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 Wesley: Imputed Righteousness?

Once when I was in Kansas City I visited the IHOP house of prayer. Going through their book store I cam upon this little gem:

Foundations of Wesleyan-Arminian Theology by Mildred Bangs Wynkoop.

It's a small, 128 page book, which goes through the history of Christian theology (back to Augustine and Pelagius) up to the day of Wesley.

I personally agree with Methodism's doctrine of Actual Righteous, over against the Calvinistic doctrine of Imputed Righteousness.

[b]Mildred Wynkoop [/b]said, "the idea of a transfer of righteousness from Christ to man (or imputed righteousness) is the exact antithesis of the biblical concept of holiness"!

[b]John Wesley said:[/b] Imputed righteousness is "a blow to the root, the root of all holiness, all true religion...Hereby Christ is stabbed in the house of his friends, of those who make the largest professions of loving Him; the whole design of His death, namely, to destroy the work of the devil, being overthrown at a stroke. For wherever this doctrine is cordially received, it makes no place for holiness."

But of coarse, as Wynkoop said, even Wesleys Calvinistic friends called him a Romanist, a Pelagian, and a preacher of salvation by works.

But I affirm the doctrine of Actual, Literal Righteousness through Christ instead of the doctrine of Imputed or Positional Righteousness through Christ. It is the doctrine of positional righteousness which gives birth to the antinomian monster of, "Once Saved, Always Saved". But that is the dark era in which we live, when such doctrines have become to be considered as "sound" and "orthodox".

[b]Lu 10:28 [/b]- And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: [b]this do[/b], and thou shalt live.

[b]Ro 2:13 [/b]- (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the [b]doers[/b] of the law shall be justified.

[b]1Jo 2:29[/b] - If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that [b]doeth righteousness [/b]is born of him.

[b]1Jo 3:7[/b] - Little children, [i]let no man deceive you[/i]: he that [b]doeth righteousness [/b]is righteous, even as he is righteous.

[b]1Jo 3:10[/b] -In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever [b]doeth not righteousness [/b]is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

 2007/3/30 15:39
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
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 Re: Wesley: Imputed Righteousness?

Quote:
Lazarus1719 on 2007/3/30 20:39:56
I personally agree with Methodism's doctrine of Actual Righteous, over against the Calvinistic doctrine of Imputed Righteousness.


You are creating a false dichotomy. These are not opposing views. Wesley believed in both imputed and imparted righteousness.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2007/3/30 15:52Profile









 Re:

The [b]Arminian view[/b] of imputed righteousness and the [b]Calvinistic view[/b] of imputed righteousness are different. Though they both may use the terminology.

The Arminian view of imputed righteousness is that at conversion, all of our past sins are covered and forgiven because of Christ, so that we are given a clean slate and are now treated as if we hadn't sinned.

But there is conditional security, as Wesley taught, or a state of probation, as Tozer taught, and unless a person perseveres in actual holiness, they have no more imputed righteousness.

But the Calvinistic view is that all your past, present, and future sins are covered by imputed righteousness, so that you can be in a sin but God doesn't see it because He see's the righteousness of Christ instead.

The book of Revelations shows that imputed righteousness is not a smoke screen that blinds or fools God. He said, "I see your works" and "repent". He did not say to the Churches, "I see the righteousness of Christ". He said, "you are poor, wretched, miserable, blind, and naked".

 2007/3/30 16:06
JaySaved
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Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re:

Jesse, Calvinist's believe in the Perseverance of the Saints

In summary, it is the doctrine that those who are truly saved continue to the end and do not live a life of sin.
John MacArthur gives a great summary of this doctrine [url=http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/J93-41-1.htm]here.[/url]

Excerpt:
"In order to place the doctrine of perseverance in proper light we need to know what it is not. It does not mean that every one who professes faith in Christ and who is accepted as a believer in the fellowship of the saints is secure for eternity and may entertain the assurance of eternal salvation. Our Lord himself warned his followers in the days of his flesh when he said to those Jews who believed on him, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye truly my disciples, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31, 32). He set up a criterion by which true disciples might be distinguished, and that criterion is continuance in Jesus' Word.:

 2007/3/30 16:13Profile









 Re: Wesley: Imputed Righteousness?

What about IMPARTED righteousness?

Jeannette

 2007/3/30 16:47
UniqueWebRev
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Joined: 2007/2/9
Posts: 640
Southern California

 Re: Wesley: Imputed Righteousness?

Quote:

Lazarus1719 wrote:
Once when I was in Kansas City I visited the IHOP house of prayer. Going through their book store I cam upon this little gem:

Foundations of Wesleyan-Arminian Theology by Mildred Bangs Wynkoop.

It's a small, 128 page book, which goes through the history of Christian theology (back to Augustine and Pelagius) up to the day of Wesley.

I personally agree with Methodism's doctrine of Actual Righteous, over against the Calvinistic doctrine of Imputed Righteousness.

[b]Mildred Wynkoop [/b]said, "the idea of a transfer of righteousness from Christ to man (or imputed righteousness) is the exact antithesis of the biblical concept of holiness"!

[b]John Wesley said:[/b] Imputed righteousness is "a blow to the root, the root of all holiness, all true religion...Hereby Christ is stabbed in the house of his friends, of those who make the largest professions of loving Him; the whole design of His death, namely, to destroy the work of the devil, being overthrown at a stroke. For wherever this doctrine is cordially received, it makes no place for holiness."

But of coarse, as Wynkoop said, even Wesleys Calvinistic friends called him a Romanist, a Pelagian, and a preacher of salvation by works.

But I affirm the doctrine of Actual, Literal Righteousness through Christ instead of the doctrine of Imputed or Positional Righteousness through Christ. It is the doctrine of positional righteousness which gives birth to the antinomian monster of, "Once Saved, Always Saved". But that is the dark era in which we live, when such doctrines have become to be considered as "sound" and "orthodox".

[b]Lu 10:28 [/b]- And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: [b]this do[/b], and thou shalt live.

[b]Ro 2:13 [/b]- (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the [b]doers[/b] of the law shall be justified.

[b]1Jo 2:29[/b] - If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that [b]doeth righteousness [/b]is born of him.

[b]1Jo 3:7[/b] - Little children, [i]let no man deceive you[/i]: he that [b]doeth righteousness [/b]is righteous, even as he is righteous.

[b]1Jo 3:10[/b] -In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever [b]doeth not righteousness [/b]is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.




Jesse, I found this complete discussion of imputation, and all it's applications, including impartation, although it is not mentioned as such:

[color=993300] Imputation

Text: A broad concept finding its theological center in the atonement. The Latin imputare literally means "to reckon," "to charge to one's account," and is an adequate rendering of the Greek term logizomai. This forensic notion of imputation has its partial roots in the commercial and legal language of the Greco-Roman world; one who has something imputed to him is accountable under the law. It is in this sense that Paul asks Philemon to have Onesimus's debts transferred to Paul (Philem. 18: "If he has wronged you... charge that to my account"). Imputation also has its distinctively Hebraic roots (cf. hasab, "to count for, to reckon"), being used, for example, in reference to the sacrificial system (cf. Lev. 7:18: "neither shall it be credited to him"; Lev. 17:4). It is also important to note that the OT uses the term to include even those judgments that have no direct, objective basis (e.g., Gen. 31:15: "Are we not regarded by him as foreigners?" II Chr. 9:20).

In the NT, Christians are said to receive the "alien righteousness" of God as a "free gift in the grace of that one man Jesus Christ" (Rom. 5:15). Just as God reckoned Abraham as righteous on the basis of Abraham's belief alone (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3), so others are similarly blessed as the Lord does not impute their iniquity to them (Ps. 32:1-2; Rom. 4:7-8). This divine judicial act is based, not on human merit, but on God's love (Rom. 5:6ff.).

In arguing for a forensic, communal grace rooted solely in the Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we receive our reconciliation, Paul contrasts the work of Christ with the sin of Adam, by which sin, guilt, and death came into the world (Rom. 5:12-14). Just as it is in Christ that we are redeemed, so it is in Adam that we are judged sinners (Rom. 5:15-21; cf. I Cor. 15:21-22). The exact meaning of this comparison has caused heated debate through much of church history. Can it be said that humankind is judged according to an "alien guilt"? Is not such a notion irrational, harsh, arbitrary, and even fatalistic, not in keeping with the larger biblical witness that people act freely and are responsible for their own sins (cf. Ezek. 18:1-20)?

Pelagius in the fifth century substituted for the notion of imputation the less severe concept of imitation. He argued that as free and responsible agents who are born with the capacity not to sin, all people nevertheless sin concretely following Adam's example. Pelagius was opposed by Augustine, and his view concerning human possibility has since been repeatedly rejected by the orthodox church (although it has proven a recurring notion, e.g., in Protestant liberalism).

How then is the imputation of Adam's sin to humankind to be understood? Some have argued that God's justice demands that imputation be considered not as forensic, but as real, all humankind having in fact sinned with Adam. Guilt thus is a proper guilt and in no sense alien. Such "realists" have difficulty in explaining how we might be actually present with Adam, however.

An alternate solution, one argued by the Westminister Confession, for example, is to understand Adam as our representative. God, in creating the human community, covenanted with all humanity through its head, Adam. The decision of the public figure Adam to sine is thus our decision as well, and his guilt, ours too. Such an explanation is often labeled federalism, after a federalist notion of government.

Although the exact nature of divine imputation remains a mystery, a biblically based understanding of the concept would want to maintain the following: (1) as formulated by Paul, the notion of imputation is included as part of a doxology to God for his grace in Christ. Imputation has to do ultimately with salvation, with our "alien righteousness," with being reckoned as if we were righteous. (2) Not only is Christ the theme of Paul's discussion, he is the starting-point as well. Only in the context of God's yes to us on the cross (and in the law) do we understand the full horror of his no to humankind (Rom. 5:13). In Adam, God judged the entire human race guilty, but only in Jesus is this fact fully understood (cf. Jesus' cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me," Mark 15:34; cf. Isa. 53:4-6; II Cor. 5:21).

(3) The doctrine of the imputation of sin has never had as its purpose the denial of personal freedom and guilt. Rather, it has been intended to emphasize universal complicity on the part of humanity. The notion of imputation provides sin neither an excuse nor an explication, only a judgment. We stand in need of God's grace (cf. Rom. 6:23).

(4) The stress on the corporate and original nature of human sin, on the human solidarity of guilt, is but one pole of a full biblical understanding. Sin's social dimension needs the continual, yet paradoxical, balancing of sin's individual and personal dimensions (I John 1:9-10). As fallen men and women, we live out a life of sin (i.e., of independence from God) and actualize our sins. Given God's judgment on humankind, his alienation from us, we can only worship creature and not Creator. And yet, it is we who choose no longer to submit and to follow instead our independent passions.

(5) The analogy between Adam and Christ is not simple or total. While the imputation of righteousness is arbitrary, a free and undeserved act of grace whose reality remains forensic, the imputation of guilt is appropriate, its consequence affirming the judgment. Paul himself emphasizes the danger of taking the analogy too far, distinguishing the "free gift" from the "trespass" (Rom. 5:15). (6) The divine imputation of sin and guilt, being a forensic act of God, needs have no objective basis in the life of the person (cf. II Cor. 5:21: "For our sake he made him [Christ] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him [Christ] we might become the righteousness of God"). Nevertheless, the consistent biblical witness, validated by all who have followed after Adam, is that it does (cf. Rom. 3:23: "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"). God is not capricious, but righteous and loving (Ezek. 18:25-32). Humankind has not merely been declared guilty; it has acted out its guilt. R. K. JOHNSTON


Bibliography. G. C. Berkouwer, Sin; A. A. Hodge, The Atonement; H. W. Heidland, TDNT, IV, 284-92; J. Murray, The Imputation of Adam's Sin.
[/color]

[b]To simplify, when I consider my own salvation, I think of it in this order:

I have sinned.

Jesus died for my sins, and gave me His Righteousness in place of my sins by my faith in Him, and by God's grace.

All things are permitted me under God's grace, for I have the perfect Righteousness of Jesus within me.

However, no matter how much grace covers my mistakes, God expects me to show my love for Him by obedience, to the best of my ability.

God knows I cannot ever become perfect by my own effort, which is why He gave me His grace through Jesus.

However, God's grace is not permission to sin, but the bridge between my attempts to follow the law, and the perfection I cannot reach.

If I persist in sin, I will grieve the Holy Spirit, and if I do it long enough, I will grieve Him away completely.

At that point, my conscience is seared, and God's grace is withdrawn from me.

Consequently, I know I am covered against my imperfections by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. But I must continue to strive to obey, seeking God's forgiveness for every sin through Jesus Christ.

Consequently, when the Rapture comes, Jesus will not find sinlessness on the earth. What He will find is faith in Him to save us from ourselves, for even as I repent for one sin, I am probably committing another without knowing it, and as soon as the Holy Spirit convicts me of that sin, I must repent, and try not to sin again.

It is our faith that saves us, but we cannot rest on that single Yes to Jesus. We must show Him our love the only way that we can, in praise, worship, and a continuous attempt at obedience.

Blessings,
[/b]


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Forrest Anderson

 2007/3/30 22:50Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Lazarus1719 on 2007/3/30 21:06:30
The Arminian view of imputed righteousness is that at conversion, all of our past sins are covered and forgiven because of Christ, so that we are given a clean slate and are now treated as if we hadn't sinned.


If there were only two camps you would find me with the Arminians, but not too close to Finney. The consequence of Finney's teaching is ultimately salvation by personal achievement; justification by sanctification. Wesley would have had no time for such a notion.

Access to God is through what Christ has achieved not through what I have achieved. Paul's question in "Rom. 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?" is a perfectly logical 'next step' for anyone who has followed Paul's reasoning. Paul never says the question was illogical. Instead he turns to personal experience in protest. "Rom. 6:2 God forbid. We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein?"

Finney's view of justification by faith produces a 'now you are, now you aren't' model of justification. If the believer's last act in life is a sin, then what? Imagine the scenario in which a believer’s last conscious thought was of lust towards his nurse as he sinks into coma. Where does Finney’s view of salvation leave this man?

One way in which the Calvinist view has been expressed is that we are justified by faith but our faith is justified by our works. ie. genuine faith will always produce genuine life. But, and this where the Finneyists err, you do not constantly scrutinise your faith and your score sheet you continue to look away to Christ. You have branded this view as leading to antinomianism but to brand the likes of Spurgeon as an antinomian is scandalous.

John tells us “…And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”…(1John 2:1 NKJV) Should we now change this to ‘if any one sins, and has confessed his sin, we have an Advocate’? This view of toggled justification can only produce a neurotic believer.


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Ron Bailey

 2007/3/31 3:12Profile
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 Re:

As you have said Ron, to toggle salvation between ourselves and Christ, we will loose every time. Unless our salvation is based on what Christ has and is doing in the believer, we will always run to confession and run to confession and run to confession etc. always looking for the truth but never finding it.

The truth is in Christ, He is the two edged sword, dividing asunder the spirit and soul and the body also. He is the Faith that saves us. He is the work that saves us. He is the Glory of the Father in us. Loosing ones salvation is saying God knows not what He is doing and has done on the Cross of Christ. It is all up to me and God needlessly Put Christ to death that I might handle my own salvation by my own works, making Christ to no avail and just a counterfeit to my own works for my own salvation.



Quote: "I have sinned."

Christ in you Has not. 1Jo 3:9 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. Are you born of God?

Quote: "Jesus died for my sins, and gave me His Righteousness in place of my sins by my faith in Him, and by God's grace."

By His Faith in me by His birth in me is God's Grace
Galatians 2:16-17 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. His Faith, His life is now my faith and my life. Galatians 2:20-21 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. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Quote: "All things are permitted me under God's grace, for I have the perfect Righteousness of Jesus within me."

This is truth, by the Christ that is in us.

Quote: "However, no matter how much grace covers my mistakes, God expects me to show my love for Him by obedience, to the best of my ability."

To the best of His ability in me, which is perfect obedience. 1Jo 3:9 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.
Hbr 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.

Quote: "God knows I cannot ever become perfect by my own effort, which is why He gave me His grace through Jesus."

Which is why God gave you Christ in you, through His Grace.

Quote: "However, God's grace is not permission to sin, but the bridge between my attempts to follow the law, and the perfection I cannot reach."

The only perfection and righteousness is in Christ Jesus that is now our all in all and our life, for it is "no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me". 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Quote: "If I persist in sin, I will grieve the Holy Spirit, and if I do it long enough, I will grieve Him away completely."

You cannot sin by the Christ that is in you and if you do, we have an Advocate with the Father, making God faithful and just to forgive us in our confession, not the confession

Quote: "At that point, my conscience is seared, and God's grace is withdrawn from me."

Your conscience is now Christ conscience and God won't withdraw His Grace, His Grace is His Son that born again in the believer and God is not an abortionist, or Christ died in vain. 1Cr 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. And we are joined together in mind/soul, "with one mind" where the Holy Spirit teaches us Jesus Christ. Phl 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;


Quote: "Consequently, I know I am covered against my imperfections by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. But I must continue to strive to obey, seeking God's forgiveness for every sin through Jesus Christ."

I must continue to know Him that I might not sin. This is the Holy Spirits responsibility in the believer for ever.Jhn 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Jhn 14:26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. He will teach us "all things" that Christ is and says, then and now and forever.

Quote: "Consequently, when the Rapture comes, Jesus will not find sinlessness on the earth. What He will find is faith in Him to save us from ourselves, for even as I repent for one sin, I am probably committing another without knowing it, and as soon as the Holy Spirit convicts me of that sin, I must repent, and try not to sin again."

He will find sinlessness on earth because He is rapturing Himself in the believers.

Quote: "It is our faith that saves us, but we cannot rest on that single Yes to Jesus. We must show Him our love the only way that we can, in praise, worship, and a continuous attempt at obedience."

It is His Faith that saves us, and we can rest on that single belief, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Psa 95:11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

Hbr 3:11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)

Hbr 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Hbr 4:5 And in this [place] again, If they shall enter into my rest.

Inter that rest and salvation is assured and will never leave you, which is Christ in you the Hope of Glory. Colossians 1:25-28 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

A perfect person in Christ cannot loose his or her salvation or rest or the Holy Spirit who is in us for ever.

In Christ: Phillip


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Phillip

 2007/3/31 5:02Profile
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 Re:

Imputed righteousness - This is a legal term whereby in the court of God, the sinner is declared justified.

Imparted righteousness - This is described as the belief where when God declares one righteousness (imputed), they are actually made what God says they are. Or in essence, imparted righteousness is imputed righteousness realized.

Wesley believed the former caused the latter, unlike Calvin, who had no room for imparted righteouness in his theology.


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Jimmy H

 2007/3/31 6:47Profile
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 Re:

By the way, for anybody looking for an excellent treatment of just what exactly John Wesley believed, I highly encourage reading the works of Kenneth J. Collins. Specifically "The Scripture Way of Salvation: The Heart of John Wesley's Theology," and "John Wesley: A Theological Journey."


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Jimmy H

 2007/3/31 10:39Profile





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