A New Definition Of Righteousness

Take note, therefore, of a new righteousness and a new definition of righteousness. For one usually says: “Righteousness is the virtue that renders to everyone his due.” Here it is stated that righteousness is faith in Jesus Christ or the virtue by . . . Continue reading →

Audio: Luther On The Theologian Of The Cross

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of speaking to the adult class at Christ United Reformed Church in Santee, CA. I was filling in for my friend and colleague, Dr Ryan Glomsrud, a ruling elder at CURC. He has been teaching a . . . Continue reading →

Strangers And Aliens (17b): As It Was In The Days Of Noah (1 Peter 3:18–22)

They were saved (διεσώθησαν) “through the waters” (δι᾿ ὕδατος). What Peter says is that it was in the midst of the circumstance of the flood or from the flood that Noah and his congregation were saved. Peter is not saying that the water was an instrument of their salvation. He has already said that the ark was the instrument or means of their salvation. If you have ever been whitewater rafting or found yourself in rough waters in a canoe, you understand. The rapid waters do not save anyone. No one was saved by the rising flood waters in Hurricane Katrina. They were saved in the midst of them by clinging to a rooftop or by a brave member of the Coast Guard (known affectionately as “Coasties”) dangling from a helicopter. Continue reading →

The Consensus Of The Divines, Legalism, And The Covenant Of Works (1)

The charge of legalism against the covenant of works is one of those allegations that seems persuasive at first because we all know that legalism is bad and that grace is good. It is almost instinctive to react to the charge by asserting the graciousness of the covenant of works. That is a trap, however, into which we ought not step. Continue reading →

There Is Only One Stage Of Justification

In recent years, however, within ostensibly confessional Protestant circles, some have been advocating versions of a two-stage doctrine of justification. One version of this proposal is that we may be said to be justified initially by grace alone, through faith alone but only finally justified on the basis of our sanctification. Some give the whole basis of our final justification to our inherent sanctification and righteousness and others only part of the basis. Continue reading →

Perkins: Faith Is The Instrument Of Salvation

Objection 8. In respect of God, who is truth itself, we are to believe the promise in particular: yet if we respect our own unworthiness and indisposition, we are to fear and in some part to doubt. For the promise of remission . . . Continue reading →

The Synod Of Dort On Election, Conditions Of Salvation, And Fruit (2)

Does The Doctrine Of Perseverance Turn The Covenant Of Grace Into A Covenant of Works?

Here the true nature of the Remonstrant doctrine of perseverance emerges: God helps those who help themselves by cooperating with his “assisting grace.” This is quite another picture of salvation. Here God has not parted the Red Sea and led us through, by the hand, as it were (Jer 31:32; Ex 14:16). Rather, according to the Remonstrants, God has covenanted to co-act with those who do what lies within them (facientibus quod in se est, Deus non denegat gratiam). Continue reading →