Archive for the ‘imputation’ category

Is Ignorance and Unbelief of the True Gospel EVIDENCE OF CONDEMNATION ?

May 23, 2019

Don Fortner—“People like to ask this silly useless question: does a person have to BELIEVE IN the sovereignty of God to be saved. If God isn’t sovereign, nobody is going to be saved. So what difference does the question make? People ask this question: can a person with Arminian faith already be in a state of justification? Faith doesn’t save. Neither Arminian or Calvinist faith saves. So what difference does the question make?”

Do not be fooled by these two “tolerant to the inconsistent” soundbites. Notice that clergyman Fortner has not answered either question. Though we agree that only the sovereign God can save, do we believe that God is “so sovereign” that God can and does justify a person without at the same time causing that person to believe in God’s righteousness and sovereignty?

Preachers who don’t take questions cover-up the implications of their bad logic. We agree that faith is not the righteouseness that Christ obtained by His death. But if the Bible teaches that God’s imputation of that righteousness results in spiritual life and faith in the promise of the gospel , then it seems proper to see ignorance and unbelief of the gospsle as evidence of still being in a condemened legal state before God . When God justifies an ungodly sinner, does God make what that sinner believes to be different than it was before?

1 Corinthians 2:12 -“Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, in order that we understand the things freely given us by God.

Romans 6:17–“But thanks be to God, that you were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were haadded over.

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–”the Spirit is life BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

How can preachers say that assurance comes directly from the Holy Spirit by the power of the gospel (including the promise/proposition that only–as many as- believers in Christ will be justified), but then turn around and say that unbelief and ignorance of the gospel is not evidence of condemnation? First, they deny that the elect are ever condemned before God. They teach that all those who ever will be justified before God have always been justiiied before God. Second, they have reducted the “you need to be saved” to regeneration and the Holy Spirir giving life.

In response to this issue, for many years, I have consistently refused to say that the nature of justification is not a gospel issue.

Exoneration is not justification. Exoneration means either that they couldn’t prove anything on you or it mreans that you never had any guilt of condemnation in the first place.

Colossians 2:15 God erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross. 15 God disarmed the powers and disgraced the powers publicly; God triumphed over the powers by Christ

There are preachers who can find a “four-fold meaning” to words like “justification” and “redemption” and “reconciliation”. These prechers impose their “four realms system” onto Scriptures despite context and without asking any questions about what anybody else ever thought or wrote about a Bible text. But Colossians 2:15 is not about “only in our conscience” or us against God. The problem was guilt imputed by God and condemnation against us by God. Christ became legally alive to sin and then by His death on the cross Christ became dead to sin. Christ became the righteousness, and this righteousess is imputed by God to the elect in order for them to pass from condemnation to justification.

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 . Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ.

Bill Parker taught condemnation before justifiction in 2001 ,in the August Reign of Grace Newsletter,-“The guilt of sin is that which keep sinners under condemnation and wrath. Believers are not dead to the presence, power and influence of sin their character and conduct, but the moment God brought them out of condemnation and into the blessed state of justification, based on the righteousness of Christ, they BECAME totally and legally dead to the guilt of sin….”

This was the consistent teaching from Reign of Grace taped sermons during that time. This was the time and means by which God taught me to understand and believe the gospel. I was not justified before God before I believed that gospel. As far as I can tell, these tape series are no longer available from Reign of Grace.

In a book published in 2019,the Righteousness of God, p 145, Bill Parker teaches his different doctrine (the one taught by John Gill and some others, but denied by Abraham Booth and John Owen)—” The only way the elect have ever been under God’s wrath is as they stood legally in Christ…This means that God’s elect have never personally been under God’s wrath.”

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

Romans 4: 4 Righteousness WILL BE IMPUTED TO US WHO BELIEVE IN HIM who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 The Lord was handed over up because of our sins and raised because of our justification.

There is a difference between the righteousness of Christ’s death and God’s imputation of Christ’s death and the justification which follows God’s imputation of Christ’s death to the elect.

Let me note by way of parenthesis that Bill Parker and I seem to be in agreement that Christ’s death is Christ’s rightousness. We seem to agree in not making Christ’s law-keeping (necessary and vicarous though it is) to be Christ’s righteousnes. Even though Bill does not address the idea of law-keeping being imputed in his new book, he avoids repeating the tradition that Christ’s death “would only take us back to neutral”. But even in talking about Christ’s death, Bill Parker also seems to deny that “accomplished” means that Christ was legally under guilt and wrath before God. 226 “Some argue that righteouenss did not exist until Chrsit actually came in time and died on the cross. But it did exist in the mind of God, who see things as they exist in eternity.

Does Go not know the difference between what God has purposed and what God has brought in (obtained) by Christ’s death as fulifllment of that purpose?

Robert Haldane, p 194–“there are some who, strongly impressed with the great evil of making faith a work, have plunged into a contrary extreme, as if justification were independent of faith, or as if faith were merely an accidental or unimportant thing in justification. This also is a great error. Faith is as necessary in justification as the sacrifice of Christ itself, but necessary for a different purpose.”

Romans 3:22 –“the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe”.

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

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 in Christ.”

Ephesians 2:13 –Now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.

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 (like Don Fortner) 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 LATER IN HISTORY God the Son was raised from His death (His death because of that imputed guilt). Because all the elect will be justified, Christ was raised from the dead. Because Christ’s death paid for all those sins, those sins are no longer imputed to Christ, and so it was that Christ was raised from the dead. This is history. This is news.

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 were imputed with Adam’s guilt. But I Corinthinas 15 is about “all” who were elect in Christ—they will all be justified before God.

I have consistently refused to say that the timing of justification has no logical implications for the definition and nature of justification. I refuse to decide beforehand that “this is not a gospel issue”. I also have a long time policy of not saying up front that people who don’t believe something are Christians. Instead of retreating to the non-biblical phrase “gospel issue”, I want to keep talking about what the gospel is. I don’t want to shut down the conversaton, to say no more questions unless you first agree that those on both sides of this issue are Christians.

We can’t say, well we really are sayug the same thing. No, we are not. If we are saying the same thing, is what you are saying now the same as what you were always saying? And if what you are saying differently now is not important, then why not keep saying it the same way you used to say it?

Bill Parker used to teach the same thing I have been teaching (18 years) about the elect being condemned before justification. What I am teaching I learned from Bill Prker (and David Adkins, and then reading Abraham Booth, who read John Owen). I love Bill Parker. Nobody, not Bill, not anybody has any obligation do discuss anything with me, But I don’t think it does anybody any good to say that “we are all” teaching the same thing. We are not.

I have always been wary about who are the “we” and “you”. It’s easy to say, “well THEY left us so THEY never belonged to US.” But that tends to be what people say about each other. For example, “were YOU there when THEY crucified MY Lord” Is the “you” us? Who are ‘them”? Is “my” Lord the Lord of everybody or is “my” Lord only the Lord who stays with us when we change doctrines?

Enough already with these anonymous “conversations”. “They said that and then I said that”. Guess who always wins the “conversation”! We do.

I know about this. Why even begin a “discussion” with me? I am just waiting for you to finish commenting so that I can say what I was already thinking before you started.

None of us feels properly “listened to” (or read). if you are going to say—that was good, you need to let me know you know what I said. Otherwise, it’s “good sermon” but either “gospel” so no questions or “not a gospel issue” so no questions…

Is it a situation of where “we can’t afford to lose any more friends” so we can’t talk about it? Or is it a case of “since we can’t talk about it, what we have is not real fellowship but merely eating toether while ssying words that can be taken different ways by different people?

Are we supposed to say, Randy Wages is teaching the nature of justification different now, so now let’s all teach it the way he’s teaching it? I asked Randy once, were you regenerate and had spiritaal life before you began teaching that the elect were always justified before God. Randy Wages assured me that he was already effectually called before he had ever heard the doctrine of “never personally condemned before God.” But then Randy warned me that this was the best way to show that faith in the gospel is not the righteousness. Randy also told me that he had found out that some people he thought were regenerate exposed thmmselves as not yet knowing the gospel when he brought up to them the idea of “eternal justification before God”. The implication to me was that, if I had not heard or known about “eternal justification”, then posssibly I was already regenerate, but if I questioned the “never under the wrath even in unbelief” doctrine when informed about it, this would raise questions in Randy’s mind about if I knew that faith was not the righteousness. Not saying it the same way Randy was now sayung it would cause Randy to doubt if I knew the gospel.

As far as I know. Bill Parker has never said that we all need to talk about the nature of justiication the same way he now does. I know for a fact that Bill Parker has had to distance himself from some other preachers who insist on no fellowship with those like me who teach that God’s imputation of sins to Christ is different from God’s imputation of Christ’s righteousness (in time) to the elect.

“Only believers in Christ are justified” is part and parcel of the gospel. If you exclude this promise from the gospel, then you have a bad soundbite which opens the door to those who believe that faith is evidence of justification before God but who do not believe that ignorance and unbelief of the gospel is evidence of condemnation before God.

Taking the promise to faith out of the gospel also opens the door to the equation of election and justification. This equation eliminates the importance of redemptive history. A redemption which God imputes to sinners before history begins opens to the door to a redemption which already existed before being accomplished by the Christ revealed in the Bible.

There is a distinction to be made between Christ’s death as satisfaction for sins imputed and God’s imputation of that “reconciliation” to the elect (receiving the righteousness by God’s imputation, Romans 5:11 and 17) in order to their justification. In order for there to be justification of the ungodly, there had to be condemnation (before God guilty and ungodly)

“Never condemned and never under the wrath” is a MYTH. This is NOT what the Bible teaches, but something invented by preachers who attempt to imply that everybody who disagrees with them are Arminian. You can’t be incorrect about guilt and condemnation and be correct about the nature of justification.

Does “never personally under the wrath of God” mean “never under the wrath of God? In what sense was an elect person ever guilty and condemned before God? Does the word “personally” suggest that in some way or other the elect were ignorant and unbelieving of the gospel because they did not yet have Christ’s righteousness imputation to them?

Does “made” (or “become”) always mean something more or different than imputation? If Christ in history was “never under the wrath of God” and if the elect in history were “never under the wrath of God” , who was ever saved in history from being under the wrath of God?

If there is no before and after to God’s justification of the ungodly,then there is no before and after to good works

Romans 6:20 ”For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those thing is death”

Luke 16:15 That which is highly esteemed among humans is abomination in the sight of God.

Proverbs 15:8 “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD”

Romans 7:4 you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we now bear FRUIT FOR GOD.

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

The answer to those who falsely teach that our faith in Christ is the righteouensss is NOT TO DENY THAT ALL WHO ARE JUSTIFIED HAVE FAITH IN THE TRUE CHIRST. The answer to those who falsely teach that our faith in Christ is the righteouensss is NOT TO DENY THAT RIGHTEOUSNESS IS IMPUTED by GOD IN TIME AND RESULTS IN FAITH IN THE PROMISE OF THE GOSPEL.

The answer to Andrew Fuller reducing the atonement to the work of the Holy Spirit is not to remove Christ’s atonement from history. The answer to Andrew Fuller reducing the atonement to the work of the Holy Spirit is not to deny that justification happens in history. Those who are reaching “always justified” are teaching that “salvation” is regeneration not justification—their “you need to be saved” is only about the new birth. Their “new creation” is no longer about justification but about regeneration.

p 194, What is the righteousness, Bill Parker–” it has been saaid tht 2 cor 5:14 is about new creation and that new creation is about reconciliation not about regeneration. This is true”. But in the next sentence Bill introduces the word “mainly”. (Which of the “four realms” is reonciliation?) –“It is not MAINLY about regeneration and conversion”. Then one more sentence–“HOWEVER, Paul was led of the Spirit to INCLUDE the reality of regeneration and conversion.”

Then one more sentence. Bil writes about the fruit of regeneration—“all for whom Christ died shall live for His glory.” Though Bill began on page 194 by saying that new creation was “about reconciliation not regeneration”, the next eight pages are all about regenertion and not about reconciliation ( not atonement, not justification).

IF YOU PUT RECONCILIATION BEFORE HISTORY HAPPENS, then when you begin to talk about the gospel and being “saved”, you are NOT MAINLLY GOING TO TALK ABOUT WHAT CHIRST DID TO OBTAIN RECONCILIATION. Instead you are gong to talk about “salvation” in history and conversion as “regeneration”.

Christ never became regenerate. Because Christ never became corrupt. Bill Parker very much agrees with that. And that is important. But when Parker talks about “new creation”, it’s not mainly about reconciliation–what Bill talks about instead is “new spiritual life” , not the justification of the elect as guilty ungodly sinners. HE HAS MOVED THE JUSTIFICATION OF THE SINNER BEFORE HISTORY. All for whom Christ died are already justified? How do we know for whom Christ died? Is it those who say they were never condemned? Is that what it means “to live for God’s glory”?

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 rules over Christ. 10 For the death Christ died Christ died to sin once for all time

It is a mistake to not carry the two headships of Romans 5 into Romans 6. If we carry the thought of the representative character of the two Adams from the one chapter into the other, then the difficulty of Romans 6 vanishes. “We died to sin (verse 2). This phrase frequently occurs in the writings of Paul in different forms, and it always alludes, not to an inward deliverance from sin, but to the Christian’s objective relation. It means that we are legally dead to sin in Jesus Christ. This passage applies the same language to the Lord Himself; for He is said to have died to sin once (verse 10). Now the ONLY sense in which the Sinless One can be regarded as dying to sin, is that of dying to its guilt, or to the condemning power which goes along with sin, and which must run its course wherever sin has been committed. Christ died to guilt. . Christ certainly did not die to sins indwelling power.

It might be asked, “can’t we understand that these statements designate two separate actions, one done by Christ, and a similar or parallel one done by the Holy Soirit in us teaching us thegospel? No. The acts are not two, but one. There is not one crucifixion on the part of Christ, and a second, parallel and similar but different, crucifixion on the part of His people. There is but one corporate act—the act of the “one man”.

Christ was under law. Christ is no longer under law

Adam’s guilt is imputed to the elect until Christ’s death is imputed to the elect.

The elect in Christ are under condemnation until God justifies them.

Christ was under law. Christ is no longer under law but Christ is still not under grace because Christ’s death satisfied the law.
Once Christ’s elect are justified , they are under grace. They were always loved, but then by God’s imputation they are justified before God, no longer under the condemnaton of law.

I do love Bill Parker. Me writing about p 194 is not me “settling old scores”. This is not me judging motives (something Bill seems to do in his last chapter when he talks about his former congregation). This is me wanting to know the truth, wanting to be clear and precise. This is me wanting not to equivocate between “salvation” and “justification”. Sure, there’s a change in spiritual life, but Romans 6 is talking about justification. There was a time when the elect were “free from righteousness”. There was a time when the elect had no righteousness imputed to them.

Bill teachs two different justifications, even though the Bible itself does not. 119 “We can say that they are justified in the court of their conscience” Bill can say it, but it’s begging the question and if it’s true, there should be some arguments that changed Bill’s mind and might change our minds.

143 “There is no salvation apart from the new birth which includes faith in Christ”. if you want to be clear and precise, you can’t switch back and forth between justification and “salvation” without definitions and distinctions.

If you want to stay consistent, give the implication-“But there is justification before there is “salvation” Bill Prker needs to say—Unlike I did in the past, I am now using the word “salvation” in a specific diffrent way. This makes it look like I am saying the same thing I always preached. But I changed my view about the nature of justification. I also changed my view about “new creation”.

If God justifies or regenerates sinners without those sinners knowing the gospel, then what is their assurance they are actually regenerate?

Andrew Fuller’s “sufficient for all” is tantamount to identifying the doctrine of effectual calling with atonement. What Andrew Fuller really means by definite atonement is that the Spirit’s work of regeneration is only for the elect. Blame Andrew Fuller to making the atonement about what the Spirit does instead of what Christ did. But it’s a bad over-reaction to Andrew Fuller to deny that God imputes Christ’s death to sinners in time and to reduce “salvation” in history to the giving of “spiritual life”

Romans 3:19 The law speaks…in order that every mouth be shut and the whole world becomes subject to God’s judgment…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 gospel doctrine. It is not the same doctrine as “never condemned in God’s sight”. It’s not the same doctrine as “justified before and without faith in God’s righteousness.”

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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

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

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

October 12, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Genesis 3: 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and MADE FOR THEMSELVES loincloths

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Certainly the Lord Jesus Christ did many wonderful things. Jesus resisted Satan’s three temptations. Jesus obeyed the law of Moses.Jesus kept the Ten Commandments. But there is one thing only that Jesus “accomplished” which is the wedding dress of righteousness. Christ died one time only as the only Priest and Sacrifice to obtain and bring in this righteousness. Christ’s death is not “obedience to the law”. Christ’s death is satisfaction of the law (the law requires obedience or death, the law does not say that death is obedience, but the gospel in Romans 5 teaches that Christ’s death is obedience that brings justification.)

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

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

Romans 4:24-25 “righteousness will be counted to us who believe in Him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was handed over because our trespasses and raised up because of our justification.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

II Thessalonians 2:10 They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a strong delusion so that they will believe what is false, 12 so that all will be condemned—those who did not believe the truth but enjoyed unrighteousness.

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

September 3, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We become the righteousness. We were not always justified.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

will that preach?
is it true?

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

We become the righteousness. We were not always justified

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christ did not buy a gift card for you or the Holy Spirit to use or not use–all the elect decide to believe the gospel

August 20, 2018

II Corinthians 2: 14 God through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Christ in every place. 15 To God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are BEING SAVED and among those who ARE PERISHING.

Biblical grace is not ONLY about God empowering the elect to choose and decide to believe the gospel. Biblical grace is ALSO about God having chosen which guilty sinners for whom Christ would die. But biblical grace is also about these same guilty sinners, all those for whom Christ did, being given not only the ability but being caused to choose and to decide to believe the gospel.

No guilty sinner will be given “the power to the contrary”. No guilty sinner will be given the ability to choose or not to choose to believe the gospel. All ELECT guilty sinners will for sure decide to believe the gospel.

All sinners are born guilty, from the imputed guilt of Adam alone, and this includes the elect who are born guilty in Adam and therefore also born not believing the gospel, born not able to believe the gospel.

God has chosen that all humans will be born guilty, but God has also chosen that elect humans will come to believe the gospel. Elect humans will believe the gospel, because Christ died for elect sinners, and all the sins of the elect have been imputed to Christ.

No elect sinner will die in unbelief of God’s gospel. Therefore Christ did not die imputed with the sin of final unbelief by any elect sinner. Rather, Christ died so that no elect sinner will die in unbelief of the gospel. Christ’s death not only paid for sins but also purchased the faith in the gospel which God imparts to every elect sinner so that every elect sinner chooses to believe the gospel.

Christ will be honored and glorified. 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 on the elect team”. 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.

God has not already imputed the death of Christ to every elect sinner. When God does impute the death of Christ to an elect sinner, that sinner is NOT given the ability “to GO EITHER WAY”. When God imputes Christ’s death to an elect sinner, that sinner WILL BELIEVE THE GOSPEL.

A sinner who does not yet believe the gospel is a sinner to whom God has not yet imputed Christ’s death.

Election has nothing to do with salvation—false

Therefore, salvation is nothing but election–false

Therefore, salvation is election but not justification or regeneration–false

Election and justification and regeneration are all part of salvation by Christ: true

The gospel has nothing to do with election–false

The gospel is only about God’s sovereignty and not about God satisfying the law–false

The gospel is only about what God already did outside the ungodly sinner–false

The gospel is not only about what God did but also about God causing elect ungodly sinners to believe the gospel

The gospel is not gospel for those God never causes to believe the gospel

Not believing the gospel is not a CAUSE of condemnation, because not believing the gospel is EVIDENCE of condemnation. But 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.

ROMANS 5: 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have NOW received reconciliation

God imputes Christ’s death to those who believe God’s gospel

Some sovereign grace preachers today, in reaction to Arminians (salvation without election, salvation conditioned on the sinner’s choice, have begun to teach that “all the elect were justified eternally” or that “all the elect were justified as soon as Christ died”.

“God imputes Christ’s death to those who believe God’s gospel”. Saying that alone does not say other things, so some of these preachers say “don’t say that about God imputing Christ’s death– say only the other things.”

Because 1,for them that sounds too close to telling people the wrong idea that God imputes because sinners believe the gospel.
Because 2, for them they want to say “righteousness” is imputed (not only the death) because for them the death pays off justice for sins but death does not satisfy law by keeping sabbath and the other stuff Jesus did

But I don’t agree with these “all at the same time” preachers. I still teach “two legal states”—those who believe God’s gospel have been imputed with Christ’s death

I certainly don’t think that Christ died for some sinners who never ever get imputed with Christ’s death. But not all the sinners for whom Christ died have been placed into that death YET. It’s not the Holy Spirit using a credit card who places some elect sinner into Christ’s death. It’s certainly not the elect sinner who places her self into Christ’s death.

I don’t agree with the rhetoric of these preachers 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 born.

These preachers ask—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?

My answer to that question I have given above.

We are NOT justified before God until we believe the gospel.

The Bible does not teach two different justifications, one that God does out of time, and then another justification (which is only in our head and which only tells us that we were already really justified!)

God imputes Christ’s death to those who believe God’s gospel.
A sinner who does not yet believe the gospel is a sinner to whom God has not yet imputed Christ’s death.

Now that God has imputed Christ’s death to you, two things—you believe the gospel and you are justified— not one of those things without the other, not one of those things before the other

The same preachers who tell us we can’t know about God and time also like to tell us that God does not justify in time. But if God does not justify in time, how can it be true that Christ propitiated for sins in time?

To say that God never counted sins to Christ is just as bad as saying God still counts sins to Christ

Carl Trueman, p 91–“The Protestant doctrine of justification by imputation was always going to be criticized as tending toward eternal justification. In placing the declaration in God’s will, not in the qualities or the faith of the one justified, it was argued (by Richard Baxter) that any necessary connection between justification and any chronological factors had been decisively abolished”.

Romans 6 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

Once in time for all time, Christ’s propitiation was finished and done, and now in time God imputes that propitiation (reconciliation) to elect sinners.

Romans 5: 17 speaks of “those who receive the free gift of righteousness” and how they reign in life through the one man Christ Jesus. This receiving by imputation is not the same thing as the sinner receiving by believing. (John 1:12-13). But those who receive Christ’s death by God’s imputation do receive the gospel by faith God gives on the basis of Christ’s death (II Peter 1:1)

The receiving of Christ’s righteousness (His death)by imptutation is not the same as the righteousness. The imputation is not necessarily at the same TIME as when Christ earned the righteousness by his death. God declaring the elect to be joint-heirs with Christ in that righteousness is not the same as the righteousness. There is a difference between the imputation and the righteousness.

Our continuing for the rest of our lives to believe the gospel is not the righteousness. But neither is God’s imputation, nor the indwelling of Christ which follows that imputation, the righteousness.

The Holy Spirit does NOT “baptize all believers into one body.” (I Cor 12:13 correctly quoted) –”in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” The text does not say that the Holy Spirit is the baptizer, or the “agent who unites us to Christ”.

Since the Holy Spirit gives faith to the elect, many folks teach that the faith given to the elect unites them to Christ. But the elect were elected by Christ and in Christ. And it is by God’s imputation with Christ’s death that the elect pass from guilt in Adam to faith in the gospel and justification by Christ’s death.

The Holy Spirit is NOT selecting individuals to be on the team. God the Trinity already (before the ages) elected individuals to be saved from God’s wrath.

I Corinthians 5:14-15– “one died for all, therefore all have died, and Christ died for all, that those who live would no longer live for themselves but who for themselves for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

We can think about a “for” which is not substitution. I can score a basket for my team, without any idea that I am the only one playing the game. I score the basket for the sake of others on my team, and not only for myself, but that does not mean they do nothing and I do everything. In II Corinthians 5:14-15, it is not the “for” which get us to the idea of substitution. What gets us to substitution is “therefore all died”.

It is a MISTAKE to reference the “died with” to a “faith-union” given by the Holy Spirit. The idea is NOT that Christ died one kind of death and as a result the Holy Spirit selects and unites some to “the church”.

The idea of “therefore all died”, the idea of “legal union with Christ’s death” is NOT that the Holy Spirit becomes the agent of that death, and selects who will be on the team. But in the double-speak of those who believe in election but not in the gospel of Christ’s death being that which is the basis of justification, Christ only died to have a team of “those who would believe” (what the object of belief is not usually said).

In the complicated world of “election created by the Holy Spirit”, there is no free will and the credit for your deciding to be on the church team is given to the Holy Spirit. But the Romans 6 idea of “died with Christ”, the II Corinthians 5:15 idea of “therefore all died” is that Christ died to propitiate God’s wrath because of ALREADY IMPUTED SINS, and that in time this death is imputed by God to the elect.

The elect do not (and did not) die this kind of death. Their substitute replaced them and died the death for them. Christ alone, in both His Deity and His Humanity, by Himself, without the rest of humanity (some of them did the killing part, but Christ chose to die), died this death. Christ the Elect One died the death required to make certain tht the elect were going to one day be justified.

Romans 3:22 –“the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe”.

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

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 in Christ.”

Robert Haldane, p 194–“there are some who, strongly impressed with the great evil of making faith a work, have plunged into a contrary extreme, as if justification were independent of faith, or as if faith were merely an accidental or unimportant thing in justification. This also is a great error. Faith is as necessary in justification as the sacrifice of Christ itself, but necessary for a different purpose.”

Adam was righteous and the justified elect are righteous, but there’s a Difference (not vicarious law-keeping but Christ’s death is the Difference)

May 12, 2018

Adam was righteous and the justified elect are righteous, but there’s a difference

The difference between Adam and us is not that we sin—both Adam and we sin

Neither Adam nor us is glorified yet

Before Adam ever sinned, Adam did not have Christ’s death as punishment for his future sins

Before we were imputed with Christ’s death, we did not have Christ’s death as punishment for our future sins

But after sinners are justified by Christ’s death, they have Christ’s death as the final and permanent punishment for all their sins

Before Adam sinned, Adam was already on probation under the law

After sinners are justified by Christ’s death, that death imputed means they are not still on probation

So we do NOT “have to” (no hope without it) say that it’s Christ’s obedience to his mother that is the righteousness by which we are justified?

The difference between Adam before justification and after justification is Christ’s death

Was it Christ’s obedience to his mother that is the righteousness imputed? No. Christ’s death is the difference.

If we are pardoned of the sin of not having done what is required to “fulfill all righteousness”, then no “sin of omission” can be counted against us

I don’t believe that Adam “could have earned immortality” for himself or for others

I disagree with John Owen-“We deny that the death of Christ is imputed unto us for our righteousness. By the imputation of the death of Christ our sins are pardoned and we are delivered from the curse of the law, but we are not esteemed righteous except by the fulfilling of the commands of law or the obedience to the law.”

John Owen- (Volume 5 on Justification) – we being sinners, we were obnoxious both unto the command and curse of the law. Both must be answered, or we cannot be justified. And as the Lord Christ could not by his most perfect obedience satisfy the curse of the law, “Dying thou shalt die;” so by the utmost of his suffering he could not fulfill the command of the law, “Do this, and live.” Passion, as passion, is not obedience, — though there may be obedience in suffering, as there was in that of Christ unto the height. Wherefore, as we plead that the death of Christ is imputed unto us for our justification, so we deny that the death of Christ is imputed unto us for our righteousness. For by the imputation of the sufferings of Christ our sins are remitted or pardoned, and we are delivered from the curse of the law, which he underwent; but we are not thence esteemed just or righteous, which we cannot be without respect unto the fulfilling of the commands of the law, or the obedience by it required. The whole matter is excellently expressed by Grotius

John Owen is saying that Christ’s death is not Christ’s merit.
John Owen goes on to accuse all who see Christ’s death as the fulfillment of the law’s requirement of bringing in their own personal righteousness as that which entitles them to positive inheritance (not merely forgiveness of sins)

John Owen is saying that Christ’s death can only take away the old clothes and leave us naked (“neutral”)
John Owen is saying that Christ’s death cannot be our “new clothes”, our new “dress of righteousness”.

John Owen is teaching that only obedience to precepts can be the righteousness, and thus teaching that “Christ’s law-keeping” (not His death) is our imputed righteousness.

His philosophical argument is that Adam was not under both the obligation of punishment and the obligation to “do acts of law-keeping while on probation to obtain immortality (and release from probation)

But no matter how many times Owen repeat this theory (in different ways, with different words time and time again), he has not proven that Adam was promised freedom from law and probation, based on a limited time of doing.

It’s true that Adam was not under BOTH obligations, death as punishment and obeying God’s law to live.

But this means it’s true that Adam was never commanded to die
Christ came to die.
Christ came to do what Adam was never commanded to do.
Christ came to die.
Adam was not promised immortality,
Don’t sin, don’t die.
Don’t eat from the tree, don’t die.

And notice that the sin of Adam is not “failure to do what you need to do to gain immortality”
The sin of Adam is breaking the law.
The sin of Adam is not “sin of omission”.
Except in the sense of “omitting to not eat from the one tree.”

There is no reason to think Adam did not eat from the tree of life, but even if Adam omitted to do that.
Adam was not obligation to eat from the tree of life.

The “covenant of works” theory teaches a ”hypothetical gospel” in which Adam supposedly “could have” earned righteousness for others by keeping the law. One clear way to say that the law is not the gospel is to say that the it was not the gospel for Adam either. But the “covenant of works” is not inherent to the law/gospel antithesis

So if only the death of Jesus is the righteousness, what does it matter if Jesus obeyed his mother? My answer 1. if Jesus had sinned, then His death would have been for Himself not for others 2. It is good and right to do what God commands even if our obedience does not “bring in the righteousness” (or need to). Christ’s obeying his mother is the right human thing to do, not a “qualification to become the Surety”