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Posts Tagged ‘eternal punishment’


Yesterday was a strange day.  In more ways than one.

The late Public Enemy #1

Sunday night the world learned that Osama bin Laden was dead.  Part of me was glad for I longed to see him brought to justice for his war on America (keep that phrase in mind) and purposeful attacks on civilian targets.  You can’t just lay the feet of those murdered on 9/11 at his feet.  He is accountable for so many thousands more that have died as a direct result of his actions leading up to and including that day (as well as previous terror attacks).  The government does not bear the sword for nothing (Romans 13:4; 1 Peter 2:14), though its justice was not so swift in this event.

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My mission is nearly accomplished.  Today I passed my oral examination by the credentials committee in the local Presbytery.  I need to be licensed to serve as Stated Supply for the church I’ve been preaching for this Fall.  All I have left is the examination on the floor of the Presbytery.  It has been good for me to brush up on the Westminster Confession of Faith in anticipation of receiving a call.  Maybe anticipation is the wrong word- there is nothing immanent at this time.  I’ve talked preliminarily with a few churches, but they are all in the early stages of their processes.  As Tom Petty sang, “the waiting is the hardest part.”

Here’s my notes on the Fall of Man.  “Enjoy.”

Chapter VI: Of The Fall of Man, Of Sin, and Of The Punishment Thereof

69. Is the fall in some inscrutable way encompassed in God’s decree?  Yes

70. What is original sin?  It refers to the guilt and corruption of the whole nature has as a result of Adam’s sin.

71. What are the effects of the fall?  We experience bondage to sin and misery.

72. What is meant by “Original sin”?  It refers to the corruption of our whole nature (every part of us) as a result of Adam’s disobedience.  Our sins flow out of this corruption.

73. Is it necessary to believe in a literal fall? Why?  Yes, it is necessary to believe in a literal Fall.  This is the clear testimony of Romans 5 by which we learn that the reason we all experience sin & misery is the same way in which we experience salvation in Christ- federal headship.

74. Is guilt transmitted biologically? No, there is no sin gene.  We are guilty because our covenant representative, Adam, sinned.  He acted on our behalf, not just as a private person, in the Garden.

75. What is meant by total depravity? Are you committed to this doctrine?   Every aspect of our person has been corrupted by sin.  We are unable to perform any spiritual good or contribute anything for salvation.  Yes I’m committed to this doctrine.

76. How can original sin be reconciled to the common notion of justice, human or divine?   It is just because Adam acted as our covenant representative.  We are so connected to him that we experience the consequences of all his actions.  Were he to obey we would have experienced great blessing.  This is the same process by which we benefit from Christ’s obedience and suffering.  As a result, God is both just and the justifier of those who have faith in Christ Jesus.

77. Explain Adam’s federal headship and the imputation of sin.  Adam acted, not just on his own behalf, but as our legal representative before God.  As a result, all those whom he represents receive the consequences of his actions.  Just as the President has the power to declare war such that all citizens are at war (or a treaty), we receive blessing or curses based on the actions of Adam our representative.

78. How is the corrupt nature affected by regeneration?  Our corruption is pardoned and mortified in Christ.  It still remains, and plagues us, but God now enables us to repent and believe.

79. Is punishment eternal?  Yes, just as eternal life is eternal.  God is just and will only punish sin perfectly, either in Christ or in the person.

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