the flesh is hostile to God because the understanding of the flesh does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God …But the Spirit is life because of righteousness

Those who are living after the flesh are not justified yet
Those who are living after the flesh do not believe the gospel

Those who do not believe the gospel are not justified yet.
The power of the gospel is that elect sinners come to understand the nature of justification.
Teaching justification before or without understanding of justification is not merely about “timing”. It’s ignoring what the Bible teaches about the nature of justification.