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Originally Posted by hisalone
Bridge's way of putting it is almost as though to imply we are "equal" with Christ, at least that is how I read it.
Methinks you are misreading Bridges. In the forensic (legal) sense, we ARE "equal with Christ"... the believer is declared to be righteous and ever shall be righteous on the basis of Christ's imputed righteousness. Since Christ's righteousness is 'covering' the believer, he is therefore "equal with Christ" in that sense. This is the doctrine of justification.

And those who have been truly justified will infallibly go on in sanctification whereby they are made holy and are partakers of Christ's divine nature, albeit in part in this life. In sanctification our disposition towards holiness is increased, having been changed in regeneration, which thus produces the good works which in themselves are decidedly imperfect yet accepted by our Father as we are united in Christ.


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)

In His grace,

[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

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gotribe Offline OP
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Thanks, everyone, for all the input and the clarification. I knew that if I brought my 'confusion' and my question here, it'd be a safe place to get "sorted out."

I think it may have been MarieP who pointed out that my confusion was between justification and sanctification. I was hanging up on the idea that it is as if I always obeyed and missed factoring in the forensic aspect of justification. It's good to be straightened out when you need it!


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
gotribe #42034 Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:33 AM
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I thought you might be pleased to hear that the specific content of your thread came up in my presence 2 nights ago. I had mentioned in another thread -- Request for help with Doctrinal Debate -- that I would be going over the basics of Justification by Faith Alone with the men who will be arguing the affirmative. Bearing in mind that these are going to be very primitive, short debates, and that the men are not only fairly recent believers but that almost all of them go to different churches, the main goal has been to get the men themselves to drink deeply from Romans 3-5, Galatians 2-3, Philippians 3, as well as finding other supporting passages--and I must say I have been blessed with the intensity with which they have pursued their study.

Thursday night I was offering counterarguments to get them to sharpen their responses, and again was pleased that, while they are not ready to take over for James White, they are quite appreciative of the doctrine of the double imputation and seem quite ready to defend it -- against our poor covenant teens, who have to try to argue the negative!

After our work session one of the men asked, "what would you say to someone who says "Justification means just-as-if-I'd never sinned"?". I silently gave thanks for your putting this thread up and immediatly gave the Bridges riposte--which I had not heard before this thread. Of course I then filled in the holes and explained, that both aspects were essential, but one is heavily under-emphasized these days; but I will admit it was nice to have the quick rejoinder as a segue to the more in-depth explanation.

In Christ,
Paul S
Paul_S #42043 Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:24 AM
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gotribe Offline OP
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Glad it was beneficial!

Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
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