Tullian Tchividjian and the Contemporary Grace Movement

Tullian Tchividjian has had to step down as senior minister of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church as a result of an affair that he had in reaction to an affair that his wife Kim had. This is tragic on a number of levels. This is a very high profile PCA church. D. James Kennedy was the founding pastor of the church, and Billy Graham’s grandson Tullian also brought limelight to the church. But it is always Satan’s delight to get ministers to fall in just such a manner. He can bring the church into disrepute. He can provide fodder for unbelievers to laugh at the church and say, “You aren’t any different from us. Why should we join you?” He can shake the faith of many saints in that church as well as other churches.

This affair, I believe, is not unconnected with his theology of sanctification. It would be overly facile to claim that his theology of sanctification is the sole reason for the affair. There can be many factors involved, of which I know none except what he told the Washington Post. However, the contemporary grace movement does not have a proper view of sanctification, however right they may be on justification. I have read Tullian’s book Jesus + Nothing = Everything. The problem with the book is that it does not encourage people very much to exert effort (which must, of course, always be Spirit-empowered, grace-driven). Tullian was reacting to a performance-based religion. The problem was that he over-reacted to performance-based religion. As a result, he almost certainly did not cultivate sanctification as well as he should have done. Doctrine always has consequences in one’s life.

Lest any should think I am trying to sound like I’m better than him, I will be the first to admit that there, but for the grace of God, go I. Not only that, but I take his example as a negative warning example to look to my sanctification, and look to my marriage, not to mention praying for him, and being as compassionate towards him as I can. He is a fellow minister in the PCA, and therefore my brother. This should drive us to our knees, folks. It is tragic that his theology did not provide the safeguards necessary in his sanctification to prevent this. It is tragic for his family. It is tragic for his church, and his presbytery. It is tragic for the PCA. Nevertheless, we must believe that God will use this for His glory, in ways that we don’t know about yet.

132 Comments

  1. June 22, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Reblogged this on Pastor-Theologian.

  2. June 22, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    […] goes Tullian Tchividjian under the bus! I can certainly wish that Greenbaggins would be one blog above cheapshots about some sort of, […]

  3. Terry Murdock said,

    June 22, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Thanks, Lane, for putting these thoughts into words. As a member of the same Presbytery and watching the local news showing strong criticism of him, I am pleased to read your thoughts that are so well expressed. It is time to pray for Tullian, his wife and family, and the Coral Ridge Church.

  4. roberty bob said,

    June 22, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Jesus + Nothing = Everything

    Does anyone know whether the weak doctrine of Tullian’s book is in accord with the confessional standards which he, a PCA teaching elder, has pledged to uphold?

    The title sounds like he’s saying that since Jesus did everything for us, there’s nothing left for us to do for him. Ipso facto, what we do or don’t do doesn’t matter in the greater scheme of things.

    Given what just went down, Tullian might want to take another look at his equation. The math just doesn’t add up.

  5. Ron said,

    June 22, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    RB,

    Rather than taking it to mean “there’s nothing left for us to do for him”, it can very well mean “there’s nothing left for us to do for ourselves.” IOW, we might simply assume he’s trying to say “faith alone”. In which case, the math seems just right.

  6. Frank Aderholdt said,

    June 22, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    There were extensive discussions at The Gospel Coalition (esp. from Kevin DeYoung) and Reformation 21 (esp. from Rick Phillips) a couple of years ago concerning Tullian and his weak views on sanctification – specifically his downplaying of the third use of the law and the place of effort in the Christian life. Also consult the Gospel Reformation Network for Biblical, balanced, and confessional views. In fact, the GRN website will bring anyone up to speed quickly on the dangers of the “contemporary grace movement.” (Yes, it is a discrete movement, and we need to designate it with some identifiable description.) The GRN’s 12 articles of Affirmations & Denials on the Gospel and Sanctification are as valuable as anything I’ve read in years.

    I’m nearly as concerned with some of Tullian’s public statements since his resignation as with his adultery itself. Under the subject heading “Tullian still just doesn’t get it, does he?” I sent this message to several friends today:

    Assuming this quotation is accurate and not taken out of context:
    “Last week I was approached by our church leaders and they asked me about my own affair. I admitted to it and it was decided that the best course of action would be for me to resign. Both my wife and I are heartbroken over our actions and we ask you to pray for us and our family that God would give us the grace we need to weather this heart wrenching storm.”
    Huh? Asking God to “give us the grace we need to weather this heart wrenching storm?” Sorry, Tullian, you don’t need grace to “weather” the current storm, which you called down by your own actions. You need grace to repent of and forsake your sins, which you should have been preaching and teaching all along.

  7. roberty bob said,

    June 22, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    “The Christian life is not about my transformation; it’s about Christ’s substitution.” — T T [quoted in by Timothy Kauffman in Sanctification: Half Full, footnote #17]. So, sanctification is the daily hard work of going back to the reality of our justification.

    I also read Tullian’s sermon titled Christ + Nothing = Everything. I learned that he defines the gospel solely as the indicative declaration of what Christ has done — his finished work — for our justification, but that he steers clear of the imperatives which demand obedience to Christ in life-long discipleship.

    I agree with Frank at #6.

    Tullian’s math does not add up.

  8. Ron said,

    June 23, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Huh? Asking God to “give us the grace we need to weather this heart wrenching storm?” Sorry, Tullian, you don’t need grace to “weather” the current storm, which you called down by your own actions. You need grace to repent of and forsake your sins, which you should have been preaching and teaching all along.

    Lane,

    My hope is he and his wife have repented from their adultery and he’s now thinking in terms of the grace he needs for the inevitable battles and turmoil that lie ahead. Rebuilding trust in his marriage (both his trust and hers), his children’s spiritual condition, loss of income and all the rest are matters that require grace.

    Brothers,

    It’s tragic whenever a man falls in this way and doubly so for a minister of the gospel. But, it’s in times like this that humility and the gospel must prevail.

  9. Ron said,

    June 23, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Excuse me… That last post was for Frank, not Lane.

  10. Ron said,

    June 23, 2015 at 9:43 am

    I also read Tullian’s sermon titled Christ + Nothing = Everything. I learned that he defines the gospel solely as the indicative declaration of what Christ has done — his finished work — for our justification,

    RB,

    The apostle does this very thing in 1 Corinthians 15.

    but that he steers clear of the imperatives which demand obedience to Christ in life-long discipleship.

    Not sure why a sermon on the gospel as put forth in 1 Corinthians 15: 1-9 requires commentary on obedience. Even if one thinks it’s required to expound on verse 10, the accent is on the operable grace of God and not personal obedience. At the very least, one does hope to preach another day.

    RB, for weeks on end you stood shoulder to shoulder with a strident Tridentine RC arguing against Reformed theology. Please don’t use this tragic occasion to promulgate your view of works as it relates to the gospel.

  11. Ron said,

    June 23, 2015 at 9:46 am

    That’s *operative* grace, folks… (the hazards of auto spell ck…)

  12. T. L. Arsenal said,

    June 23, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Lane, I had very similar thoughts, and I commend you for the clarity and integrity of your post.

    http://reformedarsenal.com/2015/06/22/and-open-letter-to-tullian/

  13. roberty bob said,

    June 23, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    “This affair, I believe, is not unconnected with his theology of sanctification.” — green baggins

    “It is tragic that his theology did not provide the safeguards necessary in his sanctification to prevent this.” — green baggins

    If T. T.’s theology couldn’t keep him from doing what he did, then his theology wouldn’t help his congregation put up necessary safeguards in their hour of temptation now, would it?

    Is it true that, until the affair was found out, he was a minister in good standing in the PCA? Is it true that his defective teaching on the doctrine of sanctification was allowed to be disseminated from one of the most prominent PCA pulpits?

    If the concerning observations regarding the doctrines taught by T. T. cited in the Arsenal open letter [see #12] have any substance to them, has his presbytery — or any PCA presbytery — ever tried to help him get his doctrine in line with the gospel? Or did everybody just go along for the ride?

  14. Howie Donahoe said,

    June 23, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Indeed, there but for the grace of God… But if God’s preventative grace ever weakens in me, and I fall, I hope people will wait at least a week before publicly explaining the reasons for my sin. To quote Chris Rock, who was undoubtedly paraphrasing John Owen from Volume 6, “Men are only as faithful as their options.”

  15. B said,

    June 23, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Brothers,

    I concur with all those who have expressed sadness for TT. This is truly tragic for the man, his wife and family, coral ridge, the presbytery, the PCA, and the Christian church universal. But for the grace of God, we would all be in the same situation and all of us are guilty of the same sins if in no other place but our minds.

    As for where TT is now and needs to be encouraged to go (no different than what I need to do on a daily basis)…he needs to do that which he has left out of his ministry in large measure – he needs to go to the Lord in repentance and faith, asking forgiveness of his sins and confessing his utter misery apart from the person and work of Jesus Christ.

    In TT’s statement in the Washington Post and subsequent Tweets which have not slowed much this week – I have not seen much sense of sorrow for sinning against the Almighty God, King and Ruler of the universe. No sense of sorrow for breaking His perfect, holy, and just law which ought to be the Christian’s guide and delight.

    TT needs that which has been absent from much of his teaching and blogging over the years – he needs the gift of repentance.

    Additionally, as few have pointed out – TT has also put large blame on his wife. Because of her affair, he sought emotional comfort in another woman and committed his own adultery. The age old sin of Adam rears its head again….

    May the Lord grant TT the humility to own up to his sin, confess it as his own sin, and repent of it to God who is ‘The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty…’

  16. roberty bob said,

    June 23, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    “This is a very high profile PCA church.” — green baggins

    Yes, and with a charismatic pastor who preached and lived one half of the gospel while downplaying the other half . . . unbeknownst to anyone until now . . . that everyone is finally paying attention.

    I reckon that the situation would be just as tragic were it to involve a low profile pastor from a low profile church. In God’s eyes anyway. Even if news of it isn’t put in print by the Washington Post.

  17. June 24, 2015 at 3:17 am

    When they use a woman in the espionage world to seduce a foreign spy they call it a Honey Trap & it’s the oldest trick in the book, I don’t know what satan calls it but Ministers should be more aware of his wiles

  18. June 24, 2015 at 3:22 am

    When they send a woman to seduce a foreign spy in the espionage
    world its called a Honey Trap & it is the oldest trick in the book,
    (James Bond seems to fall for it all the time!)
    I don’t know what satan calls it, but Christian Ministers should be
    more aware of his wiles.

  19. Danny Patterson said,

    June 24, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Too soon, Lane. Too soon.

  20. Alberto said,

    June 25, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    I’ve always had a weird feeling about Tullian. He came across as a bit odd for a pastor in an interview I heard.

    One thing that bothers me is the issue of basically forcing a cheated spouse to remain in a marriage. I often hear some complain that the church is too demanding of women to put up with unfaithful men. Well how about Tullian staying with someone he clearly had biblical grounds to divorce, assuming the news article is accurate. It seems to me he had the option for a biblically faithful way to exit his current marriage, remain as a pastor, and be remarried. Instead he chose, and perhaps was pressured or felt pressured, to stay with his wife and deal with what is certainly an agonizing thing. This resulted in, at least according to him, seeking comfort where it is forbidden. Ultimately though, you can’t blame a cheating spouse for your own sin.

    What bothers me most is what is left in his wake. His church went through a very painful transition when he arrived, and now they have to deal with this. I’m more bothered by what the average church attender has to endure. How can they not but question the faithfulness and aptitude of those in charge over them?

    Can someone just tell the man to exit all social media? If he truly has friends, they should tell him to exit it and to STOP calling himself a pastor (I don’t use twitter, but I see the @pastorTullian); that is over. It isn’t good for anyone involved.

    And as an unmarried man, hearing of such infidelity leaves me with a greater desire to avoid marriage. I don’t ever want to come close to this kind of wreck. Aside from gay marriage, adultery and greater acceptance of divorce even among Christians leaves me feeling depressed.

  21. Chip Byrd said,

    June 26, 2015 at 8:41 am

    What Danny said @ 19. Too soon. Should have left out the second paragraph.

  22. roberty bob said,

    June 26, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    From T. T’s sermon, Jesus Plus Nothing Equals Everything . . .

    it is finished / done / nothing left for us to do

    this thing called discipleship is the church’s to-do list for her members

    Christ came, not simply to die in our place, but to live in our place

    let’s simply be OK with not being OK

    your marriage is not going to get that much better [than it is right now]

    sanctification is getting used to your justification

    ………..

    I have always believed that Christ commissions the church’s apostles, pastors, and teachers to make disciples by teaching everyone how to DO all of the things that the Lord has commanded. This is top priority.

    Begin with our Lord’s Golden Rule. DO unto others as you would have them do unto you. Apply this rule every day with prayer for the Holy Spirits sanctifying power to every relationship, and especially to one’s marriage, and see how the Lord keeps you in harmony with others.

    I understand a pastor cannot expound his entire theology in one sermon, but the sermon cited above can be found on line and in print. This sermon is deeply flawed, and denigrates the church that takes our Lord’s imperatives — the commands we are told to obey, and to do — seriously.

    I, for one, am not surprised — based on T. T’s expressed beliefs from just a single sermon — that his marriage would eventually come to ruin. Those who embrace the theology voiced in that sermon will feel the shaky ground under their own feet, and may even fear venturing into a marriage of their own; those who follow our Lord Jesus Christ will feel solid rock under their feet, and can venture into marriage with blessed assurance.

  23. Frank Aderholdt said,

    June 26, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Several years ago, I heard a PCA pastor heavily influenced by the “contemporary grace movement” walk an adult Sunday School class through a quick survey of the book of I John. His main points: Avoid “performance” religion, don’t try harder, the imperatives in this book are there basically to drive us again and again to see our need of Christ. In other words, he turned the main message of I John (“The Tests of Life,” according to one faithful commentary) into exactly the opposite. He seemed to take every command as an occasion NOT to obey it. Although he didn’t say “sanctification is getting used to your justification,” he may as well have. To this day, as far as I know, this same preacher rarely touches on the third use of the law. He almost never commands, exhorts, urges, warns, or rebukes.

  24. Ron Henzel said,

    June 26, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    David Bordy is a long-time member of Coral Ridge who provides some perspective on the connection between recent events and Tullian’s doctrine of sanctification for us in his article titled, “That Grace May Abound – Tullian, Sin, and Me,” especially beginning in his fourth paragraph.

  25. Michael said,

    June 26, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    I won’t pile on, but this contemporary grace movement is wrecking the church, and it almost wrecked my marriage and life. When God’s Law is seen only as a condemning force and not the lamp that guides our path to holiness, you can be sure Satan will use grace as a cover for unrighteousness. We have PCA pastors teaching and writing that God is not angry with our sin and the implication is that the Holy Spirit is not grieved by our licentious thoughts and actions. May the Lord raise up shepherds that will faithfully preach the whole counsel of God and be content shepherding the small flock entrusted to their care.

  26. roberty bob said,

    June 27, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Justifying faith is obedient faith, that is, “faith working through love,” and therefore faith that yields obedience to the commands of Scripture.

    This is one of the 34 Justification Theses of Norman Shepherd. If it is true, then it is the cure for the contemporary grace movement.

  27. Michael said,

    June 27, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Sorry, Roberty, but you have just conflated justification and sanctification; this is equally as dangerous as separating the two. I’ll leave this nugget of wisdom from Terry Johnson which comports nicely with the WCF chapter on Saving Faith. The CGM neglects the “trembling at the threatenings” component of saving faith, much to its peril.

    http://theaquilareport.com/revisiting-the-grace-boys/

  28. roberty bob said,

    June 27, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    to #27, Michael . . .

    “The CGM neglects the trembling-at-the-threatenings component of saving faith, much to its peril.’ — Michael

    How interesting. For what in particular is God threatening any one? Is it for not believing his promise to be their Lord and Savior, or is it for not obeying his commandments? If God threatens to bring the curse of the covenant upon the disobedient, then you are admitting to me that the CGM is neglecting the obedience component of saving faith.

    I don’t see how being attentive to the obedience component of saving faith is a dangerous thing. In my early childhood — infant baptized with Reformed Christian upbringing — when I became aware of my own faith, I understood both the need to trust the Lord’s promise and to obey the Lord’s commands simultaneously. The thought that justifying faith was something other than a living and obedient faith was foreign to me. It is still foreign to me.

  29. June 27, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    roberty bob, have you ever seen the movie Ground Hogs day?You keep purporting the meriting of the merits of Christ ( RC theology). The bible teaches the merits of Christ are applied to us through faith alone. The gospel isn’t go out and do your part, it’s He paid it all, fulfilled the law, lived the law in our place and gives salvation to us as a free gift. Works can only be the consequence of justification and not the condition of it. Ephesians 2:8 ” not that of yourselves” ” not of works” that translates, you can’t have anything to do with it. Salvation is from the Lord all of it. Aquinas gave us two false premises, kneeling to bread and wine when Jesus becomes bread, and that a man is predestined to Glory in some way according to his merit instead of just the goodness and mercy of God. God Bless.

  30. June 27, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Michael said ” we have PCA Pastors teaching that God isn’t angry with our sin, and the implication is that the Holy Spirit isn’t grieved by our licentious thoughts and actions.” I agree that we have Protestant ministers ( Freddy Prince and others) abrogating God’s law and not teaching the whole counsel of God. But you have to be careful. God isn’t angry with believers anymore. We have been reconciled to God and we are his friend. Without question sin grieves the Spirit of God. God hates sin. And i believe those who teach that confession and repentance aren’t continual gifts in the life of the believer are wrong. I believe they are evidence of true faith. But they aren’t the condition of forgiveness. We are forgiven of all our sins, past, present and future, and” saved by HIS life.” Romans 5:10. Are you New England Michael, the smartest cat I have never met? If you are. i pray for you and the family all the time, and you shake the last bit of the synagog that is in you. Free grace ain’t a bad thing, its the gospel. Its just not the only thing. And unfortunately Pastors teach the gospel, and don’t teach that believers are to pursue holiness and obey God. God bless

  31. roberty bob said,

    June 27, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Kevin, try these on for size . . .

    Because faith is called for in gospel proclamation, exhortations to obedience do not cast men on their own resources to save themselves, but are grounded in the promise of the Spirit to accompany the proclamation of the whole counsel of God with power so that the response of the whole man called for in the gospel is wrought in the sinner.

    Jesus cannot be received as Savior without submission to him as Lord in one and the same act of faith, and He cannot be received as Savior and Lord unless He is presented as Savior and Lord in the proclamation of the gospel.

    Faith which is not obedient faith is dead faith, and neither saves nor justifies.

    …………

    The above paragraphs are three of the thirty-four justification theses of Norman Shepherd. Though he was my pastor and mentor, I did not learn these doctrines from him; I have held to these doctrines for as long as I can remember — since 1960 — long before federal vision hit the fan. This is not merit theology; I do not hold to merit theology.

    When I trusted Jesus as my Savior and Lord, I did not parse my faith down the middle in order to isolate and identify that part of it which goes toward my justification, and then to isolate and identify that part of it which goes toward my sanctification. I was aware of having only one true faith which was simultaneously trusting in Christ my Savior’s atoning blood for my salvation / justification and turning repentantly, obediently to Christ my Lord for my salvation / sanctification.

    Maybe you had a quite different experience, but I think that you grossly misread mine.

  32. Ron said,

    June 27, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    If God alone effects justifying faith in dead sinners through the gifts of faith and repentance, then it is somewhat misleading to refer the such implanted graces as obedience. Consider the case of the sinner broken before God who all of a sudden is converted by the invading work of the Holy Spirit. Would we say that such a one who was burdened and heavy laden with his sin and finally found rest in Christ was being obedient, especially if conversion was wrought without even a whisper of a command? What would one be obeying in such a scenario? They would be fleeing into the arms of a loving Savior out of pure desire and without any command. That is why it’s hard for me to believe that anyone who did not have a personal axe to grind would insist that we must always consider justifying faith obedient. Certainly Scripture will support the distinction between the mental “acts” of resting upon and receiving Christ, and the physical acts that proceed from such faith, such as feeding the poor, comforting the sick, loving our wives, serving in our churches, etc. Remember James’ epistle?

    The error that one is trying to guard against will often dictate the position he defends. If one is jealous to guard against the notion of merit, then of course he will recoil over the term obedient faith (in the realm of justification). If one wishes to fight against antinomianism, then he might prefer to speak in terms of the gospel’s demands and use terms like obedient faith. However, we must be willing to notice that people come to Jesus in different ways – some by heeding God’s command and others in utter shame. (Paul Helm touches upon this point in The Begginings (Word & Spirit in Conversion).

    The Confession distinguishes between faith and the acts that proceed from faith: “By this faith, a Christian believes… and acts differently upon that which each particular passage thereof contains; yielding obedience to the commands, etc. But the principle acts of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone…” WCF 14.2

    So yes, by the faith that justifies sinners, men do act and obey, but the principle acts of justifying faith are accepting, receiving and resting, which the Reformed have always distinguished from obedience. We should have no problem with that distinction; it’s a good one.

    In those cases in which God regenerates infants, those infants are not regenerated without also sharing in all the benefits of Christ, including justification. Accordingly, lest justification need not be accompanied by faith, we must conclude that the seed of faith that is implanted in those regenerate infants is justifying faith. Indeed, that faith must (and will) be exercised during years of discretion, but nonetheless justifying faith is present. The Reformed paradigm fits those situations much better, for how does a baby obey in conversion?! Again, there is a place for referring to obedience to the gospel call upon men’s lives in the realm of conversion (and even more so in the work of progressive sanctification), but it would be a monstrosity to suggest that a woman converted through the shame of adultery and an infant converted in the mother’s womb are obeying when God grants them rest.

    What is interesting is RB leans toward Rome and in doing so must appreciate infant salvation. That should run counter to his insistence upon obedient faith. Kevin being a fan of MacArthur I would think would have some affinity to Lordship salvation seeing that John preached it for years and in many respects conflated the response to the gospel with the gospel itself.

  33. roberty bob said,

    June 27, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Very well. Obedience an after-effect of justifying faith. Any person who accepts / receives / rests in Christ, will — if he lives thereafter — obey.

    And then there are those who obey the gospel, or obey not the gospel, as the case may be. That, I reckon, would be apart from justifying faith.

  34. roberty bob said,

    June 27, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    Now, the problem with the doctrine of T. T. and the CGM is that all acts of obedience are put into the category of performance / works of the Law, by which no one can be justified. What do these preachers do with the apostolic admonitions to obey the gospel? What about the obedience of faith, which Paul says is the goal of his ministry?

    But let’s not mention obedient faith.

  35. roberty bob said,

    June 28, 2015 at 12:11 am

    “RB . . . must appreciate infant salvation.” — Ron

    Well, my church, like yours, does baptize our infants. Being baptized, our infants have clothed themselves in Christ — as the Apostle Paul says. We receive our baptized infants into church membership and regard them as Christians. We expect them, along the way, to confess their faith in a manner appropriate to their age / stage.

    I appreciate God’s grace shown to our little ones.

  36. June 28, 2015 at 10:23 am

    roberty bob, it doesn’t matter if exhortations to obey cast men onto their own resources and are grounded in the Spirit. Why? Because no works, obedience or ANYTHING coming from ourselves, or anything the Spiri does in us can justify us. Romans 5:10 says we are saved by HIS LIFE. Got it. The gospel isn’t go out and do your part, it is He did it all. And works or love or anything coming fro ourselves can only be the consequence of salvation, not the ground. And if you want to see the fatal consequence of adding any work to be justified, look at Romans 9:32-10:4. Paul prays for their salvation. Law is not faith. The promise comes through fath. God passed over the Jews, He didn’t do a sanctifying grace renovation project to justify them. We are accepted by God solely based on HIS life, and ALL our sins are forgiven. K

  37. June 28, 2015 at 10:29 am

    roberty bob, said ” Jesus can’t be received as savior without submission to Him.” We can only submit because God calls. And our submission isn’t isn’t the ground for salvation. HIS LIFE only. Quit smuggling your character into God’s work of grace. It doesn’t qualify. Justification in Rome is a recognition of an intrinsic qualification for a reward, but for Paul it was a declaration about someone utterly unqualified. K

  38. June 28, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Ron, actually, when understood correctly i have an affinity to Lordship salvation, however, MacArthur through conversations with Sproul and Horton had to make some adjustments to what he was saying, and rightfully so. Faith isn’t obedience. We are justified by His life and thats the end of it. When one understands that nothing he does can merit eternal life, the works take their rightful place and are a sweet aroma to God. But their can be no admixture in justification. I know you agree with this. K

  39. June 28, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Ron, I think MacArthur’s biggest regret is the conflating that he probably never intended. But he was straightened out by his Reformed brothers, and rightfully so. I almost stopped listening to him. But, when i heard his 15 minute message on election ( which every Reformed brother I have says its the best ever given) I was convinced that John understood his error. But yes brother Ron, MacArthur in trying to address the antinomians of our day, went to far and had to recant. K

  40. June 28, 2015 at 10:44 am

    roberty bob, Paul says we are save by grace thorough faith. faith comes through hearing. How does an infant profess faith and therefore is clothed in Christ? Can an infant hear? Why do you believe that the physical waters of baptism saves someone apart from faith?

  41. June 28, 2015 at 10:48 am

    roberty bob, obeying the gospel is believing it. In John 6, Jesus was asked by the Jews, what work should we do, and Jesus said this is the work of God, that you BELIEVE. John says in his epistle by our faith we overcome the world. And in Hebrews it says without it it is impossible to please God. Of course faith works through love. But its faith that is the alone instrument that brings Christ our justification to the heart. Love is always second in natural order and stretches out. Only faith receives. K

  42. Ron said,

    June 28, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Wow, I never knew that those guys helped Dr. J to work through those things. That is very cool. I appreciate John very much on several levels and this shows great humility on his part. Great stuff, Kev.

  43. June 28, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Ron, ya, i believe they reviewed his book and John made the corrections in his new copies. I may not have all my details correct, but I think they are close. I do think it was a mistake of over compensation on John’s part. And he saw that later. On another note, I hope all on this site will go to Tim Kauffman’s site and read Melito’s sacrifice. It is a resounding repudiation of Scott Hahn’s book and theology. Great article. K

  44. Frank Aderholdt said,

    June 28, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    It is astonishing to me that this conversation veered off into a discussion of the nature of justifying faith. It would be nice for once to see one long thread actually stick to the point. Federal vision’s departures from forensic justification were not really in view, nor were John MacArthur’s less-than-balanced statements from years ago. Tullian T. is right on justification, as were the many Reformed men who warned him of misstatements and dangerous tendencies in his teaching. The problem with the “contemporary grace movement” – and it’s a big one – is the downplaying of the necessity of obedience and the reality of progressive sanctification among the justified. Catch phrases such as “Sanctification is just getting used to your justification” are clearly contrary to Scripture and out of accord with the Reformed confessions. No amount of special pleading or granting the benefit of the doubt can excuse these errors in men who subscribe to the Westminster Standards. The rhetoric of the CGM leaves the door wide open to antinomianism in thought and deed. There, I’ve said it, and I’m not taking it back. It’s past time for a healthy dose of Hebrews 12:14, Titus 2:11-14, Romans 8:13, John 15:10, I John 2:3, and a host of other passages. “Grace alone,” Yes!, and praise God. “Grace only,” No!, and we must avoid it like the plague. While never giving an inch on the free grace of God in justification by faith alone through Christ alone, we need now hundreds of sermons and dozens of books on repentance, obedience, the keeping of God’s law from the heart, the mortification of sin, and the cost of discipleship. Down with the sentimental mush of feminized preaching, and up with healthy, mature Christians determined to do the will of God, whatever the cost.

  45. June 28, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Frank, when it boils down to it, thats all that matters. Hebrews says “without faith it is impossible to please Him.”

  46. June 28, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Frank, the rest of your post i completely agree with whole heartily. K

  47. June 28, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Frank, I think the biggest mistake of the modern day antinomians is a misunderstanding of justification. If one understands we are justified by His life, then we are free to pick up our cross and pursue holiness, confession and repentance. The Romans 7 man should be our example, imho. God bless.

  48. roberty bob said,

    June 28, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    The Apostle Paul declared the following as his ministry goal:

    “to bring about the obedience of faith” [Romans 1:5; Romans 16:26].

    What does this mean to those of you who keep disassociate obedience and faith? I’d like to know.

  49. Frank Aderholdt said,

    June 28, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Kevin #47, I agree with one addition: With a proper understanding of justification, we are not only “free to pick up our cross and pursue holiness, confession and repentance” – we are empowered to do so by the indwelling Spirit. That is, we are not only free to pursue holiness, we are able to do it. Talk about a liberating truth!

    Most of the problems caused by the “contemporary grace movement” could have been avoided by reading and meditating on the following every day for a month: Westminster Confession Chapters 13 and 16, Larger Catechism Questions 75-78, and 97. As is so often the case, the Biblical answers have been in our Standards all along. We neglect them to our peril.

  50. Ron Henzel said,

    June 29, 2015 at 12:16 am

    roberty,

    The issue is not disassociating obedience and faith. The issue is whether faith itself constitutes a form of obedience in such a way that God rewards it as if it were a work. Another way of putting it is found in the writings of Richard Baxter, whose writings inspired neonomianism, in which he said that the Gospel “brings down the market” so that instead of perfect obedience to the Law, God now accepts faith in its place, which puts faith on a par with works and inevitably (in spite of any disclaimers) transforms it into something meritorious.

  51. June 29, 2015 at 12:21 am

    Frank, i agree, better said. K

  52. June 29, 2015 at 12:25 am

    Ron, I agree. Faith is simply the instrument that receives Christ our justification and brings Him to the heart. The merits of Christ are applied thru faith alone, we don’t merit the merit of Christ like in Roman Catholicism. K

  53. Michael said,

    June 29, 2015 at 12:25 am

    Mark Jones provides much needed clarity on Tullian”s theology and some of the comments in this thread. And for the record, Tullian, please sign off Twitter and enter a prolonged period of prayer and self reflection on how this tragedy unfolded.

    http://www.reformation21.org/articles/my-offer-to-publicly-debate.php

  54. June 29, 2015 at 12:41 am

    Michael, what an excellent article by Mark Jones. K

  55. Frank Aderholdt said,

    June 29, 2015 at 6:16 am

    Thank you, Michael! I had forgotten about Mark Jones’ article at Ref21. Read again and saved as pdf.

  56. roberty bob said,

    June 29, 2015 at 10:00 am

    to Ron Henzel at #50 . . .

    The views of Richard Baxter make no sense to me; I do not agree with him at all.

    So, help me out here. When Paul refers to those who obey not the gospel, what does their disobedience consist in?

  57. June 29, 2015 at 10:19 am

    roberty bob, when Jesus was asked by the Jews in John 6 what is the work we should do. And Jesus said this is the work, that you believe. Faith is a gift of God, but obedience to the gospel is to believe on the Word, which alone justifies us. Certainly living by faith as Paul exhorts all believers produces confession, repentance, and a desire to obey God’s law, but it doesn’t mean that those gifts justify us. Romans 5:10 is clear, we are reconciled aorist pars tense to God and are now friends, and we will be saved by HIS life. Whatever failures to obey believers have in this life, the righteousness of Christ makes up for. It is His life I want covering me at judgment, not mine. John 5:24 says we have passed out of death and judgment and into life, He loses none, therefore no believer will be rejected based on their imperfect obedience. Salvation is guaranteed to all who believe. Romans 4:16. And if a Roman Catholic wants to be saved by grace alone, it will have to be by faith alone 4:16. K

  58. roberty bob said,

    June 29, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Kevin, I hope that you mean by “saved by HIS life” [Romans 5:10] that we are saved by his resurrection life — in keeping with Romans 4:25,
    “raised to life for our justification.” I get the impression from your posts that when you quote “saved by HIS life” you are referencing our Lord’s perfect obedience / law keeping in our place, which you believe gets imputed to the account of those who believe. If that’s what you think Paul means by “saved by HIS life,” then I respectfully disagree.

    Romans 5:10 references Christ’s reconciling death [by his atoning blood] and Christ’s life-empowering [by the Spirit] resurrection, which truly reveals the “how much more” we are saved!

  59. June 29, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    roberty bob, no Romans 5:10 is in the aorist past tense. We have been already reconciled to God, we aren’t on an installment plan based on our obedience. Spurgeon said we have been put in a saved state, not a savable sate based on our obedience. And this really is your problem robbery bob. You give me no indication on here that you are trusting Christ alone for your salvation, and I’m here to warn you that if that is the condition of your heart ( and I’m not God, so I can’t say), you are outside of God’s grace and in the same condition as the Jews Paul prays for in romans 10:1. God bless P.S> We will be saved by His life means we will be saved by His life. And yes 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells me He became sin and i become the righteousness of God in Him. It doesn’t say i become righteous ( inherently ) it says I become the righteousness of God. Why? Because I’m clothed in Christ righteousness simply by faith. ” the righteous shall live by faith. Paul calls me righteous ( not because i am) but because He doesn’t count my sin against me and imputes His righteousness to my account, and says live by faith. I wouldn’t be seated in heaven and sealed in the Spirit if I weren’t righteous. The medieval church fatally saw the righteousness to be accumulated internally through doing sacraments. By Paul says Faith!

  60. roberty bob said,

    June 29, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    “Strive for peace with all men, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” — Hebrews 12:14

    So, here I am, a believer in our Lord Jesus Christ. I trust in his atoning blood for the forgiveness of my sins [for my justification]; yet, I make the effort — I strive — to please the Lord with a holy life. I take the above warning of Hebrews 12:14 seriously.

    Now, one of the glaring deficiencies in Tullian’s theology — from what I have been reading on line and in the above comments — is that he preached against striving, against doing, against the teaching that the Lord requires any kind of performance / any acts of obedience in order to be saved [justified]. It has been pointed out that Tullian and his followers would do well to pay attention to texts like Hebrews 12:14 which stress the necessity of obeying the Lord’s commands and of actually making the effort to lead a holy life.

    Am I on safe ground to say on the basis of the above text that it is necessary to strive toward holiness and to lead a holy life since the failure to do so leaves one outside the Kingdom [to not see the Lord] in an unsaved state?

    Or, have I, once again, set off all of your justification radars with flashing red lights which tell you that my belief in this necessity jeopardizes my justification?

  61. June 30, 2015 at 12:16 am

    roberty bob, you are certainly on safe ground to pursue holiness like a madman, but you would make a grave error to think that has any merit in your justification. “Not that of yourselves” ” Not of works” excludes you pursuit of holiness, or anything the Spirit does in you. We are justified by HIS blood and by HIS life. Trust in Christ alone for your salvation, and do not look to your obedience or love as a way of achieving the acceptance of God. Faith doesn’t have a virtue attached to it that merits the acceptance of God. Eternal life is a free gift to those who trust in christ alone for their salvation. K

  62. Ron said,

    June 30, 2015 at 10:47 am

    “I take the above warning of Hebrews 12:14 seriously.”

    What you take as a warning, many Christians take as a comforting assurance. If holy aspirations, then you are eternally secure, will persevere in the faith and will see Him face to face.

  63. June 30, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Ron, I agree fully, but all the RC’s I’ve met are confused about justification, and consequently lost. Since the Mass is continual thing that they do to merit increase in justification and grace, and a continual sacrifice for sins, they are trusting their works righteousness in some way for salvation. Its salvation on the installment plan, or the lay away plan. You confess and do penance and God forgives the sins you confess. They don’t understand how justification undergirds everything. Paul is clear in Romans 9:32-10:4 those who pursue the favor of God through works are lost. K

  64. Ron Henzel said,

    June 30, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Kevin,

    As a former Roman Catholic who still communicates extensively with those inside that church, including family members, I do not believe that Roman Catholic confusion about justification means that they are always and in every case lost. I think you’re assuming too much about what the average Catholic has learned and understands about the teachings of his or her own church. The kind of systematic catechizing that the pre-Vatican II generation experienced simply has not been characteristic of the church since the mid-’60s. Most Catholics are not as informed on the theology of the mass or the sacraments in general as well as many evangelicals are (especially former Catholics who want to honestly understand what they are rejecting). I have met Roman Catholics who will answer all the standard evangelical questions about the Gospel correctly, and then become very vague, or even erroneous, when they have to explain official Vatican teaching.

    There is a theologically hardcore segment of laypeople in the church who fully understand the pronouncements and implications of the Council of Trent, but they are a tiny minority. And then there are those who are not exactly hardcore, but are well-informed on church doctrine, but if they haven’t taken holy orders most of them are pretty well advanced in age, and an equally-tiny minority. The evangelical Gospel began penetrating the church in the 1970s. That played a role in how I myself came to the Lord. There was push-back in the 1980s, and many left (or had already left, as I had) for evangelical churches, but the ’80s was also a time of evangelicals and Catholics joining forces against abortion and on various other issues, which led to more evangelization of Catholics. I’ve seen younger Catholics who embrace justification by faith alone but can’t pry themselves away from Rome, and then I’ve seen older Catholics who bailed out into even very Reformed churches shortly after coming to faith.

  65. June 30, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Ron, I used to think that, but I must tell you all the ones I gave the benefit of the doubt to, when confronted with the gospel in love, defended their gospel of gracious merit, works righteousness religiously. In fact, what I have learned is many of them know exactly what they believe. They are required to believe it to be saved. If you are a believer in the RC you are a bad Catholic. I don’t deny there are saved people despite what has been piled on the cross, but thats a big threshold in light of what they are taught. What i do think is how we approach Catholics is everything. Do we approach them as co laborers for Christ, or as the mission field. And frankly in Protestantism in an attempt to find an ecumenical middle and hand holding, we have approached Catholics wrongly. They are the mission field. Luther said the Papacy won’t permit men to be saved. And we know that God elects His own, but that comes through hearing the right gospel. And faith cannot come apart from hearing the word preached rightly Romans 10: 13-17. It might make you feel better to assume the best about your family, but there is nothing more unloving than to let someone perish in a false system. I can tell you 2 years ago my wife and I in love approached all of our Catholic friends with the gospel, including 2 of my best friends, my wives childhood friend and made of honor and her husband who is a president of a Catholic school. Suffice it to say we lost all of our Catholic friends. Don’t assume Ron, they could be on their way to hell. Ultimately, it is God who calls, regenerates, and saves, and I don’t deny there are believers in Rome, but many are caught in a false system, one that has bewitched the gullible world. Put it out there Ron, its worth losing a friend in this life. God bless

  66. roberty bob said,

    June 30, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Kevin, I’m curious to know the names of ten preachers who preach the right gospel. As examples for all preachers to follow.

  67. June 30, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    All those who preach the gospel according to Jesus, and the one Paul got from Jesus. Repent and believe. Paul told the Philippians jailer ” believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.” This is something no Roman Catholic Priest could ever tell their people. They would says something like this, go to RCIA and do 27 things by actual grace and in one year you can be justified and baptized, then submit yourself to the pope as head, sign up for ” the sacraments of the new law”, don’t commit a mortal sin, go to masses to accumulate the righteousness necessary for salvation. And your reward is time in purgatory for 1000 years to burn off what temporal punishment Jesus couldn’t take away by His continual imperfect sacrifice. Has there ever been a religion more alien to biblical Christianity, I think not. It has bewitched the gullible world. And ignorant Protestants are just follow the piper. Christians celebrate and commemorate the one sacrifice at the consummation of the ages, the blanket across history, that “put sin away” perfected us” and justified us past tense. Roman Catholicism isn’t another denomination, its another religion. K

  68. roberty bob said,

    June 30, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Here is Jesus preaching [the gospel according to Jesus / the gospel of the kingdom of heaven]. Listen to what he says (from Matthew 5:19ff.):

    If any man therefore sets aside even the least of the Law’s demands, and teaches others to do the same, he will have the lowest place in the kingdom of Heaven, whereas anyone who keeps the Law and teaches others so will stand high in the kingdom of Heaven. I tell you, unless you show yourselves far better men than the Pharisees and the doctors of the law, you can never enter the kingdom of Heaven.

    [Jesus proceeds then to explain how the Law is to be understood and obeyed so that our righteousness will exceed that of the Pharisees and doctors of the law — and so that those who take heed may enter the kingdom of Heaven.]

    And how about this exchange from Luke 10:25ff.

    On one occasion a lawyer came forward to put this test question to him: Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus said, What is written in the Law? What is your reading of it? The lawyer replied, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself. That is the right answer, said Jesus. Do that and you will live.

    Kevin . . .

    Are the above quotations examples of the gospel according to Jesus or not? Do you agree with Jesus about the necessity to keep the Law and to teach others to do so — to ensure your place in the kingdom of Heaven? Do you agree with Jesus that all who love the Lord God with heart, soul, strength, and mind will inherit eternal life?

    As I write this to you, I am looking over my shoulder at Reed DePace’s posting where he laments with tears that our nation, culture, and church is ripe for judgment on account of the people who do not keep God’s Law [Psalm 119:136 is quoted, as is 1 Peter 4:17 . . . what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the Gospel of God?].

  69. June 30, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    roberty bob, has your righteousness surpassed that of the Pharisees? I think not. Jesus is establishing the demand of the law, its called impossible. For instance. if you even lust in your mind after a woman you have committed adultery. How you doing with that? He set the bar so high, we look at the law and we see we can’t keep it, we see our sinfulness and run to the gospel which Paul calls in Romans 5:17 ” the FREE gift of righteousness.” You cant earn it robbery bob, and you don’t deserve it. You should only believe it, the gospel which is the FREE gift of eternal life Romans 6:23. I mean dude, you are under the veil of 2 Thessalonians 2:11. Paul says in Romans 3:24 ” being justified as a GIFT by His grace” now what part of free and gift don’t you get? Quit working your way to heaven, and trust in Christ the only head alone and His righteousness.

  70. June 30, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    roberty bob, What was the last ting he said to the lawyer. you aren’t far off. Every time Jesus commends someone’s works in the gospel or heals someone, he says your faith has healed you. He always points to faith alone as the the thing that heals us. He doesn’t says it put you in the healing process that you must complete with your works. We are put in a saved state, not a savable state based on our deeds wrought in holiness of heart. Justification is a free gift that comes by faith alone, as is all of salvation. Repentance, love, sanctification etc. its all a gift of God. We don’t merit the merit of Christ, Christ’s merits are applied to us by faith. Again, there isn’t a virtue attached to faith that merits the acceptance of God. K

  71. Michael said,

    July 1, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Kevin, kudos to defending the classic Reformed position on justification. However, our righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees since it is part of the “strive for.. holiness without which no one will see the Lord”. This is a 3rd use of the law that should spur us on to true holiness from the heart- not just a facade like the external righteousness of the Pharisees. Inherent righteousness is part of progressive sanctification; not all biblical righteousness is imputed. This is part of the neglect of the CGM.

  72. July 1, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Michael, amen brother, I can’t say it any better than you. I fully believe in the 3rd use of the law and pursuing holiness like a wood layer. But lets face it Michael, our lost Catholic friends are in a meritocracy where they do there level best and God gives them grace. Paul had a few words for the catholics of his day in Romans 9:32 -10-4. He prayed for their salvation. Their hero Aquinas gave us bowing to bread and wine, and a man is predestined to glory in some way according to his merit instead of just the goodness and mercy of God. Isaiah 48 says ” My glory I share with no one” God will spit out the works achieving the acceptance of God. God bless bro. K

  73. roberty bob said,

    July 1, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Kevin,

    In the Sermon on the Mount our Lord Jesus shows us and tells us what the righteousness our the heavenly kingdom — which surpasses that of the Pharisees — looks like, and how it is to be put into practice. Jesus ends the sermon by saying “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a man who built his house upon a rock.”

    I believe that our Lord Jesus intends for us who hear his words to actually put them into practice so that we become that wise man who built his house upon a rock — so that our righteousness, performed by faith and in the Spirit’s power, will surpass that of the Pharisees and accomplish God’s good purpose and will.

    When I teach the Sermon on the Mount, I am making disciples. I am saying that this is how we are to live as followers of Jesus who are citizens of His heavenly kingdom which has taken root here on Earth. This is how we apply the petition: Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

    From what I can tell, Kevin, you take an entirely different approach to the Sermon on the Mount. As you have said, no one’s righteousness will ever surpass the Pharisee’s righteousness; therefore, obeying the Sermon on the Mount is impossible to do. You say that Jesus set the bar [of the law / of righteousness] so incredibly high that we would see the impossibility, due to our being sinners, to attain righteousness. Then we would flee from the Law — from the impossible demands of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount — to the Gospel in order to be saved.

    OK, Kevin. When you fled from the impossible demands of Christ’s Law as taught in the Sermon on the Mount into the arms of the Gospel for your salvation, did you then go forward by faith and in the Spirit’s power to put Christ’s impossible words into practice? If you did, then you and I are on the same Solid Rock. — Matthew 7:24 ff.

  74. July 1, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Michael, the issue isn’t inherent righteousness, condign merit, congruous merit. The issue is we aren’t justified by any of that. No reformed Christian should deny that this justification comes in union with Christ by faith alone, where we are fitted by the Spirit for Holy living. Incidentally, it is a person that is offered, and not a philosophical derivative off that person. We are the temple of God and possess the Spirit of Christ. God doesn’t dwell in buildings anymore, or in bread, or fallen creation, he dwells in His people through the Spirit. I believe all of salvation is forensic for Paul, in the sense justification undergirds all of it. We are moved from the courtroom to the living room. There are legal aspects of salvation such as Adoption, justification, inheritance, and these undergird the relational ( our pursuit of holiness. Paul speaks to the rag tag Corinthians in the opening of 1st Corinthians and says ” those who have been sanctified” And Hebrews 10:10 says we will have been sanctified by the one offering” John MacArthur gives an the best message ever preached on election. Its 15 minutes on youtube. Its called amazing sermon on election. God, before time began, decided to give a love offering to His son, a redeemed people, and He loses none. When Jesus preached in the synagog the Jews were enamored until he closed the book and taught a strange passage. He said God sent Elijah in the midst of a 3 year famine to one widow, passing over 3000 widows, and one leopard, passing over many. The Jews who though he was cool, all of a sudden hated him. Unregenerate hearts hate election and and sovereignty. Why? self glory. Getting back to your point ” inherent righteousness is part of progressive sanctification, not all biblical righteousness is imputed” Paul called all his inherent righteousness DUNG in Philippians 3. Not his sin, his righteousness. He puts all of his righteousness in one column and Christ’s in an other. The deeds we do in holiness of heart are a result of the Spirits work in us. But we aren’t cooperating to merit the merit of Christ. I think we would agree. Michael, I agree that there is neglect on the teaching of obedience, confession, and repentance, but that doesn’t change the fact that all our righteousness comes from Christ by faith alone, whats imputed and whats imparted. K

  75. July 1, 2015 at 10:19 am

    roberty bob said ” I believe that the Lord intends for us to hear his words and put them into practice” Sure He does, but that doesn’t mean we are justified by putting His words into practice. We are fully forgiven of all of our sins and justified as agree gift by faith. Paul says ” the righteous shall live by faith” He doesn’t say the righteous shall merit by faith, or the righteous shall earn by faith, or the partially and initially righteous earn by Masses by faith. You have to make the distinction between justification and sanctification. You can’t have one without the other, but we aren’t sanctified before we are justified. He calls me righteous, not because I am, but because he counts me so based on HIS life, not mine. Paul could have never, never, ever intended with Dikaiousinae the internal state of affairs at the end of your life. We can all agree we are to pursue holiness, what we can’t accept is we are justified by any merit coming from us. K

  76. Michael said,

    July 1, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Roberty, with due respect, why are you on a Reformed blog arguing for the classic Catholic position on salivation. We have been anathemitized by your church for our position. Our good works, which are necessary as evidence of true faith, have an entirely different function in the ordo solutis. The bottom line is God does not justify the sanctified but sanctifies those he accounts as righteous through His Son. This thread started as an intramural debate about the unintended consequences of the neglect in the CGM. I think it’s run it course.

  77. roberty bob said,

    July 1, 2015 at 11:15 am

    So, it is agreed that the cure for those afflicted with the CGM disease is to repent of the belief that just because Christ has DONE IT ALL for our salvation it DOES NOT MATTER WHAT WE DO. It is now abundantly evident that what we do, or fail to do, does matter. Those who profess to be justified by faith alone in the finished work of Christ are called to live out that faith in the Spirit’s power [the power of Christ’s resurrection] and in love to DO all that Christ has commanded. This is the call to discipleship in the Heavenly Kingdom that is taking root here on Earth.
    Those who obey this call will be Salt and Light — a life-preserving, truth revealing presence in God’s world.

    This sums up my contributions on this post in this intramural debate.

  78. July 1, 2015 at 11:43 am

    roberty bob, I have been on this blog for over a year, as well as Catholic blogs, and Catholics make the same argument about Protestants ” It doesn’t matter what we do” you say. No, not in regards to being accepted before God. But for you it does, because your earning your salvation on the installment plan. We believe in a RISEN LORD who reconciled us past tense to God and has forgiven us all of our sins and ACCOMPLISHED our salvation. Paul said to the jailer. Believe on the Lord and YOU WILL be saved. He didn’t say believe on the Lord and you might feel saved, or you can now start your work on the lay away plan to be saved, or believe on the Lord and that gets you started and you have to do the rest. Faith = eternal security. You said ” it is evident what we do, or fail to do does matter.” Let me interpret this for everyone. I’m earning my salvation. Paul has a prayer for you in Romans 10:1″ Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer for them is for their salvation. For I testify they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For NOT KNOWING about God’s righteousness and SEEKING to establish THEIR OWN, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is THE END OF THE LAW FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS to everyone who believes. For Moses writes THE ONE WHO PRACTICES RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS BASED ON THE LAW SHALL LIVE THAT RIGHTEOUSNESS. But the righteousness based ON FAITH seeks as follows: do not say in your heart who will ascend into heaven, or descend into the abyss, BUT WHAT DOES IT SAY? The Word is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that is THE WORD OF FAITH which we are preaching.” Michael is right, you have been on here arguing the RC position, which is your right, but you have been warned. The Roman Catholic position will take you where the Jews pursuing it by works in 9:32 took them, to hell. You are without excuse. Revelations 18:4 ‘ come out of her my people” God is calling his elect out of the Roman synagog and meritocracy to faith in Christ alone, and then your works and pursuit of holiness will be sweet in the nostrils of God. God bless

  79. roberty bob said,

    July 1, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Tullian Tchividjian preached that since Christ had DONE it all, none of our DOING matters. So, he was careless in his conduct and learned from it that it did matter. He’s out of the ministry, and Reformed people still applaud him for preaching the true doctrine of justification. It is evident that he neglected to preach the obedience of Christian discipleship, but when someone like me points out that the justified have a duty to put into practice the Sermon on the Mount, you charge me with having signed up for some kind of merit based installment plan which will take me to hell.

    Jesus says, heed my words and put them into practice. By faith in Christ’s atoning blood and in the power of the Holy Spirit of our risen Lord all true believers do just that.

    But you object to that.

  80. July 1, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    roberty bob, sure it matters to my neighbor, it matters to me, i will be rewarded for them, but not with salvation. God gave all the promise to Abe when he simply believed it, long before He put His son on the altar. ” Abraham believed God and He counted Him righteous. What Catholics don’t understand is anytime an OT saint was righteous before God, its because God declared him so before the bar of God. He is called Abraham the believer, not Abraham the cooperater for grace and justice. Galatians 3:6. K

  81. July 1, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    roberty bob, there you go again. Its like the movie groundhogs day. You said ” Jesus said heed my words and put them in practice” Yes, but He didn’t say your justification is based on putting my words in practice. Our justification is based on Christ living the law in our place, fulfilling all righteousness, and doing for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. And by simply believing Hid words Romans 10;9-10, we are justified permanently. The merits of Christ are applied through simple faith. The gospel is repent and believe, gifts of God. For you He is weighing up the goods and the bads and if the goods outweigh the bads your in, and if not your out. Your salvation depends on you getting there, and if you don’t get there, you don’t get there. Oh ya, God gives you a little juju to get you going. The elect are given irresistible grace that gets them home. And they are secure in the process based on the life and death of our substitute. K

  82. roberty bob said,

    July 1, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    The saints persevere in their faith to the end. Those who persevere to the end will be saved. They live like righteously, like the blessed man of Psalm 1 who delights in the law of the Lord, prospers in bearing fruit, and whose ways are known and approved of by the Lord.

  83. Don said,

    July 1, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    roberty bob,
    I was wondering if you would answer Michael’s question in 76. Whether you are arguing Roman Catholic or Federal Vision theology, both have been rejected by all the relevant Reformed denominations. You seem to have made your point here.

  84. Alberto said,

    July 1, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    I’ve noticed that Tullian is still on social media. I don’t know much about Christian publishing, but could it be the case that his continued presence on social media is a means to keep attention and sell books or other stuff?. He seems to have 106,000 followers on Twitter. As long as he continues on social media, I think he deserves to have his sins publicly displayed. You don’t have to be genius to know when to exit the spotlight. He either doesn’t have good friends, or he is ignoring wise advice.

    There also seems to have been an unhealthy reliance on Tullian by that Liberate “ministry”. It seems to have ended with him. Another example of why people should be very selective in what kind of ministries they support. I wonder what happens to money Liberate had to conduct its activities?
    http://www.christiantoday.com/article/tullian.tchividjian.seeking.god.in.wake.of.affair.scandal/57612.htm

    I found the following quote also that brings into consideration church polity and what seems to be its neglect:
    I found it intriguing that although Coral Ridge is a Presbyterian Church of America congregation, it was reported that Paul Tripp, a well-known Christian author, was the man flown in to deal with the situation. Why? Why can’t local church elders and the local church presbytery not deal with the situation according to the normal rules and procedures they have? Celebrity discipline doesn’t really work. Are networks really better than ordinary churches?
    http://www.christiantoday.com/article/tullians.tragedy.how.the.megachurch.business.model.is.failing.everyone.including.pastors/56932.htm

  85. roberty bob said,

    July 1, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    to #83 . . .

    I am trying to figure out through my conversations here how it is that the robust covenant theology that I have been trained in since childhood in the 1950s is ruled out of order on this blog site. I am trying to learn what the boundaries are, how once familiar doctrines are now being defined. I am trying to ascertain why “trust & obey” puts a fellow like me beyond the pale.

    I suppose that I am a member of one of the irrelevant Reformed denominations that makes disciples by teaching everyone to trust in the Lord’s promises and to keep the Lord’s commands. Trust in the Lord and do good. I am astonished that this approach is not affirmed by my Reformed brethren in the relevant denominations.

  86. July 1, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    roberty bob, I have a hard time believing you were ever Reformed. You have put forth RC thinking and call Reformed. I don’t buy it.

  87. roberty bob said,

    July 1, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
    What a glory He sheds on our way.
    While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
    And with all who will trust and obey.

    Trust and obey, for there’s no other way . . . !

    This is the song I’ve been singing to you.

    You have a hard time believing that anyone Reformed sings it.

  88. Don said,

    July 2, 2015 at 12:56 am

    roberty bob 86,
    In the word cloud on the left margin of the blog, “Federal Vision” comes up pretty large. You can find plenty of resources on this blog explaining why it’s inconsistent with Reformed theology. It’s been rejected by the PCA, OPC, URC, RCUS, and OCRC. I don’t think the PC(USA) has gotten around to considering it yet.

  89. July 2, 2015 at 1:01 am

    roberty bob, do you believe that a man is justified by faith alone in Christ alone, apart from all works, love or, obedience? Simple question. Yes or no?

  90. July 2, 2015 at 1:11 am

    roberty bob, Reformed trust and obey. But we are not justified by obeying, we are justified by the imputed righteousness of Christ that is received by faith alone. Romans 3:24 ” being justified as a gift by His grace” Romans 4:5 But to the one WHO DOES NOT WORK, but believes in Him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is CREDITED as righteousness. Do you even read these verses? Do yoo ever think about what they mean? Do you care? God justifies someone who DOES NOT WORK. He justifies the UNGODLY that believes in Him. Sorry Charlie, Trust and obey doesn’t work in justification. I pray the veil is removed from your eyes. Galatians 2:16 ” nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but through faith in Christ. Can it be any clearer. You have no excuse. Your gospel of gracious merit God will reject soundly. K

  91. roberty bob said,

    July 2, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Kevin,

    I agree with and affirm the teaching of Paul from Romans 3:19-31.
    I agree with and affirm the teaching of Paul from Romans 2:6-16.
    I agree with and affirm the teaching of James from James 2:14-26.

    I hold all of these to be simultaneously true.

    My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

    Christ was put to death for my sins and raised to life for my justification.

  92. July 2, 2015 at 11:01 am

    roberty bob, quit evading. Do you believe a man is justified before God by faith alone in Christ alone apart from all works, love, obedience. Yes or no? Easy question. Quit tap dancing. K

  93. roberty bob said,

    July 2, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Yes, Kevin, it is by faith in the promise of God that Abraham and all who are in his family [including believers today]; that promise points to, and is fulfilled by, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who laid down his life and shed his blood as an atoning sacrifice for our sins [dying in our place / vicariously] and was raised from the dead for our justification. The resurrection was the Father’s vindication of His only begotten Son. In the vindication of Jesus our representative [Second Adam], we who believe in him are vindicated / justified.

    So, you see, my faith is a believing response to the Lord’s promise. I am not offering my works to the Lord for his approval when I put my faith in His promise. Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.

    Now, if you dare to have a conversation about the character of saving faith [as the Apostle James does, and as the Apostle Paul also does], then you learn that true faith is known by the works that it does. True faith is not dead; it is alive [James 2], works through love [Galatians 5, and that’s “what counts” in the “new creation.” True faith trusts and obeys. If you can’t make room in your system of theology for James 2:24, “you see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone,” then where do you put it? James is discussing Abraham’s faith, “who believed God and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness.” But even Abraham was justified by works and not by faith alone. Abraham’s works, the way he lived his life in the Lord’s service, indicated that he was a believer in the promise. In that sense, his works justified him. Everyone who is justified before God is justified by their works. A profession of faith alone does not do it, says James. There must be evidence which substantiates one’s profession of faith. There must be SOMETHING that shows one’s professed faith to be alive and not dead.

    When I look at a professing believer in Christ who preaches Jesus + NOTHING = Everything, I am not surprised to find such a person caught up in adultery with his eyes wide open. Such persons seem not to care, or be careful, about the character of their professed faith. They say that they don’t have to DO anything since all has been DONE.

    Look, this is no little tap dance that I am doing.

    My answer is YES! Justified by a living, believing, trusting, resting, working-through-love faith!

  94. July 2, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    roberty bob, you won’t get any argument from me that faith is justified by its works, but thats different that how WE are justified before God. Thats how we harmonize James and Paul. Here is how Augustine put it ” How was Abraham justified, what does the Apostle say, Abraham was justified by faith, Paul and James don’t don’t contradict each other, you see good works follow justification.” This is the Reformed position. It isn’t the RC position. Christianity Faith= salvation+ works, Romanism Faith + works = salvation. They ain’t the same. Augustine had it right, Rome doesn’t. K

  95. roberty bob said,

    July 2, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. — James 2:17

    You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone. — James 2:24

    James is teaching us that the Faith that Justifies us will at some point be verified by our works. Actual deeds will bring to light the true nature of our faith: whether it is a dead faith or a living faith. Without any deeds, faith is dead. In the absence of verifying works [“patience in well-doing” — Romans 2:7], faith does not and cannot justify because such faith is dead.

    You ought to be able to say, with James, loud and clear that a MAN is justified by works and not faith alone.

    Here is my justification equation:

    That man is justified whose works [“patience in well-doing”] show his faith in Jesus to be living and true. In other words, the good works of the believer authenticates or validates his faith.

    The Apostle Paul confirms the truth of this:

    Then, at the Last Day when all is revealed, the Lord will render to every man according to his works (Romans 2:6). If a man’s works show that his faith is for real, God will grant eternal life (Romans 2:7).

  96. July 3, 2015 at 12:04 am

    roberty bob said ” in the absence of verifying works faith does not and cannot justify because such faith is dead.” You are Roman Catholic. Thanks for the discussion, Im done. K

  97. Eric said,

    July 3, 2015 at 1:55 am

    Kevin–

    You’re writing much more clearly these days. Good work! We haven’t spoken in some time. Hope you and your wife are doing well.

    I’ll have to research how MacArthur has modified his message, but his original thesis did lean a little legalistic. In some senses, the Free Grace Movement has offered a proper corrective to the evidence-based justification popularized in many traditional Reformed circles.

    Free Grace focuses on justification by faith ALONE, sometimes speaking far too little of sanctification…but read them more thoroughly, and it’s clear they don’t repudiate or even ignore the need for holy living. Their point is that the evidence of our works (which, of course, must be there, in line with James 2) may be evident only to God. Therefore, we should refrain from judging others’ genuineness of faith merely from their outwardly visible works (as this can lead to a type of de facto Pharisaism).

    I am afraid we must be characterized by both extremes. Free Gracers are right that all our sins our covered…to the point that, along with Luther, we may “sin boldly.” Gerhard Forde is correct that sanctification, in one sense anyway, is just “getting used to our justification.” He should be read in context, for he is NOT espousing Antinomianism. Instead, he is warning against Legalism. He is saying that sanctification is not an uphill climb wherein we become more holy through our fleshly efforts. It is the “descent,” so to speak, of the New Creature, “born from above,” as it “gets used” to living life within human parameters.

    Lordship Salvationists are correct that a life in Union with Christ will indeed be characterized by faith working through love. Our very natures are transformed, and we cannot help but fervently follow.

    Nevertheless, we cannot presume on great and eminently tangible changes occurring in our characters though we should hope for them and ferociously work towards this end. (And not in order TO BE justified but because we already ARE justified.)

    Free Gracers are not inherently Antinomian, but they must watch out lest they become so. Likewise, Lordship believers are not inherently Pharisaic, but they, too must watch themselves.

    I grieve for Tchividjian. I’m guessing that human frailty rather than his theology is primarily to blame. He should, however, listen to his detractors (as you maintain MacArthur has done) and bring his message into accord with the fullness of the Gospel.

  98. July 3, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Eric, Hi, hope you are well. Vey well said, all of it. I wasn’t judging robbery bob’s spiritual condition when I said he was Roman Catholic. Im talking about his position on justification. This has come over a 1 year ongoing talk with him. Simply put, we are justified by Christ’s life and death, and ” nothing coming from ourselves. IOW there isn’t a virtue attached to faith that merits the acceptance of God. Thats why I believe many reformed simply refuse to defend staunchly imputation, an absolute necessity. Frankly Eric, I always thought that was wanting with you. Michael and Robert. We can all agree we pursue holy living in sanctification, which is really what the Holy Spirit wrought in us. And yes I agree its undergirded by our justification. I actually think all of salvation was forensic for Paul. He called the raga tag Corinthians sanctified past tense in the opening of 1 Corinthians. And Hebrews 10:10 says we have been sanctified. In union with Christ through faith there are legal aspects ( justification, adoption etc.) and relational aspects. Horton says we are brought from the court room to the living room. Its all a work of God. roberty bob believes a man is justified finally by his works in some way. But thats impossible, since Romans 5:10 says we will be saved by HIS life, HIS life. Give those triplets a hug for me, and our best to your wife. We just sold our house and bought a smaller place in a gated community. My plan is to saber the gospel with all the snooty rich people in my neighborhood in Scottsdale. I hope you are in good health, P.S. Catholicism isn’t another denomination, it is another religion. K

  99. Eric said,

    July 3, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Roberty Bob–

    Yes, we are saved by a “living, believing, trusting, resting, working-through-love” faith, but NOT by the “living, believing, trusting, resting, working-through-love” part of that equation. You must cordon off faith. Even faith is but a marker for our total reliance on Christ alone to save. It is optotally grace, totally gift. It is not our reception of faith, nor our repentance borne of that faith, nor the works which that faith produces.

  100. July 3, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Eric, a true linguist, well said. K

  101. De Maria said,

    July 27, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Eric said,
    July 3, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Roberty Bob–

    Yes, we are saved by a “living, believing, trusting, resting, working-through-love” faith, but NOT by the “living, believing, trusting, resting, working-through-love” part of that equation. You must cordon off faith. Even faith is but a marker for our total reliance on Christ alone to save. It is optotally grace, totally gift. It is not our reception of faith, nor our repentance borne of that faith, nor the works which that faith produces.

    How much faith do you need to have before you are justified? And how do you judge your own faith?

  102. Ron said,

    July 29, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    How much faith do you need to have before you are justified?

    Enough faith to appropriate the perfect righteousness of Christ and His payment for sins. Now much personal merit do you suppose that equals?

    And how do you judge your own faith?

    One way is by the Christian’s increasing self-awareness of his utter spiritual bankruptcy. Now how does one with self-merit judge his own faith?

  103. De Maria said,

    July 29, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    Ron said,
    July 29, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Enough faith to appropriate the perfect righteousness of Christ and His payment for sins.

    How much faith is that and how do you measure it?

    Now much personal merit do you suppose that equals?

    In your eyes or in God’s eyes?

    One way is by the Christian’s increasing self-awareness of his utter spiritual bankruptcy.

    So, the Christian judges himself saved? If that is so, then where does God fit into your self saving theology?

    Now how does one with self-merit judge his own faith?

    You tell me. We, Catholics, are not taught to judge ourselves but to await the Judgement of Our Lord.

    1 Corinthians 4:3-4King James Version (KJV)

    3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

    It is Protestants who claim for themselves salvation.

  104. Don said,

    July 29, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    So, the Christian judges himself saved? If that is so, then where does God fit into your self saving theology?

    For God’s sake (literally) learn to read.

  105. De Maria said,

    July 30, 2015 at 9:33 am

    In answer to my question,

    And how do you judge your own faith?

    Didn’t you say?

    One way is by the Christian’s increasing self-awareness of his utter spiritual bankruptcy.

    Isn’t self awareness a way of saying, “self judging”? and don’t you consider yourself saved by “faith alone”?

  106. July 30, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Ron said ” how much personal merit do you suppose that equals.” This might be the line of the century and what separates true religion from what is really a gospel of works righteousness. Maybe if Rome would have followed Augustine instead of Aquinas, they wouldn’t be bowing to bread and wine and believing that a man is predestined to glory according to his merit in some way instead of just the goodness of God. Great line Ron. K

  107. July 30, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    DeMaria, Romans 5:10 says we are saved by HIS life, HIS life,HIS life. Catholics can drop the discussion about condign or congruous merit, none of it justifies a man before God.

  108. July 30, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    DeMaria said how much faith is that? Well Paul said when we are faithless, He remains faithful.

  109. De Maria said,

    July 30, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Faithless means without faith. So are you now saying that you don’t have to have any faith in order to be saved?

  110. July 31, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Im saying that people with saving faith are sometime faithless, thats what the verse says. IOW, we are saved by His life, always, even when we act act without faith. Get it. Quit smuggling your character into the work of God DeMaria, He paid it all. K

  111. De Maria said,

    July 31, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Kevin Failoni said,
    July 31, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Im saying that people with saving faith are sometime faithless,

    Granted. That’s the reason why OSAS is a false doctrine. Its also the reason why the Catholic Church teaches a continuing conversion, rather than a one time declaration of faith.

    thats what the verse says.

    But it does not address the question which I asked. How much faith is enough to be saved? Protestants ought to know, since they declare themselves saved all the time.

    IOW, we are saved by His life, always, even when we act act without faith. Get it.

    But what about that first time, when you first claim to have faith? How much faith must you have then in order for you to declare yourself saved forever, even on those occasions when you are fickle and fall away?

    Quit smuggling your character into the work of God DeMaria, He paid it all. K

    What I have proved with this question, is that Protestant “faith alone” doctrine, is a contra-biblical teaching. There is nothing in Scripture which remotely teaches that you can declare yourself saved apart from God’s jurisprudence. It is God who declares anyone saved. Anyone who claims salvation to himself because of his purported faith, is exalting himself and usurping God’s prerogative.

  112. Don said,

    July 31, 2015 at 11:49 am

    De Maria 112,

    There is nothing in Scripture which remotely teaches that you can declare yourself saved apart from God’s jurisprudence.

    Hey, thanks for disproving something that Reformed Protestants don’t believe! (WCF 14.1)

  113. De Maria said,

    July 31, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Don said,
    July 31, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Hey, thanks for disproving something that Reformed Protestants don’t believe! (WCF 14.1)WCF 14.1

    Here’s what that says:

    Westminster Confession of Faith
    Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith

    1: The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls,[278] is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts,[279] and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word,[280] by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened.[281]

    In accordance with that teaching, Protestants declare themselves saved, is that right? So, neither they nor I see in Protestant teaching anything which remotely teaches you to wait upon the Lord:

    1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

    Where does that say that God judges your souls on the last day in accordance with Scripture?

    2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

  114. Ron said,

    July 31, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    DM,

    I must confess, your obnoxious ways and utter disdain for Jesus and His gospel sometimes makes it difficult for me to desire your salvation. Then I think how dead I was in my sin…

    I do admit, I can pray for all sorts of sinners more easily than I can pray for you. Maybe that’s because unbelieving rapists and murderers don’t pretend to be religious and self-righteous. Your unbelief is more repugnant than theirs, as hard as that must be for you to understand. They don’t crusade for satan.

  115. Don said,

    July 31, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    DM 114,
    Please don’t think I was joking in 105. When WCF says “the grace of faith … is the work of the Spirit of Christ” you apparently read it to mean “Protestants declare themselves saved.” That’s pretty astonishing. If in fact you are not consciously and deliberately misreading Protestant theology to suit your own purposes, then I would honestly suggest you enroll in a reading comprehension class.

  116. Ron said,

    July 31, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Don,

    The elders’ function is ministerial and declarative, which is part-and-parcel with binding and loosing in Christ’s name. In that sense salvific declarations are to be made. The real issue is the double standard by which card-carrying Romanists operate…

    There is nothing in Scripture which remotely teaches that you can declare yourself saved apart from God’s jurisprudence. It is God who declares anyone saved. Anyone who claims salvation to himself because of his purported faith, is exalting himself and usurping God’s prerogative.

    Ah, but by all means we may declare ourselves saved by our purported baptism:

    CCC 2.2.1.1.1263 By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin. In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam’s sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God.

  117. Frank Aderholdt said,

    July 31, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Since when did this site become a platform to air Roman Catholic teaching? Make it stop, please. I wouldn’t intrude on a Roman Catholic blog and expound Protestant doctrine, unless of course it is a public forum inviting all comers. Time and place, people, time and place. And, in turn, some solid Reformed voices have become overheated, to no one’s benefit. Everyone just back away, OK?

  118. Don said,

    July 31, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Ron 117,
    Certainly. But I gather from DM’s earlier statements that by “declared saved” he means “saved because I say so.” Maybe he’s so caught up in the idea of I-have-to-do-something-to-earn-my-salvation that he thinks Protestants teach that they achieve salvation by the “work” of declaring that they have saving faith. He’s correct, of course, that such a declaration does not earn salvation, but that is so far besides the point, such a great misunderstanding of Protestant theology, that it’s kind of sad.

  119. Ron said,

    July 31, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    My Brother,

    This site became an inviting place for Roman Catholics and strident papists a long time ago. Many left or don’t frequent GB as much because of it. That’s just the way it is.

    I’m reluctant to think you’re referring to me as overheated lest I flatter myself with your other remark about a Reformed voice. But for what it’s worth, I’m not overheated at all. That DM is an enemy of Christ, no less than the Judaizers were, is a conviction I hold with very little passion. There will always be Devils in this world…

  120. Ron said,

    July 31, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    “Certainly. But I gather from DM’s earlier statements that by “declared saved” he means “saved because I say so”

    Don,

    Yup, there’s probably some of that too. Point well taken…

    Long ago I gave up trying to tease out DM’s meaning. For one thing, she’s not even clear on the theology she thinks she despises. Seems a hopeless case, but with God all things are possible.

  121. De Maria said,

    July 31, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Ron said,
    July 31, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    DM,

    I must confess, your obnoxious ways ….

    You still didn’t answer the question.

  122. De Maria said,

    July 31, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Don said,
    July 31, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    DM 114,
    Please don’t think I was joking in 105. When WCF says “the grace of faith … is the work of the Spirit of Christ” you apparently read it to mean “Protestants declare themselves saved.” ….

    No, Don. I said that Protestants must use that teaching to justify declaring themselves saved. Do Protestants claim for themselves salvation based upon their faith alone, or not? Be honest.

  123. De Maria said,

    July 31, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Ron said,
    July 31, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Don,

    The elders’ function is ministerial and declarative, which is part-and-parcel with binding and loosing in Christ’s name. In that sense salvific declarations are to be made. The real issue is the double standard by which card-carrying Romanists operate…

    There is nothing in Scripture which remotely teaches that you can declare yourself saved apart from God’s jurisprudence. It is God who declares anyone saved. Anyone who claims salvation to himself because of his purported faith, is exalting himself and usurping God’s prerogative.

    Ah, but by all means we may declare ourselves saved by our purported baptism:

    CCC 2.2.1.1.1263 By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin. In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam’s sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God.

    Does Scripture say?

    1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

    And, if you read on in the Catechism, it also says:

    CCC # 1051 Every man receives his eternal recompense in his immortal soul from the moment of his death in a particular judgment by Christ, the judge of the living and the dead
    URL: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/1051.htm

  124. De Maria said,

    July 31, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Frank Aderholdt said,
    July 31, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Since when did this site become a platform to air Roman Catholic teaching?

    I was asking questions so that the folks here might provide the answer. When I’ve provided Catholic Doctrine it has been in response to questions or challenges.

    Make it stop, please. I wouldn’t intrude on a Roman Catholic blog and expound Protestant doctrine, unless of course it is a public forum inviting all comers. Time and place, people, time and place. And, in turn, some solid Reformed voices have become overheated, to no one’s benefit. Everyone just back away, OK?

    No problem. Didn’t mean to shake you up. Peace!

  125. Ron said,

    July 31, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    “No problem. Didn’t mean to shake you up. Peace!”

    So does that mean you’ll never come back or is this going to be temporary like your other farewells? Wait, don’t answer that….maybe it’s a trap.

  126. De Maria said,

    July 31, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    I’m gone from this thread. I’m simply leaving because Frank sounds a bit upset. After all, Scripture does say:

    Rom 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

    However, as long as Greenbaggins does not forbid the presence of Catholics, I will check other threads and perhaps stop by and ask you to trace your doctrines to Scripture.

    Now, if you really want me to go, you should not address another question to me.

  127. August 2, 2015 at 10:21 am

    DeMaria, Romans 5:10 WE WILL BE SAVED BY HIS LIFE” Best words I have ever heard. Do you really want to trust in your merit or righteousness in some way. Paul didn’t, in Philippians 3 he called his righteousness dung, not his sin, his righteousness. God’s elect should leave that meritocracy of Rome immediately and get out of the synagog of Rome. Revelations 18: 4 ” come out of her my people” Incidentally, for all those interested, Tim Kauffman has a new article ” Looking for Nicaea” Awesome follow up to ” The Rise of Roman Catholicism”

  128. De Maria said,

    August 2, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Have you read this one, Kev?

    Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    Revelations 18: 4 ” come out of her my people”

    Who is “she”, from whom God’s people need to come out?

  129. De Maria said,

    August 2, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Get a hint, Kev.

    Babylon is described as “that great city”:
    Rev 17: 18And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

    Rev 18: 10Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

    The “great city” is the city in which Jesus was crucified:
    Rev 11: 8And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. . The Kings of the earth gathered in Jerusalem to crucify Christ.

    Rev 17: 2With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication

    Acts 4: 26The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,

  130. roberty bob said,

    August 12, 2015 at 12:10 am

    in reply to #100 Eric . . .

    “You must cordon off faith.” — Eric

    When you cordon off faith from that which is of its essence [living, believing, trusting, resting, working-through-love], what remains of faith? I hear you saying that these essentials are of no account when it comes to defining what justifying faith is. If so, what is the essence or true character of justifying faith?

    Put yourself in the place of an evangelist. You proclaim to me: For by grace you have been saved through faith! So, I ask you: What is faith? How can I know that I have faith? Explain to me what faith is without resorting to its essential character of living, believing, trusting, resting, etc.

  131. roberty bob said,

    August 12, 2015 at 12:33 am

    in reply to #98 Eric . . .

    ” . . . all our sins are covered, to the point that, along with Luther, we may ‘sin boldly.’ ” — Eric

    Luther did not learn that from our Lord Jesus now, did he?

    “Your faith has saved you. Go and sin no more!” — Jesus

    Now you can tell me how I need to take Luther, and you, in proper context.


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