If Of Works, It Is No Longer Grace

The knowledgeable heretic, Dr. Curt Daniel writes concerning William Ames:

William Ames (1576-1633). Anglican, then Presbyterian. Ministered in England as Cambridge Calvinist and in Holland as pastor and professor and advisor at the Synod of Dort. Closest disciple of William Perkins. Greatly influenced American Puritans. Wrote The Marrow of Theolgy , the standard Puritan systematic theology; and Cases of Conscience, important work on Biblical ethics; many others.”

Here is Puritan heretic William Ames revealing why Romans 11:6 is such an important passage in discerning salvation conditioned on the sinner’s efforts versus salvation conditioned on the work of Jesus Christ alone — His atoning blood and imputed righteousness:

“13. The new covenant differs from the old in many ways….19. Seventh, in the conditions, for the old required perfect obedience of works to be performed by man of his own strength prior to the carrying out of the promise, which would then be in the form of a reward.  But the present covenant requires no properly called or prior condition, but only a following or intermediate condition (and that to be given by grace as a means to grace), which is the proper nature of faith” (William Ames, The Marrow of Theology, pp. 150-151; underlining mine–CD).

If so-called “grace” enables a person to fulfill “a following, or intermediate condition” (i.e., a work) “as a means to grace,” then “grace is no more grace” (see Romans 11:6).  If the word “grace” may be legitimately prefaced to ANY AMOUNT of works, conditions, prerequisites, running, or willing (cf. Romans 9:16), then salvation by works is no longer salvation by works since all of this condition-meeting would supposedly be “all of grace.”

“But if by grace, no longer [is it] of works; else grace no longer becomes grace. But if of works, it is no longer grace; else work is no longer work.” (Romans 11:6)

If consistent, Ames must say that “to him that worketh is the reward NOT reckoned of debt, but of grace” since this working was “given by grace as a means to grace” (blatantly contrary to Romans 4:4, of course).

Salvation from the wrath of God is CONDITIONED SOLELY on the propitiating blood and imputed righteousness of the God-Man Mediator, Jesus Christ.  The “proper nature of faith” is that it is NOT a condition for salvation, but an immediate and inevitable fruit (or result) of salvation;  faith believes that Jesus Christ met in full the preceptive and penal demands of God’s law and justice.  God’s love provided for His elect people what His holy law and justice demanded.

“For as many as are out of works of Law, [these] are under a curse. For it has been written, Cursed [is] everyone who does not continue in all the things having been written in the book of the Law, to do them. And that no one is justified by Law before God [is] clear because, The just shall live by faith. But the Law is not of faith, but, The man doing these things shall live in them. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us; for it has been written, Cursed [is] everyone having been hung on a tree; that the blessing of Abraham might be to the nations in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:10-14)

“For the Word of the Lord sounded out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone out, so that there is no need for us to have to say anything. For they themselves announce concerning us what kind of entrance we have to you, and how you had turned to God from the idols, to serve the true and living God, and to await His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from [the] dead, Jesus, the [One] delivering us from the coming wrath.” (1 Thessalonians 1:8-10)

“… and you being dead in deviations and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience, among whom we also all conducted ourselves in times past in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed of the flesh and of the understanding, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love [with] which He loved us, even we being dead in deviations, [He] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you are being saved), and raised [us] up together and seated [us] together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, that He might demonstrate in the ages coming on, the exceeding great riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you are saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves; [it is] the gift of God; not of works, that not anyone should boast; for we are [His] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God before prepared that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:1-10)

Related

Marc D. Carpenter sermon on Romans 11:6

Else Work Is No Longer Work

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