The Evangelical Universalist Forum

How does Jesus's resurrection make people righteous?


Through His death and resurrection Jesus made available God’s enabling grace for consistent rightousness.

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)


qaz, I know you are not trying to be obstinate. The variety of NT notes on the cross means ideas on the atonement are often confusing and complex. The book I’d most recommend is the latest by the most influential evangelical NT scholar, N.T. Wright, “The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’ Crucifixion.” Also influential for me is Lutheran NT scholar, David Brondos’ “Paul on the Cross,” and Joel Green’s “The Scandal of the Cross.”

No, I don’t see any requirement that everyone gives up all their possessions. My sense is that only God knows how to judge our hearts and actions appropriately to discern whether our choices are the kind of love and righteousness that he seeks. I’m comfortable with that as a universalist, since I see all God’s dealing, even the sterner ones, coming from love that seeks my best. Thus if He determines that I need some kind of growth to be one day genuinely pronounced righteous, that’s what I want too. The essence of healthy faith in God is trusting that we are in good hands.

You ask if only Christians love their neighbors. I see many non-believers who love. But the general tenor of the apostles is that all of us tend to suck air on this. Do you think you are good at loving your neighbor? You may be better than I :slight_smile: My sense is that we all need help in being truly righteous. Even some of the so called ‘righteous’ OT heroes had grievous flaws of unloving unfaithfulness, that isn’t what Jesus advocated. Thus again, I sympathize with the NT apostles’ thesis that we needed something in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection that would aid us with the kind of Spirit that can help us be more of what God calls us to be.

Thus I’m not seeing why you are tempted to think such a work by Christ is not needed. The reality is that your assumption that people do fine with meeting the call to love God and neighbor, and thus don’t need what Christ promises isn’t the reality. The truth is that when we reject the help of God that the apostles’ saw embodied in Jesus, we suck air. Thus I for one am grateful for a loving crucified one who conveys forgiveness and strength committed to my maturity that my faith sure can use.

As I’ve detailed before, this kind of availability of the Spirit seems to be precisely what the prophets said was needed to write God’s law in our hearts and bring the new covenant experience of God’s kingdom rule in our life. And I can see why the apostles believed that it was in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, that God was pleased to make this available.


More than once it is stated in the book of Acts that the first Christians shared all their earthly possessions:

I was a school teacher for three years in a Christian Hutterite community where all possession were held in common. I saw this carried out practically and deeply respected it.


Thanks Don, but I have to ask did you share your wealth with them? If so that is so cool. If not I tend to agree with you as to why you may not participate. I’m on your side.


Well, thank you for your support, Chad, but if you knew what my “side” was, maybe you would immediately switch sides.

I do believe that a Christian community filled with mutual love is likely to share all material possessions. I think the Hutterite community felt that I would some day become part of their community and go all the way, including total sharing of possessions. My first wife was still living at the time; it was shortly after our marriage. She was of Mennonite background and also related very well to the Hutterite people.

However, to answer your question, the main reason we didn’t become part of the community was NOT because we wished to hang onto our possessions (as a young married couple we didn’t have much anyway). It was that we were unable to receive much from the church meetings. They were always in the German language, and the sermons of the early Hutterites of the middle ages were read each Sunday. The minister’s talk was a commentary on these sermons, and sometimes he gave his comments in English just for our benefit. The hymns were from a book of hymns from the early Hutterite times: each with 20 or more verses, and in German of course. I think if the church had been of the kind we had envisioned, we would have remained in the community, and I would still be there to this day.

But when we visited the homes, we had wonderful fellowship with the people. We sang English hymns with them and discussed Christian matters that were mutually edifying. We loved the people, and when we went to the city shopping, the people on street and in the stores seemed like people from another planet. Going back home, there was a deep sense of warmth, of community, and of support.

I must say this, however. Not all Hutterite communities are the same. I happened to hit it “lucky.”


Wow, that is really interesting.

What an experience. So did it make you want to find a similar group that you could converse with? Or was the communal idea not to your liking?


Oh, I LOVE the communal idea. It’s getting back to the Christianity described in the book of Acts!

There have been quite a few Christians who have tried to live communally, but most of them eventually disbanded. You can read about some of these attempts by reading the book by Dave & Neta Jackson entitled “Living Together in a World Falling Apart.” You can get a kindle edition of the book from Amazon for only $2.48. But a physical copy costs $11.29. However, Amazon permits you to “look inside” the book at their site and read some parts of it.


Here where I live in the heartland USA we have a couple of different communal groups close by, and it is interesting that they are not in anyway deemed ‘Christian’ but they are good folk and look to the betterment of each other, and are for the most part contributing members of our community at large. :smiley:

The churches and society elites, tend to look down their noses to them but they are a good group of folks just figuring out what they want from life without someone telling them what ‘they have to do’

I’m sure you get the picture.



qaz, It’s not. Following the Spirit of God, His laws and His ways is what makes one righteous. Jesus teaches and shows us what this means.

MM, I think you are right. :slight_smile:

Paidion, If grace is defined as the unmerited favor of God, God has been showing grace to man since the very beginning. Mankind would not even exist if it were not by the grace of God. The fact that we sin and have not all been completely wiped off the face of the earth is the very testimony of such grace. He has also been purifying and instructing man in the way of righteousness from day one.Time after time, God continually saves.

Genesis: God created man in His image. He breathed into him the breath of life.
Genesis 3:21 'Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin and clothed them". This means that even though the sinned, God gave them new bodies, restoring them to life.

Deut. 32:9 “For the Lord’s portion is His people, Jacob the place of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness. He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wing. So the Lord alone led him and there was no foreign god with him.”

Lev. 11:45 “For I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God. Thus you shall be holy as I am holy.”


qaz, There are things in the Old Testament that don’t come from God, for example, an eye for an eye, seeking vengeance, sacrificing animals for the forgiveness of sins, having to provide a sacrifice for sin after childbirth etc. etc. However, there are also lots of things that do come from God. As it is said, if we know God we should be able to discern the spirit and whether the words come from God or not.


This term is often understood as God’s strength and help being given. More specifically, I’ve argued that the apostles’ see this kind of help for our lives coming after Jesus’ death and resurrection in a new way with a universal availability of the Holy Spirit. Of course, this new pouring out of the Spirit and His enabling ministry is often called Pentecost. Do you disagree that the apostles saw Jesus as bringing this kind of advance?

Grace be with you, Bob


In honor of this thread topic…And today is St. Patrick’s day…Let me share an Irish blessing, for all the Preterists, non-Preterists, Zombies, Holy Fools, and any unnamed category here. :smiley:


That’s right. But does that contradict in any way what I said about ENABLING grace. Titus, chapter 2 still holds!

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)


I found an interesting Patheos article:

If Christ Is The Victor, Hell Could Only Be Temporary

Let me share a few paragraphs, I found interesting:

It should be noted, that I hold the theological positions of Inclusivism and Purgatorial Conditionalism. The second position is a hybrid, of universalism and conditionalism.

But first, the tribulation and the Zombie Apocalypse - must come and go. :wink:


As an Anglican and a Lutheran, I’d think these people have retributive atonement models. :question:

Yes, I do think I’m good at loving my neighbor. I wouldn’t be a universalist if I wasn’t. I’m a universalist because I can’t stand the thought of even the people who have caused my family and me the most harm suffering forever.

Couldn’t Jesus have taught the same system of morality without willingly being murdered? It all very fuzzy for me when you (and Paidion) talk about Jesus’s death and resurrection enabling people to love our neighbors (with “loving our neighbors” being the means of attaining righteousness). First of all, it doesn’t make sense to me that free-willed creatures would be incapable of doing something like loving their neighbors until something else (which happens to be Calvary) happened. Second, when I look around at Christians and unbelievers, I simply do not see Christians as significantly more loving (if more loving at all).

Maybe I’ve just been too conditioned by “orthodox” Christianity. :question: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that our good deeds are “filthy rags” and that righteousness is entirely through Jesus’s blood.


And what conclusions are you ready to draw, based on that?


Then why does the NT say only Christians are not condemned?

John 3:18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

Mark 16:16
16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.


That it’s hard for me to accept any atonement theory that says Jesus died and rose so that people – people who believe in him – would become capable of loving their neighbors.


I think you’d be mistaken. It may be helpful to do some reading beyond fundamentalist Penal Sub. circles.

I don’t see how. He did not encounter a world where love is as easy to find as you feel it is. And challenging that reality was deadly.

Given your perception that our ability to be loving and righteous is o.k., do you have a better explanation for why Jesus died?



Well, as I have said, I find retributive atonement models coherent (albeit disturbing) but contradicted by scripture. If God couldn’t forgive sins without blood sacrifice, why does the NT record Jesus freely forgiving people their sins pre-Calvary? I suspect that the key to unlocking this whole mystery is that being forgiven is not the same as being justified /righteous. But that then raises the question: What’s the difference? Why wasn’t someone whose sins were forgiven righteous?