Genesis 15:1-7

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Dr. Walter, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    1 ¶ After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
    2 ¶ And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
    3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
    4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
    5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
    6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
    7 ¶ And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.



    1. There is no new gospel promise given here but simply reaffirmation of the original gospel promise given Abraham in Ur:

    Gen. 12:3 - "in thee"
    Gen. 15:4 - "come forth out of thine own bowels"


    2. There is no new faith or new imputation here. If either the faith or imputation were in response to what was said in verses 1-5 they would both be in the same tense. However, "believed" is found in the perfect tense while "imputed" is found in the imperfect tense.

    "believed" is a perfect tense or an action that was completed previous with continuing present consequences - continuance in that faith. - v. 6

    "imputed" is imperfect tense a continued action previous to the present context. - v. 6


    3. This reaffirmation is tied contextually with the initial promise first believed in while in the UR of the chaldees and was the basis for response to leave the Ur:

    "And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it." - v. 7

    The perfect tense "brought" in verse 7 has UR of the Chaldees for its point of action and refers back to the same Perfect tense "believed" in verse 6 of initial faith when God brought him out of Ur of the Chaldees

    The imperfect tense "said" demonstrates this was an ongoing continuous speech that God had been saying to Abraham since the Ur of the Chaldees rather than occurring just in the present context. In other words, God had been making this promise in the past from that point of time in Ur until the present. Hence, NOTHING NEW - no new gospel, no new belief, no new promise, no new imputation, no new justification - just reaffirmation of the same promise which was received by faith that brought Abraham into a completed state of justification at that point in UR and continued as a completed state right up to the present context of reaffirmation.

    This is exactly the doctrinal summation of Paul in Romans 4:22-5:2 where the completed action of justification and imputation occurs in connection with initial faith in the gospel in Romans 4:22-25 and that completed action stands as a perfected state (Romans 5:2) for all who believed initially believed in the gospel including Abraham (Rom. 5:1).

    The progressive idea of justification that is based upon Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3 and Galatians 3:6 flies in the face of the perfect tense "believed" and the imperfect tense "imputed" in Genesis 15:3 and the direct application to the perfect tense "brought" and the imperfect tense "said" in verse 7.

    If "believed" in Genesis 15:6 was intended by Moses to be restricted to what was said in Genesis 15:4-5 then he would not have used the imperfect tense "imputed" as that necessarily refers to a previous time than verses 4-5. Also, Moses would have used the same tense for both "believed" and "imputed" to show simeltaneous action.

    If "believed" in Genesis 15:6 was intended by Moses to be restricted to what was said in the present context of Genesis 15:3-4 he would not have used the perfect tense for both "beleived" in verse 6 and the perfect tense of "brought" in reference to Ur in verse 7 showing simeltaneous connection between what was believed in verse 6 and the action in Ur in verse 7.

    If "beleived" in Genesis 15:6 was intended by Moses to be confined to the present context of Genesis 15:3-4 he would not have used the imperfect tense "imputed" in verse 6 or the imperfect tense "said" in verse 7 as this demonstrates what He said in verses 3-4 had been what he was saying PREVIOUS to the present context.

    If justification of Abraham was a progressive instead of a completed action by faith in the gospel, Paul would not have made a direct application from Abraham to the present believer in Romans 4:5-6 and then again in verses 22-25 with initial faith in the gospel viewing it not merely as a completed Aorist tense or completed action at the point of faith in the gospel (Rom. 4:24-5:1) but would not have defined it as with two perfect tense verbs in Romans 5:2 as a completed state or standing first accessed "by faith" in the gospel and a continuing completed state that faith continues in.
     
  2. Dr. Walter

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    Illustration of Abraham - Romans 4

    In Romans 3:24-31, Paul sets forth the provision or object of faith for justification in verses 24-26. He introduces this section by stating clearly:

    BEING JUSTIFIED FREELY BY HIS GRACE through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus......

    He then sets forth that redemption as the object of justifying faith:

    Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
    26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus
    .


    Having introduced justification by faith in Christ and declared it to be FREELY BY HIS GRACE he then proceeds to ask the question "WHERE IS BOASTING THEN?" and immediately answers that question "IT IS EXCLUDED."

    27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
    28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.



    Having answered his own question, he proceeds to another question "BY WHAT LAW" is boasting excluded. Here the word "law" means PRINCIPLE. What PRINCIPLE excludes boasting in being justified FREELY BY HIS GRACE? He only addresses two possible principles "works" and "faith." All possible ways of justification are either characterized by the principle of "works" or the principle of "grace." Which principle excludes boasting and which principle includes boasting? The question He asks, He immediately answers just as He did the first question "where is boasting" and answer "it is excluded." Which principle excludes boasting "of works? NAY: but by the law of faith."

    His double question and double answer is followed by a conclusion -

    "Therefore we conclude" and his conclusion is "that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." In other words, any and all theological views of justification that are characterized by "works" are false because the inclusion of the principle of works provides the basis for and promotes boasting and is completely polar opposite to the words "being freely justified by his grace."

    Only the principle of faith harmonizes with those words and only the principle of justification by faith harmonizes with Jews and Gentiles being justified on an equal basis under God:

    29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
    30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.



    Only the principle of faith justifies God justifying sinners as any other way invalidates the Law of God because no man by the principle of works can avoid its condemnation or measure up to its righteous standard. Only Christ can do both and thus justification by faith in Christ's obedience and satisfaction of the Law justifies God justifying sinners by imputing the work of Christ to the sinner by faith FREELY BY HIS GRACE.

    31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.


    At this point, Paul brings Abraham into this discussion in reference to the double questions and double answers with conclusion in Romans 3:27-28 to prove that Abraham's justification provides no basis for Abraham to "glory" or "boast" but it was by the principle of faith FREELY BY HIS GRACE:

    1 ¶ What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
    2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.


    With the exception of Romans 4:9-12 the rest of Romans 4:3-8,22-5:1 draws from various parts of the life of Abraham to define the characteristics of the PRINCIPLE or LAW of Faith or what faith is in contrast to the principle or law of works.

    1. The Principle of Faith is by imputation not by works - v. 3
    2. The Principle of Faith is by grace not works - v. 4
    3. The Principle of Faith is without works - vv. 5-6
    4. The Principle of Faith is without law keeping - vv. 13-15
    5. The Principle of faith is without personal assistance - vv. 16-21

    Paul draws from Genesis 15, 17, and 22 to establish the characteristics of the PRINCIPLE of faith as opposed to the characteristics of the PRINCIPLE of works in regard to the initial question asked in Romans 3:27 "Where is boasting then?" with specific regard to the justification of Abraham -

    1 ¶ What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
    2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.


    Paul does not use Genesis 15, 17 or 22 to define the time of Abraham's justification by faith but merely the characteristics of the Principle of faith in regard to what it is associated with versus what it cannot be associated with.

    Only Romans 4:9-12 specifically deals with the TIME of Abraham's justification and only Romans 4:22-5:2 deals with the OBJECT of faith in connection with the TIME of justification:

    1. "WHEN" is a time question first considered in verse 10
    2. "HE HAD" is a time statement demanding previous completed action
    3. Remission of sins, and imputed righteousness is the blessing (vv. 6-8).

    10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
    11 And he 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 believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
    12 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.



    WHY THE IDEA OF REPEATED OR PROGRESSIVE JUSTIFICATION IS FALSE

    1. Paul could not say that the blessings of justification (imputed righteousness and remission of sins (vv. 6-8) were reckoned "NOT IN CIRCUMCISION" if justification by faith was repeated or progressive in Genesis 15 and Genesis 22 both of which are referenced in this context (Rom. 4:3; 19-21).

    2. Genesis 22 (Romans 4:19-21) cannot refer to the TIME of justification or the initial point of imputation for faith because Genesis 22 occurred after circumcision and yet in regard to TIME Paul places the justification of Abraham "in uncircumcision" and "not in circumcision." Furthermore, the purpose of introducing Genesis 22 (Rom. 4:19-21) is not to define the TIME of justification but the characteristics that are harmonious or in opposition to the PRINCIPLE of faith.

    3. Genesis 15 (Romans 4:3) cannot refer to the TIME of justification or the initial point of imputation due any more than Genesis 22 as that quotation is introduced not to prove the TIME of justification but the characteristics that are harmonious or in opposition with the principle of faith to prove that Abraham could not "glory" or boast in justification by faith. Imputation removes boasting.

    4. Romans 4:22-25 is explicitly given to define the proper object of faith while Romans 5:1-2 is given to ultimately deny that justification by faith is a repeated or progressive action but a completed action at the time the proper object of justification is received by faith.

    5. Romans 5:1-2 uses one Aorist completed action ("justified" v. 1) and two Perfect tense completed action verbs ("have access" and "stand") describing the completed action POSITION or STANDING we have at the POINT of faith in the gospel of Christ. This is a grammatical denial that justification by faith is a repeated or progressive action but is a completed action at the point of faith in the provision of Christ set forth in the gospel.

    CONCLUSION: Those who teach or defend Genesis 15 or Genesis 22 as repeated points or proof of progressive justification are jerking Romans 4:3 and Romans 4:19-21 OUT OF CONTEXT as Paul uses those references not to prove the TIME of justification but rather define the characteristics that harmonize or oppose the PRINCIPLE of faith. Paul uses Genesis 15 in Galatians 3:6 for the exact same reason to show that the principle of faith as modeled in Abraham harmonizes with "imputation" of righteousness rather than a works produced righteousness and is "received" at the point of embracing the gospel by faith (Gal. 3:8) as a completed action (Gal. 2:9-11).
     
  3. RAdam

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    Actually, God didn't promise Abram the land until he entered it. Abram had no idea where he was going when he left Ur. Hebrews 11:8 says as much.

    Abram was justified by faith at the time of Genesis 15:6. That cannot be gotten around no matter how hard you try. Abraham believed what God had just told him, which were repeats of old promises (origin of the seed being cleared up), and at that time God counted it unto him for righteousness. However, the fact is Abraham had been following God by faith since he left Ur, and the fact that he left Ur without even knowing where he was going is proof of his strong faith.

    To be justified means to be declared righteous. It doesn't mean to be made righteous. Abraham wasn't made righteous in Genesis 15:6. We don't know whem God changed his heart, except that it must have been before Abram left Ur. Abram didn't become righteous in Genesis 15:6, and he didn't become righteous through faith. Abram was declared righteous. He gained comfort that day that he didn't have prior to that experience.
     
  4. Dr. Walter

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    I was not talking about the land. I was talking about the promise of a seed from his own loins which Paul claims refers to Christ (Gal. 3:8, 16-17). The promise of the land was consequential to the original gospel promise. He was directed to leave Ur for a unnamed, unspecified land and that is why he departed Ur trusting God to lead him to that place. He simply did not know it was Palestine when he departed.



    Justification was merely reaffirmed by his faith not repeated. This is proven by three facts:

    1. There was no new promise given - just reaffirmed and expanded - vv. 4-5

    2. The use of the Perfect tense "beleived" in immediate conjunction with the Perfect tense "brought" showing simeltaneous action in a logical cause and response relationship.

    3. The imperfect tense "imputed" (v. 6) which demands that Moses is not speaking in regard to the immediate promise in verses 4-5 but to the original promise that the response in verse 7 geographically locates in UR.

    4. The imperfect tense "said" (v. 7) and the imperfect tense "imputed" (v. 7) take both the promise and the imputation and places it BEFORE this reaffirmation in verses 4-5. The geographical context places the origin of these actions "imputed" and "said" in Ur not in verses 4-5

    5. Paul's use of the perfect tense in Romans 5:2 demonstrates that justification is a completed action and Romans 4:22-5:1 demonstrates it is completed at the point of faith in the gospel. However, that completed state continues as a completed state up to the present.

    CONCLUSION: Abraham was justified by faith in the initial gospel promise (Gal. 3:8) in Ur of the Chaldees (Gen. 15:7). Righteousness was imputed to him at that same point (imperfect tense) - however, that completed state continues (imperfect tense) and it is made manifest each and every time Abraham reaffirms his faith in that promise or a progressive revelation of that same promise. The perfect tense declares the completed action in the past at a particular point of time AND declares the CONTINUATION of that completed state up to the point of using the perfect tense by the writer - Moses.

    Hence, there is no repeated justification or incompleted action of progressive justification but a completed action that continues as a completed action manifest by faith whenever the basis for that faith is repeated. The justification and imputation in Genesis 15:6 is manifestation of this ongoing completed action and that is the case at any future time until his death.


    Are you talking about His position before God in Christ or His Person? Regeneratively His inward man -the new man- was made righteous by the Spirit of God. His personal life is progressively being made righteous due to progressive sanctification by the Indwelling Spirit of God. However, at the precise point Abraham believed in the gospel (Gal. 3:8; Gen. 12:3) in Ur of the Chaldees He was declared to be righteous judicially/positionally "in Christ" (Gal. 3:17) as a completed STATE that continues as a completed State.
     
    #4 Dr. Walter, Oct 27, 2010
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  5. Dr. Walter

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    Genesis 15:6 and I John 5:13 are parallel

    In 1 John 5:13 believers are told that John wrote this book that they might believe in Christ. The book simply reaffirmed and strengthened their faith they already possessed. There was no new faith, or new coversion experience, or new justification by faith.

    Likewise, Genesis 15:6 or Genesis 17 or Genesis 22 or etc. are not different times of justification or imputation by Abraham. The completed action of justification by faith at the initial point of faith in the gospel CONTINUES and thus the faith in that same gospel object CONTINUES and thus the imputation for that faith CONTINUES as a COMPLETED STATE. That completed continuing state is made MANIFEST whenever and wherever the same gospel promise is reaffirmed or expanded as it is met by the same faith and regarded by God the same way as it was initially. Abraham didn't lose it or regain it or repeat it but simply manifested it in his response to the same gospel.

    The use of the Perfect tense in Romans 5:2 destroyes the doctrine of progressive incomplete justification or repeated justification.

    The declaration that Abraham was justified "in uncircumcision" but "not in circumcision" destroyes the doctrine of progressive incomplete justification or repeated justification in Romans 4:9-12.

    Those reading the epistle of John did not lose their salvation or regain their salvation or repeat their salvation but simply manifested their salvation by their response to the same reaffirmed gospel. They believed the reaffirmation as the continuing result of the initial justification by faith in the same gospel. Faith in the gospel had never been removed from their heart. Righteousness imputed for that faith had never been retracted by God but continued in a perfected state. Their state remained the same and only the consequences changed and each consequence was met by that completed state of faith and that completed state of imputation in God's sight. Likewise, with Abraham in Genesis 15, Genesis 17 or Genesis 22 or Genesis whatever.
     
    #5 Dr. Walter, Oct 27, 2010
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  6. RAdam

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    Can you then give me a bible point when he was justified, according to your view?
     
  7. Dr. Walter

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    Galatians 3:8 directs you to Genesis 12:1-3 when he first believed in the gospel and Genesis 12:1 uses the perfect tense "had said" to place this event in Ur of the Chaldees in the previous chapter.
     
  8. RAdam

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    Actually, this is no proof that this is when Abraham was justified by faith. He might have believe in God prior to this for all you know. The bible doesn't say when he first believed in God or was justified by faith, only that he was called out of Ur and was following God by faith when he obeyed and worshipped God everywhere he went afterwards.
     
  9. Dr. Walter

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    Abraham is presented by Paul in both Romans 4 and Galatians 3-4 as the example, the standard, the role model or "the father" of all who are justified by faith in the gospel of Christ. This is made clear in Romans 4:22-25 as well as Galatians 3:6-8.

    Jesus makes clear that he is the only way to the Father before Pentecost, before the cross (Jn. 14:6) and Luke makes it clear that there is no other name given among men under heaven (Acts 4:12) and Peter makes it clear this was the gospel of all the prophets beginning with Abel (Acts 10:43) and the writer of Hebrews makes it clear that the same gospel delivered unto them was the same gospel preached to those in the days of Moses (heb. 4:2).

    Unless you can prove that there is another way to heaven OUTSIDE and APART from faith in Christ then Abraham was justified by faith in Christ according to the progressive state of the gospel at his period. The phrase "in thee" in Gal. 3:8 Paul interprets as the promised "seed" or the Christ and that Abraham understood it as such (Gal. 3:16-17). Jesus claimed that Abraham "saw my day" by faith (Jn. 8). Abraham could not be set forth as the model or "the father" of "all that believe" in the gospel for justification if he himself did not.

    The gospel in its progressive form as revealed in the last phrase of Galatians 3:8 is a direct quote from Genesis 12:3. Galatians 3:8 states it was the gospel and Galatians 1:8-9 places a curse on any man or angel that preached any other gospel for justification.

    6 ¶ Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
    7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
    8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.


    Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
    2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
    3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.


    Genesis 12:1 is remembered "had said" when Abraham was at Haran in Gensis 11:32 when his father died. Hence, he remembered what God "had said" at an earlier time as the perfect tense is translated by "had said."

    Haran was not "thy country" but Ur of the Chaldees was his "country" and when God "had said" this he was still in his own country and in his Father's house. It is this revelation of the gospel to Abraham that caused Abraham to leave Ur in the first place and travel to Haran. When his father died he was reminded of these words. He had left his country but he had not left his Father's house until the death of His father.

    The writer of Hebrews confirms this. The writer of Hebrews says that it was "by faith" that Abraham departed unto a country he did not know about. This had to be in Ur because in Haran he did know he was leaving to go to the land of Canaan (Gen. 12:6).

    Second, he went "by faith" but faith in the word God "had said" to him while in Ur before He left. It was "by faith" he came to Haran based upon the word which God "had said" to him while in UR of the Chaldees.

    All the evidence points to Genesis 11:27-30 when God "had said" this as those verses identify "thy country" to be Ur of the Chaldees which he was instructed to depart and Genesis 11:31 actually pinpoints the precise time he obeyed the command to leave "thy country" and it indicates that his own Father was instrumental in his departure from Ur.

    The evidence is there, it is clear. The writer of Hebrews demands that his departure from UR was "by faith" and Genesis 12:1-3 provides the basis upon which that faith was a response to and it included the gospel.
     
    #9 Dr. Walter, Oct 28, 2010
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  10. Dr. Walter

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    Summary

    If you carefully evaluate the data I have given in the previous posts the following would be a summary:

    1. Abraham was justified by faith in the gospel as it was then revealed in its progressive stage - Gal. 3:8 - he beleived the promised "seed" was Christ even as Eve believed the promised seed was Christ and both probably presumed the actual child first born to them would be that realization of prophecy. Both were disappointed (Cain, Isaac).

    2. The precise point of justification by faith in the gospel was in Genesis 11:27-31 while Abraham was in his own "country" and it was "by faith" in the gospel as presented and in the instructions in addition to the gospel that were given him that he departed toward Haran.

    3. The word of God in Genesis 12:1-3 "had" been said while in Ur of the Chaldees when he was in his own "country" but he was reminded of it upon his father's death in Haran. It was "by faith" or sanctifying faith which had its basis in the completed action of justification by faith in the gospel while in Ur that Abraham left and went to Haran and then left Haran and went to the land of Canaan (Heb. 11:7).

    4. The same gospel promise given to him while in Ur of the Chaldees was repeated once he was in Canaan which was the land that God promised to give him and his seed (Gen. 15:1-7). The imperfect tense "imputed" with the perfect tense "believed" (v. 6) demonstrates that Abraham's faith in God's initial promise in Ur (v. 7) CONTINUED as a completed action made manifest in regard to this repeated and expanded gospel - He still believed in the gospel as originally revealed to him in Ur (v. 7) and God continued to believe the gospel with every new progressive revelation.

    5. This same completed action with CONTINUING RESULTS is confirmed by Paul in direct relationship to Abraham as the model of justification by faith in regard to the gospel (Rom. 4:22-5:2).

    Grammatical note: The perfect tense in Genesis 15:3 could refer to a simple completed action in response to God's word in verses 4-5 or it could refer to a completed action in Ur (v. 7; Gen. 12:1-3: 11:27-31) with CONTINUING RESULTS. The proof that it is not to be interpreted merely in response to verses 4-5 is that the word "imputed" is found in the imperfect instead of perfect tense. If Moses had intended this was the simple completed response to verses 4-5 he would have placed both "believed" and "imputed" in the same tense showing their simeltaneous relationship to verses 4-5. However, the imperfect tense takes the reading to something previous in the past that is a CONTINUING ACTION. The tense itself does not indicate the beginning or the ending of that action occurring in the past. The context must determine the beginning and ending point. That is precisely why Moses attaches verse 7 and brings the reader back to the original promise in Ur of the chaldees as the definitive point of origin of the imperfect action. The continuing action harmonizes with the perfect tense "beleived" as Abraham's initial faith brought Abraham into the completed action of justification at the point he believed the gospel but yet that completed action has CONTINUING results. Hence, God imputed righteous to Abraham at that completed point of action when Abraham initially believed in the gospel but that completed state of imputation also has CONTINUING results. He stands justified by imputed righteousness and that completed standing CONTINUES. The imperfect tense demands the action of imputation began some wherein the past and continues without any point of completion. This harmonizes perfectly with the perfect tense and completed action of justification by faith with CONTINUING results.
     
    #10 Dr. Walter, Oct 28, 2010
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  11. Andre

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    Not likely. I suggest that Paul is clearly using the word "law" in verse 28 as a reference to the Law of Moses. That this is the case is borne out when you read verse 28 and 29 together:

    For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,

    If Paul is referring to the Law of Moses in verse 28, then what he says in verse 29 makes perfect sense. Since one is not justified by the Law of Moses, which only applies to Jews, then this means that salvation is also available to Gentiles.

    Which is precisely what Paul does indeed go on to say in verse 29.
     
  12. Dr. Walter

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    You are turning Paul against Paul and rejecting the wording Paul used and replacing it with your own choice of wording. Hence, you are not being true to the text. Why? Because your intepretation and theory cannot stand up to Paul's choice of wording.

    He uses the singular term (not plural) "law" in verse 27 to equally decribe two opposing PRINCIPLES - "works" versus "faith." Your interpretation would require a distinction in the term "law" as well as a replacement of the terms "of works" with the term "of Moses."

    Furthermore, the issue he is specifically dealng with that the principle of faith eliminates but the prinicple of works promotes is "boasting." This is the same issue that continues into Romans 4:2 and thus Romans 4:3-5:2 continues to contrast these two princples. Justification by the principle "of faith" eliminates boasting as Romans 3:23-26 demonstrates. Justification is "freely by grace" and the only role"faith" play is as a RECEIVER of what God provides in the Person and work of Christ as simply the object of faith "faith IN His blood" or "beleiveth IN Jesus." Thus as Paul rightly concludes (v. 27) the principle of faith EXCLUDES any and all basis for boasting as justifcation by faith receives HIS FINISHED WORK "freely by grace."

    However, in contrast to the principle of faith as a receiver of a finished work is justification by the principle of "works" which is all aobut PERSONAL ACTIONS and "according to" personal actions (Rom. 2:6) performed not by Christ but by YOU and thus by principle provides a basis for boasting AS THAT IS THE VERY NATURE OF "WORKS" - WHAT YOU DO (Rom. 4:4-5).

    Hence, in Paul's application of this principle to both Jews and Gentiles it denies any and all concepts of justification by the principle of works (Rom. 3:28-5:2).

    Furthermore, Paul has already demonstrated that no one can be justified by the prinicple of good "works" in Romans 3:9-23 - for all have sinned and COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.

    Furthermore, Jesus denies that the Jew could be justified by the law of Moses as he denies that any Jew has ever kept the law:

    Joh 7:19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law?

    Why? Because the Law of Moses operated by the prinicple of "works" or demanded personal performance in keeping with its demands which all have "come short."

    Paul's point is that justification by "works" regardless if it is the Law of Moses or the law of conscience or any other law that operates by the prinicple "of works" only promotes vain boasting because it never justifies anyone at any time.

    You cannot possibly accept the precise choice of terms used in verse 27 by Paul nor can you deny that your doctrine of justification is correctly defined by his choice of the term "works." Paul plainly identifies and defines and rejects what you believe about justification and therefore you must turn Paul against Paul and reject his particular words chosen by the Holy Spirit - you have no choice since it is your position he is explicitly identifying and condemning as error.


     
    #12 Dr. Walter, Nov 5, 2010
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  13. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    Opposites or a syncretism?

    Rom. 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

    The question "where is boasting then" is Paul's question to his readers in response to justification "freely by his grace" as just previously defined in verses 23-26. By works all men have "come short" (Rom. 3:23) as Paul tells the Corinthians whatosever we eat or drink or whatever we do, do all for "the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31). So by the principle of "works" (WHATSOEVER WE DO) all have come short of the glory of God.

    In diredt contrast to Romans 6:23 is the work of Christ in Romans 3:24-26. By "works" all have come short (v. 23) however, "by faith" IN the satisfactory provision (propitiation) of Jesus Christ we are "justified FREELY BY HIS GRACE". Here the only role of "faith" is embracing the object of the preposition "in" ("faith IN his blood" and "believeth IN Jesus") because the propiation (satisfaction) of God's glory is by HIS WORKS not by our works.

    Hence, justification by the principle of faith plays no part in DOING WORKS but rather simply RECEIVING the finished work of Christ as the OBJECT of faith. Thus justification by faith gives all the glory to the Person and work of Christ alone.

    So, Paul asks "WHERE IS BOASTING THEN?" He answers "IT IS EXCLUDED." But how is it excluded? It is excluded by "LAW" but what "law" excludes boasting? Paul uses the term "law" here without the definite article which stresses the character and nature of "law" as a term. What is the nature and character of "law" as a term? It is by nature a characteristic "rule" or "principle" that is consistent and enduring by nature.

    Therefore the question is, do "works" or do "faith" regarded as a characteristic principle exclude boasting. Paul demands that only "faith" regarded as a characterisitic principle excludes boasting but that "works" promote boasting as a characteristic priniciple.

    Why do the rule of "works" promote boasting? Because "works" give credit to and are inseparable from the immediate performer. This is precisely why Paul says "all have sinned" and all are "sinners" as their "works" are inseparaable from their own person as manifestations of their very character. Their works are evil becuase they are evil and their works manifest and give credit to what they are.

    Why does "faith" as a prinicple or rule eliminate all boasting? Because faith as defined in the immediate preceding verses (vv. 24-26) has nothing to do with the believer's person or works but only with the Person and work of Jesus Christ. Faith simply RECEIVES what Christ has provided. The work and Person of Christ is simply the OBJECT of faith and only Christ is the only provider by definition of this passage. Thus, justification by faith has to do with Christ and His provisions and acts only as a receiver but not a doer because Christ "finished" that work which acts as a "propiation" (satisifaction) of God's righteous demands. Therefore, justification by faith is "FREELY BY GRACE" since it rests solely in the Person and work of Christ rather than in your person or works. That excludes all boasting on those justified by the principle of faith as there is nothing to boast in but Christ and God's FREE grace.

    Since justification is by faith "without works" then the Gentile is justified on the same basis as the Jew. This means NO FLESH can be justified by any "law" that operates by, characterized by, demands or depends upon "works".

    This is the only way that the Law of Moses can be vindicated. No human being can keep the Law of Moses:

    Joh 7:19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law?

    The Jew cannot keep it. The Gentile cannot keep it. The reason neither can keep it is because it operates by the prinicple or law "of works" and no one can be justified by the principle of works. So the "law....of faith" elminates not only the Law of Moses but the law of "conscience" that would use guilt to drive the gentile to DO BETTER in order to escape its condemnation just as the Law of Moses drives the Jew to DO BETTER in order to escape its condemnation. However, the more light the jew and Gentile receive of what both of these laws demands the more futile their efforts become as both demand what neither can provide "propiation" (satisfaction).

    Only justification by faith satisifes the demands of the Law of Moses and the law of conscience as the law of faith as defined in Romans 3;24-26 simply receives the "propitiation" or satisfaction provided by the Person and works of Jesus Christ. No sin could be found in Christ by the JEWS who judged and defined "sin" by the Law of Moses.

    Regeneration and progressive sanctification is about what is done in us and through us but justification by faith is about what Christ did for us.
     
    #13 Dr. Walter, Nov 5, 2010
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  14. Dr. Walter

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    Take a look at the Greek text. Not only is the term "nomou" (Masculine genitive singular) in the anarthous construction (without the definite article) which stresses characterization but it is modified by the Greek adjective "poios" which conveys the idea of "what quality" or "what sort" of law by nature. There is no possible way that Paul could have stressed any clearer that he is using the term "law" in the sense of a GENERAL PRINCIPLE that is either characterized by "works" or by "faith" but not by both in any kind of syncretism as he says "without works."

    There is no honest way that the term "law" in Romans 3:27-28 can be restricted to the Law of Moses. Paul is digging deeper to define "what sort" or "what quality" of law by its very nature or character can exclude "boasting." That sort of "nature" or "quality" is defined by what characterizes either "works" or "faith" but not joined together in any kind of syncretism as he says "without works."

    He presents only two contrasting polar opposite principles that characterize any law imaginable. There is no room for any kind of syncretism between "works" and "faith" here as they are regarded as polar opposites. They are regarded as contrasting PRINCIPLES by which justification of any kind will be ultimately characterized.

    The truth is that the principle established in verses 27-28 eliminates the Law of Moses as well as the law of conscience in verses 29-30 as both demand "works" in order to avoid condemnation by those laws - both of which are characterized by the prinicple of "works."
     
  15. Dr. Walter

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    "what sort of law" (poios nomou) eliminates any ground for boasting by those being justified? The sort of law characterized "of works" or the sort of law characterized by "faith."

    Faith and works are put in contrast to each other as polar opposites as his conclusion is "without works" not with works.

    Hence, you cannot define the sort of law characterized "of faith" (pistou) or justification that originates from faith to be inclusive of "works." Paul does not say "good" or "bad" but just "works." That in itself exposes and kills your theory of justification altogether.

    Furthermore, the previous definition of justification by faith in Romans 3:24-26 also denies a syncretism between works and faith. How so? The provision for "propitiation" or satisfaction of God's demands against those coming short in verse 23 is totally and wholly provided by God in the Person and work of Christ - NOT BY YOUR PERSON AND WORK. Indeed, it in regard to you we have the words "FREELY BY HIS GRACE." Moreover, the only role that "faith" or "believeth" plays in this provision by Christ is in RECEIVING IT or as the OBJECT of faith. The preposition "en" has for its object "his blood" and his person "Jesus Christ." Hence, the object of the preposition is grammatically the object of "faith" as well as the object of "beleiveth." Hence, justification by faith as defined in Romans 3:23-26 elminates boasting by the justified altogether and completely.

    In contrast, what kind of justification provides boasting by the person being justified? Paul says, it is "works" that give justification for boasting! How so? You cannot separate "works" from the worker and therefore "works" is the only avenue to provide the worker with grounds for boasting. He obviously is not talking about "bad" or "evil" works because no one would boast before God about evil works as that obviously would not obtain justification by God. He is simply saying what he told Titus "Not by WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE but by his mercy (freely justified by grace....through faith - Rm. 3:24-25)"- Tit. 3:5

    By the very LAW or PRINCIPLE or NATURE of "works" boasting is given its only avenue. Works cannot be separated from the worker and therefore provides the only avenue possible for boasting. Hence, by the very character of "works" every sort of doctine of justification by works opens the only possible avenue for boasting to occur. In direct contrast justification by faith is described as the "HEARING of faith" (Gal. 3:2,5) as that is the perfect decription of the role of faith in justification as it RECEIVES Christ's finished work as the "good news" of the gospel.

    What sort of law by nature is the Law of Moses? It is the law that characterizes and finalizes justification or condemnation based upon what kind of works is produced by the worker - according to his works - This law by prinicple provides grounds and thus promotes boasting and is the doctrine of justification condemned by Paul.

    What sort of law by nature is the law of conscience? It is the law that characterizes and finalizes justification or condemnation based upon what kind of works is produced by the worker (Rom. 2:14-15) - according to his works (Rom. 2:6). This law by its very fundemental principle provides grounds and thus promotes boasting and is the doctrine of justification condemned by Paul.

     
    #15 Dr. Walter, Nov 5, 2010
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