It is possible if the effects of predestination are considered together with one another, that one may be the cause of another. But they cannot be the causes of the divine purpose. For calling, which is the effect of predestination, is the cause of our justification. Justification is also the cause of good works, and good works, even though they are not the causes, are the means by which God brings us to eternal life.”
—Pietro Martire Vermigli (1499–1562) Predestination and Justification: Two Theological Loci, trans. Frank A. James (Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 2003), 27. (HT: Bulut Yasar)
I couldn’t imagine arguing with Peter Martyr, but isn’t faith the means by which God brings us to eternal life, and good works that are the fruit of that faith the means whereby God demonstrates that that faith is genuine?
Can Bulut Yasar preach and teach in Turkish? He’ll be 100 times as useful if he can!
I think the problem was terminological. He was distinguishing between “means” and “instrument.” This same expression occurs in many other Reformed writers. I interpret it to mean “co-incidents” or circumstances.