Is Faith Itself Imputed as Our Righteousness?

Arminians and Roman Catholics will typically argue that Romans 4:5,9 are talking about faith itself as the thing that is imputed, thus avoiding imputation of an alien righteousness. They will translate it something like “faith is reckoned as righteousness.” Sometimes they will use the word “for” instead of “as” while understanding it of identity. There are three insuperable objections to this understanding of the passage. Here are the two verses (translation mine):

4:5 “To the one who does not work but rather believes in the One justifying the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness.” 4:9 “Does this blessing, therefore, come to the circumcised only or also to the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.”

The first insuperable objection to understanding faith itself as the thing reckoned is the context, especially verses 3-5. It goes like this: if faith is righteousness (in the eyes of the law), then it is a work. Then works justify us, the very thing Paul explicitly denies in verses 3-5, where he contrasts faith and works, and makes a point of saying that it is NOT reckoned as a reward, but rather as of grace. If in the situation of justification, there is anything in us that is righteous as a basis for justification, then it is a reward, and not of grace. There is no way around this problem. Limiting the scope of the works so that they are boundary markers or ceremonial aspects of the law simply doesn’t fly at all. The contrast is between the one working and the one believing. That is a general contrast.

The second insuperable objection is the nature of faith itself, which has to be determined from the rest of Scripture. The Scriptures usually speak of faith as being in someone. Faith is really not a thing inside us. It is rather our connection to God, to Jesus Christ, to the Holy Spirit, to the Triune God. Faith derives its meaning and substance from the object of faith, not from faith itself. Otherwise, we are saved by faith in faith. Faith is rather our connection to God. The analogy I like to use goes like this: if a person is canning something, then he is faced with a situation of having to get jars out of boiling water. Obviously, he cannot use his hands to do so. Therefore, he must use something to grasp hold of the jars. There are tongs manufactured for just such a purpose. They wrap around the lip of the jar so that a person can lift the jar out without any mishap. Faith is like those tongs. Faith is not the jar with the good stuff in it. Faith lays hold of Christ and all His goodness. It connects us to Him. It is another way of saying our union with Christ which the Holy Spirit creates.

The third insuperable objection (and something that is absolutely fatal to Roman Catholic understandings of justification) is the phrase “justifier of the ungodly” in verse 5. Roman Catholic theology NEVER believes that God ever justifies an ungodly person. Nevertheless, in all the ways that count at the time of justification, Abraham was ungodly in his actions (remembering that faith is contrasted with works in verses 3-5). If faith itself is the righteousness, then God would be justifying the godly, not the ungodly. But Paul says here that God is justifying the ungodly. In a future post I will argue the case that this understanding is not a legal fiction.

About these ads

111 Comments

  1. Mark Kim said,

    August 13, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Paul makes such a sharp contrast between faith and works in Romans 4 in regards to how one is reckoned righteous before God it is perplexing to say the least how Roman Catholics cannot see the faith vs. works dichotomy in justification. They support their faith + works doctrine by arguing that faith is not humble trust in Christ alone for salvation but by redefining faith to mean “faithfulness” or “faith that is formed by love.” By reformulating the matter along these lines, the Roman Catholics basically revert back to the works-righteousness soteriology (NOT boundary-marking) of Paul’s first century Judaizing opponents. Paul makes it clear in Romans 11:6 that faith and works are in a contrast and not a continuum when it comes to how sinners are found righteous before God. Thomas Schreiner commenting on Romans 11:6 writes:

    “Once works play a role in gaining salvation, then by definition grace is excluded. Dunn’s (1988b: 639) claim that ‘works of the law’ are intended here here is completely off the mark, for Paul deliberately speaks of ‘works’ in general without introducing the word ‘law,’ in order to prove that human works of any kind play no role in the reception of God’s electing grace (rightly Moo 1996: 678). One should also observe that Paul’s teaching on election is indissolubly bound up with his gospel of justification (Luz 1968: 82). Those who deny unconditional election introduce, albeit subtly, the notion that human works play a role in obtaining justification and the door open for human boasting (so Muller 1964: 86-87)” (Romans, BECNT [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998], p. 583).

  2. August 13, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Well, done, the righteousness is reckoned like the wage as something external. He does not say, to the one who works his work is credited, but he says his wage. Its external. In the same way its not faith but righteousness thats credited.

  3. theoldadam said,

    August 13, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    We are saved by God’s grace. He DECLARES us to be righteous…for Jesus’ sake. Not even our own sakes.
    And this is accessed through faith. Faith is the conduit that brings us this saving grace.

  4. roberty bob said,

    August 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    We do not know what kind of man Abraham was when the Lord first called him. We do know that he lived among idolaters in Ur, and that members of his own extended family kept idols. It is safe to say that Abraham was numbered with the ungodly.

    What counts is Abraham’s response to God when God spoke to Abraham and told him to leave his country, his people, his father’s household in order to go to the Land that God would show him. God’s first word is a command to get up and go. Along with that command came the promise that God would bless Abraham — make him into a great nation — and make him a blessing to all peoples on Earth. How did Abraham respond? He left, as the Lord had told him. He set out, believing the promise of God.

    At this point the ungodly Abraham is shown to be godly. He obeys God’s orders and trusts God’s promises. Abraham has faith and he puts his faith into action. We see the ungodly Abraham now being justified by his faith. We see his faith being reckoned for / credited as righteousness.

    Abraham stands now before the face of God a righteous man for having trusted and obeyed the Lord. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

    ………

    By the way, it is not the case that Arminians and Roman Catholics choose to translate Romans 4:9 “faith is reckoned AS righteousness.” The translators of several prominent English versions have deemed this an accurate translation. This included the NIV, which had notable input of Reformed scholars on the translation board.

  5. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    …. Roman Catholics will typically argue that Romans 4:5,9 are talking about faith itself as the thing that is imputed, thus avoiding imputation of an alien righteousness…..

    Your premise sounds wrong to me.

    Romans 4:5

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

    Abraham was considered just (i.e. righteous) in the eyes of God because he believed God’s promises.

    Romans 4:9

    9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

    Because of his faithfulness, Abraham was found righteous in the eyes of God.

    And both of these correspond to the Sacraments. Wherein, a Catholic who believes God’s promises and because of his faith is reckoned righteous. It is this faith which grants us access to His grace, which is infused in our soul in the washing of regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

    CCC#1127 Celebrated worthily in faith, the sacraments confer the grace that they signify…..

  6. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Mark Kim said,
    August 13, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Paul makes such a sharp contrast between faith and works in Romans 4 in regards to how one is reckoned righteous before God it is perplexing to say the least how Roman Catholics cannot see the faith vs. works dichotomy in justification….

    Its frustrating for Protestants because they have discarded the Sacred Tradition of Jesus Christ. If you had those Traditions, you would see that St. Paul is juxtaposing the Old and the New Testament and expounding on how, in the New Testament, we are justified in the Sacraments.

  7. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    theoldadam said,
    August 13, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    We are saved by God’s grace. He DECLARES us to be righteous…for Jesus’ sake. Not even our own sakes.
    And this is accessed through faith. Faith is the conduit that brings us this saving grace.

    You’re getting close. It is our faith in His promises which gives us access to the grace which He pours into our souls in the Sacraments.

  8. August 13, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Ephesians 2:8 really kills Roman theology, IMHO. Saved by grace thru faith. Then its almost like Paul was anticipating Roman Catholicism. ” not that of yourselves” not of works” Where does that leave them? If I say you can come into my house today, but the decision to let you in will have nothing to do with you or what you do. Hmmm? God doesn’t allow any Roman to smuggle his character into His work of grace.

  9. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    August 13, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Ephesians 2:8 really kills Roman theology, IMHO. Saved by grace thru faith. ….

    Only if you read Eph 2:8 in isolation of the rest of Scripture.

    Lets look at it more closely and in context:

    8 For by grace are ye saved through faith;

    This is a reference to the Sacraments. We are granted access to the grace of God by our sincere believing in His promises.

    and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

    There are two ways of looking at this verse.

    1. The prevenient grace of faith which turns us to God is a free gift to all mankind.
    2. The grace of salvation is a free gift from God to all who show their faith by keeping His Commandments.

    9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    In the Sacraments, we don’t wash our sins away, nor do we save ourselves. But it is the work of the Holy Spirit.

    10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    there are two ways of looking at this verse.

    1st. We are all created through Jesus Christ. From the moment we are conceived. And we are created to do good. We are created to keep God’s commandments. These are the works which God has established for us from the beginning that we should walk in them. That is why He wrote them with His own finger on Tablets of Stone, which is an image of our stony hearts.

    2nd. When we are born again, children of God, we must put away sin and continue doing God’s works.

    Far from killing Catholic Theology, this is a rich exposition of the Spiritual Doctrines of the Catholic Church.

  10. August 13, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Roman Catholic theology NEVER believes that God ever justifies an ungodly person.

    Lane,

    I may be treading on the ground of your next post, but I think at this point there is a need for the discussion of the relationship (logical and temporal) between regeneration and justification. God never justifies someone who is not regenerate (whether or not you are willing to say that regeneration logically precedes justification). This is an important qualification of what you write above as well as an important thing for the RC’s to hear – Reformed theology teaches that God never justifies someone who is in active rebellion against God.

  11. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    The third insuperable objection (and something that is absolutely fatal to Roman Catholic understandings of justification) is the phrase “justifier of the ungodly” in verse 5. Roman Catholic theology NEVER believes that God ever justifies an ungodly person. …

    Ungodly means “mortal”. God is the justifier of mankind.

    Catholic Theology teaches that God justifies repentant sinners.

    Nevertheless, in all the ways that count at the time of justification, Abraham was ungodly in his actions (remembering that faith is contrasted with works in verses 3-5).

    You seem to be defining “ungodly” as an unrepentant sinner. But that would be wrong. Scripture says:

    Genesis 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

    If faith itself is the righteousness,

    That is what you have written. We believe that God judged Abraham righteous because of his faith.

    then God would be justifying the godly, not the ungodly.

    God justifies those who do His will. Not those who don’t (Rom 2:13).

    But Paul says here that God is justifying the ungodly.

    Because Abraham is a mortal man.

    In a future post I will argue the case that this understanding is not a legal fiction.

    Anxious to see it.

  12. John Harutunian said,

    August 13, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    De Maria-
    As an Anglican, I’m probably closer to your position than are most of the bloggers on this site. But regarding Ephesians 2:8 in your post #9:

    >8 For by grace are ye saved through faith;

    >This is a reference to the Sacraments.

    I don’t see where you get this. Up to this point there have been no sacramental references in the book of Ephesians. The first such reference occurs two chapters later: “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (4:5). Two subsequent references in the epistle -the seal of the Holy Spirit (4:30), and the cleansing of the church by the washing of water by the word (5:26)- may also be interpreted as referring to baptism.
    As far as I can see, that’s it.

    Blessings in Our Lord,
    -John Harutunian

  13. theoldadam said,

    August 13, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Word and sacrament.

    Preaching, Baptism, Lord’s Supper.

    “Faith comes by hearing, and the Word of God.”

    Oh…that’s from the Bible!

  14. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    John Harutunian said,
    August 13, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    De Maria-
    As an Anglican, I’m probably closer to your position than are most of the bloggers on this site.

    But regarding Ephesians 2:8 in your post #9:

    >8 For by grace are ye saved through faith;

    >This is a reference to the Sacraments.

    I don’t see where you get this.

    From the wording. In the Sacraments, we are given access to the grace of God by our faith in His promises.

    Up to this point there have been no sacramental references in the book of Ephesians.

    You’re mistaken. The entire New Testament is written on the basis of the Teachings of Jesus Christ.

    Ephesians 2 King James Version (KJV)

    1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

    This is a reference to Baptism.

    2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

    3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

    4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

    5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved

    Another reference to Baptism.

    6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

    7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

    8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

    And, the verse where we begin, continues speaking about the Sacraments.

    11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

    12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

    The term, covenants of promise, is a reference to the 7 sacraments.

    13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

    A reference to the Eucharist.

    14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

    15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

    16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

    Reference to the Eucharist continued.

    The entire Chapter is about the Sacraments.

    The first such reference occurs two chapters later: “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (4:5). Two subsequent references in the epistle -the seal of the Holy Spirit (4:30), and the cleansing of the church by the washing of water by the word (5:26)- may also be interpreted as referring to baptism.
    As far as I can see, that’s it.

    Ephesians 3 King James Version (KJV)

    1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

    2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

    Reference to the priesthood.

    Chapter 3 is entirely sacramental.

    Blessings in Our Lord,
    -John Harutunian

    Blessings to you as well,

    De Maria

  15. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    theoldadam said,
    August 13, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Word and sacrament.

    Preaching, Baptism, Lord’s Supper.

    “Faith comes by hearing, and the Word of God.”

    Oh…that’s from the Bible!

    Did you notice that it doesn’t say anything about faith coming from reading the Bible independently?

    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.

  16. theoldadam said,

    August 13, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Faith can come from reading the Bible.

    What kind of a small god do you think we have?

    If someone reads it…or if someone hears it (‘it’ being the gospel).

    We have a real God who acts for us to create faith in His Word.

  17. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    theoldadam said,
    August 13, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Faith can come from reading the Bible.

    True. But what does Scripture say:

    Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    What kind of a small god do you think we have?

    You must be projecting your own feelings. My God is He in whom we live move and are. What kind of small god do YOU think we have?

    If someone reads it…or if someone hears it (‘it’ being the gospel).

    We have a real God who acts for us to create faith in His Word.

    God grants you faith. But you must act upon it. Faith alone is a false gospel. It is a man-made tradition.

  18. greenbaggins said,

    August 13, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    De Maria, I would like to see your linguistic evidence (more than mere assertion, in other words) that “ungodly” means “mortal.” I have never seen or heard anyone either in person or in writing equate those two things. We are mortal because we are ungodly, so there is a relationship, but certainly not an equation. So look up “asebe” in your standard Greek lexicons and tell me what you find. The reason why Paul uses the word here is that there is no righteousness in the person which is the basis for justification, Andrew’s important qualification above notwithstanding.

  19. De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    De Maria, I would like to see your linguistic evidence (more than mere assertion, in other words) that “ungodly” means “mortal.” I have never seen or heard anyone either in person or in writing equate those two things. We are mortal because we are ungodly, so there is a relationship, but certainly not an equation. So look up “asebe” in your standard Greek lexicons and tell me what you find. The reason why Paul uses the word here is that there is no righteousness in the person which is the basis for justification, Andrew’s important qualification above notwithstanding.

    I don’t study as you do. Lexicons, in my opinion, are of extremely limited value unless one is already fluent.

    Commentary by St. Thomas Aquinas on Philippians:
    3-2

    Concerning this justice which he seeks, he states three things, namely, the method of acquiring it; its author; and its fruit. The method is that it is not obtained except by faith in Christ: “Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1); “The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Rom. 3:22). For the author is God and not man: “It is God who justifies” (Rom. 8:33); “And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness” (Rom. 4:5). Therefore he says, the righteousness from God that depends on faith: “The Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him” (Acts 5:32). The fruit is knowledge of Him and the power of His resurrection and to be in the company of His saints.

    Navarre commentary on Romans 4:5:

    Notice that there is no mention here of any particular group either Jew or gentile. But only that God justifies those who turn to Him:

    The act of faith is the first step towards obtaining justification (= salvation). The Magisterium of the Church teaches that, usually, those who are making their way towards faith predispose themselves in this sense: moved and helped by divine grace they freely direct themselves towards God because they believe in the truth of Revelation and, above all, believe that God, in his grace, justifies the sinner “through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24). This first act of faith moves the person to recognize and repent of his sins; to put his trust in God’s mercy and to love him above all things; and to desire the sacraments and resolve to live a holy life (cf. Council of Trent, De iustificatione, chap. 6). God reckons this faith “as righteousness,” that is to say, as something which deserves to be rewarded. It is not, therefore, good works that lead to justification; rather, justification renders works good and meritorious of eternal life. Faith opens up for us new perspectives.

    St. Thomas commentary on Rom 4:5

    As stated above (Article 3, discussed here) a movement of free-will is required for the justification of the ungodly, inasmuch as man’s mind is moved by God. Now God moves man’s soul by turning it to Himself according to Psalm 84:7 (Septuagint): “Thou wilt turn us, O God, and bring us to life.” Hence for the justification of the ungodly a movement of the mind is required, by which it is turned to God. Now the first turning to God is by faith, according to Hebrews 11:6: “He that cometh to God must believe that He is.” Hence a movement of faith is required for the justification of the ungodly. [ST I-II, Q113, A4]

    By natural knowledge a man is not turned to God, according as He is the object of beatitude and the cause of justification. Hence such knowledge does not suffice for justification. [ibid., ad 2]

    Both Jew and gentile are sinners. Both Jew and gentile must turn to God by faith in order to be saved. God justifies both Jew and gentile. Therefore, “ungodly” in this sense means “mortal man” .

  20. roberty bob said,

    August 13, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    ” . . . faith was imputed unto Abraham for righteousness.”

    The above quote of Romans 4:9 is from the 1599 Geneva Bible, which was read by the Pilgrims and Puritans, heirs of the Protestant Reformation who sojourned to America.

    Do you still want to know if faith is imputed for righteousness?

  21. August 14, 2014 at 12:00 am

    #4 Roberty Bob, very nice of you to provide your interpretation of the Genesis narrative of Abram/Abraham. Too bad it has nothing to do with Paul’s interpretation of the Genesis narrative as found in his epistle to the Romans. Paul says that it was Abraham’s faith in God’s promises that counted for righteousness, not his faithfulness in leaving the land of Ur. Indeed, he contrasts Abraham’s good works (circumcision, offering up Isaac) with his extrospective faith in God’s provision.

  22. August 14, 2014 at 12:04 am

    De Maria, you need to learn the difference between asserting your own commentary on passages and actually arguing, via logic and exegesis, that the passages teach or imply what you say they do. Until you get around to doing so, we have no reason to accept your Roman-tinted opinions on these passages.

  23. August 14, 2014 at 12:06 am

    Mark Kim, you are correct. Some Romanists might want to ride the coattails of New Perspective interpreters in dealing with the Pauline corpus. They should realize that NPP is also fatal to Roman theology.

  24. August 14, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Roberty Bob said By the way, it is not the case that Arminians and Roman Catholics choose to translate Romans 4:9 “faith is reckoned AS righteousness.” The translators of several prominent English versions have deemed this an accurate translation. This included the NIV, which had notable input of Reformed scholars on the translation board.

    There is only so much one can read into the decisions by translators who are rendering the Greek text into English words. The fact is that “eis” is a preposition with a VERY wide range of meaning – no one gets a free pass here. You have to do the hard, sober work of exegesis to establish your interpretation, it cannot be taken for granted. No one gets a free pass based on an English translation.

    If all you can do is point to a few English translations, when Lane references BGAD on this passage, then you are essentially throwing the match.

  25. theoldadam said,

    August 14, 2014 at 2:00 am

    “But you must act upon it.” ( the gift of God)

    Well, DM…when are you going to act upon it? What are you doing for the world that needs you whilst you type away endless hours at the keyboard?

    You are falling way behind. There are prisons to go to. Homeless shelters. Old folks homes.

    And you sit there at your computer telling others that they must act.

    Get real.

  26. Bob S said,

    August 14, 2014 at 2:22 am

    De Maria said,

    August 13, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    John Harutunian said,
    August 13, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    De Maria-
    As an Anglican, I’m probably closer to your position than are most of the bloggers on this site.

    But regarding Ephesians 2:8 in your post #9:

    >8 For by grace are ye saved through faith;

    >This is a reference to the Sacraments.

    I don’t see where you get this.

    From the wording. In the Sacraments, we are given access to the grace of God by our faith in His promises.

    You have to hold your monitor over the votive candle and then the invisible ink appears between the lines. Careful though, you might melt the screen if you dawdle and sound the words out loud instead of moving the screen quickly over the flame.

  27. greenbaggins said,

    August 14, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Good grief, De Maria, is that the best you can come up with? You haven’t even proved that “ungodly” means “mortal” in the sources you quoted, let alone Romans. Take the second Aquinas quotation, for instance. You argue that because it refers to both Jew and Gentile, that therefore it means “mortal.” Too bad Aquinas doesn’t mention Jew and Gentile. The Navarre quote mentions Jew and Gentile, but not the ungodly. And the first quotation from Aquinas actually supports my contention that faith is not itself the righteousness that is imputed. He explicitly says that the justice we seek is obtained by faith. That implies that it is other than faith. So three strikes there, De Maria. None of those quotations help your case at all.

  28. theoldadam said,

    August 14, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Like my pastor says (sometimes) when I tell him of some of my blogesphere discussions or arguments with those who would have us contribute something to our own salvation..”The clay is baked.”

  29. roberty bob said,

    August 14, 2014 at 9:55 am

    #24 in response to David

    It is uncanny how all the prominent English translations agree on Romans 4:9 . . . Abraham’s faith was reckoned [credited] as [for] righteousness.

    Are you saying that serious exegesis [EIS egesis] of Romans 4:9 with the aid of BGAD will yield an entirely different result?

    Are you saying that the best available bible translators who were enlisted to serve on these committees did slipshod work, ignoring BGAD, and that the Green Baggins crew does it better?

    What are you saying?

  30. August 14, 2014 at 10:10 am

    greenbaggins, Joey Henry make a reply good post against Nick’s post on Jason’s blog. Its extremely clear the complete different view of justification for Reformed and Catholics. Reformed being a trust in Christ and His righteousness alone for salvation as opposed to works righteousness accrued by love by the sinner in a system of merit and demerit. ” converted to their own justification” as a reward to their merits and good works” You tell me how that jives with ” not that of yourselves” not a result of works” in Ephesians 2:8. I always apply a rule. Read Roman Catholic doctrine, believe the oppose and arrive at biblical truth. God Bless.

  31. roberty bob said,

    August 14, 2014 at 10:17 am

    at #21 David says this . . . .

    “Paul says that it was Abraham’s faith in God’s promises that counted for righteousness . . . .”

    at #4 I say this . . . .

    “Along with that command [to leave this country and go to the Land that God would show him] came the promise that God would bless Abraham and make him a blessing . . . . How did Abraham respond? He set out, BELIEVING THE PROMISE OF GOD.”

    You agree with me. I have emphasized Abraham’s faith in God’s promise all along — and you may read all of my postings on this — that it was Abraham’s faith in God’s promises that counted for righteousness. Moses said it first. Paul agreed with Moses. And now it is clear that you and I agree with Paul.

    Why, then, are you being so disagreeable?

  32. De Maria said,

    August 14, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    David Gadbois said,
    August 14, 2014 at 12:16 am

    ….If all you can do is point to a few English translations, when Lane references BGAD on this passage, then you are essentially throwing the match.

    Are you placing BGAD over Scripture?

    It seems to me that those who claim that real, live, fluent, Greek speakers haven’t translated the words of Scripture properly or in context, need to prove that they understand the language better than said translators.

    Now, rb has shown that several versions of the Bible are translated the same way. Are we to believe all those folks wrong and you are right simply because you say so?

  33. De Maria said,

    August 14, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    greenbaggins said,
    August 14, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Good grief, De Maria, is that the best you can come up with? You haven’t even proved that “ungodly” means “mortal” in the sources you quoted, let alone Romans.

    I thought I did.

    Take the second Aquinas quotation, for instance. You argue that because it refers to both Jew and Gentile, that therefore it means “mortal.”

    Jews and gentiles aren’t mortal? Is there another category of “mortal man” besides Jew and gentile? I’m all ears. The way I’ve always understood it, if you’re not a Jew, you’re a gentile. But, correct me if I’m wrong.

    Too bad Aquinas doesn’t mention Jew and Gentile. The Navarre quote mentions Jew and Gentile, but not the ungodly.

    Its in reference to the verse being discussed, therefore it is in reference to the ungodly.

    And the first quotation from Aquinas actually supports my contention that faith is not itself the righteousness that is imputed.

    Hm?

    “And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness” (Rom. 4:5).

    You’ve said this several times, that, “faith is not itself the righteousness that is imputed.” And I’m having a great deal of trouble understanding your wording.

    Are these statements each true? And are these statement equivalent, in your view?

    God judged Abraham righteous because of his faithfulness. T or F

    God credited Abraham with righteousness because of his faith. T or F

    I’m not asking some trick question. I believe they are both true and equivalent one to the other.

    He explicitly says that the justice we seek is obtained by faith.

    True. But further explains that it is not a “weak” faith, but a “strong faith” which performs. Rom 4:19-22

    That implies that it is other than faith.

    True. But no one here ever said that faith means righteousness.

    When Scripture says that Abraham believed God and God credited to him righteousness, we understand that to mean that God judged Abraham to be a righteous man BECAUSE of his faith.

    It is, in fact, you, who use the word “impute” to mean some sort of transference.

    We don’t. We believe God looked at Abraham’s heart and said, “this man is righteous.” God judged Abraham righteous. God imputed righteousness to Abraham. Because of his belief in God’s promise. Because of his faith.

    So three strikes there, De Maria. None of those quotations help your case at all.

    Well, I think they do. I certainly don’t think that reading a lexicon and inserting out of context definitions into the text is helping anything.

  34. De Maria said,

    August 14, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    theoldadam said,
    August 14, 2014 at 2:00 am

    “But you must act upon it.” ( the gift of God)

    Well, DM…when are you going to act upon it? What are you doing for the world that needs you whilst you type away endless hours at the keyboard?

    You are falling way behind. There are prisons to go to. Homeless shelters. Old folks homes.

    And you sit there at your computer telling others that they must act.

    Get real.

    Have you ever heard of multi-tasking?

  35. theoldadam said,

    August 14, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    I do know it’s awfully hard to get out there and DO all those things that Jesus told you to do whilst you do theological battle with people who trust in God’s promises for the ungodly…alone.

  36. Nick said,

    August 15, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Lane,

    Either I missed it or else you (and others) are refusing to address it, but why is it that I cannot get anyone to interact with Romans 4:18-22? It’s part of Romans 4, and Paul himself is giving us his own interpretation of Genesis 15:6.

    18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness[c] of Sarah’s womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.”

    Here Abraham’s Faith also includes Hope. His faith did not weaken when he considered that he and his wife were too old to have children, but rather he grew strong in faith and gave glory to God. THAT is why his faith was regarded as righteousness.

    It’s really not rocket science here. All throughout the Gospels, Jesus heals and blesses people because they believed He could heal them. Jesus each time is *pleased* to reward/bless their act of faith in Him.

    Nowhere in the Bible do I see anything about faith being an instrument in the way you suggest. It’s an assumption. The Bible does clearly say that we receive the indwelling of Jesus in our hearts (e.g. Eph 3:17) and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our hearts by faith (Gal 3:1,14; 4:5), but that’s not imputation.

    Once you become open to the idea that Paul wasn’t opposing Pelagianism, this becomes so much clearer. In fact, Paul’s opponents were claiming Unconditional Election (Rom 4:1; 9:7f; Gal 4:28f; Phil 3:4f; Mat 3:9), the opposite of salvation by works. Paul’s opponents, the Judaizers, said it was because God made them born into Jewish lineage, that’s what blessed them. It’s similar to the racist argument of a White person saying they’re better than a Black because God made them born White. There’s no works here, it’s ‘unconditional’. That’s why Paul spends Romans 4 and Galatians 3 talking about how a person truly becomes a child of God, and it’s not biology.

  37. Nick said,

    August 15, 2014 at 12:57 am

    I also want to say, only Catholics believe that God justifies the ungodly, and that’s done by forgiveness. The Reformed view runs into a severe roadblock when you consider the options on the table for “Justifies the Ungodly”:

    (1) God declares legally righteous the legally unrighteous.

    (2) God declares legally righteous the morally unrighteous.

    (3) God declares legally righteous the legally neutral.

    Those are the Reformed options. Notice that none of these options lead to acceptable solutions: (1) is a contradiction, (2) is confusing justification and sanctification, (3) is similar to 1, an error.

    The fact is, God never declares righteous the unrighteous in Reformed theology…that’s the *whole point* of Imputation, so that God can declare righteous the one who (now) has righteousness (Christ’s).

    And exegetically speaking, “justifies the ungodly” (4:6) is equated to “credits righteousness apart from works” (4:6). So “ungodly” here is equivalent to “apart from works”. This draws right from what Paul said in 3:28, “justifies by faith apart from works of the law” (same phrase as 4:6). So the “ungodly” is the one “apart from works of the Law,” i.e. a Gentile, i.e. Abraham was justified prior to circumcision, while he was a Gentile. Hence the thesis/tension between Gentiles and Jews throughout Romans and Galatians.

  38. Bob S said,

    August 15, 2014 at 4:26 am

    Keep pushing that string, Nick.
    Romanists believe that God first sanctifies the ungodly, before he can justify the ungodly. Because he can’t or won’t impute the righteousness of Christ to sinners. That wouldn’t be fair or right.
    But God’s thoughts are not ours and they definitely aren’t yours.

    We’ve seen that demonstrated profusely and will probably see more of it, all because what? Jase needs a sabbatical to finish his book explaining why the dark passages interprets the lighter passages in Scripture. Ergo Rome asks and answers the questions that the reformed were never aware of, before Bryan and team showed up and apprised them of it.

    Maybe he’ll get enough of an author’s advance to buy a copy of Turretin to put under his pillow and hope for a migration of the chrism, due to its proximity.

    And if Phinehas demonstrated a commendable zeal for righteousness, somebody else demonstrates a lack of the same in the pursuit of the truth. Nothing some holy water and repeated trips to the confessional won’t solve, eh?

  39. De Maria said,

    August 15, 2014 at 6:20 am

    theoldadam said,
    August 14, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    I do know it’s awfully hard ….

    Speak for yourself old adam. Its not difficult at all. Christ’s yoke is light and not burdensome at all.

  40. De Maria said,

    August 15, 2014 at 6:38 am

    Bob S said,
    August 15, 2014 at 4:26 am

    ….But God’s thoughts are not ours and they definitely aren’t yours.

    Bob, if you recognize that you don’t understand God, how could you possibly know whether anyone else does or not?

  41. roberty bob said,

    August 15, 2014 at 9:14 am

    About 12 years ago I was a guest worshipper at a United Reformed Church. The sermon was based on one of the psalms which make frequent reference to the righteous, or to the righteous man [as many of the psalms do]. Straightaway the pastor launched into a detailed exegesis to determine the identity of the righteous being referred to in the psalm. As it turned out, no human being satisfied the requirement of a righteousness except for Jesus. So the pastor concluded that even though the psalm spoke of a plurality of righteous persons, there was in fact only one righteous person in view, namely Jesus. All of the godly actions carried out by people of faith amounted to nothing [in this pastor's estimation] because even these godly actions were tainted with sin. So, Jesus is the ONLY doer of righteous deeds, and therefore the ONLY man in the whole world who can be called righteous.

    Well, of course the sermon was uncritically received by the congregation as sound Reformed preaching because the preacher showed us Jesus. It does not matter that the psalms are speaking of ordinary people who trusted in God, and obeyed His laws and precepts. It could not possibly be the everyday people because the faith of ordinary people cannot be reckoned as righteousness.

    After church on the ride home I asked my wife and children if anything in the sermon sounded out of sync with the truth of the Gospel. We had a good conversation about all of these righteous folks who were on the scene long before the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  42. roberty bob said,

    August 15, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Yet, it is true that our Lord Jesus Christ knew no sin. Though tempted, he did not yield but remained faithful. When he was nailed to the cross, the Lord God laid on him the iniquity of us all so that he died as a guilt offering — a sacrifice of atonement. Jesus is the [spotless] Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

    When someone believes in / trusts in Jesus / is baptized into Christ, he or she enters into union with Christ and receives the gracious benefit of forgiveness that accrues from his atoning death and justifying verdict that accrues from his resurrection. What we have is incorporated righteousness. In union with Christ, the believer is blessed with the full benefits of Christ’s dying and rising. According to the pattern, the believer, by faith, dies to sin [puts off / puts to death the misdeeds of the flesh] and lives unto God [puts on the Lord Jesus Christ / is clothed with Christ].

    I know that the Reformed theology makes much of the idea that Christ kept the law [in our stead] so that all of his accrued law-keeping merits could be imputed to our bankrupt accounts so that we have an ample deposit of righteousness in our personal banks. When I read / hear the Gospel story, I am not hearing that transfer / accounting transaction coming through. Rather, I am hearing that we have an incorporated righteousness by virtue of being united with Christ in his death and resurrection.

  43. August 16, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Nick, God justifies the ungodly God credits righteousness apart for works. The antithesis isn’t between circumcision and grace enabled works, but works and believing.

  44. August 16, 2014 at 1:00 am

    Nowhere in the Bible do I see anything about faith being an instrument in the way you suggest. It’s an assumption.

    Nick (#36),

    I’m not sure you understand the point that Lane made in the paragraph where he speaks of a second objection. Some philosophers may attempt to abstract faith as an entity unto itself, but the Scriptures do not do this. Faith as spoken of in the Scriptures holds onto something, it embraces something. Faith always has an object. True faith embraces the promises of the God of Scripture, so it was because of Abraham’s faith in the God of Scripture that God was able to declare Abraham righteous. It was not faith in and of itself which was the basis for God’s declaring Abraham righteous, but rather a true faith in the God of Israel.

    Nowhere in the Bible do I see anything about faith being an instrument in the way you suggest.

    I’m not sure why you are having issues here. Many in Abraham’s day had an abiding faith in the gods of the Canaanites. Abraham rejected these false God’s and he had faith in the God of his fathers. Faith always grabs onto something, and as Lane says, all of Scriptures talk about what this something ought to be. .So why are you questioning faith as an instrument, if all we mean by this is that faith grabs onto some object of that faith?

    So two issues in the passages at hand – 1) Does God use faith apart from works to justify us?, and 2) what is the characteristics of true faith? Let’s make sure we don’t squash these two discussion together as if there is no distinction. The larger context of the Pauline corpus on this matter is that God justifies on faith apart from works. But once we understand this we have to read Romans and the rest of Scripture to determine what the nature of this faith is. You raise the issue of Abraham’s faith not wavering and so on. This is an example of the characteristics of true faith.

  45. roberty bob said,

    August 16, 2014 at 8:52 am

    to Andrew at #44 . . .

    You say. “True faith embraces the promises of God of Scripture, so it was because of Abraham’s faith in the God of Scripture that God was able to declare Abraham righteous.”

    With whom are you arguing? We have been asserting Abraham believed God’s promises, and that Abraham’s faith therefore was reckoned as [or for] righteousness.

    Do you, Lane, and the Green Baggins crew think that we believe that Abraham had what you call “faith itself” which does not attach to God’s promises? That’s silly.

    You say, “he [Abraham] had faith in the God of his fathers.”

    Well, not quite. Abraham IS the original father. Jacob had faith in the God of his fathers Isaac and Abraham. Just to make the distinction.

  46. August 16, 2014 at 9:34 am

    With whom are you arguing?

    RB,

    Let me quote again Nick’s statement that I was responding to:

    Nowhere in the Bible do I see anything about faith being an instrument in the way you suggest..

    So my response is that faith is exactly the “instrument” (although not actually Lane’s term) that Lane speaks of. Read Lane’s third paragraph in his original post. I would think that nobody would have issues with this, but apparently Nick did.

    One of the challenges in the Catholic/Protestant dialogue on this matter is to distinguish what true faith is from what true faith does. My observation is that in many cases the Roman Catholics mush the two topics together, and thus we Protestants point out the distinction that Scriptures make on the matter. True faith will result in certain actions by the individual who has this faith, but those actions don’t become the basis upon which God justifies us. As Ephesians 2 states, we are saved BY faith apart from works, but we are save FOR good works.

  47. Reed Here said,

    August 16, 2014 at 10:05 am

    I think Lane’s point is made simply in Rom 4:16. The promise in view is the promise of the gospel: salvation for the sinner, or as Paul put it earlier in this chapter, justification for the ungodly.

    Notice the relationship in v. 16 between the promise (the gospel) and grace. The promises rests on, it depends on, is secured by, grace. Grace us solely a function of God; it us not of man at all. Notice the relationship then between the promise and faith in the verse. It can’t be one in which the promises rest on the faith because that relationship is already taken by grace. The only relational role left for faith in this verse is evidential.

    Thus faith cannot be the ground of justification (i.e., the particular benefit of the promise, the gospel, in view). That is the function of grace in this verse. All that is left for faith’s relational role is the reception of the promise. In this verse since since faith is evident in Abraham grace must be too. His faith is reckoned righteousness because it is the evidence the promise had been received – via the grace!

    Faith is not the ground of justification, contra the Arminian and RCC.

  48. roberty bob said,

    August 16, 2014 at 11:33 am

    at #47 . . .

    “His faith is reckoned righteousness because it is the evidence the promise had been received – via the grace!”

    Who [on this post] is denying God’s grace as the ground? No one that I know of.

    We do, however, continue to affirm that Abraham’s faith was reckoned as righteousness. God took his faith into account, and judged it so.

  49. De Maria said,

    August 16, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Hello to all,

    I’m interested to the answer to these questions.

    Are these statements each true? And are these statement equivalent, in your view?

    God judged Abraham righteous because of his faithfulness. T or F

    God credited Abraham with righteousness because of his faith. T or F

    I’m not asking some trick question. I believe they are both true and equivalent one to the other. But I’m asking because it seems to me that Protestants see the words, “credited with righteousness” to means something other than “judged righteous”.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  50. Bob S said,

    August 17, 2014 at 1:35 am

    40 Bob, if you recognize that you don’t understand God, how could you possibly know whether anyone else does or not?

    This is a fail, DM. We is not paying attention. Nothing new of course, but it does get old.

    The Bible tells us God’s thoughts are not ours:

     For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. Isaiah 55:8

    As well as what God’s thoughts actually are. See the rest of the chapter.

    As in he justifies the ungodly before they become godly.
    Which is why it is called the good news/the evangel.

    If we have to be good before we are saved, nobody will be saved. Rom 3:9-20.

    If we have to help by doing Spirit infused good works ala the Roman paradigm, so God can judge us righteous, then it is a reward and not of grace.

    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,
    Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
    Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Romans 4:2-8

    But despite the perspicuity, i.e. clarity of the Scripture above, not only is the carnal mind at enmity with God Rom. 8:7, the gospel is both a savour unto life and a savour unto death 2 Cor. 2:15,16. It both softens and hardens hearts, however much the self righteous naturally religious man rages against that fact.

     He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. John 12:40 (Which is a quote of Is. 6:10, cf. also Matt. 13:15, Acts 28:27)

    IOW the Roman pill is not the red pill. It is the blue pill by which the self righteous natural man, dead in his sins and blind of that fact to boot, continues to persuade himself that all is well with both his soul and his religion.

    49 Rome thinks the first statement is true. Protestants hold the second to be true.
    And so far, we haven’t seen that Scripture teaches the first, which is to put it mildly.

    cheers

  51. WA Scott said,

    August 17, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Luther did affirm that God was pleased by and imputed Abraham’s act of faith itself for righteousness (and Calvin notes likewise that God is pleased by and imputes for righteousness all the good works of the believer–eg Psalm 106:31). Further they affirm that faith and the good works of faith are rewarded with eternal life (eg Matt 25). However, they affirmed with Anselm, Bernard of Clairvaux etc that it is only on the basis of the infinite merits of Christ received by faith that all these things are true. God Bless.

  52. roberty bob said,

    August 17, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    responding to #51 . . . Is this [see paragraph below] what I am hearing? I’m curious because it sounds like I am hearing a member of the Green Baggins Gang affirming that “faith itself is credited for righteousness.”

    As it turns out, God is pleased with Abraham’s act of “faith itself”, and also imputed Abraham’s act of “faith itself’ for righteousness. Luther says so. And Calvin chimes in to say that God is pleased with all of the good works of the believer, and that God, in fact, imputes all of the believer’s good works for righteousness. All of these things are true insofar as “faith itself” and “all the good works” have their basis in “the infinite merits of Christ.”

    Question: What are “the infinite merits of Christ?” Please explain. Where in the Bible can I read of them? References please.

  53. Nick said,

    August 17, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Andrew McCallum,

    How do you interpret Romans 4:18-22?

    And how do you interpret a similar construct found in Romans 2:26,

    26 So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be **regarded as** circumcision?

    Here in “regarded as” is the same Greek words logizomai and eis.

    Surely the point here is not to say uncircumcision is an ‘empty hand’ that reaches out and receives an alien circumcision. You can say the uncircumcision *itself* is graciously regarded as something it isn’t, but then you’d have to say the same for faith, that faith itself is graciously regarded as righteousness even if it isn’t. In other words, the “intrumental” interpretation doesn’t really make sense nor does the Bible speak like this.

    Now consider that Abraham is the man of 2:26 and see how beautifully things line up: Abraham is the uncircumcised (i.e. ungodly=notJewish) man who by faith working through love keeps the precepts of the law (i.e. fulfills the law, cf Rom 13:8-10; Gal 5:14), and so his uncircumcised status (i.e. ungodly, not Jewish) is reckoned as having inwardly the righteousness which outward circumcision is supposed to signify. It lines up with Romans 4:9ff. Abraham was reckoned as circumcised prior to being physically circumcised, because he was already Spiritually circumcised by divine act of the Holy Spirit, Rom 2:29

  54. WAScott said,

    August 17, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Christ’s infinite merit comes from His active and passive obedience as the God-Man poured out for us in His shed Blood.

  55. roberty bob said,

    August 17, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    in reference to #54 . . .

    I take it that “infinite merit” is a theological term. It’s not a biblical term. I don’t find it in any biblical text. You tell me where it comes from, but I want to know what it is. Is it the the accumulated store of Christ’s sinless deeds / works done in perfect obedience to God’s Law? If it is that, then where is it explicitly mentioned that these infinite merits are stored up for forgiven believers in order to be deposited in their account? I’m not getting an answer to that specific question. So . . . . ?

  56. De Maria said,

    August 17, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Bob S said,
    August 17, 2014 at 1:35 am

    This is a fail, DM.

    Yours, Bob.

    We is not paying attention. Nothing new of course, but it does get old.

    I agree.

    The Bible tells us God’s thoughts are not ours: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. Isaiah 55:8

    All true. But you said to Nick:

    But God’s thoughts are not ours and they definitely aren’t yours.

    And my question remains unanswered. If you admit that you don’t understand God, how could you possibly know whether Nick does or not? You don’t.

    As well as what God’s thoughts actually are. See the rest of the chapter.

    As in he justifies the ungodly before they become godly.

    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.

    Which is why it is called the good news/the evangel.

    James 2:24King James Version (KJV)

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

    If we have to be good before we are saved, nobody will be saved. Rom 3:9-20.

    1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? ….

    If we have to help by doing Spirit infused good works ala the Roman paradigm, so God can judge us righteous, then it is a reward and not of grace.

    Galatians 6:6-8King James Version (KJV)

    6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

    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.

    2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

    Now, he asks, “did Abraham justify himself?” If he did, then more power to him, but it is not of God.

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

    Now, he quotes Gen 15:6, Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

    and he begins to explain what that means.

    4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

    This is a reference to the Jew. The Jews had made an agreement with God. They would do what He commanded and He would save them:

    Ex 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

    6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

    7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him.

    8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.

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

    But Abraham was born way before God made that covenant with the Israelites. Therefore, Abraham did not work for debt. But for faith. As the Scripture says:

    Genesis 26:5
    Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

    And this ties the Catholic back to Abraham. We also work because of our faith in God.

    6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

    7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

    8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

    David is one of the circumcised. But this is a reference, not to the covenant of works. But to the covenant of reconciliation. 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. Romans 4:2-8

    But despite the perspicuity, i.e. clarity of the Scripture above, not only is the carnal mind at enmity with God Rom. 8:7, the gospel is both a savour unto life and a savour unto death 2 Cor. 2:15,16. It both softens and hardens hearts, however much the self righteous naturally religious man rages against that fact.

    It is you raging against the Word of God.

    He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. John 12:40 (Which is a quote of Is. 6:10, cf. also Matt. 13:15, Acts 28:27)

    You keep describing yourself. The Scripture confirms the Doctrines of the Catholic Church.

    IOW the Roman pill is not the red pill. It is the blue pill by which the self righteous natural man, dead in his sins and blind of that fact to boot, continues to persuade himself that all is well with both his soul and his religion.

    On the contrary, it is Protestants who eschew God’s judgment and self righteously crown themselves saved.

    49 Rome thinks the first statement is true. Protestants hold the second to be true.
    And so far, we haven’t seen that Scripture teaches the first, which is to put it mildly.

    It is the opposite. Everything which Protestants teach in contradiction of the Catholic Church, also contradicts the Word of God.

    cheers

    And to you,

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  57. WAScott said,

    August 18, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Merit is a biblical concept–as seen in Romans 4:4–I.e. that which is earned versus that which is given. Merit is used strictly in this sense when it comes to Christ the God-man earning remission and eternal life in infinite measure through His passive and active obedience. On the other hand, When applied to the believer’s good works Roman Catholics frequently use the term merit in a looser sense…but that’s a conversation for another day. Once I put a quick post on the other thread I’m out now that the week has started

  58. Jason Loh said,

    August 18, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Dear Scott,

    Nice to see you here again after some time.

    Having said this, Luther never refers to salvation as a reward for faith. Faith is never a condition or demand or duty for Luther, but comes out of the promise of the external word itself.

    That is, what is promised is given to the hearer and faith is part of the promise.

    IOW, faith and the language of proclamation of the word in its oral and sacramental forms go together.

  59. Jason Loh said,

    August 18, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Faith is therefore not an act but a person. Faith is the new Adam clinging to the God-Man in word and sacraments. Faith is therefore “relational” and not “ontological.” Faith looks outside to the external word that intensely physical.

    To put it concretely, we can employ the real-world situation of faith as the Christian kneeling to receive the Body and Blood of Our Saviour at the Lord’s Supper. Faith as pure receptivity is not an act for Luther but a fundamental situation of what it means to be human before God.

  60. Nick said,

    August 18, 2014 at 11:00 am

    The article on 2 Corinthians 5:21 is now posted on Jason’s Blog.

  61. W.A. Scott said,

    August 18, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Hello Jason, Luther and the other reformers refer to eternal life as a reward of faith and good works–however, this “reward” is a gift arising out of promise on the basis of Christ’s merit and not our own merit/deserving.

    For example, in response to Erasmus’ question on “reward” in the Bondage of the Will (Section 71)–Luther notes the “unmerited” nature of the reward of eternal life, etc to believers:
    “Why is the word ‘reward’ repeated so often in the Scriptures? ‘There is a reward for thy work’ (2 Chron. 15.7). ‘I am thy exceeding great reward’ (Gen. 15.1). Again: ‘Who rendereth to every man according to his work’ (cf. Job 34.11). And Paul says in Rom. 2: ‘To those who by patient continuance in well-doing seek eternal life’ (v. 7); and there are many similar statements. The answer is that what is established by all these passages is simply a consequence of reward, not in any way a worthiness of merit…”

    The other reformers speak likewise on the issue. I won’t be able to respond further on this thread at this time as I noted in my last post (I’ll probably do a quick final reply on the other imputation thread however). God bless.

  62. Jason Loh said,

    August 18, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Dear Scott,

    This is what I managed to gather from the Bondage of the Will …

    “These things are, I think, sufficiently established by that one saying
    of Christ’s which I have just quoted from Matt. 25(134):
    “Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared
    for you from the foundation of the world.” How can they merit
    that which is already theirs and is prepared for them before they
    are born? We could more truly say that the Kingdom of God
    merits us as its possessors rather, and thus place merit where they
    place reward and reward where they place merit. For the Kingdom
    is not being prepared, but has been prepared, while the sons
    of the Kingdom are being prepared, not preparing the Kingdom;
    that is to say, the Kingdom merits the sons, not the sons the Kingdom.
    So also hell merits and prepares its children rather than they
    it, for Christ says: “Depart, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared
    for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41)” (page 213, ed. by Rupp & Watson, Library of Christian Classics)

  63. Jason Loh said,

    August 18, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    (Cont.) …

    “What, then, is the point of the texts that promise the Kingdom
    and threaten hell? What is the meaning of the word “reward”
    which occurs so frequently in the Scriptures? “Your work,” it says,
    “shall be rewarded” (II Chron. 15:7); “I am your exceeding great
    reward” (Gen. 15:1); also, “Who renders to every man according
    to his works” (Rom. 2:6 f.); and Paul in Rom. 2(:7) says: “To
    those who seek it by patience in good works, (he will give) eternal
    life”; and there are many similar passages. The answer is that by
    all these passages nothing is proved but a *consequence* of reward,
    and by no means a worthiness of merit. For it is clear that those
    who do good things do them in no servile and mercenary spirit for
    the sake of gaining eternal life, yet they are seeking eternal life in
    the sense that they are on the road by which they will arrive at
    and find eternal life. Hence “to seek” means to strive earnestly
    and endeavor with prompt diligence toward that which is the
    regular result of a good life”

    “Now, the fact that these things will come about, and will follow
    on a good or bad life, is declared in the Scriptures in order that
    men may be instructed, moved, awakened, terrified. For as
    “through the law comes knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20) and a
    warning of our impotence, and yet from this it cannot be inferred
    that we are able of ourselves to do anything, so by means
    of these promises and threats we are warned and taught the consequences
    of sin and our own impotence which the law has revealed,
    and yet nothing of worthiness is thereby attributed to our
    merit.”

    Accordingly, just as the words of the law are for the purpose
    of instruction and illumination, to teach us what we ought
    to do and show us that we cannot do it, so the words about reward,
    signifying what is to be, are for the purpose of exhortation and commination, whereby the godly are awakened, comforted,
    and raised up to go forward, persevere, and conquer in doing
    good and enduring evil, lest they should grow weary or lose heart.
    It is like Paul exhorting his Corinthians and saying: “Be courageous,
    knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain (I Cor.
    15:58; 16:13); and similarly, God upholds Abraham by saying: “I
    am your exceeding great reward” (Gen. 15:1). It is just the same
    as when you try to cheer someone up by telling him that his works
    are undoubtedly pleasing to God, which is a kind of consolation
    that Scripture quite frequently uses.”

    Scott, you’re right Luther had no use for the term, “merit” — as coming from the human side.

    “Reward” for Luther is not a theological term or used for talking or discoursing about theology proper but clearly about
    pastoral and moral (“paraenetic”) exhortation. (It follows that such language of reward can never be part of proclamation itself).

  64. W.A. Scott said,

    August 18, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Amen Jason. Hell is the only merited reward anyone will receive. Reward (e.g. of eternal life) for the believer is the promised “consequence” of our actions–as Luther notes–and by no means merited by them. Talk with you next week.

  65. September 2, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    W.A. Scott, Scripture is clear that eternal life is a free gift Roman 6:23, Ephesians 2:8, Romans 10:9-10,17. God’s sovereign winds of salvation blow where and how He determines. Paul says a man is justified by faith alone in Christ alone, apart form anything coming from himself. If God gave grace a response to a action or ability it wouldn’t be a gift but a reward. IOW faith does not have a virtue attached to it that merits the acceptance of God. God regenerates his elect thru the word by the working of the Spirit, Rom 5:17, 1 Pet.1:23, James1:18 and not thru baptism. In 1 Corinthians Paul backs this up by telling us christ did not send him to baptize but preach the gospel. The Roman church replaces the gospel with the church and its sacraments ex opere operato as a means of achieving God’s favor and salvation. But only faith in the Word can save someone and not faith in a church and its doing sacraments. IOW sacramental efficacy cannot usurp faith and in finished atonement as a mode of obtaining salvation. Sacraments can only take their rightful claim as a sign and seal of God’s grace that comes thru faith alone Rom.4:16. IOW the reason faith saves is because of whom it receives Christ and his righteousness. Pal was blameless to the Law, Abraham did many righteous works, yet Paul wanted to be found, not in his own righteousness, but in Him, the righteousness that comes by faith. The church cannot substitute itself for the Word and sacramental efficacy cannot take the place of faith and the atonement. The writer of Hebrews warns the Jews that a return to a physical altar, imperfect sacrifices performed by Priests that die which displease God Heb:10:8-14 is no faith and he contrast that with the one time sacrifice that perfected us, is permanent, and Hebrews 10:8-10 says sanctified and perfected us past tense. The church can lead us to faith but cannot usurp from Christ what rightfully is his, his incarnation and atonement. Since Roman Catholics put their faith in a church and its system of sacramental increase of salvation and in a savior who is not risen but is still an eternal victim on a cross their faith is of no effect. K

  66. De Maria said,

    September 2, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    W.A. Scott said,
    August 18, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Amen Jason. Hell is the only merited reward anyone will receive. Reward (e.g. of eternal life) for the believer is the promised “consequence” of our actions–as Luther notes–and by no means merited by them. Talk with you next week.

    Would you explain the difference between, Reward (e.g. of eternal life) for the believer is the promised “consequence” of our actions and the Catholic Doctrine of salvation by faith and works? Because it sounds like the exact same thing.

  67. September 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    DeMaria, where ever does scripture say that eternal life is promised consequence or our actions. Scripture says just opposite. It is a free gift Rom.6:23, to whoever receives Him John1:12, to the one who confesses with mouth and believes in heart God raised Him from the dead Rom 10:9-10, by grace alone thru faith alone, and not that of ourselves eph 2:8, to those who have faith in Jesus Rom.3:26, to the ungodly man who does not work but believes rom 4:5. Have you ver considered that scripture teaches completely opposite of what you believe. Faith is the word saves and not faith in a church and a sacramental system of cooperation. The Philippians jailer was told to simply believe and he will be saved. The tax collector went home righteous as soon as he believed. He didn’t start a process to final justification thru 7 sacraments. Rome has piled so much on the cross, you can’t see De Maria.

  68. roberty bob said,

    September 3, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    #67 . . . Kevin asks DeMaria . . . “where ever does scripture say that eternal life is [the] promised consequence of our actions?”

    from The Revelation of Jesus Christ chapter 20:11-15

    Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it.
    Earth and Sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them.
    And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne,
    And books were opened.
    Another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.
    The dead were judged according to WHAT THEY HAD DONE
    As recorded in the books.
    The Sea gave up the dead that were in them,
    And each person was judged according to WHAT HE HAD DONE.
    Then death and Hades were thrown into the Lake of Fire.
    The Lake of Fire is the Second Death.
    If anyone’s name was not found written in the Book of Life,
    He was thrown into the Lake of Fire.

    from the Revelation of Jesus Christ chapter 22:12

    Behold, I am coming soon!
    My REWARD is with me,
    And I will GIVE to everyone according to WHAT HE HAS DONE.

    ……..

    On the Last Day — At the Final Judgement — God will give to everyone according to what he had done. This final judging action does not discount God being gracious or persons having faith. It simply takes comprehensive account of each person’s life — how it was lived and what was done.

    Consider James 2:24 . . .

    You see that a person is justified by WHAT HE DOES
    And not by faith alone.

  69. September 3, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    roberty rob, you didn’t address the verses I gave DeMaria because you have your RC glasses on. Read John 5:24 and Hebrews 9:28 and you will find out that the believer has already passed out of judgment and when He returns for His own it won’t be in regard to sin Hebrews says, but it will be too gather his people. But you as an RC however should read those verses the way you do because you are being justified by law and you will not pass thru judgment. Roman 11:6, Galatians 2:16. No one will be justified by observing the law, not even those who think they stand in God’s grace. For christ is the end of the law for righteousness to all who believe. Paul is praying for you in Romans 10:1 and I pray someday you hear!

  70. September 3, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Jason said ” Faith looks outside to the external word which is intensely physical.” Christ came to incorporate us into His body thru the SPIRIT and not the flesh, that is not ambiguous in scripture. He communicates all of his victory spoils thru the Spirit, even his humanity. He said now we see dimly in a mirror, then we will see face to face. He said He would not drink of the fruit of the vine until he returns, and He said He would not eat with us until the kingdom. Rome substitutes herself for the natural body of Christ which renews himself in his youth each day as he finishes his incarnation cooperating in the acts of the church. The writer of hebrews called this need for a physical altar, a physical sacrifice, a physical Priesthood, a lack of faith. Clearly Hebrews 10:8-14 tells us that we have been made perfect past tense, and we have been sanctified past tense. It also tells us there is one sacrifice, once at the consummation of the ages that “put sin away” A continuing incarnation where Christ is still on the crossed and being re sacrificed for the sins of RC’s cannot save them . For how can a Christ who has not accomplished redemption or risen save anyone. Roman catholicism is a replay of OT judaism with imperfect sacrifices from an imperfect Priesthood that dies which could never save. Hebrews 10:8 says God detest these sacrifices. He does not desire sacrifice and burnt offering, but faith which the writer of Hebrews warns unless they shrink back to the “intensely physical” ” The righteous shall live by faith.” The unrighteous will seek out a synergistic virtue climb out of nature thru doing sacraments. Calvin said the church exists where the preaching of the word is and the RIGHT administration of the sacraments.

  71. roberty bob said,

    September 3, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    in reply to #69 . . .

    Kevin, I turned to John 5:24, and I believe what Jesus is saying here. However, I also believe the remainder of that same paragraph, in which Jesus says that Father has given him authority to execute judgment . . . and that all who are in the graves will hear his voice and come forth — “those who have DONE GOOD, to the resurrection of life, and those who have DONE EVIL, to the resurrection of condemnation.”

    No one escapes the judgment at the Last Day. Those who trust in the Lord and do good will come through the Judgment and enter into LIFE!

    You talk a lot about the necessity of faith. It is necessary. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Yet, when some of us talk about the necessity of pleasing God — obeying Christ’s commandments — you charge us with all manner of ungodliness and heresy and spiritual blindness.

    When I quoted scripture in #68 my RC glasses were on the end table and my Protestant glasses were on the night stand. Of course you couldn’t see that!

  72. De Maria said,

    September 3, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Kevin asks:

    Kevin Failoni said,
    September 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    DeMaria, where ever does scripture say that eternal life is promised consequence or our actions…..

    Ask WA Scott, Message #64:

    W.A. Scott said,
    August 18, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Amen Jason. Hell is the only merited reward anyone will receive. Reward (e.g. of eternal life) for the believer is the promised “consequence” of our actions–as Luther notes–and by no means merited by them. Talk with you next week.

  73. De Maria said,

    September 3, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    September 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    DeMaria, …. Scripture says just opposite. It is a free gift Rom.6:23,

    Which verse do you accept and which do you set aside?

    Romans 6:23King James Version (KJV)

    23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

    Catholic Teaching makes sense of both and accepts both. But for you, one is true and one is not.

    to whoever receives Him John1:12,

    John 1:12King James Version (KJV)

    12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

    We receive that power in Baptism:

    Romans 6:4 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.

    to the one who confesses with mouth and believes in heart God raised Him from the dead Rom 10:9-10,

    That’s Baptism:

    Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

    by grace alone thru faith alone,

    Where is that in Scripture? I see this one:

    Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

    But that describes the Sacrament of Baptism.

    and not that of ourselves eph 2:8,

    Where is the word “alone”? You read it into the Scripture.

    to those who have faith in Jesus Rom.3:26, to the ungodly man who does not work but believes rom 4:5.

    Exactly! In Baptism, we are justified by faith in Christ. No works necessary on our part. All we do is believe and He counts it to us as righteousness.

    Have you ver considered that scripture teaches completely opposite of what you believe.

    I have gone through Scripture thoroughly. Scripture teaches Catholic Doctrine. And that makes sense because Catholic Doctrine is the basis of the New Testament. The Catholic Church wrote the New Testament.

    Faith is the word saves and not faith in a church and a sacramental system of cooperation.

    Faith is the word. But it is faith accompanied by works. And it is faith in Christ, through His Church and the Sacraments which He established to pour grace in our hearts.

    The Philippians jailer was told to simply believe and he will be saved. The tax collector went home righteous as soon as he believed. He didn’t start a process to final justification thru 7 sacraments.

    The Philippians jailer was baptized calling on the name of the Lord.

    Rome has piled so much on the cross, you can’t see De Maria.

    Catholic Doctrine is the Word of God.

  74. September 3, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    roberty rob, only in justification do I charge the exclusion of works because Paul does. The antithesis for Paul isn’t circumcision and grace enabled works it is works and hearing by faith. Good works can only be the outcome of trusting Christ alone for salvation. “The righteous shall live by faith” It covers the whole of salvation. I obey the Law, but can never be justified by it. the RC conflates law and gospel into a gracious law, as if Jesus were a gentler Moses with an easier law. But to conleate law and gospel and works and hearing by faith is to corrupt faith at its core. Romans 11:6, what does that says to you?

  75. De Maria said,

    September 3, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    September 3, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    roberty rob, only in justification do I charge the exclusion of works because Paul does.

    St. Paul was talking about the Sacraments. It is in the Sacraments that our sins are washed away while calling on the name of the Lord.

    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;

    The antithesis for Paul isn’t circumcision and grace enabled works it is works and hearing by faith.

    St. Paul teaches Baptism for eternal life:
    Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

    Good works can only be the outcome of trusting Christ alone for salvation.

    On the contrary, Scripture says that God put the Church here to teach us to be perfect in good works:

    2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

    “The righteous shall live by faith” It covers the whole of salvation. I obey the Law, but can never be justified by it.

    That’s good and that is Catholic Teaching. Because if you did not keep the Law, you would never be justified by God.

    the RC conflates law and gospel into a gracious law, as if Jesus were a gentler Moses with an easier law. But to conleate law and gospel and works and hearing by faith is to corrupt faith at its core.

    Let’s see what Scripture says:

    Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

    So, Christ did give us a new Law. In fact, He told us Himself:

    John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

    Romans 11:6, what does that says to you?

    Romans 11:6 And if by grace,

    If it is by the grace which you receive in the Sacraments.

    then is it no more of works:

    Then it is no longer by the works of the Mosaic Law

    otherwise grace is no more grace.

    Otherwise, it is not by the Sacraments.

    But if it be of works,

    But if it is by the Mosaic Law

    then it is no more grace:

    Then it is no longer by the Law of Christ in the Sacraments

    otherwise work is no more work.

    and, it is not by the Mosaic Law.

  76. September 4, 2014 at 10:06 am

    All, I invite you to Tim Kauffman’s site ” Out of his mouth” Whitehorse blog. He is in the midst of a series where he shows how Cyprian’s novelty of baptismal regeneration and other sacraments ex opere operato cannot hold up in the early Fathers. He refutes CtC’s claims in a powerful way.

  77. roberty bob said,

    September 4, 2014 at 11:33 am

    #76 . . . “novelty of baptismal regeneration”

    You are saying, then, that the “washing of regeneration” spoken of in Titus 3:5 has no reference whatsoever to baptism?

  78. September 4, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    roberty rob, absolutely the washing of regeneration is the Word, the work of the Spirit thru the Word. Please go to the site I provided an see the correct interpretation on “laver of regeneration and “washing” Earlier in the verse in Titus 3:5 he eliminates all righteous deeds. Jesus told the nicodemus that the Spirit blows where and how He wills! Where there is no faith there is no regeneration. The spirit regenerates thru the Word Rom 5:17, 1 Pet.1:23, James 1:18. Tim shows clearly that the Roman church has gotten regeneration wrong and has replaced the gospel with the church. Your faith is in a church and its sacramental system for your salvation. But that can’t save you. Only faith in the word, having been regenerated by the Spirit and the washing of the Word. Cyprian introduced a system into the African church that was a complete misreading of the early church Fathers.

  79. roberty bob said,

    September 4, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    in reply to #78 . . . Kevin . . .

    When the Apostle Paul was baptized, did he wash his sins away? Or not? You may refer to Acts 22:16

  80. September 5, 2014 at 9:27 am

    The Apostles weren’t baptized. Paul was converted on the Damascus road when the Spirit regenerated him thru the Word,

  81. September 5, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    DeMaria Galatians 3:16 ” The law is not faith” can it be any clearer the difference between faith righteousness and works righteousness. To miss this distinction between law and gospel is to corrupt faith at its core. Love is the ultimate expression of the law. Love is not faith. Luther said Rome cannot rob from faith and give to love what God only intended for faith. Love, being, and doing can only be the result of justifying faith and not the condition of justification. For the Jew in Romans 10:1 was under the grace of God but attempted to be justified by works righteousness. In Philippians 3:8,9 Paul considered al his blameless righteousness dung and wanted to be found in faith righteous. DeMaria you worship a church and its sacraments and deny the gospel. Repent and believe and be free.

  82. roberty bob said,

    September 5, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    in reply to #80 . . .

    “The Apostles [including Paul] weren’t baptized.” — Kevin Failoni

    I guess that settles it then. You told me something that I didn’t know.

    Now let me tell you something that you don’t know. Your parents didn’t get married on their wedding day; they got married on the day that they fell in love.

  83. roberty bob said,

    September 5, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    “The Apostles [including Paul] weren’t baptized.” — Kevin Failoni

    In Acts 22:16 Luke, the inspired evangelist who knew Paul firsthand, lets Paul speak for himself. And Paul recounts that Ananias urged him to “be baptized, and wash your sins away, calling on his [Christ's] name.”

    It sounds to me like Kevin is arguing that Paul was converted [saved!] by the cleansing, regenerating action of the Word within his heart; so baptism was therefore unnecessary to bring about his salvation. Paul was saved on the Road to Damascus before he ever got to the city and under the care of the God-ordained church leaders. Apparently it did not matter that Ananias had authority to direct Paul [Saul!] to DO what the Lord now required: to unite with [the body of] Christ through the holy rite [sacrament!] of baptism. It sounds to me like Kevin is saying that sacraments are only symbols of something that happens at another time and in another place; the sacraments don’t effect any particular act [like washing away one's sin, clothing one with Christ, uniting one to the body of Christ] because the best they can do is serve as a symbol of such things.

    If this is so [I reasoned], then the rite of marriage [a wedding] does not actually effect the joining together of a man and a woman as husband and wife. No. They were joined together at some other time and some other place. The wedding is merely a symbolic presentation of what has already taken place. A wedding is a lovely spectacle, but it is entirely unnecessary!

    Oh. But you don’t dare teach THAT in church!

  84. Don said,

    September 5, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    80, 82, 83:
    Kevin Failoni does not explicitly say that Paul was not baptized, but of course he was per Acts 9:18. Of the other apostles, those who originally followed John the Baptist were almost certainly baptized by him; perhaps they were (re-)baptized as disciples of Jesus (John 4:1-2); but there is no indication they were baptized post-resurrection or post-Pentecost in what we would probably call “Christian baptism.”

    Now, if roberty bob is claiming that the act of baptism is necessary to be united with Christ, then he has to deal with passages such as Acts 10:44-48, where Gentiles were given the Holy Spirit before being baptized.

  85. September 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    roberty rob, Paul says Abraham was justified before the sacrament in Romans 4. You agree?

  86. September 5, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    roberty rob, go to Tim Kauffman’s site “out of his mouth” He is an ex Catholic and is doing a series of the” laver of regeneration” and the “washing” in the Early Fathers. He proves the RC view is wrong. The laver and the water is the Word thru the Spirit.

  87. September 5, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Don, Romans 5:17, 1 peter1:23, James 1:18 says faith comes thru the Word by the work of the Spirit in regeneration.

  88. De Maria said,

    September 5, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    roberty bob said,
    September 5, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    in reply to #80 . . .

    “The Apostles [including Paul] weren’t baptized.” — Kevin Failoni

    I guess that settles it then. You told me something that I didn’t know.

    Now let me tell you something that you don’t know. Your parents didn’t get married on their wedding day; they got married on the day that they fell in love.

    Awesome analogy! Baptism is when we become one with Christ and therefore can be looked upon as a wedding. We even get a Christian name.

    Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

    I had always looked at it as a birthday. Catholic Doctrine is both/and.

    Good job!

  89. De Maria said,

    September 5, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Don said,
    September 5, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    80, 82, 83:
    Kevin Failoni does not explicitly say that Paul was not baptized, but of course he was per Acts 9:18. Of the other apostles, those who originally followed John the Baptist were almost certainly baptized by him; perhaps they were (re-)baptized as disciples of Jesus (John 4:1-2); but there is no indication they were baptized post-resurrection or post-Pentecost in what we would probably call “Christian baptism.”

    They received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in Pentecost. Jesus said:

    Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

    Now, if roberty bob is claiming that the act of baptism is necessary to be united with Christ, then he has to deal with passages such as Acts 10:44-48, where Gentiles were given the Holy Spirit before being baptized.

    No problem. St. Cornelius and his cohort received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit before they were baptized with water, but notice that this did not remove the necessity of being baptized with water. St. Peter said:

    47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

    48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

    If Baptism of the Holy Spirit were all that was necessary for these men to be saved, then St. Peter acted superfluously in commanding the water Baptism of these men who had already received the Holy Spirit.

    But, if any of these men had refused water baptism, would they be saved?

    Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

    I don’t think so.

  90. De Maria said,

    September 5, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    September 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    roberty rob, Paul says Abraham was justified before the sacrament in Romans 4. You agree?

    Yes. But Abraham was justified “forensically”. God looked into his heart and judged him to be a righteous person. But God did not wash his sins away.

    Read Romans 4, does that say that he received the Holy Spirit before the Sacrament?

    Does that say he was regenerated before the Sacrament?

    Does that say he was born again before the Sacrament?

    Here’s what Scripture says:

    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.

    9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

    10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

    This is the Abraham who was justified. But did he receive the promise?

    Let’s see:

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

    No. And what is the promise?

    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. 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 the Holy Spirit was not given until Pentecost.

  91. roberty bob said,

    September 5, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    in reply to #85 . . .

    Yes, Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness before he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.

    I have no disagreement with you on this.

  92. roberty bob said,

    September 5, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    in reply to #84 . . .

    Baptism is the “union-with-Christ” sacrament. How could it not be necessary? When the Holy Spirit came upon certain Gentiles [as in Acts 10:44-48], the Apostle Peter deemed it necessary to have them all baptized.

    Although you may dislike the analogy, I will say again that baptism is necessary for the professing Christian believer in the same way that a wedding is necessary for a man and a woman who wish to be married. Both are rites of sacred union.

  93. September 5, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    We have so many people in the NT never baptized. Paul said he wasn’t sent to baptize but preach the gospel. Infant baptism was a 4th century invention to monolithically Christianize people for the state by Constantine. The predominant practice in the earl church was adult baptism for those who professed faith and were regenerated by the C spirit and the Word. The word means immerse Baptizo.

  94. September 5, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    DeMaria, think about what you just said, God justified someone who had not yet been regenerated and given the Holy Spirit. So your saying God justified Abraham having not yet forgiven him of his sins. Cmon.

  95. September 5, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    DeMaria, notice the order in Acts 2:38 Repent and be baptized. The “laver” of regeneration” and” washing” is the Word by the Spirit. Tim Kauffman ends the myth. Do yourself a favor and read his articles on the early fathers .

  96. Don said,

    September 6, 2014 at 2:49 am

    De Maria 89,
    First of all, please don’t try to quote any part of Mark 16:9-20 at me.

    But more significantly, I don’t understand your view of the importance of baptism of the Holy Spirit. You seem to say it was good enough for the Apostles, but not good enough for Cornelius and his family?

  97. roberty bob said,

    September 6, 2014 at 8:47 am

    in reply to #93 . . .

    I’m waiting now for the Reverend Green Baggins, who baptizes the infants of his congregation, to comment.

    Some member of the Green Baggins Brigade should also take you to task over the “many NT converts who never were baptized.” Name one convert of whom it is said that he wasn’t baptized. Once again, you seem to know things that no one else knows.

  98. September 6, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Reformed baptism is not regeneration roberty rob. It brings children in the covenant family and confers grace, but it does not assure salvation. Hitler and Al Capone were baptized. The Spirit regenerates thru the Word, Faith is the entry way into salvation, not baptism. There isn’t one instance of infant baptism in scripture. And the household arguments can’t be a surety for infant baptism. Christ always blessed children, they have a special place with God. But babies can’t believe.

  99. September 6, 2014 at 9:05 am

    I didn’t say we weren’t to baptize. I said baptism doesn’t save.

  100. Ron said,

    September 6, 2014 at 11:30 am

    There isn’t one instance of infant baptism in scripture.

    Hi Kevin,

    Can you find one instance of someone coming to faith within a Christian household and then getting baptized? I hope you see (and acknowledge) that both sides argue from silence. Infant baptism cannot be found in Scripture yet neither can we find a single baptism administered to one after coming of age within the context of a believing household. The latter silence corroborates the Paedobaptist position whereas the first silence corroborates the Baptist position. Now then, not all arguments from silence are fallacious. However, only the Paedobaptist is entitled to argue from silence because it is the Baptist who bears the burden of proof to overturn with words the OT verbally inspired precept of inclusion.

    As far as corroborating evidence, we can find several NT baptisms that call out subjects by name. Simon the Samaritan magus we know little about. The apostle Paul and the Ethiopian eunuch likely had no children. We then find household baptisms indexed to Cornelius; Lydia; the Philippian jailer and Crispus. Then there is Gaius. Just like we’d expect, when we come to the NT we find many household baptisms yet not one single instance of baptism that is unique to the Baptist paradigm. (That people were baptized after coming to faith is not peculiar to either position.) Again, this is corroborating evidence but what sort of corroborating evidence do you have for the Baptist position?

    As for good and necessary inference:

    1. An Old Covenant precept was that whenever possible the sign of entrance into the covenant was to be placed upon all who were to be regarded as God’s people

    2. Children of professing believers were to be regarded as God’s people under the Old Covenant

    3. Children of professing believers whenever possible were to receive the sign of entrance into the Old Covenant by way of precept (1, 2)

    4. God’s precepts may not be abrogated without explicit instruction or good and necessary inference

    5. God never abrogated the Old Testament precept regarding who was to receive the sign of entrance into the Old covenant

    6. The sign of entrance into the New Covenant is water baptism

    7. God’s precept is that children of professing believers receive the sign of entrance into the New Covenant (3, 4 and 5)

    8. God’s precept is that children of professing believers receive water baptism (6, 7)

    Thoughts?

  101. September 6, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Ron, in household baptisms they are people who repented and came to faith. There is no indication in any of them infants were baptized, let alone ex opere operato. Faith has always been the entrance into this holistic salvation by regeneration of the Spirit thru the Word, this is the “washing” laver of regeneration” ” the WORD” in scripture and the early fathers. Babies can’t exhibit faith. And for Rome to read surrogate faith on the past of another is blasphemous. The church cannot usurp the sovereignty of God’s elective winds, nor the Spirit to blow where and how He wills, as scripture points out. I accept Reformed infant baptism as conferring grace, but not saving grace. Grace reigns thru righteousness, Christ, and it is the Word that regenerates. Hitler and Capone were baptized.

  102. September 6, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Ron, as far as circumcision Paul makes a distinction. He says it is not those who are circumcised outwardly but those who are circumcised inwardly. IMHO he points out there are those who are outwardly circumcised who aren’t believers. Abraham was justified by faith and regenerated by the Holy spirit, not the rite of circumcision. Same for baptism. Peter says baptism now saves you, and then goes on to explain it isn’t the outer washing but the appeal to God for a good conscience, Faith.

  103. Ron said,

    September 6, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I’ll respond to anything having to do with my post.

  104. Reed Here said,

    September 6, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Ron: chuckle. :)

    But you do remember the day when, possibly like Kevin, you said to the Presbyterian who actually thought through the whole baptism question,

    Huh?

  105. Ron said,

    September 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Reed,

    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.

  106. September 6, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Ron, do you believe in paedo communion, that was practiced i the early church?

  107. Ron said,

    September 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    No I don’t.

  108. De Maria said,

    September 6, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Don said,
    September 6, 2014 at 2:49 am

    De Maria 89,
    First of all, please don’t try to quote any part of Mark 16:9-20 at me.

    Another part of the Bible that Protestants have set aside?

    But more significantly, I don’t understand your view of the importance of baptism of the Holy Spirit. You seem to say it was good enough for the Apostles, but not good enough for Cornelius and his family?

    Not at all.

    The Apostles were probably baptized by Jesus Christ.

    John 3:22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

    So, they had already received the Baptism of water. But the Holy Spirit had not yet been given. That is why Jesus said to them:

    Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

    Therefore, the Apostles were in the same situation as those who were baptized by St. Paul.

    Acts 19:3-5

    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.

    Except the Apostles needed only to receive the Holy Spirit, as they had already received Jesus’ Baptism in the Jordan.

    So, the Apostles and the Centurion cohort both received water and the Holy Spirit, but inverted the order. As St. Peter said:

    Acts 11:16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.

    The beauty of this is that St. Cornelius and the Centurion Cohort received two outpourings of the Holy Spirit that day.

  109. De Maria said,

    September 6, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    September 5, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    DeMaria, notice the order in Acts 2:38 Repent and be baptized. The “laver” of regeneration” and” washing” is the Word by the Spirit.

    To repent means to be sorry for one’s sins. And in Baptism we are washed of 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.

    Note the order of these words. Be baptized, that is “washed” and “wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord”. When one’s sins are washed away by an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, one’s sins are removed.

    Notice how this washing is REAL. It is not a forensic judgement. But truly washes away sins from our souls.

  110. De Maria said,

    September 6, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Kevin Failoni said,
    September 5, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    DeMaria, think about what you just said, God justified someone who had not yet been regenerated and given the Holy Spirit. So your saying God justified Abraham having not yet forgiven him of his sins. Cmon.

    Then explain why Abraham was not made perfect when he was justified?

    Heb 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. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God…..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

    Can you explain that?

  111. De Maria said,

    September 6, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Ron said,
    September 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    …. I filter Catholic Paedos out of the observation since typically they have not begun the process of progressive sanctification…..

    Catholic Paedos? That is redundant. The Catholic Church teaches that infant baptism is valid.

    How do you know whether a Catholic or anyone is in the process of sanctification? Scripture says:

    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.

    Have you appointed yourself the judge of men’s souls?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 342 other followers

%d bloggers like this: