In this time of deep deception within the ranks of professing Christians, those who are truly Christ’s must become centered on the pure doctrine of God’s Word. Why? This pure doctrine contains the very image of our Lord Jesus Christ and reveals to us God Himself. There is an enormous amount of false teaching from church pulpits these days. There is also a very disturbing trend in professing Christians returning to the Roman Catholic Church as if the Reformation was a mistake or possibly never even happened. Please carefully read this fine Bible Study by my friend Nathan Pitchford. I believe that his method of Bible exposition is a fine example of how our Christian leaders should approach scripture and then expound it to their people. – Mike Ratliff
When we become self-righteous due to our focus shifting from our Lord in our utter spiritual helplessness, we take on the ways of the world, but in the garb of the Christian. When we do this, and we all do it, we can find ourselves in a very bad place where we think we are serving our Lord when all we are doing is feeding our pride. Therefore, since we are living in a time of deep deception and we must be on guard constantly that we not slip into this horrid condition, let us look at what the Apostle Paul says. John Hyndrex has written a wonderful article about this. Enjoy and be blessed! – Mike Ratliff
One of my favorite sites is The Riddleblog hosted by Kim Riddlebarger. He is also the author of one of my favorite books, A Case for Amillennialism. Periodically Kim puts a post out there called “Who Said That?” The most current one is as follows:
Who Said That?
“This [the obedience of the One] was our Lord’s death, as an act of obedience. ‘He became obedient unto death, yea the death of the cross.’ He was, of course, always obedient to His Father, but it cannot be too strongly stressed that His life before the cross, His ‘active obedience,’ as it is called, is not in any sense counted to us for righteousness. ‘I delivered to you,’ says Paul, ‘first of all, that Christ died for our sins.’ Before His death He was ‘holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners.’ He Himself said, ‘Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.’ Do you not see that those who claim that our Lord’s righteous life under Moses’ Law is reckoned to us for our ‘active’ righteousness, while His death in which He put away our sins, is, as they claim, the ‘passive’ side, are really leaving you, and the Lord, too, under the authority of the Law?”
Of course I had no idea who said that but I did recognize the flaws in the statement. However, one of the best replies to this was from our brother Steve Camp who said:
It is William R. Newell in his commentary on Romans; and he is wrong…
He doesn’t understand properly the nature of the Law; Christ’s perfect fulfillment of its demands in His sinless life; and the complete fulfillment of its penalty in His once for all sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the elect. And lastly, Newell also fails exegetically to rightly divide Romans 5:12-19.
To correctly understand forensic justification, we must also correctly understand the doctrine of imputation clearly (His active and passive obedience).
The 1689 says is so clearly – Chapter 11: Of Justification:
1. Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ’s active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in his death for their whole and sole righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God. (Romans 3:24; Romans 8:30; Romans 4:5-8; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30, 31; Romans 5:17-19; Philippians 3:8, 9; Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Romans 5:17) (emphasis mine)
AND the great Puritan divine John Owen: “That which we plead is, that the Lord Christ fulfilled the whole law for us; he did not only undergo the penalty of it due unto our sins, but also yielded that perfect obedience which it did require. And herein I shall not immix myself in the debate of the distinction between the active and passive obedience of Christ; for he exercised the highest active obedience in his suffering, when he offered himself to God through the eternal Spirit. And all his obedience, considering his person, was mixed with suffering, as a part of his exinanition and humiliation; whence it is said, that “though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.”
I think the inaccuracy of many dispy writers, is that if they really understood the first Adam as our federal head in transgression AND the last Adam as our federal head in propitiation – it would force them to leave behind the sandy foundation of dispensationalism and embrace the rich biblical beauty and history of covenant theology.
I greatly enjoy your blog Kim…
Well said Campi!
“The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.”-Psalm 126:3
Some Christians are sadly prone to look on the dark side of everything, and to dwell more upon what they have gone through than upon what God has done for them. Ask for their impression of the Christian life, and they will describe their continual conflicts, their deep afflictions, their sad adversities, and the sinfulness of their hearts, yet with scarcely any allusion to the mercy and help which God has vouchsafed them. But a Christian whose soul is in a healthy state, will come forward joyously, and say, “I will speak, not about myself, but to the honour of my God. He hath brought me up out of an horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings: and He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God. The Lord hath done great things for me, whereof I am glad.” Such an abstract of experience as this is the very best that any child of God can present. It is true that we endure trials, but it is just as true that we are delivered out of them. It is true that we have our corruptions, and mournfully do we know this, but it is quite as true that we have an all-sufficient Saviour, who overcomes these corruptions, and delivers us from their dominion. In looking back, it would be wrong to deny that we have been in the Slough of Despond, and have crept along the Valley of Humiliation, but it would be equally wicked to forget that we have been through them safely and profitably; we have not remained in them, thanks to our Almighty Helper and Leader, who has brought us “out into a wealthy place.” The deeper our troubles, the louder our thanks to God, who has led us through all, and preserved us until now. Our griefs cannot mar the melody of our praise, we reckon them to be the bass part of our life’s song, “He hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.” – C.H. Spurgeon
I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. (Zephaniah 3:12)
When true religion is ready to die out among the wealthy it finds a home among the poor of this world, rich in faith. The Lord has even now His faithful remnant. Am I one of them?
Perhaps it is because men are afflicted and poor that they learn to trust in the name of the Lord. He that hath no money must try what he can do on trust. He whose own name is good for nothing in his own esteem, acts wisely to rest in another name, even that best of names, the name of Jehovah. God wilt always have a trusting people, and these will be an afflicted and poor people. Little as the world thinks of them, their being left in the midst of a nation is the channel of untold blessings to it. Here we have the conserving salt which keeps in check the corruption which is in the world through lust.
Again the question comes home to each one of us. Am I one of them? Am I afflicted by the sin within me and around me? Am I poor in spirit, poor spiritually in my own judgment? Do I trust in the Lord? This is the main business. Jesus reveals the name, the character, the person of God; am I trusting in Him? If so, I am left in this world for a purpose. Lord, help me to fulfill it. – C.H. Spurgeon
“I sometimes wonder that you do not get tired of my preaching, because I do nothing but hammer away on this one nail. With me it is, year after year, ‘None but Jesus! None but Jesus!’ Oh, you great saints, if you have outgrown the need of a sinner’s trust in the Lord Jesus, you have outgrown your sins, but you have also outgrown your grace, and your saintship has ruined you!”