Bill says, “We are not justified by Christ alone without …

Comment on Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case by David Read.

Bill says, “We are not justified by Christ alone without our obedience to the law, and we are not justified by our works alone without Christ.”

Ellen White says, “Should faith AND works purchase the gift of salvation for anyone, then the Creator is under obligation to the creature.”

And, “When men learn they cannot earn righteousness by their own merit of works, and they look with firm and entire reliance upon Jesus Christ as their only hope, there will not be so much of self and so little of Jesus. Souls and bodies are defiled and polluted by sin, the heart is estranged from God, yet many are struggling in their own finite strength to win salvation by good works. Jesus, they think, will do some of the saving; they must do the rest. They need to see by faith the righteousness of Christ as their only hope for time and for eternity.”

Did you catch this sentence?: “Jesus, they think, will do some of the saving; they must do the rest.”

Bill says, “if our church was not so hell bent on patronizing apostate Protestantism, they would not shy away from her clear statements on justification by obedience to the law of God. . . . But the last quarters lessons were all about how we are justified by faith alone without keeping the law of God.”

Oh, yeah, the Sabbath School Quarterly editor, that crazy liberal Cliff Goldstein (who has written a book defending the IJ/1844 doctrine) is up there fiendishly trying to use the quarterly to get us to embrace apostate Protestantism.

Ellen White says, “The light given me of God places this important subject above any question in my mind. Justification is wholly of grace and not procured by any works that fallen man can do.” Faith and Works, pp. 19-23

Bill, no one is arguing for “cheap grace” or for faith as mere intellectual assent to propositional truth, or for being saved in your sins, or for breaking the law of God, or for continuing to crucify Christ.

But you’ve got to let of go of your heretical, repulsive language about being “justified by works” or being saved by faith AND works. This is not Christian language. It is not language fitting to someone who fathoms the mercy of God, and what Christ has accomplished by His atoning death on Calvary.

I think your heart is in the right place, but your language is deeply divisive and injurious to the Body of Christ. You state things in a manner calculated to cause controversy, and then consider yourself a martyr because your Adventist brothers have threatened you with censure. You are not a martyr. You’ve brought censure on yourself by your stubbornly persistent use of unbiblical, heretical language.

David Read Also Commented

Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case
Bill, eventually you’ll realize that calling anyone who disagrees with you a “novice” is not an argument, it is ad hominem.

You could take a lesson in how to winsomely present your views from Stephanie Dawn, one of the columnists on Shane’s new website, “Advindicate”. She believes that: “At the end of time, God will have a sealed people who completely reflect His perfect character, and the observance of the seventh day Sabbath will be the sign of God’s sealed people, setting them apart from the rest of the world.”

But note, “This sealing, however, will not be accomplished by trying to keep the Sabbath as perfectly as possible. If we are keeping the Sabbath as a means of obtaining Salvation, we are actually not keeping the Sabbath at all, because we are denying God the redeemer, the one who saves us by grace through faith and not of works (Ephesians 2:8-9).”

Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case
“So, you say to people, ‘We can’t be justified by fulfilling what the ceremonial law typifies, namely, the death of Jesus and His merits in our behalf’ and then say,’and this applies to the moral law as well.'”

Bill, I didn’t say that, but it raises an opportunity to discuss the ceremonial law vs. the moral law. The ceremonial law pointed forward to Christ. The ceremonial law was in the place of Christ, before Christ. Confessing your sins on the head of a lamb without blemish and then sacrificing the lamb was intended to convey the truth that without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins, and was intended to point forward to Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, who would bear our sins and shed his blood on our behalf.

But now we have Christ and his death on the cross, so the ceremonial law, with its system of types and symbols, is no longer necessary. We don’t need the shadow because we have the thing itself, we don’t need a type or symbol, because we have the anti-type or anti-symbol.

Unlike the ceremonial law, the moral law is eternal and unchangeable, because it reflects aspects of God’s character and government. It is as much a sin for Christians today to murder, commit adultery and break the Sabbath as it was for Jews in the Old Testament to murder, commit adultery and break the Sabbath. So in no sense am I trying to set aside or do away with the moral law. As I have now said several times, if it were possible to do away with the moral law, Christ would not have had to die, and we know He DID have to die for us on Calvary.

But today as in Old Testament times, we are not saved by keeping the moral law. We are not justified by keeping the moral law, because keeping the moral law doesn’t make up for breaking the moral law. (Again, think about my illustration of the man on trial for murder; it isn’t helpful for him say, “hey, your honor, even though I’ve been out on bond, I haven’t murdered anyone in the last 9 months”). In OT Times, the atonement, the pardon for breaking the moral law, was accomplished by the sacrificial system, which pointed forward to Christ’s atoning death, and in NT times, we look back with faith toward Christ’s atoning death.

“Is sin mingled with a believer’s works? Yes. But Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary removes the sin, and all that is left is perfect obedience to the law of God. Absolute pure undefiled works and obedience. And these works justify the believer.”

Bill, why doesn’t Jesus remove the sins from the UNbeliever’s life record? Isn’t it exactly because the unbeliever is not a believer? So in fact it is faith, and only faith, that saves, because Christ’s merits cover the transgressions only of believers, not unbelievers.

Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case
Bob, there’s no conflict between Ephesians and Romans. Ephesians says we’re saved by grace through faith as the gift of God, which is imputed righteousness; Romans 2:13 says the saved will be “declared righteous,” which is imputed righteousness.

“For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Rom. 2:13.

They’re not saved because they obey the law; they’re saved because they are “declared righteous,” and they’re declared righteous because their obedience is evidence of saving faith, genuine conversion and sorrow for sin.

Recent Comments by David Read

LSU Removes Dr. Lee Grismer as Chairman of the Biology Department
@Pauluc: I do not agree that science must be naturalistic, but if that is your bottom line, it will not trouble me much where it concerns most day-to-day science–the study of current, repeating phenomena. But a rigid naturalism applied to origins morphs into philosophical atheism. Hence, mainstream origins science is not science but atheistic apologetics. This is what should not be done at an Adventist school, but sadly what has been the rule at La Sierra.

Dr. Paul Cameron and the God of the Gaps
@Pauluc: The Adventist doctrine of creation is that God created the world in six days and rested on the Seventh day and hallowed it. (Gen. 2:2-3; Ex. 20:11) Do you believe that doctrine? It won’t do to say that you accept some vague “Christian doctrine of creation.” The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a very specific mission to call people back to the worship of the creator God, on the day that He hallowed at the creation.

You say you believe that the “core doctrine of Christianity is the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ,” but what was Jesus Christ incarnated to do? Wasn’t his mission to redeem fallen humanity, to be the second Adam who succeeded where the first Adam failed? And doesn’t your view of origins make nonsense of a perfect creation, a literal Adam who fell, and the need for redemption because of Adam’s sin? You seem to want to gloss over all the very profound differences you have not only with Seventh-day Adventist dcotrine, but with the most basic reasons that Seventh-day Adventism exists.

The syncretistic hodgepodge religion you’ve created for yourself, combining elements of a biblical world view (the incarnation) and elements of a pagan worldview (a self-created creation) is not Adventism. It is anti-Seventh-day Adventism.

LSU Removes Dr. Lee Grismer as Chairman of the Biology Department
@Holly Pham: Holly, I will try, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

LSU Removes Dr. Lee Grismer as Chairman of the Biology Department
@Pauluc: Since no creationist could land a job as chairman of a biology department at a public university, it seems entirely appropriate that no Darwinist should be given the chairmanship of a biology department of a Seventh-day Adventist college.

The SDA educational system doesn’t exist to expensively duplicate the public university system. It exists to provide a uniquely biblical and Seventh-day Adventist education to interested young people. If mainstream origins science is correct in its assumptions and conclusions about our origins, the entire enterprise of Seventh-day Adventism is an utterly foolish waste of time. So at Adventist institutions, our professors should assume that Darwinistic science is false, and that creationistic science is true (just the reverse of how it is done at public universities), and proceed accordingly.

LSU Removes Dr. Lee Grismer as Chairman of the Biology Department
@gene fortner: What I like about your list of topics, Gene, is that it points out that many disciplines are implicated in the necessary change of worldview. It isn’t just biology and geology, although those are the main ones. History, archeology, anthropology and other disciplines should also be approached from a biblical worldview. The biblical worldview should pervade the entire curriculum.