Justification from Eternity: Objections Answered

Tonight while reading articles online I found some objections to justification from eternity answered here by Job Hupton.

Object. 6th. “The apostle Paul does not say whom he justified them he also called, but whom he called them he also justified. Rom. viii. 30.”

This objection is founded upon a notion that the Sovereign Disposer of all things has, in his wise and wonderful counsel, arranged spiritual blessings exactly in the same order in which they are mentioned in the revelation of them. But this notion cannot be right; because the holy scriptures do not always mention the same things, in the same order ; and therefore, not always in the order in which they stand, in the divine economy, in which there can be no variation. In Rom. viii. 29, 30, predestination, the same with election, is mentioned before calling; but in 1 Peter i. 10, and again in Rev. xvii. 14, calling stands in order before election ; yet nothing is more evident than, the priority of election to calling : the former took place in eternity, the latter takes place in time ; and, indeed, the above notion, if admitted, will effectually confute your favorite opinion, and establish justification before faith ; for we are told, that God bath saved us, and called us. Here salvation is mentioned before calling, and you know that, as there is no faith without calling, so there is no salvation without justification. Though the apostle in the place referred to, does say, ,whom he called them he also justified,” nothing can be concluded from his words, hostile to eternal justification ; for the construction of them does not make it necessary, to understand him as speaking of justification, as subsequent to calling, though, perhaps, the connexion in which they stand does ; therefore, it is best to interpret them as meaning justification in the conscience, which takes place when we believe, and is perfectly consistent with eternal justification in Christ: for the former is, in fact, nothing but the latter shining into the heart, in the rays of the gospel, and the beams of the divine Spirit.

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4 thoughts on “Justification from Eternity: Objections Answered

  1. Thanks for posting this. I have Philpot’s work on this, along with Gill, Kuyper, and Reymond. I was unaware of Job Hupton until your post. It got me going on this subject again. I have a file with the sources from the Theopedia article. Fred Zaspel is cited in that article, and is a personal friend. We disagree on this. I fail to see how it can consistently be held to be “forensic” as Reformed theology has taught, and not be “eternal” in God’s perspective (which is all that matters!). It is either a decree in the high court of heaven pronounced by the Sovereign ruler of all or it is not. If not, It ends up being temporal and experiential, and is taught as such by so many that there is no wonder that 1) it so often gets confused with sanctification, and 2) that progressive justification (a Romish error) is now creeping into evangelical circles. The timing of imputation (double) is also an essential issue in this debate, or at least it ought to be! It is in these two areas: 1) the forensic, decreetal nature of justification, and 2) the placement of its constituent elements (double imputation) in salvation history, where there is inconsistency on the part of the majority of the Reformed in their thinking on this doctrine. I suspect that most are prejudiced against it “out of the gate” due to the guilt by association with the labels “hyper-Calvinism” and “antinomianism”. This is unfortunate, but the baggage is so deep seated now that it is hard to get this debate off on the right foot in most circles. Hopefully exposure to Hupton will gain a reading on the Biblical merits of the case, and some will be led “back to the drawing board” on this issue. One can only hope!

  2. Bill McDaniel really “gets it”! This sermon by him on this subject is “hitting on all 8 cylinders”! What he emphasizes in this message is precisely what I believe, and where my concerns lay when this doctrine is denied.

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