Jonathan Edwards on the Conditions of Justification

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by Dan...., Jun 30, 2006.

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  1. Dan....

    Dan.... Puritan Board Sophomore

    What am I missing? How does this mesh with sola fide ?How is it that when Rome says that there are more prerequisites on the part of the sinner unto justification it is anathema, but when Jonathan Edwards says it he is viewed as one of the greatest theologians of history?

    I must be missing something....


    [Edited on 6-30-2006 by Dan....]
  2. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Did you read the whole article?
  3. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    I didn't read the whole article but I'm guessing those other conditions occur as a result of faith, not as prerequisites.
  4. Dan....

    Dan.... Puritan Board Sophomore

    Yes I have, and I have more quotes for you:

    It sounds to me that Edwards is here saying that our being justified is dependent upon our perseverance. We are not only justified by initial faith, but continuance in faith is also necessary and included in that by which we are justified.

    So he is saying that though our justification may be past tense, that God justifies with respect to the continuance of faith. This implies that ones justification which is past is dependent on ones perseverance. Hence I must still be working towards that past justification.

    He continues:

    In other words, I am still repenting that I may be justified although that justification may be past.

    Get that? We are still to be seeking justification even though we have already been justified.

    The Christian walk and obdience is now considered necessary unto justification.

    Again, our obedience as being concerned with our justification.

    Our justification is dependent upon acts of obedience?

    Is this Reformed Theology? Have I totally missed the boat?

    I might not be too bright, and I'm sure that in comparison to Edwards I'm as dumb as a box of rocks, but I cannot read this article and come away thinking that Edwards is teaching anything other than that good works and persevering faith (although they be after the declaration of justification) are prerequisite to the declaration of justification.

    I admit, for the most of the article I was impressed with the defense he gives of justification by faith alone. But then at places in the article it seems he is taking away what he is giving.

    I must be missing something. Am I totally out of step with Reformed Theology?

    It has been my understanding that justification is through the instrument of faith alone and that good works and perseverance necessarily follow as a result of our union with Christ. It seems that Edwards is making a condition out of what I have always thought of as a result.

    [Edited on 6-30-2006 by Dan....]
  5. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Edwards is pure reformed theology, at least so far as his sermon on justification goes. I regret to say that much of what passes for reformed theology today is Antinomian.

    It is helpful to remember when reading older writers that the word "condition" can be used in many senses. Usually reformed writers will speak of conditions of the covenant, justification, etc, in the sense of a "sine qua non," that is, something without which justification cannot be accomplished.

    Sola fide pertains solely to the "instrumental means" by which justification is apprehended. However while "faith" is the "only" means of appropriating justification, the faith which justifies is itself never alone, but is always accompanied by other saving graces and produces good works. See the Westminster Confession of Faith, chap. 11, sect. 2.
  6. Larry Hughes

    Larry Hughes Puritan Board Sophomore

    Yes, it is true that the faith that justifies is never alone but the legalist is afraid to leave justification at the naked free grace which receives Christ nakedly and utterly alone, with no eye toward the fruits that arise from this same grace quite naturally, thus they are called fruits of the Spirit and not fruits of the striving flesh. The legalistic tendency is always the greater danger is proven in many ways.

    First, the legalistic tendency shows itself forth in that when one asks, "Are we justified by faith alone?", the answer comes, "Yes, BUT (there's always the "but" proving one doesn't believe the Gospel to REALLY be the power and Christ the fruit of the fruits thereof), it's not one that is alone". This in and of itself would be fine BUT if you asked the question in reverse, "Does saving faith have its proper fruits?" You would get just a plain "yes". RARELY would you get, "Yes, BUT we are justified by faith alone", like you would when the question is asked of "faith alone". Thus, legal tendency shows itself in our language.

    Second, the legal tendency shows itself forth in that the alarm historically is ALWAYS on the side of the Pharisees cry, "too much grace causes antinomianism", which is utter absurdity and frankly rank stupidity, as IF the Gospel causes sin, blaspheme of the highest caliber. The warning sides against antinomianism, yet history proves legalism to be the greater continually ignored danger.

    Third, the legal tendency is natural to fallen man. It is the basis of fallen man's religion and self justification and self righteousness both of false saints and rank immoral sinners. In fact it is complete inanity to speak of "self righteousness" apart from this legalism in the nature of fallen man and the old Adam.

    Fourth, the legal tendency defines ALL other religions that are of fallen man. As it has been said, "there are only two religions in the world, one of "do" and one of "done".

    Fifth, one could slip legalism into ANY church practically unnoticed so intrinsic is it to our fallen nature.

    Sixth, the law is natural to ALL mankind either in the formal tables or written upon the conscience. Even rank sinners "œjustify themselves".

    Seventh, the Gospel or free grace is utterly alien and entirely impossible for man to generate, sustain or believe naturally (even the Christian), it must come from the outside hence the term Good NEWS.

    Eighth, the church holds in common with both other religions and the general fallen world the form of the Law. This does not differentiate anything.

    Ninth, the Gospel or the full reformed formula is justification BY grace alone THROUGH faith alone IN Christ alone is the standing and falling of the true church of God's people. The "alones" and prepositions are calculated. Without this there is no visible evidence of a church in spite of a building or gathering, nor is Christ present nor is the Holy Spirit present.

    Tenth, if the bulk diet or emphasis of a church worship and sermon is imperatives, one should make no mistake about it, one is in a pagan worship with "christian" terminology.

    Eleventh, the legalist reveals himself in that he still thinks the Law has power to do what it demands, contra Paul, and actually is in unbelief that the Gospel is the ONLY power, also contra Paul.

    Twelveth, the legalist pretends to love the holy Law but really hates it because he doesn't remain in Christ and the Gospel where the holy Law is completely fulfilled. He leaves Christ to complete it in the flesh.

    Thirteenth, the legalist thinks the Gospel is to serve the Law rather than the Law serving the Gospel.

    Fourteenth, the legalist distinguishes good works proving he hates instead of loves, the heart of the holy Law.

    Fifteenth, the legalist ALWAYS, lower others and raises himself as if he "does the law".

    Sixteenth, Christ is viewed as a "œnew lawgiver" by the legalist rather the bearer of grace.

    Seventeenth, the legalist, like the devil, is quite crafty in overthrowing justification with sanctification, rather than knowing the Gospel drives and sustains both.

    Eighteenth, the legalist is afraid of Christ´s words, "œit is finished" and must redefine them as something other than what they are.

    Nineteenth, the legalist will drive you spiritually inward rather than outward unto Christ. Making one so sinfully self absorbed in anxiety that you will never truly serve your neighbor.

    Twentieth, the legalist is FULL of church yard piety duties and despises the free service that grace frees a man to do.

    Twenty-first, this saying is utterly incomprehensible to the legalist, "œGod may suffer a man to do no good works that a man may at last learn to trust in Christ alone".

    Twenty-second, the increasing legalistic congregation will increasingly be isolated unto itself.

    Twenty-third, the legalist would rather cut out his own tongue than eat with sinners or have his "œwitness" damaged by such associations.

    Twenty-fourth, the legalist doesn´t really see himself as a sinner and forgets Christ dwells in sinners alone that trust in Christ alone.

    Twenty-fifth, the legalist doesn´t realize that it is the Law which is otherwise salutary and good, is the very thing that keeps him from God and free grace, rather his sin nature attempting the Law.

    And we could go on and on.

  7. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    Yes, Larry, but what about Jonathan Edwards? Was he a legalist or are we misunderstanding him? Great post, BTW!
  8. R. Scott Clark

    R. Scott Clark Puritan Board Senior

    Serious questions have been raised by scholars in recent years about Edwards' doctrine of justification.

    At best, Edwards was at times confusing about justification. At worst he was contradictory and unconfessional re the same.

    Its not antinomian to wonder if Edwards was wrong. It's a long discussion, but see Marsden's recent biography (e.g., pp. 72ff) who shows that Edwards (and following Fiering and other recent scholarship) was deeply influenced by Cambridge Platonism and idealism. These rationalizing influences show up in his doctrine of justification and in his view of religious affection. He was very much an 18th century thinker and theologian. His theology was not pristine as judged by 16th or 17th century standards as summarized by our confessional documents.

    There is nothing wrong about talking about consequent stipulations that flow from justification sola gratia, sola fide. Those conditions, however, are a logical consequence and they amount to a requirment that the justified believer demonstrate evidence of true faith. They can never be confused or conflated with the instrument of justification is is faith that is receiving Christ and resting on his whole obedience for us.

    Our confessions are unambiguous about this.


  9. Larry Hughes

    Larry Hughes Puritan Board Sophomore

    Edwards was reformed but one has to have two major cautions when approaching American Puritans.

    1. Today, most neo-reformed folks have a tendancy to extract the legal character of the Puritans writings.

    2. The Puritans unlike the continental Reformers were much much more subjective concerning assurance. As to where Calvin and the others CLEARLY put it in the objective work of Christ. On this point if you call the continental reformers the baseline for the term, then no the puritans where not so reformed.

    But you do have to careful in reading Edwards because he was an excessive analyzer.

    For example when he says "perserverance in the faith" that can sound legal. The old man in us gets in the way and says that sounds like something I need to do and it panics us. But all its really saying is that one that IS already IN the faith will constantly and increasingly see his/her need of Christ, that is Gospel. It's not saying, "you must do this thing, perservere, in order to be justified and if you don't you will not be - that is a command/works/imperative construction. Rather it is saying, "the Christian sees his/her sinfulness and thus fearing himself, thus seeing his inability, even to preserve himself, WILL nakedly trust in Christ alone continually. In other words you have to be careful and not turn "faith" into a work needing to be done, faith is always receptive of the gift and that's the persevering, the always receiving, the being the beggar continually if you will.

    Another example is the term "obedience". There are two ways to understand that. A legal way and a gospel way. Obedience can mean IF I obey X, THEN I receive Y, legal, living under the Law. OR obedience can simply mean that I TRUST in Christ alone, the trusting, the receiving of the gift is a non-meritorious "obedience". E.g., the doctor says take this medicine and you will be well. The act of obeying merits me nothing, but the receiving of the gift of medicine does. The command is not in view here, giving is. If I GIVE you something and you receive it, that is a gospel view of obedience. The gift is NOT dependant upon your working to obey, but the gift GIVES you the life to RECEIVE it.

    Hopefully that helps some,


    [Edited on 7-1-2006 by Larry Hughes]
  10. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    I am far from supporting legalists, in the biblical sense of the term. However, it is a fact of history that wherever an awakening to the grace of God has occurred there has also been an ungodly element which deprecated the proper place of "graces" and "fruits," and which led godly men to stress these things as NECESSARY, according to the faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.

    Mr. Hughes, I am afraid that your post, though containing some good points, is too reactionary, and is not concerned with presenting the whole counsel of God in biblical balance. Your first point sets out on the wrong path. The BUT which you regard as legalistic is biblical; see James 2, unless this is only to be regarded as a strawy epistle and not of divine inspiration.
  11. Larry Hughes

    Larry Hughes Puritan Board Sophomore

    Rev. Matt,

    With all due respect, the fact that men abuse a thing does not in any way justify changing the message, massaging it or altering its force. A man can kill with a scapel but that would NOT justify removing its use from a surgeon's hand. Infinitely more with the message of Christ. Secondly, James ultimately speaks of free grace, he does not say "vivify" dead faith with works. Thirdly, you cannot use James to over throw Paul as if he opposes Paul or vice versa. And fourth, a disturbing truth I've discoverd when on mission trips to Salt Lake was this, Mormons will pull James 2 out on you like a gun when witnessing to them, legalist tend to do the same. It's not that James is the problem, rather the disturbing and twisted emphasis many think they derive from him.

    You've missed the point of the "But", its not that fruits are not biblical, it's the emphasis many lay on it as if the fruit produces the vine or itself rather than the Vine producing the fruits. The Gospel ALONE is still the Power and James makes that very clear in chapter 4. You will never produce true fruits from the hammering of the Law nakedly, one never, if fruit is to be real, leaves Christ alone. Even James throws the Law at them after he says "this faith" which is another way of saying false faith, cannot save. It is notable that the Pharisees had a faith that was legally derived but could that faith save them?


    [Edited on 7-1-2006 by Larry Hughes]
  12. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    You may call me Matthew, Winzer, Matthew Winzer, Winzer Matthew, add any combination of titles, Rev., Pastor, Mr., but pleeease do not call me Matt. Oh, and don't call me late for breakfast. :)

    Mr. Hughes, with due respect to you, are you not the one who is arguing that an abuse has taken place? That is the whole thrust of your anti-legalist post.

    Secondly, you took issue with people saying, we are justified by faith alone, BUT..., calling that BUT legalistic. James, however, says, "BUT wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" (2:20.)

    Thirdly, the correct interpretation of Paul does not require us to pit James against him. Neither was I doing so. The faithful saying which I mentioned in the first paragraph is Paul's.
  13. Dan....

    Dan.... Puritan Board Sophomore

    I spent much of the evening reviewing Hodge, Berkhof, and Murray on Justification; then I checked with all the Reformed Confessions and Catechisms that I have on hand and found nothing about "perseverance," "Christian walk" or "evangelical obedience" as "conditions" unto justification.

    Pastor Winzer,

    I have no problem at all with WCF XI:2, or anything that it or the Catechisms say about justification. Especially note WLC 73 where it speaks of good works as the "fruits" ['result, product or consequence'] of justification, and not as a condition for justification. It appears, however, that Edwards goes a bit beyond the Confession concerning the doctrine of justification.

    Dr Clark,

    Thank you for the info on Edwards. I'm sure the elders of my church would thank you also, as now I won't have to hit them with this topic unawares this Sunday afternoon. -By the way, good job on the article in The Confessional Presbyterian.

    Larry Hughes,
    Thanks for the 25 points about legalism. Definitely some things to think about concerning our natural tendencies toward self justification.:judge:

    [Edited on 7-1-2006 by Dan....]
  14. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    If there is no problem with WCF 11:2, then there can be no problem with the idea, ably espoused by Edwards, that other saving graces are necessary to a justified state, i.e., without them, there can be no justification.

    And if Hodge has been properly digested, his antidote against Antinomianism should have entered the blood stream, namely, "that such is the nature of the union with Christ by faith and indwelling of the Spirit, that no one is, or can be partaker of the benefit of his death, who is not also partaker of the power of his life."
  15. daveb

    daveb Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think when we consider Edwards on justification that we must understand he is speaking primarily against Arminianism and, to a lesser extent Antinomianism.

    It is clear from Edward's writings that the basis of justification is union with Christ. It is from this union that we have the righteousness of Christ imputed to us. Faith alone is the instrument whereby one can partake of this union. Edwards does believe that we are justified by works - the works of Christ. He is concerned with obedience but only as an expression of faith. Edwards does not believe that one needs a persevering obedience to remain in a justified state.

    What Edwards attempts to do in speaking of justification is bring greater precision than the Reformers did. You can find this when he speaks of "fitness". However, it is this same precision that often causes confusion.
  16. JJF

    JJF Puritan Board Freshman

    I agree Dan; I think that Edwards was off on this. Justification is judicial or forensic properly speaking. The only prerequisite for us to be justified is Christ's active obedience. To say that it isn't, confuses the gospel with the law. This is tantamount to saying the good news really isn't all that good. As others are saying, the fruits of justification are an extension of justification, not a prerequisite or condition. A person that is justified will do good works, but this doesn't make justification conditional on our good works, which Reformed theology renounces as erroneous. I think that Edwards lacked precision on this particular point.
  17. daveb

    daveb Puritan Board Sophomore

    Edwards does say: "œIn justification are two things, viz. the pardon of sins through Christ´s satisfaction and being accepted through his obedience."
  18. Don Kistler

    Don Kistler Puritan Board Sophomore

    Gentlemen, without wanting to take anyone on here, may I offer a few things. In his work on "Justification by Faith Alone," Edwards is confronting a situation that had affected his congregation at that time. It was not his intent to say everything there was to be said about justification; nor could he have imagined what men 250 years later would wonder if he meant by what he said to his own congregation.

    It is the same with many of the Puritans. They preached sermons to their local congregations, and men 3 centuries later criticize them for what they didn't say!

    And when we introduce who a man read, surely none of us thinks that we are NOT influenced by those whom we have read. Nor should we assume that because a man reads someone, it necessarily influenced their thinking adversely. Yes, Edwards read John Locke; he also read Turretin, Van Mastricht, Ames, and many others. He read Locke mainly on "the reasonableness of Christianity." But we can't *assume* that because he read Locke, that led to his being unorthodox at some point. Edwards was certainly discerning, to say the very least.

    Before we criticize Edwards as being outside the Reformed camp, we would have to read everything that he wrote or preached on justification to make sure that we are accurate in our assessment. And since there are many, many sermons by Edwards on justification that have stll not been published, we will have to withhold final judgment. There are over 400 sermons at Yale that have never been published. And remember that each of those has a historical context, as to whom and what Edwards was addressing, and what errors of his own day he was refuting.

    Edwards preached his graduation sermon at Yale on the title, "A sinner is not justified in the sight of God except through the righteousness of Christ obtained by faith." You can find that in volume 14 of the Yale edition of Edwards's "Works." He is very clear that there is no merit in anything we do:

    "We assert therefore that a sinner is justified in the sight of God neither totally nor in part because of the goodness of such obedience, or of any works at all, but only on account of what Christ did and suffered, received by faith."

    He later preached a sermon entitled "None are saved by their own righteousness." You can find that in Yale volume 19.

    As for conditions, God lays down conditions for sinners. The wicked must forsake his ways and his thoughts. He must return to the Lord before God dispenses His abundant pardon. But there is no merit of any kind in forsaking or returning. We must repent and believe; but there is no merit in repenting or believing. But all of those things are acts of obedience. We are not saved BECAUSE of them, but it is for certain that we will never be saved WITHOUT them.

    Were Edwards able to respond today to our concerns, I'm quite sure we would be amazed and satisfied with the orthodoxy of his responses.

    I hope you men don't mind my intrustion into your discussion.

    Don Kistler
  19. daveb

    daveb Puritan Board Sophomore


    To take on Edwards is a large task, there is so much material and most have not read all that is currently in print (myself included).

    I did spend the better part of my senior year at College studying Edwards on justification and found that in the end I needed more time to go through all the material. However, I did learn that if anyone wants to speak definitively on Edwards they really need to do their homework. There are no shortcuts to understanding Edwards, you need to be widely read and well studied.

    Not at all, thank you for your wise words.
  20. JJF

    JJF Puritan Board Freshman

    Edwards, in my estimation, is confusing, but, as long as he doesn't assert that justification hinges on our obedience, then I won't quibble. Justification is all of Christ--nothing more, nothing less. Perhaps a double or triple period on this point is necessary!
  21. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Hmm, I thought he was very clear. Ah well. Thanks, Rev. Kistler.
  22. JJF

    JJF Puritan Board Freshman

    The bold above is why I think that Edwards is confusing. His use of condition is equivocal. Is he saying that justification is conditional, but not conditional?
  23. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    I thought he explained that.
  24. JJF

    JJF Puritan Board Freshman

    On the hand he says that justification is based on Christ's active obedience, but on the other he says that evangelical obedience is a condition of justification. Which one is it? It can't be both, unless of course he equivocates the word "condition."
  25. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    Does he define "condition"? Is a condition a "prerequisite" or a "consequence". Does a condition have any causative value, or is it a condition because the absence of condition B is proof or evidence of the absence of A. "Faith without works is dead".

    For instance, I would never say works is a condition of faith, but I would say lack of works implies a lack of faith - if that makes sense. That is, I would say that faith implies some good works, therefore a lack of works implies lack of faith. This is Modus Tollens.

    Justification implies faith (because all who are justified are believers), and faith implies some good works (because all who have faith are compelled to do good works over time), so that by Modus Tollens, a lack of works implies a lack of faith, and a lack of faith implies a lack of justification.

    P.S. Someone wrote it's "justified by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone" so that the implication seems to be that that faith is not the cause or precondition of justification, but merely the instrument of it. The cause of justification is the grace of God. Works are neither a precondition or (it seems to me) a necessary consequence of justification. It seems the Word does not say works are necessary for salvation (and certainly not for justification), but that the absence of works is evidence of a lack of salvation. Calling works a "condition" of justification seems to confuse the logical order of good works in relationship to justification.
  26. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    It seems to me that Edwards is using the term condition simply to indicate something essential. Along these lines: "Without repentance we will not be justified". But repentance does not merit justification; indeed, depending on your view of the faith-repentance connection, repentance does not receive justifcation. Or we could put it in another way: "Without the new birth we will not be justified". That is certainly true; but the new birth is not the reception of justification; without it, however, we don't believe, and without belief there is no justification. "Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord". Is holiness justifying?
  27. Dan....

    Dan.... Puritan Board Sophomore

    Let's presume for the moment that "necessary consequence" can be included as part of a definition of condition. (Certainly not something I would consider doing in 21st Century English; however, possibly the definition of condition was a bit different 300 years ago).

    Edwards gives his definition of condition in the above article as:
    To put that in modern English, he seems to be saying:

    1. The presence of "necessary consequence" yields evidence of the presence of that which is in question.

    2. The absence of "necessary consequence" necessarily infers the absence of that which is in question.

    Therefore: "necessary consequence" can be considered conditional (in the presumed "300-year-ago definition".)

    (The 2nd premise is deductively true; the first premise is only inductive, and hence, not necessarily true, but I'll ignore that for the time being).

    Given Edwards' definition, the following would logically follow:

    In other words, that which is a necessarily consequence (or as Edwards would say "that which is a condition") namely, "future faith and repentance", is seen as "virtually contained" in that "first faith and repentance."

    (Note the use of "virtually"; i.e., not to say that future faith is actually contained in first faith, but virtually inasmuch as it must necessarily follow).

    And following both the use of "virtual", and Edwards' definition of "condition" this also would follow:

    I.e., "perseverance in faith", being a necessary consequence of "first faith", hence "virtually implied" in that "first faith," is conditional (in the Edwardsian use of the term) to justification.

    So far so good.

    But I still have what I deem to be an important concern, namely:

    Even allowing Edwards to define his own term "condition," I cannot yet come to grips with what he means in the above. What does he mean when he says we are to "seek justification by...other acts of faith"? Does that mean that we are to be constantly seeking to be justified? It seems to me that if I am now to be seeking to be justified (although seeking presently for that which is already past), that there is no room for assurance. I can never fully say that "Christ is mine," because I am still seeking to be justified. And if I cannot say that "Christ is mine," then can I really say that I am trusting Christ? It seems to me to be an important matter of perspective. Is my focus intra-self (ego?) or outside myself? Am I to say, "okay, I seem to be persevering in faith and repentance, so I might be justified..."? But if I look with the perspective of justification as totally past tense, dependent (instrumentally) on first faith, then I am more apt to say "Christ is mine," and hence more apt to look outside myself and cleave to Christ alone.

    Does that make sense?

    [Edited on 7-4-2006 by Dan....]
  28. Don Kistler

    Don Kistler Puritan Board Sophomore

    Perhaps this quote from Edwards Miscellanies will be of some help:

    JUSTIFICATION. See No. 315. Nor if we mean by condition, that which is directly proposed to be pursued or performed by us in order to eternal life; or that which if done or obtained, we shall have eternal life, and if not done or not obtained, we shall surely perish. There is a great deal of ambiguity in such expressions as those which are commonly used, viz.the condition of salvation, what is required in order to salvation or justification, the terms of the covenant, and the like; and I believe they are understood in very different senses by different persons. In one sense of the word, Christ alone performs the condition of salvation; he has performed those things which God looks upon as necessary to belong to the fallen creature, in order to its being a meet thing, that he should be freed from an obligation to punishment and have a right to eternal life. In another sense, faith, or the heart's giving entertainment to Christ and the gospel, is the only condition of salvation, it is that in men, which as He accounts renders it a meet thing (as the case now stands, there being a Saviour), that they rather than others should be received to salvation; that is, that they should be looked upon as being in Christ, and so that what Christ has performed should be looked upon as belonging to them.

    (See No. 488.) And in another sense, an universal and persevering obedience, and bringing forth the fruits of love to God and our neighbor, are conditions of salvation; as they may be put into a conditional proposition, and often are so in Scripture (if we have them, we shall have eternal life; and if we have them not, we shall not have eternal life), by reason of their necessary and immutable connection with faith, as immediately flowing from the nature of it. And they are as much and as immediately proposed to be sought for by us, as we would obtain and make sure to ourselves eternal life, as faith itself is; because they are in their nature so related to faith and so connected with it, that in seeking them we seek faith, in obtaining them we obtain faith, and in obtaining faith we obtain them. And they are also conditions of salvation, as they are included in that salvation and eternal life itself: the salvation is, to be made holy, to have the image of God, to have God's Spirit, and the love of God, etc.; God offers to us no other salvation. And therefore being holy is as necessary a condition of salvation, as receiving money, or taking possession of goods or lands, is to becoming rich.

    Don Kistler:book2:
  29. Don Kistler

    Don Kistler Puritan Board Sophomore

    And another statement about "conditions" of justification from Edwards:

    620. JUSTIFICATION. Faith is the condition of salvation because it trusts in Christ and ascribes salvation to him. Repentance is the condition because it renounces confidence in self and disclaims the glory of salvation. So that neither of them justifies as a work, for the nature of the one is to renounce works, and the nature of the other is to depend on the works of another.
  30. Don Kistler

    Don Kistler Puritan Board Sophomore

    And one more for your consideration:

    855. JUSTIFICATION. FAITH CONDITION OF SALVATION. As to that question, whether closing with Christ in his kingly office be of the essence of justifying faith, I would say: l. That accepting Christ in his kingly office is doubtless the proper condition of having an interest in Christ's kingly office, and so the condition of that salvation that he bestows in the execution of that office, as much as accepting the forgiveness of sins, is the proper condition of the forgiveness of sin. Christ in his kingly office bestows salvation, and therefore accepting him in his kingly office, by a disposition to sell all and suffer all in duty to Christ, and giving proper respect and honor to him, is the proper condition of salvation. This is manifest by Hebrews 5:9, "And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him"; and by Romans 10:10, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." The Apostle speaks of such a confessing of Christ, or outward and open testifying our respect to him, and adhering to our duty to him, as exposed to suffering, reproach and persecution. And that such a disposition and practice is of the essence of saving faith, is manifest, John 12:42-43, "Nevertheless, among the chief rulers also, many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue. For they loved the praise of men, more than the praise of God"; compared with John 5:44, "How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?" 2. Accepting Christ as a priest and king can't be separated. They not only can't be separated, or be asunder, in their subject; but they can't be considered as separate things in their nature. For they are implied one in another: accepting Christ as a king is implied in accepting him as a priest, for as a priest he procures a title to the benefits of his kingly office; and therefore, to accept him as a priest implies an accepting him in his kingly office. For we can't accept the purchase of his priesthood [but] by accepting the benefits purchased. If faith is supposed to contain no more immediately than only an accepting of Christ as a mediator for our justification, yet that justification implies a giving a title to the benefits of his kingly office, viz.salvation from sin, and conformity to his nature and will, and actual salvation by actual deliverance from our enemies, and the bestowment of glory.
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