The Moral Law's Standard of Righteousness

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Dr. Walter, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    What is the moral Law's standard for righteousness? How good does one have to be in order for the law to justify them as "good" enough in God's sight?

    1. Does your righteousness have to exceed human standards - Mt. 5:20

    2. Does your righteousness have to equal God's own - Mt. 5:48

    3. How good is God's own righteousness? Did he ever sin in the past? in the present? will he in the future?

    4. Does the Law overlook failure in only one point? - James 2:10

    5. How many sins does it take to be condemned and cursed by the Law?

    6. How many come short of that standard - Rom. 3:23

    7. Can God justify the "ungodly" without works - Rom. 4:5

    8. Who can you find that has measured up to the Law's standard of good?
     
  2. BobRyan

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    Those who enjoy "circling back" to the condition of the lost when it comes to the Law of God - will always have plenty of texts that talk about the fact that "The lost are lost" and that "all mankind have sinned".

    And of course - we can all agree with them on that "condition of the lost" and the "POV of the LOST" when confronted with God's Word - Scripture - the Commandments of God.

    But it is a joy for many Christians to note that the "perspective of the lost" is not the only one available in scripture when it comes to obeying the Word of God.

    For we also have the "perspective of the saved saint" who "Perseveres in doing good" Rom 2:7 who "hears Christ's words and obeys them ... producing good fruit" Matt 7, who considers that "what matters is KEEPING the Commandments of God" 1Cor 7:19.

    But as long as the only condition "allowed" is the condition of the lost - then yes - we can circle back to the texts that speak of the ungodly and the lost sinner who is condemned by the Law of God.

    Paul addresses this johnny-one-note problem in Heb 6.

    Hebrews 6
    1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
    2 of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.
    3 And this we will do, if God permits

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  3. Dr. Walter

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    However, that is from the perspective of those already JUSTIFIED by faith rather than trying to be justified by observing the works of the law.

    Romans 4:9-12; 23-25; 5:1-2 use the Aorist and Perfect tenses demonstrating that the subject being discussed in this chapter, namely justification by faith in the Person and work of Christ "for us" (Rom. 4:23-25)is an accomplished action prior at the point of faith prior to submission to divine ordinances (Abraham was justified by faith 14 years previous to circumcision) and living out the Christian life. Furthermore, it is this same justification by faith of this chapter that is pitted to law keeping in Galatians 3:10-13.

    What you are attempting to do is to take this COMPLETED ACTION at the point of faith in God's promise of salvation in the gospel (Gal. 3:6-8) and make it an INCOMPLETED action based upon the very thing it is presented as the antithesis to - law keeping in order to be justified.

    The fact that Abraham was justified by faith as a completed action "had" (4:12) in his uncircumcision 14 years before submission to a Divine ordinance, and that this "faith" is presented in contrast to "works" in Romans 4:5 destroys you attempt to make it an incompleted on going action inclusive of works, law keeping.

    Furthermore, "good works" in regard to those ALREADY JUSTIFIED in the sight of God is based upon the indwelling progressive work of the Holy Spirit through the inward, renewed man created in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 2:10a; 4:24; Col. 3:10) which works are produced by God through the justified believer (Philip. 2:13) which are intermixed with works of the flesh and thus do not present a TOTAL LIFE that is "good" enough to be JUSTIFIED in the sight of God for entrance into heaven. What is produced in the life of the justified saint are INDIVIDUALIZED works "good" that form PART of his life which are only "good" for rewards in heaven and blessings here on earth.

    Justification before God for entrance into heaven requires a TOTAL LIFE that is "good" according to the Law's standard.

    Rewards and blessings for the already justified saint does not require TOTAL LIFE goodness but are INDIVIDUALIZED "according to their works" where only those produced by the Holy Spirit through the inward man are "good" for rewards - I Cor. 3:11-14. However, the justified man will be "saved even as by fire" based upon Christ's goodness already imputed to him.

     
  4. BobRyan

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    True - the perspective of the saved saint when it comes to God's Law is very different from that of the lost sinner.

    Justification that is past - changes the status from lost to saved and it is not based on works.


    That much is true.

    That much is false as there is nothing in those texts about "prior to faith" or "justified prior to faith" no not there NOR in all of scripture.

    By contrast we see in Romans 10 "with the heart man BELIEVES resulting in righteousness and with the mouth confesses RESULTING in salvation".

    And From Heb 11 "Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE please Him".


    That much is true.

    (BTW Justification by faith - is not the same idea as justification BEFORE faith that you posted above)

    How so?

    Circular reasoning - I never claimed that justification past is "incomplete".

    The fact that you can lose your salvation as we see in Matt 18, John 15, Rom 11, (and all the Perseverance texts I listed previously this morning) is not a claim that you were not in fact born-again, and accepted by God as a saved saint at one time.

    That much is true - and it would do no good to simply circle back to the condition of the lost when addressing those texts.


    True. The life of the saint is one that is walked in the Spirit (Romans 8) and is covered by the atoning blood of Christ.

    Actually if you were sinless no "justification" is applicable at all - Jesus has no need to be "justified" at His ascension to enter heaven - because He had no sin.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  5. Dr. Walter

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    I never said "justified prior TO faith." Note the preposition "AT" faith. Poor sentence structure on my part but I did not say "prior TO" but rather justification took place previous to ordinances "AT" faith.
     
  6. Dr. Walter

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    Either you are justified by faith as a completed action at the point of faith in the gospel or you are being justified by faith through your works. If you have been justified before God as a completed action you are not BEING justified before God as an incompleted action as the latter contradicts the former. It is like saying I have been justified but I am not yet justified because I am in the process of being justified. This is what happens when justification in the sight of God is confused with progressive sanctification which includes justification IN THE SIGHT OF MEN.
     
  7. Dr. Walter

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    You got it! This is exactly why Jesus approached the Scribe and Rich Young Ruler on the basis of law keeping and did not mention anything about believing in him for justification. This is exactly why Paul does not mention one word about anyone believing in Christ in Romans 2:6-10 because those in Romans 1:19-32 and Romans 2:17-29 are coming to God on the basis of their own merits. That is why Paul in Galatians 3:10-13 says the law is not "of faith" becuase you don't need faith or justification to approach God on the merits of personal law keeping and because there is NONE GOOD BUT ONE, AND THAT IS GOD, then NO MAN CAN BE JUSTIFIED in the sight of God by law keeping.
     
  8. BobRyan

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    Point taken. I missed that.:thumbs:
     
  9. BobRyan

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    You are justified at the point of salvation - at the new birth "Having BEEN justified by faith we HAVE peace with God" Rom 5:1.

    You get the part where the lost need salvation.

    You get the part where a man is justified at the moment of the new birth - such that if he died that instant - his reward is heaven.

    But you miss the part of Perseverance of the saints - so you try to imagine Bible instruction about how the lost are to persevere and not to fail to persevere.

    Which is where your OSAS filter is not helping you with the text.

    At what point did you find me saying "you are being justified"??

    I never argue for that.

    Rather I argue for the justification that is past in Romans 5:1 and for the justification that is future - in Romans 2:13-16.

    The justification that is past - changes your status from lost to saved.

    And for the saints - the justification that is future merely demonstrates the Matt 7 principle of Christ "by their fruits you shall know them".

    For the lost - it unmasks their pretense.

    But the lost do not "Become saved" in that future Rom 2:11-13 Justification (which of course they fail to get) nor do the saved become lost in that future Rom 2:11-16 Justification (in fact that do have "judgment passed in favor of the saints" Dan 7:22).

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
    #9 BobRyan, Jun 9, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2010
  10. Dr. Walter

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    Justification is what obtains eternal life as justification is what denies the possibility of condemnation. No justified person can be condemned by God or they are not justified by God. Justisfication is not conditional but permenant because it is based upon the faithfulness of Christ not the sinner. It is the "ungodly" man that God justifies "without works."

    God is the author of justifying faith and what he begins he will complete (Philip. 1:6) as Jesus is both the author and the finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2). That is why ALL that the Father gives Christ, ALL come to Christ and ALL who come to Christ NONE are lost (Jn. 6:37-39) as God is the author of saving faith (Jn. 6:40).

    Perseverance in saving faith is evidence that God is working in them finishing what he began.

    Incomplete obedience, and that is the best any justified man can do, does not save those in Matthew 7:21-23 which Christ "NEVER" knew any more than it saves those whom Christ "foreknew" in Romans 8:29 as ALL he "foreknew" in Romans 8:29 He also foreknew to be glorified - every single one. All it does is MANIFEST that they MAY be saved people and confirms their faith before the eyes of men (James 2).

    Those who do not persevere in the faith are those within whom faith was NEVER mixed with the Gospel (Heb. 4:2) and their apostasy from their false profession manifests they were NEVER of the people of God (I Jn. 2:19).

    God knows every one of His own but the world does not and we as Christians do not. Perseverance in good works is good for present blessings, usefulness and future rewards but not for entrance into heaven as that is obtained solely through justification by faith in the merits of Christ not by righteousness produced through us by the Spirit of God.





     
  11. billwald

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    In American criminal courts the verdict is either "guilty" or "not guilty." The verdict is NEVER "innocent." Citizens continually complain that people who obviously are not innocent of the charges get off on a technicality.

    Seems to me that Christianity is based upon getting off on a technicality.
     
  12. BobRyan

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    You have stated the OSAS-filtered view of justification well and you have exposed its weakness.

    Matt 18 - the fully forgiven - experiences "forgiveness revoked" and is turned over to the torturers.

    In Ezek 18 - the righteous dies the second death for failing to persevere.

    In John 15 the branches IN Christ are removed from Christ and cast into the fire - destroyed - reduced to ashes.

    in 1Cor 9 - Paul says "I buffet my body and make it my slave LEST after preaching the Gospel to others I myself am disqualified".

    In Romans 11 those who STAND by faith - are warned to persevere for "IF God did not spare them - neither will He spare you".

    The problems with the OSAS-filtered view are myriad.

    In God's Free WILL system that requires that the saints "choose" to persevere rather than "growing weary and losing heart" Heb 12:1-4.


    This is THE circular argument masterpiece of all time!!

    It argues that when a LOST person fails to CONTINUE being saved - he proves he was never saved - because he failed to keep ON being saved.

    It is the worst, most tortured logic I have ever run across. YEt THAT is the degree of bible-bending that is required by the OSAS argument when texts like Gal 5:4 "FALLen from Grace..SEVERED from Christ", Romans 11 "you stand only by your FAITH ... if He did not spare them neither will He spare you" and Heb 6 come up.

    I can't believe anybody takes it seriously.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  13. Thinkingstuff

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    Sorry, but I find that view very limited and incongruent with what happens to the Christian upon rebirth. In fact, I think that particular view to be crass and ill informed. IMO
     
  14. Andre

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    The problem is that we have Paul speaking of a future justification as well as a present justification:

    for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

    I suggest that we cannot be faithful to what Paul actually writes with this view that justification is a "one-time" event. We need to do the hard work of accomodating the fact that he writes of a present justification by faith and a future justification by good works.

    As I have argued in other threads, I think we can make this all work together by accounting for the "Spirit" teaching (e.g. in Romans 8). It is indeed true that we are jusfified by faith in the present precisely because faith results in the gift of the Spirit which transforms the believer into the kind of person who will indeed pass the future "good works" judgement described in Romans 2 and 2 Corinthians 5 (and other places).
     
  15. BobRyan

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    Certainly it is true that Paul refers to future justification in Romans 2:11-6 and in past justification in Romans 5:1-2.

    Past justification changes our salvation status from lost to saved.

    Future justification is based on the "by their fruits you shall know them" rule of Christ in Matt 7. It reveals the state of the person - it does not change it.

    Thus a saved saint that "perseveres in doing good" Rom 2:7 is approved in that future justification.

    Thus they will be included in the succeeding examples of Romans 2:4-19.

    But the righteous that falls away (as discussed in Ezek 18, Gal 5:4, Heb 3, Romans 11, John 15:1-6 ...) will be "revealed" to be one who is no longer born-again, no longer walking in the Spirit.

    Thus they will be included in the failing examples of Romans 2:4-29.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  16. Dr. Walter

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    And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. - Mt. 18:30


    And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. - Mt. 18:34

    Hell is not in view here because the servant cannot send anyone to hell (v. 30) and the very same language is true both of the servant in regard to the person owing him as it is of the Master to this servant "till he should pay the debt." In regard to forgiveness of sins, that has been settled in justification by faith. Jesus is talking about saved people here in regard to sanctification and their experience. Even though our sins have been paid in full and forgiven in justification and we have peace "with" God. However, that is not necessarily true in our subjective experience in regard to peace "of" God. In progressive sanctification we can be turned over the the "tormentors" and lose the "peace of God" because of our sins. David speaks of being handed over to torment:

    Psa. 32: 3 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
    4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.


    In Ezekiel 18 it has reference to JUDICIAL PYSICAL death only as recompense for the sins of the Fathers. No man suffers capital punishment for their Fathers sins. A righteous man who turns wicked is subject to judicial death.

    Ezek. 18:1 What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?
    3 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.
    4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.


    John 15 does not refer to eternal death but to judgement by men in regard to their failure to produce fruits. It is "men" who take and burn (judge) them because the lack of fruit that justifies their profession. Jesus is talking about experiential life in Christ or the walk of the Christian, His joy. He is not talking about their redemption union with Christ but their experiential union or practice.

    Notice in verse 3 they were regarded as "clean" or in a regenerate condition. This is not about their justification but about progressive sanctification or producing fruit. Abiding "in him" is not in reference to spiritual union because the believer is not in charge of maintaining that union as that is beyond his ability to control. However, experiential union in Christ is his obligation (Col. 2:6), without which he will lose his joy, assurance, usefulness and authenticity before men. These are the aspects under consideration by Christ in this text:

    7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. = ANSWERED PRAYER
    8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. = EVIDENTIAL DISCIPLESHIP
    9 ¶ As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. EXPERIENTIAL LOVE OR APPROBATION
    10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
    11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. = FULL JOY


    I Corintians 9 "disqualified" is not referring to heaven but reward in heaven:

    24 ¶ Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
    25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

    Romans 11 is not talking about INDIVIDUAL salvation. Notice that the branches that have been broken off are to be grafted in "again." If breaking off refers to losing individual salvation and then they are grafted in "again" then they could be saved, lost and saved. That would contradict Hebrews 4:6 which says it is "impossible to renew them again" to repentance.
    This is talking about NATIONAL privilege to salvation. Israel as a NATION has been cut off from the privileges temporarily so that salvation can come to the GENTILES as a people. When the GENTILES as a people abuse that privilege then God will return to Israel as a people and graft them in "again" to those privileges.

    Your interpretations contradict the explicit denial of Christ in John 6:37-39. He says he shall lose "NOTHING" "OF ALL" that were given him by the Father and you simply call Him a liar and interpret scripture to call Him a liar.

    Your misinterpretations can be corrected simply by paying heed to the immediate and overall context of the scriptures you use. However, you have not been able to interpret John 6:37-39 to fit your position. John 6:37-39 is not like the texts you have to interpret and infer saved people get lost but it deals specifically and directly with possible apostasy of truely saved persons and denies the possibility.



    QUOTE=BobRyan;1558013]You have stated the OSAS-filtered view of justification well and you have exposed its weakness.

    Matt 18 - the fully forgiven - experiences "forgiveness revoked" and is turned over to the torturers.

    In Ezek 18 - the righteous dies the second death for failing to persevere.

    In John 15 the branches IN Christ are removed from Christ and cast into the fire - destroyed - reduced to ashes.

    in 1Cor 9 - Paul says "I buffet my body and make it my slave LEST after preaching the Gospel to others I myself am disqualified".

    In Romans 11 those who STAND by faith - are warned to persevere for "IF God did not spare them - neither will He spare you".

    The problems with the OSAS-filtered view are myriad.



    In God's Free WILL system that requires that the saints "choose" to persevere rather than "growing weary and losing heart" Heb 12:1-4.




    This is THE circular argument masterpiece of all time!!

    It argues that when a LOST person fails to CONTINUE being saved - he proves he was never saved - because he failed to keep ON being saved.

    It is the worst, most tortured logic I have ever run across. YEt THAT is the degree of bible-bending that is required by the OSAS argument when texts like Gal 5:4 "FALLen from Grace..SEVERED from Christ", Romans 11 "you stand only by your FAITH ... if He did not spare them neither will He spare you" and Heb 6 come up.

    I can't believe anybody takes it seriously.

    in Christ,

    Bob[/QUOTE]
     
    #16 Dr. Walter, Jun 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2010
  17. BobRyan

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    You are trying to make the parable walk on all fours.

    Christ applies the parable directly saying "So shall my FATHER do to each one of YOU". At no point is the "application" of the parable "So shall YOU be enabled to turn over your brother to the torturers".

    You are trying to bend this point to be about whether the servants can actually deliver each other to hell. Notice that in the model the GREAT debt is the one that the servant owes to God.

    The miniscule debt is what servants owe each other and can be paid without the loss of life.

    But in applying that model to Us Christ said it is what God the FATHER will do to US if we do not forgive the tiny-debt of our brother against us. (Hint: Hitler)

    It is tiny as compared to the our HUGE debt of sin before God.


    Ahhh - another point of "agreement".

    Christ is arguing the case to the saved. Christ argues that out of our gratitude for our own case where WE have received forgiveness (of our GREAT debt before God) we are to forgive others their tiny-debts (by comparison) against us.


    The is a horrible bend-and-wrench of the text - for it is not merely peace with God that is "owed" or "suffered" and relieved in our "GREAT debt" but it is hell itself. Ezek 18:4 "The soul that sins it shall die" and as we see in Rom 2:23 "The wages of sin is death".

    The GREAT debt forgiven each of us - (illustrated as the massive DEBT of Matt 18) is the debt of sinning against God.

    In the Matt 18 parable we START off needing forgiveness of that GREAT debt and it is only AFTER obtaining it that we are expected to forgive others.

    Wrong.

    In Ezek 18 - the righteous all live - and the wicked all die. There is no such thing as "the righteous got sick and died" or "the righteous get old and die just like the wicked" in Ezek 18.

    In Ezek 18 - they all are subject to God's judgment. ALL of God's people live and ALL of the wicked die. That is not true in this life in any context - it is only true in the next.

    At the time Ezekiel is in Babylon in Ezek 18 - you are trying to bend and wrench this text to claim that Babylonian law only killed the wicked and always saved the righteous -as if this was the great gospel message of God to Ezekiel.

    Sadly that may be the path the OSAS needs - but it is not exegetically sound in the least. (Hint Daniel 2, 3, 6).

    Again - a case of bend and wrench of the text to protect OSAS and it only works if you ignore the inconvenient details of vs 1-6 as you do in your review of John 15.

    John 15
    1 ""I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
    2 ""Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.
    3 "" You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
    4 "" Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
    5 ""I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
    6 ""If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.


    In the actual text it is God that is taking action to remove and burn the branches.



    Every branch "IN ME" that does not bear fruit .. is removed. As we both know - there is no salvation apart from Christ.

    No good way to get around it.

    Indeed - just one of the blessings of being connected to Christ.

    But your whole OSAS argument is based on the idea of "saved anyway" apart from Christ. A concept that the Bible does not support.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  18. BobRyan

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    It implies that Paul said "After preaching the REWARDs of heaven to others I myself might get fewer rewards than my listeners".

    Such a bend and wrench of the text might be necessary for OSAS - but it not supported by the text itself.

    At the very least you argue the non-Biblical "Saints in heaven with no crown" as the problem that Paul is trying to avoid. Totally a wrench.

    Let's look at context.

     
  19. BobRyan

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    The text you conveniently leave out in John 6:40 is the one that says Christ is speaking of one who actually believes being lost. While that person believes he cannot be lost.

    "Everyone who beholds the Son AND BELIEVES" and "and who at one time Believed".

    In the parable of the sower Christ points to ground where the seed "springs to LIFE" and later dies.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  20. Jedi Knight

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    Jesus gives eternal life....not probation life. There is no "good" news for someone who wants to believes you can fall away.....who are you fooling? You cannot have the peace of God if you don't know if your at peace with God for one day to the next. That's not peace....that's a temporary restraining order.
     
    #20 Jedi Knight, Jun 12, 2010
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