Justification - Rome versus Baptists

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by The Biblicist, May 21, 2012.

  1. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    The bottom line is that Justification as viewed by Rome is about IMPARTATION rather than IMPUTATION and is what the Spirit of Christ does in and through our own person rather than what Christ did in His own Person for us.
     
  2. The Biblicist

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    To be more fair, The Roman position does not deny what Christ did in his own person by his own works, they simply deny He acted representatively and what He did can be imputed to the elect by faith thus obtaining legal and positional righteousness = justification by faith.

    Instead, they transform justification into something IMPARTED in baptism whereby the Spirit of Christ conforms us to Christ's righteousness by what He does in and through our own person thus merging the justification with sanctification.
     
  3. billwald

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    im·pute/imˈpyo͞ot/
    Verb:
    Represent (something, esp. something undesirable) as being done, caused, or possessed by someone; attribute.
    Assign (a value) to something by inference from the value of the products or processes to which it contributes.
    Synonyms:
    attribute - ascribe - accuse - accredit
    More info »Dictionary.com - Answers.com - Merriam-Webster - The Free Dictionary


    im·part/imˈpärt/
    Verb:
    Communicate (information): "she lived her life to impart knowledge to others".
    Bestow (a quality): "impart a high gloss to finished articles".
    Synonyms:
    give - communicate - convey - transmit - inform
    More info »Dictionary.com - Answers.com - Merriam-Webster - The Free Dictionary
     
  4. The Biblicist

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    In addition, they reinterpret "justification by works" or the phase "without works" in regard to justification to refer either to a special Jewishness or merits of men apart from grace. In contrast, they regard meritorious works as works in "collaberation" with the grace of God. (CCC #2008). Hence, justification by works defined as men's works performed in collaberation with the grace of God is perfectly acceptable with them.

    However, Romans 3:24-5:1 does not define works after this manner in regard to justification but repudiates any kind of collaberation between man's works and God's grace.

    Paul offers Abraham as an example and in that example he defines justifying faith in a context that prohibits any kind of collaberation between the works of Abraham and God's grace (Rom. 4:19-22).
     
  5. The Biblicist

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    It is not "faithfulness" that justifies a person before God because the person considered is defined as the "ungodly" and that is never a term used to describe "faithfulness" (Rom. 4:5).

    Hence, righteousness is not something found in the person of the "ungodly" but is attributed to the ungodly due to "his faith" rather than to merits connected with his own person.

    The object of that faith has already been defined at the beginning (Rom. 3:24-26) and will be defined again at the end (Rom. 4:22-25). The righteousness is found in the Person of Christ and is "imputed" to the "ungodly" BY FAITH as that is the only way the "ungodly" can be justified as PROGRESSIVE IMPARTATION does not provide any immediate grounds for justification according to God's standard of righteousness.

    All have been condemned already as "none good.....none righteous" and "all have come short" and so there can be no basis for justification in regard to faithfulness in that person. A "faithful" person would not be regarded as "ungodly" but that is the state of the person at the time he is being justified by faith.
     
  6. Yeshua1

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    basically, the RCC holds that we must get spiritual perfect enough to allow the lord to see that we are rightous, as we would actual be in practice!

    Almost like 'sinless perfection" , except that ONLY their saints attain that state, rest get to enjoy purgetory in order to become good enough, sinless enough to be rewared salvation!
     
  7. Thinkingstuff

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  8. Yeshua1

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    Do you hold that a sinneris freely and completely justified by God on basis of the Cross of Christ, that the Grace is effectual applied towards us thru means of faith in Christ, and the person receives new nature in Christ, Holy spirit, and eternal life at that time?

    That person would be saved and secured, and after that, would start the walk of living in obedience to christ and his word, NOT to get saved, but for purpose of becomine more like jesus and earning eternal rewards?

    That is salvation per Christ and His Apostles!
     
  9. savedbymercy

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    That appears to be your position as well ! You reject that those whom Christ died for are Justified before God before New Birth !

    For New Birth is the impartation of that New Life born out of the incorruptible seed !
     
  10. savedbymercy

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    the bib

    Thats error, your position is the same as rome. For the Elect are Justified before God simply based on the obedience of one Rom 5:19

    19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

    So this occurred before they had faith. If Christ Justified everyone before God , that He died for, and that occurred in 33 ad, then how can those that He died for decades and centuries later not be already Justified before God because of the Obedience of one ?
     
  11. Yeshua1

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    Are they saved by god, given new nature and the Holy Spirit before born again by faith in christ?
     
  12. Michael Wrenn

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    I disagree with both sides. No need to repeat where I disagree with RC's, but as for Baptists who believe in a "legal" or forensic justification, I would disagree with them, also.
     
  13. Thinkingstuff

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    I'll again post here what I posted on the other thread to facilitate discussion.

     
  14. Thinkingstuff

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    In order to properly answer this question definitions of words are required. However, as you asked this question I will say what I agree with.

    Sinners are freely and completely justified by God on the basis of the Cross of Christ. Yes Catholics believe this. Though our view of Justification may differ.

    God's grace is effectual? Yes Catholics believe this more so than protestant in that we believe that God's grace effects actual change in the believer not just a declarative statement or judgement. Catholics believe in the actual transformation that accompanies our sanctifation

    Note we don't believe in forensic justification.
     
  15. The Biblicist

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    There are several problems to the line of thinking and attack, as well as, Biblical interpretation in your post.

    1. Justification is not isolated from regeneration ("saved through faith") and so justification is imputation of a legal righteousness while regeneration is an impartation of a righteous nature. Although justification is not regeneration or vice versa, they do not occur one without the other.

    2. "His faith is counted for righteousness" because as previously defined right from the beginning he is talking about a faith which embraces the Person and work of Christ that provides legal satisfaction of righteousness as defined by God's law(Rom. 3:24-26) and he closes this discussion the very same way (Rom. 4:22-25).

    3. Cardinal New confuses regeneration with justification. The Word effects our Person in regard to regeneration but the Word does not effect our justification but only provides the basis of faith which effects our legal position before God by imputation. Our faith is imputed for righteousness because of what faith embraces, receives and rests upon found in the Word of the Gospel.
     
  16. The Biblicist

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    As David Palm indicates this particular view of Justification is forensic or "a once for all decree" soley resulting in a change of relationship. This occures at the point of reception of a "saving faith". In this view, there is no fundamental change in a person's nature which can be seened as the oft quoted analogy of Martin Luther's "snow covered dung hill".

    He is correct in his understanding of Justification by faith but incorrect in his assumption that justification is isolated from any imparted righteous nature, Indwelling HOLY Spirit that does affect the character and life of the justified. There is no such thing as an unregenerated but justified believer ("saved through faith" - Eph. 2:5,8,10).


    Thus there is no process. Thus it is imputed as you've mentioned several times. The problem with this view fundamentally as I see it is that ultimately, since by this Justification we are declaired righteous and we are garmented or clothed with "Christ's righteousness", we objectively remain sinners. So as Alister McGrath says in his "Iustitia Dei: A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification, the beginings to the Reformation", 2 vol 1:182 via David Palm's Paper "Catholic Teachiing of Justificaiton and Sanctification p. 7

    Quote:
    through his justification, man is intrinsically sinful yet extrinsically righteous.


    Again, this is a false understanding of justification by faith as it isolates justification by faith from regeneration by the Spirit of God. Hence, man is both positonally righteous and personally righteous as the new birth occurs simeltaneous with justification by faith.

    David Palm further indicates that
    Quote:
    Paul never expressly states that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to believers. His words are "And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, hisfaith is reckoned as righteousness" Rom 4:3 NAS


    The problem here is that Palm is jerking this verse out of its context. At the beginning and ending of this context Paul describes "his faith" as that which embraces, receives the Person and redemptive work of Christ (Rom. 3:24-26; 4:22-25). Hence, it is not mere abstract faith but faith which has a specific object that it has embraced and it is that "faith" which is reckoned as righteousnes because that faith has received and rested in the "propitiation" provided by the Person and redemptive work of Jesus Christ or what is the essence of the provision and promise found in the good news - the gospel.



    With this in mind it is important to note that
    Quote:
    The official catholic position concerning justification is not in any way oppposed to the idea that justification consist of God's declaration of righteousness. Nor does the Church oppose the idea that justification is in some sense forensic. The Council of Trent can speak of justification as declaritive: Finally, the one formal cause [of justification] is the justness of God: not that by which he himself is just, but that by which he makes us just and endowed with which we are renewed in the spirit of our mind, and are not merely considered to be just but we are truly named and are just (Council of Trent, Decree on Justification


    This is a complete repudiation of Romans 3:24-5:2. The fact is that it is the person of the "ungodly" (Rom. 4:5) that is justified not the one having been made made righteous by imparted righteousness in His own person. It is not the unbelieving "ungodly" that is justified nor is it the formerly "ungodly" that is now made "godly" that is justified. This is proven by the fact that all three verbs "believeth.....justifieth....imputeth" are found in the present tense showing simeltaneous action in regard to the person defined as "ungodly." Believing, justifying and imputing are all in regard to the state of a person described as "ungodly" and so these are descriptives of the TRANSITION point between the unbelieving "ungodly" and the person already justified and regarded as godly.



    And here is the crux. Catholics believe that God's declarative word as effective and sees that is how scripture express it as well.
    Quote:
    For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not retun there without watering the earth, and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So shall my word be which goes forth from My mouth: It shall not return to me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter which I sent it - Is 55"10-11

    Cardinal Newman expresses this view simply by stating
    Quote:
    God's word, I say, effects what it announces.



    Cardinal Newman and the Catholic Church confuse regeneration with justification here. The word is effectual in producing and calling forth spiritual life (James 1:18; 1 Thes. 1:4-5; etc.) thus becoming the source of faith for justification but in regard to justification the word only serves as the object of regenerative faith which is "counted" for righteousness rather than producing any inherent righteousness.



    Romans 4:17 further shows this characteristic
    Quote:
    calls into being that which does not exist.



    Romans 4:17 is jerked out of context. In its context it teaches the very opposite of what Cardinal Newman forces upon it. Romans 4:16 declares that justifying "faith" is "by grace" and justification by grace (inclusive of faith) as illustrated in verses 17-22 prove that justifying faith cannot possibly be defined as "faithfulness" or refer to any kind of human contribution/participation but rather it is faith that merely receives and rests upon the power of God to provide and perform what He promised and then that is the kind of faith directly applied to the gospel promise of what God's power provided and performed in the Person and work of Jesus Christ

    Thus Cardinal Newman says
    Quote:
    He solemnly utters the command, Let the soul be just, it becomes inwardly just. - Lectures on the Doctrine of Justification

    which seems to me to confer with 1 Pet 1:23
    Quote:
    for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God



    Again, he is jerking 1 Peter 1:23 out of context. The context is the NEW BIRTH not justification by faith. The New birth has to do with the impartation of righteousness but not justificaiton by faith.


    The rest of your post is simply a confusion between regeneration and justification.
    .
     
  17. Thinkingstuff

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    I actually like what you put here but here is the issue I see with this problem. First of all we agree Justification is not isolated from regeneration though when you say regeneration I would say your consept and mine differ in that where in you view regeneration as a forensic case. I see it as the begining of sanctification. In your case the person only has a legal "right" standing but that leaves the individual still absent of what God wants complete in us. Ie... the transformation of us into the image of his son. Not just declare us legally so. But to have us be actually so. I think in your perspective this can only be accoomplished at death whereas I believe it to be progressive in this life as Paul says from Glory to Glory. Thus Justification and regeneration is wrought together but regeneration is only the first part of sanctification. Not what God declares is so or becomes so. After the same process of God declaring that the universe exist and it came into existance.

    The problem with this view is again you absent the frame work within which Roman's is writen as can be seen in the first and last chapters of the work. Faith is counted for righteousness and faith results in obedience. Obedience is not absent of faith because it could not be save that there is first faith. But the goal is obedience born of faith. Jesus doesn't just want to have a legal declaration of satisfaction but wants satisfaction indeed. Jesus didn't die legally. He died indeed just as he was raised indeed and so he are to die indeed to be raised indeed as true sons of God. Not legal representations of ourselves. It may suprise you to know that Catholics can believe in justification by faith alone but with the understanding as I've explained before in other threads that nothing before the free gift of faith merits justification (I think we agree on this). That all of God's saving gifts come through Jesus Christ alone ( also we agree on this). However, (the point of seperation I believe is in this) that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit causes not only assent to the faith, and trust in that faith, but also a loving commitment that is expressed or issues forth in good works. Therefore a justifying faith is expressed in this type of love.

    It has been note that JDG Dunn in his work "Jesus, Paul, and hte Law: Studies in Mark and Galatians" Holds that the phrase "works of the law"
    in response to this Palm points out that
    as can be seen in Romans 2:17-29
    and not only is it seen in this passage but also in my study of 2nd Temple period of Judaism and their Mishnaic teachings. So when we see that Paul telling the Romans and the Galatians that a man is not justified by the works of the law (Gal 2:16 and Roman 3:20 and 28) agreeably with Jewish thought he is not saying that no one can be justified by doing "good works" that comes from grace through faith in Jesus Christ but
    It also helps to not that where Both books of Paul's where the theme discussed is centralized on the topic that Justification by Faith is key (both Romans and Galatians) he is clearly consciencely showing the his gospel is over those of Judaism. Jesus Christ replaces Torah as the center of religious life. Paul's view of faith is more than just intellectual assent or even a trust in God's promises as we can see in Romans 1:5
    And since Romans is book ended with this phrase I believe it to be the central them of the book ie...obedience of faith.
     
  18. The Biblicist

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    I hate to spoil your disagreement but I do not see regeneration as forensic but as the source of progressive santification. It is justification that I view as forensic - legal position - not regeneration.

    Regeneration I view as a transformation (not reformation) of one aspect of human nature (Jn. 3:6) and thus the beginning of a process of confirmation into the image of Christ that is never complete until glorification.

    Our difference is when and how of regeneration.




    Your contextual framework is too large now so that the straw gets lost in the haystack. One error is to jerk a text out of its immediate context while the other extreme is to widen the context so much as to make the text irrelvent to its immediate context.

    The whole book of Romans does not deal with merely justification but with many other aspects of salvation. Only Romans 3:24-5:2 is specifically dedicated to spelling out Paul's perspective of justification and so I must hold your feet within that boundary for definitive purposes.



    Here is where we have a monumental difference. I insist that "faith" in regard to justification must be defined by the context in which it is placed (Rom. 3:24-5:2). Paul says "his faith is counted" but that is because Paul has already defined the role of faith in regard to justification both at the beginning when this subject is introduced (Rom. 3:24-27) and at the close of this subject when he draws the conclusion to be applied (Rom. 4:22-5:2). Justifying faith is very carefully defined so as to exclude all manner of personal contribution to justification.

    For example, in Romans 3:24-26 justifying faith is stated to be "in" the provision made by God for our redemption ("in his blood" and "in Jesus Christ"). Hence, it cannot be separated from the object it embraces and that is why we are "saved THROUGH faith" because it is the object of faith that provides the basis for legal righteousness by imputation - The Person and finished work of Christ.

    For example, in Romans 3:27 justifying faith is defined as a "law" in direct contrast to the "law of works." His point is that any kind of definition of justification that is characterized by, operates by the principle of "works" is not "of faith" just as Paul says in Gal. 3:12 - "the law is not of faith."

    For example, in Romans 4:5-6 Paul uses three present tense verbs that all modify the "ungodly" and thus show simeltaneous action in respect to the point of justification where the transition from "ungodly" to justified occurs. The ungodly is believing at the very same time when he is being justified and his faith is being imputed for righteousness. Hence, this denies any of these action verbs occurred prior to faith or subsequent to imputed righteousness.

    For example, in Romans 4:16-22 justifying faith is defined is "by grace" (v. 16) and repudiates any kind of personal contribution or participation in obtaining justification but rather that is obtained solely by the promise, power and provision of God (v. 22) in behalf of the justified.

    For example, in Romans 4:23-25 Paul states the principle of faith as previously defined and illustrated in Abraham is directly applied to the initial reception of the gospel. The Gospel presents or declares both the provision, promise and power of God for justification.

    Here is where you confuse regenerative faith with sanctifying faithfulness. Jesus said a tree had to first be made good before it can bring forth good fruit. Paul said one must be first "saved through faith" or "created in Christ Jesus" first before "good works" follow.

    Regeneration does provide immediate transformation into a new creature out of which progressive sanctification - faithfulness manifested through good works flow. However, regeneration is not justification. Regeneration provides the change in the actual PERSON of the believer whereas justification provides the change in the legal POSITION of the believer and not one versus the other but both.





    No, we cannot agree on this. The difference in your view and mine is the difference between the works performed in the Person of Christ versus the works performed in the person of the believer regardless of how you want to describe, define their source or basis. The difference between your view and mine is simply revealed by asking a simple question - "Is the gospel about what Christ did for us or about what we do for Christ"? Read 1 Cor. 15:3-4 and the only place anyone other than Christ has in the gospel is the object of Christ substitutionary work.

    What Catholics want to do is MERGE regeneration and justification and then define justification ultimately as what Christ does through the person of the believer rather than what Christ finished for the believer in His own Person.

    On the other hand, we define what Christ does in and through the person of the believer - progressive sanctification but justifying faith is solely and only what Christ accomplished and finished in His own person in behalf of the believer which is embraced and received by faith alone as what Christ furnished for the believer is impossible for one who has already violated the Law of God and who constantly in spite of progressive sanctification comes short of. Really, it is not even attained in glorification as glorification is removal of sin whereas in Christ no sin was ever removed from His own Person.




    I don't believe we agree here either. I believe that Christ actually obtained redemption for his people and it is finished, whereas, God's saving gifts come "THROUGH" the work of the Holy Spirit based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ. God saves us "through" Christ only in the sense of a completed legally accepted satisfaction of the Law but no one is actually saved except "through" the Person and work of the Holy Spirit.


    Faith is worthless in regard to salvation apart from the proper object it embraces. Justifying faith only RECEIVES and RESTS upon the promise, provision and power of God as declared and revealed in the gospel. This is well illustrated in regard to justifying faith in Romans 4:16-22. Abraham and Sarah were "dead" in regard to any kind of contributing efforts or any kind of active participation in obtaining the promise of God. They could only RECEIVE and REST in the declaration of His Promise and upon His power to perform His promise without their active participation or contribution.


    Rom. 3:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

    This kind of faith is a complete DEPENDENCY upon what God promised and what God is able to PERFORM.

    Hence, the type of faith that justifies is the type illustrated here that is limited to merely dependent trust as opposed to active participation or contribution in obtaining the promise and that is precisely the type of faith that Paul goes on immediately to apply to justification by faith in the gospel:

    23 ¶ Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
    24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
    25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
     
  19. The Biblicist

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    He is wrong and the context proves he is wrong. In Romans 2-3 the term "law" incoporates the MORAL law of God that is equally written upon the conscience of the gentiles (Rom. 2:14-15), whereas the civil and ceremonial laws are nothing more than the moral law applied to political and religious lives of the Jews. That is precisely why Paul in Romans 3:9-20 can bring the Gentiles "under sin" (v. 9) and "under the law" (vv. 19-20) so that "every mouth" and "all the world" and not merely the Jew is condemned by "the law."

    Furthermore, Paul perceives the Mosaic law as the greatest revelation of God's righteousness given to man outside the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Hence, Paul's argument is from greater to lessor. If obedience to the "works of" the Mosaic law cannot justy the Jew, then obedience to any and all lessor revelations of God's righteousness cannot justify the gentile and thus both are EQUALLY sinners before God and "THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE for ALL have sinned" (Rom. 3:23).

    Regeneration is giving a new heart (Ezek. 36:26) because the old heart is incapable of perceiving, hearing and thus believing (Deut. 29:4). What God gives is not another unbelieving, non-perceiving, non-seeing heart but a believing heart. How God gives it to His elect is in a way that the gospel is both the creative word that produces it as well as the object of its reception. Thus, a person is born again by the will of God (James 1:18) but he begat us "by the word of truth" (James 1:18) or the gospel (1 Pet. 1:23,25). Hence, the term "obedience of faith" refers to the heart produced by the power of God when God calls light out of darkness (2 Cor. 4:6) thus writing His law upon the heart (2 Cor. 3:3) which by that very thing transforms it from being at "enmity with God and not subject to the law of God, and neither indeed can be"(Rom. 8:7) to the very reverse which is at peace with God and subject (obedient) to the law of God by an act of creation and thus the gospel comes not in "word only, but in power, and in the Holy Spirit" (1 Thes. 1:4-5). God changes the heart from a lover of darkness to a hater of darkness (repentance) and from a hater of light to a lover of light (faith). This is an internal transformation that provides a heart obedient to the gospel - the obedience of faith.
     
  20. Yeshua1

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    Do you hold that there is NOTHING we need to do in order to have God save us, grant us His Holy Spirit, and have eternal life right now, not "maybe"?

    That when we place faith in jesus, God immediatly and forever more changes us from sinner to a saint?
     

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