Question for Protestants: What is the case for the rejection of infusion?

Blessings StuMondo,

To understand justification, we have to understand baptism.

To understand baptism first we have to understand our fallen spiritual position.

OUR FALLEN SPIRITUAL POSITION

a. We are under God’s CONDEMNATION. – Rom.5:18a; John 3:18b.

b. We are in BONDAGE OF CORRUPTION. – Rom.8:19-21.

c. We are residents of the KINGDOM OF SATAN. – Luke 4:5-7.

d. We are SPIRITUALLY DEAD in sins. – Eph.2:1b; Col.2:13a.

e. We “do NOT accept anything from the Spirit of God: we see it all as nonsense; it is BEYOND our UNDERSTANDING because it CAN ONLY be understood by the Spirit of God.” – 1 Cor.2:14 Emphasize mine.

To be able to receive the Spirit of God, FIRST we need new spiritual life.
This is sometimes called “Born Again.”

Col.2:13; Explains:
“And you, BEING DEAD in your trespasses … He has made you alive, … having forgiven you all trespasses.” – This resurrection/born again and forgiveness of sins/justification, takes place at baptism.

In our baptism, there is God’s part to do and our part to do.

God’s part to do in our baptism ALWAYS PRECEDES our water baptism.

This is the point, sometimes confusion comes in the understanding of baptism.

**GOD’S PART TO DO IN OUR BAPTISM IS THE FIRST STAGE OF OUR JUSTIFICATION/INITIAL JUSTIFICATION

GOD’S WORK IN OUR BAPTISM IN FINE DETAILS**

  1. God JUSTIFIED us. – At our justification God has DECLARED us JUST and DECLARED us to be sons of God. – Rom.3:24; Rom.8:15.

  2. God RE-CREATED us. – At our re-creation God MADE us SONS of God and NEW CREATIONS/BORN AGAIN by given us a new heart, given us a new spirit and God put His Spirit into us – Ez.36:26-27; 2 Cor.5:17; 1 Cor.3:16; 1 Cor.6:19.

  3. GOD SANCTIFIED us. – At our sanctification God has completely washed us clean, made us holy (our spirit + soul). – 1 Cor.6:11; 1 Pet.2:9;
    etc.

We may call it our first purgatory as God has completely washed us clean. – It was an instant event.

4. At our baptism God has:

a. delivered us from the power of darkness and taken us (our spirit + soul) up to heaven, – Col. 1:13; Eph.2:6.

b. baptized us into the body of Christ, – 1 Cor.12:13, 27.

c. from spiritual death, in Christ God made us spiritually alive, – 1 Cor.15:22; Eph.2:1.

d. made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, –Eph.2:6.

e. then God delivered us (our spirit + soul) back to earth as Christ’s ambassadors. – 2 Cor. 5:20.

All of the above works of God is an instant event, we don’t even realize it and in this work for three reasons we cannot even co-operated with the grace of God.

First reason: We are spiritually dead and we accept nothing from the Spirit of God. – This is our spiritual resurrection from spiritual death.

Second reason: Our initial justification and born again in our baptism is an instant event.

Third reason: The above work of God taken us to the state of grace.
Until we are in the state of grace we cannot do supernatural merit.

Meaning man does nothing and could do nothing, to enter the state of (initial) justification. – Because spiritually dead at the beginning and the end initially justified and born again, the whole process is an instant event.

In the sequence of the events, first God does His part in our Baptism, as the results; we are spiritually alive/born again, initially justified, and we are in the state of grace.

This is the point when God gives us His gift of faith and we are able to positively respond to it. – Because we are spiritually alive, initially justified, we are in the state of grace.

As we see above the necessity of God’s works in our baptism is absolute.

**Apart from God first does His part in our baptism we are spiritually dead and we “do NOT accept anything from the Spirit of God.” – 1 Cor.2:14. **

It is solely God’s work and always PRECEDES our water baptism.

This is the point, sometimes confusion comes in, because at this point we are born again, initially justified, we are in the state of grace and we are not yet water baptized.

Sometimes it is a great distance between God does his part in our baptism and we do our part in our water baptism.

If some reason we are not able to do our part of the baptism that doesn’t stop God to do His part of our baptism which gives us initial justification, spiritual resurrection/born again and puts us into the state of grace and if we die enables us to go to heaven. – And of course His part to do in our baptism, always PRECEDES our water baptism.

If we die the next minute after our baptism we go INSTANTLY back home to heaven.

Blessings

LatinRight

Hello LatinRite. I really enjoyed your posts. As an Augustinian on predestination I completely agree with your points on predestination and grace. However, the Book of Life appears to permit erasures according to Scripture. Hence, it appears to be based on the “present status” of an individual’s soul–either in or out of Christ (and/or to the blotting out of the individual who has irreversably/utterly fallen from grace as spoken of in Hebrews 6:4-6). On the other hand, as you noted, an individual’s Election in Christ (or, Election to Glory) is from all eternity and cannot be changed.

Blessings JustaSinner,

I knew this question will come up. The key to understand.

God is outside time. He does not work in our chronological order.

God has completed the “Book of Life” and made the predestination of His elect from all eternity.

From “that point on” neither of them subject to alteration.

For our understanding, the Scripture is written in our chronological order.

This is where the misunderstanding comes from.

The Catholic Church affirms predestination as a de fide dogma (the highest level of binding theological certainty).

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA

THE CATHOLIC DOGMA. – The predestination of the elect

God’s unerring foreknowledge and foreordaining is designated in the Bible by the beautiful

figure of the “Book of Life” (liber vitæ, to biblion tes zoes). This book of life is a list which

contains the names of ALL THE ELECT and admits NEITHER ADDITIONS NO ERASURES. End quote. Emphasize added.

Believe me JustaSinner, there no mistake in the above de fide dogma.

Blessings

LatinRight.

Blessings LethalMouse,

I have the same opinion. I believe you are correct.

Blessings

LatinRight

On a note slightly unrelated to the actual case for imputation, I will point out that there are some real consequences in terms of how grace in general, and the sacraments in particular, are conceived of depending on which way you go with this. The entire role of the Church and of religious leaders too, for that matter.

On a note more fully related to the OP, here are a couple of things courtesy of John Piper and Desiring God.

desiringgod.org/books/counted-righteous-in-christ
I’m pretty sure you can download the book for free and peruse it if you like; you also have the option of buying it but everything that John Piper has ever done is made available on this site free of charge. Don’t feel bad about not paying for it, especially if you’re not super inclined to financially support a Protestant who straddles the line between Reformed and Baptist. Take a look for free, it’s allowed.

desiringgod.org/messages/faith-and-the-imputation-of-righteousness
This is a longer thing that you can read, and there’s a sermon at the top where you can go ahead and hit play. That’ll go for a little more than 45 minutes, I do strongly recommend listening to this. There’s a prayer at the beginning, but right after that I think you’ll be happy with the clarity of the presentation from the very first part. He does linger on the idea of money and an account as a figure of speech, but he eventually explains in detail exactly why he rejects certain conclusions and accepts the one that he does. Within the first ten minutes we arrive at two key phrases- the glory of God’s grace and the peace in your own soul, which he claims are presented by Paul as incredibly important issues directly related to the question of whether the ground of our justification is found somewhere in us or somewhere outside us, in Christ.

Bunyan is referenced in that sermon, btw, with great enthusiasm. And the 27 minute mark is right about where a definitive thesis-type statement is made. From there, it’s a four-part argument for “why this is so.”

Edit- at the end of the sermon, there is an illustrative story. John Piper has a son, and in this story, there was a morning when he told his son, you should clean your room today and if you do you’ll be able to go to a fun social thing later tonight. His son forgot. When he got home after practice, he was very apologetic and accepting of the consequences. What he didn’t know was that his dad had cleaned the room himself, and he did it perfectly. It was looking good. His son didn’t clean it, the dad did all the cleaning. But when he heard the sincere contrition, he said I will credit this as the unifying link between you and a clean room. I cleaned the room, we know that, and you had no part in cleaning it, nor is your apology in any way contributing to its cleanliness. But I am crediting your apology as a clean room, in the sense that was just described. Good news, you can go to the game.

I think, really, the key point in this illustration is that our Father does all the cleaning, and we do none of it. We don’t clean ourselves, He does. Not by any meritorious actions, whether you want to describe it as condign or otherwise. Just Him. That’s most likely going to be the main sticking point.

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