Archive for July, 2008

Amazing Nature Video

July 31, 2008

God is great. He has made a marvelous creation, that we only quite incompletely understand. In the linked video, a demonstration of some of those marvels both in the areas of bioluminescence and dynamic camouflage are presented. (link)

Anyone who wants to continue to believe that such amazing abilities are the result of chance mutations and vast amounts of time, rather than the result of an amazing design have a tough road ahead of them. These creatures do what God designed them to do, and they do it very well.

-TurretinFan

Advertisements

Aim of Some Romanist Apologetics

July 30, 2008

Dr. White has a new video out objecting to some of the irrelevant personal tangents that some apologists seem compelled to follow:

Meanwhile, aiming somewhat higher, a blog response I ran across today tackles the important issue of Dr. White’s hats (link) (warning, prominent supposed representation of Jesus) Now, bear in mind that (unlike the attacks Dr. White pointed out in his article), the hats article is not insidious. It is simply amusing as an example of the non-substantive responses to Dr. White’s presentations that one sees.

Indeed, let me be clear: there’s nothing wrong with the hats article as such. I am sure that everyone posts articles that are non-substantive from time to time, and doubtless the point of this particular post was simply to amuse the reader (and it worked on me).

-Turretinfan

Reformed Evangelist Preaches to the ToddBentley-ites

July 30, 2008

The title of this one pretty much sums it up. Check out the detailed account (including some photos and audio) of the Reformed Evangelist’s interaction with the line waiting to attend a Todd Bentley event. (link)

-TurretinFan

Where’s the Catholic Church?

July 30, 2008

Richard (aka “Mary’s Son”) provides us with an example of two logical fallacies in one (source):

Richard writes: “You can say Roman all you want to try to confuse the term Catholic; but go out on any street in the world and ask for directions to the nearest Catholic church: you’re not going to end up in a Presbyterian church or any other church but in the only Catholic church there is; that which is in communion with the bishop of Rome.”

1) The argument from ignorance. Paraphrased as: “Since most people don’t know the difference between the term “catholic” and “Catholic,” it must mean there is no difference!” The fact that most people are ignorant of the difference is a negative judgment on their education: it is not a way to establish the matter logically.

2) The argument from the masses. Paraphrased as: “If practically everyone thinks it is so, they must be right.” The fact that most people think something is so doesn’t make it true. Democracy is not the way we establish truth.

The refutation to this silliness is simple: Ask the man on the street for an “Orthodox” church, and he won’t point you to a church in communion with Rome! Oh no. He’ll point you to a church more or less loosely affiliated with Constantinople. It must mean (by analogous reasoning to that of Richard) that Rome, while “catholic” nevertheless has fallen into heresy! This is obviously unacceptable to most of those who would have the same church affiliation as Richard.

In fact, despite many bad arguments from “Orthodox” folks, I think I’ve never heard such an obviously bad one. It’s too bad that there are at least some few people who think that the argument is a good one as applied to Catholicism.

Of course, Richard’s underlying accusation, i.e. that people use “Roman” to try to “confuse the term Catholic,” is a misplaced accusation. No one (that I’ve ever heard of) uses that term to try to confuse, but rather to try to avoid ambiguity, since there is a real and important difference between the church of Rome, which calls herself the “Catholic Church” and the universal (“catholic”) church of Christ (all those people who believe on Him for salvation as he is offered in the Gospel).

Finally, it’s not an horribly original argument. It’s loosely based on similar arguments either presented by or attributed to church fathers. It’s important to remember that not every argument made by the church fathers was a good argument. But when one engages in taking an argument about nomenclature, ripping it out of its context, and plopping into a new context a thousand years later, one should be unsurprised that it flops around like a fish out of water — and just as quickly expires.

To answer the subject question, the catholic church is the body of all believers. It is not at an address: it is throughout the whole world. Its faith is preserved in all those churches where the Gospel is preached and believed. Thus, through metonymy, a “catholic church” (i.e. a congregation that fits the label “catholic”) is a place where the faith of the catholic church is taught. By that definition, one would not look to the churches in communion with Rome, but in Evangelical churches.

Thus, if you get the subject question, I hope you’ll consider answering: “Are you looking for a place where the Gospel is proclaimed?” And then directing them to such a place, or explaining why that ought to be their objective.

-TurretinFan

Cook vs. Crook

July 29, 2008

Thomas Twitchell at A Rose by Any Other Name has an amusing post (with a remarkable URL) comparing a crook and a cook. (link)

Heart Checks: The Impossible Conclusion to the Logical Progression

July 29, 2008

I noticed that Reformed Musings had a post on the topic of the relation between crime and gun-control (link). The relation, of course, is that as gun control tightens, crime (including crime involving guns) increases. Now, as Reformed Musings noted, Britain has started implementing more expansive weapons searches that look for knives (the new weapon of choice for British thugs).

Even if knives could be controlled (and frankly, considering that prisoners in jail are able to find ways to make knives and stab each other, that does not seem possible), the crime would not stop. Criminals would just resort to other techniques and weapons.

What they cannot do at security checkpoints is check the hearts of men. The heart of mankind is desparately wicked. In British society of 100 or 200 years ago, this wickedness was largely held in check by the effect of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit on a large portion of the populace. It was a Christian society, and even men with wicked hearts were under social pressure to act like Christian men (i.e. to be hypocrites, rather than openly wicked men).

What then is the solution in a wicked society? The solution is that outlined by Christ to his disciples in preparation for the collapse of society in his day:

Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

Be prepared.

And, at the same time, fight the collapse by spreading the Gospel. Although a sword may save your life, it may do so at the cost of your neighbor’s life. But the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, is able to save your life and your neighbor’s life.

1 Timothy 2:1-2
1I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Matthew 5:14-16
14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Even so, let us proclaim the gospel and enlighten the world around us, even while taking prudent precautions for the defense of our lives and the lives of our family and neighbors.

-TurretinFan

P.S. I found it interesting that Reformed Musings categorized the post in question under “Federal Vision.” I didn’t quite see the connection.

Remembering the Martyrs

July 29, 2008

Today, I came across this interesting post by Doug Phillips at Doug’s Blog of a visit to a memorial for the murdered Covenanters, numbering about 18,000. (link) If someone wants to see the sincerity of the Reformed believers in Scotland, this is the place to go.

For another post on the same blog regarding a monument to the lighting of the candle of the English Reformation, follow this link (link).

In between those posts, one can find a number of other Scotland/Britain-related posts, as it seems Doug is presently touring the island.

-TurretinFan

Justification – Part III

July 28, 2008

We now continue our consideration of Justification by examining some of the Reformed catechisms and their discussion on justification. Part I of this series (link) dealt with some of the major Reformed creedal statements, and Part II of this series (link) addressed the Helvetic Consensus. I have omitted many catechisms that could be added, which would mostly repeat (with minor variation) one or more of the following (especially the Catechism for Young Children and the Westminster Shorter Catechism).

Catechism for Young Children
Q. 50. What is justification?
A. It is God’s forgiving sinners, and treating them as if they had never sinned.

Catechism of the Church of Geneva
M. As we understand the foundation on which faith ought to rest, it will be easy to extract from it a true definition of faith.

S. It will. It may be defined — a sure and steadfast knowledge of the paternal goodwill of God toward us, as he declares in the gospel that for the sake of Christ he will be our Father and Savior.

M. Do we conceive faith of ourselves, or do we receive it from God

S. Scripture teaches that it is the special gift of God, and this experience confirms.

M. What experience do you mean?

S. Our mind is too rude to be able to comprehend the spiritual wisdom of God which is revealed to us by faith, and our hearts are too prone; either to diffidence or to a perverse confidence in ourselves or creatures, to rest in God of their own accord. But the Holy Spirit by his illumination makes us capable of understanding those things which would otherwise far exceed our capacity, and forms us to a firm persuasion, by sealing the promises of salvation on our hearts.

M. What good accrues to us from this faith, when we have once obtained it?

S. It justifies us before God, and this justification makes us the heirs of everlasting life.

M. What! are not men justified by good works when they study to approve themselves to God, by living innocently and holily?

S. Could any one be found so perfect, he might justly be deemed righteous, but as we are all sinners, guilty before God in many ways, we must seek elsewhere for a worthiness which may reconcile us to him.

M. But are all the works of men so vile and valueless that they cannot merit favor with God?

S. First, all the works which proceed from us, so as properly to be called our own, are vicious, and therefore they can do nothing but displease God, and be rejected by him.

M. You say then that before we are born again and formed anew by the Spirit of God, we can do nothing but sin, just as a bad tree can only produce bad fruit? (Matthew 7:18.)

S. Altogether so. For whatever semblance works may have in the eyes of men:. they are nevertheless evil, as long as the heart to which God chiefly looks is depraved.

M. Hence you conclude, that we cannot by any merits anticipate God or call forth his beneficence; or rather that all the works which we try or engage in, subject us to his anger and condemnation?

S. I understand so; and therefore mere mercy, without any respect to works, (Titus 3:5,) embraces and accepts us freely in Christ, by attributing his righteousness to us as if it were our own, and not imputing our sins to us.

M. In what way, then, do you say that we are justified by faith?

S. Because, while we embrace the promises of the gospel with sure heartfelt confidence, we in a manner obtain possession of the righteousness of which I speak.

M. This then is your meaning — that as righteousness is offered to us by the gospel, so we receive it by faith?

S. It is so.

M. But after we have once been embraced by God, are not the works which we do under the direction of his Holy Spirit accepted by him?

S. They please him, not however in virtue of their own worthiness, but as he liberally honors them with his favor.

M. But seeing they proceed from the Holy Spirit, do they not merit favor?

S. They are always mixed up with some defilement from the weakness of the flesh, and thereby vitiated.

M. Whence then or how can it be that they please God?

S. It is faith alone which procures favor for them, as we rest with assured confidence on this — that God wills not to try them by his strict rule, but covering their defects and impurities as buried in the purity of Christ, he regards them in the same light as if they’ were absolutely perfect.

M. But can we infer from this that a Christian man is justified by works after he has been called by God, or that by the merit of works he makes himself loved by God, whose love is eternal life to us?

S. By no means. We rather hold what is written — that no man can be justified in his sight, and we therefore pray, “Enter not into judgment with us.” (Psalm 143:2)

M. We are not therefore to think that the good works of believers are useless?

S. Certainly not. For not in vain does God promise them reward both in this life and in the future. But this reward springs from the free love of God as its source; for he first embraces us as sons, and then burying the remembrance of the vices which proceed from us, he visits us with his favor.

M. But can this righteousness be separated from good works, so that he who has it; may be void of them?

S. That cannot be. For when by faith we receive Christ as he is offered to us, he not only promises :us deliverance from death and reconciliation with God, but also the gift of the Holy Spirit, by which we are regenerated to newness of life; these things midst necessarily be conjoined so as not to divide ,Christ from himself.

M. Hence it follows that; faith is the root from which all good works spring, so far is it from taking us off from the study of them?

S. So indeed it is; and hence the whole doctrine of the gospel is comprehended! under the two branches, faith and repentance.

James Boyce’s Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine
1. What is Justification?

It is an act of God, by which He fully acquits us of all sin.

2. Is it based upon any works of our own?

It is not; by our own works we could never secure it.

3. Is it not, however, intimately connected with some act of ours?

Yes, with the exercise of faith.

4. Is it due to our faith in Christ?

It is not; that faith becomes the instrument only, not the cause of our justification.

5. To what, then, is it due?

Simply to the merits and sufferings of Christ, which are accounted by God as ours.

6. What do the Scriptures mean when they say that we are justified by faith?

In part, they are teaching that our justification is not by works.

7. What else do they mean?

They also speak thus, because in the act of faith the believer takes hold of the meritorious work of Christ, which is the ‘true ground of justification.

8. Why does the Apostle James say that we are justified by works and not by faith only?

He refers to the fact that every one that has true faith also performs good works.

A Catechism of Bible Teaching (1892)
1. What is meant in the Bible by justification?
A. God justifies a sinner in treating him as just, for Christ’s sake.

2. Can any person be justified by his own works
A. By works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Rom. 3:20)

3. How are we justified by path?
A. Believing in Christ our Savior, we ask and receive justification for His sake alone. (Rom. 3:24; 5:1)

4. Has this faith that justifies any connection with our works?
A. The faith that justifies will be sure to produce good works. (Gal. 5:6; James 2:17)

5. What is meant by sanctification
A. To sanctify is to make holy in heart and life.

6. What connection is there between sanctification and regeneration?
A. The new birth is the beginning of a new and holy life.

7. Is justification complete at once?
A. Yes, the moment a sinner really believes in Christ he is completely justified.

8. Is sanctification complete at once?
A. No, sanctification is gradual, and ought to go on increasing to the end of the earthly life. (Phil. 3:13; 14)

9. Is it certain that a true believer in Christ will be finally saved?
A. Yes, God will preserve a true believer in Christ to the end. (John 10:28; Phil. 1:6)

10. What is the sure proof of being a true believer?
A. The only sure proof of being a true believer is growing in holiness and in usefulness, even to the end. (2 Pet. 1:10)

11. To what will justification and sanctification lead at last?
A. Justification and sanctification will lead at last to glorification in heaven. (Rom. 5:2; 8:30; Matt. 25:21)

Q. A. How can it be right for God to treat a believing sinner as just, when he has only began a holy life?
A. God treats a believing sinner as just for Christ’s sake, and God will be sure to make him completely holy in the end. (Rom. 3:26)

Q. B. Does faith in Christ procure justification by deserving it?
A. No, faith does not deserve justification; it only brings us into union with Christ, for whose sake we are justified. (Rom. 8:1)

Compend of Christian Doctrines Held by Baptists
Q. (26) What is justification?
A. Pardoning the believer and accepting him as righteous through the name and righteousness of Christ. Rom. iii: 24 and v: 1; Gal. ii: 16; 1 Cor. v: 11; Tit. iii: 7.

Philadelphia Baptist Catechism
Q. 98. What immediately follows when we believe the Gospel?
A. Justification
Scr. “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law — Romans 3:28 See also Romans 5:1

Q. 99. What does it mean to be justified?
A. To be justified is to be counted just, or righteous, before God.
Scr. “To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him who believes in Jesus.” — Romans 3:26

Q. 100. How can sinful men be counted just before God?
A. Only when he appears before God in the righteousness of Christ
Scr. “not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith :“ — Philippians 3:9 See also Roman5 3:25; 5:17

Q. 101. Is this righteousn~55 of Christ poured into the saints so that they become Personally righteous before God?
A. No, for if they were Personally righteous they would not live by faith.
Scr. “The just shall live by faith.” — Galatians 3:11 See also Philippians 3:9; Galatians 5:5; Romans 4:5-8

Q. 102. Then how can a man ever be Clothed with the righteousne55 of Christ?
A. Christ Jesus took our nature that He might live and die for His people, and be able to present them before God clothed in His righteousness
Scr. “And again, Behold I and the children which God has given Me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. — Hebrews 2:13, 14 See also verse17; Romans 4:25; 1 Peter 2:24

Q. 103. How does God justify the elect by the righteousness of Christ?
A. By crediting them with the righteousnc55 of Christ’s life while Lie was on earth.
Scr. “For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” — 2 Corinthians 5:21 See also Romans 4:22-25; 8:1, 2, 4; 5:21

Q. 104. When is a man actually justified?
A. Immediately when he has believed in Christ.
Scr. “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other:” — Luke 18:14

Q. 105. What is the instrument by which we receive justification?
A. Faith
Scr. “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law Romans 3:28

Q. 106. If a man is once justified before God, can he ever be counted unrighteous again?
A. No, because God accepts the righteousness of Christ for ever.
Scr. “Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” — Romans 8:30 See also verses 33, 34

Q. 107. Can a man justify his sin because he is eternally justified before God.
A. No, in no way, but he must humble himself, confess his sin, repent, and renew his faith.
Scr. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all urighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His ward is not in us.” — 1 John 1:8-10 See also Romans 6:1, 2; Psalm 32:5

Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 33. What is justification?
A. Justification is an act of God’s free grace,[91] wherein he pardoneth all our sins,[92] and accepteth us as righteous in His sight,[93] only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us,[94] and received by faith alone.[95]

[91] Romans 3:24. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

[92] Romans 4:6-8. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. 2 Corinthians 5:19. To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

[93] 2 Corinthians 5:21. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

[94] Romans 4:6, 11. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works…. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: Romans 5:19. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

[95] Galatians 2:16. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Philippians 3:9. And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

Westminster Larger Catechism
Q. 70. What is justification?

A. Justification is an act of God’s free grace unto sinners,[286] in which he pardoneth all their sins, accepteth and accounteth their persons righteous in his sight;[287] not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them,[288] but only for the perfect obedience and full satisfaction of Christ, by God imputed to them,[289] and received by faith alone.[290]

Q. 71. How is justification an act of God’s free grace?

A. Although Christ, by his obedience and death, did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice in the behalf of them that are justified;[291] yet in as much as God accepteth the satisfaction from a surety, which he might have demanded of them, and did provide this surety, his own only Son,[292] imputing his righteousness to them,[293] and requiring nothing of them for their justification but faith,[294] which also is his gift,[295] their justification is to them of free grace.[296]

Q. 72. What is justifying faith?

A. Justifying faith is a saving grace,[297] wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit[298] and Word of God,[299] whereby he, being convinced of his sin and misery, and of the disability in himself and all other creatures to recover him out of his lost condition,[300] not only assenteth to the truth of the promise of the gospel,[301] but receiveth and resteth upon Christ and his righteousness, therein held forth, for pardon of sin,[302] and for the accepting and accounting of his person righteous in the sight of God for salvation.[303]

Q. 73. How doth faith justify a sinner in the sight of God?

A. Faith justifies a sinner in the sight of God, not because of those other graces which do always accompany it, or of good works that are the fruits of it,[304] nor as if the grace of faith, or any act thereof, were imputed to him for his justification;[305] but only as it is an instrument by which he receiveth and applieth Christ and his righteousness.[306]

[287] 2 Corinthians 5:19, 21. To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation…. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Romans 3:22, 24-25, 27-28. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference…. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God…. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

[288] Titus 3:5, 7. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost…. That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Ephesians 1:7. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

[289] Romans 5:17-19. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Romans 4:6-8. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

[290] Acts 10:43. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. Galatians 2:16. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Philippians 3:9. And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

[291] Romans 5:8-10, 19. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life…. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

[292] 1 Timothy 2:5-6. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Hebrews 10:10. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Matthew 20:28. Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Daniel 9:24, 26. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy…. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. Isaiah 53:4-6, 10-12. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all…. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Hebrews 7:22. By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. Romans 8:32. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 1 Peter 1:18-19. Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

[293] 2 Corinthians 5:21. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

[294] Romans 3:24-25. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.

[295] Ephesians 2:8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

[296] Ephesians 1:17. That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.

[297] Hebrews 10:39. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

[298] 2 Corinthians 4:13. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak. Ephesians 1:17-19. That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.

[299] Romans 10:14-17. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

[300] Acts 2:37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Acts 16:30. And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? John 16:8-9. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me. Romans 6:6. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Ephesians 2:1. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. Acts 4:12. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

[301] Ephesians 1:13. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.

[302] John 1:12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Acts 16:31. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts 10:43. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

[303] Philippians 3:9. And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. Acts 15:11. But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

[304] Galatians 3:11. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. Romans 3:28. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

[305] Romans 4:5. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Romans 10:10. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

[306] John 1:12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Philippians 3:9. And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. Galatians 1:16. To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.

-TurretinFan

Justification – Part II

July 27, 2008

In addition to the more widely subscribed confessions of faith provided in part I (link) of this series, I’d like now to turn to a less widely subscribed confession, the Helvetic Consensus (promoted with great zeal by Turretin, but overthrown by his unworthy son, Jean Alphonse). This confession of faith was, for about 50 years, adopted widely in Switzerland (Helvetica) in 1675. Most relevant to our topic of justification are three of the last four canons: canons 23-25:

Canon XXIII: There are two ways in which God, the just Judge, has promised justification: either by one’s own works or deeds in the law, or by the obedience or righteousness of another, even of Christ our Guarantor. [This justification] is imputed by grace to those who believe in the Gospel. The former is the method of justifying man because of perfection; but the latter, of justifying man who is a corrupt sinner. In accordance with these two ways of justification the Scripture establishes these two covenants: the Covenant of Works, entered into with Adam and with each one of his descendants in him, but made void by sin; and the Covenant of Grace, made with only the elect in Christ, the second Adam, eternal. [This covenant] cannot be broken while [the Covenant of Works] can be abrogated.

Canon XXIV: But this later Covenant of Grace according to the diversity of times has also different dispensations. For when the Apostle speaks of the dispensation of the fullness of times, that is, the administration of the last time (Eph 1:10), he very clearly indicates that there had been another dispensation and administration until the times which the Father appointed. Yet in the dispensation of the Covenant of Grace the elect have not been saved in any other way than by the Angel of his presence (Isa 63:9), the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8), Christ Jesus, through the knowledge of that just Servant and faith in him and in the Father and his Spirit. For Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8). And by His grace we believe that we are saved in the same manner as the Fathers also were saved, and in both Testaments these statutes remain unchanged: “Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him,” (the Son) (Ps 2:12); “He that believes in Him is not condemned, but he that does not believe is condemned already” (John 3:18). “You believe in God,” even the Father, “believe also in me” (John 14:1). But if, moreover, the holy Fathers believed in Christ as their God, it follows that they also believed in the Holy Spirit, without whom no one can call Jesus Lord. Truly there are so many clearer exhibitions of this faith of the Fathers and of the necessity of such faith in either Covenant, that they can not escape any one unless one wills it. But though this saving knowledge of Christ and the Holy Trinity was necessarily derived, according to the dispensation of that time, both from the promise and from shadows and figures and mysteries, with greater difficulty than in the NT. Yet it was a true knowledge, and, in proportion to the measure of divine Revelation, it was sufficient to procure salvation and peace of conscience for the elect, by the help of God’s grace.

Canon XXV: We disapprove therefore of the doctrine of those who fabricate for us three Covenants, the Natural, the Legal, and the Gospel, different in their entire nature and essence, and in explaining these and assigning their differences, so intricately entangle themselves that they greatly obscure and even impair the nucleus of solid truth and piety. Nor do they hesitate at all, with regard to the necessity, under the OT dispensation, of knowledge of Christ and faith in him and his satisfaction and in the whole sacred Trinity, to speculate much too loosely and dangerously.

This is a translation by Martin I. Klauber, which apparently first appeared in Trinity Journal 11 (1990): 103-23. For the complete text of the translation (by permission) see this link (link).

The Indispensible Nature of the Justice of God

July 27, 2008

“This avenging justice belongs to God as a judge, and he can no more dispense with it than he can cease to be a judge, or deny himself; though at the same time he exercises it freely. It does not consist in the exercise of a gratuitous power, like mercy, by which (whether it be exercised or not) injustice is done to no one. It is that attribute by which God gives to every one his due, and from the exercise of which, when proper objects are presented, he can no more abstain, than he can do what is unjust. This justice is the constant will of punishing sinners, which in God cannot be inefficient, as his majesty is supreme and his power infinite ” (Turretin’s Atonement, Translated by Wilson. New York, 1859).

“So long as he is holy he must be just; he must repel sin, which is the highest idea we can form of punishment” (Hodge’s Essays and Reviews, p. 137).

“For whatever else God may be, or may not be, he must be just. It is not optional with him to exercise this attribute, or not to exercise it, as it is in the instance of that class of attributes which are antithetic to it. We can say: “God may be merciful or not as he pleases,” but we cannot say: “God may be just or not, as he pleases.” It cannot be asserted that God is inexorably obligated to show pity; but it can be categorically affirmed that God is inexorably obligated to do justly” (Bib. Sacra, Vol. XVI., p. 738).

These quotations were brought to my attention by Pastor Daniel Fisk in his article “The Necessity of the Atonement,” in Biblia Sacra, from April 1861 (link).


%d bloggers like this: