Law and GospelFebruary 4, 2015 in Holy Spirit, Justification, Law and Gospel, Mosaic Law, Quotations, Sanctification
“It makes sense to say that we should not confuse God’s demands with his promises. Nevertheless, the kind of sharp distinction that Luther proposed [between Law and Gospel] is not biblical. for one thing, biblical proclamations of gospel include commands, particularly commands to repent and believe (Mark 1:15; Acts 2:38). And God gave his law to the children of Israel in a context of gospel: he had delivered them out of Egypt; therefore, they should keep his law (Ex. 20:2-17). The law is a gift of God’s grace (Ps 119:29)….
We are not saved by keeping the law, but we are always obligated to keep the law, and once we are saved and raised from death to life, we desire to keep the law out of love for God and for Jesus. The law not only is a terrifying set of commands to drive us to Christ, but also is the gentle voice of the Lord, showing his people that the best blessings of this life come from following his will.”
John Frame, Systematic Theology, pp. 96-97.
Grace and MeritJanuary 13, 2015 in Augustine, Election, Justification, Quotations, Regeneration, Sanctification
“[G]race…is not given according to any merits, but is the cause of all good merits…”
Augustine, On the Predestination of the Saints, NPNF, V:499.
The Rule of the CovenantJanuary 7, 2015 in Bible - OT - Psalms, Covenantal Living, Ecclesiology, Federal Vision, John Calvin, Justification, Quotations, Sanctification
“No doubt, [God] adopted Abraham freely, but, at the same time, he stipulated with him that he should live a holy and an upright life, and this is the general rule of the covenant which God has, from the beginning, made with his Church. The sum is, that hypocrites, who occupy a place in the temple of God, in vain pretend to be his people, for he acknowledges none as such but those who follow after justice and uprightness during the whole course of their life.”
John Calvin, Commentary upon the Book of Psalms, Psalm 15.
Shortsighted, Even to BlindnessNovember 16, 2014 in Baptism, Bible - NT - 2 Peter, Bible - NT - Acts, Federal Vision, Justification, Meditations, Sanctification
What is it to have a god?October 30, 2014 in Faith, Justification, Quotations, Reformation, Ten Commandments, Worship
In honor of Reformation Week, here is a great quotation from Martin Luther’s Large Catechism:
The Sign and the Thing SignifiedSeptember 30, 2014 in Baptism, Bible - NT - 1 Peter, Ecclesiology, Federal Vision, John Calvin, Justification, Quotations, Reformation, Regeneration, Sacraments, Sanctification
When Peter writes “not the putting away of the filth of the flesh” (1 Pet 3:21) in reference to baptism, “he speaks not of the naked sign, but that the effect must also be connected with it… the external symbol is not sufficient except baptism be received really and effectually…
“But the fanatics…absurdly pervert this testimony, while they seek to take away from sacraments all their power and effect. For Peter did not mean here to teach that [baptism] is vain and inefficacious, but only to exclude hypocrites from the hope of salvation, who, as far as they can, deprave and corrupt baptism. Moreover, when we speak of sacraments, two things are to be considered, the sign and the thing itself. In baptism the sign is water, but the thing is the washing of the soul by the blood of Christ and the mortifying of the flesh. The institution of Christ includes these two things. Now that the sign often appears inefficacious and fruitless, this happens through the abuse of men, which does not take away the nature of the sacrament. Let us then learn not to tear away the thing signified from the sign. We must at the same time beware of another evil, such as prevails among the Papists; for as they distinguish not as they ought between the thing and the sign, they stop at the outward element, and on that fix their hope of salvation. Therefore the sight of the water takes away their thoughts from the blood of Christ and the power of the Spirit. They do not regard Christ as the only author of all the blessings therein offered to us; they transfer the glory of his death to the water, they tie the secret power of the Spirit to the visible sign.
“What then ought we to do? Not to separate what has been joined together by the Lord. We ought to acknowledge in baptism a spiritual washing, we ought to embrace therein the testimony of the remission of sin and the pledge of our renovation, and yet so as to leave to Christ his own honour, and also to the Holy Spirit; so that no part of our salvation should be transferred to the sign.”
John Calvin, Commentary on the First Epistle of Peter, pp. 118-119.
Ignorant Christians?September 29, 2014 in Bible - NT - 1 Corinthians, Bible - NT - 2 Peter, Justification, Law and Gospel, Meditations, Mosaic Law, Sanctification, Wisdom, Word of God
Let Go and Let God? Nope.September 21, 2014 in Bible - NT - 1 John, Bible - NT - 2 Peter, Holy Spirit, Justification, Law and Gospel, Sanctification