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Thread: God's Will to Justify His People IS the Justification of Them

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    God's Will to Justify His People IS the Justification of Them

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    Re: God's Will to Justify His People IS the Justification of Them

    Also see this chapter from John Gill's Body of Doctrinal Divinity...

    http://www.pristinegrace.org/media.php?id=354
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    Re: God's Will to Justify His People IS the Justification of Them

    Brandan,

    I see you abide by your view still. I fail to see it taught in the Pauline epistles.


    Now, I cannot find fault with your zeal to uphold God's glory. But remember what Paul says in 2Cor. 2:17, "as OF God... speak we in Christ". To me this may be taken as proof that Paul when speaking on justification before God (and other related matters) he was not speaking from Paul's and Timothy's (etc.) standpoint, but from God's. And Paul did quite clearly put the timing of the elect's justification before God at Christ's cross-death. Abraham looked forward to Messias' day, and was glad (mark well, Jesus said this of A.) to see it afar off, through faith. He did not through faith look into eternity (past) as seeing his justification there.


    I know not whether Gill was the first one to major on justification in eternity, but I believe he greatly erred in doing so. On the whole I have found quite much inconsistency in Gill's NT commentary as respects justification before God. Sometimes he uses language which accomodates to the notion of "justification by faith alone in Christ alone" (Luther et al.). Both Luther's followers as well as hyper-calvinists (so called) seem to find support from Gill as respects justification before God. This to me speaks the fact that Gill was not by far as clear as should have been. But on the other hand I have encountered pastor-teachers who are as good as unknown in the professing world but who are very clear and consistent on justification before God, in line with Paul. To such I feel able to lift my hat.


    Harald

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    Re: God's Will to Justify His People IS the Justification of Them

    Harald, I mean no disrespect, but I ask you since you see this to be a great error, exactly what harm does it do? Do you believe it takes our eyes off the cross of Christ? Or do you believe that it removes condemnation? That is what Mr. Balogna expressed to me if I recall.

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    Re: God's Will to Justify His People IS the Justification of Them

    Brandan,

    I do believe you when saying you mean no disrespect. Strictly speaking I did not say "great error" in my above post. I talked about Gill "greatly erring" when majoring on JIE. I do at present still hold it to be error. As to how great, comparatively, I have not tried to define or measure. I do not find it as obnoxious, for some reason I don't, as e.g. "justification by faith alone in Christ alone".

    I do not recall exactly what Steve Baloga said. But myself thinks JIE in some sense seems to state there never was a time when legal condemnation against the elect was a fact. I believe Paul states there was a "katakrima" against God's elect. Which does not mean "damnation" or "damnatory sentence". I believe it refers to a forensic (for want of a better word here) condemnatory sentence against the elect on God's part. I do not believe it means God hated the elect, as e.g. Marc Carpenter seems to say. But that God, when considering the elect in themselves (and in Adam), in their own character and conduct, forensically, "judged against" them. A sentence of rejection, if you like. Not an impending damnation-to-be.

    I have also found that the holding to JIE on the part of some professors seems to be an excuse for their not believing the Scriptural and Pauline truth of the justification of God's elect before God by Christ at His death on the cross. Instead of exclusively rejoicing in this truth they joy in JIE and "justification by faith alone in Christ alone" (which I sometime in brief refer to as "solafideism"), sidestepping justification before God in and by Christ at the cross.


    Harald

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    Re: God's Will to Justify His People IS the Justification of Them

    It is a great blessing to know and realize Gods eternal love for his elect even while we were yet dead in our sins and at enmity with him by nature, but nevertheless He gave his life for his friends see jn 15:13....

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    Justification

    Do some of you disagree with The Westminister Confession of Faith's understanding of Justification ? ( This is an extract from the longer section of the doctrine that I want to deal with ) .

    God did , from all eternity , decree to justify all the elect ; and Christ did , in the fulness of time , die for their sins , and rise again for their justification : nevertheless they are not justified , until the Holy Spirit doth in due time actually apply Christ unto them .

    The London Confession just makes some slight alteration at the end : ... nevertheless they are not justified personally until the Holy Spirit in time does actually apply Christ to them .

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    Re: Justification

    Quote Originally Posted by foundinHim
    Do some of you disagree with The Westminister Confession of Faith's understanding of Justification ? ( This is an extract from the longer section of the doctrine that I want to deal with ) .

    God did , from all eternity , decree to justify all the elect ; and Christ did , in the fulness of time , die for their sins , and rise again for their justification : nevertheless they are not justified , until the Holy Spirit doth in due time actually apply Christ unto them .

    The London Confession just makes some slight alteration at the end : ... nevertheless they are not justified personally until the Holy Spirit in time does actually apply Christ to them .
    I believe men are constituted righteous before they are ever born because of the merits of Christ. However, they don't receive knowledge of their justification until their conversion. I call this sola fide - or justification by faith. It's an experiential justification only; not a constituting justification. God's disposition towards a sinner does not change at their conversion. He continues to view them as Righteous. It is at their conversion that He declares to them their already existing status.

    So it depends on how you interpret the WCF.
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    Re: Justification

    In his commentary on the WCF , G.I. Williamson takes issue with the notion of some that the elect are justified from eternity . He quotes Paul in Galations 3:8 " the Scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith " . Williamson goes on to remark that : " One could as well say that the elect are already glorfied , even risen from the grave , as to say that they were justified from eternity . Justification is an event that takes place in time quite as much as is glorification . "

    Then Williamson goes on : " But others have said that we are justified from the time that Jesus finished his mediatorial work ... The error in this view is the failure to distinguish between between the work of Christ , which is the basis for justification , and the work of the Holy Spirit , by which , on that basis , sinners are actually put in possession of righteousness before God . As Paul says in Colossians 1:21 , we ' were SOME TIME alientated , and enemies in [our] mind by wicked works , yet NOW hath he reconciled ' us to God . FOR A TIME , even though the work of Christ is finished , we remain enemies of God . Then we are effectually called and enabled to repent and to believe . NOW we are reconciled to God and justified in his sight . For this reason Scripture says ' we have believed in Jesus Christ , that we might be justified ... ' ( Gal. 2:16 ) . Faith is antecedent to justification . Justification follows faith in due order . Imputation , which provides the conditions requisite for God's declaration , is itself contingent upon faith . ' It shall be imputed , ' says Paul , ' if we believe on him ' ( Rom. 4:24 ) . Therefore , we must say that while God provided the basis for justification in the finished work of Christ , yet the actual application of such to men is distinct from it .This may be seen from the fact that men were justified before the work of Christ was finished ( Ps. 3:;1,2 ) . And it is even more clearly seen in the fact that men living since the work of Christ has been completed are justified only when they believe . ' And by him all that believe are justified from all things ' ( Acts 13:39 ) .

    So Darth , I do not see that any are constituted righteous before birth .

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    Re: Justification

    If the doctrine of predestination did not exist then this teaching may fly. But this isn't the case. God has predestined everything AND He is immutable; these two basic truths alone tear down this view.

    The error in this view is the failure to distinguish between between the work of Christ , which is the basis for justification , and the work of the Holy Spirit , by which , on that basis , sinners are actually put in possession of righteousness before God .

    This is false. The Holy Spirit regenerates and brings the elect to a knowledge of the truth. The Holy Spirit carries out the already existing decrees of God in time. All of the events of history and future were determined and settled in the Trinitarian Covenant before the creation.

    This subject is far more reaching than what Williamson covers. I don't know him but judging by what you have posted he is not a Supralapsarian and he doesn't know of the Trinitarian Covenant. This can settle a lot of issues that come up.


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    Re: Justification

    Quote Originally Posted by foundinHim
    So Darth , I do not see that any are constituted righteous before birth .
    Well, I don't know what you want me to say. If you can't see it, I'm sorry. However, I would definitely expect you to answer me that way as you have shown yourself not to be a high grace believer, but a fullerist (instistence on 'dooody faith', etc..). Your claimed gurus (Ella and Meney of New Focus) obviously believe in justification from eternity and even published a book on it. I would recommend it...

    It's called, "John Gill and Justification from Eternity: A Tercentenary Appreciation", by George Ella (Go Publications 1998). It's advertised in the latest issue I believe, and it is an excellent book - probably my all time favorite book!

    See this link: http://www.evangelica.de/The_Atonement%20_V.htm
    Fuller's denies justification by God's decree
    Again we see Grotian Fullerism in the Banner attack on justification from eternity in the anti-Huntington tirade. Fuller denied that justification was a decree of God with its origin in what Fuller calls ‘the mind of God’. Huntington taught that our full salvation was settled in Christ before the foundation of the world and was objectively secured in the atonement. This sound theology is quite foreign to Fullerism.
    I'm not saying that a denial of justification from eternity is fullerism, however, I do believe it is symptomatic of the mindset that you have foundinhim - so your response is not surprising in the least.

    For further research, I recommend you read John Gill on the subject.

    Justification as an Eternal and Immanent Act of God

    Also here is Don Fortner on the topic - another one of your claimed gurus.

    "ETERNAL JUSTIFICATION"
    Romans 8:30


    Don Fortner


    Without question there is a sense in which our justification by the grace of God is an eternal act. This is not just a logical inference drawn from the Scriptures. It is a doctrine plainly taught in the Word of God. In Romans 8:30 Paul is talking about the eternal purpose of God by which he rules all things in providence. His subject matter is not prophetic, but historic. In the purpose of God all his elect were justified from eternity in Christ.

    We were "accepted in the Beloved" (Eph. 1:6) from everlasting. If we were accepted in him, we were considered righteous in him. If God looked upon us as righteous, he looked upon us as justified. The only righteous– ness we could have possessed was imputed righteousness.

    Justification is one of those "all spiritual blessings" with which God's elect were blessed in Christ before the world began (Eph. 1:3; II Tim. 1:9). The whole package of salvation was given to us in Christ in the covenant of grace before the foundation of the world. "We may say of all spiritual blessings in Christ what is said of Christ, that `his goings forth are from everlasting'" –(Thomas Goodwin).

    Christ became our Surety in the everlasting covenant (Heb. 7:22). As soon as one man becomes surety for another the other is freed from all obligation and responsibility. Even so, when Christ struck hands with the Father as our Surety, before the worlds were made God said concerning his elect, "Deliver them from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom!"

    The Lord Jesus Christ was, in the mind and purpose of God, "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). If the Father looked upon the Son as the Lamb slain, he looked upon him as the propitiation, atonement, and satisfaction for the sins of his people; and he looked upon us as redeemed and justified by the blood of the Lamb.

    Moreover, all the Old Testament believers were accepted of God and justified upon the basis of Christ's promise to fulfill all righteousness (Rom. 3:25; Heb. 9:15). If God justified them upon the basis of Christ's promise of satisfaction, why should anyone dispute the eternality of our justification upon grounds of that same promise? We were justified in the purpose of God from eternity!

    Don Fortner, Pastor
    Grace Baptist Church
    Danville, Ky.


    Also, quite surprisingly, your favorite of favorites - your most revered theologian of all time, the so-called prince of preachers taught that the elect are seen as righteous before birth! Don't believe me - go look it up. I'll give you the quote.
    From Spurgeon's Sermons "Adoption", Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Vol. 7
    So with regard to justification, I must hold, that in the moment when Jesus Christ paid my debts, my debts were cancelled — in the hour when he worked out for me a perfect righteousness it was imputed to me, and therefore I may as a believer say I was complete in Christ before I was born, accepted in Jesus, even as Levi was blessed in the loins of Abraham by Melchisedec;
    Have fun searching foundinhim
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    Re: Justification

    I have read the Gill article before . It is good . Yes , Ella's book on John Gill's view of Justification From Eternity probably is an excellent one . However , the Spurgeon quote from his sermon on Adoption continued with :

    but I know likewise that justification is described in the Scriptures as passing upon me at the time I believe . Being justified by faith , I am told to have peace with God , through Jesus Christ ... while they were virtually done in eternity , yet both adoption and justification are actually passed upon us ... in time , so that both the Westminster confession and the idea of Dr. Gill can be proved to be Scriptural , and we may hold them both without any prejudice the one to the other .

    Earlier in the message he said : ... I do think there are some points with regard to adoption which will not allow me to consider the act of adoption to have been completed in eternity .

    Adoption , justification and reconciliation among other terms run together . As the WCF and the LCF said , there is the eternal element as well as the temporal aspect . Until the decree is actualized , the chosen ones are without Christ . However , when they are regenerated the elect are united to Christ . The elect did not come into this world in a justified and reconciled condition .

    In Ephesians 2:13 Paul says : But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ .

    In Romans 5:11 the Apostle declares that through our Lord Jesus Christ , through whom we NOW received reconciliation .

    Ephesians 4:18 - before regeneration the elect are in an alienated state from the Lord .

    Ephesians 2:12 -- without Christ

    John 3:36 -- The wrath of God abides upon him

    Ephesians 2:3 -- By nature the children of wrath even as others

    So our estrangement from God is a fact before conversion , though we ( as elect ones ) were elect as much in eternity as we are in time . I just want to express how vital it is not to ignore or minimize the temporal side to this discussion . In time ( which the God who inhabits eternity created ) we are brought to faith and repentance ( and these are given , or granted to us by the Lord ) .

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    Re: Justification

    The elect's estrangement from God is only experimental. God is never HIMSELF afar off from His people.
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    Re: Justification

    I want you to face some things here Darth . Were the sins of the elect removed before God worked repentance them ? Because someone is elect , does it mean they are justified before regeneration ? Were the sins of the elect already forgiven in eternity ? In other words is justification only in eternity ? Are you saying there is no justification in time ? Is justification by faith not really justification at all , just a formality ?

    Arminians don't want to speak of election but are willing to talk about justification by faith and in time only . I recognize the eternal aspects of justification but also avow that it has a temporal side . Don't get caught-up in an error that is just as bad as the Arminians . Isn't it possible to differientiate between the eternal decree to justify and its actual application in time ? And BTW , a decree to justify is not the same as justification itself , is it ?

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    Re: Justification

    Quote Originally Posted by foundinhim
    I want you to face some things here Darth . Were the sins of the elect removed before God worked repentance them ?
    Yes - they were removed at the cross - IN TIME.

    Quote Originally Posted by foundinhim
    Because someone is elect , does it mean they are justified before regeneration ?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by foundinhim
    Were the sins of the elect already forgiven in eternity ?
    Yes - of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by foundinhim
    In other words is justification only in eternity ?
    Justification occurs in time and eternity simultaneously.

    Quote Originally Posted by foundinhim
    Are you saying there is no justification in time ?
    No. Justification occurred in time at the cross. Justification at conversion is only in the mind of the individual as God declares to them that their sins have been removed in Christ and that they are perfectly righteous in Him.

    Quote Originally Posted by foundinhim
    Is justification by faith not really justification at all , just a formality ?
    It is very necessary - or else the elect would not know they are justified.

    Quote Originally Posted by foundinhim
    Arminians don't want to speak of election but are willing to talk about justification by faith and in time only . I recognize the eternal aspects of justification but also avow that it has a temporal side . Don't get caught-up in an error that is just as bad as the Arminians .
    Well if I'm just as bad as an Arminian (those you consider your brother - maybe you think I'm worse), then you will have to accuse me, Fortner, Ella, Meney, most of the 5solas.org staff and several contributors, and John Gill of being just as bad as Arminians as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by foundinhim
    Isn't it possible to differientiate between the eternal decree to justify and its actual application in time ? And BTW , a decree to justify is not the same as justification itself , is it ?
    Yes - the decree to justify the elect WAS the justification of the elect. John Gill wrote: “…God's will to elect, is the election of his people, so his will to justify them, is the justification of them;” (John Gill, A Body of Doctrinal Divinity, Book II, Chapter V, Section II.)
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    Re: Justification

    John 3:36 -- The wrath of God abides upon him
    Ephesians 2:3 -- By nature the children of wrath even as others

    So our estrangement from God is a fact before conversion , though we ( as elect ones ) were elect as much in eternity as we are in time . I just want to express how vital it is not to ignore or minimize the temporal side to this discussion . In time ( which the God who inhabits eternity created ) we are brought to faith and repentance ( and these are given , or granted to us by the Lord ) .

    These scriptures you posted could be and are used like you used them here. But unless you want to be logicaly inconsistant, you are going to have to look at these scriptures as a temporal experiance from the perception of the elect, not God. If God's wrath aboides on the elect at some point, does he also hate the elect at some point? Is he angry with them? When the Holy Spirit regenerates them does God's disposition towards them change and now he doesn't hate them any more? Is it possible that God had set out a plan for each individuals life and He knows every detail to that plan? If so why would His disposition towards each individual change as the very events that He decreed are played out in time?


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    Re: Justification

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Holliday
    John 3:36 -- The wrath of God abides upon him
    Ephesians 2:3 -- By nature the children of wrath even as others

    So our estrangement from God is a fact before conversion , though we ( as elect ones ) were elect as much in eternity as we are in time . I just want to express how vital it is not to ignore or minimize the temporal side to this discussion . In time ( which the God who inhabits eternity created ) we are brought to faith and repentance ( and these are given , or granted to us by the Lord ) .

    These scriptures you posted could be and are used like you used them here. But unless you want to be logicaly inconsistant, you are going to have to look at these scriptures as a temporal experiance from the perception of the elect, not God. If God's wrath aboides on the elect at some point, does he also hate the elect at some point? Is he angry with them? When the Holy Spirit regenerates them does God's disposition towards them change and now he doesn't hate them any more? Is it possible that God had set out a plan for each individuals life and He knows every detail to that plan? If so why would His disposition towards each individual change as the very events that He decreed are played out in time?
    Not only that , but there also are saints prior to Christs dying on the cross and justifying the elect in time , that also are seen by the Lord as justified from eternity and would be those for whom Christ did justify at the cross. Abraham, Job, Moses ..... et al. also preached the Gospel truth to those around them. That truth was Christ. It may have been types and shadows , but it was still the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They were justified. I see no wisdom in trying to disect justification. Whether from eternity or in time on the cross, it is indeed a decreed event without fail for which I am grateful forever.
    Greetings and salutations, el rana

    21There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

    Proverbs chapter 19

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    Re: Justification

    I think some of you may have a problem in recognizing the biblical truth of total depravity . There is no question that God's wrath abides on the elect until they are regenerated . The elect before conversion are as the reprobate in that they are at enmity with God , their minds are hostile towards Him , they are not only in darkness -- but they are darkness , etc. etc .

    Do you understand that before regeneration in time that the elect are transferred from a state of wrath to a state of grace ? Was Saul justified when he was persecuting the church ? This is so basically scriptural that I fail to grasp why any of you would deny the truth of the Bible here .

    Romans 3:22 b -- This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe .

    Romans 3:28 ... a person is justified by faith .

    The above means that when we put our faith in Him we are justified .

    Galatians 2:16... a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ . And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus , so that we might be justified by faith in Christ ...

    1 Corinthians 6:11 -- And this is what some of you used to be . But you were washed , you were sanctified , you were justified ...

    These verses demonstrate that these people were outside of Christ and were later brought to faith and repentance by Him and justified -- in time .

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    Re: Justification

    The scriptures you have posted refer to justification in time, not eternity.

    Justification purposed (sure and certain in God's reckoning): in the Lord's 'eternity' transcendant of time.

    Justification constituted: in the atonement of Christ when he cancelled the rebellion/sin of all his elect (past, present, and future!) in the court of God's justice.

    Justification declared: when an elect soul is brought to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and from that time forward to all eternity!

    Total Depravity in the Protestant tradition is the doctrine that sin has invaded EVERY aspect of man's being, nature, and existence, which none of us here deny in the least! Total Depravity has NEVER been proposed to consist of a doctrine that all men are as depraved as it is possible for a soul to be.

    I'm so sick of Eph. 2:3 being misquoted that I could throw up. There is no mention of GOD's wrath toward reprobate souls in the verse! Only the seething rage (wrath) of depraved man that every biological human inherits and is party to from conception.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Justification

    I ran across these verses yesterday and thought it interesting and pertaining to this subject:

    And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies IN YOUR MIND by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight. Colossians 1:20-22

    Is this saying that we were alienated and enemies of God only in OUR minds, but not in his? Interesting!

    Carol
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    But gives me neither feet, nor hands,
    Far grander news the gospel brings,
    It bids me fly, and gives me wings.
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    Last Post: 07-11-02, 09:56 AM

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