The Evangelical Universalist Forum

What is justification and why is it necessary?

Lk.18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Lk.23:39 One of the criminals who were hanged there was [a]hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving [c]what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come [d]in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Yes, I agree. And the truth of them applies to everyone else. They have universal application.

No. We are acceptable to God right now, if we have begun the process of salvation and persist in it. We may sometimes slip up and do wrong, but we can repent (have a change of heart and mind) concerning what we did, and get right back on track again. The word translated as “justify” means “rendered righteous.” If we are coöperating with God’s enabling grace to help us become righteous we are acceptable to God and are BEING rendered righteous—a process that will some day be completed.

“Redemptionism: The doctrine that all of humanity was redeemed (i.e., saved, sanctified) through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and asserting that the redemption of all was completed and concluded in his resurrection.”

There are some very plain teachings in the NT that blow that doctrine to smithereens. However, the tactic of avoiding those teachings by claiming they do not apply to us does eliminate the smithereening: but at what cost ? And what is the basis of that tactic?

Especially - all of humanity was SANCTIFIED by the death and resurrection of Jesus? Sanctification is a process, not a gift, and it is our high privilege to work out our salvation.

Work out our salvation - it actually says that in the NT post-resurrection. We are not saved by our ‘works’ - I don’t know anyone who believes that - but certainly our call is to life-long faithfulness - stemming from God’s faithfulness - and as Paul said “seeking glory and honor etc.” through well-doing.

I’m still working on understanding. Maybe if I wasn’t so deep into Romans right now this would not be pushing any buttons; but I am, and feeling the weight and wisdom of Paul, I think there are some real misunderstandings here. However, if the scriptures are not on the playing field because they are ‘not for us’, we have no chance of convincing each other.

I disagree with Mike William as well.

It depends on what kind of salvation one is talking about. To me, the bible has nothing to do with the afterlife. It is about finding God on earth, and Him dwelling amongst us. What good is this life if we don’t have that?

Well, I’m NOT so far removed - from that idea. Where I embrace the Eastern Orthodox / Eastern Catholic position of Theosis (i.e.… the Franciscan view of contemplation (i.e.… and TV evangelist, Joel Osteen’s view - of expecting good things from God. :smiley:

Now if I can just figure out…how to keep the zombies away…during the tribulation and Zombie Apocalypse…I’m good to go. :slight_smile:

If God counts someone righteous they ARE righteous, period, regardless of your disbelief — there is NONE of YOUR performance caveat of… “whether you are righteous or not” to it!

Just as I expected… absolutely NOTHING relevant in answer to the unmissable, unmistakably CLEAR and straightforward texts of Gen 15:5; Rom 4:2-3. Like so many texts before, are these to be annexed and excised to the Paidion chopping-block of awkward and inconvenient texts because they run a hole right through the middle of your “righteousification” doctrine? For those following, here they are again…

Belief + Accounted = put INTO right-standing… God’s equation NOT man’s.

As highlighted above… this is where you get tricky in slipping words into supposed texts (to give an air of authority or authenticity) that actually are NOT there. Rom 2:6-10 is simply about the consequences of DOING good or evil… blessed or dire. But Paul was NOT TEACHING YOUR ‘lifelong righteousification’ doctrine, or as you like to claim… “…the position that I described and which Paul took…” — FALSE!

THAT hasn’t been what you’ve been saying at all BUT rather… the lifelong process of righteousness — there’s a mile of difference between ‘righteousness’ and that of ‘salvation’. What IS a lifelong process is SANCITIFICATION for the believer… big difference.

In the mosaic of the Old Covenant… Israel as a nation WAS redeemed. Of those redeemed certain ones were ‘called’ — dedicated and sanctified — the Aaronic priesthood. This priesthood SERVED before God and to the rest of the redeemed.

In the big picture of the New Covenant… Humanity HAS been reconciled. Of those reconciled certain ones can be ‘called’ — dedicated and sanctified — the priesthood of Believers. This priesthood SERVES before God and to the rest of the reconciled.
ALL that you have been banging on about could be better explained as… the lifelong process of the sanctification of believers who hopefully work the works of righteousness, but not TOWARD your GOAL of achieving final “righteousification”. NO… such works of righteous service are toward God and others.

NOT everybody in Israel was “called” to serve and yet everyone was redeemed. NOT everybody in humanity is called to serve and yet everyone has been reconciled. Jesus said it best…

The OT account of Gideon is a prime example of this principle in play. Israel was God’s redeemed people AND YET out of her certain ones were called for a redemptive task of deliverance. This entailed the whittling down and choosing of the called ones to a certain refined number. Now, NONE of those REJECTED from that redemptive task became thereby evil, lost or reprobates, NO — they were simply not chosen to that specific redemptive calling. Thus… “many are called, but few are chosen”.

The point being… ?? They weren’t TRYING to become something — they understood already who they were, quite apart from their works.

Davo, what we are talking about is justification ( shown to be righteous). Again, as James 2:21 says “Was not Abraham our father justified(shown to be righteous) when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?” Belief alone doesn’t cut it. I can believe that it’s morally wrong to steal. However, if I’m out stealing, I’m not in right standing with God. James 2:14 says this: “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?”

HFPZ, I think many today worry too much about the afterlife. I believe as it is said, “There are some fates worse than death.” I believe life on earth without God among us or God with us would be just that. I can’t imagine living as a slave, living in the days of the inquisitions,or during the Salem witch trials, being crucified on a cross, or thrown into a dungeon to be eaten alive by rats. Such things are unthinkable to me, and I thank God everyday for men and women like Jesus, who stand and live in the truth of God.

OTOH, just as an aside, I think it is very true that what we think of our future eternity DOES affect how we live now.

DaveB said

I would say the cost is that it turns many Christians ravenous haters of this demonic heresy :laughing: So it is not something to bring up at the local church potluck if you are looking to get invited back :laughing: :laughing: Many Christians like the idea of hell. :astonished: :open_mouth:

The tactic is simply trying to find a truth one can live with. Nothing more, nothing less. We are all doing it here.

How did the scope-o-bottommy go? :unamused: Is all O K?

'Scope went fine, no probs, all good - until I got home. Felt fine for one hour, and for the past 4 hours been getting steadily sicker. Can you believe that?? I don’t get sick, but here we go. Picked up something at the clinic I reckon.
We should never leave our own homes for any reason… :laughing:

Well, Dave - if you lived here:

In the coldest village on earth, eyelashes freeze, dinner is frozen and temperatures sink to -88F
Photographs of Oymyakon, the Coldest Village on the Face of the Earth
Amazing pictures from the coldest inhabited town on earth
18 spellbinding pictures of the coldest city on
Oymyakon: The Coldest Village on Earth [20 Pics]
Here’s What It’s Like To Live Where The Temperature Drops To -96 Sometimes

Any bugs or virus will probably freeze to death. :laughing:

Yeah, about 5 minutes after I did! :laughing:

Dave, Then maybe the doctrine of hell isn’t such a bad idea after all! :laughing:


Really… fancy that :question: Do you think you could possibly notify the editors of ALL these translations HERE and HERE and let them know ALL their expert Hebrew/Greek scholars got their translations so horribly wrong… but now you’ve finally solved their ineptitude. :unamused:

Both ‘justified’ and ‘righteous’ are indeed indelibly linked and yet very specific words, which is why Paul chooses them wisely and carefully in the above passage:

<ἐδικαιώθη> edikaiōthē = justified — to declare, render or pronounce, one to be just, righteous.
<δικαιοσύνην> dikaiosynēn = righteousness — the state or condition of him who is acceptable to God.
Both Paul and James agree (Jas 2:23)… God enunciated the Gentile Abram to be “justified” BECAUSE OF his “belief” — thereby being imputed with or into (εἰς) righteousness. His subsequentworks” FOLLOWING simply confirming this, i.e., evidencing this reality — thus the two working together (Jas 2:22).

YES I agree… and yet STILL you MISS the point in quoting this. THIS came LONG after God’s initial DECLARATION of righteousness. James’ point here is “actions speak louder than words” i.e., “your words are fine and dandy but let me show you real belief actioned in my deeds” — James understood the ORDER of things (what I’m trying to explain). He wasn’t arguing that they weren’t righteous, NO, his point was — righteousness is most effectual IN TERMS OF OTHERS (NOT in terms of acceptance with God) in that they receive the benefits of our faith via our works.

“Works” do not make anyone righteous, rather they demonstrate the fact that we are righteous, i.e., as James shows… faith works together with works — they are NOT in competition or contradiction but are meant to be complimentary.

This of course is a rhetorical question… “works” help mature one’s faith (vs. 22 <ἐτελειώθη> eteleiōē) and by so doing bring their own healing (vs. 14 save = <σῶσαι> sōsai).

Davo , I see you want to haggle over words. I stated that justified = shown to be. As you say, justify means to declare, or pronounce.
Declare-reveal, cause or allow to be seen, express, make manifest, broadcast, air, publicize, make publicly known.

It seems to me that Paul and James did not meet eye to eye on this.

James says Abraham was JUSTIFIED BY WORKS, Paul seems to making the case otherwise. By the definitions above, one cannot possibly be justified( declared, revealed, make publicly known, or shown) to be righteous unless it is by works.

Unless a person is stone cold dead( or a zombie), he/she is “working” one way or the other, either doing something good or doing something not so good.
The Bible says, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
James also has this to say: James 2:13 'Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the Law that gives freedom, for judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.
Proverbs 21:13 “He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.”
Luke 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. do not condemn, and you will not be condemned,. Forgive and you will be forgiven."

I think it is debatable…from both a scientific and philosophical perspective…whether a zombie, is " working" - or not.

HFPZ, I put that insertion in especially for you. I figured you’d get a kick out of it. :laughing: