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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Response to Shepherd on the Active Obedience of Christ « Johannes Weslianus

Response to Shepherd on the Active Obedience of Christ « Johannes Weslianus

25 comments:

Nick said...

Hi,

Could you please tell me your top 3 passages that you believe clearly teach Christ's Active Obedience as a component necessary for our salvation?

Here are some very important passages on justification, but the astonishing thing is, there is no mention of Active Obedience, only his Death and Resurrection:

Consider:
Romans 3:21-26
Romans 4:25
Galatians 2:21
2 Corinthians 5:21

I'm reading the link you gave, but the arguments are more based on assuptions rather than any clear Biblical texts (as far as I can tell).

I'm interested in your thoughts.

Charlie J. Ray said...

We both know you're not interested in any such thing, Nick. Basically, what you want to do is bait and switch.

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever sinned? If so, then you deserve hell. (Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23). Also, maybe you can tell me if Jesus ever sinned at all?

Finally, what standard does God expect of you? Are you able to meet that standard? (Matthew 5:17-21, 48; Romans 3:10-23).

If you are unable to do what God commands of you, then what do you deserve? Congruent merits do not apply here since God will not lower His standards so you can "appear" to meet them. God's LAW is perfect and He expects you to perfectly obey His moral law.

Selectively quoting the Bible without considering all that it says and comparing Scripture with Scripture is an unreasonable and illogical method of interpreting Scripture.

Sincerely yours,

Charlie

Nick said...

Hi Charlie,

What do you mean by I'm not interested in your thoughts and rather bait and switch? I have nothing to 'switch' to - I'm just telling you that in all honesty, I don't see any clear texts in support of Active Obedience (especially in contrast to the clear and repeated texts for Passive).

You asked me: Have you ever sinned? If so, then you deserve hell. (Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23). Also, maybe you can tell me if Jesus ever sinned at all?

Yes, I have sinned; and yes, the guilt of my sins do deserve hell. (That's why we need forgiveness.)
As for Jesus, we both agree He never sinned at all.


You also asked me: "Finally, what standard does God expect of you? Are you able to meet that standard? (Matthew 5:17-21, 48; Romans 3:10-23)."

I don't interpret those or any other passage to suggest God demands utter sinlessness from me. They do, of course, teach that I've not been faithful and thus need Christ's Atonement for forgiveness. When you referenced Matthew 5:19, I note that it says one's glory in Heaven is proportional to how well they kept Christ's commandments, with those keeping them with less fidelity being called "least in the Kingdom" (as opposed to "greater in the Kingdom").


You asked: If you are unable to do what God commands of you, then what do you deserve? Congruent merits do not apply here since God will not lower His standards so you can "appear" to meet them. God's LAW is perfect and He expects you to perfectly obey His moral law.

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. God doesn't "lower His standards" since the Cross makes up for any deficiencies on our end. The whole point of the Cross was that we needed forgiveness for not keeping His commandments.


You said: Selectively quoting the Bible without considering all that it says and comparing Scripture with Scripture is an unreasonable and illogical method of interpreting Scripture.

I would whole-heartedly agree. This very approach has led me to doubt that Active Obedience is Biblical. I went through every page of Paul's Epistles about a month ago, and made a list of all passages mentioning Christ's Work, and in each case that consisted of His Suffering, Death, and Resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:3-5,
"I [Paul] delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve."

Charlie J. Ray said...

So if God does not expect "utter sinlessness" from you, how much sin does God tolerate?

Charlie J. Ray said...

Nick said: "I'm not sure what you're getting at here. God doesn't "lower His standards" since the Cross makes up for any deficiencies on our end. The whole point of the Cross was that we needed forgiveness for not keeping His commandments."

Ah, so you're saying the cross is sufficient for all your sins committed after your baptism? If so, then why is the "sacrament" of penance necessary according to Roman Catholic theology?

Charlie J. Ray said...

The last time I checked, Paul's Epistles are not the totality of Scripture.

Charlie J. Ray said...

3. Christ, by His obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to His Father’s justice in their behalf. (Rom. 5:8–10, 19, 1 Tim. 2:5–6, Heb. 10:10, 14, Dan. 9:24, 26, Isa. 53:4–6, 10–12) Yet, in as much as He was given by the Father for them; (Rom. 8:32) and His obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead; (2 Cor. 5:21, Matt. 3:17, Eph. 5:2) and both, freely, not for any thing in them; their justification is only of free grace; (Rom. 3:24, Eph. 1:7) that both the exact justice, and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners. (Rom. 3:26, Eph. 2:7)

WCF Chapter 11:3 Of Justification

The Westminster confession of faith. 1996. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The Belgic Confession says:

Article 22: Of Justifying Faith and the Justification of Faith

We believe that, in order that we may obtain the true knowledge of this great mystery, the Holy Spirit kindles in our hearts a true faith.[1] This faith embraces Jesus Christ with all His merits, makes Him our own, and does not seek anything besides Him.[2] For it must necessarily follow, either that all we need for our salvation is not in Jesus Christ or, if it is all in Him, that one who has Jesus Christ through faith, has complete salvation.[3] It is, therefore, a terrible blasphemy to assert that Christ is not sufficient, but that something else is needed besides Him; for the conclusion would then be that Christ is only half a Saviour.

Therefore we rightly say with Paul that we are justified by faith alone, or by faith apart from works of law (Rom 3:28).[4] Meanwhile, strictly speaking, we do not mean that faith as such justifies us,[5] for faith is only the instrument by which we embrace Christ our righteousness; He imputes to us all His merits and as many holy works as He has done for us and in our place.[6] Therefore Jesus Christ is our righteousness, and faith is the instrument that keeps us with Him in the communion of all His benefits. When those benefits have become ours, they are more than sufficient to acquit us of our sins.

[1] Jn 16:14; 1 Cor 2:12; Eph 1:17, 18. [2] Jn 14:6; Acts 4:12; Gal 2:21. [3] Ps 32:1; Mt 1:21; Lk 1:77; Acts 13:38, 39; Rom 8:1. [4] Rom 3:19-4:8; Rom 10:4-11; Gal 2:16; Phil 3:9; Tit 3:5. [5] 1 Cor 4:7. [6] Jer 23:6; Mt 20:28; Rom 8:33; 1 Cor 1:30, 31; 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Jn 4:10.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Romans 5:19 It is by the obedience of Christ and His sinless life that we are made righteous. It is His merits applied to us, not our merits that fulfill the law of God for justification. Romans 10:1-4

Nick said...

Hello Charlie,

Seeing this is your blog, and I'm a guest, I feel obliged to answer your questions to the best of my ability:

You asked: "So if God does not expect "utter sinlessness" from you, how much sin does God tolerate?"

God tolerates no sin, but the Cross satisfies any shortfalls on our part. If God's demands against sin are being met by the Cross, then He is both not expecting utter sinlessness on our part nor is He tolerating sin.

You asked: "Ah, so you're saying the cross is sufficient for all your sins committed after your baptism? If so, then why is the "sacrament" of penance necessary according to Roman Catholic theology?"

Yes, the Cross is the basis by which all sin is ever forgiven for the believer. This is why in the Lord's Prayer Jesus taught us to pray, "Forgive us our trespasses." The Sacrament of Penance in Catholic theology is where one formally/liturgically repents to God but is still fully based on the Cross and "Forgive us our trespasses."

I'm not sure what you're getting at with the Westminster Confession quote since all the Scripture texts quoted are explicitly speaking of Christ's Passive Obedience alone. The same can be said of the Belgic Confession quote.

Your last quote was that of Romans 5:19, but why must this be interpreted as more than Passive Obedience? Is not His Death on the Cross the Epitome of "one act of Righteousness"? Building up to this point in Romans, only Passive Obedience is the focus at the major junctions: Romans 3:21-26, 4:25, 5:9-11. The only other times the Bible uses the term "obedience" in reference to Christ is Phil 2:5-8 and Hebrews 5:10, both speaking explicitly and only of Passive Obedience.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Nick, the active obedience of Christ is referred to in both the confessions. The WCF says:

"This faith embraces Jesus Christ with all His merits, makes Him our own, and does not seek anything besides Him.[2] For it must necessarily follow, either that all we need for our salvation is not in Jesus Christ or, if it is all in Him, that one who has Jesus Christ through faith, has complete salvation.[3] It is, therefore, a terrible blasphemy to assert that Christ is not sufficient, but that something else is needed besides Him; for the conclusion would then be that Christ is only half a Saviour."

Jesus kept all the law for us on our behalf. The Scriptures over and over require of us what we are unable to do: Obey the law of God with absolute perfection. You say that God does not require this absolute obedience but you have no Scripture to support that view. I have already established that God does require perfect obedience: Matthew 5:17-20, 48. Therefore, your view is similar to the Pharisees who lowered the standards and taught others to do the same.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Moreover, the two confessions do uphold the sinless life of Jesus as His obedience to God.

The Scriptures more than once mention that Jesus was fully obedient and sinless and that this is part of our imputed righteousness:

Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. (Hebrews 5:8 ESV)

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15 ESV)

His obedience is credited to our account:

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-- (Philippians 3:9 ESV)

And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, (1 Corinthians 1:30 ESV)

Christ IS our righteousness. That means that He kept the law for me on my behalf.

2 Corinthians 5:21

Our righteousness is not by keeping the law or by anything infused into us. Our righteousness is only in Christ, now ourselves:

Romans 10:1-4; Philippians 3:9; Titus 3:5-7

Charlie J. Ray said...

If Christ has satisfied the requirements of the law on our behalf by living a sinless life, then His righteousness can be imputed to us as our own.

If He died on the cross in our place, then the doctrine of penance and merits are unnecessary since repentance is not meritorious but rather a change of mind and disposition and a change of legal status before God. We are declared righteous even though we are not actually righteous.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Nick, so you're saying that Christ was not actively obedient when He lived a sinless life? Are you saying that Christ was not actively obedient in when He agreed to go the cross for our sins?

I might further suggest that Christ merited eternal life for us by His sinless life and by dying for our sins on the cross.

Otherwise, Christ died in vain...

Charlie

Nick said...

Hi,

You said: "Jesus kept all the law for us on our behalf."

If you mean for the sake of making Himself a worthy sacrifice, a spotless Lamb, then I agree. But the precise detail that's being focused upon is if this keeping of the Law on our behalf was done in such a way as to credit this "A+" grade to us and render us as if we had perfectly kept the Law ourself.

I've not seen a text that says God requires of us something that's impossible. The Scriptures plainly say things like "Both of them [Zechariah and Elizabeth] were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly" (Lk 1:5). The only plausible interpretations of this is that either they literally never sinned, or that they kept the Law sufficiently well as to be righteous and blameless in keeping it. I think only the latter interpretation works.

When you quote Mat 5, you need to keep things in context. The issue was never about men living sinlessly, but rather that Christians have to love their enemies just as God does, where as men are naturally inclined to love their friends and hate their enemies. The "perfection" Jesus is speaking of here is one of quality, not quantity. Further, Jesus often spoke hyperbolically, such as a few verses earlier when He said if your hand causes you to sin "cut it off," yet no sane Christian has ever taken this literally but rather understood our Lord speaks hyperbolically at times to make a point. The Pharisees were not lowering the bar, but rather misidentifying the bar, they followed the letter of the law to the exclusion of the spirit of the law: Mat 6:1ff

The term "perfect" here in Greek is better understood as 'mature', which is how Paul uses the term in reference to Christians being "perfect" in Phil 3:15 and elsewhere.

You also said: "Christ IS our righteousness. That means that He kept the law for me on my behalf."

Christ IS our righteousnes...but to say "that means" He kept the Law in our place is a jump to conclusions. His righteousness certainly pertains to His death (Gal 2:21), but to say any more than that is begging the question.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Nick,

So God DOES tolerate wickedness in His creatures? I wonder what kind of God it is who does not really hate evil at all? Maybe it is because the god you serve is not really holy at all either?

Those are clever dodges but dodging nevertheless. The appeal to Jesus' hyperbolic statements in other contexts does not apply here since He clearly says that loving your enemies rather than just those who are your friends and neighbors is not just a metaphorical or romantic ideal but a straightforward one.

The purpose of the moral law is not to show you how holy you have been and then give you a passing grade or a grade based on a relativistic curve. Rather the grade is meant to show you that you did not score 100%, which is the requirement if you are to "merit" your forgiveness and eternal life.

Let me ask you, did Adam just sin a little bit when he rebelled against God or was that one sin an act of rebellion? Maybe God was too harsh on ol' Adam and maybe God was just speaking hyperbolically when He warned Adam that he would surely die if he disobeyed God and ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil? (See Genesis 2:16-17).

God is HOLY. A holy God cannot tolerate evil whatsoever since that would compromise God's being or nature and corrupt God Himself, which would be impossible for an absolutely good, holy, and omnibenevolent being.

The Scriptures over and over again proclaim God's absolute holiness:

And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!" (Isaiah 6:3 ESV)

The idea that God will tolerate evil even in the least sins would contradict who God is in His very essence. That is why the wicked are lost in the first place isn't it?

I might add that as a former Arminian I used the same arguments you are using now. In the end I found them to be unconvincing. The word for "perfect" does not mean "mature" but "perfect". As traditional apologetics put it (Anselm) there is no being which can be conceived other than God Himself which exceeds all categories of perfection. The fact that we can conceive of such a God proves that He in fact exists. Yet we see you denigrating the God of the Bible by lowering God down to your level so that you can "appear" to be more righteous than you really are. You fit the description of the Pharisees to the tee. You love to stand on the street corners and brag about how holy you are but inwardly you are like a white washed sepulchre containing dead men's bones. (Matthew 23:27).

The bottom line is this: either you will stand before God with your own righteousness--as pitifully sinful as it is--OR you can stand before God clothed with the righteousness of Christ who earned eternal life for His elect and paid the eternal penalty for their sins. (Romans 10:1-4; Philippians 3:8-9).

The only right standing that God's elect have before Him is a declared righteousness (Romans 5:1-2) that is forensic and legal in nature (Romans 4:4-9). This is true precisely because all have sinned and are by nature objects of God's wrath (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8-9; Ephesians 2:3-5).

End of Part 1

Charlie J. Ray said...

Your argument is basically that God isn't really that holy or strict. He will let some of your sins slide if only they are not mortal sins. But the Bible nowhere makes a distinction between mortal and venial sins. All sins are mortal sins (Romans 6:23). The soul that sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:4, 20).

Salvation in the Old Testment was by faith (Habakkuk 2:4; Job 29:14; Romans 1:16-17; 9:30; Hebrews 10:38; Galatians 3:11), not by keeping the Law perfectly since on this side of the grave that is literally impossible as you yourself have already conceded. It is faith that appropriates our declared righteousness and covers us with the righteousness of Christ. Without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin, which is the whole purpose of Christ's atoning death in the first place. (Hebrews 9:22). We can only enter the Holy Place by the covering blood of Christ and not by our own intrinsic or inherent holiness (which is no holiness at all compared to God's holiness). (See Hebrews 9:14-16).

In fact, Roman Catholics know all this, which is why they have to take back the idea of penance and add purgatory. You never do enough penance so now you must add a hell between earth and heaven where punishment and cleansing of sin can be rendered--all of which is unbiblical! Not only so but it undermines the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for His people in the whole world! (Matthew 1:21; 1 John 2:2). Did Christ finish His work or not? (John 19:30).

Finally, did Jesus keep the Law for us? Paul says so:

(Romans 2:25; Galatians 3:10-13; James 2:10).

Since we have NOT fulfilled the law, then we need a sinless mediator who has kept the law for us:

For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:3-4 ESV)

Notice again that our righteousness is appropriated by faith and walking in the Spirit.

Only Jesus meets the requirements of God's absolute moral perfection and He does it for us on our behalf as our high priest:

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15 ESV)

(Hebrews 9:28; 1 Pet. 2:22; 1 John 3:5; [ch. 7:26; John 8:46; 14:30).

Jesus did indeed fulfill the law for us in our place (Romans 10:4-6; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18).

In particular 1 Peter 3:18 clearly says that WE are unrighteous. That means that Christ only was righteous. Therefore our only righteousness is in Him, by faith in Him, and by His fulfillment of the law for us in our place (Romans 10:4). We are no longer under the law as a means of being righteous before God (1 Peter 2:24-25; Galatians 3:23; Romans 7:6).

Unless the elect believer is covered by the blood of Christ he cannot be made righteous before God. This righteousness is a legal and imputed righteousness and is not to be confused with an imperfect sanctification which is infused in the heart. Our justification and our right standing before God is grounded solely in Christ, the cross, and His perfect obedience of the law (Hebrews 5:8-9; Philippians 2:8).

Part 2

Charlie J. Ray said...

Regarding Matthew 5:48,


"The Qumran community understood perfection in terms of perfect obedience, as measured exclusively by the teachings of their community (1QS 1:8–9, 13; 2:1–2; 4:22–23; 8:9–10). Jesus has transposed this to a higher key, not by reducing the obedience, but by making the standard the perfect heavenly Father."

Carson, D. A. (1984). Matthew. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Volume 8: Matthew, Mark, Luke (F. E. Gaebelein, Ed.) (161). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Regarding this:

"I've not seen a text that says God requires of us something that's impossible. The Scriptures plainly say things like "Both of them [Zechariah and Elizabeth] were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly" (Lk 1:5). The only plausible interpretations of this is that either they literally never sinned, or that they kept the Law sufficiently well as to be righteous and blameless in keeping it. I think only the latter interpretation works."

Well, your interpretation would assume that either 1) Zechariah and Elizabeth were sinless (Luke 1:5-6) OR 2) That God allows them to keep the moral law based on a grading curve or relativistically.

But IF:

1) God requires absolute obedience and sinless in accord with His own righteousness/holiness and as Adam was created in original righteousness

2) Zechariah and Elizabeth sinned to one degree or another (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8-9)...

THEN: Zecharias and Elizabeth were

1) Lost forever in sin (Romans 6:23)

OR

2) Blameless and righteous by faith in Christ, whose active obedience and atoning death on the cross is imputed to them on the basis of that faith. (Zecharias at first doubted and was struck dumb: Luke 1:19-20. But Elizabeth believed immediately: Luke 1:24-25.


Conclusion: The focus of the account is faith/believing as the basis of God's favor, not a relativistic view of God's law.

In fact, ALL of the OT saints were saved by faith since clearly all of them were sinners: Noah got drunk after the flood. Samson ran around with prostitutes and married foreign women. David committed adultery, murder and polygamy. Moses sinned by striking the rock in anger. Moses also had more than one wife while he was living. Need I recite a litany of the sins of those "saints" in the Bible?

". . .blessed is she who believed . . ." (Luke 1:45 ESV)

What makes Zecharias and Elizabeth "blameless and righteous" is their faith, not a relativistic and weak keeping of the Law.

Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19 ESV)

Apparently your view is to relax God's absolute moral law. Isn't that the tactic of liberals and pelagians? You want to relax the law so you can appear to keep it.

(Romans 3:17)

The Law reveals us as lost sinners. That's why righteousness is by faith and by the imputed righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21) (Active and Passive).

Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. (Galatians 3:23-26 ESV)

Nick said...

Hi Charlie,

God does not "tolerate" sin in the sense He shrugs it off, but in Grace He permits sin to be justly dealt with in other ways. The moment Adam sinned, he could have been immediately struck dead, but in Grace God allowed that sin to be justly dealt with alternatively in view of The Cross.

When it came to the (Mosaic) Law, most of Leviticus and sections of other books spoke of Sacrifices to deal with the fact there would be failings. If a Jew ever fell into sin, as long as that Jew performed those sacrifices, they remained in good/righteous standing in the eyes of God and the Law. This was never about sinless perfection in all 613 commandments. All through the OT men are called "righteous" in God's sight and in relation to the Law without ever implying they never sinned.

Next, I think you missed my point about Jesus' "be perfect" statement. I was never saying "love your enemy" is metaphorical, romantic, nor impossible. I said on one hand Jesus uses "extreme" language to drive home a point, which can be missed if one is taking that "extreme" language in a literalist fashion. On the other hand, I said this "perfection" was one of quality (disposition) and not quantity (sinlessness), referring more to a spiritual maturity (as the Greek term "perfect" is used elsewhere in Scripture to mean "mature"). For example, when it comes to Christmas presents, it's well and good to receive gifts, but ultimately that's thinking like a child, where as the "mature adult" knows that the Christmas spirit is really about giving more than just receiving.

You asked me: did Adam just sin a little bit when he rebelled against God or was that one sin an act of rebellion?

Adam's sin was probably the gravest sin ever by a human. As such, it deserved the gravest punishments and consequences. But while God is absolutely holy, the plain fact is He didn't strike Adam dead immediately, nor any of us, but instead held off His wrath so that sin could be dealt with at the Cross.

That's where the real "bottom line" comes in: either Christ's Cross was sufficient to fully reconcile, or it wasn't, and God demands more than that, namely Active Obedience Imputed.

You said: "Your argument is basically that God isn't really that holy or strict. He will let some of your sins slide if only they are not mortal sins."

I never have said nor intended to imply such a thing. Rather, my argument is that the Cross deals with all sins of every kind and degree and number; all of them. The only sense in which God is not strict is in His Mercy when He allow man a chance to be saved by trusting in the Cross rather than damning them on the spot. The issues of penance and purgatory don't even deal with hell, since that guilt is already forgiven. Rather, they're dealing with the category of Fatherly Correction, Biblically known as Chastisement: Heb 12:5-6

You said: "Finally, did Jesus keep the Law for us? Paul says so: Romans 2:25; Galatians 3:10-13; James 2:10."

I looked up all three of those passages, and they don't say anything of the form of Jesus keeping the Law for us. The first and third don't even mention Jesus, and the second only mentions His Death. The Romans 8:3 passage speaks on Christ's Death, while verse 4 is speaking on our walking by the Spirit, not to be confused with Christ keeping the Law in our place.

Nick said...

You said: "Jesus did indeed fulfill the law for us in our place (Romans 10:4-6; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18)."

As with the previous passages you mentioned, here I don't see anything of the form of Jesus kept the law in our place. 2 Cor 5:21 and 1 Pt 3:18 are explicitly talking about the Cross and that only.

When it came to interpreting Luke 1:5 "Both of them [Zechariah and Elizabeth] were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly"...you said the only possible interpretation is:
"Blameless and righteous by faith in Christ, whose active obedience and atoning death on the cross is imputed to them on the basis of that faith."

This response seems to do violence to the verse, especially the second half: "observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly." Either they observed all the Lord's commandments or they didn't, and the first half of the passage strongly implies this righteousness in God's sight is based on the second half of the verse.

As for the comments on Matthew 5:19 "whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom" you responded with:
"Apparently your view is to relax God's absolute moral law."

My goal is not to relax God's absolute laws, only to show there is indeed different degrees of keeping the law and not an "all or nothing" approach. The passage plainly says the one who relaxes the commandments will be called least in the kingdom, not damned.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Galatians 2:21

Charlie J. Ray said...

Typical of Pharisees and papists is to dance all around the text and pretend it doesn't say what it plainly says:

And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:7 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

And he said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. (Luke 16:15 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

The Canons of Dordt, Second Head of Doctrine has this rejection of errors:

Paragraph IV

(The Synod rejects the errors of those) who teach: That the new covenant of grace, which God the Father through the mediation of the death of Christ, made with man, does not herein consist that we by faith, in as much as it accepts the merits of Christ, are justified before God and saved, but in the fact that God having revoked the demand of perfect obedience of the law, regards faith itself and the obedience of faith, although imperfect, as the perfect obedience of the law, and does esteem it worthy of the reward of eternal life through grace. For these contradict the Scriptures: "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood," (Romans 3:24,25). And these proclaim, as did the wicked Socinus, a new and strange justification of man before God, against the consensus of the whole church.

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