Thursday, April 22, 2010

Louis Berkhof: We have no claim on God's blessings, so the doctrine of election is perfectly just

The fact that God favors some and passes by others, does not warrant the charge that He is guilty of injustice. We can speak of injustice only when one party has a claim on another. If God owed the forgiveness of sin and eternal life to all men, it would be an injustice if He saved only a limited number of them. But the sinner has absolutely no right or claim on the blessings which flow from divine election. As a matter of fact he has forfeited these blessings. Not only have we no right to call God to account for electing some and passing others by, but we must admit that He would have been perfectly just, if He had not saved any, Matt. 20:14,15; Rom. 9:14,15. (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 115. Banner of Truth, 2003.)

Friday, April 16, 2010

John Otis on WCF XI.1

Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XI, Section 1: Of Justification, states:
Those whom God effectually calleth, He also freely justifieth;(a) not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous, not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness, but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them,(b) they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God.(c)

(a) Rom. 8:30; Rom. 3:24.
(b) Rom. 4:5, 6, 7, 8; II Cor. 5:19, 21; Rom. 3:22, 24, 25, 27, 28; Tit. 3:5, 7; Eph. 1:7; Jer. 23:6; I Cor. 1:30, 31; Rom. 5:17, 18, 19.
(c) Acts 10:43; Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:19; Acts 13:38, 39; Eph. 2:7, 8.

"It is quite apparent that justification does not infuse righteousness or obedience into men. Justification pardons men of their sins. Men who are justified are declared righteous, not made righteous inwardly. The righteousness that is given to them is the righteousness of Christ, freely bestowed. The Confessional statement expressly states that the righteousness that men possess is not rooted in faith itself or in any kind of evangelical obedience. The obedience that justified men possess is said to be the obedience and satisfaction of Christ that is credited to their account." (John Otis, Danger in the Camp: An Analysis and Refutation of the Heresies of the Federal Vision, p. 41.)