Sunday, October 28, 2012

John Calvin's Denial Of Working Faith

Here is one of my favourite John Calvin quotes:

"23. Hence also it is proved, that it is entirely by the intervention of Christ’s righteousness that we obtain justification before God. This is equivalent to saying that man is not just in hi

mself, but that the righteousness of Christ is communicated to him by imputation, while he is strictly deserving of punishment. Thus vanishes the absurd dogma, that man is justified by faith, inasmuch as it brings him under the influence of the Spirit of God by whom he is rendered righteous. This is so repugnant to the above doctrine that it never can be reconciled with it."

This quote is one of the clearest examples which depicts as to how deluded John Calvin indeed was. John Calvin could not conceive in His mind how FAITH is the WORKING DYNAMIC by which the grace of God is made effectual to the saving of the soul.

In this quote Calvin defends the JESUS CLOAK, the imputed righteousness of Christ, and decries an active faith by which one yields to God and is thus purified. He calls the truth an "absurd dogma."

We read in Acts the following statement...

Act 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

It is faith that purifies the heart. Why? Because FAITH OBEYS!

Look at this passage...

1Pe 1:22  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
1Pe 1:23  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

The soul is purified how? Through obedience to the truth through the Spirit. Notice that being born again is by the "word" of God. Compare to this passage...

Jas 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

It is the implanted word that saves the soul. How does it save the soul? Through RECEIVING it. When one RECEIVES the implanted word they are DOERS OF THE WORD.

Doing is the opposite of not doing.

Receiving is the opposite of rejecting.

Obeying is the opposite of disobeying.

Look at what Jesus said here...

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.

Notice it is the DOERS who shall enter the kingdom.

What is the characteristic of those Jesus rejects?

Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

They are WORKERS OF INIQUITY. They were not doers.
Carefully read this passage where Paul speaks that it is the DOERS who keep the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LAW that shall be justified. They keep the law not in the letter but in the Spirit for the letter can only ever be an outward description of righteous behaviour while true righteousness emanates from a pure heart which is yielded to God.
Rom 2:6  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
Rom 2:7  To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
Rom 2:8  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
Rom 2:9  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
Rom 2:10  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
Rom 2:11  For there is no respect of persons with God.
Rom 2:12  For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
Rom 2:13  (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
Rom 2:26  Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
Rom 2:27  And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
Rom 2:28  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
The law is a mere shadow of a faith that works by love. For it is by faith that God justifies a man.
Rom 3:30  Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
Rom 3:31  Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.  

Gal 5:5  For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
Gal 5:6  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
John Calvin taught that the obedient track record of Jesus Christ (His righteousness) is credited to the believer. This lie completely negates the dynamic of faith by which true heart purity is produced in a repentant sinner.
Let's look again at what James stated...

Jas 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

James clearly states that one must lay aside ALL iniquity in order to RECEIVE the implanted word.

There are two kinds of people, those who work iniquity and those who have been purified by an obedient faith.

As Peter asserted our souls are purified by obedience to the truth through the Spirit (1Pet 1:22). Notice what Paul says here...

Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

It is through the Spirit that we obey the truth and are made clean. This is the mechanic of salvation, it is how salvation actually works. It is identical to Jesus' teaching on the necessity of ABIDING IN HIM.
Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no-one can go to the Father except through Him. Why?

It is because Jesus is the WORD. Jesus is the LIGHT. Jesus is the source of LIFE.

Joh 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

Jesus Christ is the operating dynamic of ultimate truth. Out of Him proceeds everything and He proceeds out of the Father. It is through Jesus Christ that we can approach the Father, He is the intermediary for He proceeds out of God, He is the expression of God manifested directly to us.

The message of Jesus is very simple. He taught that we are to stop walking our own way in rebellion to God, we do this through a broken repentance which produces the willingness to yield to God with a whole heart and mind. It is through a genuine repentance and faith that one becomes a doer of the word by which God then manifests His love and power through our hearts enabling us to love God and our neighbour from a pure heart. This is how our righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees who only had a form of godliness outwardly but were inwardly corrupt.
Mat 5:20  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

It is really a simple message and it takes a theologian to obfuscate it.
Mat 5:8  Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 

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