PLENARY I: “Sanctification of the Justified”—David M. VanDrunen
PLENARY II: “Sanctification Explained”—S.M. Baugh
PLENARY III: “Sanctification Undermined”—Michael S. Horton
PLENARY IV: “Sanctification Applied”—Bryan D. Estelle
PLENARY V: “Sanctification Preached”—Dennis E. Johnson
Questions & Answers —Faculty Panel
PLENARY VI: “Sanctification Summarized”—W. Robert Godfrey
Evangelista. Yes, indeed; for there is no limitation of God’s grace in Jesus Christ, except the sin against the Holy Ghost. 25 Christ “stands at the door and knocks,” (Rev 3:20). And if any murdering Manasseh, or any persecuting and blaspheming Saul, (1 Tim 1:13), or any adulterous Mary Magdalene, “will open unto him, he will come in,” and bring comfort with him, “and will sup with him.” “Seek from the one end of the heavens to the other,” says Hooker; “turn all the Bible over, and see if the words of Christ be not true, ‘Him that cometh unto me, I will in no ways cast out,'” (John 6:37).
Nomista. Why, then, sir, it seems you hold, that the vilest sinner in the world ought not to be discouraged from coming unto Christ, and believing in him, by reason of his sins.
Evangelista. Surely, if “Christ came into the world to seek, and call, and save sinners, and to justify the ungodly,” as you have heard; and if the more sinful, miserable, and distressed a man judge himself to be, the more willing Christ is to receive him and relieve him; then I see no reason why the vilest sinner should be discouraged from believing on the name of Jesus Christ by reason of his sins. Nay, let me say more; the greater any man’s sins are, either in number or nature, the more haste he should make to come unto Christ, and to say with David, “For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great!” (Psa 25:11).
Antinomista. Surely, sir, if my friend Neophytus did rightly consider these things, and were assuredly persuaded of the truth of them, methinks he should not be so backward from coming to Christ, by believing on his name, as he is; for if the greatness of his sin should be so far from hindering his coming to Christ, that they should further his coming, then I know not what should hinder him.
Evangelista. You speak very truly indeed. And therefore I beseech you, neighbour Neophytus, consider seriously of it; and neither let your own accusing conscience, nor Satan the accuser of the brethren, hinder you any longer from Christ. For what though they should accuse you of pride, infidelity, covetousness, lust, anger, envy, and hypocrisy? yea, what though they should accuse you of whoredom, theft, drunkenness, and such like? yea, do what they can, they can make no worse a man of you than a sinner, or chief of sinners, or an ungodly person; and so, consequently, such an one Christ came to justify and save; so that in very deed, if you do rightly consider of it, they do you more good than hurt by their accusations.
And therefore, I beseech you, in all such cases or conflicts, take the counsel of Luther, who, on the Galatians, [p. 20,] says, “When thy conscience is thoroughly afraid with the remembrance of thy sins past, and the devil assaileth thee with great violence, going about to overwhelm thee with heaps, floods, and whole seas of sins, to terrify thee, and to draw thee from Christ; then arm thyself with such sentences as these: Christ the Son of God was given, not for the holy, righteous, worthy, and such as were his friends; but for the wicked sinners, for the unworthy, and for his enemies. Wherefore, if the devil say, Thou art a sinner, and therefore must be damned; then answer thou, and say, Because thou sayest I am a sinner, therefore will I be righteous and saved. And if he reply, Nay, sinners must be damned; then answer thou, and say, No, for I flee to Christ, who hath given himself for my sins; and, therefore, Satan, in that thou sayest I am a sinner, thou givest me armour and weapons against thyself, that with thine own sword I may cut thy throat, and tread thee under my feet.”
And thus you see it is the counsel of Luther, that your sins should rather drive you to Christ than keep you from him.
Nomista. But, sir, suppose he hath not as yet truly repented for his many and great sins, hath he any warrant to come unto Christ, by believing, till he has done so?
Evangelista. I tell you truly, that whatsoever a man is, or whatsoever he hath done or not done, he hath warrant enough to come unto Christ by believing, if he can; for Christ makes a general proclamation, saying, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price.” This, you see, is the condition, “buy wine and milk,” that is, grace and salvation, “without money,” that is, without any sufficiency of your own; only “incline your ear and hear, and your souls shall live”; yea, live by hearing that “Christ will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.”
This quote can be found on pages 150-51 of the Marrow of Modern Divinity edition as pictured above.
4.25 The other part of the Word of Cod called “Gospel”: Its authority, why, how and for what end it was written
After the Law comes the Gospel, the use and necessity of which cannot be better understood than by noting the following points:
Firstly, even as there is only one Saviour (Matt 1:21; Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5), there is also only one doctrine of salvation which is called Gospel, that is to say Good News, (Rom 1:16). It was fully announced and declared to the world by Jesus Christ (John 15:15) and the Apostles (John 17:8; 2Cor 5:19,20), and faithfully recorded by the Evangelists (Eph 2:20; 1 Pet 1:25) so as to prevent the wiles and craftiness of Satan who, without this, would have more easily put forward to men his dreams under the name of the gospel; however, he has not entirely failed to do so, by…
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4.24 For what ends the Holy Spirit uses the preaching of the Law
Having carefully understood this distinction of the two parts of the Word of God, the Law and the Gospel, it is easy to understand how and to what end the Holy Spirit uses the preaching of the one and the other in the Church. For there is no doubt that He employs them for the purpose for which they have been established.
We are then all so blind, whilst our corruption reigns in us, that we are ignorant even of our ignorance (John 9:41) and, not ceasing to smother the little light of knowledge which has been left to us so as to render ourselves inexcusable (Rom 1:20,21; 2:1), we are pleased about that which ought to displease us most.
It is necessary, before all things, that God, all good and full of pity, makes as know…
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4.23 The similarities and the differences between the Law and the Gospel
We must pay great attention to these things. For, with good reason, we can say that ignorance of this distinction between Law and Gospel is one of the principle sources of the abuses which corrupted and still corrupt Christianity.
The majority of men, blinded by the just judgement of God, have indeed never seriously considered what curse the Law subjects us to, nor why it has been ordained by God. And, as for the Gospel, they have nearly always thought that it was nothing other than a second Law, more perfect than the first. From this has come the erroneous distinction between precept and advice; there has followed, little by little, the total ruin of the benefit of Jesus Christ.
Now, we must besides consider these things. The Law and the Gospel have in common that they are…
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4.22 That which we call “The Word of God”: Its two parts- the Law and the Gospel
On this subject we call the “Word of God” (for we know well that the Eternal Son of God is also so named) the canonical books of the Old and New Testament; for they proceed from the mouth of God Himself.
We divided this Word into two principal parts or kinds: the one is called the “Law”, the other the “Gospel.” For, all the rest can be gathered under the one or the other of these two headings.
What we call Law(when it is distinguished from Gospel and is taken for one of the two parts of the Word) is a doctrine whose seed is written by nature in our hearts. However, so that we may have a more exact knowledge, it was written by God on two Tables and is…
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