Is Imputation Taught in Romans 4?

Nick, over at Creed Code Cult, has thrown down the gauntlet (thrown many times before, of course) that Romans does not teach the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the believer. I don’t think I will get to all the things he addresses, but I do want to address Romans 4 in particular, since that is the clearest place where Paul does teach the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the believer.

But let’s summarize Nick’s argument first. He notes that David, in Psalm 32, does not speak about righteousness being imputed. Paul, in quoting Psalm 32, mentions it as a “counting for righteousness.” Therefore, according to Nick, forgiveness of sins is the equivalent of being regarded as righteous. In fact, Nick goes farther than that to claim that this is the “only coherent explanation.” He then adds a reductio ad absurdam argument: “Realizing this, it’s impossible to interpret ‘reckoning righteousness’ with the ‘Imputed Righteousness of Christ’ (as Protectants typically identify it), because then you’d have to say forgiveness of sins refers to Christ’s keeping of the law in our place, which makes little sense.” This is a very brief summary of Nick’s argument, but it will do to be getting on with.

There is another equally coherent explanation of the way that Paul quotes David that does much better justice to the context of the early part of Romans 4 (which Nick ignores), and it is this: Paul regards the imputation of Christ’s righteousness and the forgiveness of sin (with the accompanying imputation of our sin to Christ) as so tightly coherent that they always come together. In other words, to say that one happens is to say that the other also happens, because they are the flip side of each other. Let’s see how Paul does that.

Paul asks the question of whether Abraham was justified by works. Leaving aside for a moment the much-vexed question of the scope of these works, we merely note at the moment that positive works that obey the law are certainly in view here, obviously not works for which Abraham would need forgiveness. This is proven by the introduction of the boasting motif in verse 2. One presumably does not boast of sin. As opposed to this method of being justified, Paul says that Abraham was justified by faith instead. The key phrase here is “eis dikaiosunen” (“for righteousness”). Faith itself is not a fulfillment of the law. The very nature of faith is that it lays hold on Someone Else. So faith itself cannot be the righteousness here mentioned. The “eis” is a telic preposition. Faith, in laying hold of Jesus Christ, lays hold of His righteousness. Let me be plain: the righteousness here spoken of cannot be Abraham’s righteousness. Otherwise, he would be tempted to boast (as per verse 2). Verse 2 also proves that the concept of “righteousness” as used here in the passage CANNOT refer merely to the forgiveness of sins, which is not something about which a person would even be tempted to boast. It is further proven by the case of Adam in the garden. Forgiveness of sins wipes the slate clean. Adam started with a clean slate. So why didn’t he pass immediately into glory? Because he had to prove himself vis-a-vis the command that the Lord had given him. He had to be actively righteous to God’s command to multiply, fill the earth, guard the garden from Satanic intruders and not eat of the tree. Neutrality does not equal the blessedness of David by itself. What Paul is saying is that David’s explicit mention of forgiveness as constituting blessedness is half the picture, and imputation is the always-accompanying other half of the picture. Paul is saying that we need a righteousness. We cannot get it by working, because then it wouldn’t be grace (as verse 4 says so clearly). Faith is the only way to get this righteousness.

As Calvin would say, we need two things in justification: forgiveness of sins and imputation of Christ’s righteousness. An analogy I’m fond of using is the gears of a car. Having one’s sins forgiven is like being taken out of reverse gear and put into neutral. Imputation is like being put into a forward gear. You need both of them to be headed in the right direction.

Lastly, I need to answer Nick’s reductio argument. Christ’s keeping of the law results in two very important facts for the believer. Firstly, it constitutes Christ the perfect Lamb, who can take away our sins (so, you see, Christ’s righteousness is VERY closely tied to the forgiveness of sins: if Christ was not the perfect Lamb, then He could not take away our sins, and He couldn’t die in our place). Secondly, He earned our way to heaven. Nick’s reductio fails because he leaves out the step of Christ’s righteousness constituting Him the perfect Lamb, and thereby achieving our forgiveness.

I will answer also his claim about the phrase “justified by His blood” being absurd to talk about the imputation of righteousness. As I have already noted (and what is a commonplace in Reformed treatments of justification), justification is not just about imputation, but also about forgiveness. Sometimes one aspect is more in view, sometimes the other. In 5:9, plainly forgiveness is more in view, since he is talking about being saved from wrath. Wrath is upon us due to sin, so when that sin is taken away from us, so is God’s wrath. That will do, to get the conversation started.

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279 Comments

  1. Nick said,

    August 9, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    (I’m not sure if my first post went through, so I’m trying again)

    Hi there,

    I am aware that the standard Reformed understanding for this verse is that Paul speaks of a positive and negative imputation in Romans 4, i.e. two ‘components’ of Justification: forgiveness of sins and imputation of Christ’s Active Obedience. But here are some problems with that claim:

    First, Paul does not indicate there are two ‘components’ in mind, so that seems more of an assumption. Where does Paul clearly distinguish the two such that it is warranted to come back to this key chapter and assert with confidence that such a distinction exists? When Paul says “Blessed is the man whose sins are forgiven,” this seems like the complete picture to me.

    Second, Paul does *not* say “David also speaks of justification,” but rather that “David *also* speaks of crediting righteousness.” In choosing to say “credits righteousness” instead of “justification,” Paul would be saying David *also* speaks of “the imputation of Christ’s righteousness,” which actually is the ‘positive’ component…yet you are saying David speaks of the negative ‘component’ here.

    Third, in verse 8, it says “Blessed is the man whom the Lord will *not reckon* his sin.” The term for “reckon” in v8 is the same Greek term in “reckons righteousness” used elsewhere in the chapter. But clearly the term *reckon* cannot mean anything involving a transfer, for then it would mean the Blessed man does *not* have his sin transferred. It also doesn’t make sense to say God will not reckon him as a sinner even though he really is a sinner, because the text just said he was forgiven. So the only thing that makes sense is that God reckons someone as they really are, which in this case means God doesn’t *reckon* the forgiven man a sinner [any longer], since he is forgiven. Carrying this over to “reckons righteousness,” this would mean God regards the man as actually righteous. This is in fact how “reckon” is used throughout the NT, with not a single clear exception to the contrary.

    As for Abraham being “justified by works,” Paul says that even if Abraham was justified by works, he would not be able to boast before God. That’s a key point to note. Abraham would be legitimately able to boast before men, but not before God. So works don’t justify “before God” at all, even if done properly (cf Gal 2:21).

    As for your claim that “faith itself is not a fulfillment of the law,” St Augustine (and even St Thomas) seems to interpret it as saying just that. And this does make sense if it refers to ‘faith working through love fulfilling the law’. In fact, Romans 4:18-22 is where Paul himself exegetes Genesis 15:6, telling us that Abraham’s faith was a heroic faith, with righteous qualities about it.

    Lastly, I will say that Christ being sinless and perfectly obedient in order to be a spotless Sacrifice does not logically demand that this perfect obedience is a component to justification. Part 1 of my post could help clarify this.

  2. roberty bob said,

    August 10, 2014 at 12:05 am

    Is imputation taught in Romans 4?

    Yes. Abraham believed [the promise of] God, and it — Abraham’s faith — was imputed [unto him] for righteousness.

    That is the only imputation explicitly taught in this chapter. There is no explicit mention made here of Jesus’ righteousness being imputed unto Abraham.

    I know . . . a lot of the Reformed say that they see it here. I’ve been looking for it here for 40 years, and I haven’t found it yet.

  3. theoldadam said,

    August 10, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Yes. The “great exchange” has taken place. Jesus now has all our sin, and the sins of the world taken upon Himself…and we now have His righteousness.

  4. greenbaggins said,

    August 10, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Nick, thanks for your thoughtful response. I will answer point by point.

    Firstly, while Paul does not *explicitly* state that there are two components to what he is saying, such a statement is not necessary. It is inferred from what Paul states earlier in the chapter, evidence for which I have given. Interestingly, your quote of 5:9 helps here, because that is clearly talking about the forgiveness side by itself, thus distinguishing it from any other aspect of justification. If forgiveness is the complete picture, then why does Paul talk about boasting, payment versus grace, and faith versus works in the first part of the chapter? Those ideas are not commensurate with a “forgiveness only” view of justification. You nave not answered this part of my argument at all. Your truncated view of justification does not do justice to the whole passage.

    Secondly, I would answer that you can’t have one side of the coin without the other. Forgiveness implies imputation and imputation implies forgiveness. That is the whole reason why Paul quotes David the way he does. The picture I typically use to illustrate this is that of a marriage where the bride brings only debt to the marriage while the groom brings unimaginable wealth. When the marriage happens, the bride has access to all that wealth, while the groom takes on the debt, and because of his infinite riches, pays it off instantly. It is a community of property, if you will. In that situation, you can’t have the debt being forgiven without the bride having access to the wealth. That’s not how the marriage works.

    Thirdly, when Paul says that a man’s sin is not reckoned, it means it is not imputed to the man himself. That is not saying that it is not reckoned to Christ. Imputation does not inherently mean transfer. That is the mistake you are making in analyzing the Reformed position here, Nick. If God imputes my sin to myself, it means that He holds me accountable for my own sin. If He imputes my sin to Christ, then He holds Christ accountable for my sin. All such transfers are imputation, but not all imputations are transfers. God will impute the unbeliever’s sin to that same unbeliever, and to no one else.

    Fourthly, I’m glad we agree that Abraham’s works could not possibly justify him. Incidentally, you are here swimming against the tide of Roman Catholic teaching since the Reformation. For the Roman Catholics will immediately appeal to James to say that Abraham was justified before God because of his works. I’m not entirely sure what your point is here. Your writing is rather obtuse.

    Fifthly, faith is the belief in things not seen, as Hebrews tells us. Faith is IN Jesus Christ. Faith lays hold of another. If faith itself were the fulfillment of the law, then faith would actually be believing in itself. Then I trust faith to get me right with the law. No, I must trust Christ to be right with the law, because my marriage-faith-union with Christ gives me the right to all of Christ’s unimaginable riches. We can talk about Galatians another time. If faith works through love is a fulfillment of the law, then faith is not opposed to works in salvation. But Paul says in the first part of chapter 4 that faith IS opposed to works in justification. Therefore, faith cannot be working through love in justification. The only way that faith fulfills the law is the indirect path through the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. But even there, it is not faith itself that fulfills the law. Rather, faith is the instrument by which we lay hold of the One Who did fulfill the law.

    Sixthly, I did not claim that Christ being a spotless Lamb proves the imputation of active obedience. I said that Christ being a spotless Lamb means that our sins can be taken away. It is not His “Spotless Lamb-ness” that proves imputation of active obedience, but rather the idea that He fulfilled the law vicariously. He did not need to fulfill the law’s righteousness for Himself, since He did not need to come to earth, except insofar as He agreed with the Father that He would. He didn’t owe obedience for Himself. This means that His obedience had to be vicarious. “Do this and live” Leviticus tells us. Jesus did it so that we can live.

  5. roberty bob said,

    August 10, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    in my reading of Romans 4 I see Abraham the believer in God having his faith credited as righteousness, and of enjoying the blessedness that David would one day discover, namely, the blessedness of having transgressions forgiven and sins covered — of having his sins not counted against him.

    Up to this point in Romans 4 no mention is made of the obedience [law keeping] of another — namely, Christ — being imputed to Abraham. We only see Abraham trusting [the promise of] God; God acknowledges the faith of Abraham and credits it as righteousness. Abraham enjoys the blessedness of sins forgiven / not counted against him.

    Up to this point, then, is Abraham fully justified by faith or only half of the way there?

  6. August 10, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    your quote of 5:9 helps here….

    Lane,

    Yes, the mention of 5:9 is also important in this conversation, but it needs to be fleshed out – Paul says that we have been justified (note past tense) and Paul then begins to talk about the basis of this justification. I remember asking Jason Stellman (post-conversion) just this question on Creed Code Cult awhile back – is the basis for this justification the righteousness of Christ or is it some kind of synergy between Christ’s righteousness and our righteousness? Is the righteousness which we possess a righteousness which is Christ’s, or is it a righteousness which is partly our own and partially Christ’s? As I see it verses like 5:18-19 answer this question. So does Phil 3:18-19

    Too often the Roman Catholics note the emphasis on the necessity of righteousness and conclude that God justifies us partly based on our this righteousness. But I don’t see any case to be made for this synergism from the texts cited thus far.

  7. theoldadam said,

    August 10, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    “…I don’t see any case to be made for this synergism from the texts cited thus far.”

    You could not be more right.

  8. August 10, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    […] is heating up over at Creed Code Cult and the book of Romans is officially in play. Protestants are lining up to answer the challenge and I think it might be profitable to lay out just a few more arguments to compliment Nicks […]

  9. Nick said,

    August 10, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Hello Lane, here are my thoughts:

    (1) The ‘boasting’ I see in Romans 4 relates to getting right with God, which Paul equates to becoming a spiritual son of Abraham (4:11-12, Gal 3:7). The Jews boasted that they were sons of Abraham simply because of biology lineage and being born into the Mosaic Covenant. But Paul says spiritual sonship is obtained through reconciliation and forgiveness. Obviously, it makes no sense to say to be a son you must live a lifetime of perfect obedience, because that means you cannot become a son until after you die, which is too late. The Jews obviously weren’t basing their sonship on a lifetime of perfect obedience. Sonship precedes a whole lifetime of perfect obedience, it’s not conditioned upon it. Even Adam was a son of God prior to completing his probation period.

    (2) I don’t quite understand your second point about forgiveness implying imputation. If the bride has debts, she is ‘reckoned as’ (‘regarded as’) as debtor, but if her debts paid off, then she can no longer be ‘reckoned’ as a debtor (debt is ‘not reckoned’ to her).

    (3) If I understand you right, I agree. The analogy I like is that of reading a clock. You look at the clock and see both hands on the “12”, so you reckon that it’s Noon. You don’t do anything to the clock or the hands, you just observe the position of the hands. Reckoning means “observed to be” based on the facts, so the forgiven man is “observed to be” without sin.

    (4) The way I read Romans 4:2, it says if Abraham was justified by works, he (still) could *not* boast before God. Many people read 4:2 as saying that Abraham *could* indeed boast before God if Abraham was (hypothetically) perfectly obedient, but that’s not what Paul says. Works don’t provide grounds to boast, even if done perfectly. I don’t even see how it makes sense to say Abraham could boast of being justified by works (in the soteric sense) if such a judgment requires him to wait until after he’s proven himself faithful his entire life. Do you boast of winning a marathon while only halfway through the marathon?

    (5) I don’t consider Love to be a work of the Law, as Paul says Love is the “fulfillment” of the Law. Key distinction. The Love under consideration does not come from man, but rather is a divine love that’s infused. Man can work all he wants, but the only way he can get that Love is if it’s gratuitously infused by the Holy Spirit. Same for faith and hope.

    I’ve never understood the language of “faith lays hold of another”. I don’t see that concept in Scripture, nor does it fit with “belief in things not seen”. Perhaps *you* can explain what Romans 4:18-22 means? I see it as Abraham’s faith was alive with Hope, and so God reckoned it as a righteous act.

    (6) When Leviticus said “Do this and live,” I think it’s *wrong* to interpret this as saying “Keep the law perfectly and thus receive Heaven as your reward.” Rather, I interpret it as saying “Live under the Mosaic Covenant and you will live comfortably on earth, with health, wealth, and long life.”

    So if Jesus kept the Mosaic Covenant perfectly in our place, the most this would ‘reward’ us with is health, wealth, and long life, but not Heaven. I cannot promise you Heaven if you fix my car, but I can promise you $100. If someone vicariously fixes my car, that still doesn’t entitle you to heaven, it only entitles you to $100.

  10. roberty bob said,

    August 10, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Where in the Epistle to the Romans does one read that Christ perfectly obeyed the law [doing what no sin-cursed son or daughter of Adam could do], and that this act of flawless law-keeping is the righteousness which earns everlasting life for all of us sinners who believe in / trust in / rely upon Jesus, and becomes ours when it is imputed / transferred to our account?

    Oh yes, I read of Christ’s one act of obedience in chapter 5, whereby the many are made righteous, but I understand that as a reference to the specific act of Jesus laying down his life as an atoning sacrifice. Even if we were to expand the one act of obedience to encompass Christ’s entire life of sinless servitude, we do not hear Paul explicitly say that the many are made righteous by having had Christ’s obedient act [his righteousness!] imputed / transferred to their accounts. My take away from the passage is that Christ’s one act of obedience is that act of the sinless, spotless Lamb of God which takes away / atones for the sin of the world, and is of saving benefit to all who believe the Gospel. To be forgiven is to be justified / reckoned as righteous. The righteous go on then, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to live according the the requirements of the law [chapter 8], which are righteous / right to do.

  11. Jack Bradley said,

    August 10, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Lane wrote: “Forgiveness implies imputation and imputation implies forgiveness. That is the whole reason why Paul quotes David the way he does.”

    Well said. O. P. Robertson (“Genesis 15:6: New Covenant Expositions of an Old Covenant Text” WTJ 42:2, p. 272):

    “In its role as ‘expositor’ of Genesis 15:6, Psalm 32 underlines the ‘negative side’ of justification, concentrating on the forgiveness of sins. Romans 4:9 quotes portions both from Psalm 32 and Genesis 15:6 to show that the imputation of righteousness to Abraham included the ‘blessedness’ of David, involving the forgiveness of sins. . . Although chosen as a ‘man after God’s own heart,’ he [David] counts as his chief blessedness the non-imputation of his own sin to himself. Although unquestionably guilty as murderer and adulterer, God does not ‘reckon’ these sins to him. It is this ‘blessedness’ that also belonged to Abraham by God’s reckoning to him a righteousness that was not inherently his (Rom 4:9). A foreign righteousness was regarded as his by faith precisely because he had no righteousness of his own.”

    I think Robertson also adequately addresses Nick’s comment: “I’ve never understood the language of ‘faith lays hold of another’. I don’t see that concept in Scripture, nor does it fit with ‘belief in things not seen’. Perhaps *you* can explain what Romans 4:18-22 means?”

    Robertson (p. 273):

    “Abraham was fully persuaded that what God had promised, he was able also to perform (Rom 4:21). For that reason (διὸ) it was reckoned to him for righteousness (Rom 4:22). Paul develops rather extensively the idea that Abraham’s belief in the God who makes alive the dead (Rom 4:17) essentially is equivalent to a belief in the God who raised Jesus the Lord from the dead (Rom 4:24). Essentially he is expositing the middle phrase of Genesis 15:6: ‘he believed in the Lord.’”

    Roberty, I think this also addresses your comment: “There is no explicit mention made here of Jesus’ righteousness being imputed unto Abraham.”

    It is not explicit, but it is, as Robertson demonstrates, clearly implicit.

  12. roberty bob said,

    August 10, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    Jack Bradley (#11) sees God, in Romans 4:9, reckoning to Abraham a righteousness that was not inherently his. The text says that Abraham’s faith was reckoned as righteousness. God has taken account of the faith of Abraham [in the promise and power of resurrection / life to the dead] and reckoned / counted Abraham’s faith as righteousness.

    Romans 1:16 says, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.”

    Abraham was a righteous man. God reckoned him to be righteous on account of his faith.

    Honestly, I do not see God, in Romans 4:9, regarding Abraham the Believer as now having received a foreign or alien righteousness through an act of imputation. I only see God having regard for Abraham’s faith and reckoning that faith as righteousness. The man of faith is a righteous man because he puts his trust in God.

  13. Ron said,

    August 10, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    “Blessed is the man whose sins are forgiven,” this seems like the complete picture to me.”

    Nick,

    If pardon is the “complete picture” without remainder, then wouldn’t that entail a denial of the treasury of merit principle? Moreover, wouldn’t that also imply that the baby Jesus could have made full atonement for sins without having been tempted in all ways as we yet without sin? After all, the Lamb of God was no less spotless at the first Christmas than on Good Friday, was He? Accordingly, in infancy the Savior would have had all He needed to accomplish redemption, namely His vicarious work of passive obedience only, ifthat is, we need no substitute for our demerit and impoverished law keeping. Lastly, why did Saint Paul desire to be “found in him, not having mine own righteousness…” if pardon apart from a perfect righteousness is “the complete picture”?

  14. Ron said,

    August 11, 2014 at 12:12 am

    I only see God having regard for Abraham’s faith and reckoning that faith as righteousness.

    roberty bob,

    If faith, as opposed to what faith lays hold of, is our righteousness, then is faith-salvation a different way of salvation than the union with Christ salvation depicted in Galatians 3 where it speaks of being baptized into Christ’s death? The Reformed tradition has an answer to this. Union with Christ is the orbit within which we receive Christ through the gift of faith alone. Read Fesko? Great diagram.

    Moreover, if faith saves in the manner in which you suggest, then Abraham’s salvation (for instance) was not predicated upon the future work of the Savior but rather merely man’s faith in that work. Do you really want to suggest such things? What you are saying is that salvation is not predicated upon being existentially united to Christ through faith since it would be the work of faith and not the work of salvation that God looks upon. These are dreadful thoughts.

  15. Ron said,

    August 11, 2014 at 12:20 am

    To be more precise, what you are saying is that justification is not predicated upon receiving *Christ’s* righteousness, in union with Him, through faith alone. Christ’s righteousness is not appropriated at all. It’s our faith that is either credited to us or makes us righteous.

  16. Robert said,

    August 11, 2014 at 12:52 am

    Ron @13

    I don’t get (at least completely) the beef that Nick and other RCs have with Christ meriting justification for us by his obedience. Trent explicitly says that He merited justification for us by His sacrifice in obedience to the Father. They seem just not to like the idea that Christ does the good works of the law for us and introduce an artificial separation between meriting justification by his life and meriting it by his death. But in both cases there is obedience going on.

  17. roberty bob said,

    August 11, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Ron #14,

    Abraham believed God — what God promised him. Abraham believed God raises the dead. Abraham’s faith was resting upon the Coming One who would be the YES to God’s promise and fulfill all righteousness.

    I’m not saying what you say I am saying. That would indeed be dreadful.

  18. Ron said,

    August 11, 2014 at 8:51 am

    roberty bob,

    You are saying that the work of faith and not the promise that it lays hold of is what justifies. I interacted with the implication of your position and your additional claim that Abraham is justified apart from Christ’s perfect righteousness being credited to his account. It’s hard for me to interact with “I’m not saying what you say I am saying.” :) So, please, if you want to proceed, interact with my post by reconciling your position of the work of faith with that of the work of Christ that is imputed to us through the instrument of faith that is granted in our union with Him. What do you do with 3rd chapters of Galatians and Philippians?

    To fill this out a bit, you don’t seem to find relevance with Abraham having rejoiced to see Christ’s day and that his son was given back to him in a figure having received a glimpse of resurrection and even substitution. What are we to make of the drama of Mount Moriah giving way to Jehovah-jireh? Doesn’t Christ Jesus being the lamb slaughtered before the foundation of the world come into play? Why did the OT sacrifices allow one to approach the mercy seat of God through faith if they were not to receive the alien righteousness of Another? Is there no link between the schoolmaster and the Lamb, the type and the anti-type?

    No need to answer all those questions one by one, lest we lose sight of the main picture. I’m simply looking to flesh out what I was after in the first post. If it’s the work of faith that makes us acceptable before God, then it’s not the work of Christ received by faith. Being robed in Christ becomes superfluous.

    Thanks!

  19. roberty bob said,

    August 11, 2014 at 9:42 am

    I believe in a justifying faith — justification by faith — that believes / lays hold of / rests in the promises of God. Abraham most assuredly looked forward to the Day of Christ . . . to the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God . . . to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. As the Romans 4 text says, “Abraham did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. This is why it ["it" would be his faith, right?] was credited to him as righteousness.” God goes on, then, to credit righteousness to all of us who believe in him who raised Jesus from the dead.

    In Romans 4 I find faith being credited to Abraham as righteousness.

    But I hear you saying that faith being credited as righteousness means that righteousness [an alien righteousness / Christ's righteousness] is imputed to [transferred to] Abraham. If so, then why doesn’t Paul say, “Abraham believed what God promised him, so God imputed to him the alien righteousness of the Christ who was to come?” That would be more accurate than what Paul actually says, wouldn’t it?

  20. Ron said,

    August 11, 2014 at 10:47 am

    r b,

    To base one’s theology on questions like “why didn’t God say it this way?” is at best poor procedure and at worst irreverent. Happily, I take you in the former sense.

    Notwithstanding, the questions you *should* be asking yourself pertain to Galatians 3 and Philippians 3; fulfillment of OT types; the offering up of Isaac with respect to Hebrews 11’s account; what it means to be robed in Christ’s righteousness, etc. Rather than placing an expectation upon how God must present things for you to be satisfied, you might begin with reconciling those things he has presented to us all.

    My suggestion not to answer my post in detail lest we lose the main point was not intended to pave the way for not giving it any consideration. You have much reconciling to do in order to interpret Romans as you do.

  21. roberty bob said,

    August 11, 2014 at 11:43 am

    The question for this post, as I recall, is “Is Imputation Taught in Romans 4?” Specifically, you are asking whether this chapter actually teaches the imputation of the alien righteousness of Christ to Abraham and all subsequent believers who are of the same faith as Abraham. You ask whether it is taught in Romans 4 — and you say that you find it in this chapter.

    I do not deny — indeed, I affirm — that no one can stand before God in his own righteousness, but must be clothed in Christ’s righteousness. Other Pauline passages make that plain.

    However, I struggle to find the imputation of Christ’s righteousness being taught explicitly in Romans 4. “We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness” (vs.9). As I have said, this is faith in all that God had promised. It certainly has in view all that would one day come true though our Lord Jesus Christ. But what I find here is the faith of the believer being credited as righteousness, not of righteousness being imputed to the believer. So, are the two one and the same thing? That’s what I want to know. If they are the same thing, then come out and say so.

    ………..

    Ron (#18) puts the following words in my mouth, “You are saying that the work of faith and not the promise that it lays hold of is what justifies.”

    Where have I ever spoken of the WORK of faith? Nowhere. That term is foreign to me.

    Where have I ever detached faith from the promise of God? I always speak of faith IN the promise of God. I never speak of faith detached from the promise.

    The Apostle Paul repeatedly speaks of being justified by faith [in the promise of God] not of being justified by the promise that faith lays hold of. I’m not acquainted with the biblical expression “justified by the promise,” but I am well acquainted with the biblical expression “justified by faith.”

  22. Ron said,

    August 11, 2014 at 11:57 am

    r b,

    I’m going to refrain from untangling and interacting with that post.

    Best wishes.

  23. roberty bob said,

    August 11, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Here is a quotation from Michael Bird, THE SAVING RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD, page 77 . . .

    “In sum, Romans 4 does not assert that one is justified because of the imputed righteousness of Christ or that God reckons faith as covenantal conformity. Instead, God regards faith as the condition of justification (reckons faith as righteousness) and he justifies believers (credits righteousness) because of their union with Christ (raised for our justification).”

    The same Michael Bird on page 87 quotes Leon Morris . . .

    “In view of plain statements like these [Romans 4] it seems impossible to hold that Paul found no place for the imputation of righteousness to believers. On the other hand he never says in so many words that the righteousness of Christ was imputed to believers, and it may fairly be doubted whether he had this in mind in his treatment of justification, although it may be held to be a corollary from his doctrine of identification of the believer with Christ.” — APC, p.282

    ……….

    So . . . there.

  24. Nick said,

    August 11, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Ron,

    You asked me:

    If pardon is the “complete picture” without remainder, then wouldn’t that entail a denial of the treasury of merit principle? Moreover, wouldn’t that also imply that the baby Jesus could have made full atonement for sins without having been tempted in all ways as we yet without sin? After all, the Lamb of God was no less spotless at the first Christmas than on Good Friday, was He? Accordingly, in infancy the Savior would have had all He needed to accomplish redemption, namely His vicarious work of passive obedience only, if that is, we need no substitute for our demerit and impoverished law keeping. Lastly, why did Saint Paul desire to be “found in him, not having mine own righteousness…” if pardon apart from a perfect righteousness is “the complete picture”?

    Yes, Jesus could make full atonement as a baby. To deny that is Christological heresy. Christ’s atonement didn’t rest upon how old He was or how many things He accomplished. The efficacy of the atonement rested squarely on the fact He was Divine with a human nature. The slightest suffering would be sufficient.

    Now think about this: How does it make sense to say Jesus lived a *lifetime* of perfect obedience when Jesus only lived 33 years and yet normal life expectancy is 2-3 times this? Surely Adam was called to more than 33 years of obedience, as he lived to 900 years old.

    So why did Jesus get off so ‘easy’, only having to serve 1/3 the lifetime that God *demands* the average person serve in perfect obedience? Sounds like God was bending the rules, according to your logic.

    Lastly, the righteousness that St Paul was looking for in the verse you cite is that resulting from forgiveness. In other words, a forgiven Paul is a righteous Paul.

  25. roberty bob said,

    August 11, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    “A forgiven Paul is a righteous Paul.”

    Amen.

    We have been told, on the other hand, that a forgiven Paul is like that car stuck in reverse that has finally got itself unstuck and into neutral: that car gets you nowhere!

  26. Ron said,

    August 11, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Jesus could make full atonement as a baby… Christ’s atonement didn’t rest upon how old He was or how many things He accomplished.

    Nick,

    In light of your statement, can you interpret this for me: “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous”? If the efficacy of the atonement doesn’t depend upon anything the Lord accomplished, then what do you make of the obedience of Christ as it relates to our righteousness? Even if the obedience in view is only that of laying down His life, certainly that willful act of obedience was not possible for an infant lest we violate the human nature of the Second Person. Moreover, why did the Lord have to be baptized and fulfill all righteousness if as the Second Adam he could have abolished the law of commandments contained in the ordinances as an infant?

    Now think about this: How does it make sense to say Jesus lived a *lifetime* of perfect obedience when Jesus only lived 33 years and yet normal life expectancy is 2-3 times this?

    That’s a question you can ask of God after you meet Him.

    So why did Jesus get off so ‘easy’, only having to serve 1/3 the lifetime that God *demands* the average person serve in perfect obedience? Sounds like God was bending the rules, according to your logic.

    That’s irreverent. You will want to rephrase that question if you ever want to ask it of God.

    The slightest suffering would be sufficient.

    If you think the slightest suffering would have been sufficient, then why wouldn’t 33 years of suffering have been sufficient? Why would 33 years of suffering entail “God bending the rules” but not one day of suffering? Seems to me that you’re playing both sides and not very well at that. :) In any case, how could an infant be tempted in all ways as we but without sin? Or would you say that the Lord did not need to identify with His elect in this way in order to be their substitute?

    Surely Adam was called to more than 33 years of obedience, as he lived to 900 years old.

    Assuming Adam had a prelapsarian probation period, we cannot determine its length from the duration of his mortal life. That would entail some sort of fallacy of category.

  27. Mark Kim said,

    August 11, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    All those anti-imputation people still need to struggle with passages like 1 Cor 1:30; 2 Cor 5:21; and Phil 3:9. There are other pivotal passages in Scripture, not only Romans 4, that support the classic Reformed understanding of Christ’s perfect righteousness being imputed to his saints.

  28. Nick said,

    August 11, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Ron,

    You said:

    In light of your statement, can you interpret this for me: “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous”?

    This refers to Christ’s suffering for us. My point was simply that Christ didn’t have to live a normal lifespan of good works before His suffering would have full efficacy. Rather, every act of suffering Jesus endured was infinitely meritorious and satisfactory. Jesus could have suffered for our sins at any age, there was no ‘benchmark’ that had to be met.

    If the efficacy of the atonement doesn’t depend upon anything the Lord accomplished, then what do you make of the obedience of Christ as it relates to our righteousness?

    The righteousness spoken of pertains to having a restored relationship with God, the relationship Adam originally had but lost. Righteousness here means ‘renewed’, it does not mean ‘just as if I’d perfectly kept the law’.

    Even if the obedience in view is only that of laying down His life, certainly that willful act of obedience was not possible for an infant lest we violate the human nature of the Second Person.

    Possibly, but Jesus was still able to suffer in some sense, as infants are capable of suffering. The fact John the Baptist ‘lept in the womb’ suggests that infants have some volitional capacity to obeying God. And with His Divine Will, Jesus was certainly aware of what He was doing.

    Moreover, why did the Lord have to be baptized and fulfill all righteousness if as the Second Adam he could have abolished the law of commandments contained in the ordinances as an infant?

    It seems it was more fitting for God to do it this way. For example, growing up in their midst, it also provided the opportunity for Jesus to preach among the Jews as one of them. God could have just had a prophet write the Sermon on the Mount, but God saw it more fitting that Jesus deliver it orally. At His Baptism, there was a theophany, for the faithful to be taught and encouraged and recognize that Jesus was the Messiah. It is also a source of encouragement to us to know that Jesus experienced the same pains we suffer, including loneliness, homelessness, poverty, rejection, etc. Simply suffering and dying in a back alley would not have brought about these other benefits.

    If you think the slightest suffering would have been sufficient, then why wouldn’t 33 years of suffering have been sufficient?

    The 33 years were sufficient, in fact they were beyond sufficient. Christ made a super-abundant atonement.

    Why would 33 years of suffering entail “God bending the rules” but not one day of suffering?

    Because no rules are being bent here. One day is sufficient, more days are beyond sufficient. God chooses different timeframes because He sees different advantages. For example, God could have sent Jesus immediately after Adam sinned, but God chose to wait a few thousand years. That was for a reason, but it wasn’t because God ‘had to’ wait. Similarly, God could have not sent Jesus until the year 2050, but God chose to send Jesus in 1BC. Again for a reason, but not a reason that demanded God wait a certain length of time.

    My point against you is that if God’s goal was for man to live a *lifetime* of perfect obedience, with a normal lifespan being 75 years, then for Jesus to only have to live half that time suggests an unfair or insufficient span. It’s like God wanting Adam to run a 10k marathon, but when it comes to Jesus, God is fine with Jesus running only a 5k marathon, with the same trophy as the 10k.

    In any case, how could an infant be tempted in all ways as we but without sin? Or would you say that the Lord did not need to identify with His elect in this way in order to be their substitute?

    Identifying with us is a *bonus* on top of the atonement. Making atonement doesn’t require identifying with us in the sense of suffering the same things we suffer. In fact, Jesus didn’t suffer certain things, e.g. a severed limb.

  29. Nick said,

    August 11, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Mark Kim,

    You’re begging the question. When the Bible speaks of us being saved by righteousness, this doesn’t automatically mean Active Obedience. That’s what’s yet to be proven. I believe I’ve shown that this refers to being restored to communion with God via forgiveness. Hence why I pointed to texts like Romans 5:9, which Lane agreed speak of the forgiveness aspect. But what’s still not being sufficiently demonstrated is that the righteousness in question is a positive, active obedience, type righteousness.

  30. William Scott said,

    August 11, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    From the Scriptural and historic reformation standpoint–forgiveness and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness are simply two sides of the same coin. Forgiveness doesn’t render us neutral…making it necessary for us to have a second imputation of Christ’s righteousness in order to be positively righteous. Rather, forgiveness causes us to be reckoned as though we had never failed to perfectly fulfill God’s Law (i.e. never sinned) [Likewise, in defending the Reformation Doctrine the Apology of Augsburg quotes Augustine (Book 1, 18:3 of his Retractions): "All the commandments of God are fulfilled when whatever is not done, is forgiven."]

    According to Scripture (and the Reformers), forgiveness consists in Christ’s Perfect Righteous Blood (i.e. His Righteous Life–for the “life is in the blood” as the Scripture says) covering our unrighteousness. In sum, forgiveness is the righteousness of Christ covering our unrighteousness.

    There is, of course, a “double imputation” in our justification–our sins (law-breaking) reckoned to Christ for payment on the Cross, His righteousness (law-keeping) reckoned to us for covering.

    (Changing directions here…to address the false “agape paradigm”) It is clear from Scripture that the Law of God (i.e. the Law of Love) is an absolute perfect standard that can only condemn us according to the imperfect intrinsic righteousness of sanctification in every believer’s life. David, as a believer infused with agape, notes in Psalm 143:2 “And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight no man living shall be justified.” Likewise, Paul, alluding to the plea of the servant of God in Psalm 143:2, reiterates the condemnation of all before this Perfect Standard in Rom. 3:20 “Because by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified before him. For by the law is the knowledge of sin” (quotes from Douay-Rheims). In sum, all the intrinsic righteousness of believers is a “filthy rag” and “mere unrighteousness” before the awesome standard of God’s Law of Love as Bernard of Clairvaux notes: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. But what can all our righteousness be before God? Shall it not, according to the prophet, be viewed as a filthy rag: and, if it be strictly judged, shall not all our righteousness turn out to be mere unrighteousness and deficiency ? What, then, shall it be concerning sins, when not even our righteousness itself can answer for itself ? Wherefore, vehemently exclaiming with the prophet, Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord, let us, with all humility, flee to mercy; which alone can save our souls” Feast of All Saints Sermon 1

    God Bless,
    W.A.Scott (this will have to be my last post because of time).

  31. William Scott said,

    August 11, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    p.s. Apologies for the long-winded and sloppy writing…hopefully ya’ll can still follow what I’m trying to say…

  32. William Scott said,

    August 11, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    p.p.s. In case there was any confusion from my post–I want to make clear that I firmly believe in the truth of the active obedience of Christ (and I think Machen’s work on the matter is one of the greatest I’ve ever read: http://www.the-highway.com/atone2_Machen.html ).

  33. theoldadam said,

    August 11, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    “Active Obedience”?

    By us? Fahgetaboutit. Ain’t ever gonna happen.

    By Jesus? Sure. In fact, “It is finished”

    ALL that is needful, for the ungodly, has been accomplished.

    That, my friends, is what we used to call, “Good News”.

    (for some, anyway)

  34. De Maria said,

    August 11, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    There is another equally coherent explanation of the way that Paul quotes David that does much better justice to the context

    Yes. But it is not what you think.

    It is to one specific incidence that this refers:

    2 Sam 12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
    David confessed his sin to God’s human representative and God forgave him. It is the first confession on record. David confessed through a priest, the same as we confess in the New Testament Church.

    2 Corinthians 5:18
    And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

    No one can deny that David did many works. But here, in his confession, all he did was believe in God’s mercy. That is what Catholics do when we attend the Sacraments.

    We are children of Abraham. In the Sacraments, God sees our faith and counts it to us as righteousness.

  35. Ron said,

    August 11, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Nick,

    To deny the plain meaning of Scripture is one thing. To deny the plain meaning of your own words leaves even less hope for a reasonable discussion.

  36. De Maria said,

    August 11, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    theoldadam said,
    August 11, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    “Active Obedience”?

    By us? Fahgetaboutit. Ain’t ever gonna happen.

    Then you are lost. Because Scripture says plainly:
    Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    By Jesus? Sure. In fact, “It is finished”

    His part is finished. You still have to do yours:
    2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

    ALL that is needful, for the ungodly, has been accomplished.

    True. Now all you have to do is imitate Christ:

    1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

    That, my friends, is what we used to call, “Good News”.

    (for some, anyway)

    It is “Good News” for those who seek Christ. Heaven is worth working for:

    Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

  37. Ron said,

    August 11, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    De Maria,

    Given that your ultimate authority for interpretation has not ruled on these verses, all you can tell us is what they don’t mean and stay true to your communion. You cannot with any epistemic justification tell us what they do mean lest you deny the need for an infallible magisterium. So, not only have you betrayed Scripture, you’ve also betrayed the need for the popes. At this juncture you might as well put your Bible away and quit trying to behave like a Protestant.

  38. theoldadam said,

    August 12, 2014 at 12:06 am

    “In the Sacraments, God sees our faith and counts it to us as righteousness.”

    A lot of God…and a little bit of us. Semi- Pelagian to the core.

  39. roberty bob said,

    August 12, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Hello De Maria,

    Thank you for opening your Bible. In your response to the old adam you have not betrayed Scripture, but have shown what is the necessary and fitting response to Christ’s finished work.

  40. theoldadam said,

    August 12, 2014 at 1:14 am

    “James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”

    That’s right. The Catholics said at the Council of Trent, which still stands, of course, “That anyone who believes that we are saved by faith alone, is anathema.”

    There you have it. You all had better get busy.

    I thank God I got off that spiritual ascendency rat-wheel years ago.

    Now I am free. (Gal. 5:1)

  41. Bob S said,

    August 12, 2014 at 2:21 am

    Maybe I missed it, but all good Saint Nicholas can do is acknowledge WCF 1:9.
    But when it comes to WCF 1:6 on good and necessary consequences, we draws a blank.
    Much more the Roman church denies G&N consequences.
    OK, but that means Romanists only believe in the Trinity because the early church had an apostolic chrism.
    You know the whole “he who hears, you hears me” that somehow morphs into applying to the successors of whom the apostles ordained as presbyters.
    Not that Scripture attributes divine qualities & characteristics to the three persons and we are to be Bereans and search the Scripture to see that these things be so.

    Now that we have clarified the fideistic fundamentalist/literalist mentality of our interlocutor, the one thing necessary that still needs to be answered is if Christ only dies for Abraham’s sins, Abraham has merely had his debt paid.He’s not righteous, he’s still a sinner that’s only been give a reprieve.

    Never mind the fact that Christ had to obey the law perfectly or his death would not have been a perfect sacrifice for the sins of others, since he had his own sins to atone for.
    But his death was a perfect sacrifice and he was sinless and his death doesn’t make Abraham righteous, only forgiven QED.

    Which is to say, the question opens up a whole can of worms about the covenant of works in the garden, the second Adam who fulfills the same and the covenant of grace by which we partake of the benefits of the second Adam etc. etc. all of which our Romanist either denies or does not understand in the first place, much more he’s not too clear about what his own church teaches about the first Adam before the fall.
    Or if there ever was fall and we are now just as able as Adam was originally to obey God if we want/will to.

    In short, they think they can only see what the magisterium tells them they can see. Trinity yes, imputation no. To do otherwise is disobedience. Have fun trying to convince them to sin against their misguided conscience, never mind the part that implicit faith/invincible ignorance plays in the equation.

  42. De Maria said,

    August 12, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Ron said,
    August 11, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    De Maria,

    Given that your ultimate authority for interpretation has not ruled on these verses, all you can tell us is what they don’t mean and stay true to your communion.

    Hi Ron,

    You’re mistaken. The Catholic Church has given me guidelines for understanding the Scripture. Here:

    Hebrews 13:7King James Version (KJV)

    7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

    And here:
    113 2. Read the Scripture within “the living Tradition of the whole Church”. According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church’s heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (“. . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church”81).

    You cannot with any epistemic justification tell us what they do mean lest you deny the need for an infallible magisterium.

    I can. You can’t.

    You see, Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church. And then He commanded the Church to teach all which He commanded to the world. That is Sacred Tradition. It is based upon this Sacred Tradition that the wrote the New Testament.

    Protestants threw out the authentic epistemic justification for understanding Scripture, when they cast out the Sacred Tradition of Jesus Christ.

    Oh, and the need for the Magisterium is expounded upon in the Scripture. Jesus Christ commanded the Church to TEACH that which He commanded. And the Church has been doing so since then. That is the function which we call Magisterium. You see its expression in the New Testament.

    So, not only have you betrayed Scripture, you’ve also betrayed the need for the popes. At this juncture you might as well put your Bible away and quit trying to behave like a Protestant.

    No. I haven’t betrayed anyone. You are trying to evade the fact that you can’t respond to the points I made from Scripture.

    Get used to it, Ron.

  43. De Maria said,

    August 12, 2014 at 7:33 am

    theoldadam said,
    August 12, 2014 at 12:06 am

    “In the Sacraments, God sees our faith and counts it to us as righteousness.”

    A lot of God…and a little bit of us.

    It is God’s will that we participate in our salvation:

    Philippians 2:12-13King James Version (KJV)

    12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

    A lot of God working through a little bit of us.

    Semi- Pelagian to the core.

    Not at all.

    But faith alone is 100% Pelagian. Protestants claim to save themselves by their faith alone.

    Catholics understand that Christ is our Judge and leave judgment to Him:

    Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

    And again,

    1 Corinthians 4:2-4

    2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

    3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.

    4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

  44. De Maria said,

    August 12, 2014 at 7:34 am

    Thank you Roberty Bob

  45. De Maria said,

    August 12, 2014 at 7:39 am

    theoldadam said,
    August 12, 2014 at 1:14 am

    “James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”

    That’s right. The Catholics said at the Council of Trent, which still stands, of course, “That anyone who believes that we are saved by faith alone, is anathema.”

    That is true.

    There you have it. You all had better get busy.

    Good advice.

    I thank God I got off that spiritual ascendency rat-wheel years ago.

    Now I am free. (Gal. 5:1)

    Are some of the pages of your Bible missing? Or why didn’t you read the rest of Galatians 5?

    13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

    14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

    16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

    17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

    18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

    19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

    20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

    21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

    23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

    24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

    25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

  46. theoldadam said,

    August 12, 2014 at 8:40 am

    “It is God’s will that we participate in our salvation…”

    Blasphemy.

  47. De Maria said,

    August 12, 2014 at 9:15 am

    theoldadam said,
    August 12, 2014 at 8:40 am

    “It is God’s will that we participate in our salvation…”

    Blasphemy.

    What does this mean then?

    Philippians 2:12-13King James Version (KJV)

    12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

  48. De Maria said,

    August 12, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Bob S said,

    In short, they think they can only see what the magisterium tells them they can see. Trinity yes, imputation no.

    One thing I know, imputation does not mean transference. It means judging, reckoning or accounting.

    God saw Abraham’s faith and imputed/judged him sincere/righteous. There was no transference of grace going on.

    However, in the New Dispensation, when Catholics submit to the Sacraments, God sees their faith, judges them righteous, and infuses the Sanctifying grace which Jesus Christ poured out from the Cross, into their souls. Thus washing them clean of sin.

    And this is an actual washing. We are born again, children of God.

  49. Ron said,

    August 12, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Hi Ron,

    You’re mistaken. The Catholic Church has given me guidelines for understanding the Scripture.

    DM,

    I find your passing swipe at my post a bit superficial.

    How do these guidelines enable you to know the meaning of any particular verse that has not been interpreted for you by the magisterium? At best all you can know is what most things don’t mean. For instance, you can “know” that propositions like David was King of Israel or Abraham was commanded to offer up his only do *not* mean things like Jesus is not present in the Lord’s Supper or that Peter was not the first pope. Unless the magisterium rules on the literal interpretation of any particular verse in Scripture you cannot *know* what it means. You can only know that it doesn’t contract RC doctrines a,b,c….

    Your “guidelines” do not allow God’s word to interpret God’s word for you. Accordingly, you are very limited in what you may debate from Scripture.

    You believe you need a mediator; yet your mediator has not exegeted most verses for you. You might find one day that David’s kingship is allegorical. After all, the magisterium might one day rule that the verse means something else than what seems obvious to you, hence the alleged need for the magisterium.

    Denying the sufficiency, clarity, final authority and necessity of Scripture comes with a high price tag. In any case, it’s a curious thing that Scripture should be less clear than the pronouncements of the popes yet you would attempt to justify the popes by the supposed clarity of Scripture.

  50. Ron said,

    August 12, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Hi Ron,

    You’re mistaken. The Catholic Church has given me guidelines for understanding the Scripture.

    DM,

    I find your passing swipe at my post a bit superficial.

    How do these guidelines enable you to know the meaning of any particular verse that has not been interpreted for you by the magisterium? At best all you can know is what most things don’t mean. For instance, you can “know” that propositions like David was King of Israel or Abraham was commanded to offer up his only son do *not* mean things like Jesus is not present in the Lord’s Supper or that Peter was not the first pope. Unless the magisterium rules on the literal interpretation of any particular verse in Scripture you cannot *know* what it means. You can only know that it doesn’t contract RC doctrines a,b,c….

    Your “guidelines” do not allow God’s word to interpret God’s word for you. Accordingly, you are very limited in what you may debate from Scripture.

    You believe you need a mediator; yet your mediator has not exegeted most verses for you. You might find one day that David’s kingship is allegorical. After all, the magisterium might one day rule that the verse means something else than what seems obvious to you, hence the alleged need for the magisterium.

    Denying the sufficiency, clarity, final authority and necessity of Scripture comes with a high price tag. In any case, it’s a curious thing that Scripture should be less clear than the pronouncements of the popes yet you would attempt to justify the popes by the supposed clarity of Scripture.

  51. greenbaggins said,

    August 12, 2014 at 9:39 am

    To the Catholics on here, if faith itself IS what is imputed as righteousness, then it is a work, because righteousness fulfills the law. Paul, however, in Romans 4 categorically denies that works justify us. So, you are turning faith into a work. That doesn’t work.

  52. roberty bob said,

    August 12, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Would someone please translate Romans 4:9 so that it does not read “Abraham’s FAITH was counted as RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

    All of the English translations run down that same track. But we’re being told that this track doesn’t work.

  53. De Maria said,

    August 12, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Ron said,
    August 12, 2014 at 9:32 am

    DM,

    I find your passing swipe at my post a bit superficial.

    Well, Ron, I find your post superficial as well. So, I guess that makes us even.

    How do these guidelines enable you to know the meaning of any particular verse that has not been interpreted for you by the magisterium? At best all you can know is what most things don’t mean. For instance, you can “know” that propositions like David was King of Israel or Abraham was commanded to offer up his only son do *not* mean things like Jesus is not present in the Lord’s Supper or that Peter was not the first pope. Unless the magisterium rules on the literal interpretation of any particular verse in Scripture you cannot *know* what it means. You can only know that it doesn’t contract RC doctrines a,b,c….

    The guidelines instruct me how to exegete Scripture.

    Obviously, you didn’t read the guidelines. First, read the guidelines, then ask me a particular question about what they mean. Otherwise, I conclude that you can’t handle my arguments and are merely changing the subject.

    Your “guidelines” do not allow God’s word to interpret God’s word for you.

    Well, let’s see what Scripture says about that:

    Hebrews 13:7 King James Version (KJV)

    7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

    Guess what, God’s word says that the rulers in the Church TEACH us what the Word of God says.

    Isn’t that peculiar? God’s word in Scripture doesn’t instruct us to go and discover the meaning of God’s word on our own. It doesn’t. It says to listen to the rulers in the Church. That would be, the Pope, the Bishops and the Priests, in my case.

    Who teaches you the Word of God? To whom do you listen?

    Accordingly, you are very limited in what you may debate from Scripture.

    Yeah, but when I debate from Scripture, there’s nothing you do but change the subject. Because my arguments are solidly based upon the Written Word of God.

    You believe you need a mediator; yet your mediator has not exegeted most verses for you.

    But my mediator has instructed me how to exegete all verses.

    You might find one day that David’s kingship is allegorical. After all, the magisterium might one day rule that the verse means something else than what seems obvious to you, hence the alleged need for the magisterium.

    You’ve got the Catholic Church messed up with Protestants. It is Protestants who take out and add words to Scripture. The Catholic Church is consistent in Teaching the Doctrines of Jesus Christ to the world for 2000 years and will continue to the end of time:

    Ephesians 3:10

    10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

    Denying the sufficiency, clarity, final authority and necessity of Scripture comes with a high price tag.

    You say that Scripture is perfectly clear. But what does Scripture say:

    2 Peter 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    Scripture admits that some things in Scripture are hard to be understood.

    And Scripture also says that it is better to be guided in understanding Scripture.

    Acts 8:
    30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?

    31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

    So, your teaching of the perspicuity of Scripture, contradicts Scripture.

    In any case, it’s a curious thing that Scripture should be less clear than the pronouncements of the popes yet you would attempt to justify the popes by the supposed clarity of Scripture.

    I think what is curious is that you claim that Scripture is clear, but you would rather not stick to Scripture in this discussion.

  54. Nick said,

    August 12, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Ron,

    You said to me: “To deny the plain meaning of Scripture is one thing. To deny the plain meaning of your own words leaves even less hope for a reasonable discussion.”

    I’m not at all sure what you are talking about. It helps if you quote actual words I said. From what I recall, you wanted to approach the AO issue from a systematic standpoint, whereas my post was focused on the exegetical.

    ————-
    ————-

    Bob S,

    The “good and necessary consequence” pertains to a systematic approach to theology, whereas the passage I was quoting says that if there is a dispute on a given passage, then a more clear passage much be sought to help determine the meaning. There is no tension there.

    You must take care not to ‘want to’ find doctrines in Scripture, and rather must take care to humbly accept what Scripture wants us to know. If forgiveness-reconciliation is good enough for Paul, who are we to demand more?

    So far my exegesis has received little interaction, except by Lane, which is a shame because I’ve seen people here offer all kinds of exegetical insights on various things in the past.

  55. Ron said,

    August 12, 2014 at 11:44 am

    rb,

    You might at least try employing an analogy of Scripture. As it stands now, you should you think that there are many ways of salvation: faith credited as righteousness; grace through faith; grace by faith; baptism into Christ’s death; if not also, baptism of desire depending upon your leanings.

    In any case, it makes little sense to spend more time discussing Scripture with those who by asserting the need for an infallible magisterium deny the authority, clarity, sufficiency and necessity of Scripture. At the very least, RC’s should have the integrity to claim that they have an internal witness of the Spirit that bears witness to the pronouncements of the magisterium. Yet if that is true, then why can’t the Spirit bear witness to the Word? To say He does through the magisterium won’t do since the Word must always await its yes and amen from the Roman communion. Moreover, as soon as you reach for your Bible to defend the necessity of the magisterium to interpret Scripture, you in turn deny her thesis regarding the necessity for her place of prominence.

    In the final analyses, debates with Roman Catholics other than to quickly expose their contradictions and put forth the gospel of hope is foolish. The Roman Catholic as long as he’s true to his beliefs may not be persuaded by the word of God. If the word of God appears to be saying something contrary to the popes, it’s the word of the popes that is final for the true Roman Catholic. The popes are deemed more clear than the Bible and this can only be consistently justified by appealing to their say-so on the matter (for again, to appeal to the Scriptures to make this point is self-refuting). I would only wish that Roman Catholics would quit pretending with their appeals to Scripture since they may not hear from Scripture anything other than what mother church tells them it says. Yet why have I never met a Roman Catholic who would simply argue his position by appealing to their final authority, the doctrines of the Roman communion? This notion that Scripture is authoritative for the Roman Catholic is a lie.

    Best of providence with your pursuit.

    DM,

    I won’t be responding to your follow-up posts either. More than enough has been said to you too.

  56. De Maria said,

    August 12, 2014 at 11:46 am

    greenbaggins said,
    August 12, 2014 at 9:39 am

    To the Catholics on here, if faith itself IS what is imputed as righteousness,

    First of all, to impute is to judge, to count, to reckon. So, faith is not imputed in the false sense that Protestants give the word of “transference”.

    When God imputed Abraham’s faith, He judged him faithful and reckoned him righteous. He did not transfer this righteousness to him. He found it there and declared the fact.

    then it is a work, because righteousness fulfills the law.

    Faith is a grace, therefore it is poured, it is infused into the soul.
    Faith is also a work, it is cooperation with the will of God.

    Faith is the necessary attribute to all works of righteousness. It is by faith that Abraham obeyed God’s word:

    Rom 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

    22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

    Paul, however, in Romans 4 categorically denies that works justify us.

    Works do not justify us.
    Faith does not justify us.

    God justifies. And God only justifies those who, by faith, do His works of love.

    Example:

    A group of ne’er do wells who don’t do anything.

    A group of do gooders who do their best to love their fellow man, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc. etc.

    Which group is just in the eyes of God? You tell me.

    So, you are turning faith into a work. That doesn’t work.

    You’re mistaken. Faith is a grace and a work.

    1 Thessalonians 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, ….

    Do I have to prove to you that it is also a grace?

  57. De Maria said,

    August 12, 2014 at 11:56 am

    DM,

    I won’t be responding to your follow-up posts either. More than enough has been said to you too.

    No problem. Just want to leave you with this.

    You said to Roberty Bob:

    Yet why have I never met a Roman Catholic who would simply argue his position by appealing to their final authority, the doctrines of the Roman communion?

    How did Jesus put it?

    Luke 7:31-35King James Version (KJV)

    31 And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?

    32 They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.

    33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.

    34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!

    35 But wisdom is justified of all her children.

    You see, twenty five years ago, when I first started debating with Protestants, I argued from the point of view of the Church Fathers.

    I thought to myself, “Surely, they’ll listen to the men who learned from the Apostles themselves.”

    But guess what I learned? Protestants despise the Church Fathers because they teach Catholic Doctrine. So, their response to me was, “I don’t care about any of that extra biblical stuff. If you can’t show me from the Bible, you can’t show me nothin’!”

    But now that I provide Protestants the Teaching of the Bible. Guess what? They respond like you. You aren’t the first Protestant to deny the Teaching of Scripture because it agrees with the Catholic Church.

    Thanks for listening.

  58. Nick said,

    August 12, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Lane asked:

    To the Catholics on here, if faith itself IS what is imputed as righteousness, then it is a work, because righteousness fulfills the law.

    I’m trying to follow the argument you’re making. What do you mean “righteousness fulfills the law”? I don’t see this wording in Scripture, nor do I see how you’re linking “work” into both faith and righteousness. Your ‘syllogism’ is not obvious.

    From my perspective, righteousness does not come from works of the law (even if the law is kept perfectly), only by faith, so it makes no sense (to me) to suggest faith could ever be in the works category. They are two different animals.

    Paul, however, in Romans 4 categorically denies that works justify us. So, you are turning faith into a work. That doesn’t work.

    Here is where it’s important to have correct definition of ‘justify’. If ‘justify’ means ‘declared to have kept the law perfectly’, then Paul’s overall argument would be about us needing to have perfect obedience to stand before God. And if that’s Paul’s argument, for a Catholic to say faith is allowed to count as a lifetime of perfect obedience, this would come off as an insult to divine majesty due to lowering the bar to that of easy-believism (e.g. being awarded an olympic gold medal for simply believing God exists, rather than earning it by actually coming in first place). Thankfully, that’s not what Catholics are saying.

    If the ‘justification’ in question is about getting right with God, i.e. reconciliation, then a lifetime of good works isn’t what’s in view. What is in view is what brings about this right relationship. Is it accomplished by living under the Torah’s rules and regulations (“works of the law”)? No. Paul says it is accomplished by having our sins forgiven, which comes about by repentance and faith in Christ’s blood. In this sense, faith being regarded as righteousness refers to faith revealing a person is in a reconciled relationship with God. In this perspective, questions along the lines of ‘faith becomes a work’ make no sense.

  59. roberty bob said,

    August 12, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    De Maria,

    Funny. They ask us a question to invite a conversation, “Is Imputation Taught in Romans 4?” But when we quote the text of Romans 4 and ask them what it means or how they translate it, they tell us we should be ashamed of ourselves for not paying attention to what Paul said to the Corinthians and Philippians. It’s always that way with these guys.

    In Romans 4 Paul does say that Abraham’s faith is credited [or counted] as [or for] righteousness. Conversely, Paul says that Abraham is the father of all who believe . . . in order that righteousness might be credited to them.

    In an honest conversation it is worth discussing what that righteousness entails [Is it really the accumulation of Christ's life-long obedience (his law-keeping)? Is Paul saying that when Abraham believed the promise of God, God put on his account all of the law-keeping merits of the Christ who was to come? Is that the one complete and proper definition of righteousness, or does Paul have something else in mind?] . And if imputation is not explicitly taught in Romans 4, only implicitly, then is there a better and truer way to convey what is going on here? There is such a thing as incorporated righteousness, having the righteousness of Christ by virtue of our union with him in his death and resurrection. Is this doctrine / concept at the heart of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans? I think that it is, and I’m not sure that this squares with imputation. So, I have questions.

    And I’m a Catholic, just not a Roman Catholic as presumed by GB’s designated hitter, Ron. Ironic!

  60. De Maria said,

    August 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    All true rb. They don’t really want to discuss Scripture. They want to discuss what they believe. But it isn’t in Scripture.

  61. ajmccallum said,

    August 12, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    First of all, to impute is to judge, to count, to reckon. So, faith is not imputed in the false sense that Protestants give the word of “transference”.

    DM (#56),

    OK so the Catholic position is that through imputation we are judged righteous, and counted righteous, and reckoned righteous, but that there is no transfer of righteousness. Have I got that right?

  62. William Scott said,

    August 12, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    I had enough time during lunch to shoot out one more post. (Sorry I’m basically repeating in this post what I said in my last post).

    Paul explains the central rationale behind “faith imputed as righteousness” in Romans 4:5-8–namely, God reckons/imputes a sinless life to the one who believes (i.e. as though they had never failed in their life to fulfill God’s perfect Law of Love).

    How does this non-imputation of our failure to fulfill God’s Law occur except through the perfect righteous Blood of Christ covering our unrighteousness? In other words, the innocence of the Lamb covering our guilt (i.e. His immaculate righteous life/freedom from any failure to fulfill God’s Law in place of our failure)

    (Just to be Redundant) Forgiveness of sins in the Scripture and according to the historic teaching of the Church is God accounting people in whom He finds living faith as those who have never failed to fulfill His Awesome Law of Love (i.e. it is the reckoning of us as those who have fulfilled/kept God’s Law).

    As I quoted from Augustine above (Book 1, 18:3 of his Retractions): “All the commandments of God are fulfilled when whatever is not done, is forgiven.” That is, God reckons the extrinsic fulfillment of His Law/Righteousness apart from the “filthy rags,” as Bernard of Clairvaux says, of the believer’s always imperfect obedience. God Bless.

  63. William Scott said,

    August 12, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Ya’ll better listen up, or I’ll have to keep saying the same thing over and over again ;-)

  64. Nick said,

    August 12, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    William Scott,

    You said:

    Paul explains the central rationale behind “faith imputed as righteousness” in Romans 4:5-8–namely, God reckons/imputes a sinless life to the one who believes (i.e. as though they had never failed in their life to fulfill God’s perfect Law of Love).

    I think you’re imputing more to the “blessing” than is necessary and exegetically warranted. David was a sinner, there was no need for God to view David as if David had never sinned. It was enough that God simply forgave David. The requirement that David live a perfectly obedient life in order to be in relationship with God seems to undermine the whole point of relationship with God. A relationship precedes a lifetime of walking with God.

    (Just to be Redundant) Forgiveness of sins in the Scripture and according to the historic teaching of the Church is God accounting people in whom He finds living faith as those who have never failed to fulfill His Awesome Law of Love (i.e. it is the reckoning of us as those who have fulfilled/kept God’s Law).

    I have a hard time believing this. I don’t see this in the Bible at all.

    As I quoted from Augustine above (Book 1, 18:3 of his Retractions): “All the commandments of God are fulfilled when whatever is not done, is forgiven.” That is, God reckons the extrinsic fulfillment of His Law/Righteousness apart from the “filthy rags,” as Bernard of Clairvaux says, of the believer’s always imperfect obedience. God Bless.

    That’s not much of a quote to go by, but what Augustine appears to be saying is that forgiveness *makes up for* any failures along the way. He is not suggesting that Christians positively fulfill the law by simple forgiveness.

  65. De Maria said,

    August 12, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    ajmccallum said,
    August 12, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    DM (#56),

    OK so the Catholic position is that through imputation we are judged righteous, and counted righteous, and reckoned righteous, but that there is no transfer of righteousness. Have I got that right?

    Hi,

    Imputation does not mean “transfer”. No.

    Definition of IMPUTATION Merriam Webster online

    1: the act of imputing: as
    a : attribution, ascription
    b : accusation
    c : insinuation
    2: something imputed
    — im·pu·ta·tive adjective
    — im·pu·ta·tive·ly adverb

    im·put·edim·put·ing

    Full Definition of IMPUTE Merriam Webster online

    transitive verb
    1: to lay the responsibility or blame for often falsely or unjustly
    2: to credit to a person or a cause : attribute
    — im·put·abil·i·ty noun
    — im·put·able adjective

    In the Sacraments, there is a transference of grace. We call it “infusion” of Christ’s Sanctifying grace into our souls.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  66. Mark Kim said,

    August 12, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    The whole law-gospel structure of Catholicism is flawed from the beginning. They will try to circumvent the law-gospel distinction in Galatians by saying that Paul was arguing against 1) pre-conversion works only; 2) works that try to merit salvation apart from God’s grace; or 3) ceremonial works of the law like circumcision and dietary laws (like the NPP). Paul was not restricting works to only these types of works but ALL works in general in the context of how one is NOT justified before God (Gal 2:16; cf. Rom 11:6). The only righteousness that will stand on the day of judgment is Christ’s perfect righteousness imputed to those who are elected to salvation (Gal 3:10-13).

  67. August 12, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Romans 1:4 is a very important verse here which says that God delated Jesus Christ So of God with power by his resurrection. Why would God need to declare Him son of God. Because he achieved his own justification and ours Rom. 4:25. All legal decrees cancelled against us Colossians. What guys like Nick don’t understand is when a man stood righteous in the OT it isn’t because of the state of affairs in his life but because he was delated such before the bar of God Galatians 3:6.

  68. August 12, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    That should read God declared Jesus Christ So of God with power….

  69. August 12, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Mark Kim, amen!

  70. August 12, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Nick, blessed is the man on whom God credits righteousness apart from works. Did you get that Nick man gets credited with righteousness apart from his works. You want to subdivide His obedience and works right? So rephrased this would say blessed is the man who gets his sins forgiven thru his grace enabled works. hows that work for you Nick? Lets see He was born under the law and redeemed those under the law by becoming a curse for them and by his obedience we are just. He condemns sin in the flesh so that the RROTL are fulfilled “in us ” not “by us”and He cancels out all LEGAL decrees against us. How was He qualified to do all this and be declared Son of God? Maybe, lets see His passive and active obedience. You won’t silence my voice like Nick like your church did to England in the reign of Queen Mary. So you kicked me off Jason’s site again for no reason. Thats ok. Men like the one who runs this site and myself have warned you about your false religion, ” come out from her my people”

  71. De Maria said,

    August 12, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Mark Kim said,
    August 12, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    The whole law-gospel structure of Catholicism is flawed from the beginning.

    I don’t think you realize that the Gospel is the Law of Christ:
    Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

    They will try to circumvent the law-gospel distinction in Galatians by saying that Paul was arguing against

    1) pre-conversion works only;
    2) works that try to merit salvation apart from God’s grace; or
    3) ceremonial works of the law like circumcision and dietary laws (like the NPP).

    Who will? If you provide the example, perhaps it can be explained.

    In the meantime, St. Paul was not arguing against any works:

    Gal 5:
    14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

    16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

    17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

    18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

    19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

    20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

    21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

    23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

    24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

    25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

    When we walk in the spirit, we do the works of God.

    Paul was not restricting works to only these types of works but ALL works in general in the context of how one is NOT justified before God (Gal 2:16; cf. Rom 11:6).

    Romans 2:13King James Version (KJV)

    13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    St. Paul was teaching you about the Sacraments. It is in the Sacraments that we are justified apart from works of righteousness, apart from works of the law, apart from any works. It is in the Sacraments that we are justified by faith when we call upon the name of the Lord.

    But God only justifies those who do good, patiently and with endurance. God does not justify those who claim to have faith but do not prove it by their works:

    2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

    The only righteousness that will stand on the day of judgment is Christ’s perfect righteousness imputed to those who are elected to salvation (Gal 3:10-13).

    1. Imputed means reckoned.
    2. Imputed doesn’t mean transferred.
    3. Anyone who is judged/imputed/reckoned as righteous as Jesus Christ on the last day, will be saved.
    4. The only way to be judged thus, is to keep the Commandments:

    Revelation 22:14

    14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

  72. William Scott said,

    August 12, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Hello Nick,

    You said:
    [quote]David was a sinner, there was no need for God to view David as if David had never sinned. It was enough that God simply forgave David.[/quote]

    If God does not reckon our sin to our account then He necessarily accounts us as those who have not sinned. Sin is failure to keep God’s Law of Love, therefore to reckon no sin is to reckon no failure to keep God’s Law.

    You said:
    [quote]That’s not much of a quote to go by, but what Augustine appears to be saying is that forgiveness *makes up for* any failures along the way. He is not suggesting that Christians positively fulfill the law by simple forgiveness.[/quote]

    Here’s the fuller quote from the Retractions–Augustine argues in it that we fulfill the law “up to one title” (i.e. perfection) through the forgiveness of sins. In other words, forgiveness makes us positively (and perfectly–up to “one tittle”) righteous, despite the fact that our lives fall short of the mark:
    [quote]Likewise, when I was explaining the passage: “Not one jot and one tittle shall pass from the law till all things be accomplished,” I said that nothing else can be understood except a strong expression of perfection. With regard to this, one may justly ask whether this perfection can be so understood that it is true, however, that no one who now has free choice of will lives here without sin. For by whom can the law be fulfilled up to one tittle except by a man who observes all the commandments of God? But among these very commandments is, in truth, one which we are ordered to say: “Forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors,” a prayer the entire Church will say until the end of the world. Therefore, all the commandments are considered fulfilled when whatever is not fulfilled is forgiven.[/quote]

    http://books.google.com/books?id=DikZ4GEmgUIC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=forgiven&f=false

    Of course, Augustine would never say that a believer has perfectly fulfilled the Law through forgiveness when their life is devoid of obedience–and the reformers would agree. [Of course, Augustine did not use the term "justification" strictly in reference to the forensic aspect of Salvation, but rather as encompassing the forensic and transformative aspects. However, substantively, he affirms here the truth of perfect forensic righteousness apart from imperfect intrinsic righteousness].

  73. William Scott said,

    August 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    p.s. To clarify the last paragraph–the Reformers would agree that a believer has not “perfectly fulfilled the Law through forgiveness when their life is devoid of obedience”–because they held that if there is no sanctification then it is proof that there is no saving faith and no forgiveness.

    As Luther notes:
    “That is what my Antinomians, too, are doing today, who are preaching beautifully and (as I cannot but think) with real sincerity about Christ’s grace, about the forgiveness of sin and whatever else can be said about the doctrine of redemption. But they flee as if it were the very devil the consequence that they should tell the people about the third article, of sanctification, that is, of new life in Christ. They think one should not frighten or trouble the people, but rather always preach comfortingly about grace and the forgiveness of sins in Christ, and under no circumstance use these or similar words, “Listen! You want to be a Christian and at the same time remain an adulterer, a whoremonger, a drunken swine, arrogant, covetous, a usurer, envious, vindictive, malicious, etc.!” Instead they say, “Listen! Though you are an adulterer, a whoremonger, a miser, or other kind of sinner, if you but believe, you are saved, and you need not fear the law. Christ has fulfilled it all! . . . They may be fine Easter preachers, but they are very poor Pentecost preachers, for they do not preach… “about the sanctification by the Holy Spirit,” but solely about the redemption of Jesus Christ, although Christ (whom they extol so highly, and rightly so) is Christ, that is, He has purchased redemption from sin and death so that the Holy Spirit might transform us out of the old Adam into new men . . . Christ did not earn only gratia, grace, for us, but also donum, “the gift of the Holy Spirit,” so that we might have not only forgiveness of, but also cessation of, sin. Now he who does not abstain from sin, but persists in his evil life, must have a different Christ, that of the Antinomians; the real Christ is not there, even if all the angels would cry, “Christ! Christ!” He must be damned with this, his new Christ (On the Council and the Church, Luther’s Works, 41:113-114).

  74. theoldadam said,

    August 12, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    “What does this mean?

    work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

    Obviously it means two very different things for the Catholic religionist, and the trusting Lutheran.

    If you haven’t figured it out by now, and after all I and others have said to you…you may never get it.

    I hope I’m wrong.

  75. Mark Kim said,

    August 12, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    “I don’t think you realize that the Gospel is the Law of Christ:
    Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

    The Gospel is the law of Christ? That’s strange considering that in the context of justification Paul always pits law (any law!) and gospel against each other. I’ll grant that the law and gospel are not in absolute antithesis towards each other (since believers are under the law as a means of sanctification) but they certainly are in antithesis when it comes to how a sinner is justified before God. This is the fundamental problem with Catholicism. By conflating law and gospel, they lose the latter.

    “In the meantime, St. Paul was not arguing against any works.”

    Galatians 5:14-25 is contrasting those who are still under the dominion of the flesh (unbelievers or fake believers) and those who are led by the Spirit (regenerate believers). How one lives (whether in the flesh or by the Spirit) is an indication of whether they truly know Christ in a saving way or not.

    “St. Paul was teaching you about the Sacraments. It is in the Sacraments that we are justified apart from works of righteousness, apart from works of the law, apart from any works. It is in the Sacraments that we are justified by faith when we call upon the name of the Lord.”

    Absurd. No respectable biblical scholar takes the position you just stated in regards to Romans 2:13. Where did you get this idea? Did you just pop this out of a magic hat? Romans 2:13 is talking about what God requires of all human beings if they wish to be justified on the last day: perfect and flawless obedience to God’s holy law, which no fallen sinner can ever fulfill (Rom 3:20).

    “2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

    I agree. All human beings will be judged on the last day, even believers. However, the verdict has always been passed because of Christ’s perfect work and sacrifice. The last judgment only declares publically what is true of the “already” verdict pronounced in history of every believer because of their faith in Christ alone. Of course, believers will also be judged in terms of what degree of rewards they get in glory (not to determine whether they enter glory or not).

    “Revelation 22:14

    14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”

    Interesting you quote this from a Textus Receptus translation (KJV) to support your preconceived ideas of salvation: “Blessed are they that do his commandments…” The Nestle-Aland translations (ESV, NASB, NIV) phrase it: “those who wash their robes” (which have better textual witness). The “robes” of Believers are clean because of Christ’s perfect sacrifice on their behalf.

  76. Jack Bradley said,

    August 12, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    “This is the fundamental problem with Catholicism. By conflating law and gospel, they lose the latter.”

    Bingo.

  77. WA Scott said,

    August 12, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    The responsibilities of a 70 to 80 hour work week are pressing in on me so unless I get some time later I’ll have to call it quits on this thread. God Bless and thanks for the edifying discussions.

  78. William Scott said,

    August 12, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    whoops…in case there was any confusion -> WA Scott = William Scott

  79. De Maria said,

    August 12, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Mark Kim said,
    August 12, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    The Gospel is the law of Christ?

    Yes.

    That’s strange considering that in the context of justification Paul always pits law (any law!) and gospel against each other.

    Not true. In the context of justification, St. Paul pits the “Law” or “Old Covenant” against the Law of Grace, which is the Law of Christ, the Gospel.

    I’ll grant that the law and gospel are not in absolute antithesis towards each other (since believers are under the law as a means of sanctification) but they certainly are in antithesis when it comes to how a sinner is justified before God.

    No, they’re not. Scripture tells us:

    Romans 2:13

    13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    This is the fundamental problem with Catholicism. By conflating law and gospel, they lose the latter.

    There is no conflation of anything in Catholicism. It is Protestants who, by failing to understand the importance of the Commandments, totally confound the Sacramental Teaching of St. Paul.

    Galatians 5:14-25 is contrasting those who are still under the dominion of the flesh (unbelievers or fake believers) and those who are led by the Spirit (regenerate believers). How one lives (whether in the flesh or by the Spirit) is an indication of whether they truly know Christ in a saving way or not.

    St. Paul didn’t contradict himself. One will not be regenerated who does not keep the law of Christ (Rom 2:13).

    Absurd. No respectable biblical scholar

    No Protestant Scholar. But they’ve lost touch with the Sacred Doctrines of Jesus Christ.

    takes the position you just stated in regards to Romans 2:13. Where did you get this idea? Did you just pop this out of a magic hat? Romans 2:13 is talking about what God requires of all human beings if they wish to be justified

    Correct.

    on the last day:

    At any time. Did you not also read in Scripture?
    James 2:24

    24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    perfect and flawless obedience to God’s holy law, which no fallen sinner can ever fulfill (Rom 3:20).

    Romans 3:20

    20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

    That says nothing about perfect and flawless obedience. You have read that into the Scripture.

    That simply states the truth that God has prepared His works for us that we should walk in them, from the beginning. Compare these two verses:

    Exodus 20:6

    6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

    Romans 2:13

    13…., but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    Understand that the Commandments themselves don’t justify. But unless you keep the Commandments of God, God won’t shed His mercy upon you, God won’t justify you.

    I agree. All human beings will be judged on the last day, even believers. However, the verdict has always been passed because of Christ’s perfect work and sacrifice. The last judgment only declares publically what is true of the “already” verdict pronounced in history of every believer because of their faith in Christ alone. Of course, believers will also be judged in terms of what degree of rewards they get in glory (not to determine whether they enter glory or not).

    That is not what Scripture says:
    1 Corinthians 6:8-10

    8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

    9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

    10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

    St. Paul is there talking to believers and warning them not to continue in sin or they will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Interesting you quote this from a Textus Receptus translation (KJV) to support your preconceived ideas of salvation: “Blessed are they that do his commandments…” The Nestle-Aland translations (ESV, NASB, NIV) phrase it: “those who wash their robes” (which have better textual witness). The “robes” of Believers are clean because of Christ’s perfect sacrifice on their behalf.

    Because they have “washed their robes”. By their faith, they performed and did the works of God.

    Revelation 7:13-15

    13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

    14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

    15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

    Washed their robes means repenting of sin and keeping the Commandments.

    Made them white in the Blood of the Lamb means partaking of the Divine Nature in the Holy Eucharist, which is the fruit of the Tree of Life,

  80. August 12, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Imputation does not mean “transfer”. No.

    DM (#65),

    It appears to me that you are getting hung up over the term “transfer,” but I can explain the concept without using this term, and so I’m perfectly happy to dispense with this particular word.

    You conceded that by the death of Christ that we are judged, counted, and reckoned righteous. My contention is that we are judged to be righteous because we really are righteous. That is, when God draws us to Himself we become one with Christ. As Peter says, we participate in the divine nature. And because we have this intimate union with Christ we share in His righteousness. His righteousness becomes our righteousness. So God can judge us righteous, that is impute righteousness to us, because we are one with Christ, and Christ is perfectly righteous.

    So don’t get sidetracked on the linguistic nuances of “imputation” or “transfer.” Instead consider what it means to be one with Christ in terms of sharing in His righteousness and thus being declared to be justified before God.

    Cheers….

  81. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Andrew McCallum said,
    August 12, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Imputation does not mean “transfer”. No.

    DM (#65),

    It appears to me that you are getting hung up over the term “transfer,” but I can explain the concept without using this term, and so I’m perfectly happy to dispense with this particular word.

    You conceded that by the death of Christ that we are judged, counted, and reckoned righteous. My contention is that we are judged to be righteous because we really are righteous.

    That is the Catholic Teaching.

    That is, when God draws us to Himself we become one with Christ. As Peter says, we participate in the divine nature. And because we have this intimate union with Christ we share in His righteousness.

    Nope. Because of this intimate union with Christ, we obey His commands and participate in His works.

    His righteousness becomes our righteousness.

    If we obey His Word and Keep His commandments.

    So God can judge us righteous,

    Not unless we become righteous. God is not a liar. God doesn’t cover up dung heaps. God doesn’t whitewash walls:

    Ezekiel 13:11New International Version (NIV)

    11 therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth.

    If you are not righteous, God will not lie for you.

    that is impute righteousness to us, because we are one with Christ, and Christ is perfectly righteous.

    First problem. God will not impute you righteous if you are not actually righteous.

    Second problem. That is not what happened with Abraham. Abraham was not united to Christ. If he were, he would have gone directly to heaven. But he didn’t. He had to await the promise, as it says in Heb 11:

    39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

    Note that one of these who obtained the good report was Abraham.

    And it is Abraham who is the subject of Rom 4.

    God imputed him righteous because of his good works and his faith. But God did not infuse or pour into him the sanctifying grace of our Lord Jesus Christ because the Sacraments were not yet established. Abraham did not walk upon Mt. Sion until after Jesus Christ died upon the Cross:

    Hebrews 12:18-24King James Version (KJV)

    18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

    19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

    20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:

    21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)

    22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

    23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

    24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

    So don’t get sidetracked on the linguistic nuances of “imputation” or “transfer.” Instead consider what it means to be one with Christ in terms of sharing in His righteousness and thus being declared to be justified before God.

    I’m not the one sidetracked. You are. You are trying to force your ideas into the Scripture regardless of what Scripture actually teaches.

    Cheers….

    And to you.

  82. theoldadam said,

    August 13, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Does anybody else notice how long-winded religionists are?

    So full of biblicism and law.

    That’s why a religionist is a legalist, and inevitably self-righteous.

  83. August 13, 2014 at 12:30 am

    DM,

    I thought it was a nice idea to give you the Reformed position without using the term “transfer” that you have such problems with, especially since it seems that English is not your first language. But obviously my explanation is lost on you. So I’m going to give up trying to discuss this with you.

    I don’t know about the rest of your Reformed folks, but I think these Catholic folks have very little interest in listening to us.

  84. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 12:33 am

    It takes one to know one, toa.

  85. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 12:40 am

    Andrew McCallum said,
    August 13, 2014 at 12:30 am

    DM,

    I thought it was a nice idea to give you the Reformed position without using the term “transfer” that you have such problems with, especially since it seems that English is not your first language. But obviously my explanation is lost on you. So I’m going to give up trying to discuss this with you.

    Ok.

    I don’t know about the rest of your Reformed folks, but I think these Catholic folks have very little interest in listening to us.

    We have about as much interest in listening to you as you have in listening to us.

    I’m not here to learn anything from you or the Reformed folk, Andrew. Nor am I here to change you or convert you. I’ve learned, after 2 decades of speaking to Protestants, that my arguments will rarely change the person to whom I am speaking.

    But I have also learned that there are many people out there riding the fence. They want to know more about Catholic or Protestant doctrine in order to make up their minds which way to go.

    Sure, if my arguments move you, that is just icing on the cake. But I’m here to pass on Catholic Teaching to anyone who will listen.

    Anyway, thanks for engaging.

    May God bless you.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  86. theoldadam said,

    August 13, 2014 at 1:21 am

    I heard all I want to hear about the religion-loving, ladder-climbing, Catholic religion.

    I was in it for almost 40 years.

    Thanks be to God I was liberated from all that self-focused BS.

  87. August 13, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I’m not here to learn anything from you or the Reformed folk, Andrew

    That’s quite obvious DM. But if you are not willing to learn about how the other side thinks then there is no chance at a reasonable dialogue. In your #77, you pulled apart my post and just said “no” or “nope” and then stated the Catholic position without ever addressing my point. That’s why I’m not going to try any furhter

    if my arguments move you,..

    There is no argument from your side, DM, just negation and raw assertion of the Catholic position. What can any of us do with that?

  88. Reed Here said,

    August 13, 2014 at 8:48 am

    DM; if that is your purpose in posting then please desist. If your sole purpose is proselytizing than you are denying the basic reason for this blog, discussion with the intention of learning from one another.

    Reed, moderator

  89. Reed Here said,

    August 13, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Andrew, notwithstanding my comment to DM, free to work through DM’s proselytizing and show where Scripture denies him.

  90. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 8:57 am

    theoldadam said,
    August 13, 2014 at 1:21 am

    I heard all I want to hear about the religion-loving, ladder-climbing, Catholic religion.

    I was in it for almost 40 years.

    Thanks be to God I was liberated from all that self-focused BS.

    The ones who are self focused are those who save themselves by their faith alone.

  91. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Reed Here said,
    August 13, 2014 at 8:48 am

    DM; if that is your purpose in posting then please desist. If your sole purpose is proselytizing than you are denying the basic reason for this blog, discussion with the intention of learning from one another.

    Reed, moderator

    Reed,

    My purpose is not proselytizing. My purpose is precisely McCallum’s, but in reverse.

    He thinks its a good idea to pass on Reformed doctrine. I think its a good idea to pass on the Catholic position. Whether anyone converts is between them and God.

    discussion with the intention of learning from one another

    I guess I got the wrong impression from the title of this blog. Aren’t you guys rejecting the Catholic position presented by Nick on another blog?

    What is it that you are trying to learn from Nick? How to refute Catholic Doctrine?

  92. theoldadam said,

    August 13, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Here are MANY quotes by Roman Catholics, long before Luther was even born)…on living by faith, alone:

    http://theoldadam.com/2011/06/24/long-before-luther/

    Will anyone (DM) have the integrity to read them and see that we are not making this stuff up.

  93. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Andrew McCallum said,
    August 13, 2014 at 8:04 am

    That’s quite obvious DM. But if you are not willing to learn about how the other side thinks then there is no chance at a reasonable dialogue.

    I learn that every time I enter a discussion. But I thought you said:

    I thought it was a nice idea to give you the Reformed position….

    Why would I want to learn what I consider to be error? The Reformed position being expounded by you is the strange idea that “impute” means “transfer”. That’s not even in the dictionary:

    im·pute
    imˈpyo͞ot/Submit
    verb
    represent (something, especially something undesirable) as being done, caused, or possessed by someone; attribute.
    “the crimes imputed to Richard”
    synonyms: attribute to, ascribe to, assign to, credit to; More
    FINANCE
    assign (a value) to something by inference from the value of the products or processes to which it contributes.
    “recovering the initial outlay plus imputed interest”
    THEOLOGY
    ascribe (righteousness, guilt, etc.) to someone by virtue of a similar quality in another.
    “Christ’s righteousness has been imputed to us”

    In your #77, you pulled apart my post and just said “no” or “nope” and then stated the Catholic position without ever addressing my point. That’s why I’m not going to try any further

    I thought I addressed your point, directly. Whereas, you set aside my entire post and tried to persuade me that imputation means a form of transference even though none of what you say is to be found in the Scripture being discussed.

    There is no argument from your side, DM, just negation and raw assertion of the Catholic position.

    The fact that you don’t agree with my arguments does not make my arguments null and void. That just simply means you don’t agree with me.

    What can any of us do with that?

    You claim you want to learn the Catholic position. There it is.

  94. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 9:31 am

    theoldadam said,
    August 13, 2014 at 1:21 am

    I heard all I want to hear about the … Catholic religion…..

    Thanks for being honest. I don’t think very many people are getting the impression that anyone here wants to learn the Catholic position.

  95. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 9:34 am

    theoldadam said,
    August 13, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Here are MANY quotes by Roman Catholics, long before Luther was even born)…on living by faith, alone:

    http://theoldadam.com/2011/06/24/long-before-luther/

    Will anyone (DM) have the integrity to read them and see that we are not making this stuff up.

    I’ve read them toa, They are talking about the Catholic disposition when receiving the Sacraments. We believe that we are justified by faith, apart from works, in the Sacraments. This is what those Catholics were calling “justification by faith alone”.

    It is not the same thing as what you and the Reformed call “justification by faith alone”. You consider the Sacraments, works of men.

  96. Justin said,

    August 13, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Observing the majority of these past 95 comments, I can safely conclude that there is no power in the universe save the irresistible grace of regeneration by the love and power of the Holy Spirit which can break the chains of intellectual religionism (pardon the phrase-coining).

    The Holy Scripture could not be more clear in the words given, 2 Cor. 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

    or paraphrased (pardon my impression of Eugene Peterson): “God made Jesus who was innocent to be the essence and real judicial guilt of our sin, in order that we His people might receive as a gift and become the perfect, holy acceptableness of God as we are unified, made one, and clothed in Christ Jesus.”

    The good news, the in-history accomplishment of Jesus, raised bodily from the grave so that we might be made right in God’s sight based only on Jesus’ active and passive obedience…

    will never be satisfying to the one who is intoxicated with the popeourri of empty sacramentology.

    Rome: grace as medicinal aid to earning
    Salt Lake: grace as medicinal aid to earning
    Mecca: submit and earn
    Brooklyn: grace as medicinal aid to earning
    and on and on down the entire list, the gospel of man boils down to “earn it.”

    And the supernatural, unique, revealed religion of Christ?

    The Father ordained to bless His Son with a select, redeemed people,
    Jesus earned all of it for them,
    The Holy Spirit applies the salvation as a pure gift, and keeps Christ’s people infallibly.

    Amen, Lord, thank You, Lord.

  97. August 13, 2014 at 11:22 am

    The bottom line is Christianity and Roman catholicism are two different systems. Christianity says we are justified by faith alone in Christ alone, trusting in His righteousness alone. Its the imputation of Christ’s active and passive obedience to our account which allows us to stand righteous. Catholicism teaches one is justified thru Baptism and penance. Its the process of becoming internally righteous that makes just. This was Calvin’s problem with RC it prescribed justification as if it were partly by faith and partly by works. You are just not by Christ’s righteousness, but by an infusion of grace as it helps you to become internally righteous. IOW you are justified not by faith, but by faith as it is activated by your being your doing, your loving. We would say this is an irresistible urge to smuggle one’s character intoGod’s work of grace. Rome can not overcome one statement in Ephesians 2:8 ” not that of yourselves” how do you get around that one. Or 2 corinthians 2 ” all this is from God” Hello!

  98. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Justin said,
    August 13, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Observing the majority of these past 95 comments, I can safely conclude that there is no power in the universe save the irresistible grace of regeneration by the love and power of the Holy Spirit which can break the chains of intellectual religionism (pardon the phrase-coining).

    The Holy Scripture could not be more clear in the words given, 2 Cor. 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

    or paraphrased (pardon my impression of Eugene Peterson): “God made Jesus who was innocent to be the essence and real judicial guilt of our sin, in order that we His people might receive as a gift and become the perfect, holy acceptableness of God as we are unified, made one, and clothed in Christ Jesus.”

    I would paraphrase it this way:

    God made Jesus who was innocent to appear in the form of a sinful man, in order that God might die for the sins of His people, the only acceptable sacrifice and that we might turn to Him and become the perfect, holy acceptable of God as we are unified, made one, and clothed in Christ Jesus.

    This is also confirmed in the following Scriptures:
    2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

    Heb 9:
    15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

    God died upon the Cross in order that the Old Testament might be brought to fulfillment and closed. Christ rose from the dead in order that those who live might turn to Him and gain eternal life.

    The good news, the in-history accomplishment of Jesus, raised bodily from the grave so that we might be made right in God’s sight based only on Jesus’ active and passive obedience…

    will never be satisfying to the one who is intoxicated with the popeourri of empty sacramentology.

    Especially since that idea spits in the face of the author of the Gospel:

    Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    Rome: grace as medicinal aid to earning
    Salt Lake: grace as medicinal aid to earning
    Mecca: submit and earn
    Brooklyn: grace as medicinal aid to earning
    and on and on down the entire list, the gospel of man boils down to “earn it.”

    And Augsburg says, “exalt yourself by your claimed faith alone.”

    And the supernatural, unique, revealed religion of Christ?

    That is Catholicism.

    The Father ordained to bless His Son with a select, redeemed people,
    Jesus earned all of it for them,
    The Holy Spirit applies the salvation as a pure gift, and keeps Christ’s people infallibly.

    The Holy Spirit applies the salvation to those who obey the Son:
    Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    Amen, Lord, thank You, Lord.

    Yes, Lord! Thankyou for the Body and Blood of your Son, which you gave us for our salvation:

    Hebrews 10:25-31King James Version (KJV)

    25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

    26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

    27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

    28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

    29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

    31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

  99. greenbaggins said,

    August 13, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    One point that is being systematically ignored by the non-imputation crowd here is the preposition Paul uses in the phrase “imputed faith for righteousness.” The word “for” is the Greek preposition “eis.” Nowhere in BDAG is there a definition listed that defines a usage meaning “the equivalent of” or “as.” The one mention of the word “as” is in the context of “the vocation, use, or end indicated” (p. 290). Far more likely is the definition “in reference to” or as a “marker of goals involving affective/abstract/suitability aspects.” In short, you non-imputative people who think that Paul is saying that faith IS the righteousness in view are completely misreading the preposition. Paul had a very unambiguous way of phrasing himself had he meant what you say he means. He could have said “impute faith hos dikaiosune.” The preposition “eis” has a direction arrow to it that indicates that faith is NOT the same thing as righteousness. You are getting hung up by the fact that the English word “for” is more ambiguous than the Greek “eis.”

  100. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    August 13, 2014 at 11:22 am

    The bottom line is Christianity and Roman catholicism are two different systems.

    No, Kevin. Christianity and Catholicism are one and the same. The Reformed position is not true Christianity. They have dispensed of the Sacred Tradition of Jesus Christ and follow their own man made fables.

    Christianity says we are justified by faith alone in Christ alone, trusting in His righteousness alone.

    Christianity says that we are justified by works and not by faith alone (James 2:24).

    Christianity says we trust those our rulers in the Church (Heb 13:17).

    Its the imputation of Christ’s active and passive obedience to our account which allows us to stand righteous.

    Christianity says that we are judged by Christ according to our works which we have done in the body.

    2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

    Catholicism teaches one is justified thru Baptism and penance.

    Absolutely true:
    1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

    Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

    Its the process of becoming internally righteous that makes just.

    Revelation 22:11

    11 …and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

    2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    This was Calvin’s problem with RC it prescribed justification as if it were partly by faith and partly by works.

    Calvin was wrong. Justification is completely by God. And God only justifies those who do works of righteousness completely by faith.

    You are just not by Christ’s righteousness, but by an infusion of grace as it helps you to become internally righteous.

    We are made righteous by doing the righteous deeds of God which are made possible by an infusion of grace by the Sacraments of Jesus Christ.

    IOW you are justified not by faith, but by faith as it is activated by your being your doing, your loving.

    We are justified by God who by faith in Him activate our being, our doing and our loving:

    Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

    We would say this is an irresistible urge to smuggle one’s character intoGod’s work of grace. Rome can not overcome one statement in Ephesians 2:8 ” not that of yourselves” how do you get around that one.

    We don’t need to. We know it isn’t from ourselves, but from God who works His good pleasure in us:

    Philippians 2:12-13King James Version (KJV)

    12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

    Or 2 corinthians 2 ” all this is from God” Hello!

    8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.

    9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.

    10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;

    11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

    Hello! Confirm your love toward God, obey in all things, lest Satan bring you down. Hello!

  101. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    greenbaggins said,
    August 13, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    One point that is being systematically ignored by the non-imputation crowd here is the preposition Paul uses in the phrase “imputed faith for righteousness.”The word “for” is the Greek preposition “eis.” Nowhere in BDAG is there a definition listed that defines a usage meaning “the equivalent of” or “as.” The one mention of the word “as” is in the context of “the vocation, use, or end indicated” (p. 290). Far more likely is the definition “in reference to” or as a “marker of goals involving affective/abstract/suitability aspects.” In short, you non-imputative people who think that Paul is saying that faith IS the righteousness in view are completely misreading the preposition. Paul had a very unambiguous way of phrasing himself had he meant what you say he means. He could have said “impute faith hos dikaiosune.” The preposition “eis” has a direction arrow to it that indicates that faith is NOT the same thing as righteousness. You are getting hung up by the fact that the English word “for” is more ambiguous than the Greek “eis.”

    The phrase does not boil down to the use of one preposition which has many meanings depending upon the context.

    The context of the use of the “eis” can be determined by visiting the rest of the chapter.

    In the first instance being discussed:

    3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

    In the second instance, there is more context:

    19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:

    20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

    21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

    22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

    Why was he considered righteous by God? Was it because of his faith alone? No. But because he acted upon his faith, believing in the promises of God, he forgot his aged body and his wife’s barren womb and performed. THEREFORE, it was imputed to him for righteousness.

    Therefore, because of his strong and active faith by which virtue he acted upon God’s promise, God judged him righteous.

    What does the preposition “eis”, mean, then?

    It is translated “for”. What does “for” mean?

    The Merriam Webster online dictionary gives it the following meaning in the 8th place:

    a —used as a function word to indicate equivalence in exchange , equality in number or quantity , or correspondence or correlation

    Therefore, Abraham’s working faith is the equivalent of righteousness.

  102. Justin said,

    August 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Re: de Anathema #98 –>

    “For we know,” i.e. epistemic certainty, “that all things work together for good,” i.e. damnation is precluded, “for those who love God and are called according to his purpose,” i.e. for true Christians.

    Put that in your pope, err, pipe, and inhale deeply the liberating grace of salvation, I pray you. Good day.

  103. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Justin said,
    August 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Re: de Anathema #98 –>

    “For we know,” i.e. epistemic certainty, “that all things work together for good,” i.e. damnation is precluded, “for those who love God and are called according to his purpose,” i.e. for true Christians.

    Put that in your pope, err, pipe, and inhale deeply the liberating grace of salvation, I pray you. Good day.

    Here’s another one that you could impute, err inhale:

    Galatians 1:8

    8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

    And perhaps you ought to smoke this one as well:
    Matthew 7:21

    21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    Now we have the full Gospel. And it isn’t reduced to “faith alone”.

  104. August 13, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    A man is just because Christ died. Something took place exterior to man in the process whereby his salvation was effected.

  105. August 13, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Lane,

    In light of your last comment, I would be curious to hear your take on Psalm 106:30-31:

    But Phinehas stood up and intervened,
    and the plague was checked.
    This was credited to him as righteousness
    for endless generations to come.

    In the LXX it is the exact same Greek construction as Paul’s in Romans, and it is the only other time this construction is used in Scripture.

    It seems to me that the passage is saying that it was Phinehas’s righteous act of killing the offenders that stayed the plague, and it was that act that God counted as his righteousness (which is exactly how the Catholic reads Paul’s citation about Abraham in Romans).

    Of course, the two constructions being identical doesn’t mean that they have the same intent, but it does seem like the one denying this needs some exegetical reason to do so (rather than just a theological one).

    Thanks in advance.

  106. greenbaggins said,

    August 13, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Jason, good to hear from you again.

    They are different things happening. In Phinehas’ case a righteous deed was reckoned as righteousness. In Abraham’s case his faith was reckoned as righteousness. As an analogy, one might use the exact same construction to say that “a dog exists in the category of mammal” and “a cat exists in the category of mammal.” That does not mean that cats are dogs. To say that a righteous deed was reckoned as righteousness and faith was reckoned as righteousness gives no one the right to say that faith equals a righteous deed, or that it equals works. To say so would be the fallacy of the undistributed middle term. This fallacy goes like this: 1. All a are c; 2. All b are c; 3. Therefore all a are b. In order for the equivolence to work the statements would have to go something like this: Abraham’s faith equals righteousness, which in turn equals good works. Not only are we talking, though, about two different people and two different circumstances, but also about two different things being reckoned.

  107. Nick said,

    August 13, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Lane,

    I think what Jason was saying was that it’s dangerous to hang your hat on “eis” the way you’re doing. The phrase “regarded as righteousness” came from the Hebrew way of speaking, since this is what Genesis 15 and Psalm 106:30-31 were written in.

    It’s one thing to say that the *grammar* of Genesis 15:6 can *never* mean ‘regarded as a righteous deed’. The fact here is, the same grammar elsewhere (Ps 106:30-31) does mean this.

    It’s another thing to say that even though “credited as righteousness” means ‘regarded as a righteous deed’ in Psalm 106:30-31, that doesn’t mean it holds the same meaning as in Genesis 15:6. In this case, context determines, not the grammar.

    I think it’s dangerous to build too much on “eis,” since exegesis relies more on context than it does on a standard lexical definition. This is why I’m more comfortable letting Scripture-interpret-Scripture, in this case letting Romans 4:18-22 be the main guide (e.g. we see ‘faith’ includes ‘hope’ here).

  108. roberty bob said,

    August 13, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    with reference to post #99 . . .

    Look at the following English Bible translations citing the phrase in Romans 4:9 . . .

    NIV Abraham’s faith was credited to his AS righteousness
    ASV to Abraham his faith was reckoned FOR righteousness
    ESV that faith was counted to Abraham AS righteousness
    KJV that faith was reckoned to Abraham FOR righteousness
    RSV that faith was reckoned to Abraham AS righteousness
    NEB Abraham’s faith was counted AS righteousness
    GEN faith was imputed unto Abraham FOR righteousness

    So . . . BAGD says that FOR is the acceptable translation of EIS and that AS is unacceptable, yet the translation committees of the NIV,ESV, RSV, and NEB (not to mention a host of others not cited) totally ignore the rules. These theologian-translators have some explaining to do. Are they ignorant of the official rules of translation according to BAGD? Are they intentionally blinding our eyes to the alien righteousness of Christ accomplished by his perfect law keeping so that we only see Abraham being counted as righteous because he had faith in God’s promise?

    I agree with De Maria in post #101, “Abraham’s working faith is the equivalent of righteousness.”

    God made a promise [promises] to Abraham. Abraham believed God and acted in accord with the promise. He sojourned to the Land that God showed to him. Although his aged body was as good as dead, he nevertheless believed God would give to him and Sarah the promised son. God had regard for Abraham’s faith and reckoned it AS / FOR righteousness. God regarded Abraham as a righteous man because [sinner that he was] he trusted in God. And God counts righteousness to all who have the [same kind of] faith of Abraham.

    As to the CONTENT of that righteousness, there is no explicit word here in Romans 4 that the perfect performance of Christ in keeping the law was credited to Abraham’s account (so to speak), or even that being credited with the perfect performance of Christ’s law keeping was a necessity in order for Abraham to be saved. Abraham lived a good many years before the law was put into effect — before there were any Jews in this world; Abraham could just as well be viewed as a Gentile. The fact is that Abraham did not have a “work history” of striving to do the works of the law. God [for reasons God only knows] called Abraham to be his agent of redemption — to bless all families of the Earth through him. Abraham responded to that call [with all the promises, hopes, and responsibilities contained therein] with faith, and Abraham’s faith was counted AS / FOR righteousness.

    Did Abraham look forward to the Day of Christ, the Rule of Christ? Yes.

    Is Abraham clothed with Christ? Yes.

  109. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    August 13, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    A man is just because Christ died.

    If that were true, there would be no hell.

    No. A man is just because He pleases God by keeping the Commandments.

    Something took place exterior to man in the process whereby his salvation was effected.

    That is true. But unless He internalized the will of God and turned to Him, seeking to do His will, He will not be saved.

  110. roberty bob said,

    August 13, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Amen #109

    Trust and Obey, There’s No Other Way!

  111. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    greenbaggins said,
    August 13, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    They are different things happening. In Phinehas’ case a righteous deed was reckoned as righteousness. In Abraham’s case his faith was reckoned as righteousness.

    You’re mistaken.

    In either case, the individual was reckoned righteous because of; in one case, his righteous deed. In the other, because of his BELIEVING.

    The individual was reckoned righteous. Not the deed. Not the faith.

    As an analogy, one might use the exact same construction to say that “a dog exists in the category of mammal” and “a cat exists in the category of mammal.” That does not mean that cats are dogs.

    Its not the same construction at all.

    In both cases, dog and cat are the subjects of those sentences. A dog is a mammal. A cat is a mammal.

    In order to make this the same construction, you need to speak of actions which the dog and cat performed.

    To say that a righteous deed was reckoned as righteousness and faith was reckoned as righteousness gives no one the right to say that faith equals a righteous deed, or that it equals works.

    We didn’t. I didn’t realize that you were making the literalistic error of assigning to faith the virtue of righteousness rather than to the subject of the sentence, Abraham.

    To say so would be the fallacy of the undistributed middle term. This fallacy goes like this: 1. All a are c; 2. All b are c; 3. Therefore all a are b. In order for the equivolence to work the statements would have to go something like this: Abraham’s faith equals righteousness, which in turn equals good works.

    No one here has said that.

    What I said, is that the statement in Rom 4:3 must be taken in context with the statement in Rom 4:22.

    19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:

    20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

    21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

    22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

    What is the “it” in Rom 4:22? Is it a passive faith alone? Or is it a vibrant faith which is able to perform?

    But the conclusion which should be drawn is that Abraham was found righteous because of his believing the promises of God. And in Phinehas’ case, he was found righteous in the eyes of God because of his action.

    Not only are we talking, though, about two different people and two different circumstances, but also about two different things being reckoned.

    But they are not reckoned two different things. But the same thing. Righteous. Both men are reckoned righteous in the eyes of God, because of their action. One, because of his believing in God’s promise. The other, because of his deed, driven by faith and zeal for God.

  112. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Reformed folk,

    Faith is believing, isn’t it? And believing is an action. A work. That’s why you can add “ing” to the end. Therefore, if faith is believing, then faith is a work.

  113. greenbaggins said,

    August 13, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    De Maria, then why does Paul OPPOSE works and faith as strongly and absolutely as he does in Romans 4:3-5? Faith is not a work. It is a connection, as I wrote in my most recent post. It is a union. Your argument with “ing” is frankly ridiculous. “Being” has “ing” on the end of it too. Doesn’t mean it is a work of the law.

  114. roberty bob said,

    August 13, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    #113 “It [faith] is a connection . . . .”

    More accurately, It’s a connecting action. It takes a believer to have faith. The believer believes the promises [that's an action], trusts in the one who promises to perform them, and obeys God who both commands [Abraham GO] and promises [I will BLESS].

    Faith is an action; in that sense it is a work of obedience unto God. But faith is not a “work of the law” of which so many prided themselves in keeping.

  115. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    greenbaggins said,
    August 13, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    De Maria,

    Hi, are you the same person some refer to as Layne?

    If so, which do you prefer?

    then why does Paul OPPOSE works and faith as strongly and absolutely as he does in Romans 4:3-5?

    Are you asking why St. Paul juxtaposes works and faith in Rom 4?

    First, I think he is moreso juxtaposing works and grace.
    And the reason I think he is doing so is because “works” represents the Old Testament. And “grace” represents the New.

    Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

    Second, because he is expounding upon a Sacramental teaching. In the New Testament, we are justified in the Sacraments by our faith apart from works.

    Romans 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    In the New Testament, we can receive this justification in this life. Whereas, in the Old, the Jews had to await the Last Day in order that their works be judged.

    Faith is not a work. It is a connection, as I wrote in my most recent post. It is a union. Your argument with “ing” is frankly ridiculous. “Being” has “ing” on the end of it too. Doesn’t mean it is a work of the law.

    I didn’t say it was a work of the law because you could add “ing” to the end. I said it was an action word, a verb, a work.

    If faith is believing. Then in some sense, it is a work.

  116. Ron said,

    August 13, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    “Faith is an action; in that sense it is a work of obedience unto God. But faith is not a “work of the law” of which so many prided themselves in keeping.”

    Those saved through faith alone,

    It is difficult if not impossible to deal with people who would try to draw a relevant distinction between a “work of obedience unto God” and a “work of the law,” which when done in faith is also an “obedience unto God.”

    Secondly, not only the first table of the law but the second table too presupposes faith, without which it is impossible to please God. Accordingly, faith is indeed part-and-parcel to keeping the law.

    Now watch how this comment is danced around.

  117. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    roberty bob said,
    August 13, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    #113 “It [faith] is a connection . . . .”

    More accurately, It’s a connecting action. It takes a believer to have faith. The believer believes the promises [that's an action], trusts in the one who promises to perform them, and obeys God who both commands [Abraham GO] and promises [I will BLESS].

    Faith is an action; in that sense it is a work of obedience unto God. But faith is not a “work of the law” of which so many prided themselves in keeping.

    I second your #114, rb,

    I would only add that although faith is not a work of the law, it underlies the law. All who obeyed the law, did so because of their faith in God. See Heb 11.

  118. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Ron said,
    August 13, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Those saved through faith alone,

    It is difficult if not impossible to deal with people who would try to draw a relevant distinction between a “work of obedience unto God” and a “work of the law,” which when done in faith is also an “obedience unto God.”

    Secondly, not only the first table of the law but the second table too presupposes faith, without which it is impossible to please God. Accordingly, faith is indeed part-and-parcel to keeping the law.

    ….

    True. In a very real sense, justification is the same in the Old and New Testament.

    The difference being the Sacraments which are simply pre-Judgment events. When we appear before the Sacraments, we present ourselves to God and He judges our faith, as He did Abraham.

    If we truly believe His promises, He reckons us righteous and then grants us access to His grace.

    But if we don’t, we remain in our sins.

    Now, the sad thing for the Protestant, is that they fall in the category of those who do not believe in God’s promises. Since they don’t believe, for the most part, in the efficacy of the Sacraments.

  119. Nick said,

    August 13, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Just a head’s up, Part 3 of 3 (focusing on 2 Corinthians 5:21 and Philippians 3:9) should be published within the next few days.

  120. August 14, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Lane, I’m late to the discussion here, but I note 2 things:

    1. I see in this discussion a very familiar inability to actually track Paul’s argument from one verse to the next. It is easy to make piecemeal objections to particular verses, but it falls apart because the anti-imputationists can’t actually account for the flow of argument and connections between verses (i.e. doing real exegesis). For an antidote, see, for instance, Piper’s Counted Righteous in Christ. Most of these objections will seem quite naive after a perusal of that book.

    For instance:

    In verse [4:]9 Paul uses the phase, “faith was credited to Abraham for righteousness” (just as in verse 3). But what follows shows that Paul does not mean “righteousness consists of faith.” Follow the flow of thought with me: After referring to faith as “credited to Abraham for righteousness” (v.9), he asks if this crediting was before or after his circumcision (v. 10). He answers: before, not after. Then he says, “He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness of faith” (v. 11). Now this term, “righteousness of faith,” by itself could mean “righteousness that consists in faith” or “imputed righteousness received by faith.” Which does Paul intend?

    The next clause points to the answer: “The purpose was to make [Abraham] the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted [imputed] to them”… Notice that Paul explains “faith being imputed for righteousness” in terms of “righteousness being imputed because of faith.” They “believed…so that righteousness would be imputed to them.” This supports our earlier conclusion that imputed righteousness is not “righteousness that consists in our faith,” but rather “righteousness credited to us because of our faith.”

    2. The other familiar fallacy is to prioritize one’s own interpretation of the OT over and against the way that Paul is actually using the OT. Yes, Abram/Abraham did a good work by leaving the land of Ur. Paul doesn’t care- he fast forwards to Genesis 17 and says that it was his faith in God’s promises that caused his justification. He singles out this instance in order to illustrate his point regarding faith being the instrument of justification over against works.

  121. August 14, 2014 at 1:03 am

    Perhaps this point is even more crucial:

    The “just as” at the beginning of verse [4:]6 shows that Paul is now explaining with an Old Testament comparison (Psalm 32:1-2) what it means for God to justify the ungodly. He says, “Just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits or imputes righteousness apart from works.” There are two crucial things to notice in the connection between verse 6 and verse 5.

    The first is the parallel between “apart from works” in verse 6 and “the ungodly” in verse 5. In verse 5 God justifies “the ungodly.” In verse 6 God credits righteousness to a man “apart from works.” What it means to be “apart from works” in Romans 4:6 is defined in verse 7-8: The man is guilty of “lawless deeds” and “sin.” So God’s crediting righteousness to a person “apart from works” means that he credits righteousness to “the ungodly.”

    This leads to the second crucial thing to notice about the connection between verse 5 and 6-namely, the parallel between God’s act of justifying in verse 5 and God’s act of crediting or imputing righteousness in verse 6. We have seen that “the ungodly” in verse 5 parallels “apart from works” in verse 6. It is natural then to take the phrase, “justify the ungodly” to be parallel with “credit righteousness apart from works.”

    Therefore Paul thinks of justification of the ungodly in terms of a positive imputation of righteousness apart from works. And this righteousness is the direct object of the verb “credit/impute” (“[God] credits righteousness,”…4:6). Thus he is not using the same wording or grammar as in verse 5 where “faith is imputed for righteousness,” but rather he is saying that righteousness (an objective reality outside us) is imputed to us. Justification in Paul’s mind is God’s imputing righteousness to us “by faith” rather than faith being treated as righteousness within us.

    Piper, Counted Righteous in Christ, pg.57-58

  122. Bob S said,

    August 14, 2014 at 1:54 am

    Follow an argument? What’s that?
    As before we see the perennial tactic of divide and confuse; the bugs on the bark obliterate the forest. Shop around long enough and major in the marginal. St. Jason made it to Rom. 2, then St. Nick stepped up and things got even more confusing.
    Oh well.

    FWIW/for the record.

    Imputation is ether of something foreign to us or properly ours. Sometimes that is imputed to us which is personally ours (in which sense God imputes to sinners their transgressions whom he punishes
    for crimes properly their own; in reference to what is good, the zeal of Phineas is said to be “imputed to him for righteousness,” Ps. 106:31). Sometimes that is imputed which is without us and not performed by ourselves. Thus the righteousness of Christ is said to be imputed to us, and out sins imputed to him, although neither has he sin in himself, nor we righteousness. . . .
    Turretin, Institutes, 1:9:10

    Oh right. We forgots.
    “Faith/believing” is a work.
    Doncha know?

    But what about Rom. 4, the passage under discussion?
    Oops.

    For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
    For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
    Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
    But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works . . . Romans 4:2-6

    IOW maybe “believing” is a work only for those who “professing themselves to be wise, became fools” Rom. 1:21.
    But not anybody else.

    Invincible ignorance and implicit faith.
    They is what they is:
    Indispensable pillars for Romanism and a rock and refuge for papal ‘pologists.

  123. greenbaggins said,

    August 14, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Wonderful passages, David. “yes, yes, to Obi-Wan you listen.” How about a careful exegetical rebuttal of Piper’s arguments, eh? I challenge you Catholics to do that.

  124. rfwhite said,

    August 14, 2014 at 11:20 am

    In 81 the statement is made: God is not a liar. God doesn’t cover up dung heaps. God doesn’t whitewash walls … If you are not righteous, God will not lie for you.

    In this we can all acknowledge the claim of fiction made against the Protestant doctrine of the imputation of Christ’s active obedience.

    Let me seek some clarity on this claim by asking, how is it that forgiveness is not a fiction? How is not a lie to declare me forgiven when I have not paid my debt?

    In other words, help us understand why does the claim of fiction applies to the reckoning of Christ’s active obedience but not to the reckoning of Christ’s passive obedience?

  125. rfwhite said,

    August 14, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Sorry for the poor editing in 124. The last sentence should have read: In other words, help us understand: why does the claim of fiction apply to the reckoning of Christ’s active obedience but not to the reckoning of Christ’s passive obedience?

  126. De Maria said,

    August 14, 2014 at 11:48 am

    greenbaggins said,
    August 14, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Wonderful passages, David. “yes, yes, to Obi-Wan you listen.” How about a careful exegetical rebuttal of Piper’s arguments, eh? I challenge you Catholics to do that.

    Ok. But Piper seems to be closer to the Catholic position than you.

    David Gadbois said,
    August 14, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Lane, I’m late to the discussion here, but I note 2 things:

    1. I see in this discussion a very familiar inability to actually track Paul’s argument from one verse to the next. It is easy to make piecemeal objections to particular verses, but it falls apart because the anti-imputationists can’t actually account for the flow of argument and connections between verses (i.e. doing real exegesis). For an antidote, see, for instance, Piper’s Counted Righteous in Christ. Most of these objections will seem quite naive after a perusal of that book.

    We’ll see.

    For instance:

    In verse [4:]9 Paul uses the phase, “faith was credited to Abraham for righteousness” (just as in verse 3). But what follows shows that Paul does not mean “righteousness consists of faith.” Follow the flow of thought with me: After referring to faith as “credited to Abraham for righteousness” (v.9), he asks if this crediting was before or after his circumcision (v. 10). He answers: before, not after. Then he says, “He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness of faith” (v. 11). Now this term, “righteousness of faith,” by itself could mean “righteousness that consists in faith” or “imputed righteousness received by faith.” Which does Paul intend?

    The next clause points to the answer: “The purpose was to make [Abraham] the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted [imputed] to them”… Notice that Paul explains “faith being imputed for righteousness” in terms of “righteousness being imputed because of faith.” They “believed…so that righteousness would be imputed to them.”

    What’s the difference between that and what I said in message #101?

    I said:
    Therefore, because of his strong and active faith by which virtue he acted upon God’s promise, God judged him righteous.

    Piper says:

    in terms of “righteousness being imputed because of faith.”

    Doesn’t Piper mean that God credited Abraham with righteousness, that is, God judged Abraham righteous because of his faith?

    So, up to this point, it sounds as though Piper agrees with the Catholic argument.

    This supports our earlier conclusion that imputed righteousness is not “righteousness that consists in our faith,” but rather “righteousness credited to us because of our faith.”

    There is a shift here, from speaking about Abraham to speaking about personal faith and New Testament justification.

    But Abraham’s justification is not perfectly equivalent to New Testament justification. Read Heb 11: 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

    Abraham is one of those who received a good report through faith, but did not receive the promise. At least, not until the advent of Jesus
    Christ.

    We, however, do receive God’s promise, through faith, in the Sacraments:
    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    2. The other familiar fallacy is to prioritize one’s own interpretation of the OT over and against the way that Paul is actually using the OT. Yes, Abram/Abraham did a good work by leaving the land of Ur. Paul doesn’t care- he fast forwards to Genesis 17 and says that it was his faith in God’s promises that caused his justification. He singles out this instance in order to illustrate his point regarding faith being the instrument of justification over against works.

    Not true. You can only come to this conclusion if you ignore what St. Paul said in Rom 4:22. Let us read that in context:

    19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:

    20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

    21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

    22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

    What is the “it” in Rom 4:22? Is it a passive faith alone? Or is it a vibrant faith which is able to perform? Now, you act as though this faith was born in Gen 15:6. But in fact, St. Paul recognizes that Abraham was faithful time when God called him to come out of Ur.

    Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

    Do you see how his worked made his faith perfect? By faith, he obeyed and went out to a place which he had never imagined. Faith and works.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  127. greenbaggins said,

    August 14, 2014 at 11:56 am

    De Maria, you have drunk some serious koolaid if you think Piper is arguing for a position similar to Catholicism. Also, you don’t seem to know the difference between assertion and argument. Until you do, it will be fruitless to argue with you.

  128. De Maria said,

    August 14, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    David Gadbois said,
    August 14, 2014 at 1:03 am

    Perhaps this point is even more crucial:

    Let’s see.

    The “just as” at the beginning of verse [4:]6 shows that Paul is now explaining with an Old Testament comparison (Psalm 32:1-2) what it means for God to justify the ungodly. He says, “Just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits or imputes righteousness apart from works.” There are two crucial things to notice in the connection between verse 6 and verse 5.

    The first is the parallel between “apart from works” in verse 6 and “the ungodly” in verse 5. In verse 5 God justifies “the ungodly.” In verse 6 God credits righteousness to a man “apart from works.” What it means to be “apart from works” in Romans 4:6 is defined in verse 7-8: The man is guilty of “lawless deeds” and “sin.” So God’s crediting righteousness to a person “apart from works” means that he credits righteousness to “the ungodly.”

    I see that totally differently. Now, the Protestant McLaren sees Psalm 32:1 as a reference to David’s adultery with Bathsheba:

    “Then another aspect of the same foul thing rises before the Psalmist’s mind. This evil which he has done, which I suppose was the sin in the matter of Bathsheba, was not only rebellion against God,…”

    So does this fellow named Churchyard:
    “The Story of Psalm 32
    David probably wrote Psalm 32 after he had slept with Bathsheba. She was the wife of Uriah. David sent Uriah to die in battle…..”

    And I agree. Does any Protestant disagree? It seems a clear reference to his being forgiven for that sin.

    Now, let’s look at that in detail.

    2 Sam 12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord.

    David confessed his sin to a man.

    And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

    That man absolved David of his sin in God’s name.

    David confessed his sin to God’s human representative and God forgave him. It is the first confession on record. David confessed through a priest, the same as we confess in the New Testament Church.

    Does anyone not see the connection between David’s confession to Nathan and the Sacraments? Specifically, the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Because it seems clearcut.

    This leads to the second crucial thing to notice about the connection between verse 5 and 6-namely, the parallel between God’s act of justifying in verse 5 and God’s act of crediting or imputing righteousness in verse 6. We have seen that “the ungodly” in verse 5 parallels “apart from works” in verse 6.

    I have seen that is your conclusion. But I don’t agree.

    It is natural then to take the phrase, “justify the ungodly” to be parallel with “credit righteousness apart from works.”

    No. It has more to do with this phrase:

    Romans 3:23
    For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

    All mankind are sinners and come short of the glory of God. All mankind are ungodly.

    Therefore Paul thinks of justification of the ungodly in terms of a positive imputation of righteousness apart from works. And this righteousness is the direct object of the verb “credit/impute” (“[God] credits righteousness,”…4:6). Thus he is not using the same wording or grammar as in verse 5 where “faith is imputed for righteousness,” but rather he is saying that righteousness (an objective reality outside us) is imputed to us. Justification in Paul’s mind is God’s imputing righteousness to us “by faith” rather than faith being treated as righteousness within us.

    Piper, Counted Righteous in Christ, pg.57-58

    Again, I see that totally differently.

    First we see David, confessing his sin to a man and being forgiven. A clear foreshadowing of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

    Next, we see Abraham being justified by faith apart from works. This corresponds to Catholics being justified by faith apart from works, in the Sacraments:

    CCC#1127 Celebrated worthily in faith, the sacraments confer the grace that they signify. They are efficacious because in them Christ himself is at work: it is he who baptizes, he who acts in his sacraments in order to communicate the grace that each sacrament signifies. The Father always hears the prayer of his Son’s Church which, in the epiclesis of each sacrament, expresses her faith in the power of the Spirit. As fire transforms into itself everything it touches, so the Holy Spirit transforms into the divine life whatever is subjected to his power.

    I hope that helps.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  129. greenbaggins said,

    August 14, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Nathan is not a priest. He is a prophet. These are not the same thing. Besides, since the Roman Catholic church did not exist before NT times, I don’t see why you are arguing that the OT proves NT sacraments. If it does, then you cannot refute Romans 4:11 as completely debunking baptismal regeneration.

  130. roberty bob said,

    August 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    So, am I hearing you correctly, GB?

    You say, Abraham did a good work in leaving the Land of Ur.

    What kind of good work was that?

    I say that when God told Abraham to get up and go, Abraham obeyed by going.

    Is that not the obedience of faith? Is that not faith in action?

    De Maria is right in citing Hebrews 11:8 which references his leaving Ur for the Promised Land as Abraham’s faith in action.

    The Promise — I will bless you and make you a blessing — ties in with — indeed, it coincides with the command to leave Ur [see Genesis 12]

    You say, Abraham did a good work in leaving the Land of Ur. Hebrews 11:8 say that by faith Abraham went from Ur to the Land of Promise.

    Assuming that you believe Hebrews 11:8, I can only conclude that you believe in the good work of faith!

  131. De Maria said,

    August 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    rfwhite said,
    August 14, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Sorry for the poor editing in 124.

    No problem.

    The last sentence should have read: In other words, help us understand: why does the claim of fiction apply to the reckoning of Christ’s active obedience but not to the reckoning of Christ’s passive obedience?

    Well, I don’t remember mentioning Christ at all. But let me examine our words further.

    rfwhite said,
    August 14, 2014 at 11:20 am

    In 81 the statement is made: God is not a liar. God doesn’t cover up dung heaps. God doesn’t whitewash walls … If you are not righteous, God will not lie for you.

    That’s right. Every individual is judged on his own merits.

    In this we can all acknowledge the claim of fiction made against the Protestant doctrine of the imputation of Christ’s active obedience.

    Again, you are using the word “imputation” as though Christ’s obedience is somehow transferred to us.

    We don’t believe this to be true. In the Sacraments, God infuses our souls with His grace in order to fortify us so that we can be obedient.

    Let me seek some clarity on this claim by asking, how is it that forgiveness is not a fiction?

    Are you saying that you don’t believe that God forgives us of sin? Is this the Protestant position? Or is it your personal position?

    How is not a lie to declare me forgiven when I have not paid my debt?

    Are you insinuating that God lies?

    Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

    Numbers 23:19

    19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

    You need to help me to understand what you are saying. Because it sounds as though you are calling God a liar.

    In other words, help us understand why does the claim of fiction applies to the reckoning of Christ’s active obedience but not to the reckoning of Christ’s passive obedience?

    The Catholic position is that Christ is perfectly obedient. Active or passive has nothing to do with it.

    The Catholic position is that Christ is our example and we want to be as obedient as He is in order that we might be saved:

    Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    The idea that God is a liar is foreign to Catholic Doctrine.

  132. De Maria said,

    August 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    greenbaggins said,
    August 14, 2014 at 11:56 am

    De Maria, you have drunk some serious koolaid if you think Piper is arguing for a position similar to Catholicism. Also, you don’t seem to know the difference between assertion and argument. ….

    I do. But I doubt if you do since you don’t seem to understand the difference between “closer to” and “argue for”.

  133. Nick said,

    August 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    David,

    I have read Piper’s Counted Righteous In Christ. I agreed with some of it, but other parts I felt were more assumption that exegesis.

    In the case of Romans 4:5-8, Piper doesn’t really look at the wording of 4:7-8 itself. He just skips on by. If Paul is equating “crediting righteousness” in v6 with the forgiveness of sins in v7-8, which it sure looks like Paul is, then that’s a problem for those advocating Imputed Righteousness of Christ. To “justify the ungodly” then is to forgive the ungodly, restoring them to friendship, not to declare the ungodly to be righteous. All Piper does instead is assume that Paul was teaching such a distinction.

    Just look at the actual text of Romans 4 and see:

    6 just as David also speaks of the
    blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
    7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,

    “Blessed” is used in both verses, and thus we see Paul equating:
    (1) Blessed is the man to whom God counts righteousness
    (2) Blessed is the man to whom God forgives their sins.

    Thus, “counting righteousness” and “forgiving sins” are equivalent. This is why I originally pointed out how the context is very clear about Christ’s work for us consisted in his Suffering and Resurrection, not Active Obedience. Romans 3:21-26, 4:25, and Rom 5:6-11 are key here.

    In 4:5, Paul spoke of “justifying the ungodly,” and in the next chapter Paul speaks of “Christ died for the ungodly” (5:6), “justified by his blood” (5:9), “reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (5:10). Why is there a strong emphasis on Christ dying for the ungodly but no clear emphasis on Christ’s Active Obedience for the ungodly? To assume that there must be more than forgiveness is to beg the question, unless some other clear text of Scripture warrants that *grand* claim.

  134. Nick said,

    August 14, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    I should add that Piper doesn’t address Romans 4:18-21, which is quite odd because in it Paul tells us what “faith credited as righteousness” means. It’s not a passage to be glossed over.

  135. August 14, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Nick, you are stretching hard. Where in the world is counting righteous refer only to forgiveness of sins. You are truncating. The difficulty you have is 3 fold. 1. Paul tells us that we are justified aorist past participle in Romans 5:1, and 8:1. The only thing you can do is invent installments based on works righteousness of love accruing further justification by merits and demerits. Paul eliminates anything as coming from ourselves and of works. Where does that leave the Catholic? 2. Paul says in 2 Corinthians that we become the righteousness go God in Him. Cant wait for your tap dance around that one. How does an ungodly man like you, me , and the Pope become the righteousness of God? 3. In Philippians 3:9 Paul puts all of his stinking righteousness in one column and God’s thru faith in the other. He again eliminates anything from himself. In Romans 9 he says it isn’t the one who runs or works but God. 2 corinthians says “all this is from God” yet you guys got to squeeze your character into God’s work of grace. Read Galatians 5:1-4 when the judaizers tried to add one thing to fait to be justified. Paul said you who are being justified by law, fallen from grace severed from Christ. You guys have piled it high on the cross. What will become of you?

  136. rfwhite said,

    August 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    131 De Maria: I understand your position on the Protestant views of justification. My goal is to understand your argumentation about forgiveness. So I’m asking, have you paid your debt to God? If you have not, how is it that you are reckoned forgiven? If you have, how was it done?

  137. roberty bob said,

    August 14, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    “The PROMISE was made ON THE GROUND OF FAITH, in order that it might be a matter of sheer GRACE, and that it might be valid for all Abraham’s posterity [Jews & Gentiles], not only for those who hold by the law [the Jews to whom the law was given], but for those also who have the faith of Abraham [whoever in the world they may be]. For he is the father of us all, as Scripture says: ‘I have appointed you to be father of many nations.’ This promise, then, was valid before God, and God in whom he put his faith, the God who makes the dead live and summons things that are not into existence as if they already were. When hope seemed hopeless, his faith was such that he became ‘father of many nations’, in agreement with the words which had been spoken to him: ‘Thus shall your posterity be.’ WITHOUT WEAKENING OF FAITH he contemplated his own body, as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb, and gave honour to God, in the FIRM CONVICTION OF HIS POWER TO DO WHAT HE HAD PROMISED. AND THAT IS WHY ABRAHAM’S FAITH WAS ‘COUNTED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS’.”

    This is Romans 4:16-22 NEB

    Yes, as Nick says in #134, Paul tells us WHY Abraham’s faith was counted as righteousness.

    The passage does not go so far as to suggest that the content of this righteousness consists in Christ’s sinless fulfillment of the law on Abraham’s behalf. This is not to deny that Christ was sinless, that he kept the law, fulfilled the law. He did all of that. Paul does not expound on that here in Romans 4. Rather, the key is that God raised Jesus from the dead. Christ, who was delivered to death for our misdeeds, was raised to life for our justification.

  138. De Maria said,

    August 14, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    greenbaggins said,
    August 14, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Nathan is not a priest. He is a prophet.

    And David is not a Christian, he is a Jew.

    These are not the same thing.

    Did I say that they were?

    Besides, since the Roman Catholic church did not exist before NT times, I don’t see why you are arguing that the OT proves NT sacraments.

    Do you understand the terms “foreshadowing” and “prefiguring”?

    Many things in the OT foreshadow and prefigure things in the NT. For example, the manna in the desert foreshadows the Eucharist. The Passover foreshadows the Mass. Solomon prefigures Jesus Christ.

    In the same way, David’s confession to Nathan, foreshadows the Catholic confession to a priest in the Sacrament of reconciliation .

    If it does, then you cannot refute Romans 4:11 as completely debunking baptismal regeneration.

    Hm? That is your assertion without argument to support it. But you are coming to that conclusion because you read that verse in isolation of the entire Scripture. But the verse itself says nothing about baptismal regeneration.

    Here’s what the verse says:

    Romans 4:11

    11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

    Is there any mention there of baptismal regeneration or its being refuted somehow? I don’t see it, but maybe you can point to it since this is what you are asserting.

    Meantime, I will make my assertion and defend it with arguments that you can’t refute. (Goes to show that I know the difference between assertion and argument).

    St. Paul is here saying that circumcision is the sign of the covenant between Abraham and God. This is recorded in Gen 17:

    9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.

    10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.

    11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.

    St. Paul says nothing about circumcision somehow invalidating Baptism. But lets read the context of Rom 4:11

    9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also?

    What blessedness is he talking about?

    for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

    Justification. Abraham was judged righteous because of his faith.

    Is this reconciliation only offered to the Israelites. By no means. Abraham was not an Israelite. He was not even circumcised yet, when God saw his faith at work and judged him righteous.

    10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

    11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

    Because of his faithfulness, God made a covenant with him, that all mankind, whether circumcised or uncircumcised, could be judged righteous, by their faith.

    This is an explanation of the justification which we receive in the Sacraments.

    12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

    Abraham is the father of all, whether circumcised or not, who by faith are granted access to the grace of God in the Sacraments.

    13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

    The promise of God, then, was not restricted to the Israelites but to the whole world, including the Israelites who believed God’s promises:
    Hebrews 9:15
    King James Version (KJV)
    15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

    14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

    Here, St. Paul is contrasting the Old Testament with the New Testament.

    The Old Testament is the Law.
    The New Testament is the Faith.

    Those who followed the Old Testament were not members of the body of Christ. They were not born again, nor could they be, because the Spirit was not yet given. Therefore Scripture says:
    Heb 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

    So, even though they did everything by faith which they were supposed to do, they did not inherit the promise UNTIL Jesus died upon the Cross and established the Sacraments with His Blood.

    There is nothing in Romans 4:11 against Baptismal regeneration. Nor can there be without contradicting the rest of the New Testament:

    Romans 6:2-4

    2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

    3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

    4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

  139. De Maria said,

    August 14, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    rfwhite said,
    August 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    131 De Maria: I understand your position on the Protestant views of justification. My goal is to understand your argumentation about forgiveness. So I’m asking, have you paid your debt to God? If you have not, how is it that you are reckoned forgiven? If you have, how was it done?

    Catholicism does not teach us to judge ourselves.

    Luke 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

    1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
    4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

    Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    We leave our salvation and forgiveness to God. It is He in whom we place our complete hope. Not in ourselves, nor our opinion about ourselves.

    But that reminds me, how much faith is enough for you to judge yourself righteous? I look at Abraham and Scripture says he was faithful in the eyes of God in Gen 12. Yet, he was not justified for 20 years, until Gen 15.

    Did he not have enough faith in Gen 12?

    Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

  140. rfwhite said,

    August 14, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    139 De Maria: Ok, you decline to judge yourself as to whether God has forgiven you. Fair enough. You have affirmed that David and Abraham were forgiven. Help us out: When God forgave David and Abraham, did He forgive them because they paid the debt for their sins?

  141. De Maria said,

    August 14, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    rfwhite said,
    August 14, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    139 De Maria: Ok, you decline to judge yourself as to whether God has forgiven you. Fair enough.

    You didn’t answer my question. How much faith is enough before you declare yourself righteous by faith alone?

    You have affirmed that David and Abraham were forgiven.

    That David was forgiven. And that Abraham was declared righteous.

    Help us out: When God forgave David and Abraham, did He forgive them because they paid the debt for their sins?

    You mean, when God forgave David..did he forgive him because he paid the debt for his sins?”

    You tell me:

    2 Sam 12:10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

    11 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.

    12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

    Did all these things come to pass and did they come to pass as a punishment for David’s sin?

    And what about this?

    14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

    Notice these words, the child ALSO shall die.

    Answer these questions to yourself and then you tell me if David payed for his sins.

    Did Absalom’s half brother rape his full sister? (I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house)

    Did Absalom kill his brother? (the sword shall never depart from thine house)

    Did Absalom try to kill David? (I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house)

    Did Absalom sleep with David’s wives in plain view of all Jerusalem? ( I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.)

    Did David’s child by Bathsheba die? (child shall surely die).

    And if all these things came to pass because of David’s sin, did David pay for his sin or not? You tell me.

    As for Abraham, he was justified because of his obedience to God. Or, do you think that Abraham would have been considered righteous in the eyes of God if he had refused to leave the country of Ur when God called him?

  142. rfwhite said,

    August 14, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    141 De Maria: How much faith: “mustard seed” — in other words, the object is the issue: I believe in the One who declare the ungodly righteous, the God who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist, the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.

    Concerning David, so help us understand your view: When you said in 34 “David confessed his sin to God’s human representative and God forgave him,” had David paid his debt to God for his sins? And let’s add, what was the debt for his sins?

    Concerning Abraham, again I need your help to understand your view: had he pay the debt for his sins in Gen 12, 15, et al?

  143. rfwhite said,

    August 14, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    141 De Maria: I owe you an anwer to your question, And if all these things came to pass because of David’s sin, did David pay for his sin or not? You tell me. No.

  144. roberty bob said,

    August 14, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Did David pay for his sin?

    He was punished. He suffered loss for having committed sin.

    He also, with contrite heart; confessed his sin as he pleaded for God’s mercy, for cleansing, for restoration, for the Lord’s abiding presence and Holy Spirit.

    He resolved to be godly by teaching transgressors the ways of God.

  145. rfwhite said,

    August 14, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    144 roberty bob: I appreciate your observations, but to determine their relevance to the question of the lead post, we also have to ask, what debt did David owe to God for his sins and did the suffering he endured satisfy that debt?

  146. De Maria said,

    August 14, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    rfwhite said,
    August 14, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    141 De Maria: I owe you an anwer to your question, And if all these things came to pass because of David’s sin, did David pay for his sin or not? You tell me. No.

    Ok, great. You’ve go an answer. But can you support if with Scripture?

    You see, Nathan said to David:

    10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me,

    It seems obvious to me that David’s suffering was directly caused by his sin. He says, “because you have despised me”.

    So, tell me, on what Scriptural grounds do you support your answer of, “no”?

    rfwhite said,
    August 14, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    141 De Maria: How much faith: “mustard seed”

    Scripture says that by the faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains. It does not say that by the faith of a mustard seed you will be righteous. In fact, it says:

    1 Corinthians 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

    Does your answer remain the same?

    — in other words, the object is the issue: I believe in the One who declare the ungodly righteous, the God who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist, the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.

    Great! So do I. I believe that with God all things are possible.

    Concerning David, so help us understand your view:

    I’m doing my best.

    When you said in 34 “David confessed his sin to God’s human representative and God forgave him,” had David paid his debt to God for his sins?

    That depends upon what you think his debt to be.

    Now, since you’re trying to understand me, I’ll repeat that this is a foreshadowing of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we turn to God in faith and if we are sincere, God forgives us our sins. THEN we make our penance in payment for our sins.

    And let’s add, what was the debt for his sins?

    Nathan pronounces the debt:
    7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;

    8 And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.

    9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

    10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

    11 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.

    12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

    13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

    14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

    1. thou despised the commandment of the Lord (i.e. adultery and murder)
    2. thou hast despised me

    In order to pay back the debt, God sentences him to suffer the many curses which He pronounced:

    10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

    1. I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house,
    2. and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour,
    3. and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
    4. the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

    All these curses came to be and they are the means by which God exacted payment from David for the sin for which He had already forgiven David.

    And it is completely in line with Catholic Doctrine. I’m sure you’ve heard of Purgatory, where we receive the temporal punishment due to sins which are forgiven, but unpaid.

    Concerning Abraham, again I need your help to understand your view: had he pay the debt for his sins in Gen 12, 15, et al?

    I don’t remember any mention of his sins against God. I do remember that Scripture says of Abraham:

    Genesis 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

  147. De Maria said,

    August 14, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    rfwhite said,
    August 14, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    144 roberty bob: I appreciate your observations, but to determine their relevance to the question of the lead post, we also have to ask, what debt did David owe to God for his sins and did the suffering he endured satisfy that debt?

    Is there any indication in Scripture, that God was not satisfied by the suffering which David endured for his sin?

  148. roberty bob said,

    August 14, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    to #145

    As good Reformed men know, those who keep covenant with the Lord receive his blessing while those who break covenant suffer the curses [Deuteronomy 26-28].

    David’s particular sin — adultery with Bathsheba, murder of Uriah her husband, taking Bathsheba to be his wife — put him deep in debt to God. So, God extracted what David was owing by bringing curses upon him — in his marriage(s) and family — to bring him to shame.

    Yes, the debt was satisfied for God took what was owing.

    Furthermore, David pleaded God’s mercy and found forgiveness. He was restored in his covenant relation to God and was blessed in that reconciliation.

  149. rfwhite said,

    August 14, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    146 De Maria: You state, It seems obvious to me that David’s suffering was directly caused by his sin. He says, “because you have despised me”. We have no dispute about the basis of David’s suffering. The issue is the basis of God’s forgiveness of him.

    As to 1 Cor 13:2, is it your claim that “faith” in 1 Cor 13 is the same as “faith” in Rom 4?

    You state, That depends upon what you think his debt to be. Yes, it does. The debt he owed was death, was it not?

    Help us understand how Nathan can declare that David’s pardon is in the past event with present results in 2 Sam 12:13.

    148 roberty bob: Not avoiding your comments … just have to be off to the train station …

    Perhaps we can pick this up later …

  150. De Maria said,

    August 14, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    rfwhite said,
    August 14, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    146 De Maria: You state, It seems obvious to me that David’s suffering was directly caused by his sin. He says, “because you have despised me”. We have no dispute about the basis of David’s suffering. The issue is the basis of God’s forgiveness of him.

    God’s mercy:
    Psalm 86:5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

    As to 1 Cor 13:2, is it your claim that “faith” in 1 Cor 13 is the same as “faith” in Rom 4?

    I mentioned faith which moves mountains with reference to your claim that you have the faith of a mustard seed.

    I don’t remember making any claim about faith in 1 Cor 13 and Rom 4. Nor had I thought to do it. But it seems you have. So, perhaps you could give me your opinion and I will see if I agree with it.

    You state, That depends upon what you think his debt to be. Yes, it does. The debt he owed was death, was it not?

    Did David die? Or not?

    Help us understand how Nathan can declare that David’s pardon is in the past event with present results in 2 Sam 12:13.

    Help me understand what you just said, then perhaps I can help you understand how Nathan did what he did.

  151. Nick said,

    August 14, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    It should also be noted that Galatians, chapters 2-4, also emphasize the forgiveness of sins aspect virtually exclusively. The *only* mention of “imputing righteousness” in these texts is when Genesis 15:6 is quoted briefly in 3:6.

    Consider these texts (shortened for brevity sake):

    Gal 2: 20 I have been crucified with Christ…Christ who lives in me…who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

    Gal 3: 1 It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law?

    Gal 3: 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us … so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

    Gal 4: 4 God sent forth his Son to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

    The focus of Galatians, especially ch2-4, is that of forgiveness by the Cross and receiving the Spirit by faith.

    I’m going to double check, but I think Piper basically ignored Galatians 2-4 in his Counted Righteous in Christ book.

  152. De Maria said,

    August 14, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Hi Roberty Bob,

    RF said:

    The debt he owed was death, was it not?

    I’m trying to understand the relevance of this statement with reference to David’s sin with Bathsheba. Because I think RF is making reference to “death the wages of sin” (Rom 6:23) which is a debt all men owe to God.

    Whereas, Nathan pronounced curses, in God’s name, which were specifically tied to David’s adultery and murder. Did he not?

    What do you think?

  153. roberty bob said,

    August 14, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Hi De Maria,

    OK. What is death [in terms of the wages of sin]?

    Adam was told that on the day you eat of the forbidden fruit, you shall surely die. Well, he did not die in the usual sense we think of dying — breathing his last. He died in terms of the covenant — being cut off from the blessing and friendship with the Lord God. He was expelled from the Garden of God.

    When Nathan the prophet exposed David’s sin — showed it to David, who was living in denial — David, with contrite heart, cast himself upon God’s mercy and pleaded not to be cast away from God’s presence. He knew he was deserving of that kind of death (Psalm 51). In Psalm 103 David acknowledges that God does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. I think that this is a way of saying that God’s compassion, grace, and mercy so abound that the contrite and repentant find God to be truly forgiving. David was blessed with such forgiveness. Yes, David “paid a price” for his grievous sins, but he did not sin unto death. He was forgiven and restored.

    I don’t understand rf saying “the debt he owed was death”, unless by that he means that David deserved to die for what he did.

  154. Don said,

    August 14, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    De Maria 152,
    You could start with David’s own self-convicting words in 2 Sam 12:5.

    Numbers 35:30 states the penalty for murder is capital punishment. The following two verses make it clear that there is no way for a murderer to avoid this punishment. There is no ransom that can be paid, no city to flee to. There is no provision in the Law for a murderer to do any work, including confessing his sins, to avoid the death penalty.

  155. Bob S said,

    August 15, 2014 at 4:09 am

    154 Don let me help you out.
    David is not a Christian. Nor is Abraham or Moses or anybody in the OT. Totally forget about Rom. 4 or Heb 11.
    And you pay for sins by doing penance; you know, all the trials the Lord brought on David. In short, doing stuff buys you eternal life. God owes you and David, if you do enough good works.
    IOW that whole thing about being unprofitable servants Lk. 17, is way overrated. Disregard it.
    And total depravity, Rom 3:10-20 the no one is righteous, all have sinned, that was then, this is now. Rome has spoken.
    Because her priests are just as inspired as Nathan the prophet. So when he came to David with a direct and inspired word from the Lord, that became inscripturated – i.e. we read about it in the OT – that’s the same as all of the pope’s words which are not in Scripture today. They are just as inspired and the canon is not closed. Just don’t ask for a list of even the ex cathedra pronouncements of little papa.
    There, did I leave anything out?

    And why do you have to be so difficult anyway? This is not hard to figure out. Are you getting paid to be the devil’s advocate? Besides purgatory takes up any slack that implicit faith misses.

    True, there but for the grace of God go any of us, but De Maria is also responsible for his dementia, if not as a hardened papist, he has been given over to his delusions.
    Only a God who is not only able, but actually justifies the ungodly can ultimately resolve the issue.
    Which is precisely what he vehemently and rabidly denies in the name of God as we see over and over in his posts. He thinks he is righteous on the account of his works.

    But let God be true and all men liars, The Scripture says:

    Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
    Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?  What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
    And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Rom. 9:20-23

  156. De Maria said,

    August 15, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Don said,
    August 14, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    De Maria 152,
    You could start with David’s own self-convicting words in 2 Sam 12:5.

    Numbers 35:30 states the penalty for murder is capital punishment. The following two verses make it clear that there is no way for a murderer to avoid this punishment. There is no ransom that can be paid, no city to flee to. There is no provision in the Law for a murderer to do any work, including confessing his sins, to avoid the death penalty.

    Good point, Don.

    But, if God set aside that sentence and pronounced His own, who are you or RF or Bob S. to question God? As Bob S. said in his mindless babbling:

    Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
    Hath not the potter power over the clay, …
    ?

    Are you and rf and Bob S. saying that God is wrong for pronouncing a different sentence? Are you and rf and Bob S. saying that only David’s death would satisfy God’s justice despite the fact that God pronounced a different sentence for David’s crime?

    Its almost as though you and rf and Bob S. are determined to hold God’s nose to the grindstone and say, “But you said that he should have died! That’s what you said in the ten Commandments and in Numbers 35:30 and in 2 Sam 12:5! That is the only sentence that must satisfy your justice! So says the CLAY!”

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  157. De Maria said,

    August 15, 2014 at 6:51 am

    However, thanks for pointing that out Don. Now I understand what rf was trying to tell me. So, I believe my response to him was right on the money:

    rfwhite said,
    August 14, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    146 De Maria: You state, It seems obvious to me that David’s suffering was directly caused by his sin. He says, “because you have despised me”. We have no dispute about the basis of David’s suffering. The issue is the basis of God’s forgiveness of him.

    I responded:

    God’s mercy:
    Psalm 86:5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

    God, knowing that David would sincerely repent of his crime, gave him the time he needed to turn back to him and live:

    2 Peter 3:9
    9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

  158. Don said,

    August 15, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Yes, De Maria 156, it is so bad of us claypersons to “hold God’s nose to the grindstone,” i.e., believe his Word, when he says he will by no means clear the guilty.

  159. De Maria said,

    August 15, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    You’re wrong, Don, 158. That is precisely what you believe.

    You believe that God covers you with Christ’s righteousness. In other words, you believe that God clears the guilty.

    Further, you even believe that God the Father hatefully condemns His innocent Son and pours out His wrath upon Him.

    Whereas, it is we Catholics, who believe the Word of God. We believe that God forgives the repentant sinners because His Son satisfied His justice by sacrificing Himself upon the Cross for their salvation.

  160. August 16, 2014 at 12:04 am

    […] the Presbyterian Church in America and is pastor of Lebanon Presbyterian Church in Winnsboro, S.C. This article appeared on his blog and is used with […]

  161. Don said,

    August 16, 2014 at 12:26 am

    De Maria 159,
    Nope. If I am covered with Christ’s righteousness, then I have Christ’s righteousness. I am not guilty. God is not clearing the guilty if I am, in Christ, not guilty.

  162. August 16, 2014 at 5:49 am

    Lane,

    I have responded also to Nick and Jason’s claim regarding the case of Phinehas in notes 3 and 4 in my article:

    http://thessalonians516.blogspot.com/2012/12/responses-regarding-imputation-article_2444.html?m=0

    Thanks,
    Joey

  163. W.A. Scott said,

    August 16, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Now that it’s the weekend I figured I could get out one more rambling post. Don’t know if I’ll have time to follow up.

    Isaiah 53:5a,6,10a “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities…6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all….10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer” NIV

    Isaiah 53:5a, 6, 10a “But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins:…6 All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all…10 And the Lord was pleased to bruise him in infirmity”
    Douay-Rheims

    Chrysostom illustrates this awesome exchange with the following analogy:
    “If one that was himself a king, beholding a robber and malefactor under punishment, gave his well-beloved son, his only-begotten and true, to be slain; and transferred the death and the guilt as well, from him to his son, (who was himself of no such character,) that he might both save the condemned man and clear him from his evil reputation;” (Homily 11 on 2 Corinthians).

    The Father laid our iniquities on Christ [i.e. applying our iniquities to His account]. Also, the Father bruised (Hebrew “crushed”) Christ for the iniquities laid on Him.

    The Father lays Christ’s righteousness on us [i.e. applying Christ's Righteousness/Innocence to our account through applying His Righteous Blood to us]. Also, the Father rewards us with the declaration “not guilty” for Christ’s active and passive obedience poured upon us in His Blood.

    Note: Of course, His Righteous Blood not only covers our sin completely (perfect extrinsic righteousness) but it also purges out in greater and greater measure the power/presence of sin in our heart (progressive intrinsic righteousness). [Continued]

  164. W.A. Scott said,

    August 16, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    [Continued] However, the believer’s intrinsic righteousness is a “filthy rag” and “mere unrighteousness” if strictly judged by the perfect Standard of God’s Holiness/Love (as Bernard of Clairvaux and many other pre-reformation theologians notes-see post 30). Yet, our intrinsic righteousness–including the act of faith itself–is pleasing to God and “imputed for righteousness” (as Calvin and Luther note and Psalm 106:31, etc.) on account of the infinite merit of Christ’s Blood received by faith.

    Further, the Calvin, Luther and the other reformers affirmed that our intrinsic righteousness (i.e. faith and the fruits thereof) are “rewarded” with eternal life (Matthew 25:31-46, etc.). However, this reward is given as a promised gift earned by the infinite merits of Christ and not on the basis of the true deserving of our weak and imperfect good deeds (i.e. our “filthy rags” as Bernard of Clairvaux says). God Bless, W.A.Scott

  165. W.A. Scott said,

    August 16, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    p.s. On “Legal Fiction” and “Sin Covered”
    Romans 4:6 “As David also termeth the blessedness of a man, to whom God reputeth justice without works: 7 Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord hath not imputed sin.” Douay-Rheims

    I can only praise the Lord for the blessed “legal fiction” of those who have sinned terribly being accounted by God as though they have not sinned. As was noted above (sorry in advance for the redundancy), sin is the failure to keep God’s Perfect Law of Love. Therefore, to reckon that we have not sinned is to reckon that we have not failed to keep God’s Perfect Law (as Augustine said regarding this blessed “legal fiction,” namely, in forgiveness we are considered as those who have perfectly fulfilled the Law up to “one tittle” although in reality we have not–see post 72.).

    Also, what is it by which “sins are covered” (see Romans 4:7 above)? If it is the Blood of Christ, is that Blood perfectly righteous or not? If Christ’s Blood covers our sin and Christ’s Blood is perfectly righteous, how can it be false to say that our “sins are covered” by the perfect righteousness of Christ in His Blood?

  166. De Maria said,

    August 16, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Don said,
    August 16, 2014 at 12:26 am

    De Maria 159,
    Nope. If I am covered with Christ’s righteousness, then I have Christ’s righteousness. I am not guilty. God is not clearing the guilty if I am, in Christ, not guilty.

    Now, show me that from Scripture.

    In Scripture, I see where sinners repent and are baptized and washed of their sins.

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

    I don’t see anything about being covered with Christ’s righteousness and declared not guilty.

  167. roberty bob said,

    August 16, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    in reference to W.A in #165 . . .

    Now you are introducing a doctrine of “blessed legal fiction” which entails being simultaneously forgiven of sins AND of being regarded by God as having perfectly fulfilled God’s perfect law. The legal fiction, you admit, is that in reality you have not perfectly fulfilled God’s perfect law. So, God looks at you, the forgiven sinner, “as if” you have never sinned and “as if” you have performed God’s law with sinless perfection.

    I know that this is a common Reformed conception of major import in their Gospel presentation, but I cannot find anywhere in Scripture an explicit statement which shows God dealing in legal fiction.

    Cleansed of sin [and its guilt] by his atoning blood? Yes.
    Clothed in Christ? Yes, having “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
    Christ fulfilled the Torah? Yes.
    Christ our Righteousness? Yes.

  168. Don said,

    August 16, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    De Maria 166,
    If you see a distinction between being justified and being declared not guilty, then I don’t think I can help you. Otherwise, there’s Romans 3:24-26, Romans 5:1-2, Philippians 3:9-11, I John 2:2. Not only is our righteousness coming from God, but as a result we have peace with God and other blessings that come with it.

  169. William Scott said,

    August 16, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Hello roberty bob–I’m saying that what is called a “legal fiction” derogatorily by Roman Catholics is exactly what they necessarily confess–i.e. in forgiveness God “hath not imputed sin” (Rom. 4:8) to the one who has actually sinned. In other words, as the Scriptures and Roman Catholics and Protestants confess–in forgiveness God removes our guilt and therefore reckons those who are actually guilty of sin (i.e. failing to keep God’s perfect Law) as “not guilty.” God Bless, W.A.Scott

  170. William Scott said,

    August 16, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    To clarify (or confuse) further I want to address specifically what you said:
    “Now you are introducing a doctrine of “blessed legal fiction” which entails being simultaneously forgiven of sins AND of being regarded by God as having perfectly fulfilled God’s perfect law. So, God looks at you, the forgiven sinner, “as if” you have never sinned and “as if” you have performed God’s law with sinless perfection.”

    My point was that forgiveness of sins IS the “blessed legal fiction” because it involves reckoning the guilty as not guilty for Christ’s sake.

    Further, I am saying that (according to Scripture, the Ancient Catholic Faith and the Reformers) forgiveness of sins is not “simultaneous” with God reckoning that we have perfectly fulfilled His Law. Rather, forgiveness of sins is the SAME as God looking at us having perfectly fulfilled His Law.

    Sin = Failure to keep God’s Law during our life.

    No Sin = No Failure to keep God’s Law during our life.

    [Brackets added to show parallel]
    Therefore, if God reckons us as having never [sinned] in our life He NECESSARILY reckons us having never [failed to keep God's Law] during our life.

    The problem is not “adding” to forgiveness but misunderstanding what forgiveness is (and it is a common problem for Reformed and Roman Catholics). Hope this helps. God Bless, W.A. Scott

  171. roberty bob said,

    August 17, 2014 at 12:13 am

    in reference to #169

    Thank you for responding. I wasn’t aware that Roman Catholics spoke derogatorily about a so-called legal fiction. I’ll start paying attention.

    The imputation doctrine that I find difficult to understand and accept — because I’m just not seeing it [even in the places that supposedly prove its existence] — is the transfer of Christ’s perfect law-keeping obedience to the believer’s account, as if Christ EARNED heaven / everlasting life for the believer. I do believe that it was necessary to Christ to be without sin — to obey Torah — and thus fulfill all righteousness, It does not make sense that Christ’s saving righteousness consists in filling up our bank accounts with the merits he has earned for us. I know the old protestant hymn line . . . “by his merit we inherit” . . . but I don’t see this popular doctrine elucidated in the biblical text. To me, it is sufficient that we have in Christ one who knew no sin and was therefore fit to make atonement for our sins. Being forgiven, we go and sin no more (as our Lord commands). As we obey Christ In the power of the Holy Spirit, the righteous requirements of the law are fully met in us (Romans 8). At the Last Day we will appear before the Lord and give an account of what we have done. Between now and then we trust and obey.

  172. Bob S said,

    August 17, 2014 at 2:29 am

    156 DM

    Neither I nor Don nor RFWhite or any other genuine Protestant has any quarrel or quibble with God pronouncing David or any other believing sinner righteous on account of the righteousness of Christ imputed/received by faith alone. That is the historic reformed and protestant gospel.

    But you do. Because you are an avid advocate of Romanism which – whether you realize it or not – teaches a gospel of an infused righteousness that enables the Romanist to do good works and so be actually judged as righteous by God. As opposed to an imputed righteousness.

    IOW according to Rome only those who are truly sanctified can be justified.

    You affirm.
    We deny.
    On the basis of Scripture.
    No matter how much you mangle or misunderstand the prot position.

    Yes, David was chastised for his sin, even though he repented of them, but the salient point again is that his repentance could not atone for his sin or earn his forgiveness with God. For that a perfect sacrifice was needed.

    As in God for the sake of perfect Christ’s life and death justifies guilty and damn worthy sinners, who by faith alone in Christ alone, have his righteousness credited/imputed to their account.

    This is the gospel of the true Christian religion which you and Rome wickedly deny.

    157God, knowing that David would sincerely repent of his crime, gave him the time he needed to turn back to him and live:

    No, it is not a case of foreseen works, even that of David repenting.
    In Rom. 9 God says it is on account of election – not works – that he loved Jacob and hated Esau in Rom. 9:11.

     And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
    (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
    It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
    As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. Rom. 9:10 – 13

    Are you Jacob or Esau, DM?
    Have you repented and believed on Christ alone or are you still trusting in your Roman self righteousness?

  173. De Maria said,

    August 17, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Don said,
    August 16, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Don, you didn’t answer my question. Why? Why are Protestants afraid to respond to that question. Its not as though I’m tricking you. I already gave you the answer to my question. Can’t you simply acknowledge whether you agree or disagree? Here it is again:

    De Maria 166,
    If you see a distinction between being justified and being declared not guilty, then I don’t think I can help you.

    As it concerns Abraham, you are correct. There is no distinction between being justified and being declared not guilty in the Old Testament. But the New Testament is a New Dispensation with better promises.

    Let me show you. In Heb 11, St. Paul says of Abraham,

    Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

    He speaks thus about Abraham, Abel, and many other patriarchs. Then he says:

    39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

    So, even though they were declared righteous in the Old Testament, they did not receive the promise. Why?

    What is the promise of which he speaks?

    Acts 2:37-39King James Version (KJV)

    37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

    38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

    The promise is the gift of the Holy Spirit and they could not receive it because the Holy Spirit was not given until Jesus Christ ascended to the Father:

    John 16:7

    7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

    So, you are right that Abraham was declared righteous. But no grace, no righteousness was imparted or infused to him because the Holy Ghost was not yet given.

    Otherwise, there’s Romans 3:24-26, Romans 5:1-2, Philippians 3:9-11, I John 2:2.

    None of those are to the point being discussed. But if you think they are, then explain them in the context of Abraham and his being declared righteous.

    Not only is our righteousness coming from God, but as a result we have peace with God and other blessings that come with it.

    That is New Testament justification, wherein, we are washed of our sins by the Holy Spirit. That is also in Scripture. When God declares us righteous in the Sacraments, He then infuses us with grace and washes away our sins. This happened only after Jesus Christ died upon the Cross, rose again and ascended into heaven.

    John 7:39

    39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

  174. De Maria said,

    August 17, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    William Scott said,
    August 16, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    To clarify (or confuse) further I want to address specifically what you said:
    “Now you are introducing a doctrine of “blessed legal fiction” which entails being simultaneously forgiven of sins AND of being regarded by God as having perfectly fulfilled God’s perfect law. So, God looks at you, the forgiven sinner, “as if” you have never sinned and “as if” you have performed God’s law with sinless perfection.”

    My point was that forgiveness of sins IS the “blessed legal fiction” because it involves reckoning the guilty as not guilty for Christ’s sake.

    That’s not the way we understand it.

    God does not reckon the guilty as not guilty. God accepts the guilty’s repentance and forgives his sins for Christ’s sake. Then, in the New Testament, the repentant sinner is given the gift of the Holy Spirit and washed of His sins. He is born again a child of God.

    This is not a fiction, this is absolutely true for those who believe.

    Further, I am saying that (according to Scripture, the Ancient Catholic Faith and the Reformers) forgiveness of sins is not “simultaneous” with God reckoning that we have perfectly fulfilled His Law. Rather, forgiveness of sins is the SAME as God looking at us having perfectly fulfilled His Law.

    Sin = Failure to keep God’s Law during our life.

    No Sin = No Failure to keep God’s Law during our life.

    [Brackets added to show parallel]
    Therefore, if God reckons us as having never [sinned] in our life He NECESSARILY reckons us having never [failed to keep God's Law] during our life.

    The problem is not “adding” to forgiveness but misunderstanding what forgiveness is (and it is a common problem for Reformed and Roman Catholics). Hope this helps. God Bless, W.A. Scott

    Well, I think you’re right. But I think its you misunderstanding what forgiveness is.

    God doesn’t judge us as never having broken His law. God forgives the fact that we have broken His law for Christ’s sake and washes us clean in the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.

    There is no legal fiction going on.

  175. De Maria said,

    August 17, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    #172 Bob S said,
    August 17, 2014 at 2:29 am

    156 DM

    Neither I nor Don nor RFWhite or any other genuine Protestant has any quarrel or quibble with God pronouncing David or any other believing sinner righteous on account of the righteousness of Christ imputed/received by faith alone. That is the historic reformed and protestant gospel.

    But where is it in Scripture as regards Abraham? That is whom we are discussing, isn’t it?

    Let me show you. In Heb 11, St. Paul says of Abraham,

    Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

    He speaks thus about Abraham, Abel, and many other patriarchs. Then he says:

    39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

    So, even though they were declared righteous in the Old Testament, they did not receive the promise. Why?

    What is the promise of which he speaks?

    Acts 2:37-39King James Version (KJV)

    37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

    38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

    The promise is the gift of the Holy Spirit and they could not receive it because the Holy Spirit was not given until Jesus Christ ascended to the Father:

    John 16:7

    7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

    Show me in Scripture where Abraham was imparted the Holy Spirit? Show me where Scripture says he was washed with the washing of regeneration?

    You can’t. Because Abraham did not receive the promise until Jesus Christ died upon the Cross, rose again and ascended to the Father. Then the Holy Spirit was given and Abraham entered into heaven with the elect.

    But you do.

    On the contrary, we understand the Word of God correctly because we divide the word rightly. Whereas you are reading into the Scripture the errors which you have been taught.

    Because you are an avid advocate of Romanism which – whether you realize it or not – teaches a gospel of an infused righteousness that enables the Romanist to do good works and so be actually judged as righteous by God. As opposed to an imputed righteousness.

    IOW according to Rome only those who are truly sanctified can be justified.

    You affirm.
    We deny.
    On the basis of Scripture.

    Show me the Scripture. You keep saying on the basis of Scripture but produce nothing but empty opinion.

    No matter how much you mangle or misunderstand the prot position.

    Yes, David was chastised for his sin, even though he repented of them,

    And that agrees with Catholic Doctrine. Not with Protestant.

    David was chastised for his sin even though he repented. We call that penance. What do you call it? You don’t. You spend much time arguing against penance. That statement goes against your theology and you thought you could brush it off without anyone noticing. But there it is.

    And, do you think I’ve forgotten my question which no one has answered. Is there any indication in Scripture that God was not satisfied with David’s suffering?

    but the salient point again is that his repentance could not atone for his sin or earn his forgiveness with God. For that a perfect sacrifice was needed.

    That is not a salient point. That is a different point.

    David is one of those mentioned in Heb 11. And although he was justified by his faith and his actions in the Old Testament. He, like Abraham, did not receive the promise until Jesus Christ died upon the Cross, rose again and ascended to the Father. Then the Holy Spirit was given and Abraham, David and the rest of the faithful patriarchs entered into heaven with the elect.

    As in God for the sake of perfect Christ’s life and death justifies guilty and damn worthy sinners, who by faith alone in Christ alone, have his righteousness credited/imputed to their account.

    Show me that from Scripture. Because Scripture never speaks of faith alone except to deny its efficacy for justification:

    James 2:24King James Version (KJV)

    24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    And Scripture calls us to obey those who God appointed over us in the Church:

    Hebrews 13:17King James Version (KJV)

    17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
    This is the gospel of the true Christian religion which you and Rome wickedly deny.

    No, it is not a case of foreseen works, even that of David repenting.
    In Rom. 9 God says it is on account of election – not works – that he loved Jacob and hated Esau in Rom. 9:11.

    That is Catholic Doctrine. We believe in election. We also believe we can make our election sure by our good works.

    2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

    And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
    (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
    It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
    As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. Rom. 9:10 – 13

    Are you Jacob or Esau, DM?

    God knows. But I don’t judge myself. God is my Judge. Nor do I care whom you judge yourself to be. Because many have claimed to be saved turned away from God. But the Scripture says:

    1 Corinthians 4:2-4King James Version (KJV)

    2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

    3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.

    4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

    Therefore I walk by faith and place my hope in God. Not in my works. Not in my faith. But in God.

    Have you repented and believed on Christ alone or are you still trusting in your Roman self righteousness?

    I have repented and I believe in God. And I place my entire hope in God. That is why I obey Him and work out my salvation.

    But how about you, have you saved yourself by your faith alone, in contradiction to the Word of God? Or have you begun to obey the Son who died for your sins?

    Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

  176. WAScott said,

    August 17, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Hello De Maria, Bernard of Clairvaux explicitly teaches (along with many others) that forgiveness means that God reckons the guilty as not guilty and those who had sinned as though they had not sinned. For example, “Surely, what has been done cannot be undone, but if God does not impute it shall be as if it had not been. And the prophet also has this in mind when he says, “Blessed is he to whom The Lord has not imputed sin'”

  177. William Scott said,

    August 17, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Bernard of Clairvaux likewise notes regarding this so called “legal fiction”:
    “What could man, the slave of sin, fast bound by the devil, do of himself to recover the righteousness which he had once lost? Therefore another’s righteousness was ascribed to him who lacked his own….If one died for all, then all have died, so that, just as one bore the sins of all, the satisfaction of one is imputed to all….Why should I not have someone else’s righteousness since I have someone else’s guilt? It was someone else who made me a sinner, it is someone else who justifies me from sin: the one through his seed, the other through his blood. Shall there be sin in the seed of a sinner and not righteousness in the blood of Christ?:”(Epistola in erroribus Abaelardi 6.15f.)”: God Bless.

  178. Don said,

    August 17, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    DM 173,
    You asked (in 166) to be shown from Scripture how we receive Christ’s righteousness. I provided a few verses in 168, how it comes by grace/as a gift/by faith/not of my own/because He is our atoning sacrifice. Now you are claiming I am not answering your question, apparently because I am not referring to Abraham? OK then.

    So are you saying that being justified and being declared not guilty are the same thing only in Old Testament times? So nowadays, can someone be justified but God views him as still guilty, or can somebody be unjustified but declared to be innocent? I’m confused. If there’s a “better promise” here, I am missing it.

  179. De Maria said,

    August 17, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    WAScott said,
    August 17, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Hello De Maria, Bernard of Clairvaux explicitly teaches (along with many others) that forgiveness means that God reckons the guilty as not guilty and those who had sinned as though they had not sinned. For example, “Surely, what has been done cannot be undone, but if God does not impute it shall be as if it had not been. And the prophet also has this in mind when he says, “Blessed is he to whom The Lord has not imputed sin’”

    In essence, he has tied his statement to the sin of David and Bathsheba. Notice that, although David was forgiven (his sin was not imputed), he was still chastised for that sin. And the chastisement was severe. There is no legal fiction here. This is precisely how even a human court works. People must pay for their crimes.

    Remember that St. Bernard of Clairvaux is not only a Catholic canonized Saint, but a Doctor of the Catholic Church. He would hardly be such if he were teaching reformed doctrine.

  180. De Maria said,

    August 17, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    William Scott said,
    August 17, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Bernard of Clairvaux likewise notes regarding this so called “legal fiction”:
    “What could man, the slave of sin, fast bound by the devil, do of himself to recover the righteousness which he had once lost?

    This is an obvious reference to Original Sin.

    Therefore another’s righteousness was ascribed to him who lacked his own….If one died for all, then all have died, so that, just as one bore the sins of all, the satisfaction of one is imputed to all….Why should I not have someone else’s righteousness since I have someone else’s guilt? It was someone else who made me a sinner, it is someone else who justifies me from sin: the one through his seed, the other through his blood. Shall there be sin in the seed of a sinner and not righteousness in the blood of Christ?:”(Epistola in erroribus Abaelardi 6.15f.)”:

    This is easily explained Catholic Doctrine.

    Original Sin is the actual sin of Adam and Eve which is ascribed to all humanity.

    In Baptism, we are washed by the sanctifiying grace of Jesus Christ which He poured out for our salvation from the Cross. It is by this grace that we are washed of our sins and justified.

    We believe that Jesus Christ made satisfaction for all man’s sins by His sacrifice upon the Cross.

    I guarantee that if you study all of St. Bernard’s teachings, you will find there Calvin’s errors refuted.

    God Bless.

    And to you,

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  181. De Maria said,

    August 17, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Don said,
    August 17, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    DM 173,
    You asked (in 166) to be shown from Scripture how we receive Christ’s righteousness. I provided a few verses in 168, how it comes by grace/as a gift/by faith/not of my own/because He is our atoning sacrifice. Now you are claiming I am not answering your question, apparently because I am not referring to Abraham? OK then.

    So are you saying that being justified and being declared not guilty are the same thing only in Old Testament times? So nowadays, can someone be justified but God views him as still guilty, or can somebody be unjustified but declared to be innocent? I’m confused. If there’s a “better promise” here, I am missing it

    Thanks for the questions, Don.

    Let me see, where to begin. Let me start with your last question:

    If there’s a “better promise” here, I am missing it

    Yes, there is a better promise here.

    In the New Testament form of justification, we receive the Holy Spirit.
    Acts 19 King James Version (KJV)

    1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,

    2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

    3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

    4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

    5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

    6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

    This is the Washing of Regeneration which washes away our sins:

    Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

    Neither Abraham nor any of the Jews of the Old Testament received this washing. This is why they did not walk upon Mount Sion in their day:

    Hebrews 12:18-24King James Version (KJV)

    18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

    19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

    20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:

    21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)

    22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

    23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

    24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

    I hope you see how we have a better promise

    So are you saying that being justified and being declared not guilty are the same thing only in Old Testament times?

    Yes.

    In the Old Testament, when Abraham was declared righteous, he was not washed in the washing of regeneration nor was he born again. God simply saw his faith and declared him righteous.

    This is why Abraham did not receive the promise:even though he was justified (i.e. received a good report). Heb 11:39.

    So nowadays, can someone be justified but God views him as still guilty, or can somebody be unjustified but declared to be innocent?

    Nowadays, one is justified in Baptism:

    Trent VI
    CHAPTER IV
    A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE JUSTIFICATION OF THE SINNER AND ITS MODE IN THE STATE OF GRACE

    In which words is given a brief description of the justification of the sinner, as being a translation from that state in which man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace and of the adoption of the sons of God through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Savior.

    This translation however cannot, since promulgation of the Gospel, be effected except through the laver of regeneration or its desire, as it is written:

    Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.[18]

  182. Don said,

    August 17, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    De Maria 181,

    Justified by baptism but still guilty? Doesn’t seem like much of a good deal to me.

    Neither Abraham nor any of the Jews of the Old Testament received this washing. This is why they did not walk upon Mount Sion in their day

    Sinai, I hope you mean?

  183. W.A. Scott said,

    August 18, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Hello DeMaria, many of the reformers (not including Calvin of course) held to the position that forgiveness and the Holy Spirit are received in Baptism (e.g. the Augsburg Confession, etc)–so that is not the issue, although it’s not a bad point to mention. Also, I agree with you that Bernard has sufficient Catholic credentials (this is why I quoted him).

    Bernard explicitly states that if the guilt of Adam’s sin is reckoned to our account how much more can we be assured that the righteousness of Christ is reckoned to our account.

    Bernard says in relation to Christ’s righteousness: “Why should I not have someone else’s righteousness since I have someone else’s guilt?” (i.e. “someone else’s righteousness”=”alien righteousness”). This is the Catholic doctrine of Bernard and I praise God for it.

    As to your other points, I’d love to address them if I had time, but as I noted in my post on the other Imputation thread, it’s Monday and so I don’t have time at present and I likely won’t have time for the remainder of the work-week to respond further. God Bless.

  184. W.A. Scott said,

    August 18, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    p.s. One last follow-up: It is necessary according to Bernard that we have an “alien righteousness” (i.e. the Righteous Blood of Christ covering our unrighteousness) because the internal righteousness of a believer is, as Bernard says, a “filthy rag” and “mere unrighteousness” according to God’s strict judgment (see post 30.). Thanks for the discussion–maybe we can pick it up again next week.

  185. De Maria said,

    August 18, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    #182 Don said,
    August 17, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Sinai, I hope you mean?

    Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

    23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

    24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

  186. De Maria said,

    August 18, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    W.A. Scott said,
    August 18, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Hello DeMaria, many of the reformers (not including Calvin of course) held to the position that forgiveness and the Holy Spirit are received in Baptism (e.g. the Augsburg Confession, etc)–so that is not the issue, although it’s not a bad point to mention.

    Why are you concerned with what they say? Here is what Scripture says:

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Also, I agree with you that Bernard has sufficient Catholic credentials (this is why I quoted him).

    Bernard explicitly states that if the guilt of Adam’s sin is reckoned to our account how much more can we be assured that the righteousness of Christ is reckoned to our account.

    With regards to baptism and the remission of Original Sin, that is Catholic Doctrine:

    For the forgiveness of sins . . .

    1263 By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin.66 In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam’s sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God.

    Bernard says in relation to Christ’s righteousness: “Why should I not have someone else’s righteousness since I have someone else’s guilt?” (i.e. “someone else’s righteousness”=”alien righteousness”). This is the Catholic doctrine of Bernard and I praise God for it.

    St. Bernard didn’t use the term “alien righteousness” and we can see by his thoughts that he is thoroughly:

    On Grace and Free Choice, 13, 43:

    For when God, our King from of old, worked salvation in the midst of the earth (Ps. 74:12), he divided the gifts which he gave to men into merits and rewards (See Eph. 4:8, cf. Ps. 68:18), in order that, on the one hand our merits might be our own here and now by free possessions, and on the others, by a gracious promise, we might await their, we for it, in the life to come….
    If then, merits are the good things of the pilgrim’s way even as salvation and the life are of the homeland, and if David spoke truly when he said: “There is none that does good, except for one (Ps. 14:3) – that one, namely, of whom it is also said: “No one is good but God alone (Lk. 18:19) – then both our works and rewards are undoubtedly God’s gifts, and he who placed himself in our debts by his gifts constituted us by our works real deservers. To form a basis for such meriting he deigns to make use of the ministry of creatures, not that he stands in any need of it, but that through this or by its means he may benefit them. ibid., pp. 101-102.

    As to your other points, I’d love to address them if I had time, but as I noted in my post on the other Imputation thread, it’s Monday and so I don’t have time at present and I likely won’t have time for the remainder of the work-week to respond further. God Bless.

  187. De Maria said,

    August 18, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    W.A. Scott also said,
    August 18, 2014 at 12:04 pm…..As to your other points, I’d love to address them if I had time, but as I noted in my post on the other Imputation thread, it’s Monday and so I don’t have time at present and I likely won’t have time for the remainder of the work-week to respond further. God Bless.

    Sorry, I missed your last paragraph. I certainly understand the need to work. God bless you as well.

  188. De Maria said,

    August 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    W.A. Scott said,
    August 18, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    p.s. One last follow-up: It is necessary according to Bernard that we have an “alien righteousness” (i.e. the Righteous Blood of Christ covering our unrighteousness) because the internal righteousness of a believer is, as Bernard says, a “filthy rag” and “mere unrighteousness” according to God’s strict judgment (see post 30.). Thanks for the discussion–maybe we can pick it up again next week.

    The difference is that St. Bernard is speaking in terms of the Sacraments. That is what this means:

    Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord, let us, with all humility, flee to mercy; which alone can save our souls” Feast of All Saints Sermon 1

    God pours out his mercy upon us, in the Sacraments:

    Titus 3:5King James Version (KJV)

    5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

    That is a description of Baptism.

    God bless you as well,

    sincerely,

    De Maria

  189. Don said,

    August 18, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    De Maria 185,
    OK, see what you mean. But maybe “they did not walk upon Mount Sion” is not the best way to put it, since many Jews, from David’s time onward, did.

  190. Bob S said,

    August 19, 2014 at 2:04 am

    DM your objections are all over the place, but simply put if Rom 4 doesn’t teach righteousness by faith rather than works for Abraham, David and any other believer it teaches nothing. And I am the eggman, and you are the walrus hoo kooie chew (with apologies to J.Lennon/the DungBeatles.)

    Two, you were the one who insisted that David’s works/chastisement/repentance/penance atoned for his sins. We deny, based on Rom. 4, duh.

    And Rome believes in election? Well of course it does if you say so, if not that it believes in election — on account of forseen works/repentance which is not what Rom. 9 teaches. Scriptural election is on account of God’s mercy to some sinners, not again, their works.

    over and out.

  191. De Maria said,

    August 19, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    189 Don said,
    August 18, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    De Maria 185,
    OK, see what you mean. But maybe “they did not walk upon Mount Sion” is not the best way to put it, since many Jews, from David’s time onward, did.

    But not until Jesus died upon the Cross for their sins:

    Hebrews 9:15

    15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, ….

    The Patriarchs had to wait to for us in order to be made perfect and enter heaven.

    Hebrews 11:39-40

    39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

    40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

    This perfection can only be received by the gift of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit was not given until Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father.

  192. De Maria said,

    August 19, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    190 Bob S said,
    August 19, 2014 at 2:04 am

    DM your objections are all over the place,

    I responded to your comment, point by point.

    but simply put if Rom 4 doesn’t teach righteousness by faith rather than works for Abraham, David and any other believer it teaches nothing.

    Romans 4 teaches justification by faith in the Sacraments, rather than by works as in the Old Testament.

    And I am the eggman, and you are the walrus hoo kooie chew (with apologies to J.Lennon/the DungBeatles.)

    John Lennon admitted that he was stoned when he wrote those lyrics about one of his friends.

    Two, you were the one who insisted that David’s works/chastisement/repentance/penance atoned for his sins. We deny, based on Rom. 4, duh.

    The truth remains true whether you deny it or not.

    And Rome believes in election?

    That is correct. The Catholic Church wrote the Scripture which says:

    2 Peter 1:5-10King James Version (KJV)

    5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

    6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

    7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

    8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

    10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

    Make your calling and ELECTION sure.

    Well of course it does if you say so, if not that it believes in election — on account of forseen works/repentance which is not what Rom. 9 teaches. Scriptural election is on account of God’s mercy to some sinners, not again, their works.

    The mercy of God is shed upon those who keep His Commandments:

    Exodus 20:6

    6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

    In the New Testament, He pours out His mercy through the Sacraments:

    Titus 3:5

    5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

    But only to those who do His works:

    Romans 2:13

    13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

  193. Don said,

    August 20, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    De Maria 191,
    I understand the imagery in Hebrews. What I’m saying is that “they did not walk upon Mount Sion” is not a clear way to express your point since David, and many Israelites after him, did literally walk on Mt. Sion.

  194. Bob S said,

    August 20, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    DM your trollness is showing.
    It’s one thing to stuff the combox full of remarks in the mindless/superstitious way one repeats the rosary or spins a tibetan prayer wheel.
    Another to respond substantively.

    For one, yes, Romans 2:13 tells us that:

    For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    It then goes on to say in 3: 19 that :

    Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

    Moreover:

    Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

    What don’t we understand about the law not justifying anyone?

    And is the solution to this quandary for justification sacramental?
    Not according to Paul. He continues:

    But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
    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:
    For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
    Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Rom. 3:21-24

    IOW the blind faith of romanism is not a biblical faith.
    And until you demonstrate that you actually understand what Scripture teaches, even if you disagree with it, your criticism of protestantism is not only toothless, it is unworthy of further response.
    cheers

  195. De Maria said,

    August 20, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Don said,
    August 20, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    De Maria 191,
    I understand the imagery in Hebrews. What I’m saying is that “they did not walk upon Mount Sion” is not a clear way to express your point since David, and many Israelites after him, did literally walk on Mt. Sion.

    Oh. Ok. Well, as long as you understand, that is fine with me.

    Thanks for the discussion.

  196. De Maria said,

    August 20, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Bob S said,
    August 20, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    DM your trollness is showing.

    It’s one thing to stuff the combox full of remarks in the mindless/superstitious way one repeats the rosary or spins a tibetan prayer wheel.
    Another to respond substantively.

    At least you gave it a try this time.

    For one, yes, Romans 2:13 tells us that:

    For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    It then goes on to say in 3: 19 that :

    Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

    Moreover:

    Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

    What don’t we understand about the law not justifying anyone?

    What is it that you don’t understand about ” doers of the law shall be justified”?

    Rom 2:13 doesn’t say that doing good works justifies. Nor does the Catholic Church teach that works justify. But Rom 2:13 and the Catholic Church teach that God justifies those who do good works.

    You can deny it all you want, but Scripture is very clear on the matter:

    Matthew 25:31-46King James Version (KJV)

    31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

    32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

    33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

    34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

    35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

    37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

    38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

    42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

    43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

    44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

    45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

    46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    And is the solution to this quandary for justification sacramental?

    Yes.

    Not according to Paul.

    Not according to your interpretation.

    He continues:

    But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

    The righteousness of God without the law is received through the Faith of Jesus Christ as it says below. That Faith is taught by the Catholic Church, which is the institution which Jesus Christ established in order to spread His Faith.

    Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:

    The righteousness of God is therefore received in Baptism. Because this is what Jesus Christ commissioned the Church to do. Make disciples of the world, teach them all He commanded and Baptize them.

    Matthew 28:19-20King James Version (KJV)

    19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    for there is no difference:

    This righteousness of God is for Jew and Gentile.

    For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
    Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Rom. 3:21-24

    And they are justified freely, by the Faith of Christ, in Baptism. The righteousness of God which is without the law of Moses and which is by faith of Jesus Christ is that which we receive in Baptism.

    Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

    All of that is Sacramental Teaching.

    IOW the blind faith of romanism is not a biblical faith.

    On the contrary, it is the best kind of faith:

    John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

    And until you demonstrate that you actually understand what Scripture teaches, even if you disagree with it, your criticism of protestantism is not only toothless, it is unworthy of further response.

    I think I’ve done a fair job of explaining the relationship between Catholic Teaching and Scripture. And you also have a right to disagree with it. But the truth remains true whether you agree with it or not.

    cheers

    And to you.

  197. Ron said,

    August 20, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    What is it that you don’t understand about ” doers of the law shall be justified”?

    Not all conditions are causes. Conditions often depict states of affairs.

    Do you find something contrary to evangelical theology with either of these premises?

    1. If pardoned, then law keeping
    2. If law keeping, then pardoned

    Law keeping is both a necessary and sufficient condition for pardon. So what?

  198. De Maria said,

    August 20, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Ron said,
    August 20, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    Not all conditions are causes.

    I didn’t say all conditions were causes. So, what is this about?

    Conditions often depict states of affairs.

    Do you find something contrary to evangelical theology with either of these premises?

    I find much in evangelical theology contrary to Scripture. Whether your premises agree with evangelical theology is besides the point.

    Why are you avoiding the comparison to Scripture?

    1. If pardoned, then law keeping
    2. If law keeping, then pardoned

    Law keeping is both a necessary and sufficient condition for pardon.

    Bingo!

    So what?

    So you confirmed that one must keep the law before he is justified by God.

    Thank you!

  199. Ron said,

    August 20, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Conditions don’t imply temporal order. Your lack of understanding of if-then statements could explain your confusion over Reformed theology. I bet even Bryan Cross could help you.

  200. De Maria said,

    August 21, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Ron said,
    August 20, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Conditions don’t imply temporal order.

    Yes, it does. Scriptur doesn’t contradict itself. And we see the same conditions mentioned elsewhere.

    Let’s look at sowing and reaping. Sowing comes before reaping. That is a farming analogy and one must first plant seeds before they grow.

    Galatians 6:
    7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

    He that sins will reap condemnation.
    He that works righteousness will reap saved.

    If/then

    Rom 2:13 is along the same lines.

    Rom 2:13 seems perfectly clear. You might want to confuse the issue in order to read into it your doctrine. But the condition is clearly set out:

    Romans 2:13

    13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God,

    God does not justify those who merely hear the law but do nothing to satisfy its requirements.

    but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    He that hears the law but does nothing is condemned.
    He that hears the law and does the works of the law is justified.

    Your lack of understanding of if-then statements could explain your confusion over Reformed theology.

    I bet even Bryan Cross could help you.

    Reformed and evangelical theology has little to do with Scripture. Therefore it leaves many people confused.

  201. Ron said,

    August 21, 2014 at 1:37 am

    I wrote: conditions don’t imply temporal order.

    You responded with: Yes, it does.

    Good works are a necessary condition for salvation simply implies that the non-existence of Good works guarantees the non-existent state of salvation. Good works are a sufficient condition for salvation simply implies that good works guarantee that one is in a state of salvation. At the very least, you might ask yourself how you might express non-causal conditions without concern for temporal or logical order but rather merely with states of affairs.

    That only the doers of the law will be justified is not very interesting with respect to the cause of justification. The proposition neither affirms nor denies works as a cause of justification. It merely implies that those who will be pardoned will have obeyed the law.

    Maybe you might take this post to any number of Roman Catholics who are acquainted with this sort of stuff.

  202. De Maria said,

    August 21, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Ron said,
    August 21, 2014 at 1:37 am

    I wrote: conditions don’t imply temporal order.

    You responded with: Yes, it does.

    Good works are a necessary condition for salvation simply implies that the non-existence of Good works guarantees the non-existent state of salvation. Good works are a sufficient condition for salvation simply implies that good works guarantee that one is in a state of salvation. At the very least, you might ask yourself how you might express non-causal conditions without concern for temporal or logical order but rather merely with states of affairs.

    That only the doers of the law will be justified is not very interesting with respect to the cause of justification. The proposition neither affirms nor denies works as a cause of justification. It merely implies that those who will be pardoned will have obeyed the law.

    Maybe you might take this post to any number of Roman Catholics who are acquainted with this sort of stuff.

    The concept is very simple. St. Paul puts it this way:

    Galatians 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

    That is very straight forward.

    Jesus puts it this way:

    Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    God saves only those who do His will. Only those who keep His commandments.

  203. Bob S said,

    August 22, 2014 at 1:00 am

    The righteousness of God without the law is received through the Faith of Jesus Christ as it says below. That Faith is taught by the Catholic Church, which is the institution which Jesus Christ established in order to spread His Faith.

    Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:

    The righteousness of God is therefore received in Baptism. Because this is what Jesus Christ commissioned the Church to do. Make disciples of the world, teach them all He commanded and Baptize them.

    Res ipsa loquitur. The thing speaks for itself. Justification by faith alone or justification by baptism are the same thing according to our cocky and verbose romanist.

    Very well, here’s another verse for those deluded enough to think that they understand well enough, thank you very much.

    Titus 3:10  A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject.

  204. De Maria said,

    August 22, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Bob S said,
    August 22, 2014 at 1:00 am

    Res ipsa loquitur. The thing speaks for itself. Justification by faith alone or justification by baptism are the same thing according to our cocky and verbose romanist.

    Very well, here’s another verse for those deluded enough to think that they understand well enough, thank you very much.

    Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject.

    Justification by faith alone is a heretical doctrine which contradicts Scripture.

    James 2:24 King James Version (KJV)

    24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    Who’s the heretick?

  205. September 4, 2014 at 10:12 am

    DeMara, you got one verse compared to 6000 that say we are justified by faith alone. And the verse in James is talking about how faith is justified. He uses it in a completely different way. The verse that should keep you up at night is Romans 10:1 where Paul is praying for the Jews who were trying to be justified by there own righteousness in some way. He is praying for there salvation. 10:4 Christ is the END of the law for righteousness to all who BELIEVE. Not the beginning of the law for righteousness as you believe.

  206. De Maria said,

    September 4, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    September 4, 2014 at 10:12 am

    DeMara, you got one verse compared to 6000 that say we are justified by faith alone.

    Kevin, quote even two verses that say we are justified by faith alone.

    Here’s the verses that I see:

    James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

    James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    Please produce two with the words, “faith alone”.

    And the verse in James is talking about how faith is justified.

    No it isn’t.

    Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    He uses it in a completely different way. The verse that should keep you up at night is Romans 10:1 where Paul is praying for the Jews who were trying to be justified by there own righteousness in some way. He is praying for there salvation. 10:4 Christ is the END of the law for righteousness to all who BELIEVE. Not the beginning of the law for righteousness as you believe.

    I don’t pit one verse against another. Every verse in Scripture is explained perfectly in Catholic Doctrine. James 2:24 does not fit under your doctrines of men. That is why Luther wanted to cast the epistle of James from the Bible:

    We should throw the epistle of James out of this school, for it doesn’t amount to much. It contains not a syllable about Christ. Not once does it mention Christ, except at the beginning. I maintain that some Jew wrote it who probably heard about Christian people but never encountered any. Since he heard that Christians place great weight on faith in Christ, he thought, ‘Wait a moment! I’ll oppose them and urge works alone.’ This he did.
    (Luther’s Works 54, 424)

  207. Ron said,

    September 4, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Please produce two with the words, “faith alone”.

    As soon as the one word Trinity is produced or if you prefer, purgatory. Pope maybe? Come now… be reasonable, DM. Do you construct all your doctrines from single verses? How about any of them? Double standard?

  208. roberty bob said,

    September 4, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    in response to #207 . . .

    How many verses does one need in order to construct a particular doctrine?

    A single verse will do, if that verse is true.

    So, what verse is it now to which you object?

  209. Ron said,

    September 4, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Nobody here objects to any verse. Professing Christians disagree over interpretation. Either it was needful to point this out to you or else you weren’t interested in saying anything relevant. Either way, it’s a lost cause.

  210. De Maria said,

    September 4, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Ron said,
    September 4, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Please produce two with the words, “faith alone”.

    As soon as the one word Trinity is produced or if you prefer, purgatory. Pope maybe? Come now… be reasonable, DM. Do you construct all your doctrines from single verses? How about any of them? Double standard?

    It is Protestants who require explicit texts. Therefore, I am holding you to your own criteria.

    When I talk about Purgatory, Protestants say, “Where is the word, Purgatory in Scripture?”

    Yet, when asked to provide an explicit text for Sola Fide, you balk and say you don’t need one.

    Is there an explanation for this seeming discrepancy?

  211. Ron said,

    September 5, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Is there an explanation for this seeming discrepancy?

    Yes, there is an explanation. Your discrepancy is due to your superficial treatment of this whole subject. In particular, you are now imposing the tactics of one group upon another. Let me guess, these Protestants you’re used to talking to are also waiting for the rebuilt temple and the rapture in order that Jesus might set up a kingdom in Israel.

    When I talk about Purgatory, Protestants say, “Where is the word, Purgatory in Scripture?”

    This Protestant doesn’t ask for single texts, let alone single words, to prove doctrine because this Protestant realizes that doctrine cannot be derived this way. I’m hardly unique on this matter of interpretation. At the very least, any doctrine that would be derived from any particular text needs to comport with the whole of Scripture.To behave otherwise is hazardous and not Reformed.

    I don’t pit one verse against another. Every verse in Scripture is explained perfectly in Catholic Doctrine.

    Assertions aren’t very interesting, like this one: DM never argues anything.

  212. De Maria said,

    September 5, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Ron said:

    Ron said,
    September 5, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Yes, there is an explanation. Your discrepancy is due to your superficial treatment of this whole subject….

    I don’t think I’m treating this subject superficially. I was talking to Kevin and handling his arguments as deeply (or superficially) as he delves into a matter. Kevin is one of those who will ask, “Where is purgatory in Scripture?”

    But now you’ve entered the discussion. How would you like to proceed? Do you want to go along Kevin’s lines? He claimed that there are 6000 verses proving faith alone (#205)? Or would you like to take another tact?

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  213. roberty bob said,

    September 5, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    Someone wants to know where to find purgatory in Scripture?

    Read about the cleansing-by-fire described by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. This fire will test the quality of each man’s work [the work we do as builders who build upon our firm foundation, Jesus Christ].

  214. Don said,

    September 6, 2014 at 2:21 am

    roberty bob 213,

    Please pay attention to what Ron is saying: “Doctrine cannot be derived … [from] single texts, let alone single words.”

    Thus, offering a single text, let alone one which has almost nothing in common with the Catholic doctrine of purgatory, is not much of an argument.

  215. Tim Harris said,

    September 6, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Right. Purgatory is grounded and based in temporal punishment for sin, as can easily be shown from Tradition and the canon law. This is not at all compatible with the notion of “time and heat” needed for cleansing. For, the latter would be determined by the degree of cleansing needed, and thus could not be affected by the treasury of merits cashed out in the form of indulgences.

  216. September 6, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Tim, as we know the real Roman error is there inability to understand the finality and complete efficacy of the atonement. Christ accrued all the efficacy necessary to put sin away. Hebrews says it perfected us and sanctified us. He obtained salvation, redemption,reconciliation, adopt, by purging all our sins. In Rome his atonement isn’t finished. He is still on the cross and Catholics are relieving His ongoing sacrifice by their own sacrifice for their sins. They take from him what exclusively belonged to Him and was accomplished perfectly. Yes, his Priesthood is applying this perfect sacrifice on our behalf as we sin. But there isn’t anything lacking in that sacrifice which put sin away at the consummation of the ages. To believe His atonement and incarnation are still be finished thru the acts of a church is of no effect. For how can a savior who is still on the cross as an eternal victim secure anyone’s salvation. 1 corinthians 15 Paul says if Christ has not risen our faith is useless and we are still in our sins. If catholics don’t trust Christ’s perfect sacrifice to forgive their sins past, present and future, then they have no faith according to the writer of hebrews. The once and for all perfectness and accrued efficacy by one perfect sacrifice must be believed. And Rome doesn’t believe it. They are only forgiven past sins and future sins, but not in the sense of temporal punishment which they must atone for themselves. This makes an all encompassing and perfect sacrifice none effect. Its a false gospel.

  217. roberty bob said,

    September 6, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    in reply to #214 [w/ reference to #213] . . .

    So, there is a rule in the Reformed World which states that no doctrine can be made on the basis of a single text. So, if there is only one place in Scripture where a truth is taught, then that truth can never be put forth as a biblical doctrine [teaching]. That’s what I’m hearing you say.

    On that basis, then, 1 Corinthians 3:13 cannot be taught to the church.

    What do you do with it then? The text speaks of a Day when the true nature of our work is revealed. Paul says that all of our work will be tested by fire do reveal the true nature / quality of our work, and that some of us will have our work revealed as gold and precious stone while others among us will have our work revealed as wood, hay, and stubble.
    This is a cleansing / purifying [purging] fire.

    How does a Reformed Protestant pastor teach this text to his congregants? Does he dare to say that because there are multiple Scriptures which teach that those justified by faith will be given an exemption on Judgment Day, they will not be required to pass through the purging fire of 1 Corinthians 3:13?

  218. Ron said,

    September 6, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    So, the revealing of works by fire actually means a purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven? And we find all that in one verse?

  219. Ron said,

    September 6, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Surely not. I was given this at conversion. :)

    Seriously, I’m grateful for the reminder. Like with many of us, this was a journey for me as well. What is striking is that we see so many more Baptists come to embrace infant baptism than we see *evangelical* Paedobaptists renouncing their position. Same thing with the teaching of predestination. I filter Catholic Paedos out of the observation since typically they have not begun the process of progressive sanctification. So, if they get converted and move immediately to a baptistic ecclesiology, as we so often see, they’re starting their true spiritual journey as Baptists. The point being, the move toward a Reformed view coincides with maturity through sanctification. I believe it’s causal.

  220. Ron said,

    September 6, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    My last post is disconnected because it was intended for another thread. Not sure that even needs to be said though since it would appear that non-sequiturs have come to be expected.

  221. roberty bob said,

    September 6, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    in reply to #218 . . .

    I told you what I found in that one verse. I only pointed out what is found in that verse. If the works of wood, hay, and stubble burn up in the fire, then I would call that a purifying fire. You, and others, may call it something else. I take it that the Lord does not want us bringing works of wood, hay, and stubble into the Life to Come . . . so they are purged away. The works of gold remain.

    Have at it.

  222. Ron said,

    September 6, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    So, the text has not become a pretext for your theology. You haven’t leaped from the mere revealing of the quality of one’s works to a full fledged doctrine that contemplates (i) purging unrighteousness; (ii) transformation unto holiness; (iii) temporal punishment; and (iv) satisfaction for sin (that can be assisted by the alleged mission of the mass and other superstitions). Glad to hear it.

    Let’s pretend no longer that any bit of this can be found in the text you’ve cited. Any bitwould include anything you might find except a revealing of the quality of one’s works.

    So, restricting yourself to the text, what sort of premises can you put forth that leads to your conclusion from the aforementioned revealing of works?

  223. Ron said,

    September 6, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    I take it that the Lord does not want us bringing works of wood, hay, and stubble into the Life to Come . . . so they are purged away. The works of gold remain.

    To say that we don’t bring our wood, hay and stubble into glory needs to be elaborated upon. In what sense does one “bring” his past works anywhere and how are past works “purged away”? The only way to make sense of this is to interpret this purging as relating to the Savior’s work. Do you mean “purge” in that way? If so, then how does the revealing of works satisfy justice and propitiate wrath? Secondly, how does one find satisfaction and propitiation from the text?

    Have at it.

  224. Ron said,

    September 6, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    I take it that the Lord does not want us bringing works of wood, hay, and stubble into the Life to Come . . . so they are purged away. The works of gold remain.

    To say that we don’t bring our wood, hay and stubble into glory needs to be elaborated upon. In what sense does one “bring” his past works anywhere and how are past works “purged away”? The only way to make sense of this is to interpret this purging as relating to the Savior’s work. Do you mean “purge” in that way? If so, then how does the revealing of works satisfy justice and propitiate wrath? Secondly, how does one find satisfaction and propitiation from the text?

    Have at it.

  225. roberty bob said,

    September 6, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    #222, #223, #224 . . .

    I never said a word about the purging, purifying fire satisfying justice, propitiating wrath, or being a punishment. The text says that there is a Day when the works of Christians are revealed when put through the fire; some Christians will see that their works emerge as gold while others see their works consumed by the fire — even as their own life is spared.

    Were I to preach this text, I would say that at the Last Day we will all be judged according to what we have done during our bodily lifetime. We should therefore take care that we build upon Jesus Christ, who is the foundation of our Faith, so that what we have done will be of enduring value for the Kingdom of our Lord. Sadly, some of our brothers and sisters will find that they have not been careful to build well upon their Faith’s Foundation. We must all take heed.

    No doubt you read this text differently.

  226. Ron said,

    September 6, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    So, again, what do purge and cleanse mean and how do you derive those concepts from a text that speaks of revealing the quality of one’s works?

  227. Tim Harris said,

    September 6, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Roberty, in #213 you tied that verse to “purgatory.” It certainly seemed like a reasonable assumption to suppose you meant Purgatory as taught by the Roman assembly, not some private interpretation.

  228. Ron said,

    September 6, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    All in good time, Tim.

    I am interested to see whether RB is going to use purgatory-consistent terms for cleansing and purging given the recent back peddling.I can’t imagine otherwise but I’ve been surprised too many times before for me to have an opinion.

  229. roberty bob said,

    September 6, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I have stated before that I am not a Roman Catholic. Even so, the doctrine that no one who [or nothing that] is impure will enter the heavenly kingdom is biblical. There are biblical reference to purifying fire [in both OT and NT]. Some early church fathers have written on this commonly held belief that all who enter the heavenly kingdom must go through purifying fire for cleansing [or purging] of sin [or impurity].

    It is no surprise that imagination — especially medieval imagination — would take hold of the basic biblical concept and run with it. Look at how much fun Jonathan Edwards had with the doctrine of hell! Don’t tell me that he didn’t run beyond what was written in the biblical text.

    All I have done is answer your question: Where in the Bible do you find a basis for purgatory? I gave one verse / one passage commonly cited by Roman Catholics and others in support of the doctrine, which goes as follows:

    No impure person or thing may enter the Heavenly City
    All persons who would enter must therefore be purified.
    All persons [with their works] must pass through God’s purifying fire.

    I thought all Christians are in basic agreement with this biblical teaching. I had no idea that I was espousing a private point of view.

  230. Ron said,

    September 6, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    You referenced one verse saying we can find purgatory taught therein. When pressed on how, you denied speaking in terms of satisfaction and all the rest. When asked what you meant by purification and cleansing you’ve not answered.

    All I have done is answer your question: Where in the Bible do you find a basis for purgatory? I gave one verse / one passage commonly cited by Roman Catholics and others in support of the doctrine, which goes as follows:

    You’re just not speaking the truth. You wrote:

    “Someone wants to know where to find purgatory in Scripture?

    Read about the cleansing-by-fire described by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. This fire will test the quality of each man’s work [the work we do as builders who build upon our firm foundation, Jesus Christ].”

    Your words mean that purgatory is taught in the passage. Now you say that you were merely putting forth another Religion’s support of purgatory from the text. As Tim pointed out, it was reasonable to assume that you yourself found the RC doctrine taught in the text.

    So, once again, when you refer to cleansing and purification what do you mean if not the RC meaning of those words as they apply the doctrine you originally said is taught by that single text?

  231. De Maria said,

    September 6, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Tim Harris said,
    September 6, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Right. Purgatory is grounded and based in temporal punishment for sin,

    Correct.

    as can easily be shown from Tradition and the canon law.

    This is not at all compatible with the notion of “time and heat” needed for cleansing.

    Since it is God doing the cleansing, why would any time be involved? However, heat is produced by fire, is it not?

    Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

    For, the latter would be determined by the degree of cleansing needed,

    We leave that to God.

    and thus could not be affected by the treasury of merits cashed out in the form of indulgences.

    God knows how to apply the merits.

  232. De Maria said,

    September 6, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    September 6, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Tim, as we know the real Roman error is there inability to understand the finality and complete efficacy of the atonement. Christ accrued all the efficacy necessary to put sin away.

    This is what Scripture says:

    Colossians 1:24 King James Version (KJV)

    24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

    And again:

    1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

    Hebrews says it perfected us and sanctified us.He obtained salvation, redemption,reconciliation, adopt, by purging all our sins. In Rome his atonement isn’t finished. He is still on the cross and Catholics are relieving His ongoing sacrifice by their own sacrifice for their sins.

    His atonement is finished. But ours isn’t.

    1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

    They take from him what exclusively belonged to Him and was accomplished perfectly. Yes, his Priesthood is applying this perfect sacrifice on our behalf as we sin.

    On the contrary, if you continue in sin, you are not in Christ:

    Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

    But there isn’t anything lacking in that sacrifice which put sin away at the consummation of the ages. To believe His atonement and incarnation are still be finished thru the acts of a church is of no effect. For how can a savior who is still on the cross as an eternal victim secure anyone’s salvation. 1 corinthians 15 Paul says if Christ has not risen our faith is useless and we are still in our sins.

    St. Paul also says:
    1 Corinthians 2:2 [Full Chapter]
    For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

    If catholics don’t trust Christ’s perfect sacrifice to forgive their sins past, present and future, then they have no faith according to the writer of hebrews.

    On the contrary, we do believe that His sacrifice is perfect. But in order for us to be saved, we must obey:
    Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    And we must repent of our sins:
    1 Corinthians 6:8-10King James Version (KJV)

    8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

    9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

    10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

    The once and for all perfectness and accrued efficacy by one perfect sacrifice must be believed. And Rome doesn’t believe it. They are only forgiven past sins and future sins, but not in the sense of temporal punishment which they must atone for themselves.

    1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

    This makes an all encompassing and perfect sacrifice none effect. Its a false gospel.

    On the contrary, it is you, who deny the efficacy of the Sacraments and thereby make void the Sacrifice of Christ for your salvation:

    Hebrews 10:25-31King James Version (KJV)

    25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

    26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

    27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

    28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

    29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

    31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

  233. De Maria said,

    September 6, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Ron said,
    September 6, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    So, the revealing of works by fire actually means a purification,

    Correct. Its a metaphor. Just like this one:

    1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

    so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven?

    That is correct. So as to be cleansed of sins.

    And we find all that in one verse?

    The Doctrine of Purgatory is derived from the entire Bible. Old and New Testament.

    2 Macc 12 teaches us that the dead can be released from their sins by our prayers and sacrifices. It also teaches that grace is stored up for us in a Treasury of Merit.

    2 Macc 12:40 And they found under the coats of the slain some of the donaries of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbiddeth to the Jews: so that all plainly saw, that for this cause they were slain.
    41 Then they all blessed the just judgment of the Lord, who had discovered the things that were hidden.
    42 And so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought him, that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten. But the most valiant Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, forasmuch as they saw before their eyes what had happened, because of the sins of those that were slain.
    43 And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection,
    44 (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,)
    45 And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them.
    46 It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.

    2 Samuel 12 teaches us about the payment for temporal effects of our sins:
    2 Sam 12:
    10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

    11 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.

    12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

    13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

    14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

    Notice that, although David was forgiven, he still suffered all the curses pronounced by Nathan.

    Scripture also teaches us about a place described as a prison:

    1 Peter 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

    where the Devil punishes the just:

    Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

    The Catholic Church calls this spiritual prison, Purgatory.

  234. Tim Harris said,

    September 7, 2014 at 12:02 am

    >>Since it is God doing the cleansing, why would any time be involved?

    dM, Because Tetzel told us so.
    As soon as the coin in the coffer rings,
    The soul from purgatory springs.
    He’s there in purgatory until sprung. That implies duration.
    Unless, perforce, you want to say that he is suffering timelessly. But that would be another way of saying the punishment is eternal — which will hardly help your case.
    Plus, how would the temporal jingling of the coin connect to something eternal?
    And of course, I can provide ample documentation apart from Tetzel.

  235. September 7, 2014 at 11:20 am

    DeMaria said “His atonement is finished but ours isn’t.” Well if you have to atone for your sins then His perfect atonement for which Hebrews says perfected us and put isn away is of no effect. You didn’t become flesh and die on a cross, the Word did. You can’t atone your own sins. You misinterpret those verses. Sharing in Christ’s sufferings and Paul says making up his sufferings means perching the gospel and picking up our cross. It doesn’t mean we propitiate our sins by our actions. He purchased our salvation with His blood and it reconciled us past tense Rom.5:9 and justified us past tense 5:1. A Roman sacramental ( OTsacrificial) system to propitiate one’s sins is wickedness and a abomination to His perfect work on the cross which redeemed us. Christ didn’t come to make salvation possible, he saved us. He said He accomplished all that Father gave Him to do. He obtained eternal redemption past tense, and sat down at the right hand of God. Let Him off the cross or He can’t save you. Let Him be Lord and Savior.

  236. Ron said,

    September 7, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    DM,

    If you would stop cloaking your sin and quit suppressing the revelation of God’s holiness you would see the foolishness of: ““His atonement is finished but ours isn’t.” Your profession of faith indicates you do not know God as Father but only as Judge. May the Lord have mercy upon your soul.

    I sincerely hope that no words spoken by any of us here here will be a stumbling block for you to receive the mercy of God extended in Christ to all those who trust in Him alone.

  237. De Maria said,

    September 7, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Tim Harris said,
    September 7, 2014 at 12:02 am

    >>Since it is God doing the cleansing, why would any time be involved?

    dM, Because Tetzel told us so.
    As soon as the coin in the coffer rings,
    The soul from purgatory springs.
    He’s there in purgatory until sprung. That implies duration.

    In Scripture, St. Paul says:

    1 Corinthians 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

    Tetzel was doing the same as St. Paul. He was explaining Purgatory and indulgences in a manner that the uninstructed.

    Unless, perforce, you want to say that he is suffering timelessly. But that would be another way of saying the punishment is eternal — which will hardly help your case.

    Whatever happens in Purgatory, happens in God’s time:

    2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

    Plus, how would the temporal jingling of the coin connect to something eternal?

    Have you not read in Scripture?

    Mark 12:43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

    Do you think the widow’s coin was cast into a temporal treasury? Or into the heavenly Treasury?

    Luke 12:33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

    And have you not also read in Scripture?

    Luke 11:41 But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.

    And again:

    Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

    So, according to Scripture, the jingling of a temporal coin does have eternal consequences.

    And of course, I can provide ample documentation apart from Tetzel

    Looking forward to your producing some non-biblical information.

  238. De Maria said,

    September 7, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    September 7, 2014 at 11:20 am

    DeMaria said “His atonement is finished but ours isn’t.” Well if you have to atone for your sins then His perfect atonement for which Hebrews says perfected us and put isn away is of no effect.

    Scripture says we must suffer as He suffered. He atoned for our sins, we must do so also:

    1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

    You didn’t become flesh and die on a cross, the Word did.

    As an example for us to follow:
    Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

    You can’t atone your own sins.

    Scripture says we can:
    1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

    You misinterpret those verses. Sharing in Christ’s sufferings and Paul says making up his sufferings means perching the gospel and picking up our cross. It doesn’t mean we propitiate our sins by our actions.

    It is pretty clear to me that is exactly what we do. Not only our own sins but those of others:

    Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

    He purchased our salvation with His blood and it reconciled us past tense Rom.5:9 and justified us past tense 5:1.

    It reconciles us and justifies if we participate in His Sacrifice by eating His Body and drinking His Blood.

    A Roman sacramental ( OTsacrificial) system to propitiate one’s sins is wickedness and a abomination to His perfect work on the cross which redeemed us. Christ didn’t come to make salvation possible, he saved us. He said He accomplished all that Father gave Him to do. He obtained eternal redemption past tense, and sat down at the right hand of God. Let Him off the cross or He can’t save you. Let Him be Lord and Savior.

    It is wickedness for anyone to reject His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist because Christ died on the Cross in order to provide you this grace:

    Hebrews 10:25-31King James Version (KJV)

    25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

    28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

    31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

  239. De Maria said,

    September 7, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Ron said,
    September 7, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    DM,

    If you would stop cloaking your sin and quit suppressing the revelation of God’s holiness you would see the foolishness of: ““His atonement is finished but ours isn’t.” Your profession of faith indicates you do not know God as Father but only as Judge. May the Lord have mercy upon your soul.

    I sincerely hope that no words spoken by any of us here here will be a stumbling block for you to receive the mercy of God extended in Christ to all those who trust in Him alone.

    Thanks for your prayer. I accept it in good faith. I pray the same for you and all on this website.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  240. Tim Harris said,

    September 7, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Well since you’re so knowledgeable, De Maria, maybe you can answer a question I haven’t been able to find the answer to.

    In Rome last summer I visited the Basilica of St Paul Outside The Wall, and learned that I could have parlayed that visit into a plenary indulgence, if I combined the visit with sponsoring a mass, confessing my sins to a priest and receiving the sacrament of penance, partaking in the Eucharist, and praying for the “intention” of the pope, along with (at least according to some interpretations) doing several Hail Mary’s and Our Fathers, and an act of penance such as venerating the host for a solid half hour — but only if I also refrained from even venial sins during the duration. It also all had to be done within 20 days I believe.

    The burning question that I can’t get answered, however, is this: do I get to pick which sin would be plenarally indulged, or does someone else get to pick? Cuz I’m thinking, say I boinked my neighbor’s wife, and killed a man, but also did a thousand little venialities. Naturally, I would want my plenary indulgence to be applied to #1 or #2, but I would be nervous that the pope or even Jesus might only indulge one of the little venialities for all that work, and still leave the biggies uncovered.

    I mean, there is an economic ASPECT to all work, even works righteousness, right? The “recommended donation” for the sponsored mass was even spelled out at the basilica. It was actually pretty cheap I thought — only 10 or 20 euros. It’s the value of the time that would be the real cost for me, so I would want to make sure it really gave bang for the buck.

  241. De Maria said,

    September 7, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Tim, ref #240,

    I think you’re just being facetious, but on the off chance that you are serious, Plenary Indulgences are only granted to those who are already in a state of grace. So, technically, no sin is forgiven. That which is remitted is the temporal punishment of sins already forgiven.

    As Scripture says:

    2 Samuel 12: 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

    11 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.

    12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

    13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

    14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

    Note how David had been forgiven, and yet, all the curses pronounced by Nathan still came true. That is the temporal punishment due to sin. Those who have not expiated their sin in this life, will do so in the next.

    As to the rest, you seem to be objecting to the fact that the Catholic Church believes and teaches that Jesus Christ said that a temporal coin given by a faith filled person can have eternal consequences? Is that it?

  242. Tim Harris said,

    September 7, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    No, I was careful not to use the word “forgiveness.” I know it is only about temporal punishment (though how one can be subject to punishment though forgiven is a problem, but I’m bracketing that for the sake of discussing this point).

    The question, again, was who gets to pick which sin will be indulged, if I visit the basilica, confess, receive the Sacrament after adoring it for 1/2 hour, do 6 or more Hail Mary’s and Pater Nosters, chip in 10 or 20 euros, and pray for the intention of the pope, all while refraining from even venial sins, and finishing it within 20 days. I’m worried that, after all that, if the pope or Jesus might grant the indulgence only for, say, having sneezed without covering my mouth last Tuesday at the coffee shop, and so forth, I might never get to the big ones, no matter how many times I do the above.

    And c’mon, trips to Rome are not exactly cheap with the current air-fares.

  243. September 8, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Tim, selling Christ’s merits aren’t cheap these days in Rome!

  244. De Maria said,

    September 8, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Tim Harris said,
    September 7, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    No, I was careful not to use the word “forgiveness.”

    Sorry about the misunderstanding.

    I know it is only about temporal punishment (though how one can be subject to punishment though forgiven is a problem,

    That’s why I produced the occasion of David’s sin with Bathsheba. God forgave David and yet, David remained subject to punishment. If you have a problem with that, you have a problem with God’s authority.

    but I’m bracketing that for the sake of discussing this point).

    No problem.

    The question, again, was who gets to pick which sin will be indulged,

    The problem is with your vocabulary. We don’t use the word, “indulged.” We use the term “remitted”. And it isn’t the sin, since the sin is forgiven already. But the punishment due to sin.

    Lets go back to the Davidic example. The temporal punishment due to his sin was:

    2 Sam 12:10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.11 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. 13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. 14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

    I believe it was on this forum that it was pointed out to me that the first punishment due to David was death, because he was guilty of murder. So, God remitted that punishment.

    But David was still subject to the rest:

    a. evil raised up against him in his own house
    b. his wives taken from him and raped in light of day
    c. the sword never departed his house.
    d. the child died.

    If he had received a plenary indulgence, ALL these punishments would have been remitted.

    Does that make it clearer?

    if I visit the basilica, confess, receive the Sacrament after adoring it for 1/2 hour, do 6 or more Hail Mary’s and Pater Nosters, chip in 10 or 20 euros, and pray for the intention of the pope, all while refraining from even venial sins, and finishing it within 20 days. I’m worried that, after all that, if the pope or Jesus might grant the indulgence only for, say, having sneezed without covering my mouth last Tuesday at the coffee shop, and so forth, I might never get to the big ones, no matter how many times I do the above.

    The first requirement for all of these is faith. Therefore, since you have no faith that God has given the Church the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and with them the authority to lock on earth and in heaven and loose on earh and in heaven, then, no, you would receive nothing.

    But faithful Catholics who accept the Authority that Jesus gave to His Church do receive them.

    And c’mon, trips to Rome are not exactly cheap with the current air-fares.

    You don’t have to go to Rome to visit a Basilica. But if you do so, with the faithful intent of making a pilgrimmage, God will take your sacrifice into account in heaven. If you have faith, of course. But if your wife or someone else is forcing you to go against your will, well…..we can only hope that it would do you some spiritual good.

  245. Tim Harris said,

    September 8, 2014 at 7:34 am

    No dM you still aren’t answering my question. I’ll try to “clean up the vocabulary” but the question still remains. Does the plenary indulgence remit the punishment due to just one sin (or perhaps cluster of related sins, like David’s), or does it remit ALL the punishments that I have racked up at that moment, for ALL the sins of my life to that moment. In other words, when I finish the last hail mary while kneeling at the basilica, and having chipped in enough dough, etc., do I have a COMPLETELY CLEAN SLATE at that moment, or only in respect to one cluster of forgiven sins. If the former, why am I allowed to repeat the process the next day? And if the latter, who gets to pick the sin the punishment for which is remitted? Can we be assured that they get knocked off in order, from the greatest to the least, or is it possible — horror of horrors — that just the opposite is the case?

  246. Vincent said,

    September 8, 2014 at 11:40 am

    De Maria is it true that God remits both our eternal punishment and temporal punishment for sin at baptism, and our eternal punsihment is remetid in penance. So its like Christ paid for 75% of our sin and the rest is us. I found the following explanation from Aquinas. It seems this whole penance theology has its roots in his thinking. Would a catholic agree with the following from Aquinas? Is this a way to look at things?

    “Christ’s Passion is of itself sufficient to remove all debt of punishment, not only eternal, but also temporal; and man is released from the debt of punishment according to the measure to which he participates [participat] in the power [virtutem] of Christ’s Passion. Now in Baptism man participates totally [totaliter] in the power of Christ’s Passion, since by water and the Spirit of Christ, he dies with Him to sin, and is born again in Him to a new life, so that, in Baptism, man receives the total [totius] remission of debt of punishment. In Penance, on the other hand, man shares in the power of Christ’s Passion according to the measure of his own acts, which are the matter of Penance, as water is of Baptism, as stated above (84, 1,3). Wherefore the entire [totius] debt of punishment is not remitted at once after the first act of Penance, by which act the guilt is remitted, but only when all the acts of Penance have been completed.”

  247. roberty bob said,

    September 8, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Some sinners spend years in the Penitentiary. By what requirement do they do that? Is their a doctrine which supports such a penal system?

  248. De Maria said,

    September 8, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Tim Harris said,
    September 8, 2014 at 7:34 am

    No dM you still aren’t answering my question. I’ll try to “clean up the vocabulary” but the question still remains. Does the plenary indulgence remit the punishment due to just one sin (or perhaps cluster of related sins, like David’s), or does it remit ALL the punishments that I have racked up at that moment, for ALL the sins of my life to that moment.

    It remits ALL the punishments that I have racked up at that moment, for ALL the sins of my life to that moment.

    In other words, when I finish the last hail mary while kneeling at the basilica, and having chipped in enough dough, etc., do I have a COMPLETELY CLEAN SLATE at that moment, or only in respect to one cluster of forgiven sins. If the former, why am I allowed to repeat the process the next day?

    Because we are sinners.

    1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    And if the latter, who gets to pick the sin the punishment for which is remitted?

    Its the former. All punishments to that moment of your life are remitted.

    Can we be assured that they get knocked off in order, from the greatest to the least, or is it possible — horror of horrors — that just the opposite is the case?

    I don’t see how that matters. But I have a feeling that God remits them all at once.

  249. De Maria said,

    September 9, 2014 at 12:39 am

    Vincent said,
    September 8, 2014 at 11:40 am

    De Maria is it true that God remits both our eternal punishment and temporal punishment for sin at baptism, and our eternal punsihment is remetid in penance. So its like Christ paid for 75% of our sin and the rest is us…..

    I think you’re confusing the remission of sins and the remission of the temporal punishment of those very same sins which have already been remitted. I’m assuming you read the exchange between Tim Harris and I, so I’ll skip the explanation about the temporal punishment of David’s sin with Bathsheba.

    The Catholic Church teaches that Christ paid for 100% of our sins. ALL of them. Period.

    In Baptism, God remits all our punishment, eternal and temporal.

    But, after Baptism, the grace of Christ’s perfect sacrifice is applied to our sins as we repent of them and confess them in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We are also expected to make reparation for our sins. We must pay the last penny:

    Matthew 5:25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

    We are all on the way to the Final Judgement.

    2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

    So, we must do works which make reparation for our sins:

    Acts 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

    In order to express our sorrow and obtain our salvation:

    2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

    If we don’t pay for them in this life, we will pay for them in the next.

  250. Vincent said,

    September 9, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Whats the point of making reparation for our sins? Is not doing works to merit the forgivesness and mercy of God forgiven? Why do I have to do all these works of penance in order to for God to forgive me? Also what is the difference between temporal and eternal punishment? I found this following explanation taht was given to me by a knowledgeable catholic. Tell me if it agrees with your understanding?

    If one wants to elaborate, “eternal debt” is the result of mortal sin or original sin. It means that we do not have God as our will’s intended final object, and we lack the supernatural capacity to aim for Him in the way we ought (i.e. the beatific vision). In short, it is an aversion away from God that is fundamental and must by implication destroy any orientation to Him.

    Hence it is necessary, if we are to be saved, that God restore us without any merit of our own, since we lack any capacity. He must grant that. Hence in baptism of confession, the merits of Christ’s passion are applied to the sinner as a matter of “operative grace”, i.e. grace that does something to us that we do not contribute to.

    But venial sin (from venia, pardon, hence pardonable) is sin that, while it hinders and distracts us from God as our habitual intention, which we have by grace, does not revoke that intention. Hence we still have sanctifying grace and charity, that is the grace of God. And hence we have a principle within us to repair the damage, but this is still wholly by the grace of God, and hence the merits of Christ, who gave us this capacity and moves and aids us in utilizing it.

    Now we must also observe that in the punishment owed for sin, there is a distinction of guilt and the stain of sin. This stain can only be removed by union with God, that is it consists in the actual spiritual damage and hence needs repair. And this can only happen if the will submits to God. While we are incompetent, then, to bear the punishment of mortal sin through our wills, we can still submit to the punishment owed that arises from the material aspect of sin (e.g., inordinate attachment to food), which is a finite matter. This satisfactory punishment is different than penal punishment (remember the thread on penal substitution). Hence it is voluntary simply speaking, though insofar as it is against the will in some way remains punishment (I want to have that ice cream, but I abstain as part of a fast, e.g. It is voluntary simply speaking, but it still is a denial of my will)

    It is by doing that, then, that we actually perform the acts that correspond to the virtue given to us by grace. And God has ordered our participation in His redemption in this manner, for several reasons: 1. because it is by contrary acts of virtue and denial that we repair the remnant of sin that comes have habitual attachment to sin. If you are a glutton, you might be forgiven your gluttony, but you will still desire to be a glutton unless you practice and build the contrary virtue. 2. Because sin causes scandal, and hence the edification of others requires some penance 3. God’s justice must not be wholly absent. God forgives the guilt of sin, and hence we no longer face penal punishment, but it is fitting that one who has done wrong be punished, even in the context of mercy. 4. It makes us better conformed to Christ, who suffered satisfactory punishment for all of our sins and for all the debts of those sins. What greater way to appropriate those merits and have them applied to us personally, than by imitation, undergoing satisfactory punishment as a way of uniting ourselves to is passion, even if our imitation must necessarily be limited to the material (attachment to creature) and not the formal (aversion from God) aspect of sin.

    In short, yes Christ paid the full penalty. But, to be crude, we must cash in the pledge of grace we have received from Him through acts of our will.

  251. De Maria said,

    September 9, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Vincent said,
    September 9, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Whats the point of making reparation for our sins?

    We work repentance to salvation.

    Is not doing works to merit the forgivesness and mercy of God forgiven?

    Yes.

    Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

    Why do I have to do all these works of penance in order to for God to forgive me?

    God has already forgiven your sins. You do the works of penance because it is the right thing to do:

    Matthew 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

    Also what is the difference between temporal and eternal punishment? I found this following explanation taht was given to me by a knowledgeable catholic. Tell me if it agrees with your understanding?

    If one wants to elaborate, “eternal debt” is the result of mortal sin or original sin.

    That is correct.

    It means that we do not have God as our will’s intended final object, and we lack the supernatural capacity to aim for Him in the way we ought (i.e. the beatific vision). In short, it is an aversion away from God that is fundamental and must by implication destroy any orientation to Him.

    Your friend is right to this point.

    Hence it is necessary, if we are to be saved, that God restore us without any merit of our own, since we lack any capacity. He must grant that. Hence in baptism of confession, the merits of Christ’s passion are applied to the sinner as a matter of “operative grace”, i.e. grace that does something to us that we do not contribute to.

    He’s describing “conversion”. The Council of Trent explains:

    CHAPTER V
    THE NECESSITY OF PREPARATION FOR JUSTIFICATION IN ADULTS, AND WHENCE IT PROCEEDS

    It is furthermore declared that in adults the beginning of that justification must proceed from the predisposing grace of God through Jesus Christ, that is, from His vocation, whereby, without any merits on their part, they are called; that they who by sin had been cut off from God, may be disposed through His quickening and helping grace to convert themselves to their own justification by freely assenting to and cooperating with that grace;….

    But venial sin (from venia, pardon, hence pardonable) is sin that, while it hinders and distracts us from God as our habitual intention, which we have by grace, does not revoke that intention. Hence we still have sanctifying grace and charity, that is the grace of God. And hence we have a principle within us to repair the damage, but this is still wholly by the grace of God, and hence the merits of Christ, who gave us this capacity and moves and aids us in utilizing it.

    That sounds right.

    Now we must also observe that in the punishment owed for sin, there is a distinction of guilt and the stain of sin. This stain can only be removed by union with God, that is it consists in the actual spiritual damage and hence needs repair. And this can only happen if the will submits to God.

    Agreed.

    Luke 11:41 But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.

    When we do something good, in obedience to the will of God, He washes away our stain of sin.

    Matthew 7:21

    21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    While we are incompetent, then, to bear the punishment of mortal sin

    Correct. Only God can do that. And He only does that for those who have built upon the foundation of Christ:
    1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is…..

    Those who have not repented of their mortal sins have defiled their building:

    ….16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

    through our wills, we can still submit to the punishment owed that arises from the material aspect of sin (e.g., inordinate attachment to food), which is a finite matter.

    Agreed.

    This satisfactory punishment is different than penal punishment

    Agreed.

    (remember the thread on penal substitution). Hence it is voluntary simply speaking, though insofar as it is against the will in some way remains punishment (I want to have that ice cream, but I abstain as part of a fast, e.g. It is voluntary simply speaking, but it still is a denial of my will)

    Anyone who has ever fasted ought to understand that statement.

    It is by doing that, then, that we actually perform the acts that correspond to the virtue given to us by grace. And God has ordered our participation in His redemption in this manner, for several reasons: 1. because it is by contrary acts of virtue and denial that we repair the remnant of sin that comes have habitual attachment to sin.

    Yes.

    If you are a glutton, you might be forgiven your gluttony, but you will still desire to be a glutton unless you practice and build the contrary virtue.

    2 Pet 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

    2. Because sin causes scandal, and hence the edification of others requires some penance

    When born again children of God, sin, they give the enemies of God great occasion to blaspheme.

    2 Sam 12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. 14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

    3. God’s justice must not be wholly absent. God forgives the guilt of sin, and hence we no longer face penal punishment, but it is fitting that one who has done wrong be punished, even in the context of mercy.

    Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

    4. It makes us better conformed to Christ,

    1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

    who suffered satisfactory punishment for all of our sins and for all the debts of those sins. What greater way to appropriate those merits and have them applied to us personally, than by imitation, undergoing satisfactory punishment as a way of uniting ourselves to is passion, even if our imitation must necessarily be limited to the material (attachment to creature) and not the formal (aversion from God) aspect of sin.

    1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

    In short, yes Christ paid the full penalty. But, to be crude, we must cash in the pledge of grace we have received from Him through acts of our will.

    Mark 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

    2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

    Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

  252. September 9, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    DeMaria, have you read the letters between Calvin and Cardinal Saldoletto. Read them, they are instructive. Especially Calvin’s retort on justification. You will get a good picture of the issues the Reformer’s really had. And you will soon be a Calvinist when you see jet how much Rome had twisted pure and undefiled religion, the gospel of free grace.

  253. De Maria said,

    September 9, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    September 9, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    DeMaria, have you read the letters between Calvin and Cardinal Saldoletto. Read them, they are instructive. Especially Calvin’s retort on justification. You will get a good picture of the issues the Reformer’s really had. And you will soon be a Calvinist when you see jet how much Rome had twisted pure and undefiled religion, the gospel of free grace.

    The Catholic Church is the Church which Jesus Christ left on this earth to lead all men to faith.

    Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

  254. Vincent said,

    September 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    DeMaria do you agree with that entire excerpt? You seemed to be quoting Bible verses at the very end of your response. I dont know if that means you agree or disagree with it. Kevin it is interesting you bring up Cardinal Saldoletto. Did you know that he conceded alot of points to the reformers and was a remember of an Italian reformed movement called the spirituali??

  255. De Maria said,

    September 9, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Vincent said,
    September 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    DeMaria do you agree with that entire excerpt?

    Yes. Are you vinny213, by the way?

    You seemed to be quoting Bible verses at the very end of your response.

    They were intended to substantiate the preceding statement.

    I dont know if that means you agree or disagree with it.

    I agree.

  256. Vincent said,

    September 12, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    De Maria do our works of penance earn the forgiveness of sin and God’s mercy? Also how is time measured in purgatory?

  257. Vincent said,

    September 12, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    DeMaria can you elaborate the example of David to me? What where you trying to convey?

  258. De Maria said,

    September 12, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Vincent said,
    September 12, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    De Maria do our works of penance earn the forgiveness of sin

    No. They prove your sincerity:

    Acts 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

    2 Corinthians 7:10
    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

    and God’s mercy?

    God’s mercy is shed upon those who keep His commandments:

    Exodus 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

    In the Sacraments:
    Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

    Also how is time measured in purgatory?

    God knows.

  259. De Maria said,

    September 12, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Vincent said,
    September 12, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    DeMaria can you elaborate the example of David to me? What where you trying to convey?

    It is an example of the “temporal punishment due for sin” even after God has already forgiven the sin.

    2 Sam 12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

    Nonetheless, David was punished for the self same sin which God had already forgiven:

    14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

    Note that this and all the other punishments pronounced by Nathan, came to pass:

    9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

    10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

    11 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.

    12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

    All those punishments are chronicled in the following pages of 2 Sam.

    1. An evil was raised in his house when his son raped his sister:

    2 Sam 13:
    11 And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister.

    12 And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly.

    13 And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee.

    14 Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.

    2. Then, the girl’s brother killed his half brother:

    2 Sam 13:29 And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled.

    Anyway, you can read the rest yourself. The point being that God punished David for a sin which He had already forgiven.

    This is called the “temporal punishment due for sin”.

  260. Jim said,

    September 12, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    DeMaria,
    Another good example is case of Miriam. Although God forgave her for challenging Moses, she was struck with leprosy for a while.

  261. Jim said,

    September 13, 2014 at 6:25 am

    De Maria,
    How about the fact that God forgave Hezekiah ” for the sake of his father David” and would mete out the punishment due him on a subsequent generation.
    This shows that God remits temporal punishment on account of the righteous and allows another to bear someone else’s temporal punishment to balance the scales of justice.

  262. De Maria said,

    September 13, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Jim said,
    September 13, 2014 at 6:25 am

    De Maria,
    How about the fact that God forgave Hezekiah ” for the sake of his father David”

    That sounds to me like the treasury of merit. God applied to Hezekiah, the blessings which He had stored up for David.

    and would mete out the punishment due him on a subsequent generation. This shows that God remits temporal punishment on account of the righteous and allows another to bear someone else’s temporal punishment to balance the scales of justice.

    That is true. The sword never departed David’s house. As God said through Nathan:

    2 Samuel 12:10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

    The key there, I think, is that we can bear suffering one for another.

    Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

    But we do not bear the guilt of sin, one for another.

    Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

    When we suffer for the sake of righteousness, we imitate Christ. And our temporal suffering balances the scales of justice:

    1 Peter 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

  263. Vincent said,

    September 16, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Many don’t know this but Bellermine himself taught that Christ imputes his righteousness to believers in justification. This is what Bellermine said:

    “Christ is called our righteousness because he made satisfaction to the Father for us and he so bestows and communicates that satisfaction to us when he justifies us that it may be called our satisfaction and righteousness. It would not be absurd for any one to say that the righteousness and merits of Christ are imputed to us since they are bestowed upon and applied to us as if we ourselves had made satisfaction to God.”

    Bellarmine cannot deny this when he says that Christ can rightly be said to be made righteousness meritoriously “because he satisfied the Father for us, and gives and communicates that satisfaction to us, when he justifies us, so that he can be called our sanctification and righteousness, as if we ourselves had satisfied God”

  264. Jim said,

    September 16, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Vincent,
    Here is what else St. Robert Bellarmine said,

    ““We learn that to be justified by Christ is not to be accounted or pronounced just, but truly to be made and constituted just by the obtaining of inherent righteousness absolute and perfect”(Robert Bellarmine. ‘de Justif. de Controversiis. Tomus Tertius. lngolstadii. 1586. lib. 2. cap. 3).

  265. Cletus van Damme said,

    September 16, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Vincent,

    Imputation/reckoning is not a 4-letter word in RCism. Your citation along with Jim’s are compatible and show Bellarmine not to be some confused crypto-Protestant. Bellarmine’s work on justification has never been fully translated into English afaik (unfortunately) so I’m guessing you’re relying on polemical works like Davenant’s with isolated quotes for your analysis.

  266. Jim said,

    September 17, 2014 at 2:15 am

    Vincent and Cletus, greetings,

    Although the RC Church denies any double justification as suggested at Regensburg, the idea of declaration is acceptable. What is not allowable is for that declaration to be based on a fiction.

  267. Jim said,

    September 17, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Vincent,
    Nathan told David that his sin had caused the nations to scorn the Lord.

    Our sins don’t actually hurt God or detract from His intrinsic glory but the do detract from Hos accidental glory ( our esteem of Him ).

    Penance and acts of reparation restore God’s glory in our eyes.
    Think of this; when you read of someone who performs acts of heroism, charity or self sacrifice ( like M. Theresa ), it restores your faith in man and strengthens your belief in God.
    When we hear of acts of senseless violence or corruption, we say, “how could a good God allow this. He must not exist or care”.

    I hope that helps explain, penance, purgatory, reparation to the Sacred and Immaculate hearts,etc.

  268. Cletus van Damme said,

    September 17, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Jim,

    Right – the assumption is that when imputation or related-sounding concepts are spoken of, it entails the Protestant formulation of ongoing extra nos imputation. Word-concept fallacy 101.

  269. Vincent said,

    September 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    I disagree guys, Bellermine clearly acknowledges that Christ’s satisfaction is imputed to us as if we made satisfaction to God. He explicitly says so in those quotes.

    Here is another one:
    “If the Protestants meant only that the merits of Christ are imputed to us because they are bestowed upon us and we can offer them to God the Father for our sins since Christ took upon himself the burden of making satisfaction for us and of reconciling us to God the Father their opinion would be right.”

  270. Jim said,

    September 17, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Vincent,
    The quote from Bellarmine you give above is quite in sync with Anselm’s view. It doesn’t go further and support penal substitution as later developed by the reformers.

  271. Cletus van Damme said,

    September 17, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Vincent,

    You’re going to have to do a bit more work – I mean it seems you’re trying to imply Bellarmine of all people opposed Trent, or you are instead making the rather uninteresting observation that certain forms of imputation/declaration and satisfaction/substitution are compatible with Trent which is not news as Jim and I acknowledge.

    In your quote – what do you think is meant by “bestowed upon us”. Do you think that means imputed to us forensically via an extra nos alien righteousness? That’s why I’m saying you’re importing the Protestant conception of imputation just because you see similar words. You seem to be leaning on Davenant’s work for your citations of Bellarmine – note what Davenant also writes:

    “[Bellarmine] therefore adds, that ‘Christ is made unto us righteousness, inasmuch as he satisfied the Father for us, and bestowed upon us that satisfaction;’ and in this sense he admits that Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us, ‘provided it be not denied, that there is besides in us inherent righteousness, to which in the just judgment of God, not punishment but glory is due.’ See how the force of truth has almost constrained Bellarmine to bow, though with unwilling neck, to the Protestant doctrine!”

    Davenant recognizes in Bellarmine’s theology what you apparently refuse to (I’ve seen you use these exact same quotes/questions in other forums) – that’s why he interacted with his work – if Bellarmine was just a crypto-Protestant, seems like a waste of ink and odd that he would be raised up as a chief theologian during the Counter Reformation.

  272. Jim said,

    September 17, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Cletus,
    Grretings, I’m sure you know Trent said Christ’s death on Calvary was the meritorious cause of our salvation. However, the instrumental cause is Baptism, the formal cause is the righteousness worked in us by God.
    I think our Protestant hosts and friends conflate the various causalities into one.
    Although they would probably insist that faith (Alone ) is the instrumental cause, in fact, an eternal decree seems to be the instrumental cause. Even the cross ( as meritorious cause ) takes a back seat to this decree.
    As for Bellarmine, I think he is the one who actually coined the term “legal fiction”.

    ( If I have misrepresented the Calvinist position, I am open to correction )

  273. De Maria said,

    September 17, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Vincent said,
    September 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    I disagree guys, Bellermine clearly acknowledges that Christ’s satisfaction is imputed to us as if we made satisfaction to God. He explicitly says so in those quotes.

    Here is another one:
    “If the Protestants meant only that the merits of Christ are imputed to us because they are bestowed upon us and we can offer them to God the Father for our sins since Christ took upon himself the burden of making satisfaction for us and of reconciling us to God the Father their opinion would be right.”

    Vincent,

    Interesting. It is in the Eucharist that we offer the merits of Christ to God for our sins. When do Protestants offer Christ’s merits to God? St. Bellarmine says, “IF they offer Christ’s merits to God for their sins, they are right.”

    Can you explain how you offer the merits of Christ to God for your sins? Otherwise, I don’t see how the Bellarmine quote you provided applies to Protestant theology at all.

  274. Jim said,

    September 18, 2014 at 2:54 am

    DeMaria,
    Yeah, how we view what took place on Calvary ( the meritorious cause ) determines how we view the instrumental cause ( either Baptism or Faith Alone ).
    Penal Substitution automatically nixes any Sacramental causality. That is why Baptism and the Eucharist, which were central to the Fathers, are almost superfluous for our separated brethren.
    Calvinism sees Calvary as a downward movement of the Father’s wrath onto the substitute. We see it as an upward sacrificial gift. There can be no re-enactment of Calvary if they are correct.
    The question is, are they?

  275. September 18, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Romans 4:11 ” that righthteouness might be credited to them” those who belived without being circumcised. 10:4 so there might be righteouness for all those who believe. There is righteouness for those who trust in His finished work, and its His not ours. Roman sacraments are a denial of faith and His righteouness.

  276. September 18, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    We dont offer Christ’s merits, He applies his perfect sacrifice. The Word became flesh, not us. Wecarent qualified to propitiate our sins. Hebrews says He put sin away with one perfect sacrifice, once, at the consumation of thecages and it sanctified and perfected us past tense, because it isnt our inherent righteouness but His perfect righteouness that we receive. He applies the perfect sacrifice on our behalf. We have been justified from all the things that we coulnt be justified thru the Law of Moses. He remembers our sin no more. When David sinned with Batsheba, the Priest told him God had already forgiven him his sins. We have peace because our sins are forgiven past, present, future. Romes system is antigospel.

  277. De Maria said,

    September 18, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    September 18, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    We dont offer Christ’s merits, ….

    Thanks for the admission.

  278. De Maria said,

    September 18, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    You see, Vincent? Kevin’s admission above is the typical Protestant position. St. Bellarmine is providing you Catholic Doctrine which you are misinterpreting. Protestants do not offer the merits of Christ or anything else. They (i.e. You) purportedly believe in an all sufficient sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross. No room for you to offer even His sacrifice. He did it all.

    Whereas, we, Catholics, continue to offer the very same Sacrifice, His merits, which He offered then, to this very day.

  279. September 18, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    DeMaria, what qualifies you to offer sacrifice for your sins. The Word became flesh, you didnt. You cant take from Him what he did perfect, pay for our sins. If Hebrews 10:14 said His one sacrifice perfected us, how can you do anything but receive it by faith. Why do you keep Him on the cross. He is risen, and is Lord and savior. God remembers our sins no more. We offer up spiritual sacrifices as our resonable service of worship. It is finished, eternal redemption has been accomplished, and the true church sings the Amen.


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