Things New & Old

Ancient truths revealed in the Scriptures are often forgotten, disbelieved or distorted, and therefore lost in the passage of time. Such ancient truths when rediscovered and relearned are 'new' additions to the treasury of ancient truths. Christ showed many new things to the disciples, things prophesied by the prophets of old but hijacked and perverted by the elders and their traditions, but which Christ reclaimed and returned to His people.

There are things both new and old here. "Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things"
2Ti 2:7.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Grace alone, or grace plus works?

Sing F Lau's photo.


Did any man contribute to this majestic awesome wave?
Was it because a surfer was around that caused its formation?
Or perhaps was it the presence of a photographer that did it? 
I ask as a fool!

Pure pristine grace is a truth toooo good to be true in the minds of so many of God's children! They are familiar with prostituted and adulterated grace... grace mixed with man's aid, cooperation, efforts, and works in some ways, some how and some where!

Many insist that their presence and works are necessary aid or condition for the sovereign Spirit of God to execute His work of regeneration!

It takes much divine grace for a man to truly comprehend the divine monergistic grace. It takes very little or no grace to believe or embrace synergistic grace... such characterizes every man-made religion.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Doctrine of Justification - as summarized in the 1689 CoF

Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments


So many love to repeat the words of Luther who called the doctrine of justification as "the article of a standing or falling church." By that standard very many churches are already fallen because of their grievous errors on justification. The popular “justification before God by faith alone" commonly understood is a very erroneous doctrine. It is a horrid lie - let me show it.


Brief Outlines on the Chapter on Justification, 1689 CoF, Chapter 11


Para 1. Justification by free grace stated and defined
"Those whom God effectually calleth, He also freely justifieth,(1) not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous;(2) not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone;(3) not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ's active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in His death for their whole and sole righteousness,(4) they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God.(5) 1. Ro 3:24; 8:30.   2. Ro 4:5-8; Eph 1:7.   3. 1Co 1:30-31; Ro 5:17-19.  4. Php 3:8-9; Eph 2:8-10.  5. Jn 1:12; Ro 5:17.

a. The context of justification
- Effectual call to grace and salvation: ‘those whom God effectually called, He ALSO…’
- Therefore they are never separated! Effectual call to grace and salvation involves justification, regeneration and adoption. These divine activities are necessary to bring a man out of his native state of condemnation, death and alienation to that of grace and salvation.
- The divine activities of justification, regeneration and adoption UNDO condemnation, death and alienation respectively, bringing a man into s STATE of grace and salvation.

b. The active agent of justification
- God the Father: ‘He also…’ Whom He effectually calls, He ALSO justifies.
- So the distinct aspect of justification here is the applied/vital justification at effectual calling by God the Father.

c. The manner of justification
- Freely by God’s grace: ‘He also freely justifieth.’
- Freely means without man meeting any condition… for an unjustified man can’t meet any!
- Freely means just that... without any condition on man's part.
- The fiction of justification by faith alone is repudiated! Do you read it?

d.. The essence of justification 
Errors negated:
- ‘not by infusing righteousness into them…’
Truth affirmed:
: ‘but by pardoning their sins
:  and accounting (a legal transaction)
:  and accepting their persons as righteous…’

e. The ground of justification:
Errors negated:
: ‘not for anything wrought in them, or done by them…’
- Faith is something wrought in them. Faith, (their act of believing) is something done by them. Both are excluded! Sola fidei is repudiated. Do you read it? Is that too hard to understand, or is it of wilful unbelief???
: ‘not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing…’
- Therefore in Gen 15:6, where faith is imputed is NOT NOT NOT talking about the justification of Abraham BEFORE God.
: ‘or by any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness…”
- The "justification before God by faith alone (man's act of believing)" is a fiction and fable plainly repudiated! Do you read it? Is that too hard to understand, or is it of wilful unbelief???

Truth affirmed:
: ‘but by imputing Christ's active obedience unto the whole law …’
: ‘and passive obedience in His death …’
: ‘for their whole and sole righteousness.’

f. The evidence of justification
- The pronoun "they receiving and resting..." speaks of those whom God has ALREADY freely justified.
- Faith in the context is defined as ‘receiving and resting on Him [Christ] and His righteousness.’
- The application of righteousness by free grace precedes the reception of the same by faith in Christ.
- Justification by free grace is completed before believing its truth is possible!
- Both the Calvinists as well as the Arminians fail to recognize this BASIC fact, and end up conditioning their justification before God upon their faith!   What a gross and grievous error!
- Faith is the work of grace by the Spirit of Christ in the heart… not a native ability in an unjustified condemned man, exercised un the unjustified in order to be justified! 

Some questions for discussion
Q. What is at the heart of justification?
Q. What was the state of those that are justified by God?
Q. Why justification have to be by God’s free grace?
Q. How do we know that faith (a man’s act of believing) is excluded in his justification by God?
Q. How do we know that faith is an evangelical obedience ( a fruit/effect of salvation)?
Q. What does ‘whole and sole’ mean?
Q. What does Christ’s active obedience secure, and His passive obedience in his death?
Q. What do the acts of receiving and resting presuppose?


Para 2. Justification and its relation to man's faith
Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification;(6) yet it is not alone in the person justified, but ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love.(7)  6. Ro 3:28.   7. Gal 5:6; Jas 2:17,22,26.

a, The essence of faith defined:
- ‘Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness.’ Justification before God is based on Christ and His righteousness alone, and thus evidences itself in the same, i.e. receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness.
- This is the faith produced during the effectual call to grace and salvation, SPECIFICALLY, worked within the heart of a justified elect by the indwelling Spirit of God, the Spirit of adoption who works all the saving graces in an effectually called elect.

b. The function of faith as ‘the alone instrument of justification’:
- Error negated
: instrument not to secure/obtain justification. This is the fiction believe by many!
- Truth affirmed
: instrument to manifest/evidence/demonstrate/attest the justified state by God’s free grace.
: instrument to experience the blessedness of the justified state by God’s free grace.

c. Faith is a saving grace in the justified person
- ‘Yet it is not alone in the person justified.’
- The grace of faith can only be found in a justified man. But it is NOT the only saving grace produced by the Holy Spirit. It is one of the many fruit worked by the Spirit. !
- The grace of faith ‘is ever accompanied with all other saving graces.’
- All saving graces are worked WITHIN the child of God by the ONE SAME indwelling Spirit of adoption.

e. The liveliness of justifying faith (i.e. faith produces by God’s act of justifying condemned sinners)
- Faith ‘is no dead faith, but worketh by love.’ Dead faith is faith that is not active; dead faith is NOT false faith; it is barren faith. God’s children can sin into a state of dead faith, being fruitless.
- A lively faith loves God, His words, His righteousness, His ordinances, His people,

Some questions for discussion
Q. How do we know that faith is a saving grace, i.e. a fruit of salvation bestowed freely at effectual call?
Q. Why is faith ever accompanied with all other saving graces?
Q. How can one know whether his faith is saving faith?
Q. Why is faith the sole instrument to manifest the justification by God’s free grace?


Para 3. The Perfect Substitute Necessary for Justification
Christ, by His obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are justified; and did, by the sacrifice of Himself in the blood of His cross, undergoing in their stead the penalty due unto them, make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God's justice in their behalf,(8); yet inasmuch as He was given by the Father for them, and His obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead, and both freely, not for anything in them,(9) their justification is only of free grace, that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners.(10)  8. Heb 10:14; 1Pe 1:18-19; Isa 53:5-6.   9. Ro 8:32; 2Co 5:21.   10. Ro 3:26; Eph 1:6-7; 2:7.

a. Christ is the substitute: “by His obedience and death, did fully discharged…” He did everything.
- Justification before God requires the righteousness through the obedience and death of Christ.
- The righteousness needed for justification is by the active and passive obedience of Christ alone.
- “fully discharged… undergoing in their stead the penalty due unto them….” Debt completely cleared.
- “… in their stead… in their behalf… in their stead…”

b. Christ’s made a full satisfaction to God’s justice for all the elect:
- Christ “made a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice in their behalf.”
- Only the obedience and death of Christ can render a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice.

c. God Himself provided this Substitute for the justification His people.
- “He was given by the Father for them…” The substitute is of God’s provision.
- God accepts the substitutionary work (obedience and satisfaction) of Christ on behalf of His people.
- This acceptance is only by God’s free grace alone, everything in the justified being wholly excluded.

d. Justification of sinners magnifies the both the exact justice and the rich grace of God
- Any departure from the precise way stated detracts and diminishes both. It dishonors the Triune God.


Para 4. The Multi-faceted Jewel of Justification                                                                        
 God did from all eternity decree to justify all the elect, (11) and Christ did in the fullness of time die for their sins, and rise again for their justification;(12) nevertheless, they are not justified personally, until the Holy Spirit doth in time due actually apply Christ unto them.(13)  11. Gal 3:8; 1Pe 1:2; 1Ti 2:6.   12. Ro 4:25.   13. Col 1:21-22; Tit 3:4-7.

a. Justification decreed
- by God for all the elect
- from all eternity                                                                                                                                                                       
 b. Justification secured/accomplished legally: (stated plainly in para. 3)
- by Christ for all the elect
- at the cross                                                                                                                                                                                   
c. Justification applied personally (stated in para. 1)
 - by the Holy Spirit to each individual elect. 
- at effectual calling to grace and salvation.

d. Justification experienced /evidenced subjectively (stated para. 2)
- by the faith of the individual elect. 
- at initial conversion and throughout life.

e. Justification vindicated finally
- by God before the judgment throne
- on the great judgment day
- Conclusion: Justification decreed, accomplished, applied, experienced, and finally vindicated.

Some questions for discussion
Q. Why it is so necessary to distinguish the various facets of justification?
Q.  How does ignorance in this injure God’s glory and honor?
Q. How does due recognition of the different facets of justification comfort God’s children?
Q. How does ignorance in this detrimental to God’s children?


5. The Working of Subjective Justification
God doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified,(14) and although they can never fall from the state of justification,(15) yet they may, by their sins, fall under God's fatherly displeasure;(16) and in that condition they have not usually the light of His countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.(17)
14. Mt 6:12; 1Jn 1:7,9.  15. Jn 10:28.   16. Ps 89:31-33.   17. Ps 32:5; Ps 51:1-19; Mt 26:75.

a. In justification God acts in the capacity of a Judge. In sanctification, God deals as a Father!
- God the Father’s displeasure with the waywardness of His children…
- He continues to forgive the sins of His children.

b. Once justified by God’s free grace, remains in that justified state forever, despite all the actual sins.
- All the penalty of sin has been fully dealt with by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

c. Sins of God’s children will forfeit them of the communion with God.
- Faith and repentance alone will restore that fellowship and communion with the Father.


6. The Unity of Application in Justification
The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament.(18) 18. Gal 3:9; Ro 4:22-24.

a. The justification of all the elect is in all THESE RESPECTS one and the same… in all ages.
- “… in all these respects” is the plain proof that the framers knew and understood that there are various distinct facets of justification.
- Many are ignorant of this simple fact. They know only of justification by their faith!
- There are God’s children who do not experience justification by their faith… Why???
- Why, do you know??? If sola fidei is true indeed, then how does God's elect who are incapable of believing going to be justified? Are such justified in another way? Then you have just blasted your beloved "sola" into "also," i.e. in addition to "sola" there is also this way of justification!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

An Old School Calvinist on Actual, and Declarative Justification

Some cannot distinguish the puppy from the chick.
They think anything found under a mother hen is a chick!

Sing F Lau
James Buchanan in his magnum opus on "Justification" emphasized the sharp distinction between 'Actual Justification' and 'Declarative Justification'- see Lecture VIII. This crucial distinction maintained by the old school calvinists has been ignored, and rejected by the new school calvinists.

Though so plainly stated in the historic confessions of faith, they confused, and fused them together, leading to serious errors.

Sing F Lau
By 'actual justification', Buchanan refer to the APPLICATION of Christ righteousness (ALREADY IMPUTED at the cross) to an individual elect personally at effectual calling out of the state of sin and death to that of grace and salvation, such that an elect individual is personally and actually and vitally justified.

ACTUAL justification is distinct and different from the LEGAL justification that has taken place at the cross, when the righteousness of Christ was LEGALLY IMPUTED to all the elect.

Justification becomes ACTUAL or VITAL or PERSONAL to an individual elect at effectual calling, when the righteousness of Christ is actually and really APPLIED to each elect PERSONALLY. This is the justification by God's free grace spoken of in Romans 3:24.

What was LEGALLY IMPUTED is APPLIED PERSONALLY leading to ACTUAL justification. What was legal was made personal and actual.

Legal IMPUTATION of Christ's righteousness to the elect took place at the cross.

The APPLICATION of the righteousness of Christ to each elect personally takes place at effectual calling out of the state of sin and death to that of grace and salvation.

Actual justification makes believing in Christ possible. Faith, receiving and resting in Christ and His righteousness for salvation, declares the justified state of a man by the free grace of God. That is the declarative justification by faith in Jesus Christ!

Actual justification makes believing in Christ possible. Believing in Jesus Christ declares the justified state of the believer by God's free grace. This is declarative justification by faith!

Which is why the old school baptists declared thus:
"The reason why any are justified IS NOT because they have faith; but the reason why they have faith IS because they are justified." PBA

Therefore there are these three distinct ASPECTS of justification:
LEGAL justification accomplished at the cross,
ACTUAL Justification applied at effectual calling by free grace
DECLARATIVE justification experienced by faith.

Putting it another way: justification accomplished at the cross... justification applied at effectual calling... and  justification experienced at faith in Jesus Christ.

Sing F Lau
New school calvinists confuse, and fuse these two distinct aspects of justification INTO ONE by teaching: "you are justified by God's free grace when you believe, i.e. by faith."

Instead of faith being the instrument to declare or manifest your justification by the free grace of God, faith is now the instrument to obtain your justification before God!

O damnable heresy! Preaching another gospel... and they still shout and scream 'salvation by God's free grace alone..." and they still dare quote Rom 3:24 "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."

So, from the left side of their mouth they spout, "justified by God through my faith", and from the right side they foam, "justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."

Have they become so deceived and hardened that they don't realize that what come out from the right side of their mouth is diametrically opposed and contradicted by what come out from the left side of the SAME mouth?

Michael
The verb "to justify" means "to DECLARE righteous". It has to do with the issuance of the VERDICT in a court proceeding. God issued the verdict declaring the elect "righteous" at the cross. That declaration is reported in the gospel, bringing peace in the conscience to the person who believes. So, the publican went down to his house "justified", with peace in his previously convicted conscience.

Sing F Lau
Abraham's ACTUAL justification by God's grace FREELY took place when God effectually called him while still in Ur of the Chaldean.

Abraham's justified state was DECLARED by his faith in Gen 15:1-6.

There was a considerable time-lapse between Abraham's ACTUAL justification, and his DECLARATIVE justification.

So was the case with Cornelius. He was ACTUALLY justified when effectually called out of the state of sin and death to grace and salvation long before Apostle Peter was sent to him. His DECLARATIVE justification took place when he believed the gospel preached to him by apostle Peter.

Sing F Lau
James Buchanan "While Justification is a forensic or judicial term, it is used in Scripture to denote, SOMETIMES the acceptance of a sinner as righteous in the sight of God, - SOMETIMES the manifestation or proof of his acceptance, by which it is attested or made sure: and this variety in the application of it IS THE GROUND OF AN IMPORTANT THEOLOGICAL DISTINCTION, - the distinction between ACTUAL and DECLARATIVE Justification." - Justification, p233, Banner of Truth.

I was taught and drilled into my tiny head, "Biblical distinction is the essence of sound theology."

The important theological distinction Buchanan indicated has been ignored and rejected by the new school calvinists, and they have end up with their justification before God by their faith!

Sing F Lau
James Buchanan - "Actual Justification comes first, and is necessarily presupposed in that which is declarative; and hence, if any one is declared to have been justified, we conclude that he was actually justified, or accepted as righteous ...in the sight of God."

It is likely that the new school calvinists, because of their confusion and prejudiced mindset, may not even understand what Buchanan is saying.

Let me put it more simply:
Actual justification by God's free grace LOGICALLY as well as CHRONOLOGICALLY precedes the Declarative justification. Actual justification by God's free grace makes Declarative justification by man's act of believing possible; therefore Declarative justification by man's act of believing presupposes the Actual justification that has taken place by God's free grace.

The great old school baptists put the same truth this way: "The reason why any are justified IS NOT because they have faith; but the reason why they have faith IS because they are justified." PBA

Why do the new school calvinists among the Reformed Baptists REFUSED to be converted to the truth? Why don't they give up the lie?

Sing F Lau
When God justifies a condemned sinner, He declares him not guilty but righteous by forgiving him all his sins and applying the righteousness of Christ to him PERSONALLY. This is the ACTUAL justification spoken of by Buchanan. The condemned man is actually justified because the righteousness of Christ is applied to him personally. What was only LEGALLY true is now personally/vitally true!

When faith justifies a believing man, faith declares that the believing man is a man ALREADY justified by the free grace of God. This is the DECLARATIVE justification spoken of by Buchanan. Faith declares the justified state of the believing man.

Sing F Lau
The old school baptists (representing over 100 baptized congregations, declared this in the 1689LBCF, ch 11, para 4:
"4. God did from all eternity decree to justify all the elect, (11) and Christ did in the fullness of time die for their sin...s, and rise again for their justification;(12) nevertheless, they are not justified personally, until the Holy Spirit doth in time due actually apply Christ unto them.(13)" 11. Gal 3:8; 1Pe 1:2; 1Ti 2:6. 12. Ro 4:25. 13. Col 1:21-22; Tit 3:4-7

Three distinct ASPECTS of justification are stated in this condensed paragraph:
1. DECRETAL justification: God did decree to justify... therefore all the elect are justified by God's decree.
2. LEGAL justification: Christ did die for their justification. His righteousness was LEGALLY IMPUTED to all the elect. Though they were LEGALLY justified... BUT they were not PERSONALLY justified.
3. PERSONAL / ACTUAL justification when the Holy Spirit actually apply the righteousness of Christ to each individual PERSONALLY. This is justification by the free grace of God through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Believing becomes possible when PERSONAL / ACTUAL justification has taken place by the free grace of God.

The declarative or experiential justification by faith is stated in the SECOND paragraph of the same chapter - i.e. 1689.11.2. The first paragraph of the chapter deals with the ACTUAL/PERSONAL justification, when the righteousness of Jesus Christ is APPLIED to an elect personally.

Sing F Lau
Buchanan's use of the word "ACTUAL" to designate the PERSONAL/VITAL aspect of justification by God's free grace is not helpful. It has led to much confusion to those who can't differentiate SOUND from SENSE.

Benjamin Keach used the similar term 'ACTUALLY' with reference to experiential justification, saying to the effect, "no one is actually justified until he believes..." However, he is using the word 'actually' in the context of evidential and declarative justification... just like John Gill had done.

Gill said, "... no man is evidentially and declaratively justified until he believes."

But many new school baptists because they are addicted to sound-byte, didn't get the SENSE of what he said... and so concluded that "no one is justified by God until he believes."!

It was also Gill who declared, and quoted by subsequent generations of old school baptists, "The reason why any are justified IS NOT because they have faith; but the reason why they have faith IS because they are justified."
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Written in Oct 6, 2010