Archive for the ‘atonement’ category

Were You Born Justified and Then Later “Saved”?

June 12, 2017

There are preachers who teach the sovereignty of God who teach that God can justify (and has already justified) sinners who God has not taught the gospel. While these preachers assure us that these justified people will know and believe the gospel some day they also teach teach that God’s sovereign justice means that all the elect are justified before and without believing the gospel.

When these preachers teach that there are only two states, they are not talking about the difference between justification and condemnation. To them, the difference between “not being able to acceptably worship God” and “being saved” is NOT the difference between before and after justification. The eternal justification preachers teach that “saved” means “have learned the gospel”. They don’t think “saved” means “justified before God.”

Those who now think they are “saved” can talk about how other people “thought they were saved before they were saved until they were saved” But it turns out that some of these people think they were born justified before they knew the gospel. They think they were justified before they were “saved”. They think they were justified back when Jesus finished dying on the cross.

Phil 3:9–“and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that righteousness which comes through faith…

God has not yet forgiven any sinners who God has not yet taught the gospel.

II Corinthians 4: 6 For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ

The truth of the gospel is not only God’s sovereignty but also God’s righteousness. This means that the gospel is not only about the justification of the elect sinner but also about the justification of God.

Palm 116:11—“I said in my alarm, ‘All mankind are liars’” The gospel gives all the honor and glory to God. In the gospel God is justified, and sinners who still don’t believe the gospel are still condemned. We see this in Romans 1:25 . All of us have been people who “exchange the truth for a lie”.

To pass over from condemnation to justification is to learn the gospel in which one’s confidence is not in what God’s sovereignty does in you but rather in what God has done in Christ outside you. Christ only died for the elect. Christ only died for those who will believe the gospel. One of the blessings of the gospel is that God teaches the elect the gospel and causes them to believe the gospel. Those who were once slaves of sin “become obedient from the mind to the standard of doctrine to which they are committed” (Rom 6:17) so that there are “things of which you are now ashamed” (Rom 6:21).

Before you were justified You may have already believed in God’s sovereignty and also been ashamed of immorality, without ever knowing God’s gospel about justification. The Cains of this world are ready for a self-examination and contrast in terms of their morality or their assent to God’s sovereignty. But as long as they have not come to the light of the gospel , they still love darkness and their evil deeds are still charged against them.. (John 3:19)

It is idolatry to only know a God who is sovereign. The true God is also righteous.

Psalm 51:4-6—“Against you have I sinned and done what is evil, so that you are justified in your words and blameless in your judgment…Behold you delight in truth…” Two things go together: God tells the truth, we were born in the wrong.

II Thessalonians 1: 6 It is righteous for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you 7 and to reward with rest you who are afflicted, along with us. This will take place at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His powerful angels, 8 taking vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t OBEY THE GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS

II Thessalonians 2: 10 They perish because they did not accept the love of THE TRUTH IN ORDER TO BE SAVED. 11 For this reason God sends them a strong delusion so that they will believe what is false, 12 so that all will be condemned—THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE THE TRUTH but enjoyed unrighteousness.

The gospel is good news for the elect, but not without also being first bad news. The gospel does not tell the elect that they are elect. The gospel does not tell the elect that they are already justified. The gospel does not tell the elect that all the elect are already justified. You can call it “law before gospel” if you wish. But part and parcel of justifying God (and trusting God’s true gospel) is taking sides with God against our-selves. Before justification, God and us can’t both be right. God is right, and we are wrong.

If we ever get to thinking that God is so sovereign that God justifies elect sinners before teaching them the gospel, then we takes sides against what the Bible teaches about the difference between election, atonement, and justification. We should not only confess that God is going to get God’s way, that God is going to win. We need to learn to confess that the way God acts in history . God justifies God in history (by means of Christ’s death in history) God justifies his elect in history. Believing the gospel is not a condition for God placing the elect sinner into Christ’s death. Believing the gospel is not a condition for God imputing Christ’s death to the elect sinner. But believing the gospel is also not the “evidence and result” of having been born justified, All those who do not yet believe the gospel are not yet justified. And all those who are justified before God believe the gospel.

Romans 3:22 –“the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe”. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood THROUGH FAITH. This was a demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just AND the justifier of the one WHO HAS FAITH IN JESUS

Romans 4:13–“the promise did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith….

God is true. God is God. To be ignorant of the righteousness of God (His attribute, not only Christ’s saving work and gift) is to an idolater, to be one who still does not know the true God. Romans 3:3 tells us that God’s faithfulness proves that God is the true God. Isaiah 42:3—“He will faithfully bring forth justice.” Isaiah 45:19—“I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness. I did not say to the seed of Jacob, seek me in vain. I the Lord speak the truth. I declare what is right”.

Many who teach the sovereignty of God speak of “blessed inconsistency” instead of realizing that knowledge of how God justifies is wonderful knowledge of God!

Many who teach the sovereignty of God also engage in rationalizations and self-deceptions. They tell us, “well at least our being justified before we know the gospel shows us the sovereignty of God. We can’t be bothered to look back to any passing from death to life. Why bother with talking about before and faith in the gospel, or about “when in condemnation” or “before justification”. Since the Arminians confuse faith with Christ’s righteousness, we won’t make that mistake. We will exalt the sovereignty of God by teaching that justification is independent (before and without) God teaching us the gospel

But God is not a respecter of persons. God takes sides with Himself, against all those not yet imputed with Christ’s death. The only elect sinners that God has already justifies are those God has placed into the death of Christ.

Romans 8:10–”but if Christ is in you.., the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”

II Peter 1:1, “To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Romans 4:24 Righteousness will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was handed for our trespasses (past and future) and raised for our justification (past and future)

ROMANS 6:17 But thanks be to God, that you who WERE ONCE slaves of sin HAVE BECOME obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, HAVING BEEN justified from sin, HAVE BECOME slaves of righteousness.

Romans 16:7 “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow countrymen and fellow prisoners. They are noteworthy in the eyes of the apostles,and they were also in Christ before me.” Christ being in us is not the same reality as us being in Christ, and the Apostle Paul does not say that these other elect were born again before him. Paul say they were “in Christ” before him. That’s not the new birth or election. That’s justification

God is not some neutral arbitrator. God is one of the parties in God’s lawsuit against sinners. The God we have offended by being sinners (exchanging truth for idolatry) is the God who will judge all sinners.

Eternal justification preachers falsely reason from the fact that God’s imputation of Christ’s death is before faith to a conclusion that God’s justification is also before and without faith in the gospel. But the imputation of Adam’s sin and condemnation are two distinct matters, and condemnation is the result of God’s imputation of Adam’s sin.

God’s imputation of the sins of the elect to Christ is distinct from God’s imputation of Christ’s death to the elect (Romans 6 baptized–not water, not with the Spirit– into the death). Eternal justification folk have nothing to say about justification in the before and after of Romans 6 and Ephesians 2. T

They tend to assume that Galatians 2 (despite its context) is not talking about justification (freedom from guilt, positive legal standing in Christ) but about the new birth (learning the gospel).

God’s imputation of Christ’s death results in God’s effectual calling, faith and justification. God’s declaration of justification is not apart from God’s creating hearing by faith in God’s gospel.

Cunha, p 83—” To say that faith is merely an awareness of justification that has occurred prior to faith is to define faith in a way that is foreign to Scripture….

David Clarkson, Of Faith, p 75—Faith at first relies on Christ, not as one that has pardoned my sin, but as one through whom pardon is to be obtained. The persuasion that sin is pardoned is a consequence of faith. Faith is not the persuasion that my sin is pardoned.

James Haldane, The Doctrine of the Atonement, p 115–”When does the act of justification take place? In time or before time? Like every other purpose of God, justification was God’s purpose before the ages, and like the act of creation, justification is an act carried out in time. We may as well talk of eternal resurrection as talk of eternal justification,”

Romans 8: 12 We are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, 13 for if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die.

Believing a false gospel is flesh, and if you believe a false gospel, you are going to die. Being immoral is flesh, and if you believe and confess the true gospel, you believe and confess the forgiveness of your immorality (past and future)

You will notice that I have not talked about the nature of faith and assurance. I cannot talk about everything all at once. I don’t make distinctions between me “really believing” and other people “only having their heads stuffed with intellectual doctrines”.

My question is about the object of knowledge. What is the gospel? Does the gospel tell us that all the elect are already justified? No, it does not. Does the gospel tell us that being “saved” is not justification but the new birth? No, it does not. Does the gospel tell us that Christ’s righteousness is Christ keeping the law Adam and Moses were supposed to keep? No, the gospel is about Christ’s death as the basic difference between those who will be justified and those who will not be justified. All for whom Christ died will be justified.

Christ’s Works or Christ’s Faith or Christ’s Death?

May 11, 2017

Philippians 3: 8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, in order that I gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is THROUGH FAITH in Christ—the righteousness FROM God

Among those of us who agree that there is a difference between the imputation of the righteousness and the righteousness, and who also agree that RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE JUDICIAL BASIS FOR JUSTIFICATION, is there agreement about the nature of the righteousness?

Does Christ have a righteousness of His own from His keeping the law?
Or does the righteousness of Christ come from His death as satisfaction of the law?

Or Both?

Does Christ’s death only gets us forgiveness?

Does Christ’s death only get us back to where Adam was before Adam was before Adam sinned?

Does Christ’s death only return us back to only sinless but not righteous?

But didn’t Adam before Adam’s sin have righteous fellowship with God?

Yes, God not only commanded Adam not to eat from the tree but also to “have dominion”, but did Adam need more than Adam already had to be righteous? Did Adam have to do something to stay righteous? Did Adam have to NOT DO something to stay righteous?

Genesis 2: 15 The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”

Genesis 1: 28 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.

Even though Christ’s death was successful , did Christ’s death only “accomplish” getting our old clothes off and getting us clean?
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Is it true that Christ’s death does not give us new clothes?

Is it only Christ’s acts of resisting Satan’s three temptations which give us the new clothes? Or was it the physical circumcision and water baptism of Christ which gives us the new clothes?

Christ’s death is not “obedience to the law”. Christ’s death is satisfaction of the law. The law requires obedience or death, the law does not say that death is obedience.

Genesis 3: 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

Genesis 3: 21 The Lord God made clothing out of skins for Adam and his wife, and the Lord God clothed them.

Christ’s Incarnation as Human Does Not Mean that His Death is for Everyone, by Tianqi Wu

March 3, 2017

Tianqi Wu — Being a human death does not mean that Christ’s death has saving value for all human beings. If Christ did not bear someone’s sins, then his death has no saving value for specific sinners.
Many people think it sounds pious to separate Christ’s death from the imputation of specific sins to Christ and say that Christ’s death has “intrinisic value” because of His “infinite deity” . But apart from God’s imputation of specific sins, Christ’s death is not a sin offering. No matter how much you seek to praise the dignity of the person of Christ, if his death is not a sin offering for someone, then Christ’s death is not the objective reality which saves any sinner from God’s wrath.

Some will agree that Christ’s death is not sufficient for angels because Christ did not take angelic nature but human nature. They do not say, Christ’s death has “infinite value” and therefore is sufficient for angels as well. Yet they assume that Christ’s death was also sufficient for non-elect humans. To them what matters most is Christ’s incarnation and all that matters is that Christ died a human death. To them, imputation is something the sinner is enabled to do.

But dying a human death, in itself, does not mean salvation for anybody at all. For a sinner to be justified, Christ had to die the death that is the punishment for their sins. For this to happen there must be a transfer of guilt of their sins to Christ. This transfer of guilt happened only if Christ is their representative, which relation happened only if their election in Christ was ordained by God’s counsel.

The sufficient but efficient distinction attempts to fudge this, by making Christ’s death have a less specific nature under the cover of “infinity”, and at the same time introducing conditions for using Christ’s death. Thus regeneration becomes the specific grace which enables the elect to make Christ’s death work for them. In this view, Christ’ ‘s death is not a propitiation for specific persons

Did Christ’s Death At least Give Everybody an Incomplete Justification?

August 5, 2016

What good is an incomplete justification? If the justification is incomplete because you did not complete it, then you end up being condemned by God’s “grace” and not by God’s law.

Instead of hearing the gospel and being condemned by it, on this theory, you would have been better off not hearing the gospel and then you could not be condemned by your lack of faith in not accepting the grace “God” had for you. Had you not heard the gospel, God could not have condemned you! Those who teach that all sin is against grace have a “don’t ask and don’t tell” kind of “gospel.”

God decreed the non-election of the non-elect before the ages, and so God excluded certain humans from salvation, even while ordaining these humans to be sinners.

It is not necessary to preach law before gospel until despair is created, and only then the gospel as hope. This one-two step can be a way of assuming or implying that sinners can actually take sides against themselves without any hope of forgiveness.

True repentance is not produced by the law only, however, but by the revelation of the gospel. Since the justice of God is a part of the gospel, there is no need to preach law separately before gospel.

But even the non-elect are commanded to believe the gospel
Believing the gospel is NOT believing that “God has grace for me” or that “God has grace for everybody”

The promise of the gospel is that as many as believe the gospel will be justified, so that anybody who says I believe the promise but I don’t believe that there is grace for me….is not yet believing the promise

The non-elect do NOT “exclude themselves” from election. The gospel is not the law, and we are born condemned, so that those who never hear the gospel are still condemned. Rejection of the gospel is not the basis of condemnation ,John 3:18-20 teaches that there is no escape from condemnation except by the gospel.

John 3: 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. 19 “This, then, is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed.

Terrance Tiessen agrees with the Arminians that Christ’s death gets rid of many sins for everybody but not all the sins of anybody because he thinks it’s faith which unites you to Christ. Many Arminians think the only sin which condemns anybody is lack of faith. They think that the good news was that God loved you but you didn’t have faith in God’s grace for you.

Tiessen—“I propose that one of the universal benefits of Christ’s atoning death is the forgiveness of sins of ignorance. Because any and all sin deserves God’s judgment, namely, death, everyone who sins objectively, having done what is morally wrong by God’s standard, deserves to be punished. Before the law of God, they stand guilty. When God chooses not to punish us for unintended sin, however, he does not simply say: “That is OK, it doesn’t matter.” It does matter, and it violates God’s holiness and disrupts the shalom, the total well being, of God’s creation. When God, the Judge of all moral beings, chooses not to punish us for that unintended moral violation, his own holiness is preserved, I suggest, by the fact that Jesus paid the penalty for sin.”

Tiessen—“Of course, I am not here speaking of the complete justification that leads to eternal life, simply of acts for which God does not hold the ignorant sinner accountable. But, nonetheless, I am suggesting one of the ways in which Jesus satisfied the just wrath of God against sin, is in his providing a sacrifice of atonement which God applies to sins of ignorance, that is to say, to acts which, though sinful, were done in good faith (as per Rom 14). This was typified in the old covenant provision of sacrifices for sins done unintentionally (Leviticus 5:17-19; Numbers 15:22-28), particularly in the annual offering of the high priest, which was for his own sin and “for the sins committed unintentionally by the people” (Hebrews 9:7).

Tiessen–“Of much greater magnitude than God’s forbearance of sins done in ignorance is God’s forgiveness of sins done deliberately. No provision was made for these sins in the old covenant sacrificial system. Yet that is precisely what God does to all whom he graciously justifies, not on account of their own righteousness, but on account of the righteousness of Jesus, in whom they are incorporated by faith.”

http://rethinkinghell.com/2016/07/what-did-jesus-suffer-for-us-and-for-our-salvation/

In his attempt to say that lost people are lost only because of themselves, Andrew Fuller taught a common prevenient moral ability to believe (his false gospel).

It is now more and more common to think of all sin as sin against grace. This tends to remove the antithesis between law and grace .

William Lane Craig, In Pinnock, the Grace of god and the Will of Man, p 157—-“God desires and has given sufficient grace for all people to be saved. If some believe and others do not, it is not because some received prevenient grace and some did not. The efficacy of God’s grace is UP TO US, because every person is moved by God in a measure sufficient for salvation.”

Wesley, Working Out Our Own Salvation—“Allowing that all persons are dead in sin by nature, this excuses none, seeing that there is no man in a state of nature only. There is no man, unless he has quenched the Holy Spirit, that is wholly void of the grace of God. No man sins because he has not grace, but because he does not use the grace he has.”

Horton–God promises his saving grace in Christ to each person in baptism, whether they embrace this promise or not. Yet they must embrace the promise in faith. Otherwise, they fall under the covenant curse without Christ as their mediator.

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/kingdom-through-covenant-a-review-by-michael-horton/

Paul Helm—“We may note that one thing that the Amyraldian proposal does is to weaken connection between the plight of the race in the fall of Adam. For now the responsibility of each of the non-elect comes simply from hearing and not receiving the message of grace.”

http://paulhelmsdeep.blogspot.com/2015/04/amyraut-one-more-time.html

Tom Nettles—”The idea of universal atonement is not demanded by the Bible at all, but only by the inference drawn from a no-grace-no-justice assumption…. The piggy-backing of grace onto the command to believe the gospel does not come from the Bible. The whole idea of obligatory grace is contrary to the biblical presentation of grace.

All the Elect in Christ Elected At the Same Time and Will be Glorified at the Same Time but they are NOT Called and Justifed at the Same Time

July 13, 2016

Hebrews 11: 39 All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us

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 his 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.

II Timothy 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, 15 and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for SALVATION THROUGH FAITH IN Christ Jesus.

II Timothy 4: 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil work and will bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom

Christ’s sheep have always been sheep but they have not always been “saved”.
There are those who teach that God’s elect were saved and objectively given every blessing before the ages. But in order to explain (away) many Bible texts, they say that elect sinners are always justified before God but simply have not “experienced” it yet. Thus they claim that none of the elect were ever under the wrath of God, but until they become regenerate, these elect in their conscience (but not before God) think by mistake that they are under the wrath of God.

But think about this attempt at a distinction between what’s a fact before God and the psychology of what’s going on in the heads of the sheep. The distinction depends on saying that regeneration is NOT an objective fact before God before the ages began, but that justification IS an objective fact before God before the ages. These folks are saying that some blessings (like the life of new birth) are not in fact given by God before the ages began. They agree that some of the elect don’t merely think they are not born again yet, because they agree that God does not give the new birth to all the elect at the same time. And yet these folks insist that justification before God is something which is a fact for all the elect at the same time, which they say is the time before time.

Yes, justification is before God, justification is God’s legal declaration and not a change inside the elect sinner. Justification is not the regenerating effectual call, because the effectual call changes a totally depraved elect sinner into a sinner who now believes the gospel. But this difference between justification and regeneration does not prove that justification is given to all before time, while effectual calling is given to individual elect sinners one by one, from time to time. Justification and the effectual call are both salvation blessings, but they are not the same blessings. None of those who have placed into Christ’s death are glorified or immortal yet, but all of those who have been justified by Christ’s death are also at the same time effectually called by the gospel. Righteousness demands life (Romans 8:10)

While these confusing preachers may begin by claiming that, if you have one blessing, then you already have all blessings of salvation, these same preachers also argue for a great time lag between God’s imputation of righteousness ( Christ’s death) and the effectual call which results. Yes, the effectual call is something that the sheep experience, and God’s imputation and legal declaration are outside the sinner, but this does not make effectual call an objective fact before God for all time. The sheep are not really effectually called before or without hearing and believing the gospel.

And the sheep are NOT justified before God until God places them into Christ’s death by legal imputation. Even though their specific sins (past and future) were all already imputed to Christ, Christ’s death is imputed to the elect in time, and this legal identity is not an objective fact until God declares it to be so. Abraham was not justified before God before the ages began. Abraham was born ungodly, and under the wrath of God. Abraham was justified before God only when God declared Abraham to be just based only on Christ’s death. Romans 4: 10 “In what way then was righteousness credited to Abraham? —while Abraham was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while Abraham was circumcised, because Abraham was justified while he was uncircumcised.”

So first the preachers add a “then” into II Timothy 1 to make it read “saved, then called, so calling is not the salvation”. But then second the same preachers add the word “experience” into Romans 10:13 to make it read “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved in EXPERIENCE”. And thus they teach that salvation is not an experience, when they want to talk about justification, but then agree that salvation is an experience when they want to talk about calling. But before that they said that calling was not “salvation”. And they don’t use the word “justification” because they want to (sometimes, when it suits them) equate the word “salvation” with “justification”. Thus they don’t much use the word “justification”. So first they say calling is not salvation, but then they also say that all blessings are salvation and that the sheep already have all the blessings before they are born.

We need to define the word “saved”. There are confusing preachers who prefer paradox to explanation and definition. Instead of saying that “salvation” includes election and effectual calling and glorification, they like to say that election is salvation but then also say that we need to be saved by the power of the gospel. In this way, they not only equate election and justification, but they stop talking about justification and begin to talking as if “salvation” was nothing but the effectual calling.

They are willing to say that some of the elect have not yet been effectually called but they are not willing to say that any of the elect are not yet justified. For all practical purposes, this means they stop talking about justification. They say that if God has purposed that an elect person receive all the blessings of salvation, then that means the person now already has all those blessings. Thus they say that all the elect are not only already justified but already glorified. They confuse the legal right to the life of the age to come with already having immortality. But then they contradict themselves by saying that not all the elect have been effectually called yet. Though they claim that all the elect have all blessings, they agree that some of the elect have not been yet received the blessing of effectual calling. .

Thus they say the elect in Christ were “saved” before the ages began, but then they say that the elect are not “saved” until they hear preaching. What they need to do is make a distinction between God’s purpose to obtain and give blessings, and then make a distinction between Christ obtaining the blessings (by His death and resurrection in time) and then God imputing (legally giving) these blessings to the elect, both to Abel and to all the elect who have not been justified. But instead they teach that all the elect have already been justified, and that all the elect were justified before the ages began.

Christ died once for all time does not mean that Christ was actually slain before the ages began. It means that it was God’s purpose before the ages began that Christ would die one time in time once for all time, and in this way obtain the objective righteousness by which God justifies the elect. We need to make a distinction between election in Christ as a blessing of salvation and justification in Christ as a blessing of salvation. None of the elect have yet been glorified, but that blessing of salvation will be given because of God’s purpose for it to be given and because Christ by His death and resurrection has obtained that blessing for all the elect.

II Timothy 1: 9 does not say that God has already saved all the elect. II Timothy 1:9 teaches that God has saved US and called US. Since not all the elect have been called, not all the elect have been saved. All the elect will be called, and all the elect will be saved. Election is not the only salvation. Calling is not the only salvation. II Timothy 1:9 does not say that God has saved some, and THEN called some. Calling is part of salvation, not something different from salvation. Calling is not all of salvation. But neither is election all of salvation. God’s purpose to save is not all of salvation, because it’s Christ’s death and resurrection which obtains salvation. Christ’s death and resurrection is not all of salvation, because God’s legal placing of the elect into Christ’s death is also salvation. God’s imputing the elect with Christ’s obtained righteousness is part of salvation.

It’s not the truth to say that “God saved us before the ages”. It’s not the truth to say that “Christ saved us 2000 years ago”. All those who have been set apart by God’s election will be saved in time all at the same time when they are glorified when Christ comes back again. Glorification is also part of salvation, and therefore it’s true to say that all those who have been saved by election have not yet been saved by glorification. Instead of looking at one isolated text like II Timothy 1:9-10 and then adding words to it (like “then” called) that are not in the text, it would be better to consider other verses in Timothy and see that “salvation” means different blessings in different texts.

I Timothy 4: 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you; it was given to you through prophecy, with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. 15 Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for by doing this you will SAVE both yourself and your hearers.

If all the elect are already saved before the ages, what sense does it make for Timothy to be told to “save” himself and others? Is it true that Timothy needs to believe the gospel? If the elect are justified apart from faith in the gospel, then there is no need for Timothy to believe the gospel and no need for Timothy to continue to believe the gospel. If the elect are justified apart from faith in the gospel, then there is no need for other sinners to hear Timothy teach the gospel. But “salvation” means more than one blessing in the Bible. When these preachers claim that saying that “faith in Christ is a work” (so believe in Christ’s faith instead) they are rejecting the Bible’s own distinction between salvation through faith and salvation through works. Faith is not works. Faith in Christ’s death is not a work. Faith in Christ’s death is not the same thing as faith in Christ’s faith.

The same preachers who teach eternal justification because they claim that “justification is just as eternal as election is eternal” also say that there is no salvation apart from a sinner hearing the gospel from a preacher. But even though justification is permanent once a person is justified, this does not mean that a person has always justified. Yes, those who have been elected in Christ have always been elect, but permanent election is not the same blessing as permanent justification. Instead of confusing contradictions which say that “the saved have not been saved”, we need to learn the different blessings of salvation.

These preachers need to explain what they mean by the “laying on of hands”. Does this having to do with the OT priests laying hands on the animals as a “means of grace” to those depending on these priests for access to God? Does the “laying on of hands” have to do with an apostolic succession in which certain charimastic powers are transferred from preacher to preacher? If you have to hear the gospel from a preacher and not from God giving you an understanding from reading the Bible, then does the preacher you hear the gospel from have to have heard the gospel from a preacher? If you are going for a Roman Catholic/ Landmarker succession thing, what if you go back seven preachers and find out that the seventh preacher only heard a teacher but not a preacher—somebody without hands put on, somebody not adept in soundbites?

We need to consider the context of Timothy and see that “salvation” cannot be reduced to election before the ages, and also to see that justification is not given to the elect before the ages.

I Timothy 6: 14 I charge you to keep the command without fault or failure until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 God will bring this about in His own Time. He is the blessed and only Sovereign,
the King of kings,
and the Lord of lords,
16 the only One who has immortality,
dwelling in unapproachable light;
no one has seen or can see Him,
to Him be honor and eternal might.

Hebrews 9: But now the Messiah has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment— 28 so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring SALVATION to those who are waiting for Him.

Instead of claiming that God has no time or that God is timeless, preachers need to submit to what I Timothy 4 teaches about obeying God’s commands until Christ’s second coming. Instead of claiming that we are already immortal (or that all humans are already immortal, bound to live somewhere, in hell or in heaven) , preachers need to submit to what I Timothy 6 teaches about only God being immortal. We sinners did not always exist, and none of us are immortal yet, because not even the elect will be given immortality until Christ “brings salvation” with Him at His second coming and our Resurrection.

Matthew 5: 10 Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed,
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
11 “You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. 12 Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Notice that Matthew 5 does not teach that the elect are already in heaven. Nor does it teach that the elect will be in heaven someday. Nor does it teach that some Christians will be rewarded and other Christians will not. Christ is now in heaven, our reward is in Heaven, and Christ is our Reward. Christ is not going to stay in heaven but is coming to dwell with us and to “bring salvation” to us. Matthew 5 does not say we shall be blessed but that we are blessed but this does not eman that Christ has already glorified us or that Christ has already brought us all the blessings of salvation.

II Timothy 2: 12 if we endure, we will also reign with Him;
if we deny Him, He will also deny us

I find it interesting that these very same preachers who are teaching “eternal election is eternal justification” so that “election is salvation” are the very same people who also like to say that “non-election is not condemnation”. But when they say this, they have to change their soundbites so that “election is not salvation but only unto salvation”. They they quote CD Cole—“Election is not the cause of anybody going to hell, for election is unto salvation (2 Thessalonians 2: 13). Neither is non-election responsible for the damnation of sinners. Sin is the thing that sends men to hell, and all men are sinners by nature and practice. Sinners are sinners altogether apart from election or non-election. It does not follow that because election is unto salvation that non-election is unto damnation. Sin is the damning element in human life. Election harms nobody.”

Those who refuse to give explanations like to have their cake and also eat it. On the hand, they like to reduce salvation to God’s sovereignty and equate election with justification ( and don’t talk about justification or Christ obtaining righteousness by being imputed with guilt). But on the other hand, when it comes to explaining the non-salvation of the non-elect, these same preachers don’t want to talk about God’s sovereignty but only about God’s justice.

But guilt is not enough for destruction, because you also have to be non-elect. The elect are also born guilty in sin, under the wrath of God, but all the elect will pass from guilt to justification. But these preachers deny that the elect are ever guilty, and they minimize any idea that Christ was imputed with the guilt of the elect, and in that way obtained justification for the elect. And these same preachers deny that non-election is any factor in some sinners not being saved.

Romans 9: 11 For though her sons had not been born yet or done anything good OR BAD, so that God’s purpose according to election would stand— 12 not from works but from the One who calls

The confusing preachers who teach that non-election is no factor in the destruction of sinners also tend to teach that Adam’s sin imputed is no factor in the condemnation of sinners. They say that the non-elect are condemned only for their own sins, and not for the sin of Adam Thus they teach 1. that the elect are never ever condemned, and never pass from guilt to justification
(the two seed in the spirit idea from primitive baptists, the children of the woman)
And they teach 2. that the non-elect are not born condemned, are not condemned until they themselves sin

If we are saved by Christ’s faith, and not by means of faith in Christ, when did the “faith of Christ” happen—-did Christ have vicarious faith for the elect before time began? In the purpose of God, Christ was slain and crucified before the ages, but it was not until once for all time that Christ obtained permanent redemption for all the elect, both for those who had already been justified and also for those who would be justified.

If those who do not yet believe the gospel are already justified, there is no way to judged saved and lost by the gospel

Romans 4: 23 Now “righteousness was imputed to him” was not written for Abraham alone, 24 but also for us. Righteousness WILL BE IMPUTED TO US WHO BELIEVE in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 The Lord was delivered up because of our trespasses and raised because of our justification.

Henry Mahan—“When did this righteousness Christ brought in come to you? You don’t have this righteousness imputed to you before you believe the God of the gospel.”

There is a difference between the righteousness of Christ’s death, its imputation, and the justification which follows imputation. The righteousness of the death is the value God puts on the death. When that righteousness is legally shared with an elect person, that elect person passes from death to life and is justified. There are no justified persons who do not yet believe the gospel. This does NOT make faith in the gospel to be an “instrumental cause” of God’s imputation.

There is a difference between sin and the guilt of sin and the corruption of sin. The guilt of sin counted against a person causes a person to come under condemnation and the result of that is death.

John 5: 24 “I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and BELIEVES Him who sent Me HAS the lasting life of the age to come and will NOT COME UNDER THE JUDGMENT but HAS passed from death to life.

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