The Evangelical Universalist Forum

What is justification and why is it necessary?

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:

Yes, I realize that. But it does raise some deep, philosophical and theological questions.

Let’s take the TV shows Fear the Walking Dead, The Walking Dead, and Z Nation. Now the humans might live, in a fortified prison. But they have zombies outside the fence - guarding the place. Or someone might direct a sound, to lead a swarm of zombies - into an enemy complex. Technically, the zombies are “working”.
Or a black magic magician in Haiti allegedly uses black magic - to create a zombie. And they have them work in the fields - planting sugar cane. The Zombie is working.

Now let’s contract that example - with this.

The Calvinist would say some people, are predestined to work for God. Maybe they are preachers, etc. How does this differ, from the zombie work examples given?
Or in the Protestant view. Someone becomes “born again”. Now God waves a magic wand…And they are NOW justified and sanctified. Kind of like the zombies - right? No?

I truly believe that I did explain it, qaz.

To be rendered righteous, which is a life-long process, we need something more than self-effort. Self-effort may avail to some extent, but our personal desires and choices are too much for it. For example, we may wish to seek vengeance against that person who has done us wrong, and actually carry out that vengeance in spite of the fact that Jesus asks us NOT to seek vengeance but to do good to those who wrong us. However Jesus’ death and resurrection made the enabling grace of God available to us so that we can rise above our fallen desires and succeed in doing right. We appropriate this enabling grace by faith.

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)

How do we appropriate this enabling grace? We appropriate it through faith. Jesus died to provide this enabling grace, and by trusting Him to do so, it becomes a reality in our lives.

Many think “δικαιοσυνη,” The Greek word translated as “justification” to mean “being counted as righteous,” whether we are righteous or not. But the word often means “being made righteous.”

Working together [with Him], we entreat you not to accept the grace of God to no purpose. (2 Cor 6:1)

If we try to accept God’s grace in our lives without allowing it to purify us, to render us righteous, then we are accepting it to no purpose.

We must coöperate with God’s enabling grace. We alone cannot achieve consistent righteousness. And God alone will not cause us to be righteous. He respects our ability to choose too much for that. We must coöperate with God’s enabling grace.

This coöperation with God is known as “synergy.” This English word comes from the Greek word for “working together.” (συνεργουντες)

A particular group of denominations push “monergy.” This is the idea God did all the work concerning our righteousness, that we have no part in it at all. No wonder so many fall away, thinking that what they choose to do has no bearing on their standing with God.

However, I think the apostle Paul had it right. Concerning deliverance from wrongdoing, we need to work together with God, and so not accept the grace of God to no purpose.

It’s not that we have to earn our salvation. It’s that in order to be free from sin, we actually have to be FREE from sin. I’m not saying anyone is going to achieve that in this life aside from Jesus, but it’s our duty to present our members as instruments of righteousness unto God, not as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin. If we do the latter, we’re the slaves/employees/servants or whatever of SIN. If the former, we are servants and offspring of God our Father.

God HAS saved us (in Jesus Christ) from our sins. We need to cooperate in the ongoing manifestation/out-working of this salvation as we are taught of the Holy Spirit. “All these who are being led by the Spirit of God, these and none but these are the (mature) sons of God.” So long as we are little children, we are still GOD’s little children–but let’s at least aspire to grow up and become His mature daughters and sons, qualified to represent the family of God to the world. I’m not really certain that the “gracers” and the “worksers” in this thread would truly disagree with one another if we understood one another. The grace enables us to mature into the works, and the works show the fruits of the working out of grace. We do not “go to heaven” as spoiled bratty children still trying to bite our older siblings, making messes we refuse to clean up and grabbing for the best piece of chicken so the other little piggies don’t get to it first. That would not BE heaven at all. Not to us, nor to anyone else. This is a journey. As we make the journey into God’s grace, we become more and more like Christ. Getting there isn’t a reward for becoming perfect in love. Becoming perfect in love IS getting there.

What Paidion (and Cindy) just said!!!

It would be interesting to know what degree of “life-long coöperation” is to be reached to where the doctrine of “righteousification” finds true righteousness being achieved, and whether such is even or ever possible in this life; which begs the question… if one’s “life-long coöperation” proves inadequate for attaining true righteous, what indication is there that postmortem “coöperation” is likely to have the power to pull the skin off a rice pudding either? I’d suggest like the “righteousification doctrine” itself suggests — zip, zero and zilch.

As much as it is being denied… this ‘other gospel’ of “righteousification” is not new and nothing other than a works-orientated, performance-based “system” of self-righteousness — albeit being claimed “Working together [with Him]”. :unamused: