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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Justification by faith alone and the righteousness controversy simplified

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 Justification by faith alone and the righteousness controversy simplified

"We are either justified by a righteousness that inheres within us or by someone else's righteousness attributed or given to us. Does faith enable us to become actively righteous so that God will declare us righteous? Or does God declare us righteous before we actually become righteous by imputing to us the righteousness of Christ?"

"The conflict over justification by faith alone boils down to this: Is the grounds of our justification the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, or the righteousness of Christ working within us?"

(R. C. Sproul - "Faith Alone - The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification" - copyright 1995)


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David Winter

 2018/10/8 8:26Profile
JFW
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 Re: Justification by faith alone and the righteousness controversy simplified

Well put-
And (for me) the scriptures are clear on this one from beginning to end yet there is controversy....
It’s as if the body of Christ has an autoimmune disorder.


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Fletcher

 2018/10/8 9:08Profile
Gloryandgrace
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 Re: clever works


When a Christian is counting upon the 'right now' working of righteousness through them so they see a quantity of good works a quantity of spiritual fruit and a quantity of heartfelt actions...these Christians are at a loss when the difficulties of life separate them from their good works or their good feelings about themselves or their fruits seem to be absent.

The point is, the inverted pyramid of salvation now rests upon just how well we are doing and how well we judge ourselves to be in God's good graces. This whole thing topples over in time. The Christian either relegates Christianity to a 'modern legal way of living' or he scours the idea of sinfulness away from himself and lives as an anti-nomian.

When so many long decades of 'making sure I am obeying God' have come and gone, God has a way of revealing just what kind of heart we have in offering our obedience.
For some, they bury their coin and give it back to Jesus at the last judgment and say "I know what kind of man you were, a man who reaps where he didn't sow" so take your money you suffer no loss from me.
But Jesus called the man wicked and he lost that which he seemed to have.

A Christian who has no confidence in the love and grace of God freely given to him, is a man that will not do exploits, he wont sacrifice himself he wont even obey for the right motives. That man will simply use Jesus book as a means to an end to save his own skin.
righteous works that are not based on the grace given righteousness of faith lead a man to justify himself by himself.


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Marvin

 2018/10/8 13:51Profile
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 Re:

What if a believer just cannot get the clear picture of these two doctrines, is he saved or not.

 2018/10/8 20:20Profile
JFW
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 Re:

To be clear, I believe it’s a “both-and” not an “either-or”....
The righteousness of God is imparted or credited to us when we first come to saving faith in Christ,... while we grow in Christlikenss being conformed into His image in ever increasing measure by abiding in Him by faith working in us till Christ be fully formed.
Much like a marriage where when the two become one they cannot technically ever be “more married” than they already are, however IF they continue to wholeheartedly give themselves to their union they will certainly exhibit an increased intimacy. This is readily discernible in any relationship where the hearts of the respective parties are working towards the same objective,...

This is not to say there might be ups and downs, often there are seasons where one or the other are (for a host of reasons) going through a refining process where they are not as effective - tho this is precisely where the love and grace of the more stable partner effectually works “in” the other to help stabilize, encourage and support the less capable party.
This being a functional union is entirely based on the heart position of the respective parties. Here we find wether we truly believe into salvation as IF we believe Christ is sufficient and faithful it will again be readily discernible, whereas if our heart isn’t wholly in it, this too will be apparent over time,... think the parable of the seeds finding different ground.

If it were a one and done, as many believe, there would be no need to abide... and Christ knowing fully His supply to us commands us to do it- think the letters to the 7 Churches, in the cases where a rebuke was necessary, He says “you go”- “you do” and never a hint of “don’t worry about it you believed once and now you have my eternal righteousness imputed to you so just relax”😳 but instead He commands them all to do the works prescribed knowing full well He has already given them everything needed for life and godliness.
So IF we continue with Him, He will continue with us and we will be conformed into His image, producing much fruit as a byproduct not as a point of focus. And what is the fruit that glorifies God? Faithful Obedience from a loving heart full of grace:) that IS the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
It’s not obedience because we have got to or else.... that’s legalism 101
It’s the desire to obey coupled with the acute awareness that we own our own cannot, yet still we desire to... so to address this God in His mercy imparts righteousness thru faith and grace, demonstrating His love, and continues to, so long as we desire it, until Christ is fully formed in us.
For some this takes longer than others it’s true, but praise be to God our Father for He is faithful to complete the work which He began in us😇


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Fletcher

 2018/10/8 22:30Profile
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 Re:

/What if a believer just cannot get the clear picture of these two doctrines, is he saved or not./

If they are indeed a believer then they are saved although they might not have been taught well in this area. I did not know the difference between imputed and infused righteousness for a long while after I was actually and really saved. Knowing the difference between the imputed and the infused helps immensely though. In my opinion, the anti-charismatic Reformed stream of Christianity knows more about justification and righteousness than most of the other streams. When I studied Reformed teaching on this it took mew a while to sort it all out but as I said before knowing the difference between imputed and infused is SORELY needed among Pentecostals.


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David Winter

 2018/10/8 22:40Profile
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 Re:

I appreciate your thoughts JFW. Very good. And others who have commented also. From my view I see justification as a once and done event. When you get justified and have the righteousness of Christ imputed to you you get the whole deal - 100%. You can't get less than 100% and out of this imputed righteousness and the power of the new birth with the Spirit indwelling within to enable, a new person wanting to follow and please God is brought forth. Good works then result not as a means to maintain or increase righteousness but as a natural outwork of the true salvation experience.

The Roman paradigm is that after salvation perhaps you sin a bit then you have to "do" some things to restore your former level of justification. And when you "do" these things you earn back the lost righteousness and justification. Meritology disguised in very spiritual terms. If you perform works and certain prayers etc. you are said to be cooperating with God so as to help enable Him to restore you.

I didn't mean to go on this long. Hope I don't sound preachy.


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David Winter

 2018/10/8 22:50Profile
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 Re:

Brother David,
Thanks for being candid :)
So regarding the one and done justification... do you see justification as salvation unto eternal life?


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Fletcher

 2018/10/8 23:11Profile
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 Re:

'So regarding the one and done justification... do you see justification as salvation unto eternal life?'

Romans 6:1-2
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Justification works with our perseverance to abide in the Lord. This is effectuated by impartation. Righteousness is not imparted though, but the spiritual aptitude towards sanctification.

As we cycle in our life as a mortal, sinning, repenting, goodworks, our salvation rests alone in the context of imputed righteousness (Jeremiah 3:5-6, Romans chapters 3&4, Philippians 3, Ephesians 2:8-10).

Righteousness refers to the perfect satisfaction to God's holy law. In that sense, no one will be righteous through our own doings, we can only be declared righteous through Christ.

 2018/10/9 4:41Profile
TMK
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 Re:

The Gospel is not a message of performance-oriented acceptance with God. We are saved by the grace of the Crown, and we obey because we love the King. If we do not love the King, whatever begrudged obedience we may render is a sham. It is not salvation.


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Todd

 2018/10/9 7:09Profile





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