Faith In

Geerhardus Vos has some careful and precise thoughts about the various formulations in the New Testament (Reformed Dogmatics IV, pp. 80-81):

Usually, however, faith is presented as something that is directed to the Mediator, Christ. It is called “believing in Christ” (πιστεύειν εἰς Χριστόν)- actually, “into Christ” (cf. Rom 10:14). That is, the action of the soul by which it abandons its own doing and relies on the doing of Christ is presented as a local movement of the will into Christ. There is a relocation of the resting point of life. Where it formerly lay in the self-righteous sinner himself, it now comes to lie in Christ. It is also called “believing in Christ” (πιστεύειν ἐν Χριστῷ). The thought here is not so much of a movement into Christ as of its result, “resting in Christ” (Gal 3:26). Also occurring is πιστεύειν ἐπ’ αὐτῷ, “believing in Him” (Rom 9:33; 10:11, in a citation from the Septuagint of Isa 28:16), which has approximately the same meaning as εἰς Χριστόν. Finally, the apostle also speaks of a “faith of Jesus Christ” (πίστις Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ) with the objective genitive-thus a faith of which Christ as mediator is the object, a trust by which one depends on Him (Rom 3:22, 26; Gal 2:16; 3:22).

I think especially important here is the nuance of the formulation “believing into Christ.” It is a change of address. What so many Christians talk about so much is “Christ living in me,” or “asking Jesus into your heart.” The Bible does speak of Christ living in us, though never of “asking Jesus into your heart.” The Bible speaks a thousand times more often of us believing into Jesus Christ.

163 Comments

  1. roberty bob said,

    February 13, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the the works God requires?”

    Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

    — Gospel of John 6:28,29

    …………….

    As to the custom of converts “asking Jesus into their heart,” I think that this is simply one way that they express what it means to “receive” Jesus. The Gospel does indeed proclaim the necessity of receiving Jesus. Right? The penitent sinner at the point of conversion is keenly aware of Christ being at his heart’s door, so to speak. This same sinner also feels himself constrained by the Holy Spirit to open the door and let him in.

    In my preaching I have never urged sinners under conviction to ask Jesus into their hearts, but I have most assuredly urged them to receive Jesus as the only Lord and Savior by believing in him as the one God as sent.

  2. Kevin said,

    February 14, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    I hear many of the Reformed say we dont ask Jesus into our heart. How do the Reformed interpret ” to as many as recieve Him, He has given them the right to be children of God? ” Of course understanding that apart from the Spirit calling and regenerating us we can do nothing.

  3. roberty bob said,

    February 14, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Kevin, you may have answered your own question. Regeneration precedes faith. So, the Spirit of the Lord is already in the heart creating and awakening the faith of the new born believer who, upon receiving Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, finds to his great joy that Jesus is already in his heart. Jesus makes the heart his home before anyone can extend him the invitation.

  4. Kevin said,

    February 15, 2016 at 9:10 am

    roberty bob, just so I understand your post on FINAL justification, can I ask you which of these 2 you agree with . 1. Roman Catholicism =final justification is infused grace, regeneration, sanctification. 2.Reformed = final justification is declaration to be righteous of a wicked man apart from works by faith alone in Christ alone . The RC confuses 2 different graces. The Reformed distinquish them. Which do you choose 1 or 2? Thanks K

  5. roberty bob said,

    February 15, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Kevin @ $4 . . .

    If by FINAL justification you mean the appearing, and assessment, of all people before the Judgment Seat of Christ [as depicted in our Lord’s story of the separation of the sheep from the goats in Matthew 25], then I can only say that it is the sheep who are judged to be righteous, and that Christ the King judges them so for having served the needs of the least of Jesus’ brethren as though he himself had been served. The esteemed Apostle Paul exhorts us all to make it our goal to please the Lord since we will all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ in order to receive what is due for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad [2 Corinthians 5:9,10].

    I wholeheartedly agree that repentant sinners [the wicked] who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are saved — justified — by faith; they have passed from death unto life. The life-giving Spirit of the Lord indwells them, having changed their heart of stone to a heart of flesh. The Law of the Lord is written on their hearts, By faith they make it their goal to please the Lord, knowing that they will appear before the Judgement Seat of Christ to give an account of what they have done.

    Is there a scripture passage on final judgement which specifies that pleasing the Lord, serving the Lord, obeying the Lord are irrelevant to the outcome? I know of no such passage. Therefore, I cannot make the choice you put before me. I do not agree with either 1 or 2, so I choose neither.

  6. roberty bob said,

    February 15, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    In order to be finally saved [enter the Kingdom, see the Lord, have everlasting life] one must be born anew / from above, which is a regeneration wrought by the Holy Spirit within the Christ-trusting believer. This regeneration is an infused or imparted grace which empowers the believer to live unto righteousness. This is the sanctifying ministry of the Holy Spirit which must necessarily occur in order for a person to be finally saved. Infused grace, regeneration, and sanctification are essential for salvation. So, also, is faith which trusts not in one’s own righteousness but in the saving righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ who laid down his life, shedding his blood, as an atoning sacrifice for sins, and who was raised to newness of life for our justification. Those who have such a faith are justified — reckoned as righteous because they share in the divine vindication [or justification] of Jesus. The resurrection declares that truth with such powerful clarity that we believe if Jesus were not raised then we remain dead in our sins and without hope.

    If the Judgement Seat of Christ — the assessment and sorting out of all people from all the nations — is the venue for FINAL Justification, then it behooves us to bring forth the fruit of righteousness that is demanded of justifying faith because we will be assessed as sorted accordingly. Nearly all of the Biblical texts which reference this Last Judgment speak along these lines: the faith that justifies is a faith producing works in the service of righteousness — which is the service of Christ.

  7. Kevin said,

    February 15, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    roberty bob, so the word justification means an infusion of grace? The Jews at passover deserved rhe same thing as the Egyptians, but God passed over them, forensic , they knew nothing of sanctifying grace?

  8. roberty bob said,

    February 15, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    No Kevin, the word justification does not mean an infusion of grace. To be justified by faith is to be reckoned as righteous in Christ, having a share in the vindication of my Lord and Savior.

    Where have I ever said that justification means an infusion of grace? I believe in the necessity of infused or imparted grace, but I have never equated infused or imparted grace with justification. Where did you get the notion that I think justification means an infusion of grace? The idea has never crossed my mind.

  9. Kevin said,

    February 16, 2016 at 7:23 am

    ” virtue of final justification ” the gospel is told and believed, not done. There isnt a virtue tied to faith that merits the acceptance of God. Read your first post to me, you believe in a final justification based on the life lived. Paul could have never ever meant by daikaiousinae the state of affairs internally at the end of your life. You want to smuggle your chracter into God’s workbof grace. But if you add works in the equation of justification, you will have to provide perfect, personal, and perpetual obediece. . K

  10. roberty bob said,

    February 16, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    to Kevin @ #9 . . .

    ” . . . the gospel is told and believed, not done.” — Kevin

    The gospel is proclaimed, believed, and obeyed. Those who obey not the gospel, who do not sow in the Spirit so that they may reap a harvest of righteousness will instead reap destruction; they will not reap eternal life. So says the Apostle Paul in Galatians 6. What counts, he says, is a new creation.

    “There isn’t a virtue tied to faith that merits the acceptance of God.” — K

    I have not and do not make that claim. The Lord accepts and forgives sinners who confess their sins, and in repentance turn from their wicked ways and receive the Lord Jesus Christ, believing in him and calling on his name. In this act of repenting / receiving the believer comes empty handed, in faith, offering no goodness of his own. Whenever a genuine conversion occurs, however, a new creature in Christ arises and lives henceforth in obedience to the gospel of our Lord. He is baptized into Christ, made a disciple of Christ, and puts into practice every word of Christ [Matthew 7:24 ff.]. The refusal to follow through — the refusal to build one’s house on the rock of gospel obedience to Christ — results in calamity: the house collapses with great crash! At the Judgement Seat of Christ each person will receive his due according to what was DONE during the days of his bodily life. Thus is will be revealed whose houses are standing and whose houses have collapsed with a great crash!

  11. Reed Here said,

    February 16, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Lane, thanks for this post. Preaching through John right now and prepping for the end of John 2 in a few months. I think the NT’s prepositional choices associated with faith-belief are indeed significant. In a world filled with belief about a lot of things, the sheer oddness of saying “I believe in/into Jesus,” is the start of a startling delight.

  12. roberty bob said,

    February 16, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    “Hey you, I’m into Jesus.
    Hey you, I’ve seen the truth and I believe.”

    From the D C Talk song, “Into Jesus”

  13. Kevin said,

    February 17, 2016 at 8:25 am

    roberty bob ” where have I ever said I believe justification is an infusion of grace” then in the next sentence you said” I believe in the necessity of infused grace” listen to John Murray ” And the seriousness of the Romish error is not so much that it has confused justification and renewal but that it but that it has confused these two distinct acts of God’s grace and eliminated from the message of the gospel the great truth of free and full justification by grace.” Let me be frank with you roberty bob, you can posture yourself smoothly, but you are guilty of doing the same thing. And nobody else here has the guts to tell you. Justification isnt the righteouness of God done in us, its a one time declaration about a wicked man. Romans 3 ” without the law” There is no final judgment on our works in regard to our final standing before God. K

  14. roberty bob said,

    February 17, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Unless one is born anew by the infusion of or imparting of regenerating grace, he cannot see or enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, I cannot help but conclude that this grace is necessary for salvation. I cannot reject that doctrine because it is so clearly taught by our Lord and his apostles. However, I do not and have not equated infused grace with justification. Regeneration / new birth is not the same thing as justification. I make the distinction and understand it.

    Help me out now, Kevin. Explain to me how you read and apply our Lord’s admonition beginning at Matthew 7:24. Why is it that Jesus’ preaching follows the pattern: believe in me and put my words into practice / love me and obey my commandments? Why does he insist on both believing and obeying in order to enter the kingdom and have everlasting life? How does that apply to your life and salvation? You say that there is no final judgment on our works in regard to our final standing before God. Explain that, please, in the light of 2 Corinthians 5:9,10 where everyone’s works are revealed, and everyone received what is due according to what they did while living in their bodies.

  15. roberty bob said,

    February 17, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    justification: a one time declaration about a wicked man — Kevin

    I’m wondering if can tell me who the “righteous” described in Psalm 1 are? Can you identify them? The Psalmist describes the righteous as those who delight in the law of the Lord and who refuse to walk in the counsel of the “wicked.” The Psalmist distinguishes the righteous from the wicked, and he is confident that the Lord watches over the way of the righteous. Neither the faith nor the justification of the righteous is mentioned here in this Psalm, but their obedience and fruitfulness is.

    How did these righteous ones become righteous? Had they once been wicked? Were they converted? On what basis are they judged or assessed to be righteous?

    How would you go about preaching a sermon on Psalm 1?

  16. Kevin said,

    February 17, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Robert bob, At passover, where the Jews deserved the same thing as the Egyptians, did God infuse them with sanctifying grace, or pass over them?

  17. Kevin said,

    February 17, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    roberty bob, so in the end the surgeon and a judge do the same thing? A judge makes a declaration , not guilty, righteous, he doesnt make people upright. The surgeon does the work of cutting out the disease and making right. Quit confusing the 2.

  18. roberty bob said,

    February 17, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    There is no confusion on my part. Both the reckoning and the renewing are necessary, as I have said all along. Both the declaring righteous and the making righteous.

    Now, why not answer my questions from #14 and #15???

  19. Kevin said,

    February 17, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    roberty bob, being born again means being born from above. You had nothing to do with that, as much as you did your natural birth. We are born again of God. I agree that the Spirit empowers us to live righteous, what I deny is that has anything to do with us being justified. You say that the sanctifying ministry of the Spirit must happen for us to be saved. But scripture denies your condition. Ephessians 1:7 says I have redemption, not will have. I am in a saved state, not a savable state based on the life lived. You naively and fataly read the final judgment verses as a judgment of our works in regard to a final justification. You are just a Roman Catholic in your view. You simply smuggle your chracter into God’s work of grace. John 5:24 says we have passed out of death and judgment, so your take on the rewarding of our works cant be to final justification. Also Revelations supports this. God doesnt sanctify us by works, or sacraments, but Jesus said sanctify them in truth, thy word is truth. In John 6 Jesus says this is the comandment of God, that you believe. Everytime Jesus commends someones works or heals them, He says your faith has healed you or saved you. The law requires perfect, personal, and perpetual obedience. So at the final judgment you wont qualify, because your works cant stand for justification, not even grace enabled. Rome made a fatal error, thinking Jesus was a softer Moses with an easier law, as if loving God and neighbor with all one’s heart is some attainable task. Rome thought that the gospel was the enabling by obedience and compensation for their lack to be saved. Your position is no different. According to your theory Romans 10: 4 would say Christ is the beginning of the law for righteouness to all who believe, but it says that Christ is the END of the law to all who believe. K

  20. roberty bob said,

    February 18, 2016 at 6:56 am

    OK Kevin. You are in a saved state. But following Christ, loving your God and your neighbor, doing all that he has commanded — all of that has nothing to do with your salvation. Christ does not expect you to hear his words and put them into practice because you could never actually do what he tells you to do anyway. He says to you, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” You say to Christ, “No one can keep them because they are unattainable, so there is no need to listen to what you say. Lord, Lord, I am in a saved state! Lord, Lord, I believe in you, but I don’t have to obey a single word you say because I am in a saved state!

  21. roberty bob said,

    February 18, 2016 at 11:52 am

    I believe the word of faith — that if I confess with my “Jesus is Lord” and believe in my heart that God has raised him from the dead, I am saved!

    I am in a saved state believing the word of faith.

    If my “believing into Jesus” compels me to do my duty [Eccl. 12:13,14] to fear God and keep his commandments in the knowledge that God will bring every deed into judgment, are you saying, Kevin, that in doing my God given duty that I am smuggling my character into God’s work of grace? You give me the impression that doing good is a bad thing, that the Psalmist’s exhortation “trust in the Lord and do good!” muddies the waters of pure grace. You give me the impression that there is no point whatsoever to the biblical exhortations to obedience and to doing what is good. You give me the impression that you do not take the biblical warnings on disobedience and the failure to produce fruit seriously, as though such things could carry any danger. Once again, why does our Lord teach the world in his Sermon on the Mount how to fulfill God’s righteous requirements with a righteousness that surpasses that of the Pharisees and teachers of the Law. Jesus gives specific instruction on how to obey the particular commandments, and concludes by affirming the necessity of putting his words in to practice. This is a kingdom requirement: Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and teachers of the law, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

    You give me the impression that putting Jesus’ words into practice jeopardizes my justification to the point where I might not be in a saved state after all.

    So, please kindly explain what Jesus intends for us in his Sermon on the Mount. Your answer might help me understand where you are coming from. If you were a preacher, how would you preach the Sermon on the Mount to a congregation that enjoys being in a saved state.

  22. Kevin said,

    February 18, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Roberty bob, your missing point. God saved us DESPITE our works. ” Abraham believed God, and he WAS counted righteous. Do you see any merit or works in that verse. Whats the tense? Abe believed the promise and was righteous. Yet you want to include a final justification based on the life lived. The bible doesnt teach that? The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was re establishing the holiness of God’s law. For instance, if you even lust in your mind you committed adultry, or to be angry with your brother is to be guilty of murder. Jesus sets the law so high so that men will look at it, be convicted by it, and run to the gospel of free grace. . It requires perfect, personal, and perpetual obediece. Justification doesnt mean infusion of grace, or regeneration, or sanctification. Got it. Works can be nothing but resonable service of worship. You are in danger of your soul with your view. Read Romans 9:32 -10:4 and think hard about it. ” freely by his grace ” doesnt mean cooperating with his grace. And it doesnt mean regeneration or sanctification, or a final justification. Ive been reading your stuff for a long time. You are a nice guy. But here is what Paul said who held your position. They have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge, not knowing about the righteouness of God, they sought to establish their own. Paul prayed for their salvation. Dont make the grave mistake of conflation of hearing by faith and works. Dont conflate gospel and law. I know im on the right side because you did to me what the Judaizers did to Paul, acused him of antinomianism. Blessings k

  23. roberty bob said,

    February 19, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Kevin, I have not accused you of antinomianism, but I cannot understand your hostility toward those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and believe in their hearts that God has raised him from the dead, but also believe that our Lord is serious when he exhorts us to put his words into practice or suffer the consequences. Those of us who believe that Christ came not to abolish the law but to uphold it, fulfill it, reveal its true meaning and application — indeed, to establish it as the way of life for the citizens of the heavenly kingdom — are by no means seeking to establish our own righteousness when we go about doing what Christ commands in the power of his indwelling Holy Spirit. I agree with you that this is our reasonable service. All who are grateful for saving grace will live godly lives in Christ Jesus. I can see where you would hear the Sermon on the Mount and say, “There is no way I can obey this because I am a weak and sinful man.” This realization would drive you to Jesus, the grace giver. So, when you flee to Christ for grace, what are you asking of him? I ask Christ for the grace to obey him, to resist temptation, to overcome those things like anger and lust which lie at the root of murder and adultery. So, the Lord gives more grace, and I am enabled to overcome the world. the flesh, and the devil as a slave of Christ in the service of righteousness [Romans 6]. Our obedience does not have to be perfect and perpetual; when we do sin we find that we have a faithful high priest in our Lord Jesus, whose shed blood avails. We confess our sins and bring forth the fruits of repentance. Therein lies my faith. And yours, too.

    I live my life “believing into Jesus.” I trust him, as I must. I obey him, as I must. I cannot see how you could possibly believe that my soul could be in danger for agreeing with Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:24 and putting them into practice. He did not exhort us to do things that are impossible. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. He giveth more grace. He gives his Holy Spirit to those who ask of him.

  24. Kevin said,

    February 19, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    roberty bob ” our obedience doesnt have to be perfect and perpetual ” then why a final justification based on the life lived? ” cursed is anyone who does not abide in ALL things in the book of the law. ” Gal.3:10.

  25. Kevin said,

    February 19, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    roberty bob ” I cant see how you could possibly believe say that my soul would be in danger” ” if its by grace, it is NO longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. ” You have no excuse, it can be no clearer. A justification based on the life lived is a blatant violation.

  26. roberty bob said,

    February 20, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    “A justification based on the life lived is a blatant violation.” — Kevin

    A blatant violation of what? Listen to the Apostle Paul, from Romans 6. The death Christ died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God [see, the life lived after dying to sin matters!]. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires [see, a command with responsibility attached!]. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteous-ness. For sin shall not be your master because you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one you obey — whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? [see, there is a kind of obedience that brings about righteous living!] But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching [just look at these people obeying Paul’s teaching on the way of righteousness!] to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have becomes slaves to righteousness. . . . Now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap [see, God’s slaves are sowing righteousness now through their obedience, in the promise that it . . . ] leads to holiness, and the result [of the holy harvest reaped!] is eternal life.

    Even those who believe themselves to be justified freely by God’s grace through faith are exhorted to consider themselves dead to sin [no longer answerable to King Sin, released from King Sin’s dominion], but alive to God in Christ Jesus [now answerable to King Jesus, responsible to render the obedience that leads to holiness and results in eternal life in the kingdom of our God]. The refusal and failure to take on this responsibility has eternal consequences, as I understand it. But I think that you read it differently.

    OK Kevin, maybe you are saying that at the point of faith / conversion / receiving Christ / believing into Jesus everything is settled right there on the spot. Justification right then and there! Eternal security for the believer. From that point onward, nothing else matters. It’s DONE. And no matter what this professed believer does or fails to do can undo what as been done. This professed believer refuse to offer himself as a slave to righteousness, and may never actually lead a holy life. But the life he leads will in no way effect the final outcome. He will stand before Christ on the Last Day to receive what is his due for the deeds done while in the body, whether good or bad, and even though he has lived badly and is undeserving of eternal life, he will receive not what is due him but instead receive the blessed gift of life that God gave to Jesus when He raised him from the dead. The professing believer can keep on offering the parts of his body to wickedness, and be utterly deserving of death, destruction, hell, but he will instead receive the gift of God which is eternal life because there was a point in time when he believed in Jesus. It sounds to me that this is what you are saying.

    Is this what you believe? Have I rightly expressed your doctrine?

  27. Kevin said,

    February 21, 2016 at 8:50 am

    ” ( see the life lived after dying to sin matters) ” not for a christian’s justification. A judge and a surgeon dont do the same thing. But being the faithful synergist that you are roberty bob, you have conflated them. You indeed believe regeneration and sanctification figure in to justification, you just give lip service to a FULL, FREE justification by grace thru faith. If you believe in a final justification based in some way on your grace enabled works, you have denied scripture. K

  28. Kevin said,

    February 21, 2016 at 8:59 am

    roberty bob said” is this what you believe? ” I believe God saved me in spite of my works ” believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved” You see any works in that verse. Your adding sanctification in justification , but you can never be holy enough. Plaease explain John 5:24 to me ? Thanks

  29. roberty bob said,

    February 21, 2016 at 9:52 am

    “A judge and a surgeon don’t do the same thing.” — Kevin

    That is obvious. I agree. But you are saying that the sinner needs only the judge to save him, and I am saying that the sinner needs the judge and the surgeon.

    Can you tell me, then, what is the point or purpose of the exhortations to love the Lord Jesus Christ and keep his commandments? It must matter for something, because our Lord warns that those who do not put his words into practice are like a man who builds a house that is destined to fall with a great crash. When I hear such a warning, I conclude that my obedience to Jesus matters to the final outcome of my life. Isn’t that what Jesus is saying when he contrasts the wise man who builds his house on the rock with the foolish man who doesn’t? This warning concerns me because I believe that our Lord sees it as a serious matter whether we put his words into practice or not.

    But when I say that obedience matters in the same way that Jesus said it matters, I am accused of endangering my own soul for denying the doctrine of free justification by grace through faith.

    What I gather, Kevin, is that Jesus’ warning does not apply to you. You have been justified freely by God’s grace through faith, so you have eternal life. End of Story! Sunday’s sermon from Matthew 7:24ff. has nothing to say to you. You do not have to build your house on a rock. You do not have to pick up your cross and follow Jesus. You do not have to learn how to keep the commandments according to the higher standard of the heavenly kingdom. You do not have to do anything you don’t feel like doing in any given moment because your life story ends with your justification. You trusted in Jesus once. That settled it for all eternity. There’s no need to build by obeying every word.

    Well then, if you in your wickedness are not one bit worried about the final outcome of your life because the judge has ruled in your favor, then most assuredly people like me who make it our goal to please the Lord have no worries either. Since we also have been justified by faith, we cannot be eternally condemned for living out our faith — building our house on the rock in obedience to our Lord Jesus. Not even that can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

    Oh, I know. My big sin is saying that obedience is necessary because Christ commands it. My whole life will come crashing down if I do not build on the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s why I believe the life I live — the whole life — matters. At the final judgment that whole life will be revealed, and I will receive what is due for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad [Paul in 2 Cor. 5].

  30. Kevin said,

    February 21, 2016 at 10:31 am

    ” but you are saying that a sinner only needs the judge to save him” There is hope for you man! Romans 5:10″ for if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God thru the death of His Son, MUCH MORE, having been reconciled, we will be saved by HIS life. Get it. Our reconciliation was while we were sinners, and our salvation will be by his life, not ours. Jesus prayed to his father, ” sactify them in truth” we arent even sanctified by our works, God sanctifies us thru his word, and God justifies us because of the life and death of His son, not by our life in anyway. Your position is antiscripture. K

  31. Kevin said,

    February 21, 2016 at 10:49 am

    roberty bob, people like you who maintain a gospel of works righteousness always say those who believe in full, free justification by grace thru faith alone dont want to pick up their cross, or obey God, or heed the warning passages. But that is a straw man argument. The Jews acused Paul of the exact same thing that you acuse me. . But how did Paul respond to your acusation. With works? NO, with more gospel. Charging me with saying my sanctification is not important to me because I exclude it from justification as Paul or our great Refomrers do, does not support your gospel of go out and do your part. K

  32. roberty bob said,

    February 21, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Thank you for clarifying that your sanctification is important to you. I take it then, Kevin, that when Jesus says “everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock,” you say, “Lord, I will be that wise man who builds his house on the rock and puts your words into practice because I do not want my house to fall with a great crash.” You respond with the obedience that flows from your faith because you do want to please the Lord and you do not want to suffer the great crash that befalls those who refuse to put Jesus’ words into practice. I am gratified to hear that you are not a straw man, but a wise man.

    I think now that we are in agreement. When I first heard the gospel I believed that my faithful savior Jesus Christ was full of grace and truth, willing to grant forgiveness. So, I confessed my sins and called on the name of the Lord by faith in his atoning blood; I believed in my heart that God raised him from the dead, and that my hope was in his risen life. Yes, he was put to death for my sins [condemning my sins in his flesh] and raised to life for my justification. Thus I go on from there, filled with the Holy Spirit, in the obedience of faith to do those good works which the Lord has prepared in advance for me to do. As I live in accordance with the Spirit instead of the sinful nature, my mind set on what the Spirit desires, I am at peace with God [no longer hostile] and I submit to God’s law, doing those things which are pleasing to God. Like you, I obey the Lord because I love him. But I also, in keeping with the Apostle Paul, make it my aim to please him in the realization that I will at the Last Day receive what is due for the deeds done while living in my body, whether good or bad. I will stand before the Judge not as a straw man, but as a justified and sanctified child of God who trusts and obeys,

    Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice; he calls them by name, and he leads them out.” The Lord is my Shepherd.

  33. roberty bob said,

    February 21, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Kevin, Matthew 5-7 records our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount. Do you agree that Jesus, here, is preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom? Is Jesus, here, preaching free justification by grace through faith?

    If he isn’t, what is he preaching?

    How do you answer.

  34. Kevin said,

    February 21, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    roberty bob, without the gospel the sermon on the mount would be a frightening undertaking, but with it it be comes a joyful way of Christian life. Notice in those who mourn, hunger, poor in spirit, there is an acute awareness on the part of the sinner of his utter spiritual bankruptcy. But who is it that satisfies the one who realizes his plight before God’s perfect law. It is God that satifies. The sermon on the mount is embodied in Christ’s life himself as he is living it before men. But after the cross is provided the fulfilment of that law. He lived the law in our place, fulfilled all righteouness, and offers it as a free gift. Without justification full and free, it would be a daunting task to live according to the sermon on the mount, but with it, it is a joyous guide to life. K

  35. February 25, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    roberty bob said ” thus, I go from there ” Ya, I know! You are a Roman Catholic, hanging around a Reformed site, trying hard to convince gospel full and free gracers that we are on the same page. You believe a false gospel. Im being frank with you out of concern for your soul. God saves us in spite of our works, not because of them. ” Not of yourselves” ” not of works” Ephesians 2:8.

  36. roberty bob said,

    February 26, 2016 at 12:02 am

    True Gospel. All have sinned and need a savior.
    True Gospel. Jesus Christ the Son of God is the only savior.
    True Gospel. Christ death on the cross atoned for our sins.
    True Gospel. Faith is a believing, trusting response to God’s promises.
    True Gospel. We trust in Christ’s redeeming blood.
    True Gospel. We are justified by faith in his blood.
    True Gospel. God the Father vindicated His Son raising him from dead.
    True Gospel. Believers share in Christ’s vindication.
    True Gospel. Believers count themselves dead to sin and alive to God.
    True Gospel. Believers sow to please the Holy Spirit, not the flesh.
    True Gospel. Believers reap a harvest of righteousness.
    True Gospel. Believers hear Christ’s words and put them into practice.
    True Gospel. Christ fulfilled all righteousness by obeying God’s will.
    True Gospel. Christ fulfilled all righteousness by laying down his life.
    True Gospel. In Christ, the believer is righteous.
    True Gospel. In the Spirit, the believer is a slave to righteousness.
    True Gospel. Saved by grace, not works, believers do good works.
    True Gospel. The good works of believers are ordained for them to do.
    True Gospel. The good works of believers authenticate their faith.
    True Gospel. At the Last Judgment, all will appear before the Lord.
    True Gospel. All will receive their due for what was done in the body.
    True Gospel. The Last Day motivates believers to please the Lord.
    True Gospel. True believers in Christ need not fear the Last Day.
    True Gospel. Christ came not to condemn the world, but to save it.
    True Gospel. All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.

    I believe all of the above. To my knowledge, there is biblical support for all of these statements. Whether this is Roman Catholic doctrine, I cannot say. I am not a Roman Catholic. I have a Reformed upbringing and training. I wrestle with the relationship of law / gospel; faith / works, trusting / obeying. That’s about all. I’ve engaged on this blog site to test my own faith and understanding of the scriptures. Thanks.

  37. Kevin said,

    February 26, 2016 at 8:03 am

    roberty bob ” I wrestle with the relationship of law and gospel.” I know, im trying to help you with that.. In justification there is no relationship, Paul puts them in antithesis. The law is deadly to a believer because of sin. Paul says it was given for transgressions. It was given to the Jews. But we are all under death because of sin. It was given to show us our sin, our utter spiritual bankruptcy, and drive us to the Gospel, free and full acceptance by grace thru faith. Paul said he died to the law. He lives to Christ by faith ” for the righteous shall LIVE by faith.” Again justification isnt regeneration or sanctification. It means counted righteous. Paul says ” law isnt faith” got it. In the history of the church, the heresy in the gospel was always the conflation of law and gospel. It corrupts faith at its core. At passover , where the Jews deserved the same thing as the Egyptians, God doesnt do a renovation project, He passed over them. Justification. It is even God who sanctifies us in truth of his word as we do the works prepared for us before the foundation of the world. Nothing we do can separate a christian from God’s love or soveriegn purpose. K

  38. roberty bob said,

    February 26, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Yes, God passed over the Jews. You say that is justification. Fine. Many of those same justified Jews died in the wilderness because God was not pleased with them. They did not enter God’s Rest. Why? It is because they were rebellious and disobedient.

    If they were justified, where was their faith? They set their hearts on evil things and gave themselves over to idols. They disobeyed. But you claim that because of God’s grace to them in the Passover, they were justified.

    Their story is written down as a warning to us, says Paul, to keep us from falling as they fell.

    Kevin, of course the justified LIVE by faith. I live by faith. I believe God’s promise, receive God’s grace, and strive in the Spirit’s power to do every good thing that is pleasing to the Lord. The Law could not bring forth righteousness because of the overwhelming power of indwelling sin, but Christ by his Spirit does bring forth righteousness, doing in me what the Law could not do being weakened by my sinful flesh. The justified who LIVE by faith live in obedience to the Law in the power of the Holy Spirit. The natural man, says Paul, does not submit to God’s Law; he doesn’t have the enabling Spirit within to bring forth the required submission. The justified man, ruled by the Spirit, brings forth a harvest of righteousness. So says Paul. Got it!

  39. Kevin said,

    February 26, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    roberty bob, it is Christ that fulfilled the righteouness requirements of the law. What the law could not do GOD did. Rom. 8:1-4. And it says, in us, not by us. The verb is passive. Justification is not the righteouness of God done in us. Or Paul was wrong. If Rome is rihttp://www.calledtocommunion.com/2014/01/clark-frame-and-the-analogy-of-painting-a-magisterial-target-around-ones-interpretive-arrow/ght then 10:4 should read Christ is the beginning of the law for righteouness, but that isn’t what it says. Christ I s the END of all law. K

  40. Kevin said,

    February 26, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    roberty bob, sorry, something happened when I was typing. You are making a great error. Justification is NOT the righteouness of God done in us, as you believe. Or Romans 10:4 would say Christ is the beginning of the law for righteouness to all who believe. But he doesn’t say that. He says Christ is the END of all law to those who believe. You make a grave error by making justification the righteouness of God done in us. It doesnt matter what you think about an initial justification because if its by works it is no longer grace. Clement of Rome eliminates holy deeds from justification, as well as anything coming from ourselves. You make the grave error of interpreting verses which have nothing to do with justification as having to do with justification. Just as Paul said the sincerity and zeal of the Jews in Romans 9:32-10:4 did them no good, yours will do you no good. Paul’s heart broke as he prayed for their salvation in 10:1. Roberty bob, like you, they believed in grace, they were sincere, had a zeal for good works. But Paul said they did not get there , because not knowing about the God’s righteouness and seeking to establish their own, the missed the righteouness of God by faith. Christ is the END of the law for righteouness to all who believe. Paul said they had a sincere zeal, but not in accordance with knowledge. Repent of your goodness roberty bob and trust Christ alone. Blessings k

  41. roberty bob said,

    February 26, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    The law is holy, just, and good. God’s law did not come to and end when Christ obeyed it. The risen and ascended Christ poured out his Holy Spirit upon all flesh so that all who believe in Jesus will have the power to obey the law and become true servants or righteousness. You are slaves to the one you OBEY — whether slaves to sin, which leads to death, or slaves to obedience, which leads to righteousness.

    I trust in God’s promise to save sinners; the promise was fulfilled in God’s Son Jesus. I repented of my sins, and by God’s grace I sow to please the Spirit in order to bring forth a harvest of righteousness The whole purpose of redemption / reconciliation / renewal is to restore humanity’s lost estate. Ultimately, this means putting us back to work in the Kingdom of our Lord, doing every good thing for which we were predestined.

    Why would I repent of my goodness when it is the good wrought within by Christ’s indwelling Spirit? The Old Testament faithful trusted in the Lord and did good; they were regarded by God as righteous, or as those who did right in the eyes of the Lord. Were they self-righteous, then? By no means. They were living by faith; and their faith was confirmed/ authenticated / made complete by their good works. They were known by their good fruit.

  42. Kevin said,

    February 27, 2016 at 7:26 am

    roberty bob ” I sow to please the Spirit IN ORDER to bring forth a harvest of righteouness. IOW, I do and God gives me grace. THATS LAW. CHRIST is the END of the law FOR RIGHTEOUNESS to all who BELIEVE. Who said God’d moral law is abrogated? I didnt. But God’s law done in us is not the source of our acceptance before God. Christ merits applied to us by faith alone are the sole sorce of my righteousness. My righteousness isnt derived from His, it is His righteouness. Got it. Do you attend the RC?Have you gone thru RC IA? Leave that communion immediately, repent of your goodness, trust Christ alone. Good bye. K

  43. roberty bob said,

    February 27, 2016 at 10:25 am

    The one who does what is right is righteous, even as Christ is righteous. — I John 3:7

    Can Reformed Christians believe this text? This one does.

  44. Kevin said,

    February 27, 2016 at 11:51 am

    roberty bob, you are not a Reformed Christian, your words condemn you. Reformed Christians dont believe in a final justification ( evaluation ) based on the life lived. And again your springboard theology condemns you. 1 John 3:7 isnt about how a man is justified before God. John is telling his congregation, adressing the knostic claim that they were sinless, that a true believer practices righteous living a holy life. But you twist this to say, see, you have to practice righteouness to become righteous ( justified ) in the eyes of God. We can all agree with John that the one who practices holy living is holy, but we cant agree with roberty bob, that the ” practice of righteouness ” is what justifies us before God, initially of finally. I mean this with total love and respect for you as God’s creation, you are a fraud roberty bob if you call yourself reformed, and then deny the hinge of its doctrine. You deny jbfa, and therefore you deny the gospel of scripture. What you think you are matters not. For the final time Paul says we are justified FREELY by his grace, not COOPERATING with his grace. Romans 4:16 says if you want to be saved by grace alone, it will have to be by faith alone. K

  45. Reed Here said,

    February 27, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Kevin, the reason many of us dont engage with RB on this topic is not because we are afraid to do so (as you averred in a previous comment). It is instead because:

    1. RB is seriously confused, mixing justification and sanctification.

    2. We are not up to the task of disentangling his confusion.

    I suggest brother that you aren’t either. ;-)

    RB is sincere in his confusion. While I wish he would speak with less bombastic confidence, given this confusion, I am hopeful that his sincerity is something that, in time, the Lord will bless.

    Roberty Bob, you clearly have a both/and understanding of things here. I think you would affirm the WLC’s distinctions between justification and sanctification. Yet in this last spate of comments, you demonstrate that you really do not get the distinctions being made, in that you offer opinions that conflate what the WLC has distinguished.

    Sincerely brother, beating this drum here is not conducive to brother’s growth in sanctification. Why not just stop pounding amongst those who you’re not helping?

  46. Kevin said,

    February 27, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Reed, ya, good advice brother . K

  47. BOB said,

    February 28, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    Kevin said,
    February 27, 2016 at 11:51 am
    “roberty bob, you are not a Reformed Christian, your words condemn you.”

    Roberty Bob, don’t feel alone. Kevin thinks I’m not a Methodist. In the end, those who are justified must be sanctified before they can be glorified.
    When all is said and done, you’re not more saved by imputed justification than you are by infused justification. Saved is still saved no matter how you got there.

  48. roberty bob said,

    February 29, 2016 at 11:05 am

    trusting in / believing into Jesus = faith > justification
    obeying Christ / keeping the commands = good works > sanctification

    Are these good works of obedience sins to be repented of? No. They are the righteous works of the saints wrought by the Spirit. Am I justified because of these works? No. The works, however, are the fruit of my professed faith. So, my faith is not alone [as James says]. Are the good works necessary for salvation?

    Ah, necessary is the key word now, isn’t it? Why would there be so many biblical exhortations to obey the Lord, to devote ourselves doing what is good, and to be fruitful if such things were unnecessary? How do you guys preach the texts which exhort us to obey and do good? I’ve been asking that question as sincerely as I can, and I only get charged with being a conflator for my efforts to find out how you preach these texts. Maybe you don’t preach these texts since they aren’t about justification.

    OK. So, Jesus lives out his own sermon on the mount perfectly — practicing what he preaches. I get that. But he goes on to exhort everyone who hears his words to also put them into practice — to “do” [live out] the righteousness of the kingdom. What do you do about that? Do you tell your congregation that even with Christ’s Spirit within them, that Christ has set the bar of obedience way too high — and that they will not be able to put his words into practice? That is what I have been hearing from you. Obedience / good works / a fruitful harvest of kingdom rightousness — all that Christ commands — is impossible, so therefore unnecessary.

    You may reply, or not, as you see fit.

  49. Kevin said,

    February 29, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    roberty bob, if Reed will indulge me one final post to you, and then I’ll let him decide to respond to you. He is the moderator. Its one thing to teach that obedience is a necessary consequence of saving faith, its another thing to teach that that obedience has anything to do with one’s acceptance before God. It doesnt. According to Ephessians, we do the works that God prepared for us before time begin. You must disassociate these works from justifying, and only see them as the necessary evidence of faith. And finally, when Paul was asked “what must I do to be saved”. He said ” believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved”. He didnt say believe and perform good works, then God evaluate your status at the end. John 5:24 tells a believer he has already passed out of death and judgment, hence works play no role. The warning passages should be taught, so they remind us what true faith produces, a life of holiness. But they arent perscriptive for justification. All the best. K

  50. roberty bob said,

    February 29, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Obedience is a necessary consequence of saving faith. We are in agreement on that. I have never said that one presents his good works to the Lord in order to be accepted or justified. I have said that faith is always accompanied by good works and that they give evidence of a faith that is alive, not dead. I am heartened that you are admitting that the good works are the necessary evidence of faith. Biblical examples of people with faith [Abraham, Moses, etc.] reveal a follow through of righteous action; the faith by which they were justified was never alone but accompanied by some kind of good work or godly action. We both agree that the good works are the very works God prepared for us in advance to do. There most certainly is an assessment of our lives at the Last Judgment; we are given what is due for all that was done while living in our bodies, whether good or bad. OK. These good works are not prescriptive for justification, as you say. Yet, they are commanded by the Lord — prescribed in some sense, right? And there are dire consequences for those who do not put Christ’s words into practice, as Jesus said in Matthew 7:24ff. How do these good works, then, have no bearing on the final outcome? What will happen if you sow to please the flesh and refuse to sow in order to please the Spirit? You will receive what is due for the deeds done in your body, right? Or am I wrong? Explain to me the relation of faith to works in light of the Last Judgment spoken of in Ecclesiastes 12:13,14 and 2 Corinthians 5:9,10.

  51. Kevin said,

    March 1, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Revelation 22: 17 ” The Spirit and the bride say ” come” let the one who wishes to take the water of life WITHOUT COST.”

  52. roberty bob said,

    March 1, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    It has already been established that salvation is the gift of God — free grace without cost. I gladly agree with that. But it does not answer my question about why obedience / good works are commanded. I agree that a true and living faith will result in the production of good fruit, even a harvest of righteousness [as the Apostle says]. You say that the warning passages should be taught to remind us that our faith produces a life of holiness. I think that the warnings impress upon professing believers the necessity of putting our Lord’s words into practice. There are actual commandments Christ intends for us to obey, and woe unto those who refuse / neglect to obey them.

    When Christ exhorts us to put his words into practice — to be that wise man who builds his house on the rock, and not that foolish man who builds on sand — is he not PRESCRIBING the WAY we must live in order to be SAVED from certain destruction? I believe so. Do you? If you do not believe so, then what is Jesus doing / saying in that passage?

    I believe that those justified by faith will — by faith — follow the way prescribed by our Lord, and build their house on the rock. They will do so in the belief that it is necessary. Christ does not command us to do things that are unnecesary for our eternal well-being.

  53. Kevin said,

    March 1, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Works are commanded to merit the increases of grace and justice inherently necessary to become inhrrently perfect in order to pass judgment. There! Thats the answer you want to hear on a reformed site. Now you heard it, you can go back to CtC with all the other pelagian go out and do your part gospelers and be happy. Im not sure we modern day reformed types quite understand the degree of works righteousness these Catholic blog siters are steeped in. Reed, forgive me for going 2 posts to long. I sinned. Im finished now. K

  54. roberty bob said,

    March 1, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Wrong answer, Kevin. I reject it. I do not ascribe to “merit the increase of grace” or to “becoming interently perfect in order to pass judgment.” You should know by now that this is not my belief. It is not what I want to hear from a Reformed Christian on a Reformed site. What I expect from the Reformed is the willingness to base their lives on Psalm 37:3, “Trust in the Lord and do good.” But the Reformed I have met here accuse me of being a conflator and of being confused whenever I say that it is just as necessary to obey the precepts as it is to trust the promises — that the warnings of Christ directed to those who call him LORD are for real. “Those who hear these words of mine and put them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock.” So, I say to you that I want to please the Lord by putting his words into practice, and you say that this is all self-righteousness. I say that any good work is wrought by the Holy Spirit who lives within. I say that it is necessary to sow to please the Spirit in order to produce a harvest of righteousness, and you say that this is all self-righteousness that ought to be repented of.

    Unbelievable. The Reformed doctrine I have been learning here at this site is surely at odds with the Reformed doctrine I have been taught for over sixty years. In our church we never get upset with our brothers and sister who sing “Trust and Obey!” We are heartened by those who make it their aim to please the Lord in the knowledge that they will One Day receive what is due for the deeds done in the body.

  55. Kevin said,

    March 1, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    You arent singing ” Trust and Obey” You are singing Trust and Obey, there is no other way, to be justified. Big difference. You dont see it. Good bye. K

  56. Reed Here said,

    March 2, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Roberty, you may have answered this somewhere here (over the years ;-) ), but please bear with my faulty memory. I have a few simple questions to ask that I think might crystallize for some of us what rhythm you are pounding out on your drum.

    I’ve got not tricks or gotchas in these questions. You are familiar enough with the contours of the debate to be able to avoid any even if I did (sincere offer of respect here). I fully expect that your answer will be focused enough that we wont find the need to debate even where we disagree.

    So, first question: is there any scenario in which you believe that the declaration of justification given by God at the beginning at conversion will be reversed at the day of judgment?

    Depending which way your answer goes will determine how I word follow up questions. Thanks for considering my question.

    Reed
    (no longer moderator, so I’ve got no “extra” powers :) )

  57. roberty bob said,

    March 2, 2016 at 10:23 am

    The declaration of justification is spoken to those whose faith is like that of Abraham, Moses, and the other cited in places like Hebrews 11. That kind of faith is true and living [in accord with James 2]. The Christ-like and fruitful manner of life that flow from it demonstrate its genuineness. A true and living faith puts Christ’s words into practice and builds upon the rock, and necessarily so.

    Those with such a faith whom God justifies will most most assuredly persevere in doing what is good on the way to their glorification. Along the way the faithful will repent when they sin, and find God gracious and just to forgive their sin for the sake of his Son. They will make their calling and election sure by their obedience.

    Those who claim to be justified by faith, but do not sow to please the Spirit, offering themselves instead to the continual service of the flesh, will not fare well on the day of judgment.

    In Christian preaching, we follow Christ’s example and urge our hearers to put his words into practice, to build our house / life on the ROCK. Those with a true and living faith — the justified! — will of necessity heed the exhortation.

    I can think of no scenario in which the divine declaration will be reversed at the Last Day. All will receive what is due for the deeds done in the body, whether good or bad. The justified by faith will receive what is due for having done what is good. They will have done the good and God-pleasing works prepared in advance for them to do in the Spirit’s power.

  58. Kevin said,

    March 2, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    You asked him what time it is, and he told you how to make a watch! Lol. K

  59. Kevin said,

    March 2, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Reed, here is the definition of schizophrenia. ” those who claim to be jbfa, but do not sow to please the Spirit, offering themselves instead to the continual service of the flesh, will not fare well on the day of judgment. ” THEN ” I can think of no scenario in which the divine declaration will be reversed on the last day. ” can we say equivocation boys and girls. Amazing. K

  60. Reed Here said,

    March 2, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Roberty, thank you.

    My first question was: “Is there any scenario in which you believe that the declaration of justification given by God at the beginning at conversion will be reversed at the day of judgment?”

    Your answer was: “I can think of no scenario in which the divine declaration will be reversed at the Last Day.” Plus a host of additional words that look like some sorts of qualifications.

    Maybe I could ask the same question this way: Once God declares a person justified, prior to the day of judgment, they stay justified?

    I appreciate that you want to add qualifications. Might you, for the sake of clarity with me here, just restrict yourself to yes or no?

    If your answer is yes, I promise to ask sufficient follow up questions to allow you to explicate what you think is important to emphasize that you think is being missed.

    If your answer is no, please feel free to explain under what circumstances a person would not remain in a justified state.

    Thanks.

  61. roberty bob said,

    March 2, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Kevin, I take it then that you hold that a person can claim to be justified by faith while continuing in a life of wickedness — sowing to please the flesh — with no fear of the Final Judgment when each one will receive his due for the deeds done in the body.

    If that is your belief, I reject it, and hold that the Lord justifies those whose faith is like that of Abraham — where there is evidence of a true conversion: believing into the promises and walking in obedience to the Lord.

    The Lord knows who are his own redeemed treasured possession. He justifies those whose faith is true. Persons with such a faith have nothing to fear at the Final Judgement when each one will receive his due.

    So, YES, once God declares a person justified, they stay justified. God’s judgment is according to truth.

  62. roberty bob said,

    March 2, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Reed Here,

    How do you preach the Matthew 7:24ff passage from our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount? Do you believe that it is necessary to obey Christ — to put his words into pratice / build you house on the ROCK — in order to be finally saved? If not, then what is the point of Christ’s exhortation?

  63. roberty bob said,

    March 2, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Reed Here,

    Is it a rejection of the doctrine of justification by faith alone to believe that it is good and necessary to make it our aim to please the Lord with the prospect of the Judgment in view when we shall receive our due for what was done in the body?

  64. Kevin said,

    March 3, 2016 at 8:00 am

    So the tax collector and the theif on the cross really werent justified that day and entered heaven. Jesus lied because RC roberty bob and his abominable church believe God is going to weigh up the goods and the bads in the end, and only if the goods outweigh the bads wil someone get in. But, of course, he firmly believes a man is jbfa. Even though John 5:24 says we have already passed out of judgment and death, but roberty bob would have us to believe that the final judgment will include a final evaluation of our works, so lets be clear, he is saying our justification DEPENDS on ” how we sew to the Spirit”. in other words, our justification is dependent on the righteousness of God done in us, and not solely on the merits of Christ alone. K

  65. roberty bob said,

    March 3, 2016 at 9:02 am

    You are not being helpful, Kevin. Of course the criminal on the cross was saved; Christ declared him so; Christ knew that his faith was true.

    There is a final judgement, however, in which people receive what is due for what is done in the body. You know the biblical texts to which I refer. Be helpful. Explain those texts to me in the light of John 5:24, please. Are you saying that all those who pass from death to life — the justified by faith — will not appear before Christ on the Last Day to receive their due for what was done in the body, whether good or bad? Yes, and the Apostle Paul speaks of sowing [to the flesh / to the Spirit] and of reaping [destruction / eternal life]. Are you saying that what is sown is of no consequence for one’s salvation? If not, what is Paul’s purpose behind this urgent exhortation?

  66. roberty bob said,

    March 3, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Kevin, following our Lord’s words recorded in John 5:24, are these words of our Lord in John 5:28-30 . . . “A time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear his voice and come out — those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. By myself I can do nothing. I judge only what I hear, and my judgement is just.” — Jesus Christ our Lord

    Please explain how doing what is good has no relation to the salvation promise of everlasting life. When you come out of your grave . . . what then? Tell me how it goes.

  67. Kevin said,

    March 3, 2016 at 10:17 am

    You said ” there is a final judgment,however, where people receive what is due for what is done” so, does this verse say that one’s acceptance before God is in some way tied to ” what is due” for ” what is done” your theory is exactly what Paul says in Romans 4:4is not the case. He says the wage ( ” what is due”) is payed to the one who works ( ” what is done”). But Paul says this is NOT like the favor. But God justifies the one WHO DOES NOT WORK” You say God justifies finally” what is done” for ” what is due” but Paul says the complete opposite. Notice he doesnt say to the one who works his work is credited, but to the one who works his wage is credited. As the wage is external in the crediting to the worker, the righteouness of Christ is creited to the non worker theu faith. Thats how the favor is different to the doer. Justification is never, never, never based on ” what is due” for what is done” Your in the wrong religion. Be warned. Its only fair to Reed that I let him discourse with you, without any interruption. K

  68. roberty bob said,

    March 3, 2016 at 10:50 am

    “Those who have done what is good will rise to live.” — Jesus
    “Those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.” — Jesus

    Kevin, Do you agree with these two claims of Christ? Yes or No.

    Kevin, why do you blast me for bringing up these claims?
    ………

    You ask me whether one’s acceptance before God is in some way tied to what is due for what is done. If the evil rise to be be condemned, then I would have to say that the evil have not found acceptance with God. If the doers of what is good rise to live, then I would have to say that the doers of good have found acceptance with God. I am not saying that good works done by the doers of good works are the basis of their acceptance with God. I am saying that only a faith that is true and living and fruitful unto good works is a justifying faith! Our Lord judges / justifies according to truth. Those who have such a faith will fare well at the final judgment: they will rise to live! The good that they have done validates the faith that they professed. God will be glorified for the Spirit-wrought works of those who have believed into Jesus.

  69. Kevin said,

    March 3, 2016 at 11:27 am

    ” our Lord justifies according to truth” wrong kimosabe, our God justifies acording to the merits of Christ ALONE received by faith alone. Our Lord justifies the UNGODLY. You are trying to say God justifies on the truth of real inherent righteouness existing in one’s life.. But that is what Paul rejects. ” He is just and justifier of those who have faith in Jesus” No one will be justified on the quality of one’s faith. ” if we deny him, he will deny us, if we are faithless, He REMAINS faithful. The verses you quote are descriptive of a believer, not perscriptive of justification. K

  70. roberty bob said,

    March 3, 2016 at 11:54 am

    God justifies repentant sinners who believe in[to] His Son Jesus, whose saving righteousness avails for them. I do agree with you that all who come to Jesus this way come to Jesus with no good works of which to boast. The true believer does not trust in himself or in any good thing that he has done, but in the saving righteousness of Christ revealed in his atoning blood and resurrection life. This is what I have always believed. This is how I came to Christ the hour I first believed.

    Many people profess faith in Christ, believing themselves to be justified by that same faith. Not all of them heed the exhortation of Christ and the Apostles to put the Lord’s words into practice, to build their house upon the ROCK. We are jbfa, they say, so it doesn’t matter how or where we build the house of our lives. Our disobedience — our failure to do what is good, our continuation in doing evil — will have no bearing at the Last Judgment. When we believed we passed from death to life, so our manner of life from that moment on — whether good or evil — cannot endanger our salvation.

    While I whole-heartedly agree that all who believe into Jesus pass from death unto life, I also whole-heartedly agree with Jesus that the life of faith is a life of faith working through love, doing every kind of good in the Spirit’s power unto the glory of God’s name. I believe that all those who manifest this kind of faith — a true, living, good fruit producing faith — will rise from their graves to LIVE!

  71. roberty bob said,

    March 3, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Yes, Kevin, the Lord justified the UNGODLY who have faith in his promise; now you are saying that even if the justified ungodly go on to live a faithless life, sowing to please the flesh, that there are no eternal consequences because in one moment in time they professed jbfa?

  72. Reed Here said,

    March 3, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Roberty, I understand you want to press your issue. And I’m willing to let you do that. But for the sake of some clarity, I’m asking if you’ll suspend that for just a brief span of time and let me ask some questions that I think will both clear up misunderstanding AND demonstrate we’re all in more agreement than not.

    Might you work with me, please?

    In an effort to work with you, I’ll take this response to Kevin as a “yes” to my question, once justified, always justified. You said, “So, YES, once God declares a person justified, they stay justified. God’s judgment is according to truth.”

    O.k., sounds like there is agreement at this level. My next question is this:

    Do you think a justified person can fail to receive the fullness of glorification? That is, can they be justified and on the Day of Judgment STILL not receive the promised blessings associated with the final state? (I.e., new body, new soul, new heavens, new earth, eternal life with Jesus and all the saints, etc.)

    Again, if your answer is “no,” please leave it at that and let me ask a couple more follow up questions.

    If your answer is “yes” (a justified person can fail to be glorified), then please explain under what circumstances you think that might happen.

    Thanks.

  73. Reed Here said,

    March 3, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Kevin, might I ask you to refrain from responding to Roberty for just a few more back and forths between him and I? I promise to relinquish the floor to you and him shortly.

  74. roberty bob said,

    March 3, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Those God predestined, God called; those God called, he justified; those God justified, He also glorified.

    Those justified will be glorified at the Last Day, without fail.

  75. Reed Here said,

    March 3, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Thank Roberty. Very clear and concise. Maybe I’ve just got one follow up question, and then you can get to your issue.

    Do you believe it is possible for a justified person to fail to persevere in the obedience which God ordained for him when He saved him?

    If yes, how might this occur?

    If no, then in one sentence, what is the issue you think Kevin and/or others here are missing?

    Again, thanks!

  76. roberty bob said,

    March 3, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    A justified person will not fail to persevere in the good works ordained by God for him to do. He will take the exhortation [hear my words and put them into practice] to heart, and at the Last Day, having done what is good, he will rise to live. As Jesus said.

    Why am I being accused of denying jbfa and of conflating justification and sanctification when Christ and his apostles continually command professing believers to work out their salvation by doing what is good — with the Last Day in view? What is the point of the exhortation if good works are totally off the table? If good works are unnecessary, then why are they commanded to be done? If good works are necessary, then what are they necessary for . . . ? And what is the consequence for not doing them?

  77. Reed Here said,

    March 3, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Roberty,

    You believe that one who is justified WILL do these things.

    You believe they WILL persevere.

    You believe they WILL receive the confirmation of their justification.

    So your final question does not follow. It is your insistence that you affirm the former, and then think it is vitally essential to ask the latter, that has some confused, wondering whether or not you are equivocating.

    If you are only insisting that good works are the necessary consequent fruit of one’s sanctification which proves that justification has taken place, then you’re repeatedly shouting “FIRE” to people who are gospel-soaked (at least here at GB).

    Sincerely, I understand why you would take umbrage at Kevin’s challenges. At the same time, his question about the possibility of equivocation on your part is understandable in light of comments like your last one. Can you at least appreciate how the question of equivocation arises when you assert, “A justified person will not fail to persevere in the good works ordained by God for him to do.” and then conclude with “If good works are necessary, then what are they necessary for . . . ? And what is the consequence for not doing them?” The latter “hanging chad” question surfaces a legitimate question about the integrity of your initial assertion.

    I’ve know I’ve similarly pushed you in the past. Forgive me for not taking a more gentle tone and extending the effort to reason with you why I’m troubled by the appearance of equivocation on your part. Sincerely, forgive me.

    Hopefully laying that aside, let me suggest that you consider whether or not you are encouraging the very misunderstanding to which you object. You would agree that as pastors we are called to speak with as much clarity as we can, right? I’m grateful to believe you do.

    So maybe rather than offering a comment that begins with what is clear and unequivocable, and then ending with a question that raises doubt, maybe you could speak with a bit more clarity?

    Casting no stones here; I am one who regularly mea cuplpa’s for a lack of clarity in my teaching, and then strives to do better the next time.

    Might I simply ask at this point that you answer your own last question for us? Given the years of hashing out justification and sanctification on this blog, I don’t think this needs to be brought up again, and again, and again. Let’s agree to refer people to the appropriate chapters and Q&A’s in the Westminster Standards, and move on.

    I am comfortable with how I think the Bible would answer your question: the one who lacks the necessary fruits of sanctification was not justified in the first place. I am comfortable following the pattern of warnings in Scripture that the lack of increasing fruit should drive one back to the cross, to see if they’re saved in the first place. I am comfortable urging on the believer intent on growing in holiness to rely on the One who is our sanctification. I.O.W., I am comfortable teaching the Bible’s pattern that the good news that gets us in grows us in.

    And I don’t think I am the exception here at GB. Rather, I am just an ordinary plowman working his little corner of the Master’s Harvest Fields. We’re not in doubt on the consequent necessity of obedience, the fruit of sanctification, the doing of the ordained good works.

    If all you’re concerned about is captured in what I’ve affirmed, may I encourage you to quit pulling the fire alarm. :)

  78. roberty bob said,

    March 3, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    It would seem that we are in agreement here on the consequent necessity of obedience. It is necessary to believe in / to trust in order to be saved / justified; it is necessary to obey the Lord by putting his words into practice in order to grow in sanctification.

    Is it, then, permissible to speak of the faith that justifies in the following terms: a living faith, an obedient faith, a fruitful faith, a faith that works through love? I have used those terms my entire adult Christian life [40+ years]. Are you comfortable with those descriptors, or does that in your view import aspects of sanctification into justification and come across as conflationary?

    Otherwise, thank you for the time that you have taken to respond in search of clarity and common ground.

    Kevin, I appreciate your zeal. The conversation has been exasperating at times — talking over and around each other. Nonetheless, I offer my thanks.

  79. Reed Here said,

    March 3, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    Roberty, not exactly. I would amend your phrasing:

    “… the faith that justifies in the following terms: IS a living faith, an obedient faith, a fruitful faith, a faith that works through love?”

    Maybe a small quibble, but in light of the confusion I think is associated with the FV discussion, I think one that is helpful for us all. Even if you’re simply trying to observe WLC 74, “justifying faith,” I think my offered adjustment is preferable.

    With this adjustment in view, I recognize that the Bible speaks in the phrases you use. E.g., with Paul, for example, we can speak of the obedience of “obedience of faith’ (Rom 1:5).

  80. roberty bob said,

    March 3, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    That you, Reed, for affirming that justifying faith is living, obedient, fruitful, and works through love. I appreciate that you recognize that the Bible speaks in the phrases I use. Thanks for your encouragement to speak with clarity. All the best!!

  81. Kevin said,

    March 5, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Reed said ” I recognize that the bible speaks in phrases that you use ” no Reed, the bible doesnt speak about a final justification based on the life lived. And we wonder why the doctrine of imputation and faith are being corrupted within the Reformed walls. . You just affirmed a synergist by coddling him. Congrats. K

  82. roberty bob said,

    March 5, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    “No, Reed, the Bible doesn’t speak about a final justification based on the life lived.” — Kevin

    The Bible does, however, speak of a coming judgment in which “God will repay each person according to what he has done; to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, He will give eternal life . . . : glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does good, first for the Jew, then for the Gentile . . . ; those who obey the Law will be declared righteous” [from the inspired pen of the Apostle Paul in Romans 2].

    I believe what Paul is saying here just as much as I believe his “justified by faith apart from works of the Law” utterances. You have accused me of being a synergist for emphasizing the truth and eternal importance of this passage and others like it.

    Kevin, how about taking a stand and repeating that passage out loud ten times. Say it until you grow comfortable with its profound truths:

    *a judgment is coming
    *God will repay each person
    *according to what he has done
    *eternal life [glory, honor, peace] to everyone who does good
    *Jew and Gentile alike; God is no respecter of persons
    *obeyers of the law declared righteous

    I see no conflict here or contradiction with justification by faith. Do you?

    So, what’s the problem?

  83. Kevin said,

    March 5, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    ” the bible does speak, however ,of a coming judgment in which God will repay each person accrding to what they have done” not with justification. Why dont you man up and tell us what God will repay them with? Dont equivocate. Will He repay them with final justification? Yes or no? No smooth pastor talk? Will He repay them with justification? Yes or no? K

  84. roberty bob said,

    March 5, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Kevin, the payment, as Paul says, is eternal life [glory, honor, peace] to to everyone who does good; and wrath, anger, trouble, distress to those who are self-seeking and do evil.

    Eternal life [glory, honor, peace] is the payment / reward given to everyone who does good. Those with faith who perservere in doing what is good, as Paul says, will receive the promised eternal life.

    Is eternal life the same thing as justification?

    You tell me. Romans 1:17 “He who through faith is righteous shall live!”

    So, what’s the problem?

  85. roberty bob said,

    March 5, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    “If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” — Matthew 19:17

    This is our Lord’s answer to a man who asked him what he needed to do in order to have eternal life.

    All those who receive Jesus, believing in[to] him, will be given the grace and the faith to live in obedience to the commandments. Those who want to enter [the eternal] life [of his kingdom] must do as Christ said. On Judgment Day everyone’s works will be revealed, and the judgment will be according to what everyone has done in the body, whether good or bad.

    Kevin, do you agree with the word of our Lord recorded in Matthew 19:17? Why do you suppose Jesus answered the man’s question that way?

  86. Kevin said,

    March 6, 2016 at 7:39 am

    Reed, there, I did your work for you brother. Read roberty bob ‘s responses. ” Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks ” No way does he believe a man is predestined to glory according to the goodness of God only, but according to His merit in somevway. Blessings k

  87. Kevin said,

    March 6, 2016 at 7:56 am

    Roberty bob, what kind of works are rewarded in Romans 2? Think about it. K

  88. roberty bob said,

    March 6, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Kevin @ #87 . . . I have answered your question many times. Without faith it is impossible to please God. The works that are rewarded are the works done by faith, through the Spirit’s power, in obedience to the commandments. It is Christ working through me.

    It is Paul the Apostle of Christ who unequivocally says that it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous [Romans 2:13]. He says nothing in Romans 2 about them being declared righteous on account of someone else obeying the law in their place. Christ obeyed the law, to be sure, and fulfilled it. Through the new covenant in Christ’s blood, the law is now written in the hearts of God’s children — and it is being obeyed: all who live by faith sow to please the Spirit and reap a harvest of righteousness.

    All who are predestined to glory will be called by the gospel to a living faith; the justified who live by faith will be not hearers only but doers of the law; this fact will be confirmed on the Last Day when their works are revealed and rewarded.

    Kevin, the Bible tells me so.

  89. Kevin said,

    March 6, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Roberty bob, you make the same mistake Jason Stellman made and Dave Anders, and rhe Catholic church. Romans 2 is an overall argument that Paul is using the jealousy metaphor. As God tried to make the Jews jealous in the OT, Jesus did in the gospels, Paul does in Romans. From Romans 1 thru 3 Paul ALWAYS has the works of the law in mind, the mosaic law. Those are the works that are rewarded by God. But the law requires perfection, perfect,personal, perpetual obedience. And in chapter 3 Paul says the law shuts everyone up, no one will be justified it. Then in 3:20 he says their is a righteouness APART from the law. In Romans 2 Paul is making the Jews jealous by saying the believing gentiles ( those who have the law written on their hearts ) are better at keeping the law than the Jews. He says the doers of the law will be justified and not the hearers. But he doesnt say they will be justified by doing the law. These gentiles who were jbfa were better at obeying the law than jews. From chapter 1 on Paul gives examples like disobeying parents, stealing, etc., all violations on the Mosaic law. Are we to believe all of a sudden Paul switches to a different law ( the righteouness of God done in us ). No, it would be out of context. You have fallen into the Roman trap. In your false religion Christ is the beginning of the law for righteouness to all who believe. Wrong. APART from the law Paul says. ALL LAW. Reed might be more consoling to you, not me. Repent of your goodness and trust Christ alone. K

  90. roberty bob said,

    March 6, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Those of us — me included — who come to Christ with a contrite heart in the conviction that we are sinners in need of salvation, who cannot save themselves DO NOT present our good works for God’s approval as though we are righteous in ourselves. I have trusted, and continue to trust, Christ alone for my salvation. By his saving righteousness — his shed blood and risen life — I am saved. Those of us — me included — who are justified by faith will hear the law and obey it; the faith that justifies is a living, obedient, fruitful faith that is devoted to the doing of all things good for the glory of God’s name.

    Justified by faith? YES
    Doers of the law justified? YES
    Doers of the law are living by faith? YES
    Doers of the law are deceived, misguided, and self-righteous? NO
    Doers of the law must repent of their goodness? NO
    Doers of the law are living by faith as Christ commands? YES
    Doers of the law are walking worthy of the gospel? YES

    The works or deeds revealed on the Last Day will be confirming of those who are justified by faith. It will show that they have lived [or worked out] their faith in the way Christ intended. There is no self-righteousness in this.

    “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” — 1 Thessalonians 1:3

    “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it DOES NOT submit to GOD’S LAW, neither can it do so. But you [Christian brother and sisters], however, are not in the realm of the flesh but in the realm of the Spirit . . . .” — Romans 8:7,9 The implication is that we who live in the realm of the Spirit [filled with / led by] DO submit to God’s Law. This is how we live out our faith.

    Yes, Christ is the END of the Law. He put an end to Law’s failed governance [usurped by King Sin], and established the governance of GRACE through King Jesus. Under Grace we are given the Holy Spirit to do be not merely hearers of the law but doers.

  91. Kevin said,

    March 6, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Please answer yes or no. Is there a final justification based on our Spirit led works? Please, no long answer on sanctification. Yes or no? Do our works figure in to our final justification?

  92. roberty bob said,

    March 6, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Yes.

    “You, Lord, reward everyone according to what they have done.”
    — Psalm 62:12

    On the Last Day everyone’s works [the life lived in the body / all that is said and done] are accounted for, evaluated, and given their due.

    I don’t care what pigeon-hole you put that truth into, whether final justification or sanctification. The truth, which resounds in the Psalms, Ecclesiastes, the Prophets, the Gospels, and the Epistles is that on the Last Day there is an accounting of everyone’s life, and there is a reward comensurate with the deeds done. Everyone comes out of the grave to appear before the Rightous Judge. Some will rise to everlasting life; others will rise to shame and everlasting disgrace.

    You would say, I suppose, that faith is the sole determining factor. OK. Where do you find faith? You find faith in the good and godly actions of Christian believers. Do our works figure? When I read Psalm 62:12 and the other biblical references that practically quote it, then I believe that the words “according to” means “our works figure” [to use your term].

    Ultimately, what matters is that the LORD knows who are his own. He knows their faith and He knows their works [see the Letter to the Seven Churches]; He knows whether the works emanate from a true and living faith which trusts wholly in the Son. He judges the works.

    Kevin, I’m curious. What does Psalm 62:12 [quoted above] say to you. How do you explain this text to someone who wants to know?

  93. Kevin said,

    March 6, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Roberty bob, thanks for your honest response. It is clear to me by your words, you are embedded and lost in a works righteousness religion. And if you say you are a pastor in a Reformed church, and you are allowed to pastor, Im shocked. By your words you are no Christian. All the best.

  94. roberty bob said,

    March 6, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    “By your words you are no Christian.” — Kevin

    So, you are saying that someone like me who comes to Jesus for life — confessing his sins, trusting Christ alone as his Savior, loving the Lord Jesus and keeping his commandments [at Christ’s own urging] through his indwelling Spirit is no Christian?

    believe Christ
    trust Christ
    love Christ
    follow Christ
    obey Christ
    serve Christ
    ………
    not a Christian?

  95. Ron said,

    March 6, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    RB,

    Wisdom is justified in her children. It’s vindicated in other words. Is this final justification of which you refer – the one that takes into account Spirit wrought works, a vindication of the justification we appropriate by faith alone? In other words, will works corroborate genuine faith or are you really trying to say that sinners will be pardoned, at least in part, on the grounds of their Spirit wrought works?

    If the latter, do you believe that the final justification will be a republication of the believer’s present justification? (Fesko) If so, and if this final justification is according to works (contra Fesko) then wouldn’t that mean that the believer’s present justification would also have to be according to works?

    If the final justication is neither a vindication by works nor a republication of the present justification, then is something lacking in our present pardon? (Frankly, I think Dr. Gaffin erred monumentally by trying to press a useful already-not-yet paradigm into the doctrine of justification. At best he was confusing and at worst he strayed from the faith in what he has penned.) In any case, without addressing by name the one to whom I might trace this unfortunate confusion over a second pardon that allegedly completes the first, you might consider Fesko on the subject. It’s quite unfortunate that we might actually have needed such a book as his but here we are today.

  96. roberty bob said,

    March 7, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Yes. The final justification — or Last Judgment — takes into account of the Spirit-wrought works; it is the corroboration of one’s justification by faith. There is always pardon for sin along life’s way as we work out our salvation; Christ-trusting sinners are not pardoned on the grounds of their Spirit-wrought works but on the basis of God’s grace revealed in the saving righteousness of Christ. The sinner comes to Christ for life [salvation!] without his works in tow. I’ve said that repeatedly.

    The justified believer, being found in Christ, and empowered by the Spirit, is that [new] creation redeemed and restored to mankind’s original purpose; thus, he is exhorted [yea, encouraged] to walk worthy of that calling. This means yielding a harvest of faith-produced works that are good and pleasing to the Lord — keeping the commandments, being an obeyer / doer of the law.

    “We constantly pray for you that our God may make you worthy of his calling and that by His power He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
    — 2 Thessalonians 1:11ff.

    One might say that the justified by faith, being fruitful in all manner of goodness, will be presented on that Last Day as splendiforous trophies of God’s grace. Every deed prompted by faith will, of course, be a deed that is obedient to God’s Law. And it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous on that Day [Romans 2:13 — Paul’s words, not mine]. Why would I, or anyone else, believe otherwise?

  97. Ron said,

    March 7, 2016 at 1:16 am

    RB,

    Delighted to hear that…What you’re saying is that good works will corroborate the justified. If that’s your theology, I think it’s probably wise to avoid using the word “justify” if you actually mean corroborate or vindicate. Otherwise we’re left with “good works will justify the justified.” Let’s not use justified in two different senses in the same discussion.

    For what it’s worth, those who’ve been buried and raised with Christ have been judged already. So much so we’re already seated and reigning with Christ at the right hand of the Father. We await the physical, outward manifestation of that reality. Any teaching that detracts from our complete and all sufficient pardon in Christ eclipses the gospel. To call a future justification an “acquittal” that’s according to works but that works aren’t the grounds of the acquittal is at best confusing. And, if there’s a final justification that’s an open manifestation of the reality of our present justification, our works can play no part in such an acquittal since they play no part in our present day justification.

  98. Kevin said,

    March 7, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Ron, excellent post. And to add to that, justification can never take into account our internal state of affairs or our works because at no time are we perfect, and the law requires perfect, personal, and perpetual obediece. Catholics like roberty bob misread Romans 2. Throughout chapter 1-3 Paul describes the mosaic law, the works that are rewarded . To think he changes in 2:13 to a ” new law” is a mistake. All along, in context, the mosaic law is in view. I believe in the jealousy metaphor that runs throughout scipture. Here, Paul is making the Jews jealous by saying the believing gentiles ( those with the law written on their hearts ) obey the law better than the unbelieving Jews. In 13 he says the doers of the law will be justified, but he doesnt say they will be justified by doing the law. We know in chapter 3 he says no one will be justified by observing the law. In fact 20 says, apart from the law. If roberty bob were right, then 10:4 would read Christ is the beginning of the law for righteouness to all who believe. Roberty bob is saying we are justified by the righteouness of God done in us. Wrong. Clement said no holy deeds in justification. Our righteouness isnt derived from His, it is His righteouness. We are justified by Christ alone. K

  99. roberty bob said,

    March 7, 2016 at 9:17 am

    “Justification can never take into account our internal state of affairs or our works because at no time are we perfect, and the law requires perfect, personal, and perpetual obedience.” — Kevin

    The Lord God can take into account our works and be pleased with every good work that is done in faith for the sake of His Son and for the glory of His name.

    Please explain to me the [non-justification] judgment that is scheduled for the Last Day. Teach me what you believe about this, please.

    *each of us
    *receives
    *what is due
    *for things done in the body
    *whether good or bad

    For what purpose is this judgment sceduled?

    How does it relate or link to the initial justification of being declared righteous for what Christ has done [and not for what you have done]?

    Why, at this point, will the things you have done be brought to light and receive their due?

  100. Kevin said,

    March 7, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Ron, Im not sure if you read earlier posts, but roberty bob is a cloaked synergist who by his own words believes in a final justification based on the life lived. I finally asked yes or no to this, he said yes. So he admits that a man is predestined to glory according to his merit in some way, instead of just the goodness of God. These so called Reformed who cozy up to Rome, are truly pelagian in every sense of the word. Protestants are buying Rome’s ways more and more, from their brand of incarnationslism ( idolatry) to their gospel that wants to smuggle their character into God’s work of grace. K

  101. Kevin said,

    March 7, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Roberty bob, we shouldnt lookbat God’s judgment as God judging our works in terms of justification or judging our sins, but as God rewarding our life. He is simply rewarding his works prepared for us. But, not with justification. How do we know this? There is NOW no condemnation for those in Christ. Ephessians 1:7 says we HAVE redemption. Not will have after the works are judged. You are the person that Paul prayed for salvation in 10:1 who has a zeal fo God but not in accordance with knowledge. You rob God of his glory by thibking something you DO has anything to do with your salvation. Smuggler, thats what you are. But a nice smuggler who spits in the face of God. IT ID GOD WHO JUSTIFIES. k

  102. roberty bob said,

    March 7, 2016 at 10:34 am

    So, you are saying, Kevin @101 . . . that on the Last Day God will reward you, the man justified by faith in Jesus, for the life of faith you have lived — the good works that He prepared for you to do, and which were done by you through the power of the indwelling Christ at work within you.

    I could not agree more.

  103. roberty bob said,

    March 7, 2016 at 10:42 am

    God’s glory is not robbed when we by faith DO the good works ordained for us to do. Doing the good works of faith is of no merit to us; it only serves to give glory to God who, through his Son, has redeemed and restored to us our First Estate with all of the honors that attend it [Psalm 8; Hebrews 2; 2 Thessalonians 1].

  104. Reed Here said,

    March 7, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Kevin, no. 82, no, respectfully, I did not say or affirm that. A bit closer reading would be appreciated.

  105. Reed Here said,

    March 7, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Kevin, I might suggest read Roberty a bit closer. Sometimes unclear in what he is affirming, yes? Possible a fatal equivocation exists in his beliefs? I only say maybe if he affirms the FV. I have not enough knowledge to say more that that.

    Maybe it rests on what RB means by the word “based” when he talks about the role of works at the vindication fo all God’s people at the final judgment.

    As far as I’ve been able to follow, including in your “smoking gun” comment from RB, I hear him affirming what the WS affirm, that the good works done by the believer serve as the basis for his vindication of faith at the last judgment; these GW done in relationship with and in submission to Christ, serve as the evidence that the one judged at the throne of judgment is declared to truly be a regenerate believer, one who has already received a justification to which their GW added nothing of meritorious value.

    What I wish I would hear more from RB is how the Spirit through the gospel is the means by which we grow in these GW, ala, Rom 1:16-17; Col 1:5-6; 2:6-7, et.al.

    More charity, more clarity; less AHAAA-Gotcha!!!! Kevin. Just a request from your brother who cares as deeply as you about these things.

  106. roberty bob said,

    March 7, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    of possible interest . . . ?

    John Calvin, with reference to Phinehas [Psalm106:31], says . . .

    “We affirm the the work of Phinehas was imputed to him for righteousness in the same way God imputes the works of the faithful to them for righteousness, not in consequence of any merit which they possess, but of His own free and unmerited grace.”

    Edward Polhill [a Puritan, 1600s] pp. 92-93 A View of Some Divine Truths, says . . .

    “Obedience is a condition necessary as to our continuance in a state of justification.”

    Thomas Goodwin, p. 187 The Works of TG v.7, says . . .

    “So as there is no more danger to say [the professing believer]. . . at the latter day shall be justified by his works, as evidence of his state of faith, than to say that he shall be judged according thereto.”

    Francis Turrentin, Inst. 17.5.24, speaking of the Last Day, says . . .

    ” . . . life rendered to good works.”

    Herman Witsius, speaking of the Final Judgement, uses this term . . .

    “publicly justified, declared heirs of eternal life.”
    ………..

    My poor head! My head! There’s an echo inside my head!

  107. Ron said,

    March 7, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    It can get quite frustrating, Kevin. Some claim that a future justification is “according to works” while also asserting it’s not on the “basis” or “ground” of those works. There’s apparently a subtle distinction, which they’re wiling to unpack this way: the second justification is the “fruit” or “evidence” of our initial justification. That distinction could possibly be workable if it weren’t obliterated by the additional claim that these justifications are *not* to be considered two different ones (one pardon and the other evidence of pardon), but rather they are to be viewed as inseparable parts of one justification. The two comprise the one, which means neither is complete without the other. (This stands in stark contrast to the one and only justification being made public *according* to the one and only “ground” for it, Christ’s perfect righteousness).

    It’s claimed that although we’ve already received our initial justification, it awaits its final consummation. Our justification is not yet fully completed. A monstrosity?

    This is so terribly contrary to how one might catechize his children with respect to justification and glorification, or even alien righteousness and the magnanimous crowning of graces. If we are now 100% pardoned and declared righteous on the basis of the perfect righteousness of another, our *justification* cannot possibly await completion according to evidence of the fruit of the Spirit. One may hold to a public display of the evidence that faith without works is dead, but that’s merely works toward a vindication of the inexorable tie between faith and practice. It has nothing to do with our right standing to the demands of the law and the declaration that might accompany it.

    It’s difficult to make sense out of confusion in an effort to show what it is, but it’s not so hard to show what it is not. Whatever that stuff is, it’s not Bible or Reformed.

  108. Kevin said,

    March 7, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Ron, ya, exactly. Galatians 2:5, Paul never gave an inch, and either should we. Lets face it, imputation and faith are under attack. Paul said faith isnt law. The corruption of faith at its core has always been the conflation of law and gospel. Can it be any clearer ” apart from the law” ” not of works” ” not of yourselves” Those who would smuggle their character into God’s work of grace will indeed get their due for their works. Be careful what you wish for. Hope you r well Ron. K

  109. Ron said,

    March 7, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Brothers,

    Don’t take my commentary as necessarily pertaining to RB. My lament is over men from whom I’ve profited.

  110. roberty bob said,

    March 7, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Faith isn’t Law. Paul says so. I agree with Paul.

    The man of faith led by the Spirit [not flesh] submits to God’s law. Paul says so. I agree with Paul.

    Those who live by faith in obedience to God’s law are not smuggling their character into God’s work of grace; they are living out their faith in the way that God in Christ intended — putting His words into practice, building upon the ROCK.

  111. Kevin said,

    March 7, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    ” those who are living in obedience to God’s law arent smuggling their character into God-s work of grace” Thats what the Jews said in Romans 9:32 – 10:4, or those in Galatians 5:1-4. According to Paul they were trying to be justified by law in some way. They believed in God’s grace. But they tried in some way get there by works. And Paul said ” if its by works it is NO LONGER by grace. You and the FV have no idea the danger your teaching your people. And you will be held accountable for it. To make works any part of justification is to pervert God’s gospel, and to nullify grace. Jesus prayed Father sanctify them in truth, thy word is truth. Even our sanctification isnt our responsibility, its God’s. He sanctifies us thru his word. In fact, in Hebrews 10:10 and 1 Corinthians 1, Paul refers to those who have been sanctified. I believe all of salvation is forensic for Paul. Undergirded by a declaration that is irrevocable. Tell me how the FV is different from Rome? It isnt. There should be no talk of future in justification and no talk of works. Our works ate simply our reasonable service of worship. K

  112. roberty bob said,

    March 8, 2016 at 11:06 am

    “Whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
    Let us not become weary in doing good [well-doing], for in the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” — Galatians 6:8,9

    Reasonable Service? YES
    Our Responsibility? YES
    Obedience to Christ? YES
    Flows from Our Union with Christ? YES
    Done in the Spirit’s Power? YES
    Fulfills the Law of Christ? YES
    Results in Eternal Life? YES
    Smuggles Our Character into God’s Saving Grace? NO

  113. Kevin said,

    March 8, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Roberty bob, maybe Reed will find this uncharitable, but its time to call you and the FV what it really is, ROMAN CATHOLICISM. As John MacArthur says ” you purport that God justifies the ungodly by first making them Godly.” You define faith to include works. Pistis, or fiducia means trust, resting in. Works are EXCLUDED from justification ” if its by works it is no longer by grace” So you and the FV, like your leader the pope, the one head the FV really wants to be in communion with, Im calling out. Galatians 2:5, if Paul wont relent, neither should justified believers. K

  114. roberty bob said,

    March 8, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    “You [RB] define faith to include works.” — Kevin

    I trust in Christ, rest in Christ’s saving righteousness [his work].

    Being saved / justified by faith, I work out my faith in obedience to the law of Christ — faith working through love / sowing to please the Spirit with the harvest of eternal life in view.

    I am in Christ, Christ lives in me. He is glorified by the fruitful works of his faithful children which are wrought by the power of His Spirit living within them.

    Even so, I am responsible to live the way Christ commands — to put his words into practice, to do what is good, right, and pleasing in God’s sight. I believe that Christ holds you responsible, too.

    By the way, what is it about post #112, Galatians 6:8,9 that troubles you? How have I not spoken the truth?

  115. Ron said,

    March 8, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    RB,

    Would you mind trying to articulate back to Kevin his objection to your position?

  116. Ron said,

    March 8, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Kevin,

    All of salvation is forensic and we’re not responsible for our sanctification?

  117. roberty bob said,

    March 8, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Kevin apparently objects to any connection between the believer’s initial justifying faith in which he comes to Jesus to receive the freely offered gift of saving grace AND the life of obedience — the works of faith — that necessarily follow, and which will be taken into account at the Last Day [in the numerous passages I have cited]. I think that Kevin wrongly regards the worker of these good works of faith, wrought by the Spirit’s power in union with Christ, as someone who is seeking to merit his justification rather than to rest in the finished work of Christ — his saving righteousness.

    An interesting passage from the Gospel of John 8:31ff. Here we have a following of Jews who “had believed [in] Jesus.” Does this mean that they received the freely offered saving grace with a justifiying faith? Look at what transpires. Jesus tells these “believers” that if they follow him, they will come to know the truth that will set them free. They object that Jesus has told them that they are in need of being set free. How could that be? They are Abraham’s children and have never been slaves. Jesus says, Look, if you were really Abraham’s children then you would do the things Abraham did.

    So, here are believers who had not yet shown an agreeable disposition to do the things that Abraham, the man of faith, did. It all ends badly for these persons who had believed Jesus. Easy answer: their belief was not genuine, and therefore not justifying. How did this come to light? By their failure and refusal to do the things [what things? corroborating works?] Abraham did.

  118. Ron said,

    March 8, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    RB,

    You mentioned initial justication and then went on to give an example of a sham faith. Can such as these be initially justified? If not, then what completes the justification that the word “initial” contemplates?

  119. Kevin said,

    March 8, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Ron, I would never deny scripture’s call to believers to be holy. Nor would I deny scriptures call to pick up our cross and follow Him. We indeed work out our salvation with fear and trembling. However, I am in agreement with Horton, that all of Salvation is forensic for Paul, in that justification undergirds all of it. And scripture speaks of Sanctification in the past tense. In Hebrews 10:10 ” by His will we have been sanctified thru the offering of the body of Jesus once for all.” Also look at 1 Corinthians 1:30 where it is spoken of aorist past. Also Paul calls the rag tag Corinthians those who have been sanctified 1 Corinthians 1. Romans 8, the golden chain of salvation all aorist past. Jesus prayed Father sanctify them in truth, your word is truth. It is God who sanctifies us thru his Word. So yes, in a positional sense sanctification is forensic. Obviously we are called to good works. But Ephessians says they were prepared for us before time began. Ill be happy to hear your take. K

  120. Kevin said,

    March 8, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Roberty bob, sorry, justification isnt on the instalment plan. K

  121. Kevin said,

    March 8, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    John 6: Jesus answered them ” this is the work of God, that you BELIEVE in Him who he has sent. We are saved by believing his words, bot by works. You are a poser Roberty Bob. But a nice pelagian. K

  122. Kevin said,

    March 8, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Roberty bob said” Abraham did” Abraham simply believed the promise and he was righteous. He went on thru ups and downs to be faithless at times. On the parable of the workers, the late comers received the same wage as those from the beginning. I am no more righteous today than I was when I first believe in the eyes of God. You are purporting that your the believers perseverance is what finalky justifies. Wrong. Believers persevere, but perseverance plays no part in justification. Faith alone brings Christ our justification to the heart. There isnt a virtue tied to faith that merirs the acceptance of God. K

  123. Ron said,

    March 8, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Kevin,

    Horton said all of salvation is forensic? Would you be able to provide a specific reference for me?Even with all my disagreements, I surely would have thought he’d draw a distinction between the legal and the renovative or transformative aspects of the ordo, or maybe you missed it? You’re saying that Dr. Horton regards new life in Christ as a judicial? No way.

    We are not responsible before God for how sanctified we become (or don’t become), yet we are to work out or salvation with fear and trembling?

    In your indignation you’re overstating your position and I believing not representing Dr. Horton.

  124. Ron said,

    March 8, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    Kevin,

    Horton said all of salvation is forensic? Would you be able to provide a specific reference for me?Even with all my disagreements, I surely would have thought he’d draw a distinction between the legal and the renovative or transformative aspects of the ordo, or maybe you missed it? You’re saying that Dr. Horton regards new life in Christ as a judicial? No way.

    We are not responsible before God for how sanctified we become (or don’t become), yet we are to work out or salvation with fear and trembling?

    In your indignation you’re overstating your position and I believe not representing Dr. Horton.

  125. Kevin said,

    March 8, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Ron, ya, I will provide the Horton reference. And if I have overstated, I will correct it. Are you denying that sanctification is forensic in some sense. If not, what about the verses that speak of it in the past tense, Heb. 10:10, 1 Corinthians 1:30? We arent sanctified by works according to Jesus. He prayed the Father would sanctify us in truth, thy word is truth. Yes we cooperate. But our cooperation is simply our resonable service of worship. Let me know if you see it differently. ” for by His doing you are in Christ, who became to us wisdom, righteouness, SANCTIFICATION, and redemption.” God bless. K

  126. Ron said,

    March 9, 2016 at 6:17 am

    Kevin,

    Sanctification whether definitive or progressive is classically transformative. What can possibly be the legal verdict and declaration? It’s not like “not guilty” and “adopted.” That we have been definitively sanctified in union with Christ doesn’t give it a legal quality any more than effectual calling is forensic. Sanctification is renovative and transformative. We are *resurrected* or recreated unto to new life in Christ and then *become* more and more transformed into how we are legally accounted in Him.

    I think this could be the confusing part… Even though there are relational aspects that *flow* from justification as we reckon our pardon fact, it’s still legal in nature. We must not blur fine distinctions in our systematics… Adoption is also legal, out of which a relational aspect flows. Yet because something legal can flower and grow into something relational and dynamically transformative, that does not make that which is transformative somehow legal. In other words, even if justication is legal and relational (which I think is a confused conflation), that still wouldn’t lead to forensic sanctification. I suspect some might affirm the former, that justication is somehow relational, but I have a hard time believing that they’re claiming that sanctification is legal. Never heard that one before but that doesn’t mean it’s not being written or taught somewhere.

    Maybe you’re thinking that something definitive, which can’t be undone (like definitive sanctifcation), must therefore be legal. But why is that? Must regeneration be legal? Irrevocable-transformation can be an ontological consideration that’s not forensic, can’t it?

  127. Ron said,

    March 9, 2016 at 6:22 am

    Let’s not lose track of this…
    Ron on March 8, 2016 at 4:52 pm
    RB,

    You mentioned initial justication and then went on to give an example of a sham faith. Can such as these be initially justified? If not, then what completes the justification that the word “initial” contemplates?

  128. roberty bob said,

    March 9, 2016 at 8:42 am

    “Believers persevere, but perseverance plays no part in justification.”
    — Kevin

    He who perseveres to the end will be saved. — Jesus

    Perseverance plays a part in salvation.

    Those who persevere keep on living out their faith — yes, with all of its ups and downs — doing the things that Abraham did [which started with him believing God’s promise and throughout demonstrated by other acts of faith]. Acts of true faith are highlighted in Hebrews 11, and we are urged to follow their example as we run the race [Hebrews 12].

  129. roberty bob said,

    March 9, 2016 at 9:19 am

    On the John 8:31ff example of [the dubious] believers . . .

    I was struck that John the Evangelist calls them “the Jews who had believed Jesus.” [The work of God is to believe the One that He has sent.] So, here are the Jews who had believed Jesus. Why is belief in Jesus attributed to them? Maybe these Jews professed their belief in Jesus. In any event, it is evident to Jesus that the “faith” of these “believers” needs verification. He puts their “faith” to the test to reveal the “character” of their “faith” : they are enjoined to follow him, to gain a knowledge of the truth that will set them free; should they obey Jesus in this, they will be set free and do the kind of faith-corroborating things that Abraham [their professed father] did.

    So, these Jews were called believers, but is there evidence that their faith was of the character that gets the stamp of a justifying faith? Jesus now gives them opportunity to make good on their profession: follow me, know the truth, be set free, do the things Abraham did. Well, they reject the opportunity, turn down the invitation to “follow” Jesus into the truth. Their faith was judged and found wanting.

    It is the Lord who judges / justifies faith. The “believer” can not declare himself justified; the Lord knows who are his own. The above mentioned passage bears this out, I believe.

  130. Ron said,

    March 9, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Not tracking, RB.

    Again:

    … What completes the justification that the word “initial” contemplates? What is it to be *initially* pardoned, etc.

    1. Can one lose full pardon?
    2. Do true believers lack full pardon?
    3. What completes the initial pardon?

    Help me out here…

  131. Ron said,

    March 9, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Hey Kevin

    I appreciate the discussion. It’s afforded me occasion to reflect on some wonderful things. Iron sharpening iron and all that… Here are some more distilled thoughts / musings to consider. I’ll surely think more on these things. Thx…

    Ok…. Sanctification is a truth that relates to the recreation aspect of our salvation. It’s true apart from it being legally declared as such, by virtue of our union with Christ by the Spirit. And although believers have righteousness imputed to them, we’re not yet pardoned or justified apart for the legal verdict. God determines our sanctified position and so it is by sovereign transformation by the Spirit in us; yet he constitutes and accordingly *declares* our righteousness in Christ for it to be so based upon no change in us. Our justification like our adoption is a *legally* bestowed status. It’s not in any technical sense dispositional or transformative (though those graces always do accompany the status). That said, by God announcing or revealing a truth that we are sanctified does not in-and-of-itself make it true let alone legally true.

    God in Hebrews 10:10 reveals the indicative. He announces how he we actually are in Christ, sanctified. He places this reality under the work of the cross. Our once and for all sanctification in Christ is yet a prior truth (a glorious truth!) that’s not made effectual virtue of it’s revelation in Scripture or by a judicial pronouncement. (And, it becomes even more effectual in our progressive sanctification as it confirms our experience in Christ. We apprehend it by faith yet it works in us not as mere abstract truth but in accordance to a reality we’ve already experienced yet surely without full understanding.)

    Similarly with 1 Cor. 1:30 I’d say Christ is our sanctification because his Spirit indwells us. This reality doesn’t become true by judicial verdict. A stated truth of an irrevocable reality need not be judicial in nature.

    I suppose the main difference or distinguishing marks I’d want to tease out pertain to what happens inside us as opposed to outside of us. The inside stuff is true virtue of it having occurred whereas the outside stuff isn’t true until God declares it as such, hence the forensic. Thx

  132. roberty bob said,

    March 9, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    “[Our justification] is not in any technical sense dispositional or transformative (though those graces always do accompany the status). That said, God announcing or revealing a truth that we are sanctified does not in-and-of-itself make it true let alone legally true.” — Ron
    ,,,,

    The “initial” pardon is the moment at which God forgives the repentant sinner who has come to Christ by faith to receive the freely offered gift of life / salvation. The repentant sinner may have the assurance of pardon, but it is God’s prerogative and place to freely forgive / justify. If God has indeed justified a particular person, then pardon is full and all of the graces that accompany the status will necessarily follow. The Lord will bring it about in the newly justified, and there will be evidences that corroborate the new-found status.

    The professing believer who has the assurance of pardon or thinks he has the status of justified by faith is not freed of all responsibility to live as one who has received such a magnificent pardon. Jesus tells the story of the man who was forgiven a debt of bazillions, but was unwilling to forgive his own debtors’ lesser debts. The man’s failure and refusal to extend mercy when he had received so much mercy completely negated that pardon first given to him. His merciful master cast him into the eternal fire! This teaches us that we are all personally responsible for the way we follow through with Jesus. If the graces that accompany the status are never manifested, then the status a person believes himself to hold is in serious question. That is why I believe Jesus put “the Jews who believed him” to the test: would they show forth the accompanying graces of their professed faith? Sadly, they saw no need to follow Jesus, be freed by the truth, and do as their professed father Abraham did.

    Right. “God announcing . . . that we are sanctified does not in-and-of-itself make it true . . . . “

  133. Ron said,

    March 9, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    RB,

    1. Can one lose full pardon?
    2. Do true believers lack full pardon?
    3. What completes the initial pardon?

  134. Kevin said,

    March 9, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Brother Ron, I lm not sure I could state it any better than you did. You have a way of drilling down on things I appreciate, plus trust me, your a heck of allot smarter than me. I found the Horton stuff in Covenant and Salvation that might shine some light. “Thus, our justification and union with Christ ( which includes definitive sanctification ) cannot be merly seen as the starting point for a life of personal transformation, but as the only source of any fecundity thruought the Christian life. Our mortification and vilification in sanctification are not our contribution alongside justification and union with Christ, but are the effect of that new relationship. ” Calvin on John 17, ” Believers are sanctified by the truth, which is God’s Word, for the word here denotes the doctrine of the gospel. Horton goes on to say Calvin is comfortable in discussing the richness of the organic horticultural metaphors as legal. While they are distinct, the organic and legal are two sides of the same coin. K

  135. Kevin said,

    March 9, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    ” it is called a living faith because it apprehends Christ who is life and makes alive, and shows it is alive by living works.” It is not the quality of the faith itself, but of rhe person it apprehends, that makes it the sufficient means of receiving both justification and sanctification. Not because of qhat faith is, but because of who Christ is, faith in Christ cannot fail to bring forth good works.” K

  136. Kevin said,

    March 9, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Berkouwer ” Genuine sanctification, let it be repeated, stands or falls wirh this continued orientation toward justification and remission of sins. Therefore, the victim of this view “,of sanctification as a human work subsequent to the divine work of justification can only arrive at a sanctification that is causal process, and he is bound in the end to speak of Rome and infused grace and quantitative sanctification. “

  137. roberty bob said,

    March 9, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    ” . . . and shows it is alive by living works . . . .”
    ” . . . cannot fail to bring forth good works . . . .”

    Both would be true of persons having a justifying faith.

    Actual persons, however, show forth their faith by living works and bring forth the good works that are pleasing to the Lord. In this way, actual persons of genuine faith are responsibly responding aright to the grace they have received.

  138. roberty bob said,

    March 9, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    “Can one lose full pardon?” — Ron

    Was the man in Jesus’s story who was fully pardoned for his unpayable debt lose his full pardon? [The Master DID release him from / forgive him of his debt!] Well, when it became evident that the forgiven man was unforgiving toward his own debtors, the Master took back the pardon. The man lost his full pardon.

    “Do true believers lack true pardon?” — Ron

    Having received much mercy — and abounding pardon — true believers show mercy to their debtors. Thereby they are assured that they have been truly pardoned. True believers do not lack true pardon.

    “What completes the initial pardon?”

    The truly pardoned are revealed by their works on the Last Day; they rise [up from the grave] to eternal life, that life begun in Christ and held securely for them by Christ unto that Great Day.

  139. Ron said,

    March 9, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Thanks for the exchange, Kevin. Edifying stuff.

    I’m going to have to bow out. Just wish I understood RB’s answers to my three questions…

    Best wishes,

    Ron

  140. Kevin said,

    March 9, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Ron, thanks, the fact that RB wont answer your questtions should soeak volumes. I stand corrected on what I said about Horton the other day. He said ” Paul’s use of daikaioo is transitive rather than qualitative, although I will argue it is first of all forensic. It does not describe an actual state of affairs in the believer, but a declaration of righteouness pronounced who are in themselves sinful. “

  141. Kevin said,

    March 10, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Ron, here is what RB quoted in response to your questions. ” the master took back his pardon” Here is what Paul says ” but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly.” RB believes our works in some way save us. But Paul in the face of crticism from 2nd temple Jews says God justifies wicked men apart from works. RB has fallen to the confusion of for us and in us. The Roman error. K

  142. Reed Here said,

    March 10, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Roberty, no. 138, where you sought to answer Ron’s questions, is this a fair summary of what you were saying? (In reverse order:)

    Ron: What completes initial pardon?
    RB: initial pardon is not completed, but on the day of judgment is confirmed as already completed by Christ.

    Ron: Do true believers lack true pardon?
    RB: No. Instead because they’ve received true pardon they bring forth fruits that demonstrate they received true pardon, namely mercy toward their debtors.

    Ron: Can one lose full pardon?
    RB: Assuming that Ron means by “one” a person for whom it is not clear whether or not they’ve been truly pardoned by Christ, but maybe nothing more than a professing believer who is actually still unregenerate:

    If they do not bring forth the fruits of one who has truly been pardoned (previous question), they will on the day of judgment learn that whatever initial statement of pardon they did receive was not true pardon, the kind true believers receive.

    RB, in other words, at this point are you tracking with the Federal Vision dual soteriology scheme? If so, that helps clear up the confusion. You believe both the regenerate and the (false) Christ-professing unregerate received some sort of legitimate pardon, but not exactly the same pardon. The regenerate receive true pardon, which necessary receives the fruits that confirm it on the day of judgement. The (false) Christ-professing unregenerate likewise receive a “true” pardon, but one that in some manner is not essentially the same as what the regenerate receive. Therefore they do not receive the promise of the fruits, they fail at the fruits, and at the judgement that are confirmed as having never received true (regenerate) pardon.

    Am I summarizing fairly?

    If so, can you appreciate where the concern for equivocation comes in? The FV espouses at best two “true” pardons, and then struggles to truly differentiate these. This is where charges of semi-Pelagianism, Arminianism, etc., come from.

    More, this is what we debated here in quite some helpful detail in years past. I would remind readers to look up the posts tagged “Federal Vision” here. Some are very helpful in delineating this dual plan of salvation (soteriology) approach of the FV, and why we believe it is simply dangerously inconsistent with what the Bible actually teaches.

    And it is for this reason, the settled state of the debate here at GB RB, that I do wish you’d show more sympathy for that and express yourself in a manner that more clearly demarcates the essential differences between what you believe and what we believe. It is a bit unfair, even if unintentional on your part, to keep making comments that leave confusion about exactly what is your position, as if we’re arguing over pin head angels when all you’re affirming is angels.

    And Kevin, can you appreciate my concern when you go into “diatribe” mode that you might actually be hindering some readers? Your “cut to the chase” conclusions are not in principle moving to the wrong place. But when you label RB’s statements with a bit too broad a brush, you actually support the fruits of confusion: the conclusion by some that anathema be pronounced on both positions?

  143. roberty bob said,

    March 10, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    I don’t know about any kind of dual plan of salvation. If I were to put my self in God’s shoes, or inside of God’s mind and purpose, then I would know with certainty who those people are who receive His freely offered grace with a justifying faith. But I do not occupy that space, nor does anyone else but Jesus Christ. What we do know is that repentant sinners who come to Christ for life and receive the freely offered grace with a true faith may have the promise-based assurance that they have been pardoned. The true faith that justifies, however, can be recognized by a range of characteristics [character traits]; and I think that this is where I have run into disagreement here. Kevin and others will say that justifying faith is simply a matter of resting and trusting in the promise [and I agree that it is that], while I hold to a more expansive definition which takes on the terms living, fruitful, obedient — because in the actual living of life the true nature of justifiying faith will either come to light in various deeds or works, or it will not. On the Last Day / Final Judgement the truth about every persons life of faith [or lack thereof] will be revealed, and each one given his or her due according to what was done in the bodily life. My belief is that the works of the justified will be corroborative of the faith professed. Therefore, the corroborating works are to be done by us during the days of our life. While we may have the assurance that these works will be done as our reasonable service, the exhortations to do them [“hear my words and put them into practice”] remain, which is why I hold the doing of the works as necessary. When I say that on this site, I run into objections [“our works have nothing to do with our justification!”]; and I say, OK, but they do have “something” to do with our salvation; otherwise, the urgent exhoration to do them seem to be an un-serious matter in the end. So, if you believe that you have received a justifying pardon of a “bazillion-sized” debt that can never be repaid [and all who believe themselves to be justified would be expected to fathom the enormity of their sin-debt / obedience deficit to the Lord], your response to such a pardon would be that you release your debtors from their debts by being merciful and forgiving. Kevin is rejecting of all good and right actions like this which give evidence of justifying faith as if such actions amount to smuggling one’s character into justification. I reject that assessment. Unmerciful, unforgiving persons ought not presume that God has pardoned them, even if they prayed [begged!] mightily for it. That’s my take on Jesus’ story of the [pardoned??– then] unforgiving servant. You guys claim that a God-pardoned person can’t be un-pardoned by God. Well, in the story, the Master [does the Master stand for God?] takes back the pardon that He had given when it was evident that the pardoned man proved to be merciless and unforgiving. The pardoned servant’s follow-through brought severe consequences.

  144. Kevin said,

    March 10, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Reed, I can appreciate your description of my style as cut to the chase and diatribe. Ill try to do better. But imho, by me cutting to the chase on RB’s position leaves your readers in a better position. You took 3 paragraphs to explain RB’s position. He summed it up this way ” faith= obedience” among other things. How is this different than all Rome has piled on the cros? It isnt. We are justified by believing God’s Word, thats it. Daikaioo doesnt mean the internal state of affairs at the end of your life. He corrupts faith, its as simple as that to me. God bless. K

  145. Kevin said,

    March 10, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    ” fathom the enormity of their sin debt. ” you are worse than a Romanist RB. Colossians says all legal decrees and debts have been cancelled against us. We have redemption 1:7, not will have. We are in a saved state, not a savable state based on the life lived. I might get kicked off of here, but you are corrupting God’s people by being a poser. Faith doesnt mean obedience. Dont tell us you believe in jbfa and turn around and pervert it. K

  146. Reed Here said,

    March 10, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    RB, 144, please clarify your use of the “parable” of the unforgiving servant (Mt 18:23-36).

    It sounds as if you are saying that God forgives both regenerate and unregenerate, that is, gives both the same declaration and the same possession of the same justification.

    Again, can you appreciate why we might find that problematic? Your use of this passage, as you’ve expressed, is too flat to be consistent with the rest of Scripture’s presentation of God’s granting of pardon.

    My reading of what this parable is that you are picking up on a secondary point that is not the main point , and insisting on a one-for-one doctrinal transference that is not intended. As we learn from others who are better studied than us, this is a common interpretive mistake. Parables ordinarily are only about one dominant doctrinal point. At the very least it is an error to look for coherence between doctrine and every detail of the parable.

    Given these considerations, the master’s removal of pardon is not intended to teach that God grants the same pardon to regenerate and unregenerate, and then takes it back from the unregenerate. This goes against other Scripture which insists that pardon is permanent. Accordingly, this is not a detail on which to build a doctrine of true pardon can be lost. As you’ve already agreed, Scripture that teaches that true pardon is fully and completely and irreversibly given to regenerate believers at the pronouncement of justification given at conversion. Accordingly, this detail of the parable cannot be used to contradict that.

    Aside, you’re not familiar with the dual soteriology discussions here are GB? I admit I do not know how long you have been conversing here, and so I trust you are speaking accurately.

    And sincerely I find that a serious problem, something you need to address. I think I have challenged you on this before. Consider it this way: there is a depth of history of discussing these subjects here at GB that you are both not aware of, nor as is seen in your comments, not understanding of. It is hardly fair to the rest of us willing to discuss with you to repeat old conversations, ones we’ve invested 100’s of hours into, when you can simply take a few days/weeks yourself and do your homework.

    Sincerely, that you’re not familiar with the dual soteriology discussion about the FV causes me a bit of shock. This is kind of basic. If you need to do homework, then do it. Don’t burden the rest of us with opinions uninformed by a lack of preparation.

    Please don’t read any tone in these comments. If we were face to face I would hope a tenderness would be expressed in my mannerisms that would encourage you to heed my admonition.

  147. Ron said,

    March 10, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    RB,

    Reading you is more torturous than reading Dick Gaffin at times. Let me answer the quiz.

    1. Can one lose full pardon? No

    2. Do true believers lack full pardon? No

    3. What completes the initial pardon? Nothing because the initial pardon is the only pardon (no matter how many publications).

    What are you ashamed of or making apologies for, the gospel? God won’t have it. Get on board or confess apostasy, Man. I’m no less tolerant than the apostle as reflected in Galatians 1:8-9. Courage and inspiration comes from verse 10.

    Back to my cloister.

  148. Ron said,

    March 11, 2016 at 6:53 am

    RB,

    You need not write so much about good works corroborating the faith of those who’ll enter into glory. It can only obscure our significant difference over the gospel. (That’s the second hallmark of Federal Vision.)

    Article 12 is aggreable. There is a necessity of good works that accompanies true and lively faith. The issue is not found there but with your application of “…the Master took back the pardon. The man lost his full pardon.” By that you affirm the primary hallmark of Federal Vision, full repudiation of “whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

    Given the conditional nature of initial-pardon, good works can no longer be seen as merely corroborating evidences of pardon but rather causes of pardon-retention and ultimately final consummation.

  149. Ron said,

    March 11, 2016 at 7:24 am

    “It sounds as if you are saying that God forgives both regenerate and unregenerate, that is, gives both the same declaration and the same possession of the same.”

    Hey Reed,

    That could be what RB is saying. I can’t discard yet the possibility of both being initially regenerate.

  150. Reed Here said,

    March 11, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Ron, understood. I am seeking to read only what RB says. At best he is confusing.

    I am reminded that the FV us not a monolithic position. Even the primary affirmations statement is not universally accepted by those self identifying with the position.

    It may be the RB had not thought through all of these things. Our questions then highlight gaps in what he is saying. That’s not a bad thing if he fills in those gaps with biblical consistency.

    I admit that RB’s repetitious lack of clarity is not a good sign.

  151. Kevin said,

    March 11, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Reed, Ron, the issue with RB isnt pardon, its the positive imputed rightouness. He conflates regeneration and justification. Iow, justification is conditional. When RB uses that parable as a defenition to include justification, he is as confused as Rome. Im no more righteous today than the day I believed. We dont derive our righteouness from His, it is His righteouness. When God passed over the Jews, who deserved the same thing the Egyptians got, He didnt wait to see if they were renovated. He passed over them. Forensic. True faith produces good works, but holy deeds are not the ground of justification, not even at the final judgment. Paul says if we deny Him, He will deny us, but if we are faithless, He remains faithful. To say men have to do something to be finally justified is to deny the gospel. RB can couch it any way he wants, he told me faith= obedience and our final acceptance before God is in some way predicated on obedience. He denies the gospel. You both are givibg him way to much credit. Im all for giving men charity and the benefit of the doubt, but not when their words condemn them. K

  152. roberty bob said,

    March 11, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Thank you guys for teaching me the meaning of the parable. This is what I have learned from you:

    “The Master cancelled his debt and let him go.”

    The Master [God] cancels a man’s enormous unpayable debt.
    The Master only pardons those who are regenerate, of the faith.
    This [regererate] man [of faith] is secure in his justification now.
    This pardon covers him now through all eternity, no matter what.
    The regenerate man, however, refuses to pardon his own debtors.
    The regenerate man was not acting in a regenerate manner.
    That’s OK. God isn’t finished with him yet.
    The regenerate man will undergo his Master’s severe discipline.
    The regenerate man will hereby learn how to be merciful like his Master.
    The regenerate man will eventually get with the Master’s program.
    ……….

    The parable is actually intended to impress on all who have asked of God and received from God a pardon for their sins [impossible debt to repay] how wonderfully enormous this pardon is, such that from this would flow a stream of mercy whereby we would pardon all who are indebted to us.

    Would God take back the pardon of a regenerate justified man? NO
    However, such a man would follow through by showing mercy to his fellow man.

    Was the unmerciful man in the parable regenerate? NO, or he would have shown himself merciful to his fellow man. The man who acts unmercifully cannot have the assurance of pardon — even if he had believed that he once received it.

  153. Ron said,

    March 11, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Kevin,

    I’m afraid you’re not being carful, once again. It’s to give RB too much credit by demonstrating how he has made works out to be more than the evidence of salvation but salvifically-causal? Is it possible you’ve confused any attempt at truthful precision with unseasonable leniency?

    What I’m striving to do is sift through the pages of obfuscation and sophistry in order to offer a precise refutation. Blowing off steam might make us feel better but it’s hardly helpful let alone according to our calling.

  154. Ron said,

    March 11, 2016 at 9:39 am

    “Would God take back the pardon of a regenerate justified man? NO”

    RB,

    But you have said God would take back his pardon of a justified man. That means that “whom he justified, them he also glorified” is not universally true. That’s a problem for Protestants.

  155. Kevin said,

    March 11, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Ron, I apologize. Its clear to me RB doesnt believe in the imputed rightouness of Christ. Our pardon isnt “initial”, it is full and complete. He was delivered for our sins and raised for our justification, it is irreversible. Its past tense. Jesus loses none. Why? Because Romans 5:10 says we will be saved by HIS life, not ours. Ephessians 1:7 says we HAVE redemption, not will have. We posess it now, and it never changes. Yes, we must test ourselves to make sure we are in the faith, but that doesnt mean we cant have assurance. According to John, all who believe can KNOW they have eternal life. The man in Corinthians 5 that had his father’s wife, worse than all the gentiles, Paul delivers to Satan for his flesh to be destroyed, but his soul would be saved. Thru all the rhetoric RB believes Riman Catholic theology. That a man gets the stater kit, and is pardoned initially. Then you got to get there, and if you dont get there. And when you get there, there is going to be a judgment of your works in regard to your position with God. Is it any wonder why the FV is cozy with NPP. Much of Protestantism sadly in many ways is moving toward Rome. Ive been on these blogs for a few years, and there are 2 categories of people I see. Gospel believers, and works righteouness believers. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. ” k

  156. roberty bob said,

    March 11, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    “Yes, we must test ourselves to make sure we are in the faith, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have assurance.” — Kevin

    How do you test yourself to make sure that you are in the faith?
    Do you look for the fruit of the Spirit, for growth in the grace and knowledge of our God and Saviour? That’s what I do.

    What gives you the assurance of salvation?
    When find the fruit of the Spirit flourishing in your life, does that give you assurance? It’s called “being assured of our faith by its fruits.” That’s how I find assurance.

    “All who believe can KNOW they have eternal life.”

    I agree. We believers ought to know.

  157. roberty bob said,

    March 11, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    I think I get it now . . .

    The man in the parable [the so-called unmerciful servant] received a full and irrevocable pardon from his Master [God], to whom he had owed an astronomical and unpayable debt. This man is now eternally saved and justified by faith. Nothing he does from this point forward can take that away. Even though he proceeds to go after his debtors to make them pay every last cent, acting in a totally inappropriate way for one who had been given so much, its OK. He simply needs to be taught a lesson to open his eyes to God’s astonishing pardon, so he is sent off to the work camp so that he can do what he was demaning of his own debtors. He is handed over to the torturer [Satan] for some hard labor so that his soul will be preserved. He is a saved and justified man. I get it. No one could take his pardon away.

  158. March 11, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    “what gives you assurance of salvation” 2 Corinthians 5:21, Ephesians 1:7, Romans 5:10 gives me assurance. Its He who loses none. I will be saved by HIS life, not mine. ” He is just and justifier” of those who have faith in Jesus. He provides the righteousness. Again, my righteousness isn’t derived from His, it is His righteousness. Yes we are commanded to pick up our cross, work out our salvation, run the race. But Paul says it doesn’t DEPEND on the one who runs or the one who wills, but on God. Listen to Paul, and then when you’re done reading this verse, I call you to repent of your doctrine. ” That is why its by FAITH, that it might be in accordance with grace, so that the promise might be GUARANTEED” He guaranteed it, its a promise. Those who believe will persevere because He does. For you to believe what you do, you ROB God of the glory, and diminish the extent of the efficacy of what He did. It is finished! Tetelestai! Not it is initially started, or it will be determined. Believers are SEALED in the Spirit. But you teach otherwise. You want to straddle the fence. ” For by one offering He PERFECTED for all time those who are being sanctified. My pardon, righteousness, entrance way to heaven was guaranteed at the cross, not at the eschaton. The judgment has been moved up for believers, and we passed thru it in Christ, in the already/ not yet. According to you, Jesus should have told the thief on the cross, at judgment day you will be with me in paradise. And He should have sent the tax collector home initially righteous. No way. K

  159. Reed Here said,

    March 11, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    RB, no. 157, this is the second sarcastic retort you’ve offered in the last few comments. All you were asked was to be clear. You were not until the tail end of no. 152. That actually is ALL you needed to offer, instead of imputing a less than biblically consistent position to us.

    I’ve gone out of my way to NOT impute misunderstanding, or worse, to your less than clear comments. So has Ron.

    And you ignore my admonition about your less than full understanding of the FV conversation here. If you were better informed two things would follow: 1) you would be less confusing, more clear and concise, and 2) you would receive less misunderstanding, of both Kevin’s kind and Ron/my kind.

    Do you want a brotherly conversation, or do you simply want to be a trouble maker? Sincerely, let me know, as I’ve no time for troublers on the Internet. I’ve got enough in my back yard.

  160. roberty bob said,

    March 11, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    I appreciate your remarks, Kevin, at #158. One of your better gospel summations. Very helpful.

    The phrase “that we may be assured of our faith by its fruits” is found in the Heidelberg Catechism, a much loved Reformed confessional catechism; it is the answer to the question on why should we do good works. I still have no idea how Christ -trusting believers can rob God of His glory by obediently putting his words into practice out of loving gratitude for what He has done for them. That makes no sense to me.

    I am not going to stick around and make trouble. I’ll be on my way. You probably did the best with my comments and queries that you could. So, thanks for all of the time and effort expended. Lest you think that this was a fruitless or wasted endeavor, I want to assure you that from my side it was not.

    Thanks to all of you. Take care.

  161. Ron said,

    March 12, 2016 at 6:55 am

    RB,

    You’ve been coming to GB a long time. Much of that time was spent fighting against the gospel of grace alongside one who is an outright idolater. If you haven’t shown your fellowship to be with Rome, you’ve made it clear that you’re more comfortable with her than the Reformed tradition on cardinal gospel tenets.

    You reject that all whom God justifies will be glorified. You affirm initial pardon that must be retained by works. You’ve embraced and promoted a theology of saved by grace and kept by works. You’ve given new meaning to God justifies the ungodly by asserting he justifies the unregenerate. So, some things to think about…

    If the unregenerate-pardoned do enough good works might they become regenerate? Given that nobody can please God in the flesh, why don’t the unregenerate-pardoned lose their pardon the moment they receive it? How, in other words, are they able to retain pardon even for a second? How many unmerciful acts must they commit before losing their forgiveness in Christ? If they die before such time will God make good on their initial forgiveness and receive them into the joy of the Lord? As silly as this sounds, will there be unglorified saints in heaven just like there are supposedly unregenerate and unsanctified (yet forgiven) saints on earth?

    Can’t know why you’re so confused over the simplicity of the gospel but you know where to find many Reformed pastors like Reed. Maybe you might reach out in private.

    So long and may God see fit to bless you.

  162. Kevin said,

    March 12, 2016 at 9:59 am

    RB, I just wanted to take the time to say to you that I appreciate the discussion with you here. I think Lane and Reed and everything green baggins stands for is the truth of scripture. Im thankful for this forum where I have learned so much. RB, John 1:12 simply says this ” but as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” God has given a right to be His children by simply repenting and believing in His name. Do you think there is anything a Christian can do to forfeit this right. Will a father disown his child, un adopt him. A believer’s salvation is guaranteed by the blood and righteouness of Christ, not by our works. Our works can only be evidence of a changed heart, but never the grounds of acceptance before God. He accepts us simply because of his goodness, favor, and mercy. I want to challenge you as a pastor, to preach this free gift to your people. Of course you will teach them to obey God’s law. But never make the mistake of antchrist Rome, to teach your people they cant have God’s peace and assurance that comes simply from believing the gospel. Romans 5:10 ” For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God thru the death of his son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by HIS life.” RB, can it be clearer, we have already been reconciled to God, and we will be saved by HIS life, not ours. Get on board my friend, the mercy train is going to Zion. Thats why its called good news. Thats why Paul repeats rejoice and again I said rejoice. One of the main reasons for the Reformation was to bring assurance back to the laity that had been ROBbed by antichrist. Dont rob your people, you have a responsibility to preach the free gift that is guaranteed and promised by God. God bless you. K

  163. Reed Here said,

    March 12, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Guys, I’m grateful well-intentioned kudos. Yet, too be clear, this is Lane’s blog, not mine. That some associate me with GreenBaggins is an honor to me, and hardly the other way around. I’m grateful for Lane, this blog, and y’all who participate here. But I am at best a friend who is just one of the guests. Give the thanks to Lane. I heartily join you.


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