The Evangelical Universalist Forum

How does Jesus's resurrection make people righteous?


Because sin is a disease, not just an act, and cannot be healed by following morality. It takes the filling of the Holy Spirit which is shed abroad in hearts because of the resurrection of Christ.
It’s good to be moral, naturally.
There was more than one reason for Jesus’ death. IMO we must couple that with a better understanding of sin as disease as well as transgression.


Why can’t “sin” be “healed” by not sinning?


Your comment, Gabe, has me wondering again about the fate & destiny of those who died as children & were not born again at that time:

"Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” " (Jn.3:3)

As to perfection being a requirement, what about, for example, this passage:

1 Cor.6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who submit to or perform homosexual acts, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.


Time to provide a summary…of where we have been and where we are going - in this thread.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“—so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”


What we need is a new-life infusion, imo. People are not all bad, or as bad as they can be, thankfully, and many people do good things, even altruistic things, and who could fault them for that?
But I think that the truth about humanity comes from outside of humanity; and the diagnosis is not good - we’re dying from something that we don’t want to acknowledge; God in His grace has told us what He desires, and it is for us to have life, and that abundantly - and that is beyond our ability to produce. At least that’s the way I read it.


Bovine feces.

Dave, qaz just gave you your golden cow. Do what God wants you to do and all will be okay. And you shut him down. You do seem to be going back and forth between us taking care of business and God already have taken care of business. But that may well be simply my perception.

I would tend to say, qaz if that’s where you are in your understanding, stop sinning. But if you can somehow find in your search that God has loved you enough to take care of your sin, you probably need to stop sinning, which brings huge rewards in our life, and start being pro active for the good side. The understanding of the perils of sin is a gift from God, if you are realizing those feelings, you should act on them. In a round about way I think that is what Dave is saying. Though he has an interesting way of saying it.

All this is just my humble opinion.


“Prevenient grace is a Christian theological concept rooted in Arminian theology,[1] though it appeared earlier in Catholic theology.[2] It is divine grace that precedes human decision. In other words, God will start showing love to that individual at a certain point in his lifetime. It starts to happen to the individual without any consideration to anything he/she may have done either good or bad. The person does not have to be religious and most are just people who like all of mankind are evildoers. No previous action or thought induces God to act graciously, lovingly, and movingly towards them at that moment of their lives. It is up to that person to accept the sudden light of God’s love towards them and to respond in kind. As it is written in scripture God shows love towards all freely even if we don’t deserve it. Because everyone’s nature is corrupted by the effects of sin, prevenient grace allows persons to engage their God-given free will to choose the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ or to reject that salvific offer.”


Chad, you are…what’s the word I’m looking for…ah yes…WRONG.
So wrong in fact that once again I’m stymied by your (wilful?) ignorance of plain old truth.
That’s what happens when a big -ism gets a-holt of some (not all, there are some -ism people that still keep an open mind) people. If it don’t fit the -ism, we don’t believe it. You big -ist, you.
And it is really cool because that’s what you accuse -ians of.


I don’t know why anyone would be offended at your words. There are millions who hold to the same view. However, without imputed righteousness we are not left without hope, because enabling grace has been made available to us through Christ’s sacrifice, and becoming righteous is a process. That sounds pretty hopeful to me! Please consider the following:

For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all people, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and to live sensible, righteous, and devout lives in the present age, expecting the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; encourage and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you. (Titus 2:11-15)

How do we appropriate this enabling grace? We appropriate it through faith. Jesus died to provide this enabling grace, and by trusting Him to do so, it becomes a reality in our lives.

Many think “δικαιοσυνη,” The Greek word translated as “justification” to mean “being counted as righteous,” whether we are righteous or not. But the word often means “being made righteous.”

Working together [with Him], we entreat you not to accept the grace of God to no purpose. (2 Cor 6:1)

If we try to accept God’s grace in our lives without allowing it to purify us, to render us righteous, then we are accepting it to no purpose.

We must coöperate with God’s enabling grace. We alone cannot achieve consistent righteousness. And God alone will not cause us to be righteous. He respects our ablity to choose too much for that. We must coöperate with God’s enabling grace.

This coöperation with God is known as “synergy.” This English word comes from the Greek word “working together.” (συνεργουντες)

A particular group of denominations push “monergy.” This is the idea God did all the work concerning our righteousness, that we have no part in it at all. No wonder so many fall away, thinking that what they choose to do has no bearing on their standing with God.

However, I think the apostle Paul had it right. Concerning deliverance from wrongdoing, we need to work together with God, and so not to attempt accept the grace of God to no purpose.

As for Romans 7, Paul is not describing his own experience and inabilities to be righteous as many believe. He is using the “hypothetical I”; he is writing about a person struggling to obey God without the enabling grace of Christ, and how futile it is to so struggle. But note that in the last verse of ch 7 and the beginning of ch 8, Paul writes:

25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Without God’s enabling grace, the best I can do is serve God in my imagination, but in that case, I actually serve my sinful inclinations.

1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
3 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.
Yes, the righteous requirement of the law CAN be fulfilled in us who walk in keeping with the spirit of God. How can we walk in that way? By appropriating through faith the enabling grace made available through Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.


Well I’ve been wrong before, and will be again. I’ve been called ignorant before but wrong and ignorant in the same sentence… That is bad. :hushed:

Much of my post was to qaz. And I really tried to acknowledge your post and say that it was just my opinion, thus trying to say that I was responding but not attacking.

Obviously, it did not go as I had planned.

I never would want to stymie anyone. But hey bro, this is what we do here. Both of us are guilty of shooting pop shots at each other and others.

The ism thing… hmm And Big -ist?

Thanks for being easy on me. I deserve every bit of it.


(i do agree that starting a post with [bovine feces] is not a good ice breaker):laughing:


Well it was the ‘bovine feces’ remark following a quote of mine that kinda got my attention.
We’re good.


Hi Paidion and thanks for your very gracious reply. I’m not unfamiliar with the views you propound either (synergy, NPP etc) and I certainly never let my own interpretation of ‘imputation’ suggest that I dont’t need to act in a way which pleases God, or ‘take my own part’ as it were in ‘working out’ my salvation (nor would I ever teach such to my students - quite the opposite!) I’m sure much of the confusion in these areas is caused by the underlying emphasis different Christians make between the initial salvation and the life of gradual sanctification which follows. I’m aware that many (I believe especially in the US in recent times) have got hold of the idea that they can have ‘salvation’ without the ‘Lordship of Christ’; i.e., that once saved, it kind of ‘doesn’t matter what I do, I’m okay’.

I certainly have never held to any such idea, nor do any of my evangelical acquaintances. I guess ‘imputation’ for me is summed up in the words of another modern worship song which talks about standing before the Lord; ‘In royal robes I don’t deserve/I live to serve your majesty’ (King of kings, Majesty).

And surely, ‘justification’ is just another, similar, ‘picture’ (for all of our talk in such areas has to be in metaphors and similes and the like), for trying to say that we are forgiven, and though we may not deserve to be accepted, we are; as Paul has it in 2 Cor 5:21 ‘He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.’ Rom 8:1, which you cite, is another, similar text which seems to underpin my own views as strongly as your own!

You have probably guessed that I’ve held my own views for a long time; changing them is not easy, though I’m always ready to listen, consider and pray about different ways of looking at things - go where I feel the truth leads, however uncomfortable that may become. The ‘universalism’ part of my faith is a problem as it could cause me difficulty in continuing my lecturing work etc. Neverthless, it has always attracted me and I continue to look into it - hence my appearance on this site.

God bless



God’s Law demands that we love Him with all our hearts, minds and souls and to love others as we love ourselves. That’s all it ever was and ever will be, just as it says in Deut. 10:16-20,“Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart and be stiff-necked no longer. for the Lord your God is God of gods, Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing, Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve him, and to Him you shall hold fast and take oaths in His name.”

The everlasting covenant was and still is to circumcise the foreskin of your heart and God will be your God and you will be His son/daughter.

" I will look upon those who are humble and contrite of spirit."

The Levitical law says in 24:19-20 says this: “If a man causes disfigurement of his neighbor , as he has done, so shall it be done to him-fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has caused disfigurement of a man so shall it be done to him.”
If one should follow this law, it would make him/her a sinner.
The Levitical law also made everyone a sinner in the sense that it declared things to be sins that weren’t really sins. For example it was a sin to have a baby, a bodily discharge of any sort, to eat certain foods etc.etc. And of course, one was forced to make a sin offering to the priests for forgiveness, who in many cases were allowed to keep the offering for themselves or eat it, whichever they preferred. How convenient is this? I would say that the priests were becoming quite fat and wealthy off of this deal.

As Isaiah 28:13 says 'But the word of the Lord was to them precept upon precept, line upon line…"

Does God give people commands with no ability to follow them? Does He say, " Love your neighbor as yourself. Phych, sorry but I didn’t give you the power to do this. Oh well." I don’t think so.


Well, I came across an interesting article from Patheos in 2011. Let me quote a bit from it:

There’s been a lot of good discussion in the last post by Sola Ratione. I just thought I should point out one thing: the idea that the crucifixion was a blood sacrifice to obtain God’s forgiveness is not the only explanation. Lemme explain.

John Shelby Spong once said that at the outset of Christianity, all Christian theology consisted of the words, “Jesus is Lord.” Everything that has come after that has been an attempt to explain what those words mean.

That’s a bit simplistic, but it gets the point across. The earliest Christians probably believed that Jesus was divine, but weren’t sure exactly how. In the same way, they most likely believed that his death meant something, but were not unified or articulate in what that meaning was.

Over the eons, Christian theologians have come up with a number of theories as to how his death brought about salvation. Sabio over at Triangulations charts out the major ones. The most common in American Evangelical Christianity is the “Penal Substitutionary Theory.” (I think. I haven’t actually seen statistics.) The late Ken Pulliam made a hobby out of dismantling this theory.

I suspect that all the theories have some problems. Some have actually become dated. The idea that Jesus was a blood sacrifice was probably the earliest theory, developed at a time when it was assumed that Gods required sacrifices. Now it’s uncomfortable to even consider.

The other idea to consider, is that more than one theory - might be correct. There might be multiple reasons, for Christ’s sacrifice… Including the Eastern Orthodox/ Eastern Catholic one - I subscribe to.

And I leave everyone with this GIF…in case my theory, that the Zombie Apocalypse…is the most probable, end times tribulation model - is correct. :wink:


Thanks for being clear. It appears that by not engaging the words of Paul’s own assertions, you just offer arguments that he was incorrect about what was needed and what Jesus did. And your logic makes sense :slight_smile:

Yet, I personally find that I do experience inabilities that leave me far short of loving with my whole being, and wonder if Paul was onto something when he argues that the whole Biblical narrative is highlighting the failure and apparent inadequacy of God’s chosen people to be what they were called to be.


Your response is equally gracious. And after reading it, I think we are not far apart in our understanding.


No, not quite, but rather… those responding to God’s call to follow Christ are encouraged in the ways of righteousness as is indicative of numerous verses already mentioned etc.

Well yes, though I’d be saying… the consequential results of THE completed redemptive task is what we are to be “flesh out” — we’re not making it happen (Jesus did it all for all) but testifying to it.

Yeah that was one of those texts (Col 1:24) that always had me scratching my head until I realised Paul wasn’t referring to the magnitude of efficacy BUT rather, the scope thereof. Paul wasn’t making up for some deficiency or lack on Christ’s part, but rather, joining and making up the breadth of effect of the same… Jesus had previously said… “greater works than these shall ye do” — well considering all that Jesus did, one wonders how. But Jesus was talking about Himself being replicated manifold through his servant firstfruit saints — thus not in magnitude but in scope, i.e., in the breadth and reach God’s grace through His Body.

Not so much wrong but the real scope of the call was to unbelieving Israel, and if any beyond Israel so-joined they would likewise be blessed. Remember… Israel was in covenant with God and yet was under *covenant sanctions^ BECAUSE OF covenant unfaithfulness. Thus the call to repentance was the call to covenant renewal; and THAT came via Jesus (true Israel). Thus was the call to believe, i.e., confess and believe Christ as Israel’s true king — NOT Caesar (Jn 19:15; Lk 19:14; Acts 4:12; 17:7).

Well, the parousia was for THEM, one and all, and was still future and according to the epistles pertinent to THEIR times, or as Jesus said… “this generation” — so they wouldn’t have had any conception of bifurcating the realm or righteousness to a before or after scenario other than the fullness of blessing such would bring. They were genuine futurists, i.e., it ALL lay before THEM… we are of the post-parousia event and in that sense as believers are the offspring of those who first believed.


Bob, you said
Yet, I personally find that I do experience inabilities that leave me far short of loving with my whole being, and wonder if Paul was onto something when he argues that the whole Biblical narrative is highlighting the failure and apparent inadequacy of God’s chosen people to be what they were called to be.
On the contrary, I believe the whole Biblical narrative highlights the success of all those who believed in the power of God’s Spirit and followed Him.
Hebrews 11:30- 35 says this: "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong , became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again.
It goes on to say, “And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance that they might receive a better resurrection.”, meaning that through them, people might come to know the truth of God.

The Bible also speaks of the failure of those who pursue their own ways instead of the ways of the one true God.

Davo, the nation of Israel was NOT in covenant with God. They threw His covenant aside and took up their own version as it says in Galatians 4: 24-25 “For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar- for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia…” thus a need for truth and a reminder of the everlasting covenant given to Abraham which says to circumcise the foreskin of your heart and “I will be your God and you will be My people”,


Israel WAS in covenant disobedience toward God… hence the bondage they were under, as was typical of their story BECAUSE OF their stubbornness of heart.


LLC, as I said, Paul may be incorrect, but I personally relate more to his and the prophets’ assessment that Israel direly needed deliverance, and David’s humble recognition that, “I was sinful from the time of my birth,” and “my sin is always before me.”

But your own feeling about success in loving God with all your being, and your neighbors as yourself is notable and interesting.