Ichabod explores the Age of Apostasy, predicted in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, with an emphasis on UOJ, Church Growth, and Emergent Church heresies. The antidote to these poisons is trusting the efficacious Word in the Means of Grace. John 16:8. Most readers are WELS, LCMS, ELS, or ELCA. This blog also covers the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, and the mainline denominations.
The Glory Has Departed
Lutheran book boxes sent to three African seminaries -
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
Romans 4:5 – But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. (NKJV)
Many modern Lutherans take the phrase “who justifies the ungodly” to mean that God has already “objectively” justified all the ungodly who have ever lived, without faith. This is not only contrary to the text, it is also contrary to the historic Lutheran understanding of the text. Here is Johann Gerhard’s interpretation of that phrase in Romans 4:5.
From Johann Gerhard’s commentary on the first six chapters of Romans (translation mine):
With ἀσεβῆ [ungodly], the ungodly is not understood as remaining securely in his ungodliness without repentance (Prov. 17:15), but as he comes out of it through repentance and faith. This one is judged as righteous before the judgment of God through the imputed righteousness of Christ and is absolved from sins, since compensation has been made for his sins through the satisfaction of Christ. Therefore, such a penitent and believing man, who is certainly ungodly and sinful in himself, is nonetheless righteous in Christ through faith.