Benefits and the Benefactor

When the benefits are seen as abstractable from the Benefactor the issue becomes: 1) For the preacher: “How can I offer these benefits?”   and 2) For the hearer: “How can I get these benefits into my life?” But when it is seen that Christ and his benefits are inseparable and that the latter are not abstractable commodities, the primary question becomes: 1) For the preacher: “How do I preach Christ himself?”   and 2) For the hearer: “How do I get into Christ?”

 

Ferguson, Sinclair B.. The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters (pp. 48-49). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

Totus Christus

This, to use an Augustinian term, is totus Christus, the whole Christ, the person in whom incarnation has been accomplished and in whom atonement, resurrection, ascension, and heavenly reign are now realized. While we can distinguish Christ’s person and his work in analytical theological categories, they are inseparable from each other. Since there is no “work of Christ” that takes place abstracted from, and in that sense outside of, his person, the blessings of his work cannot be appropriated apart from receiving Christ himself with all his benefits. What God has joined together, we must not put asunder.

 

Ferguson, Sinclair B.. The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters (pp. 46-47). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

Extent of the Offer

The offer of the gospel is to be made not to the righteous or even the repentant, but to all. There are no conditions that need to be met in order for the gospel offer to be made.

 

Ferguson, Sinclair B.. The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters (p. 42). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

Fullness of Grace

in Jesus Christ there is a fullness of grace for all who will come to him.

 

Ferguson, Sinclair B.. The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters (p. 42). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

Indwelling by Christ

Not only are believers in Christ, he is in them, and “the hope of glory” for the church is “Christ in you” (Col. 1:27). Such union, then, is inherently vital. Christ indwelling by the Spirit is the very life of the believer: “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20); “your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:4).

 

Richard B. Gaffin, By Faith, Not by Sight: Paul and the Order of Salvation (Paternoster, 2006), 39.

The Nature of our Present Union

Present union is also spiritual. This is so not in an immaterial, idealistic sense but because of the activity and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This gives to present union with Christ its distinctiveness. It also circumscribes the mystery involved and protects against confusing it with other kinds of union. As spiritual, that is, effected by the Holy Spirit, it is neither ontological (like that between the persons of the Trinity), nor hypostatic (like that between Christ’s divine and human natures), nor psychosomatic (between body and soul in human personality), nor somatic (between husband and wife); nor is it merely intellectual and moral, a unity in understanding, affections and purpose. Spiritual union stems from the relationship between Christ and the Holy Spirit given with his glorification and lying in back of that union.

 

Richard B. Gaffin, By Faith, Not by Sight: Paul and the Order of Salvation (Paternoster, 2006), 38–39.

The Will and the Natures of Man

But just because we have the natural ability to choose, that does not mean we have, as Adam and Eve did, the ability to choose either good or evil. Since the fall into sin, since we are dead in our sins apart from Christ, we have lost the ability to choose for Christ. But we still choose, because sin did not destroy the image of God that we are as God’s human creatures. The will always chooses, but it chooses according to the nature of the person choosing. In the garden, Adam’s will could choose to obey or disobey. After the fall, we still choose, but we always choose what we want, and we always want sin. Our depravity does not mean that we do not choose; it means that, in our sin, we always choose sin. When we’re converted to Christ, there is a change of our nature, so that we can choose either to obey or disobey, just as Adam could. In the new heaven and new earth, since we—our nature—will be glorified, we will still choose, but we will always and only choose the good. In none of these cases do we lose our wills; the will remains in its natural state.

 

K. Scott Oliphint, The Majesty of Mystery: Celebrating the Glory of an Incomprehensible God (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016), 167–168.

Rationalism and Worship

Rationalism never leads to proper praise and worship. It can only be smugly satisfied with its own intellectual accomplishments

 

K. Scott Oliphint, The Majesty of Mystery: Celebrating the Glory of an Incomprehensible God (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016), 166.