Question for Dispensationalists

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Monergist, Dec 24, 2004.

  1. Monergist

    Monergist
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    In his comments regarding Hebrews 9:16-17, J.Vernon McGee makes the statement (regarding Christ) "...What I am saying is that the life of Christ could never save you. It is the death of Christ which saves you." This statement is from the THRU THE BIBLE series; in which other similiar statements are found.

    My question to dispenational-minded brothers is-- Would you agree with McGee's statement without qualification?

    The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XI, III, Reads "Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to his Father's justice in their behalf."


    Is McGee denying the active righteousness of Christ? If so, how many other dispensationalists do this?
     
  2. Monergist

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    BTW, Merry Christmas to all here.!!!

    Though we may disagree on many things, We can together with one accord praise God for the great gift of salavtion given through His Son.
     
  3. pastorjeff

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    Christ had to live a sinless and perfect life in obedience to the Father in order to be a perfect sacrifice. But He had to die. Just living a sinless life would not cut it. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. I agree compleatly with Mr. McGee's statement. It does not go against the Westminster Confession either.
     
  4. Wes Outwest

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    Having been a McGee listener for several decades, and having attended his church many times, and having had his assistant pastor Paul Dirks as my pastor in another church, I can tell you that taking McGee's comment out of the whole context of his sermon is as dangerous to it's real meaning as taking any single scripture out of its context is dangerous to its meaning.

    Without having the whole context, I would not care to comment any further on McGee. However, the answer to your last question: NO!

    Jesus' living impacted only those who were alive at the time Jesus was living. Jesus' death is what made it possible for ALL mankind in ALL times to be saved into everlasting life, because it was through HIS death that the penalty for sin, which is death, was REMOVED FROM MANKIND, so that THROUGH FAITH it is possible for ALL mankind to be SAVED.


    THANK YOU JESUS!
     
  5. Ray Berrian

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    Jesus could have lived and died for us, hypothetically speaking, but if Christ did not rise from the dead and ascend into Heaven, and if He were not the Advocate between God and human beings, we would be eternally lost.
     
  6. johnp.

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    Ray.

    It was the death of Jesus Christ that paid the penalty for sin. Since He shed His blood for us that is sufficient of itself to save those who He died for. It was His death that paid the penalty for our sin. To those who had an atonement made for them. This atonement affected the behaviour of the offended party to the offenders. God and sinners. The Despot and the rebel. It reconciled God to them that were atoned for. Enemies no longer but Children of the most High. Adopted.
    We have no need for supposition, " LK 24:25-26 He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?"

    Error. That the death of Christ is insufficient to pay for sin.
    Error. To try to imagine outside scripture.

    johnp.
     
  7. Ray Berrian

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    johnp,

    Is there some part of lived, died, rose again, ascension, or reigning Advocate that you cannot fathom? [​IMG]

    My previous statement is still true.
     
  8. johnp.

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    Ray.

    I cannot fathom any of it can you? But I have some understanding thank you.

    What, that it was not the death of Christ that paid the debt that was due to and for our sins?
    That's the only thing I'm discussing here. Hypotheticals do not play a part when Truth is present.

    johnp.
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    I would not agree with McGee, if that is really waht he said. The death of Christ was of no avail without his perfect life.
     
  10. Wes Outwest

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    I know McGee, His position is that Jesus truly was the SPOTLESS LAMB OF GOD, Slain from the foundation of the world. He gave several sermons on that very topic, reaffirming to his listener the truth and the reasons for the truth.

    Atonement for sin required a blemish-free sacrifice, there is only one who could be that blemish-free sacrifice, and that was JESUS, the Son of God!

    The only reason for Jesus' death is to atone for sin. If dying is all that he did, then there is no demonstration of his power over death! There is no reason for man to believe his promises, and no reason to have hope which is what faith is all about! Without faith no man can be saved!
     
  11. Ray Berrian

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    Wes Outwest,

    As you know the O.T. people of God had to bring a perfect sacrifice in the form of a lamb or dove. It had to be without blemish.

    God fulfilled this type as you said by sending His flawless and holy Son into our world to save sinners.

    You said,
     
  12. Skandelon

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    I don't understand what the debate is about here. All McGee said was that Christ's life couldn't save you. It can't. Only the life followed by the atoning death can. There is nothing even contraversial about this statement, unless someone actually believes McGee didn't believe Christ needed to live a sinless life and that is certainly not implied by his words. It sounds like a much to do about nothing to me.

    What's the issue?
     
  13. Wes Outwest

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    Hey Monergist!

    Answer Skandelon's question!
     
  14. GeneMBridges

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    I agree with Skandelon on this one. Dr. McGee, to my knowledge did teach the doctrine of the imputation of Christ's righteousness. If memory serves he used the illustration of the clothing of Adam and Eve with skins by God when he taught it. I don't think this is an issue with Dr. McGee. (Although it makes me wonder why Wes said in the thread on imputation that the doctrine is false, since he knows, and I presume, believes as McGee did).
     
  15. Wes Outwest

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    I am in agreement with most of MeGee's teachings, but not all!

    Imputation of Christ's righteousness into man does not occur in any fashion other the hearing, which comes from the word of God! We hear about the Christ's Righteousness, and in our believing condition, we strive to emulate the Christ's righteousness in our own faithful actions toward the Christ and others.

    The doctrine that says we magically have righteousness imputed into us is phoney balony!
     
  16. GeneMBridges

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    Sorry, Wes, but on this, most Arminians, disagree with, including John Wesley. Even he taught imputation. Finney rejected it, but then, Finney also dismissed the substitutionary atonement.

    According to Dallas Theological Seminary, a dispensationalist seminary:

    The key word in the doctrine of justification and imputation is the verb dikaioo (dikaiovw). This verb ends in oo (ow), and verbs which end in oo (ow), are usually causative and mean “to make the object of the verb into the idea of the word.” For instance ikanoo (ikanovw) means “to make sufficient, empower someone for something.” But when a verb is formed from an adjective of a moral or spiritual connotation it means “to regard as, treat as, pronounce or declare as.” Thus dikaioo does not mean to make righteous, but to “declare, treat as righteous” when in essence the object may be just the opposite. Thus, the justified sinner is still a sinner and not without personal sins, but he is still viewed and treated as righteous by God and justly so because of the gift of Christ’s righteousness by imputation. The believer stands in the righteousness of Jesus Christ and his sins are not imputed to him. Not only are his sins subtracted, but Christ’s perfect righteousness has been added to the account of the believer.

    Justification, then, does not mean “to make righteous.” If it did, the believing sinner would never again sin because he would have been made constitutionally righteous so he could not and would not sin. That condition will occur in our ultimate condition of sanctification at the resurrection, but not now. Justification means that God accepts us and views us as perfectly righteous in Christ even though in our experience we will commit acts of sin or unrighteousness.

    The failure to make this distinction has throughout history led people into various works systems by which they tried to become righteous and acceptable before God. Our acceptance before God comes through the gift of Christ’s righteousness to the believing sinner. Justification is by faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:19-25; 4:1-12).

    It is important to understand that there are two kinds of righteousness. There is the perfect and absolute righteousness of Christ which God gives to anyone who will believe and trust in Jesus Christ as his or her Savior (Rom. 3:22-24). Then there is the relative, less-than-perfect righteousness of men, which on a scale of 1 to 100 can never even come close to 100% in comparison to the standard of God’s righteousness. No matter how good or religious, all fall short of the righteousness which God requires (Rom. 3:23). Only the righteousness of Christ (which man can receive freely by faith) can give him acceptance with God.

    The Bible VERY clearly says that all our "righteousness" is as filthy rags before the Lord. This must apply to even the faith you talk about, or else you make God out to be a liar and you are counted righteous as a matter of a good intrinsic quality. (And once again we find yet another classic Arminian equivocation on "all" akways meaning "all"...) Only the righteousness of Christ is sufficient for us to be declared righteous as well as declared innocent before the Father!

    You believe our intrinsic[ faith is what is counted as righteousness. In that case, you make God out to be a liar, because all our righteousness is as filthy rags before God, INCLUDING our faith. This is one of the reasons why faith that saves must come from God; otherwise it is tainted by sin. If faith is what is counted to us as righteousness, it is because it is from God and was purchased for us by Christ on Calvary, just as Eph. 2:8,9 teaches, just as Ephesians 1 teaches.
     
  17. Ray Berrian

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    Gene,

    You said,
    Your statement above sounds all spiritual as though it could have come from the New Covenant, but in fact it lays in error.

    God welcomes faith in His Son and even if there was something intrinsically defiled in the relationship, it is cleansed through His blood when God sees this required act of trust in Himself.

    Grace comes from God as a free gift, but faith is the individual’s human response to the conviction and convincing power of God the Spirit. [Ephesians 2:8]

    You will notice that in I Peter 1:7,9,21 the Apostle does not speak of as coming from God, but rather from man. ‘ . . . that your faith and hope might be in God.’

    Anyone on the board can understand this clear distinction as to what God is saying through the writer of Hebrews in chapter eleven verse six. If faith came from God wrapped up together and given only to the elect as a free gift, this writer would not be telling those Jewish believers and also us that ‘ . . . without faith it is impossible to please God.’ In fact, in this writing he says that we must come to Christ and He will reward those who inquire about Him. [Hebrews 11:6]

    Please, do not get me wrong, God calls sinners to Himself, but it is our faith that touches the Mediator [I Timothy 2:5-6] ‘ . . . Who {made} and gave Himself a ransom for all . . . ’

    ‘ . . . the Shepherd and Bishop of souls’ [I Peter 2:25] is our Advocate [I John 2:1] as the people of God, while Jesus also hears the prayers of sinners [I John 2:2 b,c] who come with faith believing. [John 3:16]
     
  18. Monergist

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    Let me say that I think that McGee was pretty orthodox in his view of the atonement, as well. I think he could have emphasized the importance of Christ's sinless life a bit here; and perhaps he does elsewhere. I'll keep digging.

    I'm working through studying the doctrine of Imputed Righteousness again in response to Dean's (and Wes's) challenge to it on another thread. I don't have many dispensational resources (my book budget is pretty tight right now & I've traded most of what I had for some Puritan/Reformed works). So I turned to what I had, and found some statements that seemed rather odd. That's all.

    Again, I don't think he was in serious error (like some posts here) based on what I've seen; basically I just wanted to get some other thoughts.
     
  19. Monergist

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    Thanks for that post Gene. Is there a link availible for the article?
     
  20. Wes Outwest

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    I suppose I'm to be impressed by your quote from Dallas! Though it is interesting and does explain how the bible translators have arrived at the text which persuadeth me. I am not impressed by any conclusions that you may have eluded that I must arrive at.

    Then I beg you to consider Hebrews 11 in which Noah, Abraham, etc., are identified as having their faith in God SEEN AS righteousness by God. The Christ's righteousness was not imputed to them until the Christ's ATONEMENT, which paid the penalty for their sins too!

    I presume what you are attempting to say is that Jesus' Atonement for sin, Justifies us before the judgment throne of God. Because of who Jesus is, his Atoning act on our behalf makes us appear "righteous" before the throne of God, even though, at this point, we have no faith in Jesus! After all Jesus Atoned for SIN not for souls! True, souls sin, but it is the sin itself that is atoned and rendered powerless to convict us. So we stand before the judgment throne of God with nothing charged against us! It is then by the Righteousness of Jesus that we are not charged with sin! Now if that is what you mean by imputed righteousness, we agree. If that is not what you mean, then we do not agree.

    Jesus' Atonement for SIN is our Justification. We are justified because the charges of SINs have been rendered powerless by the Atonement for Sin. But that does not Sanctify us! We become sanctified the moment we believe in Jesus, the Atoner, as our own personal savior. It is our faith in Jesus that "sets us apart" from those who lack such faith. FAITH is the ONLY distinguishing characteristic that separates the believer from the unbeliever. Therefore it is our faith that SANCTIFIES us. Both groups continue to sin individually, that is, until the believers individually recognize that through the power of Jesus' righteousness and Atonement we are no longer obliged to sin, and indeed we are commanded by Jesus to "go and sin no more". IT IS THEN that we believers become "over comers" because it is when we recognize the truth in the word of God and put it into practice in our own lives that we change from within from being unrighteous to striving toward righteousness. God created us with the capability and YES, the ability to act in such a manner, but because of our propensity to sin, "our being dead in sin", we never exercised our capability and abilities to not sin, and we remained unrighteous. It is only through faith that we are empowered to not sin!
    What you fail to recognize Gene, is that the ONCE-for-ALL Atonement that Jesus did, covers ALL sins, whether or not one becomes a believer in Jesus! IT IS SIN THAT IS ATONED FOR! The only thing that "SEPARATES" (sanctifies) the believer from the unbeliever is FAITH in God.
    Well stated, sin has no power to make it otherwise.
    You are convoluting the truth! Human faith in God is not itself righteousness. Faith in God is not a work that man does, except that it is obedience to God's command, and it accomplishes the result of "Doing the Father's work" which is that we believe in his son. Faith is not WORKS RIGHTEOUSNESS! IT is works righteousness that God sees as filthy rags.
    We receive the Christ's righteousness when we have FAITH in the CHRIST! It is only when we are "washed in the blood of the lamb" that we can be "seen" as righteous. We become "washed in the blood" when we put our faith in Jesus.

    First things: Atonement (the blood of the Lamb), then faith which is renewal (belief in the Lamb), then repentance, then when we leave this natural life with our spirit in the condition of Faith in Christ, we are forever alive in Christ.

    All Mankind sins. The Christ's Atonement removed the POWER of SIN against man! Man is no longer under the penalty of it and are not bound by it. Even so, man can do nothing of himself to be righteous sufficient to salvation because of his own propensity to sin! Disobedience toward God, and in truth disobedience toward all authority is inherent in man. We must die to "self" that is controlled by the propensity to sin, so that we can be resurrected into NEW SELF desiring unto righteousness. When we are regenerated in Christ, we desire to please Him. Yes, God did make us that way. We do have the power within to change! But it is our human spirit, that which gives life to the human flesh that must change, and that change cometh by hearing, which comes from the word of God!

    The Holy Spirit does not come to our human spirit with a scrub brush and set out to cleanse us. The Holy Spirit does come to our spirit with a very bright spot-light however and shine's that light on the filth that is within us and reminds us to confess our sins (cleanse), then GO AND SIN NO MORE! (repent). But it is we who must do the cleaning, it is we who must do the repenting! No one can do that for us! Not even my Mother who is safely in the arms of Jesus could cleanse me or keep me from sinning. I had to do that under my own God given human power enabled by the truth that sin no longer has any power before the judgment throne of God! Before you scream "humanist" at me, just consider all the scriptures where Jesus commanded "go and sin no more" and declared "your faith has healed you". Repentance is the act of one who has faith! So, if we do not do what Jesus commands us to do, where is our faith? It may come rolling off our tongue, but if it not put into action it is not real!

    OK, show me the scriptures that SAY human faith in God comes from God! Ephesians 2:8 and 9 do not say that, but instead say that while God is being gracious toward man, man is saved through faith! and not of man's effort being saved is a gift of God, it is not payment for our works, lest any man should boast! So if Ephesians 2:8,9 is the best you can do, don't waste my time!
     

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