Kinnaird Paper Number 3
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PAPER NO. 3
Kinnaird Appeal Rehearing
Kinnaird’s interaction with REASONS
This is Elder Kinnaird’s Interaction with the “REASONS for verdict of 1/25/03” report of the Session.
In much of the report of the Session they reach the conclusion that I am a false teacher, “teaching a doctrine of justification by faith and works,” on the ground that they find my teaching to contain or to be “confusion”, “inadequate differentiation”, “very troubling”, “denigrating”, “particularly poor nomenclature”, “giving an impression”, “not couched with balance”, “appearing to attribute”, “gratuitous”, “presumptuous”, “improper”, etc. In the following interaction with the report, I will not address the issues raised by the Session’s use of such words. My counsel, in Paper No. 2 submitted herewith, has already adequately addressed the Session’s use of those sentiments to express their reasons for finding me to be a heretic, a false teacher. Herein I will address only questions of fact and doctrine.
To assist the reader, my remarks will have my initials at the end of each remark.
I think the reader ought to be aware that a number of those who brought and prosecuted the charge against me have declared themselves to not believe in the efficacy of regeneration, sanctification, and glorification to deliver the Christian from his sinful estate (I quote from the letter of 6/22/02 to the session – “The dominion of sin is not destroyed in sanctification” [contrary to WCF XIII.1] and “once a sinner always a sinner” and Christians remain “simultaneously just and sinner throughout all eternity future” and/or to not believe that any Christians will be present at the Last Judgement. Others among them seem to believe that Christians, if present at the Judgement, will be there only to receive individual rewards based on their particular area of and degree of faithfulness to this or that command – rewards they will have won and which God will therefore be obligated to give to them and them alone. It is not surprising to me that such people find the teachings of our Confession and Catechisms, indeed of the Scriptures, offensive. – JOK
TRIAL of John 0 Kinnaird:
REASONS for verdict of 1/25/03
The Interim Session of Bethany OPC, Oxford, PA met on three Saturdays (11/23/02, 11/30/02, & 1/25/03) to hear the evidence regarding the teachings of Elder John 0. Kinnaird. On the last day the five men of the session deliberated and announced its decision to find Mr. Kinnaird guilty of the charge: "with the teaching of a doctrine of justification by faith and works, contrary to the Word of God and the Westminster Standards." Note that our task was to focus upon the three Specifications (taken from three separate documents) in the charges brought by the accusers, and ONLY upon these three Specifications. Many other statements made by Elder Kinnaird may have been above reproach and largely beneficial to the Body of Christ.
The following are the session's reasons for coming to such a verdict:
1) An overall assessment of the importance of the matter
The WLC #77 states:
Q. 77. Wherein do justification and sanctification differ?
A. Although sanctification be inseparably joined with justification, yet they differ, in that God in justification imputeth the righteousness of Christ; in sanctification his Spirit infuseth grace, and enableth to the exercise thereof; in the former, sin is pardoned; in the other, it is subdued: the one doth equally free all believers from the revenging wrath of God, and that perfectly in this life, that they never fall into condemnation; the other is neither equal in all, nor in this life perfect in any, but growing up to perfection.
Here our standards speak in terms of the perfection of justification and the "imperfection" of sanctification. The judicatory concluded that there was error, as well as confusion, in the statements of Elder Kinnaird that inadequately differentiated justification and sanctification.
Remark - I would refer the reader to my Brief in the first of the listed attachments of my appeal to Presbytery, especially in my response to the first statement in the first specification wherein I react with LC Q&A 77 and to my Theological Statements, (Sections on God’s Purpose, Work of Christ, Justification, Sanctification, Saving Faith, Summarizing God’s Answer, etc.) which were distributed previously to Presbytery by my pastor, to see that I do make quite adequate differentiation between justification and sanctification. In fact, it is I who first brought Q&A 77 into the discussion at the trial precisely to demonstrate to the judicatory that while justification and sanctification are inseparably joined, they are sharply differentiated. Justification is by imputation of the righteous active and passive obedience of Christ, and by that imputation of an alien righteousness to us we are perfectly and permanently delivered, on the day of our conversion, from the guilt of our sin. Sanctification, on the other hand, though not perfect in this life, continues that which began at regeneration and will culminate, through glorification, in a perfect real and personal righteousness of which we are the possessors of this gift of God whereby we are conformed to the image of the Son. Sanctification is, unlike justification, imperfect in this life. Sanctification, unlike justification which is by imputation, is by an infusion of grace – a work of the Holy Spirit. In sanctification, the dominion of sin is broken. The grace infused in sanctification enables the Christian to walk with God, though not perfectly, in this life, as promised in the gospel. It is precisely this differentiation between justification and sanctification that so offends my accusers as is evident by the point they raise in the first quotation in specification one. For the court to say I fail to differentiate, when my differentiation is what brought forth the charge, seems hard to understand. My three documents containing my entire testimony to the court (consisting of the Testimony of 11/30/02, the Testimony of 1/25/03, and my BRIEF filed on 1/25/03 – all attached to the appeal to the Presbytery) together with my Theological Statements made my differentiation of sanctification and justification clear to any who were present at the trial. Further the e-mail of 1/6/02, which the court had together with the four other e-mails, which the court did not have, also make this differentiation clear. Unfortunately, this concern about a failure to differentiate was not raised in the course of the trial. Otherwise we would have supplied the court with these other e-mails. The accusers clearly saw my differentiation. They just don’t like the results thereof.
All three documents cited as evidence in the charge (Theological Statements, sermon, and e-mails) are available to those who wish them from (email address deleted) or, if unable to receive documents by e-mail, call (phone number deleted).
I would also point out that the Catechism does not speak of sanctification as being “imperfect”. It speaks of it being imperfect in this life. God’s gift to every Christian, is to change the Christian from being totally corrupt to being totally righteous through the combined effect of regeneration, sanctification, and glorification. That will be perfect. This together with the forgiveness of our sin and adoption will enable us to see and commune with God, face to face, forever. That will be perfect. - JOK
Specifically, the judicatory noted that Elder Kinnaird's words taught that:
A) justification was not conclusive at conversion, and thus inadequate;
B) sanctification, by the believer's law‑keeping or good works or holiness (or some combination of these), finished the acceptance that God requires for entrance to heaven.
Remark - The Session declares that my words teach that justification was not conclusive at conversion and that Christians are sanctified by their good works. They furnish no words of mine that either explicitly or implicitly teach such doctrines. Not merely are such words not found in the trial documentation, they are not found in forty seven years of proclaiming the good news of the salvation accomplished by Christ and applied to man by His Holy Spirit. The Session does not supply such words because such words are not to be found. Quite to the contrary, I everywhere teach that justification at conversion is absolutely final, conclusive and irreversible. Quite to the contrary, I teach that sanctification produces good works – not the other way around as proclaimed without evidence by the court. I ask you to read my Theological Statements and my Brief (attached to the appeal to Presbytery). These are documents the court had before them. Words such as the Court declares to be are not found therein, nor in any other words of mine. At the Presbytery meeting on February 22, I requested of the Trial Judicatory that if they have such words, they produce them. Four times since that meeting, I have requested the Moderator and the Clerk of the Trial Judicatory to produce those words. They have not done so. They cannot. Such words do not exist.
There are however, words such as follow are found in the Evidence supplied to the judicatory by the accuser:
The following statements are found in the Declaration found attached to my Theological Statements:
“To this faith nothing of saving virtue can be added. [words had been – to this faith nothing can be added.] Nothing!”
“This Declaration speaks to God’s use of faith as His alone instrument of salvation.”
”It is to be noted that true saving faith, in the words of the Westminster Confession of Faith, rests on Christ alone for three gifts – justification, sanctification, and eternal life. It is to be further noted that these three gifts are given to the Christian by virtue of the Covenant of Grace. (WCF XIV.I and II) To this resting on Christ alone for salvation nothing of saving virtue can be added by man. [words had been – To this saving faith, nothing can be added.]”
In the Theological Statements are found the following (With the Statement title at the end of each):
“All those whom God calls he freely justifies, not by infusing righteousness into them but by imputing the righteousness of Christ to their account by virtue of the merit of the life and death of Christ. Neither faith, nor the act of believing, nor any other evangelical obedience, is credited to them, only the active and passive obedience of Christ. The Christian receives and rests upon Him and His righteousness alone, by faith alone, which is a gift alone of God and nothing of man.” – JUSTIFICATION
“All those who are called and justified in Christ Jesus, all those who are begotten from above by the seed of the Father as applied by the Holy Spirit, have a new heart created within them and are given the gift of the Holy Spirit, in fulfillment of the promises of Ezekiel 36:16-28 and Jeremiah 31:31-34. God causes them to be really and personally sanctified, not by infusion of the righteousness of Christ nor by imputation of the same, but by the action of the Holy Spirit upon them, through faith, based on the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection. This Holy Spirit dwelling within them causes them to walk in righteousness before the Lord, keeping His laws and His ordinances…. Sanctification is the gift of God given through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ based on the merits of Christ to all the Children of God in this day and age. Through this sanctification the dominion of this body of sin (original sin dwelling therein) is destroyed and the people of God are, in this life, now, quickened and strengthened to the practice of true holiness without which no man shall see the Lord. This sanctification is imperfect in this life and yet through the continual work of the Holy Spirit the new man does overcome the flesh and so we grow in grace perfecting holiness in the fear of God. The process of sanctification will be completed at the Glorification.” –SANCTIFICATION
“Faith is a gift of God to the Christian given by virtue of the Covenant of Grace and based on the merits of Christ. It is a work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the Christian both drawing him to Christ and sustaining him in Christ throughout his earthly journey. It is God’s alone instrument of salvation but it is never alone but is always accompanied by all those other saving graces given by God to each and every one of His Children… To this resting on Christ alone for salvation nothing of saving virtue can be added by man. [words had been – To this faith, nothing can be added.]” – SAVING FAITH
“Thus we see that the Covenant of Grace produces the graces of salvation addressing not only man’s actual sins committed, but also his sinfulness (the original sin with which he was individually created by natural generation) and his loss of an inheritance right to the Kingdom due to the imputed guilt for Adam’s sin. We see that all three of God’s solutions for our problems are given by grace through faith and that all are none of ourselves.” – SUMMARIZING GOD’S ANSWER TO OUR PROBLEMS
“Good works always adorn the profession of the gospel and they serve the purpose of glorifying God. Believers are the workmanship of God. They are created in Christ Jesus unto good works that God has before ordained that they should walk therein, that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life. The good works of a Christian are not meritorious toward salvation but they are intrinsically good, for they are a work of God the Holy Spirit who both causes God’s Children to will and to actually do them. (WCF XVI.I through VI) God’s people walk with God by faith in this world. This walk is not perfect (due to indwelling sin) but it is real. Good works are not added to faith for salvation. Good works are the certain fruit of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit working through faith in the life of the believer and will be the evidence on the Day of Judgement that God is righteous and just in all His judgements. (Romans 2:1-16)” – GOOD WORKS
The following are from the e-mails:
“Now the justification spoken of in chapter XI is a once in time event. Logically there are about four things that happen one after the other. Temporally, they pretty much happen at one time. These are calling, repentance, faith, and justification. In this justification, we who had been under condemnation, due to the three problems mentioned, are declared to be righteous AND our legal status before God is changed from condemned to justified. That new legal status can NEVER be reversed.” – 12/18/01
“And as I said, that justification by God consequent to effectual calling not only declares the man righteous, it constitutes him or moves him into the category of those justified. Since this can never be reversed or denied, he is forever there.” – 12/19/01
“We have, in an e-mail to Terry Gray, through this discussion group, on December 19, spoken of Justification as being a forensic act, not a process, whereby He declares a man to be righteous. For we who were once condemned, that act of God has the effect of forever irreversibly changing our legal status before Him from condemned to justified.” – 12/24/01
“Now if the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, would it not follow that we would less and less sin and more and more walk in faithfulness to God's holy law? With the Holy Spirit causing us to both will to do and actually do the will of God, according to Philippians 2:13, would it not be true, as the Confession says, that we will be more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces to the actual practice in our lives of true holiness? WCF XIII.1. Does it not follow that God's elect will actually do those good works, in this life, for which we were created, and which God has predestined that we shall walk therein. We, we who are the Elect, and our good works, are the workmanship of God.” – 12/24/01
“Our confession, which so many of my readers profess, says that we who are in Christ Jesus, are sanctified really and personally by the Spirit and Word of Christ to the practice, in this life, of true holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.” – 01/06/03
From the above quotations, one can see that I actually teach the very opposite of that which the judicatory alleges I teach in their opening remarks wherein they claim to have, but fail to produce, words proving their contentions A and B.
The three pieces of sworn testimony by Elder Kinnaird, – the BRIEF, the examination of 11/30/02, and the examination 0f 01/25/03 – all attached to the appeal presented to Presbytery, also clearly refute the allegation by the judicatory that I teach precepts A and B
One of the problems we had with this court in the course of the trial was that early on, by rulings of the Moderator, they shifted the burden of proof from the accuser, to the accused (See the sixth listed attachment to the appeal to Presbytery, objections 6 and 7, as well as the introduction to the BRIEF, also attached to the appeal). In the matter of this claim by the court that they have words of mine that prove that I teach these two false doctrines, they offer nothing as proof. They leave it to me to prove I did not say such things. I can only prove that I did not say such things by requesting the commissioners to this meeting of Presbytery to read for themselves the Appeal and its attachments as well as the papers herewith submitted. – JOK
The matter of this error might seem trivial to some observing the trial, but the Standards (as well as other doctrinal standards taken by others in Protestant Christendom; e.g., Heidelberg Catechism #1,21,30,56,60‑64) make clear that such a teaching goes to the heart of Protestantism, let alone Calvinism. Thus, the judicatory believed that such an error is most grievous to sound doctrine.
2) Regarding the first Specification
Quotes were taken from Elder Kinnaird's Personal Declaration and Theological Statements:
The first statement was made, “. . . Neither the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, which all Christians receive at justification ...can suffice for that purpose. [i.e., the "purpose" is stated to be "fully conformed to the image of Christ in true and personal righteousness and holiness," as written in the prior sentence]. This statement the judicatory found very troubling, as the statement on face value is denigrating the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on behalf of His people.
Remark – It should be noted clearly, at this point that it is not the work of Christ of which I say that it can not suffice for conforming us to the righteousness of Christ. It is the imputation, or crediting of that work, that cannot suffice for that particular purpose. Indeed, it is right here that the issue comes to focus. Does the crediting of an alien righteousness to us make us really and personally righteous in justification or is it the infusion of grace in sanctification, continuing what began at regeneration and which will culminate at glorification, that makes us really and personally righteous and fully conformed to the image of the Son in eternity future? The Scripture, our confessional standards, and I say that in justification we, personally and truly, are credited with an alien righteousness – that of Christ’s active and passive obedience. The three of us say that in regeneration, sanctification, and glorification, we are changed, really and personally, such that we will then have as our very own, as a result of a gift of pure grace, a righteousness in which we are conformed to the image of Christ. That I say this will be clear if you read my Theological Statements, e-mails, and BRIEF. - JOK
Cf. WCF "On Justification," 11, 1 to 3:
I. Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth: not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous: not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness, by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God.
II. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification: yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love.
III. Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to his Father's justice in their behalf. Yet, inasmuch as he was given by the Father for them; and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead; and both, freely, not for anything in them; their justification is only of free grace; that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners.
The above underlined portions exclude the contribution of the believer's works. They explicitly speak of Christ's work "alone," His obedience and satisfaction and righteousness; His FULL discharge of our debt, His proper, real, and FULL satisfaction of the Father's justice.
Remark – Yes, indeed. The works of a Christian are fully excluded from justification. This writer never said otherwise – not even once - in forty-seven years of Christian testimony. JOK
Elder Kinnaird's quote continues, "If we are to be conformed to his [Christ's] image, we too must have a real and personal righteousness." This statement gives the impression that Christ's work and death are insufficient, since His work cannot "suffice" to pay for His people's salvation.
Remark – Again, I repeat. I did not say that Christ’s “work cannot suffice to pay for His people’s salvation.” I have everywhere said that only His work can suffice to merit salvation – Regeneration, Justification, Adoption, Sanctification, Glorification. The court is confusing the finished work of Christ that forms the sole ground of salvation with the on-going work of Christ’s Spirit that forms us fit for dwelling with God. Justification is applied by imputation. Sanctification is applied by an infusion of grace. Further, they confuse sanctification with justification. When I am talking about the imputation of the work of Christ as not applying the effects of regeneration-sanctification-glorification, they quote the section on justification to me. JOK
Note: The word "suffice" is a particularly poor nomenclature in Elder Kinnaird's Declaration... (no matter what point Elder Kinnaird is trying to make), since Webster's defines "suffice" as: "to meet or satisfy a need" or "to be enough for." The judicatory considered it a great error in teaching that Christ's work for our salvation does not "suffice" in a particular area.
Remark - The court keeps repeating a falsehood about what I said. It is no wonder that they reach a false conclusion in what they say below. But I need to return to the question about my use of the word suffice – how I used the word and what the word, as used, means. There are two misconceptions concerning what is being said here. First, it is not being said that the righteousness of Christ can not suffice for the purpose; rather it is said that the imputation of that righteousness can not suffice for the purpose. Secondly, some are making a double mistake of reading the phrase as saying the righteousness of Christ is insufficient for the purpose. However, not only does the word [not] suffice not refer to the righteousness of Christ, it does not speak to the question of quality. As used in Elder Kinnaird’s statement the word suffice refers to function. Among the many definitions of the word suffice found in Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary are these: to answer the purpose or requirements of and to meet the needs of. What is needed by the sinner in order that he might be conformed to the image of Christ is a restoration of his nature so that he is no longer by nature a sinner. The purpose of regeneration-sanctification-glorification is to change that nature and conform the former sinner into person suitable to be a brother of Christ having a real and personal righteousness (as opposed to an alien imputed righteousness). Regeneration-sanctification-glorification answers that purpose and meets that need; imputation does not. It requires an infusion of grace; not an imputation. However, the righteous active and passive obedience of Christ remains the sole meritorious ground of the sinner’s regeneration-sanctification-glorification. – JOK
To make the statement is then to countenance the law-abiding works of believers as making up, by their own efforts, what is lacking in Christ's work for their salvation and thereby securing their own salvation. This wrongly adds the element of the believers' own works as the necessary condition to be pronounced righteous on the Day of Judgment.
Elder Kinnaird's "real and personal righteousness" is presented as something additional in some way; and it is not clearly stated in what way.
Remark – Sanctification, in which grace is infused to produce a real and personal righteousness, IS IN ADDITION TO justification, in which the active and passive obedience of Christ are credited to our account for the forgiveness of sin. Is that not clear in our creeds? It certainly is clear in my teaching. JOK
The righteousness that the believer depends on is always Christ's,
Remark – Yes, indeed. It is His righteousness we depend on; also, it is in hope of a real and personal righteousness (as distinct from an alien righteousness imputed to us—really and personally ours) that we await our deliverance. In justification the reality of the righteousness of Christ’s active and passive obedience becomes personally ours. In regeneration, sanctification and glorification our nature is changed such that it becomes righteous as God’s righteousness is infused in us. JOK
whether imputed in Justification or imparted in Sanctification, and is always "accounted" and "accepted" as if it was our real and personal righteousness (cf. 2 Cor. 5:21, WLC, #72). Elder Kinnaird's statements, are erroneous distortions of clear biblical teaching.
Remark – The court makes a serious theological error here. It is not the righteousness of Christ, neither his attribute of righteousness nor the righteousness of his obedience, that is imparted in sanctification. And it is not “as if it was our real and personal righteousness”; it IS our real and personal righteousness. It is our righteousness that is produced, by the infusion of grace, in sanctification (with regeneration and glorification). It is of Christ and it is by a work of the Holy Spirit, but we come to possess it and it is ours. We are by God’s grace, through faith, transformed from sinful man to righteous sons of God, brothers with Christ, heirs fit for the Kingdom our Father gives us. YES, I teach this, as does the Scripture and our Confession and Catechisms. JOK
A second quote taken from Elder Kinnalrd's Declaration . . . says, 'It is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous on that Day of Judgement." This quote is taken from his section subtitled "The Final Judgement." However, this statement (cited with WCF 33,1 &2, Romans 2:1‑16) is not couched with the balance of teaching that the WCF does, by clarifying that the deciding factor for being denied entrance into everlasting life is to "obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ" (WCF 33,2).
Remark - There is an unjustified leap here. Yes, the Confession says that those who “obey not the gospel…” are denied entrance. But I was speaking of those who are NOT DENIED ENTRANCE. Of these, the Scripture says, “It is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous” and the Confession says that they will “receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil. The end of God’s appointing this day is for the manifestation of the glory of his mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect…For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life…”, and our Larger Catechism says, “At the day of judgment, the righteous, being caught up to Christ in the clouds, shall be set on his right hand, and there openly acknowledged and acquitted…” In other words, there is a deciding factor for being granted entrance. And that is that they have been not only justified, but sanctified as well. And there is evidence of that sanctification, in this life, as they walk, though not perfectly, with God. As Ezekiel says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27) JOK
Elder Kinnalrd's statement appears to attribute the Christian's sanctification ("doing good" and "perseverance") as the deciding factor, thus gravely confusing justification and sanctification; AND to teach, effectively, a doctrine of justification of faith and works.
Remark - No, I do not teach that sanctification is the deciding factor. In the sense being used here by the court, I teach that justification and sanctification, along with adoption, are the deciding factors. Of course the ultimate deciding factor has been the grace of God whereby we were elect and called in Christ, the sole meritorious basis of which is the work of Christ, and the alone instrument of application of which is faith. JOK
Colossians 1:12‑14 speaks of how the Father "has qualified" believers to share in a heavenly inheritance. How? Through the Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Our "qualification" is by the Son's redemptive‑forgiving work on the Cross (cf. vss. 20‑22), not the sanctifying work of the Spirit. To use John Murray's words, it is the "redemption accomplished" part of our salvation through Christ which qualifies us for Judgment Day ‑‑ NOT the "redemption applied" part of our salvation through the Holy Spirit. [note chapter 3, "The Perfection of the Atonement," in his Redemption Accomplished and Applied ]
Remark – See my Counsel’s answer to the court in Paper 2 (point 7) submitted herewith. JOK
A Further Remark – The judicatory sets up a false dichotomy and, with it, makes a very troubling statement when they write, “Our ‘qualification’ is by the Son's redemptive‑forgiving work on the Cross (cf. vv. 20‑22), not the sanctifying work of the Spirit.” First, to set the Son’s redemptive work over against the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit as if it was either one or the other that “qualifies” us is a false dichotomy. Further, the judicatory overlooks the fact that the Son has not only a redemptive-forgiving work; he also has a redemptive-restoring work. He not only atoned for our sin on the cross – the redemptive-forgiving work; he also through his perfect meritorious active and passive obedience earned for his people the gift of the Holy Spirit to sanctify them – the redemptive-restorative work.
What is also troubling is their vague use of the word “qualification.” It is not immediately clear if they mean by that word that which is the meritorious basis of our salvation – the work of Christ; or do they mean that which applies to us. The next sentence, though setting forth false doctrine (as ably set forth in Mr. Tyson’s document, Paper 2) does define what they mean by “our qualification.” They mean the work of Christ. In this sense we would agree, the work of Christ is the alone meritorious basis and qualification of our entire salvation. However, had they meant that which happens to us to qualify us. Then the proper answer to what qualifies us is, along with all other benefits of salvation, our justification-forgiveness and our sanctification-restoration. That is why the sentence is such a false dichotomy. It sets the accomplishment of the redemptive-forgiving work of Christ over against the application by the Holy Spirit of the redemptive-restorative work of Christ. Our Confessional documents and Scripture tell us of the accomplishment of Salvation by Christ meriting both of the more obvious aspects of our salvation - the redemptive-forgiveness and the redemptive-restorative, as well as all other saving graces. Our documents and Scripture likewise teach us of the application of these two prominent aspects of our salvation – the redemptive-forgiving in justification and the redemptive-restorative in sanctification (along with regeneration and glorification). Teaching all of these truths is faithful to the OPC’s confessional posture and is not heresy. To not teach any one of them would be to be less than faithful to the gospel and to our subscription vows.- JOK
* The judicatory voted 4 to 1 (Watson) to find Mr. Kinnaird guilty regarding Specification 1.
3) Regarding the second Specification
Quotes were taken from a sermon by Elder Kinnaird entitled, “Though the Waters Roar and the Mountains Quake:”
"Thus we rightly conclude that those inside the city are those who have kept the law of God and those only," (referring to Revelation 19:8)
"... the decision ... made on that great day of judgement [is] in accordance with what you have done in this life." (referring to Romans 2: 6‑8 and Revelation 22:12).
These statements are contrary to the statements made in WCF 8,5, which speaks "Of Christ the Mediator"
V. The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience, and sacrifice of himself, which he, through the eternal Spirit, once offered up unto God, hath fully satisfied the justice of his Father; and purchased, not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven for all those whom the Father hath given unto him.
One Scripture verse cited at WCF 8,5 is Hebrews 10:4, "because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." Again, Christ's work is exalted, not someone else's.
Remark – The court quotes WCF VIII:5, but did they grasp the impact of the words, “not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven.” In other words, not just reconciliation, not just justification. Chapter VIII starts by saying that the purpose of the mediatorship of Christ is that his people might “be by him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified” (section 1). The end of His mediatorship being, according to section 8, “To all those for whom Christ hath purchased redemption, he doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same; making intercession for them, and revealing unto them, in and by the Word, the mysteries of salvation; effectually persuading them by his Spirit to believe and obey.” The fact that Christians walk in obedience in this life does not deny the mediatorship of Christ – it confirms it for all to see. And thus the judgement will be in accord with (not because of, nor on account of, nor on the basis of) it – the obedience of the Christian in this life, as the fruit and evidence of faith. JOK
Yes, Elder Kinnaird's sermon later says salvation is found in no one else
than Christ (here he quotes Acts 4:12, and Romans 10:9,11,13). However, the statements in question appear wholly gratuitous and without a needed Scriptural balance, that the Christian's keeping of the law and his deeds are only accepted because they are "in Christ;" cf. WCF 16,2 & 6. And also these statements are without the Scriptural balance that Christ perfectly fulfilled and kept the law for us, in our place:... the virtue, efficacy, and benefits thereof [of Christ's work of redemption] were communicated unto the elect (WCF 8,6); also cf. WCF 8,4‑5, and 11,3; and WLC #71‑73.
Remark – See my counsel’s answer to the court’s accusation of gratuitousness in Paper 2 (points 8 and 10) submitted herewith - JOK
Without this balance that continually points us to Christ's perfect work on behalf of his people, Elder Kinnaird's statements confound and confuse the doctrines of justification and sanctification: thus effectively teaching a doctrine of faith and works.
* The judicatory voted 5 to 0 to find Mr Kinnaird guilty regarding Specification 2.
4) Regarding the third Specification
Quotes were taken from postings on a Yahoo! Internet chat room:
'These good works are a required condition if we would stand in the Day of Judgement and they are supplied by God to all His people. Every description of the Judgement events speak of these good works. Without them, no one will see God. Our God is not unjust ......
'Who are these people who thus benefit ‑ who stand on the Day of Judgement? They are those who obey the law who will be declared righteous."
In Elder Kinnalrd's posting, immediately prior to the first quote, he is referring to Hebrews 12:14, and says:
"God has provided not only justification from the guilt of sin, he has
also, for all those begotten from above by the seed of God,
provided that holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
But in the next sentence Elder Kinnaird equates "holiness" with "good works," and "no one will see the Lord" with "the Day of Judgement.”
Remark – That is hardly a true statement. That paragraph starts with the phrase, “Now as to Works and Judgement.” Then I proceed to discuss the good works of a Christian. Then I allude to Hebrews 12:14. Then I say, to conclude the paragraph, “These good works are a required condition if we would stand in the Day of Judgement and they are supplied by God to all His people.” The good works I am referring to are the good works I have been discussing in the whole paragraph. Holiness in a person always produces good works. I do not equate “holiness” with “good works”. Nor do I equate “no one will see the Lord" with "the Day of Judgement.” But I can confidentially, and regretably, tell you, that if you do not stand in the Day of Judgement, you will not see the Lord in eternity. JOK
The judicatory saw this as a presumptuous exegesis of the verse: biased, and in error. The WCF "On Sanctification," 13,1, cites Hebrews 12:14:
l. They, who are once effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart, and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified, really and personally, through the virtue of Christ's death and resurrection, by his Word and Spirit dwelling in them: the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified; and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
The WCF quotes Hebrews 12:14 with the idea that sanctification, progressively in the life of the Christian, is of necessity. However, sanctification in the Westminster Standards is always portrayed as imperfect; cf. WCF 13,2.3:
11. This sanctification is throughout, in the whole man: yet imperfect in this life, there abiding still some remnants of corruption in every part; whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war, the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.
Ill. In which war, although the remaining corruption, for a time, may much
prevail; yet, through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome; and so, the saints grow in grace perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
How could imperfect sanctification (imperfect because of our remaining sin), with its attempts at good works and law‑keeping, be how we "stand on Judgment Day?"
Remark – The court insists on twisting my words and putting words and thoughts into my work that is not there. I did not say, “How we stand…” I said, “if we would stand.” I quote that paragraph as follows: “Now as to Works and Judgement. The good works of a Christian are in fact good. That is not to say that they are not tainted with sin. It is to say they are the work of God's Holy Spirit in us and they are thereby good. They merit nothing. They are but our duty. We who rest in faith in Christ are the beneficiaries of His grace whereby He again supplies that which he requires for our salvation. We are God's workmanship, created to do the good works which He has before ordained that we should do. By these good works we glorify God, something the Old Testament Jews did not do. They claimed before the world to be God's people, but they disobeyed God just like those around them who had no part in the covenant. They brought dishonor to God's name. But God said, no more. I will cause my people to glorify my name by giving them the Holy Spirit in their hearts causing them to walk in righteousness obeying the law of God which I will write in their hearts. Read about it in Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36. That's the new covenant of which Jesus Christ is the mediator in this day and age – as opposed to those who teach that these promises are for, or mostly for, a future messianic golden age. They are for us, now and here. Read of it in Hebrews 8 through 10, noting especially 8:6 through 8:13. God has provided not only justification from the guilt of sin, he has also, for all those begotten from above by the seed of God, provided that holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14. These good works are a required condition if we would stand in the Day of Judgement and they are supplied by God to all His people.” JOK
Elder Kinnaird's words suggest:
what is done by man (notwithstanding the gratuitous phrase that "they are supplied by God to all His people") is what enables one to enter heaven
Remark – See my counsel’s answer to the court’s accusation of gratuitousness in Paper 2 (points 8 and 10) submitted herewith – JOK
Thus again Christ's work is improperly detracted from by glaring OMISSION. This leads to the erroneous conclusion that believers' own works are required for being declared righteous at the Last Day. Note the following statements taken from the article "Justification and Merit," p. 1,852 in The New Geneva Study Bible, 1995:
... Justification is God's act of pardoning sinners and
accepting them as righteous for Christ's sake. In it, God puts
permanently right their previously estranged relationship with
... God's justifying decision is in effect the judgment of the
Last Day regarding where we will spend eternity, brought forward
into the present and pronounced here and now. It is a judgment on
our eternal destiny; God will never go back on it, ...
... A justification that needs to be completed by the recipient
is no resting place.
Also note Calvin (Institutes, Bk III, Ch 11 ["Of Justification by Faith. Both the Name and the Reality Defined"], sec 2 3):
... You see that our righteousness is not in ourselves. but in
Christ. ... "God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,
and for sin condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of he
law might be fulfilled in us" (Rom. 8:3‑4). Here the only fulfilment to
which he refers is that which we obtain by imputation. ...
... In order to appear in the presence of God for salvation, we
must send forth that fragrant odour, having our vices covered and
buried by his perfection.
* The judicatory voted 4 to 0, with one present but not voting (Watson), to find Mr Kinnaird guilty regarding Specification 3.
The Interim Session of Bethany OPC, Oxford, PA:
Rev Douglas C. Winward, Jr, moderator
Rev Douglas A. Watson, clerk
Elder J. Gary Bryant
Rev Joel C. Kershner
Rev Michael A. Obel