Original Righteousness

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    Bound stated in one of his posts the following:


    This brings up a most important issue that needs to be discussed by itself. It is a belief by most if not all Arminians and Calvinist I do believe, that man was created righteous. I see this as a fundamental misunderstanding in the nature of what constitutes righteousness and a fundamental error in understanding the created state God birthed Adam in.

    Can righteousness be an inherited state of man, or is righteousness the results of the forming of right intents and subsequent actions? Can righteousness be imputed to any man, including Adam, without even the formation of an intent of faith on the part of the individual?
     
  2. bound

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    I would suggest that we try and steer away from these false dichotomies that man is saved through self-determination or that man is saved through God's determination (outside of a response by man). Neither can reconcile the testimony of the Scriptures nor are either extreme rational. Man's adoption into the salvific participation in the divine nature is a synergism not a monergism of either extreme (ours or His).

    Righteousness is attributed to man thorough cooperation with and in the divine nature.
     
    #2 bound, Nov 6, 2007
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  3. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: The problem is that no one has stated, not even Pelagius to my knowledge, that man is saved by self determination. That is a paper duck put up by many men to somehow make them seem like rational party and demonize their opponents.

    Now back to the OP.:thumbs: Can righteousness be an inherited state of man, or is righteousness the results of the forming of right intents and subsequent actions? Can righteousness be imputed to any man, including Adam, without even the formation of an intent of faith on the part of the individual?
     
  4. bound

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    So you would argue that 'righteousness' is a quality 'outside of God' that can be universally attained by 'right thought followed by right action'?

    I would posit that 'righteousness' is participation 'in' the divine nature and thus can only be 'shared' with His creation as a 'gift'. This gift was shared with Adam until the fall at which time he lost posession of it until it was restored through the humanity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through whom and in whom we are all redeemed. Amen.

    You're concern with posessing 'righteous' as your own inherent attribute is disturbing... why are you so preoccupied with this endeavor?
     
  5. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Absolutely not. There is not one thing in and of man himself apart from the influences of God that will ever lead one to righteous behavior. Just the same, righteous behavior, when it is predicated of man’s moral nature, is indeed the product of the will man, man being a first cause of it.

    The same goes for sin in a sense. If man is not the first cause of an intent, in that he voluntarily and without force or coercion yields his will in the formation of selfish intents, no sin can be predicated of the individual.

    There are some things that must be evident for sin to take place or to be predicated of the intents and actions of an individual. One must have some knowledge of what is required and the abilities to act differently than what one does under the very same set of circumstances. Without these being present, no sin can or will be predicated. It is just as Wesley stated, strictly speaking, nothing is sin apart from a willful transgression of a known commandment of God.



    HP: I agree that righteousness comes as we participate with the influences of the Divine nature, but the formation of the intent that is predicated as righteous is not nor can it be a gift from God. God’s influences upon the will are indeed as a gift, but those influences must be accepted and intents formed by a first cause, (man in this case,) for righteousness to be predicated of the intents of subsequent actions of that man.



    HP: I respectfully disagree. Adam became righteous as he formed his intents in agreement with the Divine influences of benevolence upon his heart. He was created perfect, but not righteous. He was created with the capacity for righteousness, but was not righteous until he formed his first intent of obedience.




    HP: Without a proper understanding of what constitutes moral behavior, and understanding when sin and or righteousness can be predicated of the intents and subsequent actions of man, our understanding of what God requires of us and why we are held accountable will never be clearly seen by the mind. Until we see ourselves as we are, i.e., the first cause of all our moral intents, and as such honestly personally responsible, we will never come to a right understanding of how guilty we personally are for our sin. The axe must be laid to the trunk of excuses and reasons why man sins, and the blame put squarely upon the individual themselves, in order to ever feel sincere remorse, which happens to be the very basis for a condition of salvation, repentance.
     
  6. bound

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    Let me say... Sin is the failure to do 'the good'. Sin is, not in the proper sense, a 'thing' but the lack of a 'thing' and that 'thing' which is lacking is the will to do 'the good'. When man, who by the God given grace fails to do 'the good' he, of his own fault separates himself from 'the good' God Wills him to do.

    But let us be clear there exists in this world a multitude of intergenerational errors which has caused greater and greater difficultly for man in his wounded state to recognizes 'the good' God Wills. I have every certainity that God, in His infinite Wisdom, knows the burden which weighs on the back of those who are His children and sentences blame with complete Justice (i.e. giving one's due). As I've said in another thread...
    God does not make us accountable for a grace not given to us. God makes us accountable only for that grace that in fact is given to us.


    So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. ~ Romans 4:16

    I, in turn respectfully disagree. Adam was Perfect and Blessed by God at his very creation... see Genesis 1:26-27. Adam nor Eve 'formed any intent' which merited their blessedness. I would agree with you that it was 'intent followed by action' which maintained their state of blessedness but I would affirm what we find the Scriptures reveal that Adam and Eve were blessed by God at their very creation. Amen.


    I can appreciate the desire.
     
    #6 bound, Nov 6, 2007
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  7. skypair

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    I believe...

    ... Renald Showers describes the issue you are debating thusly --- that Adam had an "untested positive predisposition" toward God. By exercising that disposition, he was able to have the righteousness of God imputed to him. But then he fell.

    We, therefore, are "just"/innocent at birth (no righteousness) and must demonstrate a "tested positive predisposition" toward God in order to be saved and sanctified from sin. Our disposition is "tested" in that we have sinned. Our "positive disposition" comes by repenting from sin and towards God by an act of free will and in the manner that is obedient to what God prescribes (else it would be "towards" some other god or gospel, right?).

    Then there are 2 things by which the "righteousness of God" may be claimed: 1) the "positive disposition" and 2) the indwelling Holy Spirit.

    skypair
     
    #7 skypair, Nov 7, 2007
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  8. bound

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    Grace and Peace skypair,

    I replied to HP in another thread but I thought it might also illumine for you a few things concerning Arminian Theology on these matters. It was post #9 on Blame.

    Be Well.
     
  9. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: This is often, in Arminian circles reading Wiley and others, commonly stated as deprivation of the good, but I do not see any Scriptural evidence for that position. Certainly one fails to do the good, but the sin is in fulfilling of a selfish demand, and that is not a lack but a choice. Where do we see god telling sinful man, You poor miserable victim of your circumstances. You must lack something? No, rather we hear god saying why have you disobeyed and refused my council and done despite my influences? You wicked rebel.

    Sin is a transgression of the law. To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin. Sin is a willful transgression of a known commandment of God. Sin is a positive intent of the heart formed in line with selfishness as opposed to benevolence. You cannot sin with doing something. You must form an intent ion the heart and means to carry out that intent for sin to take place. James points out clearly that sin is the result of the end of temptation and the will actively yielding to it. Again, where is the Scriptural evidence for your assertion that sin is a lack of a thing? Here again is another notion developed under the presupposition of original sin. If we sin because we lack the ability to do otherwise, sin is necessitated and as such man could never be blamed or punished for it justly. Are you suggesting that God demand us to overcome necessity, a fate which God cannot do?


    HP: God holds us accountable for our moral intents. You would have us to believe we are sinners that do not even posses the ability of contrary choice, being born as sinners. Can you not see that such a theory necessitates sin, an absurd thought that denies culpability altogether, and makes sin nothing more than a necessitated state impossible to avoid, and then you want us to believe that we are responsible for being born into a state of which we had no choice and then punished by God for failure to do that which was impossible for us to do, i.e., failure to do the good? Sorry Bound that is as simply absurd as it is unscriptural. You say that God does not hold us responsible for the state we are born in, but logic demands that if one is born in a state that allows for sin and that alone, neither can one be blamed for any future sins either, for they are again nothing more or less than the necessitated results of the state one is born into. Sin would be the only possibility for that one to do. You cannot escape the absurdity of justice punishing such a necessitated creature as you paint, for the state they are born into or the necessitated acts that are a result of that necessitated state.



    HP: This verse does not say that the will of man is not involved or that the will of man is unable to be involved, but rather that the will of man is simply not the grounds of his salvation. There is no salvation without the participation of the will of man apart from all force or coercion, voluntarily responding to the influences and offer of God by forming intents of repentance ad faith. Do you understand the clear distinction between the grounds of salvation and the conditions of salvation? I have offered a prison illustration a few times on this list that makes this clear distinction. Have you read it?






    HP: Show forth your Scripture that they were born in original righteousness. How is to be blessed by God to be equated with being born in original righteousness? God tells us plainly how we are accepted of or be rejected by God. Ge 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.
     
  10. bound

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    I can see why you hold the position that you do. We have a radically different view of what 'sin' actually is. You appear to see sin as a choice opposed to God's Law. I see sin as it is at it's root in the Hebrew, "missing the mark". By stating that man has a deprivation of the good is stating that man is incapable of "hitting the mark". It is this understanding of sin and our fallen nature that we understand the many verses which articulate man's 'need' for renewal, rebirth, regeneration, into the Spirit of God.

    For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died ~ 2 Co 2:13


    Sin is Death where before Sin was Life. It's as simple and as complex as that.




    Yes, without grace we are doomed to walk in darkness. "Therefore justice is far from us, nor does righteousness overtake us; we look for light, but there is only darkness!"

    The Scriptures all point to a "Light of World" and it wasn't 'human reason' but an man, Jesus Christ.

    Righteousness is not a posession we can claim for ourselves. When we do 'the good' we 'share in the divine nature'. It is not our nature but His. Until such is understand every effort will be stained with self-righteousness and pride and it will be as 'dirty rags' before Him. In the unassuming 'grace' of humility God walks with us, we in Him and He in us. Not 'me' but Christ in 'me'. Amen. Praise Him!
     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    .


    HP: You hit this nail on the head, We are at antipodes over the issue of sin. I am as opposed to the views of the Arminians such as yourself as the Calvinist on this issue. If you are born in such a state as to deny contrary choice and free will, you have not missed any mark Bound, you have been thrown at the bulls eye (the bulls eye in this case being that of sin) by force or coercion. The ‘you’ you speak of has had no part in anything being directed at or missing anything. We need to get a grip on the distinction between necessity and choice, between failure to do something and being created under necessity which eliminate any and all choice period. Forget any bulls eye. It does not apply in any such necessitated scheme of things as you are representing.

    HP: Then for the love of Pete, quit speaking of missing anything. How can one miss something they do not have the abilities to even aim at???



    HP: Where do Scriptures state that sin is death? Death, or eternal separation from God is the penalty of sin, and physical death is a consequence of sin, but sin is not death.





    HP: Very true, but neither will any man understand that Light or comprehend that light apart from reason. You can no more separate man’s reason from God for a minute. It is God that has granted to man his reasoning powers, and apart from utilizing those God-given powers of human reasoning, one will never understand, comprehend anything, including salvation.



    HP: Was David out of his mind? “Ps 18:20 ¶ The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.



    HP: 1Jo 2:29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
    1Jo 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.



    HP: No one is denying that God is not at work within us in order to do righteousness. What you ‘seem’ to be leaning towards if not implying as does the Calvinist, is that it is all of God and none of man. That is simply not the case. We are not righteous puppets nor could we be. The will of man is alive and in cooperation with God, and that by necessity, in any act of righteousness we are associated with.

    Do I need repeat that once again we are seeing the false implications of Augustinian original sin at work once again in your remarks and conclusions?
     
  12. bound

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    Grace and Peace HP,

    I felt it more appropriate to simply respond to the 'trust' of your argument since it might serve us both if I don't attempt to address each and every point. I understand where you are coming from, and although I disagree I can sympathize with your position.

    As I see it, man was never meant to stand apart from God and he will never be whole until he finds his place with and in Him who is the ground and source of our being. Without union in the divine nature we cannot escape death for life is only found in and with Him. For the humanist 'to err is to be human' but us 'to be fully human is to be Christ'.

    Good Night and God Bless.

    :sleeping_2:
     
  13. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Sleep well my friend. :godisgood:
     

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