Archive for the ‘works-righteousness’ Category

How bright a bulb are you?

August 25, 2014

Some of us are 60 watt, some 75, 150, or even 500 or 1000 watts.  When a thousand watt person looks at a 60-watt person he believes he is doing exceedingly well and begins to feel smug and proud. Unfortunately, God calls us to shine like the sun!  When you compare a 1000-watt bulb with the brightness of the sun . . .it is as if it were nothing.

Rev. Bruce Goettsche

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No one is saved because of good works, but no one is saved without good works

June 5, 2010

No one is saved because of good works, but no one is saved without good works

Goldsworthy Trilogy, 2008, p.93, note

I looked down; my clothes hung formlessly on my shrunken limbs; the hand that lay on my knee was corded and hairy. I was once more Edward Hyde

December 16, 2009

I resolved in my future conduct to redeem the past; and I can say with honesty that my resolve was fruitful of some good. You know yourself how earnestly, in the last months of the last year, I laboured to relieve suffering; you know that much was done for others, …and then I smiled, comparing myself with other men, comparing my active good-will with the lazy cruelty of their neglect. And at the very moment of that vainglorious thought, a qualm came over me, a horrid nausea and the most deadly shuddering. These passed away, and left me faint; and then as in its turn faintness subsided, I began to be aware of a change in the temper of my thoughts, a greater boldness, a contempt of danger, a solution of the bonds of obligation. I looked down; my clothes hung formlessly on my shrunken limbs; the hand that lay on my knee was corded and hairy. I was once more Edward Hyde.

Dr Jeckyll fiding that despite or perhaps because of his proud self-righteousness, he became his evil alter ego – Edward Hyde.

in Timothy Keller, The Reason for God, (Hodder 2008), p.176

We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

November 17, 2009

We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

LDS, A of F 1:3

Those who join the Mormon church are not set free in Christ but introduced to a whole new set of laws and ordinances through which they prove their faith and earn their salvation. The imposibility of keeping all the commandments, especially in their own strength, imposes an increasing burden of guilt, unworthiness and condemnation.

Mike and Ann Thomas, Mormonism: A Gold-plated Religion, Alpha, p.258

Chrysostom: Justification by Faith Alone

November 7, 2009

Let us see, however, whether the brigand (the thief on the cross) gave evidence of effort and upright deeds and a good yield. Far from his being able to claim even this, he made his way into paradise before the apostles with a mere word, on the basis of faith alone, the intention being for you to learn that it was not so much a case of his sound values prevailing as the Lord’s lovingkindness being completely responsible.

What, in fact, did the brigand say? What did he do? Did he fast? Did he weep? Did he tear his garments? Did he display repentance in good time? Not at all: on the cross itself after his utterance he won salvation. Note the rapidity: from cross to heaven, from condemnation to salvation. What were those wonderful words, then? What great power did they have that they brought him such marvelous good things? “Remember me in your kingdom.” What sort of word is that? He asked to receive good things, he showed no concern for them in action; but the one who knew his heart paid attention not to the words but to the attitude of mind.

– John Chrysostom (around A.D. 347 to around A.D. 407), Sermon 7 on Genesis, in St. John Chrysostom, Eight Sermons on the Book of Genesis, pp. 123-24 (2004), Robert C. Hill translator.
Source: John Chrysostom: Thief Justified by Faith Alone without Works

What can I add to a great masterpiece by, say, Da Vinci? If I add my own touch to it I substract from its perfection

November 2, 2009

What can I add to a great masterpiece by, say, Da Vinci? If I add my own touch to it I substract from its perfection. So too if we add our own works to the perfect, finished work of Christ on the Cross. To add is to substract. Just like viewing a Da Vinci painitng we ought to look, admire and gaze in wonder at the Cross; but never add to it.

 

By faith are we saved only, in believing the promises. And though faith be never without love and good works, yet is our saving imputed neither to love nor unto good works, but unto faith only

October 31, 2009

By faith are we saved only, in believing the promises. And though faith be never without love and good works, yet is our  saving imputed neither to love nor unto good works, but unto faith only. For love and works are under the law, which requireth perfection and the ground and fountain of the heart, and damneth all imperfectness. Now is faith under the promises, which damn not; but give pardon, grace, mercy, favor, and whatsoever is contained in the promises.

William Tyndale, A PATHWAY INTO THE HOLY SCRIPTURE,

The plain exhibition of the doctrines of the Gospel was exceedingly offensive to many of (Henry Martyn’s) hearers

October 9, 2009

The plain exhibition of the doctrines of the Gospel was exceedingly offensive to many of (Henry Martyn’s) hearers. Nor did the ferment thus excited subside quickly, as it often does, into pity or contempt. He had the pain very shortly after, of being personally attacked from the pulpit by some of his brethren, whose zeal hurried them into the violation, not only of an express canon of the Church, but of the yet higher law of Christian charity, and led them to make an intemperate attack upon him and upon many of the truths of the Gospel. Even when he was himself present at Church, Mr. ______ spoke with sufficient plainness of him and of his doctrines, calling them inconsistent, extravagant and absurd; drawing a vast variety of false inferences from them, and thence arguing against them — declaring, for instance, that to affirm repentance to be the gift of God— and to teach that nature is wholly corrupt, was to drive men to despair — that to suppose the righteousness of Christ sufficient to justify, is to make it unnecessary to have any of our own. Though compelled to listen to this downright heresy; to hear himself described as knowing neither what he said, nor whereof he affirmed — and as speaking only to gratify self-sufficiency, pride, and uncharitableness, — “I rejoiced,” said this meek and holy man thus unjustly aspersed, “to receive the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper afterwards — as the solemnities of that blessed ordinance sweetly tended to soothe any asperity of mind; and I think that I administered the cup to ______ and _______, with sincere good-will.”

The Life and Letters of Henry Martyn, John Sargent, Banner, 1985, p.154-155

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path, but Buddhas clearly show the way

October 4, 2009

By ourselves is evil done,
By ourselves we pain endure,
By ourselves we cease from wrong,
By ourselves become we pure.

No one saves us but ourselves.

No one can and no one may.

We ourselves must walk the path,

but Buddhas clearly show the way.

 Karma: A Story of Buddhist Ethics, 1894, Paul Carus.

The poem captures the ideas of Buddha but are not the Buddha’s words as such. See here

Gautama Siddharta, Buddha (563-483 B.C.), Dhammapada 165

But God’s Word says:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.

Ephesians 2.8

Regeneration is an act of God in us; justification is a judgment of God with respect to us

September 26, 2009

Regeneration is an act of God in us; justification is a judgment of God with respect to us. The distinction is like that of the distinction between the act of a surgeon and the act of a judge. The surgeon, when he removes an inward cancer, does something in us. That is not what a judge does — he gives a verdict regarding our judicial status. If we are innocent he declares accordingly.

The purity of the gospel is bound up with the recognition of this distinction. If justification is confused with regeneration or sanctification, then the door is opened for the perversion of the gospel at its center. Justification is still the article of the standing or falling of the Church.

John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied p. 121