The Holy Spirit Does NOT Baptize Us Into Christ

Posted December 2, 2016 by markmcculley
Categories: death, imputation

Tags: ,

In Romans 6, Paul describes being baptized into Christ, with no mention of the Holy Spirit in the chapter. Romans 6:7 gives as its answer to antinomianism not a new enablement by the Holy Spirit which allows us not to sin (so much) Romans 6:7 is about being justified from the power of guilt because of legal identity in Christ’s death is about the indicative of being united to Christ in His death.

All the New Testament texts teach that Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit, and none of the texts teach that the Spirit is the agent who places the elect into Christ. Should the texts be understood (even if they don’t say) that “John baptizes with water, but Jesus baptizes with both water and the Spirit, and (also) the Holy Spirit is the one who baptizes when Jesus baptizes? So when Jesus baptizes with the Spirit, it’s really the oppoiste of that, so that the Holy Spirit who baptizes with Christ?

I agree that it is not possible to receive Christ without receiving His Holy Spirit, but that in no way proves that the Holy Spirit unites us to Christ. We should not assume that the “reality” of regeneration by the Spirit has priority over God’s legal imputation with Christ’s death and justification. “We have have been baptized into Christ” is NOT about the water ritual. The baptism on view in I Peter 3 and Colossians 2 and Romans 6 Is NOT ‘an outward sign of an inward change…. Water does not fulfill the type of physical circumcision…

One, I am not giving “the baptist view” Most baptists I know are as likely to assume that “baptism” means also water as any paedobaptist. (See for example, though I like Robert Haldane’s commentary, his remarks on Romans 6.)

Two, I believe in Holy Spirit baptism, but Holy Spirit baptism does NOT mean that the Spirit “baptizes into” Christ, at least not so far as any Bible text teaches. I Cor 12:13 correctly translated reads –”in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” The text does not say “by the Spirit” or teach that the Holy Spirit is the baptizer. The I Cor 12:13 agrees with the other six Spirit baptism texts in teaching that Christ is the agent who gives the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not give Christ, and the Holy Spirit is not mentioned in Romans 6. Yes, even many baptists assume that the Holy Spirit is the agent in Romans 6, but they also wrongly agree with many paedobaptists who assume that any text with the word “baptism” must have reference to the work of the Spirit and read that idea into Romans 6 and Colossians 2 and I Peter 3.

Do you assume that there’s water somewhere (at least implied) in Romans 6 and in Colossians 2 and I peter 3? There is no text anywhere that talks about “baptism by the Spirit”, and these three specific texts a) don’t refer to water but instead to something that actually saves and b. don’t refer to the Spirit or to the new birth. All three texts are about legal identity with Christ’s death. They don’t use the word “imputation”, but their legal context has nothing about the Holy Spirit or regeneration (or water)

I never teach that Romans 6 or Colossians 2 or I Peter 3 are about the Holy Spirit,. I teach that the three texts are NOT about water. If not water, then what? Not water, but the Father’s imputation of Christ’s death to the elect. I agree that other “baptism” texts ARE about water, and about some texts, I might still be agnostic. We could go from “John the Baptist with water, but Jesus with the Spirit to the Great Commission. But in the meanwhile, we need to stop assuming “water” or “water as a reference to the Spirit”. That paradigm does not fit all the biblical evidence.

Since I deny that the new birth comes before God’s imputation of Christ’s death and say that it’s Christ’s death imputed which results in having Christ and life, am I also begging the question about what “union” means? I hope not. Christ, who was far off, is brought near by the news of the gospel (Romans 10:8), and united to the elect when God credits them with His righteousness (which is the value and merit of Christ’s death) and effectually calls them . The elect don’t first get Christ and then get His righteousness . The elect cannot first “put on Christ”, and only after that get “baptized into His death” Being placed into Christ’s death is in order to being in Christ and then having Christ in us. Being baptized into Christ in Romans 6 (which is NOT regeneration by the Spirit, which is NOT baptism by the Spirit) is another way to talk about God’s imputation. And this means that Christ baptizing the elect with or into the Spirit (I Corinthians 12:13) is not first, but the result of legal union with Christ.

Berkhof—-“It is sometimes said that the merits of Christ cannot be imputed to us as long as we are not in Christ, since it is only on the basis of our oneness with Him that such an imputation could be reasonable. But this view fails to distinguish between our legal unity with Christ and our spiritual oneness with Him, and is a falsification of the fundamental element in the doctrine of redemption, namely, of the doctrine of justification. Justification is always a declaration of God, not on the basis of an existing (or future) condition, but on that of a gracious imputation–a declaration which is not in harmony with the existing condition of the sinner. The judicial ground for all the grace which we receive lies in the fact that the righteousness of Christ is freely imputed to us.”

Cal Beisner— “First, the term baptism did not mean, primarily, a ritual application of water. Second, commentators argue in two ways that in Romans 6 baptism does not denote the rite: (a) consistent application of that sense in the immediate context (verses 1-10) would yield the conclusion (contrary to other passages of Scripture) that all, without exception, who undergo the rite are regenerate, converted, justified, sanctified, and finally glorified, and (b) Paul himself, who certainly views circumcision and baptism as type and antitype (Colossians 2:11-12), had already written in the same epistle that it was not the rite of circumcision but the spiritual reality designated by it….
p 324 http://www.ecalvinbeisner.com/freearticles/AATConclusion.pdf

Paul Helm—Is not the granting of Christ’s gifts also a work of Christ? Is this giving not something that Christ does? Giving us gifts is not atonement, Giving us gifts is the result of atonement. But in giving justification Christ is at work.
Bavinck: Christ took on himself the task of really and fully saving his people. Christ will not abdicate as mediator before Christ has presented his elect– without spot or wrinkle – to the Father. The application of salvation is not less an essential constituent of redemption than Christ’s acquisition of salvation‘Take away its application and redemption is not redemption’. Christ continues his prophetic, priestly and royal activity. The application of salvation is Christ work. By an irresistible grace Christ gives himself and his benefits to his own. (Reformed Dogmatics, 3-523)

Idolaters are Seekers, but Jesus Finds the Elect

Posted December 1, 2016 by markmcculley
Categories: Uncategorized

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Romans 3: 11 As many as who believe on Him will not be put to shame,12 for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. 13 For as many as who callon the name of the Lord will be saved.14 But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him?

Romans 10: 16 But all did not obey the gospel.

Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message?

17 faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.

The gospel about Jesus Christ is not about a generic theis, which would not offend anybody in a synagogue. Inoffensive sermons attempt to assimilate Jesus into some universal non-sectarian idea of doing good and being content.

Acts 17: 6 While Paul was waiting in Athens, he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So Paul reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with those seeking God and in the marketplace every day .Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers argued with him. “May we learn about this new teaching you’re speaking of? 20 For what you say sounds strange to us, and we seek to know what these ideas mean.”21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners residing there spent their time on nothing else but seeking something new. 22 Then Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that you are extremely religious in every respect. 23 For as I was passing through and observing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar on which was inscribed: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.

Romans 3—why not say, just as some who slander claim we say, “Let us do what is evil so that good may come”? Their condemnation is deserved! 9 What then? Are we any better?Not at all! Both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin,
There is NO ONE righteous, NOT EVEN ONE.
11 There is no one who understands;
there is NON ONE WHO SEEKS GOD.
12 All have turned away;
all alike have become useless.
There is no one who does what is good,
NOT EVEN ONE

Romans 9: 30 Gentiles, who did NOT SEEK righteousness, have obtained righteousness—namely the righteousness that comes from faith. 31 But Israel, seeking for righteousness from the law, has not achieved the righteousness of the law. 32 The righteousness of the law is NOT found by faith but found instead BY WORKS.

Many Jews stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written: Look! I am putting a stone in Zion in order for them to stumble over and a rock in order for then to trip over,

Law “kills us” not oonly by making us thinking of more things to do wrong that we would not have thought of before. The law also kills us by being used by idolaters (all of us by nature) to try to justify ourselves before God. We think–I did the law right, or I did enough of the law right.

David Gordon –The qualification works-and-not faith in Gal 3:10-13 is parallel to the qualification works and not faith in Romans 9:32. When Paul asks why the Jews did not attain unto the Torah, his answer addressed the NATURE of the law- covenant (Torah demands perfect obedience), not the nature of the PURSUIT of the law-covenant.”

John 7: 3 His brothers said to Jesus, “Leave here and go to Judea so that the world and the church can SEE Your works For no one does anything in SECRET while he’s seeking PUBLIC recognition. Show Yourself to the world.

john 7: 6 Jesus told them, “My time has not yet arrived, but your time is always at hand. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it does hate Me because I testify about it—that its works are evil.

John 7: 19 He who SEEKS the glory of the One who sent Him is true….Yet none of you keeps the law! Why do you want to kill Me?”

John 7: 33 Then Jesus said, “I am only with you for a short time. Then I’m going to the One who sent Me. 34 You will seek for Me, but you will NOT FIND Me; and WHERE I AM, YOU CANNOT COME

Acts 17: 24 The God who made the world and everything in it—He is ….NOT served by human hands, as though God needed anything, since God Himself gives everyone life and breath and all things. … God appointed the boundaries where people live. 27 God did this in order that they PERHAPS seek God, and PERHAPS reach out and find God, though God is not far from each one of us. ..31 God has set a day when God is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man God has appointed. God has provided proof of this to everyone by raising Jesus from the dead.”

Romans 1:17 God’s righteousness is not an offer, God’s gospel is power to salvation

Posted November 6, 2016 by markmcculley
Categories: election

Tags: , ,

Romans 1: The gospel is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes… For in the gospel God’s righteousness is revealed

Modern universalists dismiss any need for sinners to believe the gospel so they tell us that “the faith of Christ” is what Christ did before Christ died. These universalists teach us that Christ’s incarnation and resurrection and indwelling are the righteousness revealed and have nothing to do with any satisfaction of God’s law for selected elect sinners. These “grace, no law” antinomians sound much like Agricola.

But, on the other hand, most professing Calvinists respond to this law-less universalism by teaching that God’s righteousness is only an OFFER which depends on God giving us faith to “access it”. just like the Arminians, these professing Reformed don’t teach that only the sins of the elect were imputed by God to Christ. Instead, like the Arminians, they teach that Christ’s death doesn’t work for you unless you believe in it. These “faith is the condition of union and union is the condition of justification folks” tend to define faith after conversion in terms of fidelity and good but imperfect works

Even though these professing Calvinists agree that your believing in the gospel is the result of Christ’s death, they also explain Christ’s death as something which makes it possible for anybody to be saved. Like the Arminians, these professing Calvinists deny that faith is a work, but have no problem saying that the Holy Spirit gives faith in a false gospel teaching that Christ died for every sinner.

Don’t believe in anything that depends on your believing in it. If you believe the true gospel, your believing is only a result of Christ’s death for those God has elected in Christ. There is no “tension” or “dialectic” here between God’s sovereignty and your need and duty to believe the gospel. The gospel you need to believe does not assure you in particular that you will believe or that your sins were imputed to Christ. The gospel you need to believe instead assures you that each and every sinner God elected and for whom Christ died will believe the gospel which has election as good news. The power of the gospel teaches us to not leave election out of the gospel. We learn to repent of any thought of assurance in the gospel for those who deny or remain ignorant of God’s election of sinners in Christ. God only imputed the sins of the elect to Christ, and Christ only died for those sins.

You don’t necessarily need to hear law before you hear gospel. Your own natural idea of what sin is does not come close to being the reality of what it means to be a sinner. The gospel itself can and does teach sinners about the sin of self-righteousness. When we learn what it takes to satisfy God’s law, then we learn that our own attempts to satisfy the law with our faith or our works is nothing but self-righteousness. Our own attempts to thank God for enabling us to believe God in order to enable God to save us are then revealed as the very worst kind of rebellion against God.

Psalm 98: The Lord has made His victory known;
He has revealed His righteousness
in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered His love
and faithfulness to the house of Israel;
all the ends of the earth
have seen our God’s victory.
4 Shout to the Lord, all the earth;
be jubilant, shout for joy, and sing.
5 Sing to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and melodious song.
6 With trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn
shout triumphantly
in the presence of the Lord, our King.
7 Let the sea and all that fills it,
the world and those who live in it, resound.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the mountains shout together for joy
9 before the Lord,
for He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world righteously
and the peoples fairly.

Psalm 143: Do not bring Your servant into judgment,
for no one ALIVE is RIGHTEOUS in Your sight.
4 My spirit is weak within me;
my heart is overcome with dismay…
I am like parched land before You.
my spirit fails.
Don’t hide Your face from me,
or I will be like those
going down to DEATH
Because of Your name, Yahweh,
let me LIVE.
In Your RIGHTEOUSNESS deliver me from trouble

Docetism Says that Jesus was Not Really Human and Did Not Really Die

Posted October 6, 2016 by markmcculley
Categories: death, resurrection

Tags: ,

When Jesus was a baby, He didn’t sleep all that well at the beginning. The baby Jesus kept waking up his mom

Jesus was tortured to death, but Jesus is not still being tortured, and Jesus was not tortured for three days after He died.

Jesus had told his disciples that He would not be asking the Father to save him “from this hour,” because it was “for this reason” that he had “come to this hour” (John 12:27). What Jesus did ask was that the Father glorify his name, and the Father answered: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again,”

Jesus told them that this voice had spoken for their sake because the time had come for “the judgment of this world, “when the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when Jesus was “lifted up from the earth,” he would “draw all people to himself. That was his way of indicating the kind of death he would die In the garden of Gethsemane, Peter drew his sword in an effort to protect Jesus from arrest, but Jesus told him: “Put your sword back into its sheath,” because Jesus willed: “to drink the cup that the Father has given me” (

Calvin said that the physical death of Jesus would not save anybody, Calvin said it was God’s torture of Jesus that saved but Calvin also said that the torture was before Jesus died

Calvin: “If Christ had died only a bodily death ,it would have been ineffectual. No—it was expedient at the same time for him to undergo the severity of God’s vengeance, to appease his wrath and satisfy his just judgment.” 2.16.10.

Calvin–“Nothing had been done if Christ had only endured corporeal death. In order to interpose between us and God’s anger, and satisfy his righteous judgment, it was necessary that he should feel the weight of divine vengeance. Whence also it was necessary that he should engage, as it were, at close quarters with the powers of hell and the horrors of eternal death. … … Hence there is nothing strange in its being said that he descended to hell, seeing he endured the death which is inflicted on the wicked by an angry God. It is frivolous and ridiculous to object that in this way the order is perverted, it being absurd that an event which preceded burial should be placed after it. But after explaining what Christ endured in the sight of man, the Creed appropriately adds the invisible and incomprehensible judgment which he endured before God, to teach us that not only was the body of Christ given up as the price of redemption, but that there was a greater and more excellent price—that he bore in his soul the tortures of condemned and ruined man. ”

Calvin argued, that In ADDITION TO his physical suffering, Christ endured an “invisible and incomprehensible judgment” and paid “a greater and more excellent price in suffering in his soul the terrible moments of a condemned and forsaken man.” 2.16.10.

Calvin does not deny the physical death of Christ but Calvin assumes that Christ went straight to heaven, and Calvin adds something else to the human physical death of Christ. Some today teach that there would be “no hope without” vicarious law-keeping imputed ADDED TO Christ’s human physical death. Calvin taught that it was the pre-death sufferings of Christ which really made the propitiation, and NOT the human physical death.

What happens to the “Calvinist extra” (deity not united to humanity) if Christ’s deity is present in two places, not only with His dead body but also with his “human spirit in heaven”? Why object to Lutheran ideas about the ubiquity of the humanity (by communication of attributes with the deity) once you have agreed to humanity present with deity in two places?

F F Bruce–One symptom of the docetic tendency appears in the description of our Lord’s manhood as ‘heavenly humanity’…Writing in 1901, W. B. Neatby said, ‘A year or two ago I heard an address from a Brother of the Open Section, who actually taught that Christ did not die from crucifixion, but by a mere miraculous act. Or C. F. Hogg’s pamphlet, The Traditions and the Deposit: ‘What He did not know, He knew that He did not know’

http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/ffb/humanity_bruce.pdf

Smeaton, Atonement As Taught By Himself, p 78—The Son of God took sin upon Him, and bore it simultaneously with the taking of the flesh, nay, in a sense even prior to the actual fact of the incarnation. The peculiar character of the Lord’s humanity, which was, on the one hand, pure and holy, and yet, on the other, a curse-bearing humanity, plainly shows that in some sense He was the sin-bearer from the moment of His sending, and, therefore, even prior to His actual incarnation.

Smeaton–And when it is said that God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh, we have the very same thing…Sin was borne by God, not alone in the sense of forbearance, but in such a sense that it was laid on the sin-bearer, to be expiated by the divine Son. Thus the Lamb of God appeared without inherent sin or taint of any kind, but never without the sin of others. The sin of man was not firsti mputed to Him or borne by Him when He hung on the cross, but in and with the assumption of man’s nature.

Smeaton—The very form of a servant, and His putting on the likeness of sinful flesh, was an argument that sin was already transferred to Him and borne by Him; and not a single moment of the Lord’s earthly life can be conceived of in which He did not feel the harden of the divine wrath which must otherwise have pressed on us for ever.
Because He bore sin, and was never seen without it, it may be affirmed that the MORTALITY which was comprehended in the words, “Thou shalt surely die”—that is, all that was summed up in the wrath and curse of God,—was never really separated from Him.

Smeaton–As the sin-bearer, He all through life discerned and felt the penal character of sin, the sense of guilt, not personal, but as the surety could realize it, and the obligation to divine punishment for sins not His own, but made His own by an official action; and they who evacuate of their true significance these deep words, bears the sins” allowing Christ to have no connection with sin, and only dwelling on His purity and spotless innocence as our example—they who will not have Him as a sin-bearer—are the most sacrilegious.

There are dangers to describing sin as corruption instead of guilt, because guilt is cause of inability. There is great error in describing “made sin” as the “spiritual death” of Christ. Christ did not become corrupt, and Christian do not become righteous by infusion or by imparting (one more extra nature ) but by God’s legal imputation. …..

If Christ died spiritually, then Christ Needed to be Regenerated

Glenn Peoples—many reject the view that Jesus atoned for sin by suffering in hell after death . The problem, however, is that they still assume that the punishment for sin is suffering the wrath of God in the form of torment, and so the solution, whatever it is, is assumed to be that Jesus suffers that torment somewhere, either on the cross or in hell – and since it wasn’t in hell it was on the cross.

Already Condemned

Posted September 9, 2016 by markmcculley
Categories: election, repentance

Tags: , ,

I Corinthians 2: 4 But thanks be to God, who always puts US on display in Christ and through US spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every PLACE.15 For to God WE are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To some WE are an aroma of death leading to death, but to others, an aroma of life leading to life

I Cor 7: 10 For godly grief produces a repentance not to be regretted and leading to salvation, but worldly grief produces death

Matthew 27:3 Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was full of remorse and returned the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. 4 “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood,” he said. “What’s that to us?” they said. “See to it yourself!” 5 So Judas threw the silver into the SANCTUARY and departed. Then he went and hanged himself.

Hebrews 12: 15 Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many. 16 And make sure that there isn’t any person like Esau, who sold his birthright in exchange for one meal. 17 For you know that later, when Esau wanted to INHERIT the blessing, he was rejected because Esau didn’t find any opportunity for repentance, though he sought it with tears.

All humans are born already condemned

God does not need to harden any sinner to condemn that sinner.

God does not need to teach the gospel to the non-elect sinner the gospel in order to condemn the non-elect sinner.

God does need to teach the gospel to the elect sinner in order to justify the elect sinner.

W know that God’s severity is just, but why does God harden some non-elect sinners with the gospel and orain that other non-elect sinners never hear any gospel?

John 3: 19 “This, then, is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids the light, in order that their deeds not be exposed. 21 But anyone who LIVES BY THE TRUTH
comes to the light

God rejects some sinners on purpose and unconditionally.

Equal ultimacy means that God ordains not only creatures but sinners on both sides.
God ordains sinners as a means to redemption.
God ordains sinners as a means to destruction.

Equal ultimacy does not mean that the wages of sin are God’s gift. Equal ultimacy does not mean that the gift of life is God’s wages for our works.

Romans 6: 23 For the WAGES of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is lasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Equal ultimacy does NOT mean that the death of the non-elect is a different kind of lasting life.

John 10:29 you do not believe because you are not of my sheep

I Peter 2:8 They stumble because they disobey the message. They were destined for this.

Mark 4: 11 Jesus answered them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to those OUTSIDE, everything comes in parables 12 in order that

they look and look,
yet not perceive;
they listen and listen,
yet not understand;
otherwise, they would turn back—
and be forgiven.

II Thessalonians 1: at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His powerful angels, 8 taking vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of lasting destruction from the Lord’s presence and SHUT OUT

Revelation 22: 10 He also said to me… the time is near. 11 Let the unrighteous go on in unrighteousness; let the filthy go on being made filthy; let the righteous go on in righteousness; and let the holy go on being made holy.” 12 “Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, in order that to have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the…idolaters

James White–“What is required on God’s part to bring about the salvation of a sinner, the self-giving of the Son of God, raising someone to life, these are some of the greatest miracles in all the history of God. God doesn’t have to do any of that to bring the non-elect into the position of his final condemnation.”

The non-elect truly have their own guilt. They are born guilty by God’s imputation of Adam’s sin to them. God also imputes the guilt of Adam to the elect, but God’s intention to justify His elect sinners never waivers. The elect never merit justification. The elect have no merits of their own, nor can they boast in themselves. Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.

The word “reprobate” in the Bible means “disapproved” or “condemned”. Even elect sinners are born “reprobate”. The sheep are never goats. But the sheep are not born justified

Arminians want to say—you are accepted, accept your acceptance, but what if you don’t, well that’s on you. But even when Arminians say that “the no is on you”, many of them try not to say that the “yes is on you” . That would shed too much light on the con-game being played by Arminians.

It’s God yes, not your yes, but if you say no, well that’s you. But if you don’t say no, that means you say yes, but that yes is not yours, your yes is God’s doing in you. So it was yes, by default, you were born justified, but then you lost it by your no. But of course, only in one sense, you never lost it, because God will still be saying yes to you, even as you perish in the second death. As the Arminian CS Lewis explained, “hell” is only locked by you on the inside.

Infralapsarians flatten out Romans 9 to try to make it seem reasonable and non-objectionable, but at least they do read the default as we all being guilty and condemned sinners. They explain that God causes elect sinners to say say, and that God does not need to cause non-elect sinnrs to say no, because all of us are born saying no.

But the Arminian default run the other way–God is saying yes to everybody, and you will be justified, unless you say no. Your no will stop God from getting what God wanted but your no will be an excuse (theodicy) to explain why it’s still not God’s fault because at least you had your “chance”.

As Soon As God Credits Christ’s death to you, God also Justifies You

Posted September 4, 2016 by markmcculley
Categories: imputation

Tags: , ,

Romans 5: 9 Much more then, since we have NOW been declared righteous by His BLOOD (death), we WILL BE saved through Him from wrath.

Romans 5: 12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—

In reaction to justification conditioned on the sinner, some Lutherans are teaching that all sinners are now born justified. In reaction to justification conditioned on the sinner, some “sovereign grace” preaches are teaching that God’s wrath is never personally on elect sinners.

Romans 5 does not specifically say that “all sinned in Adam”. Nor does the chapter ever use the word “imputation”. But the sin of verse 12 is not the result of death. The death is the result of “because all sinned”. We look to the context to see how it is that the “all” sinned. “All” sinned because of the representative sin of Adam.

Adam was our substitute. We don’t need to sin ourselves to be condemned to death. We are condemned to death because Adam sinned for us, as our representative. We are not guilty based on our corruption. Corruption is mediated to us because we are guilty. We sin but before that we were already constituted sinners.

Romans 5:13 “for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.”

It’s not only infants who died who did NOT sin like Adam. Everybody who died after Adam’s first sin but before the Mosaic law was given did NOT sin like Adam. Yet because of Adam’s sin and Adam’s representation, all these people died.

Not all born in Adam stay in Adam
all chosen in Christ are born in Adam
not all born in Adam are chosen in Christ
some born in Adam stay in Adam
some born in Adam are justified in Christ

Romans 6 describes two legal states, one of which is “free from righteousness”. Christ’s death has not always been credited to elect sinners. Every elect sinner was once “free from righteousness”. 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 “free from righteousness”. Romans 6 defines being in “new man” (the new creation) in terms of God legally being placed into the death of Christ. Once God credits us Christ’s death, we sinners are justified before God.

Romans 6: 4 Therefore we were buried with Him by BAPTISM INTO DEATH….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, IN ORDER that we no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died has been justified from sin. ”

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.

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, as soon as God credits them with Christ’s death, are no longer under law. The death of the justified elect is the SAME legal death that Christ died.

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 as soon as the elect are imputed by God with His death, the death of Christ justifies them from the guilt of sin and removes God’s wrath from them.. Romans 6:7: “For one who has died has been justified from sin.”

The word Imputation in the Bible describes two different actions. Fist, sometimes the word imputation describes the transfer, the legal sharing of what belongs to another. Second, the word imputation describes God’s declaration about persons who legally share in either Adam’s condemnation or Christ’s death.

Elect sinners are born personally under the wrath of God, guilty in Adam. As soon as God credits these sinners with Christ’s death, God at once also declares them justified. Elect sinners need to be justified. Elect sinners are justified by God putting them legally in Christ’s death. Elect sinners are justified when God declares them to be just because of having placed them into Christ’s death. God says they are now justified because they really are now legally just because of now being in Christ’s death.

Romans 5:9 “Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath.” The elect were born guilty, condemned, not justified. The righteousness by which the elect reign and which leads to life is not what God works in us. The righteousness by which the elect reign is Christ’s death imputed. Like they once legally shared in Adam’s act of sin, now the justified elect legally share in Christ’s one act of righteousness.

Guilt to Adam, then corruption. Righteousness to the elect, then regeneration. So many people have that wrong, even people who believe in sovereign predestination. Augustine, for example, thinks of sovereign regeneration as the righteousness. But we “federalists” say that it would NOT be just for God to give us corruption from Adam until first God legally gave us Adam’s guilt. We are born unable to please God because we are born guilty. We are born “free from righteousness” because we are born under God’s wrath for Adam’s sin imputed.

Romans 5:17 we “receive” the free (for no cause) gift of righteousness, not by our faith, but passively, by God’s imputation. The IT imputed is not our faith, because the righteousness (the death of Christ for the elect) is the IT which is imputed.

Regeneration cannot be before God’s imputation of Christ’s death, or the efficacy of Christ’s death would be made to depend on regeneration and faith. Regeneration and faith are necessary, but not as conditions of God’s joining the elect to Christ’s death. Romans 6 teaches God baptizes us (not with water) into death (Christ’s death).

Regeneration and faith are necessary results of God’s imputation of Christ’s death to the elect . Romans 8:10—“The Spirit is life because of righteousness.” God’s legal transfer of the elect’s guilt to Christ did take place in many cases thousands of years before or after God credits them with that death and justifies them. This justification, when it does happen, is not the result of the life which results from justification.

By being legally placed into Christ’s death, the ungodly BECOME no longer guilty before God. They BECOME in Christ the righteousness of God. To be in Christ does have the result of Christ being in the justified. There is a difference between being justified in Christ and Christ being in the justified. The difference is that justification is not based on Christ within but on what Christ’s finished death outside the elect, before or after the elect’s justification.

The legal life of the justified is based on what Christ’s death accomplished outside the elect. The merit of that death, the righteousness of that obedience to death, is not something inside the elect, like the new birth or faith. The righteousness is in heaven, not in Christ’s person separated from His work, and not in Christ’s work separated from His person. It is a righteousness outside the justified sinner which God counts as the righteousness of the justified sinner

II Corinthians 5: If One died for all, then all died. 15 And He died for all so that THOSE WHO LIVE should no longer live for themselves. When II Corinthians 5:15 identifies “those who live”, that indicative situation of being alive is not about the experience of new birth. When II Corinthians 5:14 teaches that “all died”, the legal state of being dead by Christ’s death is not about regeneration. John 5:24, “He does come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”

Elect sinners are born under the wrath of God, But once God credits them with Christ’ death, these sinners becomes justified before God and will NOT be justified by works at some future judgment. Only the non-elect will be judged according to their works because only they will still be legally dead before God’s throne. The non-elect will be judged on the basis of works; in accordance with works the non-elect will receive what is their due (Romans 4:4). But elect and justified sinners have legal life now as a gift. They will not be judged, because they have been judged in Christ’s death. Their guilt was transferred to Christ and they were justified when they were joined to Christ’s death for their guilt. On that final day, it will be too late for anybody to be justified.

If one puts justification after life, it’s too late for justification. If one puts justification after a person’s new birth, then the justification is conditioned on the new birth and that’s not biblical justification. If one puts justification of a sinner some time after God credits a sinner with Christ’s death, what is the nature of that justification?

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… 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness….

Did Christ’s Death At least Give Everybody an Incomplete Justification?

Posted August 5, 2016 by markmcculley
Categories: arminians, atonement, election

Tags: , , ,

What good is an incomplete justification? If the justification is incomplete because you did not complete it, then you end up being condemned by God’s “grace” and not by God’s law.

Instead of hearing the gospel and being condemned by it, on this theory, you would have been better off not hearing the gospel and then you could not be condemned by your lack of faith in not accepting the grace “God” had for you. Had you not heard the gospel, God could not have condemned you! Those who teach that all sin is against grace have a “don’t ask and don’t tell” kind of “gospel.”

God decreed the non-election of the non-elect before the ages, and so God excluded certain humans from salvation, even while ordaining these humans to be sinners.

It is not necessary to preach law before gospel until despair is created, and only then the gospel as hope. This one-two step can be a way of assuming or implying that sinners can actually take sides against themselves without any hope of forgiveness.

True repentance is not produced by the law only, however, but by the revelation of the gospel. Since the justice of God is a part of the gospel, there is no need to preach law separately before gospel.

But even the non-elect are commanded to believe the gospel
Believing the gospel is NOT believing that “God has grace for me” or that “God has grace for everybody”

The promise of the gospel is that as many as believe the gospel will be justified, so that anybody who says I believe the promise but I don’t believe that there is grace for me….is not yet believing the promise

The non-elect do NOT “exclude themselves” from election. The gospel is not the law, and we are born condemned, so that those who never hear the gospel are still condemned. Rejection of the gospel is not the basis of condemnation ,John 3:18-20 teaches that there is no escape from condemnation except by the gospel.

John 3: 18 Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God. 19 “This, then, is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed.

Terrance Tiessen agrees with the Arminians that Christ’s death gets rid of many sins for everybody but not all the sins of anybody because he thinks it’s faith which unites you to Christ. Many Arminians think the only sin which condemns anybody is lack of faith. They think that the good news was that God loved you but you didn’t have faith in God’s grace for you.

Tiessen—“I propose that one of the universal benefits of Christ’s atoning death is the forgiveness of sins of ignorance. Because any and all sin deserves God’s judgment, namely, death, everyone who sins objectively, having done what is morally wrong by God’s standard, deserves to be punished. Before the law of God, they stand guilty. When God chooses not to punish us for unintended sin, however, he does not simply say: “That is OK, it doesn’t matter.” It does matter, and it violates God’s holiness and disrupts the shalom, the total well being, of God’s creation. When God, the Judge of all moral beings, chooses not to punish us for that unintended moral violation, his own holiness is preserved, I suggest, by the fact that Jesus paid the penalty for sin.”

Tiessen—“Of course, I am not here speaking of the complete justification that leads to eternal life, simply of acts for which God does not hold the ignorant sinner accountable. But, nonetheless, I am suggesting one of the ways in which Jesus satisfied the just wrath of God against sin, is in his providing a sacrifice of atonement which God applies to sins of ignorance, that is to say, to acts which, though sinful, were done in good faith (as per Rom 14). This was typified in the old covenant provision of sacrifices for sins done unintentionally (Leviticus 5:17-19; Numbers 15:22-28), particularly in the annual offering of the high priest, which was for his own sin and “for the sins committed unintentionally by the people” (Hebrews 9:7).

Tiessen–“Of much greater magnitude than God’s forbearance of sins done in ignorance is God’s forgiveness of sins done deliberately. No provision was made for these sins in the old covenant sacrificial system. Yet that is precisely what God does to all whom he graciously justifies, not on account of their own righteousness, but on account of the righteousness of Jesus, in whom they are incorporated by faith.”

http://rethinkinghell.com/2016/07/what-did-jesus-suffer-for-us-and-for-our-salvation/

In his attempt to say that lost people are lost only because of themselves, Andrew Fuller taught a common prevenient moral ability to believe (his false gospel).

It is now more and more common to think of all sin as sin against grace. This tends to remove the antithesis between law and grace .

William Lane Craig, In Pinnock, the Grace of god and the Will of Man, p 157—-“God desires and has given sufficient grace for all people to be saved. If some believe and others do not, it is not because some received prevenient grace and some did not. The efficacy of God’s grace is UP TO US, because every person is moved by God in a measure sufficient for salvation.”

Wesley, Working Out Our Own Salvation—“Allowing that all persons are dead in sin by nature, this excuses none, seeing that there is no man in a state of nature only. There is no man, unless he has quenched the Holy Spirit, that is wholly void of the grace of God. No man sins because he has not grace, but because he does not use the grace he has.”

Horton–God promises his saving grace in Christ to each person in baptism, whether they embrace this promise or not. Yet they must embrace the promise in faith. Otherwise, they fall under the covenant curse without Christ as their mediator.

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/kingdom-through-covenant-a-review-by-michael-horton/

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

http://paulhelmsdeep.blogspot.com/2015/04/amyraut-one-more-time.html

Tom Nettles—”The idea of universal atonement is not demanded by the Bible at all, but only by the inference drawn from a no-grace-no-justice assumption…. The piggy-backing of grace onto the command to believe the gospel does not come from the Bible. The whole idea of obligatory grace is contrary to the biblical presentation of grace.