Justification by Allegiance


Is it time to put "Justification by Faith" to rest?


My allegiance to God is greater than my allegiance to any nation-state, constitution, President or Dictator. As the Apostle Peter put it: "We must obey God rather than Man" (Acts 5:29).

The United States Supreme Court has declared that people with this attitude cannot become members of the bar. They can't even become American citizens. (details)

"But our citizenship is in heaven"  (Philippians 3:20).

Can a person be a citizen of heaven if his allegiance to the Bush-Clinton regime is greater than his allegiance to God? Can a person be saved if his allegiance to Karl Marx is greater than his allegiance to Jesus Christ? Why were so many Christians executed by the Roman Empire? Can you be justified if you aren't an "anarchist" like Jesus and the early Christians?

The Paradigm: A Necessity

The Bible seems to contradict itself. It says there is only one God, but it also teaches that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. The doctrine of "the Trinity" is an attempt to harmonize these apparently contradictory statements, a concept which has been accepted as "orthodoxy," even though the word "Trinity" is not found in the Bible.

Consider also this apparent contradiction:

James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

A New Paradigm

We need a doctrine like "the Trinity" to harmonize these two verses. Since the Reformation, only one side of this two-sided coin has been emphasized, sometimes expressed as "Justification by Faith Alone." John Robbins even speaks of "justification by belief alone." When do you ever hear such people speak of "justification by works," as the Bible does? They recoil in horror at the thought. There is a lack of Biblical balance here, and Christendom as a whole is more antinomian for it.

If the answer to any of these questions is "no," then what does it mean to say that anyone can be "justified by belief alone?"

Isaiah said of Christ, "The government shall be upon His shoulders." The "Kingdom" of God should be understood as the government of God.

"Kingdom of God" as "Government of God."

The Bible says there is only one God, but it also teaches that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. The doctrine of "the Trinity" teaches both sides of the coin. The Bible says "by works a man is justified, and not by faith only" (James 2:24) and "that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law" (Romans 3:28). The doctrine of "Justification by Allegiance" teaches both of these apparently contradictory doctrines.


"Justification by Allegiance":  How I Came to This Conclusion

I passed the California Bar Exam, but was denied my license to practice law by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The full story is here. This was the Court that recently said the words "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance are "unconstitutional." This was only the latest in a long series of decisions which are hostile to Christianity.

Any government that will not acknowledge itself to be "Under God" is a government that believes it IS god.

To become an attorney in California, you must take an oath to "support the Constitution." Christians are held to be incapable of taking this oath, because their allegiance to God is greater than their allegiance to the Constitution. If someday a law were created under the Constitution which required everyone to kill off all but 2 of their children (because of the "population crisis"), Christians would refuse to obey that law because "we must obey God rather than men" and God does not permit the slaughter of children.

Most Christians are totally unaware of these historic cases:

God can certainly demand "unqualified allegiance," but to the Nation-State, those who are truly justified will say, "We must obey God rather than man." Both God and the secular State are agreed: You cannot serve both God and nation.

In the eyes of the Messianic State, anyone whose allegiance to Christ is greater than their allegiance to "the government" is an unpatriotic anarchist.

In my case, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked my attempt to become an attorney by refusing to reverse the decision of a federal district court which (logically) declared that this 1945 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court barred me from practicing law. I believe America ought to be a nation "Under God" -- can't have attorneys believing that, now can we?

Most people are completely unaware of these court decisions. There are many more, and they all declare that Christians cannot become attorneys, teachers, civil engineers, or certified elevator inspectors. Christians cannot even become American citizens.

The fundamental issue in all these cases is allegiance.

You may say, "But I know good Christians who are attorneys and teachers." You may indeed. Most Christians have never thought much about the issue of allegiance. Not only are most Christians unaware of how Christian our legal system was and how anti-Christian our legal system has become, most attorneys and many judges have never heard of the cases cited in the links above. Your Christian friends who are attorneys and teachers are fortunate: no atheistic judge and nobody from the ACLU challenged their admission to the Bar using the cases that kept me from becoming an attorney. I'm not saying that no Christians are attorneys. I'm saying American law, having undergone a process of secularization, now logically prohibits Christians from becoming attorneys or American citizens because of this issue of allegiance.

Think about this: the second-highest court in the United States -- the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals -- has ruled that children in government schools cannot be permitted to say the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. As Dave Barry often says, "I swear I am not making this up." The issue is allegiance.

Now how does this relate to the Biblical Doctrine of Justification?

In a nutshell, God justifies those who declare their allegiance to Him.

Allegiance to the God of the Bible means confessing our sin and His mercy. It means committing ourselves and those under our authority to increasing obedience to His Commandments.

The crucial concept of "the covenant" is based on this idea of allegiance. Throughout the Bible, God calls men to Unconditional Surrender and Allegiance. God chooses people to become citizens of His Kingdom. The Covenant is the treaty signed by the vassal promising his submission to the Sovereign. In turn, the Sovereign promises "salvation" -- a word meaning health, welfare, victory, and prosperity -- to His loyal subjects.

Those who are not loyal are "cut off" and they lose their citizenship. Allegiance to the King is essential.

God "justifies" those who want to be "saved."
But "saved" from what?
Can a person be "saved" if he doesn't know what he wants to be saved from?

In a sense, becoming a naturalized American citizen means being "saved" from another government. To become an American citizen, one must renounce his allegiance to the old country. Ideally, a person who becomes an American citizen sees the superiority of America over his old country. This presupposes some understanding about the nature of each country.

You are not justified by mere belief alone, or by the mere claim that God is somehow obligated to send you to heaven. You are justified only when you transfer your allegiance to God and His Law, renouncing your previous allegiance to any other authority and any other law: Satan, "the nation-state," or oneself.

To be saved, we must know something about that from which we wish to be saved, as well as something about that which the Savior promises to provide for us. We must renounce the former, and embrace the latter.

In the Bible, a person who sees the disadvantages of

renounces that old way of life and declares his allegiance to

Salvation means moving from a kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light.



"Our citizenship is in heaven" (Philippians 3:20)
.


It is not the purpose of this essay to claim that one cannot be a citizen of the Kingdom of God and simultaneously a citizen of the United States. This would be guilty of "equivocation": using a word in two different ways. "Citizenship" in heaven or in the Kingdom of God is a theological concept. "Citizenship" in an earthly nation-state is a political concept, a legal fiction with no more inherent theological significance than membership in a bowling league.

But "citizenship" as it is seen in Philippians above involves allegiance -- and renouncing allegiance to a former ruler or system. That former ruler can be Satan, "the powers that be," or oneself. One cannot be justified who refuses to renounce his loyalty to any ruler but God. One cannot be justified who refuses to commit himself to total allegiance to God. Jesus is, in fact, sickened by less than total allegiance.

"Justification by Allegiance" says

"Justification by Faith" counters that obedience to God's Commandments is impossible, and that we all "fall short." "Justification by Allegiance" admits that this is true, but that's why "faith" should be defined as commitment or allegiance. The one who is not committed to perfect obedience to God's Commandments -- at least in principle -- and will not admit that God has a right to demand perfection -- cannot be saved. "Justification by Works" demands some external evidence of this allegiance.

"There is no alternative but that of theonomy and autonomy."
Cornelius Van Til
 
The issue . . . is between theonomy (God's Law) and autonomy (self law). Modern autonomous man is aided and abetted in his apostasy from God by the antinomianism of the church, which, by denying God's law, has, in theology, politics, education, industry, and all things else, surrendered the field to the law of the fallen and godless self, to autonomy.
R.J. Rushdoony
 
"'. . . that He may teach us about His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.'
For from Zion will go forth the Law
Even the Word of God from Jerusalem
."

This "Justification by Allegiance" paradigm harmonizes

This paradigm is implicit in the great Reformed Catechisms and Confessions. True Faith is Allegiance, not mere belief. In the Chapter on "Saving Faith" in the Westminster Confession of Faith (14:2), we are told that when we have saving faith, we

believe to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God Himself speaking therein; and act differently upon that which each particular passage thereof contains; yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life, and that which is to come.

Our God is not a silent and impersonal force. God speaks to us through His Word. "Allegiance" recognizes that every Word God speaks is Law for us, and demands our allegiance, because that is how a vassal rightly responds to a sovereign.

The "Law-Word" of God


The New World Order

Let's review Micah's "Vine & Fig Tree" Prophecy. He describes a new government. We should renounce our allegiance to the old system and become citizens of the new Kingdom. We have called this

The Christmas Conspiracy!

Here is the prophecy, from the 4th chapter.

And it will come about in the last days
That the mountain of the House of the LORD
Will be established as the chief of the mountains
And it will be raised above the hills
Victory: The Inevitability of the Conspiracy
And the peoples will stream to it.
And many nations will come and say,
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD
And to the House of the God of Jacob,
Catholicism: The Universal Appeal of the Conspiracy
That He may teach us about His ways
And that we may walk in His paths."
For from Zion will go forth the Law
Even the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Law: God's Law vs. Man's "law."
And He will judge between many peoples
And render decisions for mighty, distant nations.
Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation will not lift up sword against nation
And never again will they train for war.
Peace: Beating the State's Swords into Plowshares
And each of them will sit under his Family: God's Central Unit of Society
Vine and under his fig tree,
With no one to make them afraid.
For the LORD of hosts has spoken
.
Garden-Land: Reversing the Stalinization of the Farm
Though all the peoples walk
Each in the name of his god,
As for us, we will walk
In the Name of the LORD our God
forever and ever.
"In that day," says the LORD,
"I will assemble the lame,
I will gather the outcast
And those whom I have afflicted;
I will make the lame a remnant,
And the outcast a strong nation;
So the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion
From now on, even forever."
Community: Man is not an Island

In the course of developing the implications of the Third Theme ("LAW" - "That He may teach us His ways") we have discussed Luther's idea of "justification by faith."

The Origin of "Greasy Grace"

On that page we suggested that the Protestant Reformation missed most of the themes in Micah's prophecy, and that as a slogan, "Justification by Works" is a more Biblical slogan than "Justification by Faith" (as it is generally understood today). Our contention is that "Law" in Micah's prophecy does not refer to liturgical ceremonies, but the covenantal relationship God the Sovereign has with His People. To be rightly related to God's Law is to be rightly related to God.

Why We Should Worship God's Law

A far greater part of the Scriptures consists of exhortations to obey rather than [merely] to believe. Those verses that seem to say we are justified without respect to our allegiance to God's Law have been misinterpreted.

More about God's Law

I recently received e-mail from a Calvinist who takes the Reformed view of "Justification by Faith Alone" to its logical limits. He has some serious and well-thought-out objections to our idea that we are justified by allegiance to God and His Law. Here are the questions we must face:

  1. Why did Paul quote Leviticus 18:5 in Galatians 3:12?

  2. Will a person who seeks to obey God's Law -- faithfully, sincerely, without hypocrisy, intelligently, and spiritually -- ever conclude that he could be saved by his own works without Christ?
  3. Isn't obedience also a gift of God?
  4. Can a person who truly obeys God's Law even be thinking about saving himself by doing so?
  5. Are we saved by perfect faith, or is it OK to be "in the ballpark?"
  6. Do we receive any blessings or please God by our obedience?
  7. Can a person who rebels against the authority of God (Law) have any assurance of salvation?
  8. If Theonomic works strengthen our assurance, shouldn't the one committed to autonomy be told to obey God's Law?

Finally, consider this question:

What would you say to America?


In a message dated 10/21/99 11:17:57 AM Pacific Daylight Time, Calvinist@no_works.com writes:

>   A Question about the New perspective of Daniel Fuller: is there a
>  relation between denial of the law/grace antithesis and Arminianism?
>  With attention to Galatians 3:12 and Leviticus 18:5 and another question
>  about the faith of Jews who don't have faith in Jesus  

First off, I would repeat what I said some months ago:

I think it's interesting the way Paul reverses what the OT says about the Law. I think he does this to make a point to the Jews, who had pretty much reversed everything the OT said.

Jesus said the weightier matters of God's Law are "justice, mercy and FAITH." (Mat 23:23) Paul said the law is "not of faith" (Gal 3:12). Jesus said if we obey God's Law we will live (Luke 10:28 - as usual Jesus was quoting the OT). Paul seems to be saying that if we obey the Law we will die.

Who is right, Jesus or Paul?
Jesus is right; Paul is using exaggerated rhetoric to make a point against the Jews who had completely missed the point of the Law and the Prophets.

Theonomy teaches that if we obey God's Law we will be blessed, and if we disobey we will experience curse (Deut 28). Obedience brings life. The man who obeys God's Law shall live:

Lev 18:5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.

Ezekiel 20:11 And I gave them my statutes, and showed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. {13} But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. {21} Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.

God is clearly saying Israel SHOULD HAVE obeyed God's Law. Obedience would have spared them death and destruction. Obedience would have given them shalom-life.

Nehemiah 9:26-30 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations. {27} Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies. {28} But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies; {29} And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.

Over and over, God says disobedience brings death and destruction, poverty, famine, tyranny, captivity. But if we obey His Law, we will receive life, prosperity, health, healing, wholeness, freedom, Eden. If we obey God's Law, we will live.

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: {20} That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days:
Deuteronomy 30:19-20

This is all positive. This is all meant to encourage us to obey God's Law. If a man do God's Law, he shall live.

Paul quotes this line in Gal 3:12 and elsewhere and seems to turn it into a negative, using it in the exact opposite way it was intended.
Why?
I think it's pure irony. I think it assumes the Jewish definition of "law," which was really anti-law traditions. The Jews claimed to be defenders of God's Law, but it was a sham. Paul declares that their position leads to death, but it's irony. If their position were true, it would lead to life.

Any attempt to take Paul literally misses his point to the lawless but legalistic Jews of his day and causes no end of problems for those of us who are attempting to reach a lawless but unlegalistic America.

>  
>  quotations from Gospel and Law: Contrast or Continuum (Eerdmans)
>  
>  Without question Fuller denies the antithesis between law and grace. "In
>  1972 I realized that if the law is indeed a law of faith...then there
>  could  no longer any antithesis in biblical theology between
>  the law and the gospel." (xi)  But in this essay I raise a question
>  about Fuller's possible Arminianism and then explore what Fuller says
>  about law and grace.
>  
>  A key Bible verse  for Fuller is Romans 9: 32--"they did not pursue the
>  law through faith, but as if it were based on works". Since the law
>  commands faith, Fuller concludes, then the law is the same
>  as the gospel.  But I have learned to ask Fuller (and Piper and Wright
>  and others with the new perspective): FAITH IN WHAT?
>  
>  Does the law command faith in the law or in the gospel? If your
>  conclusion is that there is no difference between law and the gospel, 
>  then you will reject the question. And this is what the new
>  perspective does: by asking its own questions, it rejects the importance
>  of the questions asked by Calvin and Luther  But I would agree with the
>  Reformers that the law commands faith in the gospel. 
>  
>  FAITH IN WHAT? Is our faith to be in our faith? That is the logical
>  conclusion of the Arminianism which says that. says that Jesus died for
>  everybody but that faith is the difference between saved and lost. Of
>  course many from the new perspective dismiss questions about individual
>  salvation, but Fuller does not. But neither does Fuller exclude Arminian
>  faith from being supernaturally given by God. So I ask:: does he make
>  the gospel law and the law gospel, because of an Arminian assumption
>  that faith makes the difference between saved and lost. Does
>  Fuller think that Jesus died for (placated the wrath of God for) those
>  who will be lost?  Does his gospel come down to a law in which those who
>  believe will be saved. by their believing?
>  
>  I ask the question to you (and to Fuller!) because I am not sure. Fuller
>  in many ways seems to say that the cross is what saves, and that the
>  cross saves by being propitiatory, that is, by appeasing the
>  anger of God. But did God in Christ reconcile the elect, or merely make
>  possible the reconciliation of everybody? I want to have Fuller speak
>  for himself. I quote from p112: ..."the condition for receiving God's
>  blessing must consist in an action that all people are usually capable
>  of fulfilling. The only such action for which all peoples, despite their
>  great diversities, have an equal aptitude, is
ceasing to place any value
on some particular distinctive they possess
,
in contrast to that of some
>  other ethnic entity, and to trust instead in the God who holds before
>  all men the merciful promise to be their God."
>  
>  Now, I want to be careful about this quotation. The context is about Jew
>  and Gentile, and about claims to ethnic privilege. Remember that the
>  original purpose of Fuller's research was to
>  challenge dispensationalism. And no doubt the reconciliation of Jew and
>  Gentile is important in the NT. But the new perspective reduces all of
>  Pauline theology to that concern: the problem is the
>  ceremonies and ethnic boundary markers, it says. Get rid of them, and
>  then we can all get back to be saved by faith IN OUR LAWKEEPING. Thus
>  the conclusion: moral-law keeping faith is not
>  "meritorious", but it IS the CONDITION of  individual salvation.  
    

I've never met a single human being who felt he would be justified by his keeping the law -- except those who don't know what the Law actually requires. Those who know what the Law requires always rely on unmerited forgiveness to erase their debts and take them out of the red.

>  So I keep asking: faith in what?   Is it true that all people are
>  "capable of fulfilling" the law?  

I think Fuller was saying all people are "capable" of

  >  ceasing to place any value
  >  on some particular distinctive they possess, 
    

including the keeping of ethnic traditions.

>  I would suggest that nobody is capable
>  of fulfilling the law: it demands perfection and God is not
>  lenient. And most important, we all Jew or Gentile, have no aptitude
>  for obeying the law. It will not matter if we get rid of the ceremony,
>  it will  not matter if we get rid of the misinterpretation
>  and learn Fuller's better technique for obeying the law. We will still
>  come short. This is not an excuse. Nor is it a denial of our equal duty
>  to obey the law or to believe the gospel.

I agree with [the rest of] this paragraph.

>  For Fuller of course: to believe the gospel is to obey the law, and to
>  obey the law is to believe the gospel. He sees no antithesis. So my
>  question: believe what? Are we to believe that Jesus died to
>  make up some of the difference between saved and lost?   Are we to
>  believe that Jesus died only for the elect as part of that which
>  satisfies God, and that the elect are given ability to do the rest
>  of the satisfying?

"Satisfaction" is a technical theological term.

31 Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death.
33 So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.
Numbers 35:31,33

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no satisfaction.
Hebrews 9:22

The believer can shed no blood and therefore produce no satisfaction. Once the believer transgresses God's Law, there is nothing the believer can do. Forgiveness of sins is a completely unilateral act of grace by God.

The blood of Jesus puts the elect in the category of "saved." The degree to which the saved obey God's Law is the degree to which they experience shalom on earth, as promised in the terms of the covenant (Deuteronomy 28).

>  As bad as this sounds to me, the alternative seems
>  even worst. Are we to believe that Jesus died for everybody, but that
>  this dying does nothing to make any difference: are we to
>  believe that what the death does for everybody is make the law for
>  everybody less strict, so that everybody is "capable of it" (with God's
>  helping grace of course).
>  
>  The last alternative of course is nothing but Arminianism. But the first
>  alternative also concerns me: though it teaches particular redemption,
>  it fails to teach that the cross alone satisfies the law. It
>  still turns the gospel into a law which conditions salvation on the
>  faithful lawkeeping of the elect.

I don't see that.

>  The solution of many Calvinists to
>  Fuller's approach is to say that salvation is conditioned ONLY
>  on the faithful lawkeeping of Christ and NOT on the covenantkeeping or
>  lawkeeping of the elect.
>  
>  I of course want to agree with these Calvinists. But to do that I want
>  to say how I think Christ satisfied the law. I do not think that Christ
>  satisfied the law as a "covenant of works". This is not
>  because I agree with Fuller that the law is really the gospel and thus
>  always a "covenant of faith". Rather, I want to emphasize again the
>  antitheses between law and gospel. The law does not promise salvation
>  for sinners; the law promises death for sinners.

The Law promises salvation. Blessing for obedience, cursing for disobedience, and forgiveness for faith. In the OT the Law commanded faith in the Levitical sacrifices, in the NT the Law requires faith in the sacrifice of Christ. The Law still promises blessing for obedience and cursing for disobedience.

>  Christ satisfied the
>  law for the elect not by obeying it (though He did obey it), but by
>  dying for the elect.

Hebrews 5:9-10 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, {10} called by God as High Priest "according to the order of Melchizedek,"

His death paid the price of our sins. Is God's Law satisfied merely by our having no mistakes to our credit?
Could a person satisfy the demands of the law by staying in bed and making no mistakes?
If Jesus paid for our mistakes, are we under any ethical obligation to DO anything once we have been saved?
Once we are saved, are we then merely free to commit mistakes?
Does the NT command anything more of us than belief?
If we adamantly refuse to obey that command, can it be said that we had true saving faith?

>  The law has no provision for eternal salvation from sin.

Do you mean "The Old Testament has no provision . . . ?"

1 Sam 2:1; Ps 9:14; 13:5; 20:5; 35:9; 118:14; Isa 12:2,3; Hab 3:18

Psa 79:9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.

Psalm 32:1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. {2} Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

Ezekiel 33:16 "None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

Jeremiah 33:8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Isaiah 44:22 I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, And like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you."

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

Psalm 85:2 You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin. Selah

Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 130:4 But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.

Or do you mean "The OT has no provision for ETERNAL salvation?

Ezekiel 18:21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. {22} "None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live.

Are there really two plans of salvation?

>  The law says:
>  don't sin. Of course there were ceremonies in the Mosaic law for
>  ceremonial sins.

Not for moral sins?

>  But the law is not opposed to the gospel, not because
>  they are the same, but rather because they have different purposes.  The
>  gospel is a promise about salvation.  
        

You mean for an individual when he dies?
How about for all nations on earth, in this life? (Gal 3:8)

>  The law is a promise abut death.

See above. The Law is a promise that if you do it you will live.

The Law of God is not just "Thou shalt" or "Thou shalt not." The Law-Word of God is also promise.

>  The gospel is not about a better interpretation of the law and ability
>  now to do that law. The gospel is about the death of Christ
>  which satisfies the law for the elect for whom  Christ died.  
>  
>  The law says that even
>  elect sinners must die, and when the sins of the elect are imputed to
>  Christ, the law says that even Christ must die
>  
>  The death of Christ according to the Scriptures ( for the
>  elect,:Ephesians 5:25) is the gospel.

How is it, then, that the gospel was preached even before Jesus died? (Luke 7:22)

>  Therefore the gospel is not the
>  law. The law does not promise salvation.

The "gospel" is "good news."

1 Chronicles 16:23 Sing to the LORD, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.

Psalm 40:9 I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness In the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O LORD, You Yourself know.

Psalm 96:2 Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.

Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

>  and the gospel is not a
>  new law which demands faith in faith. Faith in the true gospel is a
>  result of the elect being "in" Christ when He died. Faith is not a
>  condition of getting into Christ. Faith that faith gets you into
>  Christ is faith in a false gospel. Such faith turns faith into a work,
>  and turns the gospel into a law.

So it would be wrong to say that the "gospel" must be "obeyed?"

Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel.
For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?"

2 Thessalonians 1:8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 4:17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

>  I am not sure if Fuller believes in Arminianism or particular
>  redemption. But even if he believes in particular redemption, he does
>  not think the death of Christ is all the gospel. He thinks the faithful
>  lawkeeping of the elect (enabled by sovereign grace) is also the gospel,
>  because he thinks the law is also the gospel: There is for him no
>  antithesis. I quote from p115: "one learns to live like Jesus
>  and receive a continuous stream of blessings  simply by faith, that is,
>  by an obedience which keeps him in the place where he can always benefit
>  from the Workman's skill."
>  
>  Fuller's gospel is not exactly "Christ and him crucified". It is a
>  gospel of glory, the glory of what God will do in us IF we keep
>  ourselves in position where He can bless us. Every blessing comes in
>  Christ but not only because of the cross.

Ultimately it IS because of the cross.
God gives His elect the grace to do good works because of the Cross.

2 Chronicles 30:12 Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the LORD.

Isaiah 26:12 LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.

Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

Hebrews 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

James 1:16-18 Do not err, my beloved brethren. {17} Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. {18} Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

1 Kings 8:58 That He may incline our hearts unto Him, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and His statutes, and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers.

1 Chronicles 29:14-18 But who am I, and who are my people, That we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, And of Your own we have given You. {15} For we are aliens and pilgrims before You, As were all our fathers; Our days on earth are as a shadow, And without hope. {16} "O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own. {17} "I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You. {18} "O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the intent of the thoughts of the heart of Your people, and fix their heart toward You.

Ezra 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,

Ezra 1:5 Then the heads of the fathers' houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.

Ezra 7:27 Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem,

Psalm 110:3 Your people shall be volunteers In the day of Your power; In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, You have the dew of Your youth.

Psalm 119:36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies, And not to covetousness.

Psalm 141:4 Do not incline my heart to any evil thing,
To practice wicked works With men who work iniquity;
And do not let me eat of their delicacies.

Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.

John 6:45 "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.

John 6:65 And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

>  This language does not make
>  Fuller an Arminian: he says that it's grace that causes us to faithfully
>  lawkeep. He could even say, I think, that Christ died only for the
>  elect, and that only the elect can add to that death faithful
>  lawkeeping.  But by denying the antithesis between the law and the
>  gospel,

. . . an antithesis which has yet to be demonstrated . . .

>  Fuller makes OUR "active obedience" to be a supplement to the
>  death of Christ.

How about "the fruit of the death of Christ" rather than "supplement" ?

Colossians 1:5-6 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; {6} Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

Phil 4:17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

Ephesians 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

John 15:2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. {4} "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. {5} "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. {8} "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. {16} "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

The Jews were cut off because they did not bear fruit, not because they followed the Law.

Luke 3:9 And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

>  
>  At this point, I want to spend some time with Fuller's exegesis of Gal
>  3:12. and its quotation of Leviticus 18:5: "he who does them shall live
>  by them". Fuller agrees with the Judiasing teachers
>  that the  law is the gospel, and thinks that Leviticus 18 assumes
>  God-given ability to keep the law (of course not perfectly, and not
>  meritoriously).

i.e., not meriting salvation or justification.

>  So Fuller has trouble understanding why Paul
>  would even use Lev 18:5.   My suggestion is that Paul used Leviticus
>  18:5 because Paul knew that people like Fuller and the Teachers would
>  have used it, if he didn't.  I think Paul
>  understands Lev 18 as saying that law in effect promises death not 
>  life.: Fuller of course denies this.

So does Calvin:

The prophet evidently describes a proud confidence in the flesh as contrasted with true faith. By Faith he evidently means the exercise of a calm steady conscience, relying on God alone
The law evidently is not contrary to faith; otherwise God would be unlike Himself.
Paul's language is modified by the present aspect of the case. The contradiction between the law and faith lies in the matter of justification. And yet it does not follow from this, that faith is inactive, or that it sets believers free from good works. For the present question is not, whether believers ought to keep the law as far as they can, (which is beyond all doubt,) but whether they can obtain righteousness by works, which is impossible. But since God promises life to the doers of the law, why does Paul affirm that they are not righteous? The reply to this objection is easy. There are non righteous by the works of the law, because there are none who do those works. We admit that the doers of the law, if there were any such, are righteous; but since that is a conditional agreement, all are excluded from life, because no man performs that righteousness which he ought. We must bear in memory what I have already stated, that to do the law is not to obey it in part, but to fulfill everything which belongs to righteousness; and all are at the greatest distance from such perfection.

The law promises life to the righteous.
To the extent we obey the law, we have life.
The law also promises death to the sinner.
To the extent we disobey it, we have death.

We cannot avoid death without God's Mercy.
The Pharisees claimed righteousness, and did not sense their need for God's Mercy.

>  Like Fuller, the Teachers
>  do think that law promises life.

Life to THEM.
Not to "outsiders."
Not to the non-elite.
Life based on allegiance to human traditions.

>  2. Fuller says that to assume that law
>  brings death you have to assume inability and insert some idea about
>  sin.

I don't think this is what Fuller is saying.

>  Fuller cannot believe that Paul would disagree with the Teachers in
>  interpreting Lev 18 because then Paul would also be disagreeing with
>  Fuller!.

I don't think this is what Fuller is saying.

>  The fact that Paul's argument   is not convincing
>  to all the Teachers or to Fuller does not prove that Paul is not making
>  the argument. The hidden assertion ( sin will always mean that law bring
>  death) is defended at length by Paul in Romans 1-3
>  with the conclusion: by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be
>  justified. Even if the deeds are not ceremonial deeds, even if the deeds
>  are motivated by faith (faith in what?), still Paul argues that
>  no one will be justified or sanctified by  lawkeeping.

If the works are motivated by faith -- faith in a merciful God who sent His Son to be the savior of the world -- then the worker of such works is justified.

>  Of course Fuller does think that both justification and sanctification
>  are conditioned on our faithful lawkeeping. Instead of inserting into
>  Galatians 3 some assumption about human inability, he inserts the "new
>  perspective". The problem is ceremonial boundary markers, the problem is
>  Jewish pride against Gentiles. Get rid of misinterpretations, Fuller
>  urges, both Lutheran and legalist. The legalist must learn to give God
>  credit for  his faithful lawkeeping. The Lutheran must
>  learn to stop saying that the law only promises death.

Sounds good to me.

>  For those who are
>  still anxious about individual salvation, then the law is the gospel.

I don't understand this sentence.

>  I of course reject the new gnosis: I don't think hermeneutical insights
>  (about letter and Spirit or even about old and new covenants!) are the
>  solution to our plight. The only solution is the death
>  of Christ on the cross of he elect. The only difference that ultimately
>  matters between anybody is that Christ died for some and not for others.
>  Those for whom Christ died  will sometime in this life be caused to
>  despair about  their faith and lawkeeping (past or future), so much so
>  that the only comfort they have left is the cross. THE CROSS WAS FOR
>  THEM AND NOT FOR THOSE WHO CAN FIND COMFORT SOMEWHERE ELSE BESIDES THE
>  CROSS.

Those who commit iniquity have good reason to despair (Mat 7:23).
Those who are willing to lose their life by leaving all behind and following the direction-giving Torah, will find life and joy. (Mat 16:25)

>  Yes, it is true that sinful "man refused to credit God for any of his
>  blessings" (p94, Romans 1),but the solution to that problem is not to
>  begin to give God credit for our faithful lawkeeping. None
>  of us are faithful lawkeepers.

We should give credit to God for our faithful lawkeeping, and take all the credit for our unfaithful lawkeeping, resolving to put those deeds to death.

>  The solution is the death that the law
>  demands,

Yes, the solution is the Law.
The Law demands death and promises it as well. (Exod 29:11,45 Ex 12:21, 1 Cor 5:7)

>  and the elect died when Christ died (Romans 6).  Fuller knows
>  that SOME "works of the laws" are sin. Other people's works (like those
>  who didn't believe Jesus in the NT) were not done with the right
>  technique, with the right faith. But Fuller is equally convinced that
>  some works can be the difference between saved and lost without being
>  meritorious or ego-gratifying. What's the difference between him and the
>  Teachers? His faith. His works are done in faith; theirs were not.

Romans 9:31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. {32} Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith,

The Pharisees sought to glorify themselves. To truly follow the law of righteousness is to glorify God, and seek Him

Psalm 40:16 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, "The LORD be magnified!"

Psalm 119:2 Blessed are they that keep His testimonies,
and that seek Him with the whole heart.

Psalm 119:155 Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not Thy statutes.

To seek God's Law in faith is to seek God:

Proverbs 8:17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

Zephaniah 2:3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger.

To seek God is to understand the Law:

Proverbs 28:5 Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the LORD understand all.

>  But is it true that the Teachers who rejected Jesus did not have faith,
>  or that they obeyed without faith? Would they agree with Fuller?

Not that it makes any difference what the self-deceived think.

>  Fuller
>  made big point about them not agreeing with Paul if Paul had taught that
>  law promised death. Would they agree with Fuller that they obeyed
>  without faith? Would they not say to Fuller: you have works of faith and
>  we have our works of faith, but don't say that we don't have faith.

The question is not what did they think, but what was reality (Mat 7:22-23)

>  We are back to my question. Faith in what?

Faith in a merciful and holy God.

>  Fuller thinks the death of
>  Christ makes some difference, that it placates the curse of God. Giving
>  him the benefit of the doubt, let us assume that Fuller does not teach
>  that Christ died for everybody, that he teaches that the cross make some
>  real difference for the elect. But Fuller seems to still have faith in
>  faith, faith that Christian works of faith also contribute to the
>  difference. Jews who work with faith but without faith in Jesus
>  cannot please God with their work of faith. But the elect can please God
>  with their work of faith.

1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

Hebrews 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Phil 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

John 8:29 "And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him."

John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

1 John 3:24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him.

Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

Malachi 3:3-4 And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. {4} Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

Those who lack faith in the merciful and holy God do not please God even if they follow the Law in one or more (but not all) respects:

Hosea 9:4 Nor shall their sacrifices be pleasing to Him. It shall be like bread of mourners to them; All who eat it shall be defiled. For their bread shall be for their own life; It shall not come into the house of the LORD.

Jeremiah 6:20 To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.

>  And don't I agree that God is pleased with the elect's "work of faith".
>  (I Thess 1:3; II Thess 1:11)) Again, faith in what? If people think that
>  their work of faith makes any difference to saved
>  and lost, then they do not have the right faith and their works of faith
>  therefore do not please God. But if the elect repudiate the very idea
>  that their works of faith make any difference between
>  saved and lost, then God is pleased with such works of faith. I
>  therefore agree with Calvin and not Fuller on Galatians 3:12: it clearly
>  teaches that the law is antithetical to faith.

Calvin says there is no doubt that we are to do all we can to keep the Law.

>  We can put no faith
>  in the law, because the law promises only death and not salvation.

The Law promises salvation through the Lamb.

Psalm 119:41 Let Your mercies come also to me, O LORD; Your salvation according to Your word.

Psalm 119:81 My soul faints for Your salvation, But I hope in Your word.

Psalm 119:123 My eyes fail from seeking Your salvation And Your righteous word.

Psalm 119:155 Salvation is far from the wicked, For they do not seek Your statutes.

Psalm 119:166 LORD, I hope for Your salvation, And I do Your commandments.

Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, O LORD, And Your law is my delight.

>  I still haven't answered my question about the possible Arminianism.
>  Perhaps Dr Fuller will continue to write and clarify his position for
>  us. When he speaks of "equal aptitude" for works of
>  faith, he leaves open the possibility that Jesus died for everybody. I
>  quote from p100:" he will justify the circumcised on the ground of their
>  faith..." Faith is not the ground of anything. Faith
>  has an object. Faith in what? Faith focused on the death of Christ for
>  the elect is a result of that death. The death is the ground. Faith in
>  faith is not the difference between saved and lost. Again,
>  on p 100, Fuller claims that God "will justify all peoples, including th
>  Jews, on the basis of their trusting in him." Trusting in Him to do what?
>  
>  The Jew who does not believe in Jesus THINKS he is trusting God. The
>  Arminian (who believes that the death of Jesus is for everybody but that
>  many for whom Jesus died are lost) THINKS that he is trusting in God.
>  Many will call on the name of the Lord to whom the Lord will say: I
>  never knew you.

Because they did not do righteousness, but iniquity, not because they didn't believe right. They believed they were going to be saved.

>  Thus my question for Fuller about Arminianism. Faith in
>  what? means TRUST IN WHOM. Which God? The God of the Jews who have faith
>  but not in Jesus? If we try to say that their faith is not real faith,
>  where will we stop? Will we say that Romans Catholics doesn't have
>  real faith? Will we say that Arminians don't have real faith? Why is the
>  work of faith not real if  faith is misdirected?
>  
>  Fuller quotes in disapproval Calvin. Let me give the same quotation with
>  approval. (Institutes  2:29): "faith seeks life, a life that is not
>  found in the commandments or declarations of the
>  penalties, but only in the freely given promise. For a conditional
>  promise that send us back to our own works

i.e., apart from God, with a view to our own righteousness, rather than God's righteousness.

>  does not promise life..."
>  Fuller seem to think that if the law differs from the gospel,
>  that it is opposed to the gospel. Thus Fuller equates law and gospel,
>  and makes the gospel to be a law. But all people are required not only
>  to obey the law, but also,
WHEN ALL PEOPLE DESERVE TO DIE FOR DISOBEYING
>  THE LAW
, then all people are required to believe the gospel, which is
>  not about conditions but about the death of Christ for the elect. All
>  are commanded to believe that the death saves the elect; the elect will
>  believe this.
>  
>  So it has come to this! I think the gospel is about the cross for the
>  elect. Yes. There are many other issues to discuss. For example, I think
>  the unconditional covenant with Noah was a redemptive covenant. I also
>  think that Fuller makes a distinction between justifying faith and
>  sanctifying faith when he finds it convenient (i.e. denying that  the
>  death of Gal 2:20 is mainly about "initial conversion", p 114) . Like
>  Fuller, I also have problems when Calvin says that "law is
>  to the flesh like a whip to arouse it to worship" (2;7;12).
>  
Also, I think we need to think more about the legal aspect of the
>  Abrahamic covenant; circumcision was not only about faith in the gospel
>  but about conditional blessings of family and
>  land (Gen 18:18). Fuller insists: "in order for the Arahamaic covenant
>  to be fulfilled, Abraham's posterity must be living, generally speaking
>  ,a godly life as did Abraham." I say that it all depends
>  on which aspect of the Abrahamic covenant you are talking about. If you
>  are talking about the gospel of  the death of Abraham's seed (Christ)
>  for Abraham's seed  (the elect), then godly living
>  is not a condition but a consequence of that death. God does not accept
>  imperfect "generally speaking" godliness.

Well I think this pretty well sums up the difference between us.
I think the Bible is full of stories of people who were saved because of their imperfect faith and "generally speaking" Godliness. The difference between someone who admits he is not God and sincerely seeks God and "generally speaking" obeys Him (on the one hand) and a Pharisee who is impressed with his own righteousness-by-traditions (on the other) is light-years. "Help my unbelief" (Mark 9:24) is the ethical and salvific equivalent of asking God to keep our feet from stumbling as we walk in His paths (Pr 2:8; 4:12; 10:9; Ps 37:23,24,31; 91:11; 121:3,8; Zec 10:12). God is merciful and saves those who truly seek Him and follow His Law, even if haltingly at first, but increasing by His grace. God looks at the heart. (Which is a command for us to look at the heart, not a statement that God saves based on anything in us).

>  God saved the elect in the
>  death of His Son. To add godliness as a condition  is to set aside the
>  death. (Gal 2:21). But there IS a legal aspect to the Abrahamic covenant,
>  and Reformed paedobaptists would do well to remember that when they try
>  to make circumcision model for new covenant baptism or when they try to
>  add a legal aspect (covenantbreaking) to the new covenant.
>  
>  The solution

what's the problem?

>  to the works aspect of the Abrahamic covenant is not to say
>  that the grace is for the nation but that  works (of faith) make the
>  difference between individuals in the nation. This would
>  be an Arminian solution, and would fail to bring glory to God.

This argument sounds logical and holy, but it is not a Scriptural argument. We don't know exactly what "brings glory to God" except by what God says brings glory to Him. There's no inherent reason why God cannot be glorified by giving grace to saints so that they can "merit" salvation. The question is not logical possibility, but Scriptural declaration. The Scripture declares that we are obligated to obey God's Law, and that this obedience pleases God.

>  It would
>  condition  salvation on individual sinners..The works aspect is not that
>  which makes seem individuals saved and others
>  lost. The works aspect had to do with the old covenant economy of family
>  and land: there is no conditional works aspect to the new covenant.
>  
>  Let me explain, lest Fuller simply see me as one more
>  dispensationalist!  The difference between old and new covenants is not
>  that people in the old covenants were saved by works. People are not
>  ever saved by works of faith. Works of faith result from salvation. But
>  Fuller believes that people ARE saved on the ground of works of faith.
>  He writes: "the only difference between the new covenant and the old
>  Mosaic covenant which it replaces is that the people re given a new
>  heart..." Fuller sees the only difference as more ability to do the law,
>  and thinks that law is always the gospel. I think that the elect are
>  saved in every age ONLY by the blood of Christ. I do not think that the
>  blood is the difference between the old and new covenants; the blood was
>  for the elect of
>  both covenants. I do still think at this point  that a difference
>  between the covenants is that we no longer work for even the blessings
>  of land and family. (I will get called a dualist gnostic for
>  suggesting that some blessings are non-salvific, but I am still thinking
>  about it...)

You mean we no longer should care about land and family, or that we do still care but the means to the end is different?

>  But I would urge you at this point not to get distracted by covenantal
>  difference. We all have much to learn. Where I have been (and  want to
>  be) dogmatic is about law and gospel. I have taken sides with Calvin:
>  the gospel is unconditional.

And yet it does not follow from this, that faith is inactive, or that it sets believers free from good works. For the present question is not, whether believers ought to keep the law as far as they can, (which is beyond all doubt) . . . .
Calvin on Gal. 3:11-12

>  In the interests of further dialogue with
>  Dr. Fuller, let me finish with Fuller's conclusion: "Instead of two sets
>  of promises in the Bible -conditional and unconditional-there is only
>  one kind of promise throughout Scripture, and the realization of its
>  promises is dependent upon compliance with conditions which are well
>  characterized as the obedience of faith." (p105)

Sounds OK to me.

Kevin C.
http://members.aol.com/xmaspiracy/3/3_arch.htm
---------------------------------------------

And they shall beat their swords into plowshares
and sit under their Vine & Fig Tree.
Micah 4:1-7


Subj: Re: please quote these for me
Date: 10/22/99
To: Calvinist@no_works.com

In a message dated 10/21/99 2:16:10 PM Pacific Daylight Time, Calvinist@no_works.com writes:

> the repeated exhortations in the NT to increase our blessings
>  by obedience?

Rev 22:14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

Rev 22:7 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Luke 12:37-38 "Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. {38} "And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

John 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

John 15:10-11 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. {11} "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

1 Cor 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

Gal 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

1 John 3:24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Rev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

Acts 20:35 "I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

Acts 3:25 "You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.' {26} "To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities."

John 13:17 "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Luke 12:43 "Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.

Luke 11:28 But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"

Mat 24:46 "Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.

1 Timothy 4:8 Godliness is profitable for all things,
having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

Ephesians 6:2-3 "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: {3} "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."

1 Tim 6:6 But Godliness with contentment is great gain.

Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

Romans 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

Plus all references to "good works"

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

John 10:32-33 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? {33} The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

Acts 9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.

Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

2 Thessalonians 2:17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

1 Timothy 2:10 But (which becometh women professing Godliness) with good works.

1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

1 Timothy 5:10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

1 Timothy 5:25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.

1 Timothy 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

2 Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Titus 2:7 In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

Titus 3:14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

Hebrews 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

1 Peter 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Kevin C.
http://members.aol.com/xmaspiracy/3/3_arch.htm
---------------------------------------------

And they shall beat their swords into plowshares
and sit under their Vine & Fig Tree.
Micah 4:1-7


Subj: Re: do you or do you not make any difference with your doing?
Date: 10/22/99
To: Calvinist@no_works.com

Yes it makes a difference.
No, all the credit for my salvation goes to Christ.

I really don't see the problem here.

In a message dated 10/11/99 10:31:44 AM Pacific Daylight Time, Calvinist@no_works.com writes:

>  I deny that a person can be a Christian and not pursue peace and holiness

You don't deny this?

You contend that a Christian can NEVER get into fights and be unholy?

Or by "pursue" do you mean that a Christian must be committed to peace and holiness, even if he stumbles?

Aren't we now saying the same thing?

>  I deny also that this pursuit is the basis of ANY assurance

A person who does not pursue or is not committed to peace and holiness has some basis for assurance?????????

>  it is always an imperfect pursuit

My answer is the Westminster Confession on assurance.

Imperfect assurance, if sincere, will lead to perfect assurance.

These good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith: and by them believers . . . strengthen their assurance 

2 Peter 1:5-10 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, {6} to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance Godliness, {7} to Godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. {8} For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. {9} For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. {10} Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;

1 John 2:3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

*1 John 2:5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

WCF 16:2

Mark 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Luke 17:5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

Imperfect faith is better than no faith at all.
Imperfect faith brings more assurance than no faith at all.

Kevin C.
http://members.aol.com/VFTINC/theonomy/worshlaw.htm
---------------------------------------------

And they shall beat their swords into plowshares
and sit under their Vine & Fig Tree.
Micah 4:1-7


What Would You Say to America?

Imagine this scenario: Republicans are rejoicing, because an inconsistent socialist (rather than a consistent socialist) has been elected President, and the new President has offered to give you 30 seconds of free air time on all the major networks to say anything you want to say to America. What will you say to the nation?

Justification by Faith?

- OR -

Justification by Allegiance

"Good Evening, my fellow Americans. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you that if you believe in your heart that Christ died for you, you will be saved. We are not under law, we are under grace. Your good works count for nothing in God's eyes. Just believe that Christ died for you and your sins will be forgiven." "Good Evening, my fellow Americans. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you that God is holy and righteous, and is outraged at how we have thumbed our nose at Him and His Commandments. But God is also merciful, and if we are willing lose our lives and give our complete allegiance to Him -- mind, soul, and strength -- willing to obey His every Word, He will heal our land."

How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment;
righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
Isaiah 1:21


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Part Two: What is "Salvation?"



The
Christmas Conspiracy


Virtue


Vine & Fig Tree


Paradigm Shift


Theocracy


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