John The Baptizer: “Produce Fruit Worthy Of Repentance”

“Produce fruit worthy of repentance” ( “ποιήσατε οὖν καρπὸν ἄξιον τῆς μετανοίας”) these were the words of John the Baptizer to the many Pharisees and Sadducees “coming unto (the) baptism” (Matt 3:7). John was the last of the Old Testament prophets. He . . . Continue reading →

Salvation Sola Gratia, Sola Fide: On Distinguishing Is, With, And Through

It is ironic that, as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Reformed-ish wing of evangelicalism is having a controversy over salvation. It has been proposed by a leading evangelical pastor that we are initially justified by grace alone, through . . . Continue reading →

The Synod Of Dort On Election, Conditions Of Salvation, And Fruit (1)

The Reformed churches have endured discussions and disagreements about salvation (justification, sanctification, and deliverance from the wrath to come) before. Beginning in the late 16th century a Reformed minister in Amsterdam began offering significant revisions of the Reformed understanding of Scripture. Early . . . Continue reading →

Why Do Christians Do Good Works?

86. Since then we are redeemed from our misery by grace through Christ, without any merit of ours, why should we do good works? Because Christ, having redeemed us by His blood, also renews us by His Holy Spirit after His own . . . Continue reading →

The Logic Of Fruit As Evidence (2)

“But after a man is justified by faith, now possesses Christ by faith, and knows that He is his righteousness and life, he will certainly not be idle but, like a sound tree, will bear good fruit (Matt. 7:17). For the believer has the Holy Spirit; and where He is, He does not permit a man to be idle but drives him to all the exercises of devotion, to the love of God, to patience in affliction, to prayer, to thanksgiving, and to the practice of love toward all men.”

—Luther Continue reading →

The Logic Of Fruit As Evidence (1)

The Patristic Period One of the earliest concerns of the Christian church, beginning with the apostles and intensifying through the patristic and medieval periods, was that those who profess the Christian faith should live in a way befitting their profession of faith. . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg 86: Why Good Works? (3)

Sanctification has another function in the Christian life: to bolster assurance. This doctrine has also been controversial in some circles. There is a view that says that sanctification can play no role whatsoever in assurance. There is also an approach that says that, in seeking assurance, the first place a believer looks is to his sanctification. Continue reading →

Heidelcast 64: Nomism And Antinomianism (7)

Heidelcast

The nomist wants to know whether the works he did before coming to faith are of any value. He asks, “why then, sir, it would seem that all my seeking to please God by my good works, all my strict walking according . . . Continue reading →