Imputation (The Robe of Righteousness)


#21

Paidion,

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. ~~ 2 Corinthians 3:18

It’s when God opens the eyes of the heart to see His beauty in the Gospel that we are transformed from one degree of glory to another. We become like those we admire. Jonathan Edwards and John Owen and John Piper teach this all over the place. Saving faith produces good works. No Reformer ever denies this.


#22

Anyone who accepts the Scriptures as their basis of belief will stick with that. Though we might inquire, what does “practices righteousness” mean? There are many church divisions over what specifically defines that phrase.

Should the Corinthians Paul wrote to who had various practices of unrighteousness among them be labelled as unrighteous? Were they not in righteous standing with God? Were they not saved?

One consequence of sin is spiritual death (Rom.6:23). Do Christians not experience deliverance from spiritual death from the time they first have faith in the Lord Jesus?


#23

deleted…and added to previous post


#24

John Piper replies to objections re imputed righteousness:

“Discussion of these concepts are complicated by different definitions of key terms, such as “justification” and “grace”…”

“John Wesley believed that imparted righteousness worked in tandem with imputed righteousness.[5]”:


#25

Would those Reformers who had righteousness imputed to them be the same ones who killed the “witches” around Geneva, or that slaughtered Anabaptists by the thousand, or that burned Michael Servetus at the stake?

I guess I’m looking for the ‘cash value’ (William James’ meaning) of the doctrine. I personally understand the doctrine and don’t believe it, at least in the way it is usually presented.


#26

Dave,

I was thinking more along the lines of Jonathan Edwards and John Owen. Moreover history is distorted. Calvin never burned anyone. Others may have but they were going contrary to what Edwards taught when He said Vengeance belongs to God.

If therefore we see any of the followers of Christ, in the midst of the most violent, unreasonable and wicked opposition, of God’s and his own enemies, maintaining under all this temptation, the humility, quietness, and gentleness of a lamb, and the harmlessness, and love, and sweetness of a dove, we may well judge that there is a good soldier of Jesus Christ ~~ Jonathan Edwards


#27

That’s right, and has nothing to do with a supposed imputed righteousness - those qualities are fruit of the Spirit, brought about by willing synergy with that Spirit. IMO.
I know I sounded harsh, but the Reformers hold no special place in my mind.


#28

Imputed righteousness comes first. Edwards believed in imputed righteousness but we are also infused. Just as I stated in the OP and John Piper and William Lane Craig believe. William Lane Craig hasn’t burned a witch. Neither has John Piper and neither did Jonathan Edwards.


#29

Ok, I know where you stand on that. Peace.


#30

I applaud Edwards here. But while everyone knows Calvin did not do the burning, it seems clear that he applauded killing Servetus, and I share Thomas Talbott’s impression that his efforts to see Servetus beheaded, along with Luther’s support of massive violence, means that despite the leading reformer’s brilliance, we should be wary of looking to them for reliable guidance to the way of Christ

This issue was discussed previously here: Calvin and Servetus


#31

James White has shown that that is a lie about Calvin. Just because one believes that they are covered in Christ’s righteousness when they have faith doesn’t make them evil. Those that just believe something without faith don’t understand faith. Piper and Edwards and Craig all believe in an infused righteousness along with imputed. Christ’s atoning death secures the future with his blood bought promises. Example:

Vengeance is Mine I will Repay

When my faith is in God the desires for sin is pushed out of the heart. I let go and let God handle it. Rather I love the enemy just like Christ did. Another example:

God works all things together for good for those that love Him.

I place my faith in God and Christ as it gives me hope. Righteousness is imputed but it’s also infused. If you think that’s dangerous you are blinded by Satan. Dealing with shame:

If we confess our sins He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

My faith is in God. Indeed. when facing temptation I trust God when He says

Resist the devil and he will flee.

It’s faith working itself out through love. When my future is in the hands of an all powerful and loving God who promises to work out all my circumstances for good, anxiety is broken as the heart opens up to love. The desires that lead to sin are pushed out of my heart as God infuses me and covers me with His righteousness.


#32

In the opinion of Joseph Prince, a non Calvinist, righteousness is not right doing, but right being:

“For example, when you feel lousy because you have just shouted at your wife, God wants you to exercise your faith to see yourself as still righteous in the midst of that failure. This living revelation that you are still righteous will give you the strength to love your wife and reconcile things with her.”

"The devil may remind you of your foul temper and question your integrity: “How dare you call yourself righteous when you just did that!” Just ignore his lies and boldly declare, “I am not righteous because of what I have done or not done. I am righteous only because of the blood and finished work of Jesus at the cross!” "

“RIGHTEOUSNESS AND NOT SIN IMPUTED TO YOU”:

"Romans 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”

“You are blessed today because all your sins are forgiven in Christ. God does not count your sins against you. Instead, He counts you righteous in Christ.”


#33

I’m finding out that reformers take issue with John Piper’s doctrine of justification. He believes that saving faith causes a change and produce good works and I agree with Him. He believes that our present justification is by faith alone but that final justification is in accord with our works:

John Piper: Present justification is based on the substitutionary work of Christ alone, enjoyed in union with him through faith alone. Future justification is the open confirmation and declaration that in Christ Jesus we are perfectly blameless before God. This final judgment accords with our works. That is, the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives will be brought forward as the evidence and confirmation of true faith and union with Christ. Without that validating transformation, there will be no future salvation. [Christianity Today, The Justification Debate: 2009, Compiled by Trevin Wax]

Sounds good to me but Reformers take issue with him and say he’s more in line with Rome with his idea that they call novel.


#34

Yes, those who have submitted to Christ are so delivered. But as I said, this is not stated in the Christian Scriptures.

When I was a teenager, and believed as typical evangelicals do, I thought that Tom, the local pastor of the Baptist Church I attended never preached the gospel. He was always talking about submitting to Christ, but he never spoke of the necessity of “accepting Christ as personal Saviour” or “trusting in the finished work of Christ.” He established me, being an older teenager, as leader of the young people. Once when I was talking to the young people, Tom realized that I didn’t understand the true gospel. So in talking with me privately, he asked, “Don, what are we saved from?”

Knowing the Scriptures to some extent, I responded, “We are saved from sin.”

Then he asked, “And what does that mean?”

Then I said, “It means that we are saved from the consequences of sin.” I meant “Saved from hell fire.”

Then Tom said, "Don, nowhere is it written that we are saved from the consequences of sin. It is written that we are saved from SIN!

I wasn’t ready to accept that at the time, but around ten years later, I discovered from my own studies that Tom was RIGHT. He had been preaching the gospel all along, but I had been too blind to realize it.


#35

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. ~~ Romans 5:9

It’s not either/or but both. We are saved from our sins as we are justified by faith. The same faith that justifies is the same faith that sanctifies. Of course I’m speaking of initial justification. Sanctification is a lifelong process until our final justification. As Piper states:

John Piper: Present justification is based on the substitutionary work of Christ alone, enjoyed in union with him through faith alone. Future justification is the open confirmation and declaration that in Christ Jesus we are perfectly blameless before God. This final judgment accords with our works. That is, the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives will be brought forward as the evidence and confirmation of true faith and union with Christ. Without that validating transformation, there will be no future salvation. [Christianity Today, The Justification Debate: 2009, Compiled by Trevin Wax]

Salvation = Salvation

Salvation = sanctification

Salvation = glorification


#36

It is a widespread idea that “sanctification” is something different from “salvation”. We are being saved from sin, as a lifelong process. Call it “sanctification” if you will. There is no instantaneous salvation from hell, with the idea that sanctification is good, but not necessary in order to “get to heaven.” The truth is that if we are travelling the narrow path that leads to life, we will be right with God if we die at any time during that journey. But if we get off that narrow path, and choose our own path, we won’t.


#37

The Bible says we were saved - we are being saved - and we will be saved. It contradicts you.


#38

Note: this is H.T.'s response to Paidion.

H.T.: For us “uninformed”…can you share some verses, for EACH of those 3 categories?


#39

We were saved

For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? ~~ Romans 8:24

We are being saved

Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good pleasure. ~~ Phil. 2:12

We will be saved

“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.~~ Romans 13:11

But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.” ~~ Acts 15:11


#40

Does committing any sins render a person “not on the narrow path”? Does a person have to be sinless to be on the narrow path?