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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

Thursday, October 25, 2012

R. Scott Clark: Baptism and the Benefits of Christ (CPJ 2) | The Confessional Presbyterian

In this article in The Confesssional Presbyterian Journal, R. Scott Clark lays out clearly what is wrong with the Auburn Avenue/Federal vision view of conditional election.  The confessional Reformed view, according to Clark, is that we by charity consider all members of the visible church to be elect, although not all of them may in fact be elect.  The Federal Vision error states dogmatically that all members of the visible church are elect and that apostasy from election is a real possibility.  Although the traditional Reformed view is that members of the visible church can and do commit apostasy, only the elect have true and living faith and participate in the benefits of Christ by faith.  Only the elect are members of the invisible church.  The error of the Federal Visionists is therefore to reject the distinction between the communion of saints on earth and the invisible communion of saints in the invisible church.   The invisible church is composed only of those who have been unconditionally elected by God from before the foundation of the earth.  Election, according to the Reformed confessions, is always unconditional and does not depend on foreseen works whether they be good or evil.

Dr. Clark clearly lays out Calvin's theology of the sacrament of baptism here:

Calvin taught throughout his ministry that the sacraments are signs and seals which the Spirit uses to confer comfort and assurance, not election, union with Christ, or regeneration. He defined baptism this way:
Baptism is the sign of the initiation by which we are received into the society of the church, in order that, engrafted in Christ , we may be reckoned among God’s children. (29).  (Page 8).

Click here to read R. S. Clark's article in PDF format:  R. Scott Clark: Baptism and the Benefits of Christ (CPJ 2) | The Confessional Presbyterian

Addendum:  There is a typographical error on page 12 in the article.  Clark quotes from the New Testament Greek of Colossians 2:8.  He mistakenly cites the word "deceit" or "deception" as  "agapes" [ἀγάπη, -ης, ἡ] rather than "apates".  [ἀπάτη, -ης ἡ] Cf.   Βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς ἔσται ὁ συλαγωγῶν διὰ τῆς φιλοσοφίας καὶ κενῆς ἀπάτης, κατὰ τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν ἀνθρώπων, κατὰ τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου, καὶ οὐ κατὰ χριστόν· (Colossians 2:8 BYZ)

"Agapes" is the gentive singular declension of the Greek noun "agape".  

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