Justification by Faith is Dead, III. Doxological Ramifications

Before I begin, allow me to preface this post by stating that I believe quite wholeheartedly that all things, both good and evil, minute and grand, work together for good for those who love God, which is the riches of his glory accomplished for them (cf. Rm. 8:28; 9:23). Therefore, in spite of our constant failings and in spite of our doctrinal fallacies, God will be glorified, and he will be glorified to the high degree which he has decreed. For whether or not we attribute credit to God appropriately with our petty minds on the matter of our salvation and its accomplishment, God will be glorified fully, be it through our unrighteousness which serves to show his righteousness (cf. Rm. 3:6) or through our obedience which demonstrates our being driven by his Spirit (cf. Rm. 8:13,14).

In spite of the great certainty with which we can be assured that God’s ultimate manifestation of his glory will be accomplished without regard to the fickleness of our wills, we are nevertheless clearly commanded to be holy as he is holy, to be transformed by the renewal of our minds, and to not be carried away by the doctrines of men (cf.1Pt. 1:16; Rm. 12:2; Eph. 4:14). In other words, we are never given warrant to be content in our ill-founded doctrines or in our disobedience knowing that God is and will be glorified in our mishaps. Quite the contrary, we are encouraged not to think as those fools who slanderously charged Paul with “doing evil that good may come” (Rm. 3:8), but we are rather charged to patiently seek for glory and honor and immortality or be met with the full wrath and fury of God (cf. Rm. 2:7,8).

Therefore, we who claim to be children of God, should strive continually to glorify God as slaves of righteousness rather than as the slaves of disobedience that we formerly were (Rm. 6:15-23). Included in our former slavery to disobedience is our fleshly, anthropocentric philosophizing and theologizing. This includes every philosophy and every theological doctrine that seeks to understand that which God has not revealed or that which God has revealed but we find disagreeable or unsettling.

Included in this class of unsettling doctrines is the presently pertinent matter of the meticulous Providence of God and God’s subsequent unconditional election and salvation of souls against which our present, man-conjured doctrine of “justification by acceptance” stands fast in opposition. The Providence of God is the doctrine from which this false teaching springs. For our justification by acceptance declares most essentially that man, not God, is in control of his destiny in spite of crystal clear teachings to the contrary. But since we in our own skins perceive ourselves to have free wills (to which I would charge you to find one instance in Scripture where it is said that our wills are anything but enslaved), we must find ways to make the Gospel that speaks of the Righteousness that comes from God alone fit into our own understanding of ourselves and our wills. Therefore that which was once faith is now acceptance, that which was once a grace is now a work, and that which was was once totally of God is now partially of God.

Therefore, we who hold to a justification by acceptance rob God of his due glory. This is not to say as we said before that God will not be glorified fully despite our attempt to rob God and to glorify ourselves, but it is rather a warning and a condemnation upon ourselves. For Isaiah speaks concerning God’s purposes in saving Israel by revealing himself to those who were deaf and blind, saying:

For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
for how should my name be profaned?
My glory I will not give to another (Is. 48:11, emphasis mine).

And to this day, God will not give his glory to another. The question therefore is: will you glorify God by thinking rightly about him and yourself as Scripture declares, or will you glorify God by demonstrating his righteousness through your unrighteousness and his truth through your lie? (cf. Rm. 3:6,8). The choice is yours, be it free or not.

Categories: Theology

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