Get Over It: Calvin and Luther Propagated a Blatant False View of Justification
FACT is, Luther and Calvin propagated a false view of justification and the theological math is very simple. It’s a religious empire built on a big fat lie. Luther and Calvin belong in the infamous Hall of False Gospels, not Christian folklore.
Why is this? Justification is not a legal covering that God “sees.” It is not a legal declaration of covering, it is a legal declaration of fact concerning the true being of the individual who is now a family member. He now deals with us as sons. When God looks at the new family member, He sees a righteousness that is like Christ’s because Christ is the brother, but it is also the righteousness of the individual. When God “sees” one of His children, He sees the righteousness of one born of Him. “A righteousness of our own” argument is intellectually dishonest; it attempts to make us the originators of righteousness because we received it as a gift.
“But Christians still sin.”
This very contention is a false gospel smoking gun. This simple four-word contention (one of Calvin and Luther’s primary arguments for progressive justification) is all one needs to completely discredit the Reformation from the plain sense of Scripture. This perspective obviously sees Christians as still under the law and needing a COVERING to satisfy the law.
But here is the good news of the true gospel: sin is not merely covered, it is ended, and where there is no law, there is no sin.
But that doesn’t mean “under grace” equals not being under any law. It’s just a different use of the law: for love, NOT condemnation. Authentic Protestantism clearly keeps Christians under the law of condemnation, and therefore needing a covering of righteousness not their own. Supposedly, Christ came to not only die for our sins, but to obey the law perfectly so that His perfect obedience can be imputed to our Christian life by faith alone.
There are many problems with this view of justification known as “double imputation.”
First, it makes the law of condemnation a co-life-giver. That’s Paul’s whole point in Galatians chapter 3. Also, the law now sits on a third throne with God the Father and Christ. In fact, Reformed tradition often pontificates about “An offering given to satisfy the law from the empty hands of faith which only bring the righteousness of Christ as an offering.”
Secondly, it denies that the old person died with Christ via the baptism of the Spirit. Why in the world would believers need a covering to protect them from a law that they are no longer under? A dead person cannot be found guilty under the law—they are dead. This is Paul’s whole point in Romans chapter 7.
Thirdly, because of the Reformation’s single use of the law, that of condemnation only, the ability of the Christian to love is circumvented. The Christian is not free to “serve another.” The law of sin and death, the ministry of death, is made the same as the law of liberty, the law of Christ, and the law of the Spirit of life that He uses to sanctify us (John 17:17).
Fourthly, because the believer is still under the law of sin and death confirmed by the fact that he/she still needs a covering of righteousness that is not their own imputed by the new birth, he/she is still enslaved to sin.
Fifthly, the principles of GIFT and REWARD in the Bible now have to be the same. Therefore, salvation is the reward for living by faith alone in the same gospel that saved us. This, according to Calvin, “keeps us in the family of God.”
Hence, salvation is a reward for living by faith alone rather than a gift. This problem speaks for itself and is the crux of “already not yet.”
Is it any wonder that the Protestant church is a train wreck? It’s that way because of its false gospel.