Thursday, November 19, 2015

Through Which Covenant-Lens?

Just some questions... Could the answers indicate the covenant-lens through which you tend to view your sanctification: through the Covenant of Works (Law) or the Covenant of Grace (Gospel)?
1. Are you more conscious of your good works or your sins?
2. Are you more aware of your strengths or your weaknesses?
3. Are you more attuned to your successes or your failures?
4. Are you more acquainted with your confidence or your fears?
5. Are you more certain of your moral growth or your lack thereof?
6. Are you more familiar with your other-centeredness or your self-centeredness?
7. Are you more cognizant of a love for God or a lukewarm heart?
8. Are you more witting of the rightness of your positions or the wrongness of your attitudes?
9. Are you  more up-to-date with your moral consistency or your too-oft ambivalence?
10. Are you more versed in your basic goodness or your too-oft hypocrisy?
11. Are you more alive to the comfort of your good works or Christ's finished work of the cross for you?
12. Are you  more sensible to your obedience or the obedience of Christ? 
13. Are you more enlightened to your love for God or God's love for you
14. Do you see the strength of your obedience as increasing your standing with God? 
15. Do you see the weakness of your of obedience as decreasing your standing with God?
Though justified by grace from the Covenant of Works through faith in Christ, isn't our fallen tendency or bent to still look at ourselves to see how we measure up (self-justify)? Can't it be said, as believers seek to walk in the direction of obedience, that  sanctification is yet a slow, life-long process of removing from our eyes that lens of measuring ourselves against ourselves?... dying to the esteem of our works, our goodness, our strengths... becoming more aware of the lack of true righteousness within us?... and moving toward finding all our righteousness, indeed everything we need for salvation, in Jesus Christ and his finished work alone? For those who think I'm ignoring good works, not to worry. Exhortations to love God and neighbor are commanded and necessary, the path we walk as Christians. But is that what sanctifies? We should seek to love God and neighbor while resisting sin. But do those works make one holy? It is the power of the gospel that sanctifies. No longer under the law as a covenant of works but under the covenant of grace we find
"This whole matter of sanctification and holiness is peculiarly joined with and limited unto the doctrine, truth, and grace of the gospel; for holiness is nothing but the implanting, writing, and realizing of the gospel in our souls... 
"The “law,” indeed, for certain ends, “was given by Moses,” but all “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” There neither is, nor ever was, in the world, nor ever shall be, the least dram of holiness, but what, flowing from Jesus Christ, is communicated by the Spirit, according to the truth and promise of the gospel."                                           - John Owen. Discourse Concerning the Holy Spirit


  1. Jack, if you only had a PHD in theology, you would know that everything is a lot more "gray" than your either or questions. Since the eschaton is not yet immanent, it's always both and not yet---no antithesis. I am being of course sarcastic.

    p73, Gaffin, By Faith Not by Sight—“Here is what may be fairly called a synergy but it is not a 50/50 undertaking (not even 99.9% God and 0.1% ourselves). Involved here is the ‘mysterious math’ of the creator and his image-bearing creature, whereby 100% plus 100% =100%. Sanctification is 100% the work of God, and for that reason, is to engage the full 100% activity of the believer.”

  2. Do you see the strength of your sanctification as increasing your standing with God?
    Do you see the weakness of your of sanctification as decreasing your standing with God?

    The Gaffin school (Mark Jones, Garcia, Tipton) do not see progress in justification but they so see progress in the efficacy of prayers and in the assurance of justification based on progress in "sanctification".

    Gospel imputation is not only God counting the sins of the elect to Christ
    Gospel imputation is God counting Christ’s death to the elect

    Romans 6 calls this counting being “joined with Him in His death”

    Romans 6:7 “a person who has died is justified from sin’s claims. We died with Christ…”

    zero plus Christ’s death =grace reigns, not under the law

    a million minus plus Christ’s death =grace reigns, not under the law

    we cannot “multiply grace”

    we cannot “increase grace”

    we cannot make grace go up by sinning more

    we cannot make grace go down by sinning less

    Christ’s death plus grace causing us to work=not enough, under law not under grace

    100 percent grace enabling me to do enough to add to what Jesus did by death is NO GRACE AT ALL

    1. "we cannot make grace go up by sinning more

      we cannot make grace go down by sinning less"

      Well, said...