Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Calvinist’s Greatest Fear: The Spiritual Peasantry Will Understand Law and Grace

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on January 11, 2016

PPT HandleOriginally published January 2, 2013

“The two are completely separate; the law is left behind in the former and loved in the latter.” 

Susan and I perceive constantly that most Christians don’t understand the difference between justification and sanctification. Said another way, they don’t understand the difference between law and grace. This is by design. Instead of outlawing the Bible like the Popes, the Reformers merely posited the Bible as a catechism that aped their orthodoxy derived from counsels and creeds. I won’t mention names, but prominent evangelical leaders have shared with me personally that they know the general populous of American Christians are theologically illiterate. And again, this is by design. And, most Christians in our day openly admit it, and in some cases are proud of it. The remainder admits they believe that the pastorate is an intermediary between them and what God wants us to understand.

There are a number of problems with this, but primarily, God thinks it’s a bad idea. The Bible is clearly written to Christians in general. And His word cannot be properly understood unless it is read in the context of justification/sanctification. Whatever your opinion of the American church, it is a product of parishioner illiteracy in regard to doctrine; that is certain and indisputable.

Though it takes a lot of study to see some things in simple form, the simple fact of Calvinism (and we are all Calvinists if we are Protestant) is that it makes “under” a verb and not what it is: a preposition. They could get away with this in medieval times because most people didn’t know the difference. In our day, we know the difference, but assume the pastorate has a set of metaphysical eyes given to them by God before the foundation of the world that we don’t have—so our eyes don’t even blink when their interpretations contradict the plain sense of Scripture.

As we have seen in our previous observations from the book of Romans, Christians are UNDER grace and were previously UNDER law. All people born into the world are born into it UNDER the law, and will be judged by it at the end of their lives if they don’t escape it. Christ was the only man ever born under the law that could live by it without sin and was therefore the only man ever born who could die for our sins. We escape the condemnation of the law by believing in what He did to make a way of escape for us. Calling on Christ to save us acknowledges that we all fall short of God’s glory and are therefore in danger of eternal separation from Him.

We are “under” grace, NOT “under” law:

Romans 6:14—For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

The word for “under” here is hupo which is a primary preposition. Calvinism teaches that we are still under the law. This is the main reason that it is a false gospel. Now, they would vehemently deny this in the following way with red faces and veins popping out of their necks:

NONSENSE! We emphatically state constantly that no man is justified by the law unless he can keep it perfectly and we all know that no man can keep the law perfectly. We constantly cite James 2:10 which states that if we break the law at one point—we are guilty of breaking the whole law. HOW DARE YOU SLANDER US IN THIS WAY!!!

This argues the point by making “under” a verb (something we do or don’t do) rather than a position. Therefore, they are not arguing jurisdiction, they are arguing practice in regard to how we are justified. Position is the issue, not what we do; i.e., keeping the law or not keeping the law, or doing this/that in this way or the other way etc. Calvinists believe our position stays the same; therefore, what we do becomes critical. In fact, what we don’t do keeps us saved; e.g., “You don’t keep the law by keeping the law.”

There are four versions of “Christians” still being “under” the law, or under its jurisdiction. First, antinomianism which teaches that we are still under the law, but God cancelled our obligation to keep it because it promotes grace. Secondly, that we are still under the law, but the Holy Spirit helps us keep it so that we will pass the final judgment. Thirdly, that we are still under the law, but if we perform certain rituals within the church, by authority of the church, our sins are continually forgiven (perpetual pardon in the face of the law). Fourthly, we are still under the law, but Jesus keeps it for us while we continually contemplate His saving works in the Scriptures. This is the Reformed view. And of course—it’s no less a false gospel than the former three.

This is verified by their interpretation of Galatians 2:20—this exposes their heresy:

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

We supposedly remain spiritually dead, which as they know is clearly synonymous with being under the law in Scripture. So, Galatians 2:20 is interpreted as being applicable to our Christian life. We don’t live in our Christian life, we are still spiritually dead, but the living Christ within us keeps the law for us so that the “ground of our justification will be Christ in the final judgment.” Calvinists believe that we are not under the law in regard to the idea that we don’t keep it in our Christian life to be justified, Christ keeps it for us. Hence, “under” is a verb issue rather than a position issue. What we do becomes critical, not where we are positionally. Therefore, Calvinism makes our Christian life (sanctification) by faith alone as a way to maintain our just standing for the final judgment. Only problem is, we are still fulfilling a requirement of the law in cooperation with Christ—this is the problem of salvation being a verb issue rather than a preposition issue. If the law no longer has jurisdiction over us FOR JUSTIFICATION, who keeps it or doesn’t keep it is irrelevant FOR JUSTIFICATION.

Then what is Paul talking about in Galatians 2:20? He is talking about justification; not sanctification, this should be evident. Consider the context:

Galatians 2:16—yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

Galatians 2:17—But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not!

Galatians 3:11—Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Consider verse 21 which immediately follows 2:20:

I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

Why do Calvinists apply Galatians 2:20 to sanctification? Because what we do is the issue, not our position, so Christ must obey the law for us. To the contrary, we are justified because the old self that lived in the flesh died with Christ. And when it did, we also died to the law. So, in regard to justification, we can only be justified if the life we lived in the flesh is dead and no longer under the law. Being alive in the flesh equals: being under the law. Now, obviously, our mortal bodies are still alive in one sense in that we are walking around, but in reality the old self is dead and the power of sin and the law are broken. In that sense, we are dead, and justified via the fact that Christ was resurrected for our justification (Romans 4:25). Notice that Paul states that he is dead in regard to his life “in the flesh.” This doesn’t mean that we are also spiritually dead in sanctification. The context of Galatians 2:20 is justification. Hopefully, Romans 6:5-14 will clarify this for you:

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

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.

As we have noted before in our Romans study, being under the law comes part and parcel with being lost and under the power of sin which is provoked by the law. The flesh under the law is like throwing gasoline on a fire (Romans 7:8-11). But notice in Romans 6:5-14 that there is both death and life. This passage in Romans also adds “death” to being under the law and the bondage of sin. Galatians 2:20 only speaks of our death to the law and sin (“Apart from the law, sin lies dead”), not the life we have in sanctification. Romans 5-14 speaks to both because the context includes both sanctification and justification:

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.

We have been brought from death to life. The life we live in the flesh has had the power and dominion of sin under the law broken because we died with Christ. We are dead and Christ lives for our justification:

Romans 4:23—But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

In regard to justification and this life we live in the flesh, we are dead, and more importantly, also dead to the law as well, and only Christ is alive, but that doesn’t pertain to sanctification as well. In sanctification, we are alive, and UNDER GRACE. In justification, the old self is dead and no longer under the law. Calvinists believe we remain under the law in sanctification, and being under the law is synonymous with still being spiritually dead. Therefore, we remain dead in sanctification and under the judgment of the law, so the law must be fulfilled for us.

Being under grace is synonymous with being born again, new creatures, informed by the law, not under it (see Galatians 2:19), and lovers of the truth. Obedience to the law is now our means of loving the Lord and showing the world that we love Him. The law is the full counsel of God in regard to family harmony and kingdom living. It informs us on how to be separate from the world. In a word: sanctification. The law in regard to judging our justification has NO jurisdiction over us. We are no longer under it.

The very fact that Calvinists propagate a total depravity of the saints in which bondage to sin is not broken clearly illustrates that the law is still a standard for our justification; we are still under its jurisdiction for our just standing. A cursory perusal of Reformed writings can produce a motherload of citations to establish this fact, but one from Reformed icon G. C. Berkouwer should suffice:

Bavinck too, wrote in connection with the regenerating work of the Spirit: “The regenerate man is no whit different in substance from what He was before his regeneration” (Faith and Sanctification p. 87).

Clearly, this can only mean one thing: the one that is “no whit different” must also remain under the law. His position hasn’t changed, so lest one attempt to be justified by the law, what is done in sanctification becomes paramount in eternal issues as opposed to it being a Divine family matter. The Reformed camp uses the book of Galatians to argue for this when the book actually addresses their specific error. They use the book of Galatians, as mentioned, particularly 2:20, to argue a supposed Pauline position that the Galatians were doing things in their sanctification that was affecting the status of their just standing. Again, the Reformed crowd makes what we do in sanctification the issue, not our position which biblically proposes that nothing done in sanctification can affect justification. The Reformed use of Galatians to argue this propagates a fusion of justification and sanctification which makes the law the standard for justification from salvation to glorification.

However, the book of Galatians is the antithesis of such as it shows a clear dichotomy between justification/sanctification and the application of the law in each. In justification: NO application. In sanctification: obedience. In regard to no law in justification, but the law informing our sanctification, consider Galatians 2:19:

For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.

We have also noted in our Romans study:

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—

We are justified apart from the law, but we would not know anything about these issues if not informed by the “Law and the prophets.” Furthermore, after belaboring the point about their being no law in justification, in both Romans and Galatians Paul makes his point by asking “What saith the Scriptures?” (Romans 4:3 and Galatians 4:30). And the absolute classic point on this is Galatians 4:21:

Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law?

There is no law in justification, but the law informs our obedience in Sanctification. Scriptural examples are myriad, but consider Galatians 5:2-7:

2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

7 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Verses 2 through 6 are about justification by faith alone apart from the law. Verse 7 concerns sanctification—running and obeying which we are free to do aggressively without fear of it affecting our justification. The two are completely separate; the law is left behind in the former and loved in the latter. I once heard a Reformed pastor fuming from the pulpit over a statement that he heard at a conference: “He said that the law leads us to Christ, and then Christ leads us back to Moses. THAT’S BLASPHEME!!!”

No it isn’t. When the law was increased through Moses, it had a dual purpose: to increase sin in order to show those under the law their need for salvation, and as can be ascertained by many other texts, for the saved to better glorify God:

Romans 5:20—The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,

Galatians 3:19—Why then the law? It was because of transgressions….

paul

Hey Bristol, It’s Not About the Law—It’s About Love

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 26, 2015

Bristol_PalinThe present 20-40-something generation indoctrinated by the Protestant institutional church keeps on doin’ its thing. Yes, this is the “sinners saved by grace” generation. These are sinners that love on their own terms.

What brought all this up? My present midlife blogger crisis. In 2009 when I started blogging, a Protestant scandal only came along once a year or something like that. What made that blog worthy is that Protestants are supposed to be one-up on the Catholics as far as righteousness goes. Everybody knows Catholics do anything they want to and then go to confession afterwards. Protestants have always been deemed as above such religious wantonness.

Now blogging has become like children who get chocolate too often. It’s no longer a treat; it’s a common occurrence, and the chocolate just doesn’t melt in one’s mouth like it used to. I have watched trending Protestant scandals increase to bi-monthly, monthly, weekly, and now approaching daily. Yawn, we sit at the dinner table and ask the complaining rhetorical question to momma blogger: “Chocolate again?”

It’s hard medicine, but the only thing to blog about now is the why? The what has run its course. However, what most of us do not realize is that there is a new and exciting trail to blaze in our present day: the art of godly living. But first, we must examine why that is possible in the face of this impossible dream.

It’s possible because Protestant tradition has always made Christian living all about our original salvation. Jesus died on the cross to save us from this horrible world that can be fun at times; Jesus will get us through it, so eat and drink for tomorrow we die. After all, we are all just sinners saved by grace. So, eat, drink, and be merry, and when you get caught, or a bad choice actually yields cause and effect, merely pull out your Woe is me a lowly sinner membership card. Jesus is president of the club.

So what’s the why? The why is because Protestantism with all of its pulpit pounding about justification by faith alone is really about keeping people under the law. We remain under law, and keep it when the opportunity matches our desires or when it is convenient, but all in all, it’s impossible to keep the law perfectly so Jesus came to live on earth to fulfill it for us. When we keep the law, we didn’t do it, Jesus did it “through us.” When we get caught, or a bad a choice yields bad fruit, that’s “disappointing,” but thank goodness that’s why Jesus came to LIVE and DIE.

And that is a lie from the pit of hell. Christ came to end the law, not keep it for us. When we believe on Christ, our past sins are forgiven because Christ ended the law that we sinned against, and in regard to the future, there is no law to condemn us. The law of condemnation has been ended.

How? Because Christ died so that you can follow Him in death, and a dead person is no longer under the law of condemnation. Then, Christ was resurrected so that you can follow Him in resurrection as well. More accurately, when you follow Christ in death, the Spirit comes and resurrects you as He did Christ. That’s the new birth. Now you are free from the law in regard to condemnation, for the old you died and is no longer under the jurisdiction of the law’s condemnation. But…your resurrection to new life frees you to love according to the law of love, not condemnation. Same law—different use. Same law, different state of being.

Oops, I almost forgot, the new scandal. “Which one?” This one: Bristol Palin, Sarah Palin’s daughter, is once again pregnant out of wedlock. The family, members of the New Calvinist Wasilla Bible Church, survived the publicity of the first “disappointing” choice, but obviously nothing was learned from the first incident, the blessings of a child being brought into the world notwithstanding.

I am not going to bore you with what she said on her blog about the news; it is the same old Protestant song and dance. In essence, and for all practical purposes: Oops; me, a lowly sinner, once again has sinned. Per the usual, we all fall short of keeping the law perfectly, but praise God for Jesus—it’s not about what we do, but what he has done.  

That misses the whole point. Jesus didn’t come to keep the law for us; He came to end the law, and set us free to love. Like all Protestants, Palin confuses law and love. Here is the huge problem: if Christ kept/keeps the law for us, He also loves for us. Like most Protestants, Palin dichotomizes law and love in Christian living because she remains under the law of condemnation and is not free to follow the law as love.

Hence, as she pontificated on her blog, she can dishonor her family while still loving them. As far as dishonoring her family and bringing shame upon them, Jesus died for that, but of course she still loves her family.

Listen, whenever love is something different than obedience to God’s law, whenever a failure to truly love is not called out for what it is, that means one thing and one thing only: that person is still under the condemnation of the law that Jesus supposedly keeps for us.

Listen “sister,” it’s not about the law, it’s about love. Google the following and find out who said it… “If you love me, keep my commandments.”  One cannot change until the real problem is diagnosed. Palin failed to love God and her family.

Christ did not come to keep the law for us anymore than He came to love for us—we either love or we don’t love. If we truly understand salvation, “We love Him because He first loved us.” That means He loved us first by dying on the cross to end the law so that we are free to love him through obedience apart from being justified by the law. And as much as we love Him, we love others as well.

It’s not about the law—it’s about love. And that is the new frontier for recovering Protestants.

paul

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American Clergy Brilliance: “The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration”

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on May 11, 2015

green-logo3Originally posted May 6, 2013

“Look, think about this; even an adolescent Sunday school student can see it: if the righteousness of God is revealed apart from the law (Romans 3:21), why would Christ need to keep it for our justification? For crying out loud, what does ‘apart’ mean?”

My theses for this year’s TANC conference highlights the fact that the Reformers taught from a totally different reality than a normative reality that draws logical conclusions from the arrangement of verbs, nouns, prepositions, adjectives, conjunctions, etc. taken at face value. The Reformers created their own metaphysical premise for interpreting reality. The authentic Reformed gospel is predicated on a contra reality. This is one of four reasons that the authentic Reformed gospel experiences a social death periodically throughout church history, and then periodic resurgence movements like the one we are presently in via New Calvinism. There have been five of these resurgence movements sense Calvin’s theocracy in Geneva. They will be documented in volume two of The Truth About New Calvinism. As Christians read their Bibles, they are naturally drawn away from the authentic Reformed gospel because the human tendency is to interpret reality from the normative perspective. They become uncomfortable with the contradictions. However, as each resurgence dies a social death, Protestant traditions of men continue to be a significant part of what emerges from the ashes. A Reformed hybrid emerges that apes the anemic sanctification spawned by Reformed thought. This lays the ground work for the resurgences that follow. Protestantism, historically, oscillates between the weak sanctification of the hybrid and the despotic resurgence movements that temporarily replace the hybrid. Basically, the vicious cycle must be stopped if revival is going to be possible. God sanctifies with truth, not the traditions of men. Part and parcel is a dumbed-down Christianity saturated with the traditions of Reformed men—primarily dead ones. Men of old that are deemed geniuses are often mindless Kool-Aid drinking followers of John Calvin and his ugly stepchildren, the murdering despotic Puritans. Part of the Protestant tradition that carries on is the big “O,” ORTHODOXY. A synonym for “truth” in American churchianity, it is really the repackaging of truth interpreted by the Protestant elite for consumption by the unenlightened masses. The American church follows the tradition of Protestantism when the arrogant, elitist who’s who of evangelicalism come together and publish declarations, i.e., the confessions and creeds of traditional Reformed thought. A recent example of this is the third edition of The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration  (1994, 1997, 1999) signed and/or endorsed by, for example, the following: John Ankerberg, Kay Arthur, Tony Evans, Jerry Falwell, Bill Hybels, David Jeremiah, D. James Kennedy, Max Lucado, Woodrow Kroll, Tim & Beverly LaHaye, Erwin Lutzer, Bill McCartney, Luis Palau, Pat Robertson, Ronald Sider, Charles Stanley, John Stott, Joseph Stowell, Chuck Swindoll, Bruce Wilkinson, Ravi Zacharias, Jack Hayford, Steven Strang, John MacArthur Jr., RC Sproul, Charles Colson, Bill Bright, and JI Packer. Only problem is, the document denies the new birth and describes Christians as being under the law as opposed to being under grace. In other words, the authentic gospel of the Reformation. First, the document speaks from the perspective of the authentic Reformed gospel that only recognizes the possibility of a linear gospel, ie., the “golden chain of salvation.”  Because sanctification is the links of a chain that stretches from justification to glorification, the links must stay intact by the same gospel that saved us. Hence, grace cannot be inside of the believer because that makes him/her a participant in the completion of justification. Justification is only a finished work if we live among the sanctification links in the same way we were saved—by faith alone. The Reformers only recognized this reality, and judged all other gospels from the same reality. Grace is either infused within the believer, making him/her a participant in finishing justification, or grace remains completely outside of the believer. The alternative that sanctification is completely separate, a parallel gospel, is not considered to be a possible reality. Accordingly, note the following statement in said GEC document:

We deny that we are justified by the righteousness of Christ infused into us or by any righteousness that is thought to inhere within us.

The Reformers believed that ALL grace and righteousness must remain OUTSIDE of the believer or it by default made him/her a participant in the completion of justification. They got around the mass of prepositions throughout Scripture that clearly state that grace is within us by utilizing the emphasis hermeneutic (the redemptive historical hermeneutic). This hermeneutic is a Gnostic concept derived from Plato’s theory of forms. I will delve into this in detail during my second session at this year’s TANC conference. Granted, many of the signers probably didn’t, and still don’t understand what the Reformers believed, and I believe other signers such as RC Sproul deliberately play on that confusion. Secondly, the doctrine propagates the Reformed mainstay of Christ’s perfect obedience to the law being imputed to our sanctification so that “sanctification is not the ‘ground’ of our justification.” See the chain thing going on there? Our enablement in sanctification necessarily makes sanctification the GROUND of our justification because sanctification finishes justification. It’s a “chain.” Here is what the document states:

God’s justification of those who trust in him, according to the Gospel, is a decisive transition, here and now, from a state of condemnation and wrath because of their sins to one of acceptance and favor by virtue of Jesus’ flawless obedience culminating in his voluntary sin-bearing death.

And….

We affirm that Christ’s saving work included both his life and his death on our behalf (Gal. 3:13). We declare that faith in the perfect obedience of Christ by which he fulfilled all the demands of the Law of God on our behalf is essential to the Gospel. We deny that our salvation was achieved merely or exclusively by the death of Christ without reference to his life of perfect righteousness.

Look, think about this; even an adolescent Sunday school student can see it: if the righteousness of God is revealed apart from the law (Romans 3:21), why would Christ need to keep it for our justification? For crying out loud, what does ‘apart’ mean? Worse yet is the idea that this perfect obedience is imputed to our sanctification if we live our Christian lives by faith alone because sanctification is a progressive process that finishes justification. James refuted this idea in no certain terms, which is why the Reformers questioned its rightful place in the New Testament canon. Moreover, this idea keeps Christians “under the law,” which is the biblical designation for the unregenerate. I don’t know much about the theologian William R. Newell, but with that disclaimer, I will say that I agree with his opinion in regard to this issue:

The fatal result of this terrible error is to leave The Law as claimant over those in Christ: for, “Law has dominion over a man as long as he liveth” (7.1). Unless you are able to believe in your very heart that you died with Christ, that your old man was crucified with Him, and that you were buried, and that your history before God in Adam the first came to an utter end at Calvary, you will never get free from the claims of Law upon your conscience (William R. Newell: Verse by Verse Commentary on Romans).

Hence, the law remains a claimant over the believer at any point where he/she stops living their life by faith alone in the same gospel that saved them rather than belief in the new birth followed by the death of the old us that died with Christ and is no longer under the law. We must now fear that our obedience in sanctification is making the law the “ground” of our justification. Likewise, Calvin stated the following: Another principal part of our reconciliation with God was that man, who had lost himself by his disobedience, should by way of remedy oppose to it obedience, satisfy the justice of God, and pay the penalty of sin. Editor’s note: For our redemption, Christ kept the Law for us and died upon the Cross. By this, Christ obtained forgiveness of sins for us (Calvin on the Mediator: Chapel Library press, 2009). This is also known as “vicarious law-keeping.” A definition of vicarious is:

Adjective Experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person: “vicarious pleasure.” Acting or done for another: “a vicarious atonement”.

Christians need to stop following men in general, and Reformed men in particular.  God only sanctifies with truth, and Reformed doctrine does not save or sanctify accordingly. It calls for a salvation by law-keeping and who keeps it is not the issue. The law as a standard for justification is the issue. It also denies the different relationship of the law to believers as opposed to unbelievers: the law provokes the former to righteousness, and provokes the latter to sin. It skews the very biblical definition of the regenerate.

paul

An Edited Point-Counterpoint Gospel Debate

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 10, 2015

Point: …you imply (to me anyway), that we work to make ourselves perfect and that’s our goal in salvation. Salvation is about reconciliation. It’s when we rest in the finished work of the Cross…through the in working of the Holy Spirit we change, but it’s all His work … The more we look at the flesh to control our fallen state under the law the more we fail.  The law was given to increase sin…so we saw our need for a Savior.  You seemed to me to be mixing the two covenants together, I know that will only cause bondage. The new covenant is about a relationship with our God. God bless.

CounterPoint: What you state above is the progressive justification that IS Calvinism. You have the traditional view of law/gospel that is just plain false.

P: No!!! We are already justified. The law has nothing to do with grace….Show me why you think I believe in progressive justification?

CP: You mean Protestantism’s “already not yet” justification? Ok, let me be specific: First, You make rest in justification the same thing as rest in sanctification. That’s Calvin’s Sabbath sanctification—if you do any works in sanctification it’s works salvation because justification and sanctification are fused together. Sanctification is NOT a rest.

Also, note that you make sanctification part of “reconciliation.” I thought you said the reconciliation was finished? Secondly, you state clearly that Christians are still under the law, and therefore, the Holy Spirit must do ALL the work. Thirdly, note that you plainly state that the law has the SAME relationship to us now as “Christians” as it did before we were saved: to increase sin.

Protestants don’t understand the difference between being under law and being under grace, and Calvinists and Arminians are both guilty of the same linear salvation. The “way of the Spirit” is a different relationship to the law—you are making it the same whether saved or unsaved. That’s the smoking gun. The law still serves to show us sin, and not love.

P: “You mean Protestantism’s “already not yet” justification?” Not sure of what part of IT IS FINISHED you failed to understand here. Then you say “Ok, let me be specific: “Christians are still under the law, and therefore, the Holy Spirit must do ALL the work”??? I never said anything of the sort …”The more we look at the flesh to control our fallen state under the law the more we fail”. Meaning the law has passed away…not for us now! It was never brought about justification or sanctification, salvation has always been by grace, the law was given to bring death.

I had this problem before with you; you fail to see the difference between sanctification and propitiation. Both justification and sanctification both parts are needed for Salvation. Christ justified the Fathers wrath on our behalf, (He paid the price), and we are sanctified through His BLOOD…wash as white a snow The moment we first believe. Without sanctification there can be no “reconciliation.”(new birth), you would still be in your filthy rags.

CP: The fact that you don’t understand the law’s relationship to sanctification speaks for itself. Here is what you say: “Both justification and sanctification both parts are needed for Salvation.” Bingo, you say, like Calvin and Luther, that progressive sanctification is part of the salvation process. How is this not “progressive salvation”? Sanctification is part and parcel with the Christian life, so you are saying the Christian life is part of the salvation process. You also say sanctification is the washing, it is not.

The new birth is regeneration, or the quickening, not the washing. You make justification, definitive sanctification, progressive sanctification, salvation (justification), and redemption all the same thing. Why? Because your gospel defines Christians as still under law. At any rate, to clarify, you clearly say that sanctification is part of the salvation process and is a progressive washing accomplished by the Holy Spirit. How is that not progressive salvation?

P: Sanctification means to set apart to make holy, to purify…without sanctification there is no regeneration (indwell of the Holy Spirit) the Holy Spirit cannot indwell otherwise; we need to be washed clean by Christ saving Blood. Justification is a legal declaration of being declared not guilty. The work of Holy Spirit is NOT progressive washing!!! That a Catholic works based salvation, and most of Christendom outside the Catholic Church teaches. It’s called religion. I am talking about the fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT, not man’s flesh and the works there of. We are saved to the uttermost the moment we first believe. I have never read Calvin or Luther, I far as I can understand Luther taught a milder form of Calvinism.

CP: So you’re saying the Holy Spirit’s salvific work is finished, right? And you are also saying sanctification is complete, right?

P: Yes. But you seem to use Sanctification in a completely different context. So you beleive we are in a ongoing process of sanctification, right ?

CP: You are correct about my position, sanctification is progressive. BUT, you make that one side of the salvation coin… Therefore, obviously, we don’t do sanctification because that would be works salvation. As you said, the Holy Spirit has to do sanctification for us because it is a part of salvation. SO, what you really mean when you say sanctification is finished is that it is finished FOR US, but NOT the Spirit. At any rate, here is your problem, the Bible specifically states that sanctification is an ongoing work done by the believer: 1Thessolonians 4:3,4.

P: I was not saying “sanctification is finished FOR US, but NOT the Spirit.” I fear you have to much invested  to change your mind, but I will leave links dealing with this .Aaron Budjen is Jewish , he was saved while training to become a rabbi, so understands what living under the law is like more than most.

CP: Simply answer the question. Is sanctification finished or not? And if it is, for who? Is sanctification part of salvation, yes or no? You have already said it is, so is it finished or not? You have already said it is. So how do you reconcile that with 1Thess. 4:3,4?

P: O.K but it will take more than a simple answer …The words “sanctify” and “sanctification”, as they are used in the Scriptures, basically mean: (1) to set apart or separate for God, (2) to regard, treat, and declare something or someone as holy, and (3) to purify and make holy. 90 references to that doctrine in Scripture. Here is a list of some of them:

2 Tim 2:21;  John 17:17;  1 Thess 5:23;  Gal 2:20;  2 Thess 2:13;  Ex 31:13;  1 Thess 4:3;  1 Cor 1:2;  Rom 6:6;  2 Pet 1:2-4;  Heb 13:12;  Rom 6:1-23;  2 Pet 3:18;  Heb 12:10;  2 Cor 1:22;  1 John 1:9;  1 Pet 1:2;  1 Thess 4:3-5;  Col 3:5;  John 17:19;  Rev 7:14;  Heb 10:14;  Eph 4:13;  Gal 5:19-21;  Lev 21:8;  Ex 13:2;  Jude 1:24;  2 Pet 3:1-11;  1 Pet 2:24;  Heb 13:21;  Heb 9:14;  Heb 3:12;  Col 3:1;  Col 2:11;  Phil 2:13;  Eph 5:25-27;  Eph 5:3;  Eph 4:16;  Eph 4:12;  Eph 3:19;  Gal 6:14;  Rom 15:16;  Acts 26:18;  1 John 3:3;  Heb 12:1;  Rom 12:1;  Acts 26:17;  Acts 20:32;  Luk 5:32;  Jer 1:5;   Ps 91:1-16;  Lev 22:9;  Lev 21:1-23;  Lev 20:8;  Ex 40:9-11;  Ex 30:29;  Ex 19:14;  Rev 22:15;  1 John 3:2;  1 John 1:8;  1 John 1:3;  Heb 13:4;  Heb 12:14;  Heb 10:10;  Heb 2:11;  Titus 1:1;  2 Tim 2:11;  1 Thess 4:4;  Eph 5:26;  Eph 4:24;  Eph 2:10;  Eph 1:13;  Eph 1:3;  2 Cor 12:21;  2 Cor 7:1;  2 Cor 1:21;  1 Cor 7:14;  1 Cor 7:2;  1 Cor 6:18;  1 Cor 6:13;  1 Cor 1:30;  Rom 13:12;  Rom 8:7;  Rom 8:1;  Rom 7:20;  Rom 6:11;  Rom 6:2;  John 3:6;  Luk 16:13;  Eze 37:28; Lev 11:44

Without complete sanctification, without being made holy, there is no salvation. Sanctification is accomplished on our behalf and in us when we are regenerated (born again), when we are made to be new creatures in Jesus Christ.

In 1 Corinthians 6:11 , Paul is writing to people who were certainly not the perfect pictures of what “good” Christians would look like. The church at Corinth was not regarded by Paul as a perfect example of what a church should be, yet he said to those people that they had clearly been sanctified, based on their faith in Christ. “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. ”If sanctification is two-fold, in other words partially achieved by the work of Jesus Christ and partially by man himself, then the words of Paul must be disregarded.

Additionally it would indicate that the sanctification brought about by the sacrifice made by Jesus on the cross, was incomplete and only partially effective. If sanctification is, even in part, understood to be progressive, then we are confronted by an insurmountable problem, and you said I believed in works salvation! We would never be able to determine at which point sanctification would sufficiently have been achieved by the sinner. The determination of that point would be left at the discretion of men, or that of a religious system and blabbering men like yourself, both of which are hopelessly fallible.

Where in Scripture are those parameters defined? They are not, because sanctification is not partially achieved by Christ, nor is it progressive. The work of Jesus Christ has been done, not only in part, but in perfect completion, and the imputed righteousness to the sinner (sanctification), is as a result, perfect.,, IT IS FINISHED….  The seventh day was set apart (sanctified) for God (Gen. 2:3). This was done by God Himself. This is the first time the word “sanctify” is used in the Bible.  That seventh day was not altered at all from the other days, it was simply set apart, separated from the other days of the week a day of rest. Biblical sanctification is not a process by which saved believers become more holy over time. ……..If we are not sanctified, we are not saved. We cannot sanctify ourselves before God. The mere suggestion that we can do so is an absurdity.

CP: Uh, where is your answer in regard to 1Thess. 4:3,4? Clearly, the verse defines sanctification and states that we take part in it, and how we participate.

P: Don’t make me laugh, one scripture which I will look into, but I need to read the entire context … you cannot take a isolate verse and build a doctrine around it. Certainty when you have multitudes of scriptures stating the opposite. If we take part in sanctification, then it would make null and void the Cross, plus we would have something to boast in…. The gift becomes a reward that is earned … I don’t believe sanctification is separate work, if we was not sanctified then we were not washed completely clean by the blood Of The Lamb.

If sanctification is an ongoing process, to me you’re just added works to the mix. Now I do believe we bear fruit and we can certainly hinder that process, no problem with that at all. But the fruit is not us producing the fruit; it’s us yielding to the prompting of The Holy Spirit its allowing the Holy Spirit to use and work through us.

CP: You just lost the argument. Not only does the “One Verse” argument not cut it, you state the following: “If we take part in sanctification, then it would make null and void the Cross, plus we would have something to boast in…. The gift becomes a reward that is earned .” That’s pretty much the smoking gun on many points… You believe the same old Protestant gospel that keeps Christians under the law as a standard for justification. Hence, we must live our Christian lives by faith alone in order to remain saved. If we live by the Protestant formula of faith alone, the  Holy Spirit, as you have stated clearly, OBEYS FOR US.

P: If we live by the Protestant formula of faith alone ” …you foolish man…” one verse you build your legalistic doctrine on and bring others back under bondage. “Hence, we must live our Christian lives by faith alone in order to remain saved”. Foolish again, we are kept …we do not keep ourselves in “faith”, YOU HAVE A CALVINIST VIEW OF SCRIPTURES. I would not be surprised in the least to found you were once a Calvinist. Sanctification is salvation along with justification.

CP: Very well, each man must be convinced in his own mind and God will judge all in the end. We all have one judge–and I am not your judge. With that, I can sincerely say farewell and blessings to you. The last word is yours if you want it.

P: Amen to that…..For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. Farewell and blessings to you also.

A Bible Reading Outline: What is the Context?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 9, 2015
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