The Crux

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

  1. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Rome confuses justifying faith with sanctifying faith. Justifying faith is in relationship to the declaration of the gospel and by necessity of the very nature of the gospel must be completely passive in regard to any kind of personal participant activity or contributions in obtaining the propitiation that the gospel reveals has already been obtained and can only be obtained solely and only by the personal activity, contributions and participation of Jesus Christ for his people and in the place of his people. Justifying faith embraces, accepts and rests entirely upon that good news as either failure to receive it or any exerted action to acheive what the Christ already acheived is disobedience to the gospel. Receiving, embracing and resting upon it is obedience to the gospel. This is the "rest" Jesus calls His people unto. Inclusive in the object of faith is the personal righteousness of Christ provided in the personal life of Christ and the payment of sin by His death which sin payment and righteousness are imputed and thus received by faith providing complete and finished legal satisfaction for the believer before God - this is justification by faith.

    In contrast, sanctifying faith is the SAME FAITH but not in response or in relationship to the things only Christ could provide as revealed in the gospel but in regard to the things revealed in God's word that we are commanded to obey in our own person and in our own life by means of regenerative love and the indwelling power of the Spirit of God.

    The former type of faith would be disobedience and rejection of the finished work of Christ if it included our own participant works whereas the latter would be disobedience and rejection of the revealed will of God if we did not include our own participant works.

    Rome fails to distinguish between the two and then charges us with denial of one of the two.
     
    #1 The Biblicist, Jun 21, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2012
  2. The Biblicist

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    Regeneration is the impartation or renewing of the image of God within us in "true holiness and righteousness" (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10) and is an INWARD "washing and regeneration by the Holy Ghost" (Tit. 3:5) that produces a "new" inward man or "new creation" and it is regeneration or this creative work of God that isthe source of "good works" - "For we are his workmanship CREATED in Christ Jesus UNTO good works." This is making the tree good so it can produce good fruit.

    This good fruit is NEVER manifested in the life of the regenerated/justified person in its FULLNESS or SINLESS PERFECTION but is manifested depending upon the extent of life for its growth and degree determined by the measure of faith and grace and only brought to completion in glorification.

    There is no such thing as a justified man by faith without works apart from a regenerated man created "unto good works."

    Rome fails to distinguish between the two and charges us with denying one or the other.
     
  3. Yeshua1

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    What is the "legal fiction" RCC states we hold?

    those whom God has justified, he also remade them new creatures in christ, indwelt by the Holy spirit, so where is the fiction?

    is it because they cannot see sinners be both called and made saints by God when justified by Him, and that we than become more into image of christ daily? As they hold that we must get to spiritual point of "good enough" to be declared a saint, by howwe react to the sacraments? The rcc cannot see God justifes us and makes us saints at same time?
     
  4. The Biblicist

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    Yes! They are incapable of seeing that the "ungodly" is at one and the same point in time both positionally justified through faith in Christ and personally transformed in regeneration by the Spirit of God.

    Instead they reinterpret conversional justification to be inclusive of progressive sanctification. They refuse to admit that regeneration is being "created in Christ Jesus UNTO good works" whereas justification is by faith in Christ Jesus without participant works acheiving what only Christ can and did acheive by his own personal works for the "ungodly."

    Instead, they create a "fictional straw man" argument that asserts we deny any transformational change in the person of the ungodly when they are justified by faith. Of course that is the real "fiction" in this debate.

    Rome believes that justification is the actual impartation of Christ's righteousness to the believer through the sacraments so that there is a transformational change imparted so that Christ's righteousness is actually participated in and through the believer by grace so that in the judgement those works of grace actual form the basis for justification before God and entrance into heaven.

    The phrase "legal fiction" is a term of derision that slanders the true Biblical position which teaches that the personal righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to us by faith as our immediate LEGAL POSITION "before God" securing our LEGAL RIGHT to entrance into heaven (removing all legal barriers) while at the very same time we are regenerated by the Spirit of God "unto good works" which are imparted progressively in our own lives by grace but only completed in glorification in order to secure our personal FITNESS to enter heaven and rewards in heaven.

    What they cannot accept is that where there is no regeneration by the Spirt "unto good works" there is no justification by faith without works without confusing one with the other. The former deals with the transformation of our person while the latter deals with the change of our legal position before God.
     
    #4 The Biblicist, Jun 21, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2012
  5. Yeshua1

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    How do they view paul stating that we receive the Holy Spiritby FAITH alone, no works/deeds of the flesh, not in baptism or any other sacrament?

    Christian HAS the Spirit in him, Paul gave us HOW He gets in us!

    And since we now have the power of the Spirit in us, what can sacraments of grace provide towards/for us that He cannot?
     
  6. The Biblicist

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    In short, they totally misinterpret and pervert Paul's words as Paul defines them contextually.

    They believe that a candidate for baptism (if an adult) must ask the church to give them faith as faith is dispensed by the Roman Catholic Church and in baptism they receive the grace of regeneration and justification.

    In regard to infants, the believing parents request the church for faith in behalf of the infant and the grace of regeneration and justification is received in baptism and then later affirmed in confirmation.

    Anyone can go the CCC (Catholic Church Catechism) on line and read their precise language and explanation given for what they believe in regard to these things.

    However, be before warned that if you do not use their precise language and present it from their precise explanation you will be charged with ignorance and perversion of what they "really" believe.
     
  7. Yeshua1

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    what verse in the NT supports notion that we receive jesus/Holy Spirit by act/work we do, not by faith alone?
     
  8. The Biblicist

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    Well, they would use Titus 3:5 and apply that to baptism in water in conjunction with the internal work of the Holy Spirit. Or they would use John 3:5 "water and Spirit" and apply it to baptism. There are several other texts they would INFER such an idea but there are no scriptures that state it clearly or teach it really at all.
     
  9. Yeshua1

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    Would you say that IF a person was JUST saved by the Lord, had NO prior biblical understanding, justread and studied the Bible could NEVER come to seeing this as Rome does?

    That one has to have preconceived ideas to get in the Bible what they have gotten?
     
  10. Agnus_Dei

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    With regard to the Orthodox Christian Church…the Eastern Christian is completely comfortable with justification defined as a righteousness mercifully imparted by God that restores man to a state that was originally intended…As the fall of Adam condemned the cosmos, and therefore mankind, to a world of sin and corruption, the death and resurrection of Christ is able to make righteous that creation which previously existed in a fallen state subjected to death…

    While Eastern Christian theology does not embrace a juridical framework, the work of Christ is the sole basis for our imparted righteousness and “justification” in the eyes of God. It is only the work of Christ on the Cross, the “tree that saves,” which can counter the condemnation and corruption introduced to the world through the Edenic tree.

    In the Eastern Church, this justification (impartation of righteousness) is associated with entrance into the Church. This is an ancient practice preserved from the earliest times. The liturgical texts indicate a process of conversion that culminates in baptism and the joining of oneself to the Church. The baptismal service text clearly defines this belief when the convert or newly baptized is told, “You are justified; you are illumined!” Justification, the impartation of righteousness, begins at conversion through the mercy of God, and it continues throughout the life of the Christian as one is conformed, in righteousness, to the image and likeness of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    There are differences between the Eastern approache to Justification in regard to the Western’s view and this includes both RC and Protestant…since Protestantism is the egg the Roman Catholic Church laid…I wasn’t aware of these differences until my Orthodox Catechesis class…

    While the western approach to theology seems to help our Western minds, so used to a scientific model of reasoning, “understand God,” the Eastern approach seems to organically synthesize the multi-faceted nature of theological truth. Eastern theology is far from systematic, but it takes into account and embraces all that has been handed down to us from Christ, to his apostles through the Church via the Holy Spirit.

    It would serve the western Christian well to bear in mind that the juridical concepts of salvation, substitutionary atonement, et. al. were foreign to not only the Eastern Church but also the Western Church (Catholic and Protestant) until the time of Augustine. Even then these concepts were vague and undefined; they were not universal doctrines in the Church anywhere. Anselm further developed these ideas some 600 years later, and Luther built on the work of Anselm about 500 years after that. Is it any wonder that these concepts which seem to the Protestant an integral part of historical Christian theology (which are, in actuality, rather new) baffle the Eastern Christian mind?

    These categories and concepts are somewhat unique and have existed in their present form for a relatively short period of time. To the Eastern Christian, theology is not something that improves with age—it is something to be internalized, and it can best be understood by journeying as close to the roots of our faith as possible. Reason and logic cannot guarantee a better understanding of God, his Son or the Eastern Orthodox faith.

    Hope this helps…
     
  11. The Biblicist

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    You give a good explanation of the differences between Eastern and Western Catholicism and the connection between Augustine, Anselm and Luther. However, you thoroughly left out Isaiah (Isa. 53) and Paul (Romans 3-5; Gal. 3-4) which provides the Biblical framework for substitutionary atonement and imputed righteousness.

    You thoroughly confuse justification with regeneration and progressive sanctification as much as the RCC.

    I think it helps to clarify your position in contrast to the Western position and it helps make clear your perspective of the development of substitutionary atonement.
     
  12. Agnus_Dei

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    We also can't ignore 1) the definition of Justification and also 2) the time period St. Paul was writting in and the Pagan culture around him and how they viewed Justification in regards to the many gods they worshipped...

    The word justification is used three times in the Romans. The word group is defined in the following manner: dike (root word of the group, meaning right or just), dikaios (meaning righteously or justly), dikaiosune (meaning righteousness or justice), dikaiosis (meaning “the act of pronouncing righteous” or acquittal), dikaioma (meaning an ordinance, a sentence of acquittal or condemnation, a righteous deed), dikaio (meaning “to show to be righteous” or “to declare righteous”), and dikastase (meaning “to judge” or “a judge”). It appears that the word group, when taken as a whole, can convey both a sense of righteousness and justice (as a legal declaration).

    This legal framework for understanding justification all hinges on the concept of justice as understood in the pagan Greek culture of the time – dikaiosis. The ancient, pagan Greeks, Thucydides for one, adhered to a juridical understanding of this concept as punishment. It is valid to assume that St. Paul was familiar with these pagan concepts, since this Greek culture was his immediate cultural context. The question arises:

    What do we do with St. Paul’s Jewish heritage and culture that was no less familiar to St. Paul, but was surely of more importance to him?

    Dr. Alexandre Kalomiros in The River of Fire proposes that the traditional Eastern Christian and patristic view of justification is more compatible with the nature of the Christian God. He says:

    "The word dikaiosune, 'justice,' is a translation of the Hebraic word tsedaka. This word :means 'the divine energy which accomplishes man’s salvation.' It is parallel and almost synonymous to the other Hebraic word, hesed, which means: 'mercy,' 'compassion,' 'love'; and to the word emeth which means: 'fidelity,' 'truth.' This gives a completely other dimension to what we usually conceive as justice. This is how the Church understood God’s justice. This is what the Fathers of the Church taught - God is not just, with the human meaning of this word, but we see that His justice means His goodness and love, which are given in an unjust manner, that is, God always gives without taking anything in return, and He gives to persons like us who are not worthy of receiving."​

    Kalomiros sees justification primarily in an eschatological manner. For Kalomiros, justification is both present and future, eliciting submission in loving response to the unmerited love of God by those who would respond in faith. So, for the Eastern Christian, it is this imparted “righteousness,” dikaiosune, (instead of a juridical justification) that is culminated eschatologically in the fullness of time through the mercy of God by our loving response, in faith to Him.
     
  13. The Biblicist

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    Here is the crux of your error. Biblical justification does not hinge upon PAGANISM at any time but upon God's own just demands at all times. Paganism is not to be propitiated but rather the righteous demands of God against sinners is what is being propitiated.

    Therefore, justification must be defined within the context of God's own moral just demands against sin which never vary or are influenced by any culturalism whether Secular Paganism or Christian paganism.
     
  14. Yeshua1

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    Apostle paul was NOT addressing justification/propiation/atonement from ANY pagen viewpoints, as he was a pharisee, well versed in OT concept /framework of such terms/concepts...

    Under the revelation/inspiration of the Holy spirit, helinked together ALL of the prophets/pentateuch etc, as there is CLEARLY the thread through the OT that God demands a sacrifice for sins, and that he would provide that in his messiah!
     
  15. billwald

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    Orthodox Christianity IS "orthodox" Christianity. If I was 20 years younger I would join them but I'm to old to change horses and I don't think God will hold it against me.
     
  16. Yeshua1

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    except that the greek orthodox church has non biblical views on just how one is amde right before God, same way RCC does also!
     
  17. Agnus_Dei

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    You’re never too old billwald, we have people of all ages converting…although we don’t have the numbers of that of the RCC…namely because so few people know of Orthodox Christianity (when I was converting, my parents thought I was converting to Judaism) and just as one popular RC apologist (Scott Hahn) said, “western folks” convert to Roman Catholicism and “Eastern Folks” convert to the Orthodox Church…

    But no, God surely will not judge you…I remember my first Orthodox Catechesis class…Right off the bat, the priest who was leading the class instructed us that the Orthodox Church does NOT have God in our pocket and that he never wanted to hear of any of us ever saying to someone from another Protestant denomination that they are wrong or that the Orthodox Church is the only way to heaven…

    He was clear however to point out that we view Orthodox Christianity, through the grace of God, to have retained the fullness of the Christian Faith, worship and life through the centuries without addition, subtraction or distortion…and Orthodoxy was able to do all this through the Crusades, the conquest of Islam and Atheistic Russia, to name a few…truly as Christ promised, the gates of Hell have yet to take the faith as history is our witness…

    After taking Roman Catholic RCIA classes, I could’ve easily became Roman Catholic, but after a year of Orthodox Catechesis, and experiencing the life of the Church through that same year, it was clear to me that the Orthodox Church was the authentic Church of the Apostles of our Lord…

    So going back to what our priest said regarding Orthodoxy and Protestantism, I just don’t debate much here…I love sharing my faith here, and trying to answer any questions that people have, but I was once a staunch Fundamental Baptist, who thought I knew it all…and actually my upbringing in the Baptist faith has actually made me a better Orthodox Christian, believe it or not…but I just don’t see any reason to resort to name calling, or making someone feel like I’m superior in my “biblical knowledge”…plus I didn’t like someone telling me I was wrong or trying to push me in one direction or another…It took me every bit of 5 years to finally end up as an Orthodox Christian…
     
  18. Yeshua1

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    We baptists are NOT here to be superior to the orthodox or catholics...

    Its to pint out per the BIBLE that their versions of the Gospel are NOT per jesus and paul, and would NOT be the power of God unto salvation to members of their churches!
     
  19. Agnus_Dei

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    Sorry Yeshua1, but there are many differences between the RCC and that of the Orthodox Christian Church…our lead priest started out as a Roman Catholic and after Vatican II, he had enough of the changes the RC had and was going through and also a few courses he took while he was attending a semester of college in England that convinced him that a lot of the catholic dogma’s he believed in had holes in them and he began investigating Orthodox Christianity…

    And also, from a personal witness…I’ve taken the required Catholic RCIA class needed to become RC and the required Orthodox Catechesis class…so I became familiar with the differences not only between RC and Orthodoxy, but just how similar some of the RC views are to Protestantism…as I alluded to in earlier posts regarding justification…

    Furthermore, what really gets under a Baptist skin who despises Roman Catholicism is to ask them why they celebrate Easter on the same day as Catholics do…we Orthodox compute Easter on a different day and celebrate Easter accordingly…it’s nice because we get to take advantage of all the reduced Easter prices…lol , but that’s seriously not the right answer…we Orthodox just didn’t do as the Pope commanded centuries ago when he revised the calendar…Protestantism, being born out of RC, kept the computing of Easter as it was, so that’s why (although in a very simple laymen explanation) the Orthodox Church never bought into the Calendar change…we saw no reason to change it…
     
  20. Walter

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    Excellent post, Agnus Dei! I've been mocked and called a 'little Catholic want to be' on this board. The bullying tactics really aren't very Christ like and certainly don't push me in the direction of that kind of 'Christianity'. Thanks for what you bring to this board. Wish you would post more often! :wavey:
     

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