What is the problem with FV?

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Stephen

Puritan Board Junior
Do the FV folks really teach that "Covenant faithfullness" depends on the indivdual...or...Do they teach that "Covenant faithfullness" is God's faithfullness to the covenant (and to those individuals in the covenant)?

Could anyone who has researched these things please provide me a quote or something of an FV teaching "covenant faithfullness" as the individual standard, apart from God's faithfullness to the covenant?

If the FV really do teach that "covenant keeping", by our own power and strength (apart from God's faitfullness to the covenant) is the standard,
then the FV is a much bigger problem then I originally thought.
I seriously doubt that any FV proponent would say that our covenant faithfulness depends solely upon our own efforts. Even Rome wouldn't say that.

The problem relates to how our covenant faithfulness contributes or is an essential part of our justification. Many of the FV proponents, for example, cite Norman Shepherd as their model or standard: justified by a (repentant, living, active) faith alone. But if faith actually includes repentance and works, 'by faith alone' has been emptied of all its meaning and we have brought works in by the back door.

Ironically then, the slogan of the Reformation becomes, in Steve Schlissel's words, a theological shibboleth.
If we do not adopt Gordon Clark's definition of faith, and maintain that it is merely knowledge and assent, while doing away with trust, how is it wrong to say that faith is characterized by (fill in the blank with something more than assent to propositions)? The normal formulation, as I understand it, is trust (knowledge, assent, trust). Gordon Clark says that this is the first step towards introducing works into the picture, but it appears that most of the Reformed community does not see it this way. I guess I don't see what the difference is between saying that we are justified by a repentant/living/active/trusting faith and saying "we are justified by faith a lone, but not by a faith that is alone." Or, to say it in James' terms, "faith without works is dead." Isn't this something about which we all agree?
Sorry, but you have lost me on this one. What does Clark have to do with FV?
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Do the FV folks really teach that "Covenant faithfullness" depends on the indivdual...or...Do they teach that "Covenant faithfullness" is God's faithfullness to the covenant (and to those individuals in the covenant)?

Could anyone who has researched these things please provide me a quote or something of an FV teaching "covenant faithfullness" as the individual standard, apart from God's faithfullness to the covenant?

If the FV really do teach that "covenant keeping", by our own power and strength (apart from God's faitfullness to the covenant) is the standard,
then the FV is a much bigger problem then I originally thought.
I seriously doubt that any FV proponent would say that our covenant faithfulness depends solely upon our own efforts. Even Rome wouldn't say that.

The problem relates to how our covenant faithfulness contributes or is an essential part of our justification. Many of the FV proponents, for example, cite Norman Shepherd as their model or standard: justified by a (repentant, living, active) faith alone. But if faith actually includes repentance and works, 'by faith alone' has been emptied of all its meaning and we have brought works in by the back door.

Ironically then, the slogan of the Reformation becomes, in Steve Schlissel's words, a theological shibboleth.
If we do not adopt Gordon Clark's definition of faith, and maintain that it is merely knowledge and assent, while doing away with trust, how is it wrong to say that faith is characterized by (fill in the blank with something more than assent to propositions)? The normal formulation, as I understand it, is trust (knowledge, assent, trust). Gordon Clark says that this is the first step towards introducing works into the picture, but it appears that most of the Reformed community does not see it this way. I guess I don't see what the difference is between saying that we are justified by a repentant/living/active/trusting faith and saying "we are justified by faith a lone, but not by a faith that is alone." Or, to say it in James' terms, "faith without works is dead." Isn't this something about which we all agree?
David,

Perhaps you ought to read the posts in this thread that already answer this question. Did you bother reading the posts heretofore in this very thread that interact with that very issue?
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I have always found the FV to be quite defensible on a point by point basis, the Bible does use terms in different contexts to mean different things i.e. God chooses (i.e. elects) those to be part of his outward church and he also elects those to be decretely elect to salvation. On each point the FV will generally have a biblical position.

The problem comes when the FV decides that these different situations are part of a hierarchy and are at least confessionall interchangable, you have a deliberate ambiguity between what is meant when concepts such as salvation or election are being discussed.

It is on the conflation of different concepts that the the FV builds its theological edifice, and when challanged there will be a retreat to the individual perfectly valid (and even confessional) points and a reluctance to discuss the conflation or confusion between the various individual concepts.
There is absolutely nothing Biblically defensible about their definition of conditional election.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I seriously doubt that any FV proponent would say that our covenant faithfulness depends solely upon our own efforts. Even Rome wouldn't say that.

The problem relates to how our covenant faithfulness contributes or is an essential part of our justification. Many of the FV proponents, for example, cite Norman Shepherd as their model or standard: justified by a (repentant, living, active) faith alone. But if faith actually includes repentance and works, 'by faith alone' has been emptied of all its meaning and we have brought works in by the back door.

Ironically then, the slogan of the Reformation becomes, in Steve Schlissel's words, a theological shibboleth.
If we do not adopt Gordon Clark's definition of faith, and maintain that it is merely knowledge and assent, while doing away with trust, how is it wrong to say that faith is characterized by (fill in the blank with something more than assent to propositions)? The normal formulation, as I understand it, is trust (knowledge, assent, trust). Gordon Clark says that this is the first step towards introducing works into the picture, but it appears that most of the Reformed community does not see it this way. I guess I don't see what the difference is between saying that we are justified by a repentant/living/active/trusting faith and saying "we are justified by faith a lone, but not by a faith that is alone." Or, to say it in James' terms, "faith without works is dead." Isn't this something about which we all agree?
Sorry, but you have lost me on this one. What does Clark have to do with FV?
David said that unless you ascribe to Clark's definition of faith (mental assent), then you are leaning towards FV because the other definitions of faith have some kind of "works-iness" about them (my term).
 

HaigLaw

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think you have to post a minimum of 50 or 100 comments before the "thanks" feature pops up and you can thank people with a click.
Ah! Gotcha!! I figured it was something like that but still wanted to give a thumbs-up where I could!!

:)

C
Well, since I posted that, I found the rule, and I think it's only 15 posts, but have forgotten again between the time I found that rule and re-found your post. I've only been here 4 months and have not yet learned how to navigate around very quickly.

:detective:
 

HaigLaw

Puritan Board Sophomore
I thought the PB had some sort of official position contra the FV and its promulgation on the site? Has there been a policy shift? .
Sounds like a good policy.

Just curious why you brought it up though on this thread...Who is promulgating the FV on this thread. I thought this was a place to learn about its errors. How can we learn without using the word FV. Is Federal Vision a vulgar word that can't be spoken?
No; but new people start new threads on issues like FV that have been discussed over and over. It's in the published rules of the PB that proponents of FV are not allowed here. So, sure; people can ask questions about FV all they want; it's just that many of us have already taken the time to answer a lot of these same questions, and links to some of those prior threads have been published, for those who are interested.

If you're looking for a back-&-forth debate over the merits of FV, you may find it in places like Greenbaggins, but not on PB.

:detective:
 

Hippo

Puritan Board Junior
I have always found the FV to be quite defensible on a point by point basis, the Bible does use terms in different contexts to mean different things i.e. God chooses (i.e. elects) those to be part of his outward church and he also elects those to be decretely elect to salvation. On each point the FV will generally have a biblical position.

The problem comes when the FV decides that these different situations are part of a hierarchy and are at least confessionall interchangable, you have a deliberate ambiguity between what is meant when concepts such as salvation or election are being discussed.

It is on the conflation of different concepts that the the FV builds its theological edifice, and when challanged there will be a retreat to the individual perfectly valid (and even confessional) points and a reluctance to discuss the conflation or confusion between the various individual concepts.
There is absolutely nothing Biblically defensible about their definition of conditional election.
When I have pressed the FV on this point I am told that when they talk about conditional election they are not looking at decretal election but at God choosing (i.e. electing) those to be part of the physical outward covenant (i.e. the Church), a position that can be lost.

Now I can agree that God chooses who will be outward members of the covenant, and that the greek word for God choosing is also used for election in a decretal sense, and that such membership of the external coveneant can be lost. In that sense I think that up to this point that the analysis is biblical,

The problem comes when God choosing in this context is seen as a form of election that can be conflated with decretal election and that the historic Reformed position on decretal election can be applied to a new form of election that has been taken out of context. Just because the same word is used in two different contexts does not mean that those two contexts are necessarily the same or even hierarchical.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I have always found the FV to be quite defensible on a point by point basis, the Bible does use terms in different contexts to mean different things i.e. God chooses (i.e. elects) those to be part of his outward church and he also elects those to be decretely elect to salvation. On each point the FV will generally have a biblical position.

The problem comes when the FV decides that these different situations are part of a hierarchy and are at least confessionall interchangable, you have a deliberate ambiguity between what is meant when concepts such as salvation or election are being discussed.

It is on the conflation of different concepts that the the FV builds its theological edifice, and when challanged there will be a retreat to the individual perfectly valid (and even confessional) points and a reluctance to discuss the conflation or confusion between the various individual concepts.
There is absolutely nothing Biblically defensible about their definition of conditional election.
When I have pressed the FV on this point I am told that when they talk about conditional election they are not looking at decretal election but at God choosing (i.e. electing) those to be part of the physical outward covenant (i.e. the Church), a position that can be lost.

Now I can agree that God chooses who will be outward members of the covenant, and that the greek word for God choosing is also used for election in a decretal sense, and that such membership of the external coveneant can be lost. In that sense I think that up to this point that the analysis is biblical,

The problem comes when God choosing in this context is seen as a form of election that can be conflated with decretal election and that the historic Reformed position on decretal election can be applied to a new form of election that has been taken out of context. Just because the same word is used in two different contexts does not mean that those two contexts are necessarily the same or even hierarchical.
It's not that the same word "election" is utilized but what they fill in with the phrase "conditional election" that can be lost. If you read Wilkins' Presbytery Exam and some other content, it is clear that what they desire to argue for is that baptized members participate temporally in the forgiveness of sins and union with Christ. This idea is specifically rejected by the Scriptures and the Confessions that teach that faith is the instrument that lays hold of the benefits of Christ and not mere temporal Covenant membership.

Hence, there is nothing orthodox about their definition of Conditional Election (which is what I initially typed) while the phrase itself is innocuous.

A bit more on this topic as Reverends Winzer and Greco interacted and Rev. Greco quoted Owen:

This call can be heard from Joe Blogs standing on a soap box in the centre of town.

Traditional Presbyterianism taught that Jehovah God manifests His gracious presence and acts according to His special providence for the good of the visible church. This privileged position is acknowledge by historic writers as an election, which distinguishes the members of the visible church from the world. To call it anything less is to detract from the significance of the church as an institution of divine appointment.

The Confession considers the visible church to be nothing less than "the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation" (chap. 25, sect. 2). Besides the special benefits of the sacraments, which apply only to the elect, the Confession states they are also instituted " to put a visible difference between those that belong to the church, and the rest of the world; and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to His Word" (Chap. 27, sect. 1).

It appears to me that the confusion arises because inexperienced theologians do not understand the adjectives "absolute," "unconditional" or "eternal," as being relative to the election which pertains to eternal life, and that such adjectives are stated for the express purpose of distinguishing this election from an election to temporal privileges.

I specifically chose the quotation of John Owen because he particularly refers to Christ's election of Judas to temporal privileges. Judas was chosen, being a devil; yet in terms of inward, spiritual blessings, he was not chosen. One is not at liberty to deny what the Bible so plainly teaches. The responsible thing to do is to explain the difference between these two elections, which is what historic reformed theology has done.
Rev. Winzer,

I understand what you are saying, but I do not believe it is apropos of the issue at stake here in this thread. To acknowledge that there is an "election" or "choosing" by God that amounts to common grace (which you have aptly described) is not the point. Owen is clearly describing an election to temporary gifting, such as Judas had. That is not what Wilkins is describing. He is describing a temporary election to salvific gifts, benefits. Owen is describing the exact opposite. He is discussing the giftings shown by those who manifestly do not have saving graces, in his effort to show that the work of the Holy Spirit (the selected text is from Owen's work on the Holy Spirit, Pneumatologia) in saving grace is distinct, different and not related to his work in gifting men.

Here is the quote in full context, from a section dealing with the difference between spiritual gifts and saving grace, which makes that point crystal clear (I'll bold the bottom line portions):

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SPIRITUAL GIFTS
AND SAVING GRACE.
THEIR nature in general, which in the next place we inquire into, will be
much discovered in the consideration of those things wherein these gifts do agree with saving graces, and wherein they differ from them.
First, There are four things wherein spiritual gifts and saving graces do
agree: —
1. They are, both sorts of them, the purchase of Christ for his church, the
especial fruit of his mediation. We speak not of such gifts or endowments
of men’s minds as consist merely in the improvement of their natural
faculties: such are wisdom, learning, skill in arts and sciences; which those
may abound and excel in who are utter strangers to the church of Christ,
and frequently they do so, to their own exaltation and contempt of others.
Nor do I intend abilities for actions, moral, civil, or political; as fortitude,
skill in government or rule, and the like. For although these are gifts of the
power of the Spirit of God, yet they do belong unto those operations
which he exerciseth in upholding or ruling of the world, or the old creation
as such, whereof I have treated before. But I intend those alone which are
conversant about the gospel, the things and duties of it, the administration
of its ordinances, the propagation of its doctrine, and profession of its
ways. And herein also I put a difference between them and all those gifts
of the Spirit about sacred things which any of the people of God enjoyed
under the old testament; for we speak only of those which are “powers of
the world to come.” Those others were suited to the economy of the old
covenant, and confined with the light which God was pleased then to
communicate unto his church. Unto the gospel state they were not suited,
nor would be useful in it, Hence the prophets, who had the most eminent
gifts, did yet all of them come short of John the Baptist, because they had
not, by virtue of their gifts, that acquaintance with the person of Christ
and insight into his work of mediation that he had; and yet also he came
short of him that is “least in the kingdom of heaven,” because his gifts
were not purely evangelical. Wherefore, those gifts whereof we treat are such as belong unto the kingdom of God erected in an especial manner by
Jesus Christ after his ascension into heaven; for he was exalted that he
might fill all things, ta< pa>nta, that is, the whole church, with these effects
of his power and grace. The power, therefore, of communicating these gifts
was granted unto the Lord Christ as mediator, by the Father, for the
foundation and edification of his church, as it is expressed, Acts 2:33;
and by them was his kingdom both set up and propagated, and is
preserved in the world. These were the weapons of warfare which he
furnished his disciples withal when he gave them commission to go forth
and subdue the world unto the obedience of the gospel, Acts 1:4,8; and
mighty were they through God unto that purpose, 2 Corinthians 10:3-6.
In the use and exercise of them did the gospel “run, and was glorified,” to
the ruin of the kingdom of Satan and darkness in the world. And that he
was ever able to erect it again, under another form than that of Gentilism,
as he hath done in the anti-christian apostasy of the church visible, it was
from a neglect and contempt of these gifts, with their due use and
improvement, When men began to neglect the attaining of these spiritual
gifts, and the exercise of them, in praying, in preaching, in interpretation of
the Scripture, in all the administrations and whole worship of the church,
betaking themselves wholly to their own abilities and inventions,
accommodated unto their ease and secular interest, it was an easy thing for Satan to erect again his kingdom, though not in the old manner, because of
the light of the Scripture, which had made an impression on the minds of
men which he could not obliterate. Wherefore he never attempted openly
any more to set up Heathenism or Paganism, with the gods of the old
world and their worship; but he insensibly raised another kingdom, which
pretended some likeness unto and compliance with the letter of the word,
though it came at last to be in all things expressly contrary thereunto. This
was his kingdom of apostasy and darkness, under the papal
antichristianism and woful degeneracy of other Christians in the world; for
when men who pretend themselves intrusted with the preservation of the
kingdom of Christ did willfully cast away those weapons of their warfare
whereby the world was subdued unto him, and ought to have been kept in
subjection by them, what else could ensue?
By these gifts, I say, doth the Lord Christ demonstrate his power and
exercise his rule. External force and carnal weapons were far from his thoughts, as unbecoming his absolute sovereignty over the souls of men,
his infinite power and holiness. Neither did any ever betake themselves
unto them in the affairs of Christ’s kingdom, but either when they had
utterly lost and abandoned these spiritual weapons, or did not believe that
they are sufficient to maintain the interest of the gospel, though originally
they were so to introduce and fix it in the world, — that is, that although
the gifts of the Holy Ghost were sufficient and effectual to bring in the
truth and doctrine of the gospel against all opposition, yet are they not so
to maintain it; which they may do well once more to consider. Herein,
therefore, they agree with saving graces; for that they are peculiarly from
Jesus Christ the mediator is confessed by all, unless it be by such as by
whom all real internal grace is denied. But the sanctifying operations of the
Holy Spirit, with their respect unto the Lord Christ as mediator, have been
sufficiently before confirmed.
2. There is an agreement between saving graces and spiritual gifts with
respect unto their immediate efficient cause. They are, both sorts of them,
wrought by the power of the Holy Ghost.
As to what concerneth the
former, or saving grace, I have already treated of that argument at large; nor
will any deny that the Holy Ghost is the author of these graces but those
that deny that there are any such. That these gifts are so wrought by him
is expressly declared wherever there is mention of them, in general or
particular. Wherefore, when they acknowledge that there were such gifts,
all confess him to be their author. By whom he is denied so to be, it is
only because they deny the continuance of any such gifts in the church of
God. But this is that which we shall disprove.
3. Herein also they agree, that both sorts of them are designed unto the
good, benefit, ornament, and glory of the church. The church is the proper
seat and subject of them, to it are they granted, and in it do they reside; for Christ is given to be the “head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all,” Ephesians 1:22,23.
But this “church” falls under a double consideration: — first, as it is
believing; secondly, as it is professing. In the first respect absolutely it is
invisible,
{N.B. the antipathy displayed even this week by FV types for the visible church, expressed by Owen here, and they refer to as "against the law of non-contradiction} and as such is the peculiar subject of saving grace. This is that
church which “Christ loved and gave himself for, that he might sanctify and
cleanse it, and present it unto himself a glorious church, not having
spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and
without blemish,” Ephesians 5:26,27.

This is the work of saving grace, and by a participation thereof do men
become members of this church, and not otherwise.
And hereby is the
professing church quickened and enabled unto profession in an acceptable
manner; for the elect receive grace unto this end in this world, that they
may glorify Christ and the gospel in the exercise of it, Colossians 1:6;
John 15:8. But gifts are bestowed on the professing church to render it
visible in such a way as whereby God is glorified. Grace gives an invisible
life to the church, gifts give it a visible profession; for hence doth the
church become organical, and disposed into that order which is beautiful
and comely.
Where any church is organized merely by outward rules,
perhaps of their own devising, and makes profession only in an attendance
unto outward order, not following the leading of the Spirit in the
communication of his gifts, both as to order and discharge of the duties of
profession, it is but the image of a church, wanting an animating principle
and form. That profession which renders a church visible according to the
mind of Christ, is the orderly exercise of the spiritual gifts bestowed on it,
in a conversation evidencing the invisible principle of saving grace. Now,
these gifts are conferred on the church in order unto “the edification of
itself in love,” Ephesians 4:16, as also for the propagation of its
profession in the world, as shall be declared afterward. Wherefore, both of
these sorts have in general the same end, or are given by Christ unto the
same purpose, — namely, the good and benefit of the church, as they are
respectively suited to promote them.
4. It may also be added, that they agree herein, that they have both the
same respect unto the bounty of Christ. Hence every grace is a gift, that
which is given and freely bestowed on them that have it, Matthew
13:11; Philippians 1:29. And although, on the other side, every gift be
not a grace, yet, proceeding from gracious favor and bounty, they are so
called, Romans 12:6; Ephesians 4:7. How, in their due exercise, they
are mutually helpful and assistant unto each other, shall be declared
afterward. Secondly, We may consider wherein the difference lies or doth consist
which is between these spiritual gifts and sanctifying graces
: and this may
be seen in sundry instances; as, —
1. Saving graces are karpo>v, the “fruit” or fruits “of the Spirit,”
Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 5:9; Philippians 1:11. Now, fruits
proceed from an abiding root and stock, of whose nature they do partake.
There must be a “good tree” to bring forth “good fruit,” Matthew 12:33.
No external watering or applications unto the earth will cause it to bring
forth useful fruits, unless there are roots from which they spring and are
educed. The Holy Spirit is as the root unto these fruits; the root which
bears them, and which they do not bear, as Romans 11:18
. Therefore, in
order of nature, is he given unto men before the production of any of these
fruits. Thereby are they ingrafted into the olive, are made such branches in
Christ, the true vine, as derive vital juice, nourishment, and fructifying
virtue from him, even by the Spirit. So is he “a well of water springing up
into everlasting life,” John 4:14. He is a spring in believers; and all
saving graces are but waters arising from that living, overflowing spring.
From him, as a root or spring, as an eternal virtue, power, or principle, do
all these fruits come. To this end doth he dwell in them and abide with
them, according to the promise of our Lord Jesus Christ, John 14:17;
Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; whereby the Lord Christ effecteth
his purpose in “ordaining his disciples to bring forth fruit” that should
“remain,” John 15:16.
In the place of his holy residence, he worketh
these effects freely, according to his own will. And there is nothing that
hath the true nature of saving grace but what is so a fruit of the Spirit. We
have not first these graces, and then by virtue of them receive the Spirit,
(for whence should we have them of ourselves?) but the Spirit bestowed
on us worketh them in us, and gives them a siritual, divine nature, in
conformity unto his own.
With gifts, singly considered, it is otherwise. They are indeed works and
effects, but not properly fruits of the Spirit, nor are anywhere so called.

They are effects of his operation upon men, not fruits of his working in
them; and, therefore, many receive these gifts who never receive the Spirit
as to the principal end for which he is promised.
They receive him not to
sanctify and make them temples unto God; though metonymically, with
respect unto his outward effects, they may be said to be made partakers of him. This renders them of a different nature and kind from saving graces;
for whereas there is an agreement and coincidence between them in the
respects before mentioned, and whereas the seat and subject of them, —
that is, of gifts absolutely, and principally of graces also, — is the mind,
the difference of their nature proceeds from the different manner of their
communication from the Holy Spirit.
2. Saving grace proceeds from, or is the effect and fruit of, electing love.
This I have proved before, in our inquiry into the nature of holiness. See it
directly asserted, Ephesians 1:3,4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Acts
2:47, 13:48. Whom God graciously choosoth and designeth unto eternal
life, them he prepares for it by the communication of the means which are
necessary unto that end, Romans 8:28-30. Hereof sanctification, or the
communication of saving grace, is comprehensive; for we are “chosen to
salvation through sanctification of the Spirit,” 2 Thessalonians 2:13, for
this is that whereby we are “made meet to be partakers of the inheritance
of the saints in light,” Colossians 1:12. The end of God in election is the
sonship and salvation of the elect,
“to the praise of the glory of his grace,”
Ephesians 1:5,6; and this cannot be unless his image be renewed in them
in holiness or saving graces. These, therefore, he works in them, in pursuit
of his eternal purpose therein. But gifts, on the other hand, which are no
more but so, and where they are solitary or alone, are only the effects of a
temporary election.
Thus God chooseth some men unto some office in the
church, or unto some work in the world. As this includeth a preferring
them before or above others, or the using them when others are not used,
we call it election; and in itself it is their fitting for and separation unto
their office or work. And this temporary election is the cause and nile of
the dispensation of gifts.
So he chose Saul to be king over his people, and
gave him thereon “another heart,” or gifts fitting him for rule and
government. So our Lord Jesus Christ chose and called at the first twelve
to be his apostles, and gave unto them all alike miraculous gifts. His
temporary choice of them was the ground of his communication of gifts
unto them. By virtue hereof no saving graces were communicated unto
them, for one of them never arrived unto a participation of them.
“Have not I,” saith our Savior unto them, “chosen you twelve, and
one of you is a devil?” John 6:70.
He had chosen them unto their office, and endowed them with
extraordinary gifts for the discharge thereof; but one of them being not
“chosen unto salvation before the foundation of the world,” being not
“ordained unto eternal life,” but, on the other side, being the “son of
perdition,” or one certainly appointed unto destruction, or “before of old
ordained unto that condemnation,” he continued void of all sanctifying
graces, so as, unto any acceptation with God, he was in no better
condition than the devil himself, whose work he was to do. Yet was he, by
virtue of this choice unto the office of apostleship for a season, endowed
with the same spiritual gifts that the others were. And this distinction our
Savior himself doth plainly lay down; for whereas he says, John 6:70,
“Have not I chosen you twelve,” — that is, with a temporary choice unto
office, — chap. 13:18, he salth, “I speak not of you all; I know whom I
have chosen,” so excepting Judas from that number, as is afterward
expressly declared: for the election which here he intends is that which is
accompanied with an infallible ordination unto abiding fruit-bearing, chap.
15:16, that is, eternal election, wherein Judas had no interest.
 
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