John Murray on Original Sin
C. "Sin is a moral evil... sin is a violation of the law of God."
Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)
Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of New Georgia Baptist Church.
Labels: Reformation Theology
|The MacArthur Study Bible|
Labels: Reformation Theology
I have a friend, and more than a friend, a man who labored with me side by side in the ministry of God´s Word in the little group that has become __________ Bible chapel and this friend has fallen away from the Christian faith. He graduated from Bob Jones University and from Dallas Theological Seminary. And about the time when he and his wife left Dallas his wife contracted a very serious illness which over the years got progressively worse until she was reduced to being a complete invalid, and after the death of his wife I visited my friend (who now lives in the Midwest and who teaches Ancient History in a secular university). And as we sat in the living room together, face to face, he told me very frankly but graciously THAT HE NO LONGER CLAIMED TO BE A CHRISTIAN AT ALL, THAT HE NO LONGER BELIEVED THE THINGS THAT HE ONCE PREACHED AND TAUGHT, and the situation was even worse than he described because I heard through others that in the classroom on the university campus he often mocked and ridiculed the Christian faith. As I sat in that living room I was very painfully aware that it was impossible for me to talk that man into changing his mind.
Hodges appeals to [such passages as] Calvin's rejection of the identification of repentance and faith, citing Calvin's comment: "For to include faith in repentance, is repugnant to what Paul says in Acts [20:21]... where he mentions faith and repentance as two things totally distinct."
Calvin indeed distinguishes between faith and repentance and argues strenuously that faith is not produced by repentance. Yet Calvin will not separate or disconnect repentance from faith.
Calvin says: "That repentance not only follows faith, but is produced by it, ought to be without controversy. ... It is certain that no man can embrace the grace of the gospel without betaking himself from the errors of his former life into the right path and making it his whole study to practice repentance" (Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1:509-10, 3.3.1).
Earlier Calvin says: "The sum of the gospel is, not without good reason, made to consist in repentance and forgiveness of sins; and, therefore, where these two heads are omitted, any discussion concerning faith will be meager and defective, and indeed almost useless" (Ibid, 1:509, 3.3.1).
That Calvin was jealous to distinguish faith and repentance without separating them is made crystal clear when he writes: "Can true repentance exist without faith? By no means. But although they cannot be separated, they ought to be distinguished. As there is no faith without hope, and yet faith and hope are different, so repentance and faith, though constantly linked together are only to be united, not confounded. I am not unaware that under the term repentance is comprehended the whole work of turning to God, of which not the least important part is faith..." (Ibid, 1:512, 3.3.5).
Calvin will not allow for a repentance without faith. Neither will he allow for a faith without repentance.
[R.C. Sproul, Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification (Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Books, 1995. 169-170]
1. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said Poenitentiam agite, willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance.
2. This word cannot be understood to mean sacramental penance, i.e., confession and satisfaction, which is administered by the priests.
3. Yet it means not inward repentance only; nay, there is no inward repentance which does not outwardly work divers mortifications of the flesh.
4. The penalty [of sin], therefore, continues so long as hatred of self continues; for this is the true inward repentance, and continues until our entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
Faith cannot help doing good works constantly.
For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift: not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His making, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. (HCSB)
Labels: Bible study
Obviously, in spiritual leadership, the great goal and objective is to bring people to Christlikeness. That is why the leader himself must manifest Christlike character. That is why the standard for leadership in the church is set so high. The apostle Paul summarized the spirit of the true leader when he wrote, "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1).
Labels: Christian worldview