581. That redemption and the passion of the cross are two distinct things and by no means to be confounded, and that by means of both the Lord took to Himself the power to regenerate and save men, has been shown in the chapter on Redemption. From the accepted faith of the church of today respecting the passion of the cross, as being redemption itself, have sprung throngs of horrible falsities respecting God, faith, charity and other things that in a continuous chain depends on these three; as, respecting God, that He had determined upon the damnation of the human race, and that He was willing to be brought back to mercy by the imposition of that damnation upon His Son, or by the Son's taking it upon Himself, and that only those were saved who by foreknowledge or predestination have Christ's merit bestowed upon them. From this fallacy another belonging to that faith has been hatched, namely, that those upon whom that faith has been bestowed, are at the same time regenerated without any cooperation on their part; and even that they have thus been absolved from the condemnation of the law, and are no longer under the law, but under grace, and this although the Lord has said,
That He did not take away one tittle of the law (Matt. 5:18, 19; Luke 16:17),
and also commanded His disciples:
To preach repentance for the remission of sins (Luke 24:47; Mark 6:12).
He also said:
The kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:15);
"the gospel" meaning that they can be regenerated and thus saved, which they could not have been unless the Lord had wrought redemption, that is, had deprived hell of its power by combats against it and victories over it, and unless He had glorified His Human, that is, had made it Divine.