Friday, December 18, 2009

Imputation of the Righteousness of Christ
...His perfect obedience in life and death

GLORY IN THE CROSS
By Steve Camp

Glory in the cross, our faithful High Priest
Went beyond the veil as our Prince of Peace
Clothed with our sin, its guilt and shame
Our sinless Substitute, Jesus His name

Glory in the cross the Law now fulfilled
Righteousness displayed on Calvary’s Hill
Imputed to all who’d ever would believe
The Lord, the spotless Lamb, hung cursed upon a tree

Glory in the cross where grace doth abound
Where the Man of Sorrows wore transgressions crown
Wounded and chastened for our iniquities
Our faithful Redeemer, God the Father pleased

Together for the gospel; redeemed by the risen Lamb
By grace alone, through faith alone, on Christ alone we stand
Clothed with His righteousness; peace with God forevermore
By His word and for His glory, we proclaim the gospel story
That salvation is through only, Jesus Christ our Lord


Glory in the cross marked by sin’s crimson stain
Forgiveness flows from His precious veins
Perfect redemption, once for all sacrifice
Salvation made secure by the Lord Jesus Christ

Glory in the cross Satan’s power of death destroyed
Rendered impotent by The Incarnate Word
He crushed the Serpents head upon Golgotha’s tree
Our great and dreadful Sovereign, Champion is He

Together for the gospel; redeemed by the risen Lamb
By grace alone, through faith alone, on Christ alone we stand
Clothed with His righteousness; peace with God forevermore
By His word and for His glory, we proclaim the gospel story
That salvation is through only, Jesus Christ our Lord


Glory in the cross the elect have been redeemed
O covenant of grace from eternity decreed
Worthy is the Lamb slain from all ages past
Sinners reconciled, true worshippers at last

Glory in the cross “It is finished”, the Victor, cried
God propitiated, forever satisfied
Once enemies now brethren, estranged but brought near
His judgment-assuaged no bondage nor fear

Glory in the cross God forsaken of God
Smitten and afflicted, bruised with Heaven’s rod
Resurrected triumphant, our Lord, God and King
Grave where is thy vict’ry, O death where is thy sting?

Together for the gospel; redeemed by the risen Lamb
By grace alone, through faith alone, on Christ alone we stand
Clothed with His righteousness; peace with God forevermore
By His word and for His glory, we proclaim the gospel story
That salvation is through only, Jesus Christ our Lord


Remember Faithful Leadership
"Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith." -Hebrews 13:7

"We obtain "precious faith through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ," or, as it might be rendered, "through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1:1). "This is the name whereby He shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness" (Jer. 23:6). He is so called on account of the righteousness which He wrought out by His obedience unto death; for this righteousness is expressly connected with His Mediatorial work. "The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake; He will magnify the law and make it honourable" (Isa. 42:21). By His vicarious sufferings and obedience, He fulfilled the Law both in its precept and its penalty; and is now said to be "the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth" (Rom. 10:3, 4); while His righteousness is identified with "the righteousness of God," to which the unbelieving Jews refused to "submit themselves," and contrasted with "their own righteousness" which they "went about to establish," "as it were by the works of the law."

In like manner, this righteousness is called "the righteousness of One," and "the obedience of One" (Rom. 5:18, 19); expressions which serve at once to connect it with the work of Christ, and to exclude from it the personal obedience of the many who are justified. It is called "the free gift unto justification of life," and "the gift of righteousness" (Rom. 5:17, 18), to show that it is bestowed gratuitously by divine grace, and not acquired by our own obedience. It is called "the righteousness which is of faith," or "the righteousness which is by faith," both to distinguish it from faith itself, and also to contrast it with another righteousness which is not received by faith, but "sought for as it were by the works of the law" (Rom. 9:32). It is called "the righteousness of God without the law" (Rom. 3:21), to intimate that, while it was "witnessed by the law and the prophets," and while, as "a righteousness," it must have some relation to the unchangeable rule of rectitude, it was above and beyond what the law could provide, since it depends, not on personal, but on vicarious obedience. And it is called the righteousness "which God imputes without works" (Rom. 4:6, 11); to show that it is "reckoned of grace," and not "of debt" (Rom. 4:4, 5) – that "God justifies the ungodly" by placing this righteousness to their account, – and that He makes it theirs, because it was wrought out for them by Him, "who was delivered for their offences, and rose again for their Justification."

"I have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the people there was none with me…. I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save;" "Hearken, ye stout-hearted, that are far from righteousness, I bring near MY righteousness" (Isa. 63:1, 3; 46:13). It is still His, and, moreover, it is only to be found "in Him." "Surely shall one say, In the Lord have I righteousness," and "In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory" (Isa. 45:24, 25). "We are made the righteousness of God," but only "in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21); and if we would have "the righteousness which is of God by faith," we "must win Christ, and be found in Him" (Phil. 3:9); for this righteousness is part of that "fulness which dwells in Him" (Col. 1:19), and which is "treasured up for us in Him." The whole merit is His, – the gracious imputation of it only is ours." -James Buchanan, The Doctrine of Justification

"The doctrinal norm for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is the Abstract of Principles Here is what it says about justification: Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Christ, from all sin, through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything wrought in them or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith.

James Petigru Boyce was one of the founding professors of Southern Seminary. His Abstract of Systematic Theology (1887) is still a very useful resource. He discusses justification in chapter 35. There, on page 399, we read, "Our justification is due also to the active obedience of Christ, and not to passive obedience only.
1. Righteousness involves character, conduct and action, even more than suffering endured as penalty. The sinlessness of Christ is therefore plainly taught, and especially in connection with imputation. 2 Cor. 5:21.
2. The gracious salvation he brings is said to establish the law.
3. He assures us, that he came to fulfill the law. Matt. 5:17.
4. The obedience of Christ is not only contrasted with the disobedience of Adam, but is declared to be the means by which many shall be made righteous. Rom. 5:19."
It thus appears, that the ground of justification is the whole meritorious work of Christ. Not his sufferings and death only, but his obedience to, and conformity with the divine law are involved in the justification, which is attained by the believer. The question is here sometimes asked, how the active obedience of Christ can avail to us, when he was himself a man and under the law, and owed obedience personally on his own behalf. The answer to this is twofold, in each case depending upon the doctrine of the incarnation of the Son of God. On the one hand, the position was one voluntarily assumed by the Son of God. He was under no obligation to become man. He was not, and could not be made man without his own consent. In thus voluntarily coming under the law, his obedience would have merit to secure all the blessings connected to the covenant, under which he assumed such relation. But besides this, the fulfillment of the law would not simply be that fulfillment due by a mere man, which is all the law could demand of him on his own behalf, so that the merit secured is that due to the Son of God, thus as man rendering obedience to the law. That merit is immeasurable and is available for all for whom he was the substitute." -Dr. James White

"Those whom, God effectually calls he also freely justifies, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them as their righteousness, but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God" – WCF Ch 11

“Justification is a judicial act of God, in which He declares, on the basis of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, that all the claims of the law are satisfied with respect to the sinner” -L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 513.

"The phrase in ipso (in him) I have preferred to retain, rather than render it per ipsum (by him,) because it has in my opinion more expressiveness and force. For we are enriched in Christ, inasmuch as we are members of his body, and are engrafted into him: nay more, being made one with him, he makes us share with him in every thing that he has received from the Father." -John Calvin Commentary on 1 Cor 1:5

"This calling is an act of the grace of God in Christ by which he calls men dead in sin and lost in Adam through the preaching of the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit, to union with Christ and to salvation obtained in him." -Francis Turretin

"Objectively, this righteousness is provided “in Jesus Christ.” Romans 3:25–26 describe Christ’s propitiatory sacrifice on the cross as a payment for sin, Through this death God demonstrates His righteousness not only as the just God, but as the God who justly justifies sinners. Prior to Christ’s death a question could be raised about this. How could God justify Moses and not Pharaoh? Both were sinners. Both lacked the righteousness that God requires. Verse 35 explains that the sins of Moses (and all Old Testament believers) were “passed over” by God, awaiting their full payment in the death of Christ. Now that Christ has died, that question has been answered forever and, by the cross, God has demonstrated that He is both personally righteous and that He righteously justifies those who have sinned.

The law requires death for lawbreakers. This is its curse under which all sinners naturally find themselves. By enduring God’s wrath against our sin Christ has redeemed sinners from “the curse of the law” having become a “curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). This secures the just forgiveness of our sins because our sins have been justly punished.

But the law reveals that not only does God require the punishment of sin, He also requires perfect righteousness. This was His requirement of man before the fall and it has not changed since the fall. Therefore, the justification that is found in Jesus Christ is accomplished not only by His sacrificial death but also by His representative life. This is Paul’s argument (as we have already seen) in chapter 5 of Romans. The “one Man’s righteous act” (5:18) and “one Man’s obedience” (5:19) are references not merely to the death of Jesus but to the whole of His work, including His obedient life. Just as the act of breaking the law brought judgment on all who are in Adam, so the act of keeping the law brings justification to all who are in Christ. And this justification comes through His perfect righteousness being imputed to us." -Dr. Tom Ascol

The above quotes span the past 500 years of redemptive history.

God's Divine Plumbline
The law of God is His holy, righteous standard for sinful man. (Ex. 20)

The first Adam disobeyed the command of God (Gen. 3) and sin entered this world through the sin of that one man (Rom. 5:12-14). Therefore, all of Adam’s posterity has been thoroughly effected by his one act of disobedience, so that now all are conceived in sin (Psalm 51:1); subject to sin’s wages and penalty—death (Rom. 3:23); living as dead in trespasses and sins; walking according to this worldly age; according to the ruler of the atmospheric domain; the spirit now working in the disobedient; living in fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of the flesh and thoughts, and by nature, children of wrath; not seeking to please God, doing good, without reverence or fear of God… (Rom. 3:10-18; Eph. 2:1-3).

In forbearance and love of God, the Word (God the Son) became flesh and dwelt among us; Jesus came into this world as Immanuel, God with us (John 1:1,14, 18; Matt. 1:21-24); to save His people from their sins; and not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it (Matt. 5:17). How? By His submission to it, being born under the Law (Gal. 4:4); in fulfilling its demands by perfect obedience to it (Matt. 5:17; Gal. 3:10); and by ultimately dying on the cross to satisfy its penalty and judgment (Gal. 3:13). The demands of the law of God are thus fulfilled and exacted in His sinless life and in His once for all sacrifice on the cross.

The Perfection that God Demands
This was vital in our salvation for all of man’s righteousness are worthless rags: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6).

The Apostle Paul says, “For the hearers of the law are not righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous” (Rom. 2:13). But no man can perfectly obey the law of God. “For no flesh will be justified in His sight by the works of the law, for through the law |comes| the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20).

Galatians 3:10: “For all who |rely on| the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written: Cursed is everyone who does not continue doing everything written in the book of the law.”

James 2:10, “For whoever keeps the entire law, yet fails in one point, is guilty of |breaking it| all.”

Man is incapable of living in perfect conformity to the law of God in word, deed, and desire. Proverbs 24:9 says that even, “the thought of foolishness is sin.” Sin is to transgress against the law of God. As the Apostle John says, “Everyone who commits sin also breaks the law; sin is the breaking of law.” (1 John 3:4).

But Christ, as our merciful and faithful High Priest, lived a life of perfect obedience to the law of God. “He was revealed so that He might take away sins, and there is no sin in Him.” (1 John 3:5).

“For this is the kind of high priest we need: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day, as high priests do—first for their own sins, then for those of the people. He did this once for all when He offered Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the promise of the oath, which came after the law, |appoints| a Son, who has been perfected forever” (Heb. 7:26-28).

He lived the life we could not live. “Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to the confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time” (Heb. 4:14-16).

“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. But John tried to stop Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and yet You come to me?” ¶ Jesus answered him, “Allow it for now, because this is the way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him to be baptized.” (Matt. 3:13-15).

Christ Fulfilled All Righteousness
What was this fulfillment of “all righteousness” the Lord spoke of here at His baptism? Christ was identifying with sinners He will ultimately bear their sins in this ‘baptism of repentance.’ His perfect righteousness will be imputed to them (2 Cor. 5:21). John MacArthur says, “This act of baptism was a necessary part of that righteousness He secured for sinners. This first public event of His ministry is rich in meaning: 1. It pictured His death and resurrection (cf, Luke 12:50); 2. It, therefore, prefigured the significance of Christian baptism (v.6); 3. It marked His first public identification with those whose sin He would bear (Is. 53:11; 1 Pt. 3:18); and, 4. It was a public affirmation of His messiahship by testimony directly from heaven (v. 16-17).” (MacArthur Study Bible, Thomas Nelson -1997, p.1397).

In obedience through our Lord’s sinless life in incarnation, He fully satisfied the demands of God’s law so that man, by faith, in imputation could be clothed with His righteousness. The law required perfect obedience and sinlessness from those born under it. Christ accomplished both these things in incarnation.

But the law of God not only required perfect obedience to it, but the penalty of disobedience against it had to be paid. God demanded a perfect once for all sacrifice for His holiness, justice and wrath to be completely satisfied—something the old covenant could never provide.

Behold the Lamb of God
John the Baptist proclaims this of our Lord Jesus when saying, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:36). In His complete sacrifice on the cross, he satisfied the justice, holiness and wrath of God fully—He drank the cup no one but He could drink (the cup of wrath); and the God the Father was propitiated by His only begotten Son (John 1:18; Heb. 2:17).

He lived a holy life in the flesh that fulfilled the Law and all righteousness (Heb. 7:26); He completely expiated the demands of the penalty of the Law through death (Gal. 3:14; 4:4); and was our merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God as a propitiation for the sins of the people on the cross (Heb. 2:17).

“Now the Messiah has appeared, high priest of the good things that have come. In the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands (that is, not of this creation), He entered the holy of holies once for all, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who are defiled, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to serve the living God? ¶ Therefore He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance, because a death has taken place for redemption from the transgressions |committed| under the first covenant.” (Heb. 9:11-15).

As the Last Adam, Christ provided in His sinless life perfect obedience to and fulfilled the Law as Son of Man; He provided the perfect once for all sacrifice as the holy spotless Lamb of God; and He was the faithful High Priest who entered the holy of holies behind the veil (Heb. 6:19-20) when “He Himself had purged our sins” (Heb. 1:3). Sinless man; unblemished Lamb; faithful High Priest—all three were needed to satisfy God; and all three were in Christ Jesus our Lord as our divine substitute!

Justification Secured in Resurrection
And lastly, by virtue of His resurrection He has secured our justification forever. “He was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” (Romans 4:25).

In summary:
Christ fulfilled the law of God in perfect obedience in His earthly life; He perfectly fulfilled its penalty in His death on the cross; He fully satisfied God’s holiness, justice and wrath in His once for all propitiatory sacrifice on the cross and in resurrections secured for us our justification. Therefore, sinful man may have peace with God by grace through faith in Jesus Christ the Lord by being justified by His blood (Roms. 5:9); and that His righteousness, by virtue of His sinless life lived and atoning death is now imputed to us by faith (2 Cor. 5:21) so that we are no longer under the curse of the Law; the demands of the Law; or under the justice and wrath of God. But we are clothed with the perfect righteousness of Christ, being regenerated and sealed by His Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5-7; Eph. 1:13-14).

The Testimony of Scripture
Rom. 5:17, “Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.”

Rom. 10:3, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. Rom. 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”

Rom. 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

1Cor. 1:30, “He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.”

2Cor. 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Gal. 2:21, “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”

Phil. 1:11, “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

Phil. 3:9, “and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—“

Titus 3:5-7, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

Incarnation; substitution; propitiation; imputation; justification; regeneration; sanctification, resurrection – What a great salvation we have in the Lord Jesus Christ!

54 comments:

donsands said...

That's what I call "rightly dividing the Word of truth"! Tremendous encouragement for the soul and heart for every disciple of Christ, I would think.
Thanks.

Mike Ratliff said...

What else is there that we could add to that? It is a good thing to still preach the gospel to believers as well as the lost. It sure blessed me.

In Christ

Mike Ratliff

bobby grow said...

Well written article! But there is quite a bit of integration of Federal Theology into the exegesis; i.e. heavy emphasis upon the "conditional" Mosaic Law as the basis for our Great Salvation. This seems contrary to the unconditional nature of the New Covenant (Jer. 31; Ez 36; II Cor 3)--and its foundation communicated to Abraham (Gen 15:6)prior to the Mosaic Cov. (Deut 28--30; Lev 26).

The scriptures are clear that Christ is indeed the "end" of the Law for all those who believe (Rom 9:5)--it ended in His fulfillment of it (Gal 3)--having only a provisional nature that pointed to His foreign righteousness (Mt. 5)which is the basis of the NEW Cov. (Luke 24; I Cor 11). Both II Cor 3 and Hebrews argue for the highly discontinous nature exemplified between the Old Cov. and New Cov. The implication being an emphasis upon an internal righteousness (relational) rather than the juridical righteousness (external) argued for in your post here.

I have to make this comment a bit drive by--but I'll be back and park a bit more :).

In Christ,

Bobby

Steve Sensenig said...

Steve Camp: Just out of curiosity, is this post in response to my last few unanswered comments in the previous thread? In other words, should the discussion continue here, or are you going to be continuing that other thread?

steve :)

lGbtrue said...

Steve,
I've been reading these posts with much interest-thanks for opening up this great discussion. At times, it does seem a bit heated but this topic IS an essential doctrine so I hope it continues to beckon the Bereans and that you wouldn't get verbally irate at the ones who hold different views. From the outside, that is what it looks like.
While I appreciate 'orthodoxy' and the 'church fathers', I have to say that it scared me when you required one of your bloggers to quote someone whose years of ministry can attest to their faithfulness of doctrine. Did Steve Camp really say that?

I remember attending a Bible study that I will always be thankful for. However, one night, the faithful teacher came right out and said that no one in the room could be certain of their salvation. I couldn't believe my ears. No one in the room even flinched. Wasn't this against scripture? The only answer I was given afterwards for 1 John 5:13 and other verses was, just read John Owen. Then, it showed up in a Jonathan Edwards class two weeks later and that teacher said, don't worry, avoid bars and stuff and you should be alright. This was a place I trusted to rely on scripture! You bridged it as well and I appreciated your time and much effort there but scripture must be respected more than teachers or institutions!

Would you consider this heresy?...
"But if baptism was of God, it certainly included in it the promise of forgiveness of sin, mortification of the flesh, quickening of the Spirit, and communion with Christ" (Calvin in his Institutes, IV;xv,16-17 in defense of infant baptism by unregenerate priests- opposing those advocating being baptized again as an adult believer by a believer-those he martyred).
That sounds like heresy to me. And yet, Calvin is upheld more highly than any other at this point in time in the church. He's good on some things but that there was heresy. Anything that adds to the cross should be considered such.

Through One act of righteousness (obedience to the point of death;Phil.2:8)there resulted justification of life to all men.(Romans 5:18)

Paul Enns(Moody Handbook of Theology)says well,
'God could not forgive sin without a proper payment; Christ's death provided the legal means whereby God could forgive sin. Colossians 2:13 declares that God has forgiven us all our transgressions. The word forgiveness comes from the root word for grace; thus forgiveness means "to forgive out of grace." The common word for forgiveness means to send away-Matt.6:12;9:6;James5:15;1John1:9."
Grace is the key word. Is it really grace if the payment has been paid in full or partially or at all prior to the cross? What of the resurrection? Is it really necessary if half of the salvation to be merited was already completed? May it never be! For, "if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished." 1 Cor.15:17,18.

Erich Sauer(From Eternity To Eternity), writes, "The effects of the original fall of Satan can be overcome only through the Cross. That on the threshold of the lost Paradise there was given to man the original gospel concerning the seed of the woman and the treader-down of Satan (Gen.3:15) can find historical outworking only in the saving work of the Crucified. Therefore the darkness of this word of promise receives its first clear light from Good Friday and Easter." (Ch.7,p.57)

To provide further,'higher thinkers'which aren't necessary in addition to scripture but more eloquent than I:)...
"His life before the cross, -His "active obedience," as it is called, is not in any sense counted to us for righteousness. (I delivered to you," says Paul, "first of all, that Christ died for our sins.")...I say again, that the Law was given to neither Adam. The first Adam had life: God did not give him law whereby to get life! (W.R.Newell,Romans).

I quote these guys knowing that tomorrow they (if any are still kicking) can neglect some very obvious Bible truth at which point I would have to let them go as my 'reliable' teachers. We are all capable of every failure let us not think our professors, pastors,or editors are not.
There is only one good Teacher.

Let God be true and every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)

Jeremy Weaver said...

Great hymn. I once read where someone wanted to hear it.
:-)
When can we?

donsands said...

I was encouraged and convicted this morning as I read and pondered this most wonderful Psalm.
It doesn't really fit with the teaching (or maybe it does), but I thought it may be an encouragement for the heart.

"Righteous are You, O LORD, and upright are your judgements.
Your testimonies You have commanded are righteous and very faithful. ... Your righteousness ia an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth.
...
The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting:
... Your word is true from the begining: and every one of Your Righteous judgements endures forever. ....
Great peace have they which love Your Law: and nothing shall offend them." Psalm 119:137 -165

I pray my love for God's law would become more and more fervant, as David's love.

Uncialman said...

Joseph,

I sincerely pray that you are in full realization about the nature and source of the "scholarly" men that you quote below. Most can be found linked straight out of the distorted teachings of early 19th century Plymouth Bretheren pastors. Sadly, this strain of evangelicalism has some very unbalanced and unorthodox views stemming from what Steve Camp has correctly described as "steroidal dispensationalism". The early PBs misunderstood many foundational doctrines and took many paths away from a proper hermeutical approach.

These are the sort of men that would embrace Alexander Hislop and many of his errors and were as well the pre-cursors of influence upon one Mr. Charles Taze Russell, founder and chief theologian of the Jehovas Witnesses and Watchtower Track and Bible Society.

Ronnie said...

Steve,

I've been preaching through Galatians and have come to love this doctrine. Thanks for your disciplined, responsible treatment of this wonderful theme.

Ronnie

P.S. My family and I just listened to your message on Calvininsm in Daily Life that you did for the Founders. We were blessed.

Thanks for your work.

bobby grow said...

Come on, uncialman, you said:

"These are the sort of men that would embrace Alexander Hislop and many of his errors and were as well the pre-cursors of influence upon one Mr. Charles Taze Russell, founder and chief theologian of the Jehovas Witnesses and Watchtower Track and Bible Society."

Your comment here is fallacious, i.e. guilt by association, argument of the beard, poisoning the wells, etc.

The PB historically affirmed all the orthodox creeds as to the divinity/humanity of Christ, trinity, etc. Issues of milleniarianism are "secondary" issues, and not "essential" Christianity. JW's are heretics because they deny the essentials. I would be careful in how you might label a particular interpretive tradition, within the pale of orthodoxy, just because you disagree with them on secondary issues--you only end up discrediting your own position because you appear to have no substantial argumentation against your opponents perspectives, except to forward fallacious claims as you have above--this seems to undercut the theme and trajectory of this blogs commitment to get past the "spin".

In Christ,

Bobby

Uncialman said...

Bobby Grow,

Not a fallacious argument in the least. The influence of Hislop's twisted and convoluted work in "The Two Babylons" was embraced by PBs as well as by Charles Taze Russell. The same methodology was imposed to improperly view many key doctrinal understandings including Christological issues such as the eternal sonship of Christ. I understand that you might not be aware of the historical meanderings of the PB, but I can dismiss that as just pure ignorance.

The argumentation that has been used thus far in this particular issue has been "we reject the reformers cuz they are wrong on a lot of other stuff" or "boy, that sounds an awful lot like Roman Catholicism" instead of *admitting* historical influences on their own theological traditions. As I am sure you would understand by reading the context of the threads that have developed over the past week, NOT ONE orthodox historical source has been offered by those holding a contrary view of imputation. Instead, we get quotes from obscure 19th century PBs and "I think I heard this from someone"s from those that would argue from the non-reformed view.

Thirdly, if you understand the history of the PB and why their denomination seriously decayed over the past one hundred years, you would see that the lack of Pastoral leadership and sermon preparation has lead to some very, very odd ramblings and departure from clear orthodox teaching over the years. As someone who has preached in a PB church in the past, I would certainly say that the experience was bizzare to say the least and lacking of biblical leadership.

Anyway...

donsands said...

uncialman,
Thanks for the info on the Plymouth Brethern. I have a PB assembly in my neighborhood. A fellow elder visited a Bible study with them, and he came away thinking it was a cult.
I'll have to do some more research. I appreciate the spirit of your sharing.
Thanks again.
"speaking the truth in love"

Steve Sensenig said...

uncialman wrote: The argumentation that has been used thus far in this particular issue has been "we reject the reformers cuz they are wrong on a lot of other stuff" or "boy, that sounds an awful lot like Roman Catholicism" instead of *admitting* historical influences on their own theological traditions.

Apparently you have not been reading my comments, then, because I have asked several times for exegetical foundations for the redefinition of terms in the verses that have been presented. I have not rejected anything on the basis of anyone in particular. I have simply questioned the use of Scripture that does not state what it is claimed to be stating.

I understand that it's much easier for you to knock down the straw men here, but if you're sincerely interested in engaging with the topic, then why don't you answer the questions I have raised?

steve :)

Uncialman said...

Steve S:
No straw-men being attacked in any fashion here, sir. I was simply addressing a problem that has as well been positioned as a rebuttal against the Biblical reformed understanding of imputation. The argument has been made throughout the course of these many threads dealing with this issue that the reformed understanding of imputation is not biblical and that other scholarly men have held the opposite view. I challenged the proofs that were offered to document that particular assertion. As the PB and its roots from Cronin, Wilson, Darby and their reaction stand against the historical critical methods used by the Anglican Church and the subtle shift to ecumenism were the impetus to many of the inventive and never-before-seen hermeneutical techniques used by the PB, I figure it would be wise to identify the beginnings to what apparently has been the interpretive rule of choice amongst those denying the passive and active obedience of Christ.

So, it is true that if someone is coming from a tradition replete with Darby-ism, Chafer-ism Ryrie-ism and the like that they will be approaching the text with an inordinate amount of bias without the backing of serious studied, reformed pedigree. One from this influence might even cry out “just show me one verse” instead of understanding that the doctrine being declared is one that is exegetically taught throughout the Scriptures in a systematic fashion ; not unlike the doctrine of the Trinity. Apparently, we would all agree that the the fullness of the God-head and the co-equal, co-eternal relationship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is explicitly taught throughout Scripture without fail. However, many coming from aberrant theological traditions (And yes, influenced greatly by the Alexander Hislop), would raise a cry and hue asking for “one proof-text” to prove the doctrine of the Trinity.

Sadly, it is you that are claiming “Scripture does not say what it is claimed to be stating” without understanding the fullness of the doctrine being taught through the entire council of God. I think that Campi has done a wonderful job of clearly explaining an exegetical understanding of the imputation of the passive and active obedience of Christ. However, it was not YOUR post that I was responding to.

bobby grow said...

UNCIAL, actually your assertions are fallacious on your PB perspective. I too have attended PB, and I don't necessarily agree with their polity--but historically speaking they forward Chalcedonian orthodoxy relative to Christology--and many of these fellows follow "reformed" soteriology (TULIP). So unless you can substantiate the claim that they have abandoned Christological orthodoxy your assertions about the PB are still fallacious.

And I see, reading between the lines, your attack on dispensational methodology; and your assertion that this interpretive tradition distorts scripture--but again mere assertion. Be careful when you make the assertion that someone is ignorant--this might come back to bite you.

Steve Sensenig said...

uncialman wrote: Sadly, it is you that are claiming “Scripture does not say what it is claimed to be stating” without understanding the fullness of the doctrine being taught through the entire council of God. I think that Campi has done a wonderful job of clearly explaining an exegetical understanding of the imputation of the passive and active obedience of Christ.

Uncialman, I am amazed at the way in which you dismiss the arguments being presented. Any exegesis that says "one act" means "several acts" must be substantiated. Neither you nor Steve Camp have, to my knowledge, presented exegetical evidence of a redefining of terms. One cannot, in proper exegesis, say that a term means something other than its plain meaning, unless there is evidence given for that. And I am frustrated at the comments here that want to just ignore that issue!

For some reason, Steve Camp is not available to comment (I guess) on this right now, but you certainly seem like you understand it enough to help me get beyond this hurdle.

If you're going to make the statement that I don't understand the fullness of the council of God (a fairly arrogant statement, I may add, sir, since it implies that you do), then you should at least have enough compassion to explain the exegetical defense for redefining the words that Scripture actually uses.

As it is, you merely want to jump to conclusions (very false ones, I might add, too) about what theological presuppositions I bring to the table.

You may not have been responding to my comments, but you made general statements about the contrary views on these threads, and in so doing, you failed to acknowledge that at least one of us (me) is dealing with this from a Scriptural standpoint.

Why don't you deal with the legitimate arguments that are being presented?

steve :)

Steve Sensenig said...

uncialman, if you want to respond to someone specifically, then limit your accusations to them. Your broad painting of all who disagree with this position as ignorant is unwarranted.

bobby grow said...

Steve S. aren't you doing the same thing, i.e. presupposing that you're the only one approaching this issue scripturally, that you accuse uncial of--e.g. being an objective critical thinker?

bobby grow said...

My challenge to Uncial, is legitimate, he can't broadbush all "dispensational" thought, as he did, using the PB, as the foil through which he did this--and not be called to account for it--which he didn't.

Uncialman said...

Bobby Grow,

Methinks you need to scroll back to the history of the past four threads. :o) My post was focused upon the methodology that has been used in the interpretive model and the arguments that have been used to demean Mr. Camp's use of "sources". Many have used the "me and Bible say so" argument without admitting the biases that they bring to the Scriptures that influence their interpretation. And yes, if it was the intent of the thread to spend time running through the myriads of branches of dispensationalism that veered off from the original denominations formation under Darby, Cronin, Wilson, Hutchinson, Stokes, Congleton and Bellet. I would imagine from your qualifying assertions that you are aware of both the Open and Closed varities of Plymouth Bretheren? :o)

Sadly, the vast majority of PB churches have embraced various forms of Arminianism while inconsistently attempting to maintain the doctrine of eternal security (One point, two point, three point, four point "Calvinism" - or simply stated, synergism). In the "Closed" side of Plymouth Bretheren,the denomination has battled Christological heresies (including a misunderstanding of eternal sonship) and have nearly excluded themselves out of existence.

In recent years, many of the "Open" PBs have allowed some forms of reformed soteriology to exist in their churches - but never exclusiviely. As well, many "Open" PBs have started to accept more of a biblical ecclesial polity instead of the congregant rule that has plauged their ministry. At a PB church that I attended in Washington DC, the church began to understand the need for elders etc after a time of adjustment. Amazingly, they also began to eschew the Darby charts and wild eyed prophetic wanderings that were the calling card of PBs. They have since ceased being PB and have become Reformed Baptists. :o)

On a strong and positive note, many dispensationalists have come full circle in embracing reformed soteriology. Since I am convinced the "doctrines of grace" are biblical, consistent, and compelling, I can only rejoice when people are exposed to these truths. I have seen so many lives changed by these great truths, that I long to see many other believers come to understand the truth about the sovereignty of God, the inability of man, and the power of His grace. Part and parcel of embracing calvinism is the understanding of the imputation of the passive and active obedience of Christ. Without this clear understanding, a full understanding of God's redemptive work is left unfinished.

Anyway...

Steve Sensenig said...

bobby grow wisely asked: Steve S. aren't you doing the same thing, i.e. presupposing that you're the only one approaching this issue scripturally, that you accuse uncial of--e.g. being an objective critical thinker?

Well, if I am, it was certainly not my intention to do so. If I am communicating in that way, I want to rephrase my communications.

I believe that the Reformed side is using Scripture to make their point, but I am not understanding how they reach the conclusion that they do. And for some reason, I'm not getting anywhere with trying to get an explanation.

Every quote that is presented, by Reformers or by modern-day Reformed believers, here in Steve's posts use the same group of verses, but then make what appears to me to be a leap in their logic to say that the active obedience is part of it.

Here's the reality: There is no statement in Scripture to this effect. Uncial and Steve and others claim that, like the doctrine of the Trinity, it must be extracted from the whole batch of verses.

In and of itself, I have no problem with that approach. But when those verses talk about "one act", and the explanation given is that "one act" really means "several acts", that is a leap that so far I have seen no evidence as to how it came about.

Does that not concern you that a position is held which requires changing the text of Scripture?

At any rate, though, I am definitely not approaching this with arrogance and accusation. I have been very gracious in my questions (and Steve has said as much) and asked for clarification.

Instead, my questions continue to get dismissed.

I have read the articles very closely, and examined every Scripture reference given. I just don't see it! And no one seems willing to answer the very basic question of how one = several.

I understand that history is on their side. I get that much. I understand that to differ with hundreds of years of history is not the easiest position to be in. But either we are willing to examine these finer points of the teaching that has been handed down, or we are more willing to say that apparently these other guys were godly enough that I should take their word for it and stop asking the questions.

That is not being a Berean, and I will not live my spiritual life that way. I find it hard to believe that's really what the Reformers fought for! After all, they were reacting against that very problem in the Roman Catholic Church.

Steve asked some to back up their statements, and I'm just saying that I think it should go both ways.

Does that help clarify my position at all, or do you still find my position to be equally arrogant? I sincerely hope not.

steve :)

Uncialman said...

Bobby Grow:

No, it is a legitimate question that you are posing to me; I'm not questioning that at all. I think in this case you and I might be "talking past one another" on the issue at stake here.

Please understand, I never stated "Dispensationalists cannot interpret the Scriptures" but instead focused on a particular strain of dispensationalism that has given birth to an awful lot of error - including issues dealing with Lordship etc.

Steve S's last post here is an accurate assesment of the issue: he can't see how the reformed come to their understanding of the issue because he is still viewing the issue through another set of lenses.

Guys: Steve Camp is extremely busy right now (he has exhausted the time he could spend on the blog for now) and I'm about to be for the next 48 hours - so please excuse time-to-time absences.

I will return soon and so will Steve. I've got to work on some huge events coming up ( www.aomin.org ) and have all sorts of deadlines etc...

bobby grow said...

No, it's hard to discern intention with this medium some times Steve, thanks for the clarification. You're not going against hundreds of yrs of interpretive tradition, Steve. There is, right smack dab in the middle of the shaping of the "reformed" tradition what is known as the "Free-Grace" antinomian tradition. They operate within the same historical and theological milieu as the WCF do. Richard Sibbes, Preston, and others provide a theological schema that, I think, provides a more legitimate framework than the Calvinist position does.

Don't feel alone, even historically speaking!

In Christ,

Bobby

Bhedr said...

Steve Sensing,

Not only that, there is no getting around. Romans 3;21 which Joseph brought up.

I really am trying to watch my tone and be exigetical even though I am just a truck driver.

"But now the righteousness of God has been manifested..." Romans 3:21a

To understand this word manifested. It is the word Jesus used to tell the one who is loved by him that his Father will reveal Himself.

This means to reveal righteousness. not Acheive it. The idea is like that of disecting a frog and scientifically exploring what is visable. Revelation under the knife. Learning via the knife. Please understand the implications of this. The Law is a knife to us. It is a knife of death. When we are placed under its scapel it reveals death. I had a landlord go in for back surgery a while back and when he went under the knife they discovered cancer in him. The knife sped up the process and two weeks later he was dead.

Jesus allowed himself to be disected under the knife of the Law, but through that knife life came out instead of our death. The knife revealed what was already there. Righteousness apart from the Law. The knife did not create the righteousness. It revealed it, so much so that even though the Law put Him on the cross at the highest permeation of this knife instead of death a supernova of Gods explosive inherent righteousness broke forth from the tomb. The veil was ripped that the Spirit of Life proved Himself. The knife revealed what was already in Him before the foundation of the world. The Lamb already slain. One ultimate act of love proven under the knife of the Law.

"Apart from the Law..." Romans 3:12b

The broad group of evangelical's creed states righteousness apart from us. True but incomplete. What sayeth the sciptures.

"Apart from the Law..." also

"Manifested!" not acheived.

And lastly, "Although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it." Romans 3:21c

This couldn't be any clearer as it states the purpose. TO BEAR WITNESS.

May the next verse be the point of rest for all of us brethren. Please, I implore you.

"The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction." Romans 3:22

Wonderful and most beautiful news.

4given? We have all failed in one way or another out here, but God is not finished with any of us yet. I say this in defense of Steve Camp even though I disagree with him here.

Steve Camp has a desire to be abandoned to God, and I know that God will finish that work in him one day and I pray for Him in this regard. He is fine tuning all of us. Steve Camp is a new creation in Christ with a clean and pure heart, clothed with the righteousness of Christ. I know He believes this. We all face the ghost of our Old Nature. I pray all of us can work to look past that.

Bhedr said...

BTW Bobby?

Your entrance here is a gem. I am out of my league, so come back from time to time. I know you are busy too. I am still going to examine Your Assertive Theology perspective and hope you continue to post on it. It is good to know that men like Sibes were thinking, but ultimately men like Terry I think stand the most for Sola Scriptura, but that is just my opinion. We can all learn from one another. I have learned in the past from Steve Camp as well as James White. I did have to get the stars out of my eyes though at one point because Dr White especially was becoming an Idol to me. I have since repented of it. I still glean great truths from him and am thankful for his discernment and boldness against Rome, but I gotta be led by the Father..My Ra'ah, more so now. May we all be on a quest to abandon ourselves to God, yet have the healing hands of the bond of fellowship in as much as is possible. I believe we all have faith in Christ alone, but I still think we need to get past our prejudicial thinking. Even men like Piper can be reactive in their theology as he admitted once to being spawned against his grandmothers views of the Glory of God.

bobby grow said...

Hey Brian, you said "Assertive Theology" in your comment to me, it's actually "Affective Theology" --although many might think your Assertive is more apt ;).

donsands said...

bhedr,

What kind of truck do you drive? I used to drive a beer truck for Anheuser Busch. In fact, the Lord saved me while i was working there.
The Lord can save and use even us truck drivers, and ex-truck drivers.

I have one verse for you to interpret for me if you would. 1 Cor. 1:30. "Christ is our righteousness, sanctification, redemption, and wisdom." What do these four incredible blessings mean to you?

Bhedr said...

Ah ha ha! I hear ya Bobby.

Hey Donsands! I drive a frieghtlinner, but used to drive a Kenworth when I was over the road..of course I drove a large Peter Car at one time too.

The T2000 is my favorite! I like it even better than the beautiful W-9. I deliver roof trusses now. Wide loads only up to 14 feet wide. I don't know what I would do if they were any wider.

Good verse brother.

As ye have therefore received the Lord so walk ye in him. Total dependance is what I believe in so those words are great.

He clothed me with His righteousness, redeemed me by his blood and is sanctifying me by His wisdom. His life giving Spirit who brings the 'graphe' to life and understanding and his chastening and hardship that causes me to obey.

I do not leave behind all of reformed teaching. Although there is a Human response...I put my weight on the Spirit of God's work.

Are those wonderful truths somehow to conflict with the inherent righteousness of Christ.
in Justification
By the way...Dr White uses Luthers dunghill analogy covered by snow. I do not like this analogy. I believe in a dunghill with gold at the bottom and that this is the righteousness that he sees and is burning away the dunghill to bring it to the surface. Analogies are insufficient anyway so on it goes.

Luthers dunghill covers sin but does not extract it and leaves no room for sanctification as it only covers in the same sense a white washed tomb is.

Spoke at ya later on and catch you on the flip flop Donsands. Toot toot!

Unfortunately we truckers think we know everything and I have had a hard time discovering the opposite is true:-)

Bhedr said...

I can hear everybody calling me a Roman infusy now, but I don't believe in that in the Roman sense, but there is no getting around the change of heart and new creation clearly shown in scripture.

Steve Sensenig said...

uncialman wrote: Steve S's last post here is an accurate assesment of the issue: he can't see how the reformed come to their understanding of the issue because he is still viewing the issue through another set of lenses.

I have to say that I'm rather disappointed that you would just leave it at that. I don't know what lenses you think I'm looking through, but I had hoped that you would take the time to engage me in responding to my questions, rather than just talking about me.

*sigh*

Bhedr said...

By the way I base that analogy on the Apostle Paul stating that though the outward man is being destroyed day by day the inward man is being renewed. This further stresses the truth that the inherent work of Christ though put to the test and the knife...reveals righteousness. We begin to grow in the same sense that Christ did...only Christ was without sin and we are not. Still the pattern fits the same mold. A servant is not greater than the master. We will suffer the same way he did...and the suffering will yeild forth righteousness. His suffering proved righteousness as does ours now...only we are chastened along with suffering. Its kind of like a double whammy, but the fruit is still the same.

The inside of the cup was the intent of the work of Christ...not the outside. Some grow very little and some grow a lot. There are oak trees and there are squashes for the glory of the Lord.

bobby grow said...

Uncial said:

"Please understand, I never stated "Dispensationalists cannot interpret the Scriptures" but instead focused on a particular strain of dispensationalism that has given birth to an awful lot of error - including issues dealing with Lordship etc."


in a previous comment Uncial said:

"So, it is true that if someone is coming from a tradition replete with Darby-ism, Chafer-ism Ryrie-ism and the like that they will be approaching the text with an inordinate amount of bias without the backing of serious studied, reformed pedigree. One from this influence might even cry out “just show me one verse” instead of understanding that the doctrine being declared is one that is exegetically taught throughout the Scriptures in a systematic fashion ; . . ."

When you mention Chafer and Ryrie you expand your discussion on dispensationalist beyond one select stream within dispen., i.e. Darbyism. BTW I follow Progressive Disp.--just so you know ;).

Uncial said:

". . . Part and parcel of embracing calvinism is the understanding of the imputation of the passive and active obedience of Christ. Without this clear understanding, a full understanding of God's redemptive work is left unfinished."

Uncial I realize that Steve S., and myself for that matter, are operating out of a different set of historical lenses than reflected by the "Calvinist" position--and I suppose this is my fundamental point of departure from both Camp's and your position. I see discontinuity between Law and Gospel (i.e. Luther's Law vs. Gospel)--as opposed to Federal Theologies heavy continuity between Law AND Gospel. I don't believe the Mosaic Cov. provides the foundation or basis for the imputed righteousness of Christ for the "elect" (i.e. your "active obedience/righteousness). I'll stop there, very assertively, and come back . . . when I have a chance (let me just say I like Gen. 15:6 quite a bit ;)!

In Christ,

Bobby

lGbtrue said...

Steve and Uncialman,
You said, “One from this influence might even cry out “just show me one verse” instead of understanding that the doctrine being declared is one that is exegetically taught throughout the Scriptures in a systematic fashion.” There are definitive, plain verses on the Trinity (given earlier by one of your bloggers). It can be traced throughout the Bible. But, where, if ‘throughout’, can this works doctrine be found in Scripture? I see it taught AGAINST numerous times! We are simply asking that you provide this ‘systematic’ evidence. The only resemblance to JW’s that I see is the contention and almost visible disdain for those bloggers who do not agree with you. There is no subtlety with your requests of apology and banishment! When witnessing to JWs, they react the same way because they know they don’t have a leg (or scripture or greek word) to stand on. I have read very biblical, detailed, historical blogs with numerous ‘recommended-seminary authors’ quoted being unanswered except for derogatory name-calling and accusations. Why is this? Jesus fulfilled the law (Matt. 5:17), surpassed it (Matt. 5:20), and abolished “in His flesh the enmity which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances” (Eph.2:15…not flesh meaning the works of His flesh but, “in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. (Eph. 2:16). Under it, He became, not the efficacious Lawkeeper, but the Curse for us!! By it, no man is justified! (Galatians 3:10-14). Redemption is had through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (Eph. 1:7). How do you abolish that exegesis?
Perhaps your position is stayed regardless of proof and that is why you can so easily join the fathers you hold so dear with the words, “Recant or be put outside the Camp.” I think there’s better company outside the camp.

Let God Be True and Every Man a Liar,
In the One Who cannot lie and will lie for no man,
Jehovah Tsidkenu (1 John 2:1,2)

donsands said...

lgbtrue,

Did you read the whole of Steve's post?
There are a lot of Scripture refferences there brother.

I agree with this teaching that Christ's righteousness is imputed to us, and our sins our imputed to Him. Steve's last two posts have furnished a tremendous amount of Bible teaching, and you certainly can still disagree, but the other side doesn't take the teaching of man over the Holy Writ, we proclaim Scripture as the authority. Amen.

I agree; let all men be liars, and God be true, and His Word be true. Amen.

Steve Sensenig said...

donsands wrote: Did you read the whole of Steve's post?
There are a lot of Scripture refferences [sic] there brother.


I know this comment was not directed specifically at me, but I'd like to weigh in on this. As I've already mentioned, I have read each of these posts and looked up every reference. You are correct that there are "a lot" of references there, but the problem that some of us are having is that those verses don't say what is being stated.

Is there not one person here who is willing to answer my question of how "one act" = "several acts"??

The reality is, I have no problem with someone wanting to believe that the active obedience plays just as crucial a role in imputation as the "one act" on the cross. I have already expressed that I believe that the perfect obedience of Jesus is a very important doctrine. I'm just not convinced that it has as much to do with imputation as it does His role as High Priest and as the qualification to be the perfect Lamb as a sacrifice.

But those of you (donsands, uncialman, Steve Camp) who seem to have a problem with some of us not going that far with the doctrine of imputation really are ignoring some of the very crucial questions we have asked with relation to the biblical text.

So, donsands, I'll pose the question to you now, since neither Steve nor uncialman have taken the time to answer it yet:

How can we demonstrate exegetically that the "one act" mentioned in Scripture (and the frequent emphasis by Paul on the work on the cross) really means "several acts", i.e., a lifetime of obedience?

steve :)

Steve Sensenig said...

littlegal, thanks for the comments. I specifically chose the words "taken the time to answer" to avoid passing any judgment.

However, I have asked the question at times when Steve was taking the time to post responses to me on other things, and he hasn't addressed it in any of those responses.

I think it's an incredibly vital "hinge" in this discussion. I'm patiently waiting for Steve to return, but was more commenting on the fact that he and uncialman had responded to me on other things without addressing that important question.

Thanks for the gentle reminder, though! :)

steve :)

SJ Camp said...

Steve S. I have five children (they are wonderful) and other things that occupy my time than just your comments and questions. I also thought it was the better part of wisdom to allow this last post to "speak" and for you (and others here) to "listen" and not just react with the same old around the barn rhetoric I have come to hear from y'all. I was very surprised to see the number of comments that have been posted here already.

1. Do you realize the volume of writing I've done here this past week on this issue?

2. I have faithfully stayed in this discussion patiently trying to address y'alls comments

3. I have had to explain the most basic and obvious of things many times here (even my comment on accountability you didn't understand).

4. I have answered your questions many times here dear brother. I have not just mentioned or listed Scriptural references, but have unfolded them in these articles as to its claims on this issue.

5. This reminds of when MacArthur came out with his excellent book "The Gospel According to Jesus" defending the Lordship of Christ and repentance in salvation (as you know, Ryrie and Zane wrote an easy believism gospel in their books). The non-Lordship folk would not listen no matter how much Scripture John would rightly divide and show them, claiming similar things as some of you have.

BUT in God's providence and grace, his book silenced the other side profoundly--they've been speechless on this issue for 16 years. John stood for orthodoxy on this issue and fired a shot heard round the evangelical world and we are all grateful to the Lord for his courage on upholding biblical truth on that issue.

6. I really do appreciate your questions here Steve and I sense from you a sincere desire to learn and understand; but I have demonstrated again and again textually on this blog this essential doctrine on imputation. You want to divorce the Lord's sinless life from His complete atoning work in imputation--I don't. That really is the crux of it here.

You see Christ fulfilling the Law as only a qualifier for His role as HIgh Priest; I see it as not only part of His being perfected as Hebrews would say, but part of imputation as well.

You think that somehow the Law and all its demands can be divorced from redemptive history; I don't. I see it as part of God's plan of redemption in the coming of Messiah.

You basically see little correlation between the First Adam and the Last Adam (Federal Theology--I assume that you and Bobby are more "seminal" rather than Federal) and that distinction matters.

As an arminian, you want to set aside justice in imputation; as a Calvinist, I see it included in imputation. etc., etc., etc.

7. The only thing that I would encourage you to do at this point, is reread these articles, and do a study looking back at the role of the High Priest in the old covenant--and then, compare the role of the High Priest demonstrated by our Lord on behalf of God and His people (the first time Jesus is mentioned as High Priest in the Bible is in Heb. 2:17). Some the problem texts for you might become more clear when you have invested in that kind of study.

8. Bobby is correct: Federal Theology is represented here--it is the orthodox view of the relationship between the First Adam and the Last Adam.

9. Lastly, when some of you say "just show me one verse" I understand that: many dispensationalists have gotten used to in some of their theology is a proof-texting of their views rather than developing a canonical biblical theology - systematized throughout the entirety of Scripture, of their views. That also is one key difference here.

This last post Steve laid out a clear biblical foundation for the active and passive obedience of Christ in imputation.

I will be posting one last article on this that I hope will encourage you in the Word and in your worship of our Lord Jesus.

Keep on brother for the glory of the Lord and the proclamation of His gospel.

Grace and peace to you,
Steve
2 Cor. 5:21

Steve Sensenig said...

Steve, thank you for your reply. I am sorry that you feel like I haven't really read what you wrote. Nothing could be further from the truth, dear brother.

But I can see that you believe that you have accurately presented the exegesis for your point, and I must accept that and move on. You feel like you've answered all of my questions, and to be fair, I do believe you have answered quite a few of my questions. I appreciate that, Steve! I really do.

I just honestly felt like the "one act = several acts" question deserved a clear biblical answer, and that is the one that I have failed to see even acknowledged in your writing. No amount of understanding texts at this point will help me understand how one can redefine terms to that extent.

As it stands, after reading and examining this issue from your perspective, I see some of what you are saying, but do not see it in its entirety because of the leaps required to redefine the words used in the inspired Word.

You credit that to a dispensational and arminian perspective. I probably cannot fairly dismiss the arminian label (although, to be honest, I don't believe that it fully fits), but despite the schools I attended, the dispensational label does not even begin to apply to me.

You have no idea how much of the dispensational teaching I have rejected in the years since attending PCB and DTS.

Steve, I appreciate the time you put into this, and never meant to imply that you had nothing better to do with your time than discuss this. Please understand that, brother.

It's hard for you to see my questions as anything more than a request for "proof-texting", but in reality, Steve, I have accepted the verses you have given as spelling out a larger doctrine than any proof-text could supply. It was the use of the texts of those verses that concerned, and continues to concern me, with regard to this issue.

When all is said and done, you believe that your position is clearly taught in Scripture, but some of us respectfully disagree.

I'm ok with that, Steve. I'm not sure if your position allows you to be "ok" with it, but at any rate, I do appreciate that you have not slandered me any more than the dispensational reference! ;) (that's a joke, of course)

I will resist the urge to continue this discussion any longer.

Under His Grace,
steve :)

donsands said...

steve s,
First, I agree with Steve Camp's last comment. He speaks my heart as well.

Second, I understand what you're looking for. That one verse.
How about 2 Cor 5:21. You may disagree what it means, but it's right there.
Jesus became sin. This statement is so deep, that I don't see us ever knowing it's depth completely. However, Jesus our Messiah was the holy passover Lamb. He cleansed us, His elect, from our sins. The Father granted us, His chosen, mercy, by first, giving us to His Son, and second, giving His Son to us.
We become righteousness, not righteous. We have the robe of righteousness, which is Christ's righteousness. We have no righteousness of our own. We have His, because we are in Christ.

One more verse for thought. Romans 8: 3-4, "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us".

Everything we are; our physical bodies, and our hearts & souls are redeemed by all that Jesus Christ did, and who He is.

One more verse, and the last one.

This is one of my favorites: "But of Him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us widom, Righteousness, and Sanctification and Redemption:
That according as it is written, He that glories let him glory in the Lord!" 1 Cor. 1: 30-31
Rejoicing in my salvation, and our salvation!
If you see these verses not meaning what I take them to mean, we can certainly agree to disagree.

Steve Sensenig said...

donsands wrote: Second, I understand what you're looking for. That one verse.

donsands, you need to go back and re-read my comments. I never asked for that, and you apparently do not understand at all what I was looking for. I asked you a very specific question, sir, and you have not answered it. That's fine. Steve already said that he has answered it, and even though I don't know what that answer is, I have agreed to stop pursuing an answer to the question here.

Secondly, I have no disagreement with anything you wrote in this last comment. The imputation of righteousness, the fact of Christ becoming sin for us, in and of itself, was not what this discussion was about.

If you're going to address me in a comment, I would respectfully ask you to engage with what I have written without putting words into my mouth.

Terry Rayburn said...

For the record:

One doesn't have to be an Arminian to reject "active obedience" imputation.

I've been a Calvinist for almost 30 years, yet see the imputation of "active obedience" as error.

Although not at all ashamed of the term "Calvinist", I'm referring to the 5 Points of the Doctrines of Grace, of course. There are several other views of Calvin himself that many of us reject, e.g., infant baptism, sabbatarianism, his view of ecclesiology/church-state, and punishing heretics.

I've greatly enjoyed the discussion, and although I agree that the Rom. 5:18 "one act" passage was not dealt with, most of the cards for both sides were laid on the table for all to see and decide on.

Iron a little sharper,
Terry

donsands said...

steve s.

I didn't mean to put words in your mouth. I hate it when people do that. I suppose I have been guilty of doing it at times, but I try not to do this sort of thing.

Where does Scripture teach "one act = several acts" is your question.

Christ's death is one act that equals several acts. Is this what the question is?
Again, sorry that I haven't be more observant of what you are trying to convey.

Steve Sensenig said...

donsands, Yes that was the question I had asked and not seen an answer to. But again, in deference to Steve Camp's latest comment to me, I am not going to continue to ask that question here and seek an answer to it. I am willing to drop the discussion at this point since Steve feels he has made his case clearly from Scripture and answered all my questions.

I respect his blog enough to drop it at that.

Be blessed,
steve :)

donsands said...

steve,

Blessings! All for the Cross! Gal. 6:14

Bhedr said...

Forgiven? confused? Well how could someone as eloquent as I confuse anyone.Ha Ha Ha. Don't worry you aren't the first. Sorry:-(
You just said people were loosing respect for bloggers out here and I think all of us need mulligans. That was my only point. I'm sure Campi would put me on the permanent mulligan list.


Back to the subject...Here is another point where I cannot see Dr Whites understanding of justification. This same thread just keeps bleeding out...He said>and owed obedience personally on his own behalf<

I couldn't disagree more with that. He paid a debt he didn't owe. Again this view of justification just makes me realize that God is a debtor to man. This is why I cannot go along with it. Again, I believe he was obediant and that his obediance proved that only He had the power to redeem.

Jesus laid down his life of his own. There was no violation of the law that he himself was in debt to.

Bhedr said...

BTW good one Bobby...Genesis 15:6 is not only prior to the law but prior to the fulfilment of the promise to Abraham. Abraham believed the promise...not the act that would come later. Believe the promise is faith. Flashlight faith is the latter. Even Abraham understood that the promise was inherent within God and was as good as fulfilled. That is the faith God wants. Faith in He Himself.

Think about it...wouldn't you want people to believe in you and say.."Lord with you...it is as good as done."

That is where he wants us. That is what he delights in.

God imputed the righteousness to Abrahams account because he believed in the promise before it was fulfilled.

bobby grow said...

Steve C. said:

". Lastly, when some of you say "just show me one verse" I understand that: many dispensationalists have gotten used to in some of their theology is a proof-texting of their views rather than developing a canonical biblical theology - systematized throughout the entirety of Scripture, of their views. That also is one key difference here."

This is nothing more than a hasty generalization and caricature--actually a bit frustrating--Steve C.!

Steve C. said to Steve S., and I'm assuming others who aren't Federal Theology guys (like myself):

"You basically see little correlation between the First Adam and the Last Adam (Federal Theology--I assume that you and Bobby are more "seminal" rather than Federal) and that distinction matters.

As an arminian, you want to set aside justice in imputation; as a Calvinist, I see it included in imputation. etc., etc., etc."


You do realize Steve C. that it's possible to be a non-Calvinist--and non-Federal Theology person, and still not be a "Zane Free-Grace" person or Arminian. There is a tradition that took shape historically, in Puritan England, that could be labeled as Affective Theology (or historic Free-Grace/or more negative "anti-nomian"). See this article I wrote on an introduction to Affective Theology here's the permalink: http://devotio.typepad.com/devoted_life/2006/03/introduction_to.html.

Even Martin Luther saw discontinuity between the Law and Gospel, note his comment taken from his Treatise: "The Freedom of a Christian", he said:

". . . It is clear, then, that a Christian has all that he needs in faith and needs no work to justifiy him; and if he has no need of works, he has no need of the law; and if he has no need of the law, surely he is free from the law. It is true that the 'the law is not laid down for the just' [I Tim 1:9]. This is that Christian liberty, our faith, which does not induce us to live in idleness or wickedness but makes the law and works unnecessary for any man's righteousness and salvation." (see Martin Luther, "Three Treatises," from the American Edition of Luther's Works, 284.)

I quote this merely to highlight contra Steve C.'s assertion that his interpretation is the only viably attested to, and historic understanding of the interrelationship of Law and Gospel--it is not, and denial of his interpretation (Steve C. in particular and Calvinist in general) does not by default make someone an Arminian.

Steve C. said:

". . . John stood for orthodoxy on this issue and fired a shot heard round the evangelical world and we are all grateful to the Lord for his courage on upholding biblical truth on that issue."

What orthodoxy are your referring to Steve? The determinations of the Synod of Dort, and the Westminster "Divines" is not, anymore the standard of orthodoxy, than that reflected by the Remonstrants--there is nothing necessarily ecumenical or "universal" relative to their determinations. The only church councils in history that have been considered benchmarks for Christian orthodoxy are reflected by the first 5 ecumenical church councils. So your usage of orthodoxy, relative to John Mac. is very fluid, and highly debatable.

Steve C. said:

". . . to "listen" and not just react with the same old around the barn rhetoric I have come to hear from y'all."

Isn't rhetoric a rather relative concept--in other words doesn't this go both ways, maybe your responses appear rather rhetorical, from my vantage point.

From my perspective Federal Theology and Classical Theism (Calvinism) suffer from integrating the Thomistic sythesis of Aristotelian anthropolgy and ethical concepts with Christian Theology. I only say this, Steve C., to assert that maybe there are factors at work in your own interpretive tradition, Federal The., that actually, in the end, distort scriptures communication as much as you believe "Arminian" theology does.

In Christ,

Bobby G.

Steve Sensenig said...

Federal Theology and Classical Theism (Calvinism) suffer from integrating the Thomistic sythesis of Aristotelian anthropolgy and ethical concepts with Christian Theology.

That is a mouthful!!! I'm not even sure I fully grasp what that sentence is saying! ;)

bobby grow said...

Steve S., see this article:

http://www.findarticles.com/p/artic

les/mi_qa3803/is_199710/ai_n8776993

in the Trinity Journal, it explains what the Thomistic synthesis is, and some of its implications when doing theology through this particular lens.

In Christ,

Bobby

SJ Camp said...

Bobby:

Thank you for posting here and for sharing your thoughts. This is a discussion that is deeply rooted in canonical biblical theology and a correct view expressed biblically in federal theology.

When our foundations for this issue are severed at the most basics of theology, then I think it's best to not engage in what could amount ultimately to nothing more than consternation between brothers in Christ.

If you want to carry on this discussion off-blog with me I would welcome it. But I do think after seven articles and hundreds of posts, that this thread needs to move on.

I have tried to demonstrate biblically the importance of a right view of imputation throughout Old and New Testament culminating in the cross and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let's be clear, what you and a small handful of others have represented here is not consistent with almost two thousand years of redemptive history and I am concerned for you.

Thank you for letting the iron sharpen the iron. May God grant us the wisdom in dealing with these essential issues of doctrine and each day conform us all to the image of His Son.

Yours for the Master's use,
Steve

Bhedr said...

One word for Steve. Even though I agree with Joseph, I must say that the best excuse any father can make is that he is spending time with his kids.

Also whether we agree with Camp, we must acknowledge that this man is more than fair in allowing comments on his blog. In the past 7 or 8 months I have only had one or two deleted.

Steve is as bold a dude as we are sometimes...and alot of times we don't get the reactions we want. I think it is best for us all to step back and meditate on what has been said. Go drink our coffee and eat our donuts..but lets not forget what is at stake, nor let us continue our banter as sometimes we need to go ahead and get out of the way(myself included) so that the Spirit of the Living God can do His work. Seeds have been planted, and that is all we can do.

Mr Camp, though I don't agree with you...I do have tremendous respect for you and this blog that always provokes the edge.

Bhedr said...

Bobby,

I appreciate you brother. Lets put ourselves in Steves shoes even though we don't agree with him. He is a public guy that affords much time. I want him to spend time with his kids.

Hey there is a great debate going on over at the Jmoor. Check it out. Your engines are still burning and thats good, you wanna go over there for a while?

SJ Camp said...

Amen

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