The Myth of "faith being credited for Righteousness"

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by The Biblicist, Aug 16, 2016.

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  1. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    I noticed that more than one on this forum has asserted that it was Abraham's faith that is "credited for righteousness." This is a misnomer, if those using this phrase mean one of three things below:

    1. That this "faith" does not represent or is not inseparable from its object - which is the gospel of Christ.
    2. That Abraham did not receive the legal position of righteousness before God at the point of faith.
    3. That righteousness was put on credit for Abraham to receive sometime after his life


    If any of these are being asserted by the phrase "faith being credited for righteousness" then those using this phrase are teaching "another gospel" and denying the very substance of justification by faith as Paul is presenting the justification of Abraham by faith as THE STANDARD PATTERN for "all who are of faith." All three positions should be regarded as absolute heresies and rejected by all true children of God and openly and repeatedly condemned as the worst of errors.


    A. Abraham's Faith and imputed righteousness inseparable from its object.

    Rom. 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
    25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
    26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.


    Rom. 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

    Rom. 4:23 ¶ Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
    24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;


    Please note Romans 4:5 that Abraham's faith is not merely generic but has a specified object "believeth ON HIM." Note that when applied to you in me in Romans 4:23 that our faith to be justifying faith must have the very same specified object "If we believe ON HIM that raised up Jesus."

    The reason Abraham's faith is imputed for righteousness is because it is placed in the promise of God concerning the provision of Christ for salvation and it is that provision that provided him the legal position as righteous before God and the legal basis for remission of sins.


    1. Remission of sins by faith in Christ had been preached by all the prophets:

    To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. - Acts 10:43


    2. Sacrifices were the believers visible expression of faith in God's provision for their sin which symbolized Christ.

    the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. - Rev. 13:8

    The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.-Jn. 1:29


    B. Abrahams legal status by faith is righteousness and remission of sins at the point of faith - Rom. 4:6-8

    6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
    7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
    8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
    9 ¶ Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.


    Paul uses David to describe the blessed state of remitted sins and imputed righteousness which he applies directly to Abraham and his doctrine of justification by faith. To be justified by faith is to attain this blessed state and to be this blessed man. Paul is arguing that Abraham attained that state before God - that his sins were remitted and the righteousness of God was imputed to him = justification.

    This should be obvious as the Law has two demands against every child of fallen Adam. (1) Condemned by sin; (Rom. 3:19-20). (2) Come short of the glory of God - God's own righteousness (Rom. 3:21-23). The essence of justification is to satisfy both demands of the law. Abraham in his own person did not satisfy either nor could he ever satisfy them in his own person but remained "ungodly" in his own person with regard to both standards as long as he lived on earth just like us. Justification removed legal condemnation by the Law by the removal of all sin and imputation of God's own righteousness received "by faith" in God's promised gospel provision (Gal. 3:6-8) found only "in Christ" but symbolized by sacrifice (Gal. 3:17).

    C. Our Status of justification can be no different than Abraham's as it is his justification that is our Pattern rather than our justification is his pattern. - Rom. 4:11; Gal. 3:6-8

    CONCLUSION: To be "justified by faith" is to be justified by the gospel provision of the promised Christ that obtains the status of "the blessed man" before the legal tribunal of God at the point of faith. Abraham was thus justified "in uncirumcision" as a completed action (Aorist tense verb "justified - v. 11) just as we are.
     
    #1 The Biblicist, Aug 16, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
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  2. percho

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    Isn't that the same thing I have been trying to say. That Abraham's faith wasn't what was in his mind concerning anything but what was told him. That in his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed. He was justified by what was told him?

    IMHO God justified Abraham by the belief of God the Father in the obedience of the Son of God, born of woman. By the obedience of One.
    IMHO the Faith of our justification was foreordained before the foundation of the world in the blood of the Christ as of a lamb without spot and without blemish.

    I, "pray," you do not think this is off topic for to me it is the topic.
     
  3. The Biblicist

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    No, you are right on topic. Yes, his faith was placed in what God promised through Christ. Thanks for the comment.
     
  4. Van

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    Romans 4:4-5 (NASB)
    Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,

    The Myth is that God does not credit our faith as righteousness.

     
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  5. JamesL

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    I'm curious. Did you read the 3 monomers listed in the OP?

    I'm curious, because in order to object to the premise you would have to disagree with the further explanations.

    Now, I have one in mind specifically - the notion of a generic and ambiguous "faith" without an object.

    While I'm not one to use a typical set of phrases like "object of faith" because I tend to just speak in plain language, I know what he meant and agree.

    Here you quoted Romans 4:5 and highlighted your pet phrase, but seemingly ignored the part I've underlined

    But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness

    That underlined phrase is the crux of the matter. That underlined phrase is the definition of this "faith" which is credited as righteousness. We believe in Him.

    The one who "believes in Him" does so because he was drawn by the Father, convicted by the Holy Spirit, and enlightened to the truth of the gospel that Jesus died, was buried, and rose according to scripture. Then, after this work of God to bring us to a knowledge of the truth, and we now have faith, He credits that faith as righteousness.

    I have to ask - do you think this "faith" which gets credited as righteousness is something other than believing in Jesus Christ?

    I have encountered those who think "believe in Him" or "faith" means to believe that "He" can grant eternal life, no matter whatever traits and attributes "He" may or may not possess.

    I have also encountered those who think "faith" is a commitment of obedience - a promise of faithfulness.

    So, I would imagine that if you weren't impressed with the position of faith as laid out in the OP, you must have a clearly articulated definition of this faith which gets credited as righteousness
     
    #5 JamesL, Aug 16, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
  6. Van

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    Hi JamesL, no I did not bother to read the fiction that denies God credits our faith in Christ as righteousness. The thread title presented an unbiblical falsehood.

    My post did not address the content of Abraham's faith. That was not the issue. His faith, Abraham's faith, whatever the content, was credited as righteousness.

    I did not ignore what was plainly stated in my quote. For you to assert that I did, means you think you are a mind reader.
    1) It may be true that in order to believe in Him, a person must be drawn by the Father. But you did not support the assertion from scripture.
    2) It may be true that everyone who believes in Him was convicted by the Holy Spirit. But you did not support the assertion from scripture.
    3) Now your third assertion, "enlightened to the truth of the gospel" apparently means something more than hearing the gospel and understanding the gospel, and accepting that the gospel is true. You did not support this additional divine action assertion from scripture.
    4) Your assertion that our believing is "a work of God" meaning work done by God, is without support in scripture. John 6:29, according to the NET translation says, 47 “This is the deed God requires – to believe in the one whom he sent.” Thus the meaning of the ambiguous "work of God" means work God requires of us.
    5) It is silly if God established our faith, that He would need to credit it as righteousness. No, the only way Romans 4:5 makes sense is if it is our faith, which may or may not reflect what God is requiring.
    6) Scripture is crystal, the faith described in Romans 4:24 is faith in the one who raised Jesus from the dead, which of course is our Triune God Yahweh.
     
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  7. The Biblicist

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    My post did not address the content of Abraham's faith. That was not the issue. His faith, Abraham's faith, whatever the content, was credited as righteousness. - Van

    James, the underlined portion is what I was referring to. Not only the preceding (Rom. 3:24-26) and closing context (Rom. 4:22-25) defines precisely the "content" (substance) of Abraham's faith is in Christ as the Savior from sin, but Paul explicitly states that this is the gospel content of his faith in Galatians 1:6-8, while Jesus confirms Abraham's faith content was in Christ (Jn 8).

    Abraham is presented as the pattern for "all who are of faith" and If it makes no difference what content or what faith has for its object then anyone can justified before God for believing God's promise about tithing, or about baptism or about etc, and Christ and his redemptive work is wholly unnecessary as the substance and object of justifying faith.

    Therefore, JW's and Mormon's can be justified before God for believing God's promise to bless those who give to the poor.

    Now Van may accuse me of misrepresenting him but his words are "WHATEVER the content." This definition of faith content is as opposed to gospel of Jesus Christ as any cultic doctrine in existence. It makes justification based own "whatever" promise of God you believe rendering the gospel of Christ no more important than any other promise of God found in scripture with regard to eternal justification before God.
     
    #7 The Biblicist, Aug 16, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
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  8. Van

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    More misrepresentation. What ever the content, does not define the content. To claim it supports something other than what God credited as righteousness is slander.
     
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  9. The Biblicist

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    To say the content is not defined by WHATEVER may be the content is oxymoronic! It is like saying the content of your prescription pills does not matter because that does not define the prescription pill. Try that on your drugist when you go to the drug store next time. Tell him, It does not matter whatever the content may be of the pills you give me because that does not define those pills- Yeah right!
     
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  10. JamesL

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    Well, if you didn't even read the original post then how in the world do you think your post even pertains to the thread?

    Well, I took your post as coming from someone who had taken the time to read the original post. Silly me


    I didn't assert anything. Is it possible you ignored my use of the word "seemingly" ?
    Or maybe you don't know what "seemingly" means?


    uh, if you don't know where that's at by now,

    hmmm. See my remarks to point #1

    I'll make you a deal. As soon as you provide a scripture for "accepting" I'll reciprocate with scripture for enlightenment.

    thus....boy, that's rich. An NET paraphrase = "thus"

    But it also "seems" that you're conveniently ignoring the notes in the NET. Notes 23 & 24 show clearly that the Greek reads "This is the work of God"

    Now, while I don't believe this one verse is tsaying that our belief is the handiwork of God, it sure isn't saying that our belief is our work. It's a bit of hyperbole

    All you have to do is look at the context - work for food. Same kind of hyperbole as eating His flesh and drinking His blood. And the Jews understood this, or else they would not have asked Him to show them a sign so they would see it and believe in Him (verse 30)

    They even quoted scripture with "He gave them bread from heaven to eat" (verse 31)

    And in verse 32 Jesus said "My Father Is Giving You The True Bread From Heaven"

    Now, just to recap...Jesus told them to work for the food, the bread of life. He never said that eating the food was the work He was talking about. But eating the food was a metaphor for believing.

    Then, He even went on to teach that they didn't have to work to get this food because God was giving it to them

    So what if it seems silly to you. God didn't give scripture to appease you, He gave it to convey truth

    ok, so why are you arguing against that teaching?
     
  11. Van

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    Hi JamesL
    1) You did not provide scripture to support your claims.
    2) You seemingly falsely implied I had ignored part of the text.
    3) Yes I said "accepting the gospel as true." Mark 4:20 And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” See also John 12:48.John 17:8, Romans 11:15, 2 Corinthians 11:14 and Galatians 1:9.
    4) "Work of God" is ambiguous, but Dr. Dan Wallace, who is a Greek scholar, identified the unambiguous meaning.
    5) It is silly to think that since God established our faith, that He would need to credit it as righteousness. No, the only way Romans 4:5 makes sense is if it is our faith, which may or may not reflect what God is requiring.
    6) I did not argue against that teaching, you created fault where none existed.
     
    #11 Van, Aug 17, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
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  12. The Biblicist

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    James, I'm surprised you let something this ridiculous go unanswered? Then again, it is so absurd that probably you thought it didn't need a response as its absurdity is obvious.

    When did Dr. Wallace become God? I demonstrated what it means in its context and I didn't see Van or anyone else attempt to point out where my exposition had flaws. If somebody thinks I'm wrong, then don't just assert it (as van) but demonstrate it by pointing out where in my exposition I made a mistake- none have so far.

    Again, the CONTEXT demands that the "faith" which is credited has a REQUIRED content for its "substance" which is God's own righteousness provided in Christ (Rom. 3:21-22; 24-26; 4:23-25; Gal.1:6-8) and so it is the "righteousness of God in Christ" that is being credited to Abraham and Paul plainly says so in Gal. 3:17 ("in Christ"). The covenant was made "in Christ" 430 years prior to the giving of the Law. Faith simply embraced it and God imputed what faith embraced which Faith IS the substance it embraces.

    There is no righteousness outside of the righteousness of God provided in Christ just read these introductory lines to justification by Paul:

    21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
    22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

    If you can't understand these two verses let me help you.Verse 21 says that God's own personal righteousness had been previously revealed in the Law and the Old Testament scriptures written by the Prophets testified or gave witness of God's righteous nature.

    Verse 22 says that God's own righteousness is communicated "by faith" which has for its object Jesus Christ (objective genitive) and so believers obtain God's righteousness by faith. How they obtain it by faith is spelled out in chapter 4 it is "imputed".
     
    #12 The Biblicist, Aug 21, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
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  13. Internet Theologian

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    And there you have it 'folks'... :)
     
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  14. Van

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    LOL, more twaddle.

    1) Work of God is ambiguous. Any claim otherwise is irrational.

    2) Dr. Dan Wallace's translation of John 6:29 clearly presents the meaning of the verse, it refers to the work God requires of us.

    3) Pay no attention to claims the "context" requires blah blah blah. What is actually being asserted is that the nameless doctrine requires misconstruing the text. Note the reversal of sequence, the claim we have been placed in Christ before our faith can be credited as righteousness. Meanwhile, scripture says we are saved by grace through faith, meaning faith precedes salvation in Christ.
     
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  15. JamesL

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    Honestly,
    I think you have such a disdain for Predestination and Unconditional Election that anything you perceive as even remotely similar must be objected to on the grounds of "Calvinist hooey"

    I'm telling you, man, this thread is not espousing Calvinism. He's talking about what it means to have biblical faith - the kind of faith which is credited as righteousness.

    I've also noted in the past that you hold an important Calvinist tenet - Perseverance of the Saints (or the inevitability of works).

    So before you decry the whole of this thread based in periphral similarity with Calvinism, you ought to check your own Calvinism at the door.
     
  16. Rob_BW

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    1. Agree
    2. Cal v. Arm
    3. Do you have a link to anyone with this stance?
     
  17. Van

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    Hi JamesL, no one gave you license to violate the rules and address what you see are my supposed faults. Those that cannot defend their positions biblically use "against the man arguments."

    You asked a question about "accepting" the gospel, I answered it, and you did not acknowledge.

    My view is God does not instill faith, he provides revelation through His gospel, and we either respond fully or to some lesser degree or reject it.

    Next, you put forth a bogus view, that once saved always saved requires works. Faithful faith, live faith, faith from which faithfulness flows does require good works to sustain salvation. You still get to heaven as one escaping from a fire. OTOH, the absence of faithful faith suggests the person was never saved per Matthew 7:23, depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.

    I will repeat my question, "3) Now your third assertion, "enlightened to the truth of the gospel" apparently means something more than hearing the gospel and understanding the gospel, and accepting that the gospel is true. You did not support this additional divine action assertion from scripture."

    Lastly, God chooses us for salvation through faith in the truth. This means our faith precedes our conditional election.

    Plenty of content on the characteristics of faith.
     
  18. Van

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    God credited Abraham's faith as righteousness. It is not a myth.
     
  19. The Biblicist

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    His faith was in the provision of God's righteousness in Christ, that was the substance of his faith and it is the righteousness of God that was legally imputed, put on his account, an external righteousness not found in him.

    He does not credit just any kind of faith, nor any faith at all except it is faith in God's provision of his own righteousness in Christ, because the righteousness of God IS the substance of justifying faith and that is why his faith, and only that kind of faith, can be imputed to the "ungodly" giving him a righteous legal standing before God. Neither was the "righteousness" the inherent righteousness of Abraham, but was the righeousness belonging to God, found in Christ, it is this righteousness that his faith embraced and it is this righteousness legally imputed to Abraham and to "all who are of faith" that is, the kind of "faith" illustrated in Abraham - gospel faith.

    So, if you are saying mere undefined faith in any undefined promise of God is what justifies Abraham or any other sinner, you are dead wrong. The ONLY faith that justifies is the gospel content faith.

    Just jerking words out of their context "his faith was imputed for righteousness" and then redefining those words contrary to the contextual definition of that faith is perverting God's Word. The context defines and restricts that "faith" to gospel content (Rom. 3:20-26; 4:22-25; Gal. 1:8-9).
     
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  20. Van

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    LOL, repeating bogus views will not accomplish anything.

    Abraham's faith was in God, the mystery of Christ was not yet revealed.

    No one said Abraham was righteous, or was made righteous during his lifetime.
    His faith was credited as righteousness.

    It is God alone who credits faith as righteousness. He determines whether to do it or not.

    Did I say "his faith was imputed for righteousness? Nope More obfuscation. Try his faith was credited as righteousness.

    I took nothing out of context and did not redefine any words. More false charges, more smoke, more obfuscation.

    Faith before election.
    Faith before being placed "in Christ."
    Faith before salvation.

    The idea that faith is instilled via irresistible grace is a myth. The idea that faith is instilled by supernatural enlightenment is a myth. The gospel of Christ is the power of God for salvation.
     
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