4 Questions by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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Mocha

Puritan Board Freshman
I would be interested in your answers to the following 4 questions, asked by Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

1. Is there such a thing as a Christian country?
2. Are children of Christian parents of necessity Christians?
3. Are baptized children of necessity Christians?
4. Are all who are baptized, whether children or adults, and all who are church members of necessity Christians?
(Martyn Lloyd-Jones, "Romans - 9:1-33", pg. 101)

Mike
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Well, I can tell you that the Doctor's answers to those questions are no, no, no, and no. In fact, early on in his ministry he abandoned the practice of infant baptism, although he also thought that immersion could not be proved from the Bible.

My answers are all no too, although perhaps with a qualification on 1. You can certainly have countries where Christianity is the dominant position, world view, etc and the foundation for law and public morality as used to be the case in Great Britain and the USA, etc. In that sense you can have a Christian country, but not in the sense that a country has the position today (or can have) of being in covenant with God as Israel was.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
1. Is there such a thing as a Christian country?

Unless you are dispensationalist, yes, Theocratic Israel. One could even argue from the expulsion of Cain from amidst the family of Adam and Eve that the land was cleansed and again was set back (though not for long) to Christian values.

2. Are children of Christian parents of necessity Christians?

Depends on how you define Christian. For the Reformed believer, yes, the covenant sign consummated in the initiation sacrament identifies them as Christians.

3. Are baptized children of necessity Christians?

That depends, again, on how you define Christian. The Federal Visionist would define Christian (with all its benefits) upon the covenant consummated child who has the sign placed on them. The Reformed would qualify that unless otherwise noted by apostasy later in life.

4. Are all who are baptized, whether children or adults, and all who are church members of necessity Christians?

Not necessarily. Covenant members, yes, but if we are speaking about full orbed salvific consequences, that will remain unsure unless apostasy is evidenced.

One must make the distinction between the covenant sign placed on an individual, and whether or not they are actually regenerated. using the term "Christian" without qualification will get you into trouble.

[Edited on 11-18-2005 by webmaster]
 

Mocha

Puritan Board Freshman
Matthew McMahon, you said the following in response to question 2:

2. Are children of Christian parents of necessity Christians?

Depends on how you define Christian. For the Reformed believer, yes, the covenant sign consummated in the initiation sacrament identifies them as Christians.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, before he goes on to answer the question, makes the following brief comment:

Are children of Christian parents of necessity Christians? There are many who believe that they are, and that there are promises to this effect; and some would maintain that this is why these children should be baptized - because they are already Christians. People have argued that in the past and are still doing so. (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, "Romans:9:1-33", pg. 100)

I bring this up, not to be controversial, but instead, to identify areas of difference, so that I can pinpoint the exact nature of the issue. This really helps me in my study. For example, right now, I'm studying three areas. They are:

1) The Church - Visible/Invisible
- I believe the visible church is made up of elect and non-elect

2) The Covenant - External/Internal
- This area of study has been the biggest challege to me so far. I have always held that the New Covenant could not be broken and was only for the elect, but as I challenge myself more and more in this area, I'm not so sure any more.

3) The Christian - Now/Now, but not yet
- To me, I don't really see how there can be an "external"/"internal" aspect to being a Christian.

For this reason, I cannot agree (at this point and time) that children of Christian parents are of necessity Christian.

Mike
 

Steve Owen

Puritan Board Sophomore
Webmaster wrote:-
1. Is there such a thing as a Christian country?

Unless you are dispensationalist, yes, Theocratic Israel. One could even argue from the expulsion of Cain from amidst the family of Adam and Eve that the land was cleansed and again was set back (though not for long) to Christian values.

Well, firstly the question is is there such a thing not was there such a thing. Secondly, it's news to me that Adam and Eve lived in Israel and thirdly, was there ever a time when 'theocratic Israel' was a 'Christian Country'? '".......Because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them," says the Lord' (Heb 8:9. cf. also about a hundred OT texts ).

2. Are children of Christian parents of necessity Christians?

Depends on how you define Christian. For the Reformed believer, yes, the covenant sign consummated in the initiation sacrament identifies them as Christians.
This is the deadly error that has led to the demise of so many Reformed churches; the idea that because Father or Mother is a Christian, little Johnny must be also. Who would have imagined that the son of the great Francis Turretine would turn out to be a heretic? Nobody; and for that reason he was not only encouraged to think of himself as a Christian, but was given high position in the Genevan church. As a result, within just a few years of his father's death. he had introduced Unitarianism into Geneva, and just a few years after that, the Genevan church was a laughing-stock for unbelievers like Rousseau.

Mike wrote:-
For example, right now, I'm studying three areas. They are:

1) The Church - Visible/Invisible
- I believe the visible church is made up of elect and non-elect

I believe that you will find the idea of visible and invisible churches wholly unhelpful to you. Certainly, the NT knows nothing of the concept. Those who enter a church and then show themselves as unbelievers were never in the Church at all as the following verses show:-

Acts 8:21. 'You have neither part nor portion in this matter for your heart is not right in the sight of God.' What! Not even a visible portion? Nope, no portion at all.

1John 2:19. 'They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us they would have continued with us; but they went out that it might be made manifest that none of them were of us.' They were never part of the church. Everyone might have thought they were; they themselves might have thought they were. But they weren't, and the truth of that was revealed when they left.

Matt 7:23. 'And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you.' Never! Not while someone was splashing water on you and praying over you; not while you were in the 'Covenant kids' youth group; not when you took your first communion, went to seminary, did your doctorate, became a Professor, headed up the whole denomination. Never did I know you!

If you think that's laying it on a bit thick, just think of the current Archbishop of Canterbury.

2) The Covenant - External/Internal
- This area of study has been the biggest challege to me so far. I have always held that the New Covenant could not be broken and was only for the elect, but as I challenge myself more and more in this area, I'm not so sure any more.

The New Covenant cannot be broken unless Christ is an insufficient Surety. Just hold onto Heb 10:11-18 and you won't go far wrong.

Grace & Peace,

Martin

[Edited on 11-18-2005 by Martin Marprelate]
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Originally posted by Mocha
Matthew McMahon, you said the following in response to question 2:

2. Are children of Christian parents of necessity Christians?

Depends on how you define Christian. For the Reformed believer, yes, the covenant sign consummated in the initiation sacrament identifies them as Christians.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, before he goes on to answer the question, makes the following brief comment:

Are children of Christian parents of necessity Christians? There are many who believe that they are, and that there are promises to this effect; and some would maintain that this is why these children should be baptized - because they are already Christians. People have argued that in the past and are still doing so. (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, "Romans:9:1-33", pg. 100)

I bring this up, not to be controversial, but instead, to identify areas of difference, so that I can pinpoint the exact nature of the issue. This really helps me in my study. For example, right now, I'm studying three areas. They are:

1) The Church - Visible/Invisible
- I believe the visible church is made up of elect and non-elect

2) The Covenant - External/Internal
- This area of study has been the biggest challege to me so far. I have always held that the New Covenant could not be broken and was only for the elect, but as I challenge myself more and more in this area, I'm not so sure any more.

3) The Christian - Now/Now, but not yet
- To me, I don't really see how there can be an "external"/"internal" aspect to being a Christian.

For this reason, I cannot agree (at this point and time) that children of Christian parents are of necessity Christian.

Mike

Mike, that is why I said it is important to define what "Christian" means.

If you define "Christian" as the Federal Visionists do, then everyone who has the covenant sign on them is a "Christian." But, if we deal with specific texts, there is much more to deal with than simply placing a sign on them. We have to deal with the manner in which God requires us to take Him at His word, or not. If God says, covenantally (not necessarily soteriologically) that He will be a God to Abraham and his children, one has to define how "covenant" works, and how Abraham would have regarded his 8 day old son. He would have reagrded him a covenant member. If that is how one would define "Christian", then that simply needs to be set forth, because it is not enough to simply say they went through a ritual or sacrament. Instead, the resting on the promises of God covenantally bring in a huge piece of information that if often lacking.

If you want to simpply define a Christian as a covenant member who is regenerated, you have lots of reasons to do that, but you have to theologically give those reasons prefaced so that people are following you and knowing that you are making a distinction between covenant member, and Christian covenant member. I find that the book of Hebrews utlizes both concepts depending opon the context. Hebrews 7 and 9 speak about High Priest and our benefits. But hebrews 6 and 10 give warning to covenant members. One has to be sure that differecnes are made in those terms, as well as the very clear usage of how Hebrews makes differentiations between covenant and testament.

One also has to take into account how we judge that others are or are not regenerate covenant members verses not. This is actually an impossibility and is one of the main inconsistencies that come up when dealing with how one lays out such criteria (except by the promises in the Word) or how one woudl evaluate such criteria (again, expect by command and promise).

{MODERATE}

Martin,

Most of your posts in this area are really not helpful, and I have not found them to be so. Most of the other threads that have been posted previously to your entrance to the board deal quite emphatically and clearly with most of the ideas you try to set forth specifically in these threads against Covenant Theology. (Inside note: I am not sure anyone is actually "sucking you back in" to these discussions, except for your own desire to dissipate what you believe is "rank" theology on the board.)

But I have to admit, I can't see how you cannot make the theological distinction between the church manifested int he world (visible) and the church as universal (invisible). Federal Theology and the Auburn Avenue theology often blurs and removes this distinction. Since this board does not tolerate Federal Theology at any level, I'd like you to clarify, as a Particular Baptist, 1) the confession you said you hold to, and 2) whether you agree with the 1689 Baptist Confession when it says:

"The catholic or universal church, which (with respect to the internal work of the Spirit and truth of grace) may be called invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ, the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all. (1. Heb. 12:23; Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:10, 22-23; 5:23, 27, 32)

All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, not destroying their own profession by any error everting the foundation, or unholiness of conversation, are and may be called visible saints; and of such ought all particular congregations to be constituted. (1 Cor. 1:2; Acts 11:26; Rom. 1:7; Eph. 1:20-22)

Do you agree with the London Baptist Confession on the distinction between visible saints congregated and the invisible church?

Can you clear up for us your stacne on the visible/invisible distinction and how you separate yourself from the Federal heresy?

Please be assured that I do not think you are an FV advocate. However, many people are being sucked into certain aspects of FV theology as a result of a confused covenantal theology.


[Edited on 11-19-2005 by webmaster]
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
The first thing that came to my mind upon reading these questions was that (especially as regards #'s 2-4) MLJ was discussing the visible/invisible church distinction, whether he answered his own thoughts along those lines or not. This is an essential distinction to make, without which one will fall into all sorts of confusion.

You yourself demonstrate this confusion, Martin, when you explain your citation of 1 John 2:19. The fact that they left the church visible proved that they were not truly of the body of the elect, otherwise known as the church invisible. What status would you otherwise give their previous fellowship within the church? When John states, "if they had been of us" he is speaking of the true/invisible/elect body of Christ. Your idea of what constitutes the church in your commentary on this passage can only be claimed of the church invisible.

Stating that the Scriptures nowhere speak of the visible/invisible distinction is no better than the argument that says, "there is no covenant in Gn. 1-3, because we don't find the word 'covenant/berith' there". It is a provable fact that if all of the elements which constitute the concept conveyed by a lexeme (word) are found in a given passage, then it is not necessary for the lexeme itself to be present for that concept to be true. This holds for both the concept of covenant in Gn. 1-3, as well as the concept of visible/invisible church within the canon as a whole.

As far as question #1 goes, a country could be described by degrees to be more or less Christian according to the density of Christians among its populace. Those recognizing the distinction between the two kingdoms, otherwise conveyed in the doctrine of the church's spiritual nature, will want to steer clear of language that could confuse this important divide.

[Edited on 11-19-2005 by Archlute]

[Edited on 11-19-2005 by Archlute]
 

Steve Owen

Puritan Board Sophomore
First of all, Adam wrote:-
Stating that the church nowhere speaks of the visible/invisible distinction is no better than the argument that says, "there is no covenant in Gn. 1-3, because we don't find the word 'covenant/berith' there".
I did not say that the church 'nowhere speaks' of the visible/invisible distinction; I said that the NT knows nothing of the concept. If you want to know what the NT thinks a church is, read 1Cor 1:2-8.

Quote me by all means, brother, and disagree with me if you will; but try to quote me correctly. Thanks!

Webmaster asked:-
Can you clear up for us your stance on the visible/invisible distinction and how you separate yourself from the Federal heresy?

I think you must be having a giraffe (as we say in England!) asking me about FV. I would think my position must be about as near to a polar opposite as it is possible to get. I do assure you that your position is a great deal closer to FV than mine.

Baptist 1689 Confession:-
"The catholic or universal church, which (with respect to the internal work of the Spirit and truth of grace) may be called invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ, the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all. (1. Heb. 12:23; Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:10, 22-23; 5:23, 27, 32)

All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, not destroying their own profession by any error everting the foundation, or unholiness of conversation, are and may be called visible saints; and of such ought all particular congregations to be constituted. (1 Cor. 1:2; Acts 11:26; Rom. 1:7; Eph. 1:20-22).
[Italics mine- Martin]

I appreciate the careful wording of the 1689 Confession, and do not disagree with the substance although I would not use the same words. Note that the Confession does not speak of a 'visible church', but 'visible saints' and these are they (and only they) who have a credible confession of faith, contra the WCF. Entrance to the church is by confession of faith, not by blood. FYI the Anglican XXXIX Articles agree with this: Art. XIX. The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men.......

However, I still maintain that the visible/invisible concept is unhelpful at best because it encourages unconverted people to delude themselves that they are in some way Christians, that there is some third realm where those who were brought up to go to church can reside and still entertain some hope of salvation outside of true repentance and faith. You will notice that the Confession says that calling the church 'invisible' or saints 'visible' is optional ('....may be called....'). I opt out.

Just in case you think my views are idiosyncratic, may I recommend to you an address by Dr Lloyd-Jones entitled, What is the Church?' It was at one time published in booklet form, but now is found in a collection of addresses called
Unity in Truth by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Evangelical Press, 1991. ISBN 0-85234-288-8 ). I think you will find that his view and mine are not very far apart.

Grace & Peace,

Martin

[Edited on 11-19-2005 by Martin Marprelate]
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
Martin,

You are indeed correct in stating that I misquoted you. I was writing late after study and did not type out what I was actually thinking. So, insert the word "Scripture" for "church" in my original post, and then you can respond to my original intent that the NT (and the OT for that matter) do indeed present the concept!

(Note - original post will be corrected from this point)
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
{MODERATE}
Martin, to say -

I think you must be having a giraffe (as we say in England!) asking me about FV. I would think my position must be about as near to a polar opposite as it is possible to get. I do assure you that your position is a great deal closer to FV than mine.

must be that you either misunderstand 1) the Federal Position, 2) the Reformed Westminsterian Position, or 3) your own position.

When you say that the NT does not demonstrate the "visible/invisible" distinction, this is not the same as saying you agree with the 1689 Confession as to substance. You are saying you are disagreeing with that distinction all together. Visible saints = the visible church. The invisible church is the elect from all ages in differentiation from the visible church that may be located in a specific geographical region of the world.

In dismissing such an idea, you are agreeing (at least by accident) with a cornerstone Federal VIsion and AA theological concept. Thier idea surrounds the church as only housing faithful professing members. This is why thier ideas surround not a pact or agreement between two parties in respect of covenant, but instead, "covenant faithfulness". That is why the Reformed camp has always laid such an immense weight on this idea against Federal Vision theology. So by your statement above, 1) I am certainly not having a giraffe. Rather, I am concerned about anyone using distinctions that seem to parallel the FV guys, 2) if you dismiss the idea of the visible/invisible church, you are not polar opposite to the FV stance, but rather on the same beach, and 3) the Reformed stance is by far not remotely close to or resembling the nonsense of the FV view of "covenant faithfulness" and the removal of the invisble/visible distinction. The Reformed view is not close to the Federal view, unless, of course you are misunderstanding both views.

So just to be sure we are not talking past one another, you agree with the 1689 Confession when it says there is an invisible church that is DIFFERENT than the visble saints? Or do you blur these two ideas together to mean that there is only one church, made up of all the elect from all ages, even all those in the "church" today?

Further clarification would be helpful. We have had a great many young people on our board hold to some FV views, and we want to be sure the lines are not being blurred by anyone, giraffes included.
 

piningforChrist

Puritan Board Freshman
Dr. McMahon

I agree with Martin. The visible and the invisible church are one in the same. The invisible church may be likened to a grand painting encompassing God's people (those who are justified) from all ages of history, some now dead, some now living, and some yet to be born. The invisible church may be likened to a magnified section of this masterpiece, focusing on a local expression of God's covenant community. The true professors of the local body belong to both the visible and invisible church. The false professors belong to neither, proving themselves on the final day of judgment to truely not be "of us," neither of the local body, nor of the universal, invisible body.

Hopefully I am explaining Martin's position faithfully. It is mine (and the position of all reformed baptists who see the New Covenant as being unable to be broken and the Old Covenant as being able to be broken).

Your brother,

Matthew
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
The LBC, ch 26 clearly dilineates the two:

I. The catholic or universal church, which (with respect to the internal work of the Spirit and truth of grace) may be called invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ, the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.[1]

1. Heb. 12:23; Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:10, 22-23; 5:23, 27, 32

II. All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, not destroying their own profession by any error everting the foundation, or unholiness of conversation, are and may be called visible saints;[2] and of such ought all particular congregations to be constituted.[3]

2. I Cor. 1:2; Acts 11:26
3. Rom. 1:7; Eph. 1:20-22



[Edited on 11-19-2005 by Scott Bushey]
 

piningforChrist

Puritan Board Freshman
The definitions define the same people, God's people who are justified by Grace alone, through Faith alone, grounded on the righteousness of Christ alone, revealed by the scripture alone, all for the Glory of God Alone.
 

piningforChrist

Puritan Board Freshman
Notice how the LBC clarifies what it means by, "All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it." These persons are clarified as true professors and are denoted as the visible church. Not all members of the local expression of the church will be true professors, and these false professors are not members of the visible church. The true professors, however, from all ages also belong to the universal, invisble church.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by piningforChrist
Notice how the LBC clarifies what it means by, "All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it." These persons are clarified as true professors and are denoted as the visible church. Not all members of the local expression of the church will be true professors, and these false professors are not members of the visible church. The true professors, however, from all ages also belong to the universal, invisble church.

Thats not what is said:

The visible is All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, not destroying their own profession by any error everting the foundation, or unholiness of conversation, are and may be called visible saints;All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, not destroying their own profession by any error everting the foundation, or unholiness of conversation, are and may be called visible saints;

The invisible church is consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ, the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.
 

piningforChrist

Puritan Board Freshman
If true, regenerate, justified Christains are denoted as the only ones belonging to the visible church, and if the invisible church consists of only justified Christians from all ages, then those who belong to the invisble church belong to the visible church and those who belong to the visible church belong to the invisble church. Therefore, the invisble church is simply a description of justified Christains from all ages and the invisible church is a description of local expressions of the body consisting only of those who truely belong to Christ, true, regenerate, justified professors.
 

cupotea

Puritan Board Junior
To those of you who think that the visible and the invisible church are the same:

I just want to make things clear since there's a bit of tension building in this thread.

A few years ago I had a friend who was living with her aunt. Her aunt made her go to church, but she didn't pay any attention. Nevertheless, she went every Sunday (this was for several years).

In a conversation with her, I mentioned the New Testament. When she heard me say "New Testament", she cried, "There's a new one?"

Was this girl regenerate? Why or why not?

Note: I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just trying to determine how you would describe "visible church". After all, this girl did go to church regularly.

[Edited on 11-19-2005 by Cottonball]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by piningforChrist
If true, regenerate, justified Christains are denoted as the only ones belonging to the visible church,

But the LBC does not say that..............key word: PROFESSING! Profession does not validate justification. Thats why the distinction is made in the second statement about the ELECT! Only elect individuals are or will be justified.


.......and if the invisible church consists of only justified Christians from all ages, then those who belong to the invisble church belong to the visible church and those who belong to the visible church belong to the invisble church.

Yes, the elect in the visible are the elect in the invisible. But that does not interact with the statement made by the LBC or what we are discussing. In other words, we all know that. However, what we are discussing are the seperate entities.

Therefore, the invisble church is simply a description of justified Christains from all ages

Yes!

and the invisible church is a description of local expressions of the body consisting only of those who truely belong to Christ, true, regenerate, justified professors.

Absolutely incorrect. As Matt has posed, based on this statement, you do not rightfully understand regeneration/conversion. Why do you think the LBC dilineates between the two entities? Professors versus elect.
 

Mocha

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by Cottonball
To those of you who think that the visible and the invisible church are the same:

I just want to make things clear since there's a bit of tension building in this thread.

A few years ago I had a friend who was living with her aunt. Her aunt made her go to church, but she didn't pay any attention. Nevertheless, she went every Sunday (this was for several years).

In a conversation with her, I mentioned the New Testament. When she heard me say "New Testament", she cried, "There's a new one?"

Was this girl regenerate? Why or why not?

Note: I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just trying to determine how you would describe "visible church". After all, this girl did go to church regularly.

[Edited on 11-19-2005 by Cottonball]

I would say that all who come to church to worship and profess faith in Christ are part of the visible church (since we do not know if they are elect or not). If this girl did not come to do this, then she is not part of the visible church.

Mike
 

Mocha

Puritan Board Freshman
Martin,

You said:

The New Covenant cannot be broken unless Christ is an insufficient Surety. Just hold onto Heb 10:11-18 and you won't go far wrong.

But what if, as the paedo's say, Heb. 10:11-18 has reference to the consummation at Christ's return instead of right now?

Mike
 

cupotea

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Mocha

I would say that all who come to church to worship and profess faith in Christ are part of the visible church...
Mike

Ah, that already clears things up. You're basically saying that visible saints are those with good intentions, right?

I suppose I always used the term "visible church" rather liberally.. and literally.. meaning, anybody who goes to church, regardless of how they feel, since we can't know that, either.
 

Mocha

Puritan Board Freshman
Matthew Mahon said:

If God says, covenantally (not necessarily soteriologically) that He will be a God to Abraham and his children, one has to define how "covenant" works, and how Abraham would have regarded his 8 day old son. He would have reagrded him a covenant member. If that is how one would define "Christian", then that simply needs to be set forth, because it is not enough to simply say they went through a ritual or sacrament. Instead, the resting on the promises of God covenantally bring in a huge piece of information that if often lacking.

Well, I think there's no doubt the 8 day old son was a covenant member. He obviously had to be part of some external part of it, and then if he exhibited saving faith, he would become part of the spiritual covenant. But I'm still not sure if there's a carry over into the New Covenant. I'm still thinking that one through. If God is still working in that way, then I can see there being a dual aspect to the covenant in the New Covenant. But as I said, I'm still trying to work through that.

Mike
 

piningforChrist

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by Scott Bushey
Originally posted by piningforChrist
If true, regenerate, justified Christains are denoted as the only ones belonging to the visible church,

But the LBC does not say that..............key word: PROFESSING! Profession does not validate justification. Thats why the distinction is made in the second statement about the ELECT! Only elect individuals are or will be justified.


.......and if the invisible church consists of only justified Christians from all ages, then those who belong to the invisble church belong to the visible church and those who belong to the visible church belong to the invisble church.

Yes, the elect in the visible are the elect in the invisible. But that does not interact with the statement made by the LBC or what we are discussing. In other words, we all know that. However, what we are discussing are the seperate entities.

Therefore, the invisble church is simply a description of justified Christains from all ages

Yes!

and the invisible church is a description of local expressions of the body consisting only of those who truely belong to Christ, true, regenerate, justified professors.

Absolutely incorrect. As Matt has posed, based on this statement, you do not rightfully understand regeneration/conversion. Why do you think the LBC dilineates between the two entities? Professors versus elect.

Scott, you need to read what you wrote again:

The LBC, ch 26 clearly dilineates the two:

I. The catholic or universal church, which (with respect to the internal work of the Spirit and truth of grace) may be called invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ, the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.[1]

1. Heb. 12:23; Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:10, 22-23; 5:23, 27, 32

II. All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, not destroying their own profession by any error everting the foundation, or unholiness of conversation, are and may be called visible saints;[2] and of such ought all particular congregations to be constituted.[3]

2. I Cor. 1:2; Acts 11:26
3. Rom. 1:7; Eph. 1:20-22

II clearly mentions that those professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, are those who are also persons NOT DESTROYING THEIR OWN PROFESSION BY ANY ERROR EVERTING THE FOUNDATION, OR UNHOLINESS OF CONVERSION.

Note: this qualifying statement means that those professing the faith of the gospel are those who truely have it, true professors. These are the persons described as belonging to the visible church, NOT ALL PROFESSING THE FAITH WHO MAKE UP THE LOCAL VISIBLE EXPRESSION OF THE CHURCH.

Your brother,

Matthew
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Again Matthew,
I will ask you. Why does the LBC differentiate betweent the two entities if in fact they mean the same thing?

Profession does not validate position in Christ. This is exactly why the confession is dilineated in the way it is.

[Edited on 11-20-2005 by Scott Bushey]
 

piningforChrist

Puritan Board Freshman
Please EXEGETE the LBC. It says plainly that all those truly belonging to the visible church truly belong to the invisible church. Please stop reading into the text your presupposition that visible doesn't represent invisible precisely. The LBC defines visible in such a way that all those belonging to the visible necessarily belong to the invisible. Please read what I mentioned previously to prove this, namely:

II clearly mentions that those professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, are those who are also persons NOT DESTROYING THEIR OWN PROFESSION BY ANY ERROR EVERTING THE FOUNDATION, OR UNHOLINESS OF CONVERSION.

Note: this qualifying statement means that those professing the faith of the gospel are those who truely have it, true professors. These are the persons described as belonging to the visible church, NOT ALL PROFESSING THE FAITH WHO MAKE UP THE LOCAL VISIBLE EXPRESSION OF THE CHURCH.

Your brother,

Matthew
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by piningforChrist
Please EXEGETE the LBC. It says plainly that all those truly belonging to the visible church truly belong to the invisible church. Please stop reading into the text your presupposition that visible doesn't represent invisible precisely. The LBC defines visible in such a way that all those belonging to the visible necessarily belong to the invisible. Please read what I mentioned previously to prove this, namely:

II clearly mentions that those professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, are those who are also persons NOT DESTROYING THEIR OWN PROFESSION BY ANY ERROR EVERTING THE FOUNDATION, OR UNHOLINESS OF CONVERSION.

Note: this qualifying statement means that those professing the faith of the gospel are those who truely have it, true professors. These are the persons described as belonging to the visible church, NOT ALL PROFESSING THE FAITH WHO MAKE UP THE LOCAL VISIBLE EXPRESSION OF THE CHURCH.

Your brother,

Matthew
The visible is All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, not destroying their own profession by any error everting the foundation, or unholiness of conversation, are and may be called visible saints;All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, not destroying their own profession by any error everting the foundation, or unholiness of conversation, are and may be called visible saints;



The invisible church is consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ, the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.

You say it says:

It says plainly that all those truly belonging to the visible church truly belong to the invisible church.

Where?

Professors in the visible church are not necessarily elect. The invisible is made up of all the elect (true professors) over the ages.

As I have said, since the LBC diferentiates between the two entities (elect and non elect (professors), both cannot be 'elect'. The invisible body is made up of only the elect.

[Edited on 11-21-2005 by Scott Bushey]

[Edited on 11-21-2005 by Scott Bushey]
 

piningforChrist

Puritan Board Freshman
<FONT size=5>II clearly mentions that those professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, are those who are also persons</FONT> <STRONG><FONT color=#0000bf size=5>NOT DESTROYING THEIR OWN PROFESSION BY ANY ERROR EVERTING THE FOUNDATION, OR UNHOLINESS OF CONVERSION.</FONT><BR></STRONG><BR><FONT size=5>Note: this qualifying statement means that those professing the faith of the gospel are those who truely have it, true professors. These are the persons described as belonging to the visible church,</FONT> <FONT color=#0000bf><STRONG><FONT size=5>NOT ALL PROFESSING THE FAITH WHO MAKE UP THE LOCAL VISIBLE EXPRESSION OF THE CHURCH.</FONT></STRONG><BR></FONT><BR>Your brother,<BR><BR>Matthew
 
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