The Logical Explanation of the Trinity

June 4, 2020
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God is an inwardly lawful being. An inwardly lawful being is righteous, blessed, and holy. Righteousness is lawfulness; blessedness is the union of lawfulness and happiness; and holiness is their identity. The divine nature is one according to the universal concept, but three according to the particular conception thereof. And the persons are moral subjects, divine particulars, to whom the divine nature belongs, as a universal predicate. There are therefore three divine persons conceivable, distinguished by the fundamental attributes of divinity, which are identified in one nature.

Gress, Julian, 2019, Christ Condemned: On the Incarnation and the Trinity 3, 35–36, 91–92

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Personal Union with Christ

August 21, 2019
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Christ is unconditionally condemned by the Father, for his glory, yet the law of God requires that sin and guilt reciprocally imply one another. Therefore Christ, being condemned, but not for any sin he committed, is condemned for the sins of others, whose sins are imputed to him. These are the elect, chosen in Christ for the glory of God.

The law of God requires that sin and guilt, righteousness and innocence, reciprocally imply one another in one person. However, the condemnation of Christ is unconditional, not for sin he himself committed, but for the sins of others. Wherefore, the elect are personally united to Christ, his the guilt, theirs the sin; and because he partook of their sin, they also partake of his righteousness.

And that lawfully, to produce an intuition of the Father, who unconditionally condemned his Son; and of the Son, who bore their sins; and of the Holy Spirit, who is justifies Christ in his submission to condemnation, that the elect may be redeemed for the glory of God.

“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:10-12

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Forgiveness of Sins

August 18, 2019
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Forgiveness is in the offer, or in the act. The offer is made before it is received; the act, after. Faith receives forgiveness of sins, and repentance is the condition of faith lawfully exercised.

Forgiveness of sins is the change in the person’s legal state, away from condemnation, unto justification. The former respects the end of rejection, the latter respects the beginning of acceptance. The sinner, once forgiven, is no more condemned.

This forgiveness is not possible, except through the satisfaction of the sinners debt by the Lord Jesus Christ. And although he has satisfied the debt, the credit is not given to the person, until the death of Christ is applied to them, and they are united to Christ, for the law of God requires that satisfaction be made in their own persons.

This satisfaction is applied to them in regeneration, whereby God, of his free justice, crucifies their sinful selves with his only Begotten Son. For in dying to sin, and living to God, they pay the penalty of death, and their consciences are all cleansed, that they might freely receive forgiveness of sins, and justification by faith.

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Is God the Author of Sin?

August 16, 2019
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God is an inwardly lawful being; ergo, he is not the author of sin.

Yet he created the devil, who brought down a third of the angels and the whole of humanity in his fall.

But God did not make the devil to sin. God made him in righteousness, for his own sake, for a person is an end in itself.

And although he is an end in himself, he is not the supreme end of all things, but God.

Wherefore, God lawfully created the devil, with foreknowledge of his sin, for his own holy purposes.

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Election and Reprobation

August 11, 2019
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“Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.” Romans 9:21-23

Election is not on the basis of works; yet there is an inner difference in the persons of men, whereby one is fitted for mercy, another for wrath, as one vessel is made unto dishonor, and another unto honor. For the plate is made unto honor, but the ash tray to dishonor; and the cup is made unto honor, but the sink unto dishonor. So also, with the souls of men, some are made unto honor, and others unto dishonor.

For according to the divine nature, all men are made in righteousness, and unto righteousness; but according to the divine persons, who are the fountain of grace, some men are shown mercy, and others are passed over, that mercy might be shown to the elect, that he has saved them from such destruction through the sacrifice of his Son. And that not of works, but of himself, who has unconditionally condemned the Lord Jesus Christ, imputing our sins to him, that he might be glorified in our salvation. For it is his mercy to give, or withhold, as he pleases.

“For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Romans 9:15

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July 27, 2019
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God is an inwardly lawful being, righteous, blessed, holy.

There is one God, invisible, who has appeared to us in Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is innocent, thought condemned, being nonlegally righteous as God.

For the Father, who is God unconditionally, unconditionally condemns the Lord Jesus Christ; the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, submits himself to the condemnation of the Father, in dependence on him; and the Holy Spirit justifies Christ in his submission to the Father’s condemnation, in dependence on the Father and the Son, who depend on one another in the his procession.

Wherefore, the Father is the righteousness of God, the Son is his blessedness, and the Spirit is his holiness. And these three are one God, righteous, blessed, and holy, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Man Made Perfect

February 5, 2019
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If “perfect” means lacking nothing proper to the concept, then God made man perfect. Adam lacked nothing proper to the concept of “man,” but he was not therefore perfectly righteous, for righteousness is not the concept of man, but of God. God is perfectly righteous, and he made man righteous, but not perfectly so, free to fall. It is only in the state of grace that man is made perfectly righteous. “the spirits of just men made perfect” (Hebrews 12:23).

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Baptism: Mode and Recipient

December 17, 2017
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Baptism means dipping or washing; it is the application of water. Those who are baptized into Christ are his members, and he is their head, therefore, baptism is rightly applied to the head, by pouring or sprinkling (Ephesians 4:4-5, 15-16, 5:23, 1 Corinthians 11:3, 12:12-13, 27). Immersion should not be used to convey their part in his death, burial, and resurrection, because this belongs to the members of Christ by his headship, as the apostle Paul argues in Romans 6:3—else they would have known. And because Christ is the head of the visible church; children are under the authority of their parents; and baptism is a sign of the covenant of grace; therefore, the children of believing parents are to be baptized, as members of the visible church.

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Means of Worship

November 21, 2017
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Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:6-8

God is to be worshipped by obedience to his commandments, and only those means that he has appointed in his word are to be used in worship.

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Headcoverings Not Required

November 18, 2017
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The law of God does not require women to wear a headcovering, nor does Paul require it in 1 Corinthians 11:1-16.
1. The woman did not wear a headcovering in the garden.
2. When man fell into sin, God did not command Eve to wear a headcovering.
3. Neither the law of Moses, nor the prophets, command women to wear a headcovering.
4. A headcovering is a piece of cloth.
5. It is comely for a woman to pray or prophecy without a headcovering.
6. A woman’s hair is her glory, not her shame.
7. Paul’s commandment to wear a headcovering is clothed in moral language.
8. Those moral principles that may be promoted by wearing a headcovering may also be promoted by not wearing a headcovering.
9. Some lands have customs and teachings of nature, contrary to those to whom Paul wrote.
10. Paul calls it a custom, not to cause contention in the church.
11. The resolution of this issue is not edifying to the church, except to instruct churches to follow local customs.
12. If Christians did not follow local customs, they would form different churches.

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My Book

November 17, 2017
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The title of my book is Christ Condemned: On the Incarnation and the Trinity. It is a philosophical and theological exposition of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith.

Christ Condemned is currently being prepared for publication. Here is the description from the back cover.

“How is it possible for God, who does not change, through the very same law that destroys sinners, also to save them?” –Christ Condemned, Introduction

Christ Condemned is a defense of the orthodox doctrines of the Incarnation and the Trinity. It is philosophical and theological, with proofs from reason, Scripture, and proofs of the proofs from reason from Scripture. It demonstrates that these doctrines are necessary to the Christian faith, grounds of the possibility of salvation, without which no man can be saved. It also defends the critical philosophy at the basis of its whole endeavor. It is of especial benefit to pastors and students of theology or philosophy, who wish to understand and defend the Incarnation and the Trinity. The book answers fundamental questions regarding these doctrines, and is the beginning of a systematic theology of the Christian faith.

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