Paul's Passing Thoughts

Sola What?

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on July 5, 2018

The Five Lies of the Five Solas: Sola Scriptura

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on February 6, 2016

Gospel T Copy_0Originally published October 6, 2014

Once again, as in this post, and this post, we find that people assume much about the clarion call of the Protestant Reformation: the five solas. One assumes that scripture alone means that Christianity draws all of its truth for life and godliness from an exegetical study of the Scriptures. Not so.

Scripture, according to the Reformers, cannot aid the “believer” in wisdom for living life. In fact, living life is not really the business of the believer for that would be works salvation—the Christian life must be EXPERIENCED only through the death and life of Christ.

This is the Reformed doctrine of mortification and vivification.  The Christian mustn’t seek to learn the Scriptures and apply the principles to their lives; they must rather use the Scriptures to “gaze” upon the “saving works of Christ in all of the Bible.” This “gazing” upon the salvific works of Christ in all the Scriptures then results in a subjective “reflection” of Christ’s glory. Stars are really just huge chunks of rock floating around in space that reflect the sun’s light; in the same way, we are chunks of dead stones that merely reflect Christ’s light (glory) when we fix our sight on Him alone.

Therefore, according to the Reformed camp, the Bible is merely a tool for gospel contemplationism. Its sole purpose is not to learn more of God’s truth and better ways to love God and others, but rather a gospel narrative that enables us to see our own wretchedness more and more as set against the holiness of God. This results in more and more gratitude for the cross which results in Christ’s glory being REFLECTED from our dead, worthless selves.

This is the crux of the Reformed Redemptive Historical hermeneutic. It calls for seeing and interpreting all reality through the suffering of the cross, or the works of Christ seen in the Scriptures. Biblical imperatives are not anything that we are to do, but rather show us what Christ has already done for us.

Scripture alone for seeing Christ alone, so we can live by faith alone.

paul

Why the Five Solas are an Anti-Love Abomination: Romans 12:1

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on April 29, 2015

5 solas

Originally published October 4, 2014

The biblical way of living life is pretty straightforward in the Scriptures. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross saved us, and then we move on to the “living sacrifice.” Calvinism propagates a perpetual return to the onetime sacrifice of Christ for all sin and insists that this onetime act must be continually reapplied to our lives by “faith alone” in order to keep ourselves saved. This is what “preaching the gospel to ourselves every day” is all about. It’s a contemporary term, but it is grounded in the doctrinal foundations of the Protestant Reformation.

This is also what is behind the sacred sola fide (faith alone) of the five solas of the Protestant Reformation. But, “faith alone” means literally faith alone in both salvation and sanctification (Christian living). James railed against sanctification by faith alone in no uncertain terms, and thus, his epistle wasn’t exactly Luther’s favorite. In the same way that we assume total depravity of the five points of Calvinism only applies to the unregenerate, ignorant Protestants assume much and think little. When they read or listen to orthodoxy, their minds are programmed to receive only. In Protestant churches everywhere, the five solas are proudly displayed at the front of the church while in reality this clarion cry of Protestantism is a biblical abomination. Hence, from heaven’s viewpoint, this worldwide collective mockery on Sunday morning must be a beholding of unimaginable proportions.

Why is this? Well, because “Christians” “still sin.” And hey, if we still sin, we must need forgiveness every day. And hey, if we still need forgiveness, we can only get it from the original source—the cross. So, the Christian life becomes an endeavor to keep our new sins covered by a continual return to the same gospel that saved us.

This is a result of an egregiously flawed view of the law that has eternal consequences. Christ died on the cross to end the law, and the law NEVER had any connection to justification. Christ died on the cross to reveal the righteousness of God APART from the law. Calvinism makes the law to be justification’s standard, and it NEVER was. Calvinism makes the law something that must be fulfilled in order to maintain and define righteousness (justification). Therefore, Christians remain under law which is the very biblical definition of a lost person. One is either under law, or under grace. Lost, or saved. Calvin and Luther defined “Christians” as under law.

According to their doctrine, Christ ended the law by fulfilling it while he lived on earth and obeying the law perfectly. This is an “ending” defined by an ending to us keeping it, not Christ. This makes the law the definition and standard of God’s righteousness. That’s a huge problem. Christians are then still under law, and must return to the cross so that the law continues to be satisfied by reapplying the death and life of Christ by faith alone (sola fide).

This is nothing new, and is the same Galatian error that Paul stood against. What was his argument? He argued that if a perfect fulfillment of the law defined righteousness (justification), there is life in the law, and the promise was by two seeds, and not just one…that is, Christ. However, Paul made the point that there is only one seed, and therefore NO life in the law…for righteousness. That’s the key, “for righteousness.”

Christ ended the law for righteousness, and our sins are not merely COVERED by a supposed need to return to the cross—our sins are ENDED.

Calvinism’s anti-gospel view of the law is not only a false gospel, but sucks all of the life out of sanctification. Why? It places sanctification under the precarious auspices of the law for justification making justification a process rather than a finished work. Protestants do not know what it means to be under grace. “Under grace” means that Christ fulfills  the demands of the law in our stead—that’s a false gospel.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul begins 12:1 with, “I appeal to you therefore….” This appeal was based on everything he had written in the first eleven chapters. The Reformed assert that this is Paul’s call to fulfill the imperatives that follow by returning to the first eleven chapters daily; in essence, a return to the sacrifice of Christ and the cross. Not so, this is an appeal by Paul to move from Christ’s sacrifice to our sacrifice…

…to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Paul then proceeds with instruction on how to do that. Key to understanding this is knowing that the body, or members, are NOT inherently evil. We sin because the body is “weak,” and mortal, not inherently evil. Notice from the citation above that the body can be used for holy purposes. Also note that we are the presenters to God, and this presentation is “spiritual worship.” Worship is using our minds and bodies to love God and others according to Scripture 24/7:

Romans 13:8 – Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Galatians 5:6 – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

Notice in Galatians 5:6 that faith works. This speaks against the anti-gospel lie of sola fide of which all of the five solas stand in the same way that all five points of Calvinism stand or fall on total depravity. Faith is not alone in sanctification in the same way that faith is alone in justification. When that view is proffered, it is telling that such also proffers a gospel that keeps people under law and thus makes justification progressive instead of a finished work. This was James’ very contention against a faith without works in sanctification; in essence, it reveals what you believe about justification.

Moreover, a faith alone that does not work completely circumvents the primary purpose of the living saint: love. In the same way that being under law violates every point of the law when one point is violated (James 2:10), the one under grace fulfills the whole law with one act of love:

for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Is this meant to be literal? Perhaps not, BUT for certain, it demonstrates that the Christian cannot sin against the finished work of justification in anyway because where there is no law, there is no sin (Romans 5:13). Christ’s death on the cross ended the law FOR justification—while we fulfill the law by acts of love and…

Romans 6:12 – Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

It is now our choice to allow sin to reign in our mortal bodies because the ending of the law strips sin of condemnation. Sin’s ability to condemn through the law has been ended, and therefore, sin has no power over us:

1Corithians 15:56 – The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We have victory over sin because Christ ended the law and stripped sin of its ability to condemn—Christians do not sin in regard to justification and never needed Christ to fulfill the law of sin and death in our stead; in the present, or the past. He died to end the law. We are now free to fulfill the law of the Spirit of life through love which are actions done by us and described by Paul in Romans chapters 12-16. We can only sin against love, not justification, and Christ never came to fulfill the law of sin and death, but to enable us to fulfill the law of the Spirit of life through faith working in love (See Romans 8:1-17).

There can be no confusion here or questioning of motives, when Christians obey the law, it is for love, not justification: “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

The supposed necessity of Christ to fulfill the law for us while we live the Christian life by “faith alone” is the essence of antinomianism ([anti-law]“anomia”). And consequently, someone else obeying the law for us, or more accurately, loving God and others in our place; i.e., Christ, will , and always does lead to cold heartedness:

Matthew 24:12 – And because lawlessness [anomia] will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

Psalm 119:70 – their heart is unfeeling like fat, but I delight in your law.

There is no place where you will hear “I love you” more than a Reformed church, yet, it is a lie and indicative of cultic love-bombing. The often-seen five banners of each sola displayed prominently at the front of many churches are banners of heresy over that “church.”

They are banners representing those still under law while falsely proclaiming that they are under grace. These banners mock the cross over raised hands praising to the sounds of contemporary rock music. Deception and damnation never had a happier face.

paul

The Five Lies of the Five Solas: Sola Scriptura

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 6, 2014
tancpublishing.com

tancpublishing.com

Once again, as in this post, and this post, we find that people assume much about the clarion call of the Protestant Reformation: the five solas. One assumes that scripture alone means that Christianity draws all of its truth for life and godliness from an exegetical study of the Scriptures. Not so.

Scripture, according to the Reformers, cannot aid the “believer” in wisdom for living life. In fact, living life is not really the business of the believer for that would be works salvation—the Christian life must be EXPERIENCED only through the death and life of Christ.

This is the Reformed doctrine of mortification and vivification.  The Christian mustn’t seek to learn the Scriptures and apply the principles to their lives; they must rather use the Scriptures to “gaze” upon the “saving works of Christ in all of the Bible.” This “gazing” upon the salvific works of Christ in all the Scriptures then results in a subjective “reflection” of Christ’s glory. Stars are really just huge chunks of rock floating around in space that reflect the sun’s light; in the same way, we are chunks of dead stones that merely reflect Christ’s light (glory) when we fix our sight on Him alone.

Therefore, according to the Reformed camp, the Bible is merely a tool for gospel contemplationism. Its sole purpose is not to learn more of God’s truth and better ways to love God and others, but rather a gospel narrative that enables us to see our own wretchedness more and more as set against the holiness of God. This results in more and more gratitude for the cross which results in Christ’s glory being REFLECTED from our dead, worthless selves.

This is the crux of the Reformed Redemptive Historical hermeneutic. It calls for seeing and interpreting all reality through the suffering of the cross, or the works of Christ seen in the Scriptures. Biblical imperatives are not anything that we are to do, but rather show us what Christ has already done for us.

Scripture alone for seeing Christ alone, so we can live by faith alone.

paul

The 5 Solas: Worshiping Under the Banners of Heresy

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 6, 2014

The Banners of Heresy 2

“If justification is completely finished, and NOTHING that we do in sanctification can change that, what do we need an elitist priesthood for? That question strikes fear in the heart of every Calvinist.”      

In another article on the five solas, we looked at sola fide, or faith alone and examined why that is false soteriology. In short, it denies the new birth and redefines it as a mere perpetual death and rebirth experience only. Because the Christian life is merely an extension of the finished work of justification, which is supposedly not finished, one must live their Christian life by faith alone in order to get from beginning justification to final justification.

It also makes law the measure of justification. The Christian life becomes an endeavor to live by sola fide in a way that results in the perfect obedience of Christ being applied to our lives in place of anything that we would do. Hence, if sanctification is not done TO US by Christ instead of us DOING the Christian life—it’s works salvation. We also looked at how this cuts off the believer from the true practice of love.

But, when justification is not a finished work, and sanctification is the progression of justification, EVERYTHING is a work. Even if you are doing nothing so that you are supposedly not involved in finishing justification, you are in fact assuming a role in the process by making sure that you don’t do anything, or closely adhere to prescribed ways of doing things that qualify as doing nothing.

This is how Reformed heresy deceives based on assumption. It is assumed that sola fide concerns justification alone, but it doesn’t. In the same way, it is assumed that solus Christus (Christ Alone) means believing in no other man as a mediator between God and you for salvation. No, solus Christus means literally Christ alone as opposed to the other Trinity members. It also means Christ alone as opposed to anything we would do in what they call “progressive sanctification” which is really progressive justification. This is also known as Christ for us or Christ 100% for us.

It begins with the idea that Christ’s role in salvation was two-fold: he died for our justification, and lived in perfect adherence to the law so that His obedience could then be applied to our Christian lives by faith alone, or sola fide. Therefore, the “believer” must continually revisit the “saving works of Christ in all of the Bible” (sola scriptura) in order to keep themselves saved. It should be called  Bachman Turner Overdrive soteriology because of their famous song “Taking Care of Business.” The main refrain is, “I love to work at nothing all day.” In this case, the Reformed work at nothing in order to keep yourself saved.

This is where we get into the issue of Trinitarianism leading to a role for the believer in sanctification other than sola fide. If  it is the Father’s righteousness imputed to the believer apart from a perfect fulfillment of the law by Christ, that naturally implies a role for the believer in sanctification. That’s a problem for Reformed soteriology on many levels.

If the Holy Spirit is merely a manifestation of what Christ does, that excludes the enablement of believers to participate in kingdom living apart from the finished work of justification. If justification is completely finished, and NOTHING that we do in sanctification can change that, what do we need an elitist priesthood for? That question strikes fear in the heart of every Calvinist.

Protestantism and Catholicism BOTH see justification (salvation) as a PROCESS. BOTH believe in a beginning justification, progressive justification, and a final justification. BOTH are false gospels—the only disagreement is in the details about how you get from point A to point B, and the disagreement is primarily Trinitarian. Catholics traditionally believe that God does a work inside of the believer to help them finish their justification with the help of the Mother Church. Authentic Protestantism believes that NO work is done within the believer because that enables them to participate in the finishing of justification. True classical Protestantism believes that Christians do not DO anything; they only EXPERIENCE the salvific works of Christ—Catholics believe that you actually do something other than believe. It is not sola fide.

Therefore, in regard to Catholicism, they replace a perfect keeping of the law with a set of rituals to make participation in finishing justification plausible. However, remember, since it is the finishing of justification, it requires the same necessity of returning to the same gospel that saved us; viz, the Mass and absolution because sinning as a Christian is no different than sinning as an unbeliever; in both cases, the “Christian” is still under law and not under grace.

In regard to Protestantism, they cry foul because the Catholics distort the law while they uphold the law by making it the standard for justification, but the dirty little secret is that Jesus keeps the law for us via sola fide. This cuts off love from sanctification. One removes the law from sanctification by ritual; the other removes the law from sanctification by making it the sole responsibility of Christ because the perfect keeping of it finishes justification. In both cases, it is not the righteousness of God APART from the law FOR justification. One is a co-laboring with the church to finish justification, the other is “Christ 100% for us” to finish justification.

So, solus Christus means literally  solus Christus…for justification and sanctification both because sanctification is really progressive justification; it isn’t  Christ plus us, and for that matter, not even Christ plus the other members of the Trinity.  One of the foremost authorities and proponents of Reformed soteriology stated it this way:

Luther and Calvin did not simply stress Christ alone over against the Roman Catholic emphasis on works-righteousness. The Reformers also stressed Christ alone over against all—be they Roman Catholics or Protestants—who would point to the inside of the believer as the place where justifying righteousness dwells. Christ alone means literally Christ alone, and not the believer. And for that matter, it does not even mean any other member of the Trinity! (Geoffrey Paxton: The Shaking of Adventism: p. 41).

For all practical purposes, solus Christus is the controversial modulist view of the Trinty. This is the idea that one of the Trinity members is the one, true God, and the other two members are only manifestations of the one true God. This not only makes realm manifestations that are ONLY experienced possible, but it also makes the separation of justification and sanctification impossible. In other words, a modulist view of the Trinity is the necessary companion of progressive justification. This point is reflected in statements by leading Calvinists of our day like John MacArthur Jr.:

As Christians we have one message to declare: “Jesus Christ, and Him  crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). “For we do not preach ourselves but  Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:2; Galatians 6:14).

Rick Holland understands that truth. This book is an insightful, convicting reminder that no one and nothing other than Christ deserves to be the central theme of the tidings we as Christians proclaim—not only to one another and to the world, but also in the private meditations of our own hearts.

Christ is the perfect image of God (Hebrews 1); the theme of Scripture (Luke 24); the author of salvation (Hebrews 12:2); the one proper  object of saving faith (Romans 10:9-10); and the goal of our sanctification (Romans 8:2). No wonder Scripture describes the amazing growth-strategy of the early church in these terms: “They ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ” (Acts 5:42). That is the only blueprint for church ministry that has any sanction from Scripture.

The pastor who makes anything or anyone other than Christ the focus of his message is actually hindering the sanctification of the flock. Second Corinthians 3:18 describes in simple terms how God conforms us to the image of His Son: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (emphasis added). We don’t “see” Christ literally and physically, of course (1 Peter 1:8). But His glory is on full display in the Word of God, and it is every minister’s duty to make that glory known above all other subjects.

As believers gaze at the glory of their Lord—looking clearly, enduringly, and deeply into the majesty of His person and work—true sanctification  takes place as the Holy Spirit takes that believer whose heart is fixed on Christ and elevates him from one level of glory to the next. This is the ever-increasing reality of progressive sanctification; it happens not because believers wish it or want it or work for it in their own energy, but because the glory of Christ captures their hearts and minds. We are transformed by that glory and we begin to reflect it more and more brightly the more clearly we see it. That’s why the true heart and soul of every pastor’s duty is pointing the flock to Christ, the Great Shepherd.

Notice in this statement that Christians merely “REFLECT” the glory of Christ as a result of meditating on His personhood and works. Notice also that any emphasis at all on anything or ANYBODY  detracts from sanctification. This goes hand in hand with MacArthur’s rejection of eternal sonship as well.  A debate about that issue is not the point here, the point is why they take this view of the Trinity. The point is to show the relationship between this view and their Catholicism-like progressive justification.

paul

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