The Remnant Online

Study => Bread of Life => Topic started by: Richard Myers on November 20, 2000, 07:47:00 PM

Title: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on November 20, 2000, 07:47:00 PM
A popular phrase in the church today for those who speak in "theological" terms is justification by faith. I would like to look at what the Bible means by justification and faith. The term is used in the Spirit of Prophecy also. False teachings abound on this subject, so it is good to have a grasp of the "doctrine" of justification by faith, or righteousness by faith. It is the third angel's message in verity.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: M.A. Crawford on November 24, 2000, 06:35:00 AM
In reference to the terms "justification" and "faith" as they apply to salvation, the SDA Bible Dictionary on page 635 reads: "As used theologically, (justification is) the divine act by which God declares a penitent sinner righteous, or regards him as righteous. Justification is the opposite of condemnation (Rom. 5:16). Neither term specifies character, but only standing before God. Justification is not a transformation of inherent character; it does not impart righteousness any more than condemnation imparts sinfulness. A man comes under condemnation because of his transgressions, but, as a sinner, he can experience justification only through an act of God. Condemnation is earned, or deserved, but justification cannot be earned---it is a 'free [unmerited] gift' (v. 16). In justifying the sinner God acquits him, declares him righteous, regards him as righteous, and proceeds to treat him as a righteous man. Justification is the act of acquittal and the accompanying declaration that a state of righteousness exists. Charges of wrongdoing are canceled, and the sinner, now justified, is brought into a right relationship with God that Paul describes as being at "peace with God" (Rom 5:1)....

"When by faith the sinner accepts the vicarious death of Jesus Christ as the just penalty for his own offenses, God in turn accepts the sinner's faith in lieu of personal righteousness and places the righteousness of Jesus Christ to his credit. Christ's resurrection was fully as essential 'for our justification' as was His death upon the cross ((Rom. 4:25). Strict justice provides no escape from the penalty for sin, which is death. This is why Christ paid that penalty on the cross. But even as Christ's death on the cross to pay the penalty for sin is a demonstration of divine justice, so the resurrection, which released the Saviour from that penalty, is a demonstration of divine mercy and of God's willingness to transfer the merits of Christ's vicarious death to sinners who are willing to accept the gracious gift...."

M.A.    

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Allan F on December 01, 2000, 09:51:00 AM
Happy Sabbath!

Someone once told me that EGW says that there is a special blessing in studying this
subject on the Sabbath. I have not found the quote yet, but it is an interesting thought.

One of the sad facts revealed in the message to the church in Laodicea, is that Gods church don't understand the subject about justification by faith and Christ's righteousness. A large group are walking without the white raiment. And worse: This group don't know it. Therefore I believe this is an important subject. And we need to study it carefully, understand it clearly and share it freely. Compare verse with verse, because some verse may seem to contradict others.
I am looking forward to follow this study.

Allan F   :)

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on December 02, 2000, 07:45:00 AM
Happy Sabbath, all!    :)  Good to hear from our Brother Allan in Norway!    :)

Brother Crawford has given us a good start with an understanding of why we need to be justified and what it means to be "justified". I would like to add a simple thought that may help some with the term. Think in terms of the word "justify". My dictionary defines the word justify; to prove the justice of, to vindicate.  So, let us ask the question "Can God justify, or prove the justice of, allowing Richard into heaven? Or, can God prove that Richard can have eternal life? Is it just? Is it within the system of law that God has established?  This is what the term justification is dealing with.

Satan has argued that God cannot give eternal life to Richard because Richard has sinned, but Jesus says that Richard may have eternal life based upon some conditions. Not all living in this world possess eternal life, but some do. I hope this helps us to understand the term and the issue. We have not explained the "how", but only what the term "justify" means. Justification is the noun. It is what one receives when he has been shown to be justified.

Justification is eternal life. It is also Jesus Christ. We are justified when we receive Jesus Christ into the heart. It is the life and death of Christ that enables us to receive justification.  We could not have eternal life if Jesus had not died in our place.

Praise God for His love and sacrifice for us while we were yet sinners.   
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Allan F on December 04, 2000, 10:42:00 AM
Good to be back here. Even if I have not been on ROL so much for the last few months, I have this site in my mind, and thank God that it exists. This place makes it easy to witness, share thaughts and study together. Thank you brother Richard and also all the moderators (Crawford and others) who I believe have done much in order for this web site to work well.

I want to share some thaughts about how great God is.

When we do something wrong and come to God and ask for forgiveness, God not only forgives us our sins, but he looks at us as we have never sinned. For me, this is an amazing thaught. Try to reflect on this, just for a moment.
How is it with me. When someone hurts me, and asks of forgiveness, it is my duty as a christian to forgive him. But do I also look at him as he has never sinned? That's how God is looking at him...!

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".

Allan F

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on December 04, 2000, 11:29:00 AM
Brother Allan, it is so good to have you with us again!  :)  And, while I have never heard anyone say that "rightesousness by faith" and justification by faith" mean the same thing, I have come to that conclusion. In my opening post I stated "False teachings abound on this subject, so it is good to have a grasp of the 'doctrine' of justification by faith, or righteousness by faith. It is the third angel's message in verity."  I treated them here as one and the same. It is good to hear that others see the same and that in your language you have only one phrase for the two.

Your realization of our status before God when we repent is most important for the sinner to learn, for it reveals the grace by which we are saved. Yes, we are to look at others who are repentant in the same manner, forgetting their past sins and rejoicing with them in their reconcilliation to us and Christ.   :)

I look forward to hearing more of your thougts, and others, on this most important doctrine.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Allan F on December 07, 2000, 03:49:00 AM
"We are justified when we receive Jesus Christ into the heart". This is an interesting thought, Richard. The Bible uses strong expressions to describe the difference between life with Christ and life without Christ in the heart. It says that it is life or death. To live without Christ in the heart the Bible tells us is like being dead. It is meaningless, dark and empty. And if we are "dead", we can not see the blessings of "life".

When God created Adam, he formed him of the dust. But before God breathed life into his nostrils Adam was dead and his condition was meaningless. It was so, because God wanted Adam to be a living creature. God was not satisfied before he had breathed the breath of life into Adam. But in this Adam was totally dependent of God.

There is a text in the Bible which is very similar to the one in Gen 2:7.
In Ezekiel ch. 37 the prophet has a vision of a valley filled with bones. And God is here telling the prophet about the spiritual condition of Israel, and what God wants to do for his people. In verse 6 God says: "I will lay sinews upon you, and I will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live".
Verse 14: "And (I) shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live".

To be or not to be; To have, or not to have Christ in the heart, that's the most important question.

But what must be done in order to be "alive"?
I found an interesting text in the Colossians. In ch. 2:13, Paul tells us what kills us and what makes us stay in this dead condition: "And you, being dead in your SINS and in the UNCIRCUMCISION of your sinful nature,..".
So there are two problems that must solved before we can become living. First, our SINS separates us from God. But thanks be to God who through Christ's sacrifice has made it possible for us to solve this problem. At the cross we can come with all our sins and receive forgiveness. Jesus loved us so much that he died for us.

But when the first problem is solved, we are still dead. There is one more fundamental problem to solve. That is the circumcision. In the time of Abraham, God gave this sign to his people. This showed that they were Gods people. And Moses tells us what is ment by this ritual: Deut 30:6 : "And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live."
Paul also wrote about the circumcision: Rom 2:29 : "But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter."

So when these to problems are solved, God has joy in his heart, because one more person is living the real life.   :)


Allan F

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on December 21, 2000, 05:39:00 PM
Amen, Brother Allan!  :)  It is the same Holy Spirit that reaches around the world to Norway as reaches down to earth here in the U.S.!  The Bible is clear in this matter. Jesus does indeed desire to write His law upon our hearts. He wants us to love Him with all the heart, all the mind, all the soul, and all of our strength. Then, we shall love our neighbor as ourself; then we are justified by our faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This is "righteousness by faith" or "justification by faith".

Our heavenly Father desires that we "be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man..."  My fellow brothers and sisters  the power of God's grace is at our right hand. Jesus knocks at the door of the heart wanting in. We have the promise "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, Many be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."

Unto Him be all honor and glory!
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Allan F on December 22, 2000, 11:21:00 AM
Amen, brother Richard

The word of God has indeed power when we reach out for it in faith. It is interesting that God chose FAITH as the key which opens the door into "life", and not in doing special acts, or visiting special places.
God chose something deeper than facts and outward actions. He chose the most personal: an active faith in him.

The Bible says much about not being justified by works. Here is one example:
"But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us. Not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life." (Tit 3:4-7)

In order to be justified, we can not trust in our own works. We must trust in the Lord's.

Allan F

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: theo on December 22, 2000, 09:54:00 PM
I think it would be good to look at a biblical example of justification.

Luke 18:10-14. 10-Two  men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11-The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God I thank you that I am not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.12-I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.13-And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me a sinner!14-I tell you, this man went down to his house JUSTIFIED rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.(NKJV)

To me, the most important point of this passage is that the tax collector acknowledged and felt his true condition as a sinner. He knew he was a great sinner, he stood afar off and would not even raise his eyes to heaven.

In order to be justified, we first need to come to understand our true condition as sinners. We must feel in our hearts our filthiness at which point we also will recognise our desperate need for a Saviour. We can then come to Christ in faith and repentance and be justified in his eyes.

Theo

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on December 23, 2000, 02:34:00 PM
Amen, Brothers Allan and Theo!  :)  It is such a blessing to be in unity on such an important doctrine as justification by faith! Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon the church. He desires to bring this truth us. It is the "righteousnes of Christ." By beholding this great love, we are changed into His image!  :)  Happy Sabbath!
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: adventbeliever on February 17, 2001, 12:58:00 PM
Americans, Nowegians, Germans, Canadians, French, etc etc. This is great! Now from Canada!      :) I have a few things on my mind relating to the topic at hand. I was really ticked on one day when a statement, which I will share with you, was impressed upon my mind with such force that I will not let it go easily. I will never forget the book and the page where I read it. Here it is:

"You cannot have a thought without Christ. You cannot have an inclination to come to Him unless He sets in motion influences and impresses His Spirit upon the human mind."

Wow! The next sentence was just as mindbuggling to me: "And if there is a man on the face of the earth who has any inclination toward God, it is because of the many influences that are set to work to bear upon his mind and heart. Those influences call for the allegiance to God and an appreciation of the great work that God has done for him. Then dont let us ever say that we can repent of ourselves, and then Christ will pardon. No, indeed. It is the favor of God that pardons. It is the favor of God that leads us by His power to repentance. Therefore, it is all of Jesus Christ, everything of Him, and you want to just give back glory to God." Acts 5:31. This reminds me of one Scripture: "When I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Me."  

In my next post, I will share some other things that were impressed upon my mind on the subject of righteousness by faith. I thank God for giving us an opportunity, through this forum, to share our "common faith." God bless! ab

The statement above can be found in the book Faith & Works, p.73.

[This message has been edited by adventbeliever (edited 02-17-2001).]

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: adventbeliever on February 17, 2001, 01:49:00 PM
In my last post I shared what I believed to be quite a jewel of a statement. "We need every ray of light that God sends." Prior to the great revival which could have taken place in our midst after 1888, it was shown to our dear Sister White that in every congregation there were souls unsatisfied, hungering and thirsting for salvation. By day and by night the burden of their hearts was, WHAT SHALL I DO TO BE SAVED? They had been listening to popular discourses, hoping to learn HOW THEY MIGHT BE JUSTIFIFIED BEFORE GOD. (F.W.32)

Then Sister White was told that too often they would hear only a pleasing speech, an eloquent declamation! There were sad and disppointed hearts in every religious gathering. (Ibid,32) I have been wondering what she would say today if she were alive! What do you think? Personally I am convinced that these words were written more for us than for the people who lived then!

It wasn't too long before Jesus sent a most precious message to those in the churches who were hungering and thirsting for God. After all, if they had been inclined toward Him, hungering and thirsting for pardon and peace, was is not an evidence that Christ had wrought upon their hearts? M.B.19.

Please notice with me the most comforting words the Lord had for these precious souls then:

The Lord said to them: "You who hunger and thirst after righteousness you will be filled, for I have promised it." Precious Savior! His arms are open to receive us, and His great heart of love is waiting to bless us." F.W.37,38.

In the book Mount of Blessing, Sister White tells us that "hungering and thirsting for righteousness" is the ONLY CONDITION God has specified in order to claim His blessing! "The Lord specifies no condition except that you hunger for His mercy and long for His love." MB 130.

He Himself makes us hunger and thirst for Him (if we do not interpose a perverse will) and then makes that the only condition to receive His blessing, that is, His grace, the Spirit of Christ!

Addressing these precious souls who were hungering and thirsting for salvation, whose constant burden on their hearts was, HOW CAN I BE JUSTIFIED BEFORE GOD, the Lord said: "Do not feel that you must be on probation and must prove to Me that you are reformed, before you can claim My blessing. No! You may claim My blessing even now! You must have My grace, My Spirit, to help your infirmities or you cannot form a Christian character. Please understand, I love to have you come to Me as you are--sinful, helpless, dependent." F.W.38.

The Lord added these words: "You who hunger and thirst after righteousness, if you will lay hold of My righteousness, you need not wait one moment that you yourself may blot out your own sins. You need not wait until you have made a suitable repentance before you may take hold upon My righteousness." F.W.64.

Verily, verily, I say unto you: "You must ever look toward Calvary and, with the simple faith of a little child you must rest in My divine merits, accepting My righteousness and believing in My mercy." Ev.185.

For, the Father says that "The merits of My sacrifice are sufficient to present before Him in your behalf. Then present your case before Him pleading the merits of the blood that was shed for you on Calvary's cross, and My Father will clothe you with the robe of His righteousness and I promise you, you will have no relish for sin." See S.C.35; F.W.106; 1 SM 360.

So, through faith in His merits, we are invited to receive the righteousness of God which is made manifest in obedience to all His commandments. T.M. 92. Thus, "We must daily apply to the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Savior that we may become vessels fit for the Master's use." F.W.86.

Hope this is making some sense to some of you!           :) God bless!

THE MERITS OF HIS SACRIFICE ARE SUFFICIENT TO PRESENT TO THE FATHER IN OUR BEHALF! (s.c.35)

"Our great need is our only merit."      


[This message has been edited by adventbeliever (edited 02-18-2001).]

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Allan F on February 18, 2001, 12:36:00 PM
Amen, adventbeliever  :)
Thank you for sharing with us about the wonderful message about Christ's righteousness, and how to receive it. It is good to often remind ourselves that we are totally dependent on God. We can not earn His favor whatever we give to Him. But what he asks for I must give to Him. That is my heart and my sins. It may be difficult to give this to Jesus. But if I will take time with Jesus, read about him, pray to Him and study his life, He will melt the heart so that it will be easier to give it to Him  :)

Allan F

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: adventbeliever on February 18, 2001, 10:16:00 PM
Thanks Allan for your words of encouragement! Those who love much have been forgiven much! Yes, Why not give Jesus everything that is offensive to Him? He is a wonderful sin-bearer! "Wherever there is sin, there is the Savior," bearing it! Education, p.113; Rom.5:20. "The heaviest burden that we bear is the burden of sin. If we were left to bear this burden, it would crush us." D.A.328,329.

Allan, do you see the same thing I see in these statements???  :)

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Allan F on February 20, 2001, 12:58:00 PM
I agree with you, adventbeliever. And what you quoted from Da 328.329 is really true. The heaviest burden that we can bear is the burden of sin. But often it is hard to let Jesus get this burden. To confess our sins is not always easy. But when we do, we can really feel that our burden is gone. Then it becomes true what is written in Psalm 32:1: "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sins are covered".

Jesus is always ready to help us when we fall into sin. That is a wonderful and an important promise.

"To go forward without stumbling, we must have the assurance that a hand all-powerful will hold us up, and an infinite pity be exercised toward us if we fall." (SD 154)

Allan F

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: James Saptenno on March 02, 2001, 08:33:00 PM
Satan has argued that God cannot give eternal life to Richard because Richard has sinned, but Jesus says that Richard may have eternal life based upon some conditions. Not all living in this world possess eternal life, but some do. I hope this helps us to understand the term and the issue. We have not explained the "how", but only what the term "justify" means. Justification is the noun. It is what one receives when he has been shown to be justified.
RM.

Brother Richard, forgive me of being in opposition with you.

Facts of Christ complete finished works of salvation for mankind in general by His death and resurrection on the cross 2.000 years ago.

1. All were saved (Titus 2;11)
2. All were redeemed from sin, condemnation and eternal death (Colossians 1:14; Galatians 3;13; I Corinthians 1:30; John 5:24).
3. All were justified (I Corinthians 1:30; Romans 5:18).
4. All were given the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23; I John 5:11).
5. All were resurrected and had given place in heaven with Christ (Ephesians 2:6; John 14:1-3).
6. All were sanctified once and for all (Hebrew 10:10; Ephesians 1:4; I Corinthians 1;30).
7. All were perfect (Hebrew 10:14)

By all of these facts above, we come to the facts number:
8. All man were pardoned of their sins, sin of past, present and future (Ephesians 1:7; I John 2;22).

That is why “ There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are “in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1).
Because all of those facts above we find it “in Christ” only, not in us. But through faith we were baptized and identified “in him”, and all what belongs to Him is ours now by faith.

They, who accept these facts and believe, will bear fruits of the Spirit, as just then can the Spirit works His will and His doing in us, because there is no more “I”, only Christ.

“I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.
Praise God for His love and salvation for us.

In His love

James S.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: James Saptenno on March 02, 2001, 08:41:00 PM
The consequences of those facts above, all what mankind need in order to receive what God has done for him is just “Faith in Christ”. And for that he will be justified by his faith.

In His love

James S.


Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on March 25, 2001, 07:47:00 PM
Brother James, I thank you for expressing your concern over your opposition to what is being taught here in this thread by all who are posting except you. The Spirit of Prophecy statments that have been shared are not being taken out of context.

Brother James we want to come into harmony with you. If you would please change your approach it would be helpful. I know it may be difficult, but please pray over my request. Instead of opposing what is being taught, please ask some questions as to why we believe what we do. You may obtain the same results without opposing what we are teaching. We may see an error in our thoughts if you will question them.

It appears that you have been influenced by the 1888 Study Committe or those of a like faith (Jack Sequiera). I am glad you shared your thoughts so plainly that we all may see what you believe. We do absolutely have major differences in our understanding of the foundation truths.

Please go back and ask some questions regarding what is being stated by all who are posting.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: DavidTBattler on March 26, 2001, 01:11:00 AM
The purpose of our justification, is first, and always, His justification:

" Rom.3:26  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
27  Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith."

"Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as he deserves.  He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share.  He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His.  By His stripes, we are healed."  (DA 25).

This seems simple, but, is it?    :)

------------------
"...We believe that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved..."  (Acts 15:11).

Your brother in Christ

David T. Battler

[This message has been edited by DavidTBattler (edited 03-26-2001).]

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on March 26, 2001, 06:03:00 AM
Yes, Brother David, it is. And not only simple, but powerful to the pulling down of strongholds.  :) The righteousness of Christ when allowed into the heart will transform the character of the most vile sinner. We have abundant evidence in many changed lives over thousands of years.  :)

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: DavidTBattler on March 26, 2001, 08:51:00 AM
Richard

Amen to those words "simple," and "powerful!"  I have lots more to say/ask about this subject; but I am out of time for now.   :)

------------------
"...We believe that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved..."  (Acts 15:11).

Your brother in Christ

David T. Battler

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Allan F on March 26, 2001, 08:59:00 AM
When we discuss our view on a special topic, we tend to make use of the bible text's that most strongly support our view, and let the
more difficult bible verses be unquoted.

One example is about living after Gods commandments. Is it possible? Some say yes, other say no. The first group uses some
specific texts, and the other group quotes other verses. The result seems to be nothing less than a contradiction.
One good example is Rom 2:13-15.25.26 and Rom 3,10:

"For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto
them selves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts,.."
"For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision"

"As it is written. There is none righteous, no not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."

Does anybody have a suggestion how to deal with this kind of apparent contradictions?

Allan F

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on March 27, 2001, 05:45:00 AM
Yes, Brother Allan.  :)  If we would read in context, much of the difficulty would be removed.


"there is none that seeketh after God..." This is made into a lie. I know many who seek after God. God asks us to. So, we must look for another interpretation that the one that is being foisted upon us.  :)  If we read this chapter in context, and put it together with the rest of the Bible, we get a better picture of what is being said. Line upon line, precept upon precept. Here a little, there a little.  The rule for Bible interpretation. We let the Bible interpret itself.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Harry Elliott on March 27, 2001, 08:15:00 PM
Alan--

My personal understanding of those passages:

The Hebrew Bible comprises three components.  Judaism considers the first component to be by far the most important.  It is, of course, “The Torah”, which means “The Law.  The second portion is called “The Prophets”.  When Jesus spoke of “the law and the prophets”, He was surely referring to these two portions of the OT, which were canonized by them in that order.

A major issue in Paul’s epistles is his effort to thwart the Judaizers’ coercion of Gentile Christians to submit to The Torah as God’s will for all mankind even after the cross.  Paul argued that no one is under the law (The Torah) since the coming of the promised seed, therefore Gentile Christians are not obligated by the law to observe circumcision, etc.

I believe the citations you give deal with this problem.  He chides the Judaizers that even if they were still under the law, they would become just as uncircumcised as the Gentiles, in God’s eyes any time they fail to keep the law perfectly. Which he implies is always. And that the Gentiles Christians who don’t have The  Torah, have all the law they need within themselves--by virtue of their Spirit endowed consciences, I would think.

--Harry

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: James Saptenno on March 29, 2001, 07:01:00 AM
Brother Richard.

I will follow your good advice.

Please help me in answering these questions so that I might come to know the truth of the gospel.

Is there any other condition required to be justified by faith else then having faith in Christ?

Is there any other condition required to be righteous else then God’s grace?

In His love

James S.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on March 29, 2001, 10:21:00 AM
Brother James, I am deeply moved by your willing submission to my encouragement. The love of God removes pride in the heart. It is a miracle that none can counterfeit.

You are entirely correct about this aspect of salvation. You ask "Is there any other condition required to be justified by faith else then having faith in Christ?" The answer according to the Bible is, no. Nothing else is required. But, we must go further and recognize what this faith is. It is a whole heart faith that takes God at His Word. It is a faith which has no "unbelief". It is a faith that loves God with all the heart, all the soul, all the mind, and all the strength and a faith that produces unselfish love for our neighbors.

Thank you for your great desire to come into unity of doctrine. As we continue in the Spirit of meekness and love we shall glorify our Saviour.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: sdboyd on March 30, 2001, 04:18:00 PM
I think the following quote may broaden out this discussion of a great topic.  It was written to A.T. Jones:

"You repeated several times that works amounted to nothing, that there were no conditions. The matter was presented in that light that I knew minds would be confused and would not receive the correct impression in reference to faith and works, and I decided to write to you. You state this matter too strongly. There are conditions to our receiving justification and sanctification, and the righteousness of Christ. I know your meaning, but you leave a wrong impression upon many minds. While good works will not save even one soul, yet it is impossible for even one soul to be saved without good works."  FW 111.1

SB

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on March 31, 2001, 06:03:00 AM
Thank you, Brother Boyd.  :) The fruit of conversion is good works. It earns nothing, but it reveals an indwelling Christ. I am always amazed that this is such a difficult subject. When we are baptised we are telling the world we have died to self and are new creatures in Jesus Christ. Yes, there are many times we will have to confess we have failed, but we trust in our Saviour's power to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. We want to love others as He does. Love to God and love to man are the good works that are present at justification and grow throughout the Christian walk.

Thank you again, Brother Boyd for the very good Spirit of Prophecy statement that supports the gospel of grace. "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments." Have a blessed Sabbath!
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Allan F on March 31, 2001, 10:40:00 AM
Thank you for the answers Brother Richard and Harry. We should always consider the context when seeking to understand a specific bible text. We should also look for other bible verses that discuss the specific topic and not cling to a single text.
I believe that much of our disagreement would disappear if we honestly follow these two principles in our Bible study.
And let us always remember that the Holy Spirit who inspired the writers is the only one who truly can reveal the Scripture to us  :)

Allan F

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Dugald T Lewis MD on March 31, 2001, 11:59:00 AM
Great comments myt Brothers in Christ!
I appreciate the post made by Brother Boyd.
Welcome to TRO.

Dugald  

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: James Saptenno on April 06, 2001, 07:01:00 PM
While good works will not save even one soul, yet it is impossible for even one soul to be saved without good works." FW 111.1
SB

Is this statement true and biblical?

How about the thief on the cross at Calvary, has he good works? Not a thing! But I am sure he was saved. By what? Not by good works, but by faith in Christ! Thus he was saved without good works!

This statement was made when sister EGW still clings to the idea of saved by faith and works or subtle legalism.

In His love

James S.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 07, 2001, 08:10:00 AM
Brother James, it is not the prophet that misunderstood. Ellen White understood this most basic subject and continued to teach in the same manner until her death.  Here you are on very dangerous ground. Stop and consider what you have said. While we have labored over this subject for some time, and I think that I have done so from the Bible, it has done little to convince you that good works come from those in Christ. Now, someone gives Spirit of Prophecy support and you express concern that Ellen White was wrong.

My friend, Ellen White is only saying what it is that we have been sharing with you from the Bible. Here is where we differ. You believe that one can kill and be a Christian. The Bible teaches that you cannot get this kind of fruit from a good tree. These are the words of Jesus. "Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit." Matt. 12:33.

Sister White stated this in June of 1910: "The experience is perfected by fruit-bearing. He who does not bear good fruit in words and deeds, in the strength of elevated, ennobling principle, is like a bad tree. The fruit that he bears is unpalatable to God. His professed knowledge of Christ is a falsehood, a deception."

The law of God is written upon the hearts of those who are surrendered to Him. They will not kill, steal, committ adultery, lie, or take the name of the Lord in vain. I understand there are many who disagree. What you are saying is a common teaching in the "evangelical" churches and even in our church, but this does not undo the truth. Please consider how far you have gone in opposing the simple truth. A tree will be known by its fruit.

You remain in my prayers and I do appreciate the manner in which you have discussed this important subject.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Justin on April 08, 2001, 04:11:00 AM
Ah, the thief on the cross at Calvary...

"And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." (Luke 23:39-42)

This thief, in the shortest span of his time and circumstance, displayed his noblest character and "good works" - fruits of his faith in Chirst - by taking a firm stand for God and His love (mercy and justice). There is very few of such men and women in the human history and the same is true for the present generation.

"If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God." (Testimonies Volume 3, Page 280)

Using this thief as an example of the salvation without good works is unfortunate and accusing Ellen White of practicing a subtle legalism is, I suggest,  even more unfair.

Justin

[This message has been edited by Justin (edited 04-08-2001).]

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 08, 2001, 07:09:00 AM
Amen, Brother Justin.  The thief certainly manifested his faith in our Saviour by good works. While the whole world including God's church denied the Saviour, he did indeed confess Him!  :)  The good work of the thief was the one bright spot for our Saviour amid that awful darkness. While all had lost their faith, this one man kept the commandments of God as can be seen by his keeping the very first commandment that all others were breaking.

And....he had time to change his mind. He lived a lifetime of agony on that cross and he was surrounded by "unbelief" of a great magnitude. How many today will confess Christ when surrounded by family and friends that deny Him? How many will stand up for truth in a board meeting when all of the elders and the pastor are lined up against it?

Yes, the Ten Commandments were written on this man's heart and he did reveal his love for God as he suffered the agony of the cross. I am forever thankful for his words that encouraged my Saviour when all others had denied Him.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: sdboyd on April 08, 2001, 02:03:00 PM
James,
It is tempting to put Paul and James the apostle in a ring and root for the side that we think is right. After all, it appears that they are saying diametrically opposite things. James says, "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." Ja 2.21-24

Paul says, "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." Ro 4.2,3

So before we sit down to root for our side, it seems it would be well to remind ourselves that "all scripture is given by inspiration of God" and realize that these two are really friends fighting different battles.  Paul is fighting the battle against the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" crowd, and James is fighting the battle against the "believe and go on sinning" crowd. Both camps will land adherents in despair at the judgment.

Which brings the question to mind, "How can James and Paul be saying the same thing with such opposite language?"  

Paul is calling people to genuine faith - knowing that genuine faith obeys.(Ro 1.5) James is calling people to genuine obedience - knowing that genuine obedience proves faith. (In fact genuine obedience is only possible through faith.)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said it this way, "only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes."

Obedience and Faith are, after all,  inseparable friends.

Steve

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: James Saptenno on April 10, 2001, 08:17:00 PM
This thief, in the shortest span of his time and circumstance, displayed his noblest character and "good works" - fruits of his faith in Chirst - by taking a firm stand for God and His love (mercy and justice). There is very few of such men and women in the human history and the same is true for the present generation.
Justin.

Believing in Christ is not good works, it is faith. What the thief have done on the cross was just an acknowledgment of his faith in Christ. He has done nothing good! He was saved without a single good works except his faith. Thus his salvation is wholly of grace received by faith.

And that is what the gospel is.

Salvation that based on grace (not performance) and accepted by faith.

Anything more then that is not the gospel!

Good works or law obedience life is not what we produce but what the Spirit produce in us and through us. This is the direct fruit of faith, fruit of salvation, but it is not meritorious.

Sister EGW statement might be true, that without good works no one will be saved, because good works must present in a life of a believer who claims he has faith in Christ. But it can be understood as well as a believer is saved by his good works, despite she said that we are saved by faith and not good works. Why? Because if salvation is by faith, then damnation is also by disbelief. Performance or good or bad works has nothing to do with man’s salvation. Salvation is based on grace received by faith.

Here are more of her views regarding subtle legalism.

1] "Christ came to this earth and lived a life of perfect obedience, that men and women, through his grace, might also live lives of perfect obedience. This is necessary to their salvation. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord." RH, 3-15-1906

2] "Perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. It is perfection that is required; and nothing short of perfection will enable you to see the King in his beauty." RH 4-12-1870

3] One blot upon the character, one sin unconfessed and unrepented of, will close for you the gates of the city of God.” Manuscript Releases Vol. 12, p. 40

I was once in agreement with all this and had the same view as most of you and may be more extreme. But since I have learned the “in Christ motif” I realize what justification by faith really means.

“All man have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
By this alone no one will remain alive when seeing God face to face. That is why transformation is needed at Christ second coming, that indicates no one is perfect, no one is holy, all come short of the glory of God! And all must die because all are sinners! But all is saved by God’s GRACE and justified freely because of their faith “in Christ.”

“In Christ” they find their perfection even they are imperfect!
“In Christ” they find their holiness even they are sinners!
“In Christ” they find their justification even they are unjust!
“In Christ” they find their righteousness even they are all wrong doing!
“In Christ” they find their redemption of sins and death even they must die because of their sins!

It is the GRACE of God that saved us and continue to save us as long as we remain in His grace, that is if we remain “in Christ” by faith. Perfection, obedience and holiness we can never attain but has no account at all to our being saved or lost.

That is what I believe now, if God give me more truth then I might change my view.

In His love

James S.


Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 11, 2001, 07:43:00 AM
Brother James, it has taken a long time to come to a clear dilineation of our differences, but we are now here. You find yourself not only disagreeing with us, but with the Spirit of Prophecy (and I might add, the Bible).

I again appreciate your desire to discuss this important doctrine and also your willingness to listen to our understanding. I continue to pray that we can come into unity.

I want to repeat what we have all said before. Good works will not save anyone. None here are teaching that good works will save anyone. Only the blood of Jesus can save a sinner. Now, having made this very clear, the  fruit of salvation is a changed life. My friend you cannot continue in your belief that a Christian will kill, steal, etc. The fruit of Jesus in the heart is obedience to the known law.  If we are to continue in our discussion this is the point we must address. You do not believe in the power of God's gracen to transform your character. You have listened to some who have no power in their lives and are teaching others the same.

You can help our work here by sharing with us where you learn such things as a Seventh-day Adventist. We know the "evagelical" churches teach such, but where have you learned this “in Christ motif”? My thoughts before were the 1888 Study Committee, but we would all like to know who it is that has been teaching this "in Christ motif".  There are a number of "teachers" that come close to this. Venden, Sequierra, Larson, Whielen, and many writing in the Review. We would appreciate your help in this matter so that all may rightly understand what is being taught and who it is that is teaching.

In His love and grace,    Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Harry Elliott on April 12, 2001, 06:10:00 AM
Hi Richard--

Perhaps you could share a bit more of the clear delineation you see.  Are you taking the position that the only Christian who is secure in his/her salvation is one who has ceased sinning?

--Harry

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: James Saptenno on April 13, 2001, 08:15:00 AM
Brother Richard.

Your reply is just your own opinion without biblical proof.

I clearly see where we differ and where we agree.

You and I agree that Christ saved us, but we differ in how to remain save.

My point is I remain saved by God grace, not by my obedience to the law or by my good works. All I need is faith and a choice to live for God, and He will do the rest. But faith too, I have it because of His grace, all what left is a choice. A choice to accept salvation and live for God or to deny salvation and living for self. I my self can do nothing good as my nature is sinful, without the Spirit of God working in me to build up faith, I will surely lost. But once I have faith in what Christ had done for me, I then have a new choice except my nature to live for the flesh. That choice is to live for God, to focus my mind on Christ and live for Him that had died for me.

But living for self or living for the flesh is our nature that is why our performance can never be perfect and sinless. To the letter of the law we might show perfect obedience but to the Spirit of the law we fall short. And for that we remain sinners and saved only by God grace.

Paul clearly clarifies this by saying: “ …..touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” (Philippians 3:6). But then he said: “ What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law; for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin is dead. For I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died” (Romans 7:7-9).

Once, Paul was “blameless” to the law (the letter of the law), it is when he did not know the “law” (the spiritual demands of the law) in the commandment number 10 “thou shalt not covet.” But once he knew that, he saw himself no longer blameless but a sinner and must die. All his perfect obedience to the law considered now as living without the law, accounted as “dung,” since the law open his heart that he kept breaking it and so was and remain a sinner that must die. That is why he no longer seeks righteousness by the law but “ be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Philippians 3:9), since “ .. now the righteousness of God  without the law is manifested…which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all that believe” (Romans 3:21,22). Righteousness is no longer based on the law or performance but based on grace received by faith because “ all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23,24).

Paul understood that no one could ever attain perfection and sinlesness, because all breaks the law and fall short of God’s glory. All failed in performing the spiritual demand of the law. So, if salvation and justification based on good works or performance, then all men will lost and died forever. The same applied to “remain saved”, if perfection and sinlesness by obedience to the law is required to remain save, then no one will remain save and all will be lost because no one can keep the spiritual demands of the law due to the weakness of the flesh or our sinful nature (Romans 8:3). But thanks God, that to remain save is His grace received by faith!

I did not disagree with the SOP, as my view agrees with Sister White statement here:

“So long as Satan reigns, we shall have self to subdue, besetting sins to overcome; so long as life shall last, there will be no stopping place, no point which we can reach and say, I have fully attained."

And….

"Now you may cling to your righteousness, and you may think that you have tried to do right, and that, after all, you will be saved in doing this. You cannot see that Christ does it all." FW 72,73

and…

"...the prayers, the praise, the penitent confession of sin ascend from true believers as incense to the heavenly sanctuary, but passing through the corrupt channels of humanity, they are so defiled that unless purified by blood, they can never be of value with God. They ascend not in spotless purity, and unless the Intercessor, who is at God's right hand, presents and purifies all by His righteousness, it is not acceptable to God. All incense from earthly tabernacles must be moist with the cleansing drops of the blood of Christ. He holds before the Father the censer of His own merits, in which there is no taint of earthly corruption.

Oh, that all may see that everything in obedience, in penitence, in praise and thanksgiving, must be placed upon the glowing fire of the righteousness of Christ." Selected Messages Book 1, p. 344

In His love

James S.

[This message has been edited by James Saptenno (edited 04-13-2001).]

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 14, 2001, 09:07:00 AM
Brother James and Brother Harry, we must continue to bring the truth of what is being taught to the front. We do not want to be misunderstood. None are saved by keeping the law. Brother James, we have said this many times. Obedience to the known law of God is the fruit of abiding in Christ. It is by His love being revealed through the channel of sinful man that the world will know that we are His disciples. If you kill, if you steal, if you lie, you will bring reproach upon Christ.

Brother Harry,  in our sins, we do not have any assurance of salvation, only of condemnation. The law condemns us and the Holy Spirit reveals this. Jesus came to remove this condemnation, and this is our hope and promise. If we sin, we have this confidence, that Jesus will cleanse us from our unrighteousness. This is where Brother James fails to consider the rest of the Scripture and the rest of the Spirit of Prophecy.

Those who have learned to depend upon Christ for power to overcome, need not be fearful, for they know their need of Christ continually. It is those who do not know they need Jesus continually that need to be fearful. Many believe they are saved in their sins and this can be a fatal misconception. Brother James continues to sin knowingly and he believes he is in right standing with God. If he will continue to come to Jesus, asking for wisdom and grace, he will learn of the power of God's grace to cleanse from all known sin.

One of great lies of Satan is the teaching of Roman's seven as the Christian experience. This is not so and it is a stumbling block to many as it is to Brother James.  Roman's seven is not difficult to rightly understand. It does not contradict the rest of Paul's teaching as many would have it do. Paul kept the flesh under subjection and he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him.  Paul did not know that Jesus was his Saviour in Romans seven, as clearly seen in verse 24, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Paul was speaking of a time before he was converted when he began to realize he was under the condemnation of the broken law. At that time, he believed Jesus to be an imposter. Paul later found out "who" would deilver him, Jesus.  This topic is fully discussed in the Romans seven thread.

May God grant us grace to come into unity on this the foundation of our faith. Happy Sabbath to all.  :)
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Harry Elliott on April 14, 2001, 08:12:00 PM
Hi Richard--

The reason I asked that question was your statement that “ you cannot continue in your belief that a Christian will kill, steal, etc.”

That “etc.” includes all other sins, right?  Even the “respectable” ones?

Don’t you believe Christians sin? I take your statement about what happens “if” Christians sin to mean “when” Christians sin. Am I wrong?

--Harry

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 14, 2001, 08:26:00 PM
My brother Harry, it is not conclusive that you will keep sinning. God's grace has power to keep you from sinning. If we say "when" we sin, the implication is that God cannot keep us from sinning. I recognize that we see things differently, and this is why I pray for an extra measure of the Spirit that we may come into unity.  Again, the issue is clearly seen in that the fruit of salvation is obedience. I recognize that in the last 50 years there has been a great change within the church in this regards. There are now many voices that are teaching contrary to this. But, the church has not changed the teaching. It has allowed false teachers to preach from her pulpits the contrary gospel and we are now reaping what has been sown.

We see in the seminary a division and it ought not be so. Two gospels are contrary to Biblical principle. There is only one gospel and Paul has very strong words in regards to those who bring a false gospel into the church. We are not confused over the matter and we will continue to stand for the truth as it is in Jesus. We know of the power that we speak of. It is the greatest miracle that Christ can do. Yes, it is rather amazing and to some it seems impossible, but we ought not measure the Bible by our experience, but rather by what it says. Baptism represents  true conversion. There is a dying of self and a living unto Christ. We are new creatures in Christ Jesus and we can indeed do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  :)
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 17, 2001, 04:45:00 AM
Brother James, when you begin down the path of saying the prophet was wrong in her early experience, you will be disappointed. Here we have a statement made in 1887, just as the Latter Rain was beginning to come. "One presumptuous act, one deed in disregard of God's expressed will, lost for Adam his beautiful Eden home, and opened the floodgates of iniquity and woe upon our world; and yet men will declare that God is not particular, and does not require perfect obedience to his law. The precepts of Jehovah are as unchangeable as his eternal throne. To excuse sin on the plea that God is lax in his government is dishonoring to the great Governor of the universe, and perilous to man. It is an attempt to belittle his requirements, and to take away the force of law. Those who advocate such doctrine, place themselves in harmony with the first great rebel, and however high their professions of religion, Christ pronounces them 'workers of iniquity.' They are saying to the sinner, 'It shall be well with thee in thy disobedience and transgression,' as said the arch-deceiver in the garden of Eden." Signs 12-15-87.

Please consider your doubts in regards to the Spirit of Prophecy and this most basic doctrine. We love you and want the best for you.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Harry Elliott on April 17, 2001, 09:48:00 AM
James--

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.

--Harry

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Allan F on April 17, 2001, 01:45:00 PM
When reading my Bible, I have found that there is a differense between coming to Jesus and coming to Heaven. You see, we can (and must) come to Jesus just as we are. But, we can not necessarily come to Heaven just as we are.

We have to get heaven into our heads before we can get our heads into heaven. To attain this, creation is needed. God created everything out of nothing. So also with us. A new birth is indeed a creation (and a rare experience), but many believe that to become a christian is more like an evolutionary process rather than a creation.

God is the great Creator. In the first two chapters of the Bible God is creating the earth. In the last two chapters God is creating a new earth. In the chapters between God is also creating. He is creating hearts:

"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you... and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements, and do them" (Ezek 36:26.27).

"According to your faith be it unto you" (Matt 9:29).

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" (Psal 51:10).

"...purifying their hearts by faith" (Acts 15:9).


This is creation     :)


Allan F

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 17, 2001, 09:12:00 PM
Amen, Brother Allan! The gospel has reached Norway!!  :)  It may have gotten their first by the looks of things on this side of the ocean.

It takes great faith to believe that Jesus can cleanse a wretch like me. This is "justification by faith".  

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Harry Elliott on April 18, 2001, 07:38:00 AM
Richard--

You champion taking the Bible as it is written, and I applaud.  But should we do so selectively?

Paul knew the difference between past tense and present tense, didn’t he?  He finishes with the past in verse 13.  Then he describes what he SAYS is his PRSENT condition.  This isn’t the devil speaking, it’s Paul--in the Holy Scriptures.  

We can either submit to the Word and be corrected, as difficult as that process is, or we can attempt to correct scripture to fit what we have been taught.

Jesus will deliver us from our wretched bodies at glorification!

“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”  Rom 7:25  ( KJV !)

That’s plain enough for even me to understand.  :)  

--Harry

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: sdboyd on April 18, 2001, 08:00:00 AM

"Don’t you believe Christians sin? I take your statement about what happens “if” Christians sin to mean “when” Christians sin. Am I wrong?" --Harry

"My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.  And -if- anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1Jn 2.1 NKJV

Harry, do you think I am wrong in applying this verse in answer to your question?

Steve

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 18, 2001, 08:42:00 AM
Thank you, Brother Steve. This verse says it all.  :)

Brother Harry, it is good to see our differences are real. Now we can begin to move forward in coming into unity. We all love Jesus and want to know the truth.

When I say we are to take the Bible as it reads, I mean in context. You are taking the last verse out of its context. Look at the very next verse (in the KJV). Then  put your verse into the context of what Paul is saying in the last three chapters AND the rest of the Bible.  To say that Paul cannot help but sin when he is abding in Christ is to undo the whole Bible. Paul is describing his conversion experience in Romans seven. He is telling us how he came to see himself under the condemnation of the broken law, BEFORE he knew Jesus. The verse you have just quoted is Paul telling us that in Christ he serves Jesus, but outside of Christ, he serves the flesh.  We have to set side most of the Bible to allow Paul to do the things that are against the law while in a converted condition. Christ does not sin. It is impossible to get bad fruit from a good tree.

We are getting into Romans seven and there is a whole topic to discuss this important subject. Join us there.  :)

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: sdboyd on April 18, 2001, 09:09:00 AM
An interesting verse that describes Paul's experience and its relation to justification is found in 1Co 4.4:

"For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord."

Paul seems to be saying, "I don't know of any particular in which I am living in opposition to God's law, but this does not make me righteous."  My point in this context is that Paul knew of no sin in his life, yet in no way depended on this perception for his righteousness.  His eyes and his faith were fixed on Jesus righteousness.  

Steve

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: R Myers on April 18, 2001, 09:29:00 PM
Amen.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: sdboyd on April 20, 2001, 07:45:00 AM
Is Justification the same as being "born again" (Jn 3.3,5)? Can these two concepts be used interchangeably?

Steve

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: James Saptenno on April 20, 2001, 08:51:00 AM
Brother Richard.

As I have said that we both agree in how we are saved, but we disagrees in how to remain save. I have clarified my point that I remain save till the end only because of God’s grace, not because of my keeping the law or my performance. But from your view I understand that you remain save or retain your salvation by keeping the law or by your good works. Am I right?

This is a common view in the SDA. They say that “We are saved by God grace through faith, but if you did not obey the law you will die.” Other says that ‘ even though we are saved by God grace through faith, but if you are not perfect, you will not enter heaven.”

The bible teaches me that we are saved by God’s grace, a free gift. And that includes retaining this salvation once we accept it! “And if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace; otherwise work is no more work.” – Romans 11:6.

Quote:
Brother James continues to sin knowingly and he believes he is in right standing with God. If he will continue to come to Jesus, asking for wisdom and grace, he will learn of the power of God's grace to cleanse from all known sin.
Unquote.

Brother Richard, because of the weakness of the flesh (Romans 8:3), we continually sinning before God (Romans 3:23). Don’t you realize this? Even you did not break the letter of the law, but you break the spirit of the law. All of us do! That makes you fall short of the glory of God and MUST DIE. If God still requires perfection and obedience to the law (not only the letter but also the spirit) as a requirement to enter heaven then no one will make it, and all will die.

That is why God did not requires this any longer, instead Christ did it for us, and by believing in Him, the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us as the result of our being “in Christ” trough faith (Romans 8:3,4; John 15:1-5). This is His grace!

Also because of His grace we are considered dead to the law (Romans 7:6; Galatians 2:19) and that makes sin have no longer dominion over us, because we are not under the law anymore (Romans 6:14) but under grace. How can the law condemn a “dead man”? How can sin have dominion over a dead body? “ For he that is dead is freed from sin.” – Romans 6:7.

But shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? God forbid! Romans 6:15.

That is clear, even we are not under the law and can not be condemned by the law if we sin (because we are dead to the law), we are not suppose to live in sin but to live for God! We are not allowed to use our liberty to live for the flesh but to serve one another in love (Romans 6:11; II Corinthians 5:15; Galatians 5:13). Because if we live for the flesh we shall die (Romans 8:13; Galatians 5:21) even though we are not under the law but “as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law” – Romans 2:12.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” – Romans 8:1.
This inspired statement is true! Through our faith we were put “in Christ” and “in Him” we find all what we need to enter heaven, i.e.; forgiveness of sins, redemption, righteousness, perfection, holiness, eternal life etc.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God; for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” – Galatians 2:21.

In His love

James S.


Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: James Saptenno on April 20, 2001, 08:59:00 AM
James--
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.

--Harry

It is true! That is why we must take what is good and not just accept everything of her is inspired. If she contradict the bible, we must not questions the bible because as she has said that her writings is just a lesser light compare to the bible and the bible only as the foundation of truth. But as the church keep publishing all her writings then we will see a dualism, and it is up to us to deal with it.

In His love

James S.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 21, 2001, 09:14:00 AM
Brother James, Happy Sabbath!

I do not believe we retain our justification by obedience. I believe we retain our justification by the grace of God which is imparted continually. Notice I said "imparted". When we cease to pray and look away from Jesus, we lose our justification because we no longer love Jesus with the whole heart. It is then that we sin. You see, my brother you misunderstood what I have been saying. We are saved by God's grace. Where we differ is that you do not believe that God can keep my daughter a virgin until she is married. Or a homo-sexual free from sin. Or, do you? Then if God can keep them pure, what is it He cannot do?  

Look at Romans 8:1 in the NIV and in the KJV and you will see the results of the "evangelicals" with their modern Bibles. What you have been saying calls for a change in Romans 8:1 The evangelicals did  it. They took away from the Word of God, just to make the point you have been trying to make, that man is saved in his sin. Many have been led astray by this one verse in a false bible.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: sdboyd on April 22, 2001, 07:20:00 AM
Hello Harry and James,

I would not say that I am unaffected by the opinions of others, but I do strive to let them be no more than a minority voice when it comes to deciding things that have eternal consequences. 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!

So my challenge for you both is, bring out the evidence in context.

James, on a different topic, you said, "Brother Richard, because of the weakness of the flesh (Romans 8:3), we [are]continually sinning before God (Romans 3:23)."

I would encourage you to include in your theology some texts that paint a bigger and brighter picture than the hopeless one you have painted.

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  Gal 5.16

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.  1Jn 3.6

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2Pe 1.4

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds  :P
5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2Co 10.3-5

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him…For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Ro 6.6-8,14

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Ro 8.3,4

The Saviour took upon Himself the infirmities of humanity and lived a sinless life, that men might have no fear that because of the weakness of human nature they could not overcome. Christ came to make us "partakers of the divine nature," and His life declares that humanity, combined with divinity, does not commit sin. {MH 180.5}
(By the way, the above statement was published in 1905.)

James, what do you do with the above thoughts? In light of the scripture quoted above, it seems to me that you would need to find an interpretation of Rom 3.23 that is in harmony with those quoted above.

God Bless,

Steve

[This message has been edited by sdboyd (edited 04-22-2001).]

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: sdboyd on April 22, 2001, 07:44:00 AM
Richard,

If the motives you attribute to modern translators were true, I would expect that all aspects of this doctrine would be smeared in the modern translations. You noted Romans 8.1 as evidence of the evangelicals getting their way. It is interesting to me that in the NIV this verse is a phrase with the sentence continued into the next verse. But the thought is not yet complete.  Paul hasn't yet reached the crescendo.  In my mind, he reaches that peak in verse 4 where it reads in the NIV, "in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met *in us*, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit."

This is profound stuff, and certainly does not, in its context, provide support for the position you have advocated. Now I am not suggesting that the NIV is the best study Bible.  But I am saying that there are bigger battles to fight than this one. In fact, I don't believe that this is a "battle" for us to fight. I believe that we can safely leave God's Word in God's hands.

God Bless,

Steve

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Allan F on April 22, 2001, 02:36:00 PM
Hello James
I appreciate the good spirit in your postings. I hope we can come into agreement on this important topic. One of the main differences between your teaching and the teaching of TRO is about in what degree we can keep the law. You seem to say that we can only keep the letter of the law. Let me qoute your words:

"Brother R, because of the weakness of the flesh (Romans 8:3), we continually sinning before God (Romans 3:23). Don’t you realize this? Even you did not break the letter of the law, but you break the spirit of the law."

I just want to remind you of the chapter prior to the one you use as an argument for saying that we always break the spirit of the law. In Romans chapter 2 we will find that some people are living according to the spirit of the law. And not only the circumcision (the jew) but also the uncircumcision (gentile) (v. 15, 26). I find it therefore quite clear that Paul is saying that it is possible to "keep the righteousness of the law". I can therefore not agree with you when you use the very next chapter as an argument to show that it is impossible to keep the law.

I beleive it is of vital importance that we keep not only the letter, but also the spirit of the law. In Matt 5 Jesus put the law directly into the heart. In Jesus time the jews was mainly keeping the letter of the law, and their leaders and "good" examples - the pharisees, had become the greatest standard of morality. But in verse 20 Jesus is really shaking the people: "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall not case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Then, in the next verses, Jesus is setting up the kind of righteousness he has in mind. We see that he is moving the law from the outside or from the letter, to the heart and the spirit. And he ends up with the most difficult command ever given: "Love thy enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" Why? "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven" (v. 44,45). To help people to live like this is the aim of the Gospel.

In the four gospels we do not often see Jesus making use of the expressions "Justification by faith" and "righteousness by faith". Instead he loved to use the expression "to save". This expressin He made use of at many different occasions. Both when he was healing people from their illnesses and also when he was talking about spiritual things. "To save" means to heal or to make whole. In the spiritually world this would imply both what Jesus does FOR us and IN us. As a good hebrew-thinking jew he looked at grace as one, wonderful free gift, with two aspects: The grace that does something FOR us and the grace that work IN us. But, 2000 years with greek dualistic thinking has influenced the christianity to divide/separate these two aspects of "grace" so much, that one of the aspects has become more important than the other. But a look into the hebrew sanctuary tells us that there was two items in the courtyard, which shows us that the two aspects of grace is a necessity in order to enter the tabernacle which is an antitype of heaven.

And as long as we are walking by the spirit, we are in a saving relationship. But "whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him" (1Jn 3:15).
You see, he is no longer walking by the spirit and he has none of the fruits of the spirit which are "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance" (Gal 5:22,23). They are all gone.

Well. It is late now, so I have to sleep! But I would appreciate your (and others) comments on this. Let us not stop studying, but let us keep in mind that there was always incense on top of the shewbread in the tabernacle. A beautiful picture of combining prayer with Bible study    :)

Allan F

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 24, 2001, 07:24:00 AM
Brother Steve, you are very perceptive. Yes, the following passage does indeed say what 8:1 said and yes, the new versions left it in.  You say, "If the motives you attribute to modern translators were true, I would     expect that all aspects of this doctrine would be smeared in the modern translations."

The devil is very intelligent. He has done well in just making changes here and there. You know that 90% of the people will not study as you have done and see what you did. They will read Romans 8:1 because the "teacher" told them we are saved in our sins,  and stop there, content with the "proof" of the one verse. Romans 8:1 is one of the most important texts to support the "evangelical" gospel. You hear it quoted extensively. Of course it is being quoted wrong. It is the NIV that is being quoted. The devil has succeeded greatly in just making a few critical changes. If he were to make too many changes too fast, he would lose his credibility. Remember the truth we have learned, a little bit of poison goes into much good food. This is what has been done with many of the newer "bibles". They have been changed at critical points and have had their success in leading people away from the truth.

I was an active proponent of the NIV at one time. I have repented. There are many others who are much better to present the case against the newer "bibles". I only know what the Holy Spirit showed me in regards to a couple of verses. Others have done much study into the matter and can give very good support to the premise I speak of.

Hope this helps. I don't think we have a topic on the subject. I suppose we ought to since it is important.

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers 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

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers 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

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Harry Elliott 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

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Harry Elliott 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

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson 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".    

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: sdboyd 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).]

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Harry Elliott 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

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers 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

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers 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

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Harry Elliott 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

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers 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

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Justin 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).]

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Harry Elliott 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


Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Harry Elliott 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

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers 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

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Justin 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).]

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson 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.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Harry Elliott 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

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Harry Elliott 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


Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers 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

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Justin on May 19, 2001, 08:48:00 PM
Brother Harry,

In my opinion, you seem to take the plain things in a overly complicated manner. I am not going to respond to your every point, but I would like to quote Mrs. White from her "Steps to Christ" to show how contrast her understanding is to yours.


YOU SAID:

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.

MRS. WHITE SAID:

Paul says that as "touching the righteousness which is in the law" - as far as outward acts were concerned - he was "blameless" (Philippians 3:6); but when the spiritual character of the law was discerned, he saw himself a sinner. Judged by the letter of the law as men apply it to the outward life, he had abstained from sin; but when he looked into the depths of its holy precepts, and saw himself as God saw him, he bowed in humiliation and confessed his guilt. He says, "I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died." Romans 7:9. When he saw the spiritual nature of the law, sin appeared in its true hideousness, and his self-esteem was gone. (Steps to Christ 29-30)

Brother Harry,

With all due respect, your assertion that God's law only caused people to behave worse is such an outrageous "spin-doctoring" position that even my former hardcore Calvinistic brethren would have rejected it.

Justin

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Allan F on May 20, 2001, 03:36:00 AM
In our discussion about justification by faith, it may be clarifying to be aware of the reformationist view, or the most common view in SDA today about justification, which I do not find biblical and not in harmony with the SOP. In this way we may better understand what is the problem:


JUSTIFICATION (GOSPEL)

Strictly forensic
Declared   NOT   Made righteous
Imputed      NOT   Imparted
Free gift   NOT   Cooperation
Root      NOT   Fruit
Good news   NOT   Good advice
Reformation   NOT   Roman Cath. theology

Never the work of the Spirit
Christ      NOT   Holy Spirit
Objective   NOT   Subjective
Outside      NOT   In the heart
In heaven   NOT   On earth
For us      NOT    In us
In Christ   NOT    Christ in us
2000 years ago   NOT   Present experience

Failure to remove all elements in the right-hand columns from the Gospel (left columns) is beleived to represent the false Gospel
(From the book 'The Theology Crisis', by A. L. Moore, 1979).

According to this view, the sacrifice of Christ is alone determinative of salvation; the work of the Holy Spirit is beleived to be the fruit, and is necessary as evidence for justification, but it is automatic and not determinative. White, on the other hand, I find to beleive that the great sacrifice provides for a second probation to all who enter the covenant with God. And the maintenance of this cooperation with Christ and The Holy Spirit determines the result of the probation.

This was a very brief overview over these different views. But as far as I have studied, this seems to be the sum of this two views.

Allan F

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Dugald T Lewis MD on May 21, 2001, 03:30:00 PM
One of the most comprehensive and authoritative sources on justification by faith is a book written by Elder A.G Daniels entitled "Christ our Righteousness". This book was the result of an action taken by the Ministerial Association Advisory Council held in De Moines Iowa, October 22, 1924.  In this action, it was voted that Elder Daniells be asked to arrange for a compilation of the writings of Mrs E.G White on the subject of Justification by Faith.
That book was the result.

It is important to understand that Justification can only be retained through continual obedience.

DTL

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: DavidTBattler on May 28, 2001, 10:32:00 PM
Hello Everyone

I have one of my "interesting questions" again!   :)

I think this is the most appropriate thread to ask it, but if it isn't; let me know...

I would like to explore with willing soldiers of the cross this question:

"Is there a difference, between being 'justified,' and being 'forgiven?'  If so; what is this difference, and why?"

------------------
"Know the grace of God in Truth."  (Col.1:6).

Your brother in Christ

David T. Battler

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on May 28, 2001, 10:51:00 PM
That is an interesting question, Brother David. Does forgiveness extend indefinitely? If you murder a mother's son and are sorry and are forgiven, does that forgivness continue if you murder the second and last child?

Let me put it another way. If I forgive you because you lied to me, and then you steal from George, do I still forgive you for lying to me? I don't think the question is probably a very good one. What are you trying to get at?

Justification accompanies forgiveness. When one is truly repentant, he is justified and forgiven. When one sins, he loses his justification and is in need of forgiveness.

The lost may have been justified in the past and had their sins forgiven at a point in time, but they will suffer for each sin they ever did. This is to say that the forgiven sins will not be forgiven in the end.

I hope this answers your question in a manner that is appropriate to this topic.  :)

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on June 07, 2001, 03:19:00 PM
Dear Brother's and Sister's:

I have, along with a number of other "authoritive" books and manuscripts; Elder A.G Daniels entitled "Christ our Righteousness".  I might add that there is some very interesting 'stuff' written around 1888 by Jones and Waggoner regarding this subject which Mrs. White said had our church understood and adopted this message, we would have been home [1890].

All to often in forums such as this one, there are many 'interpretations' to the theme of 'Righteousness by Faith'.  It is, however, (IMO) a rather simple, not complex issue.  Righteousness by faith begins the moment the sinner comes to the cross with his/her burden of a life damaged by sin...And, it is here I might add, that each and every one of us become equals in the daily and step by step march toward heaven...Justification 'is' at that point we 'lay our burden down' and confess that we are 'unable' to do, and ask Him to 'do' for us that which is impossible...God just loves to do the impossible... :)

(IMO) When we get any deeper in the 'theology' of this matter, there becomes far to much "I" in the solution...How can this be?  :o  Justification is a 'moments work'. It is, the easy part [for us]...And it is also here that I think many of us get 'hung-up' or, the 'yo-yo' effect?

The only doctrine [truth] which I believe we as Seventh-Day-Adventist's have which is different than all other protestant churches is this:  "The doctrine of Prefection before Glorification"...Ouch!

We cannot (IMO) live in a state of 'justification', and at the same time live as maturing christians...We are to grow, be 'sanctified', become so deeply rooted in the 'truth' that we cannot be moved...Justification, as a part of the Sanctuary service [either in heaven or on earth] has already ended.  We now live in the 'Day of Atonement'...And, as a result of this, we must be in constant anguish of soul over or sins, past and present.  Asking for forgiveness, and I think a deeper knowledge of what sin truely is...there are layers to the law...Christ showed us that while He was here on this earth..."If you hate your brother, you have already murdered him"; and, "If you lust after a woman in your heart, you have already commited adultry with her"...It can only be a clear sign to us that sin goes much deeper than our actions.  It is motive, thought, and much much more...

I hope someone will offer their idea(s) to this conversation, as I would hate to see these threads die while some of us are truely searching out 'truth' for our selves...

Sincerely your brother in Christ.  

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Dugald T Lewis MD on June 07, 2001, 04:40:00 PM
Dear Brother Thompson,

I am glad to see that I am not the only one reading the book by Elder Daniels. It is simple and straigthforward.

I agree that living the sanctified life should be the goal of every mature christian. Embodied in this is the concept of loving obedience.

Let us pray that the sanctified life that we speak about will be synonymous will primitive godliness.

Sincerely
Dugald

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on June 07, 2001, 08:18:00 PM
Brother Herbert, let us then use the language of the Bible. There is far too much "I". The Bible is clear and the Words of Jesus are very clear!  :)

We are having difficulty with Justification by Faith because we have trouble with the foundation principles of the gospel. Rather than begin in this thread, it would be good to take a look at the others that are easier to understand and which when understood make Justification by Faith easy to understand. Suggestions include Gospel and Salvation, Satan's Great Lie, Romans 7, Abide in Me and I in You. These all deal with the foundation principles.

We will continue here, but it is very difficult if we believe that we have life when we do not. In order to understand Justification by Faith, we must understand that we are not "justified" when we sin.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is not the only church that believes one can be "perfect" this side of heaven.  This is not a "new" theology, but rather the old gospel known from the time of Adam. The distincive doctrines that we hold today are the Sabbath, the State of the Dead, and the Sanctuary message found in the previously sealed book of Daniel. Even the Sabbath and the state of the dead are believed by some other churches. That leaves the "day of atonement" or the judgment message that we have been entrusted with. No other church that I know of teaches this correctly.

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: D.B. Thomas on June 08, 2001, 12:33:00 AM
Hello Richard

I just got around to reading your reply to me above.

I am sorry  have not really explained myself to well yet.   :)

What I am actually asking is this:

Let's say I ask God to forgive me, and I base my request on 1 Jo.1:9.

By God's Word, I am forgiven.

Does forgiven, in this context, = justification?

Is being forgiven for any sin, the same as being justified?  Are the Words "forgiven" and "justified" synonomously used in the Bible?

I will try to explain more when I get more time to write it out.  Thanks for bearing with me here!   :)

------------------
"For surely, I shall command, and will sift the house of Israel; YET NOT THE SMALLEST GRAIN SHALL FALL TO THE GROUND!"  (Amos 9:9).

D.B. Thomas

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on June 08, 2001, 05:49:00 AM
Brother DB, can a man be forgiven his sins unless he be justified? No. There is only One way which a man can be forgiven, by the blood of the Lamb.

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on June 10, 2001, 03:11:00 PM
Brother's and Sister's:

Brother Myers and Thomas...Both of your statements have been questions which I have been pondering much these past few months...

On-the-one-hand, we are 'raised' to believe that Jesus "saved us from sin" and not "in our sin"...but I wonder?  What about
Romans 5:8?  Can there be more than one 'principle' at work here?  :confussed:

Justification litterally means 'set right' or 'save'...Salvation actually comes from a root which means 'suave' or 'ointment' [to save]...forgiveness I have yet to thouroughly cheek-out as the original languages are complicated and I have only a limited ability to search them out for my self...However, I would venture a educated guess that it's meaning is similar to that of justification [to rectify; set right; make at one].  Yet, and as Brother Thomas points out, the 'free gift' of salvation does not make us 'trust worthy' or, 'safe to take home to heaven'...It seems [to me] very clear that we are all 'forgiven, even justified' by the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ at the Cross.  However, we are not 'saved' until we 'accept' the 'gift'...We are not 'trustworthy' as it were...

The application of the 'concept' of 'righteousness by faith'  and 'perfection' as such were [as brother Myers has stated] understood by Adam, and Enoch.  And, Enoch was 'translated', his heart [mind or character] 'at one' with the harmonies of heaven...[:) And this, we are told, must be 'our state' just prior to the return of Jesus!]  This was, again passed down from generation to generation as biblically clear, and evidenced by the fact that Abel died, I believe, defending the faith for this very 'principle'...

Academically however, I remain with what the Seventh-Day-Adventist church calls [or used to call] the 'Four S's'.  Second Advent; Sabbath; State of the Dead; and, Sanctuary...All of which were taught in the pre-baptismal class as the 27 Fundamental Doctrine's [melted down, so-to-speak] and the principle's of Advent belief...

The 'principle' of 'perfection' is not touched on in any one of these four...In fact, when I mentioned the concept for the first time I was cautioned to hesitate consideration on that subject for a while longer, as there is false doctrine also associated which I later found is the doctrine of 'holy flesh'.  Perhaps someone here would wish to comment on the difference of these two in conjunction with Righteousness by Faith?

It is interesting to note that our pioneer's, all coming from a very diverse group of christian persuasions.  Mrs. White in particular, coming from a strong Methodist back-ground, had entirely different view on the doctrin's of justification and sanctification which during thef course of following were greatly modified, as were the views of the church proper...

Regarding the Day of Atonement - Sancturary or 'Investigative Judgement' theology.  Our founder's came by this 'theology' in a most remarkable way, many times spending whole nights in debate and prayer.  Finally, and often an 'impasse', Mrs. White would be taken in vision and the subject would be revealed to her, and she would then convey the message to those present...Mrs. White clearly states that the revelation of 'Truth' will continue right on down through the end of time, and we may 'never fully understand these truths until we do reach heaven'...

So, in terms of other churches 'teaching this as we do', it has been a long time in coming to it present understanding(s). And, it may be a little while longer coming to a point where, God's people are, in fact, close enough to the truth of the message that we will be 'true and faithful witnesses'; finally able to tell the 'truth about God'...Or as God said about Job: "He has said what is 'right' about me..."  I therefore,  differ here that 'we' are the only one's...we have still 'not arrived' by any means. :eek:

Hope all have a 'good week', a 'godly week', and I will enjoy continuing this perhaps a little more often now as I have found a new driver, and will be able to be here at the University more often... :)

Sincerely your brother in Christ.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: D.B. Thomas on June 10, 2001, 11:55:00 PM
Hello jherbertthompson

You were reading my mind a little bit during your above comments about Romans 5:8.    :).

Thankyou for your contributions here @ TRO.  I enjoy them very much.

But now for a question to further explain where I am coming from:

Is "justification" the work of a lifetime, or is it an event?  A one time thing?

I think all would agree that "sanctification" is the work of a lifetime; but how does "justification" fit into this?

Are we "justified" at the moment of Christ's death, as Rom.5:8 seems to say?  Or is there more to it?  Is forgiveness of sins justification; or, is the death of Christ our justification?

Sometimes; in the weakness of our understandings, we can make things like repentance an obstacle between us and the Savior:

SC.026.001
"Just here is a point on which many may err, and hence they fail of receiving the help that Christ desires to give them. They think that they cannot come to Christ unless they first repent, and that repentance prepares for the forgiveness of their sins. It is true that repentance does precede the forgiveness of sins; for it is only the broken and contrite heart that will feel the need of a Saviour. But must the sinner wait till he has repented before he can come to Jesus? Is repentance to be made an obstacle between the sinner and the Saviour?"


Is this why Eph.2:13 tells us " Ye who were once afar off, are made near by the blood of Christ?"

So, how does the SDA Church teach regarding the relationship of the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of sin/s, and being "justified?"  In other words, does the Bible teach more than one type of justifying?  One by the blood of Christ, and one by the forgiveness of sin?    Exactly how are these two related?

Please don't come after me for "teaching" any abberant theology.  I am just asking research questions for now; not stating what I believe here yet... :).
------------------
"For surely, I shall command, and will sift the house of Israel; YET NOT THE SMALLEST GRAIN SHALL FALL TO THE GROUND!"  (Amos 9:9).

D.B. Thomas

[This message has been edited by D.B. Thomas (edited 06-11-2001).]

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: frenchmon on June 11, 2001, 03:40:00 PM
D.B. Thomas...can you kindly help me to understand what you believe about the above questions???It will be much more easy to answer you... Thanks...--frenchmon  :)

[This message has been edited by frenchmon (edited 06-11-2001).]

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: D.B. Thomas on June 11, 2001, 09:04:00 PM
Hello frenchmon

I don't see how my belief could possibly help here.  I just stated in the above post that I am researching the matter, and that that was the reason for my questions.

------------------
"For surely, I shall command, and will sift the house of Israel; YET NOT THE SMALLEST GRAIN SHALL FALL TO THE GROUND!"  (Amos 9:9).

D.B. Thomas

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on June 12, 2001, 10:11:00 AM
Brother Thomas and TRO:

Ah!  It is a good thing to know that we have an 'Elder Brother' who is both our 'High Priest' and our 'Friend'!

As a relatively new Christian, these 'thoughts' of mine are really questions which have been in my mind [I think some of them for years] and, ever since I began studying for baptism.  Two years ago, if you had told me that I would become a Christian, I would have laughed you out of town; but to be participating in a discussion group of this calibre is really more than I would have ever anticipated!

However, before I commit heiracy, or as you put it construct 'abberant theology'; let me say that although I do believe that the Seventh-Day-Adventist Church
teaches the 'Truth as found in the Bible'; I approach much of this 'doctrine' from some-
what less of a SDA 'point of view'; and, more of a 'relationship' perspective.  Theology and Biblical Prespective are necessary in their place.  Yet, the majority of people (IMO) never get beyond the 'milk and soup' stage of their christian experience...That is why a forum like this is particularly inter-
esting to me as I do not accept 'God says so' kind of theology...God 'does say so'; but, He expects us, with the intelligence He has given us to 'reason these things out', and to survey the 'evidence'.  It is at that point we are able to decide 'for ourselves' as to what is 'so', so-to-speak...This really is not an 'agenda' on my part.  However, it may explain why I express things in the parculiar way in which I do...I also have the greatest of pleasures of being both retired and close to an Adventist University where, I spend hours upon hours each week studying these things out for myself; that I may give an account to all men what it is, and why it is that I believe in this Gospel.

Well!  With all that said, perhaps I should get on with the subject at hand:

First of all, I would like to point you towards three separate books which I began with; and which, have been the base from which I proceeded in this venture. Dr. Arnold
V. Wallenkampf has written:  'Justified';
'Perfect in Christ'; and, 'Salvation Unlimited'...He himself calls these three books a 'Perspective in Righteousness by Faith'.  I would agree.  And, I will use short excerpts from a couple of chapters.
Perhaps this will also give somewhat of a 'solid SDA platform' so-to-speak, that all may find acceptable?  By-the-way (BTY), if you cannot find or borrow copies of these books please tell me and I will point you to a sda.net sight which provides these books in their entirity...

> Your question that: "Is justification a one time event; or, somehow an ongoing 'event' in our lives?  [I like that!]

In my previous post I stated that in my opinion (IMO), justification came both at the cross and at the moment we 'repent'; and as Sister White says, [repentance is:] "a turn-
ing away from our sinful past"...Can this be a one time thing?  I don't think so by the very definition.  Do you?  We are constantly brought into a face to face recognition of our faults by observance of the Ten Commandment, and the fact that is these 'show' us how we 'measure' up to the Character of God...Wouldn't you agree?  Mrs.
White also says that, "the closer we get to an experience of total commitment to Christ, the more abhorant and sinfull our own character's will appear!"

I also occurs to me that in a discussion like this we need to at least cover a sort of definition about sin, and the sin problem...
I personally prescribe to the idea that sin is more than mere rebelliousness or lawlessness...Sin 'damages' the sinner!  Sin, with all of it's destructiveness is what hurts God so much, and makes it so grevious to Him as our creator...An illistration:  Suppose there is a 'rule' in your house that no one is to kill any living creature on you property.  Sabbath afternoon, after coming home from church, you look out your window and find that your next door neighbor is beating your cats brains out against the side walk...Are you 'angry' about the fact that this individual is 'breaking the rules'; or, are you horribly distruaght at the fact that your poor cat is being killed?

Likewise, the problem with sin that the plan of salvation was devised to fix is not the matter of appeasing an angry God who's 'rules we have brooken'.  No!  God's attitude toward us has not changed.  We have changed.  We are 'damaged' by sin...Let's use this example as being that satan is the neighbor, and we, the poor cat...Make any sense?

In his book "Justified", Dr. Wallenkampf makes the following observation(s).  "The term 'sanctification' is not a felicitous expression when used in contradistinction to justification by faith.  In post-Reformation theological thinking, it denotes a process of character development, or the result of this experience culminating in the ultimate attainment in Christian maturity..."

Simply, why do you think that 'Rahab' is in the "Faith, Hall of Fame"?  She was a whore. She, along with her people had 'heard all the stories about the "God of the Isrealite's" and was, in her own mind convincened that He alone was the one and true God of this universe as she understood it...Do you think that while she hid the spies in the flax, that they were praying: "Oh God, please have Rahab 'tell the truth' in regard to where we are!"  I don't think so!  :)  No!  They were HOPING that she would not 'give them up'!  Was she 'saved' because she knew all about the doctrine's?  The Seventh day Sabbath; the State of the Dead; or even the Sanctuary?  I don't think so...

Dr. Wallenkampf further states in his book (By the way: [BTW], I'm in chapter 13, "Justification and Sanctification - Distinct, but never separate"):  "That when a person 'accepts salvation' through Christ's grace, he chooses to live a life devoted to God and His service.  He is dedicated or consecrated to God.  Thus he is HOLY."

In the OT [and here we go again, back to the sanctuary and atonement], on the three previous days to the day of atonement, the people of Israel were to "Sanctify themselves 'Holy and Apart' from their transgressions; and to prepare for the 'cleansing of the Temple of God'!"  Here, if I am not mistaken, is an example of both 'justification and sanctification' at work.  What do you think?

Dr. Wallenkampf:  "Though we often prefer to separate them in our thinking [justification and sanctification] because it makes it easier for us to understand these two experiences in the salvation process, it would be well for us as Christian's to follow the example of the apostle Paul and not separate justification by faith from theological sanctification..."

Dr. Norval F Pease, and who's Seminary thesis was extensive research on the "History of the Doctrine of Salvation by Faith in the Seventh-Day-Adventist Church".  Wrote, in 1962 a wonderful book called: "By Faith Alone"...You may have this book in your personal library; or, some 'older' member may have it.  Either way, it also has helped me to 'get a handle' so-to-speak on this subject.

I find it interesting that in it's Foreword, by Elder R.R. Figuhr; he states that even then: "There was suggested by a few - that the Seventh-Day-Adventist Church has gone astray in failing to grasp this great and fundamental Christian teaching..."  

In Chapter 11; "Twentieth-Century Adventism and Justification by Faith", pp.177-224.  Dr. Pease makes the following comments:

(BTW) "The terms 'justification and righteousness by faith were seldom used by Mrs. White after 1900..."  

"Thus, it is evident that Seventh-Day-Adventist leaders on the whole, in speaking of justification and righteousness by faith, stressed that justification must be accompanied by a change of heart and the surrender of the will so that Christ may dwell in the heart throught the Holy Spirit and work out righteousness in the daily life..."  Justification and Sanctification mixed into one?  I think so...

Interestingly enough however, I'm not so quick to 'buy' the concept that God wishes to 'control' man's Will...We are not subject to a God who merely wishes 'puppets'.  On the contrary!  God's government is based on FREEDOM...Freedom includes the right to say either YES or NO...Therefore, we may be justified at the moment of 'repentence and confession'; and not 'saved'; 'safe'; or even 'trusted'...We must accordingly say YES to God, His way of doing or running His government, and the 'Holiness of His Law'...What do you think?

I really could go on, and on, and on...This is a most interesting subject, and one in which I thoroughly enjoy discussing with other's of like-minded-faith...Time and space do not permit my continued 'thesis'...And, I am working on several web-pages which will cover this and a multitude of other subjects included in the Great Controversy Theme...

Until the next time...

Your brother in Christ Jesus  


 

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on June 12, 2001, 12:42:00 PM
Brother Frenchman, good to see you!!  :) How is married life? In Christ I am sure you are being blessed!

Brother Herbert, your ideas seem to be good. I do so much appreciate your understanding that God wants us to "reason" with Him. He wants us to learn of Him that we might surrender the whole heart to Him. Then, we may understand spiritual things.

As a new Christian you are learning much.  :) May I suggest one caution. Man generally has a bad habit of looking to man for his help and his wisdom. While it is true that God does send teachers, I have found that we are much safer going to our Bibles and the Spirit of Prophecy for our lessons. God is well able to teach us, if we will come to Him wanting to learn. It is when we look to the writing's of mere mortals that we are in danger of imbibing chaff believing it is pure provender.

I don't make reference to those you are reading for I don't read their books. I cannot comment upon them. I spend my time reading the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. It has proved to be a great blessing.

Justification and sanctification cannot be separated. Justification occurs when we surrender to Christ and at the same time we receive the character of Christ which is His righteousness. Christ in us produces the fruits of the Spirit. This is sanctification or holiness. The important point to understand is that neither are everlasting and are dependent upon our effort each day to "abide" in Christ. When we take our eyes off of Jesus, we fall. We at that point do not retain justification or sanctification. Jesus stands at the door of the heart knocking, wanting back in.

Sanctification, while being "holy" does not mean that we cannot grow in our sanctification. Many believe this to mean we do not have a perfect motive, but this is not so. Our motives while in Christ are perfect. They are unselfish. It is Christ, not I. But, we may become more perfect in our behaviour and in our strength. Consider this text. Christ learned obedience by the things that He suffered. If Christ could grow in His character, than so can man. "First the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." Mark 4:28. The Christian is perfect at each stage, as he abides in Jesus.

It is good to find those that seek after truth in an effort to give glory and honor to Christ. Jesus will send the Comforter and He will lead you into all truth.  :)

In His love and grace,      Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: D.B. Thomas on June 12, 2001, 04:25:00 PM
jherberthompson

Are you saying by some of your above post, that repentence is = to justification; or synonomous with justification?

Richard

Are we any closer to answering the question about whether or not justification is a one time event, or an ongoing thing?       :)

Understandably, they cannot be separated; but what does the Bible tell us about the exact nature of the believer's experience of justification?  Justification is a different Word than sanctification; and so it must have a very particular meaning.       :)

May I offer a few hints from my point of understanding?  Jesus says something that many of us find distasteful:

The Christ of the cross Who justifies, always says as LORD of any person who is justified:

Luke 9:23 “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

The judgement, as portrayed in all it's phases in the Bible, provides evidence of, and witness to, the reality and genuineness of this “following” that Jesus mentions in Luke 9:23, above.

In His dual office of Savior AND Lord; Christ has judged sin at the cross; He justifies the sinner, on the basis of their faith response, and judges the justified, by their works.

The cross is the means by which justification is accomplished for the Christian.

Faith is the means by which justification is accepted by the believer.

Works of righteousness testify to the total reality, and vitality, of the justification of Jesus, in a person’s heart.

The absence of the works of righteousness, indicates a broken relationship with Jesus.

This relationship between justification, and judgement, can be seen better by placing it in the setting of a brief study on the relationship between Christ as my Savior, and Christ as my Lord...That is...the relationship between the GIFT of God, to me, and the CLAIM of God on me.  

We must all be accountable to the question: Is Christ BOTH my Savior and AND My Lord?

I have found that to try an separate God’s gift, from God’s claim, on my heart and on my life, is like trying to segregate Christ as Savior, and Christ as Lord, into two separate entities picking which ever of the two seems best at the moment.

But how can one have Christ only as their Lord, or, only as their Savior? In reality; Christ comes to us as both. That’s who He is. And there is an intimate bond between these two realities.

Now, I have said some interesting things; but where do the Scriptures themselves speak plainly about these things; and tell us clearly, what "justification" is?

And, one last thought, for now: Could it be that God's Gift, is = to our "justification," and that God's Claim is more related to our "sanctification?"

------------------
"For surely, I shall command, and will sift the house of Israel; YET NOT THE SMALLEST GRAIN SHALL FALL TO THE GROUND!"  (Amos 9:9).

D.B. Thomas

[This message has been edited by D.B. Thomas (edited 06-12-2001).]

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on June 12, 2001, 08:46:00 PM
I appreciate much of what you say, Brother DB, but I find no basis to try and make a distinction between Christ as Saviour and  Lord. As you say He is both. It is an "evagelical" teaching that allows one to begin to distinguish between Jesus as Saviour and Jesus as Lord. It allows one to sin while being "saved".

Justification is when one obtains eternal life, when one is "justified". This justification for eternal life comes because Christ died in my place AND because I have given my WHOLE heart to Him.  :)

In His love and grace,    Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: D.B. Thomas on June 12, 2001, 09:16:00 PM
Richard

I agree about that distinction that many try to make.  That's what I am trying to point out.  That it is wrong to make such a distinction.    :)

To All

I am looking for Scripture verses to support and explain "justification."  Any ideas?

------------------
"I will mention the loving-kindness of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord; according to all that the Lord has bestowed upon us."  (Isa.63:7).

D.B. Thomas

[This message has been edited by D.B. Thomas (edited 06-12-2001).]

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: D.B. Thomas on June 12, 2001, 10:54:00 PM
I'm really excited about this topic; it is good to be exploring the basics, and foundations of our salvation.

I will enclose a few more ideas... :)

In particular, the Savior-hood of Christ is revealed at the cross, where the love of Christ, already manifested during His earthly life, receives it’s climactic expression.  

I have been so excited to see that the Lordship of Jesus, with me, is precisely established through His love for me!  As Lord, Christ rules from the cross!  The self-giving love of Christ, revealed in His life,death, and resurrection,is the very heart of His reign over my mind and my life!  

There is no other principle in the crown of Christ, than in the principle of the cross of Christ.  As one of my favorite Christian writers once put it: “In the cross all influence centres, and from it, all influence goes forth.”  (Man.56, 1899).

To speak of Jesus’ Lordship, is specifically to say that His sacrificial love is meant to prevail over all the earth.  

Therein lies His Lordship.  

My Lord Jesus claims my entire life for His amazing love.  With the inseparable Christ as both my Savior, and my Lord, (these two are inseparable),I can readily see how there is an intimate connection, between what Christ gives to me; and what Christ claims of me.  

My Jesus comes to me in love.  In the Light and strength of His love; my Jesus asks that I be loving.

My Jesus comes to me in mercy.  In the joy and power of His mercy; my Jesus asks that I be merciful.

My Jesus comes to me in forgiveness.  In the great comfort and relief of His forgiveness; my Jesus asks that I be forgiving.

My Jesus comes to me in kindness.  In the inspiration and strength of His kindness; my Jesus asks me to be kind.

My Jesus comes to me in gentleness.  Under the power of the soft touch of His gentleness; my Jesus asks me to be gentle.

My Jesus comes to me in sacrifice.  In the  dauntless example of His sacrifice; my Jesus asks me to live and give sacrificially.

My Jesus comes to me, to be a servant to me; and in His astounding ministry of serving; my Jesus asks me to give a little bit back, by serving at every opportunity.

All that I can do or be as a Christian, is revealed in, and is the product of, what Christ has done for me personally!  (on Calvary).  That’s why I always have a testimony on my lips, of something He has done!   Of what avail that shed blood has had in my heart.  Of who He is to me! (Rev.12:11).  

The wonderful gift of God, that is, the gift of salvation, in His Son, is both the content of Christ’s claim on me, and the strength for me to fulfill His claims!  (justification, sanctification).  There is power in the blood!  There is power in the blood!  

That’s why the Bible assures us that: “nothing can separate us from the love of God.”  (Rom.8:38).  I mean really – how can Calvary ever be undone!

There is no room for anyone to be saved while still knowingly sinning against God or man, with a Lord and Savior who loves us with everything He has got.  

How can His followers do any less?   :)

------------------
"I will mention the loving-kindness of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord; according to all that the Lord has bestowed upon us."  (Isa.63:7).

D.B. Thomas

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: frenchmon on June 13, 2001, 01:37:00 PM
Hi D.B.Thomas...  :)

Hi Richard...  :) God is good to me and I am very thankful...and the married life is wonderful...Thanks for asking. It is a blessing to see a christian forum without all the nasty fighting...this is truly a quiet place  :)


D.B.Thomas

From reading your last three postings I can get a handle on what you believe. It seems as if you have been keeping a ear on the debates of MacArther and Zane Hodges on the topic of Lordship salvation they had in the late 1980's.

You asked:

"I am looking for Scripture verses to support and explain "justification." Any ideas?"

Well yes I have some ideas...first, there are three greek words for justification, but without getting all theological, the essence of the word in the context in which you speek is...to "constitute" or declare, or reckon some one as being righteous.

Second, a good place to start looking for scripture verses to support this is to start in the book of Romans Chapter 4...here we see how Paul explains how God reckons sinners as righteous...I hope this helps  :)..---frenchmon


Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on June 14, 2001, 02:30:00 PM
Brethern.  If I am to understand some of you correctly; you are making no distinction between Christ as Saviour and He as Lord...I would respectfully disagree.

May I suggest that by mere definition, Christ as Saviour is an 'act', or initiation by God to 'restore a broken relationship'.  This 'act', requiring a 'response' from the sinner is a matter of acceptance or rejection of that 'gift' which Christ made at the cross.  I think I have pointed out in previous post that it is my opinion that 'all have been forgiven', all are 'offered salvation'; without the previously mentioned 'acceptance' of this we cannot possibly be 'trusted' as safe to be admitted into heaven.  What do you think?

Christ as Lord is a 'fact' which has been from eternity and remains throughout eternity to come..."Lord" is a 'title' which is given the "Son of God"; as in (IMO) Isaiah 9:6; He is 'titled': "...Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace".  These not only tell us 'who' He is, they tell us about the 'active relationship' He has initiated to those of the 'covenant'...[Israel -- Spiritual Israel]

Accordingly, "Christ as Saviour" has become not only the "Lamb of God slain"; our "Mediator"; or "High Priest"; "He who is both 'just' and the 'justifier' of all those who believe."  He is as "Lord" the "King of King's"; "Lord of Lord's"; "The High and Lofty One"; He returns to receive His church, "His Bride" as the "Bride Groom"; and is ultimately received by the unfallen beings of the universe and angel's as the "Conquerer".
What do you think?

Brother Thomas.  Question: >>Are you saying by your above post that; repentence is = to justification; or, synonomous with justification?

My answer:  I'm actually saying neither...We are "justified", "following" a 'knowledge' of our sinful nature; a desire to change our 'sinfullness' or be 'restored'; and, have 'repented/turned away from' our 'old nature' and accepted God's way [i.e.] doing 'things'.
We are, therefore 'justified' the 'moment' we have 'fallen at the foot of the cross; confessed; and accepted the "Life of His Blood" as our own...What do you think?

Brother Thomas.  Regarding Scriptural evidence's of this process, I would suggest Romans 1-5 for starters; the book of Job; Psalms 51; and, John 17.

This subject is so broad that we might spend years without covering even the surface...God is so Grand!  I would further suggest that in terms of how this would apply to the Third Angel's message, "Christ our Saviour" will be our testimony and a 'witness' of the Christian bearing the "Seal of God" during the final hours of the Great Controversey.  The scriptures as being our "only safeguard" against the attacks of satan and the final deception is without a doubt our under-
standing the "truth about God" and having a personal 'relationship' with Him...The "Seal of God" may also be referred to as an 'intellegent and reasoned' worship of our Creator [as exibited in our keeping the Sabbath]; and our understanding of the "The State of the Dead" as perhaps promulgated by the 'rapture'...

With the propensity to look at things from as many possible view, I have begun a synopsis which I hope will further explain from where I come from...

Re: Revelation 12:17 -- I would further suggest that this is also, in a very real way a thought regarding this same subject...I will submit the following for your consideration.  Chapter 37, "The Scriptures a Safeguard".  The intered scriptural index would likely serve as Biblical Prespective for anyone who finds the time to search out each verse in it's context...I also have grown particularly fond of the SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 12, which was released just about a year ago...It has some unique text from our Biblical Research Team and many new [re: vol. 7a] references from Mrs. White.

Representing the Law of God in its true character in this the final hour is asking for the personal anger of satan...Those however, who love the law of God, and who are willing, at any cost [even their own lives] to not only to profess to be guided by it's principle's , and who actually live them out, in a world that is no more favorable to the christian than [as Mrs. White points our] those who lived before the flood. Will most certainly be those who also represent the true character of God and His form of government here on this world.

In the minds of many, I will seemingly have strayed from the topic, but let me further suggest that for years, as a non-christian, I viewed the Law of God as an impossibility for anyone to keep...And in reality, with out the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to do so, it is!  The book of Hebrews was especially confusing to me...and some of the old saint would often quote Hebrews 10:26 as a cause, not an effect of retracting one's heart from a true surrender.

I have much more material which I would like to share.  I hope that this post will stir further conversation, and I honestly hope that I will be able to give answer to what is my opinion, not 'be' my opinion.  :)  I'm thankful for this forum, and have learned a great deal from those who share their prespectives' in it!

You all do have a wonderful weekend, and we'll talk more this coming week, the Lord willing.

Sincerely your brother in Christ

 


   

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on June 14, 2001, 07:46:00 PM
Brother Herbert, I agree with your distinctions. My point was not to do as the "evangelicals" do. They leave one with a Saviour (being saved) while not allowing Jesus to be Lord. It is their theological twisting that allows for sin in the life of one who is in a saved condition.

I appreciate your veiw of justification. It does indeed come with a change in character and nature.  :)

Have a good Sabbath.

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: D.B. Thomas on June 14, 2001, 09:44:00 PM
For now, I just have time to quickly agree with Richard and brother Herbert..

I intended to make a distinction except for the fact that many people don't realize that the two distinct roles can't be separated.  :)

I have lots of questions/comments coming up!

------------------
"I will mention the loving-kindness of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord; according to all that the Lord has bestowed upon us."  (Isa.63:7).

D.B. Thomas

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: M.A. Crawford on June 15, 2001, 06:29:00 AM
Before I walk out the door, let me briefly say on the subject of Jesus as Saviour and Lord that, IF WE ARE TO BE SAVED, Jesus must be BOTH Saviour and Lord of our lives. He can't be one and not the other. He is Saviour in that He has provided salvation by way of Calvary. He is Lord in that He has provided salvation by giving us a Perfect Example to follow so there would be NO MISTAKE as to how we should live in order to obtain eternal life.

We cannot separate one from the other. They are separate only in concept as we seek to explain them, but they are BOTH NECESSARY if we expect to be saved.

I will elaborate on this further when I return.

M.A.    

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: frenchmon on June 15, 2001, 11:28:00 AM
Brother Herbert...I see no one disagreeing with you on the distinction of Justification and Sanctification...But you have lost me in your understanding of how every one has been forgiven...you said "...I think I have pointed out in previous post that it is my opinion that 'all have been forgiven'...,"

Is this just your opinion or do you have scripture to support this??? Some teach this "all forgiven" is Justification for all at the cross...They use Romans 5:18 to support this.  

Many have said they can not be apart to which I do agree, so how can all be justified at the cross??? If God has forgiven us then He has no wrath toward us  :)---frenchmon

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: M.A. Crawford on June 17, 2001, 08:59:00 AM
"...I do not accept 'God says so' kind of theology...God 'does say so'; but He expects us, with the intelligence He has given us to 'reason things things out', and to survey the 'evidence.' It is at that point we are able to decide 'for ourselves' as to what is 'so,' so-to-speak...."

(Pardon the lateness of my response to the above which was posted on 06-12-2001 at 10:11 AM, but I feel compelled to briefly respond to the above statements because they contain concepts which trouble me.)

1. "...I do not accept 'God says so' kind of theology...."

First of all, I am rather suprised that a Christian would make such a statement. If you do not accept "God says so" kind of theology, then who's theology do you accept? Isn't that the same problem Eve had back in the Garden of Eden when God said in the day that you eat of the tree "ye shall surely die;" but the serpent said "ye shall not surely die?" Did not Eve, followed by Adam, accept the devil's "theology" instead of God's, which ushered in sin and death?

2. "God 'does say so'; but He expects us, with the intelligence He has given us to 'reason these things out', and to survey the 'evidence.' It is at that point we are able to decide 'for ourselves' as to what is 'so,' so-to-speak...."

If God says so, WHAT IS THERE TO REASON OUT? I hope that sober-minded Christians are not led to believe that we have to "help God out" by providing our interpretation or reasoning to what He has said in His Word. The evidence is: GOD SAID IT! What else is there to survey? Isn't this the same problem mankind experienced back in Judges 12:25 when the Bible says: "And in those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Isn't deciding for ourselves as to what is so, simply another way of saying we are going to do it the way we perceive it? Isn't that what Romans 6:16 means which reads: "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or obedience unto righteousness?" Therefore, the question is: Whose servants are we? Are we servants of God or servants of self? We can't have it both ways.

M.A.      

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on June 18, 2001, 04:54:00 PM
Brethern.  I am going to make this a short post.  I have in the past two [2] days written in regard to the subject of Justification.  Each time [5 times] either the post would not post; the post was perhaps received and not posted by someone; or as today, someone turned off the computer system here in the University Library and I lost the entire message.

I will prayerfully re-consider my position here.  I do need to answer one thing however. That is to Brother Crawford's rightful resistance to some of the statements in the last posted post of mine...I terribly mis-stated my position regarding the principle of "blind faith" and my concept on truth substantiated by "evidence"...Please forgive any and all of this statement.  I will attempt at a later date to make an offering regarding this subject should it still be a thread on TRO.

Blessings, your brother in Christ

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: frenchmon on June 19, 2001, 11:45:00 AM
Brother Herbert...How are you??? Fine I hope  :)

If I understand you correctly, you are going to rethink your theology as it refers to Justification???

You wrote:

"I will prayerfully re-consider my position here"

In all of my years on Adentist forum's have I never seen any one re-act in such a humble way about maybe being incorrect in their theology. I want to be the first to say God will reward your humbleness...You show you are willing to learn. May God bless you and yours...--frenchmon  :)

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on June 19, 2001, 02:33:00 PM
Brother Frenchmon and TRO.  No one is so blind as he who thinks he sees, or believes that he has some sort of corner on the "truth"!  Many thanks for your quick comment!

What I am hoping to "re-think" is my suposition in regard to "blind faith" principle...If any one would care to jump on this one, I would very much appreciate the ideas which may be presented...

There have been some who seem very uncomfortable with my presentation of justification in parallelism...So, let me through this one out for consumption:

The relation between justification and righteousness is not uniform.  Sometimes, especially in forensic passages, it seems that justification depends on righteousness in Christ by faith.  Sometimes, justification initiates the relationship in which righteousness becomes a possibility.  Always, solely by God's grace is man forgiven, acquitted, restored to a right relationship, but also made a new creature whose life is now righteous in Christ, really and observably.  These two moments of man's salvation are interdependent and inseparable.

Thank you for you consideratness.

Your brother in Christ

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on June 19, 2001, 03:05:00 PM
Brother Herbert, I want to agree with what Brother frenchmon has said.  It is rather rare that one does admit being wrong. It is the Christian way, though. Many will slip into a new position rather than admit publicly they were holding a wrong position. I am slow to speak of such things when I think I see it for fear of offending one who is really not saying he was wrong.  

I appreciate your desire to know truth and to dedicate yourself to searching the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy. In them we find Life for there is where we find Jesus.

Your last statement regarding justification and sanctification, I find to be very good. "Always, solely by God's grace is man forgiven, acquitted, restored to a right relationship, but also made a new creature whose life is now righteous in Christ, really and observably. These two moments of man's salvation are interdependent and inseparable."

Yes, Brother Herbert, we may do as Jesus suggested; we may test the teacher by his fruits.  :)  Each one of the fruits is in the life of a "justified" believer.  It is very hard to go backwards from this discovery. The ramifications are great. It is an anchor for our souls!  :)

In His love and grace,       Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: frenchmon on June 19, 2001, 03:34:00 PM
Brother Herbert...I like the sound of your last posting  :)...I have never seen or heard these words before:

"Sometimes, justification initiates the relationship in which righteousness becomes a possibility."

It sounds good, but can you kindly flesh that idea out a bit more???  :) Please...help me to understand you thoughts...--frenchmon

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on June 19, 2001, 04:51:00 PM
Brother Frenchmon.  Have ye not heard?  "While we were yet sinner's He came to save that which had been lost!"

Let me put it to you another way...My past life as an addict, alcoholic, and gang member, have placed me in position to understand those who "live without hope". For many of you, this has never been tested.  There are some of us, again, who have simply been "brands plucked from the burning"...And I for one have know idea why, but am so very, very thankful that He saw something in me worth saving.

Your brother in Christ.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on June 19, 2001, 06:27:00 PM
Amen, Brother Herbert!!  It is called grace and it is the power unto salvation! We are saved by grace!! It is the revelation of God's love for us while we were yet sinners!!

Amen!!

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: frenchmon on June 19, 2001, 07:03:00 PM
Thanks brother Herbert...I had never heard any call Christ Justification...---frenchmon  :)
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Dugald T Lewis MD on June 20, 2001, 10:14:00 AM
Dear Brother Thompson,

When one has experienced the love of Christ, then why shouldn't loving obedience be perceived as the very least we can do to show our thanks for our Saviour's dramatic intervention.?

I love your testimony and believe that God has a reaosn why He rescued you.

Sincerely
Dugald

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on June 20, 2001, 02:25:00 PM
Brother's.  I humbly thank all of you for your words of encouragement...I truely believe that we should be praying earnestly for each other daily for the "wisdom from on high"; that our conversation will be "both a blessing and absolutely pointed to Christ and Him crucified"!

>>You have lost me in your understanding of how every one has been forgiven...you said, "...I think I have pointed out in previous post that it is my opinion that 'all have been forgiven'...,"  >>And ask it there is any scriptural evidence to support this thought...

While re-considering my offering last evening at home, several more thoughts occured to me which I wish to propose to this group.  This will also [I hope] tie in the former question of "is there a seperation of Christ as Lord and Saviour?"  Let me add also that there seems to be overwhelming evidence in both the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy that these two are intrically attached; and, once again,
this facet may be contray to my "opinion stated".  In either case, I will begin [or try to do so] on familiar ground.  Just one more thing, I am operating from the premis that there "is" a separation between "Lord" and "Saviour"...That may change while in this discourse... :)

[1]  It is my understanding that the traditional Roman Catholic position on justification is that of the Counsil of Trent.  That justiication is both an acquittal and a making righteous in the full, and ethical sense, thus embracing both rational and behavioural renewal...

Here, the stress is placed on the effective rather than the declaratory aspect, and thus forensic...Here again, justification is the communication of new life in Christ; and, speaks to a radical "putting away of the sinful life"; and the inner transformation of the believer...It is forensic, but not merely forensic. It has to do with "real" rather than "imputed" righteousness.

Some Anglican Protestant(s) [Goodspeed; Bultmann; and Barrett] hold that the verb does mean "make righteous" [1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21] because it regularly renders the Hebrew hiph'it, and therefore must be causitive...And a short version might reason out something like this: God clearly considers "just", those whom He has rendered "just"; and implicitly declares them so...He does not, strictly speaking, pronounce a judgement.  The judgement is reserved for the day of appearance before the judgement seat of Christ.  Then it is that God finally declares just, those who are just, having remained faithful to the end...

SDA doctrinal theology teaches a similar theology with the exception of at least this one point.  The "Final Judgement" is divided into "two" parts.  The "investigative phase" and the "Final Departure" from the Most Holy Place in the Heavenly Sanctuary...

Are you with me?

Your brother in Christ.


Is this just your opinion or do you have scripture to support this??? Some teach this "all
                    forgiven" is Justification for all at the cross...They use Romans 5:18 to support this.

                    Many have said they can not be apart to which I do agree, so how can all be justified
                    at the cross??? If God has forgiven us then He has no wrath toward us

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on June 20, 2001, 03:30:00 PM
Let me try and make this simple, Brother Herbert.  :) It is only the spurious teachings that make this simple doctrine so difficult. On the other hand, spiritual things are spiritually discerned. We need the Holy Spirit.

Try and block out human wisdom and go to the Bible only. Justification. Not hard to understand. Satan says you cannot have eternal because you have sinned. Jesus says that you can be "justified" in living forever because.....

Are we ok to this point? Sanctified. Holiness, purity, consecrated, righteous. This is not spoken of in terms of imputed righteousness, but rather "imparted" righteousness. It is character that is possessed in the human channel. Is this possible? If not, we would have to through away our Bibles and our faith.

Justification can occur because 1) Jesus paid the price for our sins. The wages of sin is death and all have sinnED. One sin and death. 2) Sinful man must come to Jesus in order to receive this gift. It is offered to all, but not all will come to Jesus. They will not give up all that they are and have. There is a requirement that Jesus makes. It is not enough that Jesus died. If that were the case all would be justified in living forever. The pearl of great price costs everything. Is it worth it? That is a really dumb question. Of course living forever with Jesus is worth everything we have and are. What do we give up? A sin stained life full of selfishness.

When we surrender and are "born again" we are then justified. What about character and righteousness? What happens when this "justification" takes place? Are we not told that we are born of the Spirit? Are we not told that we become partakers of the divine nature? Are we not given power to do all things? Yes, yes, yes!

It is Jesus that empowers us to do good. We do not wait until heaven. We do not wait until probation closes. We obey today. There is no excuse for sin. Jesus "IMPARTS" his goodness to us. He empowers (imparts) us to do what we know is right. This is called sanctification and it comes with the Spirit when we surrender. So, my brother you tied the two together and are correct. They may not be separated.

One last point. None will enter heaven without having obtained a righteous character. We err when we think only the 144, 000 will obey God.  The 144,000 will not sin. But, today many do not sin. But, if like Moses they take their eyes off of Jesus, they may repent. Not so with the 144,000. There will be no intercessor to forgive sin. No problem. These Christians know their God and love Him to the degree they will not sin. They know they need Jesus every moment. They have a love that keeps them through all temptation.

In review: justification by faith is believing that Jesus has forgiven my past sins and I have eternal life. Believing that the character of Jesus is not only imputed, but imparted so that I am perfect in my motives, my moral charater. I know myself, so this is very hard to believe that I can be good. I know how bad I really am without Jesus. By faith we can know that Jesus will give us this experience and has when we come to Him just as we are.

Notice in the Bible the multiple references to sanctified. It is past tense and ongoing. Many look to the future, but this is a mistake. We cannot be saved without being sanctified wholly.

It may take a little while to get the little seeds out, but we will get there.  :)

In His love and grace,      Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on June 20, 2001, 05:24:00 PM
Brethern.  

>>Many have said they can not be apart to
which I do agree, so how can all be justified at the cross?  If God has forgiven us then He has no wrath toward us?

Ah!  Now it tis the question of the "wrath of God" tis it?  Romans 1: 18-28 [specifically verses 24, 26, and 28].  ???

THE QUESTION:  What was the problem with sin which the plan of salvation was devised to fix?  Was the problem with God?  Did God's attitude toward man need changing?  Had we, impudent little worms that we are, stepped on [so-to-speak] the toes of the one who had made up the "rules", and now "someone had to pay"?  And, since there had been a plan devised in heaven for just such an occassion; had God the Father; having given us all a life of "probation" on this earth in order to seal our choice as to whom we would serve, choosen -- rather than having each serve his sentence of "death", would "kill his own Son" in our stead, that all who choose could be saved?  :o

That is, you know, what many Evangelical Churches teach...And, as a matter of fact, that is the "opinion" which the SDA church took in the Fundamental 27 Belief's.  I'll have the cite for you tomarrow...Somewhere around pages 111-115 I think.  :(

Or, was the sin problem really with man?  Had something gone wrong with his attitude?  Was there something which needed fixing in his heart?

I have made a post earlier today, and it doesn't seem to be posted?  I'm going to let this stand for the evening...

Blessings to all!
 

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on June 30, 2001, 06:05:00 PM
It is an interesting thing to hear from those that Sister White changed her theology. I am always amazed how far the devil will go to do away with the Spirit of Prophecy. It ought not surprise anyone, he has done the same with the Bible.

Ellen White's teaching on the gospel is consistent from beginning to end. She always believed and taught that man was saved by grace through faith in the merits of a crucified and risen Christ. She had an experience in the things of God and spoke from a heart that loved not only Jesus, but those for whom He died.

After testifying such, I would like to say that I was not born and reared a Seventh-day Adventist. The truth led me into the Seventh-day Adventist Church and I quickly discerned that God had sent a modern day prophet to the world. The Spirit within testified to the truth of what I was reading in her published writings AND the Spirit within revealed that much of the Spirit of Prophecy being quoted by others in books and papers was an attempt to make God's prophet say things she never said.

This important topic of justification by faith was clearly understood by Ellen White and I will take a moment to post a few early and late statements to show her teaching was always in harmony with the Scripture.

"Every member of the family should bear in mind that all have just as much as they can do to resist our wily foe, and with earnest prayers and unyielding faith each must rely upon the merits of the blood of Christ and claim His saving strength." Depend Solely on Merits of Jesus--1862.  3SM 145

"There are dangers to be guarded against on the right hand and on the left. Those who are inexperienced, who have newly come to the faith, will need to be strengthened, and to have a correct example set before them. Some will not make a right use of the doctrine of justification by faith. They will present it in a one-sided manner, making everything of faith, and belittling works. Others will seize the points that have a leaning toward error, and will ignore works altogether. Now, genuine faith always works by love; it supplies a motive power. Faith is not an opiate, but a stimulant. Looking to Calvary will not quiet your soul into nonperformance of duty, but will create faith that will work, purifying the soul from all selfishness. In laying hold of Christ by faith, we but just begin our work. Every man has corrupt and sinful habits, that must be overcome through vigorous warfare. Every soul must fight the fight of faith. He who is a follower of Christ, cannot deal deceitfully; he cannot be hard-hearted and devoid of sympathy. He cannot be coarse in speech. He cannot be a surmiser of evil, an accuser of the brethren. He cannot be full of pomposity and self-esteem. He cannot be overbearing, using harsh words, and censuring and condemning those around him." Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 1-24-93

"The Message of Justification by Faith.

The Lord in his great mercy sent a most precious message to his people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to his divine person, his merits, and his changeless love for the human family. All power is given into his hands, that he may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of his own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of his Spirit in a large measure." Special Testimony to Battle Creek Church pg 35.  1896    

"The danger has been presented to me again and again of entertaining, as a people, false ideas of justification by faith. I have been shown for years that Satan would work in a special manner to confuse the mind on this point. The law of God has been largely dwelt upon, and has been presented to congregations, almost as destitute of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His relation to the law as was the offering of Cain. I have been shown that many have been kept from the faith because of the mixed, confused ideas of salvation, because the ministers have worked in a wrong manner to reach hearts. The point which has been urged upon my mind for years is the imputed righteousness of Christ. I have wondered that this matter was not made the subject of discourses in our churches throughout the land, when the matter has been kept so constantly urged upon me, and I have made it the subject of nearly every discourse and talk that I have given to the people." The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials  Danger of False Ideas on Justification by Faith pg 810, 811.  

This last statement expresses from the prophets own mouth that God had shown her what was to happen today with this foundation subject. How true the prophets words have become. Let  us grasp this subject with a clear mind and learn for ourselves from our Bible what it means to "justified by faith."

In His love and grace,    Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: James Saptenno on July 02, 2001, 09:35:00 AM
Quote.
James, what do you do with the above thoughts? In light of the scripture quoted above, it seems to me that you would need to find an interpretation of Rom 3.23 that is in harmony with those quoted above.

God Bless,

Steve

[This message has been edited by sdboyd (edited 04-22-2001).]

Sorry for a late reply as I was on a bisniz trip for about two months to remotes area and can not make any access to the internet.

Borther Steve.

All verses what you quote is correct. But the gospel of Christ is very clear that believers are saved by God grace through faith, and righteousness come by faith and not by works of the Law.

A believer remain a sinner until Christ come because he can never reach sinless perfection against the Law, only Christ can do that.

Why Christ can have a sinless perfection and we can not? Because the Spirit is His nature but the flesh is not His native flesh. Christ knew all the tendency and weakness of the flesh but he never sinned as living after the Spirit is His nature.

But a believer his nature is sinful flesh, and the Spirit is just a gift, it is not his nature. Living after the flesh is his nature, and living after the Spirit is a choice taken because of faith in Christ.
And that makes life can never be perfect, sinless perfection can never attained in this mortal body, that is why all righteous believers must be transformed to a glorius body at Christ second advent which indicates we are still sinners, and can not entering heaven in thhis old body as we might sin again in heaven.

And as the righteousness of the Law is absolute, then all believers must die if the Law  is still a standard of living and standard of judgment.

But thanks God, Christ has abolish the Law at the cross (Ephesians 2:15) as it function ended with His death. Believers in Christ didn't need the Law any longer to led them to Christ as they were in Christ allright (Galatians 3:21-25), we are all sons of God by faith. And the only law that rules the sons of God is the same law thhat rules heaven, the law of LOVE, or the spirit of the written Law, the Decalogue.

The Law lead only to death by keeping it.

That is why believers are not under the Law but under grace, as they are not keeping the Law anylonger, but remain saved by God's grace through faith.

And being in Christ through faith, we bear fruit of the Spirit which is love.  And love is the fulfilment of the Law.

For believers or sons of God, there are only the principe of the Law or love as the principe of heaven which connect each other and with God.

Thats mean, keeping the Law to reach moral perfection is absurd, as by keeping the Law only lead to death.

In His love

James S.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Liane H on July 03, 2001, 05:58:00 PM
Hi James:

For the time being I am going to write out Romans 8. I am not quite sure what you are saying, but it seems to go against everything I know regarding our relationship with Christ, the 144,000 and as Jesus stated, "Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect," is not just idle words.

Romans 8:

1. "(There is) therefore now no comdemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirt.
2. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.
4. That the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LAW might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT.
5. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; BUT THEY THAT ARE AFTER THE SPIRIT THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT.
6. For to be carnally minded (is) death; but to be spiritually minded (is) life and peace.
7. Because the carnal mind (is) enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9. But ye are not of the flesh, BUT IN THE SPIRIT, if so be that the Spriit of God DWELL IN YOU. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10. And if Christ (be)in you, the body (is) dead because of sin; but the Spirit (is)life because of righteosness.
11. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, THEY ARE THE SONS OF GOD.
15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of ADOPTION, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, THAT WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD:
17. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with (him), that we may be also glorified together."

The very Spirit in which Jesus kept the Law has been given to us as well. In Christ we are given the power to obey. Jesus was subjected to the flesh just as we are, but He sinned not.

The very power that kept Him from sinning is the same power that has been given to us to not sin. Jesus stated very clearly that nothing was done by His will, but by the will of the Father, which he subjected himself to daily in prayer.

The law (10 Commandments) was not abolished at the cross. It still stands as the standard that God has set before us to reflect His Character. Each one of those 10 laws reflects a God and his love. It says, I care about you. He set these standards for our protection and guideposts to know Him.

I have written this many times: Law of Love and Love of Law are one in the same. You cannot look at one without the other. The law is the reflection of love and love is a reflection of the law. You cannot abolish something at the cross that interwinds as a rope to heaven.

Man is the one that turned the law into legal precepts and lost the meaning and the love written in the law. Jesus said: I come not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. The wages of sin is death, Sin is the transgression of the law. Jesus had to take our sins to the cross because the law required that death is required. If we sin today, the law stands to condemn us. So the law has not been abolished. But when we repent, ask for forgiveness, Jesus faithful and just to forgive us.

If there is no law, then there cannot be sin. For the law is the mirror in which we know if we have sinned. When we are under grace, it means that we are keeping the law of God, because we are not sinning. The minute we take our eyes off Jesus, we turn to self and sin, we no longer are under grace, but now condemned by the law.

At that point we need to seek Jesus and be re-justified and be under grace once again. Grace is not a once in a lifetime gift given to us at the cross, but a daily request that we need to experience each day of our lives. Paul states I die daily. 1 Cor 15:31. We each need to do that.

The flesh becomes dead to sin, we are now walking in the Spirit unto Christ Jesus as our example. The more we behold Jesus in our lives, the more we become like Him. Jesus kept the Law, in obedience to the Father. We can also keep the law, through the power of the Holy Spirit to both Jesus and the Father.

If I understand anything, in Christ, if I walk in the Spirit with Christ, this body is already dead, when I keep my eyes on Jesus. Only when I look back at self, does my body come to life once again.

The choice is mine.

Liane

 

[This message has been edited by liane (edited 07-07-2001).]

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on July 07, 2001, 09:25:00 AM
Amen, Sister Liane.  You have not taken these verses out of context. They answer the statements of our Brother James.  The robe of righteousness that is given to the sinner does not cover any unforsaken or unconfessed sins. The robe is the character of our Saviour. He imparts it to us. The law is a law of love and if we sin, we do not have this love. If we kill, if we steal, if we lie, we have not the love that is revealed by the indwelling Saviour.

In His love and grace,     Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: DHThiele on July 07, 2001, 11:25:00 AM
Justification by Faith

Righteousness by Faith

Well, let's look at the word Righteousness first.

A definition of Righteousness is doing the right thing at the right time in the right way.

But where does Righteousness originate from? If I say that it originates with me, then I am either God or a liar.

A definition of Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (NKJV).

But where does Faith originate from? If I say that it originates with me, then I am either God or a liar.

Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God."

Ephesians 2:9 "not of works, lest anyone should boast."

Ephesians 2:10 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

Now, when the Jews came to Jesus, they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?" (John 6:28) Jesus responded, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6:29)

So now we come to the paradox of whether Abraham was justified by faith (according to Paul) or by faith and works (according to James).

Romans 4:2 "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God." This is obviously reference to works which humans claim to have originated. Paul is being consistent with Ephesians 2:9. Whenever man claims to originate righteousness (good works) it is a lie.

Romans 4:5 "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." This tells us the direction Paul is going from verse 2. One must believe. It is consistent with John 6:29.

But Jesus concluded that the act of believing on the one whom God sent is WORK. Any act that is of FAITH is WORK. Hence the consistency with Ephesians 2:10.

Now, Abraham believed the promise. But not at first, or else he never would have taken Hagar to bear a son for Sarah. So God gave the promise again, and Abraham believed, even to the point that he sent Hagar and Ishmael away when they ridiculed Isaac.

Galatians hammers the point home that circumcision is not what saves a person. It is grace. The works are not done to justify a person before God. The works are done as a fruit of faith, to show the faith is alive and not dead. But because the works are of faith, the works justify, not because they originate from any single human, but because they originate from God (the only One who justifies).

Having said all this, let us remember that "Justification is not a transformation of inherent character; it does not impart righteousness any more than condemnation imparts sinfulness." In order for that transformation of inherent character to take place, there must be more than mere imputed righteousness. There must be imparted righteousness. That is why we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works.

In and of themselves, good works cannot save us. But God has ordained that good works have a saving influence on us. And they do, as long as we recognize that they cannot and do not originate from us.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Liane H on July 07, 2001, 12:37:00 PM
Brother Thiele:

Thank you for a well thought and written post of Justification.

I agree with you wholeheartedly that Works must not originate with us, in which if it does orginate from us, it is corrupted by the flesh and does not come from God.

Le me take it one step further.

We need to go back to James 2:18:

"Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee faith BY MY works."

By my works, means the works that has been given to us by the power of the Holy Spirit, to glorify God to the world. When we give our will to Him, it is the power from above that comes from God, that is reflected through us for the world to see.

Faith is the substance hoped for, which means we walk in faith and do and say things that comes not from us, but are reflected through the works that we do which others may see the glory of God in us. What they see, will desire in their own hearts to be like Him.  

When we do good works for others and that person in gratitude says, what a good person you are, we often say thank you and fail to give the glory to God who gave us the power of those good works toward that person.

We should remind ourselves to stop saying thank you, but state in some form: I am glad you appreciate what has been done, but only because of Him, is there any good in me and those deeds come not from me, but Him who has transformed me to do these good works.    

We can say we are justified by Faith, but without evidence clearly seen by others, it is just words. Just as Love of Law and Law of Love is entwined in the character of God, so is Faith and Works entwined in the believer from the power that comes from above.  

The substance hoped for, is not the things we hoped for while we were in the world, but a substance called character that reflects Jesus in all ways possible. We we reach out in faith, we do not really even know what we are seeking. It grows in us. It is substance that forever changes our works that wants to hear "thank you" to "this is what Jesus has done to me."  

Liane

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Allan F on July 08, 2001, 01:24:00 PM
Thiele and Liane, thank you for your thoughts on this subject.

Brother Thiele, it is indeed true what you said: "Galatians hammers the point home that circumcision is not what saves a person."

This lead my mind to the book Steps To Christ, where the writer points out two dangers for the (new) christian.
The first danger is to build on ones own works, to beleive that works that we do will bring us into harmony with God, and to try to be holy through our own works.

The second, great danger is to beleive that  our works have nothing to do concerning salvation and to beleive that we don't need to keep God's commandments.

These two dangers she specifically points out in this book. I can agree with her in that, and if we look into the bible history we can see how true her words are.

When you therefore says that "Galatians hammers the point home that circumcision is not what saves a person", I say amen to that.

What i find interesting is Paul's use of the expression "circumcision". In ch. 2 he says that circumcision symbolizes the circumcision of the heart made by the Holy Spirit, which causes a man to fulfill the requirements of the law. In v. 25 he says that "circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumscision is made uncircumcision."

With this in mind let us then go to ch. 4 where Paul goes on with circumcision. He says in v. 11 and 12 that Abraham "received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that beleive, though they be not circumcised: that righteousness might be imputed unto them also. And the Father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised."

We clearly see that the circumcision made on the flesh does not save. We are not justified by circumcision made on the flesh or any other works which we may do. It is the circumcision made by the Spirit that counts.
Later, in his letter to Titus, Paul writes that "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of The Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour: That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Tit 3:5-7).

Allan F

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on July 08, 2001, 03:43:00 PM
Amen, amen, and amen!!  :)  Unity in the Spirit and in doctrine.  Yes, our good works must be from a heart filled with the Spirit of God. "But ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delived you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness."  Romans 6:17,18.

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on July 08, 2001, 03:56:00 PM
Brother's and Sister's.

As important a topic as Righteousness or Justification by Faith are, I sometimes wonder if some of us [at least in my Church family] clearly *miss the point* regarding what they *are* or *mean*!   :(

Sister Liane.  In other forums, I find that there are indeed *two ditches* as it were regarding this concept of "Holiness in the Flesh" or, "Holiness" doctrine...Perhaps, if I start where I understand this, you, or someone else could enlighten me as to the way you or the SDA church teach?  "confused"

Where our first parent's fell because of their distrust in their Creator; the second Adam [Jesus] took their place.

Christ was born in perfect *holiness, righteousness, godliness*.  He came to this world as God.  He was as Adam was prior to the fall [--perfect--without the propensity to sin].  And, as you pointed out, "the very power that kept Him from sinning is the same power that has been given to us."  The *key* to this is that without the *propensity to sin* Christ's daily battle was *not to use His Power, Glory, or Might*; for, to do so would disqualify Him as *Mediator/Saviour*, and would then give credibility to Satan's allegation that God's Law "could not be kept".  How we doing so far?  "confused"  
Or, as you put it, "Jesus stated very clearly that nothing was done by His will, but by the will of the Father, which he subjected himself to daily in prayer.  The very Spirit in which Jesus kept the Law has been given to us as well. In Christ we are given the power to obey. Jesus was subjected to the flesh just as we are, but He sinned not."

No one then, not even the most degraded junky, may say that "Christ was not tempted as he/she is tempted.  Christ was in fact tempted in three areas throughout His ministry here on this earth...*Apitite, Pride of Life, and Self-agrandizement*.  [pardon my spelling!  :|]  How am I doing so far?

Or as you put it, "the very power that kept Him from sinning is the same power that has been given to us to not sin."

Here, however, I believe that there needs to be a *new definition*:  Following our parent's fall in Eden, all since, have been born with the *propensity to sin*...This propensity is as Paul speaks [Romans 3:23]; and David, [Psalms 51:5]

>>>The law (10 Commandments) was not abolished at the cross. It still stands as the standard that God has set before us to reflect His Character. Each one of those 10 laws reflects a God and his love. It says, I care about you. He set these standards for our protection and guideposts to know Him.

Yes, these Ten *guideposts* as-it-were, were ment to reflect the *character, nature, and government* of God...Because God is a "relationship Being or Deity", the first four of these tenents our relating to our *relationship with Himself*...the last six are regarding to our *relationships to each other*...elementary, there is more...Consider this equation:  [1]Pentatateuch = [2] Judges = [3] Prophets = [4] Minor Prophets = [5] Gospels = [6] Letters = [7] Apocrypha = SOP.

I have often referenced the OT as being a period of *justification by faith*; and NT as *righteousness by faith*...The OT looked *forward to* and the NT [following the Gospel's] *looked back on* or followed through with *grace, "through faith"*; not "works, lest any man should boast"; but "works, *because of, and subsequent too* faith throught grace"...You still with me?

Our Sabbath School Lesson Last week made some insightful comments regarding this issue.  I therefore will not try to re-state what I *think* is the obvious...

>>>Man is the one that turned the law into legal precepts and lost the meaning and the
love written in the law. Jesus said: "I come not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it."
I would like to share a study which has been shared with me regarding the *law* which *was* or *was not* abolished...If you are interested... :)  And, as to the remainder of your post [07-03-01] I will wait for further comment from either you or other's.  :)

Brother Myers.  I have a growing, yet distinct feeling that you and I are somehow failing to communicate some very basic *truths*...whether semantics, or real differences I am not sure...One thing I am sure of is, at least at this point, I will merely *agree to disagree* with you on several points in your post of 06-20, and 06/30...However, your amen to sister Liane's comments on 07/07, a BIG AMEN...  :)

It follows then that *righteousness or justification by faith* is more than a *keeping* of the law...The Jew's at the time of Christ were, [in-so-as far as it appeared to the Angel's and on-looking Universe] were *keeping the letter of the law*, but were without the *Spirit by which the Law had been given*...Crucifying Christ on a Friday afternoon, they took Him and the other's from their respective crosses and hurried home for their "Passover Sabbot"...what irony...

The point which I am trying to make here is that it is (IMO) absolutely without merit that we should get into a heated discussion regarding most of these issues...For the most part, we varry very little from the same concepts...And, as a new follower of Christ and *His way of doing things*, I find that I struggle most with the *image* of God I portray to the world around me; rather than the doctrin's or litheragy of Adventism... :)
[That should pull some hair!  :o  And I really do not intend to do so.  There are times however, I think there is a point where when being *honest* and *saying the "right things" really get messed up!]

The *Holiness doctrin* is a BIG subject...and, one which for a few months now I have run-up-against in other, private conversations...Further more, it is not at all my wish to come pointedly against someone concerning what they believe or what they are saying here in this forum...I really am a *honest, truth seeking* Christian...But, I do wish to know what I believe; why I believe it; and be able to *back-it-up* wholly from the Bible when and where ever asked... :)

May God richly bless all.  Your brother in Christ.  

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Gary K on July 08, 2001, 04:47:00 PM
jherbert,

You said, "It follows then that *righteousness or justification by faith* is more than a *keeping* of the law...The Jew's at the time of Christ were, [in-so-as far as it appeared to the Angel's and on-looking Universe] were *keeping the letter of the law*, but were without the *Spirit by which the Law had been given*..."

Now, could you provide proof of this statement that the Jews at the time of Jesus were keeping the law in the eyes of the Angels and the Universe?  I find this to be a most difficult proposition to swallow.  Where did you come up with this bit of knowledge?  I find nothing in the Bible or the SOP that says anything even remotely similar to this.

What I do see is that there was open cheating of the poor in the temple (theft), the slaying of one of the high priests at the altar (murder), and a kind of general agreement that Simon the Pharisee was the man that led Mary Magdalene into sin (adultery).  Also, if this were so, why did John the Baptist preach repentence and the turning away from sin?  If there was no external evidence of sin, where did his message come from?  What gave his message credibility among the masses? Also, the Jews were filled with hatred of the Samaritans and Romans.  Hatred cannot exist in the heart without it being expressed in the actions of the life.  Now, how is this outward fulfilling of the law in the eyes of the universe and the angels?

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on July 09, 2001, 05:54:00 AM
Brother Herbert, our Brother Gary has a good point. The law is much broader than most imagine and the angels understand it. To say the Jews were keeping the letter of the law could be argued against.  :)

But, I know what you are saying, so let us look at it. The basis of much of Paul's writing takes into consideration what you say and Jesus in His sermon on the mount did also. Today, as in the time of Christ, many are "keeping the law" without having the Spirit of Christ dwelling within. Of course they are not keeping the law as they need to, but they profess to and to many in the church they "appear" to be keeping the law.

What we fail to understand correctly that "keeping the law" extends to the motives of why we keep the law. If we keep the law for selfish reasons, we are not keeping the law. The law is "spiritual" in nature. It is impossible to keep the law without Jesus in the heart. Self must die before we can keep the law the way God has told us to keep the law.

Let us look at the law as Jesus gave it on the mount.  "I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the Judgment...I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart...I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?"

Yes, Brother Herbert, there can be an outward appearance of "keeping the law," but the angels see through it, some on this earth see the lack of the fruits of the Spirit also, and Jesus surely can see the false profession. In the investigative judgement the thoughts and the actions will testify as to where the heart is.

So, we agree that some will appear to be "keeping the law", but will not be in the eyes of God.  Keeping the law is to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves. We want to keep the commandments as we were instructed. We want to obey God in all that we know, not just a few superficial laws. This brings to light all of the "little" things in life. No need to go into detail in this thread, but we all know there are "little" things that we need to do in order to please God.  :) To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

In His love and grace,        Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on July 09, 2001, 06:02:00 AM
Can we see evidence of conversion (having been justified)in our lives and in the lives of others? Yes, of course we can. God has given us instruction in this. I know that it comes as a surprise to many because of the false teachings that abound, but it is true.

Here is one such statement that tells us how to know we are converted (justified). "Hereby  we do know that we know Him if we keep His commandments." 1 John 2:3.

There are others, can anyone share more?

In His love and grace,       Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on July 09, 2001, 04:28:00 PM
Brother's.  In regard to "conversion"...We are of course speaking of the "heart experience" which Jesus spoke to Nicodemus?
I have asked a number of people within this "Adventist" community whether their personal experience with Jesus has caused or affected
their own lives, or the livesn of other's they might know...Are they the same people they were say one year ago?  How about five years ago? Or ten, twenty, fifty years ago.  The answer to this question is miserable in my estimation...very few say that it has caused any real difference; at least in behavior; and even worse, in their personal worship, or witness.

Justification, however, comes at the moment of the *conversion* of the heart...We still have a choice as to whether or not we will continue in the *conversion experience*; or whether or not we will simply drift into a pew-sitting, nominal christian... ???

Sometime ago I tried to divide the position of justification, sanctification; imputed and imparted righteousness...I'm still not clear about these concepts...Perhaps some would like to pick those up along with the current discussion?

Sincerely your brother in Christ.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Gary K on July 09, 2001, 10:25:00 PM
jherbert,

I would ask since when is the lack of surrender to-, faith in-, trust in-, and relationship with Jesus proof against the word of God?  Faith is the evidence of things not seen.  Just because we don't see the reality right now doesn't make the promises of God bad.  One thing I have learned is that God ALWAYS keeps HIS word.  We may not meet the conditions He has laid down for the reception of His promised blessings, but that is not His fault.

Jesus says, hitherto ye have asked nothing in My name, ask, and ye shall recieve, that your joy may be full.

Can we be full of joy if we have the knowledge of guilt because of unconfessed and unforsaken sin in our lives?  I say no. I say it is a spiritual and psychological impossibility, for guilt destroys joy.  So, when Jesus says ask that your joy may be full, what is He saying that we should ask for?

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: M.A. Crawford on July 10, 2001, 10:36:00 AM
Bro. Thompson, the fact of the matter is ALL OF US who are true Christians and followers of Christ are trying to do that what is required to make it into God's Kingdom. No matter how "spirituall endowed" any of us think we are, the fact is THE SAME THING it takes for one to be saved is THE SAME THING it takes for us all. None of us have any more "brownie points" with God than anyone else because HE DOES NOT OPERATE THAT WAY. Having said that, let me touch briefly on an earlier point of mine above.

"...trying to do that what is required...."

The Bible tells us everything WE NEED TO KNOW in that regard. Notice, I did not say everything WE WANT TO KNOW, because many times we want to know that WHICH IS NOT ESSENTIAL or necessary for salvation. The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 12:13 to "...Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is THE WHOLE DUTY of man" (Emphasis mine). The Bible has made very simple that what mankind often likes to make very complex:

1. "Fear God."

This same pronouncement is mentioned in Revelation 14:7. There we are told to Fear God, and give glory to him...." And I like the marginal reading of the words "worship him" in the same verse. It is translated to mean "BOW DOWN TO." In other words, to "Fear God" means to give unto Him the PROPER REVERENCE AND RESPECT He is due as the High and Lofty One who inhabiteth Eternity (Isa. 57:15). We bow down to Him not only on our knees, but BY YIELDING our exalted and inflated ideas of what WE THINK is right to His Word and His Will as revealed in Scripture.

2. "Keep His Commandments."

To keep God's Commandments does not mean to focus only on the Decalogue. Jesus, speaking in John 15:14 said: "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." In other words, in addition to the Ten Commandments, the Commandments of Jesus are WHATSOEVER HE TELLS US TO DO IN HIS WORD.

3. "This is the whole duty of man."

In other words, this is the whole duty of one who wishes to be saved. Plain and simple. There is no complex theological jargon needed here. Understanding what God requires unto salvation is really quite simple. WE HUMANS HAVE MADE IT DIFFICULT.

M.A.  

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on July 10, 2001, 05:29:00 PM
Brethren.  I've no idea why simple statements are so easly confused with agenda's and conjecture.  ???

Brother Gary...if I might be so naive as to ask where in the world did you come up with the reasoning that; "lack of surrender to -- faith in -- trust in -- and relationship with Christ remotely consents to a lack of worth or trust in the promises of God?

Yes, of course God always keeps His promises! We may not, however, understand the why's, wherefore's, etc...nor His timing -- in-as-much-as we would like to think He should be on *our time schedule*.

And also, without a doubt, there are *conditions* to His promises...Except for one.  Ah! You must say...Consider this...There is no *condition* to the promise that there would be emnity between the seed of the woman, and that of satan...Actually, if you look for them, on closer inspection you will find quite a number of these.  But I don't really think that this is the point I had tried to make [in the first place]!

It is no suprise to me that several of those participating in this discussion are terribly concerned with their *behavior* verses their *relationship*...You ask, how is this?
???

What level of *knowledge of our guilt* is required to retain salvation?  Must I remember and confess each and every sin ever committed in my life?  Dear friend...I have quite likely, at 50, forgotten many such *sins* -- like the candy gum ball I stole when only four... :)

Okay.  Then to what level are we suggesting our salvation is dependent?  And as for *forsaken sin*; I quite agree...Yet, with some I must totally disagree; as, it is not *method* but *birth* which, in the final analysis, saves or damns us...Like Cain -- he was not lost for the single sin of killing his brother -- far from it.  He had lived a life of disregard to the *comands and worship of God* to the point that his conscience was so seared he simply acted out in a continuation of his hatered and disloyalty toward God and His way of doing things...And did so in full knowledge of the *truth about God*; His nature, character, and government.  Need I go on with representative history which any and all can simply read for themselves out of their own Bible?

No, the *joy of our salvation* has absolutely nothing to do with our behavior as such..."For by grace, through faith, ye are healed -- set right -- restored..."  It is not the fact we are doing [and quite possibly, in the frame-work of that mind-set], or *not doing*...it really is *who you know, not what you know* that counts!  :)

At the cross, dear friends, we are all standing on equal ground.  We are all sinner's in need of *saving grace*.  Grace, I might add, which brings a *heart work* and produces obedience; not from a *forensic* standpoint; but, from a heart full of love toward a Creator God who has done so much for one so horribly sinful!

As said Jesus at Simons' party...he who is forgiven much, loves much...And, perhaps this is the problem with many third, fourth, and fifth generation Adventist's...Those I mean with the mind-set that they are, because of *who they are*; *a cut above everyone else*.
In my opinion, this is exactly the attitude the scribes and pharicees...and with no minced words, Jesus condemended them for it!

And finally, agreed.  Men, in their foolishness have made things complicated...And it is not!  :)  There is more to salvation than this however...We can believe -- and the devils believe and tremble...We may have the *truth*; yet doing nothing with it, we will shrivel up and die with it...And yes, we may even think we have a viable relationship with Jesus Christ, and be self-serving, full of pride, and forever lost.  :(

My apoligies to any and all who have, perhaps, had their toes steped on...It is my intention to bring a truely *primitive gospel* back to some of those who, having the *stuff*, merely make profession with their lips, thinking that they are *the remnant*...

Thing on these things...

Your brother in Christ


Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Gary K on July 10, 2001, 08:13:00 PM
Hi Jherbert,

You asked this: "Brother Gary...if I might be so naive as to ask where in the world did you come up with the reasoning that; "lack of surrender to -- faith in -- trust in -- and relationship with Christ remotely consents to a lack of worth or trust in the promises of God?

I got that correlation from your post.  Here is what you said that I responded to: "I have asked a number of people within this "Adventist" community whether their personal experience with Jesus has caused or affected
their own lives, or the livesn of other's they might know...Are they the same people they were say one year ago? How about five years ago? Or ten, twenty, fifty years ago. The answer to this question is miserable in my estimation...very few say that it has caused any real difference; at least in behavior; and even worse, in their personal worship, or witness."

You stated that because, in your little survey, people weren't experiencing growth, that there must be something wrong. With that I agree. But what is the problem?    

What is wrong is not with the promises of God.  The reason people do not grow, become cold and stagnant, and go to sleep in the pews, is because we don't truly believe the word of God.  If we truly beleived the promise that whatsoever we asked for we recieved, where would our spiritual life be?  Would we be so lukewarm as to never grow in our spiritual lives?  Would we spend more time on the things of earth than on the things of heaven.  If heaven was so real to us that it filled our hearts and minds would we spend more time getting there than we do trying to get rich here?  If we truly believed that a soul is of infinite worth because the sacrifice of Jesus says it is so, would we sit back and complain the the preacher didn't give a very good sermon today?  Or, if we really believed this, would we be out searching for souls for the kingdom because we love them and don't want to see them lost?

What we believe is the basis of everything we do.  We act out what we think in our heart of hearts. As a man thinketh, so is he.  Do you really believe that? Or do you think we can harbor doubt and unbeleif and still be on fire for Jesus?

James gave us the answer to our problem.

James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Notice that the spirit that is within us lusteth to envy, BUT HE GIVETH MORE GRACE.  What do you think that means?  Where sin abounds, grace doth more abound.  That is what it means.  Grace is the power to overcome sin. Do you really believe Paul when he says, Sin shall not have dominion over you?  He is telling us that sin shall not rule over us.  Is that what you are preaching here by faith in the promises of God, or are you spreading doubt upon the words of the Bible?

James earlier in his book says this:

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Wisdom is not the only thing that we don't receive because of our unbelief.  James says the guy that doubts that it is really going to happen doesn't need think that it is really going to happen, because he isn't going to recieve the promise. Why? Because he doesn't really think it is going to happen.

You seem to want to make this all about behavior, and it isn't.  The behaviors are the symptoms of the problem.  We think we have faith.  We don't.  Look at the lesson to be learned the lives of the disciples.  It wasn't until they truly believed that Jesus was exactly who He said He was that they were able to be filled with the Holy Spirit and accomplish the work that they were supposed to.  Our works are bad, our relationship with God is bad, because He isn't first in our lives.  All this is because of our unbelief.

How many times do you hear someone start claiming the promises of God and someone else comes along and says, that won't work, those promises don't really mean that?  I see it a lot.  When I say the promises of God mean exactly what they say they do, I am accused of "legalism, because I am trying to help God with my salvation."  If the promise comes from the OT I am told that the promises aren't really for us.

Is this faith and trust in the promises of God?  I hear nothing but doubt and discouragement preached in the sin problem.  I see you doing the same here. You may think you are "helping the poor old legalists" but you are actually spreading doubt upon the word of God.  For when promises are given, you give reasons why they don't mean just that.  That they really aren't meant to be literal.  That God isn't really omnipotent over sin.  Sin rules here in all of us is what I hear.  

Look what Paul says.

Corinthians II 10:1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:
2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds ; )
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Notice that he talks about those who think that "think of us as if we walked according to the flesh."  If you will get out your Strong's concordance you will find that Paul is saying that these people think that we walk according to the carnal nature.  Notice that he denies this explicitly in the next verse.  He says yes we walk in the flesh, but we don't war according to the flesh.  He goes on to say that the weapons made mighty through God are capable of casting down everything that gets in their way, no matter how high and powerful.  They will even bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Jesus.

Since every thought is capable of being brought into captivity to the obedience of Jesus, where does that leave sin?

As you are reading this are you formulating your answer as to how these texts don't really mean that everything, including sin, can be made captive to the obedience of Jesus?  If you are, then you are casting doubt upon the plain promises of God.  If  you are, then you are denying that He truly is omnipotent.  If God is not capable of being stronger than sin in the lives of His faithful, trusting, believing followers, then sin and the devil are the most powerful things on earth, and God is not in control.

The God I worship is omnipotent. Any sin in my life is because I haven't surrendered it yet.  Not because I haven't overcome it on my own.  My problem is unbelief, just like everyone elses.  

[This message has been edited by Gary K (edited 07-10-2001).]

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: James Saptenno on July 12, 2001, 08:39:00 AM
Sister Liane.

Sinning is not just an act. Since the fall, sin is part of us, we were born in sin as sin is in the flesh (Romans 7:17,20). This sin comes alive and appeared by the law (Romans 7:7,9,13), as without the law sin was dead (Romans 7:8), and will not be imputed if there is no law (Romans 5:13).

This sin is not our fault as we inherit that from Adam, and God can not condemn us because of this. But this sin disqualified us for heaven, as we will always remain a sinner in this flesh. Jesus said “ That which is born of the flesh is flesh” (John 3:6), and Paul said “ That flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” (I Corinthians 15:50). That means a man can never reach sinless perfection in this flesh as it is corrupted by sin, weakened by the desires of the flesh. If sinless perfection can be performed in this flesh, we don’t need to be changed in a glorious incorruptible body at Christ Second Advent and can enter heaven to continue a sinless perfected life there. But as we must experience a change of flesh to a glorious incorruptible flesh, that indicate we are sinner and remain a sinner, and we will sin again in heaven if we are not changed.

We can never have life by keeping the law because of the weakness of the flesh (Romans 8:3), we can never be righteous by keeping the law and claim our eternal life with that. God must do that for us through Christ, so that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who live after the Spirit, so that we might have a holy life (Romans 8:4) as long as we never sinned. But that is impossible (I John 1:8,10), and the NT said that a man could never stand righteous before the law, except by his faith in Christ (Romans 3:28; Galatians 2:16; 3:11).

So, in order to be saved and inherit eternal life, the law must disappear and have no function for believer in Christ, otherwise the law will always condemn us to dead. And if there is no law, sin will not be imputed. This is saved by God grace, He gives us life even we don’t deserve that. But He can’t ask us to keep His law that condemn us while saving us by His grace. This is against each other. One of it must go.

And as it is a fact that sin is part of us, that we can never reach sinless perfection (only Christ can do that) and must be changed in order to enter heaven; then the only other way so that we will not stand under a constant condemnation is by making the law of no effect for us. That is the only solution. So that salvation is by grace, as we who are saved are sinners in the real meaning.

But our faith can not abolish the law as we have no right. Only Christ can do that. And He did it on the cross with His dead. As the law is only for the Jews and will comes to an end at John’s time (at the cross). It comes to an end because Christ has ended it.

Luke 16:16 - The law and the prophets were until John; since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

Romans 10:4 – For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

The preaching of the kingdom of God is the preaching of the gospel of Christ, which is the preaching of salvation by God grace through faith in Jesus Christ. That righteousness could never be reached by keeping the law (Romans 3:28; Galatians 2:16; 3:11) and by that giving life (Galatians 3:21), instead by keeping it everybody will die as all will always be sinners before the law. But righteousness now comes by faith in Christ and with that life. Even though no one is righteous before the law, but all who believe will be saved.

That is why the law has no effect and no meaning for a believer, as a believer is already dead to the law. Romans 7:4 “ Wherefore my brethern, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ……” and Romans 7:6 “ But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held;” and Galatians 2:19 “ For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.”

The written law has no bounds whatsoever to a believer that remain in Christ by his faith. The law can not instruct and judge a believer because the law can not ask and judge a dead man. A believer is dead to the law. A believer no longer keep the written law (the Torah or the 10 Cs), but living a life after the Spirit (Romans 7:6), which is a life controlled and ruled by the Spirit in us. Philippians 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”

How could you say “if we sin today, the law stands to condemn us” while believing in Christ and knowing that “in Christ there is no condemnation” (Romans 8:1)? You made a contradiction, because you don’t understand or because you don’t believe.

Don’t you know if righteousness comes by faith in Christ then condemnation comes by unbelief, and not by the law, except you keep the law.

John 3:36 – He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth in him.

Hebrew 10:38 – Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, My Soul shall have no pleasure in him.

If you keep the law and believe that the law still stands as a standard of judgment, then you will do your best by keeping it in order not to be condemned by the law at the end. IOW you seek righteousness by the law to save you, but in fact before the law no one will stand righteous. That means you must die. Christ can not save you, as you don’t believe that you are righteous because of your faith in Him, and that you are no longer under the law but under grace (Romans 6:14).

Galatians 2:21 – I do not frustrate the grace of God; for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

By keeping the law in order not to be condemned by the law, you neglect the grace of God, which saved you even you are a sinner, and by that making Christ’s dead of no effect for you. He died in vain for you.

Galatians 5:4 – Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

It is a lie if a believer says that he keeps the law in order not to be condemned by the law, in fact he seeks righteousness by the law. Because what is the purpose of keeping the law if not for standing right before the law, for not to be condemned by the law.

The gospel of Christ did not allow a believer to keep the law while believing he is saved by God grace through faith. You can checked that in the whole NT, and you will find out that it is not the written law to keep, but the spirit of the law. The written law lead to dead, but the spirit of the law gives life. There is a big gap as far as east from west between the function of the law and the spirit of the law.

That is why the law comes to an end in Christ at the cross, blotted out and nailed at the cross. So that no believer in Christ will be judge by the law, as we are dead to the law, and dead to sin (Romans 6:2,6,7).

Colossians 2:14 – Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances (the Torah including the 10Cs written on stone tablets) that was against us (Romans 8:7 – Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be), which was contrary to us (Romans 7:12 - the law is holy, just and good - but ‘m carnal and sold under sin –Romans 7:14), and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross;

Ephesians 2:15,16 – Having abolished in His flesh, the enmity (Romans 8:7 – the desires of the flesh – Romans 7:17,20 – the sin in us), even the law of commandments contained in ordinances (the Torah incl. The 10 Cs); for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace (as there is no enmity comes by the law that was against us and contrary to us); and that He might reconcile both unto God (the Jews and the Gentiles, IOW the whole world) in one body by the cross; having slain the enmity thereby.

Remember! This sin comes alive and appeared by the law (Romans 7:7,9,13), as without the law sin was dead (Romans 7:8), and will not be imputed if there is no law (Romans 5:13). This sin is the enmity, the wall of partition that separates the Jews and the Gentiles from God.

As righteousness comes by faith and not by the law, that means no one will stand righteous before the law or no one can keep the law, so the law must go; finish! Otherwise no one will experience the grace of God, and Christ died in vain.

It is the greatest lie of Satan that said a man can keep the law of God. This teaching is to hold mankind under the law, so that man will always be prisoner of sin, and remain in a dead body. But Christ has made us free from the law and from sin (Galatians 5:1), by casting out the bond woman and her son which is the law given at Sinai and the slaves of sin the law has made (Galatians 4:24, 30).

In His love

James S.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Gary K on July 12, 2001, 09:59:00 AM
James S.,

I quote from your post: "It is the greatest lie of Satan that said a man can keep the law of God."  

Do you mind showing me this from the Bible or the SOP?  I want to see this quoted chapter and verse.  It is completely new news to me.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: M.A. Crawford on July 12, 2001, 11:54:00 AM
"...If we truly believed that a soul is of infinite worth because the sacrifice of Jesus says it is so, would we sit back and complain that the preacher didn't give a very good sermon today? Or, if we really believed this, would we be out searching for souls for the kingdom because we love them and don't want to see them lost?"

Bro. Gary, I wholeheartedly agree with what you stated in your questions quoted above. If one were to look very carefully at our church's history, it can be clearly seen that the DRIVING FORCE behind the effort of the pioneers was the fulfillment of The Great Commission of Jesus written in Matthew 28:19, 20 and the proclaiming of the Three Angel's Message of Revelation 14. But what has happened, somewhere between then and now, is many have lost sight of the reason as to why this church was called into existence in the first place.

I believe that the overriding factor with every true follower of Christ in this church is, as Bro. Gary has pointed out, the BURNING DESIRE within to DO ALL THAT WE CAN to see souls saved in God's Kingdom. As I have stated before, the absence of this burning desire is, I believe, the reason why there are so many "Sad"ventists within many of our churches. Too many congregations are cold and lifeless because THEY DO NOT POSSESS THE FIRE of God's Holy Spirit to make it become alive and vibrant. If members of our churches were conscientiously seeking to find those who are outside of the Ark of safety to tell and show them of God's Goodness and His love for them, WE WOULDN'T HAVE TIME to worry about money problems and many of the things that we worry about. WE WOULD BE SO BUSY working for the salvation of the souls of men and women, boys and girls, until we wouldn't have time for any thing else.

Somehow many of God's people have been misled to believe that this is the work of pastors, elders, and others while they just "sit on the sidelines" and applaud the good job others are doing. They have not been TAUGHT AND TRAINED that EVERY CHRISTIAN can be a soul winner for Christ, IF we place ourselves in the proper spiritual posture to become one. However, to concur with Bro. Gary, I very firmly believe that nothing significant WILL EVER HAPPEN unto salvation until we FIRST get the love of God in our hearts for one another as we should.

Let me add that the fault does not lie totally with church leadership. It is up to the rank and file--local members with a vision--to ascertain their needs and speak up, AND SPEAK OUT, as to those needs and their resolution in the appropriate church setting.

M.A.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Allan F on July 12, 2001, 12:00:00 PM
Hello brother James,

I have not time now to comment all what you wrote in your last posting, but I will try to comment some of your thougts in it.

I agree with you that righteousness comes by faith and not by the law. Paul says in Gal 3:21 that "if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law". But Jesus is the only one who is able and has the power to give us life.

Paul writes in Eph 2:1-5 about going from death to life and what kind of life Jesus wants to give us and how we receive it:
"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins, wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience...
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved" (please also read Tit 3:3-7, to see what he means "by grace").

Both that which Christ does for us and in us in the moment of justification, is by grace through faith. We usually do not boast of being forgiven. Likewise there are no reason to boast of "the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost".

You see, the greatest deception according to the SOP in the time of Christ was that a mere assent to truth constitutes righteousness. But in Rom 2 Paul goes against this theory. In this chapter he tells the romans about the danger of beleiving that because they are christians, they will not com into judgment and be judged by their works. In Rom 2:3 he says that "thinkest thou this, O man, that judges them that do such things (1:29-32), and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgement of God?"

"For there is no respect of persons with God" (v.11).

"God will render to every man according to his deeds, to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life, but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth..., tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the jew... (read: nominal christian) and also the gentile... For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto them selves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also being witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel" (v.6-16).

"Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery?" (v.21,22).

"For circumcision (read: to call one self a christian) verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision KEEP THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LAW (see Rom 8:4), shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?... He is a jew (read christian) which is one inwardly, and the circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.  :)

When you say that "righteousness comes by faith and not by the law," I say amen. But to say that "that means no one will stand righteous before the law or no one can keep the law," it is a lie according to the verses from romans 2 which I have quoted from.

"so the law must go; finish!"
No, brother. Sin must go.

"Otherwise no one will experience the grace of God, and Christ died in vain."

"This is life eternal, that they might KNOW thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.. I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I IN THEM (Jn 17:3,26).

"Abide in him: that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming" (Jn 2:28).

Sincerely
Allan F

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on July 12, 2001, 12:35:00 PM
Brother James, we have previously agreed on our difference and I have asked a question and also given you some information in regards to the Spirit of Prophecy. I know you have been away from home for awhile, but now if you could respond, I would appreciate it.

I asked "You can help our work here by sharing with us where you learn such things as a Seventh-day Adventist. We know the "evagelical" churches teach such, but where have you learned this “in Christ motif”? My thoughts before were the 1888 Study Committee, but we would all like to know who it is that has been teaching this "in Christ motif". There are a number of "teachers" that come close to this. Venden, Sequierra, Larson, Whielen, and many writing in the Review. We would appreciate your help in this matter so that all may rightly understand what is being taught and who it is that is teaching."

Brother James I quote you again in regards to the published writings of Ellen White. "That is why we must take what is good and not just accept everything of her is inspired. If she contradict the bible, we must not questions the bible because as she has said that her writings is just a lesser light compare to the bible and the bible only as the foundation of truth. But as the church keep publishing all her writings then we will see a dualism, and it is up to us to deal with it."

You have used this in response to statements of Ellen White on justification by faith. I have used the Bible to support my understanding on this doctrine and I don't see any variance in any of the writings of Ellen White that contadict the Bible, yet what you are saying disagrees with her writings from beginning to end. Throughout her published writings we have the encouragement the Jesus came into this world to give us perfection of character. She encouarges us under the inspiration of God that "in Christ" we shall have power to keep the law of God.

In His love and grace,     Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Gary K on July 12, 2001, 03:25:00 PM
Richard,

I know where James S. gets his thoughts.  He has been studying with the disciple of Jack Sequira that went first by the handle of Yom, and now by the handle of Bob, on the VOAF.  James is basically quoting Yom word for word.  He is giving almost verbatim the arguments of Yom.  Yom has convinced him that SDA doctrine is of the devil, because it is pure legalism.

When James first started posting a year or so ago he didn't hold to these theories, he sure does now.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on July 12, 2001, 05:02:00 PM
Wow! Brethren... :o  Some how or other I have become lost in the maze of reply's and conjecture in the more recent posts on *justification by Faith*...Am I alone? Or are there other's who may be in the same boat as myself?  ???


>>>Brother Frenchmon.  Regarding you post of 06/19/2001.  You asked:  Brother Herbert...I like the sound of your last posting ...I have never seen or heard these words before:  "Sometimes, justification initiates the relationship in which righteousness becomes a
possibility.  It sounds good, but can you kindly flesh that idea out a bit more???  Please...help me to understand your thoughts?"

I will attempt to do so...Perhaps, the story of Abraham might be a good place to start.  Here is a man who, and I might add, was not only called out of his "home town" so-to-speak; but, was terribly wealthy also. He, perhaps even more so than Lot, "really had a stake in making such a large venture without a clue as to where, what, or how he was to be led...Yet, without any hesitation so far as I can read from this story, he does so with his entire house-hold...No questions asked.

We are well aware of the story from here.  His mistake in Egypt; the mess he and Sarah got themselves into regarding the son of "promise": i.e. taking for himself the maid of Sarah [Hagar - Ishmael], having children by her, etc.  Then, we see, in a sort of "final, perhaps *purging* act of conscience; giving for a sacrifice his only son Issiac; and, God's miricle of a "lamb provided for *sacrifice*"...Another time I would really like to zero in on this portion [the act of nearly slaying his son] of his [Abraham's] act on Mt. Morah...

The really important part of this is that following this; God Himself came to Abraham and "initiated a covenant" between Himself and Abraham...Then turn, if you will to the 15th chapter of Genesis, and verse 6.  [Speaking of Abraham now], "And he [Abraham] *believed* in the Lord; and He [the Lord] *counted it to him [Abraham]j for *righteousness*...

There are actually several more places that one may see an initiated covenant [or act of reconciliation - putting right] with an individual or nation where it is *counted unto them as "righteousness* before there was any *progress* in the direction of *keeping the law* so-to-speak...

I hope that this explination finds it's mark.

Brother Myers.  Perhaps we could discuss the differences of opinion in regard to Sister White's "growth", or "change in her theology" [off-form format please  :)]; has (IMO) been, to a large degree, part of the reason we have such a hard time today understanding the principles of "righteousness/justification by faith"...I will wait to hear from you, and will acknowledge you as soon as I can... :) I will be very interested in your experience and views on this matter, as you are my "elder brother"... :)

I am really interested in the direction this conversation has gone, or is going...However, I will stop for now as I do have another one or dozen things which need to be done tonight before I may go home  :)!

So, for now, signing-off as your brother in Christ...

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on July 12, 2001, 08:40:00 PM
Brother Gary, yes, it is what Yom believes and it does appear that our Brother James has shifted some in what he believes. At least he is verbalizing things that he did not a year ago. I think he believes in the Spirit of Prophecy and if we can show him Ellen White has been consistent in her theology, he will have a decision to make. I believe you, Brother James to be honest in your error and appreciate your kind attitude in posting here at TRO even though we differ with you. Let us continue to pray that Jesus will bring us into unity.

Brother Herbert, of course, let me know when.  :)

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: M.A. Crawford on July 13, 2001, 07:34:00 AM
Bro. James S., there is, what I will call, a "slight misunderstanding" in your theology concerning the law of God as it relates to salvation. But I am quite optimistic that understanding will eventually come, because I believe that the power of the Holy Spirit is able to awaken us IN AN INSTANT if we would but continue to honestly and sincerely study God's Word in order to do what It says.

Reading the theological writings of others has its place, but NOTHING substitutes for the CAREFUL AND PRAYERFUL study of the Word of God, followed by a careful and prayerful study of the writings of His Messenger: Ellen G. White on the subjects and topics in question. I believe if you will follow this simple prescription, much that is unclear to you on various Bible subjects and topics will become clearer as you continue to ask the Lord to give you the understanding you stand in need of as you continue to study His Word.

None of us are any more important than anyone else in these forums. Where a brother or sister lacks understanding on a particular point of salvation, I believe it is THE RESPONSIBILITY OF US ALL to try to help that individual see what he/she needs to see and then encourage him/her TO BE A DOER of the Word and not just a "hearer" only.

M.A.  

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Gary K on July 13, 2001, 10:07:00 AM
Hi JHerbert,

Could I ask what you mean by the following: Then, we see, in a sort of "final, perhaps *purging* act of conscience.???

Are you saying, as seems to be implied in your wording, that Abraham did this as a sort of penance?  I am really curious as to the meaning of this statement.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on July 14, 2001, 08:39:00 AM
Brother James,  we have a good topic that touches on this subject in the Kings forum. It is Without a Wedding Garment. You might take a look and see if it can help in this discussion here.  :)

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on July 15, 2001, 12:57:00 PM
Brother's.  Brother Gary K has asked:
>>>Could I ask what you mean by the following: Then, we see, in a sort of "final, perhaps *purging* act of conscience.??? Are you saying, as seems to be implied in your wording, that Abraham did this as a sort of penance? I am really curious as to the meaning of this statement.

No, I am not saying that Abraham was in sorts working out a penance...I agree however, that is does sound as though that is what I said. Lets see if I can clarify this by another statement...It was God who brought out a work in Abraham, and which, perhaps due to his previous blunders, was designed to, [and I have no other way of saying it] *test* Abraham's *loyalty*, and also to fix in Abraham's, as well as the coming nation of Israel's mind forever, the *truth about God and how He does things*...Mainly that the *sacrifice* which was eventually made on Mount Morah was a *symbol* of the *Lamb of God* or Jesus, who came in the *rescue of man kind* or perhaps said in another way; was to *set man "right" with God* through His sacrifice...

I hope that this helps to straighten things out...Perhaps I'm off track a bit, and I would certainly appreciate other's ideas in regard to it.  :)

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on July 15, 2001, 07:08:00 PM
Sounds good to me.  :)  Abraham was given the closest test ever to come to man. He failed the previous two. What an object lesson for us! The most beautiful object lesson in the Bible.  :)

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: James Saptenno on July 16, 2001, 08:49:00 AM
Brother Allan F.

Romans 2:12-16 is giving us a picture that all other nations outside of the Jews even they have not the Torah, but if they have the Principe of the law, if they have LOVE, is was accounted to them that they too were keeping the law of God, and will be saved by the grace of God.

As for the Jews if they keep the Torah they will be justified by their deeds (Romans 2:13), but again Paul told us that no one will be justified by keeping the law, as no one can keep the law perfectly. Righteousness will never comes from keeping the law, so, no one will ever be justified by their deeds (Romans 3:20,28; Galatians  2:16; 3:11). They will never  have their eternal life, because the law could not give life to them that was not righteous against the law (Galatians 3:21).

Romans 8:3 – For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh……..

What things the law could not do for us because of the weakness of the flesh? Giving us LIFE. As no one will ever be justified by keeping the law and by that they might live, but the law will condemn every man and all must die.

That is why, God must do it for us through Christ, the only “person” in the world history that can keep the law and satisfied the law. By believing in Him and keeping a life after the Spirit, the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us (Romans 8:4).

But against the law, we still fall short, we still could not reach sinless perfection and for that we still must die. That’s why, the law must go for believers in Christ, otherwise they will never got their life. Thus, Christ ended the law for us “in Him.” The written law (the Torah including the 10 Cs) has no more function for them that were in Christ by faith, they all were sons of God and serve God in “the newness of the Spirit” or living after the Spirit and no longer in “the oldness of the letter” (Romans 7:6). A life of the “new creature in Christ”, where old things passed away (a life after the flesh and under the law) and all things become new (newness of the Spirit and living after the Spirit) - II Corinthians 5:17.

Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.”
No condemnation, because there is no law and if there is no law there is also no transgression and sin was dead, and sin was also not imputed (Romans 4:15; 5:13; 7:8). In Christ the law ends (Romans 10:4), meaningless for His believers.

A believer is in Christ by faith, no longer need the law as a schoolmaster to guide him to his Savior. He is with his Savior, as he is in Him by faith, he is the Son of God (Galatians 3:21-26). And the only law that exists and ruled the life of the sons of God in heaven and on earth and in the whole universe is just LOVE. A holy principle that binds each other and with God. No written law or commandments needed.

Romans 7:6 – But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of the spirit; and not in the oldness of the letter.

A life of the “new creature in Christ”, where old things passed away (a life after the flesh and under the law) and all things become new (newness of the Spirit and living after the Spirit) - II Corinthians 5:17.

If you are “in Christ”, your life is ruled by love, a life controlled by the Spirit.

If you want live by the flesh, your life is controlled by the law (Romans 7:5; Galatians 3:17,18) or by the “oldness of the letter.”

In His love

James S.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: James Saptenno on July 16, 2001, 09:36:00 AM
Brother Gary K.

James S.,
I quote from your post: "It is the greatest lie of Satan that said a man can keep the law of God."

Do you mind showing me this from the Bible or the SOP? I want to see this quoted chapter and verse. It is completely new news to me.

-----------

It was of course not written in the bible or in the SOP, but it was a conclusion from the gospel of Christ as preached by Paul.

Paul has stated many times that no one will ever be justified by keeping the law, that means no one can stand righteous before the law, otherwise he can claim eternal life. But the law could not give eternal life to the law keeper as they can never reach righteousness and sinless perfection demanded by the law. Why, they can't? Because of the weakness of the flesh (Romans 8:3; Galatians 3:21), so God must do it for men through Christ (Romans 8:4).


In Galatians 3:10 we read that all law keeper are under curse because no one can keep the law and satisfied the demands.

Righteousness could only come from faith in Christ, and the grace of God granted us life even we are unperfect and still a sinner before the law. But "in Christ" we have no condemnation, as for the believer in Christ there is no written law to observe (the old things of the letter) but we live in the newness of the Spirit which is a life after the Spirit. A life controlled by the Spirit, do we still need a written law then?

In His love

James S.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: James Saptenno on July 16, 2001, 09:57:00 AM
Brother Richard.

You and Gary were right. I have studied Jack S. lectures and have a lot of discussion with Yom where I defend our doctrines as much as I know. But later on I found out that they were right and I admitted that in the forum. Since then I keep studying the NT carefully and going further in the "in Christ" theology. I find out that the law was ended and lost it function for the believer in Christ, that even Jack S. and Yom is still looking at it as valid, even they are not under the law.

That is why I need to share my study in order to find out whether I am correct or not. I want to find out the real thruth of the gospel of Christ by sharing with all of you. I hope I might find out from you that I am wrong.

Please forgive me if my thoughts is against our doctrine at this time, but it is just a bible study. I am always ready and willing to admit if I am wrong. But that need a good discussion.

Let's the Spirit of God to guide all of us into unity of His gospel.

In His love

James S.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on July 16, 2001, 11:15:00 AM
Brother James, we are happy to have this discussion with you. We are here for this purpose. You may express whatever your thoughts are and share what you believe. Our rules express very clearly that we will not allow "teaching" contrary to what the church believes, but this you have not done. We will go to great lengths in seeking to answer your concerns. We love you and what ever we can do in looking at this most basic and important subject, we want to. The truth can stand a close examination. It will not suffer.

Your spirit has been good and I again want to thank you for being kind and considerate in all of our discussion. I do have a request though. Because your ideas are out of harmony with what we believe as a people, I would ask that you restrict yourself to this one topic. Here we can try and resolve the most basic of doctrines. To go into other forums or topics will only lead to difficulties. It would then appear that you were attempting to influence others to believe as you do. I noticed a post of yours in another thread where you were saying we are not bound to keep the Sabbath. This is a serious error and while you may believe and teach a false gospel in the church and not be in fear of disfellowhshipment, it will not that way with the Sabbath. Most all church members will take great offense when you begin to teach contrary to the Sabbath. Since you do not believe you are bound to keep the Sabbath, it will not be long before you are not keeping it. This is grounds for removing your church membership.

We want to bring you back into a proper understanding of Bible doctrine. One of the best ways that I can think to do this right now is to say what I said before. Not only are you finding disagreement with us at TRO, but you recognize that you differ with the church. Let me again say that Ellen White did not change her theology in 1888. If you have accepted her as a prophet in the past, then I plead with you to listen carefully as I try and persuade you that she has put this concern we have with the gospel in straight terms that a child can understand. All through her life as a prophet. So, while I have taught from the Bible and you find fault with this over and over, let me try another approach. Not that Ellen White is the authority, but rather that Ellen White agrees with what we believe the Bible says. Take that as you wish, but understand that you will have to reject Ellen White as a prophet if you wish to hold to your current position. It is a shameful thing for others to profess to believe in Ellen White and quote her to support their doctrine and reject that which shows them to be in error. Yom and Elder Sequierra do such.

You, my friend will not do this, but rather you will be more honest and will have to reject her completely to hold to your current thinking. I pray this will not be the case, but rather you will see the wisdom of listening to what God has said through her.

In our current discussion, you continue to build a case that we believe a man is saved by his works and over and over I have said that a man is saved by faith in the sacrifice of Jesus and the reception of the Holy Spirit. You have also denied the infilling of the Holy Spirit that gives power to obey the law.

You make a distinction between the keeping of the law and the manifesting of the fruits of the Spirit. Look at the last fruit of the Spirit and what do you see? Tell me what this means to you. Also, tell me that we are allowed to break the Sabbath and tell me that we are allowed to retain eternal life when we kill an innocent man. This is what it means to be free from the contraints of the law. My brother, you are in a most serious condition. Please pray with us for the Holy Spirit to help in our discussion, that we might know the truth for the honor and glory of God.

In His love and grace,     Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Allan F on July 17, 2001, 12:12:00 PM
Thanks for your post, brother James. I beleive that if we would have more open minded bible studies (as we have here) in our church, there would be more growth toward unity in doctrines and beliefs among us. Please continue in your good spirit.

To go right to the main problem, as I see it, I will quote from your last post to me:

"Paul told us that no one will be justified by keeping the law, as no one can keep the law perfectly. Righteousness will never come from keeping the law, so, no one will ever be justified by their deeds (Romans 3:20,28; Galatians 2:16; 3:11)."

As I see it, it is no contradiction between Rom 2:13 and Rom 3:20, where it says that "the doers of the law shall be justified", and "by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified".

The former emphazises that the ones who are being justified, will give them selves totally to Gods leading and do everything Gods want them to do. They will not only be hearers of the law, but doers of it.

Rom 3:20 emphazises the fact that good works of obedience can never purchase salvation. They can, at best, be evidence of the faith by which justification is received.

But the relationship between faith and works are so inseparatable that while God can be just and justify the ungodly by faith, He is still just when he judges all men by their works (Rom 2:6, Rev 22:12), also they who have faith in Jesus.

"Sin is sin wherever and by whomever it is committed. Nor does it become less sinful by being committed in the midst of religious privileges. The people of God have no special license to sin, as though God would not be so strict in noticing the offenses of those who profess to serve Him. On the contrary, the Bible consistently teaches that the most serious sins among men are those that are committed by the professed people of God (Isa 1:11-17, Matt 21:31,32)(6BC p.485).

The problem of the jews were that they put their assurance of God's favor and their justification in the fact that they had the law.
But they didn't use the law as a rule of life. Of this reason God could not fulfill his great plans with Israel. When the King of Kings came to this earth, to receive fruits from his vineyard, the jews (who had promises of becoming the greatest nation under the sun) were not even free in their own country, but were under subjection to the romans. They were so jealous of the name of God that they would not even pronounce their most sacred name for God. Yet they lived in such a manner that the gentiles were led to blaspheme His name (Rom 2:24).

Like the jews, I beleive that our only solution is to have faith in Jesus as a personal saviour from sin: To be justified by grace and not by our own efforts to keep the law, "for the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can [it] be" Rom 8:7.
Then we will "walk in the spirit so we do not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Gal 5:16), "so that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit" (Rom 8:4)

"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live" (Rom 8:13).

Allan F

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on July 23, 2001, 05:34:00 PM
Brethren [specifically Brother Saptenno].  I have recently run across two such quotes from SOP regarding the *allegations of satan -- verses the Nature, Character, and Government of God*...

Give me a couple of hours tomarrow in the Library, and I will forward them on to TRO.

Your brother in Christ.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: James Saptenno on July 24, 2001, 09:36:00 AM
Brother Allan F.

Romans 10:5 – For Moses describeth the righteousness, which is of the law. That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

If you believe that a believer can keep the law then justification is not by faith but by the law. And whoever stand righteous before the law will live, and Christ died in vain.

But Paul said in Galatians that you have quoted “ For if there had been a law which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the Scripture hath conclude all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believeth” (Galatians 3:21,22).

That means, no law keeper will stands righteous before the law, no one could ever be justified by keeping the law and inherit eternal life, as no one can keep the law and fulfil the demands of the law.

Romans 3:20-24 – Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight….But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

The righteousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ is manifested WITHOUT the law not WITH the law. We will only be justified by faith in Christ if there is no law to keep. If justification by faith goes parallel with keeping the law, then no one will live as all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), all were under dominion of sin (Romans 7:23), condemned to die (Romans 7:24). So, for a believer in Christ there is no law to keep, otherwise he will be always a sinner before the law and under curse (Galatians 3:10). Christ has redeemed us not for to be kept under curse forever, but to give us freedom from it and from the law that keeps us under sin. Sin will have no more dominion over us as we are no longer under the law but under grace (Romans 6:14), which means God has ended the function of the law “in Christ”, that a believer might be justified without the law, but justified by his faith in Christ. And if there is no law, there is no transgression, sin was dead and sin was not imputed (Romans 4:15; 7:8; 5:13). This is the grace of God and the freedom Christ has given us.

Galatians 5:1 – It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery. (NIV)

What is the yoke of slavery? Galatians 4:21 – Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? Galatians 4:24 – These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai, and bears children who are to be slaves. Slaves of what? Slaves of sin and death as we were prisoners by the law (Galatians 3:22,23; Romans 7:23,24).

If God ask us to keep His law (Torah which include the 10 Cs), He put us forever slaves of sin and death as no one can keep the law and satisfied the demands of the law. Why we can’t keep the law? Because the flesh is weak (Romans 8:3) and we might sin from time to time.

So, God must do it for us through Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by our faith in Him and no longer by the law (Philippians 3:9), because there is no more law that will put us under the law. This is righteousness from God without the law that was granted to us, a free gift (Romans 3:22-24). And our faith will lead us to live after the Spirit (Romans 8:4) and bear fruit of the Spirit which is in harmony with the written law (Galatians 5:22,23).

But if the law is still valid and binds a believer in Christ, then Christ died in vain. What He has done for us (redemption, justification by faith and life) become meaningless, as before the law we are still sinners and must die. There could not be “justification by faith” parallel with “condemnation by the law.” The only solution is the law must go.

Romans 10:4 – For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Or as Paul has said in Romans 3:21 “A righteousness of God without the law.”

In Christ the law ends for a believer, it’s function ended and become meaningless. Righteousness by faith could only be granted to a believer without the present of the law, that is the meaning of righteousness of God without the law. We were dead to the law by the body of Christ (Romans 7:4), we were delivered from the law (v. 6), in Christ there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1) because there is no law that convict us and condemn us if we transgress the law (Romans 4:10; 7:9-11,13).

Believers in Christ have peace with God as the law that is against us and contrary to us (the law revealed the sin in us and condemn us, the law is holy, good and just, but we are carnal and sold under sin) has blotted out and nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14) together with the carnal mind that made us an enemy of God (Ephesians 2:114-16).

What left for us is the Principe of the law (Love) to keep, which is fruit of the Spirit that comes from a life after the Spirit, serving God in “newness of the Spirit” and not in the “oldness of the letter” (Romans 7:6).

Why should we then, that were sons of God by faith in Christ and suppose to live as heavenly creatures lives, a life ruled by love, need a written law to rule our live? Paul has said in Colossians 2:20-22 “ Wherefore if you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances. (Touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using) after the commandments and doctrines of men?” And he continued with – Colossians 3:1,2 – If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on the things above, not on things on the earth.

When love as fruit of the Spirit ruled our heart, we have fulfilled the demands of the law because  “love is the fulfillment of the law”
(Romans 10:4).

In His love

James S.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on July 24, 2001, 05:00:00 PM
Brother Saptenno and TRO...I have, to the best of my inept abilities, carefully read and processed the last several posts...I find it very interesting stuff.

I'd like to start with a picture of Job.  Here is a man whom God tells satan is "upright in all his [Job's] ways"...To which satan counters; "Ya sure, he [Job] only obeys and worships you because you have prospered him greatly".

Satan the [the acccuser] has challenged God that Job *cannot keep God Law*, it is burdensome; unfair; and arbitrary...Job's *theology*, if you want to dissect it, is terribly wrong...at least until the very end. And look at what God says of Job..."He [Job] has said what is true about me"...Oh! That God might say that about me!

Some months ago I started a folder on the *Law and the Gospel*.  I have since been studying first a Bible context, and the SOP. This has led to some very interesting stuff for me...Comparing Romans, Galatians, and James, it seem a real discrepancy between Paul's *works through faith*; and James' *faith that works*.

One of my first questions was I think the same which Paul askes in Romans; "not being justified by the works of the law; and if the law has been done away with; then, why obedience?"

I got a lot of different *stuff*, but let me share this:  Many times throughout Paul's writings [Galatians 1:6], he consistently calls upon the graciousness of God to *act* with a conventional *relationship with Christ* "who is the author and finisher of our faith..."  You want to be justified by the law?  Then, you have cut yourself off from grace...[I think?]  I also present for your consideration that Paul is primarily speaking to a *gentile* audience...

James on the other hand seems to contradict Paul's message with the statement(s) which seem to say -- *without works, there "is no righteousness, even righteousness by faith."
Or, faith that produces works...Here, on closer examination however, Paul and James do not contridict each other at all...[Need I go on?]

Then, looking at Abraham [Genesis 15:6] -- "And he [Abraham] *believed* in the Lord; and He [God] counted it to him [Abraham] for righteousness..."  (BTW) The word *believed* may also be translated as *said amen; or, so-be-it*; and his faith was counted to him as righteousness.  An interesting thought as it would them read:  "And he said *amen* [to God's way of doing things?], and it was counted to him as righteousness.

Just a few thoughts for the evening...

Your brother in Christ.


Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: James Saptenno on July 30, 2001, 07:20:00 AM
Brother Thompson.

Quote.
Some months ago I started a folder on the *Law and the Gospel*. I have since been studying first a Bible context, and the SOP. This has led to some very interesting stuff for me...Comparing Romans, Galatians, and James, it seem a real discrepancy between Paul's *works through faith*; and James' *faith that works*.
Unquote.

Paul and James were saying the same thing. They were saying that a believer life must show his belief, not by keeping the written law (10 Cs) but to love each other. Love is the law that Christ gives his believers, love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:10), love covers the 10 Cs which is just a transcription of it but the 10 Cs can not cover love. We might not kill our neighbor that we hate because we are afraid for trial of the civil law and put in prison or electric chair. But if we have love that ruled our heart and our life, we are in harmony with the 10 Cs (Galatians 5:23). Love is the law of heaven and the whole universe, the 10 Cs were only a law for the Jews on this earth to reveals their sin, to kill them and to guide them to Christ as their Redeemer and Savior.

Why did love substitute the 10 Cs?  Because if you have love, which is fruit of the Spirit that comes from the “willing and the doing of God through His Spirit” in us, that means your life are ruled by the Spirit, controlled by the Spirit. You no longer controlled your own life, you are dead and Christ alive in you.

But if you still controlled your own life, the Spirit can not work in you. And what is shown to the world are only the act of the flesh, as that are all what we can produce. Without the Spirit, we can only keep the commandments of God in mind, but our act or doing remains acts of the flesh as we are slaves to the law of sin (Romans 7:25).

What James means with “faith without works is dead” is a believer that did not have love in his heart and in his life or a believer that lives for the flesh that lives for self. And whoever lives for the flesh shall die (Romans 8:13) and will not inherit the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:21).

Another meaning is that a believer that have no love and only act of the flesh in fact did not have faith in Christ. He just believes as Satan’s believe too. But he did not surrender his heart to God, and maintain a selfish life. His faith is a dead faith not alive. He is not dead yet, and Christ can not live in him.

In His love

James S.


Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on July 30, 2001, 10:24:00 AM
Brother James, which one of the comandments cannot be kept when the Christian has this love in his heart? Tell me when you have this love born of God dwelling in you, which commandment do you break? Do you steal, do you murder, do you covet, do your break the Sabbath, do you worship idols, are you angry with your brother without cause, do you lust after a woman in your heart, is there pride in your heart when you have this new birth experience?  Tell me the the law of God is not written upon you heart and that you do in fact break the commandments of God when you have this great love you speak of. I speaking of the law that has come to your knowledge, not the law that you are ignorant of.

In His love and grace,     Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on August 02, 2001, 05:15:00 AM
For those that are still having a little difficulty in seeing the need to keep the commandments of God, think of them as laws of love. If you love me keep my commandments, said Jesus. The ten commandments are a reflection of love. If we love our neighbor we shall not steal from him, bear false witness against him, kill him, etc.  If we do these things we have not love for our neighbor.

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: frenchmon on August 02, 2001, 09:26:00 AM
"To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the *work of faith with power*,"


"We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your *work of faith*, and *labour of love*, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.  *For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost,* and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."


James...the work of faith is our continuing in faith, manifested in law keeping...the fruit of our faith with agape...


How can one please God through faith without the law manifested in his life???


Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Allan F on August 04, 2001, 02:05:00 PM
Once upon a time there was a man who had a little daughter. The Father cared so much for her, and the daughter expressed her love to her Father by seeking to please him in all her ways. Unfortunately she had no brothers and sisters and therefore she felt some times a bit lonely. So, one day she asked her Father: Dad, can I get a cat?

The Father thought about this for a moment. He thought that it would be good for his daughter to have someone to care for, and play with. A few days later he came home after work with a tiny, little sweet cat. The daughter immediately fell in love with this tiny, little creature. As the days went on, the father was so happy to watch the two little ones as they were playing together.

One day when the father came home from work he was met by an unusual silence. When he stepped into the kitchen there was a terrible sight. There, just in front of him law the sweet, tiny cat, cut into many pieces. The Father was shocked.
Then he heard someone in the living room. He went into the room and saw her little daughter, with tears in her eyes.

What happened?, her father asked.
"The cat didn't want to play with me", the daughter said. "And therefore I took a knife and cut it into pieces", she continued...

Time went on. One day when the father came home from work, his daughter came to meet him. After she had give the father a big hug, she asked: "Can I get a cat?"
The father thought about it, this time a little longer than just for a moment.
Then he turned and said to his daughter: "My daughter, I will give you a cat. But on certain conditions".
"We are going to have some rules in our home. The first commandment is that you shall not kill the cat. Secondly, you must neither kick it nor throw stones at it. And remember to to give food to the cat, every day.

We see from this parable, that the Father, when he gave a cat to his daughter for the first time, he beleived that the love and the unwritten laws which he had to give the second time, where written in the heart of his daughter.

When the father realized that his daughter had a tendency to do these evil things, he had to give her some rules in how to handle the cat.

When the letters of the unwritten law were expressed in the written form, the spirit of the law didn't go away. The letter only put words to and clarified the spirit of the law. Because of the fact that the daughter had a tendency to not to love the cat with all her heart, there was a need for specific rules to guide her. And even when she loved her cat with all of her heart, the letters of the law didn't go away. They only got their true meaning. They were a reminder for her, and served as a protection for the cat if she should think about doing the same to the second cat that she did to the first one.

What if she one day killed the second cat? When she asked of forgiveness and for a new cat, what do you think the father should do? To forgive her and abolish the rules? Or, forgive her and teach her how to keep the rules?

Allan F

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on August 06, 2001, 01:40:00 PM
Brothers, Frenchmon and Allan,  thank you for the posts!  It is all very simple. Love to God and our neighbor is the "requirement" for heaven. We have not this love to give until we are born again and become a partaker of the divine nature. We have not earned heaven by manifesting this love, for it is given to us. Yes, it is true we must do something to get it. We must come to Jesus just as we are and cease resisting His love.  :)

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on August 07, 2001, 02:54:00 PM
Brother's and Sister's.

Always on the look-out for a "good deal"  :); I have found the "deal of all deals"!

This is the newest and best yet automotive product on the market..."G-RACE"...

This product is poured into your gas tank. As you go thru your week, you may pour any available liquid into the  gas tank.  The product combines with whatever has been provided and prevents engine damage.  It actually creates a more advanced fuel.

Sounds good!  :)  Watch out!  :(  You will never be able to change the principle of the internal combustion engine to suite your whim or fancy...Just as you cannot change the principles that guide a Christians life as we journey thru his or her spiritual week with Christ.

Sincerely your brother in Christ.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on August 10, 2001, 08:52:00 PM
Amen, Brother Herbert!  Grace is the power that transforms the character. We are saved by the revelation of God's grace. If we would seek grace we would have power to overcome.  Grace cannot be stored, we must receive it daily.  :) It is being poured out for the taking. It is as real as the air we breathe.  

Happy Sabbath, all.  :)

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: frenchmon on August 11, 2001, 03:05:00 PM
Brothers...it was Martin Luther who once wrote...to be able to see the harmony between law and gospel is to put that person at the head of the class...

Grace comes to those who trust Christ by faith...The favor of God is His grace doing for man what man can't do for him self...The Spirit is the fuel...grace is the favor...--frenchmon

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on August 11, 2001, 03:48:00 PM
Brother Frenchmon, good to see you more often!  :)  Happy Sabbath and a big amen to your last post!

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on September 04, 2001, 11:19:00 AM
Brother's and Sister's.  Seeming to have the propensity to provoke the most obscure, yet relevant biblical questions.  Here is one I'd like to pose in this discussion.  It comes from a brother in another communion who I have been quite busy answering questions over the past several months. Many of his questions have been posed on this a several other SDA forums, with quite a varried response...

First, however, I'd like to share that my two favorite storys in the NT are those of the Prodigal Son & the continued story of Mary Magdalene...these two storys are bound-up with grace untold.  "The heart of him who receives the grace of God overflows with love for God and for those for whom Christ died.  Self is not struggling for recognition.  He does not love others because they love and please him, because they appreciate his merits, but because they ar Christ's purchased possession.  If his motives, words, or actions are misunderstood or misrepresented, he takes no offense, but pursues the even tenor of his way.  He is kind and thoughful, humble in his opinion of himself, yet full of hope, always trusting in the mercy and love of God."  [Christ's Object Lessons, pp.102,103].

My question here is what do we do with Ezekiel 20:25?  Were the Ten Commandments given to Israel as a "stumbling block" from the very beginning?  Were they a punishment? Were they given to Israel with God's full knowledge that they could never be kept?

Where does grace fit into this picture?  How do we as a church ultimately misrepresent God with our answer to, or theology regarding such things?

Your brother in Christ.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: M.A. Crawford on September 05, 2001, 07:42:00 AM
Bro. Thompson, I don't mean to sound sarcastic or funny when I say this, but we are to do nothing with Ezekiel 20:25 but read and understand it. If you will carefully read vss. 24, 26, and 27 which surround verse 25, you will discover that God is saying the Children of Israel REASONED IN THEIR MINDS that He had given them statues that were not good and judgments whereby they should not live. This is why God began verse 27 with the word "Therefore."

In response to some of your other questions, the Ten Commandments were not given to Israel to be a "stumbling block" to them from the beginning or at any other time. They were not a punishment. They were not given to Israel with God's full knowledge that they could never be kept. None of these assumptions can be found anywhere in the Bible. God is not in the "game-playing" business. He is in THE SOUL-SAVING BUSINESS!

This is one of the charges leveled against Seventh-day Adventists today by those of other faiths (and by some who are former Adventists). They contend that many in this church are more interested in ANALYZING AND DISSECTING the Word of God for discussion purposes than they are in OBEYING IT.

M.A.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on September 06, 2001, 10:20:00 AM
Brother Crawford.  Thank you for your quick response!  As I continued in my study regard-ing this matter [it is important at this point only because it has come up in a conversation with a non-adventist; who, suprisingly, seems well informed regarding the Sanctuary, and other doctrines of the church.  :)  At-any-rate, my study led me to a further assumption, [which I hate to use], that God was perhaps referring to Israel's position against His Law...In other words, it was in fact Israel who, because of their idolatry, made out these laws to be a punishment - both unable to keep and, an arbitrary stimbling block to the nation...By the way, Paul made a simular assertion in Romans.  Perhaps you would elaborate?  So it seems that we have both come to at least simular understanding of these verses?

Secondly, and in reference to your last paragraph; it seems to me that the point that my friend is making has nothing to do with adventist propensity to: "contend that many in this church are more interested in ANALYZING AND DISSECTING the Word of God for discussion purposes than they are in OBEYING IT."  Rather, that this remains adventis *dogma* which we [adventist's] need to weed through and resign to a format more in line with NT *grace*...
What do you think?

Your brother in Christ.

the Ten Commandments were written on this man's heart and he did reveal his love for God as he suffered the agony of the cross. I am forever thankful for his words that encouraged my Saviour when all others had denied Him.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on September 06, 2001, 01:29:00 PM
Brother Herbert, God's law can be kept through the power of God's grace.  This is where the "evangelicals" have missed the boat. They have been told over and over that they are under grace, not the law. They do away with the need to keep the law because they do not believe in the power of Jesus to keep them holy. It is a very sad situation that has come into the church.

When God gave the ten commandments at Mt. Sinai, the people were in the same condition as Peter when he said he would never deny Jesus. they did not know they needed a Saviour in their hearts in order to keep the law. They learned quickly as did Peter. Shall we too, learn of our great need?

Richard

In His love and grace,     Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: M.A. Crawford on September 07, 2001, 07:10:00 AM
"...this remains Adventist dogma which we [Adventists] need to weed through and resign to a format more in line with NT grace."

That is precisely why I made the statement in the last paragraph you quoted, Bro. Thompson. We, here in these last days need to be focusing on the answer from God's Word to the question: What must I do to be saved? and not so much on Adventist "dogma." Doctrinal discussions have their place, but I do not believe there is ANYTHING in this life more important than being saved. I am not saying this has happened to you, but oftentimes the enemy will divert our minds with "discussions" that do little more than waste our time causing us to lose sight of what we actually need to be focusing on. We need to especially be on our guard against former Adventists and others who hate this church and the Lord's messenger, and will try to engage us in discussions that waste time, seek to cause doubt, or bring about confusion in what we believe unto salvation. I very firmly believe that one is on SAFE GROUND if one continues to stick with the Bible as It reads, the original principles of salvation as taught by this church, and if one does not permit ANYONE to cause him/her to reject the teachings of the Lord's messenger, Ellen G. White.

The devil is very busy, Bro. Thompson, and he is going to use EVERY DEVICE in his "trick bag" arsenal to cause us---if he possibly can---to stumble, reject the Bible as it reads, and be lost.

M.A.      

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on December 06, 2001, 07:30:00 AM
The false teachers have caused many to stumble as they look at Israel and the law. The ten commandments predates Mt. Sinai as did Israel's knowledge of them. The law was given at Mt. Sinai for the same reason it is given to those who are not converted today. It is the "schoolmaster" that leads us to see our need of a Saviour. The law is holy just and good and those who fight against the law have little understanding of the real grace of God.

Righteousness by faith is not freedom from keeping the law, but rather it is the power to keep the law. Such a deception that has come upon Israel. Faith is required because of the high standard required for salvation. The WHOLE heart must be given to Christ. How few understand they will not enter heaven without a new heart that is revealed by a new character, without spot, blemish, or wrinkle. The white robe of Christ's righteousness does not cover one unconfessed or unforsaken sin. Our filthy garments are removed prior to putting it on.

Such is the truth regarding "righteousness by faith."

In His love and grace,         Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on January 28, 2002, 05:08:00 PM
Brethren. The past four working on number five Sabbath School Lessons have really been good! Don't you think?

I'm not sure as to "how" I have come to adopt this particular "idea". We all know that some will "pick-it-apart" piece at a time. My hope is to find some real Biblical and SOP basis for either "believing or not believing" this. One may have all sorts of "beliefs" or "doctrinal" back-up; however, I'm afraid that will not work in convencing me in either direction...I'm looking for solid "evidence". Okay?

The question is: Did the Cross answer ALL of the questions alleged against God by satan in heaven; or for that matter, here on this world?

My paradigm: I believe that at the cross Christ made a compelling case that the Godhead is not arbitrary, vengeful, unforgiving and severe. However, those are not the only charges which satan brought against God, His Nature, Character, or Government.

Satan also climed that it is not possible for man to perfectly obey God's law. This issue has not been resolved as far as most people are concerned [i.e. most accept Satan's claim]. However, I find that both Mrs. White and the Bible support, in fact make it very clear, that before Christ's second coming this issue will be settled beyond the shadow of a doubt both here on the world; and, throughout the universe.

This leaves a rather natural question. "There must be "TWO" groups of the "SAVED". Those who are saved "sinners", and those who are saved "perfect". You may correct me if I'm wrong - bring your Bible!

Finally, it does not seem suit God's purposes to address such a serious charge with an unsubstantiated claim and expect it to be accepted by faith...I conclude that "perfection of character" is a "statement" about "God's ability" to HEAL; not, our ability "to do right". We need only to remove the obstructions so that He can "do His part"...

In a recent conversation with another Adventist on this particular subject he reminded me that "sin is a deadly cancer with an aggressive growth pattern. Making "progress" is not enough to vindicate God's reputation...

God bless all.
Your brother in Christ Jesus

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: M.A. Crawford on January 29, 2002, 07:29:00 AM
"Satan also claimed that it is not possible for man to perfectly obey God's law. This issue has not been resolved as far as most people are concerned...."

This issue may not have been resolved by some, but where my salvation is concerned, I AM THOROUGHLY CONVINCED this claim was proven false by the Perfect Example that Jesus Christ lived in the flesh. In addition to saving us on Calvary, Christ also came to this earth to provide us with a perfect example IN THE FLESH (1 Peter 2:21) which proved that it could be done in the flesh. In condemning sin in the flesh (Rom. 8:3), Jesus also proved that Adam did not have to sin as the devil claimed. Adam sinned BECAUSE HE CHOSE TO SIN!!! And so it is with us today. We sin when we yield to the particular temptation to commit a particular sin (James 1:14).

In reference to Christ, the Bible tells us that Jesus "did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth" (1 Peter 5:22). The Bible also says of the Saviour that He knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21). If you have not done so already, I suggest that you read other posts on the topic of sinless human perfection in the thread by the same name.

"This leaves a rather natural question. There must be 'TWO' groups of the 'SAVED'. Those who are saved 'sinners', and those who are saved 'perfect'."

NOWHERE in all the Bible will you find where there are two groups of the saved: those who are saved as sinners, and those who are saved as perfect. Matthew 5:48 tells us to be perfect as our Father who is in Heaven is perfect. And THE ONLY WAY we can fulfill this Bible command is THROUGH HIM WHO IS PERFECT: JESUS CHRIST. This is why we are told in Romans 13:14 to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, so when Christ is seen coming in the clouds of His Glory, He will see covering us ONLY HIS PERFECT ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS and not our own which are as filty rags in His Sight (Isa. 64:6).

"I conclude that 'perfection of character' is a statement about 'God's ability' to heal; not our ability 'to do right'.

Scriptural support for such a conclusion cannot be found ANYWHERE in the Bible. Anything that we believe unto salvation, if it is to have redeeming value, MUST  be based upon the Word of God.

M.A.  

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on January 29, 2002, 05:57:00 PM
Brother Herbert,  I believe that the Great Contorversy continues for a reason. Yes, we all must choose who we will serve, but there is more to demonstrate also. I do not believe there are two groups, those that are perfect and those who are not. None will enter heaven without having a character that measures with the law of God. All must have the seal of God.

But....the last group that are living when Jesus returns will perfectly reflect the character of Christ. They will have demonstrated something that no other group ever have or will. They will have a song to sing for eternity. They know of grace in a way that will make them a witness to the unfallen universe in a way that no other can. Yes, they are special, but this does not mean that those who come forth from the grave did not surrender self and serve Christ with the whole heart. All who went into the grave and who will come up in the first resurection will have been judged to have kept the law of God to the degree they knew it. They died to self.

No, there are not two groups based upon character perfection. All who will be saints in heaven will first have been saints upon this earth. None will get their character perfection when Jesus comes. Character is gained in our time of probation.

Richard

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: M.A. Crawford on January 31, 2002, 06:21:00 AM
"Satan also claimed that it is not possible for man to perfectly obey God's law."

Satan has made many claims, but THE REAL QUESTION is: Are those who expect to be saved entertaining those claims--thereby setting themselves up to be persuaded by them--or are we living by EVERY WORD that proceeds out of the Mouth of God? (Matt 4:4). I do not believe that WISE CHRISTIANS have the time to be concerned with what "Satan claims." For those of us who expect to be saved, I believe our primary objective--in these last few moments of earth's history--is to MAKE DOUBLY SURE we have ordered our lives after the Divine Likeness of Jesus Christ. This, I am convinced, is THE ALPHA AND OMEGA of what every Christian should be NOW DOING who desires to be saved.

"Did the Cross answer all the questions alleged against God by Satan in heaven; or for that matter, here on this world?"

Not only the death of Christ on Calvary, but also HIS LIFE while here on this earth answered EVERY QUESTION alleged against God by the devil. Both THE LIFE AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST put an end to all allegations for all time (John 19:30).

M.A.    

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: astleyt on January 31, 2002, 06:10:00 PM
What appears to be contradictions in Paul's discussions of the law are not contradictions at all. The central issue is Paul's discussion of the law as a means of salvation and law as God's moral standard. Obviously Paul takes issue with the legalistic attitude of regarding law as a method of salvation and upholds the law as God's standard that no one can ever hope to live up to except through daily surrender to Jesus, Who then lives His perfect life in and through us. (see Romans 9:31,32)

------------------

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on January 31, 2002, 08:12:00 PM
One might consider the postulate that, as Seventh-Day-Adventists; we have, or have received the "final word" regarding truth as being (IMO) a very narrow and definately arrogant point of view.

Brother Crawford, I must agree with you that we must be "thoroughly convinced in our own minds what is truth"...However, the opposite would hold true also: One might believe a lie to be true [Romans 1:25] relevant only to our "preception of the image of God", and that horribly distorted as it is in the minds of many today; being taught as "truth" from the pulpit and many are taken in by its deceitfullness...Man gives The Holy God, Creator attributes of man in suggesting that God should await to "punish" the wicked as the result of their having "broken the rules"...To put God in such a light is to say that He merely wishes vindication through His wrath - a common idea - yet terribly wrong. God's wrath has nothing at all to do with punishment.

The "punishment of the wicked" will come upon them as no suprise. "Every knee will bow, and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord". He has done everything in  His power to win back our "trust" and, to "restore" us back to the relationship with Him that we had before the Fall...Do you really believe that we will spend a thousand years "judging the wicked"? No, no, no!!! God, in His mercy will conduct a thorough investigation into His way of having handled the "sin problem". And, with it all said and done, we will see that He can indeed be "trusted" - that there is no reason to fear Him for we love Him -Righteousness - and Freedom...

In regard to the "two groups saved". Take an example of Enoch - Elijah; versus say the thief on the cross. Both Enoch and Elijah were in such close communion that leaving this world for the Heavenly one was simply the "next step"...But the thief, he had no time to set his "behavior right" now did he? For him, as it is (IMHO) with many, his belief; faith; TRUST in what God would do in him inspite of his record; is what ultimately will save...He is then, a "saved sinner"...He gains access to the presence of God because he believed in his heart that Jesus could do for him what was impossible for him to do for himself...what ever else the thief may have been - his faith - and ultimately our own - is based not on speculation, or a desire to avoid the consequences - oh no! It is based on a true witness and the fact [evidence] which we are able to weigh and base our decission upon. God would have no other form of service...and truly, this would lead to service of love...

Brother Myers, I suspect we are saying the same thing from slightly different prespectives. The Great Controversy is not at all based upon the results it has here on earth...the entire universe is at stake. God must vindicate His character...And, how can He do so if He "requires a death" for sin. That is Satan's claim...sin requires its due...How could we, or any being in the universe feel "safe" around a God who required the "Life of His Son" as "substitute" for the "life of the sinner"?

Although in one sense Jesus requires a life [His life] for a life [our life]; it is not mind you "death for death"...The "wages of sin is death"; not my dear friends, "that God will have to kill you"...

I personally do not really think that there are going to be "two groups" who are saved. And, it has nothing to do with the behavioral condition of the human race. It has to do with God's ability to "HEAL US" if we will allow Him to do so :-)

This is I'm sure something which is not at all going to be contended with [in a civil manner any way] by several here, as their position precludes the "power of God unto salvation"...Those who are in this catagory will lift up the cross, but deny it's power as Mrs. White said in many places - it will be those who are most conservative in their beliefs who will be in the end, our worst enemys...

Eternity closes upon us all too soon to be ignorant of the Nature and Character of God -and our "display" of God before men...Or, perhaps I can put it in a little more personal a way...When I break into a rage at a neighbor for a personal slight - it really is not the display of rage for which I feel worst - no, and I will and have told many during my new Christian walk that, I am most ashamed not for the display but for the total MISREPRESENTATION OF GOD! Sure, there is sorrow for the "act"...but it really is secondary. God, and even the neighbor will forgive the act - but what might I ask, is the longer effect of such a display if my neighbor knows that I profess to be a Christian...

If I am not "thrown-off" this forum for "blasphemy", perhaps we can "reason" out the differences between the "legalistic view" and the view in light of what is a stake [to the nature - character- and government of God] in the universe...

I submit to you that should not a human being on this planet have ever accepted Christ in the illustration at the cross - Christ would still have come, died, and resurected to the Glory which He shared with the Father...Why? Because God need to allow Satan every opportunity to show exactly what his form of government really was. Self-centered; self-destructive; self-deceiving.

It is not we who must vindicate the character of God. He must do that for Himself. We may be participants in the effort to do so only if we are willingly submitted to letting Him do what we cannot do for ourselves.

God's grace and peace to all.

Your brother in Christ Jesus.


 

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: M.A. Crawford on February 01, 2002, 07:36:00 AM
"...One might believe a lie to be true...."

This is the reason why EVERYTHING we believe unto salvation MUST be based upon the Word of God. Titus 1:2 says God cannot lie. Since the Bible is the Word of God, it stands to reason that the Bible also cannot lie. Therefore, the Scriptures are OUR ONLY SURETY and safeguard against the deceit and errors that are being entertained today concerning salvation and how we are saved. The salvific principles of the Bible are plain and made easy to understand by the Holy Spirit for anyone who wants to follow them.

"Do you really believe that we will spend a thousand years 'judging the wicked'? No, no, no!!!"

Revelation 20:4 and 5 reads:

"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, AND JUDGMENT WAS GIVEN UNTO THEM...and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years (Emphasis mine). But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished...."

These verses clearly indicate that the redeemed saints shall sit on thrones with Christ and go over the life's record of the living dead during this one thousand year period to determine THE DEGREE of punishment the wicked shall receive because the Bible tells us God shall reward every man ACCORDING TO HIS WORKS (Rev. 22:12).

"In regard to the 'two groups saved'. Take an example of Enoch - Elijah; versus say the thief on the cross...the thief had no time to set his 'behavior right' now did he?"

Concerning the demise of the thief on the cross, Mrs. White writes:

"To Jesus in His agony on the cross there came one gleam of comfort. It was the prayer of the penitent thief. Both men who were crucified with Jesus had at first railed upon Him; and one under his suffering only became more desperate and defiant. But not so with his companion. THIS MAN WAS NOT A HARDENED CRIMINAL; he had been led astray by evil associations, but he was less guilty than many of those who stood beside the cross reviling the Saviour (Emphasis mine throughout). He had seen and heard Jesus, AND HAD BEEN CONVICTED BY HIS TEACHING, but he had been turned away from Him by the priests and rulers....

"...When condemned of his crime, the thief had become hopeless and despairing; but strange, tender thoughts now spring up. HE CALLS TO MIND all he has heard of Jesus, how He has healed the sick and pardoned sin. He has heard the words of those who believed in Jesus and followed Him weeping. He has seen and read the title above the saviour's head. He has heard the passers-by repeat it, some with grieved, quivering lips, others with jesting and mockery. THE HOLY SPIRIT ILLUMINATES HIS MIND, and little by little the chain of evidence is joined together. In Jesus, bruised and mocked, and hanging upon the cross, HE SEES THE LAMB OF GOD, that taketh away the sins of the world. Hope is mingled with anguish in his voice as the helpless, dying souls casts himself upon a dying Saviour. 'Lord remember me,' he cries, 'when Thou comest into Thy kingdom.'

"Quickly the answer came. Soft and melodious the tone, full of love, compasion, and power the words: Verily I say unto thee today, Thou shalt be with Me in paradise" (DA 749-50).

The same thing it took for Enoch to be saved is THE SAME THING it took for the penitent thief: TO HEAR AND OBEY the Voice of God and order one's life after the Word of God.

M.A.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: jherbertthompson on February 01, 2002, 06:21:00 PM
Brother Crawford. I must admit that most of what you are saying I do believe...I think we differ in several points...and, we are saying very nearly the same thing in others from slightly different view-points...Your's a much unquestionably more matured Christian view-point than my own...

I would like to leave this weeks postings with two quotations I found tonight while going back over the lesson for this week. The first as follows:

This Day with God, page 302, paragraph 4
Chapter Title: How to Face Bereavement:

John White said, "Ellen, I am deeply sorry to see you so feeble. A trying ordeal is before you in the funeral services of the morrow. God help you, my dear sister, God help you on this occasion." "Said I, Brother John, you do not know me. The more trying the situation, the more fortitude I possess. I shall give way to no outbursts of grief, if my heart breaks. I serve God, not impulsively, but intelligently. I have a Saviour who will be to me a very present help in time of trouble. I am a Christian. I know in whom I have believed. He expects from me implicit unwavering submission. Undue grief is displeasing to God. I take up my appointed cross and will follow the Lord fully. I will not give myself to abandonment of grief. I will not yield to a morbid and melancholy state of feeling. I will not complain or murmur at the providence of God. Jesus is my Saviour. He lives. He will never leave me nor forsake me."

>>What a statement about the God we serve! To know Him closer than a brother is my continuous prayer...The second is this:

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, January 21, 1909, paragraph 21
Article Title: Lessons from Christ's Labors

"Study how you can speak the truth to those with whom you are brought in contact. Take hold of God by living faith. Do your duty simple day by day, and you will constantly advance until you are qualified to hold a position of trust in the work. We need to carry pure religion into our lives. Let us show an interest in the sick. Christ gave his life for these souls. It is our privilege to bring them to him and teach them how to take hold of his divine nature. Then the afflictions with which Satan has beset them, will be overcome."

Ya'll have a blesses and Godly Sabbath.

Your brother in Christ Jesus.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on February 01, 2002, 09:54:00 PM
Amen Brother Crawford.  Brother Jim, thanks for the beautiful statements!

Regarding the thief; the thief was converted and as such obeyed all that he knew to do. He had time to be tempted as he hung on the cross. I imagine his temptations were greater than many today. Seems to me that in the middle of great apostasy and defection there were few who stood by our Saviour believing Him to be the Saviour. I can think of only one who in the midst of such a scene refused to fall as did everyone else. Give me one such as the thief today and I will be blessed!  Baby Christians walk in all the light they have and their motives are pure, holy, and perfect. Their character will not be changed at the second coming of Jesus. It was perfected before they went into the grave.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on January 18, 2003, 01:47:00 PM
There is on this earth a people called to give the third angel's message of Revelation 14. In order to give this message it must be understood and lived. The third angel's message in verity is "justification by faith."

Let us understand this message.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Sister Marie on April 21, 2004, 06:12:00 PM
To give the message we must not only know what Faith is, what relationship is, but we need to have it.

Christian Faith

"Faith" is a word we use to describe a relationship with God, as with a person well known. The better we know Him, the better the relationship may be. Faith implies an attitude toward God of love, trust, and ddp admiration. It means having enough confidence in God, based upon the more than adequate evidence revealed, to be willing to believe what ever He says, to accept whatever He offers, and to do whatever He wishes--without reservation--for the rest of eternity.
Anyone who has such faith is perfectly safe to save. With this requirement fulfilled, we will see that "obedience" is a natural way to go..... understanding that faith without works..is dead!

James 2:18
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
(Whole Chapter: James 2 In context: James 2:17-19)

James 2:20
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
(Whole Chapter: James 2 In context: James 2:19-21)

James 2:26
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
(Whole Chapter: James 2 In context: James 2:25-27)

------------------
With Christian Love,
Sister Marie

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Bev on April 22, 2004, 12:49:00 AM
What profound messages in this page of posts. Thank you all for the encouragement and understanding shared here. For long years justification rightousness and all these other fancy terms have just bondaged me. Why cant we say these things simply so simple folk can understand? It is not like we don't have the simple way. If we are going to give any message to people it has to be to their understanding of it. Even the intellectual understands simple things.

The gospel, the truth about God, gets lost in all this miasma or correct theological terminology, so high it seems unatainable. Justification just means set right, set at peace, not condemned, forgiven. If we use these simple words, all can relate to it. Faith is the the trusting relationship with God as to a friend well known, just as was quoted above. Why don't we just say so. For when you read Roms 5:1 with these words instead you get a powerful statement jumping at you. At least I did.

"Therefore being set right (justified), that is, not condemned, forgiven set at peace; by a trusting relationship (faith)we continue to have freedom from anxiety (peace),at-one-ment; with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Roms 5:1 (Bev's version  ;)).

This text, flowing straight from the discouse about a faith like Abraham, went on to show, that as a result of this trusting relationship that Abraham had and we are to have, we are naturally at peace with God. We are no longer afraid of him but friends with him, because of Jesus who came to show us the true picture of God. Therefore we, having seen that God is not who we thought he was,condemning arbitraty exacting and dictatorial,not to mention untrustworthy, but is more gracious than we have been led to believe, we are in harmony, at-one-ment with him, and continue living in this freedom. This is good news, this is wonderful news. Who would not want to know this and have this assurance? Who would not want to see this kind of God, this kind of truth. Presented right it is disarming humbling and appealing. But when we say justification sanctification, righteousness by faith and on and on, sure we sound intellectual. But not understood.

The message does not get to the soul. It tries to reach the intellect and stays there. We need to get to hearts. For all the knowledge we have, we have not mastered that art. The 3 angels messengers do a heart work. The Elijah message says it too, teh message is to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children etc. It does not turn the mind of the fathers, but the heart, where  the issues are, the emotional scars, the hurts the pains the dysfuntional being, the damaged being within us all. So who wants to go there? Leave that for the psychologists the counsellors. Lets just stay with the logical stuff the big words the clinical approach, after all the truth will set us free.  The word is powerful to change, the Holy Spirit is the one who does the heart work anyway, are all the things we say to avoid the heart work.

Whom shall I send is the cry, who will go and warn the people, who will tell them? That is the clarion call. Oh God help us all to say here am I send me. Help me especially.

bev

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Bev on April 22, 2004, 01:45:00 AM
Revelation 20:4 and 5 reads:

"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, AND JUDGMENT WAS GIVEN UNTO THEM...and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years (Emphasis mine). But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished...."

These verses clearly indicate that the redeemed saints shall sit on thrones with Christ and go over the life's record of the living dead during this one thousand year period to determine THE DEGREE of punishment the wicked shall receive because the Bible tells us God shall reward every man ACCORDING TO HIS WORKS (Rev. 22:12).

Wow Wow wow wow!!!!!

Is this the picture of God we have? A God who has degrees of punishment for misdeeds done?  Then Satan's claims are indeed correct. We serve a God who will punish us when we don't obey him....

I am sorry for any who sees God this way, they must live a torturous life. The text quoted in Rev about Judgement, is so misunderstood and can lead to that wrong perception of God, I agree. However when you have the correct picture of God, as evidenced throughout the whole 66 books not just one text or book, that concept of God does not fit. So what might it really be saying?

I have come to appreciate in recent times that Jesus's picture of God is not appreciated or seen. However if we want to know how God treats wicked people, unrepentant sinners, we have the evidence on the cross. He simply but painfully weeping and heartbrokenly turns his back and gives them up to their choice to distrust him which is death. For that is all he did to Jesus who took our place. Jesus became sin who knew no sin, and God did not give him any degree of punishment, he simply had to forsake him as Jesus' cry out tells us.

I believe at the end of the thousand years, all God will do is remove his glory of protection that is presently keeping us all, (till we make our choice).  Then we will know what sin's wages are, eternal separation, no life at all but total none existence. It is a horrible agonizing death( as we saw in Jesus's experience) not known by any human yet but Christ knows it.

He appeals to all not to know it, that is why he came to show us what will happen. Since no one could really appreciate what it was before. Not even Satan. God did not kill his son. We all know that. So why do we think he will kill us? He simply gives us up and says, 'oh how can I give you up Oh Ephraim," while doing so.

The judgement are God's ways (Deut 32:4). The judgement that occurs during the thousand years is just simply all the evidence of God's ways,that these 6000 odd years or more, have revealed. It shows those who are now with God, why their loved ones were not there with them.Simply it was because they choose to distrust God in spite of all his ways revealed to them, in spite of all the opportunity given to them.  This satisfies them that truly God could not do anymore than he did and that he was just merciful and the evidence is 100% against the wicked, not God. This is an important time for those who are with Christ in the thousand years, so there is no shadow of doubt to them, of God's character of trustworthiness. So sin would not rise again.

If these poor folk were to be only looking to see what degress of punishment should be meted out to wrongdoers, isn't it likely that someday after they will perish the thought of doing what they chose, for fear the decision is made concerning them, like was made for their loved ones. What freedom is that? What kind of kingdom is that to live in? NO no my friends I am sorry that picture of God is not only not true but sure is destructive. For I don't want to serve or live with a God like that no way. IT is bad enough living here with an enemy like that.
bev

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on October 11, 2004, 08:43:00 AM
We have much to be thankful for, not the least of which is a knowledge of the plan of salvation. A reading through this topic will reveal the difficulty posed by false interpretations of the gospel and how it is that we are to be saved.

Justification which is the legal status of sinful man when he allows Christ to enter His heart fully, also known as the "new birth" or conversion is the result of trusting (faith) Christ.

There is a relationship between faith and obedience that many do not understand. It was possible for Adam, before the fall, to form a righteous character by obedience to God's law. But he failed to do this, and because of his sin our natures are fallen and we cannot make ourselves righteous. Since we are sinful, unholy, we cannot perfectly obey the holy law. We have no righteousness of our own with which to meet the claims of the law of God. But Christ has made a way of escape for us. He lived on earth amid trials and temptations such as we have to meet. He lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now He offers to take our sins and give us His righteousness. If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ's character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned.

More than this, Christ changes the heart. He abides in your heart by faith. You are to maintain this connection with Christ by faith and the continual surrender of your will to Him; and so long as you do this, He will work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. So you may say, "The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20. So Jesus said to His disciples, "It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." Matthew 10:20. Then with Christ working in you, you will manifest the same spirit and do the same good works --works of righteousness, obedience.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Cop on October 11, 2004, 08:49:00 PM
 When God pardons the sinner, remits the punishment he deserves, and treats him as though he had not sinned, He receives him into divine favor, and justifies him through the merits of Christ's righteousness. The sinner can be justified only through faith in the atonement made through God's dear Son, who became a sacrifice for the sins of the guilty world. No one can be justified by any works of his own. He can be delivered from the guilt of sin, from the condemnation of the law, from the penalty of transgression, only by virtue of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ. Faith is the only condition upon which justification can be obtained, and faith includes not only belief but trust.

Many have a nominal faith in Christ, but they know nothing of that vital dependence upon Him which appropriates the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Of this nominal faith James says: "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:19, 20). Many concede that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world, but at the same time they hold themselves away from Him, and fail to repent of their sins, fail to accept of Jesus as their personal Saviour. Their faith is simply the assent of the mind and judgment to the truth; but the truth is not brought into the heart, that it might sanctify the soul and transform the character. "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified" (Rom. 8:29, 30). Calling and justification are not one and the same thing. Calling is the drawing of the sinner to Christ, and it is a work wrought by the Holy Spirit upon the heart, convicting of sin, and inviting to repentance. {1SM 389}

------------------
Psalm 11:3

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on October 20, 2004, 08:05:00 AM
Amen, Cop!

It is good to be on the same page with others in the faith. It is so very sad that there is so much error and confusion on this most basic and important topic.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on February 09, 2005, 09:16:00 AM
The popular teaching says "just believe" and you are saved. Some teach forever saved and others teach you are saved until you are seen to be continually sinning "big" sins like homosexuality and murder.

What does the term "believe" mean?  "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." Mark 9:23.

What does Jesus ask us to believe? He asks us to believe Him, to believe His Word. This is what it is to have faith, saving faith. We must believe that Jesus is who He says He is and that His promises apply to us personally. Faith and belief are synonamous.

In my devotions this morning I read about Jesus commanding the storm to cease as the disciples trembled in fear when their boat was about to sink. The disciples called out to Jesus, but there was no answer except the shrieking of the angry wind. Already their boat was sinking. A moment, and apparently they would be swallowed up by the hungry waters.

Here we can better understand what true faith or "belief" is. The disciples were in danger of dying and what does Jesus say to them? After commanding the waters and wind "Peace, be still" He then turns to the disciples and says sorrowfully, "Why are ye fearful? have ye not yet faith?" Mark 4:40.

Like grace, faith is more than a word. Those who trust in Christ with all they have and all they are, have what is needed for salvation. The "new birth" is a radical transformation of character. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Cor. 5:17.

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: JimB on August 29, 2007, 01:09:00 PM
I have not had time to read all 13 pages of posts in this topic so please forgive me if my posts covers ground that has already been discussed. I didn't want to start another un-needed and topic this discussion looked pretty close so I'm posting here.

Just recently I have listened to a sermon that concerns me. Below in the quote box are my notes on the sermon. I would be interested in thoughts of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  

quote:
Using the story in John 8 about the woman caught in adultery the speaker askes the question if Jesus didn’t condemn her then the opposite must be true. He then asks the question what is the opposite of condemnation? That “opposite” is defined in Romans 5:18

Rom 5:18  Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

According to the speaker after reading Romans 5:18, justification is the opposite of condemnation. So if Jesus didn’t condemn He justified her. And justification is defined is define in Romans 4:6.

Rom 4:6  Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Rom 4:7  Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Rom 4:8  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

When Jesus told the woman that He didn’t condemn her He was saying that He justified her and that her sins are covered and forgiven without her confession or repentance. Jesus gave her His holy history.  The speaker then goes on to say and this is a quote…

“So when God the Father looks down upon us He does not see our rebellion. He does not see our waywardness. He does not see our transgressions but He sees the life of His Son. He sees us as if it were opening the eyes of the blind. He sees us as if it were raising the dead to life. He sees us as if it were healing the lepers. He sees us as if it were claming the storm tossed sea. Every single, every single action of Jesus as recorded in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are placed in the record books by your name.”

He then goes on to ask the question… how does God relate to the person who has yielded to temptation. He answers this by quoting Micah 7:8,9

Mic 7:8  Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.
Mic 7:9  I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.


If someone is justified are they not also sanctified and have salvation? How can one have justification without repentance?

[This message has been edited by Jim B (edited 08-29-2007).]

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on August 29, 2007, 07:44:00 PM
Is it not a great blessing to have one's eyes opened to the simplicity of the gospel!  Sadly, this "gospel" is preached in many churches that call themselves Christian and even Protestant. It is the "evangelical" gospel which is not the gospel at all.  It attempts to turn the Words of Jesus into lies.  But, spiritual things are spiritually discerned.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: asygo on August 30, 2007, 06:40:00 PM
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jim B:
How can one have justification without repentance?

It is true that Christ's life covers ours. But the remission of sins requires repentance. God's mercy is for those who confess and forsake sin (Proverbs 28:13).

------------------
By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
-end-

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: JimB on August 31, 2007, 06:00:00 AM
So did the speaker mis-interpret the passage in John 8? Where did he take a turn in the wrong direction?
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on August 31, 2007, 08:23:00 AM
Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world, but to bring salvation. She did not need to be condemned by Jesus. She was already condemned. Jesus came to bring repentance. He came to bring grace which He offered her. It is a false teaching to say that because she was not condemned by Jesus, she was not condemned. The law condemns. Jesus saves.  

Romans 8:1 addresses this issue. "There is therefore no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus." This is the NIV version. It is the "evangelical gospel". But, the truth is seen in the KJV.  "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

Sadly, too many accept such false teachings because they have never seen God nor known Him. Jesus promised the Comforter that would lead us into all truth.  

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Brian M on August 31, 2007, 07:58:00 PM
Jim,

Here are a couple quotes I ran across as I was studying a week or two ago:

"The Pharisee and the publican represent two great classes into which those who come to worship God are divided. Their first two representatives are found in the first two children that were born into the world. Cain thought himself righteous, and he came to God with a thank offering only. He made no confession of sin, and acknowledged no need of mercy. But Abel came with the blood that pointed to the Lamb of God. He came as a sinner, confessing himself lost; his only hope was the unmerited love of God. The Lord had respect to his offering, but to Cain and his offering He had not respect. The sense of need, the recognition of our poverty and sin, is the very first condition of acceptance with God. "Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 5:3."  {COL 152.1}

"The whole world was gathered in the embrace of Christ. He died on the cross to give the death stroke to Satan, and to take away the sin of every believing soul. He calls upon us to offer ourselves on the altar of service, a living, consuming sacrifice. We are to make an unreserved surrender to God of all that we have and are."  {ST, June 21, 1905 par. 3}

Brian

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: asygo on August 31, 2007, 11:09:00 PM
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jim B:
So did the speaker mis-interpret the passage in John 8? Where did he take a turn in the wrong direction?

The big mistake is the implication that repentance - sorrow for sin and turning away from it - is optional.

------------------
By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
-end-

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on December 24, 2007, 10:16:36 PM
Just recently I have listened to a sermon that concerns me. Below in the quote box are my notes on the sermon. I would be interested in thoughts of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. 

 Using the story in John 8 about the woman caught in adultery the speaker askes the question if Jesus didn't condemn her then the opposite must be true. He then asks the question what is the opposite of condemnation? .....According to the speaker after reading Romans 5:18, justification is the opposite of condemnation. So if Jesus didn't condemn He justified her.

This is a very often used tool in Satan's armory.  If Jesus did not condemn her, what would make us think she was not condemned? Jesus never said a lot that He could have. This is very poor logic and ought to be seen as such. Also, the idea that all are justified in their sins is an abomination that strikes at the heart of the gospel. Away with such teachings. Our people need to begin to study for themselves at the foot of the cross, or they shall be forever lost. Until one dies to self, there is no salvation. When self is alive, then we are dead in our sins and in need of a fresh revelation of our Lord.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on January 20, 2008, 09:41:04 PM
There is a popular teaching that emphasizes that justification has come upon all men without their conversion. Many enjoy this thought because it releases them for the just claims of the law. They can be saved in their sin. But, for us who know better, how do we meet this error that all are justified?
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: JimB on January 21, 2008, 08:07:32 AM
But, for us who know better, how do we meet this error that all are justified?

I don't have the texts handy (so if someone else has them please post them) but it has always been my understanding that repentance was needed for justification. Sister Sybil posted this in another topic just recently which I believe tells us how justification and repentance works.
Quote
As the penitent sinner, contrite before God, discerns Christ's atonement in his behalf and accepts this atonement as his only hope in this life and the future life, his sins are pardoned. This is justification by faith. Every believing soul is to conform his will entirely to God's will and keep in a state of repentance and contrition, exercising faith in the atoning merits of the Redeemer and advancing from strength to strength, from glory to glory. Pardon and justification are one and the same thing. Faith and Works, p. 103

There is verse in Romans that comes to mind also.
Quote
Rom 2:13  (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Luk 18:9  And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
Luk 18:10  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
Luk 18:11  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
Luk 18:12  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
Luk 18:13  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
Luk 18:14  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

To me it is logical that if it is the doers of the Law that are justified that an unrepentant sinner could never be justified since it is only by the grace of God can someone be a true doer of the Law. And even a righteous man who sins looses justification.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Mimi on January 21, 2008, 08:53:32 AM
Quote
As the penitent sinner, contrite before God, discerns Christ's atonement in his behalf and accepts this atonement as his only hope in this life and the future life, his sins are pardoned. This is justification by faith. Every believing soul is to conform his will entirely to God's will and keep in a state of repentance and contrition, exercising faith in the atoning merits of the Redeemer and advancing from strength to strength, from glory to glory. Pardon and justification are one and the same thing. Faith and Works, p. 103

This single statement answers many objections we are hearing these days.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Wally on January 21, 2008, 09:05:19 AM
It has always been, "repent" first.  That's what Peter said on the day of Pentecost.  Acts 2:37, 38:  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Paul's words to the Philippian jailer imply repentance.  Acts 17:30, 31:  And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.  Believing on Jesus includes obeying His commandments, which include repentance.  Jesus' words to Nicodemus, indicate a positive action on the part of the sinner if he is to see the kingdom of God. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  There is no new birth without repentance.

I know that Sister White, in Steps to Christ, says we don't have to repent before we can come to Jesus, but coming to Jesus presupposes a desire for repentance, and we won't stay with Jesus if we don't repent.

Another angle to pursue is to ask those who think that everyone is justified, to support their position from Scripture.  They won't be able to do it.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on January 21, 2008, 09:45:21 AM
 Jesus' words to Nicodemus, indicate a positive action on the part of the sinner if he is to see the kingdom of God. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  There is no new birth without repentance.

I know that Sister White, in Steps to Christ, says we don't have to repent before we can come to Jesus, but coming to Jesus presupposes a desire for repentance, and we won't stay with Jesus if we don't repent.

I think you have the right idea, Brother Wally, but let us be more specific so that those who have deceived might be able to see clearly from Scripture how it all fits together. We want the simplicity of the gospel.

You bring up a good point. We need to think about what it means to "come to Jesus". This will help us much and put repentance in the correct position along with justification. Jesus said "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me." Conversion is the end of long protracted process of wooing by the Holy Spirit. Many today who think they have been converted, have not been. They are in the process of being drawn to Christ. They have seen Him and they know He is right, but they have failed to submit their lives to Him fully. They do not trust Him with everything because they do not know Him well enough to give all to Him. But, they are "coming to Him." They are learning of Him. Sadly, this includes many, too many ministers. The blind are leading the blind into the water, but most have come up alive, not dead to self. And, the few who did experience true conversion, do not know how to maintain their experience, so they fall back into the water of sin.

Now we may better understand the idea that one does not cease to sin before coming to Jesus. We are bidden "Come unto me all ye that labor and I will give you rest."  This is not for the converted only, but for the sinner while he is yet in his sins. This is the work of the sinner to cease resisting His drawing. To come to Jesus while we are sinning. It is the only way. Those who are not sick have no need of Jesus. But, all who see their sins are to go to Jesus for healing. Learn of Him and in doing so they (we) will fall in love with Him because He first loved them (us). There is no repentance or salvation in this process of "coming" to Christ. It is the first steps in the plan of salvation in responding to the drawing of Christ.

When we come to Him and see His great love, we soon discover grace. It is a special kind of love. It is love for me while I am yet a sinner. I do not deserve this. And, I see the cost to our heavenly Father and to Jesus. It is what brings true repentance not to be repented of.  And when this repentance is in the heart, the fruit of "coming to Jesus", we are then converted and justified in having eternal life. Justified and sanctified, made holy. Set aside for His honor and glory.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: asygo on January 21, 2008, 12:30:55 PM
We need to think about what it means to "come to Jesus".

As I am so fond of throwing theological curve balls, take a swing at this quote from C. S. Lewis:
Quote
Remember, this repentance, this willing submission to humiliation and a kind of death, is not something God demands of you before He will take you back and which He could let you off of if He chose: it is simply a description of what going back to Him is like. If you ask God to take you back without it, you are really asking Him to let you go back without going back. It cannot happen.

So, rather than looking at repentance as causing our good relationship with God, we can look at it as describing what a good relationship with God is like. And when viewed that way, it becomes impossible to separate repentance from justification. It would be akin to saying we have eternal life while being dead in trespasses and sins - an impossibility. Then we don't have to figure out if we can come to Jesus BEFORE repentance, since coming to Jesus IS repentance.

WDYT?
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on January 21, 2008, 01:29:20 PM
I agree with the theology, Brother Arnold, but I am fearful that we need to get the "coming to Jesus" down a little better. Coming to Jesus as I see it is a walk to Him. When we are not "in Christ", He is drawing us to Him. This is the process of "coming to Him". There is no repentance at this point. It is only when we have found Him and given Him all we have and all we are, that we get repentance and our new heart. Then we are new creatures and are justified, sanctified, and all His! Such a blessing! Such a miracle!!
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: asygo on January 21, 2008, 03:52:35 PM
Quote
     It was taught by the Jews that before God's love is extended to the sinner, he must first repent. In their view, repentance is a work by which men earn the favor of Heaven. And it was this thought that led the Pharisees to exclaim in astonishment and anger. "This man receiveth sinners." According to their ideas He should permit none to approach Him but those who had repented. But in the parable of the lost sheep, Christ teaches that salvation does not come through our seeking after God but through God's seeking after us. "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way." Rom. 3:11, 12. We do not repent in order that God may love us, but He reveals to us His love in order that we may repent. {COL 189.1}
 
     Just here is a point on which many may err, and hence they fail of receiving the help that Christ desires to give them. They think that they cannot come to Christ unless they first repent, and that repentance prepares for the forgiveness of their sins. It is true that repentance does precede the forgiveness of sins; for it is only the broken and contrite heart that will feel the need of a Saviour. But must the sinner wait till he has repented before he can come to Jesus? Is repentance to be made an obstacle between the sinner and the Saviour? {SC 26.1}
     The Bible does not teach that the sinner must repent before he can heed the invitation of Christ, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28. It is the virtue that goes forth from Christ, that leads to genuine repentance. Peter made the matter clear in his statement to the Israelites when he said, "Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." Acts 5:31. We can no more repent without the Spirit of Christ to awaken the conscience than we can be pardoned without Christ. {SC 26.2}
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on January 22, 2008, 09:10:18 AM
Amen! Conversion, justification, is the end of a long protracted process of wooing by the Holy Spirit.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Cop on January 22, 2008, 10:41:43 PM
Many are confused as to what constitutes the first steps in the work of salvation. Repentance is thought to be a work the sinner must do for himself in order that he may come to Christ. They think that the sinner must procure for himself a fitness in order to obtain the blessing of God's grace. But while it is true that repentance must precede forgiveness, for it is only the broken and contrite heart that is acceptable to God, yet the sinner cannot bring himself to repentance, or prepare himself to come to Christ. Except the sinner repent, he cannot be forgiven; but the question to be decided is as to whether repentance is the work of the sinner or the gift of Christ. Must the sinner wait until he is filled with remorse for his sin before he can come to Christ? The very first step to Christ is taken through the drawing of the Spirit of God; as man responds to this drawing, he advances toward Christ in order that he may repent.

The sinner is represented as a lost sheep, and a lost sheep never returns to the fold unless he is sought after and brought back to the fold by the shepherd. No man of himself can repent, and make himself worthy of the blessing of justification. The Lord Jesus is constantly seeking to impress the sinner's mind and attract him to behold Himself, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world. We cannot take a step toward spiritual life save as Jesus draws and strengthens the soul, and leads us to experience that repentance which needeth not to be repented of.

When before the high priests and Sadducees, Peter clearly presented the fact that repentance is the gift of God. Speaking of Christ, he said, "Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins" (Acts 5: 31). Repentance is no less the gift of God than are pardon and justification, and it cannot be experienced except as it is given to the soul by Christ. If we are drawn to Christ, it is through His power and virtue. The grace of contrition comes through Him, and from Him comes justification. ...The whole work is the Lord's from the beginning to the end.

Who is desirous of becoming truly repentant? What must he do?--He must come to Jesus, just as he is, without delay. He must believe that the word of Christ is true, and, believing the promise, ask, that he may receive. When sincere desire prompts men to pray, they will not pray in vain. The Lord will fulfill His word, and will give the Holy Spirit to lead to repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. He will pray and watch, and put away his sins, making manifest his sincerity by the vigor of his endeavor to obey the commandments of God. With prayer he will mingle faith, and not only believe in but obey the precepts of the law. He will announce himself as on Christ's side of the question. He will renounce all habits and associations that tend to draw the heart from God.

He who would become a child of God must receive the truth that repentance and forgiveness are to be obtained through nothing less than the atonement of Christ. Assured of this the sinner must put forth an effort in harmony with the work done for him, and with unwearied entreaty he must supplicate the throne of grace, that the renovating power of God may come into his soul. Christ pardons none but the penitent, but whom He pardons He first makes penitent. The provision made is complete, and the eternal righteousness of Christ is placed to the account of every believing soul. The costly, spotless robe, woven in the loom of heaven, has been provided for the repenting, believing sinner, and he may say: "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness" (Isa. 61:10). {1SM 391-393}



Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Mimi on January 25, 2008, 05:29:24 PM
Quote
As the penitent sinner, contrite before God, discerns Christ's atonement in his behalf and accepts this atonement as his only hope in this life and the future life, his sins are pardoned. This is justification by faith. Every believing soul is to conform his will entirely to God's will and keep in a state of repentance and contrition, exercising faith in the atoning merits of the Redeemer and advancing from strength to strength, from glory to glory. Pardon and justification are one and the same thing. Faith and Works, p. 103

This quotation continues the natural outflow of the first quote:

"All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us."
{DA 668.3}
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on July 03, 2008, 07:32:41 AM
I feel somewhat like the man who saw Mary and Joseph bring Jesus into the temple to be blessed. Now that I have seen others understand the gospel, I feel that I can lay down and go to sleep!! :)  Take me home Lord!!  So many dry years of listening to so much chaff. What a blessing to see others who  understand the power of God's grace to save!! Grace at the beginning, middle, and end!! Jesus will not do it without our effort, but He is the object, the power, and the reason. He is indeed a Saviour, our Saviour!
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Linda K on October 05, 2008, 07:09:27 PM
I'm studying about faith. Righteousness by faith is the theme of our wonderful message. We know that righteousness is right doing, harmony with God's will, but what is faith? I've been working on a definition that doesn't use the words faith, trust or believe to define faith.

The easy response to the requirement for salvation is just believe, have faith, trust God. If we have a faulty understanding of faith, we can be in danger of missing the mark. I'm afraid many people believe they have faith when they actually have presumption, which is claiming the promises of God without fulfilling the conditions. So, what are the conditions for salvation?

We know that faith works by love and purifies the soul. But what is faith?

I'll list some of the ideas I have. I am looking for a comprehensive, practical definition that doesn't have any ambigious words in it. I want words that everyone understands. Please share with me your definition of faith, or let me know what you think of my ideas.

Saving Faith is the God-given ability to appreciate, absorb and apply God's Word, so the power of God's love creates holy and righteous thoughts and actions in the individual.

Saving Faith is the God-given ability to assimilate & appropriate God's Word, so the power of God's love creates holy and righteous thoughts and actions in the individual.

Saving Faith is the reception of the God-given ability to cling to and rely on God as He is revealed in His entire Word, which then generates the love which motivates us to holy and righteous thoughts and actions.

Saving Faith is the acceptance of the creative power of God in one's life to live in harmony with God's will.

Saving faith is the God-given ability to grasp on to God's Word in wuch a was that it controls the thoughts and actions.

Saving faith is the God-given ability to receiving and lovingly respond to God's Word in cooperative submission.

Saving faith is the God-given ability to submit one's will to God's will and cooperate with His regenerating power to transform the life.

Saving faith is the loving response to what God has declared.

Saving faith is the supernatural ability to receive truth so that it controls all our faculties.





Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on October 01, 2010, 07:20:36 AM
Today in the religious world there are multitudes who, as they believe, are working for the establishment of the kingdom of Christ as an earthly and temporal dominion. They desire to make our Lord the ruler of the kingdoms of this world, the ruler in its courts and camps, its legislative halls, its palaces and market places. They expect Him to rule through legal enactments, enforced by human authority. Since Christ is not now here in person, they themselves will undertake to act in His stead, to execute the laws of His kingdom. The establishment of such a kingdom is what the Jews desired in the days of Christ. They would have received Jesus, had He been willing to establish a temporal dominion, to enforce what they regarded as the laws of God, and to make them the expositors of His will and the agents of His authority. But He said, "My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:36. He would not accept the earthly throne. 

The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive; on every hand were crying abuses,--extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Saviour attempted no civil reforms. He attacked no national abuses, nor condemned the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power. He who was our example kept aloof from earthly governments. Not because He was indifferent to the woes of men, but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart. 

Not by the decisions of courts or councils or legislative assemblies, not by the patronage of worldly great men, is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ's nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12, 13. Here is the only power that can work the uplifting of mankind. And the human agency for the accomplishment of this work is the teaching and practicing of the word of God.

When the apostle Paul began his ministry in Corinth, that populous, wealthy, and wicked city, polluted by the nameless vices of heathenism, he said, "I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." 1 Corinthians 2:2. Writing afterward to some of those who had been corrupted by the foulest sins, he could say, "But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." "I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 6:11; 1:4.

Now, as in Christ's day, the work of God's kingdom lies not with those who are clamoring for recognition and support by earthly rulers and human laws, but with those who are declaring to the people in His name those spiritual truths that will work in the receivers the experience of Paul: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." Galatians 2:20. Then they will labor as did Paul for the benefit of men. He said, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20. 
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Mimi on October 01, 2010, 07:38:17 AM
Amen!
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Sister Dee on October 01, 2010, 10:06:40 AM
Thank you for the post, Brother Richard.  Rather timely for me in light of the sermon we heard at church last Sabbath.  It is hard to listen to messages from the pulpit that seem designed to lead one to believe that it is our duty to change the government.   
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 05, 2011, 05:59:23 AM
The message of justification by faith is to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presents justification through faith in the Surety; it invites the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many have lost sight of Jesus. They need to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.
 
The uplifted Saviour is to appear in His efficacious work as the Lamb slain, sitting upon the throne, to dispense the priceless covenant blessings, the benefits He died to purchase for every soul who should believe on Him. John could not express that love in words; it was too deep, too broad; he calls upon the human family to behold it. Christ is pleading for the church in the heavenly courts above, pleading for those for whom He paid the redemption price of His own lifeblood. Centuries, ages, can never diminish the efficacy of this atoning sacrifice. The message of the gospel of His grace was to be given to the church in clear and distinct lines, that the world should no longer say that Seventh-day Adventists talk the law, the law, but do not teach or believe Christ. 

The efficacy of the blood of Christ was to be presented to the people with freshness and power, that their faith might lay hold upon its merits. As the high priest sprinkled the warm blood upon the mercy seat, while the fragrant cloud of incense ascended before God, so while we confess our sins and plead the efficacy of Christ's atoning blood, our prayers are to ascend to heaven, fragrant with the merits of our Saviour's character. Notwithstanding our unworthiness, we are ever to bear in mind that there is One that can take away sin and save the sinner. Every sin acknowledged before God with a contrite heart, He will remove. This faith is the life of the church. As the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness by Moses, and all that had been bitten by the fiery serpents were bidden to look and live, so also the Son of man must be lifted up, that "whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 

Unless he makes it his life business to behold the uplifted Saviour, and by faith to accept the merits which it is his privilege to claim, the sinner can no more be saved than Peter could walk upon the water unless he kept his eyes fixed steadily upon Jesus. Now, it has been Satan's determined purpose to eclipse the view of Jesus and lead men to look to man, and trust to man, and be educated to expect help from man. For years the church has been looking to man and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel's message, in clear, distinct lines. John's words are to be sounded by God's people, that all may discern the light and walk in the light: "He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all. And what He hath seen and heard, that He testifieth; and no man receiveth His testimony. He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For He
whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."

This is the testimony that must go throughout the length and breadth of the world. It presents the law and the gospel, binding up the two in a perfect whole. (See Romans 5 and 1 John 3:9 to the close of the chapter.) These precious scriptures will be impressed upon every heart that is opened to receive them. "The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple"--those who are contrite in heart. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name."  These have not a mere nominal faith, a theory of truth, a legal religion, but they believe to a purpose, appropriating to themselves the richest gifts of God. They plead for the gift, that they may give to others. They can say, "Of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace."

"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only-begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit."

This is the very work which the Lord designs that the message He has given His servants shall perform in the heart and mind of every human agent. It is the perpetual life of the church to love God supremely and to love others as they love themselves. There was but little love for God or man, and God gave to His messengers just what the people needed. Those who received the message were greatly blessed, for they saw the bright rays of the Sun of Righteousness, and life and hope sprang up in their hearts. They were beholding Christ. "Fear not," is His everlasting assurance; "I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore." "Because I live, ye shall live also." The blood of the spotless Lamb of God the believers apply to their own hearts. Looking upon the great Antitype, we can say, "It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." The Sun of Righteousness shines into our hearts to give the knowledge of the glory of Jesus Christ. Of the Holy Spirit's office He says, "He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you." The psalmist prays, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. . . . Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee." 

The Lord would have these grand themes studied in our churches, and if every church member shall give entrance to the Word of God, it will give light and understanding to the simple. "Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of Mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow." (See Isaiah 29:13-16, 18-21.) "Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord."

Never was there a time when the Lord would manifest His great grace unto His chosen ones more fully than in these last days when His law is made void. "The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness' sake; He will magnify the law, and make it honorable." What does God say in regard to His people? "But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore." (See also Isaiah 43.) These are prophecies that will be fulfilled. 
 
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: billy on April 21, 2012, 08:59:32 PM
"I know that Sister White, in Steps to Christ, says we don't have to repent before we can come to Jesus...." (Wally)

EGW got that right.

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." (Matt. 11:28-30 Message)
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 21, 2012, 09:28:09 PM
  11:28   Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 
  11:29   Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 
  11:30   For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 


Yes, Billie, you are very perceptive. One does not have to repent before coming to Christ. We do not have any good thing in us until we make a full surrender to Jesus. We are evil by nature. But, we can choose to come to Jesus just as we are.  If we will learn of Him who gave all for us, we shall learn of His love. That love will draw us to Him and this will lead us to make a full surrender of our will to Him. When we do this, then He gives us repentance for past sins. Jesus said "If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me."  All men He is drawing and unless we resist we shall be converted and manifest the fruits of His Spirit instead of the works of our flesh. There is then no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after His Spirit.  Very good Billie! We are happy to be in unity with you on this important Biblical doctrine.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: billy on April 21, 2012, 10:46:07 PM
In fact Christ tells us it even gets better than this in John chapter 5 and verse 24

"Truly, truly, I say unto you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgement, but has passed out of death into life." (John 5:25 NASB which is generally considered by most scholars as the most accurate translation that we have.)

That is surely the best news this world has ever heard of, I know it is for me.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 21, 2012, 11:33:56 PM
5:24   Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 

Yes, Billie, Jesus speaks the truth when He said "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." Matt. 22:37.

We read in Acts  8:37    "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.(be baptized)." Many are buried alive, Billie because they do not believe with all the heart. They, like the devils believe and tremble. Many are deceived by false teachers that they have life when their faith is not saving faith. How can one tell if their faith is short of believing God with all the heart? The Bible tells us plainly, Billie.  "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" James 2:18-20.  Many have been deceived and they hate to hear this truth. Man is not saved by works, but he is surely going to be judged by his works. "Faith without works" is a dead faith, Billie.

By the way, Billie, I asked you to share your understanding of the first half of Romans chapter eight. You can do it here since it is foundational to the topic of Justification by Faith.

Here are the verses. Tell us what they mean to you, dear brother.


 8:1   There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 
 8:2   For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 
 8:3   For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 
 8:4   That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 
 8:5   For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 
 8:6   For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. 
 8:7   Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 
 8:8   So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 
 8:9   But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 
 8:10   And if Christ be in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. 
 8:11   But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 
 8:12   Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 
 8:13   For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 
 8:14   For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 

The first verse is so very important in understanding justification by faith. Tell us how you interpret these simple words, Billie.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: billy on April 23, 2012, 05:27:45 AM
Romans 8:1

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (NASB)

Pretty simple to me. The key word in that verse is "now". That word is so beautiful, so true. That says so much about the gospel. In fact it makes a summary of the gospel in just that one word. If we accept Christ we have no condemnation "now". Right now we can claim that promise.

We do not have to wait for nearly 2,000 years to pass to claim it.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Glen on April 23, 2012, 06:10:10 AM
Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.  Job 28:28

I think it vitally significant, NOW, to consider the concern of God as He removed Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden; notice the "fear", as it were, with which God speaks of the possibility of sin being perpetuated throughout Eternity:

...the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24

Does God, indeed rather, that man live forever? What type of man would God have live forever? -Man as one with Him! (See John 17) The description of the man of Romans 7:24 is obviously NOT a man united in purpose to the Divine.

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:24, 25

What is the "body" that "is dead because of sin"? Isn't it the "body of this death" (vs.24)?

...if Christ be in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. Romans 8:10

Adam and Eve lost the Spirit's indwelling presence when they listened and acted upon the word of Satan, who had set himself up as God. The "fear of the Lord" that is "the beginning of wisdom", the "depart(ing) from evil" that "is understanding" is “the work of righteousness (NOW; that) shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” Isaiah 32:17
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 23, 2012, 06:38:07 AM
Amen!  You are absolutely right, Billie. When one makes a full surrender of the whole heart, they possess eternal life. Jesus said this "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. One has life when he possesses Christ in the heart. When the heart it converted, then there is a hatred of sin.  Do you hate sin, Billie?  Do you dislike my Bible? You left out half of Romans 8:1. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

Many false teachers hate this verse because it is contrary to what they believe and what their experience is.  They do not walk in the Spirit, but they claim eternal life "now" in their sin. Such a deception!  What do you think, Billie?  Is my Bible wrong?  Is it untrue that one must walk in the Spirit to have life?
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Glen on April 23, 2012, 01:48:27 PM
...put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Romans 13:14

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:16

The Lord Jesus loves His people, and when they put their trust in Him, depending wholly upon Him, He strengthens them. He will live through them, giving them the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to the soul a vital transfusion of Himself.—Sabbath School Worker, February 1, 1896.

...Christ must dwell in your hearts, as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power. On this subject we cannot be too urgent. Testimony Treasures Volume 3, Page 177

The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ....

It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil and to impress His own character on His church....

When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the joy of heaven. No one sees the hand that lifts the burden or beholds the light descend from the courts above. The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see, creates a new being in the image of God.

The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ....

The religion that comes from God is the only religion that will lead to God. In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us a willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship. It is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit. By the Spirit every sincere prayer is indited, and such prayer is acceptable to God...  My Life Today 46

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. Hebrews 4:1
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Glen on April 23, 2012, 02:46:25 PM
The Holy Spirit, which proceeds from the only-begotten Son of God, binds the human agent, body, soul, and spirit, to the perfect, divine-human nature of Christ. This union is represented by the union of the vine and the branches. Finite man is united to the manhood of Christ. Through faith human nature is assimilated with Christ’s nature. We are made one with God in Christ.  Selected Messages Book 1 251

...In His person humanity, inhabited by divinity, was represented to the world... God's Amazing Grace 14.03

When we individually rest upon Christ, with full assurance of faith, trusting alone to the efficacy of his blood to cleanse from all sin, we shall have peace in believing that what God has promised he is able to perform. As Christ represented the Father, so we are to represent Christ to the world. We cannot transfer our obligation to others. God desires to make known to you what is the richness of his glory, that you may preach the mystery of salvation to those around you,—Christ in you the hope of glory.  The Review and Herald March 5, 1889.06
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: asygo on April 23, 2012, 05:29:28 PM
Romans 8:1

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (NASB)

You left out half of Romans 8:1. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

I find these two translations of Rom 8:1 to be equivalent. "Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" is not an additional requirement, but simply a description of what it means to be "in Christ Jesus."

Jesus always did and always will walk after the Spirit, so it is impossible to remain in Him and walk after the flesh. One must choose between Jesus and the flesh.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 23, 2012, 10:44:09 PM
Amen!  Hello Billie, we await your reply. Romans eight is so very clear on this subject. It is impossible to twist one verse amid the first half of the chapter.  It makes a clear statement that supports what Jesus said in John chapter three. That which is born of the Spirit is Spirit and that which is born of the flesh is flesh. If we have not His Spirit, we are none of His. But, if we have His Spirit, then we are not under condemnation because we act according to His Spirit. All of the fruits of His Spirit are seen in the life, not one is missing. It is Christ, not I.  It is why John said "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." 1 John 3:7-10. 

It is such a blessing to not have to interpret what is being said. A child may understand when the verses are presented in context instead of just presenting one verse and twisting it. From Genesis to Revelation we see that when we allow Jesus to take possess of the heart, then there is a radical change in the character. The fruit has become beautiful since it comes from a good tree instead of a bad tree.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: billy on April 25, 2012, 01:55:39 AM
Romans 8:1

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (NASB)

I made a reply and used Romans 8:1
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: billy on April 25, 2012, 02:00:07 AM
Romans 8:2

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death."

Free from the law of sin and death, good news because the life that Christ gave is free to all who come, just as we are.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Glen on April 25, 2012, 05:56:36 AM
Yes! Impenitent sinners come to Jesus just as they are; their response to the Gospel and Doctrine of Christ is entered into, initially, by a proud heart; however, the Love manifest by God through Christ transforms the soul with it's glory, and nothing else enthralls the attention.

Genuine faith will be manifested in good works; for good works are the fruits of faith. As God works in the heart, and man surrenders his will to God, and cooperates with God, he works out in the life what God works in by the Holy Spirit, and there is harmony between the purpose of the heart and the practice of the life. Every sin must be renounced as the hateful thing that crucified the Lord of life and glory, and the believer must have a progressive experience by continually doing the works of Christ. It is by continual surrender of the will, by continual obedience, that the blessing of justification is retained. Selected Messages Book 1, Page 397.01

Those who are justified by faith must have a heart to keep the way of the Lord. It is an evidence that a man is not justified by faith when his works do not correspond to his profession. James says, “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was his faith made perfect?” (James 2:22). Selected Messages Book 1, Page 397.02

“The condition of eternal life is now just what it always has been,—just what it was in Paradise before the fall of our first parents,—perfect obedience to the law of God, perfect righteousness. If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperiled. The way would be open for sin, with all its train of woe and misery, to be immortalized. The Review and Herald  November 11, 1915.01

“It was possible for Adam, before the fall, to form a righteous character by obedience to God’s law. But he failed to do this, and because of his sin our natures are fallen, and we cannot make ourselves righteous. Since we are sinful, unholy, we cannot perfectly obey a holy law. We have no righteousness of our own with which to meet the claims of the law of God. But Christ has made a way of escape for us. He lived on earth amid trials and temptations such as we have to meet. He lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now he offers to take our sins and give us his righteousness. If you give yourself to him, and accept him as your Saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for his sake you are accounted righteous. Christ’s character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned. The Review and Herald  November 11, 1915.01.02

“More than this, Christ changes the heart. He abides in your heart by faith. You are to maintain this connection with Christ by faith and the continual surrender of your will to him; and so long as you do this, he will work in you to will and to do according to his good pleasure. So you may say, ‘The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.’ So Jesus said to his disciples, ‘It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.’ Then with Christ working in you, you will manifest the same spirit and do the same works,—works of righteousness, obedience.”—Steps to Christ, 67, 68.

“The faith essential for salvation is not mere nominal faith, but an abiding principle, deriving vital power from Christ. It will lead the soul to feel the love of Christ to such a degree that the character will be refined, purified, ennobled. This faith in Christ is not merely an impulse, but a power that works by love and purifies the soul. It accomplishes something, bringing the soul under discipline, elevating it from defilement, and bringing it into connection with Christ, till it appropriates his virtue to the soul’s need. This is saving faith.”—The Review and Herald, August 18, 1891.

The heavenly intelligences will work with the human agent who seeks with determined faith that perfection of character which will reach out to perfection in action. To every one engaged in this work Christ says, I am at your right hand to help you.—Christ’s Object Lessons, 332.

As the will of man co-operates with the will of God, it becomes omnipotent. Whatever is to be done at His command, may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings.—Christ’s Object Lessons, 333.

I think it vitally significant, NOW, to consider the concern of God as He removed Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden; notice the "fear", as it were, with which God speaks of the possibility of sin being perpetuated throughout Eternity:

...the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24

Does God, indeed NOT rather, that man live forever? What type of man would God have live forever? -Man as one with Him! (See John 17) The description of the man of Romans 7:24 is obviously NOT a man united in purpose to the Divine.

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death... Philippians 3:10

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Romans 6:12

To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: Ephesians 3:10, 11

For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 2 Corinthians 4:11





Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Mimi on April 25, 2012, 06:06:55 AM
You left out half of Romans 8:1. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

Many false teachers hate this verse because it is contrary to what they believe and what their experience is.  They do not walk in the Spirit, but they claim eternal life "now" in their sin. Such a deception!  What do you think, Billie?  Is my Bible wrong?  Is it untrue that one must walk in the Spirit to have life?

It appears as if he left it out because it is not included in the NASB, the version he quoted. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+8:1-2&version=NASB

Several other translations exclude the 2nd half of that verse. :(

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 25, 2012, 09:00:36 AM
Romans 8:2

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death."

Free from the law of sin and death, good news because the life that Christ gave is free to all who come, just as we are.

Amen! But, Billie, as a Bible teacher we are asking you for the meaning of the verse, not just the blessings. 

8:2   For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 

Let's take the verse in context and break it down into two parts.

1)  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus

2)  hath made me free from the law of sin and death.


Share with us what Christ is saying through the Apostle Paul  What is "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus"? And what does it mean to be made "free from the law is sin and death."  And we ask that you keep your teaching in harmony with the verses before and after, especially verse 1; "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." 
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: billy on April 26, 2012, 02:47:14 AM
1)  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus

That can only be the gospel. Jesus is the "gospel"

2)  hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Go back to verse one and we see there that those who are in Christ do not come into "judgement". Verse two only clarifies what was said in verse one. Stating that the sinner who comes to Christ is saved, the gospel shown to us again.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Glen on April 26, 2012, 04:38:13 AM
I like the way those holy men of God, (2 Peter 1:21), describe redemptione:
God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. John 3:17-21

When Christ lives in the penitent sinner, the life lived henceforth is of God; IF, the penitent sinner goes forth ABIDING in Christ, with Christ constantly ABIDING therein. Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Hebrews 3:6 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:13 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 The Word of God; Christ dwelling in you richly, quickly becomes THE watchword of the Christian. (See Colossians 3:16) This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them... Hebrews 10:16

...The time will come when many will be deprived of the written word. But if this word is printed in the memory, no one can take it from us; and it is a talisman that will meet the worst forms of error and evil. MR No. 1437—Preach The Word    Manuscript Releases Volume Twenty page 64

When the soul surrenders itself to Christ, a new power takes possession of the new heart. A change is wrought which man can never accomplish for himself. It is a supernatural work, bringing a supernatural element into human nature. The soul that is yielded to Christ becomes His own fortress, which He holds in a revolted world, and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His own. A soul thus kept in possession by the heavenly agencies is impregnable to the assaults of Satan. But unless we do yield ourselves to the control of Christ, we shall be dominated by the wicked one. We must inevitably be under the control of the one or the other of the two great powers that are contending for the supremacy of the world. It is not necessary for us deliberately to choose the service of the kingdom of darkness in order to come under its dominion. We have only to neglect to ally ourselves with the kingdom of light. If we do not co-operate with the heavenly agencies, Satan will take possession of the heart, and will make it his abiding place. The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin. We may leave off many bad habits, for the time we may part company with Satan; but without a vital connection with God, through the surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall be overcome. Without a personal acquaintance with Christ, and a continual communion, we are at the mercy of the enemy, and shall do his bidding in the end. The Desire of Ages 324
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 26, 2012, 09:13:10 AM
We want to be more specific as to what is being said, Billie. What is the "law of sin and death"?

What is "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus"?

Paul is talking about two laws, or principles of life.  It is the context of his teaching in Romans chapters six, seven, and eight.  He is presenting to us these important laws of life. One, the law of sin and death, the other the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. They are two different ways of living. One is death, the other is life.  As Paul continues in Romans eight, you will see what he is saying. He continues along the same path talking about the need to follow the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. If we walk in the light as Jesus is in the life because we have His Spirit we are  not under condemnation. But, if we walk in the flesh, following the law of sin and death, then we are under condemnation.

Billie, how can we tell if  we are walking in His Spirit? How can we tell if we are walking in the flesh?
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: billy on April 26, 2012, 11:38:55 PM
"Billie, how can we tell if  we are walking in His Spirit? How can we tell if we are walking in the flesh?"

Even the very best Biblical characters were sinners. Whether ones sins a little bit or to a large degree we are all sinners. All in need of saving grace. So sin does not determine if we are walking in the spirit or not. The very best of us are sinners. In fact Paul said he was the chief of sinners.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: billy on April 26, 2012, 11:42:49 PM
Looking at the outward way of life Judas was a fairly decent sort of a guy. They denied their Lord and both were sorry. One came and looked at the cross, the other looked the other way. Both were sorry for their actions. Walking in the spirit is accepting Jesus as ones own Saviour.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Mimi on April 27, 2012, 07:05:54 AM
... sin does not determine if we are walking in the spirit or not.
The Bible says differently. Consider this verse again: Romans 8:1. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

Galatians 5:16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

There are other verses we could include but these say it plainly enough. The Spirit does not and cannot cohabitate with sin and label someone "in the Spirit" while the lusts of the flesh are in the life.

Have you ever studied the differences in clean and unclean relative to the Spirit? Or holy and unholy?

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 27, 2012, 10:28:23 AM
Billie, it appears you are having a hard time understanding what Paul is teaching. Instead of arguing with you over this one verse, go ahead and tell us verse by verse what Paul means from Romans 8:1-14. We are going to give you the floor to teach what you believe Paul is saying in these verses. Do a very thorough job of explaining each verse, and use Scripture to support your teaching.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: billy on April 27, 2012, 12:18:19 PM
Am I getting the right impression that the folk think that the law can be kept by us and we will live a life of sinlessness?
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 27, 2012, 02:12:28 PM
Billie, your ideas are not Biblical. We have given you opportunity to explain what Scripture says, you are not doing very well. You want to argue. We do not. Share with us what Romans 8 is teaching. Your failure to do so, illustrates your failure to understand the foundation of our faith. You live a life out of harmony with God, you do not have the fruits of the Spirit in your life and therefore you want to judge the Bible by your experience and by that which false teachers have taught you. There is no excuse for your unloveliness. An ill temper or dishonesty is not excused by God. Christ died that you might be forgiven and born again of His Spirit. You remain, like Nicodemus in the garden, born of the flesh. You need to be filled with the Spirit of Jesus, then you will manifest the fruits of the Spirit.  There is no excuse when Jesus has offered you His Spirit. He promises you a "new heart".  Listen to what God said through Ezekiel:  "Therefore say unto the house of Israel (God's church), Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went." 36:22.  Billie, what does God mean when He says we have profaned His name? He means that we have misrepresented Him with our evil characters. Yes, every time you sin and I sin, we profane God's name in the presence of the world. That does not give glory to God, Billie. You are running around telling everyone that they can not have power to resist sin. That they must sin. No, Billie, that is what you are saying, God does not say it.

God said through John: 

1 John
 2:1   My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 
  2:2   And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world. 
  2:3   And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 
  2:4   He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 

And again from Ezekiel:

 36:26   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. 
  36:27   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]. 

When God puts His Spirit within you, Billie, He will cause you to walk in His statutes and you will keep His judgements and do them. Your theology, Billie, is not in harmony with Scripture. We are not taking one verse or two verses out of context. You are fighting against God, not us. You cannot harmonize your few verses you have been taught wrongly with all of the Bible.

Listen to Jesus, Billie:

Matthew

  19:16   And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 
  19:17   And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 

Billie, you would change the command of Christ and tell us that none can do what Jesus told the rich young ruler to do. You are wrong, Billie. Christ does not lie. He said, "if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."  In other words, if you want to have eternal life, you must obey the commandments. But, you say, "impossible". No, Billie, Jesus is right and you misunderstand. When you sin, you crucify Jesus afresh. You misrepresent Christianity.  Jesus loves you and died for you. He will forgive you and cleanse you from all of your unrighteousness. But, the wages of sin is death. If you refuse the cleansing that Jesus offers, you will not enter heaven. I know you have been misled by false teachers, but, Billie, you have a Bible, you have ears to hear. The Holy Spirit is speaking to you right now. Don't push Him away. Let Jesus come into your heart today. Let His grace transform your life. Become a new creature in Christ Jesus. Let the "old man" die and receive all of the fruits of His Spirit. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. This is the way in which we are to judge who is born of the Spirit and who is not.  If you want a few other things that will help, here is who we are told will not enter the kingdom of God.  "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:19-21.    You want to excuse those who manifest these sins. You do not think grace has power to transform the life. You have no peace, Billie. There is no peace in a lie. But, there is great peace in the truth.

We can go on and on, Billie. From Genesis to Revelation, God says the same thing. He sent Jesus here to give us peace. He came to not only forgive us, but to change us. He came to live within us, to give us power to love those who hate us. Can you do that, Billie. Can you love the unlovable? That is power, the power of grace. If you can do that, Billie, you can keep the rest of the commandments, through the indwelling Spirit of God.  Is it easier to walk on water or to love your enemy?  The greatest miracle that God can do is to recreate sinful man in His image. You say no, but God says He will.

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:18.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: billy on April 27, 2012, 03:29:26 PM
Romans 7:17-24

17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which indwells me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

Paul does not make the same claims as you do, I would much rather believe Paul than believe what you say.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Glen on April 27, 2012, 03:32:05 PM
Even the very best Biblical characters were sinners. Whether ones sins a little bit or to a large degree we are all sinners. All in need of saving grace. So sin does not determine if we are walking in the spirit or not. The very best of us are sinners. In fact Paul said he was the chief of sinners.

Am I getting the right impression that the folk think that the law can be kept by us and we will live a life of sinlessness?

I would make a few points for clarification, Billy:

First of all, please understand that the Godhead are (standing here), simply beside Themselves, in Their eagerness and Love, to give each of us an abundant entrance into the Kingdom! To the true Believer, anything is possible with God! ...give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.2 Peter 1:10, 11

With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26

"...the very best (of) Biblical characters" is Jesus Christ.
...hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, THAT YE should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Jesus said of Himself:
My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. 17 If ANY man will DO his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. John 7:16, 17 Couldn't the "If any man" include any one of us? That's what the Godhead is calling humanity to do. Every "holy man of God" in the past has been called to turn the people of their generation to righteousness; why not you, Billie? Have you "lifted" up Jesus Christ in YOUR life? What does the Holy Spirit refer to when the holy man of God talks about being baptized in the likeness of Christ's death? -that the life also of Christ might rein in your mortal body? (see Romans 6:9-13) Have you, have I, consented to let Jesus be made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him? Has the Father sent you?

Jesus, in the likeness of sinful flesh declared:

...he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. 27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. 28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. John 8:26-29

Enoch let Christ dwell within his soul until the Day Star eclipsed everything earthly from his view, and his thoughts became only righteous, continually.   By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. Hebrews 11:5

...God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. Genesis 6:5-9

The understanding of those Believers who live in the last generation will be enlightened, Brother Billy, to perceive the richness of the riches of Christ dwelling within their soul-temple! (see Colossians 3:16)
 
...Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Hebrews 3:6 I am reminded, whenever I read this verse, of Christ's words: When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation. Matthew 12:43-45 -And I wonder with astonishment and deep soul-searching, considering also the response of the disciples when Jesus said that one of them should betray Him, how they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? Matthew 26:22

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 2 John 1:9

Billy, am I to accept by what you are telling me, that every sinner that Christ makes "free indeed" will continue to be servant to the devil and a perpetrator of sin? -that the best I can hope for is that we are merely forgiven; that God is unable to transform us and make us conformable to the death (and life) of Christ? Jesus represented humanity inhabited or possessed by the Spirit of God, even Divinity, showing mankind that they are to be inhabited or possessed by the Spirit of God, thus to live henceforth as Partaker, -partaking of the Divine Nature! Examine the life of Christ as the Bible records that wonderful "Bible Character", as He walked in the likeness of sinful flesh, as He condemned sin in the flesh, as you consider how and whether the Christian will walk as He walked.  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 1 John 2:6 God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5 I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12  He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. John 7:18

Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:34-36

...my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having DONE all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench ALL the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication... Hebrews 6:10-18

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. 1 John 5:18

...every son and daughter of Adam may, through faith in their Redeemer, cooperate with heavenly intelligences, and oppose the workings of Satan, and thus bring in everlasting righteousness. The Lord Jesus would take man into partnership with himself. Human intelligences have been endowed by their Creator with capabilities and powers, which, if surrendered to God, will promote his glory in building up his kingdom in the earth. Human beings can reach human beings through the imparted gift of the Spirit of God. Through faith man accepts the world’s Redeemer as his Captain, and when standing under his blood-stained banner, he becomes a partaker of the divine nature, and in cooperation with God is to act an important part in revealing the glory of God to a world in the darkness of transgression. Unless man shall fully cooperate with Christ in the work of rescuing souls from evil, the plan of salvation can never be carried out. The Signs of the Times October 8, 1894.08

...the steady soul who loves and fears God, will be as firm in his Heaven-inspired purpose as was Daniel, and will not be swerved from his convictions of duty  God has a work for his faithful ones to do, to stand in defense of the truth like faithful Noah. They will warn and entreat, and show by their works their faith. They stand as God’s agents...in noble, whole-souled fidelity, the moral character untarnished. Counsels to Physicians and Medical Students, Page 5

Every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary. He who drinks of the living water becomes a fountain of life. The receiver becomes a giver. The grace of Christ in the soul is like a spring in the desert, welling up to refresh all, and making those who are ready to perish eager to drink of the water of life.—The Desire of Ages, 195.

...saviours of men like their Master. They will be exposed to hatred and reproach as was their Master. Enmity will be aroused, hatred and false accusations will pour like a torrent around them to wrench them from their high moral position, but they have their foundation on the Rock, and remain unmoved at their chosen post of duty, warning, entreating, rebuking sin and pleasure-lovers by their moral rectitude and circumspect conversation. God’s servants who will hear the “Well done” from his divine lips, will be heroic ministers of righteousness, although they may not preach in the desk. They are constantly ministering, loyal to their sense of God’s claims upon them, jealous of their own selves, lest they shall dishonor the Lord that taught them to stand in defense of right and duty at any loss to themselves. This is the work of the Christian soldier. That which will stand under the pressure of temptation is heart religion. The whole heart must be given to God; if any portion of it be withheld, we have no right to claim the promise of being the favored sons and daughters of God. Counsels to Physicians and Medical Students, Page 6


Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Mimi on April 27, 2012, 04:07:16 PM
Romans 7:17-24

17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which indwells me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

Paul does not make the same claims as you do, I would much rather believe Paul than believe what you say.

This is Paul's experience before conversion - no power to obey, Billy. Many people take Romans 7 as the typical Christian experience and settle into it thinking that's how it is going to be, but this is not so. You need to read and understand the entirety of Paul's writings in the New Testament and you would discover what is written. And, I'd find a Bible translation that includes everything he said, not just part of it.

Jesus wants us to be overcomers. In fact, he says we must be to enter into heaven. So if you had rather believe what Paul says in Romans 7 and actually believe that it is the converted Christian's experience rather than what Richard has been long-suffering in explaining to you, which is Bible truth, I am very sorry. You will be forever stuck in a round of fruitless attempts to have a joyful spiritual experience. In fact, you will be a very miserable Christian because you cannot measure up to the great standard God has set for His people. It is amazing so many Seventh-day Adventists believe this, when a great number of God's people in other denominations know it to be Paul's pre-conversion experience.

Jesus' church will have neither spot nor blemish. With your way of thinking, God will take to heaven an imperfect church and sin will once more enter heaven. That won't be the case. Go back and restudy everything Paul wrote. You will see that life in the Spirit is overcoming sin by the power of God's Spirit and by abiding in Him every minute of every day, no - we will not sin.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: colporteur on April 27, 2012, 06:18:50 PM
Am I getting the right impression that the folk think that the law can be kept by us and we will live a life of sinlessness?

 If you mean by "live a life of sinlessness" reaching a point where we are so connected with God that  He lives out His life in us, one where we no longer sin, absolutely ! Not that there are any that have not sinned but the faithful will no longer be sinning when Jesus comes. Do you believe Phil. 4:13 ? " I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

Jesus said in John 14:15 "If ye love Me keep my commandments." It sounds like you are saying if we love Jesus just give Him lip service because we cannot obey Him. God's biddings are His enabling. He does not command the impossible. That would be cruel and unrighteous.
If you do not believe that Paul is here saying we can live without sinning then what would be the point of Christ strengthening  us ? Strengthening us for what? So we can keep sinning ? Christ gives us strength to live a Christlike live and separating us from sin and sinning.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: colporteur on April 27, 2012, 06:29:58 PM
Jesus' church will have neither spot nor blemish. With your way of thinking, God will take to heaven an imperfect church and sin will once more enter heaven.

Either that or like most evangelicals he believes that at translation he who is filthy will not be filthy still, but will be made righteous when Jesus pushes a magic button and forces a change in the character. People who believe this do not believe that earth is a testing ground and a place where the character is perfected.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 27, 2012, 06:31:08 PM
Billie, I am very tempted to share with you the truth of the verses you quote from Romans 7, but I can't right now.  I can reconcile Romans 7 with Romans 8 and the rest of the Bible, but you cannot reconcile Romans 8 with what you have just shared. So, we await your attempt to reconcile the two Books. You have done 8:1 and 2. Let's hear your teaching on verses 8:3-14.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Mimi on April 27, 2012, 06:36:47 PM
Jesus' church will have neither spot nor blemish. With your way of thinking, God will take to heaven an imperfect church and sin will once more enter heaven.

Either that or like most evangelicals he believes that at translation he who is filthy will not be filthy still, but will be made righteous when Jesus pushes a magic button and forces a change in the character. People who believe this do not believe that earth is a testing ground and a place where the character is perfected.


It is so true, Colporteur. We met it in our own Sabbath School about six weeks ago when one of our members said, "When Jesus comes and changes our characters ..." [paraphrasing], it had to be met. The poor member was stunned. After a discussion, he realized he had a work to do.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: billy on April 27, 2012, 10:36:52 PM
(Billy, am I to accept by what you are telling me, that every sinner that Christ makes "free indeed" will continue to be servant to the devil and a perpetrator of sin? -that the best I can hope for is that we are merely forgiven; that God is unable to transform us and make us conformable to the death (and life) of Christ?) Glen

If Dr Des Ford has said it once he has said it a thousand times. "God does not justify anyone with whom He cannot sanctify"

Meaning this that when a person is justified they do not stay in the gutter. It does not mean that the person becomes sinless. In fact Ford also says "that a person would rather die than commit a known sin".

Again this does not mean a person will go through life never committing a sin, know or unknown.

Sin is not so much as what we do but who we are. We were born to sin, Christ was not.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: asygo on April 27, 2012, 11:10:03 PM
...one of our members said, "When Jesus comes and changes our characters ..." [paraphrasing]

Let him who is holy be holy still, and him who is unholy be unholy still. [paraphrasing]

There will be a big change in us when Jesus comes, but it won't be character.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: asygo on April 27, 2012, 11:15:18 PM
Romans 7:17-24
...
Paul does not make the same claims as you do, I would much rather believe Paul than believe what you say.

This is Paul's experience before conversion - no power to obey, Billy.

Sybil, you know I do not believe that Rom 7 was pre-conversion Paul, nor do I believe that it teaches "no power to obey," right? If not, you do now. :)

"For the good that I wish..." is not the sentiment of the unregenerate. The unconverted does not wish for good. But there's a thread for this somewhere else....
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: asygo on April 28, 2012, 12:23:40 AM
Again this does not mean a person will go through life never committing a sin, know or unknown.

John said that whoever is born of God cannot sin. (1Jn 3:9) So on some level, in some way, Christians are able to completely abstain from sin.

Sin is not so much as what we do but who we are.

That's true. So if we are going to forsake sin, the change must happen not so much in what we do, but in who we are. Can God change that?

We were born to sin...

That may be true, though it is probably more accurate to say we are born IN sin, rather than TO sin. However, it is certain that we are NOT re-born TO sin. Sinning does not require re-birth; the natural birth is more than good enough for that.

Instead, we are re-born or re-created in Jesus for good works. Yes, God does this by grace, through faith, not of ourselves, not by our righteous works. (Eph 2:8-10, Titus 3:5) But His purpose is not for us to continue to sin, but for us to manifest good works, that He may be glorified. (Matthew 5:16)

Perhaps the key is to understand that though we all may be "born to sin" those who are reborn have a completely different purpose. They are no longer who they used to be. What they do is different because who they are has been changed. Though they may have been children of wrath by nature, they now partake of the divine nature and are now children of God. (Eph 2:3, 2Peter 1:4, John 1:12) Perhaps more important than what we were is what we have become by grace through faith, if indeed we have received Him.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: billy on April 28, 2012, 03:38:47 AM
Does anyone know of a person who has reached the point in their life where they do not sin?
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: billy on April 28, 2012, 04:44:04 AM
(John said that whoever is born of God cannot sin. (1Jn 3:9) So on some level, in some way, Christians are able to completely abstain from sin) asygo.

There is no point in making a quote such as the one above if you are still sinning. I do not know of anyone who has completely abstained from sin. I am very reluctant to name anyone who does not sin but if I had to put up a name it would be Des Ford and I would say he would reject that out right.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: colporteur on April 28, 2012, 05:39:51 AM
Does anyone know of a person who has reached the point in their life where they do not sin?

billy, are you asking us to judge the heart and motives of all around us ? Why doubt God?
What if I said , "yes" "I know someone who no longer sins." Would you believe it? Would you not say "who made you judge?" Your question is not reasonable and takes a position of unbelief. You are essentially saying that unless someone can prove to you anyone is ready for translation you will not believe. There is a time ,billy, that like with doubting Thomas, Jesus will ask you to thrust your hand in His side. By faith, that time is now, while there is still a little time left.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: billy on April 28, 2012, 06:09:51 AM
(billy, are you asking us to judge the heart and motives of all around us ? Why doubt God?
What if I said , "yes" "I know someone who no longer sins." Would you believe it? Would you not say "who made you judge?" Your question is not reasonable and takes a position of unbelief. You are essentially saying that unless someone can prove to you anyone is ready for translation you will not believe. There is a time ,billy, that like with doubting Thomas, Jesus will ask you to thrust your hand in His side. By faith, that time is now, while there is still a little time left.)

The only reason you cannot name anyone is that there is no one who does not sin every day and I would quote 1 John 1:8

"If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us"

That verse does away with all thoughts of perfectionism and sinlessness in our life on this earth.

OK, do not look at others but look at your own self, each and everyone of us here and who can put their hand up and say just for one day that they are sinless?

I can be sure that not one person can do it. Yet that is what is being claimed here.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Mimi on April 28, 2012, 06:21:58 AM
Romans 7:17-24
...
Paul does not make the same claims as you do, I would much rather believe Paul than believe what you say.

This is Paul's experience before conversion - no power to obey, Billy.

Sybil, you know I do not believe that Rom 7 was pre-conversion Paul, nor do I believe that it teaches "no power to obey," right? If not, you do now. :)

"For the good that I wish..." is not the sentiment of the unregenerate. The unconverted does not wish for good. But there's a thread for this somewhere else....

Give me your hand and let's walk back over there. Romans 7 & 8 (http://remnant-online.com/smf/index.php?topic=742.0) Or better yet, let's ask Richard to open for us a private discussion room for this examination. If you have something to teach me, I am willing; however, I ask the same of you, my dearest brother.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Glen on April 28, 2012, 06:35:33 AM
Sin is not so much as what we do but who we are. We were born to sin, Christ was not.

Lucifer and Adam and Eve were not born in/to sin; yet, they sinned. Scripture succinctly defines sin as ...the transgression of the law. 1 John 3:4 "What we are" is as quick as faith, and faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 -This works for the Unbeliever, as well. Those whom Christ said, Oh ye of little faith, (in things of God) were giants in faith  (in things of evil) when their mind was concentrating on the suggestions of Satan).

“Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” Joshua 24:15. Everyone may place his will on the side of the will of God, may choose to obey Him, and by thus linking himself with divine agencies, he may stand where nothing can force him to do evil. In every youth, every child, lies the power, by the help of God, to form a character of integrity and to live a life of usefulness. Education 289.01

...what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Romans 8:3-9

The verses above plainly say that the law cannot work righteousness in the soul that is carnal and does not have the Spirit of God. The carnal mind is not subject to the law of God; however, to be Spiritually minded, one is indeed subject to the law of God, and will keep it, taking extreme pleasure in keeping it, for as a member in particular of the body of Christ, the Believer does what the Mind, (Christ as the Head) dictates. Through the will of Christ; His character embodies the character and Spirit of the Father.

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5:3

In Christ, the Universal Law, in a manner of speaking, that ...the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Galatians 5:17  -holds specifically and significantly true in the Believer. The Spirit lusteth against the flesh, or carnal mind mentality, so that, as a Believer, possessed by the Spirit of God, cannot do the things you did, I did, and others do, who have the carnal mind. When one receives Christ, His mind and way of thinking about sin, one becomes a new creature. (Genesis 3:15; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15) The true Believer will hate sin with the same wrath God hates it, For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: 12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11, 12

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23 -This is the question for each of us; are we willing to ...resist...unto blood, striving against sin. Hebrews 12:4 ?

If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. Genesis 4:7

Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of (us) should seem to come short of it. Hebrews 4:1

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. Hebrews 6:4-6
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: colporteur on April 28, 2012, 06:58:40 AM
(billy, are you asking us to judge the heart and motives of all around us ? Why doubt God?
What if I said , "yes" "I know someone who no longer sins." Would you believe it? Would you not say "who made you judge?" Your question is not reasonable and takes a position of unbelief. You are essentially saying that unless someone can prove to you anyone is ready for translation you will not believe. There is a time ,billy, that like with doubting Thomas, Jesus will ask you to thrust your hand in His side. By faith, that time is now, while there is still a little time left.)

The only reason you cannot name anyone is that there is no one who does not sin every day and I would quote 1 John 1:8

"If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us"

That verse does away with all thoughts of perfectionism and sinlessness in our life on this earth.

OK, do not look at others but look at your own self, each and everyone of us here and who can put their hand up and say just for one day that they are sinless?

I can be sure that not one person can do it. Yet that is what is being claimed here.

Why the defeatest attitude. Is Satan bigger than Christ ? Has he more power to keep you sinning  than Christ to free you.

"If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us"

This verse is referring to having a record of sin in our lives. We all do. However, you have a serious contradiction if you take that to me that you will continue to sin all the days of your life.

Two questions, billy. Do you believe Phil. 4:13  ? " I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me."
Do you believe we can do what God has called us to do ?  You are speaking with the spirit of unconversion. God has better news for you than that. But you have to love the truth and deny the world and the carnal nature that naturally besets man.

The problem is that you are leaving Christ out of the picture. When you do that you are absolutely correct. It is impossible to be free from sin in your life on your own. However you limit Christ and his power and give the power to the enemy. If we either love sin or have a spirit of unbelief we have lost the gospel. There is no good news in the idea that we will continue to sin. If we, as you claim, continue in hopeless sin, when will that stop ? Will there be sin in heaven ?

Can you prove that God's people are sinning? Can you judge the hearts and minds of all men ? One again you are going to the polls for proof rather than God's Word.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 28, 2012, 08:49:48 AM
Billie, it is good that all may understand where you are coming from. You have been misled by many in Australia who have been misled by Ford and others. His false teaching is alive and well in your country and has even spread beyond Australia. We are not here to give influence to this false teaching. But, we will allow you to present what you see as truth in regards to Romans 8 verses 1-14.  If you do not restrict yourself to that subject, you will no longer be able to post in our fellowship. You will have to find some other place to misrepresent Jesus, His Word, and His church.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: asygo on April 28, 2012, 09:03:00 AM
Does anyone know of a person who has reached the point in their life where they do not sin?

You do know that your question is equivalent to asking if anyone knows of a person who follows Jesus all the time, right?
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: asygo on April 28, 2012, 09:07:52 AM
(John said that whoever is born of God cannot sin. (1Jn 3:9) So on some level, in some way, Christians are able to completely abstain from sin) asygo.

There is no point in making a quote such as the one above if you are still sinning.

It would have the same point as talking about going to heaven without actually having gone to heaven first. Have you ever heard of anyone doing that? Talking about going to heaven with Jesus, without first doing it? Pointless?

But the fact of the matter is, John knew what he was talking about. You can trust the truth in that verse more than you can trust Des Ford or any other writer outside the Bible, including EGW.

The question for you is simple: Do you believe what the Bible says?

I do not know of anyone who has completely abstained from sin.

More importantly, do you know of anyone who WANTS to abstain from sin? You see, that's the crux of the matter. If one does not want to stop sinning, it will be impossible.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on April 28, 2012, 05:17:42 PM
Billie, if you wish to continue, share your interpretation of Romans 8:1-14.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Peter L on October 27, 2012, 05:27:03 AM
The way I see justification is, justification is what Christ has done for us, sanctification is what Christ does in us and glorification is what Christ will do to us. We are to die daily to allow God to work in us.
Philippians 2:13
(13)  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on October 27, 2012, 06:52:30 AM
Good morning, Peter.  Let's look at this a little closer. These three theological terms are important. Let's take glorification first since some will not be familiar with it. We know that man has a fallen nature and thus must overcome in this nature. It will not be removed until Jesus comes. At that time, all who have accepted the "free gift" of salvation will be changed. 

1 Corinthians
  15:51   Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 
  15:52   In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 
  15:53   For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. 
  15:54   So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 
  15:55   O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 

But, this change that takes place at that time will not change one's character, only ones fallen human nature. Moral character has already been changed or else the sinner will not inherit eternal life. This is both justification and sanctification. Let's continue with these two terms.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on October 27, 2012, 07:17:37 AM
While we must be changed at the second coming of Jesus, we also must be changed today if we want to follow Jesus. It is sad that so many do not understand that conversion is a radical transformation of nature. It is true that we will not have holy flesh until the second coming, but we can have a holy character while living in sinful flesh. It is the greatest miracle that God can do. To create Adam holy was easy for God, but to re-create you and me into a reflection of Christ while in these vile bodies is not easy for God. It requires our cooperation. He does His part, but we must do ours. We must learn of Him who gave all for us and then yield up our wicked sin polluted hearts that He might cleanse us from all sin. "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin....If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:7,9.

When we are truly converted, this is justification, we become partakers of God's divine nature. It is then that we are able to keep the flesh, our vile body, under subjection at all times. Power to resist sin comes when we are justified, are converted. "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4.  "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.   

Justification has to do with being reconciled to God that we might be removed from the condemnation of having sinned. The wages of sin is death and all have sinned. So all deserve to die. But, because Christ has suffered and died for all men, we may live IF we will accept the Gift of that sacrifice. It is called "justification". That is we can be justified in having eternal life. How can we be justified in having eternal life? By accepting the free gift offered, by dying to self, by making a FULL surrender to Jesus. "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)  Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life.  For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Romans 5:17-19.

"They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life..." We who receive God's grace and His righteousness will be saved. This means that we allow Christ to have the heart, the whole heart. When we do this, we are filled with His Spirit and that is why we are justified of having life, we are made holy by His indwelling presence. All of the fruits of His Spirit are in the life, not one is missing. The moral character is holy. The motives are changed at conversion. It is a radical change that takes place when Jesus comes into the heart. This is true conversion, this is justification. One is also sanctified when converted, but both our justification and our sanctification must continue daily. Without Christ we can do no good thing, but with Christ in the heart, we can all things. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13.

When we are truly justified, converted, then the promise that I will have enmity towards sin is seen in the life. The sinner has power to overcome. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Peter L on October 27, 2012, 03:49:01 PM
Exodus 23:7
(7)  Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.

To be justified is to be declared innocent.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on October 27, 2012, 08:35:01 PM
Yes, but you seem to disagree with what I just posted regarding the need to be abiding in Christ, to be filled with His Spirit, to be walking in the Spirit to be justified? Can one be declared justified when sinning a known sin, when walking in the flesh?
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Peter L on October 27, 2012, 08:45:15 PM
We are justified by faith and works follow.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on October 27, 2012, 10:46:23 PM
I very much agree. My question is can a man be declared justified while sinning a known sin?
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Peter L on October 28, 2012, 03:24:58 AM
We cannot be justified living in willful sin otherwise it is osas.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on October 28, 2012, 10:58:22 AM
Amen. What is the difference between one who is willfully sinning and one who is not?
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Peter L on October 28, 2012, 01:38:57 PM
Leviticus 4:2-3
(2)  Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them:
(3)  If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering.

Why would they have a sin offering for sins of ignorance?
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on October 28, 2012, 03:19:33 PM
Sins of ignorance are different from sins that are not willful.  We may know that it is wrong to murder, that is we are not ignorant, but we did not plan the murder.  It was not willful.

What I was looking for is what is the difference in the heart between one who sins willfully and one who does not?
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on February 06, 2015, 10:41:25 AM
In my studies this morning, I came across something I had read many times before, but it had not made an impression upon my mind until today. The term "justification" is often misunderstood and thus opens a door to deceive at the very foundation of our faith. It is not a difficult word, but one that we need to rightly understand because it is a Biblical term. The title of this topic we are posting in is Justification by Faith. I have expressed the thought that it means the same as righteousness by faith. How can this be?

Let's look at the statement I read this morning. It was penned by the reformer, Lefevre. He wrote: “It is God who gives us, by faith, that righteousness which by grace justifies unto eternal life.” It is a beautiful explanation of our salvation in Christ. It would be well to prayerfully study the statement until it makes sense. If we have a Bible scholar who can rightly divide the statement, please share with us how you see it. By the way, this man spoke these words prior to when the reformers Luther and Zwingle began their work of reformation. Lefevre was a staunch papist and a professor at the University of Paris when he discovered the truth of salvation by grace.
Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Glen on February 11, 2015, 10:00:33 PM
...Lefevre...wrote: “It is God who gives us, by faith, that righteousness which by grace justifies unto eternal life.”

Ephesians 1:2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

The presence of the Holy Spirit, as the Grace of God, brings peace to the penitent sinner. Peace in the abundant pardon first bestowed in its acceptance, and peace that may continue from that moment of acceptence of the proffered Gift, throughout Eternity; that, is the purpose of the Godhead. Too frequently laxness and doubt assails us, and we fall again and again into sin, and think that it must always be so. (see  God's Amazing Grace, p. 262.2)

I found your quote of Lefevre just before what I believe is an excellent “dividing” of his own statement:

“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the curse is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” The Great Controversy 1888, p. 212.1

2 Corinthians 5:
20 God...(“in Christ”; see vs. 19)
21 ...hath made (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

This divine exchange is “...let(ting) this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus...he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:5, 8 and 9; and

Ephesians 2:
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

This “new creature” is the sure result of God's saving Grace, “the Holy Spirit, the grace of truth in the soul”:

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. Galatians 6:15

Christ died as our surety, the earnest vow of the Godhead making “the Way” (John 14:6) for sinful humanity to become inhabited by divinity; His life on earth as a man in the likeness of sinful human flesh the very speciman of what we may become, God's character perfectly reproduced. -This is what the angels over Bethlehem were proclaiming to those shepherds: the union of the human with the divine. It begins when the sinner responds to the Gift, receives the faith of Christ; believing, that Christ has faith in His own word to accomplish in us, what He works in us to will and to do; thus believing that the Word of Christ as Creator and indwelling Savior will finish that which He has begun, as the Author and Finisher of our faith. (see Hebrews 12:2) This Grace justifies the penitent sinner, placing within the humble soul the imparted life of Christ. (see Reflecting Christ, p. 131.4)

It is essential to live by every word of God, else our old nature will constantly reassert itself. It is the Holy Spirit, the redeeming grace of truth in the soul, that makes the followers of Christ one with one another, and one with God. He alone can expel enmity, envy, and unbelief. He sanctifies the entire affections. He restores the willing, desirous soul from the power of Satan unto God. This is the power of grace. It is a divine power. Under its influence there is a change from the old habits, customs, and practices which, when cherished, separate the soul from God; and the work of sanctification goes on in the soul, constantly progressing and enlarging.—The Review and Herald, October 12, 1897.

...As God works in the heart, and man surrenders his will to God, and cooperates with God, he works out in the life what God works in by the Holy Spirit, and there is harmony between the purpose of the heart and the practice of the life. Every sin must be renounced as the hateful thing that crucified the Lord of life and glory, and the believer must have a progressive experience by continually doing the works of Christ. It is by continual surrender of the will, by continual obedience, that the blessing of justification is retained. Selected Messages Book 1, p. 397.1

Christ bridged the gulf and connected earth with heaven. In human nature He maintained the purity of His divine character. He lived the law of God, and honored it in a world of transgression, revealing to the worlds unfallen, to the heavenly universe, to Satan, and to all the fallen sons and daughters of Adam that through His grace humanity can keep the law of God! He came to impart His own divine nature, His own image, to the repentant, believing soul.—Manuscript 20, 1898 (Manuscript Releases 8:39-41).

Title: Re: Justification by Faith
Post by: Richard Myers on February 21, 2015, 02:10:56 PM
Amen, Glen!  Good to see your post!