How does Jesus's resurrection make people righteous?


Steve, John 13:16 says this: “Verily I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.”

Hermano, Hebrews 11:4-12 says BY FAITH Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. BY FAITH Enoch was translated so that he did not see death. BY FAITH Noah moved with Godly fear. BY FAITH Abraham obeyed.
Galatians 3:29 " If you belong to Christ then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
These people were all one in the SAME faith; a faith in the Spirit of God and obedience to Law of Him that is written in the heart and mind. As it says in both the Old and the New Testaments, “The righteous shall live by faith.”


LLC, it sounds like you think people were just as righteous pre-Calvary as post-Calvary. I’m having a hard time seeing where Jesus’s death and resurrection fits in to your theory of righteousness.


I would ask this question of LLC. Are there ANY church theologians - past or present…that hold a similar theology to yours? If so, can you name them?


Well, from what I understand of human nature and the apostles view of it, we should expect these primeval figures still had a sinful ego and needed Christ and the work of his Spirit. Indeed, e.g. Abraham betrays Sarah and lies to protect himself at her expenses, and Noah gets smashed right after God’s great deliverance.


LLC, Here are the scriptures that support what Bob has just written:


Bob, Jesus did not raise the standard for righteousness. The standard was set by God in the beginning, "Be fruitful and multiply. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. “If one is not producing the fruit of the Spirit, he would not be considered righteous. Those who are called righteous in the Bible were righteous according to God. Again, as it says, Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. Cain’s offering was not acceptable because his heart was not in the right place. As for Abraham. Romans 4:2 says, “For if Abraham was declared righteous by works ( ones that extend from a sinful ego) he would have something to boast about but not before God. Gen 17:10-11 tells of the sign of the covenant. " Every male child among you shall be circumcised in the flesh( heart) and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin and it shall be a covenant between me and you.”
Deut. 10:16 “Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart and be stiff- necked no longer.”
Isaiah 66:2 'These are the ones I look on with favor, those who are humble and contrite in spirit and who tremble at My word.”
Sometimes righteous people make mistakes, and in the example you mention about Abraham, the half truth he told did not come from a heart set on personal gain for himself. As it says, Abraham feared for his life because he thought he was entering into ungodly territory. But, it turned out that Abimelech feared God as well. And yes, the Spirit worked to restore them both. Sometimes we run across moral dilemmas. Paidion, you’ve brought up some examples in past posts. Is it right or wrong to lie if you were secretly hiding a slave in civil war days?
Besides, the story of Abraham and Abimelech should be subject to scrutiny since it is actually told three times ( Gen. 12:10-20, Gen. 20:1-18 and Gen. 26 1:34) . In the last one, the exact same same story is told, but it is told of Isaac, not Abraham.
As for Noah, Romans 4:7 and Psalms 32:1 says, “Blesses are those whose sins were forgiven and whose sins were covered.” Ham did not handle the situation properly. As Matt. 18:15 says, “If your brother sins against you, go to him and show him his fault, but do it privately just between yourselves.” However, Shem and Japheth followed 1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love one another deeply because love covers a multitude of sins.”
If you notice, in Genesis, even though these men sinned at times, they did not seek vengeance on one another. Their disputes seemed to be handled through forgiveness, peace and turning the other cheek.


LLC: “Bob, Jesus did not raise the standard for righteousness.”

Bob: That’s not the common reading of his Sermon on the Mount. When he cites the O.T. law, followed by, “BUT I say…” he is widely perceived as calling Jews to a more challenging understanding of what God is pursuing (certainly at least deeper and more internal than what most of Israel’s Bible scholars recognized was prioritized in the Hebrew Scriptures). And his statement that all of those in God’s kingdom will be greater than those in the O.T. era seems to correlate with the notion that he is bringing a greater work into our lives.


Bob, From what I understand, those who belong to the kingdom of God are all servants in obedience to the same God and no one is greater than another. When Jesus says, "BUT I say…, the things that He says have already been said and are written in the Old Testament. Jesus did not come to establish a new kingdom. It had already been established in Abraham and all those who followed the Spirit before and after him, as Genesis 17:4-7 says “As for Me, behold my covenant is with you , and you shall be a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant to be God to you and your descendants after you.”

As Gal 3:29 says, 'If you belong to Christ , then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise."

Jesus was building or rebuilding the kingdom in the name of the Father( Abraham), the Son ( spiritual seeds of Abraham) and the Holy Spirit ( God).
As Gen. 12:2 says, " I will make you a great nation ; I will bless you and make your name great…"


LLC, you say your understanding on the testaments is that: “no one is greater than another.” The text I cited was "I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (Lk 7:28). I’m not seeing how your ‘understanding’s language is congruent with Jesus’ message here.

I agree Jesus brings the fulfillment of the promises to Abraham, and some of our difference may be semantic. But when you speak as if the kingdom Jesus announced was already enjoyed in O.T. times, I don’t see how this harmonizes with Jesus’ message, or e.g. with Hebrews’ view: "But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. 7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. (8:6,7) I see many indications that the earlier situations were perceived as inferior.


Bob, the ministry Jesus received was the priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek, who was a priest of the God Most High( Heb. 7:1). This Melchizedek was “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God who remains a priest continually.”(Heb. 7:3). Hebrews 7:15-16 "“And yet it is far more evident if, IN THE LIKENESS of Melchizedek, there arises another priest ( Jesus) who has come, not according to the law of fleshly commandment, but according to the power of endless life.”

Again, Gen. 17:7 says, “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an EVERLASTING covenant to be God to you and your descendants after you.”
Gen. 18:19 “For I have known him (Abraham), in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”

I’m not exactly sure, but my guess is that the text you cite( Luke 7:28) is a comparison between the kingdom of men( born of the flesh) and the kingdom of God ( born of the Spirit).

According to Gal. 4: 21-31, there were two covenants, as it says Abraham had two sons. One was born according to the flesh(the laws and doctrines of man), the other according to the Spirit( the Laws of God).Verse 29 “But , as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.”

The Jewish law did not come about until the time of Moses. Prior to that, there was no Jewish law. This is the point that Paul is trying to make when speaking of the law. Abraham, Isaac,Jacob etc. didn’t have to follow the Jewish law to be righteous before God. They didn’t have to sit in the mikveh, go to a priest and sacrifice animals for forgiveness of sins, perform ceremonies and rituals, eat only certain foods, etc. etc. They simply followed the Spirit of God and the Law of Him that is written in the heart and mind.


LLC, I’m familiar with and affirm the texts and points you make. But I’m not seeing that they discount Hebrews’ assertion that Jesus brings a superior ministry, nor Jesus’ words that none before could be as great as those in the day of the kingdom and Spirit that he now has brought. The superiority of what he brings us appears to be a theme of Hebrews, and of all the apostles.


Bob, John 8:56 says this: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”

How could Jesus have a superior ministry? Abraham and Jesus both had faith in and followed the SAME God. As it says, "And if you belong to Christ then you are Abraham’s seed ( those who are born of the Spirit/ word of God) and heirs according to the promise ( the everlasting covenant).

Galatians 3:7 'Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham."

John 8:39 “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did.”
Abraham was building the kingdom of God as well.

From what I understand, whether you followed Abraham or followed Jesus, it wouldn’t matter because they were both one in the same Spirit.


Our current bodies versus our new glorified bodies. Our current bodies can be likened to computer hardware; hardware that takes in and processes data and then outputs results. We have five senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch … these are data streams coming into our systems. I am a morning coffee drinker. I get up each morning, brew a pot of coffee and my body responds in a pleasurable manner; thus without my morning coffee the day is a mess and I react accordingly. We all take in data constantly and each data stream effects how we perceive and react to life. We are in essence slaves to our flesh. As we of through life each body receives, processes and stores a myriad of different data streams and we all react in different ways to this data. Each person is unique.

In my simplistic computer model our brain is the hard drive, it gathers and stores data; the soul is our software which governs how we operate (live). God preprogramed our software. Certain bodily functions, like breathing, are controlled subconsciously by this program. Hunger, thirst, pain, love, sex are part of this software program. I eat certain amounts of food each day, my body senses this consumption and when I do not eat a regular amount of food, I feel hunger pangs. My perception of hunger is much different than say, someone living in abject poverty that lacks the means to obtain the same amount of food. Everyone is different depending on their circumstances and data input. I do believe that God preprogrammed our ‘software’ with knowledge of His existence, His creation.

In my model our spirit is our wireless network connection to God. When we pray, our prayers are transmitted to God, He hears our prayers and then responds according to what is best for us. This response can come in different ways one of which is through Bible study, or it may come as a seemingly random thought. God does and can talk to us if we listen; most people don’t but even then at times God will command a non-believer to act in a certain way so as to bring about God’s will. World War II can be used as an example. God commanded the Japanese military leaders to attack Pearl Harbor, thereby drawing the United States into that war. Also, God likely commanded Hitler to attack the Soviet Union, causing Stalin to defend and then counter attack. The world today would be a much different place had Hitler been satisfied with his conquest of Europe and Tito been satisfied with Japan’s conquest of China. Through the spirit God can and does bring about certain human actions that will result in His will being done here on earth, as it is in heaven. Yes we can talk to God and yes He can talk to us.

Our new bodies, our glorified bodies will be different than our current flesh. How? I am not all that sure but we know the angels can and do take on the appearance of being human. They look just like us, but they are not truly in the flesh (as we are). I do not pretend to fully understand spiritual things. It is a mystery to me but someday I will understand. I leave it at that.

My point in all of this is that our new bodies will not be flesh and blood. We will have a physical nature but our flesh will not be what controls our actions. We will have free will but our flesh will be only a means to interact with physical. The flesh will not dominate the soul as it does now. The soul will dominate the flesh, and our souls will be dominated by love; love for God and love for others. Our new bodies will not crave more than we need. Then there will be peace.


Well, the Christian consensus based on Scripture has been that both were men, but that God was more uniquely incarnate in Jesus than in Abraham, such that while Abraham could receive the promise of what Jesus would achieve, Jesus’ ministry is far superior because he was actually able to bring the fulfillment of that Abrahamic covenant,


Bob, from what I understand, Abraham obtained the righteousness of God and received the blessings of all that was promised. He stands as a testimony to all that can be achieved through the power God’s Spirit, and is said to be " the father of all who believe."

Again, Jesus’ ministry was of the SAME (not greater) order as that of Melchizedek, and one in which Abraham gave homage to. The Bible says Jesus was in the likeness of Melchizedek, who was “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life”(Heb.7:30) and who preached according to the power of endless life (Heb. 7:16).

Jesus was also born of a woman.


My response: Being born of a woman has nothing to do with why no one is Israel is as great as those after Christ. The difference is the new work of God’s Spirit and kingdom that he proclaims and brings.


Bob, From what I understand, all of Israel was not of Israel. And yes, I believe Abraham did receive the promises of the covenant. By faith, he left all the false gods of the world behind in order to become a man of his own, free to worship the One true God in his heart and mind. By following the ways according to God, he made friends and allies instead of enemies and was highly respected and honored among his neighbors. As the Bible says, he was considered a mighty prince among them (Gen. 23:6). As a result, in the end, he became the owner of a large piece of land in Canaan.
Abraham also had many descendants, some physical and some spiritual. Jesus’ work not new. It was rather a renewal of the Spirit in the word of God.


LLC, thanks, I’m sensing you define the Abrahamic covenant as making promises of blessing to Abraham personally, whereas I see it as about God’s historic plan to reach the nations, and thus apparently unlike you, I’m comfortable perceiving that Jesus is seen to have a unique role in fulfilling that goal, that was not much achieved during the O.T. period. But I do agree that in Christ we are to expect spiritual blessings similar to those described in Abraham’s life.


Bob, on the contrary, those who sow the seed of righteousness according to the word of God, are a “light unto the world”. Not only do they receive blessings, but they are a blessing to others as well. This is the law of reciprocity. Abraham was a peaceful man with a humble heart who treated others with respect and kindness, glorifying God. For example, it says in Gen 21:22, ““Abimelech and Phichol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying, " God is with you in all that you do.” As we see in the story of Joseph, Pharaoh made him second in command over all of Egypt, and during the years of famine, the people of the land had food to eat. Pharaoh says this of Joseph, " Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” Joseph’s family was blessed as well. They were given a piece of the best land in Egypt.


LLC, We seem to be talking past each other. I perceive your “on the contrary” as just repeating precisely that you focus on key individuals rather than seeing the Abrahamic covenant’s promise as reaching the nations. I still see the Biblical narrative culminating by seeing Jesus as the most
key individual who fulfills God’s promises and plan.