Paul Washer – Part 1:
Paul Washer – Part 1:
Good works and obedience may be the necessary fruit of conversion but they are not the gospel which saves, nor do they play ANY part of what maintains our right standing before God. That office is reserved for Jesus alone. We contribute nothing to our justification. And if, as some claim, our continued standing in Christ is ultimately conditional, then it would directly contradict any feigned assertion that justification comes through Christ ALONE. Again, fruit is necessary, but it is Christ’s fruit.. He chose us and APPOINTED US TO BEAR FRUIT… fruit that will abide (John 15:16)
What about passages which call us to obedience and warn about disobedience. Well, this is what actually happens to true believers who fall into sin:
“But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we MAY NOT BE condemned along with the world.” (1 Cor. 11:31-32)
When a believer acknowledges his sin and the righteous judgment of God, God will not judge us, but when we sin we are judged by GOD as a form of discipline SO WE MAY NOT BE CONDEMNED ALONG WITH THE WORLD. Such discipline drives us back to obedience, and never results in causing God to forsake our status as His children. No one, including you or me, would have hope if any of our salvation depended, even a little, on ourselves. The idea that Christ can lose a believer also directly contradicts God’s promise that His call is irrevocable to all those he has given Christ. (Rom 11:29; John 6:39)
Theologian Robert Reymond once noted that in 1 John there is “a cause and effect relationship exists between God’s regenerating activity and saving faith/obedience/perseverance.” When one takes into account that John says in 1 John 3:9a that “everyone who has been begotten [gegennēmenos] by God does not do sin, because [hoti] his seed abides in him” and then in 1 John 3:9b that “he is not able to sin, because [hoti] he has been begotten [gegennētai—the word in 5:1] by God,” we definitely find a cause and effect relationship between God’s regenerating activity as the cause and the Christian’s not abiding in sin as one EFFECT of that regenerating activity. [The reverse is true that those who continue to abide in sin have not been regenerated]…In every other place where it occurs — anōthen, means “from above.” [i.e. those who have been begotten [perfect tense] by God sins [present tense] not,”[ Though he does not say so in so many words, it is surely appropriate, because of his pattern of speech in 1 John 3:9 and elsewhere this word is used, to understand him to mean that the cause behind one’s not abiding in sin [and even the cause of one's faith (1 Jn 5:1)] is God’s regenerating activity.”
In other words, the work of grace which the Lord does for us in the gospel is a complete work, and lacks nothing. Jesus Person and work is sufficient to save to the uttermost (Heb 7:25). Jesus says, “I have come to do your will … And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)
John Hendryx writes:
The gospel is not behavior modification, becoming a better person or learning to become more moral. It is not taking the life of Jesus as a model way to live or transforming/redeeming the secular realm. It is not living highly communal lives with others and sharing generously in communities who practice the way of Jesus in local culture. These may all be good things but they are not to be confused with the gospel. They should accompany the gospel, and should not separated from the gospel and while God may use them to authenticate the gospel and make our proclamation of the gospel more fertile in hardened hearts yet they are not to be viewed as replacements for the gospel.
Did you notice the one characteristic of all of the above activities has nothing to do with what Christ has done for us, but all about what we do for him. The true gospel, rather, is news about what Christ the Saviour has already done for us (in his life, death and resurrection) rather than instruction and advice about what you are to do for God. Christ’s accomplishment, not ours, is the essence of the gospel. Above all, the gospel of Christ brings good news, rather than instruction about our behavior. The gospel of not about what we do, but our acts inevitably spring up and overflow in thanksgiving due to what Christ has done for us.
In short, the Gospel is the life-altering news that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, lived a sinless life under the Law, died for sinners and rose again to reconcile them to himself, eternally victorious over every enemy that stood between God and man. Now, because of this redemptive work, there is nothing that separates those who believe from their Creator and all the benefits that He promises in him. D.A. Carson says the gospel centers “upon Jesus Christ and what God has done through him. The essential points of the gospel are Jesus Christ’s status as the Son of God, his genuine humanity, his death for our sins, his burial, resurrection, subsequent appearances, and future coming in judgment. That no one is justified but in the gracious work of Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection. It is not merely a recital of theological truths and historical events; rather, it relates these truths and events to situations of every individual believer.”
But in order to fully understand what the Gospel is, it is important to understand why the Gospel is needed. Continue reading
As you might already be aware, for the last couple of weeks I have had the distinct honor and privilege of hosting Dr. James White’s “Dividing Line” broadcast while he was away on a ministry trip to Europe. For those of you would wish to have all five youtube videos at one internet link, here they are:
Hour 1. “Law and Gospel.”
Hour 2. “The Five Solas of the Reformation.”
Hour 3. The “T” in the TULIP, “Total Depravity:
Hour 4. The “U” in the TULIP, “Unconditional Election.”
Hour 5. The “L” in the TULIP, “Limited Atonement.”
This afternoon I once again I had the privilege of hosting Dr. James White’s Dividing Line broadcast. Today’s topic was the “L” in the TULIP, “Limited Atonement.”
Continuing the discussion of the Doctrines of Grace on Dr. James White’s “Dividing Line” broadcast, here is the latest study on “Unconditional Election,” highlighting Acts 13:48, John chapters 6, 8, 10 and 17, as well as Romans 8:28-38
Ray Comfort and Tony Miano recently preached the gospel in the open-air, at Cerritos College. When Ray finished preaching, a student by the name of Jason stood up to address the crowd.
Its worth keeping in mind that ‘close’ is very different from being contradictory.
Justin Taylor writes:
Alleged Luther quote #1:
If I believed the world were to end tomorrow, I would still plant a tree today.
Luther didn’t say this. For a thorough discussion, see Martin Schloemann, Luthers Apfelbäumchen: Ein Kapitel deutscher Mentalitätsgeschichte seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1994), 246-251 (via Frederick Gaiser, HT: Garrett Lee). Schloemann argues that it’s not only something Luther didn’t say but wouldn’t say, unless it was put into a Christocentric eschatology emphasizing “creaturely service of neighbor and world.”
Alleged Luther quote #2:
The maid who sweeps her kitchen is doing the will of God just as much as the monk who prays—not because she may sing a Christian hymn as she sweeps but because God loves clean floors.
The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.
Luther didn’t say this. As with the quote from the first example, Gaiser argues that it doesn’t sit very well with Luther’s actual views on vocation. The idea that God is pleased with our work because he likes quality work “would be the American work-ethic version of vocation, theologically endorsing work as an end in itself. In the hands and mouth of a modern boss, good craftsmanship and clean floors (or a clean desk or a signed contract) to the glory of God could be a potent and tyrannical tool to promote the bottom line. . . . [W]hat marks Luther’s doctrine of vocation is the insistence that the work is done in service of the neighbor and of the world. God likes shoes (and good ones!) not for their own sake, but because the neighbor needs shoes. . . .”
Alleged Luther quote #3:
If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.
Luther didn’t say this exactly, but this one is closer. Denny Burk looked into this one: Continue reading
Today I once again had the privilege of hosting Dr. James White’s “Dividing Line” broadcast, while he is away ministering in Europe. Today’s topic: “the Five Solas of the Reformation.”