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Justification According to WCF #30923
Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:24 AM
Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:24 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 251
New York
Joe k Offline OP
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I am concerned about WCF #9.. It states:

Westminster Confession of Faith
Chapter 9

IV. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect,[11] and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification:[12] nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit doth, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.[13]

How could they come up with such error as this? Justification at the point of regeneration or faith? WOW



According to the writ. THis happenned at a point in time when Christ died on the cross.

It will only take one scripture to show this

Romans 5:10

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

GOd will not reconcile one He has not justified. This is a theological impossibility.

We are declared righteouss at the death of Christ... Period. God does not still charge the debt we owe AFTER Christ paid it at clavary.

Unless I am reading this wrong, the wcf "Divines"(In quotes again) errored here

Last edited by Joe k; Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:25 AM.

There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior.
Re: Justification According to WCF [Re: Joe k] #30924
Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:16 PM
Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:16 PM
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According to Berkhof, (see his systematic for the complete article):

Scripture says that we are justified dia pistis, ek pistis, or pistei (dative) --(Romans 3:25, 28, 30; 5:1, Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9, etc). The preposition dia stresses the fact that faith is the instrument by which we appropriate Christ and His righteousness. The preposition ek indicates that faith logically precedes our personal justification. The dative is used in the instrumental sense. However, Scripture never says we are justified on account of faith. Faith is never represented as the ground of our justification--if it was it would be a meritorious work of man (Romans 3:21, 27, 28; 4:3-4, Galatians 2:16, 21, 3:21, etc).

Probably a better name than instrument would be appropriating organ. Thus, by faith the sinner appropriates the righteousness of Christ and establishes union between himself and Christ. The merits of Christ constitute the dikaioma, the legal basis on which the formal declaration of God in justification rests. By faith the sinner appropriates the righteousness of the Mediator already imputed to him ideally in the practum salutis; and on the basis of this he is now formally justified before God. The phrase appropriating organ includes the instrumental idea and is therefore perfectly in harmony with the statements found in our confessional standards. It has an advantage over the phrase instrumental cause because it excludes the idea that faith is in any sense the basis for justification. See Hodge (attachment) for more....

There are some excellent articles here (select: Sola Fide) (Berkhof's is there also)

Attached Files-Click on Image to view full size.
58540-of Justification.doc (1279 downloads)

Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: Justification According to WCF [Re: Joe k] #30925
Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:45 PM
Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:45 PM
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Pilgrim Offline

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Quote
Joe k said:

I am concerned about WCF #9.. It states:

Westminster Confession of Faith
Chapter 9

IV. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect,[11] and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification:[12] nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit doth, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.[13]

How could they come up with such error as this? Justification at the point of regeneration or faith? WOW

The WCF is biblically correct in its teaching on justification; no error there whatsoever. The decree to justify, the atonement which secured justification and the APPLICATION of all that the atonement secured unto justification are inseparable but mutually exclusive, i.e., they are not synonymous but rather different elements of the whole of God's salvation of the elect.

I would highly recommend you read John Murray's most excellent book, Redemption, Accomplished and Applied.

A couple of articles here on The Highway that deal with a couple of these issues are:

1) Eternal Justification by Louis Berkhof
2) Justification by Faith Alone (The Relation of Faith to Justification by Dr. Joel Beeke

Quote
Joe k posits:
Unless I am reading this wrong, the wcf "Divines"(In quotes again) errored here

No, you aren't reading the WFC wrongly, but rather, you have erred! [Linked Image]

In His grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Re: Justification According to WCF [Re: J_Edwards] #30926
Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:57 PM
Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:57 PM
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Washington State
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J. Edwards,

May it be properly and Scripturally said that we are not justified by our own faith but by Who we have faith in (The Son of God)? Or, is this too simplistic?

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
Re: Justification According to WCF [Re: Adopted] #30927
Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:24 PM
Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:24 PM
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Pilgrim Offline

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Adopted said:
May it be properly and Scripturally said that we are not justified by our own faith but by Who we have faith in (The Son of God)? Or, is this too simplistic?

Denny,

Actually, neither is correct. Our faith does not, in and of itself justify. Read the article referred to in my reply to Joe k written by Dr. Joel Beeke on this matter of the relation of faith to justification. Secondly, it is God the Father who declares; i.e., makes a judicial pronouncement upon believing sinners that they are justified on account of (aka: imputation) the atoning shed blood of the Lord Christ. Granted, all three persons of the Trinity are involved in the justification of men. But each has their respective "roles" in its accomplishment. And it is the Father acting as the heavenly Judge Who passes the sentence of "not guilty" upon those who have been covered by the blood of Christ, Who Himself was found guilty and sentenced to death in behalf of all those whom the Father gave Him.

In His grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Re: Justification According to WCF [Re: Pilgrim] #30928
Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:20 PM
Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:20 PM
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Pilgrim,

Quote

Actually, neither is correct


OK, then you are saying that what I said is to simplistic. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bash.gif" alt="" />

Please Let me try again.

We are justified by Grace alone, through faith alone, in the work of Christ alone, the instrument of the Spirit being the words of God alone (Scripture), and all of this is to God's righteous glory.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
Re: Justification According to WCF [Re: Pilgrim] #30929
Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:42 PM
Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:42 PM
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Posts: 251
New York
Joe k Offline OP
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Quote
Pilgrim said:
The WCF is biblically correct in its teaching on justification; no error there whatsoever. The decree to justify, the atonement which secured justification and the APPLICATION of all that the atonement secured unto justification are inseparable but mutually exclusive, i.e., they are not synonymous but rather different elements of the whole of God's salvation of the elect.


No, you aren't reading the WFC wrongly, but rather, you have erred!

In His grace,


I do not believe I have Pilgrim. Is nto Justification, the declaration that a person is righteouss and not guilty a one time event? I have read the Murray book, I have been referred to the murray book but countless WC subscritpionists.

I used to lean towrds JIE, then I believed justification at the point of faith.

There more I look at the writ, neither fit the bill.

Romans 5:10 answers your objection to justification at the cross. This is the Pauline truth.

If you are admitting the wcf # 9 is correct when it promotes that God still charges us the debt of our sin, until He sees fit to regenerate us and apply the benefits, this makes God very inconsistant.

This is like me paying off my car loan . then asking the bank for the title, and them refusing to give it to me.

Romans 5 10 states exactly the point in time we were reconciled. At His death. There fore one can logically conclude this reconcilliation =justification. You cannot have one without the other.

JIE says we have justification without reconciliation, JAR?JAF says we have reconciliation without justification.

But the inspired word says neither are correct.

Look at 2Cor 5 also.17-20 Paul expounds on this reconciliation again and this newness of life, this new creation. Which he concludes is at the point of the cross.

Now we must also conclude that there is definately an eternal element to justification. That is because God's justification is not bound by linear time. SO the cross to Him is the pinnacle of events with no beginning or end. This is also the only way to determine how future sins are forgiven. Hence Romes error of repeating the sacrafice of Christ. The cross of Crist is transcendant of linear time if the workings of God.

I am nto going to budge here. In fact these ideas have produced the rotten fruit of conditional calvinists.


There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior.
Re: Justification According to WCF [Re: Joe k] #30930
Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:43 PM
Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:43 PM
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NH, USA
Pilgrim Offline

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Quote
Joe k said:
Romans 5:10 answers your objection to justification at the cross. This is the Pauline truth.

Perhaps I'm wasting my time responding to you since you are adamant about this issue and have your mind made up. But, nevertheless, there are others who are open to biblical teaching and who will benefit, perhaps, from my reply.

Let's take a brief look at the CONTEXT of Rom 5:10, upon which you feel secure in your mistaken view:


Romans 5:1-2 Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; through whom also we have had our access by faith into this grace wherein we stand; and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God." . . . 5:9-11 "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from the wrath [of God] through him. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life; and not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation."


Paul begins this chapter stating the basis upon which all that follows is grounded. In fact, the first 4 chapters of the book establish what Paul says here, i.e., we are justified by faith!! It is by faith that all the blessings and benefits of grace, e.g., justification, reconciliation, adoption, sanctification and eternal life come to believing sinners. The well from which all these benefits are drawn is Jesus Christ. And faith is that which apprehends them. One must distinguish from the justification procured by Christ and the actual apprehension/application of that justification; they are not one and the same.

Calvin makes this point when he writes:

Quote
[color:"#0000CC"]BOOK III CHAPTER 11 SECTION 7
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF FAITH FOR JUSTIFICATION


When he objects that the power of justifying exists not in faith, considered in itself, but only as receiving Christ, I willingly admit it. For did faith justify of itself, or (as it is expressed) by its own intrinsic virtue, as it is always weak and imperfect, its efficacy would be partial, and thus our righteousness being maimed would give us only a portion of salvation. We indeed imagine nothing of the kind, but say, that, properly speaking, God alone justifies. The same thing we likewise transfer to Christ, because he was given to us for righteousness; while we compare faith to a kind of vessel, because we are incapable of receiving Christ, unless we are emptied and come with open mouth to receive his grace. Hence it follows, that we do not withdraw the power of justifying from Christ, when we hold that, previous to his righteousness, he himself is received by faith. Still, however, I admit not the tortuous figure of the sophist, that faith is Christ; as if a vessel of clay were a treasure, because gold is deposited in it. And yet this is no reason why faith, though in itself of no dignity or value, should not justify us by giving Christ; Just as such a vessel filled with coin may give wealth. I say, therefore, that faith, which is only the instrument for receiving justification, is ignorantly confounded with Christ, who is the material cause, as well as the author and minister of this great blessing. This disposes of the difficulty, viz., how the term faith is to be understood when treating of justification.

To use a right illustration to make this point clearer, if that were possible, justification is akin to one making a deposit of a large sum into a bank account which is to be transferred to your own personal account at which time and only at which time you come to the bank and take possession of it by affixing your name to a document. Thus the Lord Christ has merited justification, reconciliation, adoption, etc., for the elect in His active and passive obedience which are held in "trust" until which time those for whom it belongs apprehend it by faith. It is then that the benefits are "transferrred" (imputed) to their account and they actually can be said to possess them.

Is this to suggest that there is any possibility that these benefits will never be obtained? NO!! The justification of the elect is sure since not only the end was decreed in eternity, but also the means to that end were also decreed by the immutable counsel of God. And the means by which a sinner apprehends those benefits of the cross are repentance and faith; which are all of grace. (Eph 2:8, 9)
In His grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Re: Justification According to WCF [Re: Adopted] #30931
Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:45 PM
Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:45 PM
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Pilgrim Offline

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Adopted said:
Please Let me try again.

We are justified by Grace alone, through faith alone, in the work of Christ alone, the instrument of the Spirit being the words of God alone (Scripture), and all of this is to God's righteous glory.

Hey...... no one could possibly argue against that statement! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Re: Justification According to WCF [Re: Pilgrim] #30932
Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:51 PM
Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:51 PM
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Joe k Offline OP
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Quote
Pilgrim said:
To use a right illustration to make this point clearer, if that were possible, justification is akin to one making a deposit of a large sum into a bank account which is to be transferred to your own personal account at which time and only at which time you come to the bank and take possession of it by affixing your name to a document. Thus the Lord Christ has merited justification, reconciliation, adoption, etc., for the elect in His active and passive obedience which are held in "trust" until which time those for whom it belongs apprehend it by faith. It is then that the benefits are "transferrred" (imputed) to their account and they actually can be said to possess them.



This above is well written. Thank you Pilgrim. I like it better than Calvins explination. But is this what scripture states? I will give it more thought and respond in due time.


There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior.
Re: Justification According to WCF [Re: Pilgrim] #30933
Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:58 PM
Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:58 PM
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Paul_S Offline
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Hey...... no one could possibly argue against that statement!


Well, not to gainsay you in the fashion of the dearlyrecently-departed, but, technically it should end with:

and all of this is to God's righteous glory alone


In Christ,
Paul S
Re: Justification According to WCF [Re: Paul_S] #30934
Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:31 PM
Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:31 PM
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Pilgrim Offline

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Paul_S said:
Well, not to gainsay you in the fashion of the dearlyrecently-departed, but, technically it should end with:

and all of this is to God's righteous glory alone

Fine!! If you are wanting to be technical, the Scriptures nowhere state alone, but as the Reformers rightly argued, alone is immoveably carved in stone, implied everywhere and logically necessary to rightly understand the biblical doctrines of the "Five Solas". [Linked Image]

In His grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Re: Justification According to WCF [Re: Joe k] #30935
Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:03 PM
Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:03 PM
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Virginia
CovenantInBlood Offline
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Virginia
Consider Abraham:

Quote
For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness (Rom. 4:35).


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Justification According to WCF [Re: Paul_S] #30936
Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:15 PM
Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:15 PM
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Thanks for the help Paul. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/einstein.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Actually I would like to amend my statement "through faith alone" after reading the article Pilgrim suggested by Joel Beeke. I think I would change it to:

"Solely by God's gift, of a persevering and sustaining faith alone."

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]

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