Archive for the ‘Lewis Sperry Chafer’ Category

The following is taken from the transcript of this sermon.

The Ad Interim Committee of the Presbyterian Church in the United States in their report to the General Assembly of the Southern Presbyterian Church in 1944 said that Dispensationalists, “do not hold that God has one plan of salvation for all men but that he has had various and diverse plans for different groups.”

Now, in my opinion that is the result of a great deal of confusion. I think, it is fair to say that it is also the result of a bit of ignorance. It’s the result of perhaps deliberate misrepresentation on the part of some and to my mind it’s a bit unworthy of scholarship not to mention Christianity. But I’d like to say this; Dr. Chafer was not always clear on this point. Dr Chafer it so happen was an individual who had a lot of affinity for ultra dispensationalism. That’s not often realized, but if you would read his systematic theology through you would find some statements that would make it very plain that he had affinity for what has come to be called ultra Dispensationlism. Let me read you something Dr. Chafer wrote in his theologies right there for you to read if you like. He says this, “A distinction must be observed between just men in the Old Testament and those justified according to the New Testament. According to the Old Testament men were just because they were true and faithful in keeping the Mosaics Law. Micah defines such a life after this manner, “he hath showed the old man what is good and what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God.” Men were, therefore, just because of their own works before God or for God, whereas, New Testament justification is God’s work for man in answer to faith. That’s quite evident from that.

Now Dr. Chafer was well in my way of thinking he was confused over Old Testament salvation. Just preceding this he has said manifestly to be justified before God is his that is God, is his own undertaking. But he was talking about New Testament justification when he said that. When he talks about Old Testament justification he talks differently. Further Dr. Chafer made the difference between the age of the kingdom and the age of grace. Present age writing, there are his words, “the sermon on the mount is the expansion of the full meaning of the personal righteousness which is required in the kingdom.” The great words in this age the present age are believe and grace. Not once do these words appear in connection with the kingdom teaching of Matthew.

Now the implication to that, I think, is very plain. Finally he says “Under grace the fruit of the Spirit is” which indicates the present possession of the blessing through pure grace. While under the kingdom the blessing “shall be such as merited by their own works.” So you can see that Dr. Chafer believed that in the Old Testament men were justified by what they did and they will be justified by what they do in the kingdom to come. But in the present day they are justified by grace through faith.

Now, in fairness to Dr. Chafer I will say that he wrote with a bit of confusion. And when I was in the class with him he expressed a great deal of, I don’t want to use the wrong word here because I greatly admired this man he was a man of faith, but he manifested a great deal of doubt as to what the Bible taught about Old Testament salvation. And later on I will point out one or two of the things that he said. But, I think, you can see that it’s not without some justification that people have said that Dispensationalists, of whom he was the leading one in his day, have taught more than one method of salvation. Now, in fairness also Dispensationalism today — practically every Dispensationalist that I know — makes a point of saying there is just one method of salvation. It is by grace through faith. The object of faith changes as the divine unfolding of the history of salvation takes place so that in the Old Testament men do not have has the object of faith the precise object of faith and the fullness of it that we have in the New Testament times. Some of them fell that it is not really true to say the Old Testament men looked forward to the coming of a personal redeemer. But then again I personally think that they stand in the minority but unfortunately in this area there are some that imbibe that particular teaching.


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