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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

John Calvin on the Assurance of Salvation: Justification Not to be Confused with Sanctification


2. Christian liberty seems to me to consist of three parts. First, the consciences of believers, while seeking the assurance of their justification before God, must rise above the law, and think no more of obtaining justification by it. For while the law, as has already been demonstrated (supra, chap. 17, sec. 1), leaves not one man righteous, we are either excluded from all hope of justification, or we must be loosed from the law, and so loosed as that no account at all shall be taken of works. For he who imagines that in order to obtain justification he must bring any degree of works whatever, cannot fix any mode or limit, but makes himself debtor to the whole law. Therefore, laying aside all mention of the law, and all idea of works, we must in the matter of justification have recourse to the mercy of God only; turning away our regard from ourselves, we must look only to Christ. For the question is, not how we may be righteous, but how, though unworthy and unrighteous, we may be regarded as righteous. If consciences would obtain any assurance of this, they must give no place to the law. Still it cannot be rightly inferred from this that believers have no need of the law. It ceases not to teach, exhort, and urge them to good, although it is not recognized by their consciences before the judgment-seat of God. The two things are very different, and should be well and carefully distinguished. The whole lives of Christians ought to be a kind of aspiration after piety, seeing they are called unto holiness (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:5). The office of the law is to excite them to the study of purity and holiness, by reminding them of their duty. For when the conscience feels anxious as to how it may have the favor of God, as to the answer it could give, and the confidence it would feel, if brought to his judgment-seat, in such a case the requirements of the law are not to be brought forward, but Christ, who surpasses all the perfection of the law, is alone to be held forth for righteousness.

From:   Institutes III, xix, 2–3.   Calvin, J. (1997). Institutes of the Christian religion. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

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Reasonable Christian Blog Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost; Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen. 1662 Book of Common Prayer

7 comments:

Michael Gormley said...

The Council of Trent, in answer to Luther's exposition of the Biblical truth of Justification by faith alone, went a step farther than Gregory the Great.

They were not content to say that assurance was dangerous and not desirable, they declared that it was a mortal sin to claim assurance of salvation.

They went still farther and, with full Papal authority and sanction, hurled anathemas and consigned to eternal damnation all who dared preach or believe such a doctrine.

Let any who doubt this read the section on justification in the Decrees of the Council of Trent, and see how specifically and clearly the Jesuits spelled out how deeply Rome hates the doctrine of Assurance. Here are the actual words used by the Council of Trent:

Whosoever shall affirm, that when the grace of Justification is received, the offence of the penitent sinner is so forgiven, and the sentence of eternal punishment reversed, that there remains no temporal punishment to be endured, before his entrance into the kingdom of Heaven, either in this world or in the future world, in purgatory, let him be accursed. Council of Trent, January 1547.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Thanks for commenting, Michael. Modern Roman Catholic apologists have a neat little sidestep for that one. They say that you would first need to be a Roman Catholic before you could be excommunicated or anathematized. They say the anathemas only apply to Roman Catholics and not Protestants. But the text of the anathemas say, "Anyone..." What does "anyone" mean? I guess to Roman Catholics the question is similar to Bill Clinton's question as to the meaning of "is".

Of course, one would need to first be a Roman Catholic to be "excommunicated". But that is not to say that the anathemas do not apply to everyone in general. "Anyone" means anyone who challenges the Roman Catholic doctrines.

Thanks for this reminder!

May the peace of God be with you!

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Ah, I see that you are a Roman Catholic. You must believe that you are eternally insecure?

And that's supposed to convince me to become a Roman Catholic?

Simply amazing:)

Gary said...

Many Christians have said the following to themselves during a very difficult period in their life: Am I really saved? Here are the thought processes on this issue for an Evangelical and a Lutheran:

The Evangelical's Assurance of Salvation:

1. At age ___ I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. At that moment I asked Jesus to come into my heart to be my Lord and Savior and to forgive me of my sins.

2. But since I am currently questioning my salvation, maybe I didn't "do it" correctly. Maybe I didn't fully understand what I was doing. Maybe I didn't fully repent. Maybe I didn't really have complete faith. Maybe I did it just because my friends were doing it. Maybe...

3. I don't know...maybe I should "do it" again, just to be 100% sure.

The Lutheran's Assurance of Salvation:

1. Have I been baptized into the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, thereby receiving God's promise of the forgiveness of my sins, salvation of my soul, faith, and eternal life?
Answer: Yes.

2. Have I outright rejected Christ as my Lord and Savior?
Answer: No.

3. Am I living a life of ongoing sin in willful disobedience and defiance of my Lord?
Answer: No.

Therefore, I KNOW I am saved!

When your assurance of salvation is based on what GOD did and not what you did, it makes all the difference in the world!

http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/2013/10/salvation-is-much-simpler-than.html

Charlie J. Ray said...

Lutherans have no real assurance since they believe perseverance is something they do and not what God does to preserve them. Eternal security is only possible if God is the deciding factor in salvation, not man. 1 Peter 2:8; Ephesians 1:4-5, 11.

Charlie J. Ray said...

What Presbyterians Believe: Assurance of Salvation

Charlie J. Ray said...

Rome not only hates the doctrine of justification by faith alone, but Rome also hates the doctrine of the authority of Scripture alone. Sola Scriptura! Any plow boy who reads the Bible and understands justification by faith alone knows more than the pope or any of the papists.

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