Distinguishing between the Spiritual Kingdom and the Political Kingdom (Calvin)

Near the end of John Calvin's excellent discussion on the freedom of conscience (Christian liberty) in the Institutes, he talks about the Christian's relationship to the state (or government).  First, Calvin firmly emphasizes Galatians 5.1 (for freedom Christ has set you free...) against Rome's unbiblical binding of the conscience with all sorts of regulations not …

Distinguishing Justification from Sanctification (Vos)

Here's a good explanation of the difference between justification and sanctification. It's found in volume four of Geerhardus Vos' Reformed Dogmatics. A) Sanctification serves to take away the pollution of sin and to replace it with what is good as an inherent disposition; it restores in us conformity to the image of God. Justification serves …

Faith Does Not Say, “What Have I Done?” (Luther)

In Galatians 2:4-5 the Apostle wrote this:  [Now] this matter arose [because of the false brothers with false pretenses who slipped in unnoticed to spy on our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, to make us slaves]. But [we did not surrender to them even for a moment, in order that the truth of the …

Faith, Justification, and the Law/Gospel Distinction (Walther)

This morning on my reading list was the "twenty-first evening lecture" by C. F. W. Walther in his book, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel. In this chapter the 19th century Lutheran theologian discussed the following thesis: "The Word of God, the law and the gospel, is not rightly divided, but commingled [mixed], when …

The Law and All Good Works Must Be Utterly Excluded… (Fisher)

After explaining the differences between the law and the gospel, Edward Fisher (in The Marrow of Modern Divinity) went on to relate these differences to the doctrine of justification. This section struck me again toady; I really appreciate it and wanted to share it. Here's what Fisher wrote: And now, knowing rightly how to distinguish …

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