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whyme
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Joined: 2007/4/3
Posts: 293


  justification by grace through faith

I sent this to a Catholic apologist. I wondered what you all think of the proposition put forth.

 2010/7/13 13:34Profile
whyme
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Joined: 2007/4/3
Posts: 293


 Re: justification by grace through faith

Sorry, forgot to attach what was sent!


Dear Mr. Sungenis:


The passages below I believe point to a Gospel Truth that we are justified by the presence of Christ in us through the pouring out or indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us. It is the presence of Christ in us that justifies. The Galatians passage seems to create a causal connection between receipt of the Holy Spirit and justification ( see especially verses 3: 2, 3 and 8 ). This seems confirmed in Titus 3:7, where Paul says we are justified by grace which he previously, it seems, defines in verses 5 and 6 as the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon us unto regeneration and renewal. Further, Paul goes on in the 1 Corinthians verse to suggest that you are not in Christ unless Christ is in you ( through His indwelling Spirit ). If this is truth, then justification is indeed by grace ( in the form of the indwelling Christ ) and the only issue is how does one receive the indwelling Spirit. ( Baptism or Faith ). It seems that the Galatians verses below indicate that we receive the Spirit by hearing with faith and then our lives are sanctified or perfected through the indwelling Spirit working in us to will and do and hopefully our obedient response thereto. I would appreciate hearing or reading your thoughts on the proposition that the below verses stand for the truth that the indwelling Spirit of Christ is the basis for our justification as opposed to a consequence of it. It seems to me that if I’m right, the Ephesians passage that says we are saved by grace through faith makes sense because the grace spoken of there is an indwelling grace and is the “grace that appeared to all mankind” ( ie. Christ ) and therefore, faith is merely the appointed means THROUGH which that “grace” comes to dwell in us.



Gal 3:2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?

Gal 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by [fn] the flesh?

Gal 3:4 Did you suffer [fn] so many things in vain--if indeed it was in vain?

Gal 3:5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith--

Gal 3:6 just as Abraham "believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"?

Gal 3:7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.

Gal 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify [fn] the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed."

Gal 3:9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.


AND:

Tts 3:4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,

Tts 3:5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

Tts 3:6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

Tts 3:7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.


AND:

Rom 8:9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

AND:

Col 1:27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.



 2010/7/13 13:36Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

It is interesting when you discuss things with folks from a completely different background. We have to spend a little time listening to hear just exactly what they are saying. I think your Catholic apologist is synchronising Justification with Baptism in Spirit. I don't think he is saying they are synonymous but makes the receipt of the Holy Spirit the CAUSE of Justification. I think there may be a case for the opposite; making Justification a CAUSE (or a necessary preliminary) to Baptism in Spirit but not in the other direction.

He is saying that as he reads it we have to be 'in Christ' to be justified. But is that historically true? Was Abraham 'in Christ' in Gen 15:6? He wasn't in covenant of any kind until later in the chapter or perhaps even Gen 17. The letter to the Hebrews makes a list of those who had 'justifying faith'. Were they 'in Christ' when they exercised their faith?

I think he has seen that one of the great questions in the New Testament is not have you been justified but 'did you receive the Spirit'? The quotations from Galatians show that the 'beginning' was as a result of the 'receiving the Spirit' but we need to ask what we mean by beginning. Does he mean the absolute starting point of our encounter with Christ or is he thinking of the kind of crisis beginning that Peter has in mind when he says…

"And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, “Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, 14 who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.’ 15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, “John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’" Acts 11:13–16 NKJV

But in the previous chapter Peter seems to be saying that Cornelius was already 'accepted'…

"Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him." Acts 10:34–35 NKJV

…before he received the Spirit.

I do think it is important to distinguish between Justification and Receiving the Spirit. We don't always have to separate the two 'events' in time necessarily but they are clearly not synonymous.


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Ron Bailey

 2010/7/13 14:18Profile
whyme
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Joined: 2007/4/3
Posts: 293


 Re:

Ron,

Thanks for the response. The discussion in Galations and Titus do seem to suggest that we are justified as we receive the Spirit of Christ. If Christ is our righteousness and we come into union with Him upon receipt of His Spirit then it would seem that the presence of Christ's righteousness in us is our claim to righteousness before God. As to Abraham and others of OT faith, what you seem to be arguing is that they did not have the Holy Spirit indwelling them and therefore His Spirit in them could not be the basis for their justification and, by implication then, not for us either. I can't say whether they did or not have the indwelling Spirit, but I know a lot have debated that on this forum. The presence of Christ in union with my soul, however, as the ground for justification seems Scripturally reasonable and gives real credence to imputation which is based on real union with Christ and his righteousness as opposed to a purely external legal construction only.

 2010/7/13 15:37Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

whyme

"not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." Titus 3:5–7 NKJV

There is certainly a close association between Justification and Receiving the Spirit in this passage just as I believe there always was in the Apostolic period. Things happened in a much shorter time slot. eg baptism in water and receiving the Spirit were also very close together but this does not mean they are synonymous terms not that one is the condition for the other. The Cornelius event has Receiving the Spirit' ahead of water baptism but they were already 'accepted' before they Received the Spirit.

I think we can and must distinguish between justification and receiving the Spirit.

Quote:
The presence of Christ in union with my soul, however, as the ground for justification seems Scripturally reasonable and gives real credence to imputation which is based on real union with Christ and his righteousness as opposed to a purely external legal construction only.


The issue with this would be that 'union with Christ' was only possible after Christ had ascended and sent the Spirit to indwell the believers. If this is the case where would Abraham fit in as he was clearly justified by faith even though he had not received the Spirit from the ascended Christ.


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Ron Bailey

 2010/7/14 9:26Profile
Christinyou
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Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3707
Ca.

 Re:

Who's work is finished? Who's Spirit must we have to be born again? Is Christ the Holy Spirit? Did the Holy Spirit die on the Cross? Who is going to baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire?

We must separate body, soul and spirit. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Spirit of Christ is now our spirit, The soul is where the Holy Spirit works, The Body is when the Father will give us a new body like the Sons'.

This Spirit of Christ in us, all at once gives us sanctification, justification, wisdom and redemption.

1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

The Holy Spirit works in our soul, (mind will and emotions), this is where we learn, what Paul taught so in all His epistles, "preaching Christ and Him crucified", only.,

In Christ, In Christ, In Christ, and He baptizes us into the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Christ in us at rebirth, the Holy Spirit baptized into us by the Fathers answered Prayer of the Son. Christ's work is finished and His Spirit is now our spirit, in perfect union with the incorruptable Seed, Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit teaching us all things whatsoever Jesus said, says and will say.

If we don't separate body, soul and spirit, the church makes the great mistake and makes the Spirit of Christ the Holy Spirit, which completely undoes what the scriptures teach. Christ our life, The Holy Spirit our teacher, God our Father.

We are saved in spirit, we are being saved in soul and will be saved in body.

2 Corinthians 1:10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

In Christ: complete in spirit, being completed in soul and will be completed in body:

In Christ: Phillip


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Phillip

 2010/7/17 0:28Profile
whyme
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Joined: 2007/4/3
Posts: 293


 Re:

I agree with you Phillip that we do have a renewed and quickened spirit.in addition to soul and body. Are you suggesting, however, that when the Scripture speaks of the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of Christ that it is not speaking in reality of the Holy Spirit. If so, I couldn't disagree more with your conclusions. I can't think of any Scriptures which would support such your position. Could you share? I again agree that we have a new spirit at regeneration which is shown in John 3 and Paul's epistle to the Thessalonians so that is not my question.

 2010/7/17 7:22Profile
Christinyou
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Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3707
Ca.

 Re:

The Spirit of God is the same as the three in One God of the Bible. The Spirit of the Father is the Head, The Spirit of the Son is the Only Begotten, The Holy Spirit is the Teacher. They all have the Same Spirit, they just articulated in three different manifestations, but One Spirit. We are all baptized into One Spirit, That is The Spirit of the Father, The Spirit of the Son and the Holy Spirit, they are One. The Spirit of the Son is the Seed of the New birth, the Holy Spirit is the Teacher of that walk in the Son, The Seed, that is the Incorruptable Seed of our new birth is the Seed of the Father, as the Seed in Mary to bring forth the Son of God, by the Holy Spirit, we are the same in becoming son's also.

In Christ: Phillip


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Phillip

 2010/7/17 18:41Profile





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