Author Topic: Justification by Faith  (Read 69393 times)

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Richard Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #60 on: April 25, 2001, 05:29:00 AM »
Brother James, you can be a blessing to us if you will share with us where you have been hearing these ideas from. Are there others that support what you believe or are you by yourself?  What you are saying sounds very close to what some in the 1888 Study Committee teach. Is this the case? Thank you.  :)

In His love and grace,    Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #61 on: May 07, 2001, 11:47:00 PM »
I want to repeat what has been said near the beginning of this thread so that all may benefit from the understanding given. It has always been my understanding that the message of "righteousness by faith" is "justification by faith".  One of our moderators, Brother Allan said "Before I go on I want to ask you americans, if you put into the expressions "righteousness by faith" and "justification by faith" the same meaning? In norwegian we only have one expression: "Rettferdiggjörelse ved tro". That means "to make (one) righteous by faith".

As we study the various topics dealing with this subject it would be good to keep this in mind. It helps to see the relationship.  :) The "Latter Rain" is this message being revealed to the church. Such a blessing to see the connection between the various topics being discussed here in the BOL forum.  :)


Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Harry Elliott

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #62 on: May 08, 2001, 11:01:00 AM »
Hi Steve--

Sorry I did not respond to your 4-18 question earlier but I have been away.

I have decided that my question to Richard about “when “ versus “if was not useful.  Clearly Jesus meant , “Endeavor to sin not, but don’t  despair if you fail.”  He does not comment on whether anyone will succeed in becoming actually sin free in this life.

My answer is, no I don’t think you would ever be wrong in applying this verse.  :)

--Harry


Harry Elliott

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #63 on: May 08, 2001, 11:04:00 AM »
Hi Richard--

I’m sure you would not be deliberately uncharitable. So do you think it’s wise to assume Satan’s influence on those you disagree with?  You don’t include the editors of the SDA Commentary among the Satan-led “evangelicals”, do you?  :)

“Who walk not.  Important textual evidence may be cited for the omission of the clause, ‘who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’  It is generally regarded as having been added here from v.4.”   (SDA Bible Commentary, p560)

The oldest manuscripts do not have what appears to be a sleepy monk’s copy error.

--Harry


jherbertthompson

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #64 on: May 09, 2001, 11:37:00 AM »
Hello...I am puzzled  ???  Having only been an SDA/Christian for approximately a year-and-a-half; it occurs to me that those in the general Christian community; and, because I live in an Adventist community, more pointedly so.  Most of those who are involved in these especially SDA Forums seem to be preoccupied with "their 'legal' status with God"!  Could someone explain this to me?

At the risk of being the "hieratic"  :o in this forum; I would like to ask what I believe to be two valid questions:  [1] Is it really a matter of "salvation" wheather or not we will be "perfect" before translation?  [2] And, which of the "many difinitions of perfect" are we using?  ???

As already confessed, being a newby here, I will just stumble into this conversation with some thoughts of my own and see if anyone will be predisposed to make comment?

Re: [1]: The "state" of perfection the "Saints" will be found upon the return of Jesus is not, (IMO) a matter resolvant to our salvation...It is, however, a question which has been bounced back and forth, and argued with much passion over the past 150 years...[how am I doing so far?].  With that said  :o let's move on to the second question.

[2] What are the "definition(s)" being used here?  I know of at least a half-dozen; so, for the sake of time and space, let's try just two of them... ??? By "perfect", I hear some saying "essentially with out sin"? If this is correct, how is it we are disposed to "sinlessness" in these "mortal" and quite "sinfull" bodies?  Answering that [and I being sorrowfully ignorant regarding these things, and quite likely to be "stoned" or "burnt at the stake" here]; isn't this very nearly the same "mind set" or "allegation" which satan brought before the "counsel of heaven" so very long ago?  Correct me it I'm wrong, but isn't this simply a "glorified version" of the "doctrin of eternal security"?  :o

I am not jeering at all folks...This is to me one of the most un-thoughtout principle our church has ever come up with. (IMHO)it DOES VERY MUCH ECHO the allegations of satan that God's Law of Love is [a] either un-keepable; or if we, having "sinfull flesh" may be "saved", then he [satan] and all of his host should be permited back into heaven?  And so I ask, why?  Or, why not?

(IMO) One needs to most carefully decide for one's self, "what is the evidence" for the consideration that "perfection" is a matter of "sinlessness"?  [My answer here is of course it is not!]  Secondly, one also needs to ask the question as to: "What was the 'purpose' of the Cross?"

The "plea to all mankind" is that we "come and reason these things out"...And in doing so, I am sure there are many who hold a "different" viewpoint than I...Whom do we serve?  Let me explain.

If "perfection" were truely a "sinless state"; than, wouldn't those at the end of the age have "something for which to boast"? "Look at us!  We arrived!"  Intrinsic to this view one might also question:  Isn't this the same "lie" which satan told Eve in the Garden?  "Did God say that in the day you eat of the fruit ye shall surely die?  YOU WILL NOT DIE.  FOR, GOD KNOWS THAT IN THE DAY YOU EAT THEREOF, YOU SHALL BECOME AS GOD'S!"  Scary isn't it?

I just looked at my watch and realized that I am to pick-up my son from school in a very few minutes... :o  So, I would like to give my "definition" of this before I go, if I may?  Hoping that I will not be slam-dunked for this post  ???; I would suggest this:  The "Blood" of the Lamb is the "Life" of "Perfect Obedience" which is the "Free Gift" of God...Where in most other Christian thought, it is the "sheding of blood", the "sacrifice", which brings man into the self-realization of "sinlessness" or "perfection"...This is (IMO) on very dangerous ground...It suggests that we are able, through maturation, to become "sinless" because of "our behavior"...I do not believe this to be Biblical, nor do I think EGW has, in any of her writings adopted this concept for the "remnant"...

May God bless each and every one who wishes to pursue this to a noble end...Though we may simply have to "agree to disagree", I pray that all will "learn" from the discussion.  As I learn daily from the post of those on this "Remnant Forum".

Sincerely your brother in Christ.

The best vitamin for a Christian is "B1".    


sdboyd

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #65 on: May 09, 2001, 04:09:00 PM »
Hi JHerbertThompsen:

Thanks for posting your thoughts. If the definition that you proposed were the one being promoted, I too would argue against it. But it is not.

You said, "which of the many defitions of perfection are we using?". After posing your quesion you then when on to argue against the definition you thought was being addressed. You said: "If "perfection" were truely a "sinless state"; than, wouldn't those at the end of the age have "something for which to boast"? "Look at us! We arrived!""

In responding, let me first say this. Sinless living in our sinful flesh is not only possible, it is impossible to not live this way WHEN ABIDING IN JESUS (Jn 15).  The Spirit that Jesus gives us is not impotent.  It is through the Spirit that the righteous requirements of the law (God's law in all its breadth) are fulfilled *in us*. Check out Romans 8.1-4 and Galations 5.16.  I posted a number of others above and many more could be added.

The attitude of one who is abiding in Jesus incorporates the prayer of the publican as a moment by moment cry, "God be merciful to me a sinner" - save me inspite of myself. (see COL 159,160)  Now can this person who has asked for strength from above to meet his need claim that what God works in is his to accept credit for? Of Course not. Honesty demands that credit go where credit is due. God provided the strength. He provided the faith. He provided the love that warmed that heart that now asks for strength to keep from falling. This persons only part is to choose to believe that God is faithful and keeps His promises. Pretty small part in comparison - but essential.

It also seems that God is pleased when we take Him at His word and choose to allow what the Spirit works in to be worked out in our lives. (Note God's comments about Job to Satan.)

This "perfection" flows from perfect dependence on Jesus, always, even through the time when He is no longer interceding for us (Rev 22.11). Isn't He wonderful? Makes me want to sing! Praise God for a Savior!!!

Steve

[This message has been edited by sdboyd (edited 05-09-2001).]


Harry Elliott

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #66 on: May 09, 2001, 07:19:00 PM »
Hi Steve--

I just realized I failed to respond to an earlier request you made.

You said, “ In this context, your comments regarding EGW  changing her position on righteousness by faith, God's messenger not being a reliable messenger, demand more than  your expression of others opinions, or your own opinion, for support!”

After I had said, “I THINK the majority OPINION among our theologians is that Ellen White changed her position on righteousness by faith in 1888. Unfortunately, later compilations make no distinction between what she wrote before and after, so it's not always  obvious.”

This was given as a personal impression to indicate that my study had led me to believe the same as James’ on this question of consensus.  If you have studied the subject and come to the opposite observation, then we have a vote against.  That’s what forums are all about, right?

I don’t have access to the reference material any more, but I did study the historical aspect of this question a couple of decades ago.  I won’t try to prove that my conclusions were correct, but I will try to share some major points.

In 1886, E.J. Waggoner published a series of articles in the Signs taking the position that when Paul said “the law”, especially the Galatians reference to the “schoolmaster”, he meant the moral law.  This conflicted with earlier articles in the R&H that argued that Paul meant the ceremonial law.  

In 1887, EGW wrote a stern testimony to Waggoner criticizing his articles.  Eventually she became a champion for Waggoner’s perspective.  She declared that Paul meant did indeed include the moral law in his statements, and went on the stump for Jones and Waggoner’s new perspective of righteousness by faith.  Uriah Smith defended the ceremonial-law-only position by quoting her earlier statements on the subject, and she shut him down by demanding that her writings should not be used to determine the meaning of scripture.

This is my off-the-cuff recollection, so I may be less than perfect on the details.

In any event, I don’t think we should deny EGW the privilege of a maturing theology.  :)

--Harry


Richard Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #67 on: May 09, 2001, 08:21:00 PM »
Brother Steve, a hearty "amen!" to your post in response to our Brother Herbert's. Very well spoken. Praise Jesus for an understanding of the gospel and our responsibility. Our part is immeasurably small and God's part is immeasurably large!  :)

Brother Herbert, welcome to our family (SDA)!  :) You are right on in how you address the situation. You are sincere and are not attempting to teach or subvert the teachings in the church. We appreciate such questions and comments. We are here to learn together and the truth will not suffer from a thorough examination!

Few have been asked to cease their posting because they would not discontinue "teaching" those things contrary to what we believe as a people. Your posts that I have read have been very good including your last one that posed good questions. Brother Steve has answered well, and I will try and continue.

You ask:

>>>> Most of those who are involved in these especially SDA Forums seem to be preoccupied
with "their 'legal' status with God"! Could someone explain this to me?

I will try. God wants us to know our legal status. That is He wants us to know if we are in a "saved" condition. He wants us to understand the plan of salvation. Many will meet with great disappointment when Jesus says "I know you not."

We are not preoccupied with "our" standing, but with the correct understanding of what it means to be "saved", "converted", or "born again."  Why? Because so many misunderstand and mis-teach this foundation doctrine. If one is mistaken here, it can prove fatal to him and others whom he influences with his ideas.

>>>>At the risk of being the "hieratic"  in this forum; I would like to ask what I believe to be two valid questions: [1] Is it really a  matter of "salvation" wheather or not we will be "perfect" before translation?

If moral perfection is required for salvation before translation, then it would be important to understand. True?

>>>>>[2] And, which of the "many difinitions of perfect"  are we using?

Now, we are getting somewhere.  :)

>>>>>What are the "definition(s)" being used here?

"Justification":  The reason why Jesus can take a sinner to heaven. We might argue because He died in the sinner's place and this would not be correct, for many for whom Christ died will not inherit heaven.  Justification requires a complete submission from the sinner. The "Pearl of Great Price cost everything. Justification occurs when the life of Christ indwells the human that walks in sinful flesh. The Bible teaches that the sinner indwelt by the Holy Spirit walks after the Spirit, not the flesh. See Romans 8. Paul told us that he kept the flesh under subjection. Of course we know that it was the "power" of Christ that kept the flesh under subjection.

When a Christian lets go of Jesus, then he has no power to walk in the Spirit, for the Spirit is gone. At this point it is necessary to be reconnected to Jesus. He stands at the door knocking and we must cease refusing to allow Him in. We must be re-justified. We must confess our sins and then we shall be forgiven our sins.

When the sinner has truly repented because he loves Jesus, it will be seen in the life. The love of God and the love of his neighbor will be seen in his works. It is the fruit of the Spirit.

"Perfection" is not being spoken of as "sinless perfection".  Perfection that the Christian receives at conversion is moral perfection as seen in the blade, then in the ear, then in the full corn. Morally perfect at every stage. The motives are correct because it is Jesus, not I.

There has only been one Sinless One, Jesus Christ. We have all sinned. "Sinless" implies free from the taint of sin. While Jesus lived in the "likeness of sinfull flesh" He was free from the taint of sin. We cannot bring ourselves to think in this way. We are utterly helpless without Jesus. We are "sinful" even while abiding in Christ. We shall not obtain holy flesh until the return of Jesus. We know of our need and it is Jesus continually. He is our Fortress. He is our Rock! He is our everything! The moment we take our eyes off of Jesus, we end up in the water just as did Peter!

Hopes this helps a little!

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #68 on: May 09, 2001, 08:49:00 PM »
Brother Harry, you say "So do you think it’s wise to assume Satan’s influence on those you disagree with?"  No, not at all. That would not be good logic to draw such a conclusion.

Romans 8:1 is quoted by "evangelicals" to support their false gospel. Do I believe it is an accident that the verse says what it does in the NIV? No. Not at all. Along with other changes that do away with the sancturary doctrine, it can be seen that the evil one is at work. Of course if one wants to do away with the Seventh-day Adventist teachings of the sanctuary and the gospel, then the NIV is a good "bible" to use.

Your idea that you put forth about Ellen White changing her teaching on "righteousness by faith" is not true. You offer as proof that she at first opposed the teaching of Waggoner and Jones on the "law" in Galations then changed her position. Brother Harry, the teaching on the law in Galations is not an important point and Ellen White tried to diffuse the situation by saying so as I remember. It is not a matter that decides the doctrine of the "righteousness of Christ."

We have a number of topics that deal with the subject and the matter will shine brighter and brighter as the light grows.  :)

In His love and grace,    Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Harry Elliott

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #69 on: May 10, 2001, 07:13:00 PM »
Hi Richard--

The question of whether or not the schoolmaster that we are no longer under includes the "moral law" was at the heart of the 1888 revolution. I think most SDAs consider it vitally important.

--Harry


Richard Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #70 on: May 11, 2001, 06:06:00 AM »
Brother Harry, are you saying there was a time when Seventh-day Adventists did not believe the ten commandments were binding? And that out of 1888 came a proper understanding of the claims of the moral law? Or are you saying that 1888 freed us from the claims of the broken law?

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Justin

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #71 on: May 11, 2001, 01:14:00 PM »
During the 1888 GC in Minneapolis, many Adventists had understood the law in Galatians 3:19 ("Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions,...") to be the ceremonial law. But, Mrs. White said at the time this law applied to the moral law of ten commandments as well. This keen perception of hers is an indicative of the long & deep scope of Mrs. White's God-given vision.

When we think of "the law was added because of transgressions," our thought is usually confined by our human circumstance. We think that the transgression means that of Adam and, thus, consider the law in this verse means only the ceremonial law (which was added because of Adam). However, Mrs. White's vision took her to the event of long before Adam - to the transgression of Lucifer in heaven. Before the rebellion of Lucifer, no detailed explanations or applications of the law of love were required. It was not necessary to explain this law of God's government to the unfallen beings because they understood love and lived by it. But when the Licifer's rebellion brought God's mercy and justice into question, it became necessary for God to spell out the moral law - the Ten Commandments, the practical applications of the law of love in detail. In this vein, Mrs. White stated correctly that the moral law also was added because of the transgression, the transgression of Lucifer.

This law, which existed even before Adam and was known to all creation even before Mt. Sinai, is difference from the ceremonial law even though both were added because of the  transgression. The ceremonial law prescribing sacrifices and offerings had a very specific purpose and it was realized in Christ Jesus. However, the claims of the moral law - the Ten Commandments, the schoolmaster - is still binding on Christians who profess to accept God's love.

When Galatians 3:25 says "we are no longer under a schoolmaster," it just means that we are no longer under its condemnation - the death sentence - once we accept the provisions of God's forgiveness by faith. We should well to remember that the preceding verse says "the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ..." The law serves this vital purpose always leading us back to Christ. If anyone wants to do away with this law, then he or she is the most unloving & selfish individual who blocks others from enjoying the benefit of the work of this moral law. And what if we should later depart from Christ? What then should we do when we have destroyed the schoolmaster who could bring us back to Jesus for justification? Unless you believe the "once saved always saved" nonsense, it is untenable to argue that we are no longer under the requirements of the moral law.

Justin

[This message has been edited by Justin (edited 05-11-2001).]


Harry Elliott

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #72 on: May 11, 2001, 09:05:00 PM »
Hi Justin--

I have a problem with the popular interpretation of Paul that makes him speak in code, as it were.
Paul’s vocabulary included the word “condemnation”, as we have seen. When Paul wanted to say we are not under condemnation, he said so in so many words.   In Gal  4:21,  Paul speaks to “ye that desire to be under the law”. No one wants to be under comdemnation.  Paul’s criticism of the “foolish Galatians” was that they had been “bewitched” into submission to the law’s requirement to be circumcised.  

Paul said we are not under the law because we are dead to the law.  His startling illustration in Romans 7 was a married woman who was prevented from marrying another by the law, but when she became “free” from the law, the law lost its “dominion” over her and could no longer prevent her remarriage.

This stuff is a lot heavier than we think, I think.  :)

--Harry



Harry Elliott

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #73 on: May 11, 2001, 09:19:00 PM »
Hi Richard--

I don't think that 1888 freed us from anything. But Christ freed us from a lot.

"But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious...how shall the ministration of the spirit be more glorious?" (II Cor 3:7-8)

"For if that which is done away was glorious, how much more that which remaineth is glorious."
(Verse 11)

--Harry


Richard Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #74 on: May 12, 2001, 08:38:00 PM »
Brother Harry, are you saying there was a time when Seventh-day
               Adventists did not believe the ten commandments were binding? And
               that out of 1888 came a proper understanding of the claims of the
               moral law?

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Justin

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #75 on: May 12, 2001, 11:33:00 PM »
Brother Harry,

What does Paul mean by "dead to the law" in Romans 7? I suggest, Brother Harry, we cannot understand this correctly without considering what he says in Romans 6.

In verse 1-10 of Romans 6, it is plainly indicated that the baptism into Jesus Christ signifies the death of our old man (the body of sin) so as for us (in newness of life) not to serve sin any more. A true conversion of one's baptism into Christ cannot happen unless one is convicted of his/her sinfulness by the law - causing the sinner to look upon the Savior for escape. There are many Pauline verses testifying of this (5:20, 7:7-13, etc.)

God's law demands and condemns us to our death sentence because we all are sinners - "for the wage of sin is death." (6:23) But when we truly accept Christ's saving grace by faith, we escape from this penalty since Christ Himself took the penalty in our stead. Thus, Romans 7:4 says, "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become DEAD TO THE LAW BY THE BODY OF CHRIST..." So, Brother Harry, this "dead to the law" points us only to the condemnation (penalty) of the law. When we died with Jesus, the law which condemned us to death lost its dominion over us - simply because the penalty was exacted on Christ.

Does this then free us from obligations (or requirements) of the law? If you are saying this is so, you are ignoring other verses where Paul says to the contrary. See verses 6:1-2 and 7:15. If you accept that the Ten Commandments is the law upon which God's government operates in His kingdom, God demands our obedience to it before we are admitted into His kingdom. The simple principle of our salvation, no matter how much many attempt to sugar coat it is this - "Obey, you live. Disobey, you die." We have two choices, I believe, when God's law convicts our conscience to notice the glaring ugliness of our sins. We can claim God's promise that He will provide His sufficient strength to us to overcome & obtain the victory by surrendering our will to His. Or we can bury our head into the sand shouting, "We are not under the law because we are dead to the law; we are free from the law; the law has no dominion over us." The choice is ours, and I took the first one. How about you, Brother Harry? Which one is yours? Perhaps, are you struggling with the wrong concept of "Righteousness by Faith", which includes only the Justification as its component?

As for your mention of the illustration of the married woman bound to the law of her husband in Romans 7:2-3, I will attempt to answer by quoting Mrs. White:

"The new birth is a rare experience in this age of the world. This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches. Many, so many, who assume the name of Christ are unsanctified and unholy. They have been baptized, but they were buried alive. Self did not die, and therefore they did not rise to newness of life in Christ." (MS 148, 1897)

Just as it is adultery (or fornication) for a woman to marry another without being free from her husband, it is a spiritual fornication if we attempt to serve both Christ and sin at the same time. "Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness," (Romans 6:18) and "For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness." (Romans 6:20) We cannot serve two masters. Thus, when we are with Christ, the requirements of His law stand firm because "it remains what it ever has been - holy, just and good." (RH May 23, 1899)

Justin

[This message has been edited by Justin (edited 05-12-2001).]


jherbertthompson

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #76 on: May 14, 2001, 10:51:00 AM »
Brother's Boyd and Meyer.  Thank you both for your comments.  Well written, they have certainly helped in the understanding of this to some degree.  They have also created the foundation [as always] for more questions.

Are you [either of you] suggesting that 'Righteousness by Faith' includes to some degree 'my participation'; or, that my 'participation' in the matter of 'Righteousnes by Faith' is to merely 'accept it as a gift from God'...For which I am obviously unworthy, and for which there is nothing on my part to 'recommend me' to God regarding His 'imputed righteousness'?  Or are both one and the same?

Sin is, as I understand it, more that 'lawlessness or rebellion'.  It is not merely the fact that 'we have brooken the rules, now we must pay the one who made the rules'.  Or is it?  (IMO) sin 'damages' the sinner...It did not merely 'seperate man from God', but it, in a much deeper sense, it 'separated' Him from the 'life giver'...If this is correct; please explain how this works with the definitions given.

In someway it must come together at the 'Cross'; but how?

Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration and answers to what probably seem to most of you rather 'elementary'...

Sincerely your brother in Chist.


Harry Elliott

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #77 on: May 14, 2001, 05:12:00 PM »
Hi Richard--

No, I do not mean to say that at all.  

What I think happened was that Mrs White and many others ceased to believe that the Christian’s life is one of continually losing justification by committing a sin, regaining justification by repenting of that sin, losing justification by committing another sin, regaining justification by repenting of that sin, etc., etc., etc.  

--Harry


Harry Elliott

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #78 on: May 14, 2001, 05:16:00 PM »
Hi Justin--

Each of Paul’s argumentst about the law is fascinating.  In Chapter 5, Paul states that there was no law before Moses.  Adam sinned by breaking a commandment, he says,but after him people were sinful without transgressing because there were no commandments to transgress.  Sin was within man’s physical nature but it could only be made patent by the entry of law.  “Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound.”  

In Chapter 7, he says the coming of the law didn’t solve anything, it only caused people to behave worse!  Then he says that it isn’t the law’s fault, it’s the sin in our physical nature that reacts badly to law, even to law that is holy, just and good.

His solution:  By dying with Christ, we are dead to law, which therefore has no “authority over” us and we are free to live in Christ’s righteousnes.

We need to remind ourselves of the situation Paul was dealing with.  The law required circumcision as a prominent example, and Paul was explaining why this commandment should be ignored.  If the issue was freedom from condemnation by obedience to the law, he would have promoted obedience to the circumcision commandment instead of resisting it.

Paul makes it clear that not being under the law permits sanctification as well as justification.  It is not a license for ungodliness.  But the law no longer has the authority to define godliness.  For “apart from law, sin is dead”. (Rom 7:8, NIV)

I don’t say any of these things to convince anyone. I don’t think that can be done. I simply wanted to assert that if we resist traditional spin-doctoring, it may be possible to discover meanings in Paul’s arguments that we’ve never heard of.

--Harry



Richard Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #79 on: May 15, 2001, 09:30:00 PM »
Brother Herbert, let me try to answer a little of what you have asked. Others may be able to do so in a way that you may understand better, though.  :)

You ask :
>>>>>Are you [either of you] suggesting that 'Righteousness by Faith' includes to some degree 'my participation'; or, that my      'participation' in the matter of Righteousnes by Faith' is to merely 'accept it as a gift from God'...For which I am obviously         unworthy, and for which there is nothing on my part to 'recommend me' to God regarding His 'imputed righteousness'? Or are both one and the same?

Reply
Let me make it very clear that justification or salvation has nothing to do with our worthiness, but all to do with the worthiness of Christ. There is nothing to recommend the sinner. There is nothing the sinner can do to redeem himself. The wages of sin is death.

The sufferings and death of Jesus allow man the opportunity to obtain salavation. There are conditions, else all would be saved or justified. The requirements to be justified are just what they have always been, even in the garden before the fall. Perfect obedience. Man has not this to give. So, now we look for a Saviour who does have this to give. He will take our sins upon Himself and pay the price for our redemption. This He did do. Now, the requirement of perfect obedience is still there. The wages of sin is still death. Perfect obedience to the law of God is required. What can we do?

Jesus stands in our place for past sins. They are forgiven. This is known as "imputed" righteousness. But, what about now? Can I think murder and be happy in heaven? Will heaven be happy with me thinking such thoughts? No. Can Christ "impart" His righteousness to the sinner? Yes, He can. This is seen in the life of those who have become "partakers of the divine nature".

So, what is being taught in the Bible is that the power of God's grace is such that it can keep fallen flesh in harmony with the law of God to the degree it is known. Christ "imputes" and "imparts" His righteousness to those who will allow this wonderful experience. He says that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood. As we learn of Him we become changed into His image. It is a law.

Grace is more than a word, it is life. The grace of Jesus transforms the character. It is a wonderful truth to understand. We need not sin. We have a most precious promise that Jesus has given us that says Jesus will not allow us to be tempted beyond that which we can bear.  What a promise. We may claim this promise IF we will allow Jesus to rule in our hearts and minds. We must love Jesus with all of our being, not a part of it as so many seem to think.

>>>>> Sin is, as I understand it, more that 'lawlessness or rebellion'. It is not merely the fact that 'we have brooken the rules, now we  must pay the one who made the rules'. Or is it? (IMO) sin 'damages' the sinner...It did not merely 'seperate man from God',  but it, in a much deeper sense, it 'separated' Him from the 'life  giver'...If this is correct; please explain how this works with the  definitions given.

Reply
Let us call this sin that is us, the "fallen flesh". We shall have this until we gain new bodies. But, it need not separate us from our God. While we shall be sinners until we are glorified, we need no be separated. Sin is a sign of that separation. We may be reconciled to God through the love of Jesus. It requires that we "believe" with all the heart. Then it is Jesus, not I. The Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of man who lives in sinful flesh. The mind under the control of Jesus controls the flesh. As Paul said "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." 1 Corinthians 9:27.

>>>>>>In someway it must come together at the 'Cross'; but how?

Amen!!  :)  The cross is where we see the love of God for us while we were yet sinners. It was my sins that caused Jesus to suffer. As I behold this great love, I cannot hurt Him who gave all to me. His grace received into the heart transforms the character!  :)

It is at the foot of the cross that one is justified and this, when rightly understood requires "saving" faith, thus we have the doctrine "righteousness or justification by faith".

In His love and grace,   Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.