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Archive for August 16th, 2018

Although the saints on account of the grievous sins into which they slip, deserve exclusion from the kingdom of heaven and the abrogation of their justification and adoption, still it happens by the mercy of God that on this account neither their right to the kingdom of heaven is taken away, nor justification or adoption recalled, nor their state of regeneration effectively destroyed. The right to the kingdom is not founded upon our actions, but on the gratuitous adoption of God and our indissoluble union with Christ. Also, the guilt of this or that sin does not abrogate the universal justification of preceding sins and the state of the person reconciled to God by Christ. The privilege of adoption does not depend upon us, but upon the mercy of God the Father alone. The grace of regeneration flows from the Spirit, who as he once implanted in our hearts that vivifying seed, so he impressed upon it a heavenly and incorruptible force and this he perpetually cherishes and preserves. Thus although sinful man can (at least for a time) lose the use of this right and the sense of justification, still he cannot fall from lose the use of this right and the sense of justification, still he cannot fall from that right, Even if he were deprived of the solace of adoption, still he is not at once divested of that adoption so that he who had been made a son of God should become a child of the Devil and a servant of sin. And if that seed is latent in the heart and does not exhibit itself outwardly in the bearing of fruit, still it is not dead-life is always in the root. The act of faith can be intercepted, but the not dead-life is always in the root. The act of faith can be intercepted, but the habit itself cannot be shaken off (as fire lies concealed under ashes; as life which suffers it decays; as a plant in the winter which neither flourishes nor bears fruit).

Thus, we are commanded "to serve the Lord with fear and to rejoice with trembling" (Ps. 2:11), because joy without fear is pride, fear without joy is despair; both joined together add sure confidence with deep humility to the mind. Thus, the believer fears on account of sin, rejoices on account of grace, fears on account of his own infirmity and threatening dangers and anxiously uses all the means that he may not slip into carnal security. Still he rejoices with confidence in the divine aid promised to him that he may not rush into despair.

Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology
Fifteenth Topic: Calling and Faith

Sixteenth Question: The Perseverance of Faith (p.613-614,628)

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