Archive for the ‘union with Christ’ category

The Priority of Christ’s Death

November 12, 2017

Why do I keep writing each month on this blog? Why do I care? What’s it really about? What I most care about is God imputing elect sinners with Christ’s death. To me, all my contention is not only about “justification priority”. It all comes down, for me, to “atonement priority”.

Yes, I am against “ecclesiology” becoming the gospel (whether it’s NT Wright or Carl Truman dismissing the “Zwinglians”) But my basic concern is that Christ’s atoning death is outside us sinners. Atonement is not what happens in us experimentally. God’s imputation of Christ’s atonement is not the atonement. The gospel is first of all about Christ’s death for the sins of the elect imputed. If it’s not about that, it’s not the gospel. I object to any idea that we believe in Christ “as a person” without knowing something about the nature of Christ’s atonement. I object to the “experimental” focus on “more and more heartfelt trust” because that “in me” displaces the good news about the the success of Christ’s death.

The atonement has to be defined.—propitiatory offering, satisfaction of God’s law

WCF—“The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience, and sacrifice of himself, which he, through the eternal Spirit, ONCE OFFERED UP up to God, hath fully SATISFIED the justice of His Father; and PURCHASED, not only reconciliation, but everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all THOSE WHOM THE FATHER HAS GIVEN UNTO HIM. ”

Whatever it is that joins us to Christ’s atonement (even if it’s “personal presence” as the unionists say), is not the atonement, and is not the object of faith. Christ’s righteousness was obtained once for all time, and is not being accomplished by the Holy Spirit regenerating us or indwelling us. In that sense Christ’s “finished work” has priority over the present intercession or the coming Resurrection Day. God’s present work is based on God’s work already done in Christ. This is not to deny the necessity or importance of the Holy Spirit but to say that Christ gives the Holy Spirit. It is not the Holy Spirit who gives Christ.

The law-gospel antithesis is not about saying the law is not necessary. The law-gospel antithesis is about saying that the gospel is not the law. The gospel is not about the sinner’s unfinished and incomplete obedience to the law. The “unionists” oppose this as “false polarization”. But to include the works of Christians into the final declared justification is to include the works of Christians into the “atonement”.

There has always been a view among some Reformed that they can teach “the indicative of what Christ has accomplished” without addressing the question of the extent of the atonement. But the nature of Christ’s righteousness cannot be clearly taught without saying that only the sins of the elect were imputed to Christ.

If Christ in some sense bore the sins of sinners who are eventually not justified, then Christ’s death cannot be taught as that which totally satisfies the demands of God’s law in a “complete” atonement” . Not talking about Christ’s death in terms of election (but only in terms of “covenant”) results in a very GRAY “now but not yet ” gospel which brings into the mix ( in our conscience and before God) books of the works of sinners (enabled somewhat by the Holy Spirit) .

Calvin — “When in scripture death only is mentioned, everything peculiar to the resurrection is at the same time included, and that there is a like synecdoche in the term resurrection.” (Institutes 2:16:13)

Fesko—“The resurrection does more than prepare its object for undergoing the judgment. The resurrection of the church is not the anticipation of the issue of judgment, but is de jure the final judgment.”

1 Timothy 3:16 “By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.”

If you are going to put your hope in two kinds of righteousness, it certainly would make sense to have two aspects of justification. But there is only one justification, and it is based on Christ’s death (and resurrection).

How was Christ justified? Not by becoming born again by the Holy Spirit. Christ was justified by satisfying the righteous requirement of the law for the sins imputed to Christ. Christ was justified by His death. Christ needed to be justified because Christ legally took the guilt of His elect, and this guilt demanded His death. Christ was not justified because of His resurrection. Christ’s resurrection was God’s declaration because of Christ’s death.

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, but the life he lives he lives to God.”

Christ was declared to be just, not simply by who He was as an incarnate person, but by what Christ had done in satisfaction to the law. No righteousness was shared to Christ from others, because Christ earned His own justification by His own death. Romans 4:24-25 –Righteousness will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was handed over because of our sins and raised because of our justification.

The legal value and merit of Christ’s death is shared by God with the elect sinner, as Romans 6 says, when they are placed into that death. So there’s only the one righteousness. In the case of the justified elect, Christ’s one death is legally shared with them by God, and this one death is enough, because counted to them that one death completely satisfies the law for righteousness. (Romans 10:4)

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

The Norman Shepherd (“federal vision”) problem creeps in when people begin to think that since Christ was justified by what Christ did, then the elect also must be justified by what they are enabled to do. But there are NOT two justifications, one now by imputation, and another in the future, where we will be justified like Christ was. We are ONLY justified by what Christ did, and NOT by what Christ is now doing in us. Christ is not to be justified by what Christ will do, because Christ has already been justified by His obedience to law (even to death)

Hebrews 9: 26 now Christ has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of Himself. (27 as it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, the judgment) 28 so also the Messiah, HAVING BEEN offered ONCE to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.

When Hebrews 9:28 tells us that Christ “appears a second time not to deal with sin,” this is not a denial of a future judgment after death for the non-elect. The Triune God will deal with the sin of the non-elect.

The point of Hebrews 9:28 is that the sins of the elect have already been dealt with once at the cross. This was not a provisional dealing with, the efficacy of which is yet to be determined by what God does in some of the sinners for whom Christ died.. Even the elect sinner’s faith in the gospel is a result and not a condition of Christ’s past dealing with sin and God having placed that sinner into Christ’s death.

Hebrews 9:26-28 depends on this one time dealing with sins in the past. The point is eliminated by those who teach that Christ was given for everybody and that sins now are dealt with by the Holy Spirit’s giving to some what was done for all. https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=111514231124

Our faith does not impute Christ’s righteousness to us. Nor does God wait for our faith before God imputes Christ’s righteousness to us.

What is imputed to us? Christ’s atonement is imputed to us. It’s not the present status and work of Christ which is imputed to us. It’s the merit of Christ’s finished work of law satisfaction which is imputed to us. “Merely” Christ’s atonement. “Only” Christ’s righteousness.

I am not interested at all in any “common grace” or “prevenient grace” in which “baptism” fails to save those joined to Christ’s death.

“therefore all died.” 2 Corinthians 5:14 Smeaton—Paul uses two expressions interchangeably; that is, “He died for all”, and “all died in Him.” Paul is describing the same thing from two different points of view. The first of these expressions describes the vicarious death of Christ as an objective fact. The second phrase speaks of the same great transaction, in terms that indicate that we too have done it. So then, we may either say, “Christ died for us”, or “we died in Him.” Both are true. We can equally affirm that He was crucified for us, or we were co-crucified with Him. We are not referring here to two acts-one on Christ’s side and another on ours. Rather,we have but one public representative, corporate act performed by the Son of God, in which we share as truly as if we had accomplished the atonement ourselves.

Theopolis Institute– “Baptism didn’t fit nicely in an order of salvation chain in Reformed theology. But now that we understand baptism to bring one into union with Christ, it means the person baptized has all the benefits of Christ as long as he abides and remains in that union.”

Gaffin — “Paul does not view the justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification of the believer as separate, distinct acts but as different facets or aspects of the one act of incorporation with the resurrected Christ….
“A person is engrafted into union with the resurrected Christ. As a result of this union, one is justified, adopted, sanctified, glorified–and all the other benefits of this union—at the moment one has faith in Christ. BUT“…for Paul the justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification of the believer are future as well as present.”

Theopolis Institute—Most people are taught in Reformed churches to think linearly about salvation but “…if ‘washing’ on which ‘regeneration’ is directly dependent in Titus 3:5, refers to BAPTISM, then what Romans 6:3 teaches concerning BAPTISM as a sign and seal of incorporation with the resurrected Christ, and so the implications of that incorporation, will have to be brought to bear. Soteriology didn’t simply have “implications” on ecclesiology. Soteriology is ecclesiology. To be BAPTIZED into the Christian church is to be BAPTIZED into Jesus Christ. Historically, Reformed theology had a significant amount of ambiguity over what BAPTISM accomplished. If BAPTISM justified the child then, the child would be in the “golden CHAIN” and couldn’t fall away. Yet, the fact remained that many who are baptized did (and still do) fall away.

https://theopolisinstitute.com/the-changing-face-of-reformed-theology/

As I have argued many times in this blog, nobody gets away from “causal relationships” between “links”. One side can say the other side has “links” and their own side is “organic” (no causes, no links) but then they assume that “union” means “Christ in us” has priority and then they have to answer the question about what “causes” union. Does the Spirit’s gift of faith cause the union, or is the Spirit’s gift of faith the result of union? If the Spirit baptizes us into Christ, is that “Baptism” that which is administrated by church clergy? One side can accuse the other side—you look within, we look outside, but if neither side is pointing to Christ’s finished atonement outside us but instead pointing to “more and more indwelling and enabling”, they are both looking at the life of sinners, of Christians, instead of looking to Christ’s death.

Most Lutherans and Reformed folks are NOT looking to Christ’s imputation of the sins of the elect to Christ. Many of them are telling us to “look to our baptism”. Some Reformed and “sovereign grace” folks seem to think that God saves without the gospel. Some even have the patronizing sectarian idea that “others are not as well well taught ”…

Do we need to know the nature of the atonement to know the gospel? Yes. Do we need to know the extent of the atonement to know the nature of the atonement? Yes. If we think that the nature of the atonement is what God does by grace “in us”, does knowing the extent of such an “atonement” teach us the gospel? No.

Christ’s atoning death is outside us sinners. God’s imputation of Christ’s atonement is not the atonement. Whatever it is that joins us to Christ’s atonement (even if it’s regeneration or indwelling or “personal participation” as the unionists say), is not the atonement , and not the object of faith. The gospel is about Christ’s death for the sins of the elect imputed. I object to the objection to “different links” because “union” tends to turn out to always mean “ Christ in me” instead of “I died in Christ” or I am “justified in Christ”. The “union” party often does not deny but simply displaces the good news about the justice and the success of Christ’s death.

Beale—“initial justification and consummative justification (twofold justification) are grounded in believers’ union with Christ, the former coming by faith, and the latter through the threefold demonstration of the bodily resurrection, evaluation of works, and public announcement to the cosmos.” (525 NTBT)

Westminster Confession, Chapter 3: VI. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.

Without the clear teaching (in the WCF) about redemption for the elect only, the propitiatory offering (Ephesians 5) will continue to be seen (as it is by “evangelicals”) as something conditioned on what God does in the sinner. God has offered to God a righteousness in Christ so that God’s justice requires each person for whom Christ died be given all the blessings of “salvation”, including the effectual call and faith in the true gospel.

Machen: From the cold universalism of the Arminian creed we turn ever again with a new thankfulness to the warm and tender individualism of …the gospel. Thank God we can say, as we contemplate Christ upon the Cross, not just: “He died for the mass of humanity, and how glad I am that I am amid that mass,” but: “He loved me and gave Himself for me; my name was written from all eternity upon His heart, and when He hung and suffered there on the Cross He thought of me, even me, as one for whom in His grace He was willing to die.

If we go back behind NT Wright and Gaffin (meeting with Federal Visionists, Faith not Sight) or even Daniel Fuller and Cranfield (the law misunderstood) we get to Norman Shepherd “The prophets and apostles viewed election from the perspective of the covenant of grace, whereas Reformed theologians of a later day have tended to view the covenant of grace from the perspective of election. The result of this, is that the reformed preacher no longer says “Christ died for you” – but, when these words are construed, not from the point of view of election, but of the covenant, then The Reformed evangelist can and must say on the basis of John 3:16,”Christ died for you.”

http://basketoffigs.org/NewPerspectives/Jones.htm

But Christ did not die “for you”. Christ died only for the elect. You cannot know if you are elect until you believe the gospel. And the good news is that Christ died only for the elect, and this is good news because the death of Christ really really did take away the sins of the elect (both guilt and punishment). Does this mean that elect people don’t sin? No. It means that their sins are paid for in advance. I realize that this is not good news for most people who describe themselves Christian. They want a religion that really makes people better than they otherwise would be. But the good news (only for those who believe the gospel is that our salvation is not conditional on our ever in this age getting any better.

Jeremiah 32:40 “I will put fear of Me in their hearts so they will never again turn away from Me.”

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Chuck E. Cheese Tokens–Does your church PAY OUT with SACRAMENTAL CURRENCY?

May 10, 2017

“I said it was only a bread-god.’ The priests were wroth that I so contemned their god.”

Calvin (3:2:24) —-Christ is not outside us but dwells within us. Not only does Christ cleave to us by an indivisible bond of fellowship, but grow MORE AND MORE into one body with us, until He becomes completely one with us

Luther– “Christ daily drives out the old Adam MORE AND MORE in accordance with the extent to which faith and knowledge of Christ grow. For alien righteousness is not instilled all at once, but it begins, makes progress, and is finally perfected at the end through death (“Two Kinds of Righteousness,” LW 31: 299)

Doug Moo–There is no need to set Paul’s “juridicial” and “participationist” categories in opposition to one another (see Gaffin, By Faith Not By Sight, p 35-41). The problem of positing a union with Christ that precedes the erasure of our legal condemnation before God ( making justification the product of union with Christ) CAN BE ANSWERED IF WE POSIT, WITHIN THE SINGLE WORK OF CHRIST, TWO STAGES OF “JUSTIFICATION”, one involving Christ’s payment of our legal debt–the basis for our regeneration–and second our actual justification.” (Justification in Galatians”, p 172, Understanding the Times)

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

A. It is not only to embrace with believing heart all the sufferings and death of Christ and thereby to obtain the pardon of sin, and life eternal; BUT ALSO, BESIDES THAT TO BECOME MORE AND MORE UNITED TO HIS SACRED BODY, by the Holy Spirit, who dwells both in Christ and in us; so that we, though Christ is in heaven and we on earth, are notwithstanding “flesh of his flesh:….

Austrian economics (Mises) teaches that “If people value something, it has value. if people do not value some­thing, it does not have value. There is no intrinsic about it.”

If you define church by its “sacraments” and define sacrament not as your remembering but as God (through the church) handing out grace, then the distribution by your church of the “means of grace” is the way your church “pays out”.

Although there is no objective grace from God in what your church does, if you think that its sacrament has value for you, then you will try to find a church with an “ordained minister” (with a “vocation” as “called by God”) in order for you to receive “more and more” union with the presence of Christ.

Many people think that, if there is no sacrament, there is no church. They also think that If there is no ordained preacher to hand out grace in sacraments), there is no church

When you have a birthday part for your grandchildren at Chuck E Cheese, they give you “tokens” which you can use to play the games at Chuck E. Cheese. The tokens have no value anywhere else, but you can use them play skee ball and shoot baskets while you eat junk food at the party. In this sense, the sacraments in your church function as its “money”.

The basic difference between sacramental churches is how much your faith is involved in your obtaining grace from the sacrament. Though Lutherans teach that your “faith alone” along with their sacrament will give you grace from God, Lutherans also teach that their sacrament will give more and more curse to those who do not believe in the sacrament.

The Reformed tend to teach that only those who believe in the sacrament get to go to heaven and eat Jesus. The Reformed teach that God is NOT PRESENT in the sacrament for those who don’t believe in the sacrament, but even the Reformed also teach that some people end up dead because of the sacrament, because unbelief “eats and drinks judgment” .

John Calvin—“The integrity of the sacrament lies here, that the flesh and blood of Christ are not less truly given to the unworthy than to the elect believers of God; and yet it is true, that just as the rain falling on the hard rock runs away because it cannot penetrate, so the wicked by their hardness repel the grace of God, and prevent it from reaching them

Unlike the Roman Catholic church, the sacramental protestants do not teach that the church makes certain Christ’s presence in the sacrament. The sacramental protestants teach that the word of God (as preached by ordained preachers) guarantees the objective sanctions of the sacrament.

For the Protestants, the sacraments are not about us (taking or eating or remembering). For the Protestants, the sacraments are about the ordained preachers. While these Protestants mock “memorial societies”, they claim that “the church” (defined by ordained preachers) is the “living body of Christ”.

Though Lutherans teach that the humanity of Jesus is now everywhere present, they also teach that the humanity of Jesus shows up on earth in a specific time and place predictably when an ordained preacher is involved. Unlike the Lutherans, the Reformed teach that the humanity of Jesus is present only in heaven, but the Reformed teach that those who believe in the sacrament will at certain times and places (where there are ordained preachers) be taken up to heaven to be more and more with Jesus.

For the Reformed, the preachers are necessary but not enough—to nourish on Jesus you need faith in the sacrament and this faith will make the distance between heaven and earth disappear (at certain times and places, where ordained preachers are present). So it’s never only your faith, and it’s never only the preachers. But the Reformed church pays out in grace if you believe that the sacrament is a means of grace. And if you don’t believe that the sacrament gives grace, then you get nothing.

John 3: 8 The wind blows WHERE IT PLEASES and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

John 4: 19 “Sir,” the woman replied, “I see that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain,yet you Jews say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 Jesus told her, “Believe Me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father NOT on this mountain and NOT in Jerusalem…..an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth…. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 20: 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

If a basketball team “puts in a lot of effort” but still loses, where is the value? If something has no value to you,, it has no value, unless somebody else values it enough to pay you for it. It really does not matter how much “work was put into it”.

People often value things that have no value to God.

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

Philippians 3: 8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider those things shit, in order that I gain Christ 9 and be found in Him

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.

Sacramentalists don’t trust liberals because as traditionalists they rightly connect suspicion of the nation-state with skepticism about preachers and the church. The majority culture always opposes any attempt of the “sects” to judge what the gospel is, without the authority of other people, including the catholic creeds.

Forget trying to know what the gospel is and who is a Christian, and instead come to the sacrament where the preacher will tell you personally that the grace is “for you” (even though it won’t be if you don’t believe in the sacrament)

Calvin- Institutes 4:17:5 For there are some who define the eating of the flesh of Christ, and the drinking of his blood, to be, in one word, nothing more than believing in Christ himself. But Christ seems to me to have intended to teach something more express and MORE SUBLIME in that noble discourse, in which he recommends the eating of his flesh—viz. that we are quickened by the true partaking of HIM, which he designated by the terms eating and drinking, lest any one should suppose that the life which we obtain from him is obtained by simple knowledge. For as it is not the sight but the eating of bread that gives nourishment to the body, so the soul must partake of Christ truly and thoroughly, that by his energy it may grow up into spiritual life. According to them, to eat is merely to believe; while I maintain that the flesh of Christ is eaten by believing and that THIS EATING is the fruit of faith…the Lord was pleased, by calling himself the bread of life, not only to teach that our salvation is treasured up in the faith of his death and resurrection, but also, by virtue of true communication with him, his life passes into us and becomes ours, just as bread when taken for food gives nourishment to the body.

Philip Cary—Catholics don’t worry about whether they have saving faith but whether they are in a state of mortal sin—so they go to confession. Reformed Protestants don’t worry about mortal sin but about whether they have true saving faith—so they seek conversion. Luther points to the words “for you,” and insists that they include me.

Since I was born to a Canaanite family.I come with faith alone, without water, without clergy, without Christian parents, without promises to those born in the covenant, and also DENYING THAT I will or can come more and more near by agreeing with the tradition about the “real presence.”

When Jesus passed the bread around the table during that Passover before His death, was the bread ontologically identical to the substance of the living body that was doing the passing?
His body was doing the passing, but was it also being passed out? .Jesus said– “this is” my body…

Justified From Sin

March 1, 2017

All Christ’s elect will one day be Justified by God from guilt because of Christ’s life taken as the satisfaction of God’s law. Justification is a declaration, not a transformation. Justification is a declaration based on Christ’s death as law-satisfaction. Justification is a declaration not based on our transformation, because justification is not a declaration based on a fiction

I Corinthians 7: 22 For he who is called by the Lord as a slave is the Lord’s free man. Likewise he who is called as a free man is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price. Do not become slaves of men

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.

Acts 13:38 Therefore, let it be known to you, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you, 39 and everyone who believes in Him is JUSTIFIED FROM everything that you could not be justified from through the law of Moses

Christ was never under the power of sin in the sense of being able to sin. Christ was always unable to sin. The only way Christ was ever under the power of sin is by being under the guilt of sin. The guilt of the elect’s sin was legally transferred by God to Christ.

Christ’s death to sin was death to the guilt of sin, and since the elect are united with a death like Christ’s death (the very same death!), the death of the elect is also a death to the guilt of sin. This is what Romans 6:7 teaches: “For one who has died has been justified from sin.” Yet many commentators tell us that “set free from sin” must mean the elect’s gracious transformation by the Holy Spirit so that the justified elect cannot habitually sin .They tell us that justification was in chapter five and that chapter six must be about something more if it’s to be a real answer to the question “why not sin?”.

But Christ was never under the power of habitual sin or any sin, and the death by which the elect are justified is HIS DEATH. Romans 6:10, “For the death He died He died to sin.” When the elect consider themselves dead to sin and alive to God, they think of themselves as dead to the guilt of sin. Death to the guilt of sin means justification before God and God’s satisfied law Sin loses its legal power over us after there is no more law guilt credited to us

I Cor 15: 56
Now the sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law.

Colossians 1;13-14 God has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”

Revelation 12–The salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of His Messiah
have NOW COME
BECAUSE the ACCUSER of our brothers
has been thrown out:
11 They conquered the ACCUSER
BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB
and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not love their lives
in the face of death.

The accusations of guilt against the elect are not set aside or erased without satisfaction of God’s law. The blood of the Lamb, Christ’s death, satisfies God’s law concerning all the guilt of all the elect, and when God justifies the elect, God places the elect into this satisfaction.

God justifies the elect throughout history at various points of time, some before Christ even established and brought in an everlasting righteousness and others after that one time only offering to God by God. With the once in time permanent sacrifice of Christ for His people. Christ gave His life to God. Not only sinners but God took His life. God the Son gave His life for the elect. God gives each elect person individually this perfect righteousness by imputing Christ’s death once to their account, which results in their permanent justification at once before God.

Being placed into Christ’s death, Romans 6 is NOT God’s imputation of sins to Christ

Being placed into Christ’s death is God’s imputation of Christ”s death to the elect. This “baptism by imputation” takes place sometimes before and sometimes after Christ’s death.

Colossians 2: 11 You were also circumcised in Him with a circumcision not done with hands, by putting off the body of flesh,in the circumcision of the Messiah. 12 Having been buried with Him in BAPTISM, you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

Romans 6:3 all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in order that we too wil walk in a new way of life. 5 For if we have been JOINED WITH HIM in the likeness of His DEATH ,we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body[ be abolished, so that we are no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died is JUSTIFIED FROM SIN

Justification is a declaration, not a transformation. Christ was not morally transformed by His death and resurrection. Christ had no need for moral transformation. The vindication declared by Christ’s resurrection is BECAUSE OF JUSTIFICATION. Christ died one time only because of imputed guilt and now justification is a declaration based on Christ’s death as law-satisfaction. Justification is a declaration not based on Christ’s moral transformation and is not based on the moral transformation of Christ’s elect, because justification is not a declaration based on a FICTION. And the notion of some imperfect moral transformation satisfying God’s law is a FICTION.

I Peter 3: 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We cannot assume water in every “baptism” in the Bible . I Peter 3 and Colossians 2 and Romans 6 are not about water baptism. There is a BAPTISM WHICH SAVES and that is God’s legal placing of the elect into Christ’s death (and thus into justification) Water does not save anybody in I Peter 3, but “baptism” does save in I Peter 3 , which means that “baptism” in I Peter 3 is not water. Baptism in I Peter 3 is not in the Holy Spirit or by the Holy Spirit , but by context in reference to death (water judgment, ark, Noah)

Trust and Duty–the written commands of Christ our Creator, Lawgiver and Lord Husband

December 17, 2016

Those who are not yet justified in Christ CANNOT obey God or offer God any acceptable sacrifices. Proverbs 15:8 “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD”

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”

Romans 7:4 Likewise, my brothers, you also 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. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear FRUIT FOR DEATH.”

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

Those now outside of Christ cannot do any good works. But those who believe the gospel are obligated to obey the written commands of Christ our Creator, Lord and Lawgiver.

Hebrews 13: 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

I Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”

Romans 12 I appeal to you therefore, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

II Timothy 3– But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud … ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good,… reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people..All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching.. for correcting, for training in righteousness

Matthew 11:29 Take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

I john 5 2 This is how we know that we love God’s children when we love God and obey His commands. 3 For this is what love for God is: to keep His commands. Now His commands are not a burden, 4 because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.

I Corinthians 7: 22 For as many as who are called by the Lord as a slave are the Lord’s free person Likewise as many as who are called as a free person are Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price. Do not become slaves of others

I Corinthians 9: 19 Although I am a free person and not anyone’s slave, I have made myself a slave to everyone, in order to win more people. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews; to those under the Mosaic law, like one under the Mosaic law—though I myself am not under the Mosaic law —to win those under the Mosaic law. 21 To those who are without the Mosaic law, like one without the Mosaic law—NOT BEING WITHOUT GOD’S LAW BUT BEING IN CHRIST’S LAW….

Galatians 6: 2 Carry one another’s burdens. In this way you will fulfill THE LAW OF CHRIST…each person should examine their OWN WORK, and then they will have a reason for boasting in themselves alone, and not in respect to someone else

Romans 6: 18 Having been justified from sin, you became ENSLAVED TO righteousness… just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to moral impurity… now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification….22 since you have been liberated from sin and have BECOME ENSLAVED TO God, you have YOUR fruit, which results in sanctification[—and the end is the life of the age to come

Romans 7: 4 You were put to death in relation to the law through the crucified body of the Messiah, in order to BELONG TO ANOTHER—to Him who was raised from the dead—in order to BEAR FRUIT FOR God… 6 we have died to what held us, in order to SERVE….

Romans 8: 9 if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not BELONG TO CHRIST…

8:15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, and by the Spirit we cry out, “Abba, Father!”

8:21 the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children

Galatians 6: 13 You were called to be free… don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but SERVE one another through love.

David Bishop—“If grace makes me angry, if the law of Christ makes me angry, then I have not been converted. I don’t get upset at Christ’s commandments. I get upset with the sinner-exalting attempt to use Christ’s commands as a means to establish self righteousness. I get upset at the lie that people who attempt such wickedness are Christians. I don’t get angry at our Creator and Redeemer’s law. I delight in Christ’s word revealed, I see Christ’s holiness in His commands, and my sins against Christ’s law drive me again and again to Christ to thank Him for grace and to confess His glory in my salvation.”

http://media.sermonaudio.com/articles/da-9201593255-1.PDF

David Bishop—-“Another form of Antinomianism is found in the teaching of those who say we are justified by the absence of any law altogether. They tell us that because there is no more law to condemn us, therefore we are righteous. Notice, it’s not that because Christ died for us as the reason why we are righteous. These antinomians say it’s because there is no more law to condemn us which is why we are righteous. They tell us it is impossible for Christians to sin; because, after all, there is no more law to sin against. Some of them even interpret the words “not under law but under grace” to mean that no law was ever satisfied by Christ’s death

David Bishop–Antinomianism undermines the true grace of God by eliminating justice from the gospel. It does this is by placing the blame with God’s law rather than with the sinner. It is true, as revealed to us in Romans 5, we would have not known what coveting was had the law not said do not covet. But this does not mean the law was wrong to say do not covet. No, the law was good and holy and just to say this. The problem was not with the law. Rather, the problem was and always is with us. We are sinners. Not only do we attempt to say—I have done enough of the law to make the difference. But we also on top of that sin against the law—we do what the law says not to.do. We don’t do what the law says to do.

https://cornbreadandbourbon.wordpress.com/2016/08/29/studies-in-hebrews-part-19the-lords-discipline/

Christ Is Not and Never was Under Grace

July 29, 2016

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.

The elect in Christ are under law until the elect are under grace

Christ was under law. Christ is no longer under law but Christ is still not under grace because Christ’s death satisfied the law. Christ’s people are under grace.

Romans 6: 9 we know that 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

Christ was never under grace and is still not under grace. Christ was under the law because of the imputed sins of the elect. Romans 6 is about Christ’s condemnation by the law and His death as satisfaction of that law. Christ after His resurrection is no longer under law. Christ’s elect, after their legal identification with Christ’s death, are no longer under law.

The death of the justified elect is the SAME legal death that Christ died. The “definitive resurrection” of the elect in Romans 6 is the result of being set apart with Christ (and His death) from being under law.

Christ was never under the power of sin in the sense of being unable not to sin. Christ was always unable to sin. The only way Christ was ever under the power of sin is by being under the guilt of sin. The guilt of the elect’s sin was legally transferred by God to Christ. Christ’s death to sin was death to the guilt of sin, and since the elect are united with His death, the death of the elect is also a death to the guilt of sin. Romans 6:7: “For one who has died has been justified from sin.”

Yet many commentators tell us that “set free from sin” must mean the elect’s definitive transformation by the Holy Spirit so that the justified cannot habitually sin (or that their new nature cannot sin) They tell us that justification was in Romans chapter five and that chapter six must be about something more if it’s to be a real answer to the question “why not sin?”. But Romans 6 does not talk about Christ or His people not habitually sinning. Romans 6 locates the cause of “sin not reigning” in “not being under the law”

Christ was never under the power of habitual sin , and the definitive death of the justified elect is His death.

Romans 6:14 does not say, For sin shall not be your master, because the Holy Spirit has changed you so that you cannot habitually sin, but only occasionally and always with repentance. Romans 6:14 says, “For sin shall not by your master, because you are not under law but under grace.”

Then and Now.

July 28, 2016

Can the justified but not yet regenerate do good works? BAD QUESTION.

There are NO Justified sinners who are not yet believers in the gospel. This means that there are NOT Justified Sinners who are not yet regenerate. There are NO regenerate sinners who are not yet believing the gospel.

Luke 6: 3 “A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs aren’t gathered from thorn bushes, or grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.”

I have questions for those who teach “eternal justification”. Is a new legal state not enough to make good works possible?

If the elect are never under the wrath of God, how could there be such a thing as a new legal state for the elect?

Was there ever a new legal state for Christ?

Does Christ’s death to sin mean that Christ became corrupt fallen flesh but then later was “infused” with the divine nature? God forbid.

Does Christ’s death to sin mean that Christ by being in the environment of the world and of the old covenant age needed a deliverance from “the flesh” or even from the physical body? Once more, God forbid.

What does it mean that Christ died to sin? It means that the law of God demanded death for the sins of the elect imputed to Christ. As long as those sins were imputed to Christ, Christ was under sin, Christ became under law, Christ was under death.

Now death has no more power over Him? Why? Because the sins are no longer imputed to Him, but have been paid for and satisfied. The gospel is not only about God justifying, but also about God being justified when God justifies.

But what does the atonement and justification have to do with our doing good works?

is it really regeneration (not the legal state) which decides if we are good trees producing good fruit and offering acceptable works?

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, 18 and having been liberated from sin,

mark asks—having been justified, or were you always that? having been regenerated?

Romans 6:17 you BECAME enslaved to righteousness.

mark asks—does “enslaved to righteousness” mean “justified,” or were you always that? or does “enslaved to righteousness” mean “having been regenerated?

“live” does not equal “regeneration’
“new creation” does NOT equal “regeneration”\
eternal life is not the new birth

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

John 5: 25 “I assure you: An hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted to the Son to have life in Himself. 27 And He has granted Him the right to pass judgment, because He is the Son of Man.

I Corinthians 5:14 “one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live would no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, we regard no one according to the flesh”.

“Those who live” means those who are JUSTIFIED. The category of “we died” is not about a change of nature but about an imputed legal reality leading to a change of legal state.

The new man is not gradual transformation. it’s an either or—- this legal state or that legal state. The new is not continually caused by infusion or a “sacramental feeding on Christ” but by God’s imputation of what God did in Christ in His death and resurrection.

God the Father is the Imputer of God the Son’s Righteousness. God gives one of His elect faith when God imputes Christ’s Righteousness to his or her person. Before this act of imputation occurs that sinner is in a “STATE OF CONDEMNATION” and a “servant of sin”.

Romans 6: 17 But God be thanked, that ye WERE the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine whereto ye were delivered
18 Being THEN made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

“BEING THEN” not BEFORE THEN!” Under that form of doctrine God imputed His Sons Righteousness to your person and your STATE WAS FOREVER CHANGED from a state of guilt and condemnation ( having sins imputed to you) to a glorious STATE OF JUSTIFICATION, NOT GUILTY, JUSTIFIED by Christ’s Righteousness imputed to you THEN. Sin never again being imputed to you, your STATE was forever changed BY GOD.

Those who hold to this false doctrine of the imputation of Christ’s Righteousness to the elect in a timeless eternity do not deny the necessity of God not only purposing a thing but also actually accomplishing this purpose by Christ’s incarnation and death and resurrection. But logically their position on the eternal justification of elect sinners should also teach the eternal justification of Christ Himself. If indeed elect sinners were never under the wrath of God, then how could it be said that Christ was ever under the wrath of God for the sins of the elect imputed?

If elect sinners were justified in eternity, then these elect never needed to be placed into Christ’s death. And if Christ Himself was eternally justified, and never came under God’s wrath, then Christ Himself never needed to die under the law.

Eternal purpose was not enough. Christ took into union with His Divine nature that perfect, sinless humanity. Christ became incarnate in time, not in some timeless eternity. Christ in time came under the condemnation of the law for sins imputed. Christ in time by His death and resurrection was justified in time, not only in God’s purpose or God’s timeless eternity.

God’s imputation is so real and legal , that when the Father imputed the sins of the elect to Christ , THEN Christ who was innocent was accounted GUILTY, and God the Trinity was JUST and RIGHT to pay Christ the Subtitute the wages of their sins. Christ became the PROPITIATION to God’s justice for their sins, so much so that none for whom Christ died can or will perish.

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, but the life he lives he lives to God.

Christ was never under grace and is still not under grace. Christ was under the law because of the imputed sins of the elect. Romans 6 is about Christ’s condemnation by the law and His death as satisfaction of that law. Christ after His resurrection is no longer under law. Christ’s elect, after their legal identification with Christ’s death, are no longer under law.

The death of the justified elect is the SAME legal death that Christ died. The “definitive resurrection” of the elect in Romans 6 is the result of being set apart with Christ (and His death) from being under law.

Christ was never under the power of sin in the sense of being unable not to sin. Christ was always unable to sin. The only way Christ was ever under the power of sin is by being under the guilt of sin. The guilt of the elect’s sin was legally transferred by God to Christ. Christ’s death to sin was death to the guilt of sin, and since the elect are united with His death, the death of the elect is also a death to the guilt of sin. Romans 6:7: “For one who has died has been justified from sin.

The Old Man which Died is NOT the Old Indwelling Nature

April 1, 2016

Romans 6 describes two legal states, one of which is “free from righteousness”. We tend to judge people (even ourselves) to be saved on the evidence of something in us which wants to be better. We even like to think that it’s God in us causing us to want to be better. So we talk about salvation as getting a “new nature” or we think about our old nature being born again (reformed and regenerated) But the true God will not accept us into His presence based on something in us, not even based on something God has put in us. If we have not yet been legally justified by God, we are still in our sins.

Romans 6 defines the “in Christ” in terms of legally being placed into the death of Christ. The “new man in Christ” (new creation) becomes so by God’s justification. Instead of “infusing” into us a new disposition , our hope as the justified is that God has counted the death of Christ as our death.

The elect are transferred from a condemned state to a justified state by God’s legal imputation. These elect individuals are then no longer part of the “old man”. They become part of the “new man”. This happens not by impartation but by imputation. Is guilt transferred to Christ, or is corrupt “old nature” also transferred to Christ? Our guilt not our nature was given to Christ.

When I think of “new man”, why do I think of justification, and not only the regeneration which results from God’s imputation of Christ’s death to us? Well, I could ask you, why do you always draw the line between two natures? Where does the Bible talk about two natures? Why don’t you draw the line between the justified and the condemned?

I am not denying the new birth or the absolute necessity for it. I am only saying that the new birth is not “union with Christ” and that it does not result in something called “the new nature”. The “old man” has to do with our previous guilty legal state, and not first of all with a change of substance or nature.

II Corinthians 5:14 “one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live would no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, we regard no one according to the flesh (judging by morality or immorality or by other non-gospel standards)….If anyone is in Christ, there is a NEW CREATION. The old has passed; the new has come.”

“Those who live” means first of all those who are justified. The category of “we died” is not about a change of substance or nature but about an imputed legal reality. The category of “those who live” is also not about a change of substance or nature but about an imputed reality, legal life because of justification.

The “new man” is about a legal change of identity, a legal before and after. It’s not gradual; it’s an either or—- this legal state or that legal state. The new is neither adding a “new nature” or “changing the old nature”. The new is by God’s imputation of what God did in Christ in His death and resurrection.

So how then are we in Christ? Only for those now in Christ legally has the old has passed. For some of the elect, God has already declared the legal verdict. One day, at the resurrection, there will be visible evidence of that verdict.

Although the Bible does teach that the sheep are always in Christ by election, Romans 16 teaches that some of the sheep are in Christ before other of the sheep. This change is not a first of all a change of regeneration or birth but legally a change of state before God. To be in Christ in this way is to be justified.

Union with Christ is legal solidarity with Christ and His work and His benefits. As a result of this legal change, the sheep are born again and believe the gospel, but “union” does not precede justification, except “union by election”.

God justifies the ungodly. God does not justify because of Christ’s indwelling (or the gift of faith). God does not justify because God knows that God is going to indwell and change the person. Christ indwells the person because God has imputed Christ’s death to that person. A change from a belief in the false gospel to the true gospel is evidence of God’s imputation, but this change of belief is never the condition or the reason for God justifying. 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 called…”

Jesus was not under a curse for being a man, nevertheless as a man became a curse for the elect. The notion that Christ must have assumed a fallen human nature in order to be “made like his brothers in every respect” (Heb 2:17) subtly transforms sin into a constituent of human nature per se rather than an acquired status and condition by virtue of man’s failed ethical response to God and his covenant revelation. By contrast, those who maintain (against Barth; see CD, 4/1, pp. 478-513) a genuine transition from man’s original state of innocence to an estate of sin and misery through Adam’s historical fall hold that human nature as such is necessarily finite but not fallen. To put it differently, original sin is not a given of created humanity, but came upon humanity in the fall. It is, therefore, an ethical, not a metaphysical, aspect of the post-fall condition of man prior to his ethical resurrection in regeneration. http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2015/08/carlton-wynnewas-jesus-morally.php#sthash.5Uu1qB0d.dpuf

Man does not become a sinner by consenting to Adam’s sin, and the elect in Christ do not become appointed righteous by consenting to Christ’s obedience. The elect in Christ become righteous by imputation. This legal event results in new birth, but it does not include new birth.

Why does this distinction matter? Even if you agree with me that sinners are made guilty in Adam by legal imputation,why does it matter? Don’t I agree that the moral corruption of sinners is the immediate result of the imputation of guilt? Am I just being picky, just arguing for argument’s sake?

NO! If the only problem elect sinners have is corruption and inability to believe, then the only need they have is for the Holy Spirit and the new birth. Then it finally does not matter what Christ did, and it certainly makes no sense to argue about for whom Christ did it.

If “life” in the Bible is ONLY about the ability to believe God’s testimony about the Son, then the good news is no longer what the Son did or did not do, but the good news instead becomes our believing, and being careful to give God all the praise for our believing.