Saturday, October 11, 2008

Gratia Habitualis

I have been reading R. Preus' Justification and Rome. I came to his chapter on Grace and this awakened some of my brain cells. Preus observes that the RC theologians tackle grace after Christology with the result that grace has been severed from God's act of redemption or reconciliation and has become more associated with the HS work in sanctification.

This separation of grace from the Cross is something I have observed as a tendency not only in RC teaching, but in some Calvinistic (perhaps in Puritan/Revivalist streams) and Arminian sections of Evangelicalism.

Firstly, I say such separating of grace from the Cross is present in Calvinism because of its view of God's Sovereignty. God is seen as a "despota" that distributes his grace to whom he wills. They talk of grace in the area of "gifting". This is also the way the Arminians speak of grace. Granted that in some astute Calvinistic positions, they do not believe in "infused" grace, but in the way that they speak of grace, they do not distinguish grace from the "gifting of graces" provided by God. The Arminian, in compartive terms, looks at God's grace as enabling you to do certain virtuous things.

Let me give an example, if I was born from a wealthy home, both RC/Evangelicals (Calvinistic/Arminian) will consider it God's grace that I was well provided for by my parents.

This is where the Lutheran view of grace comes in and is unique or rather if not unique, maverick (I am trying to be impassionate -but I really think it is Christological). The Lutheran view of God's grace is connected to the Cross in so much so that you can almost consider this grace as trumping any other perceived graciousness of God. Hence, this is the ultimate grace and hence, stands above other graces/gifts of God. It is the fountain and the only thing that really matters at the end of the day. To them, God's grace is specific, it is seen in God's action of sending His Son as the atonement for our sins. In this position, all giftings of God - i.e. charis of whatever sort do not get first class attention. Such graces sink in the truth of that Grace at the Cross.

Frankly this is quite Biblical ...

Mark 8:36
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?


Past Elder said...

As I was taking a break from my apologetics for closet popism, I tuned in to Jimmy Swaggart, and Brother Donnie just nailed I Samuel 16! Most of it was the personal "Sauls" we hang on to mourning while God is planning something else, but he also mentioned those who hang on to emblems and denominations the Lord has abandoned because they have abandoned the Cross, and went on to mention an Episcopal priest who said he could no longer put his ordination paper on the wall since it meant nothing if not connected to the Cross. Pretty soon the whole place was rocking to fill the horn with oil and go!

Next hour there will an ELCA pastoress conducting a by the book LBW service fully vested.

Fill the horn with oil and go! Does somebody hear it?

L P Cruz said...


If some people would take sometime listening to the Lutheran Fathers we would not get this confusion of a Crossless Christ, and Crossless Grace. Nobody is taking time to listening, they may have something to say that is profitable to our time.


Past Elder said...

Donnie didn't leave out either side -- he said too, I don't care if they prophecy, or speak in tongues, if they've abandoned the Cross, etc.

L P Cruz said...

Good on Donnie, P.E.

Was it Bo Giertz who said "The Cross is our theology"?

The point is that one can preach Christ without his cross and that would not be Gospel...

St. Paul says - we preach Christ and him crucified.


Mark said...

Ephesians 1:9-11–” making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will…”

“All things were created for Christ”. (Colossians 1:16) Christ “is before all things” (Colossians 1:17).

Lutherans (and others who say that Christ died for every sinner) think that they honor Christ by saying that the decree for Christ to die is before the decree to elect some sinners. They claim in this way to put Christ before election.

Lutherans want to equate election with preaching, and so they teach that the atonement was not restricted to the elect. They think of election as something that causes some to believe, but they will not teach an atonement only for the specific sins of the elect.

But election in Christ is first! The death of Christ is not the cause of God’s election in love. God’s election in love is the cause of the death of Christ.

Jesus, the incarnate, the eternal Son of God in the flesh, is the foundation of election by being Himself the object of election. “All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things.” Jesus is not simply the one who makes election work. Jesus Himself is first.

Jesus Himself is chosen first, before all the other elect. All the other elect were chosen in Jesus Christ, and not apart from Jesus Christ. Those God loves are “chosen in Him”. Ephesians 1:4

God only has one purpose in history, and that is to bring glory to Jesus Christ. God does not have a second cultural purpose (“kingdom” ?) which doesn’t have anything to do with Christ.

Mark said...

I quote from Carl Truman’s essay on John Owen and the timing of justification in the Westminster Seminary collection Justified in Christ.(ed by Oliphant, 2007)

Carl Trueman, p 91–”The Protestant doctrine of justification by imputation was always going to be criticized as tending toward eternal justification. Late medieval theologians (nominalists, occasionalists) had used the distinction between God’s absolute power and God’s ordained power to break the necessary connection between the priority of actual righteousness and God’s declaration that a particular person is justified. In placing the declaration in God’s will, not in the intrinsic qualities of the one justified, it would be argued that any necessary connection between justification and any chronological factors had been decisively abolished”.

mark: In other words, since “synthetic” (the imputation of another extrinsic factor) justification is not about what’s happening in the sinner now, why not say that all the elect were justified at one time, either at the cross, or before the beginning of the ages? This is what Baxter accused John Owen of doing, of simply “announcing in the gospel” that the elect had already all been justified. That’s not what Owen did, but Baxter said he should do that to be consistent. Baxter wanted to get “chronological factors” into the equation, because Baxter wanted to make “intrinsic conditions” a factor in justification.

LPC said...

Baxter was correct in his critique of Owen. There is an interesting thesis by the Rev. Neil Chambers critiquing Owen's limited atonement view. Something to do with Owen's pecuniary view of atonement. You should look for that thesis submitted in I believe Reformed Theological Seminary.

The Lutheranism has no categories of lapsarianisms unlike what you have in Calvinism.

Baxter was simply urging Owen to bring to the hilt the logical conclusion of his theology. That was fair.

Lastly, we do not say Jesus died for all in order to glorify Christ. We say it because that is the biblical data and sticking to biblical data has the effect of honouring Christ. That is just a consequence of being faithful to the word of Christ.


Mark said...

If you purchase a gift for your mother today, is it "logical" that you must in justice give it to her today? I don't think so. The gift purchased by Christ was distributed to Abraham before Christ purchased it and is being distributed (by God's imputation) to other elect sinners today.

You need to focus on the real issue, not the timing. Like Baxter, you want to condition salvation on the sinner's attitude to the means of grace. You want to say that Christ purchased a gift for all sinners, but also that Christ did not purchase for any sinner the gift to receive the gift. You say that Christ took the blow for every sinner but also that some sinners will still take the blow. But Christ gives the Spirit to all for whom Christ died.

LPC said...

But when did I assert that a gift purchased today MUST be distributed today also? You are the one making my point and my argument.

You say that Christ took the blow for every sinner but also that some sinners will still take the blow.

It is not me who teaches this, it is Christ himself. If you look at Mk 16:16--- Jesus after being raised from the dead told his disciples that those who do not believe will be condemned - that was after the atonement has happened!!!

Atonement is not the same as Justification. Christ purchased the righteousness required by God of every man, this is offered by the HS to all men through the Means of Grace, those who reject are damned, those who believe as Christ says are saved.

The issue is the Biblical data.

Incidentally do not confuse me with perfectly siding with Baxter I have no concern neither do I have any strong opinion on what debates Calvinists get themselves into. For I DO ASSERT that Christ purchased righteousness of all sinners, yet not all are saved. It is not because the gift was not purchased for them, it is because they reject the gift - as Mk 16:16 says.

At best Limited Atonement of Owen is a theory - as a theory it is even a bad one.


Mark said...

So you deny that Christ purchased the gift of not rejecting the gospel for anybody?

Even though at the end of the day, we have different gospels (objects of faith), we do not disagree about justification being through faith. We who are called “Owenites” do not teach eternal justification, or justification apart from faith.

We do NOT teach that the elect are free from condemnation before being “baptized into Christ”. Although John Owen taught that God only imputed the sins of the elect to Christ, John Owen did not teach that all the elect were justified as soon as Christ bore those sins.

Owen taught with Romans 6 that the elect must come into legal union with Christ’s death. Until the elect are placed into that death, they remain under the wrath of God.

But those who accuse us of thinking there is no need for faith claim that it is not logical for us to teach such a need for faith. If the substitution has already been made, then all for whom it was made should logically already be justified. If the righteousness has already been obtained, then all for whom it was earned should logically already be justified by it. This is the claim made.

Notice two details. One, it’s clear that Owen did NOT teach justification apart from faith. It’s also clear that Owen did NOT teach that faith was a mere recognition that we were already justified.

But two, what is it that those who make the accusation They do not want to teach that Christ’s substitution under God’s wrath was effectual propitiation for everyone for whom Christ died.

But that objection ignores Owen’s careful distinction between the atonement and the legal application of the atonement.

The objection jumps ahead to “regeneration by water” and to the work of the Spirit in creating faith. But Romans 6 never tells us that “regeneration” places the elect into Christ’s death. Romans 6 never tells us that it’s the work of the Spirit that puts the elect into Christ’s death.

Two, the objection fails to define the difference between “substitution” and obtaining the blessing of “regeneration”.

Substitution has to do with “all died” (II Cor 5:15) when this means that Christ died for the elect, without the elect being there, so that His death legally counts for them to take God’s wrath away from them.

Our accusers claim that we who teach substitution only for the elect should agree that the elect can go free before they are converted and believe the gospel. They want to put us in that box, so they can then deny that the death of Christ is the effective and righteous difference between saved and lost.

LPC said...

So you deny that Christ purchased the gift of not rejecting the gospel for anybody?

You should ask Jesus that question and wonder at him as to why he said what he said in Mk 16:16.

Though our sin has been imputed to Christ, yet by that event did not make it automatic that his righteousness is also imputed to us.

If the righteousness of Christ is not imputed to the sinner, he is still in his sins.

Indeed, faith is incidental to your system, it is an after thought not the very MEANs by which we are elected.

So logically within your Owenian system, indeed faith is not necessary.

Friend, your system is problematic but that is inherited simply from a Calvinist great grandfather, and thus if I were you look at it as suspect. This kind of conundrum is what made me abandon Calvinism in 2004. Your camp has just too many sticky issues. Who needs that? Life is too short for that mess.


Mark said...

you are still God's enemy, if you continue to want to condition your own salvation on your own accepting and rejecting. And you have not escaped "sticky issues".

Lutheran teach that some people really do have eternal life before they lose it. So when you say “eternal” life, you are thinking in some qualitative way, not of a life that necessarily continues forever?

I agree that there is a distinction to be made between now having “eternal life” and that time on the last day when God will raise up the justified elect and give them immortality. But isn’t “eternal life” now the verdict declared already of “immortality in the age to come”? Isn’t it the verdict that a person will not come into the judgment?

John 5:2 4 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

And so the Reformed question: how can a person who has passed from death to life, then pass back to life? What is the practical difference between accusing the Reformed of not knowing if they have life (or if they now believe) and a Lutheran saying: I know I believe now, but that does not mean I will keep believing. I know I have eternal life now, but it might not be life forever.

1. I don’t see how Lutherans have escaped the Reformed problem–how can you really know that you even really believe now? You go to church? Well, Reformed people do that also. 2. It’s the old Cromwell question. Supposedly he relied on a syllogism on his death bed–if I believed once, then I cannot lose my justification, and I know that I believed once, therefore….

But there are problems with that
1. He’s believing in his belief. He’s looking at himself believing, not at Christ.

2. So Lutherans think the solution is to get our eyes off of the question if they are believing, and think to do this by telling everybody that they all are justified, yet conditioned on their own use of the means of grace.

3. But it does not work for more than a moment, because Lutherans (at least those who are not universalists) also say that they can’t be sure that they themselves (previously justified) will keep believing and will keep being justified and will keep the “eternal life” they once had.

4. So they have come around to the same place as the Reformed–—are you believing now? And you can’t prove it with your living, since that attempt is not believing.

5. So what was the difference? It was the gospel, the object being believed. The gospel is not the Velveteen Rabbit, in which what we believe makes something real. Reality does not disappear because you don’t believe in it. If we are justified by God's imputation, then faith does not keep us justified, and lack of faith does not make justification disappear.

Lutherans can’t solve their assurance problems by saying that Jesus even died for those who perish And Reformed people can’t solve their assurance problems by saying that water is a “seal”

The gospel does not make faith a condition of election, because the gospel tells us that faith is a result of election.

And that gospel does not tell you or anyone that they are elect. That gospel tells us that “all for whom Jesus died will be justified.” If you don’t like definite particular effectual atonement, you don’t like the gospel.

John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

LPC said...

I am baptized - so I am in Christ so how could I be in God's wrath?

It is you who should be weary, it is you to whom Rev 22:18-19 is addressed.

Yet you as a Calvinists did not take very long to foam in the mouth and so amusingly, you exemplified what every Calvinists I know usually do - rain fire and brimstone to those who disagree with them. You display your self assured Calvinistic arrogance and holier than thou Pietism thinking that by your rationalism you glorify Christ.

I don’t see how Lutherans have escaped the Reformed problem–how can you really know that you even really believe now?
Your problem as a Calvinists is that like Calvin you do not have a Means of Grace, you denied like he did that the HS is in the Means of Grace.

We do escape it because we look at the Means of Grace which stands outside us in which God has attached his promises according to God's Word. Since you do not believe in the Means of Grace, that is not my problem. Don't fault me for believing in it.

Although I did not ask to be baptized I am thankful that my parents did and according to Romans 6:1-6, I got united with Christ when I did. So which faith I am looking at there? Not my faith but the Word - so faith never looks at itself. The faith that the Bible speaks about is a faith that never looks at itself.

Who said that I got united in CHrist? Not me, not you, no angel or human being but God who wrote those words in Romans 6:1-6. These words I did not cook up, it stands outside me.

I know Jesus died on the Cross for me because the Scripture says it - since by your logic you believe Jesus did not die for all - you have no assurance Jesus died for you. For you could be those whom Jesus may have not died for and even if you say you believe, you could be a false professor since you guys believe (rightly there) that there could be false believers or confessors.

Listen, faith justifies, but the faith that justifies is a present tense faith not a past tense faith see John 3:16. And yes according to Biblical data that faith can die - that is why Satan wants to get to it and sends out false teachers to deceive.

Lutherans believe in assurance, they do not believe in eternal security or once saved always saved - they deny eternal security and OSAS because of the Biblical data.

The Gospel stopped me from obsessing on my election- Calvinism my friend will lead you into all sorts of obsessions, Calvin was obsessed with election and his fruit you will bear - ideas have consequences.

You know why Calvinism leads into many unhealthy spiritual explorations? It is because it is founded on circular reasoning.

Scripture says - beware 1 Cor 10:11.

The gospel does not make faith a condition of election, because the gospel tells us that faith is a result of election.
Firstly you are wrong, you escape and neglect Foreknowledge which is before Election - See Romans 8:29-33

I will prove to you that faith is God's instrunment of election...

Do you believe that man is only justified through faith? The wise answer should be "yes". If so, if you are justified through faith and since Justification and Predestination are co-mutual and correlated realities for Salvation - then Predestination is through faith also. You can not have a Justification through Faith and a Predestination without Faith. For if you can have a Predestination without Faith you can not have a Justification with Faith. To have a Predestination without Faith is to have a Justification without Faith.

Since you mock the Means of Grace - the Word, Baptism and the Supper - you have no means to have your faith sustained.

Where does my assurance comes from - it comes from God who says to me that the Means of Grace is always there until I die to sustain and uphold my faith - the thing that created my faith are the very means that God uses to keep me in the faith.

You do not have that in Calvinism. So you look for false myths and false vehicles of assurance. Don't blame us for the condition you find yourself in.


Mark said...

Thanks for your friendly letter.

Was your water baptism done by Lutherans or by the Reformed or by the papists? I gather from your obsession with anti-Calvinism that maybe you used to be Reformed.

I fail to see your name in Romans 6. Is it true that some of those who got joined to Jesus by Spirit and water later get unjoined to Jesus because of sinful neglect of the means?

You have no assurance that the death of Jesus did sqwat (anything!) since you claim that Jesus died also for those who perish. You could be somebody for whom Jesus died but at some point stops swallowing the leader and thus lose your assurance. Since you don't know if you will have future tense faith, you can't know now if you will have future tense salvation from God's wrath. God's wrath might go double for you, once on Christ and then on you also.

if you think "foreknowledge" means the prescience of God about what sinners are going to do with the means or with Jesus, then you need to study the word foreknow. Get a concordance and look it up. Salvation is not conditioned on God seeing the movie in advance about what you are going to do.

God predestines the elect to have faith in the true gospel of the True Shepherd. Idolaters have faith in a different false gospel, one in which God conditions what God will do on what sinners will do.

For the idolaters, "grace is always there", but the success or failure of grace depends on the idolaters.

LPC said...

Trinitarian Baptism does not belong to any denomination - you as a Calvinist I guess you are proud you are not catholic - note small c. Lutherans believe and confess the Nicene Creed - we believe in one baptism for the remission of sins. We do not rebaptise anyone who has already had a Christian Baptism.

So your question who baptized me is irrelevant since Baptism belongs to God and not to man.

You fail to see my name in the Bible, why would that be a problem? I am one of them, that was baptized in Matthew 28:19-20.

I fail to see your name as one of the elect - unless you are confident that you are the Mark spoken of by St Paul in the Book of Acts - are you that Mark?

You have no assurance that the death of Jesus did sqwat (anything!) since you claim that Jesus died also for those who perish. You could be somebody for whom Jesus died but at some point stops swallowing the leader and thus lose your assurance. Since you don't know if you will have future tense faith, you can't know now if you will have future tense salvation from God's wrath. God's wrath might go double for you, once on Christ and then on you also.

You commit plenty of mis-steps - I may not know if I have faith in the future but I know today that Jesus died for me. If I have no faith in the future that does not preclude that Jesus did not die for me - atonement is not the same as justification. How many times do I have to say that such a category mistake is not one of our Lutheran presupposition - that is your presupposition and your logic so why conform your square peg to our round hole?

Calvinists make the assumption that the Atonement is the same category as Justification - it is not. See Mk 16:16. After Jesus died and rose again, he spoke those words - See 1 John 2:1-2 and see Romans 3:21-26 where Atonement and Justification are distinguished and related.

I have no problem if I do not know if I have future faith. You do not know if your faith is proved to be genuine either - you are a hypocrite - you cast doubt on my confidence when you have no confidence anywhere yourself.

Sorry to tell you the truth - Jesus said look at the log in your own eye before you take out the speck in mine.

God assures and gives me the means and where I go to have my faith sustained though I can not guaranteee within my own that I will have faith in the future - yet you have no gifts like that - you made yourself poor by your unbelief in what God provides.

I got somewhere to go, you don't. So why be angry at what I have simply because you do not have it? Why are you angry at me because of God's generosity to me in giving me the means of grace?

Not knowing what will happen to me in the future is not a problem for me. Why are you bottered that I have such confidence, that is not my fault - that is your problem, not mine.

When you can prove to me that you are one of the elect or prove to me by your Limited Atonement doctrine that Jesus died for you though Jesus did not die for some, do come back and show your proof.

Since you do not believe in mediatorial work of God and since Jesus is not the saviour of all manking but only of some as you teach then - just tell Jesus to tell me directly that he died for you though he did not die for Judas[sic].

God predestines the elect to have faith in the true gospel of the True Shepherd. Idolaters have faith in a different false gospel, one in which God conditions what God will do on what sinners will do.

Clearly your doctrine is Justification through Predestination, not Justification through faith. Clearly as a Calvinist you believe in Sola Gratia but you do not believe in Sola Fide - you got all grace - no faith. So you are being a hypocrite when you shout one of our slogans - sola fide - you do not understand what we mean by it. You copy it but you do not know what we mean by it.


Mark said...

You seem to think that Cslvinists only see God as predestinating the end but not the means. You can't see the difference between election causing faith and no need for faith at all. I can't see the difference between faith causing election and no need for election at all.

The very fact that I keep talking about idolatry and false gospels shows that I think faith in the true gospel is necessary. If I didn't think faith was needed, I would leave you alone, even though your faith has a false object (yourself using the means) It's precisely because faith in the correct gospel is needed that keep talking.

Is faith alone important? What’s the point of it? According to Scripture, faith alone is “not works”. The point of faith alone is “grace alone”. And according to Scripture, we cannot say grace alone without saying “for the elect alone”. Romans 9:11, “though they were not yet born and had done nothing good or bad-in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of His call.”

I want you to see the connection between “not because of works” and election. When Lutherans attempt to leave out the “for the elect alone” and discuss the gospel without talking about election, then mostly all they can do is say “not because of works but because of faith alone”.

Galatians 3: 5-8, “ Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—just as Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. I know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.

Since this text does not talk about election, and since it does talk about faith, what then is the gospel preached to Abraham that we should preach? First, notice that faith is a hearing produced by God by MEANS of the gospel. The power is in the true gospel, not a false gospel. I Corinthians 1: 18, “for the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, IT is the power of God.”

Mark said...

The promise of the gospel is not for the children of the flesh but for the children of the promise, but we don’t know who the children of the promise are until they have been called BY MEANS OF THE GOSPEL.
As Acts reminds us time after time, the promise is for “as many as“ are called. (2:39, 4:4 ). Since Romans 8:30 teaches us that as many as He called were also predestined, I see no reason to leave out the idea of election from the idea of calling

If the object of the faith alone is a false gospel which says that Christ loves everybody and desires to save everybody but that faith is some kind of condition of this salvation, then this faith alone is not in the true Christ but is instead in faith alone.

I Corinthians 2:12,“ Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we would understand the things freely given us by God.” Freely given by God does not mean that God has made an offer of a free gift if we accept it by faith alone. Freely given by God does not mean that we don’t have to work for it, but that the alone condition is faith.

“Freely given” means “sovereignly given”, given ‘”without a cause”, given by God to the elect chosen and loved in Christ. I Cor 2:12 explains that the elect are given the Spirit to UNDERSTAND the things freely given us by God. The elect don’t bring faith to the gospel, because the power of the gospel brings hearing to the elect, so that they understand not only that things are given by God,

Faith alone is not the condition, but to see that, we need a message which tells us about God’s election.

Romans 1:16, “the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”

Election is God’s idea. This idea goes along with the idea of not works. Romans 9:11, “In order that God’s election might continue, not because of works.” Romans 11: 5, “So too at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. But if it by grace, it is no longer by works; otherwise grace would be no more grace.”

Doesn’t the apostle Paul understand that you can say “not by works “ without talking about election? Why doesn’t he just say: “by faith and not by works”? Why does he bring in this idea of a remnant? Paul writes about election in order to explain what he means by faith. Paul does not regard faith as a substitute for works.

Luther reminds us that to have faith is to have Christ indwelling, and tells us that God really is pleased with the faith God has given us, and this faith is really righteous in God’s sight. But Luther does not explain how this righteous faith (produced by God in the water of regeneration) satisfies the law of God . And since Luther taught that, if you were a sinner, Christ had died for you, then Luther’s message cannot be that the elect were saved by Christ’s death alone.

No matter if we have gone to great lengths to say that it is not credited as righteousness but only unto righteousness, what is “it” and why is God imputing “it”?

“It” has an antecedent, but the antecedent is not faith alone. God imputes the righteousness revealed in the gospel unto the righteousness of a person justified by the gospel. In context, “faith” in Galatians 3:5-8 is defined in two ways: not by works of the law, and the gospel preached to Abraham.

God did not say to Abraham: if you believe, then I will bless you. God said, I will bless you without cause, not only so that you will believe but also so that in your offspring there will be one who will bring in the righteousness for the elect alone required by the law.

The “it” which is imputed by God to Abraham is the obedient bloody death of Christ Jesus for the elect alone. The righteousness of God obtained by Christ is imputed to sinners who believe this gospel.

LPC said...

You are just ducking the issue - I asked you your proof that you are one of the elect.
Are you going to answer that or not? Are you one of the elect? If so why do you consider yourself to be one of them?

You Calvinists are funny when you quote Luther back to us, as if you understood Luther.

Here is a tip - does it not bother you that Luther was able to teach Justification Through Faith Alone, yet believed in the Means of Grace - Baptism and the Lord's Supper? The fact you do not get his doctrine of baptism and the Supper and yet cry sola fide is proof - you do not understand our doctrine of the means of grace.

The acknowledgements that there are conditions that God used in his language are not our inventions it is just dealing with the Biblical data as it comes to us. We do not impose our rationalistic interpretation of Scripture, it interprets us not us interpreting it.

Did we ever say that the conditions set by God is something we satisfy ourselves?
Romans 10:17 tells us where faith comes - the Word of Christ. God supplies what he demands but in your case you deny the other things God supply - the Sacraments. In fact you must be baptising people and eating the Supper but you do not know why you are doing these things.

You are afraid of the condition because it is you who believes that you must fulfill it yourself rather than relying on the good gifts God's Word says he provides - the Word with the elements of Water, Bread and Wine. It is you who looks at your own faith to test if you are elect, not me. It is you who consider the Sacraments as man's work. We do not it consider it as our work, but gifts of God and we believe the promises attached to them - for the forgiveness of our sins - so why fault us for what you refuse to believe? You are absolutely funny.

If I didn't think faith was needed, I would leave you alone, even though your faith has a false object (yourself using the means) It's precisely because faith in the correct gospel is needed that keep talking.

Why am I not bothered by your accusation? It is because your accusation is false.

But what is this Gospel you speak about - the good news, that Christ died of some people and he might have not died for you?

Your arrogance do make me laugh, I have faith in my faith? By definition, that is not the faith the Bible speaks about. Don't you think I would tremble if I could not distinguish faith in me and in my faith versus faith in the object - Christ his work and person?

LPC said...

That is your paradigm, you built the category right there in your definition and so you are only seeing the reflection of the stain you placed in the mirror yourself.

You quote Luther to us - you really are arrogant if not funny. Here is what Luther wrote about your position in the Smalcald Articles...

42] On the other hand, if certain sectarists would arise, some of whom are perhaps already extant, and in the time of the insurrection [of the peasants] came to my own view, holding that all those who had once received the Spirit or the forgiveness of sins, or had become believers, even though they should afterwards sin, would still remain in the faith, and such sin would not harm them, and [hence] crying thus: "Do whatever you please; if you believe, it all amounts to nothing; faith blots out all sins," etc.—they say, besides, that if any one sins after he has received faith and the Spirit, he never truly had the Spirit and faith: I have had before me [seen and heard] many such insane men, and I fear that in some such a devil is still remaining [hiding and dwelling].

43] It is, accordingly, necessary to know and to teach that when holy men, still having and feeling original sin, also daily repenting of and striving with it, happen to fall into manifest sins, as David into adultery, murder, and blasphemy, that then faith and the Holy Ghost has departed from them [they cast out faith and the Holy Ghost]. For the Holy Ghost does not permit sin to have dominion, to gain the upper hand so as to be accomplished, but represses and restrains it so that it must not do what it wishes. But if it does what it wishes, the Holy Ghost and faith are [certainly] not present. For St. John says, 1 John 3:9: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, ... and he cannot sin. And yet it is also the truth when the same St. John says, 1:8: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

Luther believed in the possibility of falling from faith, and called your position insane.

He also calls your position enthusiasm,

In a word, enthusiasm inheres in Adam and his children from the beginning [from the first fall] to the end of the world, [its poison] having been implanted and infused into them by the old dragon, and is the origin, power [life], and strength of all heresy, especially of that of the Papacy and Mahomet. 10] Therefore we ought and must constantly maintain this point, that God does not wish to deal with us otherwise than through the spoken Word and the Sacraments. 11] It is the devil himself whatsoever is extolled as Spirit without the Word and Sacraments. For God wished to appear even to Moses through the burning bush and spoken Word; and no prophet neither Elijah nor Elisha, received the Spirit without the Ten Commandments [or spoken Word]. 12] Neither was John the Baptist conceived without the preceding word of Gabriel, nor did he leap in his mother's womb without the voice of Mary. 13] And Peter says, 2 Pet. 1:21: The prophecy came not by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Without the outward Word, however, they were not holy, much less would the Holy Ghost have moved them to speak when they still were unholy [or profane]; for they were holy, says he, since the Holy Ghost spake through them.

If our doctrine makes you tremble in fear don't blame us, comfort yourself with your own adherence to the mistaken notion of your teachers, Owen

I know in whom I have believed in.