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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Born Forgiven - Another Messed Up Pastor Tries To Correct Justification by Faith



This discussion relates to a pastor who was offended by another minister speaking about justification by faith. The specific details are not needed. Here is the argument, which is straight out of the Universal Objective Justification playbook.

The text -

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

The UOJ pastor began - not with the Means of Grace - but with praying for forgiveness. As most know, the non-Lutherans make prayer the means of grace and are offended by the Word and Sacraments as the Biblical Means of Grace.
I am offering not a criticism of prayer or praying for forgiveness, but this assertion is certainly a generic Protestant way of thinking about forgiveness, such as praying for "Jesus to come into my heart." 
Prayer is the result of grace, not the cause of grace. But this is a common problem with Pietism in general, mixing the Christian life (sanctification) with forgiveness (justification) and making sanctification the cause of justification.
Taking a cue from Edward Preuss, the pastor stated (without Biblical citations) that we inherit forgiveness the moment we are born.
"If all our sins were forgiven at the time of Christ's death..."
That statement in red is the foundational error of this admonition. There is no forgiveness without faith, so this claim is erroneous and confused. Like the notorious justification theses from Missouri, the statements seem to merge to camps in an act of magic, instead of rightly dividing the Word.
Missouri, WELS, the Little Sect, and the CLC (sic) have their own little canonical statements that exist entirely apart from the Scriptures. They begin with the assertions and end with some Biblical references. They cannot pull order out of chaos, because their canonical statements are contradictory, foolish, and anti-Christian.
Note the decision theology in this explanation -
he accepts this universal absolution.
Walther and JP Meyer also have people accepting the
algemeine absolution - every single one forgiven, German -
in this statement adored by WELS, ELS, and LCMS.

The Correct Teaching of Justification by Faith
Abraham is the primary example of justification by faith in the Scriptures, Genesis 15. He believed God's Promises and this faith was counted as righteousness. God moved Abraham to faith, which is not a decision to be made and not a merit or quality of man.
Paul used Abraham as an example in Romans 4, climaxing in Romans 5:1-2. The rest of Romans 5 is an explanation of God's grace in justification - certainly not a UOJ statement.
Given the clear example and statements within this passage, we would have to believe that Paul completely contradicts himself, led by the Spirit, in teaching UOJ in the other passages kidnapped by the Stormtroopers. That includes plucking UOJ out of Romans 4 and Romans 5.
Romans 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
Missouri cites Romans 4:25 to echo the Easter Absolution dogma of Halle University, Bishop Mart Stephan STD, and CFW Walther, BA. Walther is more educated than the Pietist who taught him this abomination, because Stephan never graduated from any school, Walther from just one.
The Reformation would not have let Stephan be a bishop, and would have forbidden Walther his role as pope, since they were unsuited and uneducated for their presumptions of power and assertions of orthodoxy.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
The central message of Romans is justification by faith, but the apostates want to enforce justification without faith. For this they have to invent non-Scriptural analogies which are no better after thousands of repetitions. They have to contradict themselves and the Word itself.
Simply put - the Gospel produces and nurtures faith in us. This efficacious Gospel comes to us in the visible Word of the Sacraments and the invisible Word of teaching and preaching. Every part of Biblical worship is justification by faith - the confession of sin, the hymns, the Creed, the sermon, the baptism of infants and adults, the Holy Communion distribution.