Pristine Grace
Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst ... 3 ... LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 114

Thread: active/passive obedience

  1. #41
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Holland, Michigan
    Posts
    1,835
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    Quote Originally Posted by DarthGill
    Children of God, listen up! I have some words for you! Don't look to Christ as only your substitute in death; but look upon Him as your representative in everything! When Christ died, His people died with Him. They were put on that cross and crucified. When He was resurrected, His people were resurrected. When He lived, His people lived. When He obeyed the law, His people obeyed the law. He now resides in Heaven - His bride is represented there as well! Christ represents His people in everything!

    Ok, well I'm all excited now!!!!
    So am I Brandan!

    This is in line with Isaiah 53, 1 John and other passages where it speaks of Christ as our atonement and adovcate. If you separate His representation of us into "that which is spiritual" and that "which is not" then you have a partial representative before God. The obvious questions then arise:

    Who is our representative before God in the other issues?
    Who represents us in "active obedience": ourselves, our works?
    What's the limitation, where do you draw the line in representing yourself in any aspect?
    Who determines whom this representative on other issues here?
    What are the requirements posed by God that gives credentials to this oither representative?

    Now the very crucial one:

    If we have no representative for "other things", such as a representative for "active obedience" how are we left before God? Incomplete? I propose NO!

    When I was in Bible school, a teacher told me that the idea of the Greek word for "head" in Ephesians 5 is a military term for the "vulnerable part of the body". (Doug, W.B. and Bill Twisse can verify that). I will assume my teacher was right. Christ is our head in that He protected His body, the Ekklesia, His Bride, entirely and impenetrably, but He still did not protect His head in a way that would hinder Him from fighting our battles. As a soldier of old, although he needs his armor to protect his body as engaging the enemy, he needed his head to command his movements and that made him all vulnerable.

    I believe we get the picture: Christ protects us all in every sense of the word. Big things, small things, exactly as you said above He is our representative. In addition, He is ready to fight our battles as the Head!

    Now I am excited, and since I yield to my excitement, I just screamed Halleluyah!

    A Christian song of the 70's stated: You either Lord of everything or you're not Lord at all. I believe Jesus to be the Lord of everything that my life emcompasses.

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

  2. #42
    Moderator Eileen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    756
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    Great post Brandan and great points too. I too don't think I will actually use the words, active and passive but I have come to a greater understanding of the righteousness of Christ.

    Here is a paragraph that speaks to why the law is not imputed to us that I found very interesting from the link I posted:

    "Christian righteousness begins with the death and resurrection of Christ. The risen Christ Himself is our righteousness, not Christ fulfilling the law in our place. The Christian's connection to the law is broken through the death and resurection of Christ. The apostle Paul in Romans chapter seven expands upon this important theme. The law's power is only in force as long as a person is alive, or in the words of the apostle, "Law has dominion over a man as long as he liveth" (Rom. 7:1). Paul then sets forth our complete deliverance from under the law when he says that those who were under the law were made dead to the law by the death of Christ, that they might be joined to another, to Him that was raised from the dead (Rom. 7:1-6). A dead man is not subject to civil or religious law; in like manner, the believer is not subject to the law of Moses because he is dead and risen in Christ. Therefore, to those who believe on Christ, the law has lost its authority to bring either condemnation or righteousness through the obedience of Christ. Paul finally concludes this argument in Romans by writing, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes (Rom. 10:4) If the law is powerless to make righteous, what then is the true character of justification? Justification is the declaration by God unto us of a high and measureless righteousness, in that the whole value of the death of Christ was credited to the believer by faith, irrespective of the law, according to grace"

    Another......" Christ Himself, Risen, is our righteousness, His earthly life under the Law is not our righteousness. We have no connection with a Christ on earth and under the Law.......Though He moved among sinners, he was 'separated from sinners', and had no connection with them until God made Him their sin offering at the cross"

    Powerful words to be sure. Much to mediate on and read and prayerfully ask for guidance.

    So again, I have learned and grown in Grace and have been renewed in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, for I am united to Him in His death and resurrection and have died to sin and the law. Now that, my friends is a glorious truth!!
    "To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel" Robert R. Higby

  3. #43
    Administrator Brandan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    5,823
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    121
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    70
    Thanked in
    45 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    Eileen, Milt, Ivor Thomas,

    Great Posts! I always look forward to what all of you have to say. Milt, I especially like your style of writing, and Eileen - I appreciate the humility with which you communicate. If only I could be like that as more than a few times have I been a bit unruly and ostentatious.

    Anyway, I agree that the righteousness that is imputed to the elect is the Righteousness of Christ - His DIVINE Righteousness - not one that was earned by obedience to the law, but ALL of His righteousness. I still believe in vicarious law keeping, but that was for the purpose of redeeming the elect from the obligation of the law - not for attaining a righteousness that was needed to be declared as righteous. For me, it just shows how complete a and glorious a salvation Christ really accomplished for His people.

    In Hope and Faith,
    Brandan
    This is my signature.

  4. #44
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Honiton, Devon, England
    Posts
    102
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    Brandan,


    The Lord bless you my friend! I see from reading your post that He is indeed leading you. You have made a significant statement when you go on to say “Christ's obedience to the entire law was a demonstration of His righteousness! It is precisely CHRIST'S righteousness (not by law keeping) that is the onlyrighteousness that could be accepted and is accepted by God, and it is this righteousness that is imputed to the elect at the cross.”

    In that statement you HAVE effectively shown the error of vicarious law-keeping, for that teaching, properly stated insists that Christ’s WROUGHT OUT a righteousness for us through His law-keeping. I am very pleased to read that you see that law-keeping as a DEMONSTRATION of His righteousness. That is a key point.

    But I’ll go on to clarify a few others points from your post…

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    First of all, thank you Ian for contributing much to this thread. I'm not going to directly quote you as I don't have time for much dialogue. I'm busy studying this issue right now and have read both of the articles by IDS (the initial one and the one defending the doctrine after being kicked out of FIRE).
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill

    Lack of time? Me too!

    As one who has a hope that Christ has made satisfaction for me believes the Bible is very simple. I believe the Gospel is simple - very easy to understand. It is written in common every day language, and when the Saints of God read it, the truth it contains is revealed to them.. I believe most of the complicated problems presented on this forum are because men have made it as such. And one of the reasons I have a problem with Ian's view is because it complicates things. So does the traditional reformed understanding now that I think about it. Let me explain.

    Actually Brandan I believe the vicarious-law-keeping view is the one which complicates things. In principle it says that the blood of Christ, and the consequent declaration of us as righteous because of that blood, is insufficient to justify us. In principle the view says that the blood does not really wash all our sin away (or at least that having no sin is ‘not’ the same as being righteous) – that to it must be added vicarious law-keeping by Christ, in order for us to have a perfect righteousness. The idea is that although the ‘penalty’ is paid by the death of Christ we still need to have a ‘positive’ righteousness imputed to us, as though the blood doesn’t in itself do that. But this is confusion. THIS is what is complicated.

    The truth is really very simple. As I have stated in a prior post we can only be in one of two states – righteous or sinful. There is no ‘middle-ground, neutral’ state. We can’t have our sins taken away and be in a neutral, sinless, yet not actually righteous state – having also the need for some ‘positive’ righteousness to be imputed. The very idea is erroneous. Yet that is what the whole vicarious law-keeping teaching is based upon as its foundational premise. The fact is we either have sin, or we don’t, and if we don’t we are RIGHTEOUS. If we have no sin then we have no transgressions against God’s law or His holy righteous nature, therefore we must be in accord with that righteousness – we are righteous.

    To put it very simply, Christ’s blood WASHED our sins away. Then we are righteous. That’s it. That’s how Christ FULFILLED the law for us by CONDEMNING SIN IN THE FLESH (Romans 8:3). What is meant by that? NOT SIMPLY THAT HE DIED UNDER THE PENALTY OF THE LAW (death) but also that He CONDEMNED SIN IN THE FLESH – He took it away! If we have no sin left, it being condemned in Christ’s flesh, washed in the blood, then we have no violation of the law, no point in which we have committed any sin against that law, or omitted any righteous requirement of that law. The washing away of our sins covers ALL sins – sins of commission AND of omission.

    The law said “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Matthew 22:37.

    I didn’t do that. I failed. I sinned, and that constantly. But Christ blotted out that sin with His precious blood and therefore my sin was taken away. IN WHICH CASE it is as if I HAVE LOVED THE LORD MY GOD WITH ALL MY HEART, SOUL, AND MIND always.

    The law also said “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” Matthew 22:39.

    I didn’t do that either. I failed in that too, I sinned against that. But Christ also blotted out that sin with His precious blood and therefore my sin was taken away. IN WHICH CASE it is as if I HAVE LOVED MY NEIGHBOUR AS MYSELF always.

    “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” Matthew 22:40.

    So by Christ’s blood taking my sins against these commandments away (omission and commission) I have no sin against them left, and have therefore fulfilled them. See Romans 8:3-4. I FULFILLED THE LAW because Christ condemned my sin in the flesh.

    It is that simple – the blood washes away our sins. We are justified by the blood. No SINS are therefore imputed to us (because the blood covered them) so RIGHTEOUSNESS IS imputed to us. We do not need to go anywhere else to find the fulfilment of that righteousness, for it is fulfilled by the blood – Christ’s death took away our sins. (But Christ could only do that by being united to us in death so that He was made our sin and bore ours sins, and therefore having taken them away we are the righteousness of God IN HIM – we can’t be apart from Him, anymore than He could be made our sin apart from us, so HE is our righteousness).

    All talk about the need to have Christ’s LAW-KEEPING imputed to us AS WELL is simply nonsense. It is superfluous – the blood has already washed away our sins making us righteous. The whole concept of vicarious law-keeping is complicated confusion (and it was for THAT teaching that the division of active and passive obedience was dreamt up in order to teach….). It effectively despises the blood of Christ as though it is insufficient to really atone for our sins.

    I am reminded somewhat of the Arminian objections against Particular Redemption. They complain that if Christ’s death was not for ALL but only for SOME then that LIMITS His work. Also if God’s love is not for ALL but only for the ELECT then that limits God’s love. They see these things as limiting God’s power, His love, His victory.

    But that is man’s reason. Man’s wisdom. Man looks at the cross, the wisdom of God, and counts it as foolish. See 1 Corinthians.

    We must be careful not to fall into the same trap of looking at the cross, at the blood of Christ and saying that it is insufficient FOR JUSTIFICATION, that it limits Christ’s work. That for justification, for IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS we must add more to it, eg. Christ’s law-keeping. (Don’t get me wrong – the cross isn’t in isolation, nor is the blood. The value of the blood is in WHOSE blood it is, and the fact that Christ was PERFECT. The blood points to the fact of our sins being covered by Christ's blood - HIS blood, therefore HIS righteousness, but a righteousness which is everlasting, divine, and apart from the works of the law. The sacrifice offered at the cross HAD TO BE Christ, the Son of God incarnate, He had to be made under the law in order to be placed under the penalty of the law, He had to be a man to reconcile man to God. He had to be obedient to God in all things and we glorify God in that. But nevertheless JUSTIFICATION ITSELF, justifying righteousness, was wrought at the cross in that sacrifice by the taking away of our sins, and the shedding of that blood.)

    What we must do is rest upon what the scriptures actually TEACH. If they teach that we are ‘justified by the blood’ then we should rest in that and not try to add other things, such as Christ’s law-keeping (vicariously), however reasonable it might seem to do that, or however that might seem to add greater glory to His work…. Because it doesn’t – really it is in danger of despising the blood – see Hebrews 10:29. It says the blood is not sufficient in itself to justify, it does not bring in justifying righteousness. Some of that must come from elsewhere – ie. the works of the law.

    “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Galatians 2:21.

    The Bible never speaks of "active" or "passive" obedience. It speaks of Christ's obedience - period. Christ was obedient - even to the point of death. He was obedient to the will of the Father. He was obedient to the law of the Old Covenant. He was obedient in all things. He was obedient even in death. He was active in every aspect of obedience as He is GOD the ALMIGHTY!
    Very true Brandan. Yet it is the teaching of vicarious-law-keeping which has made such distinctions with the very intention of trying to show that Christ HAD TO PERFORM LAW WORKS in order to ‘produce’ a righteousness which can be imputed to us.

    I refuse now to separate any aspect of this obedience and make any distinction. Christianity in my opinion is about Christ being a SUBSTITUTE for His sheep, an exhange of His life for His Bride.

    Eph 5:25, (KJV), Husbands, love your wives (live for them), even as Christ also loved the church (lived for the church), and gave himself for it; (This passage alone condemns the teaching of the "polygyny" thread.)

    When He laid down His life for the church, the "great exchange" took place. This passage speaks of more than just dying for the Church, but of loving the Church - and this is more than a feeling, but something that was done for it. When He "gave himself for it", I believe He at every point of His life was giving of Himself. Now I believe this passage refers to His death, the point is made that Christ's relationship to the Church is the same as a husband and wife. A husband is to be giving of himself to his wife in all manner of life - even in death. There is a union between the husband and the wife - they are made "one" flesh - the husband represents the wife in all that he does. My job is my wife's source of income. My house is my wife's house. My child is also my wife's child. The same is true of Christ and His Bride. They were joined together in ETERNITY. There was a vital union that took place in the Eternal decree, and from before the foundation of the world, Christ was joined to the Church. All that Christ did in life was for His Bride in the same way that all that a husband does in life is for his wife.

    Well really the Bride was ESPOUSED to her husband from eternity. They became united at the cross in death and rose to life in the resurrection. In the death the Bride was taken out of the Last Adam’s side, as Eve was taken out of Adam’s side and presented to him as his wife. In that sense Eve was always ‘in’ Adam, just as the Bride was always in Christ, although that didn’t make Eve the same ‘person’ as Adam.

    But our earthly person, our ‘flesh’ was originally fallen in the first Adam and that had to be united to Christ at the cross in order to crucify the sinful flesh. We then rose again in Him, in the ‘new man’ being a new creation. But as Eve did not ‘do’ what Adam did before she was taken out of his side, so the Bride of Christ did not ‘do’ what Christ did. But she does become WHAT HE IS. Her union with her Husband is in what HE IS (righteousness of God from eternity) not what He DID (the works of the law, which after all were only a showing forth of that righteousness so really added nothing to it).

    There was no need for Christ to be made righteous by the law as He was already spotless. It was not for His sake that He put Himself under the law to become "righteous". Yet He put Himself under the law for His Church - He was giving of Himself in these actions (being born, circumcision, living sinlessly, etc...) Christ's obedience to the entire law was a demonstration of His righteousness! It is precisely CHRIST'S righteousness (not by law keeping) that is the onlyrighteousness that could be accepted and is accepted by God, and it is this righteousness that is imputed to the elect at the cross. All of Christ's people have been clothed with this righteousness and God forbid that we view it as just Christ's obedience to the law, or His obedience in death, but as our Husband's righteousness! Everything He did was for His Bride! He is everything to His Church! When the Father looks upon the Church, He sees Christ! He joined them to Him in eternity and has always viewed them as perfectly righteous because they are ONE - vitally joined together.

    Brandan! You’re beginning to get it!

    Christ had to be made under the law in order to redeem His church from under the law – in order to suffer the judgement of the law against her. His life as you say was a DEMONSTRATION of His righteousness. You’re spot on there!

    “Christ's obedience to the entire law was a demonstration of His righteousness! It is precisely CHRIST'S righteousness (not by law keeping) that is the onlyrighteousness that could be accepted and is accepted by God, and it is this righteousness that is imputed to the elect at the cross.”

    Yes! It is the Righteousness of God IN CHRIST. It wasn’t ‘wrought out’ by law-keeping – Christ ALREADY WAS RIGHTEOUS. That is what we become at the cross because of Christ’s washing our sins away in His blood, and our being united to Him in His death so that all that is left to be seen in us is the righteousness of God in Christ, in whom we are united as the Bride to her husband.

    In seeing this Brandan you have effectively seen the error in the vicarious-law-keeping view (whether you realise it or not...! )

    Christ had absolutely no reason to put Himself under the law for His own sake as many "evangelicals" claim today. He is God - and needs no justifying whatsoever. From all eternity, He has been perfectly righteous. But He did put Himself under the law - and He did this as a representative for His Bride - because this was the Father's will. In order to redeem His people from the law, He had to put Himself under that law.

    Gal 4:4-5, (KJV), But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (5) To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

    Question to Ian - does this passage mean only redeem them from the curse of the law? There is no mention of any penalty at all. Why cannot this passage mean to redeem from obligation and curse? How can being "under the law" in this context mean only the penalty and not the obligation?

    Yes Brandan – Christ put Himself under the law, not to produce law-works, not to walk as a proxy-law-keeper, but in order to REDEEM His people FROM THE LAW. In order to do THAT, which He did by dying in their stead, He HAD to be made under the law.

    You’re also right Brandan about Galatians 3:13 (“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law”). It does NOT simply mean that we are redeemed from the curse of the law (death), it also means that we are redeemed from under the law full-stop. Our OLD MAN was under the law but it is crucified with Christ, it is dead. It is dead to the law – both its curse and its obligation. See Romans 7:4-6, where this is taught very clearly. We are risen in Christ the other side of death, outside of the law’s reach.

    I agree completely and that is my point regarding the death of Christ. The work of Christ in His death was not merely fulfilling the CURSE of the law. It fulfilled the obligation of us to it as well. The curse of the law was death. But Christ DIDN’T JUST DIE for us, He TOOK OUR SIN AWAY. HE SHED HIS BLOOD. He was made sin, bore our sins, and suffered under the wrath of God against that sin for HOURS. He didn’t die an instant death as though death alone was sufficient – He justified us through His SUFFERINGS on the cross, leading to the shedding of His blood.

    The blood doesn’t speak of the curse of the law (that was simply death). The blood speaks of atonement. It speaks of sins being WASHED AWAY. It speaks of the remission of sins, and consequent forgiveness. Hence the law is fulfilled because all sins are blotted out, and all that is seen in us, in Christ, is RIGHTEOUSNESS.

    That FULFILLS all the Old Covenant types and figures. The precepts of the law condemned our sin. The ceremonies of the law pointed to how that sin could be taken away – by sacrifice and the shedding of blood. There is ABSOLUTELY NO MENTION OR FIGURE of vicarious-law-keeping seen in those types. It is the sacrifice of a lamb (and the burning of the carcase outside the camp) and the shedding of its blood that takes away sin and sins. “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin”. In which case THERE IS REMISSION OF SIN (and hence imputation of righteousness) by the shedding of blood – and nothing more.

    God’s forgiveness of sins is not the same as when we forgive someone who has wronged us. ‘Sorry’ won’t do. Paying a penalty in itself won’t do before God. No, God forgives us of our sins not simply because Christ died but because He TOOK OUR SINS AWAY. God CAN forgive us then because He views us as no longer having sin. His forgiveness is not simply based upon a price being paid, but upon the blood blotting out those sins. Hence upon justifying righteousness being imputed to us because of the covering of the blood. We are “justified by the blood”.

    Now modern day theologians have separated the obedience into two separate categories, "passive", and "active". All are guilty of doing this - on both sides of the issue. If it were not for this division, I doubt we'd even be having this discussion. But because the division exists, things have now become complicated, and the simplicity of the Gospel has been distorted.

    Simply put, the Gospel is about Christ giving of His life for His Bride, and He gave of His life from His birth until His death. It is about an exchange of His life for His Bride. Not only did He die for His Church, but He lived for His Church. His filthy bride's awful life of sin was imputed to Him, and His life of righteousness was imputed to His Bride.

    Children of God, listen up! I have some words for you! Don't look to Christ as only your substitute in death; but look upon Him as your representative in everything! When Christ died, His people died with Him. They were put on that cross and crucified. When He was resurrected, His people were resurrected. When He lived, His people lived. When He obeyed the law, His people obeyed the law. He now resides in Heaven - His bride is represented there as well! Christ represents His people in everything!

    Ok, well I'm all excited now!!!!

    I’m glad you’re excited Brandan! I think you have said truth when you say “It is precisely CHRIST'S righteousness (not by law keeping) that is the onlyrighteousness that could be accepted and is accepted by God, and it is this righteousness that is imputed to the elect at the cross.” (Christ’s righteousness being the ‘righteousness of God in Him’ 2 Corinthians 5:21). You seem here to have recognised that Christ’s righteousness is apart from law-keeping. He ALWAYS WAS righteous. He kept the law BECAUSE He was righteous, NOT in order to produce a righteousness which is then imputed to us.

    THAT is the key point. Effectively you disagree with the vicarious-law-keeping concept by saying that (as that view teaches that His law-keeping WROUGHT out a righteousness to be imputed to us). Christ kept the law because He was/is righteous, not to produce a righteousness.

    So, the only thing I’d point out from your comments here is that when you say that Christ’s ‘life of righteousness was imputed to His Bride’ I’d just say that His actual divine righteousness was imputed. His life simply demonstrated it. His obedience to the law did not add anything to that righteousness.

    And that righteousness is imputed to us simply because we are united to Christ in His death, God judged our sin against the standard of His divine righteousness and Christ took all our sin away under that judgment, so we are made the righteousness of God in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21.

    I really MUST leave it there – this is really my last post on this topic (I hope!). May the Lord continue to teach us all as we look into the scriptures to see if these things be so,

    In Grace,
    Ian
    "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" John 1:17

    www.graceandtruthonline.com

  5. #45
    Administrator Brandan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    5,823
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    121
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    70
    Thanked in
    45 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    I've been thinking about this all night - even woke up early and couldn't go back to sleep. Right now I'm so obsessed with thinking and reading about this topic it's amazing. I've been renewed to a real pleasure in the righteousness of Christ. This is a very good topic - thanks Eileen and Ian!

    This is what I've been thinking about - and I have a theory - and I don't know - maybe I've just found a way to merge Covenant Theology and New Covenant Theology. I might be way off here - but by God's grace, I think I have come up with a new systematic.

    Let's call it MCT! (modified covenant theology).
    It's a merging of Ian's view of Justification by passive obedience and the reformed view of vicarious law keeping.

    I am positive the Scriptures speak of vicarious law keeping. However, I've ALWAYS had problems with Covenant Theology's idea of a "covenant of works" specifically because I do not believe any person can achieve righteousness through the works of the law. It's works based salvation and that is why I've rejected it.

    But let's say we take a modified view of the covenant of works. Before the fall, Adam was righteous. He didn't have the righteousness of Christ, but he was righteous according to the law that was given to him. The revealed law to Adam did indeed judge him to be righteous. He still had a sin nature - an inclination to sin (which is indeed sinful!)- he was not Christ. When he fell, according to the law (two laws were given : don't eat of the tree - populate the earth), he became an object of its penalty. From that point on, all of his elect descendents would be cursed by some form of that law (CT calls it "moral law"). In order to be restored to a state of righteousness (Adam's prefall state), one would have to not only pay the penalty, but also the obligation as a substitute through vicarious law keeping and death on the cross (Christ). When Christ upheld the law, the righteousness earned by that obedience is indeed imputed to the elect but it is still yet insufficient to keep the elect from falling into sin again in EXACTLY the same way that Adam fell into sin. This is where the righteousness of Christ apart from the law comes into play and doesn't merely restore the elect to Adam's prefall state - but instead it's a divine righteousness that actually removes the elect's inclination to sin (Christ was impeccable). (the "two natures" view is vital at this point)

    So the "covenant of works" given to Adam which Christ fulfilled by keeping the law is not really salvific - just a restoration to Adam's prefall state. It's not a complete salvation. The "covenant of grace" - the NEW COVENANT - begun in eternity and constituted on the cross in time is an exceedingly greater covenant as it's a divine covenant that imputes the divine righteousness of Christ to all of the elect and fashions them to be inhabitants in heaven through infused holiness / imparted righteousness. When the elect die and leave this body of sin behind, the warfare will cease, and they will be glorified - unlike anything Adam ever was.

    What does everyone think about this?

    Also, Ian, I will try to respond to your post. Needless to say, I am pleased to see that we are coming to some agreement!
    This is my signature.

  6. #46
    Moderator Forester07's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    235
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    28
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    7
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    I would agree with John Reisinger that there is not a covenant of works with Adam.


    A COVENANT OF WORKS?


    John G. Reisinger



    "Mr. Reisinger, if God did not make a covenant of works with Adam in the Garden of Eden, then exactly what was the arrangement?"

    I view the situation in the Garden of Eden as follows: Suppose I put you on a large farm and tell you that everything on it was for your personal use and enjoyment. I promise to pay all of the bills for everything, the fertilizer, the animal's feed, the electric bill, etc. You need only work the farm and you may sell or use all the produce, animals, etc. for yourself. There is only one condition. There is a small building out back of the barn that belongs to me and you may not go into it. The day you go in that building, you are going to be thrown off the farm. That is exactly like the arrangement that God made with Adam. Those are the same promises, conditions and terms laid on Adam in Eden. Everything in the Garden was Adam's to do with as he chose. The only restriction was to not eat of one tree.

    Question: Is there anything in my 'farm deal' with you that states, or in anyway remotely implies, that if you do not enter that little house for X number of weeks, months, years or some period of time, I will reward you by moving you to a bigger, better or different farm? There is not a thing to that effect! Total silence! Is there any inference of any kind that if you do not go into the little house for a specific period of time that I will tear down the little house. No! Not even a hint of such a thing.

    Is that not the exact 'deal' God made with Adam? I ask again, where in Genesis 1-3 is there a promise of a better life (or bigger farm) as a reward for Adam's obedience to a so-called covenant of works? There is not a single word or inference to that effect. There is indeed a threat of death for disobeying the one commandment, but there is no promise to Adam that he could gain, by works, something he did not already possess. Remember we are not talking about a minor point of doctrine. A covenant of works with Adam whereby he could literally "earn life" by obedience is an essential building block in the system of covenant theology. No covenant of works with Adam, no covenant theology.

    By the way, what was missing in Eden that Adam needed and God promised him he could earn by personal obedience? I always thought Eden was a pretty good deal that did not need any improvements. I think Adam had everything that any heart could desire.

    I repeat, the whole system of covenant theology is build on the absolute necessity of Adam being under a covenant of works wherein he was promised 'life' as a reward for obeying that covenant. But He already had life! He already had fellowship with God. The great tragedy of Eden was not that "an opportunity to earn life was lost." The tragedy was the life Adam already had was lost when he disobeyed. Where in Gen 2:17 is there the slightest inference that if Adam obeys a covenant for X number of months, or years, he will get a bigger and better garden or God would remove the tree. Genesis is a simple and straightforward narrative and covenant theologians superimpose a whole unproven system of theology on it.

    That there are many arguments for different terms or labels used by different covenant theologians for the "covenant of whatever" is proof of my original statement. We do not have to argue about labeling a doctrine when it is established from texts of Scripture. However, when you are discussing inferences and deductions, you have many conclusions that have no clear biblical (meaning textual) proof. One man's idea is as good as another when we are discussing ideas. That is not true when we discussing the words inspired by the Holy Ghost. A.H. Strong was asked when and where the covenant of works was made. He replied, "In Amsterdam in 1468." He was far closer to the truth than the WCF.
    Forester07

  7. #47
    Administrator Brandan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    5,823
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    121
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    70
    Thanked in
    45 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    Quote Originally Posted by Forester07
    I would agree with John Reisinger that there is not a covenant of works with Adam.
    Agreed. I don't like the term covenant of works - that's why I put it in "quotes". Working can never merit eternal salvation. It was an arrangement that God set before Adam. God gave Adam LAW. The "covenant of works" or legal arrangement is that Adam would be able to stay in the garden as long as he didn't break the rules.

    The traditional understanding of a covenant of works is really bad and wrong in my opinion.

    Oh and by the way, I know a few reformed covenant theologians that do not believe in a covenant of works - Wildboar for example - he's PRC - as reformed as you can get.
    This is my signature.

  8. #48
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    593
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    Ian. I have meditated upon it today with the understanding I have of it at present. I find some things in it fascinating, yet would want to verify for myself from the Scripture whether these things be so in truth. I admit that Brandan was right in his admonition, and I apologize that I hurled "antinomianism" at your view. I guess I was in a zeal which was not tempered by thoughtfulness, firing away too hastily. I see from reading your thoughts that you do not propagate antinomianism, "against the law". I do not even wish to charge your view as being error as of now. But would want to examine in the light of the Scripture.

    I acknowledge that there are scripture passages which seem to support your view quite strongly. It is true I think that the NT scriptures know not the term "Christ's righteousness imputed" or "Christ's imputed righteousness", as such. In fact there are many terms and phrases and words used in sovereign grace theology talk and jargon which specifically speaking are not found as such in the New Testament. Some of them are nonetheless legitimate and not misleading nor ambiguous. But many are misleading and even deceptive, and ambiguous. I believe it is all the better if one would use words and terms and phrases specifically found in the Scripture, I mean in particular such which are supported by the Greek text as legitimate and good.

    One good thing I come to think of in your view is that it makes Christ as Redeemer central. At least it seems so at present. And it seems to emphasize justification before God to have taken place at the cross. And no doubt more things good there be.

    Then. You seem to say that union of Christ and the elect came about at the cross. Would you say that union existed not prior to Christ going to Calvary, or prior to the incarnation? My belief has been that there has ever been a legal covenant union, even from eternity, between the Son of God and His elect. I believe it involves a Divine decree in eternity, and Divine foreknowing. And by reason of this union there was the union at the cross and in the resurrection. Any view of Christ's work which de-emphasizes the intimate union between Christ and His own is suspect. I do not say at present that your does so. I will have to read your writings carefully through. Myself has ever had a hard time with people who maintain that the union comes about "at the point of faith". If the union a person speaks of was not sovereignly established by One who is God and only God then his speaking is falsehood.

    I will perhaps sound like I am rambling a bit, but I will put forth a few thoughts on some things.
    First. I think I cannot find in the NT the language of "active" vs. "passive" obedience. It does say in some place concerning Christ's obedience that He became obedient unto death, a cross-death. In that passage it does not say some part was active and another passive. I think others have elaborated on this well here before.

    I must say that in a sense it would for me be like "coming home" if indeed your view is the truth. In august 1997 when myself experienced conversion then the gospel I embraced was that simple gospel Paul briefly outlines in 1Cor. 15:2-3. In fact these two verses were with power applied to my whole heart and inner being, that is what I experienced. I think it was sometimes in late 1999 or in 2000 I came to learn of the "vicarious law-keeping of Christ imputed as righteousness" doctrine. I cannot now even remember exactly when and through what writing. But it was not through independent Scripture study, that much I recall. I did take it in as very orthodoxy for some reason, and have hitherto held it to be true, and have contended for it more or less, at least in the letter. Now I am perplexed in some degree. If the vicarious law keeping view is not the truth of Paul and the NT and the Scripture overall then it would verily explain a few things to me, which have more or less at times arrested my attention, but which I have brushed aside. If "your view" is truth indeed it would make many things fall into place for myself, explaining them. I have a feeling in my guts that your view may be the truth, and I feel I will one day yet thank you heartily. I have hitherto in my life turned so many times from erroneous things that one more time will not be a new thing to me. In fact as I have meditated upon your view with my present insufficient understanding I have felt some hope of better things.

    Ian, have you thought about the ramifications if your view (I hate calling it "your view" all the time but will do so for now) is the truth and the vicarious law keeping imputed is falsehood? I have thought about it a little. It would at least to me explain a whole lot of strange and inconsistent things in the Christianity of the latter centuries, and especially it would explain a whole lot of strange things in calvinistic circles in the last 400 years plus. Among other things it would mean that almost all of calvinistic baptists (c.1637 to today) have propagated a man made falsehood in the name of truth. Not to mention calvinistic pedobaptists. This in turn would speak of the fact that the Holy Spirit has not been their anointing. I must say I find the situation at present intriguing. If your view is Scripture truth then myself is obligated to remove all writings from my site which propound the contrary view, and I will do it gladly as soon as fully convinced in mind.

    If your view is the truth then I counsel you in all friendliness to act consistently according to that conviction, and among other things to remove from your homepage writings which may (if you have such) propound the vicarious law keeping imputed view. Not to mention writings by men who deny justification of God's elect to have taken place at the cross exclusively. E.g. Fortner.

    If your view is the truth then it seems to me that most calvinistic theologians have wrongly used and defined the word "impute", i.e. Gr. logizomai. And they have read it into passages where it does not belong. I say if your view is the truth then there is a great need to set things straight by boldly proclaiming this as very truth Divine, and denounce the contrary view as error or heresy.

    One reason why myself has at times experienced nagging doubts as to my state and standing is because at conversion I did not learn the doctrine of vicarious law keeping imputed. I have at times asked in my heart, "If this doctrine is indeed a core truth of the Gospel then why wasn't I taught it of God at conversion? Or was my conversion but a spurious one, seeing I learnt not this thing?"
    Among the few vital things I was taught of God (if indeed it was Him) at conversion about the most central was this; "Now I am good enough for God for Christ's sake". Thus it was given to me to know and understand that it was all Christ. And this was my joy in all singleness of heart. I knew no fine theological terms or such back then. I guess I was not even familiar with the term "righteous", but I knew the term "good enough for God", that I was accepted of and acceptable to God for the sake of Another, Jesus Christ.

    I had so many things on my mind which I wanted to spell out, but now I cannot remember. I may return when I remember anew.



    Harald

  9. #49
    Administrator Brandan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    5,823
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    121
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    70
    Thanked in
    45 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    Ian told me in a private post that my MCT understanding has a lot of crossover from Bob's two seeds doctrine. I haven't heard from Bob, and I'm pretty sure from our past conversations that he would agree with my understanding that Christ kept the law on behalf of the elect and that the righteousness wrought through that obedience is indeed imputed to the elect. Would he view it as the first Adam's righteousness, or would he agree that something "more" is needed? He's very busy at this moment, so I'll patiently await his reply.

    Harald, please allow me to express my appreciation for you. I've appreciate your forthrightness and your love for the truth. I don't think we agree on every single point of doctrine, but I have learned much from you. I am very thankful for you.

    I noticed you mentioned Fortner as one you disagree with. I believe you have misunderstood his position concerning justification. All that I know (except for conditional primitive baptists) that believe in justification from eternity believe that ALL of justification occurs at the cross. It's just from the divine perspective, eternity is not an extension of time, but something that exists outside of time entirely. From God's perspective in eternity, everything HAS happened. That is all events in time are complete. And justification from eternity is a righteousness that is imputed to the elect as if Christ's work on the cross WAS accomplished (it was not a future event nor a past event). I've read enough of Fortner to know that he believes that all of justification is a result of the cross. You speak of the decretive union - the joining of the elect to the Christ in eternity. Well how does God do this unless He already sees the elect as righteous? He sees them as righteous because in that single instantaneous decree - EVERYTHING in time occurred from God's perspective - Christ's work on the cross was accomplished and God imputed the righteousness wrought by Christ in His life and death on the cross to His elect in that union. Not only was justificatin accomplished, but so was regeneration, adoption, resurrection, and glorification (Rom. 8:28-30).

    I'll write more tomorrow. Today was a great day for me.

    I would encourage everyone to meditate on the things discussed in this topic. I don't agree completely with Ian - I believe there are some finer points of distinction to be made - but I still believe that Christ kept the law for His people, and the righteousness wrought through obedience to that law is imputed to the elect. This righteousness returns the elect to Adam's prefall state, but it is still not enough to save eternally. Christ's divine righteousness is what is necessary, and this is what is imputed to the elect for eternal life.

    In Hope,
    Brandan
    This is my signature.

  10. #50
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Honiton, Devon, England
    Posts
    102
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    Harald,

    Thanks for your encouraging post – I rejoice to meet people who are open to searching the scriptures, open to the Spirit’s leading. May the Lord continue to teach us all.

    My last post WAS meant to be my last… at the time. However your post deserves a reply… (I can see Brandan sniggering away already at another one of Ian’s “Last Posts”! )

    Quote Originally Posted by harald
    Ian. I have meditated upon it today with the understanding I have of it at present. I find some things in it fascinating, yet would want to verify for myself from the Scripture whether these things be so in truth. I admit that Brandan was right in his admonition, and I apologize that I hurled "antinomianism" at your view. I guess I was in a zeal which was not tempered by thoughtfulness, firing away too hastily. I see from reading your thoughts that you do not propagate antinomianism, "against the law". I do not even wish to charge your view as being error as of now. But would want to examine in the light of the Scripture.
    Quote Originally Posted by harald

    That’s fine – no offence taken!

    Then. You seem to say that union of Christ and the elect came about at the cross. Would you say that union existed not prior to Christ going to Calvary, or prior to the incarnation? My belief has been that there has ever been a legal covenant union, even from eternity, between the Son of God and His elect. I believe it involves a Divine decree in eternity, and Divine foreknowing. And by reason of this union there was the union at the cross and in the resurrection. Any view of Christ's work which de-emphasizes the intimate union between Christ and His own is suspect. I do not say at present that your does so. I will have to read your writings carefully through. Myself has ever had a hard time with people who maintain that the union comes about "at the point of faith". If the union a person speaks of was not sovereignly established by One who is God and only God then his speaking is falsehood.

    Well, I’ve spoken a bit about our union with Christ in a few posts. There is no question that we were chosen IN CHRIST in eternity unto salvation. Scripture teaches that. I do believe there was a union between the elect and Christ in all eternity, but I think scripture teaches it in the sense that we were ‘in him’ ie. as ‘seed’ in him.

    I think there are two pictures relating to this. One is that of Eve in Adam. Eve wasn’t created independently of Adam, She was taken out of his side. A rib was taken out – she was flesh of his flesh, bone of his bone. So she was in Adam from the time he was created, yet she wasn’t united to him as his bride until she was taken out of his side and presented to him, which then brought her into a different union with him – a marriage union. This pictures us in Christ. We were always in Him from eternity but at the cross He went into a great sleep as it were (like Adam) and we were taken out of His side (the blood and water came forth from His side) and then rose from death with Him, as His bride. So we were ‘in Him’ before, espoused as His wife unto Him, but there is a marriage union of Bride and Husband at the cross/resurrection.

    A second picture is that of being ‘seed’ within Christ from all eternity. As all of Adam’s offspring were effectively in him, and gradually over the generations they are BORN, likewise all of the LAST ADAM’S offspring were in Him from all eternity and are then born in time of the Spirit at regeneration. It is in this sense that the folk who speak of a union ‘at point of faith’ are probably meaning – that when born again we are brought to faith. Having been ‘born’ of God, seed from within Christ, born by the Spirit, we are then a child which looks to its Father.

    However the former picture – Adam and Eve, is the one which most points to the Husband/Bride union of Christ and His church. The bride always was IN Christ, but is brought out of His side at the cross.

    Now there is another point about union to be mentioned. Although we were ‘in’ Christ from eternity, NONE of our sinful flesh inherited from Adam in the fall was in Christ back then. There could be no sin in Christ in eternity, so our state in our fallen flesh in this world is NOT in union with Christ. At least, NOT UNTIL THE CROSS. At the cross however we are brought into union with Christ in His death, our FLESH in our manhood in the first Adam is brought into union with Christ so that He could be made our sin in order to take it away, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. THAT UNION only took place at the cross, which is why Christ was made sin there, why the light of the sun was taken away for three hours whilst He was on the cross and why the vaults of heaven opened and God’s wrath came crashing down upon the Saviour in order to condemn sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us. Romans 8:3-4.

    That's my understanding regarding this matter - perhaps there is more that can be gleaned from the scriptures regarding it.


    I must say that in a sense it would for me be like "coming home" if indeed your view is the truth. In august 1997 when myself experienced conversion then the gospel I embraced was that simple gospel Paul briefly outlines in 1Cor. 15:2-3. In fact these two verses were with power applied to my whole heart and inner being, that is what I experienced. I think it was sometimes in late 1999 or in 2000 I came to learn of the "vicarious law-keeping of Christ imputed as righteousness" doctrine. I cannot now even remember exactly when and through what writing. But it was not through independent Scripture study, that much I recall. I did take it in as very orthodoxy for some reason, and have hitherto held it to be true, and have contended for it more or less, at least in the letter. Now I am perplexed in some degree. If the vicarious law keeping view is not the truth of Paul and the NT and the Scripture overall then it would verily explain a few things to me, which have more or less at times arrested my attention, but which I have brushed aside. If "your view" is truth indeed it would make many things fall into place for myself, explaining them. I have a feeling in my guts that your view may be the truth, and I feel I will one day yet thank you heartily. I have hitherto in my life turned so many times from erroneous things that one more time will not be a new thing to me. In fact as I have meditated upon your view with my present insufficient understanding I have felt some hope of better things.

    I think it is interesting to look back at our experience at times and consider what we have really learnt from God from the scriptures. Very often we will find that much of our understanding of doctrine IS gleaned from the writings or the preaching of men. Although God does use these means and teaches us through preachers (of course) nevertheless we should always compare what they say with the scriptures, to see if these things be so. Sometimes we just take things because ‘everybody else says so’.

    Your looking back to your conversion here is good. The verses you have quoted, as a summary of the Gospel, say nothing of Christ’s life or vicarious-law-keeping but again focus upon the simplicity of the cross:-

    “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
    By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
    For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

    And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
    1 Corinthians 15:1-4
    I think most Christians, if asked to summarise the Gospel in a sentence or two would say a similar thing. That Christ died for their sins, and rose again. Of course there is much more to it in the depths and riches of the Gospel, but that summarises the Gospel by stating what is at the heart of it – what justifies us. The fact that Christ DIED for our sins.

    I have to say Harald that this truth is one I have held for some time, but one which the Lord has sealed in my heart as truth. I don’t accept it simply as head-knowledge – I have had much experimental confirmation of it as truth, and experience of the Lord’s presence and power and affirmation of this being ‘the right way’.

    In fact many times I have looked at the writings of men who teach vicarious law-keeping ‘wanting’ to agree with them as it were. The fact that many do teach this has made me question whether I am right at times and read their writings with an open mind wanting to see if they might be right. But I have always come away ‘disappointed’ in them. I have found their arguments to be flawed, their scriptural support to be weak, and most of all the Spirit just did not witness with my spirit that what they said was true. So although as a man, weak in the flesh, I desired in a way to agree with other men, the Lord would not have it – He led me another way, and I thank Him for His keeping hand on me. “Cease ye from man whose breath is in his nostrils”.

    Ian, have you thought about the ramifications if your view (I hate calling it "your view" all the time but will do so for now) is the truth and the vicarious law keeping imputed is falsehood? I have thought about it a little. It would at least to me explain a whole lot of strange and inconsistent things in the Christianity of the latter centuries, and especially it would explain a whole lot of strange things in calvinistic circles in the last 400 years plus. Among other things it would mean that almost all of calvinistic baptists (c.1637 to today) have propagated a man made falsehood in the name of truth. Not to mention calvinistic pedobaptists. This in turn would speak of the fact that the Holy Spirit has not been their anointing. I must say I find the situation at present intriguing. If your view is Scripture truth then myself is obligated to remove all writings from my site which propound the contrary view, and I will do it gladly as soon as fully convinced in mind.

    If your view is the truth then I counsel you in all friendliness to act consistently according to that conviction, and among other things to remove from your homepage writings which may (if you have such) propound the vicarious law keeping imputed view. Not to mention writings by men who deny justification of God's elect to have taken place at the cross exclusively. E.g. Fortner.

    Well, not everyone has taught vicarious law-keeping. I think a number have seen it as wrong, but I tend to think that the writings and the men who become prominent in Christian circles are not always those who hold to the most truth. Very often God’s servants are side-lined and despised. I daresay that there are many faithful Gospel preachers in history who we have never heard of.

    I don’t think most of the Reformers (Luther etc) held to vicarious law-keeping (I realise you have your differences with them – many of us do on various points – but nevertheless on this point I think they were clearer than later men). The view tended to come in during the 1600s as Covenant Theology was refined. However others have differed. The writer I have found the clearest on the matter is the present-day English preacher/writer John Metcalfe (whom Ivor quoted above). His book on “Justification by Faith” is probably the best book I have read on justification. See this site http://www.campusi.com/bookFind/asp/...dId=1870039114 . Many of the Plymouth Brethren writers opposed vicarious law-keeping also (whatever other errors they may have held….).

    But this is one area of truth among several which comprise the whole of the Gospel. I believe there have been men of God who have been in error on this point who I would still hold as faithful Gospel preachers – William Huntington for example. That man had so much light on other areas of truth and experience that I wouldn’t even dare to judge him by this point. All men hold error, we all do, and God leads some into one truth clearly, and others into other truths clearly – we only have so much time on this earth, eternity won’t be long enough to fathom the riches of God’s truth! We have to be careful to distinguish what is truly foundational or affecting of one’s salvation.

    Another point however is that we don’t test men’s standing entirely upon their words or understanding of doctrine. We also test their spirit. I think often good men can hold error, but still have a true spirit, a gracious spirit, and that can be seen in their attitude to truth when presented to them. They may have held an error up to that point, but they are open and willing to listen when the truth is presented (and I have seen that very much in this thread in yourself and others here). However there are others who hold a very different spirit. Whatever ‘truth’ they may have in their heads, their hearts are very different. When they hear something which doesn’t fit with what they have been taught, or what their ‘party’ holds to, they oppose it with venom, with anger, with hatred. They denounce as heresy things that they have spent little time considering honestly by scripture. “That’s not what ‘so and so’ teaches…!” they decry.

    So we can learn a lot from people’s SPIRIT. It is by such testing (truth and spirit) that I seek to discern those preachers and writers who I believe are God-sent. As such I am happy with those whom I present on my website. I may not agree on every point with every one but I still believe they preach(ed) the fundamentals of the Gospel, in the Spirit, and were men of God.

    (I think another point to mention here is that we must be careful to distinguish MEN and the MESSAGE. What I seek to proclaim, by publishing any article or writing, is the GOSPEL, not the men who preach it. The men have faults, and errors, but if they have written some truth then I will proclaim that truth. If I discern an error in them, then I’ll leave that error out.)

    Finally, I have held my position against vicarious law-keeping for some years now so I have not knowingly put any article on my site which teaches it. Some may mention ‘Christ’s righteousness’ but none to my knowledge expound that as being wrought by vicarious law-keeping (if you notice otherwise let me know). However, just because a certain author holds to that view doesn’t mean I won’t publish other works by that author, if I feel those writings contain much truth. By definition the preaching of men WILL contain error, as they still have the flesh. The Bible is inerrant but the writings of men aren’t. Yet I seek to publish that which is as scriptural and true as I can discern, as led by God.

    One reason why myself has at times experienced nagging doubts as to my state and standing is because at conversion I did not learn the doctrine of vicarious law keeping imputed. I have at times asked in my heart, "If this doctrine is indeed a core truth of the Gospel then why wasn't I taught it of God at conversion? Or was my conversion but a spurious one, seeing I learnt not this thing?"

    Among the few vital things I was taught of God (if indeed it was Him) at conversion about the most central was this; "Now I am good enough for God for Christ's sake". Thus it was given to me to know and understand that it was all Christ. And this was my joy in all singleness of heart. I knew no fine theological terms or such back then. I guess I was not even familiar with the term "righteous", but I knew the term "good enough for God", that I was accepted of and acceptable to God for the sake of Another, Jesus Christ.

    Amen Harald. Oh! May we be kept as little children, for these things are not revealed unto the wise and prudent but unto babes.

    Thanks again for your encouragement Harald. May God bless you in the pathway,

    In Grace,
    Ian



    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    I don't agree completely with Ian

    …But little by little, step by step…. three months and you’ll probably be there Brandan!

    MCT (Muddly Covenant Theology ) sounds a little bit like wanting it both ways to me…

    But seriously, I do appreciate your desire to look into these things and your ongoing encouragement in the things of the Lord. May God bless you richly my friend,

    Ian
    "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" John 1:17

    www.graceandtruthonline.com

  11. #51
    Administrator Brandan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    5,823
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    121
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    70
    Thanked in
    45 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    Hey Ian!

    I'm glad this wasn't your last post! (snickers)

    Seriously, from now on, I'd suggest you drop that qualification! You just can't help yourself! I admire that!

    Your Brother,
    Brandan
    This is my signature.

  12. #52
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    593
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    Brandan,

    You are too kind and friendly a man. I do not deserve your kind compliments. I know we do not agree in all points, and of course I wish we did. Maybe we will at some time. I am able to be pleased at all the truth you hold. I have come to respect you much, just so that you know. I may not have expressed it outright to you and know not if I have the ability to put it in proper words.

    As for justification in eternity I do not at present see support for it in the New Testament and so will not accept it. As for Fortner I shall say that unless I be falsely informed he maintains justification from eternity. And, I have for myself at some point read him and from what I have read it seems he holds justification before God by God-given faith in Christ. This is a notion I cannot bear with at all as you well know. As for Fortner the man I do not know him, and have nothing against him, only his erroneous teachings. And I do not like it that Fortner teaches gospel regeneration. Steve Baloga recently supplied a quote from Fortner (when we discussed gospel regeneration) which clearly indicates to me he teaches it. I do not doubt Fortner teaches many things aright. But he has been so long in the business of preaching in public and to still hold certain clear errors makes me very very suspect and cautious as to him. I cannot help it.

    As for myself I think I will never tire in condemning the falsehood of justification before God through subjective Christ-ward faith. Because Luther is the main proponent of this notion I cannot for anything accept him as having been a good teacher, but rather a wicked. I have read some of Luther's, and do not deny he was (comparatively speaking) a learned man, and he did maintain many true things. But many un-scriptural as well.

    Trust to talk more later.


    Harald

  13. #53
    Administrator Brandan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    5,823
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    121
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    70
    Thanked in
    45 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    Quote Originally Posted by Harald
    As for justification in eternity I do not at present see support for it in the New Testament and so will not accept it.
    Well if you don't see evidence for it in the new testament, I understand. Rom. 8:28-30 speaks of all things as they are past events. Eph. 1:6 says the elect are "accepted in the beloved". Rom. 8:1 says "there is no condemnation for them which are in Christ". How can be there no condemnation unless they are justified. And yet you hold to a decretive union. Your understanding is very inconsistent in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harald
    As for Fortner I shall say that unless I be falsely informed he maintains justification from eternity.
    He does hold to this doctrine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harald
    And, I have for myself at some point read him and from what I have read it seems he holds justification before God by God-given faith in Christ. This is a notion I cannot bear with at all as you well know.
    He believes justification is based entirely on the cross. I've read enough of him to know for sure. He believes in experimental justification - that is the elect receive knowledge of their justification through faith alone. When he speaks of justification by faith he is not speaking forensically. I would say that is also the traditional reformed position as well - it's just fullerism, marrow men, baxterianism, spurgeonism, etc. have distorted this so much I can certainly understand you concern. If justification did not occur at the cross, justification would in fact be based on faith - and so many "reformed" theologians deny justification before the cross. Fortner does not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harald
    As for Fortner the man I do not know him, and have nothing against him, only his erroneous teachings. And I do not like it that Fortner teaches gospel regeneration.
    I can understand that. I disagree with Fortner on a few aspects of regeneration. He does not believe men are regenerated except they hear a preacher or read a sermon. I disagree with this completely!

    Quote Originally Posted by Harald
    Steve Baloga recently supplied a quote from Fortner (when we discussed gospel regeneration) which clearly indicates to me he teaches it. I do not doubt Fortner teaches many things aright. But he has been so long in the business of preaching in public and to still hold certain clear errors makes me very very suspect and cautious as to him. I cannot help it.
    I'm cautious of all men I recognize my own ability and inclinations to corrupt the Gospel of free grace, so I cannot help but suspect others whom I do not know as well. I understand perfectly.
    This is my signature.

  14. #54
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Sylvania AL
    Posts
    456
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Justification by faith

    <Harald>
    >>...As for myself I think I will never tire in condemning the falsehood of justification before God through subjective Christ-ward faith...

    <Bill>
    This was Saul´s attitude as well, before his conversion!

    In scripture, justification is on the basis of faith. God counts faith as righteousness.

    Christ justified no one. God justifies. He does so on the basis of faith.

    Bill Ross

  15. #55
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    593
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    Bill Ross. I do not claim to be any better than Saul of Tarsus prior to conversion. But I do know that after his conversion he never taught justification before God by or on the basis of subjective God- or Christ-ward faith/trust. He who has not been justified before God only and solely and exclusively in and by Christ alone at His cross-death has not been justified at all, and has neither the Father nor the Son. Justification before God based on faith in (toward) Christ is but a pathetic doctrine of demons. It is necessary for you in the nature of things to repent of holding to such a lawless notion.



    Harald

  16. #56
    Administrator Brandan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    5,823
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    121
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    70
    Thanked in
    45 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    Please Bill Ross - do not post in this thread any longer. I don't want your Arian / free will / blasphemous ideas promoted in this thread! Also, please stop polluting the other threads with your nonsense. Feel free to start a separate thread with your opinions and then maybe someone else will want to join in your discussion. As of right now, I see your messages as trolling.
    This is my signature.

  17. #57
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Sylvania AL
    Posts
    456
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    <Harald>
    >>I do not claim to be any better than Saul of Tarsus prior to conversion.

    <Bill>
    Do you claim to be walking in fellowship with God?

    <H>
    >>But I do know that after his conversion he never taught justification before God by or on the basis of subjective God- or Christ-ward faith/trust.

    <B>
    Hmm. The word "subjective" of course needs to be defined, but how do you read these verses?:

    Ac 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
    Ro 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
    Ro 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
    Ro 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
    Ro 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
    Ro 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
    Ro 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
    Ro 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
    Ro 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
    Ro 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. {freed: Gr. justified}
    Ro 8:30 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.
    1Co 4:4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. {know: or, I am not conscious of any fault}
    1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
    Ga 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.
    Ga 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
    Ga 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.
    Ga 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

    <M>
    >>He who has not been justified before God only and solely and exclusively in and by Christ alone at His cross-death has not been justified at all, and has neither the Father nor the Son.

    <B>
    That kinda has a scriptury, King Jamesian kind of feel to it when you say it, but it is in fact a fabrication of your own imagination.

    <M>
    >>Justification before God based on faith in (toward) Christ is but a pathetic doctrine of demons. It is necessary for you in the nature of things to repent of holding to such a lawless notion.

    <B>
    Wow! Do you call yourself Reformed? I guess Luther and Calvin were the purveyor of the doctrines of demons?

    Bill Ross

  18. #58
    Administrator Brandan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    5,823
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    121
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    70
    Thanked in
    45 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    I'm assuming you didn't read my post Bill - I'm sending you a PM - one more post and you're banned. - BJK
    This is my signature.

  19. #59
    Administrator Brandan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    5,823
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    121
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    70
    Thanked in
    45 Posts

    CT vs. NCT vs. MCT - a short comparison

    This is just a little something I threw together....

    CT vs. NCT vs. MCT - a short comparison


    CT = Covenant Theology
    NCT = New Covenant Theology
    MCT = Modified Covenant Theology

    Adam
    CT: Adam was perfectly righteous before he fell.
    NCT: Same as CT.
    MCT: Adam was perfectly righteous according to the laws given to him. He was born with a peccable nature – one inclined toward sin.

    Adam’s legal arrangement and the fall
    CT: If Adam had kept the law he would have merited eternal life. This is known as the “covenant of works”. Adam broke the covenant of works and merited eternal death. Imputation of Adam's sin is immediate.
    NCT: There is no “covenant of works”. If Adam had obeyed the laws given to him, he could stay in the garden but that wouldn't merit eternal life. He broke the law and merited eternal death. Imputation of Adam's sin is immediate.
    MCT: There is a covenant of works. If Adam had obeyed the laws given to him, he would have stayed in the garden.but not merit eternal life. This is identical to NCT in a sense, however, Adam's righteousness was only a legal righteousness - not a divine righteousness and therefore falling into sin was inevitable because he was peccable. Imputation of this sin is mediate and immediate. Adam's elect posterity will sin in exactly the same way Adam did (referred to in Rom. 5). The sins of Adam are also imputed to his reprobate sons (immediate only), but they will never experience sinning in the likeness of Adam (mediate) as they will never be given knowledge of both good and evil - only evil (in other words they won't be made to see their total depravity as Adam did because he saw his deeds in light of God's perfect holiness). Thus when the Scriptures speak of the imputation of sin in Rom. 5 it's referring only to the elect and only mediate imputation! (do you follow? I know you probably think I'm crazy!)



    Moral Law
    CT: The “moral law” is fully expressed in the Decalogue.
    NCT: There is no “moral law”.
    MCT: The “moral law” is whatever laws are revealed to men according to revelation. The “moral law” is fully expressed in Christ.

    Covenant of Redemption
    CT: The three persons of the Trinity covenanted with each other for the purpose of salvation of the elect.
    NCT: There is no covenant of redemption. There was just an eternal decree.
    MCT: Same as CT.

    Covenant of Grace
    CT: God made a covenant of grace with Christ and His people. Christ’s people are found in all ages of history including Adam. The OC is a form of the covenant of grace.
    NCT: There is no covenant of grace. God redeems His elect from every age; but the OC was a law covenant; therefore the term “covenant of grace” must not be used to describe these various covenants.
    MCT: Same as CT, however the covenant of grace is best understood as the new covenant instituted in eternity and constituted on the cross. All the elect of all ages are partakers of the covenant of grace.

    Christ’s Imputed Righteousness
    CT: Christ kept the law for His people in the Covenant of Grace and thus fulfilling the Covenant of Works which merited for them eternal salvation.
    NCT: Christ kept the law for His people to become the perfect sacrifice, but the righteousness wrought through this obedience is not imputed to the elect. Only Christ’s righteousness through “passive obedience / death” is imputed to the elect. (not all NCT people hold to this view and see the OC as the “covenant of works”.)
    MCT: Christ kept the law for His people and the righteousness wrought through this law keeping only restores them to Adam’s original righteous state, but still insufficient for eternal life. Christ’s death also merited for them a divine righteousness which is necessary for glorification and fashioning the elect for heaven.

    View of the different Covenants
    CT: The covenant of grace can be found in all the covenants (excluding the covenant of works) because they are derived from the covenant of redemption.
    NCT: Since there is no covenant of redemption, all covenants are related and culminate in the new covenant.
    MCT: The covenant of grace is the new covenant which is an overarching covenant and represented in all other covenants. The Old Covenant is the New Covenant concealed. The New Covenant is the Old Covenant revealed.

    Abraham’s Seed
    CT: The main heir to Abraham was Israel, the “church” of the OC.
    NCT: The main heir to Abraham is Christ and His Sheep (spiritual Israel).
    MCT: Same as NCT

    The Holy Spirit
    CT: The Holy Spirit has taken up residence in and indwelt in believers of all ages.
    NCT: The Holy Spirit didn’t indwell believers until after the cross.
    MCT: Same as CT

    The law as a rule of living
    CT: The OC law is a rule for living, but only the “moral law”. The ceremonial and civil laws were abolished.
    NCT: All of the OC law was abolished and only the laws of the NT apply to the believer.
    MCT: The OC was a legal covenant. The believer’s rule of living has always been Christ regardless of what age in which they lived. The OC law was given to drive the elect to Christ and cause them to rest in His vicarious law keeping and atoning work. The laws from all covenants are good as a rule of conduct, but the law of God is written on the heart of every believer, and every believer is motivated to obey the law to Christ out of love and gratitude instead of obligation.
    This is my signature.

  20. #60
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    593
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: active/passive obedience

    Ian. I shall reply to your last post in some measure. First, thank you so much for your thoughts, and your kind words. This is one thing I have always admired in you at this forum. I do not feel worthy of them.


    That’s fine - no offence taken!

    Thank you.

    From what I gather from you you do not deny eternal union. I will not now comment on the particulars of your union view.

    A second picture is that of being ‘seed’ within Christ from all eternity. As all of Adam’s offspring were effectively in him, and gradually over the generations they are BORN, likewise all of the LAST ADAM’S offspring were in Him from all eternity and are then born in time of the Spirit at regeneration. It is in this sense that the folk who speak of a union ‘at point of faith’ are probably meaning - that when born again we are brought to faith. Having been ‘born’ of God, seed from within Christ, born by the Spirit, we are then a child which looks to its Father.

    As of now I believe (I may be wrong) the elect were not actually in existence (like e.g. "pre existent spirits") in eternity in the person of God the Son, i.e. the Son of God. They had existence in God's will/decree and mind, in the Person of the Son of His love, Christ Jesus. He foreknew them intimately in His Son. Before they had actual physical existence, which wasn't until in time. He foreknew and chose them before they had done any evil or actively good. I believe what He chose and foreknew was total persons (humans), not natures (i.e. "the new creation"). And in order to bring His chosen into ultimate actual fellowship with Himself He had to will and decree the Adam fall. So that through His Son incarnate He might triumph and bestow on them "eternal life" with everything it encompasses. Something Adam could never have attained to even if he'd never fallen. The "thing" (John 3:6) which is generated from above as pertains to God's elect in time is a pure grace gift to them. It is a thing which pertains to and is enclosed in the gift of eternal life. The thing "born" (Gr. gennaO, to beget/generate) of the Spirit is not what God foreknew in eternity, but what He foreknew was a total human being. The new spirit of the Divine Spirit is a gift to the foreknown and chosen (and redeemed) human being in time. The new spirit, the new creation, the inner man, many epithets for one and the same thing which all true converts have, did not have actual existence prior to the point of regeneration by the Spirit of God in time. It (the new spirit/man) did not actually exist somehow mystically in the loins of the preincarnate Son as some sort of "seed substance" as some maintain. I do not know if you maintain such. The fact of the same being called "new creation" refutes this notion of such professors. The new creation of God's redeemed sheep is created out of nothing by God the Word in conjunction with God the Holy Spirit at the point of regeneration. When the new creation is brought into existence it may be said that "life eternal" is communicated to the total person of the redeemed elect. But "life eternal" is a much broader thing than the new spirit/creation within a redeemed elect. It flows from the Person of the Son, and centers in God the Father via the Son.
    As for such as maintain (saving) union is established at the point of their faith I fear the vast majority of them are unconverted. Maybe, just maybe, some of them might be true converts who for some reason are temporarily not in their right element and know not whereof they affirm.

    Although we were ‘in’ Christ from eternity, NONE of our sinful flesh inherited from Adam in the fall was in Christ back then.

    I think you are right. Sinful flesh entered when Adam sinned as I see it. And this was in time.

    There could be no sin in Christ in eternity, so our state in our fallen flesh in this world is NOT in union with Christ.

    Here I believe we disagree (or else use different terms). I believe the total persons which fell in and through Adam were in union all the time with Christ. There is never any on-off on-off vacillating with respect to God. He is immutable. Union was established in eternity, and did not cease to exist in or because of the Adam fall. The same blessed humans which were in eternity fixed firm in union with the Son were so just prior to Adam's fall, at the point of the fall, and after the fall, at the cross, in the resurrection, et cetera et cetera. Then again I do believe that my "flesh", i.e. the sin principle in me wherein dwells not good (Gr. agathon - active good, Ro. 7:18, and no agathon because no kalos thing - intrinsically good) knows nothing of union with Christ. If it enjoyed union with Christ now then it would so everlastingly. Perish the thought. If I am Christ's then it was crucified with Him, and merely awaits the final death blow after which it shall be no more.

    Sometimes we just take things because ‘everybody else says so’.

    Yes, so with me as well. Sad it is, and it ought not to be this way. Sometimes no harm comes through it, that is, if the things the others say are scriptural and true. But sometimes harm comes through it if the things are unscriptural and falsehood.

    I have to say Harald that this truth is one I have held for some time, but one which the Lord has sealed in my heart as truth. I don’t accept it simply as head-knowledge - I have had much experimental confirmation of it as truth, and experience of the Lord’s presence and power and affirmation of this being ‘the right way’.

    This is all good and well if so be indeed your view is very truth. I would nothing but want it to be so, good and well. But I am not at present prepared to definitely judge this or that as to your view. I am still learning and trying to discern for myself. I feel at the moment like a man at a crossroads. And I would want to obtain confirmation about which is the true path of the two, that is, if any of them be very truth. Both cannot be the truth of the matter of justification before God.

    So although as a man, weak in the flesh, I desired in a way to agree with other men, the Lord would not have it - He led me another way, and I thank Him for His keeping hand on me. “Cease ye from man whose breath is in his nostrils”.


    I perceive this is how God works. And I trust to know for myself quite soon if He has been your teacher indeed.

    but I tend to think that the writings and the men who become prominent in Christian circles are not always those who hold to the most truth. Very often God’s servants are side-lined and despised.

    Ian, I believe you are very right. A friend has pointed out quite this same to me previously and I perceived he was so right. He said something that God has hidden his true preachers or servants through the centuries. I think he means mainly in post apostolic times. I think he means they have not been those that have risen to fame and prominence. Except for perhaps a very few, but I cannot name any definite names.

    I daresay that there are many faithful Gospel preachers in history who we have never heard of.

    I believe you are very right. And one reason why we have never heard of is because no writings have survived to our day.

    I don’t think most of the Reformers (Luther etc) held to vicarious law-keeping (I realise you have your differences with them - many of us do on various points - but nevertheless on this point I think they were clearer than later men).

    I will not argue this as for now. You likely have studied this thing more and so are able to say more. What I take most issue with as to Luther is his having taught justification before God by faith in Christ - sola fide. He even perverted the formula "pisteôs Iêsou Christou" (in Rom. 3:22 etc.) into "faith IN ...". Consistently so, and in many an instance. And even though he is said to have revised his Bible translation until death (1546?) he never repented of this and revised it to conform to the Greek. This is another thing which to me speaks of his having been devoid of the Spirit. To deny Jesus Christ's faith or trust is grave error. Many erroneously believe that the exact opposite of "the deeds of the law" (KJV's rendering of "ergôn nomou") is "faith in Christ". But such a thought is evidence of lawlessness. The exact opposite of "works of law" (ergôn nomou, Gal. 2:16 etc.) is "pisteôs Iêsou Christou" - Jesus Christ's faith/trust. His personal faith and trust, not what he by His Spirit works in some in their lifetime. You have pointed that Jesus Christ's faith pertains to His suffering on the cross. I am investigating this thing. I have until now for quite a time believed His faith (i.e. pisteôs Iêsou Christou) has pertained to all of His life, not only to the cross work. I have also believed that this faith has been an active faith working by love, therefore I have much used the word "faithfulness". James (Jacob) in his epistle shows clearly that Christ's faith cannot have been a mere mental credence, but a working faith, a faith working by means of agape love.
    Ian, would you say that the main proponents of the vicarious-law-keeping imputed-view came after the main Reformers? Do you perchance know who in modern times (Reformation to now) was the first major proponent of this view?

    You mentioned John Metcalfe. I am not familiar with him or his teaching. But am interested. I have seen the name a few times lately, though, and a few quotes from him. I have thought to perhaps order some book of his through ABEbooks. Do you perchance know what his attitude is concerning the notion of justification before God at the point of believing in Christ?

    Many of the Plymouth Brethren writers opposed vicarious law-keeping also (whatever other errors they may have held….).

    I have come across this in brief. It must have been somewhere in late 1999 or early 2000 or so when I received a catalogue from Chapter Two (Brethren) in England. But as I knew the Brethren movement were more or less into arminianism I felt not to trust them on this point. I thought this was a predominantly arminian notion. I guess I should have ordered their book and not discard their view outright because of whatever errors they held in other areas. I fear I have been bewitched by this vicarious law keeping imputed view all too long. Over 4 and a half years or thereabout.

    You mentioned William Huntington. I must say that man is to me a riddle in a sense. I have not read much of him for some reason, even though he has been recommended by some who ought to know. But I have for some reason not trusted him and I have sometimes asked within me what this means. I have seen in his writings quite clear statements which say a man is justified before God when he believes in Christ. In short, not differing much from Spurgeon and Luther as to justification before God. I cannot help but be on guard with such men, however prominent they may have been among men. I have lately become much alarmed at some men who boast of and make much noise about experimental knowledge (some such talk about "experimental calvinism") but who err in doctrine on various vital points and that continuously. Such men are to me very suspect, no matter how experimentally taught they profess to be or are said to be by others. True Spirit-called ministers of God are sound in doctrine and sound also when it comes to spiritual experience. This is the general tenor of their life and conversation I believe. I see no other thing taught in the New Testament. Lapses into grave error as concerns such men are only temporary, not permanent. I can not believe any other thing.

    Another point however is that we don’t test men’s standing entirely upon their words or understanding of doctrine. We also test their spirit.

    The main touchstone of "proving" (Gr. dokimadzô, 1John 4:1) seems to me to be doctrine. But not the only one. In this passage the testing of spirits is through doctrine, professing of doctrinal belief. In short. It seems to me that you by "spirit" mean attitude or behaviour towards fellow-men. This is also an area of "proving", with the aim of ascertaining the true nature so as to be able to accept or reject. This is the meaning of the verb dokimazO. One must nonetheless never downplay the importance of proving in the area of doctrine. In 2John 9-11 the touchstone of proving is doctrine.

    I think often good men can hold error, but still have a true spirit, a gracious spirit, and that can be seen in their attitude to truth when presented to them.

    If by "good men" you mean what the Scripture means then I say true, good men, men of God, may hold error, but it will not be lifelong. It will be temporary. This is my understanding. At least when it comes to purely soteriological, christological, pneumatological, theological etc. matters. Good men may hold to lifelong error when it comes to non-religious matters like nutrition. Just an example. But as to Scripture- and Divinely related matters they have the Spirit precisely for the purpose of teaching them all truth.

    It is by such testing (truth and spirit) that I seek to discern those preachers and writers who I believe are God-sent.

    Myself also believes this is important to do. I always want to know and discern for myself which men are of God, and such I desire to hold fellowship with as may be granted to me possibility and opportunity.


    (I think another point to mention here is that we must be careful to distinguish MEN and the MESSAGE. What I seek to proclaim, by publishing any article or writing, is the GOSPEL, not the men who preach it. The men have faults, and errors, but if they have written some truth then I will proclaim that truth. If I discern an error in them, then I’ll leave that error out.)


    As for the distinguishing the men from their message I have heard it said before. I wonder what is the Scriptural basis for this? This said I do admit myself has had and still have (I think) some men's writings on my site who I am not so sure about as I would want to be. So in this sense I also distinguish the men from the message in the sense that I take the liberty to put on articles which I discern sound by men who may hold some error in other areas not touched upon in the particular article online. But at times I wonder whether this is good at all in the sight of God. The optimal thing would of course be to have only articles by 100 per cent sound men like Paul and John and Peter etc. This thing is also an interesting thing to discuss with others who have websites with articles by various authors. To learn how they think in this respect.

    Finally, I have held my position against vicarious law-keeping for some years now so I have not knowingly put any article on my site which teaches it.

    I had not been aware of this. I have known about your site for about two or three years. But I guess you have been somewhat cautious (not positively opposing vicarious lawkeeping) in professing your view, otherwise I would surely have known you differed. I have just taken for granted that you have held to the "standard calvinistic" (if I may use such term here) view of vicarious law keeping imputed. It is only in the last few days I have learn you hold to this view.

    Some may mention ‘Christ’s righteousness’ but none to my knowledge expound that as being wrought by vicarious law-keeping (if you notice otherwise let me know).

    I do not think there is need for me to let you know. I trust you have done as you say. I admit I took for granted you might have some articles which propound vicarious lawkeeping seeing some authors of yours do or did hold to it. I have not read every single article you have on there, only a handfull or so. I recall I did read some of your own articles some year ago, and now as I think about it I have a slight memory that your writing style was a bit different from many other sovereign grace writers. It must have been just this that you did not emphasize the vicarious law keeping. I recall your articles were quite simple (not in a bad sense) and easy to understand in comparison to many who use refined and complex theological jargon. I recall I could agree with much of what you wrote.



    As of now I myself must for myself learn which is which, and I am not ashamed to admit I am struggling at the time being. Likewise it behooves every one else who has been challenged by this issue to ascertain for themselves which is which in truth, in the light of the whole teaching of the Scriptures. To search the Scriptures whether these things be so, whether vicarious law keeping imputed be the truth of God, or whether there was no vicarious law keeping imputed, or whether there perchance be a third view which is God's truth. There can be and is only one truth in this matter. God knows which it is, and may it be granted to others also to know absolutely, and to love the true doctrine and hate the falsehood.

    Hope to learn more and be able to discuss further.


    Harald

Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst ... 3 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Eternal Justification and the Early Church Writers
    By Alexander in forum Pristine Grace Gospel Discussions
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 01-15-19, 12:53 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •