Archive for the ‘election’ category

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

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What do you mean by “Actually Saved”?

July 6, 2019

Hebrews 9:28 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

Arminians say that Jesus died for everybody but now humans need to do some things in order to be saved in the end.

Double talking Calvinists say that Jesus died for everybody but that now God needs to do something more. They teach that God the Holy Spirit does more for some of those for whom Christ died. But notice that they are
not on the surface talking about what humans must do more.

Examined closely, what these double talking Calvinists are saying is that Chrsit died also for the non-elect, but that God the Holy Spirit only gives faith to the elect.
Examined even more closely, it might very well turn out that what these double talking Calvinists are teaching is that humans need to do something. But that’s not what they are saying. They are saying that “faith is a gift of God”. They are saying that God gives faith in the gospel to all the elect.

So how do we react to these double talkers? Do we need deny that anything more needs to be done by God? Do we over-react by denying that there is anymore “waiting”? NO. God DOES still ALSO effectually call the elect. God does still ALSO give knoweledge of the gospel to the elect and cause the elect to believe the gospel. God still does ALSO raise the elect from the dead and give them immortality.

The problem is NOT that the doublE talkers say that God does more than accomplish Christ’s death. God does do “something else” For example, God ALSO imputes the death to the elect. The problemn is NOT that the double talkers teach that “salvation” is not only atonement and justification. The problem is that they are saying that God loves everybody, but that God does not love everybody equally, and therefore they say that God the Holy Spirit only effectually calls some for whom Christ died.

This makes it look like the Father Son and the Hoily Sporit do not have the same purpose. This makes it sound like what Christ’s death is only POTENTIAL, but thatwhat the Holy Spirit does is the “actual” atonement.

Romans 8:32 God did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us how will God not ALSO with the Son give us EVERYTHING

If Jesus died for a person, then the Holy Spirit will give that person the new birth. The Holy Spirit does not give the new birth only to some for whom Jesus died. If Jesus died for a person, then God will imopute the death of Jesus for a person to that person.

The preachers who don’t want the truth to get in the way of them comforting people and keeping their jobs will say to everybody that “there is no if Christ died for a person”. These preachers will say, “Christ died for you and you means me”. And thew in oither times and places will these preacher talk about God “loving all people but lovinmg them inequally” . They never get around to what “died for you” actually means. Does it mean “died to make you an offer? Do they mean “died for you, therefore you (means me) must be justified in the end”?

If God imputed the sins of a person to Jesus, then Jesus died for that person. Every person for whom Jesus died will be imputed with the death of Jesus. (Jesus died, I died) One way the double-talkers respond to Romans 8:32 is to say that “GOD GIVES US HIM”. As if to say, God gives us THE PERSON, so any discussion about death and imputation and new birth is not necessary to think about. Romans 8:32 “give with him also everything”

It’s the double talkers who are finally sayhing that “Jesus died for everybody butt in the end God only gives Jesus to some of them”. We need to ask, what is the nature of the death of Jesus? When they say that Jesus died for a person, what did that death do? Is that death “potential”?

Is the death “one step but then there are many other steps” so therefore Jesus died for many who won’t get the other steps?

No, those who believe the truw gospel know better than that. We know that Christ’s death “did something”. So this is the point where we need to be clear abnout what Christ did.

A common way for Calvinists to explain this is to say “Christ’s death actually saved a sinner”

As much as you might think that gets to the point, I don’t agree. What do you mean by “actually”? Do you mean that when Christ died, all the elect, including those not even born yet, were there and then really born again and there and then really resurrected to immortality? I don’t think you do mean that. What do you mean?

Even if you incorrectly mean by “actually” that all for whom Christ died were already justified before that deat , you still don’t mean by “actually saved” that all these sinners were already born again. So what do you mean? Do you mean that the new brith is not a necessary part of “salvation”, because the new birth is what God does in us (instead of the external thing done outside us) ? I don’t think you think the work of the Holy Spirit is not needed.

So what do you mean by “Christ’s death actually saved them”? I think you mean what Romans 8:32 is teaching, that if Chrsit died for a sinner, thenm that sinners is predestined to be given all the other benefits of salvation. I think you mean that GOD’S JUSTICE DEMANDS that q sinner whose sins were imputed to Chrsit and for whom Chrsit died BE GIVEN ALL THE OTEHR BLESSINGS OF SALVATION. So why don’t you say that?

Instead of saying “actually saved”, say that both God’s sovereignty and God’s jsutice mewans that Christ died only for the elect and that every one of the elect will be given all that Jesus purchased by His death. Ephesians 4:8 quotes Psalm 68: “when he ascended on high, he gave gifts to us”

The gifts Jesus gives are gifts bought by Jesus in His death. As we buy gifts on one day, but then give the gifts on other later days, so also Jesus is still giving the different blessings secured by His death.

Isaiah 53: 10 You make The Servant a restitution offering,
The Lord will see His seed. …The Lord’s pleasure will be accomplished.
11 He will see out of His death and He will be satisfied .
My righteous Servant WILL justify the many whose iniquities He carried
12 Therefore because of His death, I will give Him the many as His
righteous reward.
Because the Servant submitted Himself to death,
Because the Servant bore the sins of many
Because the Servant was counted condemned and guilt

Of course the doubletalkers will not go away because you explain it better of more carefully. Many of them like to say that God lvoes everybody and that Christ died for everybody BUT THAT CHIRST DIED EXTRA FOR THE ELECT TO PURCHASE FOR THEM THE OTHER GIFTS. When they say stuff like that, here’s the question to ask–what do they say that Christ did by death for everybody? Did Christ make propitiation for everybody?

PROPITIATION is specific.

“Make atonement” might mean lots of things. But if Christ’s death accompliished PROPITIATION, then that means something differnt than only “the good death”.

PROPITIATION means “takes away God’s wrath toward sinnners”,

This is why we need to eliminate the lie of “died for everybody”. It makes no just or legal sense to say that the death took away wrath, but then later say that some for whom Christ died will always be under the wrath of God. Christ’s death is an expiation of sins. Christ’s death is a propitiation of God for elect sinners. Sins were not always expiated. God was not always propitiated. . God demanded propitation. God madee the propitiation by Christ’s death. God accepted God’s sin offering for elect sinners.

We need to say “legally satisfied God’s wrath” instead of “actually saved”. What do we mean by “saved”? What do we mean by “actually”?

Hebrews 9:28 Christ,having been offered ONE TIME TO BEEAR THE SINS of many, will appear a second time, NOT THIS TIME TO BEAR SIN but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.

To say that “the death actually saved” does not fit well with the words used in Hebrews 9:28. But Hebrews 9:28 gets right to the point of what Christ’s death REALLY DID. At that time, Christ was actually imputed with guilt, and this is why Christ was “offered in death”. But after that death, Christ is no longer imputed with guilt. This is part of “salvation”. This is “reconnciliation”. This is “redemption” Christ bought these blessings and Christ will give the elect these blessings.

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us

Romans 6:9–“We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again Death no longer has dominion over him. 10 Because the death Christ died Christ died to sin, once for all time

Hebrews 9:12, “Christ entered once for all time into the holy place, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus SECURING a permanent redemption

Luke 1: 68 Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:the Lord, the God of Israel has visited and accomplished redemption for His people.

When you say “actually saved’, do you mean “everything Jesus is going to ever do was all finished? Do you mean that teh intercession of Jesus was finished? No, I don’t think you mean thoise things. Do yuu mean that the resurrection of Jesus had already happened when Jesus died? Again, I don’t think so. Rather, you think the proipitation was finished. The sacrifice to take away God’s wrath actually happened in history Jesus was not going to keep dying. Jesus was not going to die again. Christ’s sacrifice was FINISHED when He died, Christ’s sacrifice was DONE before He rose again.

But all the blessings of salvation have NOT YET been given to the elect. Donald Macleod, Christ Crucified, IVP, 2014—Human nature after the cross remains as it was before the cross. If Christ healed our humanity by taking our humanity, then Christ was crucified by the very nature he had healed…. According to some , Christ condemned sin by saying no to the flesh and living a life of perfect faith and obedience. But this would mean that the condemnation of sin did not take place on the cross by Christ’s death, but in the daily life of Christ.

Macleod–“But Romans 8:3 says that it not Jesus but God the Father who condemns sin in the flesh. While it was indeed in the flesh of his Son that God condemned
sin but it was not only in his Son as incarnate, but in his Son as a sin-offering.. God condemned sin by passing judgement on his Son.

Anoither group of “sovereign grace preachers” does teach that Christ died onl;y died for the elect, but they have a difficult time agreeing to “actual propitation” because they deny that the elect were ever actually under the wrath of God. Some ofthem even deny that Christ Himself was “actually” under God’s legal wrath. One of these “sovereign grace” preachers wrote me to argue that the
‘children of wrath” in Ephesians 2:3 did not mean that God ever actcually had any wrath or needed any propitation.

The preacher wrote– “God’s children our wrathful in their nature. Wrath in many places in referring to man’s sin. “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.”[Psalm 76:10] “A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.” [Proverbs 12:16] This sovereign grace preacher went on to argue that “children of wrath” was only a reference to the nature of the God’s elect before their regeneration and was not the wrath of God toward the elect before their regeneration.

Notice that even this preacher agrees that regeneration is another blessing of salvation. This preacher would not say that the elect were always actually regenerate. And yet he would say that all the elect were “actually saved” by Christ’s death (even before Christ actually died). To quote the preacher– “Children of wrath is all about sin, not aboiut God”

This preacher is using the word “saved” in more than one way. On the one hand, the preacher is sayhing that none of the elect was ever condemned. The preachers is saying that not only some but all of the elect were “actually saved” before Christ died. But they don’t mean by this that they “actually had spiritual life”. They mean they were “actually already justified”. They are not being clear. Maybe they are not clear in their own mind. But also maybe they don’t care and think of themselves as not needing to explain anything to anybody.

So we need to stop saying “actually saved”. There are other blessngs to come and we are wwaiting for some of them We need to say Christ’s death actually propiaated God. Propiation did not make God love the elect.
God’s love for the elect caused God to give Christ to die in order to satisfy God’s demand for propitation. Propitiation is the ighteousness that satisfies God’s demand for righteousness. Sin offends the holy God. Sin is about God. God is the one who is reconciled by God. God is the one who is reconciled by Christ’s death.
Christ is God. Christ is not a mediator between God and God Christ is the mediator between God and sinners

I Timothy 2:54 For there is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus,

God is reconciled to elect sinners, God needed to be reconciled to elect sinners. Christ’s death did that.

Romans 5: 11 We have now received this reconciliation through Christ Jesus.

The reconciliation we have received is not our receiving. The reconcilaition we received is not God overcoming our wrath. The reoncilaition we receive is God overcoming God’s wrath by Christ death. God overcoming God’s wrath is an objective external thing out there, done by Christ’s death.

That overcoming of God’s wrath by God was done for the elect. God imputes that overcoming of God’s wrath by God to the elect. The elect receive that reconciliation by God’s imputation and only then by faith.

“Actually saved” does not say that everything to be done by God was already done by Christ’s death (or even before Christt died)

The truth hidden and obscured in “actually saved” is about propitation. Propitiation was not always done. But then it was completed. All the elect, even those now still under God’s wrath, will one day receive the propitation actually brought in and finished by Christ’s death.

It’s true that the elect are waiting for God to “do something else”. God will do other things beside Christ’s death. God will do more things. But nothing else needs to be done to expiate sins and to proptiate God for sinners. God did not do that for all siinners. But God did already make propitation to God for all elect sinners. God will do “all the other things” for these elect sinnes. Christ purchased not only propitation (paid the redemption price) but Christ purchased all the other blessings.

If you say, well that makes no sense, since God is sovereign, why does God need to purchase other things God will do for us or give us? Indeed, since God is sovereign, why would God have needed even to legally overcome God’s wrath by death? Why would God need to make expiation and pay for sins by death, when God “could have” only sovereregnly forgiven? If your gospel is only Goid’s sovereignty and not Christ’s death, then there is no righteousness revealed in your gospel.

Justice demands that one part of salvation is Christ’s death. But that does not mean that every part of salvation is Christ’s death. Christ’s death means that it would be unjust for God to NOT give ALL the other differnt blessingss of salvation to the elect.

“Actually saved” might make a neat “soundbite”. But it doesn’t tell the true story of the good news. It doesn’t tell the story of other actions by God in the past and future. I do not refernce only “the other things God the Holy Spirit is going to do”. I refer also to the resst of what God the Father and God the Soin will do. But Propitation Done in time has priority and gives glory to Christ, and what Christ the Mediator has done. Everything done in creation has been done for the glory of Christ. God’s Electing Love makes the incarnate Jesus Christ have the priority. Jesus Christ made propitiation for the elect in Christ not only as the one whoe executes and fulfills God’s Purpose. God’s purpsoe was that the election of Christ means that all who are elect are elected for Christ and by Christ.

Romans 8 29 For those God foreknew God ALSO o predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that Christ would be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those God predestined, God also called; and those God called, God also justified; and those God justified, God also glorified.

I Peter 1:20 Christ was chosen before the foundation of the world but was revealed at the end of the ages for you who THROUGH HIM ARE BELIEVER in God, who raised CHRIST from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

God loves only the elect. God gives everything to all the elect. Why is this important? The SCANDAL of that to most people is that God loves only some sinners. But I argue that it is even more offensive to say that God loves people but then also to add that God does NOT give them everyhthing. The scnadal to justice is if God loves some people and yet those people end up condemned.

But maybe you think it’s more offensive to say that people end up condemned and that God never loved them. Some sinners end up condemned (God condemns them) but Jesus never died for them. Why is one scandal more offensive than the other? Is your theodicy that “well, better some saved, because all COULD HAVE BEEN CONDEMNED?

When the double talking Calvinists say that Christ died for everybody but then God does more for some of them, at least some are being saved? Would I rather have nobody saved at all, than to agree with those who say that some for whom Christ died will not be saved?

I am not going to boast here about wanting the truth whatever it is. Maybe anybody who disagrees with me wants the truth also. I am not going to accuse folks of “wanting to finish what God started”: But the truth is that all for whom Christ died will be given all other blessings. The truth is that Christ’s death was not needed if only some for whom Christ died receive the blessings of salvation. If it’s God the Holy Spirit who actually elects and saves, then what reason can actually be given for Christ to have died?

Galatians 2:21 if righteousness comes through some other way, then Christ died for nothing.

Galatians 6: 14 I will never glory in anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…16 May peace come to all those who follow this standard

1 John 4:10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Not that God caused us to receive Christ. (Though that’s another thing God did)
Not that God caused us to overcome our hostility to Christ. (Another actiond done by God.)
The Evidence and Result of God’s Love was Christ Becoming the Propitiation.

Romans 3:25 God offered Christ as a propitiation through faith in His blood, in order that God would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus

Christ did not purchase God the Holy Spirit a kind of gift card by which God the Holy Spirit now decides “who will be in the church” or “who will be elect”. All for whom Christ died will most certainly repent of their false gospels and believe the true gospel.

Even though God has already imputed all the future sins of the elect to Christ, God did not impute the sin of final unbelief of the gospel by any elect sinner. The reason for this is that no elect sinner will die in final unbelief. Not believing the gospel is not evidence of our ALWAYS BEING CONDEMNED. Elect sinners who do not now believe the gospel WILL come to believe the gospel. Elect sinners who are now condemned in their sins WILL BE JUSTIFIED BY GOD. All the elect are always elect, but the elect are not all justified yet.

I don’t agree with the rhetoric of preachers who teach that, as soon as Christ satisfied justice for sins, those sins can no longer be counted against any of the elect, even if those elect persons have not yet been caused to believe the gospel. These preachers ask this question —if we all agree that you don’t find out if you are elect until after you believe the gospel, why can’t we
then also agree that we find out after we believe that we were already justified?

We are NOT actualy justified before God until we believe the gospel. The Bible does not teach two different justifications, one that God actualkly does out of time, and then another justification (which is not objective or actual but only in our heads and which tells us that we were already really justified!) God imputes Christ’s death to elect sinners and one of the blessings Christ purchased is the elect believing God’s gospel and being declared justified before God by God.

The Holy Spirit does give us some of the blessings Christ bought by Christ’s blood . But we also need to say that God the Son gives us the Holy Spirit, and that Christ’s death is given to us by God’s legal imputation.

Galatians 4:6– because you are adopted, God has sent the Spirit into your hearts.”

I know the Westminster Confession teaches “applied by the Spirit” language but we need to account for the “saving” done by God the Son and for the “saving” done by God the Holy Spirit. Legal Redemption is the basis for the promise of the Spirit. Every reference to “baptism with the Spirit” (including I Cor 12:13) has Christ as the one who gives the holy Spirit, not theHoly Spirit as the one who gives us Christ. Effectual calling by God the Father does not assume that it’s God the Holy Spirit who “actually” includes us into Christ.

Galatians 3: 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, in order that…. we receive the promised Spirit through faith.”

Ephesians 4:8 “when he ascended on high, he gave gifts to us”

Actual propitiation for any individual results in Christ actually giving each and every sinner for whom Christ died all the blessings of salvation

Isaiah 53: 10 You make The Servant a restitution offering,
The Lord will see His seed. …The Lord’s pleasure will be accomplished.
11 He will see out of His death and He will be satisfied .
My righteous Servant WILL justify the many whose iniquities He carried
12 Therefore because of His death, I will give Him the many as His
righteous reward.
Because the Servant submitted Himself to death,
Because the Servant bore the sins of many
Because the Servant was counted condemned and guilty

Nobody is Justified (or Even Regenerated) Without the Gospel

June 9, 2019

Romans 4:5 believe on Him who DECLARES the UNGODLY to be RIGHTEOUS,

Romans 4:20 Abraham did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise. Abraham was strengthened in his faith. Abraham gave glory to God, 21 because Abraham was fully convinced that what God had promised God was also able to perform. 22 Therefore, Christ’s death was credited by God to Abraham for righteousnes.

As soon as the rghteousness to be obtained by Christ was imputed to Abraham, Abraham believed the gospel.

Righteosness is not faith.
Righteousness is through faith.
While Abraham did not believe the gospel, Abraham was not declared righteous by God.

Even though Christ did not obtain righteouensss until Christ died, Abraham was justified by God based on Christ’s righteousness.

Romans 4: 13 For the promise to Abraham (or to his descendants that he would inherit the world) was not through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.

We must not say that Abraham was always righeous before God. Abraham was not always imputed with Christ’s death. Abraham was born ungodly, and this ungodliness is not only a referenceto his lack of regenerertion. Abraham was born condemned before God

Romans 4:10 In what way then was righteousenss credited—while Abraham was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while Abraham was circumcised, but uncircumcised..

Romans 4 does not teach that faith is a human condition in order for God to impute Christ’s death. Faith does not obtain the righteousness.
As soon as the rghteousness to be obtained by Christ was imputed to Abraham, Abraham believed the gospel and was justified (not only in conscience but before God).

1. When Christ’s righteousness is imputed by Gid, at least three things happen.—-regeneration, faith in the gospel, and justification before God. 2. This does not mean that regeneration is the righteousness—regeneration is a result of God’s imputation of the righteousness. 3. This does not mean that faith is the righteousness—faith in the gospel is a result and evidence of God’s imputation of Christ’s death 4. Justification results when God imputes Christ’s righteousness —but this does not mean that justification is the righteouensss—Justification is result of God’s imputation of that righteousness to the individual elect sinner. 5. So the three results are not “conditions in order for God to impute”. But we must not over-react by saying that we are justified before or without faith in the gospel. . Also, we must not over-react by
saying that we were already regenerate without the true gospel or the resulting faith in the true gospel.

Righteousness is through faith. While Abraham did not believe the gospel, Abraham was not declared righteous.

1.Christ is always the same person. But Christ was not always dead. Christ obtained a Rightousness by His death. Christ’s Death is Christ’s work.

2. Not Christ the person but Christ’s death is the righteousness imputed by God to justify an ungodly sinner.

3. God counts according to truth. God counts Christ’s death as righteousness because that divine-humaan righteousness (accomplished in Christ) was and is righteousness.

4. The righteousness counted as righteousness is not our righteousness (not our faith or works of faith).

5. The value of Christ’s death is legally “transferred” to the elect when they are “married to Christ”, so that what belongs to Christ is still HIS but now belongs also to HIS JUSTIFIED ELECT.

6. Justification is not the righteousness obtained by Christ,because justification is the declaration that God makes when God imputes Christ’s righteousness to the elect.
.
7, God is righteous and declared to be righteous, without anything being transferred from us to God. God is counted as just because God is just.

8. The elect can only be declared righteous, legally and logically, after God transfers Christ’s righteousness to them.

9 God is justified in justifying the ungodly elect ,not only because Christ obtained a righteousness for the elect, but also because God transfers this righteouness to them.

10 In the case of the elect sinner, imputation has two parts–both transfer and declaration. In the case of God, imputaton is declaration alone.

11. “Justify” does not mean improve . “Justify” means to declare the truth about somebody being not guilty

12. By God’s delcaration, an ungodly elect sinner becomes legally righteous on the basis of the righteousness of another

13. A sinner who has become justified by God before God is now promised the lasting life of the age to come

14. “Justified before faith in the gospel” is a reaction to Arminian false gospel . BUT “justified before faith in the gospel” is NOT the gospel

15 Using the word “faith” in a definition of the gospel is NOT wrong. The gospel commands sinners to exclude faith in the gospel as being any part of the righteouness reealed in the gospel.

16 The same gospel which commands sinners to believe the gospel informs sinners that faith is not the righteusness accomplished by Christ in His death.

17. “Righteousness through fath” does NOT mean that rightousness is faith.

18. The righteousness revealed in the gospel is “God condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering, (Romans 8:3)

Romans 5: 18 through one righteous act there is LIFE -giving justification…19 As through one man’s disobedience the many were constituted sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be constituted righteous..As sin reigned in DEATH, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in LASTING LIFE

2 Corinthians 5: 18 Everything is from God, who reconciled us to God through Christ … In Christ, God was reconciling sinners to God ….God made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, in order that we become the righteousness of God in Christ

Righteousness is an objective something, external to Abraham.
Abraham became righteous, by having God impute righteousness to Abraham.
Abraham became justified, when Abraham was still uncirumcised.
Abraham became justified, by having God impute objective external righteousness to Abraham.
When sinners are imputed with Christ’s death, they are born again and they believe the gospel.

Christ died for some sinners, but not necessarily for you . Christ’s Death Matters so Much that Christ’s death Makes the Difference . Your works don’t prove that you have faith, and your faith in the false Christ does not prove that the true Christ’s death was for you. Election matters before Christ’s death matters—If you are not God’s elect in Christ, then Chist did not die for you

I am NEITHER MENNONITE NOR REFORMED

May 12, 2019

Romans 3:19 law speaks…in order that every mouth be shut and the
whole worl subject to God’s judgment. 20 For no one will become justified in God’s sight by their works of law, because knowledge of sin comes through law…..God’s righteousness has been revealed….that is, God’s righteousness through FAITH IN Jesus Christ to ALL WHO BELIEVE

The doctrine of justification in God’s sight after our condemnation in God’s sight is the doctrine of the true gospel news. It is not the same doctrine as “never condemned in God’s sight”. It’s not the same doctrine as “justified before faith in God’s righteousness”

Even though I think it’s sin (in this new covenant age of Christ as
lawgiver) for anybody to kill anybody, I am not Mennonite. I believe that the God revealed in the Bible imputes Adam’s guilt to us all, so that we are all born guilty in sin before God. This means that we are all born condemned before God and unable to do anything good before God. I believe that the only hope for any sinner is God’s election of some sinners. God’s election is God’s love for a
sinner,and that election is not a result of any decision made by that sinner. God’s love to a sinner is not a consequence of that sinner’s worth.

The hope of election is that all sinners Christ hss elected have been
died for by Jesus Christ. Election determines non-election, and therefore also designates those for whom Christ did not die. Christ died as a legal substitute only for the elect. This elction is not a mere matter ot God being sovereign add effective in whar God attempts to do. Christ’s death for the elect alone is a matter of God’s justice. God’s nature is not to leave sin unpunished. God’s justice teaches is that every sin imputed to Christ will in time NOT BE IMPUTED to elect sinners for whom Christ died

As a matter of justice, Jesus Christ was not merely a sacrifical offering. Being imputed with the guilt of the elect, by Christ’s nature asjust God, Christ by just necessity had to die for all the sins of all the sinners Christ loves. Divine Justice now demands that all those sinners one day be justified before God. Romans 4:25 teaches that Christ died BECAUSE OF sins. Romans 4:25 also teaches that Christ’s resurrection from death was BECAUSE OF justification. .

Justice says that all the elect for whom Christ died either have now
or will be justified. Christ Himself wss justified by His death, and
is no longer under sin. God’s law has no more to demand from Christ.
God’s law does demand the eventual justification of all for whom Chrsit died.

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 time

2 Corinthians 5:20–“we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is
appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to
God.” 21 God made the One WHO KNEW NO SIN TO BECOME SIN, in order that
we would BECOME the righteousness of God in Him.

I Corinthians 1:30– “No one can boast in God”s presence. 30 It is from
God that you are in Christ Jesus who BECAME God-given wisdom for us—our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, 31 in order that, as it is written: The one who boasts must boast in the Lord.

If Jesus never obtained or BECAME the righteousness for the elect, then
there is no news. If Jesus never BECAME the redemption of the elect, there is no news. THE GOSPEL OF JUSTIFICATION IS GOOD NEWS

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 redemption

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.”

Christ was not justified by becoming born again. Christ was justified by satisfying the righteous requirement of divine law for the sins imputed to Christ. Christ was justified by His death. Christ needed to be justified because Christ legally bore the guilt of His elect. This guilt demanded Christ’s death. Christ was not justified because of His resurrection. Christ’s resurrection was God’s delcaration of Christ’s justification, and that because of Christ’s death for sins imputed.

No elect sinner has yet been glorified or given immortality, and so sin still has power in justified sinners. Justified sinners still sin. Sin never had any power over Christ Jesus, except for the power of guilt imputed to Christ. Christ’s resurrection demonstrates that imputed guilt no longer has
any power over Christ,

I Peter 1:21 For you were called to this,
because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an EXAMPLE
so that you should follow in His steps.
22 He did not commit sin,
and no deceit was found in His mouth;
23 when He was reviled,
He did not revile in return;
when He was suffering,
He did not threaten
but entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly.

I am a pacifist. God gives life. God takes life, We are not God. The killing done by humans in their death penalty and wars has nothing to do with any God specifically revealed in the Bible. It’s not worship of Jesus which motivates any attempt to overcome evil with evil.

But I am not Mennonite, and not only because of what I think the Bible teaches about the sovereignty of God’s election and the justice of Christ’s atonement. I am not Mennonite because I teach the securiity of those who have now been justified before God. Divine justice demands that those now justified before God stay justified before God.

Even though the sheep (the elect) were born “already condemned” before
God, just like other humans, in each case, with every INDIVIDUAL who is elect, God by means of the Holy Spirit AND THE TRUTH teaches these unconverted and guilty sinners. In time the condemned before God elect become the justified before God elect.

God effectually calls by the power of the true gospel these elect sinners so that they willingly believe this same gospel. This gospel teaches not only election but also regeneraton to believe when God imputes Christ’s righteousness.

Those who have not yet repented of worshipping the false unjust God who fails to save any sinner for whom Christ died give no evidence of being justified yet. In fact, their ignorance and/or unbelief of the gospel is evidence that they are not yet justified before God.

John 3:36 The one who believes in the Son has lasting life,but the one who does not believe in the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God remains on them.

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

Romans 8:10–”Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of
sin,the Spirit is life BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

I believe that each and every sinner God justifies (immediately as God imputes Christ’s death to them) CONTINUES TO BELIEVE the true gospel, and that all who truly believe as God’s gift purchased by Christ will remain repentant about false gospels, so much so that they will not regard as Christians those who continue in false gospels which teach that Jesus Christ supposedly died for everybody but where there is no justice.

John 10: the sheep hear his voice. The Shepherd calls his own sheep by individual names and leads them out. 4 When the Shepherd has brought all HIS OWN outside, the shepherd goes ahead of them. The sheep follow the shepherd because they recognize his voice.5 They will never follow a stranger. Instead they will run away from strangers, because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers.”

John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

I am not Mennonite because Mennonites teach that Christ died for everybody, including the goats. They teach that not all for whom Christ died will be saved. They teach that future justification is determined not by Christ’s just death and resurrection but by our own decisions and morals. About this doctrine, the Reformed are not much different. Though many of them will teach that election will cause people to make correct decisions, it turns out that if a person believes in some version of “no election and died for everybody”, the Reformed still think of this as a “close enough” salvation decision.

For their assurance, anyway, the Reformed look to their own improved moral performance, even though they have a different standard for what murder means than the Mennonites do. To the extent that they talk about election, the Reformed use that doctrine either to claim that their own children are born Christians or use the doctrine of election to explain why they are inevitably
morally superior (not by themselves but with God’s assistance)

I am not Mennonite. I disagree with their Dordrecht Confession of Faith (1632)—-“The Son of God tasted death and shed His precious blood for all men and obtained forgiveness of sins for all mankind; thus becoming the cause of
salvation for all those who, from Adam unto the end of the world, each in his time, believe in and obey God.”

I disagree with this deceptive false gospel. Christ did not die for all sinners. Christ did not die to make it possible for the Holy Spirit to cause sinners to obey enough in order to be sure of their decision to be saved. All the sinners for whom the true Chrsit died wiil be saved, not because of their obedience but because of Christ’s death.

John 10:26 But you don’t believe because you are not My sheep. 27 My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. 28 I give them lasting life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand.

Most Reformed people agree with the Mennonites that Christ died for all sinners. The Dordrecht Confession teaches that–“God has declared all men without distinction, who through faith, as obedient children, heed, follow,and practice what the same contains, to be His children and lawful heirs; thus excluding no one from the precious inheritance of lasting salvation, except the disobedient, the stiff-necked and obdurate, who through their own sins make themselves unworthy of lasting life.

Logically, consistently, this means that those who do have lasting life still had Jesus died for them but that their sins made them unworthy. But the Reformed folks argue that logically God saves those with an “inconsistent gospel”. Thus they rationalize that others are being too rational. This comes back to the Reformed saying that God’s sovereignty means that you don’t need to agree on what the gospel is. Believe your own gospel, because in the end they think folks are already justified bofore they know any gospel.

In the assumption that Jews by sin have removed their children from “the covenant”, the Reformed assume that “election” and “covenant” mean that Christ has died for their own children. But like the Mennonites, the Reformed do not believe that it’s the justice of Christ’s death that saves anybody. They assume that their “the covenant” is the new covenant, but they also teach that some who are brought as infants into that “new covenant” will leave that covenant and then face “even worse sanctions” than those who were never born “in the covenant”.

Though the Reformed children may (or may not) have been taught in some catechism class that Christ died for everybody but also “died for the elect in a special way”. They have NOT been taught that God only imputed the sins of the elect to Christ, nor have they been taught that justice demands that all for whom Christ died will be imputed with Christ’s death (because justice demands that Christ’s death be imputed by God to those sinners for whose sins Christ died)

If there is one practical difference between Mennonites and Reformed that I still notice, it might be that some of the Reformed still superstitiously believe in “eating the body and blood of their Savour”. Since Mennonites do not talk about God at all that much, but instead talk about what they thmselves could and should be doing, they lean much less on sacramental mumbo jumbo. Some of the Reformed act as if they needd no hope in any second coming of Christ to earth. Not only do they plan to go straight to heaven when they die, but they also believe in the “real presence” of Jesus by which they (if they have a clergyman certified by other clergymen to do the hocus pocus) gives them the ability to climb up to heaven in their “sacrament” and “eat and drink Jesus up in heaven”.

Becoming Reformed these days has NOTHING to do with teaching that Christ died only for the elect. The Reformed clergyman may on occasion teach that election helped you to believe in some Christ who died for everyone. Then they will teach you that this faith (in whichever Christ you believed in) was given to you and caused you to be united to the true Christ.

The Reformed not only don’t teach election in Sunday morning worship. They don’t teach at any time that God only imputed the sins of the elect to Christ. Instead the Reformed teach that Christ’s death has “infinite and sufficient” potential for all sinners. Instead of teaching election, the Reformed teach that even the water adminstered by the “Roman Catholic Church” can have saving efficacy, not necessarly at the time of the watering, but at some later point.

It is not a problem for Reformed people to accept the infant baptism of the “Roman Catholics” because they teach that they and their children became Christians without hearing and believing the gospel. They take the “sovereignty of God” to mean that God does not need the gospel as a means to effectually call sinners.

Though they accept “faith before regenertion” as one “good enough gospel”, it’s not that big a deal to them, because many of the Reformed think that Christians are Christians already without conversion or gospel. Along with the rest of ritual Christendom, the Reformed teach that water baptism is not something they do but rather something that God does. They believe that God does not save apart from water baptism (apart from “the true church”).

Becoming Reformed these days has nothing to do with the good news of election and atonement. You can agree with all the five points of the Arminians, and still be considered “Reformed” if you agree that “the church” includes those who do not yet believe the gospel. To do this, you have to (implicitly) agree that God’s covenant with Abraham is the very same covenant as the new covenant, and then you have to agree that this “the covenant” is not for the elect alone. This takes thinking about election out of the equation, and puts the accent on finding assurance in children doing the “ordinary” things they are supposed to do, like “regularly be handed the sacrament as a means of grace”.

Was Esau born in “the covenant of grace”, but then later lose his justification in Christ? No. God’s wrath is not an expression of God’s love. God’s wrath is not a response to human negative response to God’s grace.

Those who are justified are no longer under God’s wrath. And those still under God’s wrath were born condemned, already under God’s wrath. The promise of the gospel is for as many as who believe the gospel. The promise of the gospel is for as many physical chidren of Abraham as the Lord our God will call, for the elect among the Jews and not for the non-elect among the Jews. The promise is for your children, as many of those children as the Lord our God will call by the gospel, in spite of parents. The promise of the gospel is for the elect alone and not for the non-elect. Therefore nobody knows if they are elect until after they understand and believe the true gospel. Election by God is not the same thing as justification before God.

Tom Nettles—”The idea of universal atonement is not demanded by the Bible at all, but is often assumed as an inference drawn from a no-grace-no-justice assumption. The piggy-backing of grace onto the command to believe the gospel does not come from the Bible.”

God does NOT promise saving grace in Christ to every baptized baby. God did NOT promise saving grace to Esau in his circumcision. God made not only one promise but many differnt promises. God’s grace is NOT ineffectual. But many of the Reformed are now teaching a “common grace” that does not save some of those to whom God “wants to be” gracious.

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

The Mennonites teach that Christ only died to eliminate Adam’s sin from being imputed to anybody, and in much the same way the Reformed teach that no infant can be condemned only for sin imputed from Adam. These same Reformed teach the possible regeneration of infants (and adults) who have never heard the true gospel of Christ having died for the elect alone.

Mike Horton, Justification, volume 2,(New Studies in Dogmatics)-“a person can become a member of the covenant of grace without truly beleiving the gpspel All persons in the covenant are to be threatened with the consequences of apostasy. Some belong to the covenant community and experience thereby the work of the Spirit through the sacramental means of grace and yet have never believe the gospel. Thus we Reformed have a category for a person who is in the covenant but this has nothing to do their faith in the gospel.

Horton, p450—“The Holy Spirit grants us faith to be united to Christ.”

Horton, p455–“There is no union with Christ which is not union with the visible church”

Horton, p467–”Calvin goes beyond Luther by stressing the more and more aspect of salvation.”

To justify their false practice, Reformed folks need to flatten out all post fall covenants down into one covenant. Even though they are reluctant to water teenagers and adults who “have not professed” the gospel, they want to keep holding onto their own baby baptisms

Scott Clark — “the Lord gave his covenant promise or the covenant of grace (they are synonyms).”

Since “the covenant of grace” is something invented by the Reformed, “one covenant of grace” turns out to be the false idea that God only made one promise to Abraham. Reformed folks prefer not to talk about election, and would rather talk about “the covenant”. “Election” practically to them means that “my physical children begin life in the covenant” and therefore we never have to talk about non-election.

Romans 9:6 “For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel.” Romans 9 teaches that some of ethnic Israel were predestined to serve in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Those who served this way were not necessarily ”justified before God” and given lasting life. And ethnic Jews not in the genealogy of Jesus are not necessarily “never saved”. Not only is there a difference between being in the genealogy and not being in the genealogy, but also a DIFFERENCE between being elect to justification or not being one of those for whom Christ would die to justify.

God did not make one lump and then leave the rest, God made two lumps.

Romans 11:1 I ask then–has God rejected His people? Absolutely not! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.

Philippians 3 If anyone else thinks they has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised as a child of Abraham the eighth day; of the nation of Israel.

Ethnic Israel as a whole was not chosen for justification before God but some in Israel were chosen to be in Christ’s genealogy. Those in “the Reformed church” are not chosen as a group to be justified. Not only the Mosaic covenant but also the Abrahamic covenant have promises that only have to do with the role of the nation in God’s historical plan. Their election to be children of Abraham was utilitarian, like creation or redemption from Egypt, not like redemption from the guilt of sin before God.

Something in one of the promises to Abraham can be a “type or picture” of some other promise to Abraham. Those who believe the gospel are promised lasting life. Those who escape Egypt are not all promised lasting life. The children of those who have lasting life are not promised lasting life.

Mike Horton: To be claimed as part of God’s holy field comes with threats as well as blessings. Covenant members who do not believe are under the covenant curse. How can they fall under the curses of a covenant to which they didn’t belong? If faith is the only way into membership (693), then why all the warnings to members of the covenant community to exercise faith and persevere in faith to the end? God promises his saving grace in Christ to each person in baptism, whether they embrace this promise or not. Yet they must embrace the promise in faith. Otherwise, they FAALL UNDER THE COVENANT CURSE without Christ as their mediator. The word proclaimed and sealed in the sacraments is valid, regardless of our response.

To repeat, one last time. I am not Mennonite and I am not Reformed. I believe that the justice of God demands that all for whom Christ died (with their sins imputed to Him) will be justified.

Either you are justified or you are not justified. If you are justified now, you don’t need to be justified in future. If you are not justified now, then you need to be justified. You either are already elect or not, but even if you are elect, if you don’t know the gospel yet, then you are not justified yet.

From the year 2000, my letter to John Reisinger

April 18, 2019

Dear John,

I agree with Mormons that all are commanded to believe the gospel. But I disagree with them about what is the gospel. I agree with you, John, that all snners are commanded to believe the gospel. But I disagree with you about what the gospel is. You have an idea of the gospel, a doctrine of the gospel, which misrepresents God, which is idolatry. Your idea is that God loves the non-elect because God commands all to believe the gospel.

Jesus said, “come to Me, all you.” You say that there is “nothing before this come”. But before this invitation, Jesus identified Himself as the one who reveals the Father and identified the Father as the one who hides things from the non-elect. The difference between us is about which gospel we command sinners to believe.

Your gospel presents a God whose love is not stingy but a love which wants to save those God doesn’t save. Since God would rather save the elect than damn them, you conclude that God would rather save the non-elect than damn them. But this is not the truth, and this misrepresentation of God leads to more falsehoods. Instead of preaching that salvation is not conditioned on the sinner, you hold back talking about the glory of God in election and non-election. The gospel is about the righteousness of Christ dying for the elect. To each and every sinner, we can say, for the non-elect there was never any room. Matthews 11:25 ”I thank you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and the prudent…”

We are to imitate Jesus in His preaching because we are to be convinced that the only difference between saved and lost is the Father giving a people to His Son and His Son dying for those people. Why should we hold back that gospel? Do we think we are prudent enough to know how to abridge the gospel Jesus preached?

I just finished listening to your sermon “The Real Prodigal” from the Bunyan Conference. I like the part about new converts seeing the best in the new and the worst in the old. I can relate to that. As a new convert, I certainly have a keen sense of the sin of believing in a salvation conditioned on the sinner. I certainly have a great shame for having “misrepresented God” for so many years. I was an idolater, and not until God delivered me to the doctrine of the true gospel did I ever feel ashamed of the things I now hate.

I also liked the “sound bite” about truth not being in the middle but in the extremes. If the extremes are in the Bible, they do not contradict each other, no matter what Spurgeon wrote. So we need to be sure that they are in the Bible, and then teach them. I agree with that.

I also was interested in your profession of love for open discussion. I have asked to meet with you, to talk with you, but that has never happened and now you have used the slanders of Phil Johnson as an excuse for exercising your authority to end the discussion. So you end up with one person giving “both sides”, not only his side but a caricature of the other side.

Two things about this. 1. I know that I cannot assume that everything or even anything in your sermon was about me. You kept saying “these people” and “hypers’. And then you can say to us: if the shoe fits, wear it as I call it: you are “hyper”. And if we say that this is a caricature, a stereotype fitting no individual person, then you say, OK, I wasn’t talking about you.

Thus you keep your types and categories, but without having to defend it, and without answering for the accusations you have made. But this is what happens when you take both sides, and try to represent the other side without letting the other side represent itself. You are not yet as much unlike Al Martin as you think you are.

Now I am not complaining that you only give one side of things. We all do that. What irritates is that you talk about “open discussion”.. What I want to say, John, is that you do not know me. You do not know if I am happy or angry or if I have love in my life. I do know that I am still a real sinner. My confession is not simply that “I repent of the false gospel” I used to believe. My confession is that I do not yet see my sin as I should see it, and that the law of God would still condemn me despite my confessing the true gospel and my repenting of the false gospel, were it not for the righteousness of God obtained for the elect by Christ’s death Assurance of Salvation cannot be conditioned on what God works inside any sinner.

Now I know that you also profess not to condition salvation on the sinner. You say that, while Arminians may THINK that their salvation is conditioned on them, they are saved and their salvation is not conditioned on their ignorance or knowledge of the gospel After all, you say, you are not “stingy with the love of God”. Does this mean that God loved the elder brother in spite of his legalism? Since I know that you profess a not-saving but universal love, I am sure that you would say that God does love “in some way” that elder brother.

But that is not the basic difference here. Is that elder brother saved? Must the one who came home from the hog pen confess that the elder brother is his brother? Back in the days when I became an universalist, I said yes: all are brothers.

What do you say? I do not ask if you think the elder brother was non-elect in the secret counsels of God. Rather I ask, is a legalist converted while still left in his self-righteousness and legalism? Are the “good people” saved also, despite their being deceived about their sins and about the gospel? What do you say? Is the love of God such that God’s love “saves snners” but still leaves them in legalism and Arminianism?

My answer is that the love of God is so sovereign and just that it CONVERTS the sinner. The sinner is not saved BECAUSE OF his turning from sin; but God turns the sinne from his false gospel. The sinner is not justified BECAUSE OF his faith in the true gospel, but God does not justify the sinner before or without giving that sinener faith in the true gospel The sinner is not saved BECAUSE he understands and submits to the righteousness established in Christ’s death for the elect, but the converted sinner will understand and submit to that righteousness.

I 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 in order that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they will be condemned—those who did not believe the truth but enjoyed unrighteousness.

Romans 10:3 Because they disregarded the righteousness from God and attempted to establish their own righteousness, they did not obey God’s righteousness

The converted sinner will believe the gospel BECAUSE OF THAT RIGHTEOUSNESS obtained by God and imputed by God. Christ’s death is not merely “potential”. Christ’s death is not merely “purchasing faith for sinners to appropriate the atonement’. Christ’s death obtained righteousness for the elect and has or will be imputed to the elected. The power of the gospel “crucifies” elect sinners so that they understand that salvation is not conditioned on the sinner. We should not presume that those who do not know this are our brothers or sisters.

John, you can and do make this distinction: not because of, but necessary. It will happen, and until it does, then we cannot say that the gospel has converted a man. But you won’t say it when it comes to submitting to Christ’s righteous and effective atonement. Which means you won’t say it when it comes to being a legalist.

Anybody who says that Christ died for everybody but some of them are never justified MUST logically be looking to the sinner as the difference between saved and lost. Even if the legalist gives his god or election the “credit” for the difference, the legalist MUST AND WILL locate that difference in themseles and not in Christ’s death for the elect alone.

I understand that you believe that Jesus Christ died only for some. But you think knowing about this death is not necessary. It is the cause, sure; but you don’t think lost people need to know it’s the cause. It’a a graduate course, you think, for those you think were justified before they knew the gospel. Either that, or you think that “Jesus died for everybody” is gospel.

I cannot help thinking of some of the “primitive baptists” I know. I do not call them “hypers” (I like to be more specific) but they say that people can be justified without hearing the gospel. They say John the Baptist was regenerated and justified as an infant, and that people can be converted “directly” without the gospel and without knowing about the righteousness revealed in the gospel So they think it doesn’t matter if the elect hear the true gospel or “the Arminian gospel” or any gospel.

I reject this. I know that the non-elect will refuse the gospel. I know that the elect must be made alive in regeneration (on account of imputed righteousness) before they will submit to the gospel and be justified. But I also know that people need to hear the gospel before they can believe the gospel (I Peter 1:22-23). To obey the truth, they must hear the truth. Those who have never heard anything but the Arminian gospel have not yet heard the gospel, and are still condemend in their sins.

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

Though Cain and Abel were brothers in the flesh, both creatures of God, made in the image of God, both were not justified before God. The one who came home is justified, and the elder brother is not yet justified. They ultimately do not have the same home or the same gospel or the same God.

This means that we can’t take your pose which acts as if God loves everybody who names the name of Jesus, in spite of their rejection of the gospel. We need to know what the gospel is. And we need to say that those who reject the gospel are condemned already and still need justification. John 3:17-21 “He who DOES THE TRUTH comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

There is no pleasing God without faith in God’s gospel. We “do the truth” only when we confess that salvation is NOT caused by our deeds and decisions. “Good works” are not “good works” unless the sinner has understood that his salvation is based on God’s election. Those elected in Christ are those for whom Christ died to make propitiation. Faith must exclude itself as the condition of salvation, or it is not faith in the gospel and is not pleasing to God.

Workers must exclude works as the condition of salvation, or they are not “good works” and the people who do them are elder brothers, not yet in the family of God, but still lost in their sins. Elder brothers do not “do the truth”. They can talk much of their works, but they will not bring these works to the light of the true gospel, for the true gospel would say that their works were not acceptable.

You don’t know me, John. You say that there are some you are proud to have as your enemies, and then some who you still love but who don’t know what you are saying, who would be right to be upset if you were saying and etc. I read your essays. I listen to your tapes. I think I know what you are saying. But we don’t know each other. I know that you profess to have been saved while an Arminian. You know I profess to be a new convert. Besides that, about all we have to go on is what we write.. I suppose we could accuse each other of writing what we say “ungraciously”. But that is a very subjective thing, and very difficult to say when we don’t talk.

Remember they said that Paul was a hard man in print but a wimp face to face? Or something like that. I could say that you sound very critical and know-it-all in the pulpit but “as a person”, you are very “nice”, even timid. So the best I can do is to once again try to show how you misrepresent me. If the stuff doesn’t stick, you say, I wasn’t throwing it at you. But your thinking you know what I say when you really don’t., that’s some stuff…

You say that “these people” think that “the only thing that matters is if you believe the five points. It doesn’t matter if you pray or witness, if you believe the five points.” Let me say, John, not only is this NOT what I think but also that neither you nor I know anybody who thinks that. I pray for you, because I think it matters. I do not pray for you because I think that my salvation (or yours) is conditioned on my praying. I do not pray to get assurance. I pray because I have assurance.

Similarly, John, I witness to you, because I think it matters. But not because I think my salvation is conditioned on my witnessing. Of course you are angry that anybody thinks you need witnessing to. I know the feeling. I was also.

I would be urgent with you. The gospel is different than you think it is. It is a great and wonderful thing that salvation is conditioned only on the death of Christ for the elect. What you call an unnecessary and unhelpful “qualifying” of the gospel is all about the glory of God in the gospel. It is a great comfort for me to define sin as God defines it, and een now to confess my sin of conditioning salvation on the sinner. It is false comfort to tell the sinner that he can define his sin anyway he wants, and so define the gospel any way he wants.

I am urgent because I am happy in this good news. If there was a righteousness for you but that righteousness did not save you, then that righteousness will not save me either. The difference between any justifed sinner and any condemned sinner is that righteousness obtained by Christ’s deatth and imputed by God to the elect sinner. .

I do not know need to know who is and is not non-elect to tell the truth that Christ did not die for those who reject the the promise and command of the gospel. I do not need to know who is elect to shout the glad tidings that all the elect will hear the voice of the Shepherd instead of the voices of Arminians.

I know what it’s like to look to myself and to be too proud to come. What will people say after all these years of me being a Calvinist if I confess that I was lost? I am such a sinner, and have so many regrets, and have been on so many “sidetrails and diversions” , what will it look like if I say that I was still in condemnation all those years?

John, I am urgent, because I know the temptation of all that. And also I know the great great joy of one day saying: I don’t care. I will flush all the dung.I will rejoice in what God says about justification and about Christ’s death. I will go by what God says. I repented of all other gospels. I plead with you to do the same.

You say that “these people” think that all who don’t believe the five points are lost. But what I really say is that “I was a five pointer and I was lost.”

You say, “these people” say that all who didn’t hear the gospel from a preacher who believe the five points are lost. I am NOT saying the five points are the gospel. You can believe every one of the five points and still die the second death. Many say that Christ only died for some who still say that the reason the some are saved is not Christ’s death but ultimately what God does in them.

So the next time you want to have an open discussion, by saying what the other side would have said if you had invited them to say it, make the discussion about the “righteousness” revealed in the gospel.

It’s not only about tolerating Arminians; it’s about the sin of conditioning salvation on the sinner. There are many folks who sincerely believe every one of the five points who still do not know the gospel, and that is why they do not feel the least bit of ashamed of having conditioned salvation on the sinner. They CONTINUE to condition salvation on what God does in the sinner.

John: are you ashamed of ever conditioning salvation on the sinner. Or are you, like the elder brother, one who still claims never to have sinned in that way?

To your second point: “they say” that the preacher you heard when you got saved had to be a five pointer. No, the preacher had to preach that the atonement was not only sucessful for the elect but also righteous for God who is just and the justifier of the ungodly (since God imputed the sins of the elect to Christ). You can deny every one of the five Arminian points and still be trying
to establish your own righteousness, still ignorant of the righteousness of God.

I am glad that you are at least talking about the preacher and about what you heard when you profess to have been “effectually called”. Unlike the “strict baptists” I mentioned earlier, we agree that both regeneration and the gospel are needed when a sinner is justified. Understanding the gospel is necessary. We agree about that. But we do not agree about the gospel, and about who God is, if you say that God saves a sinner whichever gospel he believes.

Now you could count numbers (they are on your side) and say: if they believe your gospel, then they are lost, because your gospel adds to grace the condition of understanding the gospel. But understanding is necessary, not a condition. Thisis the same thing you would say about perseverance or faith or repentance from sin.

If a man told you he was a carnal Christian who had no intention of turning from his sins, would you say to him– welcome to the party, brother? I don’t think so. Why then are you so critical toward those of us who refuse to call brothers those with another gospel?

We have different gospels. My gospel is not conditioned on the sinner understanding, for I say that this understanding is a necessary result not a condition for God’s imputation of Christ’s death and God’s regenerating and giving faith in the gospel.

Are you saying that what you believe and what the Arminian believes is really still the same gospel anyway?. That may be more true than you think! If you really do think that God saves people while still leaving them thinking that salvation is conditioned on them, then your God is very much like the God of the Arminian.

And now you can say that you weren’t talking about me. “Legalists who like to mutter about you to somebody else, and not to you directly.” This is what you said about some of us, while you were talking to other people.

This is me writing you. I have wondered about Paul’s relation to the false teachers in Galatia BEFORE he wrote that letter. Did Paul talk to them face to face before he wrote? Maybe, but maybe not. Their different gospel was being “secretly brought in” (2:4). They came with “stealth.” Perhaps they preached about the ungracious manner in which Paul was conducting himself, but without using Paul’s name and without sitting down to talk to Paul directly. I do know what Paul said. My gospel or their gospel. Not: this is a difference of opinion about the word “sanctification”. Not: the elder brother is in the family too, but he needs to “lighten up”. No. One gospel only. Christ will not profit those who believe any false gospel.

John, you go too quickly to consequences, without considering that Christians are ambassadors of the Lord who do not “regard anybody according to the flesh” (II Cor 5:16). According to numbers, and according to our own flesh that wants to say we were saved while still ignorant of the gospel, you accept as brothers those whom the Lord will say, “I never knew you.” According to the flesh, you say to both Cain and Abel: you are both sincerely worshipping God.

John, you are too quick to say, if that gospel is true, all these people would be lost, therefore it must not be true. That is what the Pharisees said: the wrong people are being lost! “The covenant is not only being widened to the Gentiles, but some of us Jews are being cut out!”

I John 3 says that Abel “did righteousness”. In John 3:21, Abel “did the truth”. Cain did not. Why was Cain not saved? Because he murdered? No. he murdered because he was not saved. His works were evil. The evil works are the “sincere worship” Cain offered.

Cain could not have good works because Cain had the wrong gospel. And so Cain and Abel were not brothers. But you would make it out as though Abel is the elder brother if Abel is not able to call Cain his brother, if Abel is not able to enter into worship and religious fellowship with Cain.

Some say that God “stoops” to save even those who confess that God conditions salvation on the sinner. In other words, God not only saves idolaters (praise God for that, since I was one when I was a lost five point Calvinist!), but God saves these sinners using the idolatry as the message by which God saves them and THEN LEAVES THEM IN THEIR IDOLATRY.

God justifies the ungodly. God is also just. God will be glorified in the salvation of sinners, and in the damnation of those who persist in saying that a “gracious” God accepts the faith of the sinner as making the difference between saved and lost.

God is not stingy on love to God the Son: if one person for whom God the Son died is lost, then God is misrepresented. All those who believe in universal atonement are lost idolaters. God does not love His people more than God loves the Son of God , for His love of the Son’s righteousness (His death for the elect at the cross) makes the difference between saved and lost.

Sure, you may say, but you don’t have to know that to get the benefit of it. What then do you need to know?

In Galatians, Paul did not accept all who professed to be Christians as his brothers. He said: they are cursed. Those who bear fruit of the Spirit have had their flesh “crucified” for them in their conversion, when they understood that the cross was all the difference and they none of it. (Gal 5:24). Arminianism appeals to the desire of the flesh to condition salvation on the sinner. Even when they “but my faith is not a work”, their faith is in a false gospel. Romans 9:11–that the purpose of election might stand, not of works”. No “election of grace” (Romans 11:5), no grace.

In Philippians 3, Paul explained that as long as he had the righteousness to be found in the law (conditioning salvation on the sinner), that he was lost. He didn’t say: I have always been a justified brother, and was a brother even then. He says his worship then was dung. His previous worship he was ashamed of … But no man is ashamed of Arminianism by nature. Romans 6:21 What fruit did you then have? NONE. …”in the things of which you are now ashamed of”.

John, when you became an Arminian, you were already ashamed of some things before then, and after that, maybe more. But until you are ashamed of saying and thinking that Christ’s death was for those who perish, then you are still free of the righteousness obtained for the elect by the death of Christ.

Your sermon is a confession that you can receive the immoral but not those with a different gospel. And that is as it should be. If I have a false gospel, then you should NOT receive me or call me your brother. (2 john 9). You can tell people with a false gospel what the gospel is without having to say that they are brothers already without the gospel.

So don’t feel bad about the lack of fellowship. There could be open discussion without that, if you wanted it. I have learned that I need to continually take sides with the Scripture against myself. It is not coldness and hardness that makes me say this but a love for the gospel and a concern for you when you sound so much like the universalist I used to be (so very recently) . No, you don’t say that all are brothers. But neither do you say that we judge who is a brother by the gospel.

What if a person says: Christ died for all sinners, I am a sinner, and thus Christ died for me? Then what do you say: OK, you are saved, but there are some things I need to teach you about how you said that?

I say not all are saved. Not all are brothers. The good news is that the death of Jesus Christ actually saves all the sinners Jesus for whom died. Believe this gospel and you will be justified. It’s the only gospel there is. The Christ who died this death is the only Christ there is.

John, I wonder how you felt when you walked off that platform the night you preach that sermon on the “real prodigal”. You got your share of laughs, of vindication from the group for which you speak. But I can’t help wondering what the sermon did for you. Did it make you sad? or happy? Did it make you less angry, less critical, more fruitful? Did you that night pray “thank you that I am not the real prodigal”?

Mark McCulley, 2000

Cursed by Abraham’s Covenant of Grace? Scott Clark Keeps on Begging the Question – The Covenant Not only the Elect but Some of the Non-Elect?

April 9, 2019

Reformed folks need to flatten all post-fall covenants down to one covenant. Even though they are reluctant to water teenagers and adults who they suspect do not believe the gospel, they want to keep holding onto their own baby baptisms by continuing to water infants and little children related to some adult joining their “church”, which “church” they flatten into one group (excluding those groups who won’t water babies) they call “the church”

Scott Clark — Four times the Lord expressed his covenant promise or the covenant of grace (they are synonyms)

mm—since “the covenant of grace” is something made up by Reformed sacramentalists, “one covenant of grace” turns out to be the same thing as the idea that God only made one promise to Abraham.
Scott Clark will concede some distintion between the Mosaic covenant and the Abraham covenant, but this is only in order to equate “the one covenant of grace” with “the covenant of Abraham”. And even when it comes to the Mosaic covenant, Scott Clark wants to keep his Confessional langauge about the Levitical sacrifices being one “administration” of “the covenant of grace”. It’s not clear if Scott Clark thinks this means Christ’s sacramental presence was available (on conditions) to those who used the animal sacrifices preacticed by Moses and Abraham.

Scott Clark — The NT appeals to Genesis chapters 12, 15, 17, and 22 as examples to explain to NT Christians the nature of the covenant of grace. Such use of Abraham only makes sense on the ASSUMPTION that Abraham and we are members of the same covenant

mm—-Assumption is the correct word. Scott Clark begins to beg the question by saying that no other view (than his, which is not the same even as other Reformed folks who talk about the Mosaic covenant in equal terms as administrations of “the covenant of grace”)

Scott Clark — Abraham was united by grace alone through faith alone, to Christ by the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit.

mm–Not one Bible text teaches that the Holy Spirit puts us or anybody in Christ. Not one Bible text teaches that the Holy Spirit puts Christ in us. But the Reformed Confession teach this. But the Bible teachss that election in Christ puts the elect in Christ. God’s imputation of Christ’s death to the elect puts them into Christ’s righteousness and thus into justification. Christ’s gift of the Holy Spirit to the elect means that Christ is indwelling the elec . But reformed folks prefer not to talk about election, and would rather talk about “the covenant”. “Election” practically to them means that “my physical children begin life in the covenant” and theefore we never have to talk about non-election. We can simply assume that everybody present is a child of Abraham and a child of the covenant. “You are here. You are us”

God promised Abraham lots of land
God did not promise you or us lots of land

God promised Abraham that one of his children would be Jesus

God did not promise you or us that one of your children will be Jesus

There is not going to be another Jesus

The God of Abraham is living
but like David, Abraham himself is not now living, not anywhere, not even in hades or paradise

Abraham is dead
Abrahm needs to be resurrected
Abraham needs Jesus to come back to earth so that the “firstfruits” will be raised also from the dead
Abraham believed in resurrection

Scott Clark continues to carciature those who disagree with him. Scott Clark continues to beg the question, by equating one gospel with one “the covenant” and one “the church”. Instead of seeing the animal sacrifices and types in the Abrahamic covenant as only pointing to Christ, Scott Clark keeps assuming those types are pointing to the nature of “church” and of “the covenant”. Since there is only one gospel, he argues, we can’t have a new covenant, therefore we can only have one “the covenant of grace”

I am not so sure that we should say that Adam or Melchizedek are Abraham’s children. Galatians does not only point to the covenant with Abraham. Galatians speaks of “before faith came” and “after faith came”.

Galatians 3:14 The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, so that WE receive the promised
Spirit through faith.

Not only the one child is Abraham’s child. Galatians 3: 22 the promise by faith in Jesus Christ is given to THOSE WHO BELIEVE. 23 Before this faith came, we were confined under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed. 24 The law, then, was our guardian until Christ, so that we would be justified by faith. 25 But since that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 but children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:29 And if you belong to Christ, then YOU ALSO are Abraham’s children

Saying that there is only “the one church” is like saying that there is only the one Israel—-what does it mean to say that?

Is the one Israel Christ himself, and has nothing to do with any distinction between those who know and believe the gospel and those who do not know and believe the gospel?

Is the one Israel a collective (not one person but one group)—all who believe the gospel are one?

Is the one Israel all the physical children of the specific genealogical line between Jacob and Christ, and therefore “one group” that includes both some of those who believe the gospel and some who don’t believe the gospel?

Ephesians 4: 4 There is one body and one Holy Spirit—just as you were
called to one hope at your calling— 5 one Lord, one faith, one
baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all
and in all. 7 Now grace was given to EACH one of US according to the
measure of Christ’s gift . 8 Because Psalm 68 says:
When He ascended on high,
He took prisoners into captivity;
He gave gifts to people.[

Scott Clark— Why Abraham and not Noah? after all, the covenant of grace was first announced to and through Noah (Genesis 6:18).

So was Noah a child of Abraham?

Scott Clark—The New Testament focuses on Abraham, however. in the history of redemption after Abraham, the Holy Spirit uses the promises given through and to him as the pattern (the paradigm) to explain God’s grace during the period of the temporary national covenant with Israel. Also, Paul appeals to Abraham because of the particular challenge he faced, namely helping Jewish and Gentile Christians to understand that they were both heirs of and participants in the same covenant of grace. Were Abraham merely a father of NT Christians or were the Abrahamic merely a covenant of grace and not the covenant of grace, then Paul’s entire case is changed considerably.

mm–In begging the question, Scott Clark uses the word “merely” quite a bit (at least he doesn’t use the trendy word “robust”) Scott Clark gives us false alternatives–“the covenant of grace” or “merely the father of believers”? Answer one, the only covenant of grace which is mediated by Christ’s death and which gives justification is the new covenant—Christ’s death was for those of all time elected to justification. Answer two, no Abraham was not merely the father of believerss, and nobody says that about Abraham. Not either or, but also. Abraham was also the father of Christ. Abraham was also the father of all physical Jews. Abraham was the father of the specific Jews who were in the bloodline leading to Christ (Isaac, not Ishmael). This does not mean that only the Jews in that genealogy were justified before God. This does not meaan that all the Jews in the genealogy were justified. Ishmael may have been justified. Isacc may not have been jusified.

Paul applies the typology of Isaac’s birth in Romans 9 to teach that justification before God is rooted in God’s sovereign election apart from works –“not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.” Romans 9 does this by showing that Isaac’s physical birth was according to God’s sovereign election and that Jacob’s selection as the one through whom the Abrahamic Covenant would continue.

https://www.the-highway.com/articleFeb98.html

Romans 9:6 “For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel.” Here Paul is not distinguishing between two groups within Israel, the justified and the conemned. od’s covenant promises to these two groups are not the same. Some of ethnic Israel gets to serve in the genealogy of Jesus Chrsit. This those whos sered this way are not necessarily ” saved”. And ethnic Jews not in the gegnealoy of not necessarily “not saved” There are different promises to differnt groups within the group. Not only is there a diffrence between being in the genealogy and not being in, but also ultimtely a DIFFERENT DIFFERENCE between being elect to justification or not being.

God did not make one lump and then leave the rest, God made two lumps

Romans 11:1 I ask, then, has God rejected His people? Absolutely not! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.

Philippians 3 If anyone else thinks they has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised as a child of Abraham the eighth day; of the nation of Israel.

Contrary to what many Jews commonly thought, ethnic Israel as a whole was not chosen for justification before God but for service. Not only the Mosaaic covenant but also the Abrahaamic covenant has promises to physical Israel These promises had to do only with the role of the nation in God’s historical plan of redemption. Their election to be children of Abraham was utilitarian, like creation or redemption from Egypt, not like redemption from the guilt of sin before God . Something in one of the promises to Abraham can be a “type or picture” of some other promise to Abraham. Those who believe the gospel are pormise lasting life. Those who get to escape Egypt are not all promised lasting life. The children of those who have lasting life are not promised lasting life. Many Jews themselves thought that any kind of election involved the promise of justification for individuals, but they were mistaken. Scott Clark is wrong to confuse the covenants, and wrong to confuse the promises. Scott Clark’s confusion is elierate because Scott Clark denies that those who won’t water babies are part of “the true church”.

Scott Clark– Rejection of the status of Christian children continues to perpetuatea principle of radical discontinuity between Abraham and the Christian, i.e. a radical principle of discontinuity in the history of redemption . This denial of the fundamental unity of THE COVENANT OF GRAACE as symbolized in the administration of the sign and seal of the covenant of grace to covenant childre, is serious enough to warrant saying that any congregation that will not practice infant initiation (baptism) into the administration of THE COVENANT OF GRACE is not a church. Sacerdotalism is where the thing signified (salvation) is completely identified with the sign (e.g., baptism or the Supper). The minister becomes a priest dispensing salvation. This approach almost always turns THE COVENANT OF GRACE into a covenant of works. The recipient is said to receive salvation provisionally from the use of the sacrament but that salvation must be retained by cooperation with grace (conditions).

https://rscottclark.org/category/reforming-evangelicals/

Scott Clark is Goldilocks, perfectly balanced and patronizing to all on both sides, both theonomists and credobpaptists.

https://theopolisinstitute.com/article/baptism-impasse-baptists-vs-presbyterians-part-ii/

Scott Clark–The opposite error is to divorce salvation from the signs, so that the preaching of the Word and the administration of the sacraments lose theirimport. When the Word and sacraments become marginal, what matters is the quality of one’s religious experience more than what the Reformed call “the due use of ordinary means.”

Scott Clark explains how God the Holy Spirit makes Christians by means of Arminianism but that it takes time to become “Reformed—“You said to yourself, “Okay. I am Reformed.” You are not alone. You have joined a tradition with roots as old as Scripture and as deep as the great Christian tradition This does not mean that we do not appreciate other traditions or learn from them. Because we have, as it were, a place to stand, we have the freedom to engage openly and honestly with other traditions.

mark–In anything I have ever read in print, Scott Clark has NEVER engaged honestly or even good-naturedly with Lutherans or anabaptists (who Scott Clark defines the people who killed magistrates in Munster)

Scott clark: When people leave modern evangelical Christianity for Reformed theology, piety, and practice they sometimes imagine that can simply add their new understanding of salvation to their earlier theology, piety, and practice

mark–Having never repented of baby baptism or of the false gospel of Arminianism, Scott Clark assumes that he and others were already Christians when they were Arminians. Scott Clark just wants you to move on gradually , notw from the Arminian false gospel https://www.agradio.org/it-takes-time-to-become-reformed.html

There are some who, when they find out that the bus is going the wrong direction, walk toward the other end of the bus. Scott Clark welcomes to the true church those who come from churches that were never true churches. Neither water nor repentance required.

Scott Clark– I cannot see how those congregations that deny baptism to the children of believers can be regarded as true churches, since they lack one of the marks. I am happy, however, to come out out of church into the common or out of the rooms and into the hallway to talk with folk from other traditions, e.g., Baptists, Pentecostals, and Dispensationaists There is one standard for the Western church prior to the Reformation and another standard after. Once the Word had been recovered, the gospel, the pure administration of the sacraments, there is no excuse to corrupt the administration of baptism by denying
it to the children of believers.

Scott Clark not only assumes that baptists are stupid, but assumes that if they ever get less stupid, then they will all agree with him.

Scott Clark–Baptists have a very difficult time even UNDERSTANDING the Reformed understanding of the distinction between the divine decree and the external administration of THE COVENANT OF GRACE

Despite being identified as “new covenant”, John Piper followss the “one covenant of grace” view of his mentor Daniel Fuller when it comes to exegeis in his book on Romans 9, The justification of God. Piper attempts to read justification before God content into all the different blessings described in Romans 9:4–5. Piper concludes that “each of the benefits listed in 9:4, 5 has saving, eschatological implications for Israel,” and then proceeds to try to explain why such benefits were not enjoyed by all Jews. In a smilar way, Piper has informed us that he believes all that Arminians believe, plus some more extra, without any thought of antithesis or contradiction. Piper teaches a general atonement for “you and us” but also wants to add that Christ’s death otains other blessings for the elect. No wonder Piper welcomes those with only baby water into his “membership”

His friend at Southern Baptist Seminary, Tom Schreiner agrees with Piper saying that “the word of God has not failed”—refers to God’s promises to justify his people Israel.

What act of election is intended in Rom9:11—13—an election which determines the destiny of individuals to obtain the lasting life of the age to come , or an election which MERELY assigns to individuals and nations the roles they are to play in history

Those who equate the covenant with Abraaham as THE COVENANT OF GRACE view all of the post-fall covenants (Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, and New) as various “administrations” of the same covenant. Then they argue that all these covenants which they make one covenant) are all made with NOT ONLY THE ELECT BUT ALSO WITH SOME OF THE NON-ELECT

But even the Westminster Longer Catehcism 31 Answers: The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in him with all the elect as his seed.

The elect to be ethnic Jews? The elect to be in the genealogy of Christ? The elect to be justified before God?

Scott Clark would argue that he is nothing like the “mono-covenantalists” like Doug Wilson and other theonomists. In some situations, Scott Clark boasts in making a distinction between the Abrahamic and the Mosaic covenant, even though Scott Clark agrees whtat national and land promises were made to Abrahaa, Scott Clark also boasts in not only having THE COVENANT OF GRACCE, but also ‘the covenant of works” (once in force, or stll in force, it means he’s not “mono-covenantal) But Scott Clark is not as much diferent from Doug Wilson as he claims. Scott Clark confuses his ecclesiology (they are not a true church) with the gospel itself, which means that his false gospel is about grace helping people keep the conditions of assurance “staying in the covenant”, because Scott Clark has already agreed that THE COVENANT OF GRACE INCLUDES NOT ONLY THE ELECT BUT ALSO WITH SOME OF THE NON-ELECT

Doug Wilson: “To see election through a covenant lens does not mean to define decretal election as though it were identical with covenant election. But we do not drag the decrees down into our understanding of history — we let God unfold His unchangeable decrees throughout the process of all history. The content of the ultimate decrees is none of our current business, although we cheerfully acknowledge that the decrees are really there and that they have an unchanging content.”

This is what I mean by “begging the question” . These guys think it’s “catholic” and large of them to “let God “reveal in the Bible that there is a decretal election. When Doug Wilson “understands” that we can’t understand decretal election, he fails to make a distinction between knowing that there is such an election, and knowing who is elect. While the Bible does not tell who is elect, God does reveal that all the elect and only the elect will believe the gospel. But Doug Wilson “understands” the gospel as that which does not talk about decretal election. The “some of the non-elect are in the covenant” false gospel does not tell the good news about Christ having only died for the decretally elect, nor does that anti-gospel tell the good news about the decretally elect hearing and believing the true gospel.

The ultimate way we can tell people that the gospel is “outside of you” is to tell them that the gospel they MUST believe excludes even this believing as the condition of salvation. The only basis for justification for the elect is Christ’s death for the elect. No debated language about the objectivity of “covenant” or “sacraments” should be allowed to obscure this gospel truth. Unless you preach that Christ died only for the elect, no matter how
“confessional” you are, you will end up encouraging people to make faith into that little something that makes the difference between life and death!

When the Bible talks about God’s love, it talks about propitiation. I John 4:10, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” If all we only stipulate that the appeasement of wrath will not work without our faith, then it’s not enough to add on that God sent His son to purchase our faith. The nature of the cross as a propitiation will not be proclaimed. Instead a James Boice (sermons on Psalm 22) will turn the gospel into law, and tell sinners that the atonement was for them but they “ruined” it for themselves.

Norman Shepherd — “The prophets and apostles viewed election from the perspective of the covenant of grace, whereas Reformed theologians OF A LATER DAY have tended to view the covenant of grace from the perspective of election”(p 60, call of Grace). The result of this, it is argued, is that the reformed preacher no longer says “Christ died for you” – but, when these words are construed, not from the point of view of election, but of the covenant, then “The Reformed evangelist can and must say on the basis of John 3:16, Christ died for you.”

mark: Does this mean that Shepherd was saying “for you” to the “one true church”, but not to those outside the one covenant and one church? Was Norman Shepherd making “the true church” the object of evangelism?

Mike Horton: To be claimed as part of God’s holy field comes with threats as well as blessings. Covenant members who do not believe are under the covenant curse. How can they fall under the curses of a covenant to which they didn’t belong? If faith is the only way into membership (693), then why all the warnings to members of the covenant community to exercise faith and persevere in faith to the end? God promises his saving grace in Christ to each person in baptism, whether they embrace this promise or not. Yet they must embrace the promise in faith. Otherwise, they FAALL UNDER THE COVENAANT CURSE without Christ as their mediator. The word proclaimed and sealed in the sacraments is valid, regardless of our response, but we don’t enjoy the blessings apart from receiving Christ

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/reviews/kingdom-covenant-michael-horton/

MM—Either you are justified or you are not justified. If you are justified now, you don’t need to be justified. If you are not justified now, then you need to be justified. You either are already elect or not, but even if you are elect, if you don’t know the gospel yet, then you are not justified yet. And no peacher should be giving aassurance that you are justified. Not should any preacher be giving you assurance that you are now part of the “true church” or a member of THE COVENANT OF GRACE.

If this were a simple case of knowing (or not knowing) the antithesis between imperative and indicative, I think we could talk clearly about the difference between the gospel and the command for all sinners to believe the gospel. But when a proclaim-not explain “anti-rationalist agenda” is added to the law gospel distinction by means of the archetypal vs ectypal shibboleth, the ambiguity introduced includes the idea that God’s command to believe the gospel is also God’s desire that the non-elect (already in “the covenant”) believe the gospel. And then comes the “not yet the eschaton” and “our imperfect works” which
will supposedly figure into “more assuraance” and the “final aspect” of justification.

some final sarcasm—When the clergy rhetoric says “nothing to do with your beleiving” and that “the snow is for you”. they can always make qualifications. This is both true and not true. There are two senses of justification but only one justification. And then also—there are two kinds of righteousness, not only the death but also the law-keeping, butin a snese only one righteousness.

Some clever “ministers” will not say “it snowed for you” but they will say that “the snow is for you”. These “anti-Rationalists” oppose those who reduce the God of the Bible to “mental propositions” To really be rational about the need to “appropriate in the endd” the snow, we need to understand that our sovereign God is also free to reveal that God had nothing to do with non-election and even now wants the non-elect to become elect. At least some of the non-elect are already born into “the covenant”

This is why Horton and Shepherd explain that “the snow is promised to everyone in the covenant of grace” but also say that those who do not believe in the snow will receive the curses of the covenant of the covenant of grace. “Given the necessary chasm between God and the creature, all revelation is necessarily an accommodation.” Thus the anti-rationalists claim for themselves a “theology of the cross” and accuse others as those who glory in their own rationalism. https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/reformed-theology-vs-hyper-calvinism/

All I am saying is that the snow gets gray. If we were to say that “it snowed for you”, that would be too abstract and impersonal. But if we say that “the snow is for you”, that opens up space for “winsom wooing” and lets sinners know that they are responsible for their own history. Get to “the true church” and the means of grace on time.

Scott Clark brings different terms to the debate—archetypal and ectypal theology—but is simply resorting to the old distinction between God’s hidden and revealed will to dispel the charge that the well-meant offer posits two contradictory wills in God. But this distinction between God’s hidden and revealed wills does not help to explain or mitigate the sheer contradiction involved in teaching that God desires to save the non-elect.

This effort to relieve the tension of the contradiction in which the offer involves gets us nowhere. The will of God to save only some, not all, is not hidden but revealed. It is found in every page of the Scriptures. It is Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 22:14. God has chosen only some (“few”) to be justified in distinction from the others (“many”). The distinction leaves us right where we were before the distinction was invented: they are teaching that God has two, diametrically opposite, conflicting wills.

Those who believe the gospel know God as a God who only ever loves the elect and hates the non-elect not because they have peered behind revelation and seen God’s archetypal or ectypal knowledge directly, but because God has revealed this truth to us through the gospel found in the Bible It was not about “having a preacher” who told us —you are justified, now believe you are justified.

http://www.prca.org/prtj/April2012.pdf

Redemptive History–God’s Oath/Covenant Given After the Mosaic Law

March 1, 2019

God’s elect were once far away, not only in our own conscience and mind, but also before God’s justice.

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.

It would be wrong to deny that God the Son BECAME incarnate, both God and Human. It would also be wrong to deny that God the Son was first imputed with the guilt of the elect, and then that God the Son was raised from His death (His death because of that imputed guilt)

2 Corinthians 21 He MADE the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, in order that we BECOME the righteousness of God in Him.

I Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be MADE alive.

I Corinthians 15 is not describing all sinners. I am not denying that all humans are imputed with Adam’s guilt. But I Corinthinas 15 (and Romans 5-6) are about “us all” who were elect in Christ.

I am making two points.
Point one– These texts are not describing the non-elect. The non-elect are born in Adam and will stay in Adam. The non-elect will be condemned and perish when Christ returns to earth. (the second death)

Point two, and the emphasis here and now—all the elect are born guilty and condemned in Adam. All the elect need to be before God “legally buried with Christ”. Not only do all the elect NEED to become dead with Christ, but God’s plan (Ephesians 1 is that all the elect WILL BE made alive by means of Christ’s death.

Romans 6:7 is not describing a new birth but a “being justified from sins”, when each elect sinner receives by God’s imputation the legal value of Christ’s death. (They receive legally the righteousness.Romans 5:11,17) )

Ephesians 2:12 AT THAT TIME you WERE without Christ, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But NOW in Christ Jesus, you who WERE far away HAVE BEEN brought near BY THE BLOOD of Christ.

A W Pink–“Receiving the reconciliation is not our laying down our own rebellion against God. Rather, we receive by imputation that which Christ’s sacrificial death has procured for us. “All things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:18). The “enmity” of Ephesians 2:16 cannot refer to that which existed between Jews and Gentiles, for that has been disposed of in verses 14, 15. “Enmity” is here personified (“slain”), as “sin” is in Romans 8:3. Thus, the verse means that all the sins of God’s people met upon Christ, and Divine justice took satisfaction from Christ’s death.”

Romans 6:9 Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him.

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

The redemptive history happens in Christ. But the legal application of that redemption to the elect is not by the Holy Spirit giving the new birth, but by God’s imputation. If you personally are elect in Christ (God’s purpose), then in time, God will cause you personally to believe the gospel, and that believing will only happen when you have received the objective righteousness (something real, something that is something)of Christ’s death by God’s imputation.

I Corinthians 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; afterward, at His coming, those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when He abolishes all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He puts all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy to be abolished is death

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

Romans 9:”For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the PURPOSE of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calls.

Galatians 3:24 The law, then, was our guardian UNTIL Christ (that we be justified by faith). 25 But SINCE that faith HAS COME we are NO LONGER under the guardian, 26 for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Romans 2:17 For in the gospel God’s righteousness is revealed …The righteous will live by faith 18 For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of those who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

Psalm 110: this is the declaration of the Lord to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand UNTIL I MAKE Your enemies Your footstool.” 2 The Lord will extend Your mighty scepter from Zion. Rule over Your enemies.
3 Your people will willing on Your day
4 The Lord has sworn an oath and will not take it back:
“Forever, You are a priest like Melchizedek.”

I Samuel 7:11 ‘The Lord declares to you: The Lord Himself will make a house for you. 12 When YOUR TIME COMES and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up after you your descendant, who will come from your body, and I will establish His kingdom.

Hebrews 7 For this Melchizedek remains a priest forever.
Abraham gave him a tenth of everything.
First, his name means king of righteousness,
Then also, king of Salem, meaning king of peace;
3 without father, mother, or genealogy,
having neither beginning of days nor end of life,
but resembling the Son of God—

Hebrews 7:26 For this is the kind of high priest we need— holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 Jesus does not need to offer sacrifices every day, as high priests do—first for their own sins, then for those of the people. Jesus ACTED ONCE FOR ALL TIME when He offered Himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the promise of THE OATH THAT COMES AFTER THE LAW appoints a Son, who has been permanently perfected.

The oath to David came after God gave law to Moses. This oath from God was not made before creation. God’s oath was “cut into history” quite a long time after God had ‘ccut into history” the Mosaic covnant

I Samuel 7:18 Then King David went in, sat in the Lord’s presence, and said, Who am I, Lord God, and what is my house that You have brought me this far? 19 What YOU HAVE DONE was a little thing to You, Lord God, for You have also spoken about Your servant’s house in THE DISTANT FUTURE …. 25 Now, Lord God, fulfill the promise forever that You have made to Your servant and his house. DO AS YOU HAVE PROMISED as You have promised, 26 in order that Your name will be exalted

There is no need to deny the difference between promising and doing, in order to proclaim that God will do all that God has promised.

Psalm 2: 7 I will declare the Lord’s decree:
He said to Me, “You are My Son;
today I have BECOME Your Father.
8 Ask of Me,
and I will make the nations Your inheritance
and the ends of the earth Your possession.

Worship the Son or the Son will be angry
and you will PERISH in your rebellion,
because the wrath of the Son is revealed in time
All (and only) those who take refuge in Him are blessed

https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=428132342120