The Evangelical Universalist Forum

What is justification and why is it necessary?


Gosh, I’ll pray for ya… bad juju when someone sticks something in the nether regions…

Good luck.


:laughing: It’s not that bad, plus they give me the pictures! Ronda has a collection of them. That perhaps was TMI :blush: :laughing:


Thanks. That helps me understand, and I appreciate your patience. As I said, I usually like your ideas and often agree with them. But as you suggest, my exegetical background inclines me toward asking how theological ideas ultimately compare with the N.T. (which happens to use challenging Greek words). Of course, I seldom convince others of my acumen even on that :slight_smile:

I love you too,


There is absolutely nothing subjective here, just plain unequivocal statements that are impossible to explain away…


Well you can quibble over the “AS” as per some translations, but regardless… <εἰς> eis typically rendered means “into” with various cognates following — thus Abraham at God’s declaration was imputed, accounted or reckoned to be righteous; being placed into the state of right-standing with Himself, i.e., righteousness. Such righteousness was NOT something Abraham had to wait and wait and work at, NO… his righteousness was conferred upon him AT THAT TIME — as those two text above again make unequivocally CLEAR!

Abraham was NOT in the process of attaining righteousness as per your unique theory, NO, he attained it by God’s grace (4:4) then and there. The word <ἐλογίσθη > elogisthē meaning to reckon, account or “impute” is in the passive voice MEANING Abraham had NO action or affect within it in OTHER THAN to receive it that is… this was ALL ABOUT God’s act of grace TOWARD Abraham — there’s your GOAL; it was righteousness towards Abraham NOT Abraham toward righteousness… he received it then and there. Again your theory leaves your cart before the horse.

Again you have it back to front. Abraham’s goal was to serve God with the fruit of his righteous, i.e., he would bring blessing BECAUSE OF the righteous standing he had been blessed with — thus blessed to be a blessing (Gen 12:3).

If then you are trying to draw the link between cleansing to righteousness well then look AGAIN at the means… such cleansing was predicated on FAITH, i.e., trusting belief — “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Your rationale fails and falls even under your own examples.

Yes and… :question:the process is called “sanctification”.

Again Paidion this very verse makes my point and undermines yours with regards to God’s righteousness, as Paul says… the Gentiles HAVE attained it — it WAS NOT a process to one day after eons of self-works be reached, NO — they ATTAINED it then and there LIKE Abraham, via faith, not works. The process of works is but a reflection or fruit of righteousness… NOT the means for it. If you think it is you have sorely misread Paul.


Davo,As Paidion has already mentioned, I believe these Scriptures:

James 2:19-24 “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?..You see then that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”


What James points out is that the (lifelong) process of “works” is but a reflection or the fruit OF righteousness… NOT the means FOR righteousness. If you think it is you have sorely misread James.


Well Davo, I guess it’s a comforting thought to believe that God has counted you as righteous whether you are righteous or not.

That part of your belief is similar to that of Fundamentalists and many evangelicals. They think they’ll go to heaven at death if they “accepted Christ as their personal Saviour” or “trusted in His atoning work on the cross” (what must be done varies among them; there are several other formulae as well). They say their “salvation” (being saved from hell) has nothing to do with their “works” (how they live). For when God looks at them, He doesn’t see their sin but Christ’s righteousness. This is a grave error. Paul taught that whether we receive glory and honour and immortality from God OR receive God’s wrath—affliction and anguish, depends upon whether we live lives of righteousness or whether we practice evil. And of course we need the enabling grace of God to live consistently righteous lives as Paul taught in Titus 2.


If only perfect (sinless) people are justified then it’s not clear to me what role there is to play for Jesus’s resurrection. Hypothetically, a person could abstain from every sin listed in the NT, with the exception of not accepting Jesus as lord. Why would such a person not be justified? What does accepting Jesus as lord add that was lacking to someone who is otherwise sinless? The way I see it, justification must be by faith in Christ, or else there’s no point for Christ’s death and resurrection.


Well, let’s see what Anglican NT Wright and an Eastern Orthodox - say on Youtube (Each only 5 minutes or so)


qaz said


qaz, to expound, here is what Mike William says about redemption. (very apropos)

Kind of ‘Good News’ :wink: :smiley:


Qaz, it is a common misunderstanding that the position that I described and which Paul took, requires that a person must be sinless to be acceptable to God. Well… that is God’s ultimate aim, but as I explained to Davo, salvation is a life-long process of purification that will some day be complete.
The apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 1:6


As davo says:

Paidion , I would say you are continually advocating works righteousness. Whether ‘I have to be perfect now’ or your flavor ‘I will be perfect in due time alas… maybe even a lifetime’ :open_mouth: You said

So what about those who do not (or maybe historically did not) have a lifetime? Your Idea of salvation is at best obscurely possible, because you heap loads of obstacles. You said in another thread:

You may need to re think that one.

Riddle: If salvation is a life long journey that people were required to complete, then why was Jesus even sent to them. :wink:


Chad, you are parroting thousands of others who misunderstand the process of salvation. “Works righteousness” suggests becoming righteous through self-effort. NEVER have I suggested such a thing! Indeed, I know no one who holds to that idea.

Yes, people die before they are even born (That was the case with one of my own offspring). Others die from 1 day old through to as old as 120 years.
However, everyone who has submitted to Christ will grow in righteousness by the enabling grace of God (Titus 2). I believe in post-mortem correction, not only for Christ haters, but for Christians themselves who need it. Jesus’ own words: “Everyone will be salted with fire.” Both salt and fire are purifying agents.

Not much riddle in that question. Jesus was a teacher of righteousness. His words as recorded in Mathew 5, 6, and 7 give specific direction for righteous living. Twice Paul referred to “The law of Christ.”

Also Jesus Himself, who was fully human, lived righteously Himself and never sinned. He was an example of what is possible for anyone. Then by His death, the enabling grace of God for righteous living became available to those who would accept that grace.


And every verse you quoted was dealing with Christ’s and Paul’s contemporaries. Would you not agree?


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.”



Is “acceptable to God” the same thing as justified?


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?