The Evangelical Universalist Forum

What is justification and why is it necessary?


You might want to think about that.


Bro, I would take an alternate view to that. That is pure and unadulterated works righteousness. When you look at a person and say that there is no evidence that that person is a person of faith, you are treading to ‘Luther’s’ salvation by faith. In other words like you say, you have to DO something to get something. Luther said “you have to have faith” You said “Your faith is justified by your works - proven, declared to be real, genuine”… so who in hell is going to make that assessment?

Just asking :laughing:


Yepper :wink:


Chad my brother :smiley: there is NOTHING ‘work-righteousness’ about that. Nothing. I did not say that you become righteous by those acts.

Your FAITH is proven to be genuine by continuing in well-doing and seeking glory and honor and immortality. Not perfectly, no; but there must be some substance to our confession.

Is that just not common sense? How ELSE can one’s faith be genuine? Because one feels like it is?

I’m gonna sit firm on this, because the accusation of ‘works’ just is not to the point.

But remember - I build guitars! I have some redeeming value! :smiley:


That is where we differ and where the historical context of faith becomes interesting. From my perspective, In Jesus’ time and the time of the apostles right after him Faith in Jesus was very important. You know I believe and I think you know the preterist view. The verbiage of all of the NT scriptures was that of a soon coming Christ, a end of the old covenant and a new dawn to the new covenant. So going back, There is no need for proving faith because righteousness was a given through the new covenant.

So, the difference is interesting. How do we Judge or do we judge another’s faith? And ultimately if we do judge them on what grounds is the judgment based?

I know for a fact you are not a creed guy!! :laughing:


God wants people to be righteous. You are right that an unbeliever sometimes does good works, but he is unable to live a consistently righteous life without the enabling grace of God (made available by the sacrifice of Christ) to assist him (Titus 2). The Christian can appropriate this enabling grace through faith.


Yes, this is true. But can a person have the grace of God? Whether they actively know Christ or not? I say they can. I spent many years with this saint and authors, from the book at And with this Native American author at They acted every bit as Christian - IF NOT MORE SO - then most Christians I know. And I became friends with them, years before they ever penned a book.

Just a couple of footnotes - on the Eastern saint - for you skeptics:

The book cover says at 100 plus, he can outrun (and outlast, mind you) - young folks. Well, I was in my twenties, when I hung out with him. And there were some other twenty-year-old men - who ran with him. We were exhausted, after a few minutes. And he didn’t even break a sweat!
And I and a close nurse’s aid friend, once measured his blood pressure. He had one blood pressure reading. And asked for another one, a few seconds later. Well, it changed in a matter of seconds - well over 40 units, on the blood pressure scale. He was controlling his blood pressure - of course.

I refer folks to the EO article on Inclusivist. Which is now an official part, of RC theology. And to the Calvinist theologian’s talk - at the Theosophical Society at

Let me share today’s reflection from It should be noted, I’m in harmony with the Franciscan and EO views - on this matter:



What is a “consistently righteous life”? Most if not all Christians do not live sinless lives from the moments of their conversion until death. In fact, that fact seems to be a tenet of your theology. Are Christians who sin living “consistently righteous lives”? If they are, then it’s not clear how unbelievers who do both good and bad works aren’t too, since then sinning wouldn’t preclude one from a “consistently righteous life”.

Before you brought up taking vengeance. I replied with a question that you avoided, so I’ll ask it again here. Is it impossible for an unbeliever to choose to not take vengeance?


HFPZ, Yes, I say they can as well, and thanks again for the at-one-ment article. I found it very informative.

qaz, No. It’s not impossible.

MM, The way I see it you can either:

  1. Believe what someone else tells you and simply follow them, no questions asked.
  2. Use your own heart and mind- ask questions, observe the world around you, seek and come to your own conclusions.

Do we have any other choices?


Oh come on, we all know that God is the One we ‘report’ to.

7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Or just as clearly:

6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.

Uh…kinda clear?
NO? - how about:

5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.

I cannot think that we START with preterism and THEN make these scriptures fit somehow - that seems bass-ackwards to me. If someone can explain these away by hiding behind a certain theory of ‘righteousness’ yadayadayad - well ok - but to answer the quoted question above - God is the judge of whether your faith and mine has been real, or a mixture, or an idol of our own making.

I’m trying to work my salvation out but I am deeply concerned about my tendency to see what I want to see. That’s why I’m going very slowly through Romans and trying to see what Paul sees.


Well, I came across another definition of justification today. It came from my weekly Patheos evangelical newsletter. I also receive the Catholic one - by the way. Let me share the story - that caught my eye:

Kenneth Copeland Loves His New $36 Million Jet

Let me quote a bit - from the article. So we can see the “justification” part:

Well, if you can believe demons fly on airplanes…then you can buy into, my version of the tribulation and the Zombie Apocalypse.

Imagine having to pray for people - on a plane? Who would think that “a man of God” or’ minister of the gospel" - should be doing that? :open_mouth:


Of course it’s not impossible. Some non-believers have even sacrificed their lives in order to save the lives of others.

What is impossible for a person who has never experienced the enabling grace of God in his life, is for him to live a consistently righteous life. He who has submitted to Christ and appropriated God’s enabling grace CAN live a consistently righteous life. Of course, in living such a life he may slip up on the rare occasion. But he can confess that failure to God and trust again in His Son and pray for that enabling grace.

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)


Well, bro if we take your view that all of scripture is for all of us for all time, Paul clearly states all are sinners, and without Christ none are worthy. Which leads to the uncomfortable question of

You went on to say that

I would opinion the above quote having to do with what was going on in that time: IOW dealing with the jewish law keeping covenant:
We could ask, how much patience do we need? And obey what truth? You have in the past been a bit of a creed denouncer (and I agree)

If we look at it in your context, what is the line between seeking glory and doing good? Being self seeking and obeying truth? What is the evil that God would unleash wrath and fury and yet the very son he sent says to forgive and do not judge and go the extra mile. I would maintain that these things you point out are larger things than personal moral character here in 2018. This is talking about something earth/cosmos changing.

Your views might be valid but like I said, ‘who the hell is going to make the call?’

The preterist view does answer a bunch of questions. As does viewing the bible as a historical set of documents.

enough said.


Thanks for the response Chad. :smiley:

But I did NOT say:

  • I have never said that! And won’t.

And when you said

  • Paul had a LOT more going on in his letters than that - he then goes on to speak of the power of the Holy Spirit, which is actually the key to the problems in chapters 1-4 of Romans.
    And for the Romans, the Jewish law was not, by far, the biggest item.

Well I could go step by step with you on this BUT since you said you were giving your opinion, I’ll leave it at that. I will also leave Paul’s words as they are.

Besides, each one of us shall give account of himself to God, and each one of us will be right and wrong about certain things, of that I’m sure.


Dave… while I agree whole-heartedly with that sentiment, and I do, can you not see THAT very notion is in play with the doctrine of “righteousification”?

The Rom2 texts you mention simply attest to the FACT that said “rewards” (or their loss Mt 16:27; 1Cor 3:13-15) are 100% relative to “works” and as such NOT a ‘salvific issue’ — understanding ‘salvific’ in its broader redemptive sense. This broader redemptive fulfillment of Mt 1:21 DID in FACT come in the work of the Cross, as per…

THIS then was the prelude to Paul’s… “Concerning the gospel they” etc.

Again Dave… “works” are but a reflection OF righteousness NOT the means TO attain righteousness.


Paul is the one I was quoting. He seemed very clear, and in fact goes on to say that:

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

A few things here - he’s not talking about the Jewish law. And he is not saying that everyone has the Spirit of God in them - in fact, those that don’t do not belong to Christ.

His words. This is Paul, who understood the Gospel, and was working to build churches. I see no reason to believe that the truths he spoke so cleary were meant to ‘peter out’ after 70 A.D.

I am not saying that I think we are forgiven for our sins, or add to Christ’s work, by earning it. But I do think Paul spoke clearly on the issues I raised above. Would that he had spoken that clearly all the time. :wink:

By ‘righteous’ you SEEM to be thinking of a status, if I understand you. I don’t think you are saying that by faith we start doing righteous things. And it appears that Paul believes those ‘things’ are what matter in the long run. To be declared righteous, right now, is to go against:

14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Is that not clear that NOT everyone is a son of God? How much clearer could it be?


It is wholly unnecessary to say that to Dave B. Neither Dave nor I hold that works are a means to attain righteousness.
We both believe that agent of righteousness is the enabling grace of God that Paul describes so well in Titus 2, and that we appropriate that enabling grace by faith.


Yes… in the big picture, correct. There is as I understand it a difference between ‘status’ and ‘standing’. Status is what Christ brought humanity locked in Adam out of, and then into, i.e., out of separation and into reconciliation. Standing is that position of servant-hood believers exercise via faith. Christ is the source of BOTH… one generic and the other specific. Some might view it as the difference between Providential grace and Enabling grace — either way all such emanates from God.

The condemnation was comprehensive as was the justification likewise comprehensive, AND no one’s agreement, belief nor permission was sought, considered or asked for. THIS “justification unto life” was the WORK of God and Christ alone.

I do think “faith” helps in the exercise of righteousness, i.e., enabling what God has done within to be a blessing without.

Certainly in the NT there is the distinction between sons or not sons and yet sometimes the language is somewhat generic, e.g., “children” etc. But that said… even where certain ones are being scolded as NOT sons the context makes it PLAIN that such were indeed sons but by virtue of their faithless disobedience were cutting themselves off from that very sonship.

I was merely reiterating a point from an earlier post.

Yep no problem… God’s righteous grace touches all — those who recognise it can duly serve those who haven’t as yet realised it. But it is a reality nonetheless, as per…

Paul’s… “the grace of God” was none other than Jesus — the one who appeared bringing salvation to all men. This was God’s unilateral act in reconciling all to Himself.

To those then grasping this reality Paul further stipulates the following…

So there is the generic along with the specific in play, which pretty much also reflects Paul’s words here…

This again demonstrates the generic along with the specific… Christ “died for all” is inclusive and generic, and yet more specifically… “those that live” are they that come into faithful service of Him.


Thanks for the explanation davo. :smiley:


justification-and-sanctification: … n.8039285/