Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Infused vs Imputed Justification

I had a conversation over the weekend with a Catholic family member. We were discussing differences between Catholic and Non-Catholic theology. I am in no way an expert on either of these two subjects, but I shared with her what I know about my Non-Catholic theological background when it comes to the subject of justification. I told her that Catholics have a view of infused justification whereas many Non-Catholics have the view of imputed justification. She was not familiar with this difference, so I thought it would be worthwhile also sharing it with you.

Many (I can't say all, because not all Non-Catholics believe or are taught the same) Non-Catholics view justification as something that is imputed, external or outward only. They believe, like I once did, that we are covered with the Blood of Jesus and therefore when they stand before God during Judgement, it is not them, the individual that will be seen, it is instead the Blood of the Lamb. God will look upon the Blood of His Son and declare the individual as righteous and acceptable. God will not look at the individual and declare him as righteous or justified. This gives the false impression that there is no change to the individual that takes place or is necessary. All that is required is to believe in Jesus and he simply covers your sins.

After doing some reading, I can see how this belief came about. It all comes back to the separation of faith and works. If someone holds to the position that we are saved by faith alone, then there is nothing that you can do (even when cooperating with the Grace of God), to affect your salvation. So, in order to be considered justified, then of course it is not the individual that is seen - because the individual does nothing pleasing in the Lord's sight. God only sees the Blood of the Lamb which covers us.

Infused justification is exactly the opposite. Infused justification means that God wants to transform us and make us perfect and acceptable to him, from the inside out, through his grace. God is calling all of us to be holy, and He is inviting us into a relationship with Him. This holiness can only be achieved through the grace of God through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. At the same time, it requires us to work with that grace to achieve the state of holiness. We see evidence of this infused justification in the following passages:

Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly. Luke 1:6

Notice how in this passage the two individuals are considred upright in God due to the fact that they were observing all of the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly. This involves a cooperation with the grace of God, not to be confused with true works based righteousness - Pelagianism. What we do, does in fact have an affect on our standing with God.

..."Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!..."John 1:29

Did Jesus come to take away the sins of the world, or did he come to merely cover them up with his blood? The Bible says that he came to take away the sins of the world. This is God we are talking about. God died on the cross for our sins - mine and yours. Do you think that His power is only limited to covering our iniquities, or does He have the power to actually reach into our soul and transform us from the inside out?

Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Cor 7:1


St. Paul tells us clearly here that we have the responsibility, the charge to attain holiness. In no way, does this verse suggest that this responsibility of attaining holiness, does not require our participation. We are not merely covered by the Blood of the Lamb, we are transformed internally through God's grace.


Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous...This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. 1 John 3:7, 10

In order to be declared righteous, there has to be a change internally that would cause you to behave like a child of God. Children of God do what is right. God does not just declare a person as right, He changes them from the inside out.


On a side note, it is very interesting discussing with a cradle-Catholic (meaning born and raised Catholic), Non-Catholic theology. I would imagine that they felt the same way that I did when someone was trying to explain to me, in the past, Catholic Theology. As a matter of fact, I think that my family member had the same look on their face as I did when someone was teaching me about what Catholics believe. You know the face, it was sort of like.....Huh?

God bless you all.

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly. Luke 1:6

"Notice how in this passage the two individuals are considred upright in God due to the fact that they were observing all of the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly."

It doesn't actually say what you said. there is nothing in the text that sais they were considered righteousness by God BECAUSE they were obedient to the law. It merely says that God considered them righteous (comma)and that they observed the law.

"Not as the Pharisees, only righteous before men, but in the sight of God, who sees the heart, and whose judgment is according to truth; and therefore were not justified by the deeds of the law; for by them no man can be justified in the sight of God; but were made righteous through the righteousness of Christ, by which the saints were made righteous before the coming of Christ, as those after it: see (Acts 15:11) (Revelation 13:8). John gill's Commentary

In the same way, Abraham's FAITH was imputed to him as righteousness.

Carlus Henry said...

Anonymous,

I can see how Luke 1:6 can be interpreted the way that you are interpreting it. The point that I was trying to make is that righteousness is also a result of an inner change and what we do.

So, if Luke 1:6 did not fully represent my intent, then let's try this one and see what you have to say:

For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matt 5:20.

or...

but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.Acts 10:35

In the same way, Abraham's FAITH was imputed to him as righteousness.

Let's take scripture in it's full account. I agree with you that Abraham's faith was reckoned as righteous. In addition to that, we also see that St. James tells us that:

Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.James 2:21-22

Cleary St. James is telling us that our faith and actions (works) work together towards our righteousness. In other words, our righteousness, as a result of infused grace, change us from the inside out. It is not merely imputed.

God bless...

Anonymous said...

I. The doctrine of "imputed righteousness" teaches that God graciously charges to the account of believers in Christ the righteousness wrought by Christ. It is at length expounded in Romans 3:21-4:25. Here we are taught that the righteousness wrought by Christ during the days of His incarnation is imputed to, or charged to the account of, believers by God in justification. The justified acknowledge Christ to be not only "Jehovah Our Righteousness" (Jeremiah 23:6) – but also their only righteousness (Psalm 71:16). And they pray to be "found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith" (Philippians 3:9).

It may aid one in understanding this doctrine if he will ever bear in mind that in justification righteousness is imputed, not imparted. And justification does not make one righteous, but merely declares him to be so. And the imputation of righteousness does not change one inwardly and subjectively, this being the work of sanctification, not justification.

II. The doctrine of "imparted righteousness" teaches that God bestows righteousness to believers. Some theologians use the term imparted righteousness to identify the righteous nature imparted by God to believers when He regenerates them. They thereby become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). This "divine nature" (not God's essential nature) is the new one placed in men in regeneration, and which is ever in conflict with the old Adamic nature. It is the "seed" of God placed in man which "cannot sin" (1 John 3:9).

III. The doctrine of "infused righteousness" teaches that God justifies in accord with a righteousness merited by Christ instilled into the believer and maintained by good works. This doctrine, especially prominent in the Roman Catholic Church, accords with its doctrine of justification by works. It posits the believer receives both imputed and infused righteousness, the latter becoming his inherent righteousness, and one is justified on the basis of what he personally does with it.

Infused righteousness goes hand in hand, and is necessary for a works-righteousness" religious system. Note that in the above, imputed and imparted righteousness have support in scripture. Infused righteousness does not, at least not in the parade of verses you trotted out. They are merely used out of context to "proof text" erroneous doctrine.

Carlus Henry said...

Anonymous,

Couple of questions.

Infused righteousness goes hand in hand, and is necessary for a works-righteousness" religious system.

How exactly do you think the Catholic faith is a works-righteousness religious system? Define your understanding of works-righteousness.

Note that in the above, imputed and imparted righteousness have support in scripture. Infused righteousness does not, at least not in the parade of verses you trotted out.

To make a claim that the scripture that I used to show infused righteousness, without commenting on the scripture, and enlightening me on what it is really saying, doesn't do any of us any good.

Anyone can make any claims. I can say that pigs can fly, and you can say no they don't. But unless you explain to me why pig's can't fly, it doesn't help your position.

Show me how I have taken each scripture verse that I have used thus far, out of context.

God bless...

Dan said...

I am not going to explain it verse by verse. Do yourself a big favor and read for yourself each scripture, in it's specific context. The comment I did make mentioned the use of a 'comma' in the text, which does not mean "because". It is merely a separator between clauses. You can read "because" into the text but you cannot exegete it.It is merely a separator between clauses.

I will say, concerning Abraham, that his actions with his son were an outworking of his faith in the same way Zechariah and Elizabeth's obedience was an outworking of their faith.

No matter what I say, you will have a rebuttal according to Catholic teaching. Perhaps if you read for yourself what is in the text and can properly be exegeted from it in the immediate and larger contexts, you will come to different conclusions.

Carlus Henry said...

Dan,

I am not going to explain it verse by verse.

Okay. With this approach, how exactly do you expect me to see your understanding of Scripture, if you do not explain it to me?

Do yourself a big favor and read for yourself each scripture, in it's specific context.

I have read the scripture in it's context. I am still of the opinion of infused justification as oppose to merely declared justification. Instead of pitting the two against each other, I see evidence for both, being declared righteous as well as being made righteous through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The verses that I have shared show this.

Perhaps if you read for yourself what is in the text and can properly be exegeted from it in the immediate and larger contexts, you will come to different conclusions.

I am curious as to what you think that I have been doing? Do you think that there is some special little book that explains what every Bible verse means in light of Catholic Doctrine, that I am referring to? I am reading the scriptures for exactly what they say.

If you cannot explain to me, from Scriptures, how I am misinterpreting the context of the passages that I used, then why should I believe the doctrine of imputed justification only? Wow, if that is not my Protestant background coming out in that statement, I don't know what is.

God bless...

Dan said...

I have tried to explain what you are doing numerous times, specifically showing you what CAN be exegeted, and what is READ INTO scripture, and those explanations have not been, nor are they a matter of Catholicism or Protestantism. The issues would be the same if there were no religious 'organizations' in existance.

Carlus Henry said...

Dan,

I think that it is very important to make the clear distinction between what can be READ INTO scripture, and what scripture actually says.

We just disagree on what Scripture actually says. You think that I am reading into scripture what I want to find, and I think that you are doing the same thing.

Let's examine the Scriptures as well as the people who were there in order to get a better idea of what was actually meant.

Every book of the Bible was written by a specific person, for a specific audience, during a specific time. If you try to remove any of these elements, you run the risk of taking things completely out of context. So, let us examine the Scriptures in view of this, and not with our 21st Century American preconceived notions.

Dan said...

OK, I have to ask: How is reading the text on the page, in it's context, letting a 'comma' be a comma and not turning into 'because', reading into scripture.

Carlus Henry said...

Dan,

Did you look the verse up? Which translation are you using? I originally pulled the quote out of www.biblegateway.com. I just took the first translation that I saw.

Here are some others

They were both (A)righteous in the sight of God, walking (B)blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. Luke 1:6 New American Standard

or

Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. Luke 1:6 New Living Translation

or

Both of them were good people and pleased the Lord God by obeying all that he had commanded. Luke 1:6 Contemporary English Translation

Looking across these different translations, one can see how I can deduce that they were righteous partially because of what they did.

Actually, using the New American Standard, and the references within it, it goes on to cross reference these other scriptures:

so that you will prove yourselves to be (A)blameless and innocent, (B)children of God above reproach in the midst of a (C)crooked and perverse generation, among whom you (D)appear as lights in the world, Phillipians 2:15

Can we make ourselves righteous, due to our own works? No. That is Semi-Pelagianism which the Catholic Church condemned centuries ago. Is it God that is the cause of our holiness, yes it is. So how do we prove ourselves to be blameless and innocent? Only through the grace of God working within us, since we cannot do it ourselves....

Infused righteousness, is completely supported in scripture.

God bless...

Dan said...

Any form of works-righteousness is a form of semi-pelagianism, by definition. Semi-pelagianism by definition is man working with God to effect salvation. The Catholic distinction is the teaching that Paul was only spoke of the Mosaic Law when he separated works from grace. For that distinction to hold water, Paul would have to have speaking only to Jews every time he made the distinction.

Carlus Henry said...

Dan,

Where did you get your definition of Semi-Pelagianism? I was under the impression that it was...

In Semipelagian thought, therefore, a distinction is made between the beginning of faith and the increase of faith; while the latter is the work of God, the beginning of faith is an act of free will. It too has been considered a heresy by mainstream Christianity since the Second Council of Orange in 529.

The Council of Orange was held by the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church does not teach Semi-Pelagianism, in any form.

In Semipelagian thought, man doesn’t have such an unrestrained capacity, but man and God could cooperate to a certain degree in this salvation effort: man can (unaided by grace) make the first move toward God, and God then increases and guards that faith, completing the work of salvation. This teaching is distinct from the traditional patristic doctrine of synergeia, in which the process of salvation is cooperation between God and man from start to finish.

Clearly, what I have described and what Scripture has shown and what the Catholic Church has taught is not Semi-Pelagianism.

God bless...

Dan said...

I would offer again that any work's righteousness system is Semi-Pelagianism, by definition. And of course, no-one admits to teaching it. There are Protestant churches that are forms of semi-Pelagianism. I don't care what the label, if it walks like a duck,and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck.

Carlus Henry said...

Dan,

I would offer again that any work's righteousness system is Semi-Pelagianism

Are we redefining terms now? If this conversation is worth having, it is worth having based on fact. Your definition of Semi-Pelagianism is inaccurate. This is not by my standards, this is just a historical fact.

Let's keep to the definition of terms as they have always been defined - historically.

Dan said...

I have not changed my definition of Semi-Pelagianism.

I would say that "historically" Pelagianism denied "original sin" en toto. When it was declared to be heresy, it was modified to say that man did not escape the affects of sin at the fall, however has the 'free-will' to cooperate with God in the matter of salvation - synergism as apposed to monergism (salvation is all of God)

When our works are seen as cooperating with God in our own salvation, in that sense, works-righteousness is a form of semi-Pelagianism (your definition - in a comment), although not in the pure "historic" sense of our "free-will decision" having cooperated with God.

The Council of Orange spoke specifically to the issue of "free-will" and stated that even human will was affected by the fall and it takes a regenerative act of God upon the human will in orde for any man to choose Christ.

Are we agreed on the definition of semi-Pelagianism?

Carlus Henry said...

Dan,

We are in complete agreement with the definition.

At the same time, I now understand where we are diverging. I am definitely to blame. I may not have been explaining things well. Because of this, I am going to share with you a couple of quotes from this article, Righteousness done Right.

Some Catholics cite the passage, but leave the impression the Catholic Church teaches we must attain righteousness by our own efforts: God gives us a certain amount of grace to make of it, by our own power, what we will. To Protestants, this sounds (understandably) like semi-Pelagianism.

The great Thomist Garrigou-Lagrange (quoted in Louis Bouyer's The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism, p. 53) summarized the Catholic position when he observed that "in the work of salvation all is from God, including our own co-operation, in the sense that we cannot distinguish a part as exclusively ours, which does not come from the author of all good."

From the Catholic point of view, God initiates our salvation by his grace, but he doesn't stop there. Our works of obedience which follow the start of God's salvific action in us are also the work of grace.

This is what Paul means in Philippians 2:12-13 when he says we're to work out our salvation and yet reminds us that "it is God who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work." Or as Augustine put it, when God rewards our merits or works, he crowns his own gifts to us.


So when you say:

When our works are seen as cooperating with God in our own salvation, in that sense, works-righteousness is a form of semi-Pelagianism

I agree with you as long as you are saying that we, in and of ourselves are the cause of the works. That is Semi-Pelagianism.

However, if we are not the cause of our own works, like St. Paul tells us, instead it is God that is causing us to move and work, then that is not Semi-Pelagianism. Do you see the difference?

Dan said...

That woudl be Phillipians 2:13 and Paul speaking to believers who have been saved by grace and the Holy Spirit in residence causing the 'willing' and 'doing' that which pleases god.

Works aren't contributing to salvation, salvation is producing that which pleases God in the life of the saved believer.

It's all in the context.

Of course that is not Semi-Pelagianism.

Carlus Henry said...

Dan,

That woudl be Phillipians 2:13 and Paul speaking to believers who have been saved by grace and the Holy Spirit in residence causing the 'willing' and 'doing' that which pleases god.

Works aren't contributing to salvation,

...and yet St. Paul tells these believers who have been saved by grace, to work out their salvation with fear and trembling.

Have these believers been saved by grace? Yes. You are absolutely right. Is it a done deal? No. If it were a done deal, why would Paul mention the idea of working out your salvation? The tense of the word working is present, now. In other words, justification is not only a one time deal, it is a process that has past, present, and future aspects to it. This verse shows that there are present aspects to that salvation.

Of course that is not Semi-Pelagianism.

No it is not. Because it is God in us that is working and causing us to work. It is not us ourselves....

God bless...

Dan said...

These verses (12-13)do not speak of working for our salvation but
rather working out our own salvation, something already possessed. The “therefore” in v.12 continues the admonition Paul began in 1.27 regarding the Philippians' conduct. He feared that in his absence, it had begun
to deteriorate significantly. Yet, he wasn’t angry with them–just concerned.

Note how he addresses them as “my beloved.

While the context of this passage continues to v.18, vv.12-13 are
set apart as a separate paragraph in most modern translations, as a single unit of thought. In reminding the Philippians of their obligation in regard to living out their salvation, Paul speaks of a duty every true child of God shares – working out our own salvation.

You can make a case for cooperating with God in progressive sanctification, but not salvatin.

Carlus Henry said...

Dan,

And this is where the difference stands:

You can make a case for cooperating with God in progressive sanctification, but not salvatin.

I believe that sanctification is part of the justification process. Not the initial justification that you receive at Baptism, but the ongoing justification that occurs over the lifetime of the believer.

Why do you feel that these two things are seperate, sanctification and justification? This may be the more interesting discussion.

Dan said...

Justification is the work of God where the righteousness of Jesus is reckoned to the sinner so the sinner is declared by God as being righteous under the Law (Rom. 4:3; 5:1,9; Gal. 2:16; 3:11). This righteousness is not earned or retained by any effort of the saved. Justification is an instantaneous occurrence with the result being eternal life. It is based completely and solely upon Jesus' sacrifice on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24) and is received by faith alone (Eph. 2:8-9). No works are necessary whatsoever to obtain justification. Otherwise, it is not a gift (Rom. 6:23). Therefore, we are justified by faith (Romans 5:1).

Sanctification, on the other hand, involves the work of the person. But it is still God working in the believer to produce more of a godly character and life in the person who has already been justified (Phil. 2:13). Sanctification is not instantaneous because it is not the work of God alone. The justified person is actively involved in submitting to God's will, resisting sin, seeking holiness, and working to be more godly (Gal. 5:22-23). Significantly, sanctification has no bearing on justification. That is, even if we don't live a perfect life, we are still justified.

Where justification is a legal declaration that is instantaneous, sanctification is a process. Where justification comes from outside of us, from God, sanctification comes from God within us by the work of the Holy Spirit in accordance with the Bible. In other words, we contribute to sanctification through our efforts. In contrast, we do not contribute to our justification through our efforts.

Carlus Henry said...

Dan,

I was right. This is definitely worth it's own blog post. When time allows, I will post something up.

Regarding your comment, there are some elements that we agree and some elements that we disagree.

When time allows, I will spend some time showing where we agree and where we differ.

God bless...

Dan said...

What is important that we agree with scripture, not each other.....by that I mean scripture as it stands by itself, the words on it's pages, in it's immediate and larger contexts.

Carlus Henry said...

Dan,

Amen to that. I told you we agree more than you think....

;)

fisherwoman said...

If any part of our salvation comes apart from God's work of saving grace (it is finished, on the cross), then God is not the author and finisher of our faith. We were DEAD in our trespasses and sins.

Eph. 2:But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His jgreat love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of rworks, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Paul and James both speak of Abraham being reckoned righteous when he believed. James is speaking to a professing believer-where are you works if you claim to be a believer? He is speaking against "easy-believism" -where Jesus is not LORD of one's life. Paul is speaking to the unregenerate-all our works are filthly rags. Context, context.

Romans 3: 25 tells us Jesus is the One who turns away the wrath of God-not any works.

Carlus Henry said...

fisherwoman,

Thanks for visiting the blog.

As you know, this is a conversation that we started having back in February, over 8 months ago. The only reason why I bring this up is because I am curious to know which part of the conversation specifically you are addressing. If my response does not seem to fit, then that is the reason....

On that note....

If any part of our salvation comes apart from God's work of saving grace (it is finished, on the cross), then God is not the author and finisher of our faith.

Amen!!!! It is ALL Grace!!!! I completely agree with you 100%. In fact, this is the only Sola of the Protestant Revolt that I do agree with.

Paul and James both speak of Abraham being reckoned righteous when he believed. James is speaking to a professing believer-where are you works if you claim to be a believer? He is speaking against "easy-believism" -where Jesus is not LORD of one's life. Paul is speaking to the unregenerate-all our works are filthly rags. Context, context.

Another great point. James is talking about the professing believer. If you have no works, as a professing believer, how can you be justified? You term this as "easy-believism". I would term this as someone who is not being sanctified or working actively towards holiness (perfection...without which no one will see God- Hebrews).

Romans 3: 25 tells us Jesus is the One who turns away the wrath of God-not any works.

Amen!!! I am not referring to initial justification. Infused Justification has to do with turning someone perfect from the inside out, where as Imputed Justification has to do with just declaring someone righteous, without them actually being righteous. Sanctification is the process that we all must go through in order to become righteous.

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Gal 5:6

God bless...

fisherwoman said...

HI Carlus. Thank you for dialoguing with me! I appreciate it. You said: Imputed Justification has to do with just declaring someone righteous, without them actually being righteous. Sanctification is the process that we all must go through in order to become righteous.

I would ask how you define sanctification?

CCC, par. 1821 says" Each one of us should hope ..to obtain the joy of Heaven, as God's eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ."

Gal. 3: 1: O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed 2among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?

Gal. 3: 10: For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”

Rom. 5: 9: 9 Much more then, having now been justified mby His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Rom. 5: 18: Therefore, as through 8one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one 9Man’s righteous act the free gift came yto all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus 1 Tim. 2: 5

Do you also believe that Mary was without original sin and immaculately conceived? Mary herself realized her need of the Savior! (Luke 1: 46-49) Jesus said whoever does the will of His Fahter is his "brother an sister and mother" (Matt. 12: 46-50) Do you believe , as did Pope Pius 12th, that Mary is "Queen of Heaven"-raised body and soul there? Clearly the Bible does not teach this!

Purgatory? Where is this in Scripture?

Mass? Heb. 7: 26: For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.

Heb. 10: And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, 16“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

Carlus Henry said...

fisherwoman,

All of the things that you mentioned are absolutely worthy conversations that should be had.

Have you ever heard of the doctrinal dance? The Doctrinal Dance is when instead of focusing on a particular topic, you are hit with about many different ones at the same time which does not give a lot of time in order to discuss, but instead is used as a tactic to frustrate, confuse, and distract the audience and the opponent.

Is there one particular thing that you wanted to discuss as it relates to Infused vs. Imputed Justification?

Regarding Pauls letter to the Galatians, do you notice how the context of the discussion is regarding works of the law? Works of the Law is the Mosaic Law. You see, Paul was trying to battle the heresy called Judaisers. It was the Messianic Jews, at that time, that was trying to impose upon the Gentiles the Mosaic Law. Paul is stressing the authoritative declation of the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 12, that Gentiles are not subject to the Mosaic Law. We are all now justified through grace.

fisherwoman said...

Hi Carl. Sorry about that.

You said (in a previous post):
The point that I was trying to make is that righteousness is also a result of an inner change and what we do.

Where do you get that information?

You said: " We are all now justified through grace."

When was man ever NOT justified by grace? Rom. 3:20 "Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin."

Rom. 3: 21 For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, hthat we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.



Let's take imputed/infused/sanctification:

You said: not referring to initial justification. Infused Justification has to do with turning someone perfect from the inside out, where as Imputed Justification has to do with just declaring someone righteous, without them actually being righteous. Sanctification is the process that we all must go through in order to become righteous.

My Bible does not say "we must go through a process in order to become righteous", but rather:
"but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." Now if Christ has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, why must I do anything to add to that?

Heb. 10: 10: By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

We are sanctified by Christ's sacrifice and not any works of our own!

Phil 3: 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;

Who sanctifies? Is it ourselves, or the Spirit? Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor 2homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such WERE some of you. But you WERE washed, but you WERE sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Rom. 8: There is therefore now NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, awho do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For bthe law of cthe Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit

Carl, when are our sins put away?

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is ta new creation; uold things have passed away; behold, all things have become vnew. 18 Now all things are of God, wwho has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that xGod was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

fisherwoman said...

2 Cor. 5: 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.


Col. 2: 13: And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Carlus Henry said...

fishewoman,

You said (in a previous post):
The point that I was trying to make is that righteousness is also a result of an inner change and what we do.

Where do you get that information?


Now...if I show you where I find this in scripture, will it change your opinion? I guess that is between you and God - in any case:

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.Rom 2:13

..please keep in mind, I am not out to win an argument, I am like you, searching for the truth.

You said: " We are all now justified through grace."

When was man ever NOT justified by grace?


Great question. I don't know if that was a point that I was trying to make however. The point that I was making was that there was a heresy known as Judaizers who were trying to force the Mosaic Law on the Gentiles for part of their justification. The Council authoritatively stated, that we are all now justified through Grace. If you have a question about the point that I was making, great, would love to hear it.

My Bible does not say "we must go through a process in order to become righteous"

Righteous, may not have been the best term or definition for Sanctification. I should have said become holy. Would you still have a problem if I would have said become holy?

We are sanctified by Christ's sacrifice and not any works of our own!

I think that you are making a distinction that doesn't necessarily exist. Of course, we cannot earn sanctification but to pit our actions against the sanctification process, which comes from God's Grace, is not biblical. Especially in light of:

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.Heb 12:14

Make every effort to be holy, means that there is something that we can do in order to become holy. That something is cooperating with the grace of Jesus Christ.

Who sanctifies? Is it ourselves, or the Spirit?

Of course the Spirit. We are just invited to participate and cooperate with the Spirit.

Are we talking at each other or are we having a conversation? I hope that we are having a conversation. As such, I have a couple of questions for you:

1.) Do you believe that righteousness is a result of both an inner change and what we do, especially in light of the Romans 2 verse?

2.) Do you believe that we all must go through some process in order to be holy, or is this some kind of instantaneous thing that occurs as soon as you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Either way, does your belief line up with Heb 12 or not? and why?

3.) What is your definition of works? What is the Bible's definition of works? Is there a disagreement there?

Thanks and God bless..

fisherwoman said...

1.) Righteousness can never be the result of an inner change:

Rom. 3: 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

Rom. 3: 20:Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Gal. 3: 20 For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined eall under sin, fthat the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.


2.) Do you believe that we all must go through some process in order to be holy, or is this some kind of instantaneous thing that occurs as soon as you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Either way, does your belief line up with Heb 12 or not? and why?

Heb. 10: 10: 10 By that will we HAVE BEEN sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Heb 10: 19: Therefore, brethren, having mboldness 6to enter nthe Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and oliving way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us pdraw near with a true heart qin full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Rom. 8: 9: But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

What God has called clean, we must not call unclean! We are already holy. Sanctification is not effort on our part, but Christ who began a good work in us completing it.

Carlus Henry said...

fisherwoman,

I asked you about righteousness, and to explain your position in light of Romans 2. I asked if it is a result of inner change and what we do. You replied:

Righteousness can never be the result of an inner change:

So are you implying that it is a result of what we do, similar to the Romans 2 verse? Please explain your position in light of Romans 2.

Also, I can quote scripture verses as well. At the same time, it doesn't do us any good if you quote verses without context and how it relates to the discussion. When quoting the Holy Scriptures, please make sure that you are explaining the point that you are trying to make. If you don't you are only leaving me to guess what it is that you are talking about, instead of addressing the argument that you are putting forth.

Now...to directly address your position that "Righteousness can never be the result of inner change". Of course it can, if that inner change is a result of God working in you. And of course, God is at work in all of us.

We are already holy.

We are not already holy. If we are already holy, then why would the author of Hebrews say:

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.Heb 12:14

Why make an effort for something that you already have, specifically being holy?

Sanctification is not effort on our part, but Christ who began a good work in us completing it.

It is not solely an effort on our part, you are correct. It is all God's Grace. We cannot do anything apart from Grace. Yet with Grace, we can do things. We can cooperate with grace. Look again at

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.Romans 2:13

God's grace fuels us to do what is right in God's sight. We can either choose to cooperate with the Grace of God, or we can willfully act against it. Only through cooperation with God's grace can we please God.

fisherwoman said...

Paul's charge in Romans 1-3 is that all have sinned-Jew and Gentile. He charges Jews, who have been given the Law-that they have not kept it. (So did Jesus). Paul is clear that righteousness cannot come from Law-keeping. Rather the goodness of God leads to repentance (which is also a gift of God). All will perish because of sin, whether they have received the Law externally (as the Jews) or have it written on the heart (internally by conscience-Rom. 2: 14-16). Righteousness comes through the propitiation of Christ's finished work on the cross and resurrection. We are saved by grace through faith, not as a result of works-it is a gift of God. (Eph. 2: 8,9 ) What God begins (new birth) He will complete.

Holiness: without it no one will see the Lord. We cannot attain holiness on our own , by works. Holiness comes by becoming a new creature in Christ. We are to behave according to what we are already declared to be : righteous and holy. The new birth declares us to be dead to sin and death. (Rom. 6) All who are led by the Spirit present themselves to God as being alive from the dead, slaves to God. The new man is a slave to righteousness! (Rom. 6: 18) God declares those whom He sanctifies as holy. We are to walk in that holiness. God condemned sin in the flesh that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but to the Spirit. If God's Spirit dwells in me, I am in the Spirit. The Spirit is life because of righteousness! (Rom. 6: 10)HOw are deeds of hte body put to death in the regenerate? By the spirit! (Rom. 6: 13) He has already translated me to His Kingdom! Abba, Father!

Moreover, whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called; these He also justifed; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. Rom. 7: 30

Carlus Henry said...

fisherwoman,

That was much better. Now I have a better idea of where you are coming from. Thanks.

Paul is clear that righteousness cannot come from Law-keeping. Rather the goodness of God leads to repentance (which is also a gift of God).

Yes, yes, yes!!! Amen!!!

Righteousness comes through the propitiation of Christ's finished work on the cross and resurrection. We are saved by grace through faith, not as a result of works-it is a gift of God. (Eph. 2: 8,9 ) What God begins (new birth) He will complete.

Yes, yes, yes. Amen!!!!

Believe it or not, we agree much more than you may think.

Holiness: without it no one will see the Lord. We cannot attain holiness on our own , by works.

Amen. We can only attain holiness by God working through us.

Holiness comes by becoming a new creature in Christ. We are to behave according to what we are already declared to be : righteous and holy.

Yes...kind of. You are correct that God has called us to be a new creation. That newness is not completed once we accept the Lord, Jesus Christ. God is always calling us to the next level, to grow and mature in our faith. This can only be done by God's grace. In other words, it is not a done deal once you accept Christ. There are those that are more holy than others. Our challenge is to grow in holiness, not just remain at the same level that we were when we were first called.

The new man is a slave to righteousness! (Rom. 6: 18) God declares those whom He sanctifies as holy. We are to walk in that holiness.

Amen. We are to walk in that holiness. I am sure that you are aware of those who accept Jesus as their Savior, yet the compartmentalize their faith seperate than every other part of their life. Waht I mean is, it is not an integral part of their daily life. That individual, is not as holy as someone who is integrating their faith with their life, more fully. Wouldn't you agree?

So now I am confused...what are the specific points that we disagree again?

fisherwoman said...

The distinction that Paul makes is that if one is truly regenerate, they do not produce bad fruit. There is not a separate life-there is only one life-the one who has died to sin lives to Christ. Jesus said a good tree CANNOT produce bad fruit, and vice versa.John the Baptist said the axe is laid at the tree, do not call Abraham your father, repent and believe the Gospel, circumcise your hearts, you double-minded! Many repented, yet many were self-righteous and killed the Lord Jesus. Many will stand at judgement and say "Lord, Lord" and be told to depart. Jesus wanted to be sure the discpliples (and we)understand by the parable of the sower, that there will be false converts, or some who profess belief and fall away (who were never regenerate to begin with-they weren't born of God's Spirit, a new creation.) Carlus, I would be very interested if you would listen to these 2 messages and get back with me. They are at www.hellsbestkeptsecret.com and the other one there is called "true and false conversions". Thank you.

Carlus Henry said...

fisherwoman,

I am not sure that you answered my question, so I am going to try it again.

What, specifically, do we disagree upon? What are you arguing for? Is there something specific, in the context of what we have discussed thus far, that we disagree?

I am not planning on listening to mp3 at that website. I am not necessarily enjoying this conversation because I don't understand what you are talking about. Please help me.

Thanks
God Bless...

fisherwoman said...

Once again:sanctification is not works on our part, but God working in us.
Phil 1: 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Who sanctifies? Is it ourselves, or the Spirit? Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor 2homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such WERE some of you. But you WERE washed, but you WERE sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

fisherwoman said...

Carlus said: Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly. Luke 1:6

"Notice how in this passage the two individuals are considred upright in God due to the fact that they were observing all of the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly."

The point that I was trying to make is that righteousness is also a result of an inner change and what we do.

I would disagree. How were these souls made righteous? What were the commandments and ordiances of the Lord? As priest, Elizabeth's husband Zacharias, (and Aaron) knew that God required a covering for sins, thus they did according to the Law. But in those sacrifices was the daily REMINDER of sins. They looked forward to Messiah, as did Elizabeth and her daughters. What they did in obedience to the command was not saved them, but what God was going to do in sending the Passover Lamb, Jesus. Daily reminders-coverings-could never take away sins. But Jesus could! In the same way Noah was saved, Abraham was saved, Cornelius was saved, Abel was saved, the Hebrews "faith" people were saved in the same way-not by deeds they had done,not by the covering of sin in previous sacrifices, but by what God was going to do -the promise of the Seed to come. No one ever was saved by inner change-but by becoming a new creation in Christ , by believing God who would provide the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.

Romans 4: 16-25

Righteousness is a gift! Rom. 5: 17: For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

Why the refusal to listen to the message there at www.hellsbestkeptsecret.com ?

Carlus Henry said...

fisherwoman,

Once again:sanctification is not works on our part, but God working in us.

There is absolutely no disagreement here.

Carlus Henry said...

fisherwoman,

I said:
The point that I was trying to make is that righteousness is also a result of an inner change and what we do.

To which you replied:
I would disagree.

With which part? That we are not made righteous by what we do? If that is your stance, then you have a problem with Romans 2:13. Of course, rightly understood, this is all by God's grace. Without God's grace there is nothing that we can do that is pleasing in God's sight. With God's Grace, we can actually be pleasing in God's sight by what we do.

If you don't agree with the inner change, then you have a problem with becoming a new creation in Christ. The old has passed away...

Why the refusal to listen to the message there at www.hellsbestkeptsecret.com ?

Because for the life of me, I cannot figure out what you are talking about...and where we specifically disagree. I have a feeling that you are approaching me with some already preconceived notions about what I believe, and I don't think you really understand what I believe at all. Either that or we are talking at eachother instead of with eachother.

fisherwoman said...

Carlus, you said: The point that I was trying to make is that righteousness is also a result of an inner change and what WE DO.

Rom. 2: 12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for mnot the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the nwork of the law written in their hearts, their oconscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 pin the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Paul's point and charge he makes is that none are righteous by what the DO-rather, by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Rom 3: 9 :What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. 10 As it is written:
l“There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”

No, not one.

You said, "Righteousness is also a result of an inner change and what we do." If righteousness is a result of what we do-then righteousness is not imputed, but rather we gain it on our own.


Rom. 3: 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all 6and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified 7freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a 8propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over dthe sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

fisherwoman said...

Carlus said: I believe that sanctification is part of the justification process. Not the initial justification that you receive at Baptism, but the ongoing justification that occurs over the lifetime of the believer.

Are you saying one is not saved until one is baptised? Scripture says otherwise:

Rom. 5: 1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Carlus Henry said...

fisherwoman,

You said:
Paul's point and charge he makes is that none are righteous by what the DO-rather, by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Scripture says:

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.Romans 2:13

I think I am going to believe Scripture on this one...

You said in regards to no one is righteous:
No, not one.

Yet in Scripture, there are reports of many people who are righteous....

Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.....Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. Matt 1:19; Luke 2:25

Either no one is righteous, in which case, these verses are contradicting. Or you are not interpreting the Scriptures correctly.

You said, "Righteousness is also a result of an inner change and what we do." If righteousness is a result of what we do-then righteousness is not imputed, but rather we gain it on our own.

No. Righteousness is always a Grace from God. We can choose to work with that grace or we can choose to work against it.

Are you saying one is not saved until one is baptised? Scripture says otherwise:

Let's not do the doctrinal dance again. Let's continue to talk about what we are working with.

Please address my challenges directly. I have shown at least two places where I feel as though you are misinterpreting scripture. If I am wrong, please tell me how.

Thanks and God bless...

fisherwoman said...

Carlus said: For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.Romans 2:13

I think I am going to believe Scripture on this one...
-----------------------
I believe Scripture as well. The point Paul is making is yes, there are 2 ways of righteousness! But no one has ever been declared righteous by obeying the law!

Rom. 3: 19: Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Why the law then? Paul tells us:

Gal. 3: 21: Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined eall under sin, fthat the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, 6kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore gthe law was our 7tutor to bring us to Christ, hthat we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

The Jews had misapplied the law. They felt they had a good standing w/ God by lawkeeping. John the Baptist blasted this thinking and called them to repent, saying God can raise up children of Abraham from the rocks! Most of the Pharisees were self-righteous. They would not repent. Jesus asked, "HOw will you escape the condemnation of Hell?" Jesus straightened out the Law that had been bent. He used it lawfully, as Paul says , to show sin to be exceedingly sinful, and to drive them to the cross!

Rom. 9: 31 : but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, HAS NOT attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Why? Because THEY DID NOT SEEK IT BY FAITH, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:

“Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,

And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

10 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being IGNORANT of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their OWN righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

----------------------------

fisherwoman said...

Carlus said:


Yet in Scripture, there are reports of many people who are righteous....

Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.....Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. Matt 1:19; Luke 2:25




I do not argue that the Bible says there were some righteous men. But HOW did they become righteous? Never by law-keeping, (which Paul says no man can do. Jesus confirmed this: be perfect!

Interesting to note the verse you responded w/ about Simeon. It says he was waiting for the Consolation of Israel (Messiah). He knew he could not obtain rightesness by the Law but looked forward to the Redeemer.

By faith, by faith, by faith...
-------------------------------------
Now if you can explain this:

"We can choose to work with that grace or we can choose to work against it."


What do you mean by "work with". If you mean we ourselves maintain our salvation, then God's power has not and is not at work in you:

Christ has freed us from the Law and its consequences. He has redeemed us from the curse of the Law. He has already given new birth. He will complete it to the day of Christ Jesus. This is what Paul speaks of in Galatians. Having begun in the Spirit...

Either we are Christ's or we are not!

Romans 8: 1 : There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, awho 1do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For bthe law of cthe Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from dthe law of sin and death. 3 For ewhat the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, fGod did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who gdo not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.


Rom. 8: 9: But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

Carlus, is there something that you DO that you believe helps you maintain righteousness with God?

Carlus Henry said...

fisherwoman,

You said:
I do not argue that the Bible says there were some righteous men.

But earlier you said, regarding Romans 3:9:
No, not one.

Then you said:
Interesting to note the verse you responded w/ about Simeon. It says he was waiting for the Consolation of Israel (Messiah). He knew he could not obtain rightesness by the Law but looked forward to the Redeemer.

What Jew was not waiting for the Messiah? That is part of their faith? They are all waiting for the Messiah. This is in no way something special about Simeon.

By faith, by faith, by faith...

Yes. Everything begins with faith. If we didn't believe in Christ, then there is no place to start. Faith, in itself, is not the end it is only the beginning.

In regards to my comment of:
We can choose to work with that grace or we can choose to work against it.

You said:
What do you mean by "work with". If you mean we ourselves maintain our salvation, then God's power has not and is not at work in you:

Before I address the point, I want to first talk about the underhanded accusation. How do you know that God's power is not at work in me? How do you know, if anyone that holds a different opinion than you, that God is not at work in them? Perhaps God is not at work in you, and He is working in me to lead you back to Him. Let's try to keep the conversation focused on the points rather than the individual. We are not arguing, we are arguing ideas. I have no idea how God has worked in your life, and you have no idea how God has worked in mine. Let's be careful before we start making accusations like that.

I believe that God calls all men to a loving relationship with Him. However, we as fallen cannot turn to Him, without His help. He assists us to turn towards Him through Grace. By giving us His Grace, we can then have the ability to choose Him. Without the Grace, we cannot choose for ourselves. However, it still remains a choice. We either choose to cooperate with the Grace, or we choose not to. In other words, God does not rape us - forcing Himself upon us. Instead, he seduces us, drawing us ever closer through grace.

That is what I meant by cooperating with God's Grace.

Carlus, is there something that you DO that you believe helps you maintain righteousness with God?

Yes. I repent.

fisherwoman said...

Carlus said:

What Jew was not waiting for the Messiah? That is part of their faith? They are all waiting for the Messiah. This is in no way something special about Simeon.

They are not all waiting for the Messiah! This is Paul's charge-that they disregarded God's way of righteousness and sought it on their own, therefore God has broken them off, because of unbelief.

Rom. 11: 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of wunbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith.

Because of their rejection, God provokes them to jealousy while He brings Gentiles to faith in Christ. Paul pleads with Israel to believe God in sending Messiah!


Rom. 10: 1
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for 1Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness athat they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of bGod’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own crighteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For dChrist is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

The law could never save, it was a schoolmaster to lead them to Christ.


Rom. 9:30 What shall we say then? sThat Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, teven the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, upursuing the law of righteousness, vhas not attained to the law 4of righteousness. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, 5by the works of the law. For wthey stumbled at that stumbling stone.

What was hidden is made known through Christ and revelation: Gentiles will be saved in the same way as Jews: by grace, through faith!

Romans 9: 6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For nthey are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7 onor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, p“In Isaac your seed shall be called.” 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but qthe children of the promise are counted as the seed.

God elects whom He saves, both Jew and Gentile, there is no difference, God saves by grace through faith, it is the gift of God. (Eph. 2: 8,9)

Back to:

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.Romans 2:13

Again, Paul's point is no one obeys the law. Jesus said the same:

John 7: 19 uDid not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? vWhy do you seek to kill Me?”

I have to ask Carlus: Have you always obeyed the law of God? Do you obey the Law of God from the heart? Do you always do what is right? Do you listen to your conscience always?

Yes, there are verses that speak of righteous men. But HOW were they made righteous? Not by lawkeeping! They too had broken the Law of God. But those elect were those whom were saved in the same manner as we Gentiles are: by grace through faith.

Carlus said: Yes. Everything begins with faith. If we didn't believe in Christ, then there is no place to start. Faith, in itself, is not the end it is only the beginning.

No, faith is all of knowing Christ!

Rom. 4: 1 What then: then shall we say that aAbraham our bfather 1has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was cjustified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? d“Abraham believed God, and it was 2accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now eto him who works, the wages are not counted 3as grace but 3as debt.

fisherwoman said...

David Celebrates the Same Truth

5 But to him who fdoes not work but believes on Him who justifies gthe ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also hdescribes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:

7 “Blessed iare those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,

And whose sins are covered;

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


Rom. 4: 13:
For the promise that he would be the mheir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For nif those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because othe law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be paccording to grace, qso that the promise might be 4sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, rwho is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, s“I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, twho gives life to the dead and calls those uthings which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, v“So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, whe did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), xand the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised yHe was also able to perform. 22 And therefore z“it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

23 Now ait was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe bin Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 cwho was delivered up because of our offenses, and dwas raised because of our justification.

Carlus said: By giving us His Grace, we can then have the ability to choose Him. Without the Grace, we cannot choose for ourselves. However, it still remains a choice. We either choose to cooperate with the Grace, or we choose not to.

No Carlus, we can't choose Him. He has already chosen His elect! He will never lose those who come to Him.

John 6: 35
And Jesus said to them, y“I am the bread of life. zHe who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never athirst. 36 bBut I said to you that you have seen Me and yet cdo not believe. 37 dAll that the Father gives Me WILL COME TO ME, and ethe one who comes to Me I WILL BE NO MEANS CAST OUT. 38 For I have come down from heaven, fnot to do My own will, gbut the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, hthat of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, ithat everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 10: 27: 27 xMy sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 yMy Father, zwho has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

Carlus said in response to my question: Carlus, is there something that you DO that you believe helps you maintain righteousness with God?

Yes. I repent.

And THIS is why I fear for you, my friend.

Heb. 4: 9; There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

Carlus, where does mercy come from? Your repentance, or from God?

Heb. 4: 1 Therefore, since a PROMISE remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it

Carlus Henry said...

fisherwoman,

I said, implied that all Jews are waiting for the Messiah....and you said:
They are not all waiting for the Messiah!

Of course they are looking for the Messiah. This is core to their belief system. If you do not believe me, then look here at Judaism 101

I said:
Yes. Everything begins with faith. If we didn't believe in Christ, then there is no place to start. Faith, in itself, is not the end it is only the beginning.

to which you said:
No, faith is all of knowing Christ!

Can you explain this more....I am not sure what you mean by this.

No Carlus, we can't choose Him. He has already chosen His elect! He will never lose those who come to Him.

Am I correct in thinking that this is a very Calvinistic thought that you have?

You asked:
Carlus, is there something that you DO that you believe helps you maintain righteousness with God?

I said:
Yes. I repent.

To which you replied:
And THIS is why I fear for you, my friend.

Are you suggesting that repenting is a work? Are you suggesting that repenting is not necessary? I can do whatever I want and live however I want and it doesn't make a difference whatsoever? I don't have to repent in order to be saved. Having faith does not include repenting for my sins? Are you being serious?

Carlus, where does mercy come from? Your repentance, or from God?

What??? Of course it comes from God.

fisherwoman said...

You said:Of course they are looking for the Messiah. This is core to their belief system. If you do not believe me, then look here ...


There are many many secular Jews who care little or nothing about Judaism or Messiah. They rejected their Messiah.

Matthew 23: 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets gand stones those who are sent to her! How often hI wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks iunder her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, j‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”

God has set them aside for the moment as he brings in the sheep of the Gentiles-the elect who are called according to His purpose. Jew and Gentile are saved in the same way. REad the posts in the previous reply!

Rom. 11: 7 What then? iIsrael has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were jblinded. 8 Just as it is written:

k“God has given them a spirit of stupor,

lEyes that they should not see

And ears that they should not hear,

To this very day.”

Carlus said: No Carlus, we can't choose Him. He has already chosen His elect! He will never lose those who come to Him.

Am I correct in thinking that this is a very Calvinistic thought that you have?

It is a very Pauline thought. And a Jesus thought.

16 tYou did not choose Me, but I chose you and uappointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father vin My name He may give you

Rom. 9: 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering fthe vessels of wrath gprepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known hthe riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had iprepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He jcalled, knot of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

1 Peter: 2: 4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, erejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,

fisherwoman said...

1 Peter 2: 9: But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of kdarkness into His marvelous light; 10 lwho once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

1 Peter 1: 1 :an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To the 1pilgrims aof the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect caccording to the foreknowledge of God the Father, din sanctification of the Spirit, for eobedience and fsprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:


Carlus said: (in response to "maintaining righteousness":

Are you suggesting that repenting is a work? Are you suggesting that repenting is not necessary? I can do whatever I want and live however I want and it doesn't make a difference whatsoever? I don't have to repent in order to be saved. Having faith does not include repenting for my sins? Are you being serious?

Repentance is as gift from God: Acts 11: 18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, n“Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

Repentance and faith are the result of God's regenerating us to new life. We will live lives of continual turning from sin and glorify God. If we believe, however, that anything we do is a result of our own "choice" or maintaining the free gift of God (salvation) we are in danger. Christ's finished work is enough for God. It is enough for the believer. The tree is good because of the Seed that is planted (Christ)A good tree cannot produce bad fruit. Fruit is the result of salvation.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who iaccording to His abundant mercy jhas begotten us again to a living hope kthrough the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance 2incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, lreserved in heaven for you, 5 mwho are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Carlus Henry said...

fisherwoman,

Here is a clear example of why I am not enjoying this conversation.

You originally said:
No one is righteous, not a one

Then I showed you in Scripture that people were righteous....and you immediately back tracked and said

I do not argue that the Bible says there were some righteous men.

Then you said something along the lines that Simeon was righteous because he was waiting for the Messiah, to which I replied, all Jews are waiting for the Messiah. The context of all Jews should have been inferred the religious ones, to which you replied:

They are not all waiting for the Messiah!

I show you that waiting for the Messiah is key to the faith of Jews, then you counter with

There are many many secular Jews who care little or nothing about Judaism or Messiah.

Who in the world is talking about secular Jews? I am talking about the Jewish faith.

I feel as though you are on talking to me....you are talking at me. I am not enjoying our conversation. Please feel free to comment on a recent conversation, but this will be my last post on this topic.

God has set them aside for the moment as he brings in the sheep of the Gentiles-the elect who are called according to His purpose.

This comment is off topic. I never implied that Jews are not being brought into the faith the same way. Ever heard of Rosalind Moss?

Another example of you are not listening to what I am saying:

You said:
Repentance is as gift from God...Repentance and faith are the result of God's regenerating us to new life.

I have always said that everything is from God's Grace. Without God's Grace, we cannot do anything. You are not listening to me.

So while I think that we could have had a great conversation, I don't really see this going anywhere if we refuse to listen to eachother. Please feel free to join a more recent conversation...

God bless...