Archive for the ‘faith’ category

My Prayer for Hope and Wisdom in a New Decade

January 2, 2020

For the new year, I am praying for myself, for more faith in the truth

James 1:4 Endurance must do its complete work, in order that you become mature 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously and without criticizing, and wisdom will be given to them . 6 But ask in faith without doubting. Because the doubter is like the sea, driven up and down by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 To be indecisive is to be unstable

Lord willing, I am turning 65 this year, in May. I have even less friends this year than I had last year. The only way I could go back to any “church” I know about is to be dishonest. These “churches” are way more welcoming when we agree to disagree—we don’t say anymore what we think, they don’t want to hear it–“church” works better when we don’t think about what we don’t think about…

It is difficult to get a person to understand something when their entire way of life depends on them not understanding it. I am not only talking about professionals who make an easy living off of religion. I am talking about people who want to keep going to the same church.

That church down in White Settlement, Texas, the one that kills people who come into their space to kill them, that church is not so different from other churches. We don’t kill for Jesus, but the people we do kill are not human but evil. We are heroes not evil. We are just “human”, so if you don’t vote or support the military, then maybe it’s you who is not saved. When you kill, that’s for one kingdom and not for the other kingdom, and everybody has different roles. Everybody has at least two masters.

Why not fake being normal and going back to some church? I don’t want to. Any church I know would accuse me now for not going to some church. In or out of “church”, we believe whatever we think we need to believe.

If they need the metaphors to not be metaphors, they can and do believe this without more questions. If they don’t like “legal metaphors”, they make for themselves a distinction between the legal and the personal.
I accuse them of talking about “covenant” because they don’t want to talk about election or about Christ’s death being limited to only the elect.

“Do you have to talk about that?”

When they accuse me of being “abstract”, I accuse them of rejecting the objective penal meaning of Christ’s death and of not caring much about the truth of who Christ the person is. They have a more or less personal relationship with some people in their church.

Romans 4: 19 Abraham considered his own body to be already dead (since he was about 100 years old). Abraham also thought about Sarah’s dead womb. Without weakening in the faith. 20 Abraham did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise. God caused Abraham to be stronger in his faith. Abraham gave glory to God, 21 because Abraham was fully convinced that what Abraham had promised Abraham was also able to perform.

God did not credit Abraham’s faith as the righteousness. God credited to Abraham the righteousness of Christ’s death. Abraham’s faith was not in his faith. Abraham’s faith was in the righteousness that did not yet exist. Abraham’s faith was in the righteousness not yet obtained by Christ’s death. Abraham believed that Christ would die. Abraham did not believe that Christ had already died. But God then and there imputed Christ’s death to Abraham. Back then at that time, God justified Abraham.

The justification of Abraham meant that Abraham had immunity from condemnation before God.
Before that, Abraham was condemned before God.
Before God justified Abraham, God imputed sins to Abraham.
After God justified Abraham, God no longer imputed sins to Abraham.

You can dismiss “justification before God” as a tattoo that cannot be removed, or as a “get out of punishment pass”. But Abraham had lasting security before God. Abraham could lose friends and family, but Abraham could not lose God.

Romans 4:17 Abraham believed in God, who gives life to the dead and calls things into existence that do not exist

Humans being in the image of God does not mean that humans will always live somewhere.
Humans being in the image of God does not mean that death is another form of life.
Satan was lying when Satan said we would not die.
God being God does not mean that everything has already happened.
God being God does not mean that God does not cause us to believe and hope for the future.

James 2: 21 After Abraham was justified by God before God, Abraham offered Isaac his son on the altar. 22 Abraham’s faith was not perfect but also Abraham’s faith was not fake. Abraham was called God’s friend.

So I ask God for myself faith and hope for this new year

James 3: 33 Who really is wise and has understanding? Who has wisdom’s gentleness? 14 Do not brag about believing the truth, Do not deny the truth. Do not fake the truth….16 Anywhere selfish ambition exists, there is disorder and every kind of evil. 17 But the wisdom given from above is pure and peace-loving, gentle, full of mercy and free from hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace

Job had too many friends
Satan accused God
Satan accused Job
Satan says that none of us will die

Job was a sinner
Job was not fake.
Job accused his friends.
Job accused God.

James 5: 11 we count as blessed those who have been patient. You have heard of Job’s patience and have seen the outcome of that patience. The Lord is very merciful. 12 Now above all, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. Your “yes” must be “yes,” and your “no” must be “no,”.
Do not be fakes. 13 Are you suffering? Pray. Are you cheerful? Sing praises…19 if anybody strays from THE TRUTH and someone turns them back to the TRUTH, 20 they will save their life from death

John 7: So the family of Jesus said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, in order that others also see what you are doing. 4 Because no one works in secret if they seeks to be known openly. Show yourself to the world.”

Some think we will show the world what the gospel is without words, simply by what we do and by not being sinners like other people are. Matthew 5:16 let your light shine before others, in order that they give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Only by the light of the gospel can others see in what we do that our faith is NOT in what we do to prove our faith to other people.

John 7:17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, they will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.
John 7:17 is not teaching us that learning is not important. That would be ironic indeed–learning that learning is not important. Nor is John 7:17 teaching that learning depends on us doing God’s will, or on “wanting to” do God’s will. There is no such thing as doing God’s will before we know what God’s will is. But there is such a thing as “dead works” in which our doing is sin against God. Any doing done in order to get God to bless us is doing that God hates.

We can’t do stuff in order to trigger our believing, because we need to repent of our doing. Not only do we need to repent of doing what God never commanded us to do, but also we need to repent of any doing which displaces faith in what Christ has already done by His death and resurrection.
We can’t just do stuff, because some doing is evil in God’s sight. Some do what is true, some do what is not true.

John 3:19 This is the judgment–the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light BECAUSE their works were evil. 20 They hate the light and doe not come to the light, because their good works would be exposed as sin. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light…

Romans 6:20—when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. The fruit you were getting at that time now shames you as self–righteousness The end of that doing is death

https://theneongaslamp.wordpress.com/2018/05/19/there-is-no-hope-for-any-sinner-apart-from-christs-death-as-a-propitiation-for-his-elect-alone/

Justification and Comfort for All who Believe the Gospel

October 2, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The gospel promises justification to all those who believe the gospel

The gospel does not promise peace to mark mcculley

The gospel does not promice peace to all those who speak peace to mark mcculley

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

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

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

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

Acts 13: The Gentiles REJOICED and glorified the message of the Lord, and all who had been appointed to lasting life BELIEVED
“Appointed to lasting life” is election, not justification

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

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

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

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

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

1. agree that we are both Christians
2. agree to disagree
3. agree not to discuss further

It’s very much like an Arminian saying, first agree that I am saved, and then we can talk about the Arminianism
Second , agree that we are brothers, and after that there’s no point to talking about Arminianism, so let’s let it all go

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

I do not know need to know who is and is not non-elect to tell the truth that Christ did not die for those who reject the the promise and command of the gospel. I do not need to know who is elect to shout the glad tidings that all the elect will hear the voice of the Shepherd instead of the voices of Arminians. If you really do think that God saves people while still leaving them thinking that salvation is conditioned on them, then your God is very much like the God of the Arminian. https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/from-the-year-2000-my-letter-to-john-reisinger/

What’s the difference between being an universalist and teaching justification only for some but before these some know the gospel?
Perhaps the only difference is cruelty

some say–it’s just not an issue, because it has no implications, and so that’s why I am going to call you an Arminian conditionalist if you talk about “justification through faith” or “the righteousness of faith”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faith Now and Sight On the Day of His Appearing

August 3, 2019

Matthew 5:8 They shall see God

Romaans 13: 12 For now we see indistinctly as in a mirror
but then face to face.
Now I know in part,
but then I will know fully,
as I am fully known.

This past month I have received new implants in both my eyes during cataract surgeries. I am hoping for better vision.

But hopes for change in me is NOT the righteousness revealed by God’s gospel. The hope which “comes from righteousness” is hope for Christ’s appearing and our resurrection (in the future) when we will be given immortality.
This hope come from the rightousness. This hope is not ever to be confused with the righteousness itself obtained by Christ’s death (one time in the past) as the propitiation for the elect.

Galatians 5:5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness

The gospel is NOT that Christ died “for you”. Instead the gospel is that Christ’s death took away God’s wrath for all the sins of the elect (including unbelief before they believed the gospel). The gospel is also that Christ’s death purchased for the elect the faith to believe the true gospel. Assurance of justification is self-involving, because the gospel makes a promise to all who believe the gospel but ONLY to those who believe the gospel.

There is a difference between one’s legal state before God and one’s assurance of one’s legal state before God. Those sinners who are in an objective state of condemnation before God (even though all are commanded to obey God) cannot in any way obey God or do anything pleasing before God.

How can those without assurance of being in a justified state before God please God? A justified legal state does not become true because we believe that we are in a justified state. But there is no reason to assume any sinner is in a justified state if they do not yet believe the gospel and have assurance that they believe in the gospel.

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

John 6:37 Everyone the Father gives Me will COME to Me, and the one who COMES to Me I will never cast out

Romans 8:30 Those who have been called were not always called but they stay called. Those who have been justified were not always justified but they stay justified. Christ had not always secured the permanent redemption (Hebrews 9), but now that Christ has secured that reconciliation, Christ is not still in the process of securing redemption. Christ is not still redeeming us with attempts to still make changes in us

Christ’s death paid the price for the justification of the elect and the justification of God in justifying the elect. Once that price is imputed to the elect, the elect are justified before God.

None of this fits with the false idea that the elect were never guilty before God. Nor does this justification by God’s imputation fit with the false idea that the faith necessary for justification is any part of the righteousness obtained by Christ’s death Christ’s death is not obedience to the law. Christ’s death is satisfaction to the law. Christ’s death is not abrogation of the law .

Completely corrupt people cannot and do not believe the gospel. God’s regeneration is not God’s righteousness but the regeneration that causes a person to believe the gospel is a result of God’s imputation of Christ’s righteousness

2 Peter 1:1 To those who have obtained a faith of equal blessing with ours THROUGH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the KNOWLEDGE of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 God’s divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who CALLED us…God has given us very great and precious promises, so that through these promises you share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world

Receiving the righteousness of Christ by God’s imputation is not like getting new implants that change us. What some call “vital union” is not “the new man” becoming part of us. Becoming the “new creation” ia becoming justified in Christ when God imputes Christ’s death to us. The lasting life of the age to come is not the new birth. The new birth causes us to believe the gospel, but the new birth is not Christ’s righteousness. The new birth is not a new nature

2 Timothy 4: 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time for my departure is close. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 There is reserved for me in the FUTURE the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me ON THAT DAY, and not ONLY TO ME BUT TO ALL ll those who have loved His appearing.

The hope which comes from righteousness is Christ’s appearing and our resurrection when we will be given immortality. Luke 12: 36 You must be like people waiting for their master to RETURN from the wedding banquet so that when he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once. 37 Those slaves the master finds alert when he comes will be blessed

Melanchthon –The Colossians do not do good to the saints as if they were moneylenders, buying big profits with small favors The world is generous in hope of getting back. All gifts are greedy—-But the saints give because they value God’s will above the promised rewards. Their actions are not prompted by the desire to get something in return. For they know that all things have already been FREELY given and cannot be won through human effort. The magnitude of God’s reward to Christ’s death to the Colossians stirs them into doing good works, not to obtain future blessings, but because they believe themselves to have obtained so much already

Philippians 3:11 I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.

Philippians 3:20 our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 Christ will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.

There is no way out of the grave except by the resurrection at Christ’s appearing

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

Christ’s death was an “exodus” in which Christ was “lifted up”

John 3:13 No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be LIFTED UP

John 12:33 Jesus said this to signify what kind of DEATH He was about to die. 34 Then the crowd replied to Jesus, “We have heard from the scripture that the Christ will remain forever. So how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? 35 Jesus answered, ‘The light will be with you only a little longer.’

I Timothy 6:4 to keep the command without fault or failure until the APPEARING of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 God will bring this about in His own time. God is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords,
16 the only One who has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light

Hebrews 9: 28 so also Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.

Hebrews 11:38 The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and on mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. 39 All these were approved through THEIR FAITH, but they did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for US, so that THEY would not be made perfect without US

I Thessaalonians 4:15 Those who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up TOGETHER WITH THEM in the clouds to MEET the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

Revelation 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

Justification is the legal right to the lasting life of the age to come but those who are already justified are not yet immortal.

Philippians 1:20 My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored IN MY BODY, whether by life or by death.

Living in my body is gain for Christ and dying in my body is gain for Christ. 22 Now if I LIVE ON IN THE FLESH this means fruitful work for me. I don’t know which one I should choose. 23 I am being pressed.

If there are two choices (and not a third–Christ’s appearing) , and one is far better, where is the being “pressed”?

If we oontinue to live in the flesh, will Christ be with or “away” from us?

2 Corinthians 5:6 We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord

Philippians 1:24 but TO REMAIN IN THE FLESH s more necessary for you

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

2 Corinthians 5: 2 Indeed, we groan in this body, desiring to put on our dwelling from heaven, 3 since, when we are clothed,we will not be found naked. 4 Indeed, we groan while we are in this tent, burdened as we are, because we do not want to be unclothed but clothed, in order that mortality be swallowed up by life.

The hope which comes from righteousness is Christ’s appearing and our resurrection when we will be given immortality

I John 2:15 the pride of present life is not from the Father, but is from the world

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight, 8 and we are confident and satisfied

2 Corinthians 5:16 From now on, then, we do not know anyone by the flesh way. Even if we have known Christ by the flesh,yet now we no longer know Christ by the flesh

Romans 1:16 The gospel is God’s power for salvation to everyone who BELIEVES ..The righteous will live by FAITH.

Romans 3:26 God declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Where then is boasting? Boasting is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, on the contrary, by a law of faith. 28 Because we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the works

Romans 9:32 They did not pursue righteousness by faith, but as if righteousness were by works.

Galatians 2:16 no one is justified by works but by faith in Jesus Christ. And we have believed in Christ Jesus in order that we be justified by faith in Christ and not by works, because by works no human being will be justified.

Ephesians 2:8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this salvation not from yourselves. Salvation is God’s gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast

I Corinthians 15:16 If the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless and you are still in your sins.

The idea that only the immaterial can become immortal is a false doctrine contradicted by the Bible. If we are already there in heaven and if heaven is already here, then here is there and now is then, and preachers can say any stupid thing they think sounds good. But if the “all have immortal souls” preachers are correct, then we have absolutely no need to hope for Christ to leave there to come here to us or for our bodily resurrection

Now “we are away from the Lord”—- The Lord is in His spiritual material body in heaven, and therefore absent from us, away from us.

Though we ourselves are now still in our perishible bodies, now we believe the gospel and we no longer believe that God’s righteeousness consists in changes to us by infusion or impartation or implaantation. We no longer live by the flesh, but hope for resurrected flesh on the last day only because of Christ’s death imputd to us.

In the age to come, Christ will become present with us BODILY, and we will be risen bodily to see Christ (whatever that means)

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

I John 3: 2 Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will
be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be
like Him because we will see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this
hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.

More and More United to Christ? More and More Justified?

December 14, 2018

Heidelberg Caatechsim Q.76. What is it then to eat the crucified body, and drink the shed blood of Christ?

A. It is not only to embrace with believing heart all the sufferings and death of Christ and thereby to obtain the pardon of sin, and life eternal; but also, besides that, to become MORE AND MORE UNITED to his sacred body, by the Holy Ghost, who dwells both in Christ and in us; so that we, though Christ is in heaven and we on earth, are notwithstanding “flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone” and that we live and are governed forever by one spirit.

Mike Horton, Justification, volume 2, (New Studies in Dogmatics , p449—Union with Christ is not actually an element in the order of salvation but an “umbrella term” for the order as a whole.

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

Horton, p451—“Union is not a goal but the source”

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

Horton, p471—” Logical priority does not determine basis”

Horton, p487—“the goal of union”

Horton—-“a person can become a member of the covenant of grace without truly embracing the word that is preached. 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 means of grace and yet are not regenerate.. Thus we have a category for a person who is in the covenant but not personally UNITED BY LIVING FAITH to Jesus Christ”

Nathan J. Langerak— “Cnsequent conditions” are new conditions of
salvation imposed on the saved person because the person is now saved.”

https://rfpa.org/blogs/news/the-charge-of-antinomianism-3-against-an-unconditional-covenant

Does “living the gospel” equate to attending the true visible church in order to receive grace by means of the sacrament? Is it possible to be justified before God without being united to the true visible church? Is the Protestant Reformed Church (which denies that the gospel is an offer) the true visible church? Is the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (which insists that the gospel is an offer) the true visible church?

This essay is not mainly against the idolatry of “the church” or thinking you have to go to “the church” in order to get water, in order to have something to believe in, in order to receive and continue to receive grace. God has not predestined “the church” to be the “means of grace”, but that’s not my concern now.

My argument instead is that we are either in Christ or we are not. There is no such thing as being “more united” to Christ because of eating the “sacrament”. There is no such thing as being more and more united to Christ. We are either sanctified and set apart in Christ or not. We were elected in Christ or not. If we were not elected in Christ, then Christ never died for our sins and we will never be placed in Christ’s death and justified. If we were elected in Christ, then Christ died because of our sins (Romans 4:25), and when God gives the elect the reward of Christ’s death by means of legal imputation, these elect are justified and will be resurrected to life.

Romans 5:17 how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness REIGN IN LIFE through the one man,Jesus Christ…18 through one righteous act there is life-giving justification…21 as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, RESULTING IN LASTING LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The one who is justified now is not only legally free from some sins but from ALL SINS

John 5:24 As many as who hear My word and believe Him who sent Me has lasting life and will NOT COME UNDER JUDGMENT but HAS PASSED from death to life. 25 I assure you: An hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

I think that John 5: 24 shows that there is no process of justification. Justification is NOT something you have more or less. Being placed into Christ’s death is NOT something that increases or decreases. But if you confess that “union” comes before justification, and if you say thaat “union” increases, I think the likely result will something like a Lutheran “justified again every day” (or some days not justified, when you don’t attend the sacrament, or when you don’t have faith at the sacrament).

Romans 6:7 “For one who has died has been justified from sin. 8 Now since we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 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.

This is NOT a “two aspects” justification. This is NOT a “progressive justification”

If you have been placed into Christ’s death, then you will not need more grace when you sin than when you don’t sin. Being in Christ’s death does not give you the grace of sinning less so that you need less grace. You either have Christ’s death as your death or you do not have Christ’s death as your death.

Benjamin Keach, The Biblical Doctrine of Justification Without Works, Solid Ground Books, Birmingham, Alabama USA, 2007, p 80—“ “Once we are justified, we need not inquire how a man is justified after he is justified. By that righteousness of Christ which is out of us, though imputed to us, the Justice of God is satisfied; therefore all Works done by us, or inherent in us, are excluded in our Justification before God.”

Romanists say that justification includes progress in holiness. The Reformed say that nobody can be justified without “the double grace” of progress in holiness.
What’s the practical difference?

Beale, New Testament Biblical Theology, p 516—My view is compatible
with Snodgrass (Justification by Grace–to the Doers:An Analysis of the
Place of Romans 2 in the Theology of Paul) who holds that justification excludes ‘legalistic works’ done to earn justification but INCLUDE an evaluation of IMPERFECT works done by us through the Spirit…

I keep asking. Does being “united” to Christ mean that the distinction between promise and demand is removed in such a way that those justified today still need to be justified tomorrow by the “consequent” instrumentality of works done after one is justified? Now that we are “united” to Christ,is the promise of the gospel no longer any different from the demand of the law that we do what God says to do in order to stay “united” to Christ or to be “more united” to Christ?

Those who teach that “union with Christ” is an “umbrella term” which includes all the blessings in no particular order almost always end up saying that faith comes in order before “union with Christ” and that “union” comes in order before God does any imputing. Some of these “Reformed” folks are so Arminian that they make it sound like God only imputes your sins to Christ after you “execise your faith” and consent to the offer and then after that you are “united to Christ by working faith”. And most of them who say that “union” means all the blessings end up defining “union” as only the one blessing which they say is “the presence of the person of Christ in you” before God ever does any imputing.

They insist that it is “antinomian” to deny that faith comes first in the order of salvation before “union with Christ” and the presence of Christ indwelling internally in our eternal souls.

I agree that there are antinomians who deny that the gospel commands faith.

Romans 1:17 The righteous will live by faith

Antinomians teach that it is only Christ who lives by Christ’s faith and that Romans 1:17 is not about anybody else believing

But this real antinomianism is no excuse for NEONOMIANS who say that faith includes works, or who say that faith is righteousness.

Yes, antinomians are wrong to say that sinners are justified beforeand without faith. But it is not wrong to say that God imputes Christ’s death to the elect (those are the only ones whose sins were imputed to Christ) in order to the work of the Holy Spirit creating in the elect faith in the gospel.

Antinomians say that sinners are justified regardless of their faith in Christ.
Antinomians argue that saying that we can’t be justified without faith
in the gospel means a salvation not by grace

But Romans 4:16 This is why the promise is by faith, IN ORDER THAT IT
BE ACCORDING TO GRACE

Antinomians teach that our faith should be in Christ’s faith

But Romans 6:17 teaches that not only is Christ the object of faith
but that Christ is present in power to create OUR FAITH IN CHRIST.

Romans 6:17 you obeyed from the heart that gospel doctrine to which
you were transferred

Galatians 2:16 no one is justified by the works of the law but by
faith in Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 28:16 as many as who believe on Him will not be put to shame

Nobody who bothers to read this essay should say that I deny that faith in Christ is not necessary for justification before God. What I deny is that God’s imputation of Christ’s death to the elect sinner comes only after God has already come to indwell the elect sinner by Christ’s Spirit.

The Reformed Confessions teach (but do not prove) that regeneration must come before imputation. These confessions also incorrectly teach that what God imputes (after regeneration, they say) is not the death of Christ but instead
that the law-keeping of Christ is imputed. These Confessions teach that Christ’s death is not the righteousness to be imputed, but rather His incarnate law-keeping. No hope in Christ’s death alone, they say.

And the death of those who do not consent to the “Reformed free offer” (consent in order to be united to Christ) is not they say the punishment for sin because they say that you have to exist to be punished and therefore they say that those who do not consent to God’s law (which for them ultimately the same as God’s gospel) must continue to sin forever and never die.

BUT THE PRIORITY IN JUSTIFICATION MUST ALWAYS GO TO CHRIST’S DEATH IMPUTED.

The reward of Christ’s death is not grace for Christ but justice for Christ

The reward of Christ’s death (righteousness) will be given to all the elect

The reward of Christ’s death (righteousness) is grace for all for whom Christ died

I Peter 1:18 For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way
of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like
silver or gold, 19 but with the precious BLOOD of Christ, like that of
a lamb without defect or blemish. 20 CHRIST WAS CHOSEN before the ages
but was revealed at the end of the ages for you 21 who through Christ
are believers in God, who raised Christ from the dead and gave him
glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

II Peter 1:1 To those who have obtained a faith of equal preciousness
with our faith through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus
Christ.

Many Reformed folks seem to think that if you don’t use certain words like “merit” or “earning” or “justification”, you can teach that there is MORE “sanctification” and MORE adoption and MORE assurance by means of your efforts and works. They teach that,after you are a watered Christian, then there is no more antithesis between faith and works, or between law and gospel

Richard Gaffin, by Faith not by Sight, p103–“The law-gospel antithesis enters not by virtue of creation but as the consequence of sin. The gospel is to the purpose of removing an absolute law-gospel antithesis in the life of the believer. With the gospel and in Christ, united to him, the law is now my friend.”

In reponse to Gaffin, there was no grace before Adam’s sin and no need for grace. The tree of life in the garden was not the church, nor was that tree an “offer” to be given lasting life by means of not sinning. The law commandment—if you sin, you surely die—was NOT the gospel. But God’s command was a real threat, NOT that sinners would live forever in torture in some place separated fro God. God’s ccommand to Adaam was a threat of DEATH

Second, again in response to Gaffin, law still accuses of sin after Adam’s sin. Even after we become Christians, even after we are in Christ’s death by God’s legal imputation, Christians still sin and their sin is still sin. This sin is against law, even though their sin no longer brings them into condemnation and death.

There are NOT two kinds of works, one of which kind of works gains you MORE AND MORE blessings. The blessings of salvation come to the justified elect, not because of ANY KIND OF works.

The blessings of salvaton only come to those for whom Christ died, after God places them into Christ’s death.

Gaffin and many others (including Mike Horton) teach that it’s not only Christ’s death (because of sins) which justifies. They teach that Christ’s resurrection enables us to have faith which enables us to have “union” which they desecribe as an internal energy indwelling inside us which changes our inner disposition. They deny that God imputes Christ’s death to the ungodly unregenerate.

They keep teaching that Christ’s rightousness is only imputed after “union” and that “union” is only after the faith.

I keep asking –how do you get faith to receive Christ inside you if this internal Christ (by His Spirit) is not already inside you?

If “union” whereby the Spirit gives us Christ is for all practical purposes some kind of “regeneration”, and if regeneration is an ongong process, how is it that any “justification” coming after this “union” could possibly be EITHER OR? Either you are now justified or you are not now justified!

The order that puts faith before union and union before imputation results in justification as a process. Not only do you have MORE AND MORE “union” and MORE AND MORE “sanctification”, but you have MORE AND MORE justification. You have justifciation of those who are already supposedly justified.

Moo, (“Justification in Galatians”, p 172, Understanding the Times)—”Nor is there any need to set Paul’s “juridicial” and “participationist” categories in opposition to one another (see Gaffin, By Faith Not By Sight, p 35-41). The problem of positing a AN UNION WITH CHIRST THAT PRECEDES THE ERASURE OF OUR LEGAL CONDEMNTION…….. CAN BE ANSWERED IF WE POSIT, WITHIN THE SINGLE WORK OF CHRIST, TWO STAGES OF “JUSTIFICATION”, one involving Christ’s payment of our legal debt–the basis for our regeneration–and SECOND OUR ACTUAL JUSTIFICATIONn-stemming from our union with Christ.”

Bradley Green, Covenant and Commandment, IVP, 2014, p 63—-“ SOME think that Christ’s work must be kept totally and utterly sequestered from Abraham’s work and from our work. But it is not necessary to say that there are no conditions where grace reigns. Does it not make more sense to simply say that within a gracious covenantal relationship God moves his covenant people to obey him more and more?

Faith is NOT our “consent or assent to the offer”. God commands all sinners to obey the gospel. We must not change the gospel so that we falsely teach that Christ died in some way for all sinners. Christ never needed to die for anyone in order to command everyone to believe the gospel.

My first concern in this essay is to ask for definition of “union with christ”. Indeed, I think we need to stop using the expression and always be more specific. Those God loves are elected IN CHRIST from before the ages. This is the beginning and source of eveything. But the phrase “union with Christ” is often used to talk about “Christ in us”. Almost always the distinction between “us in Christ” and “Christ in us” is not spelled out, but the assumption is that the Spirit of Christ has to be in us before we can be legally placed into Christ’s death. Instead of teaching that Christ’s resurrection is because of the certain justification of all for whom Christ died, is is more often mistakenly taught from Romans 4:25 that Christ’s resurrection is in order to our justification and therefore the power that raised Christ from the dead needs to work to regenerate us inside beore God can impute Christ’s death to us.

It is mistakenly taught from Ephesians 2 that resurrection with Christ is regeneration. But Ephesians 2 teaches a legal identity with Christ’s death and resurrection. Christ’s resurrection was not Christ’s regeneration. Christ’s death was a result Christ’s legal condemnation (for imputed sins). Christ’s resurrecton was a result of the certain legal justification of all for whom Christ died.

Marcus Peters gives us the false (normal) order: “We are not united to Christ because we have been justified. It is quite the other way around: we are justified because we have been united to Christ, who is himself our justification.”

https://www.crossway.org/articles/10-things-you-should-know-about-union-with-christ/

EITHER you are dead or you are not, but the argument is that, yes you
are either married or not, but that married people get closer and
closer (or not). If these Reformed theologians don’t have Bible texts that say what their confessions say, they just repeat the confession. HC 76 BUT
ALSO BESIDES THAT that, to become MORE AND MORE UNITED to his sacred
body, by the Holy Spirit, who dwells both in Christ and in us.

This teaching about a process of justification, part of which depends on God-enabled grace-enabled working on our part is not something new. It goes all the way back to Augustine and the beginning of the false sacramental Roman “church”.

Augustine–There is a sense in which faith is rightly distinguished from works,
because there are two different kinds of works. There are works that “appear good” but do not refer to Christ, i.e. do not have love of Christ as their source and end or goal. But there are other works that are truly good, because they have love of Christ as their source and goal. Faith is of the latter sort of work, because faith works by love, and has Christ as its source and goal.

Machen, Notes on Galatians, p178–”You might conceivably be saved by works or you might be saved by faith, but you cannot be saved by both. It is ‘either or’ here not ‘both and’. The Scripture says it is by faith. Therefore it is NOT works.”

Machen– “According to modern liberalism, faith is essentially the same as ‘making Christ master’ of one’s life…But that simply means that salvation is thought to be obtained by our obedience to the commands of Christ. Such teaching is just a sublimated form of legalism.”

Machen– What good does it do to me to tell me that the type of religion presented in the Bible is a very fine type of religion and that the thing for me to do is just to start practicing that type of religion now?…I will tell you, my friend. It does me not one tiniest little bit of good…What I need FIRST of all is not exhortation, but a gospel, not directions for saving myself but
knowledge of how God has saved me. Have you any good news? That is the
question that I ask of you. I know your exhortations will not help me.

But as Horton suggested, the Reformed also have a “more and more”. Not only Calvin but Machen has a SECOND thought. “The works which Paul condemns are not the works which James condones. ”

Gaffin and Moo and Beale and Norman Shepherd now quote Machen’s second thought. Horton quotes Machen’s first thought without ever mentioning what Gaffin and Mooe and Beale teach.

I agree with Cunha (The Emperor’s New Clothes) that justification is NOT BY WORKS. Justification is not by works before justification, and not by works after justification I reject “process justification” . I reject “justified but continuing to be justified” I reject “justification not yet justification.”

Rick p—“Why would I put myself through the ordeal of discipline, sacrifice, and sweat, much less risk-taking business endeavors, if I can have a wonderful life without working for it?”

https://heidelblog.net/2014/05/berkhof-on-the-necessity-of-good-works/

http://www.presenttruthmag.com/archive/XXXII/32-3.htm

Only Dying Would Not Be Enough Righteousness?

March 14, 2018

Galatians 2:19 For through the law I have died to the law.

Romans 6: 6 We died with Christ in order that sin’s dominion over us would be abolished…because a person who has died is justified from sin’s claims… 9 We know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. 10 For in light of the fact that Christ died, Christ died to sin once for all time.

Hebrews 7: 26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he DID THIS ONCE FOR ALL WHEN HE OFFERED UP HIMSELF

https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/christ-offered-his-death-to-god-one-time-only/

https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/jesus-is-coming-in-the-future-but-not-to-make-anymore-sacrifice-for-sins/

God has protected and will protect God’s elect from God. God’s wrath was appeased at only one time and at one place by the propitiation finished not in Christ’s life and suffering, but accomplished by Christ’s death . Romans 5:9 Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath

For many preachers, what appeases the wrath of God is not Christ’s death but Christ’s suffering before His death, and they also teach that Christ creates the positive righteousness not by His death, but by His perfect keeping of the Ten Commandments.

Everything Christ did was vicarious, for His elect people (not for all created humans). This is something different from saying that everything Christ did is imputed to the elect when they are justified. Christ’s resurrection is not imputed to the elect. Christ’s faith is not imputed to the elect.

Not everything Adam did is imputed to us. That does not mean that Adam’s other sins don’t matter. But only Adam’s first sin is imputed to us. And Christ’s death is His accomplishment, His one act of obedience. To change the one act into many acts is to read Mosaic law-keeping into the gospel (and usually into Adam’s situation before sin). God made Him to be sin who knew no sin. To be made sin is to be under the law for the guilt of the elect. To become the righteousness of God in Christ is to be be protected and justified before God by God’s identification of the elect with Christ’s death for the sins of the elect.

But many false gospels teach that Christ’s death was not the reason some have faith in the gospel. The Lutherans teach that Christ died for all, but agree that not all have faith.
https://jackkilcrease.blogspot.com/2010/06/what-is-sin-martin-luther-not-having.html

The Calvinists teach that Christ died only for those who believe, but most of them are not teaching that it’s Christ’s death which causes those who believe the gospel to do so. Most of the Calvinists are only teaching that regeneration causes those who believe the gospel to do so. Of course that is true, but if you ask them why some are regenerate and others are not, they will not refer you to Christ’s death for the elect. Instead, most Calvinists will refer you to Christ’s law-keeping righteousness. and then on top of that, they will even teach that you have to believe the gospel in order to get God to impute to you that law-keeping righteousness. And none of this is about Christ’s death, because they don’t equate Christ’s death with Christ’s righteousness.

Even though propitiation comes before (or after) the justification of a sinner, and these are distinct events, it’s still true that all for whom propitiation was made will be justified. The Lutherans (and the free grace anti–Lordship people at the Grace Evangelical Society) are saying that there is one unforgivable sin, are teaching that there is no propitiation ever for the sin of “unbelief of the gospel”

I don’t see how we criticiZe this false gospel without talking about “timing”. It’s the connection between atonement and justification that some eternal justification folks are after—whenever one happens, the other happens, even if both are “timeless”. Those who teach atonement and justification at the same protest any time gap between the atonement and justification (to make the point that the atonement is actual not potential), but they are not bothered by the time gap which says that an elect person can be born justified from God before God and yet still be unregenerate for a long long time.
https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/no-time-lag-after-imputation-of-christs-righteousness-until-regeneration/

https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/impetration-the-death-of-jesus-bought-satisfaction-of-justice-only-for-the-elect-not-only-application/

Calvinists tend to teach that Christ only died “for those who would come to faith”. This not only sounds different than saying “died only for the elect”, but it really is different because it’s teaching that Christ’s death only acts negatively, taking away sins. It’s teaching that Christ’s death still does not get you to a positive justification—all are propitiated for , but not all are justified because not all are given “positive righteousness”.

But who does that remind you of? It reminds me of every preacher who says that Christ’s death was not enough to obtain justification, and that for justification, we need also Christ’s law-keeping. How many preachers say “his death and His righteousness”, as if His death were not His righteousness? How many preachers say “His righteousness” but not defining what that righteousness is?
I am not trying to equate the “no hope without the law-keeping” preachers with the Lutherans and the Arminians who say that Christ made propitiation for all sinners. We all agree that Christ was sinless, and not disobedient to God’s law. But these groups are also saying that Christ’s propitiatory death was not the reason some have faith in the gospel. The Lutherans teach that Christ died for all, but agree that not all have faith. The Calvinists teach that Christ died only for those who believe, but most of them are not teaching that it’s Christ’s death which causes those who believe the gospel to do so.

Most of the Calvinists are only teaching that regeneration those who believe the gospel to do so. Of course that is true, but if you ask them why some are regenerate and others are not, they will not refer you to Christ’s death for the elect. Instead, most Calvinists will refer you to Christ’s law-keeping righteousness. and then on top of that, they will even teach that you have to believe the gospel in order to get God to impute to you that law-keeping righteousness. And none of this is about Christ’s death, because they don’t equate Christ’s death with Christ’s righteousness.

I don’t know if it’s chicken or egg, or which idea leads to the other idea, but many of these preachers also are dogmatic that “only destruction” or “only “perishing” or “only death” is not enough punishment for the non-elect. Some even say that the righteousness of the gospel would mean nothing to them if they thought the righteousness only saved them from destruction or perishing. So they re-define destruction and perish as meaning infinite torture that never ends. Instead of some permanent second death for the non-elect, they re-define death to mean never-dying but continuing to sin and to be tormented. The mere death of the non-elect is not enough for them.

Chicken. Egg. I don’t know if it was their philosophical intuition about what the non-elect deserve and “have coming” which came first, or if their first though was a docetic explanation which denies that Christ can really die. But either way, they fail to see that the death of the non-elect will never satisfy God’s wrath in the way that Christ’s death appeased God and expiated the sins of the elect to protect the elect from God. That philosophical soundbite about Christ being tortured for an infinite amount of time because He is God is not something you read in the Bible. You have to read that “tortured forever” INTO the Bible. Even though we don’t understand how Christ can be both God and human, we believe that Christ IS both God and human, and as the mediator of the new covenant, Christ’s death (one time, one place) is enough righteousness for all the elect. Christ did not only die for all those who believe the gospel. Christ died only for the elect and only for all the sins of the elect. Christ’ death did NOT bring in a righteousness infinite enough for all the noon-elect also (if only they would take it). Christ died only for those who will actually be justified before God.

When Lutherans and Calvinists and Arminians get their eyes off Christ’s death and start talking about Christ’s infinite law-keeping, it often turns out that their notion of Christ’s righteousness is not infinite enough to take care of one sin, the sin of not believing the gospel. Sure, they say the righteousness is infinite, but since you did not believe (or stopped believing), then the infinite righteousness will not be enough for you, and this means that the second death will not be enough for you either—-you will have to be tortured forever, and that means that there will never be a time when there will be no more dying. Dying you will continue dying, and it will never be enough, and death will always continue as God’s enemy.

Christ died enough for the elect to some time in their lives give them the faith to understand and believe the gospel. Even these elect were born under the wrath of God, but Christ’s death not only is enough to take away their sins (past and future) but Christ’s death DOES take away the condemnation and wrath for all their sins. And since Christ’s death is Christ’s righteousness, Christ’s death has purchased for all these elect the gift of the Holy Spirit (from Christ) so that each sinner for whom Christ died will come to believe the gospel before Christ’s coming or before they die.

Acts 2: 25 For David says concerning him,
“I saw the Lord always before me,
for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
my flesh also will dwell in hope.
27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
or let your Holy One see corruption.
28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens

I Corinthians 15: 23 But each in his own order: Christ, the first fruits; 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. 27 For God has put everything under His feet

Revelation 21: 3 Then I heard a loud voice from the throne
Look! God’s dwelling is with humans
God will live with them.
They will be His people,
and God Himself will be with them
and be their God.
4 God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will no longer exist;
grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer,
because the previous things will have passed away. 5 Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.”

https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2018/02/16/but-now-apart-from-the-law-gods-righteousness-has-been-revealed-witnessed-by-the-law/

The degrees of infinity idea does not make much sense, but it allows preachers to say that the non-elect being punished are never quite punished enough, even when they are punished more than others.

David Wells, Christianity Today, March 20 1987 — “If God is as good as the Bible says, if his character is as pure, if his life is as infinite, then sin is infinitely unpardonable and not merely momentarily mischievous. To be commensurate with the offense, God’s response must be correspondingly infinite. Annhilationism instead looks instead for a finished, finite, temporal response. An infinite response, however, is what we see happening at the cross. Was Jesus annihilated? Jesus could exhaust infinite punishment because he himself was the infinite God? Jesus did not bear a punishment MERELY LIKE that which sinners deserved. Jesus did not bear a death that was MERELY ANALOGOUS to theirs..”

Mark: To be “commensurate”, is Jesus still dying on the cross and will Jesus die on the cross forever?

If Jesus is not still dying on the cross, how is His death even LIKE that of non-elect people dying but never getting dead?

Where does the Bible talk about “infinity”? And where does the Bible talk about Christ’s suffering before His death being “infinite”? When did the “infinite punishment” of Jesus begin and when did it end?

If Christ only suffered an equivalent of “eternal torment in Hell”, does that mean that God’s grace arbitrarily (merely, only) “accepted” the punishment of Christ as the same?

Since the punishment of the non-elect will never be finished, does that mean that the punishment of the non-elect will never be infinite?

Does “I will repay” mean that “I will have never repaid”?

If duration of the torment is the real punishment, why is there any need to die after that torture is done, and would not death be the end before more needed punishment?

If the punishment is never done, so that the condemned can never die, why does the Bible teach that the wages of sin is death?

When you translate, the result is a translation.

When you destroy, the result is destruction.

When you finish dying, you are dead.

If you never finish dying, you are not yet dead.

http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2016/04/the-unsaved-in-hell-would-want-to-be-annihilated-to-end-their-suffering-why-this-statement-completely-misses-the-point/

http://rethinkinghell.com/audio/meta/notes/demler_handout.pdf

Your believing will not Cause you to be Born Again

July 1, 2017

John 3:18 The one who believes not is condemned ALREADY

John 3:36 The one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God REMAINS on them

Not all sins, not all sin, was laid on the Savior
But every sin which was laid on Christ has been paid for by Christ’s death
No sin is paid for by our believing

The believer who points to their believing and says that this believing made peace
is not yet believing the true gospel.
Different believers believe different gospels

Even if you don’t think your believing is the righteousness,
if you believe that Christ’s righteousness was for everybody
then you certainly don’t think it’s Christ’s righteousness which saves those who are save

I Peter 2:24 who his own self bore OUR sins in his body on the tree
I Corinthians 15 Christ died FOR OUR SINS according to the Scripture

The gospel is not about how God COULD save somebody
The gospel is about how God WILL save all for whom Christ died
The gospel is not about sinners already being saved before they believe
The gospel is not about sinners being saved without knowing or believing.

The gospel is about Christ having been imputed with all the sins of those God loves
The gospel is about Christ’s death one time taking away God’s wrath for those sins
The gospel is about God imputing Christ’s death to the elect and giving them faith in that death as the righteousness which will give every blessing of salvation

II Peter 1:1 Peter, a slave and an apostle of Jesus Christ:To those who have obtained a faith of equal privilege with ours THROUGH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Christ’s blood means Christ’s death
Christ’s righteousness means Christ’s death
satisfies God’s wrath against sins

God does not buy God’s love for His people
God’s love for God’s people is the reason God buys His people
Christ’s righteousness pays for God’s people

Romans 5:8 But God proves His own love for US in that while 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 Christ from wrath. 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the DEATH of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, WILL WE BE SAVED by His resurrection

Ephesians 1:7 in Christ we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to His grace

All for whose sins Christ died were first objects of God’s love
God’s elect are not loved because they believe
God’s elect believe the gospel only because of God’s grace

Those who believe the gospel are free from condemnation
passed from death to life
but NOT because they believe and NOT because God always saw that they would believe
believing the gospel is a gift of grace purchased by Christ’s death

Romans 8: If God is for us, who is against us?
32 God did not even hold back His own Son
but handed Him over for US all;
how will God not also ( along with His Son) GIVE us everything else?
33 Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect?
God is the One who justifies.
34 Who is the one who condemns?
Christ Jesus is the One who died,
but even more, has been raised;
Christ Jesus also is at the right hand of God
and intercedes for us.

All for whom Christ died will in time believe the gospel
the gospel is not that Christ died for all sins and all sinners
you can’t know if Christ died for you until after you believe the gospel

But how can you believe if you don’t know first if Christ died for you?
The gospel is not that Christ died for you
Christ died for the specific sins of the elect as propitiation for those sins

Those who believe the gospel are those for whom Christ died
NOTHING IN THE BIBLE SAYS THAT CHRIST DIED FOR ANYBODY WHO NEVER BELIEVES THE GOSPEL

Hebrews 9:12 Christ entered once into the holy place, HAVING OBTAINED PERMANENT REDEMPTION for US

But how can you believe if you don’t know if God will give you believing?

how can you take a breath without knowing if God will give you another breath?

Why would you not want to breathe?

why would you insist on knowing that Jesus died for you before you would believe?

Would you like it better if Jesus died for everybody even though not everybody will be saved from God’s wrath?

Would you like it better if at least your believing was not a gift God gives also along with the death of Jesus?

Would you like it better if it was not the death of Jesus that made the difference but instead your believing?

would you like it better if God loved those who will perish under God’s wrath just as much as God loved those who God will save?

Would God be more righteous to you if Christ’s death was not enough to turn sinners into those who believe what God says about Christ’s death?

would God be more righteous to you if God did not care what you believe about believing making the difference?

Does Christ’s righteousness depend on what you do with that righteousness?

II Corinthians 5: 17 If anyone is in Christ, there is new creation. Old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 18 Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us to serve the reconciliation: 19 In Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against THEM , and God has committed the message of reconciliation to US. 20 Therefore, WE are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through US. WE plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”

Were You Born Justified and Then Later “Saved”?

June 12, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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