"The doctrine by which the church stands or falls."

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by ReformedBaptist, Sep 24, 2007.

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  1. ReformedBaptist

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    I posted this thread in the Baptist theology forum, but wanted the non-baptists to see and be able to participate as well. For those familiar with church history, you will recognize the quote in the title of this thread as that of Martin Luther. And I agree with him in that sentiment. Below is a statement of the doctrine of justification and some other points concerning it. This should be enough to be a discussion on the subject.


    What is the doctrine of justification?

    The doctrine of justification is God's acceptance and recieving of sinners by accounting and accepting them as righteous. This is done, not by infusing righteousness in them, not by anything done by them, but for Christ's sake alone. Nor is it an imputation of faith itself, the act of believing, or any other act of obedience that is their righteousness, but it is the active obeidence of Christ, it is HIS righteousness that is imputed to them and on account of Christ's righteousness (an alien righteousness) that they are declared just.

    "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Rom 3:24-26

    "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Rom 8:28-30

    "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:" 1 Cor 1:30

    "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:" Phil 3:8-9

    I emphasized the Phil 3:9 section to illustrate that the Scriptures teach it is not faith itself that is the rigtheousness, but righteousness is by faith. It is NOT our own righteousness by that which is through faith, the righteousness of Christ.

    Is this doctrine a reason to continue in sin?

    Absolutley NOT! Our confession of faith superbly says, "Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification; yet it is not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love." 1689 LBCF, Chapter 11,2

    "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love." Galatians 5:6

    "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." James 2:17

    Were OT saints justified differently from us?

    By no means! "So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." Gal 3:9 We are blessed WITH faithful Abraham, not apart from him. Our justification by faith is the same as was his.

    Romans 4:14
    For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

    v.20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

    v.21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

    v.22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

    v.23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

    v.24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

    v.25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
     
  2. ReformedBaptist

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    bumpity bump
     
  3. ByGracethroughFaith

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    It's good to do some slumming once in a while :)

    There really is not much to say other than agree.


    BGTF
     
  4. BobRyan

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    True. What is the question or point being asked or challenged?
     
  5. ReformedBaptist

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    My bad, I should have posted the first part:

    Dear brethren,

    There are many threads started with an air of controversy. While controversy is inevitable this thread is intended not to begin with controversy but with the positive affirmation of a vital doctrine: The Doctrine of Justification.

    The quote in the title is from Martin Luther. He thought of the doctrine of Justification by faith alone as the defining fulcrum on which a church swings either to biblical Christianity or to apostasy and severe error. It is said that John Calvin viewed the doctrine as the "hinge" of the reformation.

    Whether true Christians on this board stand in the heritage of the reformation or no, this doctrine should define our place in the world apart from the papacy and eastern orthodox churches. It should also separate true Christians from every false gospel, or perverted gospel, in the earth.

    Given that the doctrine is so important, let's begin by defining it. What is the doctrine of justification? What is the doctrine of justification by faith alone? How does this differ from the Romish doctrine?

    Of course, it is assumed that any doctrine finds as its spring and source in Holy Scripture, and Scripture ALONE. Men may well be quoted, creeds cited, et. to bring explaination and clarification to our understanding of this doctrine. Yet the ground and root of our doctrine is Scripture.

    So let's begin by defining the doctrine. Please try to refrain from merely cut-and-pasting Scripture with no personal comment.

    RB.
     
  6. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: This is a completely false notion. No man can or does approach Scripture from Scripture alone. That assumes that all knowledge or presuppositions are formed subsequent to reading Scripture. That in itself is un-Scriptural. Scripture clearly informs us that even the heathen, having not the Scriptures, can indeed do the things contained in the Scriptures at least to a point, and as such have became a law unto themselves.


    Everyman has a mental philosophy either stated or implied. All men come to Scripture with certain presuppositions. Calvinism is no exception regardless how some adherents to that system of thought would like us to believe otherwise. While holding to the presupposition that sin lies in the constitution of the flesh and not in the will, they claim “Sola Scriptura.” The only ones deceived are themselves.
     
  7. Agnus_Dei

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    RB: In regard to the Doctrine of Justification, are you taking the position that God had His hands tied for some 1500 years until Luther figured it all out?
     
  8. ReformedBaptist

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    Do you really expect me to answer such a foolish question? Perhaps I should for your sake entertain some foolhardiness and become a fool for Christ's sake.

    When the papal Antichrist burnt John Hus at the stake, he prophesied "“In 100 years, God will raise up a man whose calls for reform cannot be suppressed.”

    Almost 100 years to the day Luther nailed his 99 theses into the church door in Wittenburg. Quite an amazing thing I say. The light of Gospel shone throughout the ages before this time, even despite the the darkness that the papacy spread over the earth. God was not left without a remnant.

    The doctrine of justification has been since the creation of the world and with God's elect. There has always been a people separate from the papacy and from its equally false counterpart. The rise in power of the papacy was foretold in Scripture and God's elect were not decieved thereby. There has always been reformers before the reformation my friend. And the word of God was never lost to them. I bear witness that even you believe the NT epistles speak of the OT Scirptures as able to make one wise unto salvation.

    The Jews ought to have some contention with the silly notion that a mere church gave everyone the Bible. What haughtiness! Was it to us gentiles that the Word of God came? Is our olive tree the natural root? No, but we are a wild olive tree grafted into the native.

    We make our stand upon the Holy Scriptures which this papal Antichrist and other antichrists teach us their church gave us. HARDLY! How deep darkness was the papacy allowed to plunge the world into keeping the Word of God FROM the people! But in God's time and providence He broke forth His Word in mass. From the breaking of the dam in Wycliffe to the full release through Tyndale God working mightly in the earth to drive away the smoke that rose from the bottomless pit and the pure sunshine of the Gospel came out in the full day to shine upon the earth again. And the rage of the antichrists could not prevent it.

    Look at how decimated and deprived of power that false church of pomp and coin is today. The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Holy Scriptures run their free course from one end of the earth to the other in more than 100 native tongues.

    Soli Deo Gloria.
    RB
     
  9. ReformedBaptist

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    What is a completely false and I might add, foolhardy, notion is this reasoning of yours. Let it turn upon you own head. Let the preacher practice his own doctrine.

    If everyone man approaches the Scriptures with his own philosophies and presuppositions then so do you. And you cannot be certain that you even understand the Scriptures except by your own twisted and skewed understanding of them. Therefore, even your statement here could be false and perverted. Your philosophy leads men to nothing. They can never know if they really have the truth at all! What nonsense.

    Did not the Lord choose to inspire the NT Scriptures in Koine Greek? Common Greek!!! Does this not indicate that God wanted His Gospel known even among commoners? Was this not the heart cry of a William Tyndale to wrest the Book of books out of the jaws of the papacy and put into common English?

    God gave His Word to men to be read and understood. You may continue this path of nirvana, but let the Christian beware that its end is oblivion.
     
  10. Matt Black

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    RB, your premise rests upon two false presuppositions, both of which Agnus and HP have highlighted. Your only response consists of abusive rhetoric rather than actively engaging in their points. That tells me all I need to know about what you're propounding here. I'd be particularly interested in hearing an intelligent (ie: no Trail of Blood ahistorical nonsense) answer to the question "OK, so how were people saved prior to 1517?"
     
    #10 Matt Black, Sep 25, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2007
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Lets see what you know about your fathers. What was Augustine's background? What philosophy did he not only believe in prior to becoming a leader in the Church, but also was a developer, writer, and promoter of it? Did those philosophical notions have anything to do with his appraoch to Scripture? Are those philosophical notions still in force today, and still undergird the whole Calvinsitic sytem, even as they undergirded his heathen philosophical system?

    What is the pretense you foist upon us about 'Sola Scriptura?'
     
  12. ReformedBaptist

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    Methinks you need to learn to discern between a rubuke and abuse.

    The way people were saved prior to the 1500s is the same way they were saved from the beginning of creation.
     
  13. ReformedBaptist

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    *rolls eyes* "...call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." Matt 23:9

    My stand and conscience is bound to the Word of God, not any Christians in the earlier years.
     
  14. ReformedBaptist

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    Now the enemies of the doctrine of justification come out.
     
  15. Matt Black

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    Oh I do discern the difference - to the giver it's always a 'rebuke'; to the receiver it can be 'abuse' however.

    You mean by being incorporated in Christ through His Body, the Church?
     
  16. ReformedBaptist

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    Sounds rather relativistic. The one rebuked can turn the rubuke into abuse and the one rebuking can turn the rebuke into abuse. Let every man believe what seems right in his own eyes eh? But God knows the hearts of all men.

    I mean by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Christ wasn't plan B, or C, or D, or E, or F...well, you get the point. The promise has always been of faith.
     
  17. Matt Black

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    But what do you understand by the phrase "in Christ"?
     
  18. ReformedBaptist

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    Rather than answer leading questions, let me just state my position.

    There is, and always has been, one faith. The faith of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sara, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Samson, David, Samuel, the prophets, et. all died in THE faith, but not recieiving the promise. However, they saw it as it were, afar off. And it was true saving faith. They saw, were pesuaded, embraced them, and made confession.

    The did not recieve the promise in their lifetime, that they should not be made perfect apart from us (true Christians). Their faith is our faith. Those people are my people, their God my God. And to us all we did and are "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..."
     
  19. Agnus_Dei

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    So in other words, your position comes from being told what to think and not how to think...
    -
     
  20. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Are you certain of this? How about some truth Sola Scriptura? :) Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death;
     
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