Archive for the ‘death’ category

Why is Un-Circumcision Nothing?

March 7, 2020

Galatians 6: 11 Look at what large letters I use as I write to you in my own handwriting.

14 AS FOR ME, I WILL NEVER GLORY ABOUT ANYTHING EXCEPT THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. The world has been crucified to me through THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.,and I have been crucified to the world through THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. 15 BECAUSE BOTH circumcision AND UNCIRCUMCISION mean nothing. What matters INSTEAD is a new CREATION. 16 Let peace come to all those who follow this rule…..

This is the last part of Paul’s letter to the Galatians. It’s the part that Paul himself wrote down, and not his secretary who had written the rest from Paul’s dictation. It’s the conclusion, the important application.

In this essay I only have two questions, and this time I think I have answers for the two questions.

1. How and Why can Paul say that “uncircumcision” is nothing? I can understand why he would say that “circumcision is nothing”. His entire point has been that the circumcision of the Sinai covenant (and I add, also of the Abrahamic covenant) is nothing by which a sinner can be justified.

a. Circumcision is one part of many parts, and you can’t take one part of a covenant but not take the other parts. Because all the parts of a covenant  (all the commands and all the sanctions) go together. So, if you want to be justified by adding one part, then you will need to add the other parts.

Galatians 5:3 Every man who gets himself circumcised is obligated to keep the entire law.

“The entire law” is not some generic summary of all the laws and all the covenants in the Bible. “The entire law” is all the commands of the Sinai law.

b. NOBODY can be justified by obeying the Sinai law. This is not because sinners are attempting to obey the Sinai law. This is not because sinners are misunderstanding what the Sinai law commands. The Sinai law does require circumcision. The Sinai law does require holy war and holy separation from Gentiles. BUT NOBODY WAS JUSTIFIED BY OBEYING THE SINAI LAW . NOBODY EVER COULD BE JUSTIFIED BY OBEYING THE SINAI LAW.

In theory, every Jew (and every Gentile in the Galatian congregation) knows this. They all know that nobody is justified by obeying the Sinai law.

Genesis 5: 6 For in Christ Jesus NEITHER circumcision NOR UNCIRCUMCISION accomplishes anything

c. So I  think I understand saying “circumcision is nothing”. The Sinai covenant is nothing. It won’t justify. It never justified. And that “nothing” becomes a big big something if you think that nothing could in anyway increase or decrease your justification.

Galatians 5: 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ. You have fallen from grace.

Now that faith has come, now that Christ has come, now that the new covenant has come, the Sinai covenant is still nothing, which means that circumcision is nothing.  But even during the temporary time of the Sinai covenant, the circumcised could stay in that covenant and still not be justified before God.

 Paul seems to be saying something more–no longer can you stay in the Sinai covenant, no longer can your circumcision have any historical-covenantal significance. Because Christ is both the fufillment and the end of the Sinai covenant, which means that “nothing circumcision” becomes a very big something when Judiasers tell Gentile converts that circumcision is something.

Paul has an intense and important argument with the troublers who have come to the Galatians congregation. NOW THAT YOU SAY THAT CIRCUMCISION IS A SOMETHING, I am going to agree that circumcision is a something, but not in the positive way you have been saying, but rather placing any gospel importance on circumcision makes it SOMETHING that leaves you not reconciled to God by Christ.  This is not merely a disagreement about ethics, because your behavior in saying that the Gentiles are unclean is not only evidence of unbelief in the cross of Jesus Christ but is itself unbelief in the cross of Christ.
Galatians 5: 2 I tell you that if you get yourselves circumcised, Christ will not benefit you at all.

Unless you agree with Paul that “circumcision is nothing”, then Christ will be of no advantage to you.

This gets me to my first question. Why then say also that “uncircumcision is nothing”? If we are saying that being circumcised means that you are not and will not be justified, doesn’t that mean that “uncircumcision” is a big deal, a something and not a nothing?

If “uncircumcision is nothing”, why spend six chapters writing about not being under the Sinai law and not being circumcised?

Now I will give you the answer. The answer is that you can know that justification is not by circumcision AND STILL NOT KNOW THE GOSPEL. Yes, it’s important to know that justification is not by obeying the Sinai law. If you don’t know that, you miss the gospel. BUT (and this is an important but), I never thought anybody could be justified by keeping law, but I knew that but still without knowing the gospel of justification by means of Christ’s death.

I could give you some analogies. Yes, you need to know that Christ died only for the elect and that only the elect will be justified. If you deny that, you do not yet know the gospel. But also, you can agree with election and the extent of the atonement, AND STILL DO NOT KNOW THE GOSPEL. So denying universal ineffective atonement is “nothing” if you still don’t know that Christ’s death is the entire basis of justification before God.

Yes, you need to know that we sinners don’t have “free-will” (power to the contrary against God). You need to know that we are born guilty and unable to believe the gospel. if you deny that, you do not know the gospel. But also, you can agree with condemnation inherited from Adam, AND STILL NOT KNOW THE GOSPEL. So denying “free will” is “nothing” if you still don’t know that Christ’s death (and not our regeneration by the sovereign God) is the entire basis of justification before God.

One more analogy, and then I will move on to my second question. Yes, you need to know that the Abraham covenant was temporary. God promised Abraham many children and land and that his seed would bless those Gentiles elected to justification before God. But God is no longer promising any child of Abraham that they will have many children or that these children will have land or be justified. And you need to know that the “Zionist” notions that Jewish people are “now God’s people” or “will be justified after they die” are false gospels. If you believe the “all in one covenant now” false gospel, you cannot believe the true gospel taught in the book of Galatians.

But all that being said, denying Zionism is not itself the gospel. Denying Zionism is “nothing” because Denying Zionism is not the gospel (even though you need to deny that there is still a covenant with Abraham in order to know and believe the gospel) .

When the disturbers of the Galatian congregation hang on to the Sinai covenant, that is bad for the gospel. When the Jewish Judiasers command circumcision for Gentiles, that is bad for the gospel. “If you do this, Christ will be of no profit to you.” But Paul at the end of the letter writes “BOTH circumcision AND UNCIRCUMCISION mean nothing. What matters INSTEAD is a new CREATION.”   As he had already written, in chapter 5, “neither one but creation”. 

Second question.  Is “new creation” our regeneration by the Holy Spirit or is “us being the new creation” our new legal standing in Christ, the mediator of the new covenant?


Those who read my essays might  might predict that I would ask. “what is new creation”?   And you might also predict that my answer would be Christ Himself, who is in an important sense of the word “seed”  (the most important sense) of Abraham.  Christ and not the Holy Spirit is the seed of Abraham.  The Holy Spirit did not become incarnate. The Holy Spirit is not now also Jewish. The Holy Spirit is not also human.  And so I asked that predictable question because I already knew the answer I wanted to give. And after all , the final rule of Galatians (written in large letters by Paul) is that I BOAST IN NOTHING EXCEPT THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.

(The world has been crucified to me through THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST  I have been crucified to the world through THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST)

We get it. We got it.   The Holy Spirit did not die on the cross.  The work of the Holy Spirit in us is not “the cross”. The cross happened outside of us, in a different time and space, not now and not here in our hearts. We do not boast at the work of the Holy Spirit inside our hearts.

Can we stop now? 

My first question was, why in Galatians 6:15 did Paul say “UNCIRCUMCISION means nothing”. Was Paul writing riddles and paradoxes? I refer you above for my answer.  When nothing becomes a something, then the people who made it a something are in big trouble, and that not’s nothing.  But don’t forget that it’s still a nothing.   And people who never brought up circumcision, who never made a nothing into a something, might still not know the gospel. 

My second question is, why in Galatians 6:15 did Paul say  “What matters INSTEAD is a new CREATION”?

“Instead of” what?  Instead of physical circumcision.  Romans 2: 5 For circumcision benefits you if you observe the law, but if you are a lawbreaker, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 

Somebody who likes to use the word “imputation” (like me) could say, God then counts their physical circumcision as “uncircumcision” 

Romans 2: 26 Therefore if an uncircumcised man keeps the law’s requirements, will his uncircumcision not be counted as circumcision? 

Not all the uses of the word “imputation” have to do with God counting Christ’s death as the death of the elect sinners. Some uses of the word “imputation” have us “counting God as righteous” (because God is righteous). And this Romans 2 text is a different kind of counting/ imputation.  This one has to do with God and us “declaring who is a Jew”.  Some of this same kind of thinking takes place in Romans 9-11  (see also Colossians 2)

Romans 2: 28.  For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, and true circumcision is not something VISIBLE IN THE FLESH 29 On the contrary, a person is a Jew who is one INWARDLY and circumcision is of the mind—by the Holy Spirit.

So how does this text relate to the two Galatians texts–circumcision/uncircumcision don’t matter—new creation matters.  Paul writes to the Galatians that “visible in the flesh circumcision” is a nothing.  It is such a nothing that if  you get it done to your flesh, that means justification by keeping Sinai law, and justification by Sinai law is impossible.  ( Some might call it “hypothetical”, but let’s count it and name it as “empty set”—never happened, not going to happen). 

So what does matter in Romans 2?  “If an uncircumcised man KEEP THE SINAI LAW’S REQUIREMENTS….” 

So is Galatians (or Romans 2 for that matter)  teaching us that becoming “new creation” means that the Holy Spirit causes us to keep the Sinai covenant laws?  Or Is Galatians teaching us that “new creation” means that the Holy Spirit will cause us to keep Christ’s commandments ? 

Galatians 5: 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything. What matters is FAITH WORKING LOVE.

Galatians 6: 2 Carry one another’s burdens. In this way YOU WILL FULFILL the law of Christ.

I Corinthians 7: 18 Was anyone already circumcised when he was called? He should NOT UNDO HIS CIRCUMCISION

I suppose that “undoing your circumcision” would be “uncircumcision”.  And I think there are medical procedures which actually do this. But then would come the question, what’s the difference between having your circumcision undone and simply never having been circumcised in the first place?  But the answer is ultimately still the same—UNCIRCUMCISION IS NOTHING. 

(One more analogy—the difference between somebody whose parents superstitiously got them watered “just in case” and somebody whose pagan parents never got them watered—and the answer is still the same, watered twice or watered once or watered never, water is not circumcision and water is nothing, so therefore if you allow yourself be watered to begin or to increase justification, then you cannot be justified, but that being said “water is nothing” because “not water” is not the gospel. )

I Corinthians 7: 18 Was anyone called while uncircumcised? He should NOT GET CIRCUMCISED. 19 Circumcision does not matter and uncircumcision does not matter. BUT KEEPING GOD’S COMMANDS DOES MATTER.

Can we now return to my second question, and can we have an answer this time  (not going some place else like Corinthians or Colossians 2 or Romans 2)? 

When Galatians 6 says “new creation”, I can see how that relates to the Holy Spirit causing us to obey commands (inwardly from invisible motives of the heart) but what does that have to do with the rule about ” I BOAST IN NOTHING EXCEPT THE CROSS”?  Is that hyperbole, because the apostle Paul does write about many things, not only about Christ’s death. But does Paul glory in anything else? 

Philippians 3: 2 watch out for evil workers, watch out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, the ones who serve by the Spirit of God, boast in Christ Jesus, and do not put confidence in the flesh.

Paul serves and obeys by the Holy Spirit. Paul does not boast in the Holy Spirit.

Paul does not put confidence in the flesh (circumcision or “being strong on the local church” or “going by my conscience” or “being reliable”).  But Paul does not boast in his not putting confidence in the flesh. Paul does not boast in his lack of self-righteousness.  Nor does Paul boast in his lack of “other sins”. 

Paul boasts in Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus was raised from the dead, and Christ’s resurrection from Christ’s death is NOT REFORMATION IN CONTINUITY WITH THE PAST.  Christ’s resurrection from Christ’s death is the New Covenant and the end of the Sinai covenant (and the end of the Abrahamic covenant).  The seed of Abraham now risen from the dead brings blessing to the elect from the Gentiles (and from the Jews) .  Resurrection from death is NOT ” he didn’t ever really die”.  Resurrection from death in history is God reconciled by the death of Christ the seed of Abraham come in the flesh for the sins of the elect imputed to Christ.

What is “new creation” ?

Romans 6: 9  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.  But in light of the fact that Christ lives, He lives to God.

“New creation” is having been raised from the dead.   It’s not having been given a new nature.  It’s not only having been caused to believe and obey the gospel. Believing and obeying the gospel is a result of “new creation”.  Those God has elected and then legally placed into Christ are “new creation”. Instead of talking about a regeneration inside us, to glory in the cross is to glory in Christ’s resurrection from the death that frees those who God places into Christ’s death.  Those who are thus justified are free from still needing to be justified or assured of justification by keeping some of the laws of the Sinai or Abrahamic covenants. 

Galatians 2: 20 I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Sinai law, then Christ died for nothing.

NOTHING.  All or nothing.  Either justification (and life, immortality, freedom from guilt)  by our keeping covenant. Or justification  (and lasting life) by Christ’s death on the cross.  If Christ died for something, then keeping Sinai is nothing. If keeping Sinai is something, then Christ died for NOTHING. 

Saying that the Sinai covenant is something is ANTI-GOSPEL. 

Saying that the Sinai covenant is nothing, however, is not the gospel.

The gospel is Christ having died for the sins of the elect on the cross. 

Christ having once died is EVERYTHING. 

The disturbers of the Galatian congregation want to have the flesh of the Gentiles cut.  Paul responds–circumcision is nothing. But Paul also responds—I wish those who attempt to get you to do this nothing would “cut off their entire organ”.   Galatians 5: 11 IF CIRCUMCISION IS STILL PREACHED, THEN  THE OFFENSE OF THE CROSS HAS BEEN ABOLISHED.  12 I wish those who are disturbing you might also get themselves dis-membered” 

There is an either or here., a big something from all this “nothing” .  The Sinai covenant has been abolished (not only “ceremonial” parts, but entirely). If the Sinai covenant has not been abolished, then we do not boast in the cross.   If circumcision has not been abolished, then we abolish boasting in the cross. 

So have I answered my second question yet? Am I saying that the Holy Spirit is nothing, keeping commandments is nothing, and that Christ’s death on the cross is everything?  Either we are identified with Christ’s death or we are identified with the Sinai covenant? 

Galatians 3: 2 Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the Sinai law or by hearing with faith?  After beginning with the  Holy Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh (obeying the Sinai law)? 

We need to keep thinking about how receiving the Holy Spirit (from Christ) relates to hearing with faith the good news about Christ and His resurrection from death.   Abraham believed the gospel of resurrection. Abraham believed the gospel about his seed in the flesh.  But how does receiving the Holy Spirit have to do with not only Christ’s resurrection but also our believing this gospel? 

Galatians 3: 13  Christ  redeemed us elect Jews  from the curse of the Sinai law by becoming a curse for us.   14. THE PURPOSE WAST was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, so that Gentiles would receive the promised Holy Spirit.

God promised Abraham not only many children and land, but also promised Abraham that his seed would bring blessing to some Gentiles. And the blessing of Abraham for these Gentiles is not only justification through Christ’s death on the cross but also receiving the Holy Spirit so that they would believe the gospel about Christ’s death and resurrection. 

When we are describing “new creation”, we  are not talking about all Gentiles or about all Jews. 

Galatians 3: 27 For AS MANY OF YOU as HAVING BEEN baptized into Christ have put on Christ like a garment.

This text does not say that the Holy Spirit baptized us into Christ. Nor does this text teach that baptism is water.  But in the “new creation”, there is no Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. 

Those in the new creation are “all one in Christ Jesus.” 29 as many as belong to Christ, they are Abraham’s sons. 

Abrahams’s seed is not only the one person Christ.  Abraham’s seed is also, in another sense, the new creation, those who believe in the gospel.  Abraham believe in the gospel, and as many as believe the gospel are heirs according to one of the promises God made to Abraham. 

Genesis 22: 14 And Abraham named that place The Lord Will Provide. 15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven
16 and said…“BECAUSE YOU HAVE DONE  this thing and have not withheld your only son 17 I will make your seed as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore…. All the nations will be blessed by your seed BECAUSE YOU HAVE OBEYED MY COMMAND. ”

“The new creation” has to do with the promise God made to Abraham about blessing Gentiles.   Galatians 3: 19 The Sinai law was added … UNTIL the Seed to whom the promise was made would come.

“Them” and “you” gets a bit confusing in Galatians. 

Galatians 3: 13  Christ  redeemed us elect Jews  from the curse of the Sinai law by becoming a curse for us elect Jews.   14. THE PURPOSE WAS that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, so that Gentiles would receive the promised Holy Spirit

Galatians 4: 4 God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the Sinai law, to redeem THEM under the Sinai law, in order that we Gentiles would receive adoption as SONS And because YOU are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into YOUR hearts.

Is the “you” only Jews or only Gentile or both?  Well, what is the “new creation”?  

I suppose you could call me a “dispensationalist” because of what I am answering about “new creation”, but you should not call me “Marcionite” because I am not at all denying that the God who abolished the Sinai law (separations from the Gentile part of creation) is the same God who gave the Jews the Sinai covenant to begin with. 

I stop while agreeing that there is a lot of “not yet answered” in my second answer, but here add on last texts from Galatians. 

Galatians 5: 17 The Holy Spirit desires what is against the flesh. 18 But if you are led by the Holy Spirit, you are not under the law.

I don’t want to go back to nothing is something and something is nothing, but  It is not being led by the Holy Spirit that causes us (or anybody) to not be under the Sinai law.    In which case, many would suggest that we translate “the law” instead of “the Sinai law”, because that will smooth over some questions we don’t want to (or can’t)  answer.  

But I would still stay that those who were never under Sinai law are not justified from being under the Sinai law.  Those who were never circumcised do not need to become “uncircumcised”.   It is not the gospel for antinomians to say “we know we are justified because we know that we are not under the sabbath and or any of the other Ten Commandments”.  Yes, it’s true, you never were under the Sinai or Abrahamic covenants. That does not mean that you are now in the new covenant.   

If you are led by the Holy Spirit, then you know and believe the gospel about the seed of Abraham and why He died on the cross for the sins of the elect. The Holy Spirit caused you to know this gospel.   Your believing this gospel did not place you into Christ’s death. But if you are indeed not under the condemnation of Adam with which you were born, then you are led by the Holy Spirit and you continue to believe the gospel. 

Galatians 5:  The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control…. 24 Now AS MANY AS who belong to Christ Jesus live by the Holy Spirit.  We must also follow the  Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Not compete to be Worst Sinner—More Sin does not get us More Grace.

February 12, 2020

The attempt to bribe Ukraine was not “inappropriate”.The call was perfect. I have the absolute right and power to pardon myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?

https://babylonbee.com/news/trump-declares-he-has-right-to-pardon-himself-on-day-of-gods-judgment/

I Timothy 1 :13 I was formerly a cruel persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus would  demonstrate His extraordinary patience as an example to those who would BELIEVE IN HIM FOR LASTING LIFE 

I John 1:7 The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and RIGHTEOUS to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We could have a contest about who’s the chief sinner, or we could be “subjective” and say “well everybody should feel like they are the chief sinner and the lowest in the dust”, but then that would turn the gospel into something about us.

It’s not a sin to confess our sins.
God does not forgive sins because we confess our sins.
It’s not a sin for us to confess the gospel.
God does not forgive sins because we confess the gospel. Doing good works is not sin.
God does not forgive sins because sinners refuse to do anything for their neighbors.

Many Republicans are telling me that we are all sinners and argue there is no need to save ourselves (or God) from Donald Trump (because Trump is only another sinner, like the rest of us). And then they explain that it’s perfectly appropriate to kill people or vote against socialism for the poor, as long as we keep that a “separate issue” from the gospel. They will not be trying to keep their country “Christian”, but they will be working to keep their country the way it used to be.

One Trump supporter deplored what he called “theological perfectionism”— “piety and pragmatism are not mutually exclusive. We are supporting Trump not because he is the best Christian, but because he is the leader best suited to defend Christians.
This Trump supporter also thinks that making a distinction between universal sufficient atonement and specific sins imputed to Christ is “theological perfectionism”

Jerry Falwell—A poor person never gave anyone a job. A poor person never gave anybody charity, not of any real volume. It’s just common sense to me. In the earthly kingdom, the responsibility is to choose leaders who will do what’s best for your country.”

“This poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their wealth, but she
from her poverty….” Mark 12:43-44

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2007/05/jerry-falwell-faith-based-fraud.html

Unlike that other sinner over there,
at least I know I am a sinner
Because I am a sinner in my own eyes
this proves that Jesus died for me
because at least I am sorry
even if I don’t plan to do any better
because if you agree that you are a sinner
one time for real in your heart believe you are a sinner,
then that’s enough.

My preacher says if he can find a sinner
hearing his preaching can save me.

Then these same preachers say it would be “perfectionism” to “make an issue” about if Adam’s guilt is imputed to infants or to even discuss if Christ really died under guilt for sins. (Meanwhile, either in their preaching or in their books, they deny that either Christ or the elect were really under wrath in history, but they are proclaiming not discussing or explaining.)

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

You can know you are a sinner without being justified
God never will justify all sinners.
It makes no sense to compete with other sinners about
“but I really know I am a sinner but you don’t. ”

Christ rejects many sinners as His guilty clients, because Christ was never the mediator for many guilty sinners. God never imputed the sins of non-elect sinners to Christ. These sinners are not only condemned for their wrong gospel. They were condemned already through Adam’s guilt at their birth.

God’s election of the elect came first before Christ’s atoning death.
Atonement to satisfy justice is a result of God’s love for the elect.
God’s love for the elect is not a result of Atonement for the elect.
This means that election is not the same thing as the atonement.
This means that election is not the same thing as justification.

Antinomian clergy to would be pacifists—-“God doesn’t care what you do. God loves and comforts you no matter what you do.

Does hating law (like Trump and the antinomian preachers do) eliminate the possibility of your being a hypocrite? For many antinomians, avoiding hypocrisy is their main gospel solution for sin. “Well, I may be profane and cruel , but at least I’m honest about it.”

Antinomian preachers say that only the gospel teaches what sin is.
Antinomian preachers think self-righteousness is the only sin.

But when “we don’t preach any law” preachers say that it’s not preaching unless it’s only gospel, they are confusing law with gospel

I have had some experience with people who accuse me of being self-righteousness if I say anything about any other sin than self-righteousness. But of course they don’t think they are self-righteous when they accuse me of being self-righteous.

Self-righteousness is not our only sin. Sin against the gospel is not the only sin. Adam’s first sin was not against the gospel because (before sin) there was no gospel. Adam sinned against the law. The law is not of faith. The law is–do not sin.

Romans 4: 7 How joyful are those whose lawless acts are forgiven and whose sins are covered!
8 How joyful the sinner
the Lord will never charge with sin! (Psalm 32)

The only hope for those born under the reign of sin is the reign of grace, by means of Christ’s death for imputed sins.

Psalm 103: For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
15 our days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, gone and forgotten

Sin is a problem that God’s grace “overcomes”. In no way is our sin or honestly about sin an addition to the truth and power of grace. This is something Tullian (and Forde) never learned. Talking about your sin is not that much different from talking about yourself (or your grandfather).

Romans 3: 5 But if our unrighteousness highlights God’s righteousness, what are we to say? Is God unrighteous to inflict wrath on sinners? 6 Absolutely not!
Romans 3: 7 But if by my lie God’s truth is amplified to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 Some slander us and claim that we say, “Let us do what is evil so that good may come”? Their condemnation is deserved!

Romans 5: 20 where sin increased grace increased even more 21 As sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in lasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6: 7 a person who has died is justified from sin’s guilt which is the power of sin. 9 we know that Christ, HAVING BEEN raised from the dead, will not die again. Death NO LONGER rules over Him. 10 Christ died to sin once for all time.

Adam sinned as a substitute for sinners. In the reign of death, the guilt of Adam is imputed by God to all sinners. But there is a reign of righteousness, because Jesus Christ actually died INSTEAD OF elect sinners, as their substitute.

Some antinomians take the language of “we died with Christ” to mean that the elect were baptized into Christ PRIOR TO the accomplishment of Christ’s death, so that when Christ died, the elect died with Him. In this false gospel, the elect are not legally placed by God into a FINISHED death, but were already legally in Christ as He was dying on the cross.

Some antinomians take the error even further, and claim that Christ Himself never died and that Christ Himself was never under guilt and sin before God. And then they say the same about Christ’s elect.

This error changes the nature of Christ’s death on the cross from a substitutionary sacrifice, made by the holy Lamb apart from the
sinners, to a corporate non-event that includes the elect. As these false teachers deny that anybody is ever ultimately condemned for
Adam’s guilt (but only for their own unbelief) , they also deny that Christ Himself ever became condemned or ever became justified.

Romans 4:24 God raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 Jesus was handed over to guilt and Jesus was raised because of justification.

Grace does not reign because of our sin. Grace does not reign because of our lack of self-righteousness. Grace does not reign because of Christ’s law keeping. Grace reigns because of Christ’s death, not because of our death.

The elect who are justified are not justified because they were always justified. Christ was justified because of Christ’s death
because of guilt imputed. The justification of the elect is not the same thing as the justification of Christ.

The elect were not always imputed righteous. Christ was not always imputed righteous. Christ’s death brought in the righteousness that justifies (even Abraham). Christ was raised from the dead because Christ was justified by death. Christ was raised from the dead because all His elect will become justified.

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

It is a very bad over-reaction against those who say that Christ was made corrupt to deny redemptive history and to falsely claim that Christ was never MADE anything.

The second person of the Trinity is not a person in abstraction from the human nature that this person would in future take on.
The Logos is not a mediator between the two natures of Christ the person.
The lifting up of Christ the person to death is the revelation and exaltation of Christ the person.
The immutability of Christ cannot mean that Christ does not die and rise from the dead in history

I Corinthians 15:45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam BECAME a living being”. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Christ before and after incarnation is God
God the Son always has the Father
Christ’s death is not God’s apology to sinners
Christ’s death is God’s satisfaction to God for the sins of the sinners who God loves

I John 4: 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that God loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

God is not our love.
God is not our idea of “eternity”.
God the Father sent the Son to die for the sins of the elect.
God the Son is the man who obtained righteousness by death

Romans 5: 17 Because by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man Adam, how much more will those who receive the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ

Romans 6 teaches that grace is either grace or not. There is not more or less grace, but either grace or no grace. More sin does not get the elect more grace, because all those God justifies have all the grace any other elect person has.

While unbelievers trust in God to help them to sin less, those who have been delivered to the gospel will remember even in the age to come that there are only two kind of sinners,—guilty sinners and justified sinners .

Revelation 5:9 “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

We justify God because God has revealed God. And God has revealed that God is more than sovereign. God’s words reveal God to be Righteous and Just. And God’s word is justified in history by what God did when Christ gave Himself up to death on the cross because of the imputed guilt of the elect.

We were wrong: God was right and God is still right. God prevails, but it is not only a matter of “sovereignty always wins”. One. We have no right to make a negative judgment on God. Two, it is God who will be making a negative judgment on many sinners. Let that cause us to fear God and to confess the gospel and our sins before God.

Not only God’s Purpose, Immanuel with Us Lifted Up to Death Once for the Sins of the Elect

December 11, 2019

God the Son became incarnate in order to die under law and wrath for the sins of the elect imputed to Him. By His death Jesus Christ obtained the righteousness revealed in the gospel. Christ was raised from the dead because Christ’s death has obtained reconciliation (righteousness) for all those whose sins had been imputed to Christ by God. 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, reconciliation) to define the gospel, but you do have to believe the same gospel or you are not yet justified.

Hebrews 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of God’s nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, the Son sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

If Jesus Christ made purification for all the sins of all sinners, and if not all sinners are justified, then the death of Jesus Christ was neither just nor effective nor necessary. Though God cannot die, the person Jesus Christ who is both God and human did die. This is not only a “plan”. The gospel good news is something that happened in history.

Hebrews 2: 10 it was entirely appropriate that God…should make the source of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For the One who sanctifies and those who sanctified all have one Father.

God’s sovereignty does NOT mean that God justifies some sinners without any gospel. God does not give “salvation” without Christ having once died to obtain that salvation. God does not impute Christ’s death to those for whom Christ died until God also teaches them not only to know the meaning of the gospel but causes them to obey this gospel by believing this gospel and repenting of other false gospels (which are not gospel). Being justified is not something caused by water. Sinners are either justified and sanctified before God, or they are not justified and sanctified before God. There is no intermediate state of “justified but needing to be more justified” (or sanctified) .

Hebrews 5: 7 The Son offered prayers and appeals with loud cries and tears to the One who was able to save Him from death, and the Son was heard because of His reverence. 8 Though He was God’s Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. 9 After the Son was perfected, the Son became the source of lasting salvation for all who obey Him

God only justifies those who obey the gospel. The claim that God justifies without the gospel is a false gospel.

Acts 17: You worship in ignorance, so I proclaim to you. 24 “The God who made the world and all things in it, because God is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is God served by humans, as though God needed anything, since God Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and God made from one human every group of humans to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 in order that they would seek God, perhaps to grasp for God and to find God, though God is not far from each one of us; 28 for in God we live and move and exist… we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of humans

Those who teach (or leave implied) that Jesus Christ died for all humans are teaching a false gospel. Those who find assurance in water or church or temple membership find comfort in a false gospel.

Isaiah saw and worshiped God the Son, the person who always was but who in time, became also human, GOD WITH US, Immanuel.

Isaiah 6: Then I said:
Woe is me for I am ruined
because I am a man of unclean lips
and live among a people of unclean lips,
and because my eyes have SEEN the King,
the Lord of Hosts.

Isaiah 7:14 The Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.

Isaiah 9: 6 For a child will be born for us,
a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Lasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 50: 6 I gave My back to those who beat Me,
and My cheeks to those who tore out My beard.
I did not hide My face from scorn and spitting.

Isaiah 53: He was despised and rejected by humans…
He was someone people turned away from
He was despised, and we did not value Him.
We regarded Him as stricken and struck down by God

If we are mistaken to believe in imputation and substitution happening in history, then Christ’s death was NOT an accomplishment. If no sins were actually imputed by God to Christ, then Christ’s death was merely an injustice brought about by humans. If the elect were never SEEN BY GOD in their sins, and if Christ was never legally imputed with sins, there is no good NEWS.

Luke 9: 29 As Jesus was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly, two men were talking with Jesus—Moses and Elijah. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of His DEPARTURE (his death), which Jesus was about to ACCOMPLISH in Jerusalem

John 3: 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man MUST be lifted up, 15 in order that as many as who believe in Him will have lasting life.

John 8:26 the One who sent Me is true, and what I have heard from Him—these things I tell the world.” 27 They did not know He was speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the Son of Man…”

John 12: 34 Then the crowd replied to Jesus, “We have heard from the scripture that the Messiah will remain forever. So how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up”….37 Even though He had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in Him. 38 This was to FULFILL THE WORD of Isaiah the prophet
Lord, who has believed our message?
39 They were unable to believe, because Isaiah said:
40 He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts,
in order that they would not see with their eyes
or understand with their hearts, and be converted,
41 Isaiah said these things because Isaiah saw His glory and spoke about Him.

John 14:9 The one who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 I am in the Father and the Father is in Me.

John 1: 1 In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.

God the Son is not only God, because God the Son ALSO was and is WITH GOD. God the Son was and is with God the Father and with God the Holy Spirit. This same person is NOW WITH US. Even though God the Son is now absent from us in His humanity (yes this is strange). God the Son up in heaven now is and always from now on will be in our humanity.

God the Son was under law and wrath, because God the Son died in strict substitution for all the sins of all the elect, and all those elect will be given the reconciliation accomplished by the death of God the Son. God the Son is no longer under law and wrath. God the Father was never under law and wrath .

Romans 6: 9-10,”We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives to God.

The gospel good news is not only Christ’s death but also Christ’s resurrection because Christ obtained justification that will be given to all the elect for whom Christ died.

Jonah 2:6 — “The earth with its prison bars was around me olam, but You have brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God.” (Olam means “indefinite duration. )

Matthew 12: 40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.

Psalm 71: 20 God, who is like You?
You caused me many troubles
but You will bring me up again,
even from the depths of the earth.

Revelation 1: 18 I am the First and the Last and the Living One. I was dead, but look—I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.

God did NOT create us with human minds that are separate from human bodies. God did NOT create us with “immortal immaterial consciousness” . God did NOT create us with “disembodied free wills that exist forever”. Genesis 2:7 teaches that God gives breath to dust to create “living souls” (persons). God warns us that persons not justified before God are “souls that sin and shall die”. The gospel teaches us to fear the God who can and will destroy souls to whom Christ’s death will never be imputed.

I Corinthians 15: 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless and you are still in your sins. 18 Therefore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ would also PERISHED….. But Christ HAS BEEN RAISED from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep

Resurrection is the only solution and our only hope. The traditional idea of a death that is only “separation” but not perishing is nothing but Satan’s lie republished (you shall not die)

Acts 2: 29 David is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Since he was a prophet, David knew that God had sworn an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing this in advance, David spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ. Jesus was not left in Hades. 32 God has resurrected this Jesus from death and the grave.

Only Comfort, and No Command “To Be Ye Reconciled”?

July 23, 2019

2 Corinthians 5:10 All must appear before the juddgment of Christ– Therefore, because we know the fear of the Lord, we seek to persuade

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

2 Corinthians 5:20 We PLEAD on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 6:2 now is the acceptable time. Now is the day of salvation

The preachers who only talk about about unregenerate people becoming regenerate are not talking about the good news of justification.
Those who think their gospel is good news that comforts everybody they preach to seem to think that the gospel tells sinners which sinners are elect

The gospel is not good news to those who have not yet believed the gospel.
Preachers are not to confuse the law with the gospel, and therefore they should teach clearly both law and gospel.

All sinners are commanded to believe the gospel, but the gospel tells nobody that they personally have believed the gospel. All sinners who have not yet believed the gospel are not only still unregenerate but still under God’s legal hostility Matthew 5:24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with them.

What is reconciiliation?

If you go to your neighbor “to be reconciled”, this is not because your neighbor is at fault, but because you have done something wrong to your neighbor , which is why you need to go to your neighbor to obtain “reconciliation”. If all this could be reduced to you changing the attitude in your own heart, then you would need to get reconciliation from the neighbor. Therefore, reconciliation is not a regeneration or a change in our heart. Reconciliation is about alienation and enmity from the neighbor. Reconciliation is a solution to an external problem.

What can effectively be done later after the wrong was done? Between humans, we can do things. But when our wrong is against God, and then we go to God “to be reconciled to God”, there is nothing we can do.
What we need is not a change in our hearts, but a propitiation, a reconcilation, not something we are to do but something God has done to take away God’s wrath (from the elect).

But some predestinarian preachers deny the problem, and teach that only we have any enmity, and that God never had problem (in terms of wrath against elect sinners).

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 always stood legally in Christ…This means
that God’s elect have never personally been under God’s wrath.”

But this raises the next question: was Christ Himself ever under God’s wrath?

If God never had aay personal wrath to an elect sinner, what would be the need for such a thing as a reconciliation or propitiation to remove God’s wrath from Christ the surety ofeelect sinners? In what real historical way was Chrsit himself ever under law, beaaring gult, and needing to die for sins? If God never has any enmity to the elect—then our own Enmity is only our Problem, and we don’t need propitation or even expiation.

Who is at enmity? Are you at enmity with the other person? or is the other person at enmity with you? To define reconciliation, you have to define what the hositlity was. Romans 5:11 “We rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation

It is a giant OVER-REACTION to those who say that Christ was made corrupt to also deny that Christ was ever made legally guilty before God. Christ was not only “made incarnate” but “became the righteousness”? Or do you see Christ as having only been imputed with guilt in God’s purpose but never in history?. Romans 8:3 God condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son IN FLESH like ours under sin’s guilt, and for sin. Christ’s death was not only to take away the enmity of the elect in their hearts to God, Christ’s death was propitiation, legal appeasement because of God’s own LEGAL AND OBJECTIVE enmity to elect sinners.

Ephesians 2: 13 “But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away…”

by our hostility or by God’s hostility?

“have been brought near by the blood of Christ 14 For Christ
is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility, in his flesh”

whose hostility?
our hostility or God’s hostility?
by the new birth ending our hostility or
IN HIS FLESH, Christ’s blood ending God’s hostility?
(when the death is imputed, when the reconciliation is imputed)

by regeneration in our hearts
or by the cross?

did Christ put the hostility to death by regeneration?
or did Christ put the hostility to death by His death?
whose hostility?

Ephesians 2: 16 Christ did this in order to reconcile both to God in one body through the cross and put the hostility to death by it.

2. Who is being told to “be ye reconciled”. If a sermon is all gospel and no law, then whatever the preacher says is going to be thought of as gospel, even when he’s talking about law. Some preachers teach only law and think that’s gospel. The answer to these legaliss is not to teach comfort for everybody, and no law or wrath for anybody. The solution is to talk about both law an gospel, so thaat people know the difference. The Solution is NOT to be told “to believe that you are reconciled (or have always been reconciled).

The plea (2 Corinthians, persuade) is to obey the gospel, the command to believe the gospel. Be ye Reconciled. The gospel does not tell anybody that they have believed the gospel.

John Owen—Sharing the gospel is not a matter of telling people that God has set his love on each of them and Christ has died to save each of them, for these assertions, biblically understood, would imply that they will all infallibly be saved, and this cannot be known to be true. The knowledge of being the object of God’s love and Christ’s redeeming death belongs to the individual’s assurance, which in the nature of the case cannot come before believing the gospel. The knowledge of being the object of God’s love is to be inferred from the fact that one has believed, not proposed as a reason why one should believe.

Election is before faith
Justification is not before faith
Faith in the gospel is a result of God’s imputation of Christ’s death
Imputation of Christ’s death is before faith, but receiving the reconciliation is not apart from faith or before 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

What does “eternity” mean?—-does it mean “timeless”?

Does “from eternity” means “justified by God as much from the future as from the past”?

Does “from eternity” mean not only “always was reconciledd” but also always being reconciled, never done being reconciled?

Are the elect no more justified after justification than they were before justification?

Since we agree that “justification” is not about “making us change on the inside” , why would we need to think that God’s legal transfers and legal declarations are only real in “God’s mind”?

If only what’s in God’s mind is real, and if everything else is mere “as if” legal symbolism, why did God condemn sin by the flesh of Christ in death?

Reconciliation before God is not a change IN the sinner
Reconciliation before God is a legal change FOR a sinner.
But is it possible for the Holy God to justify an ungodly elect sinner? Yes
Is the only way the Unchanging God can justify an ungodly sinner to have always justified that sinner? No
Is the only way the Unchanging God can mpute Christ’s death to an ungodly sinner is to have always imputed Chrst’s death to that sinner? No

Is the only way the Unchanging God could have Christ be imputed with the guilt of the elect ia to have always had and still have Christ be imputed with the guilt of the elect? No
Not according to Scripture. 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. . In fact Christ now lives

Hebrews 9: 28 Christ having been offered ONCE IN TIME 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.

Teaching two justifications
results in two confusions–
1. a confusion of justification with election, as if being in Christ
by election meant being already in Christ in every other way
2. a confusion of justification with regeneration, as if God never had any enmity with elect sinners and it was only elect snners who had enmity with God

Before we were regenerate, sure we were enemies of God in our own minds, But here’s the question I keep asking –what about God? was God ever our enemy?

Were the elect always justified in Christ?
Were the elect always “new creation” in Christ?

This is not about what we see or feel
This is about what was or was not legally objectively true

Was recononciliation always accomplished?
Was it necessary for reconciliation to be obtained by Christ’s death?

Had all the elect always received by imputation the reconciliation?

Romans 5: 8 When we were still sinners, Christ died for us! 9 Much more then, since we HAVE NOW BEEN declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. 10 For if, WHEN we were enemies, we WERE reconciled to God through the death of His Son.
Does this mean that only we were enemies and that God was never our enemy? No.

Romans 5:10 then how much more, HAVING BEEN reconciled, we WILL BE SAVED by His resurrection 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in
God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have NOW RECEIVED THE RECONCILIATION through Him.
Is this talking about our not being enemies of God? No.
Is this talking about the reconciliation in history by which God was
satisfied/ propitated for the guilt of the elect? yes

Must the “receiving the reconciliation ” be at the same time in history as the reconciliation was obtained by Jesus Christ? no
The reconciliation is received first by God’s imputation and then by faith

Romans 6: 9 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 8:3 God condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son IN FLESH like ours under sin’s guilt, and for sin

https://jamesward.bandcamp.com/track/isaiah-53-he-shall-be-satisfied

Do You have Two Different Blessed Hopes?

January 2, 2019

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared…..12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14 Christ gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession,eager to do good works.

Job 19 Then Job answered:
2 How long will you torment me
and crush me with words?
25 But I know my living Redeemer,
and He will stand on the dustat last.
26 Even after my skin has been destroyed,
yet I will see God in my flesh.
27 I will see Him myself;
my eyes will look at Him, and not as a stranger.
My heart longs within me.

According to the Bible, the “blessed hope” for Christians is the coming of Jesus back to earth, and the resurrection of the age to come. According to almost all traditional funeral sermons, the blessed hope is that our “souls” are immortal and can never die.

Yes,sometimes it is mentioned that “the body sleeps and that there will be a resurrection for the body in the future.” But almost no preacher ever sticks to that hope. In about everry case, the preacher gets back to some idea that “we have a body but we are a soul” Supposedly, the body that dies is not the real us, and this means that the real us “never died”.

When you are trading on falsehoods, and not proving anything from the Bible, you tend to contradict yourself. On the one hand, it’s only Christians whe never die. But on the other hand, it’s all humans who never die so that God and the angels will be there with most humans to torture them forever since even those humans will never die.

On the one hand, the body prepared in heaven for us is given to us as soon as we die, and therefore we go to heaven immediately and everybody up there knows us in this new body. On the other hand, the real us is not the body but the soul, and when Jesus comes, that sould which cannot die will be given a new body prepared in heaven.

No, it’s not consistent, but nobody asks any qustions when God’s spokesman with many years of experience assures us that these things are so. These ideas about the soul and the future are so important that to even qustion them would bring into question everything God’s spokespersons have ever said about the gospel.

And that is precisely why I am asking questions and correcting falsehoods. Our hope is not God’s infinite torture of God the Son. Our hope is God’s love for the elect in Christ’s death for the elect alone. Christ’s death is Christ’s righteousness, and that righteousness is the basis of our hope. False ideas about heaven and our souls are a false basis for hope.

Galatians 5:5 Through the Holy Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.

There is no future judgment for God’s justified elect after that coming reurrection. Our resurrection itself is one reward from Christ’s righteousness accomplished by His death

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

Luke 9:27 I tell you the truth: There are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” 28 About eight days after these words, Jesus took along Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 As Jesus was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became dazzling white.30 Suddenly, two men were talking with Jesus—Moses and Elijah. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of His DEPARTURE (his death), which Jesus was about to ACCOMPLISH in Jerusalem.

Christ’s “departure” in this Bible context is not His ascension or His resurrection. But forty days after His resurrection, Christ departed to heaven John 16: 5 “But now I am going away to Him who SENT ME, and not one of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 Yet, because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.7 Nevertheless,I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t GO AWAY the Counselor will not SOME TO YOU. If I go, I will SEND HIM TO YOU

It was not Christ’s resurrection or His ascension which accomplished the righteousness which God imputes to the elect. Nor is it Christ’s future second coming which accomplishes the righteousness which God imputes to the elect. Hebrews 9:26 -Now Christ has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of Himself…..28 so also Christ, 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.

Christ was exalted by going (departing)to die for the sins of all the elect, all of whom will be justified. Christ was “lifted up” by His death not by going to heaven.

John 12:23 Jesus replied to them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop…..27 Now My soul is troubled. What should I say—Father, save Me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name!”…32 As for Me, if I am LIFTED UP from the earth I will draw all people to Myself. 33 Jesus said this to signify what kind of DEATH HE WAS ABOUT TO DIE 34 Then the crowd replied to Him, “We have heard from the scripture that the Messiah will remain forever. So how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’?

John 3:12- If I have told you about things that happen on earth and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about things of heaven? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be LIFTED UP, 15 so that as many as who believe in Him will have lasting life. 16 “For God loved the world IN THIS WAY —He gave His One Begotten Son, in order that as many as who believe in Him will not perish but have lasting life.

Our hope is not getting one new body when we die, and then getting a different new body when Jesus comes

John 6:40 As many as who look to the Son and believe in him shall have lasting life, and I will raise them up at the last day”

Revelation 22:20 Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

I Corinthians 15:23 But each in his own order—Christ first, afterward at His coming those who belong to Christ

1 Corinthians 16:22 as many as love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let them be Anathema . Maranatha.

Philippians 3: 20 our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body

After the resurrection, will we have the new body we supposedly got when we died and went up to heaven? Or will we have the new body given at the resurrection when Jesus comes? Or will we have two new bodies then? And if you chuckle an arrogant laugh and tell us that God will figure it all out, that only reminds me that you have confused your contradictions with God’s revelation.

Philippians 1:20-I hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor FOR ME. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.

What are we hoping to gain? The Roman Catholic tradition assumes that “to die is gain” is hope for Paul to get off earth and straight to heaven, and rushes right past any idea of “fruitful labor” FOR ME. 2 Corinthians 4:10 We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, in order that the life of Jesus also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who live are always given over to death because of Jesus, in order that Jesus’ life also be revealed in our mortal flesh.

Instead of preaching a message that could lead to martyrdom and death, most preacers support large armies killing for the sake of their “religious freedom”, and use a Bible text about apostolic suffering to assure their comfortable clients that they will go straight to heaven when they die. Don’t wait. Order it today from Amazon. No need to wait for the “hope that comes from resurrection”, when you can be assured of the hope that comes from having an “immortal soul”. You get a body now as soon as you die, and since no body is the real you, then you can trade that body in for that different new body you get when Jesus comes. But since you are created in the image of God, no body will ever be you, because you are like God. This is the message which is supposedly safe and non-controversial and which will allow us to agree on other more important things.

John 8: 21 Then Jesus said to them again, “I’m going away; you will look for Me, and you will die in your sin. Where I’m going, you cannot come.” 22 So they said: “He won’t kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I’m going, you cannot come’?” 23 “You are from below,” Jesus told them, “I am from above. You are of this world. I am not of this world. 24 If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

John 17:15 I am not praying that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one.
John 17:24 Father, I desire that those You have given Me be with Me where I am. Then they will see My glory, which You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation.

Revelation 21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, 2 I saw the Holy City coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
3 Then I heard a loud voice from the throne:
Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity,
and He will live with them.
They will be His people,
and God Himself will be with them
and be their God.
4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will no longer exist;
grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer,
because the previous things have passed away.

I Corinthians 15:39 Not all flesh is the same flesh; there is one flesh for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is different from that of the earthly bodies. 41 There is a splendor of the sun, another of the moon, and another of the stars; for one star differs from another star in splendor. 42 So it is with the resurrection of the dead:
Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption;
43 sown in dishonor, raised in glory;
sown in weakness, raised in power;
44 sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body.
45 it is written: The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit… 47 The first man was from the earth and made of dust;
the second man is from heaven.48 Like the man made of dust, so are those who are made of dust; like the heavenly man, so are those who are heavenly.

2 Corinthians 5: we have a building from God, a lasting dwelling from the heavens, not made with hands. 2 Indeed, we groan in this body, desiring to put on our dwelling from heaven. 3 wHEN we are CLOTHED we will not be found NAKED . 4 Indeed, we groan while we are in this tent, burdened as we are. WE DO NOT WANT TO BE UNCLOTHED but clothed, in order that mortality be swallowed up by life. 5 And the One who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment. 6 So, we are always confident and know that while we are at home in this body we are away from the Lord and the Lord is way from us.

7 Because we walk by faith, not by sight, 8 and we are confident and to be out of this body and at home with the Lord.
NOTICE that the text does NOT say–“to be out of this body is to be at home with the lord”. Our hope is the Lord’s coming and our resurrection in the new spiritual body from heaven

In 2 Corinthians. 5:8, in context,
1. The hope expressed in the context is that of resurrection (2 Cor. 4:14);
2. The “earthly tent” is our present mortal body (5:1a);
3. The “building from God” , the house from heaven” (5:1b) is our future resurrection body;
4. The clothing metaphor (2-4) elsewhere is used of the resurrection (1Cor. 15:53-54);
5. The “swallowing up” of the “mortal” by “life” occurs at the resurrection (1Cor. 15:54);
6. It is in anticipation of this hope that we “groan” (2,4 Rom. 8:22f);
7. Paul’s use of such terms as “naked” (c.f. 1Cor. 15:36-27 with 42 and following) and “unclothed” describe the intermediate state and it is clear from the passage under consideration that Paul does not desire to be in this state (3,4) despite how Paul’s Greek contemporaries may have thought

2 Corinthians 5:10 Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, in orer that eachbe repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless. 11 Therefore, because we know the fear of the Lord, we seek to persuade people.

Those who teach an universal atonement (which then fails to atone!) use II Corinthians 5:15 to try to prove that Christ died for everybody. They assume that we want to tell everybody to live for Christ. The false gospel tells us, that, in order to tell everybody what to do, we first need to tell them that Christ died for them. But 2 Corinthians 5:15 is about a substitutionary representation. The same all for whom Christ died is the all who died. This death is not light and life for those who are already born justified. This death is death by legal imputation.

Since the judgment for all whom God loves (the elect) has already happened in Christ’s death, there will no future judgment for Christians. There will not even be a side-judgment where extra goodies and rewards are passed out. Why then is the text, II Corinthians 5, which is talking to Christians, bringing up the judgment? The answer is that Christians are being told in this text that they are “ambassadors” to those who are still in condemnation.

Some of those who are still lost are the elect, who even though God loves them and has always loved them, are right now ignorant of the gospel. And since the ambassadors to whom Paul is talking don’t know which of the lost are elect or not, they are to present the good news to all sinners, and to command all sinners to “ be reconciled”. The ambassadors do NOT say—-some of you have already received the reconciliation but just don’t know it. The reconciliation is received passively (by imputation) and that has not yet happened for those who are still ignorant of the gospel and still living in legalism. Look back at the time language of Romans 5:10-11—“now that we are reconciled, we shall be saved by His resurrection. We rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”

So why is Paul bringing up the judgment seat, when Christians have already passed through the judgment by imputation? Paul brings up “the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 5:11) because the justified ambassadors need to remember that there are lost people around them who have not yet been justified who need to hear the gospel and be commanded to be reconciled.

We don’t say: well if Christ died for them, then they are already reconciled and justified. They are not. Nor do we say: well, anyway, it’s sure to happen. God works in history. God imputes in time what Christ has paid for in time. And God uses the gospel as the message heard and believed by the elect as they are being justified John 5:24 As many as who hear My word and believes Him who sent Me has lasting life and will NOT COME UNDER JUDGMENT but has passed from death to life.

I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that H e shall stand at the latter day
Upon the earth. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall
I see God. (Job 19:25-26)

For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that
Sleep. (I Corinthians 15:20)

You were not Born with your Wedding Clothes on—Dressed in His Righteousness

October 12, 2018

Christ’s death is not obedience to the law. Christ’s death is satisfaction to the law. Christ’s death is not abrogation of the law.

Jeremiah 23: 6 This is what He will be named: The Lord Our Righteousness.

Jeremiah 33:16 Judah will be saved and this is what she will be named: the Lord Our Righteousness

You can’t add your own righteousness to God’s righteousness. You have to have your own clothes taken off. You have to be dressed in Christ’s righteousness alone. You can’t wear both kinds of clothes at the same time. It’s all or nothing, not some of both.

Our faith is that what Christ did outside us is now our wedding dress. Our wedding dress is not inside us. Our wedding dress is outside us. Our wedding dress is Christ’s death.

Our Justification is not the righteousness. The Righteousness is Christ’s death. The righteousness is the wedding dress. Those who wear the wedding dress are justified.

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 FOR THEMSELVES loincloths

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

Matthew 22:10 So those slaves went out on the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding banquet was filled with guests.11 But when the king came in to view the guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed for a wedding. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. 13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot and throw him out.”

Isaiah 61:10 I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, I will exult in my God. For God has clothed me with garments of salvation, God has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

The gospel of Zechariah 3 3 Now Joshua was dressed with clothes with shit on them as he stood before the Angel. 4 So the Angel of the Lord spoke to those standing
before Him, “Take off his shitty clothes!” Then the Angel said to Joshua, “See, I have removed your guilt from you, AND I will clothe you with splendid robes.

the law of Zechariah 3 7 “This is what the Lord of Hosts says: IF YOU walk in My ways and keep My instructions, you will both rule My house and take care of My courts.

Philippians 3—in order to gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ,

I want to write about our need to be dressed in Christ’s righteousness. We need to have Christ’s righteousness imputed to us. The word “righteousness” is not a magic word. The word needs definition and explanation. The word imputation also need definition and explanation. Even though the righteousness of Christ comes to us By God’s imputation, we also receive God’s righteousness through faith in Christ. Christ is not a magic word. We need the Holy Spirit to teach us to understand who Christ is and what Christ has done because the Holy Spirit does not cause us to believe a gospel we do not understand.

The Holy Spirit causes to us understand the difference between God’s righteousness (God’s character and nature) as DEMANDING righteousness in God’s LAW and God’s Righteousness (as something gained in history by Christ’s death) as REVEALED IN THE GOSPEL. The righteousness of Christ imputed to the elect is Christ’s death for all the sins (commission and omission) of the elect.

The Holy Spirit causes us to understand the difference between law and gospel. “You got to live right” is law. There is a difference between God demanding righteousness and God then (in history, good news) accomplishing once for all time the one act of obedience that SATISFIES God’s demand. Christ’s death for the elect is God’s gift for the elect not in order to get God to love the elect. “Elect” means God’s loved. Christ’s death for the elect is God’s grace to the elect because God loves the elect. Because God loves the elect, Christ died for the sins of the elect to satisfy God’a law.

There is a difference between “imputation” as declaration only and imputation as “declaration after transfer” . We declare God to be just, not because we make God to be just, but because God IS just. We don’t have to transfer anything to God for God to be just and for us to declare that God is just. God is ALWAYS ALREADY JUST. And we say so.

Romans 3:3 What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 By no means! Let God be true though everyone were a liar, as it is written, “ in order That you be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”

I Peter 3:4 Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed, 15 but honor and justify and set apart Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.

I don’t want to get sidetracked with these “theodicy” (justify God) texts. But the point is that we declare that God is just because God IS just. We declare Christ Lord because Christ IS Lord.

Romans 3: 25 God presented Christ as a propitiation through faith in His BLOOD, to DEMONSTRATE His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.

My point is simple. God is declared justified, because God is and always has been completely just in the way God does everything, including when God declares some sinners to be righteous. God imputes some sinners as righteous, but God cannot and does not do this without putting those sinners in wedding clothes. God is sovereign but God cannot and will not declare any sinner to be righteous until and unless God transfers to them Christ’s death as their righteousness.

We don’t have to transfer anything to God for God to us to declare that God is just. But God does have to bury us (place us) into Christ’s death as our righteousness in order for God to declare us righteous.

We need to avoid a confusing false gospel in which God is only sovereign and not just in God’s character or in God’s salvation of sinners. God is BOTH just and justifier of the ungodly. The death of Jesus was not merely one way (among many) God could have saved the elect. God does NOT justify by sovereignly causing us to live right

Luke 16:15 And Jesus told them: “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly admired by people is abomination in God’s sight.

Proverbs 17:15 Justifying the guilty and condemning the just— both are abomination to the Lord.

It doesn’t seem fair. It doesn’t look just. Some sinners get away from their sins. Other sinners sin the same sins, and don’t get away from their sins. Not only the punishment but the guilt of elect sinners is taken away before God by God’s propitiation. God made propitiation (satisfied wrath) by Christ’s death, and this is Christ’s righteousness. Since this does not seem fair, many false gospels teach that you can increase your own blessing and grace by adding onto Christ’s righteousness some additional clothes of your own. Add your own righteousness to Christ’s righteousness ( maybe not for justification but for assurance and other blessings)

Romans 10:3 They disregarded the righteousness from God and attempted to establish their own righteousness, they have not submitted themselves to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Many false gospels would say–we don’t disregard Christ’s righteousness. We don’t disregard Christ’s death. We only add to that righteousness by living right, and even our living right is from God, even our living right is imparted righteousness infused from God because God enables us to be better than other sinners.

But the Bible teaches that you can’t add your own righteousness to God’s righteousness. You have to have your own clothes taken off. You have to be dressed in Christ’s righteousness alone. You can’t wear both kinds of clothes at the same time. It’s all or nothing, not some of both.

Galatians 2:21 do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.

If your hope and your assurance is found in you living right, you will be thrown out, because you are not yet dressed in the only wedding clothes that God’s righteousness (law) demands. The only wedding clothes accepted are Christ’s righteousness (the gospel—the death of Christ given by God’s imputation).

Now, you may say, this sound complicated, and besides-why does it have to be so all or nothing? Are you saying that only some few people are dressed in Christ’s righteousness? Yes. Are you saying that if a person does not understand and believe in Christ’s righteousness, there is some some doctrinal reason that these people ought to be ashamed of “living right”? Yes, they are despising Christ’s death. If you hope to get any (or extra) blessing by what they do, then you are despising Christ’s righteousenss.

I am not going to ask you questions about how right you are living. Instead, I am going to say that, no matter how you are living, if you DO NOT YET BELIEVE THE GOSPEL, YOU ARE NOT YET JUSTIFIED. if you do not know anything about God’s righteousness, in its demand (law) or as God’s gift imputed (gospel), then you are not yet declared righteous before God. And if you are not yet declared righteous before God, then you are still in your sins, still as you were born, “condemned already” . Your not knowing the gospel yet is not the cause of your condemnation, but your not knowing the gospel yet is evidence of your present condemnation.

Romans 10:3 They disregarded the righteousness from God and attempted to establish their own righteousness, they have not submitted themselves to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes

If you do not yet know the gospel, then you are not yet submitted to God’s righteousness. And if you are not yet submitted to God’s righteousness, then you are trying to build and add on your own righteousness. I tell you with fear of God—-NOBODY is going to be adding their own righteousness onto Christ’s righteousness. If you are still trying to build your own righteousness, you do not yet have Christ’s righteousness imputed. Those who do not believe the gospel are not yet dressed in Christ’s righteousness. Christ’s righteousness is the end of law. Law always defines what sin is, no matter if you believe or don’t believe the gospel But Christ’s righteousness (death imputed) is the end of the law requirement FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS to everyone who believes.

It is not your believing the gospel that is the righteousness. It is not your believing the gospel that causes God to impute Christ’s death to you. It is not your believing the gospel that causes God to justify you.
But God has not justified anybody who does not believe the gospel. The promise of the gospel is not that you are elect and the promise of the gospel is not that you will believe, but the promise of the gospel (which we teach to anybody and everybody) is that those God dresses in Christ’s righteousness are taught the truth and given understanding of who God is and how God justifies. The gospel is NOT that you personally are justified. Believing the gospel is believing the gospel promise that those who believe are justified before God.

Some of us who don’t want to add on our own righteousness tend to focus only on God’s sovereignty, so much so that we don’t talk about God’s justification. But God’s sovereignty alone is not the gospel. We also need to talk about God’s law demanding righteousness. We need to talk about God’s gospel revealing (by the power of the Holy Spirit) Christ’s righteousness, which is the death of Christ as the end of the law “for righteousness” (for those who believe) Our shit is still shit. Our sin is still sin. The law lawfully used defines the sins of the justified elect. Our justification does not depend on us deceiving ourselves about how much less we are sinning. Either we are justified before God or we are not. Either we know and believe the gospel or we do not.

If God can sovereignly justify you apart from satisfying justice by Christ’s death, then God can sovereignly justify you apart you from you knowing the gospel truth about the atonement. But God cannot and will not.

But if God’s nature is such that God will not save any elect sinner apart from Christ’s death,(and God’s nature IS such) then it is also God’s nature that God will not save any elect sinner apart from them knowing the truth about the justice and effectiveness of the atonement. God will not save by means of a falsehood about the Atonement. Telling the Truth about the Atonement is NOT “adding to the gospel”

Certainly the Lord Jesus Christ did many wonderful things. Jesus resisted Satan’s three temptations. Jesus obeyed the law of Moses.Jesus kept the Ten Commandments. But there is one thing only that Jesus “accomplished” which is the wedding dress of righteousness. Christ died one time only as the only Priest and Sacrifice to obtain and bring in this righteousness. 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, but the gospel in Romans 5 teaches that Christ’s death is obedience that brings justification.)

When the sin of Adam is transferred to every human person (not when they are teenagers but when they are born), this transfer of guilt is not good news. United to Adam by his guilt transferred to us, we are born “condemned already” and because of that we share Adam’s nature. When the righteousness of Christ (Christ’s death) is transferred to us, this is the good news. On our very inside, we believe the gospel. Having been taught the truth of the gospel, we know and assent to the gospel and we hope in the gospel. We cannot “un-believe the gospel”. Our believing that we ourselves are dressed in Christ’s righteousness is not something different from our believing the gospel. Our faith in the gospel is not our righteousness. Our faith is that what Christ did outside us is now our wedding dress.

Our wedding dress is not inside us. Our wedding dress is outside us. Our wedding dress is Christ’s death at one time in one place, not here, not now, but back then when Christ died as the sin offering for all the sins of the elect.

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 our trespasses and raised up because of our justification.”

Christ’s death is counted to us. Our faith is not counted to us as righteousness. Because our faith is NOT righteousness

GOD COUNTS ACCORDING TO TRUTH. God will count Christ’s death as the righteousness for all for whom Christ died.

Our Justification is not the righteousness. The Righteousness is Christ’s death.
The righteousness is the wedding dress. Those who wear the wedding dress are justified.

When God counts Christ’s death to us (buries us into, places us into Christ’s death),then and only then does God declare us righteous (justify us)

Justification happens when God imputes Christ’s righteousness to the elect. Justification happens when God dresses us in Christ’s righteousness.

The word Imputation means two different things. One, the transfer, God’s legal sharing of what belongs to another. God counts the death of Christ as all the doing required by the law. Christ’s death is accomplishment. Christ’s death was Christ willing to die. Christ”s death was active obedience to God. Two, the word imputation means God’s declaration based on truth. We are not “living right” to make up the needed difference. Nothing more is needed for our wedding dress than Christ’s death. We still sin against God’s law. But there is no condemnation to those of who are in Christ Jesus. Because we need no more and no other righteousness before God.

Christ’s death is enough. More than Christ’s death is too much and therefore not enough—-if you are still finding assurance in the way you live, then you are not yet dressed in Christ’s righteousness.

Romans 8: 1 no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus…3 What the law could not do since it was limited] by the flesh, God did. God condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own SON IN FLESH… as a sin offering,

The law is not the gospel. The law cannot be lived anymore than the gospel can be lived. But we are commanded to obey both law and gospel. We are commanded to live by truth of the gospel. Obeying the gospel is not the same thing as obeying the law.

Romans 1:16 “the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believes”

Romans 6: 17 “But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred to”

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

I Thessalonians 2:13 When you received the message about God that you heard from us, you welcomed it not as a human message, but as it truly is, the message of God, which works effectively in you believers.

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 did not believe the truth but enjoyed unrighteousness.

God Did Something New, The Lamb was Slaughtered to Bring in the Righteousness (Something that is a Something)

September 3, 2018

question from a reader of this blog (ET) —“This preacher says that the righteousness is not referring to God’s essential attribute of righteousness, but is referring to the merits of Christ because Christ obeyed the law and also satisfied the penalty of breaking it. Is the righteousness of Christ one thing or two things or many things? Was Christ’s circumcision His righteousness? Was Christ’s water baptism His righteousness?”

Daniel 9: 24 Seventy weeks are decreed
about your people and your holy city—
to bring the rebellion to an end,
to put a stop to sin,
to wipe away iniquity,
to bring in everlasting righteousness,

Revelation 21: 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will no longer exist;
grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer,
because the previous things have passed away.
5 Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.”

It was not Jesus Christ obeying laws given to Adam and Moses that will save elect sinners
It was Christ’s death that will save elect sinners

Christ’s death was not a revelation of something which always was
Christ’s death was something new in history

A different book was opened, which is the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered

Some of those who talk a lot about God’s sovereignty also talk quite a bit about God’s “timelessness”. To hear them proclaim, you would think that the elect were always saved, and never in Adam or needing to be justified. If their speculations about “timelessness” were correct, then the “righteousness” in their gospel would be something Christ always had, and that “righteousness” would not be something new that was “brought in” when Christ died once for all time.

Because if the gospel is about “timelessness” or even about “infinity”, then it makes no sense to talk about a one time sacrifice, in which Christ did not have the “righteousness” which saves the elect until Christ died to obtain that righteousness by propitiation by death. If there is only some “eternity”, then that timeless idea is either “past eternity” (protological eternity) or “future eternity” (eternity after time) . But in any case “eternity” has nothing to do with “News” or anything which ever happened in history.

And if the elect were always justified, and if God always had the righteousness, then the idea of “imputation” is nothing more than God pretending to do something. If there is no before or after, then the idea of some kind of “righteousness” which can be transferred to persons is really a something which is not a something (not a liquid gas or solid, not an objective thing at all).

And if the something is not a something, then why bother to ask if this “something” is legally shared in time or legally shared timelessly(always transferred, always justified, always shared with the Surety.)? If there is no objective “righteousness” gained by Christ’s death, in the sense that it wasn’t there before and now it is there, what’s the point of talking about when God “imputes” that righteousness?

In that case, you would never need to make any distinction between “the righteousness” and “justification” (as in, God justifies based on the righteousness) and instead simply confuse the two words. You could simply say that “justification is righteousness” and “righteousness is justification”, because in reality “the righteousness” is not something new in history. Indeed, because by implication the preacher is telling the gospel story as if the elect were always righteous and always justified because Christ was always righteous and His death was not something new in history that “brought in ” some new righteousness.

But let me say it positively. Christ’s Death IS the Righteousness. Christ’s Death WAS Something New in History. Christ’s death IS not only disclosing something which always was. The words “made” and “became” mean that Christ was not merely explaining Moses or Abraham. Nor was Christ merely replacing Adam.

2 Corinthians 5:21 God MADE Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, in order that we would BECOME the righteousness of God in Him.

Jeremiah 33: 16 In those days Judah will be saved,
…and SHE will be named The LORD Our Righteousness.

Jeremiah 23:6 Judah will be saved,
This is what HE will be named:
The LORD Our Righteousness.

Judah is only named Lord our righteousness IF AND WHEN SHE is legally united to HE who is the Lord our righteousness

I Corinthians 1:30 But it is from God that you are in Christ Jesus, who BECAME God-given wisdom for us—our righteousness

Do you boast in Jesus obeying laws given to Adam and to Abraham and to Moses? Or do you boast in Christ’s death as the righteousness Christ did not have until Christ died?

We become the righteousness. We were not always justified.

Christ became the righteousness. Christ’s attribute of righteousness (always) is not the same as Christ’s death (once in time)to satisfy righteousness for the elect.

Why do so many preachers define the gospel as being about “a combination of death and the righteousness”? They cannot imagine the death of Christ as enough righteousness either because they cannot think of the “righteousness” as something new in history or because they cannot really make much sense of Christ (or anybody) really dying in history. Even if “timelessness” does not mean for them “the eternal pre-existence of souls”, they do think of all humans after birth as living forever, either in heaven or hell. And therefore it troubles these folks to think of the death of Christ—whatever else happened, they know for sure that Christ was never actually dead. Most of them don’t think that Christ went to “infinite torment” after His death. Most of them seem to think that Christ went to “infinite torment” before He died and then immediately straight to heaven. They say things like “the spiritual death was the real death” which by implication means that the physical death either was not real or at least was not ‘the righteousness”.

In any case, it’s not clear for these preachers that the “infinite torment of Christ” (though they would never doubt that this is what the Bible teaches even if they can’t find the text) is the same as “the righteousness”. They preach Christ’s death AND the righteousness, but what is “the righteousness ? is the “righteousness” something that God always had or is the “righteousness” something gradually accomplished over time as Christ obeyed the 612 laws given through Moses? Since nobody is answering that question, perhaps nobody should be asking that question.

John 1: 14
The Word became flesh
and lived among us.
We observed His glory,
the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father,
18 The One and Only Son—
the One who is at the Father’s side—
The Son has revealed the Father

God was not always the creator
but God was always the Father, God was always the Son, God was always the Spirit

The incarnation was not only an instrument of revelation
The incarnation was revelation.
The incarnation is something new that happened in history.
Christ was not always incarnate, but now Christ is permanently incarnate, from now on also human.
Christ did not have the righteousness when Christ was born and sucked on his mother’s breasts, but when Christ died on the cross, Christ obtained a permanent redemption.
Christ did not have that permanent redemption before Christ died.
Christ rose from the dead because Christ had obtained that solid effectual and permanent righteousness.

The justification of the ungodly is a declaration based on Christ’s death as law-satisfaction. Romans 6: 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death NO LONGER has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died HE DIED TO SIN once for all

Romans 6:17 But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that doctrine you were transferred to, 18 and HAVING BEEN JUSTIFIED FROM SIN, you became enslaved to righteousness.

One of the reasons that so many preachers are not glorying in Christ crucified is that they keep adding “Christ keeping the law” in as the “righteousness” which is imputed, and they do not see Christ’s death as that which gives an elect sinner adoption, justification and regeneration. Some of them argue that, since Christ’s death did not give us God’s election, then it’s also not Christ’s death which gives us all the blessings of election, but rather that it’s Christ “doing what Adam should have done” which is the righteousness imputed.

They see election as what determined for whom Christ kept the law. They see election as what causes sinners to accept Christ’s keeping of the law. But they do not teach God’s election as having chosen Christ to die for the elect alone as the only way TO BRING IN righteousness for them. Why are they adding complication to Christ’s death as the gospel? I think one possible reason is that many don’t see death as the main problem we sinners have. Instead they think “separation from God” is more basic, because they assume that “the wages of sin is death” does not mean that any human sinner ever really dies but instead that some sinners will live forever being tortured by God. They think the satisfaction of this “separation” is “God being close enough and present enough to torture” the separated person. In the case of Christ, they figure, since the Son is infinite, the substitutionary torture can be infinite and yet done in hours or days. In the case of the non-elect, they reckon, God’s justice will never be satisfied, therefore the torture will never end because the torture will never be infinite enough.

But who really says these things? Who bothers to think about such questions? Wouldn’t it simply be better to stick to the gospel and have no fellowship with those who deny future infinite torture for the non-elect? Maybe we all agree that the “infinite torture” of the non-elect will never take away their sins, but that’s what we also had coming to us, and if some odd people won’t agree to that, then forget about them and let’s agree that the elect are saved not by what they do but by the DOING AND DYING of Christ. Let’s agree that the “righteousness” of Christ is not only His death but also His doing what Adam and Moses were supposed to do. And let’s not get into the question if Christ finished that doing before His resurrection, or if His Christ is still doing the work.

Let’s not even get into the question if Christ always had the righteousness. But if God is timeless, then “the righteousness” cannot be something new in history, cannot be something Christ did not always have before. I mean,it all depends on how you look at it. And some of these preachers have four different perspectives (realms) on justification and the rest of salvation. They can not only tell you how humans see it but they can also proclaim how God sees it. And only rude persons would interrupt them on the way to the back of the church to ask any more questions.

There is the permanent sin which can never be forgiven (Mark 3:29).
There is the permanent weight of glory compared with our present historical affliction (2 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Peter 5:10).
There is the permanent house (resurrected body) in the heavens which Christ will bring to us when Christ comes to earth compared to our present body (2 Corinthians 5:1).
There is the permanent destruction the lost will face at Christ’s return (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
There is the permanent judgment that will take place after the resurrection of the dead (Hebrews 6:2).
There is the permanent redemption secured by Christ’s death. Hebrews 9:12, “Christ entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing a permanent lasting redemption.”
As a a permanent lasting punishment does not mean punishing forever but punishment which is final, even so permanent lasting redemption does not mean that Christ is and will be redeeming forever, but rather that by one death, Christ has obtained a redemption which is complete and final. Like a punishment which cannot be reversed, this redemption for the elect cannot be reversed.

This permanent redemption is not the payment of a price without a guarantee that those paid for will be freed from guilt and its consequence death. Biblical redemption secures freedom for each particular elect person so that when that specific person will be (or has been, for example Abraham) joined to Christ’s death, and justified from sin and no longer under law and death.

If death is not our problem, then Christ’s death and resurrection is not the gospel solution. But the Bible good news is that Christ’s death executed by the occupying Roman empire as a falsely accused criminal is the greatest and most valuable SOMETHING that ever HAPPENED IN HISTORY. By that death all the elect shall be given to believe in that death as that which frees us from death. Death is the power of the guilt of our sins.

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

I Corinthians 1: 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Therefore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished

Unless we have imputed to us the righteousness that Christ got by His death, we do not have the righteousness which exceeds that of the Pharisess

Galatians 2:21 if righteousness comes by our living by law, then Christ died for no purpose.

If righteousness comes by Christ’s obeying the law, then Christ’s death was for what purpose? What was the purpose of Christ’s physical death if that death is not the righteousness? What was the purpose of Christ’s “spiritual death” if that death is not the righteousness? And while you are answering questions, what is “Christ’s spiritual death”? Is it some time when Christ really became a sinner and lost his faith in God? If our faith in Christ “has nothing to do with the gospel”, so that it’s the “faith of Christ” which is the gospel instead, is the “spiritual death of Christ” the part where Christ had faith or the part where Christ fell into despair? And if these are mean unfair questions to ask, when are you going to stop talking about the “spiritual death of Christ” or about “the faith of Christ”?

Revelation 6: 15 Then the kings of the earth, the nobles, the military commanders, the rich, the powerful, and every slave and free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 because the great day of Their wrath has come! And who is able to stand?”

Revelation 7: 13 Then one of the elders asked me, “Who are these people robed in white, and where did they come from?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” Then he told me: These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation.
They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Revelation 13: 8 All those who live on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name was not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of THE LAMB WHO WAS SLAUGHTERED
Revelation 20: 12 I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. But another book was opened, which is the book of life,
Revelation 21: 5 Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new…7 only those written in the Lamb’s book of life will enter

Christ slaughtered is the new thing! Christ slaughtered is the righteousness!

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

will that preach?
is it true?

Do you boast in Jesus obeying Moses? Do you boast in Jesus replacing Adam? Or do you boast in Christ’s death as the righteousness Christ did not have until Christ died?

We become the righteousness. We were not always justified

Christ became the righteousness. Christ’s attribute of righteousness is not the same as Christ’s death to satisfy righteousness for the elect

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, in order that we would BECOME the righteousness of God in Him.

I Corinthians 1:30 But it is from God that you are in Christ Jesus, who BECAME God-given wisdom for us—our righteousness… as it is written: The one who boasts must boast in the Lord.

Philippians 3: 3 For we are the circumcision, the ones who serve by the Spirit of God, boast in Christ Jesus…

Do we glory in Christ’s circumcised heart by which Christ obeyed the law?
Do we boast and glory in Christ’s bloody death, the anti-type and fulfillment of circumcision and all the Old Testament sacrifices

Jeremiah 9:22 human corpses will fall
like manure on the surface of the field,
like newly cut grain after the reaper
with no one to gather it.
Boast in the Lord
23 This is what the Lord says:
The wise man must not boast in his wisdom;
the strong man must not boast in his strength;
the wealthy man must not boast in his wealth.
24 But the one who boasts should boast in this,
that he understands and knows Me—
that I am the LORD showing faithful love
and righteousness on the earth

God never commanded Adam to die for the sins of others. Being punished by the law is not the same as obeying the law. But does that mean I should not boast in the death of Christ but instead glory in Christ’s law-keeping? I disagree with the following quotation from Charles Spurgeon—“The promises in the Word of God are not made to suffering; they are made to obedience. Consequently, Christ’s sufferings, though they may remove the penalty of sin, do not alone make me the inheritor of the promise. “If You will enter into life,” said Christ, “keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17). It is only Christ’s keeping the commandments that entitles me to enter life. “The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honorable” (Isaiah 42:21). I do not enter into life by virtue of His sufferings –entering the enjoyments of the life eternal must be the result of obedience.”