Yelling At My Windshield, Part Four

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At the conclusion of his talk, Dr. Baugh offered some salient comments on the first verses of Galatians 5, over against various forms of covenant nomism. And shoot, I AGREED WITH HIM (the “all caps” are so that theological scholars might pick up on this particular nuance) in his critique of the idea that we get into the covenant by grace and stay in by our obedience. Never heard anything so crazy in my life. Anyhow, because at that point I AGREED SO FUNDAMENTALLY WITH DR. BAUGH, I was interested to hear what he did next. But alas, he did not keep up the pace.

He came next to that “faith working by love” part (Gal. 5:6). He said (a little briskly, I might add) that our faith is alive, and does works of love, because it has been justified. Huh, I thought, looking out my windshield. I thought faith was the instrument of justification in the ordo salutis, and therefore preceeded it. In other words, faith is what it is before justification gets to it, because justification doesn’t happen without the instrumentality of faith, which has to be what it is in order for justification to happen at all. If you follow me. If you don’t, it is all right. Has happened before, most recently in Escondido.

So let me put this another way. When God gives the gift of faith, the instrument that will be used (any nano-second now) to appropriate the imputed gift of justification, is that faith changed when the justification happens? Is dead faith the instrument of justification, and then under the influence of imputed righteousness it changes into living faith in order to do all that sanctification stuff? Or is it living faith from the get go? If the latter, then what did Dr. Baugh mean by saying it was living because of justification? It seems that faith working by love appropriates the gift of righteousness. That’s what I think, but I am the heretic, and so I don’t trust myself anymore.

By the way, did I mention that I AGREED COMPLETELY with Dr. Baugh’s critique of covenant nomism?

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