The active obedience Of Jesus

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Iconoclast, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    In a recent thread I posted this:

    Let me suggest to you what is taught here...
    At the judgment perfection and perfectly sinless works are required.
    Only Jesus and His Active obedience is accepted by The Father.
    Jesus kept the law...[ten commandments perfectly}
    That perfection is put to the account of the elect.


    a poster had said this;
    Are we saved by works? No not ours....but rather Jesus perfect law keeping as our substitute..the active and passive obedience of our Surety and Mediator? Are we saved by His active obedience put to our account?
     
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  2. Revmitchell

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    Works in scripture are a reference to the OT law. We do not get to apply that to just any situation we want. Also, doing so lead to all sorts of ridiculous things like what was quoted in the op.
     
  3. Rippon

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    RM, how could you possibly disagree with the above?
     
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  4. Iconoclast

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    Works in scripture did not always mean the Old Testament law
     
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  5. salzer mtn

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    This is true, it's called imputed righteousness. In the tenth chapter of Romans Paul calls the Jews out because they were ignorant of God's righteousness and like so many today they went about to establish their own righteousness and had not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God. In Jer 23:6 He is called the Lord our Righteousness. Many at that day will plead their own righteousness, saying haven't we cast out devils and did many wonderful works in thy name but they understand not that their righteousness is as filthy rags.
     
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  6. Martin Marprelate

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    Psalm 24:3-5. 'Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
    Or who may stand in His holy place?
    He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
    Nor sworn deceitfully.
    He shall receive blessing from the LORD,
    And righteousness from the God of his salvation.'

    OK, all you BBers, who's going to say, "Yes, that's me! My hands are utterly clean; I have never coveted (Eph. 5:5) and never told a lie"? Not you, not I. There is only one Person who could possibly say that- the Lord Jesus Christ. That's why the Psalm continues, 'Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.'
    He has lived the life of perfect righteousness that we could not live, and He has died the death that we deserve to die. And His perfect righteousness is now credited to us who believe. 'For of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God- and righteousness and sanctification and redemption' (1 Cor. 1:30).
     
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  7. SovereignGrace

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    YES YES YES YES YES!!!

    And this was a covenant He made with those the Father gave Him to redeem from the accursed. His obedience is imputed/accounted unto us in such a manner that God sees us now as obedient Lawkeepers, being in Christ.
     
  8. dyanmarie25

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    Titus 3:5

    "He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit"
     
  9. Iconoclast

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    yes he did.....
    John Murray, in Redemption—Accomplished and Applied, expresses it quite clearly and goes into more detail:

    [We cannot] allocate certain phases or acts of our Lord’s life on earth to the active obedience and certain other phases and acts to the passive obedience. The distinction between the active and passive obedience is not a distinction of periods. It is our Lord’s whole work of obedience in every phase and period that is described as active and passive, and we must avoid the mistake of thinking that the active obedience applies to the obedience of his life and the passive obedience to the obedience of his final sufferings and death.

    The real use and purpose of the formula is to emphasize the two distinct aspects of our Lord’s vicarious obedience.

    The truth expressed rests upon the recognition that the law of God has both penal sanctions and positive demands. It demands not only the full discharge of its precepts but also the infliction of penalty for all infractions and shortcomings.


    It is this twofold demand of the law of God which is taken into account when we speak of the active and passive obedience of Christ. Christ as the vicar of his people came under the curse and condemnation due to sin and he also fulfilled the law of God in all its positive requirements. In other words, he took care of the guilt of sin and perfectly fulfilled the demands of righteousness. He perfectly met both the penal and the preceptive requirements of God’s law. The passive obedience refers to the former and the active obedience to the latter. (pp. 20-22)

    Put another way, Jesus’ so-called “passive” and “active” obedience were lifelong endeavors as he fulfilled the demands and suffered the penalties of God’s law, and both culminated in the cross.

    I would argue that the New Testament clearly teaches the lifelong
    passive obedience of Christ (his penalty-bearing work) and the lifelong active obedience of Christ (his will-of-God-obeying work), culminating in the cross. We then receive the benefit of this through the imputation of the obedience of Christ (the reckoning of Christ’s complete work to our account when we trust in him for salvation and are united to him).
     
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  10. Iconoclast

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    Her is a section from A puritans mind;


    http://www.apuritansmind.com/justif...ence-of-jesus-christ-by-dr-c-matthew-McMahon/
    This obedentia Christi fulfills the covenant breaking of the Law that the first Adam failed to uphold. Karlberg says, “Where the first Adam failed as a covenant breaker, the second Adam succeeded in perfectly fulfilling the demands of the covenant by his active and passive obedience.”4 This does not liberate Christians from keeping the law – in terms of sanctification and holiness – but does release them from having to keep the law perfectly to satisfy divine justice and procure their own salvation (the first use of the law).
    Bahnsen states correctly, “Christ’s perfect obedience to the Law of God secures our release from the necessity of personally keeping the Law as a condition of justification.”
     
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  11. Iconoclast

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    more from the article;
    Based on the requirements of the Law, it is not enough that Christ dies for the sins of His people. To die and cleanse sinners from their sin is to set them at ground zero. At that point redeemed sinners still continue to sin. As Luther said, they are piles of dung covered in gold. The remnants of remaining sin and the filthiness of the flesh still war with the Spirit (Gal. 5:17[​IMG]). They must also have a covering that continues to infinitely expiate their sin before the holy justice of God;
     
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  12. Iconoclast

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    and yet again;
    Synthetic justification is the biblical formulation where God recognizes Christ’s work, both the obedentia activa and obedentia passiva, and declares the sinner just as a result of them both.
    The sinner, in the ordo salutis, has been regenerated, acts with a fides reflexa (a reflex act of faith) springing from regeneration, is declared righteous by God on account of Christ’s iustitia imputata, but is then continued to be viewed in this credited manner because of the perfect obedentia of Christ’s work. Jesus perfectly fulfilled the iustitia Dei where men cannot. It is this active obedience that continues to justify them, and it is passive obedience that continues to save them before the wrath of God’s justice. Kline rightly comments, “For Christ himself enters upon the inheritance as the forerunner, surety, and head of the many only when by his active and passive obedience he has fulfilled the constant Hauptgebot of the covenant and submitted to the demand of the curse sanction voiced in the covenant from the beginning.”7

    Throughout the centuries Reformed theologians and confessions have embraced and taught this distinction of the obedentia activa and obedentia passiva of Jesus Christ.

    So you see.....anyone who suggests this is not the basis of salvation .....is CLUELESS.
     
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  13. Iconoclast

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    The Active Obedience of Christ
    by Wayne Grudem
    If Christ had only earned forgiveness of sins for us, then we would not merit heaven. Our guilt would have been removed, but we would simply be in the position of Adam and Eve before they had done anything good or bad and before they had passed a time of probation successfully. To be established in righteousness forever and to have their fellowship with God made sure forever, Adam and Eve had to obey God perfectly over a period of time. Then God would have looked on their faithful obedience with pleasure and delight, and they would have lived with him in fellowship forever.

    For this reason, Christ had to live a life of perfect obedience to God in order to earn righteousness for us. He had to obey the law for his whole life on our behalf so that the positive merits of his perfect obedience would be counted for us. Sometimes this is called Christ’s “active obedience,” while his suffering and dying for our sins is called his “passive obedience.” Paul says his goal is that he may be found in Christ, “not having a righteousness of [his] own based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ the righteousness from God that depends on faith” (Phil. 3:9). It is not just moral neutrality that Paul knows he needs from Christ (that is, a clean slate with sins forgiven), but a positive moral righteousness. And he knows that that cannot come from himself, but must come through faith in Christ. Similarly, Paul says that Christ has been made “our righteousness” (1 Cor. 1:30). And he quite explicitly says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19).

    Some theologians have not taught that Christ needed to achieve a lifelong record of perfect obedience for us. They have simply emphasized that Christ had to die and thereby pay the penalty for our sins. But such a position does not adequately explain why Christ did more than just die for us; he also became our “righteousness” before God. Jesus said to John the Baptist, before he was baptized by him, “It is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15).

    It might be argued that Christ had to live a life of perfect righteousness for his own sake, not for ours, before he could be a sinless sacrifice for us. But Jesus had no need to live a life of perfect obedience for his own sake—he had shared love and fellowship with the Father for all eternity and was in his own character eternally worthy of the Father’s good pleasure and delight. He rather had to “fulfill all righteousness” for our sake; that is, for the sake of the people whom he was representing as their head. Unless he had done this for us, we would have no record of obedience by which we would merit God’s favor and merit eternal life with him. Moreover, if Jesus had needed only sinlessness and not also a life of perfect obedience, he could have died for us when he was a young child rather than when he was thirty-three years old.

    By way of application, we ought to ask ourselves whose lifelong record of obedience we would rather rely on for our standing before God, Christ’s or our own? As we think about the life of Christ, we ought to ask ourselves, was it good enough to deserve God’s approval? And are we willing to rely on his record of obedience for our eternal destiny?

    (Wayne Grudem: Systematic Theology, Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester, England and Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, A Division of HarperCollins Publishers, pp.570-571)
     
  14. Iconoclast

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    J Gresham Machen



    The Active Obedience of Christ

    LAST Sunday afternoon, in outlining the Biblical teaching about the work of Christ in satisfying for us the claims of God’s law, I said nothing about one very important part of that work. I pointed out that Christ by His death in our stead on the cross paid the just penalty of our sin, but I said nothing of another thing that He did for us. I said nothing about what Christ did for us by His active obedience to God’s law. It is very important that we should fill out that part of the outline before we go one step further.

    Suppose Christ had done for us merely what we said last Sunday afternoon that He did. Suppose He had merely paid the just penalty of the law that was resting upon us for our sin, and had done nothing more than that; where would we then be? Well, I think we can say — if indeed it is legitimate to separate one part of the work of Christ even in thought from the rest — that if Christ had merely paid the penalty of sin for us and had done nothing more we should be at best back in the situation in which Adam found himself when God placed him under the covenant of works.

    That covenant of works was a probation. If Adam kept the law of God for a certain period, he was to have eternal life. If he disobeyed he was to have death. Well, he disobeyed, and the penalty of death was inflicted upon him and his posterity. Then Christ by His death on the cross paid that penalty for those whom God had chosen.

    Well and good. But if that were all that Christ did for us, do you not see that we should be back in just the situation in which Adam was before he sinned? The penalty of his sinning would have been removed from us because it had all been paid by Christ. But for the future the attainment of eternal life would have been dependent upon our perfect obedience to the law of God. We should simply have been back in the probation again.

    Moreover, we should have been back in that probation in a very much less hopeful way than that in which Adam was originally placed in it. Everything was in Adam’s favour when he was placed in the probation. He had been created in knowledge, righteousness and holiness. He had been created positively good. Yet despite all that, he fell. How much more likely would we be to fall — nay, how certain to fall — if all that Christ had done for us were merely to remove from us the guilt of past sin, leaving it then to our own efforts to win the reward which God has pronounced upon perfect obedience!

    But I really must decline to speculate any further about what might have been if Christ had done something less for us than that which He has actually done. As a matter of fact, He has not merely paid the penalty of Adam’s first sin, and the penalty of the sins which we individually have committed, but also He has positively merited for us eternal life. He was, in other words, our representative both in penalty paying and in probation keeping. He paid the penalty of sin for us, and He stood the probation for us.

    That is the reason why those who have been saved by the Lord Jesus Christ are in a far more blessed condition than was Adam before he fell. Adam before he fell was righteous in the sight of God, but he was still under the possibility of becoming unrighteous. Those who have been saved by the Lord Jesus Christ not only are righteous in the sight of God but they are beyond the possibility of becoming unrighteous. In their case, the probation is over. It is not over because they have stood it successfully. It is not over because they have themselves earned the reward of assured blessedness which God promised on condition of perfect obedience. But it is over because Christ has stood it for them; it is over because Christ has merited for them the reward by His perfect obedience to God’s law.

    I think I can make the matter plain if I imagine a dialogue between the law of God and a sinful man saved by grace.

    ‘Man,’ says the law of God, ‘have you obeyed my commands?’

    ‘No,’ says the sinner saved by grace. ‘I have disobeyed them, not only in the person of my representative Adam in his first sin, but also in that I myself have sinned in thought, word and deed.’

    ‘Well, then, sinner,’ says the law of God, ‘have you paid the penalty which I pronounced upon disobedience?’

    ‘No,’ says the sinner, ‘I have not paid the penalty myself; but Christ has paid it for me. He was my representative when He died there on the cross. Hence, so far as the penalty is concerned, I am clear.’

    ‘Well, then, sinner,’ says the law of God, ‘how about the conditions which God has pronounced for the attainment of assured blessedness? Have you stood the test? Have you merited eternal life by perfect obedience during the period of probation?’

    ‘No,’ says the sinner, ‘I have not merited eternal life by my own perfect obedience. God knows and my own conscience knows that even after I became a Christian I have sinned in thought, word and deed. But although I have not merited eternal life by any obedience of my own, Christ has merited it for me by His perfect obedience. He was not for Himself subject to the law. No obedience was required of Him for Himself, since He was Lord of all. That obedience, then, which He rendered to the law when He was on earth was rendered by Him as my representative. I have no righteousness of my own, but clad in Christ’s perfect righteousness, imputed to me and received by faith alone, I can glory in the fact that so far as I am concerned the probation has been kept and as God is true there awaits me the glorious reward which Christ thus earned for me.’

    Such, put in bald, simple form, is the dialogue between every Christian and the law of God. How gloriously complete is the salvation wrought for us by Christ! Christ paid the penalty, and He merited the reward. Those are the two great things that He has done for us.

    Theologians are accustomed to distinguish those two parts of the saving work of Christ by calling one of them His passive obedience and the other of them His active obedience. By His passive obedience — that is, by suffering in our stead — He paid the penalty for us; by His active obedience — that is, by doing what the law of God required — He has merited for us the reward.

    I like that terminology well enough. I think it does set forth as well as can be done in human language the two aspects of Christ’s work. And yet a danger lurks in it if it leads us to think that one of the two parts of Christ’s work can be separated from the other.

    How shall we distinguish Christ’s active obedience from His passive obedience? Shall we say that He accomplished His active obedience by His life and accomplished His passive obedience by His death? No, that will not do at all. During every moment of His life upon earth Christ was engaged in His passive obedience. It was all for Him humiliation, was it not? It was all suffering. It was all part of His payment of the penalty of sin. On the other hand, we cannot say that His death was passive obedience and not active obedience. On the contrary, His death was the crown of His active obedience. It was the crown of that obedience to the law of God by which He merited eternal life for those whom He came to save.

    Do you not see, then, what the true state of the case is? Christ’s active obedience and His passive obedience are not two divisions of His work, some of the events of His earthly life being His active obedience and other events of His life being His passive obedience; but every event of His life was both active obedience and passive obedience. Every event of His life was a part of His payment of the penalty of sin, and every event of His life was a part of that glorious keeping of the law of God by which He earned for His people the reward of eternal life. The two aspects of His work, in other words, are inextricably intertwined. Neither was performed apart from the other. Together they constitute the wonderful, full salvation which was wrought for us by Christ our Redeemer.

    We can put it briefly by saying that Christ took our place with respect to the law of God. He paid for us the law’s penalty, and He obeyed for us the law’s commands. He saved us from hell, and He earned for us our entrance into heaven. All that we have, then, we owe unto Him. There is no blessing that we have in this world or the next for which we should not give Christ thanks.

    As I say that, I am fully conscious of the inadequacy of my words. I have tried to summarise the teaching of the Bible about the saving work of Christ; yet how cold and dry seems any mere human summary — even if it were far better than mine — in comparison with the marvellous richness and warmth of the Bible itself. It is to the Bible itself that I am going to ask you to turn with me next Sunday afternoon. Having tried to summarise the Bible’s teaching in order that we may take each part of the Bible in proper relation to other parts, I am going to ask you next Sunday to turn with me to the great texts themselves, in order that we may test our summary, and every human summary, by what God Himself has told us in His Word. Ah, when we do that, what refreshment it is to our souls! How infinitely superior is God’s Word to all human attempts to summarise its teaching! Those attempts are necessary; we could not do without them; everyone who is really true to the Bible will engage in them. But it is the very words of the Bible that touch the heart, and everything that we — or for the matter of that even the great theologians — say in summary of the Bible must be compared ever anew with the Bible itself.
     
  15. heisrisen

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    Clearly all you were saying was, what is required in order to make heaven, but none of us can do it. It is only through Christ that we can be redeemed and make it to heaven. You weren't saying we must work to earn our way because we clearly can't. That person totally didn't understand what you were saying at all. You were just saying it is only by Jesus perfect sinless life death and resurrection that we can be saved and his righteousness is imputed to our account when we are saved.
     
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  16. Iconoclast

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    Hello heisrisen,
    What i was saying is exactly what the historic church has always taught that salvation is all based on the work of Christ in full.
    When the other poster denied this I could hardly believe it. To deny this is to deny the root of our salvation and shows an intense lack of understanding I think you can enjoy these links by working through slowly and making your own notes from what is being suggested as you think of verses that fit.
     
    #16 Iconoclast, Oct 21, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015
  17. Martin Marprelate

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    This is Luther's 'Great exchange.' God lays upon Christ all our sins and sinfulness, and imputes to us all His perfect righteousness and obedience (2 Cor. 5:21).

    Mention was made above to J. Gresham Machen. His last recorded words, sent in a telegram to John Murray were, "I'm so grateful for the active obedience of Christ. No hope without it."
     
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