Posted tagged ‘new man’

Two Headships, not “Two Natures”

January 28, 2014

Gill claims that the elect can be both in Adam and in Christ at the same time. How? Gill claims this can happen because Christians have “two natures”.

Instead of seeing “two states” as mutually exclusive (either or), Gill thinks Christians are in both Adam and Christ, at one and the same time, and from before the ages.

I would agree that the elect are elect in Christ from before the ages. But Gill claims that the elect are justified in Christ from before the ages. Gill also thinks that Christians are still in Adam until they die physically, in both Adams until their resurrection.

Instead of saying that “union” in all aspects means “justification”, I would ask for a definition of what kind of “union” we are thinking about. Does “union” cause justification? Or does justification bring about legal union? Does imputation create a bond which puts us into Christ and His death? See the word “baptism” in Romans 6 and Galatians 3:27.

But Gill thinks that the elect are justified in Christ and condemned in Adam, at one and the same time, both before and after the new birth.

Only one person has “two natures” and that person is Christ. The “two natures” theory says that the natures correspond to the “old man” and the “new man”. See II Corinthians 5:17, Romans 6:6, Ephesians 4:22-24, Colossians 3:9-10.. But the “old” and the “new” do not stand for “two natures”. Instead, there are two states–the old man is the elect sinner before God’s imputation of Christ’s righteousness to them, the new man is the elect sinner after God’s justification.

I certainly agree that justified Christians still continually sin, but the language of “two natures” is not the Bible way to talk about that. We need to talk instead about two “federal headships” or “two states”. But it’s not consistent for those who teach that all the elect were justified at one time before the ages (or at one time at the cross) to talk about “two states”. The Primitive Baptists and the Strict Baptists not only talk about “eternally justified unregenerate unbelievers” but also put the emphasis not only justification but on the “two natures”.

The justified elect transition from being part of the old creation to being legally part of the new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, new creation! The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Galatians 6:15 “For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but new creation.”

When I think of the “new creation”, why do I think of justification, and not only about regeneration? Well, I ask, why do so many Calvinists about “two natures”? Where does the Bible talk about the new creation being a new nature?

Where does the Bible talk about “union with Christ” being a new nature? Why don’t we draw the line between the justified and the condemned?

I am not denying the new birth or the absolute necessity for it. But the new birth is not “union with Christ” and that it does not result in something called “the new nature”. The “new man” has to do with a change in legal state.

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”.

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

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.

Carol Hoch Jr: The background of the “new creation language is Isaiah 43:16-21, Is 65:17, and Is 66:22…Should “he is” be supplied in II Cor 5:17 a? No–if any person is in Christ, new creation. To insert “he is” in 5:17 wrongly narrows the scope of the new creation to an individual. , p 161

The Significance of Newness for Biblical Theology: All Things New, Baker, 1995

John R. W. Stott, Men Made New: An Exposition of Romans 5-8 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1966), 45: “This is the crucifixion of our our ‘old self’. What is this ‘old self’? Is it not the old nature. How can it be if the ‘body of sin’ means the old nature? The two expressions cannot mean the same thing or the verse makes nonsense.

The ‘old self’ denotes, not our old unregenerate nature, but our old condemned in Adam life—Not the part of myself which is corrupt, but my former self. So what was crucified with Christ was not a part of us called our old nature, but the whole of us as we were before we were converted. This should be plain because in this chapter the phrase ‘our old self was crucified’ (verse 6) is equivalent to ‘we…died to sin (verse 2).”

The crucifixion of the “old man” refers to a definitive break with the past in Adam and is something God declares to be true of the elect when God justifies them by imputation. God transfers the justified elect from the headship of Adam to the headship of Christ. The justified sinner is separated legally from the community of Adam by being placed into the death of Christ to sin.

Colossians 3:9 Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with its practices 3:10 and have been clothed with the new man that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it.

The “new man” in Colossians 3 refers to a new social structure where there is “neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all and in all.” The “new man” in Colossians 3:10 is NOT something inside an individual.

In Ephesians 2:15, the Jewish elect and the Gentile elect have been justified and reconciled, and together in Christ they form the “new man” which is a new redemptive-historical society in which all have free and equal access to God and are seated with Christ in the heavenlies (2:5-6).

Romans 6:6 is also about the two headships of Romans 5:12-21.15 The “old man,”must be who the elect were “in Adam,” that is, in guilt, death and judgment. The “old man” is not a sinful nature, not immaterial corruption.

Romans 6 says that the old man “was crucified with Christ.” But how can that be? We were not there at the cross but that is the time to which the past tense refers. The “with Christ” language relates the elect to to the redemptive history of Christ. Romans 6 is NOT talking about new birth or Christ indwelling us individually, even those events result from justification. Those legally joined to Christ’s body are “dead to sin” in the same way that Christ became “dead to sin”, by means of legal union, justification.

The “Old Creation” Is Not Inside Sinners

June 10, 2011

The justified elect pass over from being part of the old creation to being legally part of the new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, new creation! The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Galatians 6:15 “For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but new creation.”

When I think of the “new creation”, why do I think of justification, and not only about regeneration? Well, I ask, why do most Calvinists draw the line between two natures? Where does the Bible talk about the new creation being a new nature?

Where does the Bible talk about union with Christ being a new nature? Why don’t we 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 “new man” has to do with a change in legal state.

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 sakes died and was raised. From now on, we regard no one according to the flesh”.

“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 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 a “sacramental feeding on Christ” but by God’s imputation of what God did in Christ in His death and resurrection.

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.

Carol Hoch Jr: The background of the “new creation language is Isaiah 43:16-21, Is 65:17, and Is 66:22…Should “he is” be supplied in II Cor 5:17a? No–if any person is in Christ, new creation. To insert “he is” in 5:17 wrongly narrows the scope of the new creation to an individual. , p161

The Significance of Newness for Biblical Theology: All Things New, Baker, 1995

John R. W. Stott, Men Made New: An Exposition of Romans 5-8 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1966), 45: “This is the crucifixion of our our ‘old self’. What is this ‘old self’? Is it not the old nature. How can it be if the ‘body of sin’ means the old nature? The two expressions cannot mean the same thing or the verse makes nonsense.

The ‘old self’ denotes, not our old unregenerate nature, but our old condemned in Adam life—Not the part of myself which is corrupt, but my former self. So what was crucified with Christ was not a part of us called our old nature, but the whole of us as we were before we were converted. This should be plain because in this chapter the phrase ‘our old self was crucified’ (verse 6) is equivalent to ‘we…died to sin (verse 2).”

The crucifixion of the “old man” refers to a definitive break with the past in Adam and is something God declares to be true of the elect when God justifies them by imputation. God transfers the justified elect from the age of Adam to the age of Christ. The justified sinner is separated legally and positionally from the community of Adam by being placed into the death of Christ to sin.

Colossians 3:9 Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with its practices 3:10 and have been clothed with the new man that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it. 3:11 Here there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all and in all.

The “new man” in Colossians 3:10-11 is corporate in nature and refers to the new community in which all racial distinctions are dissolved. It is a social structure where there is “neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all and in all.” Thus the “new man” in Colossians 3:10 is not something inside an individual, but rather the new community in Christ.

In Ephesians 2:15, the Jewish elect and the Gentile elect have been justified and reconciled, and together in Christ they form the “new man” which is a new redemptive-historical society in which all have free and equal access to God and are seated with Christ in the heavenlies (2:5-6).

Romans 6:6 is still thinking of the two humanities (and their heads) as in Romans 5:12-21.15 The “old man,” then, must be who the elect were “in Adam,” that is, in the old age of guilt, death and judgment. The focus is corporate.Thus, the “old man” is not a sinful nature, not immaterial corruption.

Romans 6 says that the old man “was crucified with Christ.” But how can that be? We were not there at Golgotha and this is surely the time to which the past tense was crucified Answer: the “with Christ” language relates the elect to to the redemptive history of Christ; it is not talking about new birth or Christ indwelling us individually, even those events result from justification.

The “Old man” in Romans 6:6 is not the body of sin because the crucifixion of the “old man” prevents the “body of sin” from dominating us. The two entities are not the same. Those positionally joined to Christ’s body are “dead to sin” in the same way that Christ became “dead to sin”, by means of legal union, justification.

Union is Not the Indwelling Nature, and “Made Sin” Was Never the Inward Nature

April 22, 2011

In Christ, there is true transfer, and this transfer is not by infusion or impartation. The elect transfer from a condemned state to a justified state by the legal transfer of imputation. They are no longer part of the “old man”; they are now part of the “new man”.

To get to the real question in the debate about impartation v imputation, we need to ask: what is transferred? Is guilt transferred to Christ, or is a corrupt “old nature” also transferred to Christ? (and if so, which comes first, and why does the second follow?)

I have answered this question in this blog many times. Our hope is not ultimately a “new nature” which still leaves us sinners, along with an “old nature”. Our hope as sinners is that we be counted righteous on the basis of imputation, and thus legally constituted (declared) as righteous, in a new legal state.

But we need to ask: what is transferred? The strict baptists (along with Ella and Fortner) who define “union” as the indwelling, need to be asked if the merit of Christ’s death is legally transferred to the elect. If so, what does that mean, and why does it matter, if the more basic question is not the transfer of guilt or merit? If Christ is “made sin” by “more than” guilt-transfer, then is it the indwelling and the new nature, and not the merits of Christ’s death, which finally matter?

We need get away from the idea that “union with Christ” is about regeneration. As long as our categories for judging saved and lost are “regenerate” and “unregenerate”, we will be assuming (even if we don’t define it at all) that “union” means regeneration and that union/regeneration precedes justification.

God’s imputation of Christ’s death to the elect justifies them. There is union by election from before the ages, but in our lifetimes, nothing is more fundamental than justification by God’s imputation of Christ’s righteousness.

1. We need to define what we mean by “regeneration”. Since the Bible word is “new birth”, we need to think about this new birth in terms of “effectual calling” by the power of the Holy Spirit with the word of the gospel. We need to get away from the idea that “regeneration” is a “change in substance or nature” and then a time gap between that and the hearing of the gospel.

2. We need to define “in Christ” in terms of justification. 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”.

3. 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 justified the person.

A change from a belief in the false gospel to the true gospel is evidence of God’s imputation, but it 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…”

Roman 6:20 “When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed?”

As long we define union as indwelling and judge saved and lost by regeneration, we will be tempted to ignore the gospel of justification and judge by morality and immorality.

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 morality. But God sees that morality as something to be ashamed of, when those moral people are still in their sins, still not yet justified.

Romans 6 defines the “in Christ” in terms of legally being placed into the death of Christ. Instead of a “sacrament” which makes you a participant in Christ ( understood by some as “participating” even in the deity of God!), our hope as the justified is that God has counted the death of Christ as our death.

I am not denying Christ’s indwelling or the absolute necessity for it. I am only saying that this indwelling is not “union with Christ”. This indwelling is not the “new man”. The “new creation” has to do with a change in legal state, and not first with a change of substance or nature so that Christ can indwell our hearts.

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 sakes 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 inwardness but about an imputed legal reality. So also the category of “those who live” is not about an inward change but about an imputed reality, legal life because of justification.

Christ is here indwelling, yes, but also, Christ is not here, not yet, and we believe and obey and hope, waiting for the day when Christ will be here. He is not now coming down from heaven as He will someday, and we are not now going to heaven.

So how then are we in Christ? We are in Christ legally. The old has passed. The legal verdict has already been declared. One day, our resurrection, will be the visible evidence of that verdict.