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#40483 Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:34 AM
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Hi All!

I don't know if I ever touched on this issue here before...

A main RCC gripe against Reformed theology is that our concept of Justifiaction does not gel with the Bible.

Biblical accounts of Abraham and David are the prime exmaples used to dispute the Reformed doctrine of justifcation as a one time event.

Any thoughts (or resources)?

AC <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/coffee2.gif" alt="" />


The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

AC. #40484 Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:56 PM
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Romans 1-5 <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Ironically, in Romans 4, Paul uses Abraham and David as exhibits A and B for proving justification by faith alone! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bingo.gif" alt="" />


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
MarieP #40485 Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:49 PM
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Thanks for the response Marie -

the criticisms I receive are more centered around the concept that justification is a one time event rather than a process (and the events in the life of David and Abraham's as related in the Bible are used to make the case).

Is the declared righteousness of a believer a one time judicial declaration of righteousness imputed on the believer's account for Jesus' sake? Is the Bible clear on this (in the sense that Reformed theology explains JUSTIFICATION)


The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

AC. #40486 Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:51 PM
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Quote
AC. said:
the criticisms I receive are more centered around the concept that justification is a one time event rather than a process (and the events in the life of David and Abraham's as related in the Bible are used to make the case).

Is the declared righteousness of a believer a one time judicial declaration of righteousness imputed on the believer's account for Jesus' sake? Is the Bible clear on this (in the sense that Reformed theology explains JUSTIFICATION)
AC,

So, you are back to allowing yourself to be pummeled by those outside of Christ and who are alien to the truth of the Gospel again, eh?

Let the Scriptures be your guide:


Romans 4:3-8 (ASV) "For what saith the scripture? And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned as of grace, but as of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness. Even as David also pronounceth blessing upon the man, unto whom God reckoneth righteousness apart from works, [saying], Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, And whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom, the Lord will not reckon sin."


Now tell me, does that passage not make clear that justification was imputed to both Abraham and David upon their believing? And, is it not also clear that any type of works; singular or progressive, cannot justify?

And further:


Romans 5:1-2 (ASV) "Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; through whom also we have had our access by faith into this grace wherein we stand; and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God."

And

Romans 8:1-2 (ASV) "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death."


As for a defense of the biblical (Reformed) view of justification, surely you have visited and read the articles here haven't you?: Sola Fide - Justification by Faith ALONE

On a more personal note, IF you are doubting that the faith which God the Spirit creates within a believer is insufficient as the God-ordained means to justify one in Christ alone, then you are in serious peril. Rest in Christ alone through faith alone which is God's work of grace alone. The Lord Christ accomplished ALL that was necessary through HIS perfect work (active obedience) and by HIS death on the cross (passive obedience) to save the worst of sinners. NOTHING is to be added to HIS atoning grace nor can it be which would 'help' in salvation. Salvation is of the LORD!


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Pilgrim #40487 Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:46 AM
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Hey Pilgrim,

I don't doubt that we are justified by faith and there are no works on our part that can contribute to our salvation.

The argument that I've become acquainted with is Justification as a ONE & ONLY event.

I believe it is - I think it fits with the rest of scriptures and jives with say a Romans 7 (which is a testimony of a Justified man due to Christ's sake).

But when the RCC faithful attempt to pin point a Biblical explanation of Justification as a ONE & ONLY moment in the life of a true disciple and use the accounts of Abraham and David as the case studies the waters get a little murky and my clear Reformed scriptual vision begins to cloudy.

Maybe my knowledge and understanding of scriptures is too lacking.

Sincerely,

AC

Last edited by AC.; Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:47 AM.

The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

AC. #40488 Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:55 AM
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AC,

If (rhetorically) the Scriptural teaching re: justification is a divine judicial pronunciation/declaration that a sinner is not guilty due to the sufficiency of the merits of another accredited to him, how is it even logically possible that justification could be a "process"?

You are either guilty or not guilty. It simply doesn't make sense to suggest that a person is "becoming not guilty" particularly when one understands the nature of Christ's "once-for-all" vicarious substitutionary atonement. Christ's sacrifice was ACCEPTED by God as a FULL and COMPLETE payment for those whom He died. And when the merits of that atonement are applied to the elect, they are FULLY and COMPLETELY justified the moment they believe. For it is the work of the Spirit, fully in accord and complimentary to the will of the Father and Son, to regenerate, call, justify, sanctify and glorify those predestined to salvation in Christ Jesus. The only "process" is in the transformation of the believer AFTER they are justified. And this was and continues to be the major division between Rome and biblical Christianity; Sola Fide.

Since the followers of the Roman State Church are wanting to use Abraham and David as examples to formulate their doctrine vs. the clear didactic statements by the apostle Paul, et al, then perhaps they should consider a better example in the life of Joshua the high priest:


Zechariah 3:1-5 (ASV) "And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Jehovah, and Satan standing at his right hand to be his adversary. And Jehovah said unto Satan, Jehovah rebuke thee, O Satan; yea, Jehovah that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take the filthy garments from off him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with rich apparel. And I said, Let them set a clean mitre upon his head. So they set a clean mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments; and the angel of Jehovah was standing by."


How much clearer could one want the Holy Spirit have made it in this passage that a person is IMMEDIATELY deemed justified (righteous) before God? Joshua's "filthy garments" and sins were removed (cf. 2Sam 12:13; 24:10). He was then clothed with "rich apparel" (righteousness; Rev 3:4; 7:9) and a "clean mitre" was placed upon his head (cf. Ezek 21:31; Isa 62:3) which symbolized his priestly office (cf. 1Pet 2:5, 9; Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6). It should also be pointed out that Joshua wasn't made or infused with righteousness but rather he was clothed with righteousness which was not his own but a righteousness which was placed upon him; aka: alien righteousness. The garment and mitre didn't gradually materialize around him over a period of years. Contrariwise, he was clothed with these garments and mitre and was IMMEDIATELY declared and recognized as righteous.

simul iustus et peccator


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Pilgrim #40489 Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:56 AM
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Again - I'm in agreement!

I don't have the verses avaiable, but the RCC faithful will use examples in which various forms of the words Justify & Righteous are utilized in a context which follow the believers initial expression of faith - obviously God's outside of time - but when taking the scriptures literal there are instances when the terms 'justify' and 'righteous' are used in instances following an initial declaration of faith.

See here:

http://www.catholicintl.com/epologetics/dialogs/justification/amazon-review.htm

http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/page8.html


Pilgrim,

I appreciate you hanging with me on this....

Do you think these individuals are using faulty logic based on a hyper-literal twisting of scriptures (in which they are using Reformed terminology against us) or are they simply trying to foster confusion, or is it possible they are raising legitimate inconsistencies in our theological foundation.

AC

Last edited by AC.; Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:02 AM.

The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

AC. #40490 Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:18 AM
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RCC apologist Sungenis says -

"Take, for example, my “cleverly deductive argument” that St. Paul chose David as his primary example of justification in Romans 4:4-8 because it was David whom God justified after he confessed his sins of murder and adultery."

TO avoid confusion, obviously WE believe that David was justified prior to his sin with Batsheba - but they are using Paul's words as proof that David was justified by GOd after his confession.

I'm with you on this - but how can we counter this. I've heard similar arguments used with Abraham as the example (I'll get back to you with some of those).

thanks!!!

AC


The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

AC. #40491 Tue Oct 07, 2008 1:00 PM
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A.C.
Why do you get into these theological discussions? do you think that you are going to persuade the RCC to change its beliefs? first of all, it is not a true church as it perverts the gospel in so many ways.
As one who grew up under this teaching, I can tell you it is only a work of conversion by God's Spirit that will change a person's thinking.

mercy #40492 Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:12 PM
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Mercy,

That is a fair question....

I have to say that I usually learn from these debates - it forces me to do further Biblical and theological research.

It may produce moments of uncertainty....but if it wasn't for my clashes with the RCC faithful I may not be as diligent with my studies - a case in point is a strong article Pilgrim linked me to on Justification from J. Beeke that really clarifies the differing views of Justification between us and them.

I agree a change in heart will not come from a debate - but I desire the need to be strengthened in my own quest for truth while planting seeds of doubt in those misled by Satan.

However, I do realize when you play with fire you may get burned and I always run the risk of falling prey to seduction. That's why I must seek God's glory and truth, not my own, if I am to be maintained and preserved by Him (and not be led astray).

I must be mindful of Matthew 7:6 <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />

Last edited by AC.; Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:37 PM.

The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

AC. #40493 Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:15 PM
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AC,

Among many of the errors of Rome on so many doctrines, one of the major errors is a hermeneutical one, i.e., they wrongly divide the Word of Truth. They wrestle the Scriptures to their own destruction. (2Pet 2:16)

Sungenis is one of Rome's foremost apologists who has been countered and buried by such contemporary and able men as James White, John Gerstner, William Webster, and others. But even more important is that the doctrines of Sola Gratia, Sola Fide and Solus Christus (justification by grace ALONE, through faith ALONE, in Christ ALONE) have been defended countless times by myriad scholars even before the Protestant Reformation. But Rome, being apostate and an enemy of God and Christ, are incorrigible antagonists against these blessed truths.

Again, I am confident that just the small offering here: Sola Fide is enough to refute any and all arguments Sugenis could ever bring to the table. Brother, this doctrine has been thoroughly dealt with to the minutest detail and the historic Protestant doctrine cannot be defeated. You need to embrace these truths by faith praying always that God will strengthen and uphold you.

At the risk of being seen as a bore, I counsel you to avoid these websites and discussions since by your own admission you are incapable of arguing against these heresies. Let those who have gone before you and defeated them be your guide depending fully on the indwelling Spirit who worked mightily in them over the centuries to reveal the truth to you.

Lastly, going back to my first point, re: hermeneutical issue, it is simply fallacious to take historical narrative (life of Abraham or David or ??) and use that against the didactic passages as found in Romans and Galatians specifically which deal with justification theologically. Paul focused upon how a sinner is to be justified before God and concluded by the Holy Spirit that it was a forensic, judicial pronouncement of God upon the exercise of faith as opposed to an ongoing "work", even of grace, combined with faith (Rome's view). The Bible simply does not teach "synergistic salvation" (God and man working together)... but rather a "monergistic salvation" (God alone with man simply as the unworthy recipient of His grace in Christ).


On Justification: "If the purity of this doctrine is in any degree impaired the Church has received a deadly wound and brought to the very brink of destruction. Whenever the knowledge of it is taken away, the glory of Christ is extinguished, religion abolished, the Church destroyed and the hope of salvation utterly overthrown. - John Calvin "The Necessity of Reforming the Church" p. 42.

ON JUSTIFICATION: This unique doctrine in a special way distinguishes the church from all other nations and religions....[Justification] is the pinnacle and chief bulwark of all teaching
and of the Christian religion itself; if this is obscured, adulterated, or subverted, it is impossible to retain purity of doctrine in other loci. On the other hand, if this locus is securely retained, all idolatrous ravings, superstitions and other corruptions are thereby destroyed (Loci Theologici II, p. 443) Lutheran theologian Martin Chemnitz (1522-1586)


In His grace,


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Pilgrim #40494 Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:57 AM
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Owen on Justification:

3dly. The examples of them that did believe, and were justified,
which are recorded in the Scripture, do all bear witness unto the
same truth. The continuation of the justification of Abraham before
God is declared to have been by faith only, Rom.4:3; for the
instance of his justification, given by the apostle from Gen.15:6,
was long after he was justified absolutely. And if our first
justification, and the continuation of it, did not depend absolutely
on the same cause, the instance of the one could not be produced for
a proof of the way and means of the other, as here they are. And
David, when a justified believer, not only places the blessedness of
man in the free remission of sins, in opposition unto his own works
in general, Rom.4:6,7, but, in his own particular case, ascribes the
continuation of his justification and acceptation before God unto
grace, mercy, and forgiveness alone; which are no otherwise received
but by faith, Ps.130:3-5; 143:2. All other works and duties of
obedience do accompany faith in the continuation of our justified
estate, as necessary effects and fruits of it, but not as causes,
means, or conditions, whereon that effect is suspended. It is
patient waiting by faith that brings in the full accomplishment of
the promises, Heb.6:12,15. Wherefore, there is but one
justification, and that of one kind only, wherein we are concerned
in this disputation,--the Scripture makes mention of no more; and
that is the justification of an ungodly person by faith. Nor shall
we admit of the consideration of any other. For if there be a second
justification, it must be of the same kind with the first, or of
another;--if it be of the same kind, then the same person is often
justified with the same kind of justification, or at least more than
once; and so on just reason ought to be often baptized;--if it be
not of the same kind, then the same person is justified before God
with two sorts of justification; of both which the Scripture is
utterly silent. And [so] the continuation of our justification
depends solely on the same causes with our justification itself.


The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

AC. #40495 Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:47 PM
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My pastor provided me with an excellent work on Justification by John Owen, who goes on to explain how Rome has confused Justification with Sanctification, and has put the cart before the horse by using the two important Biblical concepts interchangablely and greatly confusing and confounding in the process.

It is now clear ot me that Paul does not use the example of Romans 4:3 to explain how justification is works/ability oriented or part of a process - Paul uses this example to prove that Justification is an unmerited declaration of Righteousness - a gift of faith wrought in the children of God. Man does not just decide to have faith. Faith is a gift, one that we do not naturally possess but is ignited in us by the spirit of God!

Last edited by AC.; Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:48 PM.

The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine


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