Baptism, The Washing Of Regeneration

Those entranced by the Federal Vision like to insist that “something happens” in baptism.  According to these men what makes a person a Christian is not the divine propositions believed, but holy water which “confers grace and salvation.”  As we saw in the last post, Jeffrey Meyers shares this belief that “the forgiveness of sins is attached to the action” and that through the waters of baptism we are united to Christ.  This is also explains why Federal Visionists have a warm spot in their hearts for forced baptisms.  That’s because Federal Visionists liken baptism to marriage and salvation is accomplished on the basis of our own faithful obedience to our spouse.

The problem is that many cannot see that the FV view of baptism is not Reformed, much less biblical. Many Baptists too, some of whom periodically comment on this blog, routinely confuse this FV doctrine of baptism with the Reformed one. Well, yesterday on Wes White’s “Johannes Weslianus” blog Wes provided one of the clearest and most concise summaries of the Reformed and biblical view of baptism I’ve probably read anywhere.  He was writing in response to a man, Aaron, whose defense of Meyers is pretty typical in what I see coming from FV circles.  Now, I’m not sure if Aaron could be classified as a Federal Visionists, but he has certainly incorporated many of their false premises and beliefs into his thinking.  Interesting too, and for those who may not know, Wes was himself a former Federal Visionist so he is someone who has come at this issue from both sides.

The following is Aaron’s defense of Meyers and Wes’ response in their entirety.  Note carefully how closely Aaron, and by extension Meyers, parallels the Reformed doctrine of baptism and I think you can understand why so many have been fooled:

Aaron says:
April 11, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Okay, so Pastor Meyers says “It’s pretty certain that the reason baptism was offered immediately is because the forgiveness of sins is attached to the action. When were Paul’s sins forgiven? When was he “converted”? On the road to Damascus or in Damascus when Ananias poured the water over his head in the name of the triune God? The text is pretty clear.” and “Sure. Let God take care of the exceptions. We don’t do theology by exceptions. Normally God forgives sins and grants new life in baptism.”

So what’s the problem here? I don’t see one, not confessionally and certainly not biblically. If that’s baptismal regeneration, then both Scripture and the Westminster Standards teach some form of it. First, look at the passage that Meyers cites and another one from the Book of Acts:

Acts 22:16. “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

Acts 2:38. Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

The physical act of baptism and the forgiveness of sins are plainly connected in the text. The physical act of baptism and regeneration are also connected according to Titus 3:5. Does that automatically mean it must be ex opera operato? Of course not, and the confession says why:

WCF 27:2. There is, in every sacrament, a spiritual relation, or sacramental union, between the sign and the thing signified: whence it comes to pass, that the names and effects of the one are attributed to the other.

WCF 28:6. VI. The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered; yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongs unto, according to the counsel of God’s own will, in His appointed time.

There is a mystical union between the sign and the thing signified just as there is between Christ and the Church, so that when Paul persecutes the Church, Christ can confront him and ask, “Why are you persecuting me?” Is sub-confessional to say that we merely call the thing signified (Christ and his benefits) by the name of the sign (baptism); some sort of union exists between them. According to WFC 28:6, the physical act of baptism is actually efficacious. The physical act is somehow where the efficaciousness comes from or occurs. But when baptism’s efficaciousness manifests itself in time (before, during, or after the act) is another matter. The right use of this ordinace conferred the grace promised.

Is “forgiveness of sins attached to the action” of preaching the gospel? Sure it is; look at Romans 10 and elsewhere. How is that any different? We talk plainly about people being saved by the preaching of the gospel. Can’t we equally well talk about people being saved by baptism, especially when Scripture makes such claims (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21)? Or how about the physical act of hearing (again Romans 10)? “Faith comes by hearing?” Really? Isn’t faith the result of some supernature[sic] work of the Holy Spirit? Then how can Scripure[sic] say this? Scripture connects the physical act of baptism to union with Christ in death and resurrection (Romans 6), to being clothed by Christ (Galatians 3), and to circumcision (crucifixion) with Christ (Colossians 2). Why can’t we talk this way? Would it mean that we don’t actually believe in Sola Gratia or Sola Fide? Of course not. We believe in mediated grace. The acts of preaching, baptism, and the supper are all secondary instruments; they are means.

If we can’t just say what Scripture says without quickly and nervously rushing to add some sort of codified explanation from our systematics, are we really trusting the Word of God to do the work more than we trust the imperfect and incomplete smoothed-over explanations we’ve come up with?

Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2). You have been united to Christ’s death and resurrection by baptism (Romans 6). You have been circumcised with Christ in baptism (Colossians 2). You are clothed with Christ in baptism (Galatians 3). You are saved by baptism (Mark 16 and 1 Peter 3).

Why can’t we just say these things? Are we really so embarrased[sic] by this sort of language? If Scripture can casually make these statements without explanation, why can’t we in everyday speech? We cannot be committed to the ethos of a particular systematic more than we are committed to Scripture itself, including all the rough spots we’d like to smooth out.

Wes White says:
April 11, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Hi Aaron, the problem with your viewpoint is that you are not simply taking Scripture at face value. You are interpreting it. I think Meyers’ interpretation is incorrect. The whole Reformed Church does. We believe that the sacraments are signs and seals, that is, confirmatory of a reality that already exists not conferring one that doesn’t. In other words, people are forgiven of their sins, and baptism is a seal or confirmation of that forgiveness to the believer. It does not confer forgiveness to those who do not have it.

We derive that understanding of the sacraments from the Old Testament. The Bible explicitly says that circumcision was a sign and seal of the justification that Abraham already had before he was circumcised. It did not confer justification to Abram but confirmed what he already had. Genesis 17 indicates that this is the very nature of the sacrament. It confirms pre-existing blessings.

This statement is so strong that all sacramentalists (including Meyers) seek to make a disjunction between baptism and circumcision. If they work essentially the same way, then baptism is confirmatory of forgiveness of sins and does not confer it.

But this is precisely how baptism is described in the New Testament. The verses cited here do not say what Meyers is saying. The phrase baptizomai eis in the Greek does not denote conferring something that does not exist but confirming something that does. If we start reading our New Testaments in Matthew, then we find this phrase in John’s baptism. It says that it is a baptism for repentance. However, baptism does not confer repentance. Confession of sins was required to receive baptism. Then, those who confessed their sins were baptized. They confirmed their repentance outwardly in receiving baptism. Similarly, in 1 Cor. 10, the Israelites are said to be baptized “into Moses.” This did not mean that they didn’t have Moses before. It means that they were confirmed in his leadership as the parallel and source for this idea, Ex. 14:31, indicates. Christ is confirmed to us in baptism. This is the meaning in all the passages that you mentioned. Thus, our baptism teaches us that we have all the benefits of Christ, since He is the one who is confirmed to us.

The notion of being “buried with Christ” is simply a reference to the outward sign by which it was shown to them that they were buried and raised with him. It is derived from the common method of immersion that was used in the ancient near east.

This is explicitly confirmed in 1 Pet. 3:21, which says that baptism “saves us.” It says that it is not the washing of water that saves us but the answer of a good conscience toward God. As with John’s baptism, being baptized symbolizes not only God’s promises but also our repentance. It is the faith and repentance that is confirmed in baptism that saves us. Baptism saves insofar as it is representative of the answer of the good conscience. Thus, it is confirmatory not conferring a benefit that does not already exist.

As for Acts 22:16, it does not say that baptism itself washes away sin. It refers this to calling on the name of the Lord, for anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Rom. 10:13). However, if someone does call upon the Lord for salvation, it makes sense to baptize such a person as the outward confirmation of what God has already done inwardly. This is exactly how Calvin interprets this passage, as you can read in his commentary on Acts. This is also the same reason that baptism is said to be “for (eis)” remission of sins.

It is the misunderstanding of these passages, taking them out of their linguistic and Old Testament context that led to my former errors which I once shared with Jeffrey Meyers.

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23 Comments on “Baptism, The Washing Of Regeneration”

  1. “The problem is that many cannot see that the FV view of baptism is not Reformed, much less biblical. ”

    I find it hard to believe that true Christians can’t discern this as a false gospel.

    “Many Baptists too, some of whom periodically comment on this blog, routinely confuse this FV doctrine of baptism with the Reformed one.”

    Not me. It’s not enough close.

    “Note carefully how closely Aaron, and by extension Meyers, parallels the Reformed doctrine of baptism and I think you can understand why so many have been fooled:”

    Really? The Reformed/Christian view of baptism is not at all what Aaron describes, especially that it confers forgiveness of sin. In fact, it’s hard to believe that anyone who thinks as Aaron does is a Christian.

  2. Edit: “It’s not EVEN close.”

  3. “When were Paul’s sins forgiven? When was he “converted”? On the road to Damascus or in Damascus when Ananias poured the water over his head in the name of the triune God? The text is pretty clear.”

    What the heck is Meyes talking about? The text (Acts 9:17-19) simply indicates that Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit, which does not necessarily refer to his being converted, and that may have occurred before he was baptized; the text is not clear about that. What is clear is that Paul was converted the same time all believers are converted, that is, at the time that they believe (duh). Gal.1:16 and Acts 26:16-17 connect Paul’s calling as an Apostle with his conversion. I’ve never heard a Christian deny this or suggest some efficasy of baptism, only RC’s, Anglicans and Lutherans. Baptism doesn’t regenerate us, sanctify us, or confer a status upon us. Those who think such have no clue as to what the true gospel is.

  4. Hugh McCann Says:

    I shan’t repeat the lengthy posts on sacerdotalists’ baptisms at ‘Jeffrey Meyers – Baptism and the Forgiveness of Sin,’ but merely mention ’em…

  5. theoldadam Says:

    The Lord can certainly save apart from Baptism.

    But the reverse is true also.

    The Lord can darn well save with Baptism, as well.

    Naaman. 1st Peter. Gal. 4. Romans 6. Acts 2:38…and more.

    He commanded it. So He’s in it. The same applies to the Lord’s Supper.

    Grace before faith. That is how God works.

  6. Hugh McCann Says:

    Random phrases
    Obscure theology
    Buried in
    Lutheran haiku

  7. Hugh McCann Says:

    ‘Baptism, which corresponds to this [delivering Noah & Co out of the flood], now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.’ {1 Peter 3:21, ESV}

    Strict Lutherans view the sacs as efficacious: mystic, consubstantial bread & cleansing holy water.

    But the Bible depicts baptism as being the washing away of sins, and hence, not a physical act dispensed by a hierarchical priesthood, but the regeneration of sinful hearts by the absolute sovereign God of the Bible {Titus 3:5}.

    Meyers will prolly go Eastern Orthodox, since he abominates what Luther got right about law & gospel.

  8. theoldadam, what do you think God does in baptism to save someone? Does He regenerate them? Does He in some mystical way change them by/through the rite? It is by the truth, the knowledge thereof, that God changes/sanctifies/regenerates and saves someone. John 8:32, 17:17. Or does God bestow the status of justified (forgiven)based on (as a reward for) submitting to the rite? (Note that in Acts 2:39, repentance comes before being baptized.) Or are you saying that it is a matter of the timing of receiving a change in status? That is, only after being baptized is the change in status accorded; but the basis of our status of justified/forgiven is not our baptism, nor our faith, nor our sanctification, but Christ’s work alone.

  9. Gary Says:

    Dear Baptist/evangelical brothers and sisters in Christ,

    I ask you to consider these points:

    1. When God said that he would preserve his Word, what did he mean?
    Did he mean that he would preserve the original papyrus and parchment upon which his Word was written? If so, then his Word has disappeared as none of the original manuscripts remain.

    Did he mean that he would preserve his word in the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek only? He would not preserve his Word when it was translated into all the other languages of the world?

    Or did God mean that he would preserve his Word…the message/the words…the Gospel: the free gift of salvation, and the true doctrines of the Christian Faith? Would God allow his Word/his message to mankind to be so polluted by translation errors that no translation, into any other language from the three original languages, continues to convey his true words?

    2. There IS no translation of the Bible, from the original ancient languages, into any language, anywhere on earth, that translates the Bible as the Baptists/evangelicals believe it should be translated.

    No Bible translation on earth translates Acts 2:38 as, “Repent and believe in Jesus Christ every one of you and you will receive the Holy Ghost. Then be baptized as a public profession of your faith.”

    There is no translation that translates, into any language, Acts 22:16 as, “ And now why tarriest thou? arise, believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Then be baptized.” Not a single translation in the entire world translates that verse in any way remotely resembling the manner in which Baptists believe it should be translated.

    Isn’t that a problem?

    And this verse, I Peter 3:21 as, “Asking Christ into your heart in a spiritual baptism, which water Baptism symbolizes, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,”

    And Mark 16:16 as, “He that believes will be saved, and then baptized, but he that does not believe will be condemned.”

    Why would God allow EVERY English translation of the Bible throughout history to be mistranslated or use such confusing language as to suggest that God forgives sins in Baptism? And not only all English translations, ALL translations of the Bible have retained these “mistranslations or confusing wording”.

    Do you honestly believe that God would allow his Word to be so polluted with translation errors that EVERY Bible in the world, if read in its simple, plain interpretation, would tell all the people of the world that God forgives sins in water baptism??

    3. Why is there not one single piece of evidence from the early Christians that indicates that ANYONE in the 800-1,000 years after Christ believed that: Water baptism is ONLY a public profession of faith/act of obedience; sins are NOT forgiven in water baptism? Yes, you will find statements by these early Christians that salvation is by faith, but do Baptists and evangelicals really understand how a sinner obtains saving faith? THAT IS THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION, MY FRIENDS! Does the sinner produce faith by his own free will or does God provide faith and belief as a gift, and if God does provide faith and belief as a free gift, with no strings attached, when exactly does God give it?

    4. Is it possible that: Baptist-like believers, at some point near or after 1,000 AD, were reading the Bible and came across verses that read “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” and “Call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved” and established their doctrine of Salvation/Justification first, based on these and similar verses alone, and then, looked at the issue of water baptism, and since the idea that God forgives sins in water baptism doesn’t seem to fit with the verses just mentioned, re-interpreted these verses to fit with their already established doctrine, instead of believing the “baptism verses” literally?

    Is it possible that BOTH groups of verses are literally correct?? If we believe God’s Word literally, he says that he saves/forgives sins when sinners believe/call AND when they are baptized? Why not believe that God can give the free gift of salvation in both situations: when a sinner hears the Gospel and believes and when a sinner is baptized?

    Should we re-interpret God’s plain, simple words just because they don’t seem to make sense to us?

    Dear Baptist/evangelical brothers and sisters, your doctrine is very well thought out and very reasonable…but it is wrong. Do you really believe that God would require an education in ancient Greek or a Greek lexicon to understand what he really wants to say to you? And do you really believe that Baptist “Greek” scholars understand Greek better than the Greeks themselves? If the Greek language, correctly translated, states in the Bible that Baptism is only a public profession of faith as Baptists say, then why do the Greek Orthodox believe that the Greek Bible plainly says, in Greek, that God forgives sins in water baptism? Somebody doesn’t know their Greek!

    Please investigate this critical doctrine further. Do you really want to appear before our Lord in heaven one day and find out that you have been following a false doctrine invented in the sixteenth century by Swiss Ana-baptists?

    God bless you!


  10. Sean Gerety Says:

    Thank you Dr. Crampton.

  11. Lauren Kuo Says:

    Federal Visionists have to attach substance to the sign (water baptism) because the sign is all they have. John the Baptist addresses these sign-without-substance folks as “the offspring of vipers” (Luke 6).

  12. Lauren Kuo Says:

    Correction: Luke 3

  13. justbybelief Says:


    “when a sinner hears the Gospel and believes and when a sinner is baptized?”

    I’m not sure whether I can get my meaning across, but I’ll try. Here goes.

    When you speak of Baptism you surely don’t mean a ‘ritual’ of applying water (I’ll avoid the ‘mode’ issue for now) devoid of words. That is, a qualified person wouldn’t go around sprinkling people without saying what it is that he’s doing, correct? The act of baptism is known for what it is precisely because the Word of God is what makes it so, true? And apart from the Word of God none would have any idea what’s going on.

    Can it rightly be called baptism if the Word of God (specifically, the Gospel) is not joined with it at the time of the ceremony?


  14. Bob S Says:

    “Can it rightly be called baptism if the Word of God (specifically, the Gospel) is not joined with it at the time of the ceremony?”

    The Word must accompany the sacrament or it is no sacrament.
    IOW there’s a reason there’s something called ‘the words of institution’ in the administration of communion.
    This also points to the primacy of the Word. While we ought not to detract from the sacraments, they are strictly speaking unnecessary, i.e. neither baptism or communion are converting ordinances per se. Only the Word accomplishes that.

    “If the Greek language, correctly translated, states in the Bible that Baptism is only a public profession of faith as Baptists say, then why do the Greek Orthodox believe that the Greek Bible plainly says, in Greek, that God forgives sins in water baptism? Somebody doesn’t know their Greek!”

    Because the bible is spiritually discerned and the Greek orthodox, like the papists and the FV are obsessed with externals. It is much easier to walk by sight than by faith. Baptism is a sign of a spiritual reality, not the thing itself. Or are all who are baptized saved? (Is the bread literally and truly the trans-substantiated body of Christ?) Rome, the EO, the FV and Lutherans say yes, no?

  15. Sean Gerety Says:

    I really thought all my baptist friend would have been all over my reference to Dr. Crampton who is a baptist. Oh well.

  16. Bob S Says:

    You had me going Sean, until I clicked through to the lutheran site. Huh? Since when did Crampton apostatize further? Do the inconsistencies never quit on the internet?

  17. Denson Dube Says:

    Gary, Gary, Gary, what’s up dude?
    It is not possible to read anything without an “interpretive grid”. There is no “given”. The message of the Bible has to be deciphered.

    Just one passage from the New Testament; the thief on the cross never had the opportunity to get baptized, yet Jesus promised him, “Today, thou shalt be with me in Paradise.” Hence, some are saved without baptism and if some are saved without baptism, your baptismal regeneration is false.

  18. justbybelief Says:

    “The Word must accompany the sacrament or it is no sacrament… neither baptism or communion are converting ordinances per se. Only the Word accomplishes that.”


  19. gary Says:

    Your comments reflect a major misconception that evangelicals and the Reformed have of orthodox Christians. Lutherans do not believe that baptism is necessary (mandatory) for salvation. Not even the Roman Catholic Church believes this. All the saints of the Old Testament, the thief on the cross, and thousand of martyrs down through the centuries have been saved without Baptism. Baptism is not the “how” of salvation!

    Lutherans believe that baptism is one of several possible “when”s of salvation, it is not the “how” of salvation. The “how” of salvation is and always has been the power of God’s Word/God’s declaration of righteousness.

    A sinner can be saved by the power of God’s Word when he hears the Word preached in a church, preached on TV or radio, reading a Gideon’s Bible in a hotel room, or reading a Gospel tract that contains the Word. Salvation is by God’s grace alone, through the power of his Word alone, received in faith alone. In each of these situations, the sinner is saved the instant he or she believes. Baptism is NOT mandatory for salvation to occur.

    However, the Bible in multiple passages, also states that God uses his Word to save at the time of Baptism.

    It is the work of the Holy Spirit, using the Word of God, that works salvation in the sinner’s spiritually dead soul, according to the second chapters of Ephesians and Colossians, and the third chapter of Romans. Your “decision for Christ” does not save you, neither does your decision to be baptized.

    God saves those whom he has elected, at the time and place of his choosing. Sometimes God saves them while hearing a sermon in church, sometimes at home reading the Word, and sometimes by the power of his Word spoken during Baptism.

    God does 100% of the saving. The sinner is a passive participant in his salvation. There is no passage in the New Testament that asks sinners to make a decision for Christ. The Bible states that God quickens sinners, gives them faith, and they believe and repent.

    The sinner does not decide to be saved. God decides to save the sinner!

    Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals

  20. gary Says:

    Can you really trust your English Bible to be God’s true Word?

    Have you ever had an evangelical or Reformed Christian say this to you:

    “THAT passage of the Bible, in the original Greek, does NOT mean what the simple, plain reading of the passage seems to say in English.”

    It happens to me all the time in my conversations with Baptists, evangelicals, and fundamentalists on my blog. They state: “Repent and be baptized…for the forgiveness of sins” was mistranslated. “This is my body…this is my blood” is a metaphorical expression, “Baptism does now save us” is figurative speech for what happens to us spiritually when we ask Christ into our hearts.

    What they are basically saying is that unless you speak ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek…you can’t read and really understand the Bible without the help of an educated Churchman!

    This morning I came across an excellent article on this subject, written by Jordan Cooper, a Lutheran pastor. I am going to give the link to his article below. I have copied a couple of his statements here:

    “So here is a question that we all need to ask ourselves when doing this (refusing to accept the simple, plain, English translation of a passage of Scripture): If a verse seems to disprove your theological beliefs, and you translate it in some way that doesn’t fit with any of the dozens of major English translations of the Bible, and that unique translation just happens to fit your own theological biases, could it be that it is in fact you who are in the wrong? Could you be reading your own preconceived theological convictions back into the text?”

    ” I know it can be frustrating when you are constantly told that Scripture can’t be understood unless you learn (an ancient) language or read ancient documents that you don’t have either the time or the energy to study. Honestly, if you have a few good English translations at your side, and you take the time to compare them to one another, you have all the tools you need to understand the meaning of the Bible.

    Link to Pastor Cooper’s original article:

  21. gary Says:

    To answer your question above: “Baptism” without the Word is just getting wet. It is the power of God’s Word that saves, acting in and through the water that makes Baptism, baptism.

    Many have been saved PRIOR to baptism by hearing the Gospel preached. The Word quickens their dead souls, gives them faith, and they believe and repent. They ARE saved there and then.

    They should then be baptized for the forgiveness of sins and to “put on Christ”. The person who dies on the way to the baptismal font will be saved. The person who rejects or ignores the command to be baptized, may wake up one day in hell!

    It is not the lack of baptism that damns, it is the lack of true belief, true faith, that damns.

  22. gary Says:

    I Corinthians 15:29

    Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?

    This is a very odd passage of Scripture. The Mormons use this passage as the basis for their belief in Baptism for the Dead. I will present the orthodox Christian/Lutheran view of this passage below, but first I would like us to look at something else in this passage that is odd:

    If the Church in Corinth had been taught by the Apostle Paul that the manner in which one is saved is to pray (verbally or nonverbally) a sincere, penitent, prayer/petition to God, such as a version of the Sinner’s Prayer, why does this passage of God’s Holy Word discuss baptisms for the dead and not “prayers for the dead”, specifically, praying a version of the Sinner’s Prayer for the dead?

    Isn’t that really odd? No matter what activity was actually going on in the Corinthian church regarding “the dead”, why is the discussion/controversy about baptism and not the “true” means of salvation according to Baptists and evangelicals: an internal belief in Christ; an internal “decision” for Christ?

    And even more odd…why didn’t Paul scold the Corinthians for focusing so much on baptism which he had surely taught them (according to Baptists and evangelicals) was nothing other than an act of obedience; a public profession of faith??

    Why so much emphasis on baptism?

    Is it possible that the reason that the Corinthians were so concerned about baptism is that they had been taught by the Apostle Paul and other Christian evangelists that salvation and the promise of the resurrection of the dead and eternal life are received in Baptism, just as orthodox Christians, including Lutherans, have been teaching for almost 2,000 years??

    Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals

  23. justbybelief Says:

    Here’s the sinner’s ‘prayer’ and an appropriate response of a converted heart by one having been justified by faith alone clothed with Christ’s imputed righteousness having put on Christ : “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”

    And Jesus’ response: “I tell you, this man went to his house justified…”

    Of course after this has occurred by God’s merciful decree we have the Lutherans falsely claiming (making God a liar) that a person can become unjustified, that is, lose their salvation.

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