What Is Arminianism? ~ J. I. Packer

What Is Arminianism?1

Historically, Arminianism has appeared as a reaction against Calvinism, affirming, in the words of W. R. Bagnall, “conditional in opposition to absolute predestination, and general in opposition to particular redemption.”2 This verbal antithesis is not in fact as simple or clear as it looks, for changing the adjective involves redefining the noun. What Bagnall should have said is that Calvinism affirms a concept of predestination from which conditionality is excluded, and a concept of redemption to which particularity is essential, and Arminianism denies both. The difference is this. To Calvinism, predestination means foreordination, whereas to Arminianism it means only foresight of events not foreordained. On the Calvinist view, election, which is a predestinating act on God’s part, means the foreordaining of particular sinners to be saved by Jesus Christ, through faith, and redemption, the first step in working out God’s electing purpose, is an achievement actually securing certain salvation—calling, pardon, adoption, preservation, final glory—for all the elect. On the Arminian view, however, what the death of Christ secured was a possibility of salvation for sinners generally, a possibility which, so far as God is concerned, might never have been actualized in any single case; and the electing of individuals to salvation is no more than God noting in advance who will believe and qualify for glory, as a matter of contingent (not foreordained) fact. Whereas to Calvinism election is God’s resolve to save, and the cross Christ’s act of saving, for Arminianism salvation rests neither on God’s election nor on Christ’s cross, but on a man’s own cooperation with grace, which is something that God does not Himself guarantee.

Drawn from Packer’s excellent introduction to John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ (first published in 1647). The title to this introduction is simply “Arminianisms.” The work is also found in this collection of Packer’s writings: Puritan Papers – Vol. 5, 1968-1969. We hope to continue to pull some quotations from this work in the next few months, and you will see why in the next paragraph.

This week we will be focusing on some Canons of Dordt items in connection with the 400th anniversary (1618-19/2018-19). There are some new and exciting resources available on the “great Synod” and its work. Watch for these posts in the days to come!

If you wish to continue reading Packer’s essay, visit the link below.

Source: Arminianisms | Monergism

January 2019 Tabletalk: Commemorating the Synod of Dordt

We are overdue in noting the January 2019 issue of Tabletalk, Ligonier Ministries monthly devotional magazine. This month’s issue is a special one for all Reformed Christians and true Calvinists, for it is a tribute to the 400th anniversary of the great Synod of Dordt (1618-19).

Editor Burk Parsons gives a fine introduction to the theme with his “Five New Points of Old Heresy.” Here are a few of his thoughts:

If indeed we are Christians, we will care what we believe and, therefore, what we confess in our creed, for what we believe is the very basis of whether we are biblically orthodox or whether we’re heretics. The historic Reformed creeds and confessions summarize and systematically articulate what the Word of God teaches us, to the end that we might glorify God and enjoy Him forever. If we care about what we believe, we will care about the historic creeds and confessions of the church, and we will care about what happened in the Netherlands four hundred years ago and how the Reformed church responded.

Tonight we also wish to call attention to the first featured article, which is penned by noted Reformed historian Dr. W. Robert Godfrey. He writes the article linked below, “The Reason for Dort.” He provides a historical overview of the synod and its work, demonstrating why this “great synod” was necessary. That reason was chiefly the false teachings of James Arminius and his followers, known as Arminians, which made a defense of the absolute sovereignty of God and His saving grace so crucial.

We pull a few paragraphs from his article, encouraging you to read the rest at the link below.

The Dutch Calvinists decided that the synod should be more than simply a national synod. They invited representatives from most of the Reformed churches of Europe to attend and to be full voting members of the synod. The result was the greatest and most ecumenical gathering of Reformed churches ever held. (Lest my Presbyterian friends feel that I am slighting the Westminster Assembly, let me remind them that that assembly was not properly a church gathering but a gathering of theologians to advise the English Parliament.)

The Synod of Dort did its work carefully and thoroughly. It met from mid-November 1618 until late May 1619, first hearing the Arminians and then, when they were uncooperative, reading their writings. The greatest accomplishment of the synod was the preparation of what are known as the Canons of Dort. These canons or rulings of Dort respond to the five points of Arminianism. Strictly speaking, Calvinism does not have only five points; rather, it has the many points that one finds in the Belgic Confession or the Westminster Confession of Faith. Calvinism has five answers to the five errors of Arminianism. The canons respond point by point to the Arminian summary presented in 1610. The synod’s first head (or chapter) is on unconditional election. The second head is on limited atonement. The synod combines the third and fourth heads to show that total depravity is maintained only when the necessity of irresistible grace is taught. The fifth head teaches the perseverance of the saints because of the preserving grace of God.

And then, after pointing out some of the synod’s other work, Godfrey ends with this:

The Synod of Dort did outstanding work that is well worth celebrating four hundred years later. It preserved the true teaching of the Bible on salvation and provided in other ways as well for the well-being of the life of the church. The synod fought the good fight to which Jude calls Christians. The fight did lead to a fracture in the church. A small minority left to form the Remonstrant Brotherhood. But as Jude makes clear, such a division is not the fault of the orthodox but the fault of those who oppose the truth (Jude 19). The great accomplishment of the synod was that it kept, taught, and defended our faith, “our common salvation” (v. 3).

Source: The Reason for Dort

Additionally, and related to this, Ligonier will soon be releasing a new work on Dordt by Godfrey. The title is Saving the Reformation: The Pastoral Theology of the Canons of Dort (Reformation Trust, Jan. 2019). This is the publisher’s description:

There has been renewed interest in the five points of Calvinism among many Christians today. But these doctrines are not a product of the twenty-first century. So where did they come from, and why are they so important? Dr. W. Robert Godfrey takes us back to 1618-19 when the Canons of Dort were written in response to a mounting theological assault on Reformed Christianity. Now, for its four-hundredth anniversary, he offers a new translation and pastoral commentary on the canons, equipping the next generation with these God-glorifying truths.

A Theology of Listening (to the Preaching of the Word) – K. Ramey

This  [that is, that the Bible is the inspired, reliable Word of God] also means when a preacher faithfully preaches the Bible, it is God speaking and not the preacher (John 14:24; Acts 13:7,44). By virtue of the fact that God is the one who spoke it, we should listen and obey.

It’s His Word.

Just like a child should listen to and obey what their parents say for no other reason than it is the right things to do because of who they are (Eph.6:1-2), we should listen to and obey what our heavenly Father has said because of who He is. God’s Word is an expression of all that He is. He spoke forth His Word so that we know about His glory, His love, His grace, His mercy, His power, His wrath, His justice, His goodness, His faithfulness, etc. God’s character is inherent in His Word (cf. Ps.138:2). What makes the Bible so dynamic and gives it the ability to dissect our hearts with such precision and so accurately discern every aspect of our lives is because it is the Word of the all-powerful, all-knowing God (Heb.4:12-13). Whenever we are exposed to the Word of God we are in essence being exposed to God Himself (1 Cor.14:24-25). That alone should be enough to motivate us to honor and obey the Word of God.

ExpositoryListeningTaken from Expository Listening: A Handbook for Hearing and Doing God’s Word by Ken Ramey (Kress Biblical Resources, 2010), Chapter 1 – “Biblical Audiology: A Theology of Listening.” We touched on the introduction in our first post. In the months ahead I plan to draw on some of the author’s good thoughts concerning our calling to listen believingly to God’s Word proclaimed.

Announcing the New PRC Seminary Website

PRCA logo.JPG

Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary

Est. 1925

With great excitement (and a little relief!) and with deep gratitude to one of our pre-seminary students – Doner Bartolon – we can announce officially that the new PRC Seminary website is launched and live!

In reality, we did so a few days ago already, but had some more content to add/fix and some tweaks to make. And there is more to come, but we felt confident that the site was good to go now and that it was worthy to make public.

The design is simple yet professional, and the site easy to navigate. You will see that the homepage gives you a basic slide show and then introductory content on the seminary, including the latest events and blog post (Yes, the new site has its own blog!).

On the homepage are also all the main tabs:

Yes, Doner, of Mexican descent, had to be sure to add the Spanish page, which is good and we hope useful to those Spanish-speaking men interested in our theological teaching and ministerial training.

The “About Us” tab features three sections – the faculty, the facilities and our staff. Under “Resources” you will find the online library catalog, our PR Theological Journal (with the brand new issue – Fall 2018 – featured! [as well as all 102 past issues with an Index]), our bookstore, online classes available, and the writings and speeches given by our professors. This will also be an ever-growing collection of items. “Admissions” focuses on the requirements for applying for and entering our seminary, and includes our newly revised catalog (Fall 2018).

The next tab, “Seminary Activities,” includes a “News” section and an “Events” section. You will want to visit those often – and, in fact, at the bottom of any page on the website you will find a signup box to receive updates to the site. Be sure to add your email address to the already growing list! On this page you will also find our seminary calendar, where both the daily activities as well as the special activities of the seminary are noted.

Next are the “Contact” and “Blog” tabs, where you will find contact information (seminary phone numbers and info@prcts.org) and our new blog feature. A few posts have been made, but here too, look for more to come – from our faculty and registrar, as well as from our secretary and students.

We hope you bookmark this site, and use it to stay in close touch with the life and labors of our precious seminary

Preach-HC-CERCS-cover

I wish to call special attention to the upcoming Interim course, scheduled from Jan.4 – Jan.15. Prof. B. Gritters, by rotation, will be teaching his special course on “Heidelberg Catechism Preaching.” In addition to an open invitation to those in the area to attend, especially our ministers, we will be live-streaming the course through our YouTube channel.

Dordt400LogoRightMargin2

The other event to pay attention to is our 2019 Dordt400 Conference, set for April 25-27 at Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI. You will know by now, we trust, that there is a special website devoted to this, and we hope that you are making plans to attend all or most of this significant event.

Thanks for your attention – now go check out the website!

Published in: on December 27, 2018 at 10:05 PM  Leave a Comment  

Top Ten Books of 2018 – Kevin DeYoung

It is that wonderful time of year when the “best-books-of-the-year” lists are published. I have received notice of several already and will begin to reference them in the next two weeks.

These lists can be helpful in knowing what to read and/or to add to your personal or family library, especially, of course, those lists compiled by fellow Christians (including the Reformed ones). I also find them useful in learning what I may have missed for the PRC seminary library.

Pastor (now PCA) and author Kevin DeYoung published his “top ten books of 2018” on The Gospel Coalition website recently (Dec.14 – cf. link below). I will give you part of his introduction, which includes his criteria for choosing the titles he did. After that part of his introduction, I will post a part of his list; you may find the full list at the link below.

This list is not meant to assess the thousands of Christian books published each year, let alone every interesting book published in 2018. There are plenty of worthy titles that I am not able to read (and lots I never hear of). This is simply a list of the books (Christian and non-Christian, but all non-fiction) that I thought were the best in the past year.

When I say “best” I have several questions in mind:

• Was this book well written and enjoyable to read?
• Did I find it personally challenging, illuminating, edifying, or entertaining?
• Is it a book I am likely to reread or consult again?
• Do I see myself recommending this book to others?

Undoubtedly, the “best” books reflect my interests. This doesn’t mean I agree with every point in these books, but it does mean I found them helpful and insightful.

And now the top four of DeYoung’s “top ten.”

4. Alex Hutchinson, Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance (William Morrow). With Breaking2—the 2017 Nike-led project to run a sub-two hour marathon—as his backdrop, Hutchinson (a runner, columnist, researcher, and Cambridge PhD) explores the limits of athletic achievement and human endurance. This isn’t a training volume with secrets for getting a PR in your next race. Instead, it’s a journalistic examination of the different theories, studies, stories, and scholars trying to answer the simple question: what makes people keep going and what makes them stop? To that end, Hutchinson has chapters on muscles, heat, oxygen, thirst, fuel, and belief. His conclusion? We don’t finally know what makes people push through pain, but there is at least as much brain and belief involved as body and brawn.

 

3. D. Bruce Hindmarsh. The Spirit of Early Evangelicalism: True Religion in a Modern World (Oxford). In this important new work on evangelical devotion, Hindmarsh, a top flight historian and professor at Regent College, focuses on Edwards, Whitefield, and the Wesleys, but goes far beyond them in his analysis. Without discounting doctrinal continuity with the past, Hindmarsh argues that evangelical devotional ideas and practices were innovative, rooted in antecedent spiritual traditions, but new in their language and eclecticism.

 

2. Lewis Allen. The Preacher’s Catechism (Crossway). I’m always thankful for books that simultaneously convict and encourage. Using the Westminster Shorter Catechism as his inspiration and (loose) guide, Allen goes through 43 questions and answers designed to remind the busy/distracted/discouraged/puffed-up/cast-down preacher what really matters (and what doesn’t) in a life of faithful ministry. A Puritan throwback.

 

 

1. Jonathan Gibson and Mark Earngey (eds). Reformation Worship: Liturgies from the Past for the Present (New Growth Press). My top book from 2018 is likely to be the least purchased and least read of all the books on this list. And at nearly 700 pages, it’s also the biggest of the books here. But that’s part of what makes the book so valuable. Few people will read straight through, cover to cover, a collection of Reformation-era liturgies (I didn’t). But the sheer size of this volume tells us something important. Namely, the Reformers thought a lot about worship. It was essential to their Reformation project, which makes our relative indifference to the forms and flow of worship all the more surprising (and scandalous). Every Reformed pastor and worship leader with a book budget should have this on their shelves.

Source: Top Ten Books of 2018

Christ’s Poverty, Our Riches – Rev. M. De Vries

2-corinthians-8-9-kjv

The idea is, therefore, that Christ was manifesting toward His people a favor completely undeserved when He came into the world and became poor though He had been rich. That appalling poverty characteristic of Christ’s life was something that He willingly took upon Himself because Christ was gracious towards His people. The emphasis falls upon Christ’s perfect obedience and willingness to suffer. It speaks to us of that glorious truth that although it was painful beyond description for Christ to become so poor, nevertheless, He eagerly and anxiously seized upon this poverty because the deepest motives of His heart were for the people whom He loved. No price was too great to pay for them; no humiliation too bitter; no suffering too great; no poverty too lowly.

But what makes this grace appear so wonderful is the fact that He became poor for us because we are so very, very poor! O, not in the material sense. It is true, we may not be materially wealthy; we may have financial struggle. But, for the most part, we have an abundance of material things. Undoubtedly, you will receive many nice material gifts this season. But, remember, material riches mean nothing! Spiritually, we are very poor, by nature. We are poverty-stricken, spiritually bankrupt in ourselves. This poverty is the terrible poverty of sin, of death, of the curse, of hell! It is a poverty far more awful than the worst of material poverty. Do you recognize that poverty as yours? The whole church for which Christ died is poor, spiritually destitute. Think of the corrupt host for which Christ died, of the wretched sinners we all are, even now. If you think of your own terrible poverty, the poverty of a nature completely depraved, then you can see something of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He, being rich, was made poor, on our behalf.

There is no other explanation for it but GRACE – undeserved favor. Christ was under no obligation to come into our poverty. He did not have to come to Bethlehem! He certainly did not have to save you and me! It was grace!

sb-logo-rfpaFound in the Meditation on 2 Cor.8:9 by Rev. Michael DeVries (Kalamazoo PRC) in the December 1, 2018 issue of the Standard Bearer. A fitting reflection for us in this Advent season.

The Sessions of the Synod of Dordt – Dordt 400

In case you have been missing the special blog posts on the newly published Synod of Dordt website in connection with the PRC Seminary’s commemoration of Dordt’s 400th anniversary (1618/19-2018-19) next spring, I give you this reminder here.

Prof. Doug Kuiper (newly appointed professor of NT and church history) has begun writing a series of posts on the sessions of the “great synod.” His first one was introductory, but the next one (linked below) begins to treat the business of each of the 180 sessions.

Here is a portion of that post (find the rest at the link below):

Sessions 1-5

Session 1: Tuesday, November 13 AM
The morning began with Balthasar Lydius preaching a sermon in Dutch, and Jeremias de Peurs in French. Probably these sermons were preached in two different churches, to different audiences. Both men were delegates to the Synod. As the minister in Dordrecht, Lydius was able to sleep in his own bed during the months the Synod met. De Peurs was minister of the French refugee (Walloon) church in Middelburg.
After the sermons the delegates went in procession to the building in which the Synod met, the Kloveniersdoelen. The state delegation (representing the national government) welcomed the other delegations and showed them their assigned seats. Then Balthasar Lydius opened with prayer, after which Martin Gregorius made opening remarks. Gregorius was the president of the state delegation that week; this presidency rotated weekly.
The 18 state delegates presented their credentials, which Balthasar Lydius read. Then they elected Daniel Heinsius as their secretary. He was to keep minutes of the meetings of the state delegation, and to create his own set of minutes of the Synod.

These posts should have wide interest in the Reformed church world and therefore deserve wide notice. If you have an interest in Dordt’s work and decisions – especially her Canons written against the errors of the Arminians and her defense of sovereign, particular grace – we encourage you to look these up and spread the word.

And, make plans to attend the PRC seminary’s conference next April! 🙂

Source: The Sessions of the Synod of Dordt (2) Week One: Sessions 1-5 – Dordt 400

” You never come to God’s church, come to the Lord’s Table, thinking that God owes you something. …Arrogant worship is an oxymoron….” – R. C. Sproul

It was presumptuous of Cain to be angry when God did not respect his offering. Perhaps nothing proves more vividly the state of Cain’s heart than his reaction to God’s judgment.

If we’re children of Christ and we stand before the judgment seat of God on the last day and God says to us, ‘You’re covered by the blood of my Son, and it’s a good thing, because you did this, this, this, this, and this,’ we won’t say, ‘But, Lord, I did this in Your name, I did that in Your name. You really aren’t being fair.’ However, there will be many who will respond in just that manner.  Jesus is going to say to those people, ‘Please leave, I don’t know who you are.’

A person who trusts God trusts not only His promises but His judgment. Even in a prayer of contrition, such a person acknowledges that God would be absolutely justified to destroy him for his sin. You never come to God’s church, come to the Lord’s Table, thinking that God owes you something. If you do, you’re better off not to pray, not to commune, because you are blaspheming and slandering the Giver of every good and perfect gift, Who has treated you only with mercy.

Unlike Cain, Abel was humble in his worship, which is the only possible posture for a fallen human being to have in the context of worship. Arrogant worship is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms

…The single most important thing to understand about worship is that the only worship that is acceptable to God is worship that proceeds from a heart that is trusting in God, and in God alone.

taste-of-heaven-sproulThis is another follow-up post to our Sunday discussion groups this year at our home church (Faith PRC), which met last night. We are beginning a study of R.C. Sproul’s book on worship. It was originally published under the title A Taste of Heaven: Worship in the Light of Eternity (Reformation Trust, 2006 – the copy I have), but has been newly published under the title How Then Shall We Worship? (David C. Cook, 2013). The above quotation is taken from chapter 2, “Sacrifices in Faith,” (pp.34-38) where the author draws out his main point from the history of the offerings of Cain and Abel (Gen.4, in the light of Heb.11:4).

Where Is the Word of God? November 2018 “Tabletalk”

The November 2018 issue of Tabletalk centers on the theme of “Living by the Word of God,” an extremely important subject in our day of moral relativism and Scripture-denying doctrine, and that within the nominal church and among many professing Christians. As Christians we claim to be “people of the Book,” the Word of God. But as this issue shows, that begins with a right understanding of what this Book is, and then with a practice that matches what we confess it to be. If this Book is indeed the Word of God, then we must truly live by it. If you are in need of those reminders (and aren’t we all?!), then read on!

In addition to the daily devotions (on the gospel of John), I have been working my way through the various articles, including editor Burk Parsons article titled “Our Only Infallible Rule.” He makes a powerful point in his introductory comments on the theme:

Anyone who says the Bible is boring isn’t reading the Bible with a heart of faith, and anyone who says the Bible is easy to read isn’t really examining the Bible. The Bible never actually calls us simply to read it. It calls us to study it, examine it, search it, meditate on it, hide it in our hearts, and let it dwell in us richly. Yet many Christians seem to read the Bible as quickly as they can so that they can tell everyone they have read it. We do indeed need to read the Bible—sometimes multiple chapters and entire books in one sitting—yet we are also called to study it so that we do not simply allow the sacred Word of God to pass before our eyes without properly considering its manifold splendor. Not only that, but many professing Christians don’t read the Bible much at all. Many are looking for a special word from God while their Bibles sit on their shelves gathering dust. If we want a special word from God, we need only open the Bible and read it, and if we want to hear a special word from God, we only need read the Bible aloud. For the Bible is the special revelation of God, and it is our only infallible rule for faith and life.

The first main article I read on Sunday is the one in the title to this blog post, “Where is the Word of God?” by Dr. Michael J. Kruger. After explaining that God’s Word is “the ultimate standard for all of life,” he goes into the importance of the Protestant doctrine of sola Scriptura. But then he also issues some cautions about misunderstanding and misapplying this truth, one of which is this one:

Of course, like many core Christian convictions, the doctrine of sola Scriptura has often been misunderstood and misapplied. Unfortunately, some have used sola Scriptura as a justification for a “me, God, and the Bible” type of individualism, where the church bears no real authority and the history of the church is not considered when interpreting and applying Scripture. Thus, many churches today are almost ahistorical—cut off entirely from the rich traditions, creeds, and confessions of the church. They misunderstand sola Scriptura to mean that the Bible is the only authority rather than understanding it to mean that the Bible is the only infallible authority. Ironically, such an individualistic approach actually undercuts the very doctrine of sola Scriptura it is intended to protect. By emphasizing the autonomy of the individual believer, one is left with only private, subjective conclusions about what Scripture means. It is not so much the authority of Scripture that is prized as the authority of the individual.

The Reformers would not have recognized such a distortion as their doctrine of sola Scriptura. On the contrary, they were quite keen to rely on the church fathers, church councils, and the creeds and confessions of the church. Such historical rootedness was viewed not only as a means for maintaining orthodoxy but also as a means for maintaining humility. Contrary to popular perceptions, the Reformers did not view themselves as coming up with something new. Rather, they understood themselves to be recovering something very old—something that the church had originally believed but later twisted and distorted. The Reformers were not innovators but excavators.

Kruger has other good points that are worth your reading. Follow the link below to read his full article.

Source: Where Is the Word of God?

Luther’s Doctrine of Justification (4) – R. Hanko

MLutherThe Wedding Ring of Faith: Passive Justification

The exchange of our sins for Christ’s perfect righteousness, according to Luther, takes place through faith:

By the wedding ring of faith he shares in the sins, death, and pains of hell which are his bride’s. As a matter of fact, he makes them his own and acts as if they were his own and as if he himself had sinned; he suffered, died, and descended into hell that he might overcome them all. Now since it was such a one who did all this, and death and hell could not swallow him up, these were necessarily swallowed up by him in a mighty duel; for his righteousness is greater than the sins of all men, his life stronger than the death, his salvation more invincible than hell. Thus the believing soul by means of the pledge of its faith is free in Christ, its bridegroom, free from all sins, secure against death and hell, and is endowed with the eternal righteousness, life, and salvation of Christ its bridegroom. So he takes to himself a glorious bride, “without spot or wrinkle, cleansing her by the washing of water with the word” cf. Eph. 5:26-27

of life, that is, by faith in the Word of life, righteousness, and salvation. In this way he marries her in faith, steadfast love, and in mercies, righteousness, and justice, as Hos. 2:19-20 says.6

According to Luther, that faith by which we are justified is entirely a work of God, and in no sense a work of man. By way of emphasizing this he often described justifying faith as passive:

For between these two kinds of righteousness, the active righteousness of the law and the passive righteousness of Christ, there is no middle ground. Therefore he who has strayed away from this Christian righteousness will necessarily relapse into the active righteousness, that is, when he has lost Christ, he must fall into a trust in his own works.7

By the use of the word “passive,” however, Luther did not mean that justifying faith is without any activity at all. He did not deny that faith is believing and trusting, resting and relying upon Christ. Nevertheless, he believed that faith was first and foremost union with Christ, the marriage of Christ and the believer by which they become one flesh, the union through which the sins of the believer are actually transferred to Christ and the righteousness of Christ given to the believer.8

His emphasis continues to serve as a necessary antidote to the current teaching that makes faith another work. He was much nearer the truth than those who deny gracious justification by speaking of faith as a decision of man’s own will or by suggesting that faith is man’s response to a well-meant “offer” of salvation in the gospel. Of this Luther would have nothing:

For faith is a divine work which God demands of us; but at the same time He Himself must implant it in us, for we cannot believe by ourselves.9

6. Luther’s Works, vol. 31, pp. 351, 352, “The Freedom of a Christian.”

7. Luther’s Works, vol. 26, p. 9, “The Argument of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians.”

8. By the use of the word “passive” Luther also meant that the faith which unites us to Christ unites us to His suffering (the words “passive” and “passion” are related). Thus, too, justifying faith is far from inactive in that it shares, through union with Christ, in Christ’s suffering. That suffering, according to Luther, included not only sharing in Christ’s reproach and persecution, but in the agony of dying to sin and being killed by the law.

9. Luther’s Works, vol. 23, p. 23, “Sermon on John 6:28, 29.”

The fourth section of an article by Rev. Ronald Hanko found in the October 15, 2001 issue of the Standard Bearer (cf. link below), a special Reformation issue focusing on the life and teachings of the great Reformer, Martin Luther. We are quoting from this article leading up to Reformation Day 2018 (Oct.31).

Source: Luther’s Doctrine of Justification (1) | Standard Bearer