Friday, May 30, 2008

Romans 10:9-13: Are "Confess" and "Call" Post-Justification? part five

THE PRODIGAL SON: A CASE STUDY IN PRE-JUSTIFICATION CONFESS AND CALL
In Luke 15, Jesus answers an accusation of the Pharisees with three stories---a story of the lost sheep, then the lost coin, and finally the lost son. The third of these three parables is the tale of two sons. I want to explore the Lord's illustration of man's salvation by looking at this parable as a case study.
Part of the confusion about the conditions for justification is the understanding of faith itself. Saving faith certainly occurs at a point in time, but at the consummation of a time of repeated believing. This is how it is presented in the NT. Before a man obeys the Lord in saving faith, he will exercise faith that still falls short of saving faith. He must, however, exercise that faith in order to participate in saving faith.
You can see this starting in Romans 1, when man first sees God's revelation as a means of manifesting God to man. Through creation, man knows God. Is that enough to save Him? No. But it is necessary for Him to believe that revelation or He won't continue on to saving faith. To be saved, someone needs faith based on a deep knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:1-4). Romans 10 itself backs this up. Paul quotes Psalm 19:4 in Romans 10:18, right after writing, "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." What is the "word of God" from which faith comes? In Psalm 19:4, it is God's general revelation, His creation that speaks to mankind, that gives man the saving message. Only "open theist" and unitarian types have I heard say that saving faith could come from general revelation without the Bible. And yet, this is the start of man's knowledge of God and he must receive that by faith, if he will ever get the rest of what He must know to be justified.
What is the confession with the mouth of Romans 10:9? Thomas Ross says that it must be a verbalized, worded confession. And yet in Romans 10:18, God's Word is not a verbalized, worded confession. There His Word is found in creation. Still, man often arrives at saving faith from that. Thomas Ross says that it must be lipped and uttered with the mouth because God says that the Word (rhema, same as Rom. 10:18) is found in Romans 10:8. Romans 10:8 is obviously metaphorical. God hasn't put actual sounds or even written Words in people's mouths. The metaphor, just like the one's previous to it ("descend to the deep"), is to teach accessibility. God's Words were accessible. Nothing is as available as something that is as intimate as in one's mouth.
The way of salvation is available to Israel, unlike what they had argued with Paul (and with Isaiah in the OT). They couldn't use accessibility of the message as an excuse not to receive the Lord. Someone who confesses is someone who agrees with God. In Romans 10:9, He agrees that Jesus is Lord. This agreement must be real. He must agree with the available message of Jesus' Lordship and Deity. When someone confesses His sin (1 John 1:9), He is agreeing with God about His sinfulness. He doesn't have to use lips to actually say those words. He can say them in heart.
This is what the Prodigal Son did when he came to himself in Luke 15. Here's the text:
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 20 And he arose, and came to his father.
The son recognized his desperate condition. He said it. This reminds me of the Sermon on the Mount, when Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Mt 5:3)." Unless we recognize our spiritual poverty, we can't be saved. Is this pre or post justification? Of course, it's before and it isn't a pre-justification work. It's part of the grace of God. It was akin to the prodigal coming to himself through a string of providential circumstances. Then he said that his father was good and that he himself was helpless and hopeless. He decided that He would go to His Father and confess something. He planned a confession. In that confession he would admit his sinfulness and submit himself to the authority of his father as a servant.
Later when he gets to his father, this is exactly what the son does. He makes a confession to the Father. Did faith proceed this confession to the Father? Yes. He believed the truth about his condition. There was faith. He believed that His father was good. There was faith. Did his confession come out of faith? Yes. But he did confess and confession was part of the plan. Was it a work? No. All of it was God's grace. He didn't come to the end of himself except by the grace of God. He recognized His hopeless condition by the grace of God. He believed all this by the grace of God. He confessed by the grace of God. He arose and went to the father by grace too. All of this is a beautiful picture of repentance.
A man sees God is good. He sees he himself is sinful. He comes to a confession of his sinfulness and submission to the authority of the Father. Is admission of guilt a work? No. It is part of saving faith. The Father welcomes home the son based upon these terms. He also confesses himself to be worthy only to be the Father's servant. This is a confession of the Lordship of Christ. If confession wasn't important, then why is it included in this story?
Confession of Lordship of Christ is what we see in Romans 10:9. The same grammatical construction we also see in 1 Corinthians 12:3, which says: "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." This statement is axiomatic. Thomas Ross says it is something that relates to speaking in tongues and is in a totally different context, so it has nothing to do with Romans 10:9. The context of 1 Corinthians 12:3 is that the Corinthians were carried away and led of dumb idols before they were saved. Then they were led by the Spirit of God, supernaturally enabled, to confess Jesus is the Lord. It shows us that this confession, the same one as Romans 10:9 and that of the prodigal, are of the grace of God.
The prodigal represents every man away from God, going his own way, doing what he wants to do, looking for fulfillment in his own way. He's rebellious. He is spending the good things that God has given him, like we see in James 4, where it says that the friend of the world consumes these things, spends them, for his own pleasure. This worldly chase leaves him in charge. He goes after it on his own terms. Like Solomon explained in Ecclesiastes, he comes up empty. For him to get saved, allegiance must be transferred from himself to God. The prodigal confesses that he is better off with the Father in charge and not himself. This too is the confession of Romans 10:9.
And it's not just patterned in Luke 15. In the account of Paul's justification in Acts 9, it doesn't say that Paul believes. He confesses (Acts 9:6), "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Does Luke 23 say that he believed in Jesus? No. He pleads (Luke 23:43), "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." The publican in Luke 18:13 said, "God be merciful to me a sinner." Jesus said afterwards that he went away "justified." It says nothing about his faith. Should we assume that faith wasn't involved? Of course not. We should assume there was faith, especially in light of all the Scripture says about faith for salvation.
These were all confessions that preceded justification that tell us about salvation even as we see it described in Romans 10. In Romans 10:9, "confess" comes from homologeo. The same word is used in this text in John 10:42, 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.
It says some men among the chief rulers believed on Jesus. Were they saved? No. Why not? They would not confess Him. Someone who will not confess Jesus Christ is not saved. Why wouldn't they confess Him? They had worldly hearts. They were more concerned about what men thought of them than what God did. They had faith that fell short of saving faith because it wasn't mixed with confession. This praise of men was the thorns that choked out a genuine faith.
Until Thomas Ross, I had never met anyone who believed that "confess" and "call" in Romans 10 were post-justification, except for him and his anonymous scholars. I still haven't met anyone that believes that. One of his chief contentions is that later in Romans 10:14 that we can't call until we believe. I agree with that. That's found in the picture of the prodigal Son. He didn't consider confession until after He believed that the Father was a good Father, one when even took good care of his day labourers. He had to have belief before confession. Romans 10:18 talks about faith that comes out of general revelation. This surely precedes later faith that comes from hearing the written Word of God preached. The so-called "ordo salutis" of Romans 10:14 doesn't debunk pre-justification confession and call.
Faith must be mixed with repentance. The confession of Christ as Lord is a denial of self. Jesus said that to follow Him, one must deny self and take up one's cross (Matt. 16:24). Obviously, this isn't a literal cross any more than confession with the mouth is a particular proclaimed mantra. Still, however, pre-justification, someone must take up the cross. This is all part of faith and repentance. The confession is part of saving faith and repentance. It is an agreement with God.
Thomas Ross, asks how this is prayer. John Owen writes it this way in his book on justification:
The whole is confirmed by the exercise of faith in prayer; which is the soul’s application of itself unto God for the participation of the benefits of the mediation of Christ. And it is called our "access through him unto the Father," Ephesians 2:18; our coming through him "unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need," Hebrews 4:15, 16; and through him as both "a high priest and sacrifice," Hebrews 10:19-22. So do we "bow our knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," Ephesians 3:14. This answers the experience of all who know what it is to pray. We come therein in the name of Christ, by him, through his mediation, unto God, even the Father; to be, through his grace, love, and mercy, made partakers of what he has designed and promised to communicate unto poor sinners by him. And this represents the complete object of our faith.
He says that we don't participate in the benefits of the mediation of Christ until after this prayer, so Owen says pre-justification. The rest of this paragraph says the same. He says it comes after faith. Great. I believe the same, but still pre-justification.
I have more from commentaries, but let me end with what Gill writes about Luke 18 and the prayer of the publican, after which he was justified:
This is his prayer; a short, but a very full one, and greatly different from that of the Pharisee: in which is a confession that he was a sinner; a sinner in Adam, who had derived a sinful nature from him, being conceived and born in sin; and a sinner by practice, having committed many actual transgressions, attended with aggravating circumstances; a guilty and filthy sinner, a notorious one, deserving of the wrath of God, and the lowest hell: he speaks of himself, as if he was the only sinner in the world; at least, as if there was none like him: and there is in this prayer also a petition; and the object it is put up to, is "God", against whom he had sinned; with whom there is mercy and forgiveness; and who only can forgive sin; and who has promised that he will: and has proclaimed his name, a God, pardoning iniquity, transgression, and sin; and has given instances of his forgiving grace and mercy; and therefore the publican was right in addressing him by confession: the petition he makes to him is, to be "merciful", or "propitious" to him; that is, to show mercy to him, through the propitiary sacrifice of the Messiah, which was typified by the sacrifices under the law: the first thing a sensible sinner wants, is an application of pardoning grace and mercy; and forgiveness springs from mercy; and because the mercy of God is free and abundant, therefore pardon is so: but this is not to be expected from an absolute God, or God out of Christ. God is only propitious in Christ: hence it may be observed, that God pardons none but those to whom he is propitious in his Son; and that he forgives sin upon the foot of a reconciliation, and satisfaction made to his law, and justice, and so pardon is an act of justice, as well as of mercy; and that there is no pardoning mercy but through Christ.
Thomas Ross claims that Charles Finney originated the "sinner's prayer." I'm safe to say that Owen and Gill came before Finney. Neither are either of these Pelagians, Arminians, or Roman Catholics. Of course, none of these name-calls, these ad hominems, really add to his argument. I'm not sure what they do for anyone. I'm pretty sure that Owen was death on Roman Catholicism and confessing sins to a priest. So was Gill. Yet Gill talks about a prayer that is a confession, something that prodigal son did in a story that Jesus told that illustrated the terms of justification.

5 comments:

Thomas Ross said...

I BELIEVE, AS I AM SURE PASTOR BRANDENBURG WOULD, THAT WE DON’T GET OUR DOCTRINE FROM PARABLES. I BELIEVE THAT THE PARABLE OF THE LOST SON IS ENTIRELY COMPATABLE WITH JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH APART FROM THE NECESSARY INSTRUMENTALITY OF SAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER. FURTHERMORE, I HOPE THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG WILL EXPLAIN WHEN EXACTLY REGENERATION IS SUPPOSED TO TAKE PLACE WHILE SAYING THE PRAYER. I DON’T WANT TO GET INTO A EXTENSIVE CRITIQUE AND MISREPRESENT HIS AS YET UNSTATED BELIEF. IN THIS PARABLE, I DON’T KNOW WHEN EXACTLY HE IS SAYING THE MAN WAS REGENERATED. IT LOOKS TO ME FROM V. 20-21:
20* And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21* And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
THAT THE FATHER RECEIVED HIM BACK BEFORE HE SAID V. 21, SO IF WE ARE GOING TO GET ANY DOCTRINE FROM THE PARABLE, IT WOULD LOOK LIKE HE IS SAVED BEFORE HE CONFESSES IN V. 21. HOWEVER, I INTEND, UNLESS IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO ACT OTHERWISE, TO WAIT UNTIL PASTOR BRANDENBURG EXPLAINS EXACTLY WHAT HE MEANS BY A SINNER’S PRAYER BEFORE SAYING MORE HERE (I HOPE HE WILL DEFINE HIS TERMS SOON—WE HAVE HAD FIVE POSTS ALREADY WITHOUT THE TERMS BEING DEFINED, ALTHOUGH AT LEAST WE MADE SOME HEADWAY IN THIS POST, WHICH IS A BLESSING.) ALL I KNOW NOW IS THAT HE BELIEVES IT IS A FALSE ACCUSATION TO SAY THAT IT INVOLVES ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS, THAT IT IS NOT A PRAYER IN THE THEOLOGICAL SENSE, BUT ONLY IN THE CONNOTATIVE SENSE, AND SOME OTHER THINGS THAT I DON’T UNDERSTAND. I HAD SAID THIS BEFORE, WITHOUT A RESPONSE, AT LEAST SO FAR:

I WOULD SAY AT THIS TIME THAT, NOT, AS OF YET, HAVING BEEN CONVINCED THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S POSITION IS CORRECT, BUT HAVING LOOKED AT EVERY SINGLE REFERENCE TO “CALL + NAME” IN SCRIPTURE, CALLING ON THE LORD SURE LOOKS LIKE PRAYER TO ME. ALL THE REFERENCES ARE IN MY STUDY, AND I ENCOURAGE THE READER TO LOOK AT THEM FOR HIMSELF. I WILL GIVE ONLY ONE EXAMPLE:

1 Kings 18:24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

WHAT ELIJAH DID AFTER THIS WAS THE FOLLOWING:
36* And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.
37* Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

THIS REALLY LOOKS LIKE A PRAYER TO ME IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD.


PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

Saving faith certainly occurs at a point in time, but at the consummation of a time of repeated believing. This is how it is presented in the NT. Before a man obeys the Lord in saving faith, he will exercise faith that still falls short of saving faith. He must, however, exercise that faith in order to participate in saving faith.

EARLIER, SINCE I SAID THAT AN UNSAVED PERSON NEEDED TO WORK TO LISTEN TO THE GOSPEL, READ THE BIBLE, OR DO WHATEVER ELSE WAS NECESSARY TO FIND OUT HOW TO BE SAVED, PASTOR BRANDENBURG HAD WRITTEN:

This is important, because here is a clear difference on this issue from Brother Ross and me. He says that an unbeliever must work for justification. I don't believe so. . . . I don't believe so, I believe it is faith alone that is a pre-requisite[.]

I TRUST THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG WILL DEFINE HOW LISTENING TO THE GOSPEL, ETC. ARE NOT WORKING, SINCE HE ADMITS THERE ARE THINGS THAT ARE THINGS OTHER THAN SAVING FAITH THAT A LOST PERSON MUST DO IF HE IS GOING TO GET SAVED.
AS A REMINDER, THIS IS WHAT I HAD SAID BEFORE WHICH, TO THIS POINT, HAS NOT BEEN EXPLAINED, AT LEAST AS FAR AS I CAN UNDERSTAND:

DO WE REALLY WANT TO SAY THAT EVERYTHING THAT A LOST PERSON DOES THAT RESULTS IN HIM HEARING THE GOSPEL AND GETTING SAVED ARE NOT WORKS? IN THE CONTEXT OF ROMANS 10:13-15, ONE MUST HEAR FIRST, AND ONE MUST LISTEN WHILE SOMEONE PREACHES. SO LISTENING TO THE GOSPEL IS NOT A PREREQUISITE TO GETTING SAVED? OR THAT IS NOT A WORK? IF IT IS NOT WORKING, I WOULD BE VERY MUCH INTERESTED TO FIND OUT WHAT WE ARE GOING TO CALL IT. A LOST PERSON DOES NOT HAVE TO READ THE BIBLE, OR READ A GOSPEL TRACT, OR COME TO A CHURCH HOUSE AND HEAR PREACHING, ETC. TO GET SAVED? HOW WILL HE HEAR THE GOSPEL, THEN? ARE WE GOING TO SAY DRIVING TO CHURCH IS NOT WORKING? IF NOT, THEN WHAT IS IT? CAN WE REALLY SAY GETTING TO CHURCH OR LISTENING TO SOMEONE PREACH THE GOSPEL IS “WORKETH NOT BUT BELIEVETH”? BUT HE HAS NO FAITH WHILE DRIVING TO CHURCH AS A LOST PERSON. IF WE ARE GOING TO DEFINE JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE IN SUCH A SENSE THAT “FAITH” INCLUDES DRIVING TO CHURCH, LISTENING TO SERMONS, READING THE BIBLE, ETC. THEN WHY DO WE GET TO USE EPHESIANS 2:8-9 AGAINST THOSE WHO SAY THAT GOING TO CHURCH AND READING THE BIBLE ARE PART OF HOW THEY GET SAVED? “HIM THAT WORKETH NOT, BUT BELIEVETH” OF ROMANS 4:5 REALLY GETS TO INCLUDE ALL KINDS OF GOOD WORKS IN “BELIEVETH”? IN JOHN 9, AN UNSAVED GUY STANDS UP FOR CHRIST AGAINST THE PHARISEES, AND GETS CAST OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE, AND AS A RESULT CHRIST COMES TO HIM (BECAUSE HE IS RESPONDING TO LIGHT), TELLS HIM TO BE SAVED BY FAITH, AND THEN THE MAN GETS SAVED IN JOHN 9:35-38. IF HE HAD REFUSED TO TAKE A STAND AND GET CAST OUT, BUT HAD REJECTED THE LIGHT HE HAD, HE WOULD NOT HAVE FOUND OUT THE TRUTH REQUIRED AND HE WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN SAVED. SO GETTING CAST OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE IS NOT A WORK, BUT IS FAITH ALONE? NICODEMUS CAME TO THE LORD JESUS BY NIGHT (JOHN 3). IF HE HAD NOT COME AND HEARD THE GOSPEL (WHICH, AS EVERY TIME CHRIST PREACHED IT, DID NOT INVOLVE SAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER IN JOHN 3), HE WOULD NOT LATER HAVE BEEN JUSTIFIED BY FAITH ALONE. SO COMING TO THE LORD JESUS BY NIGHT IS NOT WORKING? WHAT IS IT? IS NOT WHAT NICODEMUS DID, AND WHAT THE MAN IN JOHN 9 DID, STRIVING TO ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM? BUT ARE THESE THINGS THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF JUSTIFICATION, OR IS JUSTIFICATION TO “HIM THAT WORKETH NOT, BUT BELIEVETH ON HIM,” AND BY THAT INSTRUMENTALITY ALONE?


PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

Romans 10 itself backs this up. Paul quotes Psalm 19:4 in Romans 10:18, right after writing, "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." What is the "word of God" from which faith comes? In Psalm 19:4, it is God's general revelation, His creation that speaks to mankind, that gives man the saving message. Only "open theist" and unitarian types have I heard say that saving faith could come from general revelation without the Bible. And yet, this is the start of man's knowledge of God and he must receive that by faith, if he will ever get the rest of what He must know to be justified.

HOWEVER, A FEW SENTENCES LATER, PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

There His Word is found in creation. Still, man gets saving faith from that.

I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW THESE STATEMENTS ARE NOT CONTRADICTORY. IT LOOKS TO ME LIKE THE FIRST PART SAYS THAT SAVING FAITH DOES NOT COME FROM CREATION, AND THE SECOND PART SAYS THAT SAVING FAITH DOES COME FROM CREATION.
IN MY OPINION, THIS IS WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE VERSES FOLLOWING ROMANS 10:14. THIS IS NOT A SPECIFIC RESPONSE TO WHAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG SAYS, BECAUSE I DO NOT SEE HOW HIS DECLARATIONS AVOID CONTRADICTION:
The word of God or “report” (10:16) that produces faith is that of the Messiah given by special revelation (10:16, quoting Isaiah 53:1, the suffering servant passage about Jesus Christ, Isaiah 52:13-53:12). This is the “Word of God” of v. 17. It is NOT general revelation.
I believe v. 18 is simply stating that the Gentiles were accountable, not that they had faith in God (and there is no faith that is not in the TRUE God, even non-saving faith—James 2:19’s faith without works is faith in the true God, not in Baal or other Gentile idols, or devils—such evils are never called faith in God in Scripture).
Thus, v. 17, “faith comes by . . . the Word of God” refers to what is revealed through special revelation. Saving faith does not come from general revelation.


PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

What is the confession with the mouth of Romans 10:9? Thomas Ross says that it must be a verbalized, worded confession. . . . Thomas Ross says that it must be lipped and uttered with the mouth because God says that the Word (rhema, same as Rom. 10:18) is found in Romans 10:8. Romans 10:8 is obviously metaphorical. . . . He doesn't have to use lips to actually say those words. He can say them in heart.

I BELIEVE THAT ROMANS 10:9, 10 REFERS TO LITERAL CONFESSION WITH THE MOUTH BECAUSE THE PASSAGE SAYS “IF THOU SHALT CONFESS WITH THY MOUTH.” NOW IN ROMANS 10:8, THE WORDS OF SPECIAL REVELATION ACTUALLY WERE BEING SPOKEN BY THE OT ISRAELITES AS THEY TALKED ABOUT THE LAW OF MOSES, ETC. I DON’T THINK THERE IS A METAPHOR IN 10:8 BECAUSE THE MESSAGE ACTUALLY WAS IN THEIR HEARTS AND BEING TALKED ABOUT WITH THEIR ACTUAL MOUTHS. OF COURSE, IF SOMETHING ACTUALLY IS IN ONE’S HEART AND BEING SPOKEN ABOUT, THEN IT IS ALSO AVAILABLE, BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE WORDS ACTUALLY WEREN’T BEING SPOKEN BY THEM WITH THEIR MOUTHS OR WEREN’T ACTUALLY IN THEIR HEARTS.
NOTE THAT NOTHING IN THE ABOVE DECLARATIONS BY PASTOR BRANDENBURG DEMONSTRATES THAT “MOUTH” IS NOT A LITERAL MOUTH. THE WHOLE SECTION IS TALKING ABOUT THE WORD “WORD,” NOT ABOUT THE WORD “MOUTH.” IT THUS DOES NOT DEAL WITH THE CENTRAL QUESTION OF “CONFESS WITH THE MOUTH” MEANING LITERALLY, EXACTLY, “CONFESS WITH THE MOUTH.”
THE FUNDAMENTAL REASON “CONFESS WITH THE MOUTH” REFERS TO LITERAL CONFESSION WITH THE MOUTH IS AS FOLLOWS:
It is not possible to make the text refer to some sort of inward, symbolic “mouth” that is not actually a mouth. When the word “mouth” appears with reference to mankind in the New Testament, reference is made to an actual mouth the overwhelming majority of the time. The only times the word is not literal are the uncommon instances where it is employed as an anthropomorphism for God, synechdochically for words that come from a literal human mouth (Matthew 18:16; Luke 21:15), or used in the Greek idiom for the edge (“mouth”) of a sword (Luke 21:24; Hebrews 11:34). There is nothing in Romans 10:9-10 about God confessing with His mouth—men are in view. There is nothing about a sword, or anything nonliteral, anything other than actual confession with a literal mouth. Therefore, unless one can dismiss out of hand the other 78 uses of the word “mouth” in the New Testament (Matthew 4:4; 5:2; 12:34; 13:35; 15:8, 11, 17-18; 17:27; 18:16; 21:16; Luke 1:64, 70; 4:22; 6:45; 11:54; 19:22; 21:15, 24; 22:71; John 19:29; Acts 1:16; 3:18, 21; 4:25; 8:32, 35; 10:34; 11:8; 15:7; 18:14; 22:14; 23:2; Romans 3:14, 19; 10:8-10; 15:6; 2 Corinthians 6:11; 13:1; Ephesians 4:29; 6:19; Colossians 3:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; 2 Timothy 4:17; Hebrews 11:33-34; James 3:3, 10; 1 Peter 2:22; 2 John 12; 3 John 14; Jude 16; Revelation 1:16; 2:16; 3:16; 9:17-19; 10:9-10; 11:5; 12:15-16; 13:2, 5-6; 14:5; 16:13; 19:15, 21), Romans 10:9-10 refers to a literal confession with a literal mouth.

THE POSITION THAT “CONFESS WITH THE MOUTH” DOES NOT REQUIRE CONFESSION WITH ONE’S LITERAL MOUTH IS THUS NOT TENABLE. IT IS CONTRARY TO ALL 78X THE WORD “MOUTH” APPEARS IN SCRIPTURE.
FURTHERMORE, TO AFFIRM THAT “CONFESS WITH THE MOUTH” REALLY CAN MEAN “CONFESS IN THE HEART,” THAT IS, IN PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S WORDS, “He doesn't have to use lips to actually say those words. He can say them in heart,” RUNS CONTRARY TO THE CONTRAST IN ROMANS 10:9-10:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10* For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
CAN WE REALLY SAY THAT THERE IS NO CONTRAST BETWEEN “HEART” AND “MOUTH” HERE? CAN WE SAY THIS REALLY IS THE SAME AS “THAT IF THOU SHALT CONFESS WITH THY heart THE LORD JESUS, AND SHALT BELIEVE IN THINE HEART THAT [ETC.] . . . FOR WITH THE HEART MAN BELIEVETH UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND WITH THE heart CONFESSION IS MADE,” ETC.?

THUS, BOTH THE CONTRAST BETWEEN MOUTH AND HEART IN ROMANS 10:9-10, AND THE FACT THAT ALL 78X THE WORD “MOUTH” IS CONTRARY TO PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S VIEW, SHOWS THAT LITERAL CONFESSION WITH THE MOUTH IS IN VIEW WITH “CONFESS WITH THY MOUTH.”

PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

Was it a work? No. All of it was God's grace. He didn't come to the end of himself except by the grace of God. He recognized His hopeless condition by the grace of God. He believed all this by the grace of God. He confessed by the grace of God.

IT SEEMS THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG CONTINUES TO AFFIRM THAT ANYTHING THAT COMES FROM GOD’S GRACE IS NOT WORKS, BUT FAITH ALONE. IF THIS IS NOT HIS POSITION, I HOPE HE WILL DEFINE IT, BECAUSE I AM HAVING TO MAKE INFERENCES FROM WHAT HE HAS STATED, AND AM NOT TRYING TO MAKE FALSE ACCUSATIONS BUT AM GUESSING ABOUT WHAT THE THEOLOGY IS BEHIND WHAT HE HAS LEFT UNSAID. I TRUST THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG WILL RESPOND TO THIS, WHICH I WROTE EARLIER, AND DID NOT GET A RESPONSE:

WE HAVE A FALSE DICHOTOMY HERE, I BELIEVE. THE FACT THAT GOD’S GRACE IS AT WORK DOES NOT MEAN THAT SOMETHING IS NOT A WORK. FOR EXAMPLE, FOR A SAVED PERSON IT IS EXPLICITLY STATED THAT GOOD WORKS ARE A RESULT OF GOD’S GRACE (EPHESIANS 2:8-10). A LOST PERSON ONLY RESPONDS TO LIGHT IN A POSITIVE WAY BECAUSE HE IS BEING DRAWN BY GOD (JOHN 6:44). GRACE ENABLES US TO WILL AND DO WORKS (PHILIPPIANS 2:13), BUT WORKS ARE WORKS. THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO WOULD SAY THAT WE CAN DO ANYTHING THAT RELATES TO GOD APART FROM GRACE ARE PELAGIANS, AND WE KNOW THAT NEITHER I NOR PASTOR BRANDENBURG IS A PELAGIAN. EVEN CATHOLIC THEOLOGY AND CULTS SUCH AS THE SDA’S SAY THAT GOOD WORKS REQUIRE GRACE FOR THEM TO BE PERFORMED, AND THE BIBLE CERTAINLY DOES SO (PHILIPP 2:13—AND, OF COURSE, WITHOUT THE CULTIC DISTORTIONS). THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT WORKS ARE NOT WORKS, BECAUSE GOD WORKS IN US TO DO THEM. . . .
THESE WORKS ARE NOT SOURCED IN OURSELVES. NO GOOD THING IS SOURCED IN OURSELVES. WE ARE NOT PELAGIANS. BUT GOOD WORKS AFTER CONVERSION ARE ACTUAL ACTS THAT WE DO. THEY ARE WORKS. AND AN UNSAVED PERSON DRIVING TO CHURCH IS WORKING. AN UNSAVED PERSON READING THE BIBLE IS WORKING. A MAN IN JOHN 9 ARGUING WITH PHARISEES AND GETTING CAST OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE IS WORKING. SOURCED IN HIMSELF? NO, SOURCED IN GOD’S DRAWING HIM. BUT WE WILL HAVE MAJOR THEOLOGICAL PROBLEMS IF WE SAY THAT GETTING CAST OUT THE SYNAGOGUE IS A SYNONYM FOR FAITH ALONE.

PASTOR BRANDENBUG WROTE:

If confession wasn't important, then why is it included in this story?

I TRUST THAT THIS COMMENT IS DIRECTED TO PEOPLE WHO THINK CONFESSION IS NOT IMPORTANT, RATHER THAN TO MY POSITION. I OBVIOUSLY THINK CONFESSION IS IMPORTANT, AND SO DOES PASTOR BRANDENBURG.

PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

"Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Does Luke 23 say that he believed in Jesus? No. He pleads (Luke 23:43), "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." The publican in Luke 18:13 said, "God be merciful to me a sinner." Jesus said afterwards that he went away "justified." It says nothing about his faith.

PAUL WAS ALREADY JUSTIFIED WHEN HE ASKED THE LORD WHAT HE SHOULD DO. IF HE WAS NOT ALREADY JUSTIFIED, THE GOSPEL WOULD HAVE TO BE:
Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
BECAUSE THAT WAS THE ANSWER CHRIST GAVE TO PAUL. THE QUESTION PAUL ASKED WAS ONE OF A PERSON WHO HAD ALREADY BELIEVED AND BEEN JUSTIFIED. OTHERWISE “ARISE, AND GO INTO THE CITY” WOULD SEEM LIKE IT WOULD HAVE TO BE THE GOSPEL, WHEN IT IS VERY OBVIOUS THAT IT IS NOT.
THE SAME CAN BE SAID OF THE THIEF ON THE CROSS WHEN HE SAID WHAT HE SAID. SINCE PASTOR BRANDENBURG STILL HAS NOT SAID AT WHAT POINT IN THE PROCESS OF SAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER ONE IS SUPPOSED TO EXERCISE SAVING FAITH OR BE JUSTIFIED OR BE REGENERATED, IT IS HARD TO COMMENT ON AN UNSTATED POSITION. I HAD ALREADY COMMENTED AS FOLLOWS ON LUKE 18:13 IN MY PAPER:

It is appropriate at this juncture, before final closure of this work, to expound further a few caveats to this analysis. It is not affirmed that all who sought the Lord in prayer at the time they first believed in Jesus Christ are lost; “whosoever believeth” really means “whosoever,” regardless of whether one was in prayer at the time or not. Nor is it affirmed that everyone who has employed Romans 10:13 in a way argued against in this analysis is a heretic and an unbeliever (for such an assertion would condemn its own author, as he did not hold this view of Romans 10:9-13 for years after his conversion). Indeed, there is no reason to suppose that coming to Christ spiritually in faith may not with some frequency be associated with prayer (cf. Luke 18:13; 15:18-19, etc.). There is nothing wrong with suggesting to one who is seeking salvation that he find a place alone, and seek the Lord, crying as did the publican, “God be merciful to me a sinner”—as long as it is very clearly stressed that faith, not prayer, is the means through which the redemption that is in Christ Jesus is received, that God does not receive the prayers of the unregenerate, and that the call of the gospel is to come directly to the Lord Jesus Christ through the sole instrumentality of repentant faith in His Person and work. While there is nothing wrong with those seeking salvation praying, reading the Bible, coming to church and listening to preaching, and engaging in other similar acts, they must not be informed that God has promised to save all those who sincerely ask. Having the lost repeat the words of a prayer after someone else will very likely do them no good, but eliminate their convictions and give them false assurance, and so produce great evil. If they are to pray, they must be told to look to Him who was “lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:14-18), and they must seek Him until they find peace through faith in His blood and righteousness. The example of the tax collector in the temple illustrates what sort of prayer the unconverted man can pray. The verb “be merciful” in this passage, hilaskomai, is related to the noun hilasterion, rendered “propitiation” in Romans 3:25 and “mercy seat” (the place of propitiation) in Hebrews 9:5, and to the noun hilasmos, rendered “propitation” in 1 John 2:2; 4:10. This repentant tax collector’s prayer was not for some general mercy from God, but came from his looking to the place of sacrifice, the place where God was propitiated in the temple, and thus was in line with the Old Testament faith in the coming Messiah and the true sacrifice that would be accomplished by Him. It should also be noted that the publican did not say one time, in the manner of the modern sinner’s prayer theology, “Lord, be merciful to me. Thank you for saving me. Amen,” but he sought the Lord, looking to the propitiatory sacrifice, until he found peace through believing, and went to his house justified—the verbs employed [The imperfect e¶tupten (“smote/was smiting”), along with the present participle le÷gwn (“saying”) dependent upon it indicates the publican’s repeated, persistent petitioning for mercy. His prayer is contrasted to the continuing action of prayer (proshu/ceto, imperfect tense) by the self-righteous Pharisee in v. 11. If Christians counseled unconverted seekers came to the Lord as this publican did, and continued in prayer as he did until he found peace and justification through faith, they would see many more genuine converts than they do when they misuse Romans 10:13 and affirm that if one sincerely asks at one point in time for salvation one will receive it. Note, however, that Luke 18 does not establish the necessity for a prolonged period of prayer on the part of the unconverted—anyone who simply trusts in Christ as Lord and Savior is immediately justified. Luke 18 contains no command that God will not save one without a period of prolonged prayer. It is an example of a seeker humbly coming to the Lord and receiving salvation by faith, not a precept requiring that such petitions be offered before justification is granted. The command to the lost is not “pray for a prolonged period” any more than it is “pray a sinner’s prayer at one moment”—it is, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” Acts 16:31.]
] indicate his continuing action in prayer, his continuing seeking, until he, through God’s sovereign working, placed his faith in the Savior and received pardon through the blood of atonement.
THUS, LUKE 18:13 DOES NOT SUPPORT THE SINNER’S PRAYER METHODOLOGY WHERE ONE REPEATS THE PRAYER AND THEN BELIEVES HE HAS BEEN JUSTIFIED BECAUSE HE HAS DONE SO. VERY FEW SINNER’S PRAYER ADVOCATES BELIEVE ONE MUST SAY THE PRAYER OVER AND OVER AGAIN, BUT LUKE 18:13 REFERS TO REPEATED ACTION.

PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

John 10:42, 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.
It says some men among the chief rulers believed on Jesus. Were they saved? No. Why not? They would not confess Him. Someone who will not confess Jesus Christ is not saved. Why wouldn't they confess Him? They had worldly hearts. They were more concerned about what men thought of them than what God did. They had faith that fell short of saving faith because it wasn't mixed with confession. This praise of men was the thorns that choked out a genuine faith.

PLEASE NOTE WHAT TYPE OF CONFESSION THEY WOULD NOT DO—THEY WOULD NOT CONFESS CHRIST BEFORE MEN BECAUSE THEY FEARED GETTING PUT OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE. THEY WERE NOT AFRAID TO SAY A SINNER’S PRAYER, SINCE THEY HAD NO IDEA THAT THIS WAS PART OF THE WAY OF SALVATION, SINCE CHRIST AND HIS DISCIPLES NEVER PREACHED IT. JOHN 10:42-43 SHOWS THAT CONFESSION IS PUBLIC CONFESSION BEFORE MEN. IT DEFINITELY SUPPORTS MY VIEW, AND GIVES NO SUPPORT WHATEVER FOR THE IDEA THAT CONFESSING IS SAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER.


Until Thomas Ross, I had never met anyone who believed that "confess" and "call" in Romans 10 were post-justification, except for him and his anonymous scholars. I still haven't met anyone that believes that.

I WON’T SAY WHO THE PEOPLE WERE WHO RESPONDED TO MY ANALYSIS EARLIER, BUT OF THESE THREE PEOPLE WHO RESPONDED:


1.) Response from strong Independent Baptist pastor
and seminary/college professor:

Bro Ross, Greetings. I read your exegesis on Romans
10:9-14 while attending the conference at - - - --
I appreciated it and agree with you. I thought it was
a bit wordy though and could use some condensing. Your
point could, perhaps, be made quickly then argued in
the remaining.
BUT, I agree with you totally.

2.) Godly independent Baptist pastor:

I have read your treatise on Romans 10 and I agree
with you 100%.

3.) Strong independent Baptist seminary professor:

Dear Brother Ross,

I have read your exegesis of Romans 10:9-14.

I believe you are correct in your understanding of
what you have said. I agree with your exegesis. More
use could have been made of John 3:16. Anytime anyone
gets a bit confused on salvation, all he has to do is
remind himself that whosoever believeth in him should
not perish but have everlasting life. Yet, many aim
their soulwinning efforts at getting people to pray
the prayer when they should be aiming their
soulwinning efforts at getting people to believe the
gospel. I have said this for many years.

Also, many people date the instant of their salvation
by the time they called on the Lord when, in fact, if
they are really saved, they believed at some time
prior to their calling. . . .
I appreciate what you have written.

PASTOR BRANDENBURG WOULD RECOGNIZE THE NAMES OF ALL THREE OF THEM, AND HE HAS PREACHED AT THE CHURCHES OF TWO OF THEM, AND HAS ALMOST SURELY HEARD THOSE SAME TWO PREACH HIMSELF. THUS, HE HAS CERTAINLY MET THEM.
FUTHERMORE, MY POSITION IS CLEARLY OUT THERE, AND IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN—MY VIEW OF ROMANS 10:9-14 IS EXACTLY WHAT IS FOUND IN WHAT IS PROBABLY THE MOST COMMON COMMENTARY POSSESSED BY FUNDAMENTALISTS, MATTHEW HENRY’S WORK. ALL ONE NEEDS TO DO IS READ MATTHEW HENRY TO GET MY VIEW OF ROMANS 10:9-14. THIS IS NOT TO MENTION THE DOZENS OF WORKS I CITE OVER THE COURSE OF CENTURIES IN MY PAPER WHICH SUPPORT MY VIEW OF ROMANS 10:9-14.
I WOULD BE VERY INTERESTED TO FIND EVEN ONE COMMENTARY, OR ONE PUBLISHED WORK OF ANY KIND BY ANYONE, THAT MENTIONS PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S “PATTERN” AND USES IT AS AN ARGUMENT THAT ROMANS 10:9-10 REFERS TO A SINNER’S PRAYER.

PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

One of his chief contentions is that later in Romans 10:14 that we can't call until we believe. I agree with that. . . . Romans 10:18 talks about faith that comes out of general revelation. This surely precedes later faith that comes from hearing the written Word of God preached. The so-called "ordo salutis" of Romans 10:14 doesn't debunk pre-justification confession and call.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT POSITION FOR PASTOR BRANDENBURG TO MAINTAIN. IF “HOW SHALL THEY CALL ON HIM IN WHOM THEY HAVE NOT BELIEVED” IN ROMANS 10:14 MEANS THAT SAVING FAITH PRECEEDS THE CALLING, THEN PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S POSITION IS UNTENABLE. HIS ANSWER IS THAT THE BELIEF OF V. 14 IS NOT SAVING FAITH, BUT NON-SAVING FAITH, THE FAITH OF AN UNSAVED PERSON.
BEFORE I COMMENT ON THIS, LET ME MENTION THAT THE “FAITH” OF AN UNSAVED PERSON IS LIKE THAT OF JAMES 2:19:
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
THE UNSAVED PERSON HAS INTELLECTUAL UNDERSTANDING, BUT NOT TRUST/RELIANCE ON CHRIST. ONE WHO WANTS A DISCUSSION OF NON-SAVING FAITH VERSUS SAVING FAITH IS COMMENDED TO MY EVANGELISTIC BIBLE STUDY #5, WHICH DISCUSSES THE TWO AND CONTRASTS THEM IN SOME DEPTH, AT HTTP://THROSS7.GOOGLEPAGES.COM/HOME.
IS ROMANS 10:14 REFERING TO THE MERE INTELLECTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF AN UNSAVED PERSON, OR SOME OTHER SORT OF NON-SAVING FAITH, WHEN IT SAYS THAT PEOPLE CANNOT CALL UNTIL THEY HAVE BELIEVED, OR IS IT REFERRING TO SAVING FAITH? CONSIDER:
One could not argue against this by affirming that Romans 10:14 referred to some sort of belief in Christ that fell short of saving faith but led one to pray a sinner’s prayer and savingly believe at some point while saying the prayer. First, every time the verb believe (Gk. pisteuo) appears in the immediate context of 10:13, it refers to saving faith (Romans 9:33;10:4, 9, 10, 11, 16). Second, pisteuo is never used of the kind of non-saving, merely intellectual acknowledgment of facts, a “belief,” that a lost man can have in Christ (James 2:19) in any of the 21 instances of the verb believe in Romans. Third, pisteuo is never used for the non-saving “faith” in Christ a lost man can have anywhere in the 56 instances of the verb in the Pauline epistles (Romans 1:16; 3:2, 22; 4:3, 5, 11, 17-18, 24; 6:8; 9:33; 10:4, 9-11, 14, 16; 13:11; 14:2; 15:13; 1 Corinthians 1:21; 3:5; 9:17; 11:18; 13:7; 14:22; 15:2, 11; 2 Corinthians 4:13; Galatians 2:7, 16; 3:6, 22; Ephesians 1:13, 19; Philippians 1:29; 1Thessalonians 1:7; 2:4, 10, 13; 4:14; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; 2:11-12; 1 Timothy 1:11, 16; 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:12; Titus 1:3; 3:8; Hebrews 4:3; 11:6). Thus, Romans 10:14 must of necessity refer to saving faith, which preceeds the calling of Romans 10:13 in time.
THUS, THE POSITION THAT ROMANS 10:14 REFERS TO A LOST MAN’S NON-SAVING “FAITH” IS UNTENABLE. THIS IS NOT A USE OF THE VERB “BELIEVE” FOUND IN PAUL’S EPISTLES. SINCE ROMANS 10:14 IS SAVING FAITH, THE CALL OF ROMANS 10:13 IS POST-JUSTIFICATION.
FINALLY, PASTOR BRANDENBURG CITES JOHN OWEN AND JOHN GILL AS THOSE WHO SUPPORT HIS POSITION ON ROMANS 10:9-14, PROVING THAT WHAT HE AFFIRMS WAS TAUGHT BEFORE CHARLES FINNEY. AT LEAST THAT IS WHAT I BELIEVE HE CITES THEM FOR—I DON’T SEE WHY HE WOULD BOTHER CITING THEM IF THEY WERE NOT SUPPOSED TO SUPPORT HIS POSITION, BUT IT SEEMS THAT HE CITED BARNES ON ROMANS 10:9-10 WHEN BARNES SUPPORTS MY POSITION, AND HE CITED ADAM CLARKE WHEN HE DID NOT SUPPORT HIS POSITION, AND THEN SEEMED TO BE NOT A LITTLE DISPLEASED WHEN I PROVED THAT NONE OF THESE PEOPLE SUPPORTED HIS POSITION, AFFIRMING THAT “I didn't say that Clarke buttressed my point about pre-justification call. . . . The right thing to do would be to retract that point. That would indicate that this is about coming to the truth and not about a debate, even as Brother Ross says that we should all ignore him if this about a debate.” THUS, I AM GOING TO DEMONSTRATE THAT JOHN GILL AND JOHN OWEN BOTH DO NOT BELIEVE PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S POSITION ON ROMANS 10:9-14, BECAUSE I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY HE IS QUOTING THEM IF THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE EVIDENCE FOR HIS POSITION—BUT IT IS POSSIBLE THAT HE IS CITING THEM FOR SOME OTHER UNSTATED REASON, KNOWING, ALTHOUGH NOT STATING IT, THAT THEY LARGELY AGREE WITH ME. ANYWAY, HERE IS THE EVIDENCE:

JOHN GILL ON ROMANS 10:9-10, FROM HIS COMMENTARY ON ROMANS, SPECIFICALLY SPEAKING ABOUT ROMANS 10:9-10:
Ver. 9. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, &c.] That is, if a man shall make a good, sincere, and hearty confession to God, before the church and people of God, and before the world, that Christ is his Lord and Saviour, whom he desires to serve, and to be saved by; and this as arising from a comfortable experience of the grace of God in his soul, and from a true faith in Christ in his heart, wherefore it follows,

and shall believe in thine heart, that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved; for this article of Christ's resurrection includes the several other articles of faith: it supposes his death, and that supposes his life, and the obedience of it; and his life implies his being here on earth, and that his coming down from heaven to do the will of his Father; and this is the rather mentioned, which is here ascribed to God the Father, though not to the exclusion of the Son and Spirit, because that Christ is risen again for our justification, with which true faith is principally concerned; for such a faith is intended, not which lies in a mere assent to the truth of this, or any other article of the Christian religion; but which is concerned with Christ for righteousness, life, and glory; and with such a faith salvation is certainly and inseparably connected.

Ver. 10. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, &c.] The apostle here explains the nature and use both of faith and confession; as true faith does not lie in the bare assent of the mind to the Gospel, or any truth contained in it, respecting the person and office of Christ, so neither does it lie, as not in the brain, so not in the tongue, but in the heart; it is not a notional knowledge of things to be believed; nor is it saying that a man believes; but it is heart work, a believing with all the heart; such a faith in which all the powers of the soul, the understanding, will, and affections, are concerned, it is a seeing of the Son, a beholding of the glory, fulness, suitableness, ability, and willingness of Christ as a Saviour, with the eye of the understanding spiritually enlightened; it is a going out of the soul to Christ, in various acts, such as venturing into his presence, prostrating itself at his feet, resolving if it perishes it will perish there; a giving up itself unto him, determining it will have no other Saviour, leaning and relying on him, and living upon him; which faith works by love to Christ, moves the affections, stirs up the desires of the soul to his name, and endears him and all that belong to him to it. The use of this grace is, "unto righteousness"; it is not instead of one, for faith is not our righteousness; nor is it in order to work out one, for this grace puts a soul on renouncing its own righteousness; but its use is to receive one, even the righteousness of Christ, which when it spies, it admires, receives, lays hold on, and rejoices in looking on itself as righteous through this righteousness, and so has peace with God through Christ:

and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. This is to be understood not of confession of sin, though that is proper and requisite to be made, both with respect to the participation, and enjoyment of salvation, particularly pardoning grace and mercy, and to an admission to Gospel ordinances; but of confession of Christ, as appears from the preceding verse, which lies in a frank and open acknowledgment of what Christ is in himself, as that he is truly and properly God, the Son of God, the true Messiah, the Mediator between God and man, and the only Saviour of lost sinners, and of our faith in him, with respect to ourselves, to our pardon, justification, acceptance and salvation in him and through him; in ascribing the whole of our salvation to him, and giving him the glory of it; in declaring to the churches of Christ what he has done for our souls, and in subjecting ourselves to his ordinances. This confession must be made both by words and facts, must be open, visible, and before men; and also real, hearty, and sincere, the words of the mouth agreeing with the experience of the heart; and such a good profession made before God, angels, and men, highly becomes all that believe with the heart. This was the practice of the primitive saints; yea, all nations own, acknowledge, and profess the God they worship; and should not we confess our God, Saviour and Redeemer? Christ himself confessed a good confession before Pontius Pilate, and is the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. So to do, makes both for the glory of God, and for our own real good and advantage. Yea, it is "unto salvation"; not as a cause of it, for Christ alone is the author of eternal salvation; but a sincere and well made confession of Christ points out to all that know us where and from whom we expect to have salvation; it is what lies in the way, and is to be taken up by all that believe in Christ, and to be held fast without wavering until we receive the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls.

THUS, JOHN GILL BELIEVES WHAT I BELIEVE ON ROMANS 10:9-10, NOT WHAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG BELIEVES. I BELIEVE GILL IS IN FAVOR OF MY POSITION ON ROMANS 10:13, AND HE DOESN’T SAY ANYTHING I WOULD DISAGREE WITH, AS FAR AS I CAN RECALL (HAVING LOOKED AT HIM YESTERDAY) WHICH ONE CAN SEE IF HE READS HIS COMMENTS ON ROMANS 10:12-14, BUT I WON’T REPRINT THE WHOLE THING BECAUSE GILL IS VERY PROLIX, AND PRINTING ONLY A PORTION OF HIS COMMENT COULD EASILY LEAD TO MISUNDERSTANDING OF HIS VIEW. BESIDES, THIS RESPONSE IS ALREADY LONG ENOUGH!

SO JOHN GILL DOES NOT AGREE WITH PASTOR BRANDENBURG ON ROMANS 10:9-14. WHAT ABOUT JOHN OWEN, WHO PASTOR BRANDENBURG CITED AS SUPPORT FOR HIS VIEW ON ROMANS 10:13?
OWEN WROTE:
“[T]he whole work of faith in obedience is denonimated from this duty of prayer, for so it is said that ‘whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,’ Romans 10:13; for invocation or prayer, in the power of the Spirit of grace and supplication, is an infallible evidence and fruit of saving faith and obedience, and therefore is the promise of salvation so eminently annexed unto it, or it is placed by synechdoche for the whole worship of God and obedience of faith. And it were endless to declare the benefits that the church of God, and every one that belongeth thereunto, hath thereby.” [A Discourse of the Work of the Holy Spirit in Prayer, Chapter 9, elec. acc. in the John Owen Collection, Christian Library Series vol. 9. Rio, WI: AGES Digital Software, 2005.

Yesterday I was listening to the following work by John Owen on Mp3, and heard Owen affirm what follows:

“The Father and the Son . . . are held out jointly, yet distinctly, as the adequate object of all divine worship and honor, for ever and ever. And therefore Stephen, in his solemn dying invocation, fixeth his faith and hope distinctly on him, Acts 7:59-60 . . . And this worship of the Lord Jesus, the apostle makes the discriminating character of the saints, 1 Corinthians 1:2, ‘With all,’ saith he, ‘that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours;’ that is, with all the saints of God. And invocation generally comprises the whole worship of God (Isaiah 56:7; Romans 10:12-14).” [Of Communion with God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, John Owen, part 1, chapter 2, “That the saints have this communion distinctly with the Father, Son, and Spirit,” etc., elec. acc. in John Owen Collection, AGES Digital Software.]

THUS, OWEN BELIEVES WHAT I BELIEVE ON ROMANS 10:13.

THE QUOTATIONS PASTOR BRANDENBURG CITES DO NOT CHANGE THE PLAIN STATEMENTS OF OWEN AND GILL THAT I HAVE ALREADY CITED. IN THE FIRST SECTION PASTOR BRANDENBURG QUOTES, OWEN IS TALKING ABOUT HOW FAITH IS “CONFIRMED” AND ABOUT “THE EXPERIENCE OF ALL WHO KNOW WHAT IT IS TO PRAY,” NOT ABOUT AN UNSAVED PERSON SAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER IN ORDER TO BE JUSTIFIED. HE DOES NOT SAY THAT, IN THE WORDS OF PASTOR BRANDENBURG, “we don't participate in the benefits of the mediation of Christ until after this prayer, so Owen says pre-justification.” OWEN SAYS THAT WE “participat[E] [IN] the benefits of the mediation of Christ” THROUGH PRAYER. I AGREE WITH THIS. OWEN DOES NOT CONTRADICT WHAT HE PLAINLY AND CLEARLY STATED ABOVE, WHERE HE AFFIRMS, ACTUALLY QUOTING ROMANS 10:13 (WHICH OWEN NEVER DOES IN THE SECTION PASTOR BRANDENBURG REFERENCES), THAT HE BELIEVES WHAT I BELIEVE ON ROMANS 10:13. I AGREE WITH WHAT GILL SAYS IN LUKE WHICH PASTOR BRANDENBURG QUOTES AS WELL, JUST LIKE I BELIEVE WHAT GILL SAYS WHEN HE ACTUALLY IS COMMENTING ON ROMANS 10, WHICH I QUOTED. I ALREADY COMMENTED ON THE PRAYER OF THE PUBLICAN ABOVE, AND NOTED THAT IT DOES NOT PROVE A SINNER’S PRAYER METHODOLOGY; NEITHER DOES THE QUOTE FROM GILL.
UNLESS WE ARE GOING TO ASSUME THAT GILL AND OWEN CONTRADICTED THEMSELVES, SO THAT IN PASSAGES WHERE THEY ARE NOT QUOTING ROMANS 10:9-14 THEY CONTRADICT WHAT THEY SAY WHEN THEY ACTUALLY REFERENCE AND COMMENT UPON ROMANS 10:9-14, BOTH GILL AND OWEN AGREE WITH ME ON ROMANS 10:9-14, AND NEITHER OF THEM TAKES PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S POSITION ON THE PASSAGE.
I AM NOT TRYING TO EMPLOY, IN THE WORDS OF PASTOR BRANDENBURG, “name-calls, these ad hominems.” IT IS POSSIBLE THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG KNEW THAT OWEN AND GILL TOOK MY VIEW ON ROMANS 10:9-14, JUST LIKE BARNES DID WHEN PASTOR BRANDENBURG QUOTED HIM, AND HE WAS CITING THEM FOR SOME REASON THAT I DON’T UNDERSTAND. HOWEVER, I DON’T BELIEVE, AT LEAST, THAT IT WAS CLEAR FROM HIS QUOTES OF CLARKE, BARNES, OWEN, AND GILL THAT THEY ALL DISAGREE WITH HIM AND THAT BARNES, OWEN, AND GILL AGREE WITH ME. HOPEFULLY THIS RESPONSE WILL CLEAR UP TO THE READER WHAT I ASSUME COULD POTENTIALLY ALREADY HAVE BEEN PRESENT IN PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S MIND—FOR WHATEVER PASTOR BRANDENBURG WAS THINKING, I DON’T THINK THAT THE TYPICAL READER OF HIS POST WOULD KNOW THAT OWEN AND GILL AGREED WITH ME AND DISAGREED WITH PASTOR BRANDENBURG. I AM NOT SURE WHAT CITING WRITERS WHO DISAGREE WITH HIS POSITION OR SUPPORT MY POSITION CONTRIBUTES TO HIS CASE, HOWEVER. THIS IS SOMETHING I REALLY DON’T UNDERSTAND, NOT MY TRYING TO EMPLOY “name-calls, these ad hominems . . . cheap rhetorical device logically fallacious,” ETC.
FURTHERMORE, I HOPE THAT THE QUESTIONS I ASKED IN RESPONSE TO HIS POST #3 WILL BE ANSWERED SOON.
I AM THANKFUL FOR PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S WORK AND WILLINGNESS TO DISCUSS THESE THINGS. TOO MANY PEOPLE WOULD NOT EVEN BOTHER. MAY WE BE BLESSED BY THE LORD WITH EYES THAT HAVE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE WONDERFUL THINGS IN HIS LAW BY THE TIME WE HAVE PUT INTO THIS DISCUSSION.

Thomas Ross said...

These are two other fundamental Baptists who have articles on the web against the sinner's prayer.

http://www.brothermike.com/sinner.html

http://tracts4god.googlepages.com/sinnersprayer

Kent Brandenburg said...

I'm going to deal with some of this now while I have a moment. So Jesus wasn't teaching doctrine from the parable of the prodigal son? I believe we get doctrine from parables. We can't make a doctrinal point from every detail of a parable, no, but it was one way that Jesus taught doctrine.

Regarding the order, I believe that faith comes before confession and faith comes after confession. Just because Romans 10:14 says that we don't call until we believe doesn't mean that call is after saving faith. I recognize that Owen and Gill take it that way, but, of course, my point that I was clearly making, was THAT THEY BELIEVED IN A SINNER'S PRAYER!!!! I can't think that it looks good when you don't concede this historic point. They don't take it in Romans 10, but there are other areas that Gill and Owen and I disagree. However, this is a historic point. THEY BELIEVED IN A SINNER'S PRAYER!!! The quotes are a sinners prayer.

I do believed we are saved by faith but I have already explained and Romans 10 shows that faith in Romans 10 also precedes saving faith. It can be non-saving faith that precedes a call that is akin to saving faith---it is repentant faith. That's how I've always read and understood Romans 10:14. I haven't taken it as---here is the official order: "you hear and then you believe (then you are justified, even though it doesn't say; you just have to read that into the text) and then after you are justifed, then you call and call must be the prayer life of a believer."

I'd like to argue with your three anonymous scholars too. I'd love to hear them say that "call" is the prayer life of an already justified person.

I don't doubt that Matthew Henry takes this skewed view of Romans 10, but I've rarely ever used him for preaching. He is mainly a devotional writer. When I do use him, I use him for historic theology. And this does seem to be a common view among these reformed men. I think it is definitely reading into the text.

Regarding justification and salvation, we are saved by grace, so I look at all of salvation as by grace. Brother Ross has wondered and now I answer Him. We hear by grace, we respond to hearing by grace and hear more by grace, and then believe more by grace, then believe enough to call by faith out of grace. Now I'll wait for his salvation by works verses.

Brother Ross seems to be taking from the parable of the prodigal son that the father received the son back without repentance. I believe his confession was part of his repentance, which came because he believed. Both are necessary and they include with it a confession.

My statements about Romans 10:18 weren't contradictory, just could have been worded better, which I had another word in there in my mind "get to saving faith," but I reworded it to make it clearer. However, I would rather he deal with my point, which he didn't, instead, he pounced on the perceived contradiction.

You would just have to accept that what Mr. Ross says about "mouth" in all its usages to go with what he says. In this case, I'm not going to look up all of his usages. If I was going to write a book, I might do that, but in this case, I can see what is happening in Romans 10. God put words in Israel's collective mouth. Of course, that is not a real mouth, but is a euphemism for proximity, accessibility. Then in v. 9, he says that simple plan that is available, that is, that Jesus Is Lord, should be confessed by you, that is, agreed upon by you. This is a key point with Mr. Ross. He must have Rom. 10:9 mean a particular out-loud, enunciated statement, so he can make praying the sinner's prayer a work. That means we that believe that are works-salvation guys. If it is an agreement that someone is willing to state with his mouth, that he agrees with, then it isn't a work, and he has a problem then in his mind with his ordo salutis. This whole thing is more simple than this, which is ironically the point of this whole section. It's not that hard---you don't have to go to the depths or the heights---you just have to confess and believe. And we know that is grace.

That's all I have time for right now, but I'll write some things in my next post too.

Bobby said...

Thomas,

I wouldn't be using Mike O'Neil to bolster my position. Read his paper on repentance and you'll see why.

Thomas Ross said...

PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

I recognize that Owen and Gill take it that way, but, of course, my point that I was clearly making, was THAT THEY BELIEVED IN A SINNER'S PRAYER!!!! I can't think that it looks good when you don't concede this historic point. They don't take it in Romans 10, but there are other areas that Gill and Owen and I disagree. However, this is a historic point. THEY BELIEVED IN A SINNER'S PRAYER!!! The quotes are a sinners prayer.

I HOPE PASTOR BRANDENBURG WILL DEFINE WHAT HE MEANS SOON BY “SINNER’S PRAYER,” SINCE IT IS DIFFICULT FOR ME TO SAY IF OWEN OR GILL BELIEVED IN IT IN THE SENSE THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG DOES WHEN WE HAVE NOT DEFINED WHAT EXACTLY HE BELIEVES THE SINNER’S PRAYER IS, WHEN REGENERATION HAPPENS DURING PRAYING IT, HOW IT IS NOT A PRAYER IN ONE SENSE BUT IS A PRAYER IN ANOTHER, ETC.
SINCE I WROTE IN MY PAPER, AS QUOTED ABOVE, THAT THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH A LOST PERSON DOING WHAT THE PUBLICAN DID IN LUKE 18:13, ONE COULD SAY THAT I AM ALSO AN ADVOCATE OF THE SINNER’S PRAYER, IN A CERTAIN SENSE. IT IS A GREAT THING IF LOST PEOPLE ARE BEATING THEIR BREASTS AND REPEATEDLY CRYING OUT TO GOD FOR MERCY, ALTHOUGH, OF COURSE, IT WILL NOT JUSTIFY THEM UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THEY BELIEVE, AT WHICH POINT THEY ARE JUSTIFIED, PRAYER OR NO PRAYER. HOWEVER, I RATHER DOUBT (IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT WE ARE HAVING THIS DISCUSSION!) THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG WOULD WISH TO CITE ME, OR MY PAPER, AS EVIDENCE IN FAVOR OF HIS SINNER’S PRAYER POSITION.
I DO NOT SEE HOW CITING PEOPLE WHO AGREE WITH MY THEOLOGY OF SINNERS AND PRAYER, AND MY VIEW OF ROMANS 10:9-14, MAKES SENSE TO PROVE THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S POSITION WAS AROUND AT SOME TIME IN THE PAST. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CITING ME, AND CITING JOHN OWEN, WHO, IF I HAVE READ HIM CORRECTLY, AGREES WITH ME? HOW DOES THIS PROVE THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S POSITION ON THE SINNER’S PRAYER WAS EXTANT?
PASTOR BRANDENBURG HAS CITED ADAM CLARKE, WHEN CLARKE BELIEVED THAT THE LOST PERSON ASKED FOR FORGIVENESS, WAS (TEMPORARILY) FORGIVEN, THEN LOST HIS SALVATION WHEN HE SINNED, THEN ASKED AND GOT IT BACK AGAIN, THEN SINNED AND LOST IT, THEN ASKED AND GOT IT AGAIN, ETC. I AM CERTAIN THAT THIS IS NOT THE MEANING THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG HAS WHEN HE EMPLOYS THE TERMS “SINNER’S PRAYER.” JOHN OWEN’S QUOTE DOES NOT, I BELIEVE, IN CONTEXT DEAL WITH WHAT WE ARE DISCUSSING—ALTHOUGH I AGREE WITH OWEN IN WHAT HE ACTUALLY IS SAYING—AND JOHN GILL’S QUOTE IS ONE THAT I AGREE WITH.
THE CONTENT OF WHAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG MEANS (AS FAR AS I CAN EXTRAPOLATE IT, SINCE HE HAS TO THIS POINT NOT SPECIFICALLY DEFINED KEY ELEMENTS OF WHAT HE BELIEVES ON THE SUBJECT) WHEN HE SAYS “SINNER’S PRAYER” IS NOT SUPPORTED BY ANY OF THESE QUOTES—THEY DO NOT ESTABLISH THAT THESE MEN BELIEVED THAT PRAYER WAS AN OR THE INSTRUMENTAL CAUSE OF JUSTIFICATION, RATHER RESERVING THAT FOR FAITH ALONE. THERE WERE PLENTY OF PEOPLE BEFORE FINNEY WHO TOLD SINNERS TO PRAY FOR ALL KINDS OF REASONS. I MYSELF, HAVING WRITTEN WHAT I WROTE ON ROMANS 10:9-14, SOMETIMES POINT THE LOST TO LUKE 18:13. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT CITING ME SUPPORTS THE CONCEPT OF THE SINNER’S PRAYER AS ADVOCATED BY PASTOR BRANDENBURG. NO MORE DOES CITING PEOPLE WHO TOOK MY POSITION ON ROMANS 10:9-14, OR WHO TOOK NEITHER PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S NOR MY POSITION ON THE LOST AND PRAYER, DEMONSTRATE THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S THEOLOGICAL POSITION EXISTED BEFORE FINNEY.

PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

I don't doubt that Matthew Henry takes this skewed view of Romans 10, but I've rarely ever used him for preaching. He is mainly a devotional writer. When I do use him, I use him for historic theology. And this does seem to be a common view among these reformed men.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE ADMISSION! I APPRECIATE IT. I AM THANKFUL THAT YOU ARE HONEST WITH THE FACT THAT I DO HAVE STRONG HISTORICAL SUPPORT FOR MY POSITION, AND BARNES, GILL, HENRY, ETC. TAKE MY VIEW ON ROMANS 10:9-10, AND SO FORTH.
I ALSO APPRECIATE IN GENERAL THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG KNOWS THAT WHEVER HE SEES THE BIBLE TEACHES, IT IS INCUMBANT UPON US TO PRACTICE IT. THIS IS WHY HIS CHURCH DOES AND DOES NOT DO MANY COMMENDABLE, BIBLICAL THINGS WHICH ARE WRONGLY DONE OR NOT DONE BY MANY IN FUNDAMENTALISM. THE HONESTY WITH WHAT COMMENTATORS SAY, AND THE DESIRE TO DO WHAT SCRIPTURE SAYS, IS A BLESSING.

PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

Regarding justification and salvation, we are saved by grace, so I look at all of salvation as by grace. Brother Ross has wondered and now I answer Him. We hear by grace, we respond to hearing by grace and hear more by grace, and then believe more by grace, then believe enough to call by faith out of grace.

I MUST NOT HAVE BEEN CLEAR WITH WHAT I WAS PRESENTING. ALL THAT A LOST PERSON DOES THAT IS POSITIVE IN ANY WAY TOWARDS GETTING SAVED IS BY GOD’S GRACE, SINCE NOBODY WILL COME OR RESPOND POSITIVELY TO GOD IN ANY WAY APART FROM GRACE, JOHN 6:44. NOR CAN EVEN A JUSTIFIED PERSON LIVE FOR GOD WITHOUT GOD’S GRACE CONTINUALLY WORKING IN HIM. BUT GOD’S GRACE PRODUCES WORKS, EPHESIANS 2:10, PHILIPPIANS 2:12-13, ETC. I BELIEVE THAT GOD’S GRACE LEADS A LOST PERSON TO STRIVE, WORK, TO FIND OUT HOW TO BE SAVED, TO READ THE BIBLE, LISTEN TO PREACHING, ETC. UNTIL HE DISCOVERS IT, AND THEN BY A SUPERNATURAL WORK OF GOD, IN CONNECTION WITH HIS HUMAN RESPONSE, THE LOST MAN BELIEVES ON/TRUSTS IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND IS JUSTIFIED BY THE SOLE INSTRUMENTALITY OF REPENTANT FAITH. BUT IT SEEMS TO ME VERY DIFFICULT TO SAY THAT ALL THAT A LOST MAN DOES BEFORE GETTING SAVED IS NOT WORKING. OBVIOUSLY THE MAN IN JOHN 9 WOULD NOT HAVE WANTED TO BE CHRIST’S DISCIPLE AND GOTTEN CAST OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE UNLESS HE WAS BEING DRAWN AND GOD’S GRACE WAS AT WORK IN HIS LIFE. BUT DO WE GET TO SAY THEN THAT GETTING CAST OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE, DEBATING ABOUT WHETHER CHRIST IS WHO HE SAYS OR NOT WITH PHARISEES, ETC. IS “WORKETH NOT, BUT BELIEVETH” (ROMANS 4:5)? THIS SEEMS LIKE AN IMPOSSIBLE POSITION TO DEFEND, BUT IT SEEMS TO BE ONE THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG MUST DEFEND IF HE WISHES TO SAY THAT A LOST MAN DOES NOT DO CERTAIN WORKS TO HEAR THE GOSPEL. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT WHAT I WROTE HERE HAS BEEN ANSWERED:

DO WE REALLY WANT TO SAY THAT EVERYTHING THAT A LOST PERSON DOES THAT RESULTS IN HIM HEARING THE GOSPEL AND GETTING SAVED ARE NOT WORKS? IN THE CONTEXT OF ROMANS 10:13-15, ONE MUST HEAR FIRST, AND ONE MUST LISTEN WHILE SOMEONE PREACHES. SO LISTENING TO THE GOSPEL IS NOT A PREREQUISITE TO GETTING SAVED? OR THAT IS NOT A WORK? IF IT IS NOT WORKING, I WOULD BE VERY MUCH INTERESTED TO FIND OUT WHAT WE ARE GOING TO CALL IT. A LOST PERSON DOES NOT HAVE TO READ THE BIBLE, OR READ A GOSPEL TRACT, OR COME TO A CHURCH HOUSE AND HEAR PREACHING, ETC. TO GET SAVED? HOW WILL HE HEAR THE GOSPEL, THEN? ARE WE GOING TO SAY DRIVING TO CHURCH IS NOT WORKING? IF NOT, THEN WHAT IS IT? CAN WE REALLY SAY GETTING TO CHURCH OR LISTENING TO SOMEONE PREACH THE GOSPEL IS “WORKETH NOT BUT BELIEVETH”? BUT HE HAS NO FAITH WHILE DRIVING TO CHURCH AS A LOST PERSON. IF WE ARE GOING TO DEFINE JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE IN SUCH A SENSE THAT “FAITH” INCLUDES DRIVING TO CHURCH, LISTENING TO SERMONS, READING THE BIBLE, ETC. THEN WHY DO WE GET TO USE EPHESIANS 2:8-9 AGAINST THOSE WHO SAY THAT GOING TO CHURCH AND READING THE BIBLE ARE PART OF HOW THEY GET SAVED? “HIM THAT WORKETH NOT, BUT BELIEVETH” OF ROMANS 4:5 REALLY GETS TO INCLUDE ALL KINDS OF GOOD WORKS IN “BELIEVETH”? IN JOHN 9, AN UNSAVED GUY STANDS UP FOR CHRIST AGAINST THE PHARISEES, AND GETS CAST OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE, AND AS A RESULT CHRIST COMES TO HIM (BECAUSE HE IS RESPONDING TO LIGHT), TELLS HIM TO BE SAVED BY FAITH, AND THEN THE MAN GETS SAVED IN JOHN 9:35-38. IF HE HAD REFUSED TO TAKE A STAND AND GET CAST OUT, BUT HAD REJECTED THE LIGHT HE HAD, HE WOULD NOT HAVE FOUND OUT THE TRUTH REQUIRED AND HE WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN SAVED. SO GETTING CAST OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE IS NOT A WORK, BUT IS FAITH ALONE? NICODEMUS CAME TO THE LORD JESUS BY NIGHT (JOHN 3). IF HE HAD NOT COME AND HEARD THE GOSPEL (WHICH, AS EVERY TIME CHRIST PREACHED IT, DID NOT INVOLVE SAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER IN JOHN 3), HE WOULD NOT LATER HAVE BEEN JUSTIFIED BY FAITH ALONE. SO COMING TO THE LORD JESUS BY NIGHT IS NOT WORKING? WHAT IS IT? IS NOT WHAT NICODEMUS DID, AND WHAT THE MAN IN JOHN 9 DID, STRIVING TO ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM? BUT ARE THESE THINGS THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF JUSTIFICATION, OR IS JUSTIFICATION TO “HIM THAT WORKETH NOT, BUT BELIEVETH ON HIM,” AND BY THAT INSTRUMENTALITY ALONE?


I don't believe so, I believe it is faith alone that is a pre-requisite, which is confessing, is drinking, is eating, is confessing, is calling, and is repenting—those all make up the composite of faith that we see in the coherency of the gospel message. None of those are works. Those are all the grace of God.

WE HAVE A FALSE DICHOTOMY HERE, I BELIEVE. THE FACT THAT GOD’S GRACE IS AT WORK DOES NOT MEAN THAT SOMETHING IS NOT A WORK. FOR EXAMPLE, FOR A SAVED PERSON IT IS EXPLICITLY STATED THAT GOOD WORKS ARE A RESULT OF GOD’S GRACE (EPHESIANS 2:8-10). A LOST PERSON ONLY RESPONDS TO LIGHT IN A POSITIVE WAY BECAUSE HE IS BEING DRAWN BY GOD (JOHN 6:44). GRACE ENABLES US TO WILL AND DO WORKS (PHILIPPIANS 2:13), BUT WORKS ARE WORKS. THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO WOULD SAY THAT WE CAN DO ANYTHING THAT RELATES TO GOD APART FROM GRACE ARE PELAGIANS, AND WE KNOW THAT NEITHER I NOR PASTOR BRANDENBURG IS A PELAGIAN. EVEN CATHOLIC THEOLOGY AND CULTS SUCH AS THE SDA’S SAY THAT GOOD WORKS REQUIRE GRACE FOR THEM TO BE PERFORMED, AND THE BIBLE CERTAINLY DOES SO (PHILIPP 2:13—AND, OF COURSE, WITHOUT THE CULTIC DISTORTIONS). THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT WORKS ARE NOT WORKS, BECAUSE GOD WORKS IN US TO DO THEM.

PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

Now I'll wait for his salvation by works verses.



I AM SORRY THAT I HAVE NOT BEEN CLEAR. I BELIEVE IN JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE, NOT BY WORKS. I AGREE WITH PAUL’S ANATHEMA ON ALL WHO BELIEVE IN JUSTIFICATION BY WORKS, GAL 1:8-9. PERHAPS THIS COMMENT IS LIKE THE ONE WHERE HE SAID HE MISREPRESENTED WHAT I SAID ABOUT 1 JOHN 1:9 TO “see if [I] caught [Pastor Brandenburg] slightly misrepresenting [me],” TO PROVE A CERTAIN POINT AND ILLUSTRATE SOMETHING, SINCE I WOULD TEND TO BELIEVE THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG KNOWS THAT I DON’T BELIEVE IN OR WISH TO DEFEND SALVATION BY WORKS.


PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

Brother Ross seems to be taking from the parable of the prodigal son that the father received the son back without repentance.

I AM SORRY THAT I AM HAVE NOT BEEN CLEAR ON THIS. I BELIEVE THAT THE LOST MUST REPENT, LUKE 13:3. I ACTUALLY BELIEVE THE MOMENT WHERE THE SON WAS FORGIVEN IN THE PICTURE OF JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH, AS FAR AS WE CAN GET IT FROM A PARABLE, IS EXPRSSED IN THE CLAUSE, “AND HE AROSE, AND CAME TO HIS FATHER,” IN LUKE 15:20a. IF PASTOR BRANDENBURG WISHES TO AFFIRM THAT LUKE 15:21 IS SAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER AND GETTING FORGIVENESS, THEN WE HAVE GOD THE FATHER DOING THIS TO A LOST PERSON IN V. 20: “when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him” THIS SOUNDS LIKE A SAVED PERSON TO ME. HOWEVER, THIS IS A PARABLE, AND WE CAN’T PRESS THE DETAILS TOO FAR.

PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

My statements about Romans 10:18 weren't contradictory, just could have been worded better, which I had another word in there in my mind "get to saving faith," but I reworded it to make it clearer. However, I would rather he deal with my point, which he didn't, instead, he pounced on the perceived contradiction.

I AM NOT THE SMARTEST CAR TO GO AROUND THE BLOCK, AND WITHOUT THE CLARIFICATION, I DON’T WANT TO MAKE A STATEMENT ABOUT PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S VIEW OF ROMANS 10:17FF, GET HIM WRONG, AND MISREPRESENT HIM. I AM NOT SURE WHERE THE “GET TO SAVING FAITH” IS SUPPOSED TO GO IN, WHAT WAS REWORDED, ETC. I AM SORRY, BUT I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE EXPLANATION. I WAS NOT TRYING TO “POUNCE” ON ANYTHING, BUT AM TRYING TO AVOID MISREPRESENTATION.


PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

You would just have to accept that what Mr. Ross says about "mouth" in all its usages to go with what he says. In this case, I'm not going to look up all of his usages.

PLEASE CONSIDER THAT THIS MEANS THAT MAKING “MOUTH” NON-LITERAL WOULD RUN CONTRARY TO 78 USES OF THE WORD. THIS IS A STRONG ARGUMENT THAT “CONFESS WITH THE MOUTH” MEANS “CONFESS WITH THE MOUTH.” I LOOK FORWARD TO PASTOR BRANDENBURG DEALING WITH THE ARGUMENT FROM CONTEXT, THAT MOUTH AND HEART ARE ACTUALLY CONTRASTED IN ROMANS 10:9-10 SO THAT ONE COULD NOT SAY “IF THOU SHALT CONFESS WITH THY heart THE LORD JESUS, AND BELIEVE IN THINE HEART,” ETC. AND MEAN WHAT PAUL INTENDED UNDER INSPIRATION. THE WORDS OF THE LAW WERE LITERALLY BEING SPOKEN ABOUT AND THUS WERE IN THE LITERAL MOUTHS OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL AS WELL. THAT IS WHY THE WORDS WERE AVAILABLE.

PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

That means we that believe that are works-salvation guys. If it is an agreement that someone is willing to state with his mouth, that he agrees with, then it isn't a work, and he has a problem then in his mind with his ordo salutis.

HERE ALSO I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG IS SAYING. IS THE FIRST SENTENCE ABOUT ME, ABOUT HIS POSITION, ABOUT PEOPLE IN ROME, ETC? I JUST MENTION THIS BECAUSE I AM NOT TRYING TO IGNORE IT, JUST I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT MEANS.


I WILL WAIT FOR A MORE EXTENSIVE RESPONSE TO THE OTHER THINGS THAT I WROTE IN THIS AND PREVIOUS COMMENTS IN FUTURE POSTS/REPLIES.

IN RESPONSE TO PASTOR MITCHELL:

THANKS FOR THE COMMENT. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT I WOULD BE CLOSER TO SOMEONE LIKE MATTHEW HENRY ON ROMANS 10:9-14 THAN SOME FUNDAMENTAL BAPTISTS. NEVERTHELESS, I AM NOT EVEN THE ONLY FUNDAMENTAL BAPTIST WHO STILL BELIEVES WHAT HAS BEEN A VERY COMMON POSITION FOR A LONG TIME.

THE GRACE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST BE WITH YOU ALL, AMEN.