Wednesday, 2 January 2013

In Christ?, Then No Condemnation :

"What inexpressible joy, that our dear Lord, who loveth our souls, and whom our souls love, shall he our judge! Will a man fear to be judged by his dearest friend ? or a wife by her own husband ? Christian, did Christ come down and suffer, and weep, and bleed, and die for thee, and will he now condemn thee? Was he judged, condemned, and executed in thy stead and now will he condemn thee himself? Hath he done most of the work already, in redeeming, regenerating, sanctifying, and preserving thee, and will he now undo all again? Well, then, let the terror of that day be never so great, surely our Lord can mean no ill to us in all." 
~Richard Baxter

11 comments:

Helen said...

1st thought:
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.What can man do to me? Psalm 118:6

2nd thought:
(Re Baxter exegesis, I am pondering whether the "dearest friend" and "husband" refers to human relationships, or Christ?)

if we are faithless, he remains faithful - for he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:13

dale mcalpine said...

Re; 1st thought, Amen!

2nd thought, I think it is Both! Baxter is asking us to imagine being judged by a dear friend or our spouse on judgement day, and his point is, we will be, because Christ is to His church both of those.

I heard something recently about that verse quoted in 2 Timothy that went along the lines of, it is in no way condoning sin in the believer and in reference to Him "remaining faithful" this refers to His judgement,so if we are without faith, He will be faithful to judge.

Albert Barnes on 2Tim2:13;
If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful - This cannot mean that, if we live in sin, he will certainly save us, as if he had made any promise to the elect, or formed any purpose that he would save them; whatever might be their conduct; because:
(1) he had just said that if we deny him he will deny us; and,
(2) there is no such promise in the Bible, and no such purpose has been formed. The promise is, that be that is a believer shall be saved, and there is no purpose to save any but such as lead holy lives. The meaning must be, that if we are unbelieving and unfaithful, Christ will remain true to his word, and we cannot hope to be saved.


Hope this helps.

dale mcalpine said...

Should add, Baxter in his reference to being judged by a dear friend or a spouse is assuming that these are healthy loving relationships.

Helen said...

Whoops! Regarding my quotation from 2 Tim 2:13, I hoped you wouldn't think I was advocating a wanton, licentious, sinful lifestyle, (how can I sound antinomian when it's a direct bible quotation?!), or the sin of (total, terminal, Christ denying) unbelief, such as that covered by the previous verse, v12b "If we deny him,he also will deny us".
I have always understood "if we are faithless, he remains faithful" to refer to the temporary lapses in faith of born-again, justified belivers; the lapses we all have in our weak, not yet glorified state. "Christ's faithfulness is not dependent on our faithfulness because he cannot act contrary to his own nature." (New Bible Commentary)
Spurgeon says:"Glory be to God, the unbelief of man cannot make God break his promises. Christian, all thine unbelief has not made God unfaithful to thee."
SO, I quoted 2 Tim 2:13 in order to support the sentiment expressed by Richard Baxter, that "There is therefore now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus"! Rom 8:1

I think I see what Albert Barnes means; I interpret it in a John 5:18 way,that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning,but he who was born of God (Jesus) protects him and the evil one does not touch him."

dale mcalpine said...

No, I didn't think you were "advocating a wanton, licentious, sinful lifestyle" Helen, I know you better than that.

You said, you "have always understood "if we are faithless, he remains faithful" to refer to the temporary lapses in faith of born-again, justified believers; the lapses we all have in our weak, not yet glorified state"

Up until recently that is how I interpreted this verse, however if we look at it in light of what Albert Barnes says we see that is not correct;

"The meaning must be, that if we are unbelieving and unfaithful, Christ will remain true to his word, and we cannot hope to be saved." A.B

In other words He is faithful to judge.

Helen said...

Random thoughts!:
Now I'm thinking Hebrews 6:4-6!!!

I CAN indeed see Barnes' point re your "He is faithful to judge." i.e. a continuation of "if we deny him, he will deny us."

I suppose interpretation of "faithless" (believe not) = Saving faith or not - is the issue... ( hence my 1 Jn 5:18 quote.)

So Spurgeon was wrong then? (And the ESV study bible which supports my original premise - & yours till you changed your mind.)

Calvin says: If we are unbelieving, he remaineth faithful - The meaning is that our base desertion takes nothing from the Son of God or from His glory; because having everything in himself, he stands in no need of our confession. As if he had said, "Let them desert Christ who will, yet they take nothing from Him; for when they perish, He remaineth unchanged."
- This appears to echo the position of Mr Barnes!?

Now I'm quite exhausted! How did we get on to this? Oh yes, your post title "In Christ?, Then no Condemnation: (!)

Blessings!

dale mcalpine said...

What was Spurgeon wrong about ?...where ?

Helen said...

Was refering to "Christian, all thine unbelief has not made God unfaithful to thee." However, just read Spurgeon sermon on 2 Tim 2:13 where he appears to take same position as Mr Barnes, as does Matthew Henry..

OK, you win! (Fascinating few days of interesting debate btw, Thanks!)

Moral of the story: READ OLD DEAD THEOLOGIANS!!!!!!!

dale mcalpine said...

Indeed!

Jon Gleason said...

Coming late to this, I'll add a thought.

There are two Biblical applications of His faithfulness in light of our unbelief. The first is that He is faithful even when believers are weak and stumble, and He draws us back because we are His children. He cannot deny Himself. The second is that He is faithful when false believers fall away, and He faithfully judges them.

Both are true. Which is in view here? I'd lean towards the latter (along with the old dead theologians :)), but it is possible that neither is Paul's focus, that he is simply giving the general principle -- God's faithfulness is not dependent on ours in any way. Perhaps, therefore, it would be appropriate to draw both applications (one for believers to comfort us when we stumble, one to rebuke false sheep) from that principle.

dale mcalpine said...

Thanks brother, sounds reasonable.

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