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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

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Horton and Tipton Talk: Justification and Union with Christ - Reformed Forum

This is a further discussion on the issue of justification by faith alone as the focus of the Gospel, versus the doctrine of union with Christ as the focus of Reformed theology as Tipton contends. However, Tipton overlooks the fact that union with Christ is by the means or instrument of faith, which faith is a living faith by which imputed justification is applied by God Himself to His elect. Dr. Horton participates by phone in this program.

Click here to see the Reformed Forum site and hear the episode: Justification and Union with Christ - Reformed Forum


9 comments:

Charlie J. Ray said...

I posted this comment at Reformed Forum:

It seems to me, at the risk of sounding like an antinomian, that IF salvation is ultimately dependent on the “whole ordo salutis” taken together, THEN the entire debate with Rome over justification by faith alone is simply a matter of semantics. My salvation does not in any way depend on my degree or level of obedience to God’s moral law. However, regarding my testimony before men (James 2) and having a valid profession of faith in the church, I do bear forth the fruits of a progressive sanctification. All of the saints of the Old Testament were miserable sinners: David was a liar and a murderer and an adulterer, Abraham was an adulterer, a liar and a polygamist, Moses was angry with God, and on and on. Noah? A drunk! Yet all of these men are called righteous. If they are righteous by law keeping, then it would seem to contradict what Scripture actually says about their character. They were in fact righteous by means of faith. Their track record is spotty. Since God does not lower the standards of God’s law (Matthew 5:17-21, 48; Romans 3:23) salvation must be by faith alone. It is faith that justifies and sanctification that results–and that sanctification can never be the cause of forgiveness even after conversion. The first use of the moral law is not just applicable prior to conversion–it applies AFTER conversion as well.

Although I was glad to hear Dr. Tipton affirm that the basis for union with Christ is justification by faith alone, it seems to me that any overemphasis on sanctifification while pragmatically ignoring the doctrine of an objective and imputed righteousness still begs the question. The Westminster Confession clearly says that even the elect can temporarily fall from their assurance because God can remove sanctifying grace (progressive) in order to humble them. Take heed when ye think ye stand lest ye fall. Both Scripture and history bear this out.

The unconverted already understand the law. What they do not get is the Gospel and grace. It is God’s mercy alone that anyone at all is saved. If that’s Lutheran, so be it. And let’s not forget that Luther said that nothing happens by contingency. If God foreknows what will happen–including the fall–then it is God’s will. Salvation viewed from the perspective of God’s sovereignty can only render us speechless and without any room for boasting. We all deserve hell. That’s why God can and does save people at the beginning of their lives and at the very last in their death beds. Works are not necessary for salvation. They are pleasing to God only because of faith, not because they are meritorious whatsoever.

Matthew 20:8-16

Sincerely in Christ,

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Belgic Confession: Article 24

Man's Sanctification and Good Works

We believe that this true faith, being wrought in man by the hearing of the Word of God and the operation of the Holy Ghost,1 doth regenerate and make him a new man, causing him to live a new life,2 and freeing him from the bondage of sin.3 Therefore it is so far from being true, that this justifying faith makes men remiss in a pious and holy life,4 that on the contrary without it they would never do anything out of love to God, but only out of self-love or fear of damnation. Therefore it is impossible that this holy faith can be unfruitful in man; for we do not speak of a vain faith,5 but of such a faith as is called in Scripture a faith that worketh by love,6 which excites man to the practice of those works which God has commanded in His Word. Which works, as they proceed from the good root of faith, are good and acceptable in the sight of God, forasmuch as they are all sanctified by His grace; howbeit they are of no account towards our justification.7 For it is by faith in Christ that we are justified, even before we do good works;8 otherwise they could not be good works, any more than the fruit of a tree can be good before the tree itself is good.9
Therefore we do good works, but not to merit by them (for what can we merit?) nay, we are beholden to God for the good works we do, and not He to us,10 since it is He that worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.11 Let us therefore attend to what is written: When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say we are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.12

In the meantime we do not deny that God rewards our good works, but it is through His grace that He crowns His gifts.13 Moreover, though we do good works, we do not found our salvation upon them;14 for we can do no work but what is polluted by our flesh, and also punishable;15 and although we could perform such works, still the remembrance of one sin is sufficient to make God reject them. Thus, then, we would always be in doubt, tossed to and fro without any certainty, and our poor consciences would be continually vexed if they relied not on the merits of the suffering and death of our Savior.16



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1 1 Pet. 1:23; Rom. 10:17; John 5:24

2 1 Thes. 1:5; Rom. 8:15; John 6:29; Col. 2:12; Phil. 1:1,29; Eph. 2:8

3 Acts 15:9; Rom. 6:4, 22; Tit. 2:12; John 8:36

4 Tit. 2:12

5 Tit. 3:8; John 15:5; Heb. 11:6; 1 Tim. 1:5

6 1 Tim. 1:5; Gal. 5:6; Tit. 3:8

7 2 Tim. 1:9; Rom. 9:32; Tit. 3:5

8 Rom. 4:4; Gen. 4:4

9 Heb. 11:6; Rom. 14:23; Gen. 4:4; Matt. 7:17

10 1 Cor. 4:7; Isa. 26:12; Gal. 3:5; 1 Thes. 2:13

11 Phil. 2:13

12 Luke 17:10

13 Matt. 10:42; 25:34-35; Rev. 3:12,21; Rom. 2:6; Rev. 2:11; 2 John 1:8; Rom. 11:6

14 Eph. 2:9-10

15 Isa. 64:6

16 Isa. 28:16; Rom. 10:11; Hab. 2:4

Charlie J. Ray said...

The sound quality is so bad here that we cannot hear all that Dr. Horton had to say. It's truly sad that this happened.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Through justification....

Charlie J. Ray said...

Acts 26:18

Charlie J. Ray said...

Lane Tipton says, "If there is a declaration without imputed righteousness it is a legal fiction." Of course. Declared righteousness and imputed righteousness are flip sides of the same coin! Why declare what is not a genuine legal document? Either we are declared innocent or not guilty OR we are declared guilty. The ONLY basis for a declared righteousness is the imputed/credited righteousness of Christ in His sinless life and atoning death on the cross.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Lane Tipton does not understand the ground of the declaration is imputed righteousness????

Charlie J. Ray said...

Why is it that I can follow what Horton says with no problem? It seems like Tipton is equivocating to hide the fact that he really disagrees with imputed and declared righteousness as THE sine qua non of the Gospel. The ordo depends on the Gospel, not the other way around.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The idea that declared righteousness is attributed to speech act theory is just a straw man!

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