Posted tagged ‘gospel coalition’

God Does Not Impute Faith

June 7, 2012

There are today many evangelicals who have redefined “faith alone” as including works. Since the faith which believes the gospel is the same faith which makes an effort to get more “sanctified”, the words “faith alone” are no magical cure.

According to Romans 4:5, faith alone is “not works”. The point of faith alone is “grace alone”. “To the one who does NOT work but trusts Him who justifies the ungodly, it is counted as righteousness.”

According to Romans 9:11, we cannot say grace alone without saying “for the elect alone”. “Though they were not yet born and had done nothing good or bad-in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of His call.”

Most evangelicals ignore this connection between “not because of works” and election. In coalitions they often attempt to discuss the gospel without talking about election, and then mostly all they can do is say “not because of works but because of faith alone”.

Even if you believe that Christ died for every sinner, many who call themselves “Reformed” will tell you that God effectually called you to believe that falsehood. In some non-coalition setting, they will explain a more “precise” view of things which you might want to add on to what you already believe without needing to repent of a false gospel.

Before you believed in a faith alone gospel, and now you still believe in a faith alone gospel but now you know that the faith came from God.

Faith is hearing produced by God by means of the gospel. The power is in the true gospel, not in a false gospel. I Corinthians 1: 18, “for the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, IT is the power of God.”

It is not enough to talk about election as simply that which make certain that some sinners have faith alone. If the object of the faith alone is a false Christ who died for everybody and who makes faith some kind of condition, then this “faith alone” is not in the true Christ but is instead in “faith alone”.

“Faith alone” is not the condition of justification, but to see that, we need a message which tells us about God’s election.

Election is God’s idea. This idea goes along with the idea of not works. Romans 9:11: “In order that God’s election might continue, not because of works.”

Romans 11:5, “So too at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. But if it by grace, it is no longer by works; otherwise grace would be no more grace.”

Why didn’t the Apostle Paul just say: “by faith and not by works”? Why did he bring in this idea of a remnant? Paul writes about election in order to explain what he means by faith. Paul does not regard “faith alone” as a substitute for works.

God imputes the righteousness revealed in the gospel to a person justified by the gospel. The “it” which is imputed by God to Abraham is the obedient bloody death of Christ Jesus for the elect alone. The merit and value of this death, the righteousness of God obtained by Christ, that is what God imputes to the elect alone. God does not impute faith.

Why We Must Avoid Coalitions with “Evangelicals” who Teach Conditional Atonement

December 9, 2011

No alliance with Lutherans and “evangelicals” should keep us silent
about Jesus dying for the sheep and not the goats. Why then do so many Reformed preachers talk about the “indicative done” in the context of “you” and never in terms of the Westminster Confession: “for all those whom the Father has given the Son” ?

The problem cannot be a “sectarian” sociology which thinks of the
church as only those who profess to be justified and regenerate. Reformed Confessions teach that the covenant community must by nature and should include some of the non-elect for whom Jesus did not die and who will not believe the gospel. We also know good and well that not every baptized member even of a “sectarian” community is one for whom Christ died. Only those for whom Jesus died have a righteousness which answers the demands of God’s law.

Being “pastoral” gives no preacher the right to assure all his
hearers that Christ will not be a judge to them. Only the bloody death of Jesus Christ(not the sermon or the sacrament)has for the elect(and has not for the non-elect)silenced the accusations of God’s law.

Obeying the gospel is not the condition of salvation, but a blessing
made certain for the elect by the righteousness of Christ. It is not for sure that “you” who are in attendance will be saved. Salvation is promised to all who believe the gospel of salvation conditioned on the blood alone.

The antithesis (not by works in us) will do no good if we “flinch at
this one point”. If we do not confess particular atonement, then the
people who hear will not look outside themselves for the righteous difference which pleases God. If Jesus Christ died for everybody but only “enabled God” to save those who meet further conditions, then people will certainly look to themselves for the difference between lost and saved.

The only way you can tell people that the gospel is “outside of you”
is to tell them that the gospel they must believe to be saved EXCLUDES this believing as the condition of salvation. The only condition of salvation for the elect is Christ’s death for the elect. Unless you preach that Christ died only for the elect, you encourage people to make their faith into that “little something” which makes the difference between life and death!

I am not looking for something “classical” enough to influence
people to join a coalition. Do we believe that the glory of God in the gospel means that all for whom Christ died will certainly be saved? Or has that truth become too “rationalistic” for us? Would that perhaps take the grace of God out of the hands of those who hand out the sacrament and reserve it for the Father who has reserved a people for himself and given them to Christ? (Romans 11:4-6)

The glory of God does not depend on human decisions, and the gospel
must not become a victim of “evangelical” coalitions which agree not
to talk about the extent of the atonement, and thus condition
salvation on what God does in the sinner.

Jesus Saves Those Who Never Heard What?–Or, At Least the Arminians are not Universalists

April 18, 2011

Since I was saved about ten years ago from the false good news of universalism, I can’t help notice the inherent Arminianism of the Gospel Coalition’s brand of evangelicalism.

The Gospel Coalition critiques Rob Bell: “It reminds me of the T-shirt, ‘Jesus Loves You. Then Again He Loves Everybody.’ There’s no good news in announcing that God loves everyone in the same way just because he wants to. The good news is that in love God sent his Son to live for our lives and die for our deaths”

Notice what gospel coalition does not say, will not say about election: that God does not love everybody, that God did not die for everybody. They will only deny that the love doesn’t need Christ’s death.
They only say that God doesn’t love everybody equally, the same way. They still retain the old formula retained by Dordt (sufficient for everybody).
What’s with the ambiguity of “just because God wants to”?
1. God loves the elect in a holy way, not just any old way, yes.
2. But does this deny that God loves “just because God wants to”? God loves because God wants to, and God ‘s nature requires justice for all those loves. Christ has no love for the non-elect.

I take sides with John Owen on God’s justice being necessary for God to save the elect , and thus the necessary nature of Christ’s death, but that does not deny the sovereignty of God’s love. God does not love the non-elect. That’s a little different from the Packer nuance, which says “God’s love is not the whole story” when it comes to the non-elect.

But this is something you can’t say, when you think there are only two sides, liberals and conservatives. When “Calvinists” take sides with the Arminians against the universalists, we must deconstruct the difference. When “historic” Calvinists take sides against the “hypers”, we must deconstruct the difference. Nobody has to take sides with Arminians to avoid the error of eternal justification. Historically, tolerance for Arminianism has resulted in a false gospel which cannot talk about the purpose, efficacy and nature of Christ’s death.

If Getting Out Depends on Your Accepting It, Then Your Giving Jesus Your Life is More Important than Jesus Being Put in the Ocean of Wrath

April 13, 2011

One idea common to the coalition of Arminians and the “confessional Reformed” is that God is holy and that propitiation is needed. God is offering Jesus as the expiation of the sins of both Israelites and
Egyptians. You don’t need to work. All you need to do is make the exchange: throw Jesus into the ocean of wrath, and you too can be transferred into His Kingdom.

The common false gospel is that Jesus the mediator at the cross made it possible for anybody to be saved from hell. Therefore, hell is a result of human actions and of the human failure to accept God’s offer.

Though the coalition gives a certain priority to the “man in the middle”, it says nothing about individual election. Its solution is that a specific sinner’s faith “lets” what God did at the cross work for that specific sinner. No works righteousness is required, no quality faith is necessary, because there is nothing to do BUT…”to give Jesus your life”, which of course means that faith alone is never alone.

Even though it becomes clear in the false gospel that what Christ did for you won’t save you if you don’t believe, what is not so clear is exactly what the Christ the redeemer did. Were the specific sins of the elect transferred to Christ, so that Christ already bore them?

Well, no we can’t talk about that, because that would mean talking about election, and even though “we” are all Christians here (but maybe there’s somebody who has not yet accepted), we don’t talk about individual Israelites being chosen or individual Egyptians not being chosen.

Whatever it was that Christ did, the common false gospel assumes that Christ did it for every sinner, even for those sinners who perish. What Christ did becomes a necessary but not sufficient condition, because God does not forgive sin without first showing God’s anger at our lack of perfection.

But if God’s purpose is simply to make the forgiveness of sin possible, if God’s purpose is to make a general statement about the need for punishment of imperfection, what has become of substitution? In a general atonement which plans for the possibility of all sinners being saved, Christ can be the most important person on the team, doing what is necessary to win, but this false Christ can never do anything without the rest of the team.

Because Christ being God and being put in the ocean of wrath means infinite possibilities and opportunities. You too can be on his team, even if you just try it, if you with all your doubts just join us in our story. And then we will say to the Egyptians: our God loves you also, and the only reason that you are not equally saved along with us is you yourselves. Christ’s death is not the difference.

The false Christ of the false gospel still depends on a moment’s decision from sinners to let Christ’s death save them.

God’s Love is not the Whole Story? Rob Bell and the Gospel Coalition

March 14, 2011

Since I was saved about ten years ago from the false good news of universalism, I am glad to see Deyong’s negative review of Bell’s book. But I can’t help notice the inherent Arminianism of the Gospel Coalition’s brand of evangelicalism.

gc: It reminds me of the T-shirt, “Jesus Loves You. Then Again He Loves Everybody.” There’s no good news in announcing that God loves everyone in the same way just because he wants to. The good news is that in love God sent his Son to live for our lives and die for our deaths”

mark: notice what gospel coalition does not say, will not say about election: that God does not love everybody, that God did not die for everybody. They will only deny that the love doesn’t need Christ’s death. They still retain the old formula retained by Dordt (sufficient for everybody).

What’s with the ambiguity of “just because he wants to”?
1. God loves the elect in a holy way, not just any old way, yes.

2. But does this deny that God loves “just because he wants to”? God loves because He wants to, and His nature requires justice for all those He loves. There is no love apart from Christ and His substitution for the elect. Christ has no love for the non-elect.

I take sides with John Owen against John Calvin on God’s justice, and thus the necessary nature of Christ’s death, but that does not deny the sovereignty of God’s love. God does not love the non-elect. That’s a little different from the Packer nuance, which says “God’s love is not the whole story” when it comes to the non-elect.

But this is something you can’t say, when you are on the same side with Arminians against the universalists.