Oh, man. I just got finished reading the treatise from Samuel Richardson that Joseph Arnoldy attached. All I have to do is provide some quotes from the treatise, and they do a better job of exposing what Arnoldy believes than anything I can do. This is just a form of Hyper-Calvinism a la Brandan Kraft, with the only difference being that Richardson/Arnoldy believe that actual justification was at the cross and not before the foundation of the world. Either way, both Arnoldy and Kraft believe that there are justified unbelievers and that the elect are never under God's wrath. This treatise actually does a great job in showing why a person who denies that faith as an instrument through which we receive the imputed righteousness of Christ is not a Christian.
==The Elect Were Ever In the Love of God and Did Ever Appear Before Him As Just and Righteous In Christ
Some being apt to conceive that there is no Justification of a creature in no sense before and without faith, and so make Faith a joint-partner with Christ in the business of Justification.
Unbelievers are still in their sins, and therefore they are not justified.
The elect are in their sins visibly, until they believe, and declare it by good works.
They have sin in them and they are free from sin. They are charged with sin, and yet they are free from all charge, Rom. 8:33, and clean from all sin. He does sin and he cannot sin. This is a mystery:. They have sin, 1 John 1:8,10; Ezek. 16:8, they are charged with sin, James 5:17; Gal. 2:11-14. Yet, they are free from sin, Isa. 53:5,6; 2 Cor. 5:21; Song 4:7; 1 John 4:17. "They cannot sin," 1 John 3:9.
This is a mystery when Christ said, "A little while, and ye shall see me, and a little while, ye shall not see me. They said, What is this that he saith? we cannot tell what it is that he saith," John 16:16-18. Shall, and shall not was a contradiction in their understandings: so will what I say be to many.
All men are by nature children of wrath, and under the curse till they believe, Eph. 2:3.
The Death of The Law Over God's Elect
I grant all the elect are so by nature, under a state of wrath and curse, and they had perished in it, had not Jesus Christ by His death redeemed them out of that state. And although they were so by nature, yet at the same time they were also sons of grace and love. By nature accursed, by grace in election sure to escape it, and blessed. By wrath, I understand is meant the curse of the Law, the punishment due to sin. By nature I understand the state of nature, viz.: the state and condition of man by reason of Adam's fall, for all men were considered in him, and by his fall he made them all sinners, Rom. 5:18. So, all the elect were considered in Christ, Who by His death, did free all the elect from this fall of sin and death; so as never since Christ's death, none of the elect were under that state of wrath or curse, nor indeed could possible be for these Reasons.
We were never since in our sins, therefore the curse has no place, it has nothing to do with us, we have no sin, for "all our sins were laid upon Christ," as Isa. 53:6. "Christ was made sin for us," 2 Cor. 5:21, "and Curse for us," Gal. 3:13. He then "destroyed the power of death and the Devil for us," Heb. 2:14, or else we cannot be saved. Consider, Rom. 5:18 and 19, the head and the members, viz. Christ and all the Elect are but one, Heb. 2;11, they make but "one body, one Christ," 1 Cor. 12:12, therefore "we were crucified with Christ," Gal. 2:20, dead and "buried with Christ," Rom. 6 and "were quickened together with Christ," and "raised up together with Christ," Eph. 2:5,6, "we were without God afar off, and made nigh by the blood of Christ, the enmity was slain and reconciliation" was made "by the Cross," and by nothing else, Eph. 2:12-17. So that never since Christ's death, none of the Elect are under wrath or curse, for Christ has fulfilled the law for us.
But God hates all the workers of iniquity, Psal. 5, unbelievers are workers of iniquity, therefore God does not love them, and so they are not justified.
Then it seems that God's love and Grace, is to men according to their works, and as they deal with Him; this is the old principle of the Papists, and quite contrary to the Scriptures, as appears, Rom. 5:8-10, Psal. 103, and 130:3-8.
The Elect before their calling, and after, do many actions that are sinful, in which they are workers of iniquity, yet God was ever pleased with their persons in Christ, "in whom they were accepted."
God Never Hated The Persons of His Elect
The elect are not under the Law, but under grace: Rom. 6:14. Therefore the Law has nothing to do to sentence and curse them, they being in Christ, Eph. 1:4. There is no condemnation to them, Rom. 8:1,33.
The Scripture says, he shall redeem Israel, and he shall justify many; but they are not redeemed, nor justified until they believe, Psal. 130:8; Isa. 53:11.
We are to consider when these and the like places were written, which was before Christ died. From hence it is, that they are most commonly expressed in the future tense, He shall, and that not only in the Old Testament but also in the New, it is said, "He shall save his people from their sins." For as yet Christ was not born, as appears, Matt. 1:20, 21. But after Christ's death, the Scriptures speak in the present tense as done, because, indeed, He had actually done it. Therefore, it is said, "We (are) sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus," Heb. 10:10. "He hath offered one sacrifice for sins for ever," v. 12. "By one offering he (hath) perfected for ever," v. 14. "Having obtained eternal redemption for us," Heb. 9:12. "So he hath loved us, and washed away our sins in his own blood," Rev. 1:5. So that it is already done. It is not now to do.
Men are not justified until they are in Christ, and men are not in Christ until that they believe, for men are in Christ by faith. Andronicus was in Christ before Paul.
The Scripture says, that "Christ dwells in our hearts by faith," but where does it say, that we are in Christ by faith? The in being in Christ, in Eph. 1:4 is by election, and not by faith. The visible Church is called Christ, and those in the visible Church are said to be in Him. This is the being in Christ that is spoken of in John 15 as appears, v. 2-4. A contrary exposition enforces falling finally from grace. In this visible Church, one is in before another, as Andronicus was.
Also he being converted before Paul. He appeared to be in Christ before Paul did so appear. But, the being in Christ, Eph. 1:4, the elect are not in Him one before another and a third being in Christ we know not.
In The Scriptures What Is Proper To Christ Only Is Often Atributed To Faith As Well
To Show Our Union With Him In His Faith Which Becomes Our Saving Faith
So the Scriptures do oft give that to faith which is proper to Christ, as
"we live by faith:" Gal. 2:20; "by Christ," John 6:57.
"We have remission of sins by faith," Acts 13:38, 39; "by Christ," Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14.
"We are justified by faith," Rom. 3:28, Gal. 3:24; "by Christ," Isa. 53:11, Rom. 5:9.
"We have peace with God by faith," Rom. 5:1,2; "by Christ," Eph. 2:3 and 3:12.
"We are sanctified by faith," Acts 15:9; "by Christ," Heb. 10:14, 1 Cor. 1:30.
"We overcome the world by faith," 1 John 5:4,5; "by Christ," John 16:33, 1 Cor. 15:57.
"We are the sons of God by faith," Gal. 3:26; "by Christ," Eph. 1:5. We "have an heavenly inheritance by faith," Acts 26:18; "by Christ," Gal. 4:7.
"We have eternal life by faith," John 3:16 and 5:24 and 6:47; "by Christ," 1 John 5:11,12.
"We are saved by faith," Eph. 2:8; "by Christ," Matt. 3:21, John 3:17.
These things are not proper to faith, but only to Jesus Christ alone.
The Saints Are Justified Before They Believe
Sixthly, we are not justified by our believing, because all that are justified are justified before they believe, which will appear if ye consider:
1. The titles given to such persons whom Christ justified, they are termed sinners, enemies, ungodly, Rom. 4:5 and 5:8,10. The Scripture does not call any that are believers, ungodly. They have their name from their better part. Therefore, believers are called holy, Saints, living stones, babes in Christ. And, therefore, seeing they were justified when ungodly, they were justified before they believed. Their believing did not justify them. Christ justified many, by bearing their iniquity; He in taking away our sins made us righteous. This was our justification: Isa. 53:5,6,11 and Rom. 5:9.
Faith Is the Means of Our Receiving the Knowledge and Comfort Of Our Justification
All The Elect Were Made This Way Upon the Cross
All the elect were made these by Christ upon the Cross. Therefore, they were then justified. They were justified before they believed.
Although the elect are justified, yet no man can know that he is justified until he believe:
The Difference Between Us Is WHEN Is The Time of Our Justification?
We say the same; only the difference betwixt us is, when the time of Justification is. It seems by your discourse that you judge that time to be after we believe. We judge that we were justified by Christ upon the Cross.
Christ does give remission of sins; forgiveness of sins is after they are born.
The question is not when Christ gives, and we receive remission of sins, this is when men believe. But the question is, when were our sins were destroyed, and when were we made just? We say, and have proved, that it was when Christ died, and not after we believed. If there had not been remission of sins in Christ for us, how could He have given it to us when we believed?
Eph. 2 declares, that believers, before they believed, there was no difference between them and others. For they were, by nature, the children of wrath afar off, and unreconciled.
The same chapter declares that they were made nigh by the blood of Christ, verses 13-18. We are to consider what it was that made them nigh and reconciled them? And when they were made nigh and reconciled? This was effected by Christ upon His cross, see Col. 1:21, 22. And if we were not reconciled then, why does the Scripture say we were?
The word reconcile declares that God is at enmity with us, and us with him. Re signifies again, con, signifies together, ciliation, to call or move to. How is there a moving where there was never a removing? How together of those who were never asunder? How again, unless there had been once an oneness which was broken apieces?
Though the word signifies so, yet it will not follow that God was never at enmity with the elect; "Fury is not in me:" Isa. 27:4. There are movings and removings in us who are changeable, but it is not so in God because He is unchangeable. Love in Him is unchangeable. You confess God's essential purpose is like Himself, eternal and unchangeable, etc. "God is love," 1 John 5. Although the elect did sin, and so depart from God, yet the Scripture does not say, that they fell from the love of God, or that God hated the elect for their sin. Consider John 17:23, 24; Heb. 13:8; Rom. 5:9, 10.
In saying God was never an enemy to the elect, you make the fall of Adam (in whom the elect are included) a fiction. You make the Story of the Gospel, touching Christ's sufferings, a fable, and Christ's passion a vanity. You overthrow the nature of God Whose purity cannot endure sin. You deny many Scriptures that testify that God was at enmity with the elect, Eph. 2; Isa. 63:10, 11; Lev. 26:40-42; Ezek. 16:62, 63.
Alas, alas, here are many high charges, and hard speeches indeed: Jud. 15.13, are not these "raging waves of the Sea," that look big, and rise high, and fall as suddenly into mere fables? For no such thing will follow that we profess.
We say what the Scriptures speak concerning Adam's fall and Christ's sufferings and death, etc.. They are not fictions, but real things. Unless Christ had died, we had perished in our sins. We were in sin, and under the curse.
What It Means To Be The Children Of Wrath
We were children of wrath, viz.: the curse, not only in appearance, but we were so in deed, and in truth. So Christ was made a curse for us, not in appearance, but in deed, and in truth. He was so made under the Law, that so He might free us from under it. Christ not only revealed love, (for seeing men can reveal love each to other without dying, much more could God) but also freed us from the curse of the Law wherein we were held. Therefore Christ did die. So that in the love of God, and Christ's death, lay our eternal happiness. And this doctrine does well agree with what we contend for.
God Has Never Been At Enemity With His Elect
We entreat you to tell us in what place of the Scripture we shall read that God was ever at enmity with the elect, either before or after conversion? You say that till conversion comes, God is as well at enmity with the elect, as they are with Him. The Scriptures you allege to prove it do not say so. Nor do we know where to read these words in the Scripture, but to consider what the Scriptures you bring say.
Ephesians 2 Properly Understood
Eph. 2 says no such thing. There is the word wrath, but this is answered before. In Isa. 63:10, 11, there is the word enemy, which is to be understood, God was so in some acts of His dispensation. The text says, He fought against them, so He appeared to be their enemy, Lev. 26:40, etc.
Therefore, your brother was very much mistaken, to think there was anger in God against the elect till He was pacified.
We do not say, we were actually justified from all eternity; we say we were in the knowledge and love of God from all eternity: we say we were actually justified in time when Christ upon the Cross presented us holy to God without spot, etc., Eph. 5:27. So you tell us, that what ever appears in time, appeared before God before all time, therefore faith appeared then also. This we freely grant, and also tell you, that all that did appear before God was not the cause, means, nor instrument of our justification.==