Intrepid Lutherans - Comments
Many consider John 3:16 to be the heart of the Gospel. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." That sounds remarkably similar to the verse I used in the post, from Acts 16:31. I will say it again, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved." The words in quotations are part of God's Word, the Means of Grace. The Holy Spirit works through the Means of Grace to give and strengthen faith. It often amazes me to see so many people, many of them theologians, who work so hard to trivialize a gift of the Holy Spirit. If you are a believer that needs assurance of your forgiveness, use the Means of Grace. If you are not a believer, the Holy Spirit still works through the Means of Grace to give faith and forgiveness. This is what is taught in the Gausewitz edition of Luther's Small Catechism, and the Lutheran Confessions, both reflecting the truths of Scripture. It is actually quite easy and simple to articulate.
It is impossible to allow Christ's words, here, to stand on their own and speak for themselves while at the same time understanding them as the teaching of "Universal Justification." They simply don't teach this doctrine. In order to interpret these words as a teaching of "Universal Justification," one must first insist that this so-called doctrine, which is nowhere stated in the Scriptures, is actually the central teaching of the Scriptures, and then use this teaching as a filter by which all Scripture is interpreted.
I'd be happy to accept "Universal Justification" as a Biblical doctrine, even as the central teaching of the Scriptures, if the Holy Spirit had thought it was important enough to actually include this doctrine in the direct teaching of Holy Writ. But it simply is not there. Anywhere. Again, the so-called doctrine of "Universal Justification" is neither mentioned, nor simply stated, nor articulated at length, nor developed and explained -- in short, it is not taught anywhere in the Scriptures. Therefore, I will not allow my conscience to be bound by it.
|Quenstedt answered all objections to justification by faith -|
and look who quoted and cited him - Robert Preus.