The Glory Has Departed

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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

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Consider the Teaching of Melanchthon and Chemnitz.
Thoughtful Comments from 2012

A. Berean has left a new comment on your post "Imputation Is the Foundational Issue - Says A. Ber...":

Justification - the Chief Article of Christian Doctrine as Expounded in Loci Theologici, by Martin Chemnitz. Translated by J.A.O. Preus. Published by Concordia Publishing House. Page 149.

Also in his Examination of the Council of Trent vol. 1, pg. 532, paragraph 17. Published by Concordia Publishing House. Translated by Fred Kramer.


solafide ( has left a new comment on your post "Imputation Is the Foundational Issue - Says A. Ber...":

Here it is to be noted that these three things are joined together: faith, Christ, and acceptance or imputation. Faith takes hold of Christ and has Him present, enclosing Him as the ring encloses the gem. And whoever is found having this faith in the Christ who is grasped in the heart, him God accounts as righteous. This is the means and the merit by which we obtain the forgiveness of sins and righteousness. “Because you believe in Me,” God says, “and your faith takes hold of Christ, whom I have freely given to you as your Justifier and Savior, therefore be righteous.” Thus God accepts you or accounts you righteous only on account of Christ, in whom you believe.

Now acceptance or imputation is extremely necessary, first, because we are not yet purely righteous, but sin is still clinging to our flesh during this life. God cleanses this remnant of sin in our flesh. In addition, we are sometimes forsaken by the Holy Spirit, and we fall into sins, as did Peter, David, and other saints. Nevertheless, we always have recourse to this doctrine, that our sins are covered and that God does not want to hold us accountable for them (Rom. 4). This does not mean that there is no sin in us, as the sophists have taught when they said that we must go on doing good until we are no longer conscious of any sin; but sin is always present, and the godly feel it. But it is ignored and hidden in the sight of God, because Christ the Mediator stands between; because we take hold of Him by faith, all our sins are sins no longer. But where Christ and faith are not present, here there is no forgiveness of sins or hiding of sins. On the contrary, here there is the sheer imputation and condemnation of sins. Thus God wants to glorify His Son, and He Himself wants to be glorified in us through Him.

Martin Luther, Luther's Works, Vol. 26 : Lectures on Galatians, 1535, Chapters 1-4, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald and Helmut T. Lehmann, Luther's Works (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999, c1963). 26:132-133.

SolaFide: Pretty clear, I think.


Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel has left a new comment on your post "Imputation Is the Foundational Issue - Says A. Ber...":

Ichabod - Thank you for highlighting, A Berean's excellent comment. Yes! The word "Imputation," is at the forefront of this universal objective justification controversy and discussion.

Luther correctly said: "Where there is the forgiveness of sins, there is life and salvation."

But it is here where the universal objective justification enthusiasts [UOJE] get tripped up, and never do get to first base:

UOJE [Universal objective justification enthusiasts] become hung up on the Atonement as a "be all" and "end all." They would rather just view Christ's universal sacrifice for sin as the one time imputation to the human soul. Their basic view of imputation is that when Christ died and rose; - that is what Luther talked about - "Where there is the forgiveness of sins, there is life and salvation." To them, that is the sum and substance of imputation. Hence, this is why UOJE often don't highlight the Holy Spirit's work in the salvation process. [John 3:8 in context] They essentially diss (ignore) faith. They bypass faith and actually believe that with the forgiveness of sins brought about by the Atonement, - that has brought [as Luther put it] "life and salvation" to all. So, then, their understanding is all based around the Atonement; that Christ's sacrifice was imputed, - not, faith.

On the other hand, those of us who believe Scripture, (and, the Confessions, concur); we believe that we, (by God's grace) are justified by faith. [Ephesians 2:8-9] We believe that the faith the Holy Spirit creates in us is imputed to us. We could almost use the words "infused" and "continually dispensed." Luther put it this way in his explanation of the 3rd Article of the Apostles Creed:

"In which Christian church He daily and richly forgive sins to me and all believers......"

Finally, I will point to an illustration, using an analogy. [And, I realize that no analogy is perfect]:

The universal objective justification crowds are stuck on the Atonement. To them that is their priceless "auto body."

But, the car doesn't travel (anywhere) without wheels and fuel. Hence, the Atonement without its (Holy Spirit) "imputation wheels & fuel" is useless. Without the Spirit's wheels and fuel, the human soul cannot personally partake of and benefit from Christ's all encompassing Atonement. Nor, (without Holy Spirit wheels and fuel) will that human soul travel to heaven. All that, though, does not matter for the universal objective justification enthusiasts still stuck in their Atonement auto. To them a car without wheels and fuel is a perfect and complete auto.

Nathan M. Bickel


GJ - The readers and I are grateful for the thoughtful contributions that arrive as comments.