Saturday, September 13, 2008
After fifteen years of study, I have found that the study of certain themes lend more light than others to the understanding respecting the overall message of God's word: (1) Covenant Theology (2) The Kingdom of God and (3) Judgmental Wrath versus Fatherly Discipline/Chastening are essential to understanding scripture as a whole. Devoting time in these areas enables one to better understand all other doctrines as well. To truly know God's word is to know God. Let us be found diligent in this enterprise for his glory, the salvation of our souls, the common welfare we share with our neighbors, and the advancement of the Gospel.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
"To justify is not to make one righteous or just. It does not consist in a real change, but only in a relative one; in a change of state, but not in change of nature. Justification is in the Scriptures opposed to condemnation. 'It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth?' (Romans 8:33-34)....Justification is a forensic or law term borrowed from courts of judicature among men, in which a person accused and arraigned is pronounced righteous, and in court openly absolved by the judge. In court, the judge, instead of making the person just or guilty, according to the evidence on which the judgment is given, only sustains and declares him to be so. This is either to justify or to condemn, and it is always the act of a judge; nor is it the act of a judge simply, but of a judge sitting in judgment. A judge, upon surveying the exculpatory evidence in his chamber by himself, may intentionally and in his own mind absolve a person who is afterwards to be tried before him; and yet he does not absolve him in law until he pronounces the sentence in open court, and orders it to be intimated to the panel....The elect, as well as others, were all laid under a sentence of condemnation in the first Adam; for they were considered as guilty before God....They are all to be considered, then, as condemned already, actually sentenced by the law as a covenant to eternal punishment as due for sin....They only by faith receive the gift of righteousness....Though the elect sinner has no righteousness of his own to produce as the ground of his justification, yet upon his union with Christ he has communion with Him in His righteousness, and on this ground is pronounced righteous in law....Justification is an act passed in the court of heaven upon a believing sinner, and not a work wrought in him. It is an act passed in an instant, never to be repeated, and not a work carried on by degrees. Like the sentence of a judge, it is completed at once, and is as perfect the moment it is passed as ever it will be....If the sinner is not perfectly justified, he is not justified at all....A man is justified before God solely for a perfect righteousness imputed, before men, by an imperfect righteousness inherent (Colquhoun, Sermons on Important Doctrines, Pg. 146-151)."