On this site, I have posted a talk by George M. Ella titled “John Gill and Justification from Eternity.” The talk is of historical interest in showing the position of John Gill on this subject. I want to be clear, however, that I do not agree that justification from eternity as taught by John Gill and defended by Dr. Ella is taught in the Bible. Another defender of this theory is Peter L. Meney, who has written an article called “Ten Arguments for Justification from Eternity” (December/January 2007 New Focus, also available here). The present article also serves as a rebuttal to Mr. Meney, whose article I will occasionally reference, although most references to John Gill’s and George Ella’s arguments also apply to Mr. Meney’s. I also want to make clear here that, in rebutting justification from eternity as taught by Gill and explained by Ella, I am not necessarily defending the people Dr. Ella argues against, such as John Murray and Andrew Fuller. Neither am I condemning Dr. Ella or Mr. Meney. I am, instead, trying to defend what the Scripture teaches. But before discussing Scripture, I want to have a brief philosophical discussion. I hope the reason for this will become apparent.
“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”
The words above are found in 1 Chronicles 16:34; Psalm 106:1; 107:1; 118:1, 29; 136:1 and, with some variation, in other passages. Thanksgiving is again upon us, and I find myself with so much to be thankful for that merely listing my blessings seems too trivial to express how much my family and I have been blessed this year, both spiritually and physically. Yet, this does not mean it has been an easy year. Far from it. Trials are also cause for thanksgiving. God calls us His jewels (Malachi 3:17), but gems are made by intense pressure and gold is refined in fire. E.M. Bounds wrote, “Gratitude and thanksgiving forever stand opposed to all murmurings at God’s dealings with us, and all complainings at our lot. Gratitude and murmuring never abide in the same heart at the same time.” I’ve listed a few more quotes that I think might be helpful to get the mind off of the turkey and onto the Creator.