Friday, January 30, 2015

Once Justified, Perfectly Justified – For those who claim a Believer can lose his Salvation or become Unjustified



Introduction

I often wonder if those who assert a believer in Christ as Savior - someone who has been justified - take the time to examine exactly what they are claiming with regard to all we receive in our salvation, when they claim that salvation can be lost. Many of the dismissals in adjudicating that we can lose our salvation are absent of the due diligence inherently necessary for such arguments pertaining to how all which is consummated the moment we believe and are saved, is terminated when we, somehow, have our eternal life vanquished, only to be rehabilitated when one returns to salvation, possibly many times (some say this is accomplished through repentance and absolution and others through getting “saved again” or re-believing and so on, there is a myriad of theological formulas for the reconstitution of one’s salvation out there).

Salvation isn’t just…

Salvation isn’t just, “you’re going to heaven” and when you allegedly become unsaved you are now just “not going to heaven”. Rather, a litany of extensive and ultimately legal declaration(s) and works by God occur that, if we were to really be able to lose our salvation, would require the view that all these things, far more than just going to heaven, have been reversed, nullified or obliterated and must all be obtained and performed anew in order for one to be saved, again. 

All that we receive at Salvation

Made popular by the late Lewis Sperry Chafer and modified by various Pastors and Bible teachers since, there is a list is things received at salvation which stand in confrontation to the man or woman who would argue that man’s salvation can be lost. Such arguments are made in the absence of the accompaniment of a reverse accounting which explain how all these blessings received at salvation have now, suddenly, dissipated, capitulated and/or been obliterated.

Yes, they say, we can lose our salvation because look here, there and yonder with a handful of proof-texts. But nay, it is when one asks them to explain how a Christian is de-justified, de-sanctified, de-positioned with Christ, de-adopted and de-credited with the righteousness of Christ and so on.

Missing, as well, in the assertion that one can lose salvation, is a thoroughly Biblical explanation as to how this so great a salvation and all of its properties are re-transacted when the person, who has allegedly lost their salvation, recovers that salvation again, and again, and again - determined of course, by how often they lose their salvation. AWOL are the explanations of how one is then re-justified and re-re-justification and re-re-re-justified along with all of the other reapportionments of salvation’s properties when one allegedly returns to salvation or is saved again.

I plan to deal with just a handful of the blessings received at salvation to make my point. And of course that point is that when a person claims we can lose our salvation, all of the magnificent properties of salvation have to be walked backwards, if such a putative claim is made, seeing that to lose salvation is to lose all of its possessions. Subsequently, this demands a thoroughly sufficient doctrinal/theological argument of the reversal of all of the corresponding blessings given by God and received at salvation (an assumption not permitted merely by logically assuming they must be undone). If you are interested, click here, and this link will take you to The Riches and Grace in Christ Jesus by Lewis Chafer and the list he compiled. 

The Uphill Climb for those whose Justification is Tentative

As I said, here is but a sprinkling of the blessings received at salvation which, by default, must also be reversed when one is allegedly unsaved or loses their salvation and worse, supposedly reconstituted every time someone returns to salvation, over and over again - its absurdity plays itself out in a rather prima facie manner:

1. The Righteousness of Christ is imputed or credited to Us (Romans 4:3-5)

2. We are made Holy (Hebrews 10:10)

3. We are justified, legally declared acceptable by God by way of the righteousness of Christ credited to us (Romans 4:3-5)

4. We are regenerated (Titus 3:5)

5. We are sealed by God’s Spirit unto the day of our full redemption (Ephesians 4:30)

With just these five blessings of salvation, alone, one is faced with an impassable theological task when championing the view that they can be eradicated.

Imputed or Credited with the Righteousness of Christ

Though we have been imputed or credited with the righteousness of Christ (Romans 4:3-5), this apparently can be lost through some kind of sin, even the sin of unbelief. Thus, Christ’s righteousness, a work he has done which is credited to us the moment we believe, is reversed or nullified according to opponents of permanent or perfect justification. Thus, we are now back to not possessing the righteousness of Christ. Think of what is being asserted here.

Placed upon us the moment we believe is the cover of divine righteousness. This is not merely a metaphorical exercise but a legal one. God, legally or forensically, declares us righteous. This covers our past, present and future, the entirety of our being and apart from another court proceeding in heaven, it stands, forever. It is not merely an immediate or contingent declaration by God but by its very nature, a permanent legal rendering.

Thus, if one argues that salvation is lost (and all of its properties, accordingly), getting past just this hurdle will prove to be hopeless. Where, crusaders, are your citations and arguments that the divine legal rendering has been overpowered by sin and reversed by the court of heaven, whether as a result of conduct or unbelief after one is rendered righteous by heaven? No such doctrine exists or is even remotely implied in the Bible.

Our Holiness

In that righteous credit referred to above, we are also made holy. Hebrews 10:10 says of the believer, “having been sanctified”. The verb tense which the writer uses in reference to our having been sanctified is quite revealing, it is the perfect tense. That tense, in Koine Greek, indisputably refers to a completed or once-and-for-all action in the past with a permanent result in the future. This language is deliberate and for a reason.

Once we are sanctified, made holy, we cannot be made unholy though we may act as such. Christ’s righteousness is not something that can be erased because it is the thing which erases.

But to those who would counter this, please explain how you feel free to challenge the use of the perfect verb tense here and insist that though Hebrews 10:10 uses the perfect tense it is, in fact, an imperfect and tentative holiness which can be lost and further, one that will be performed again though God says it has been done, once-and-for-all in the past with permanent results in the future. Your argument is with God’s claim and remains so.

Our Justification

Further, to accept the proposition that salvation can be lost, we must also acquiesce to the notion that the divine legal verdict of our innocence is destroyed along with its objective, namely our justification which it, too, apparently has no real standing legal power. We must believe that the verdict by God that we are declared just and that God’s justice has been satisfied by way of the propitiation of Christ which we receive when we believe on him as Savior, is guaranteed – not by God - but by our sustained faith, conduct or both! We are now the adjudicator of our own justification, it seems.

Another passage in the epistle to the Hebrews which stands as a stalwart gatekeeper against such predications is Hebrews 10:14 – (ESV) “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” The word “perfected” is the Greek word τετελείωκεν (teteleiōken). And just like the earlier Hebrews passage, it is in the perfect tense; a once-and-for-all completed action in the past with no further action in view but with permanent results in the future which stands in defiance to those who would counsel otherwise.

Dear friend whose sad salvation is so fortuitous, based on what grammatical property do you now maintain that the Greek perfect is again, imperfect and clumsily used by God in his inspiration of the text? And to what text(s) do you point us to believe God mistakenly permitted and inspired the use of the perfect tense, here, in referencing our being made “perfect” which directs us else ways and overrides its clear and unimpeachable meaning?

Our Regeneration

We are regenerated – born again or spiritually resurrected by God’s Holy Spirit and made anew - when we receive our salvation. Titus 3:5 states (KJV):
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
Is there really the suggestion that this new man, our regenerated being, who is made alive, not by any human power but the divine power of God through the Holy Spirit, suddenly dies again when we allegedly lose salvation but further, upon renewed belief, repentance or absolution or all of the above, he springs back to life with this process taking place every time someone returns to “the faith”? 

The elephant in the room, of course, is why we are made alive by the Holy Spirit in the first place. We are washed or cleansed of our sin and reconciled to God. To assert we can lose salvation is to forward the dubious theological view that we can become in need of the washing of regeneration again, which, somehow can occur over and over again, each time we return to salvation from “falling away”. 

Then what good is the cleansing in the first place if it is itinerant? To be in need of being washed from our sins a second time is to say we weren’t sufficiently washed the first time!

But what did our Lord tell St. Peter in John 13:10? Jesus said to him:
The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean.
Sealed until our Future Redemption

Finally, Paul writes and tells us we are “sealed unto the day of redemption” by God’s Spirit (Ephesians 4:20). The verb used there is an aorist verb which refers to an action in the past with the indicative. While not the same as the perfect tense, its use clearly directs us to understand this is not a process that is repeated, rather a past action with a resulting condition and the very reason for this is to secure our salvation as the sealed ones, not by our own conduct, faithfulness or whatever but by God’s declaration and legal seal.

And aside from this, the text is clear of the duration of this action, until the day of our redemption. This is a reference to the future, when our bodies are glorified and we enter into our fully glorified state. There is no counter or objection raised in Scripture where this is presented as contingent or subject to our conduct or sustained faith. But when one argues that we can lose our salvation, here again, stands an impregnable barricade which denies such a thing can occur - that is unless you feel free to dismiss the promise of these words which state emphatically and unconditionally that we are sealed by God the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption. But understand what you are doing if so choose.

Conclusion

It really is amazing how negligent those who assert salvation is something that can be lost, fail to provide the theological citation and explanation of how all these benefits are all subject to putrefaction; these benefits which are instantaneous when one receives salvation. I am not referencing what Paul wrote about concerning our works as God’s children which will be judged at the Bema Seat of Christ which indeed, may be lost - but our salvation and all of those things equally prescribed to all believers the moment one believers which are kept by the integrity of God.

God’s great recantation of all he blesses us with at salvation requires a theological, line item, justification which I believe is grossly and embarrassingly missing by those who claim salvation is held by something other than God and can be lost by the believer through some action on his or her part.

If you are going to assert this, explain then, how one goes to being declared just by God and given eternal life and then unjust and having it taken away then back again to justified and how many times it may be possible, not to mention all of the other promised permanent blessings of eternal life which, itself and by its very nature, cannot be eternal if it can be lost.

I think so much is rushed over and the implications, both practically and more greatly theologically, are simply not considered and certainly not explored when these kinds of postulates are entertained and affirmed. I have never read any treatise on the Scriptural citations and arguments regarding how the thirty-three (33) plus blessings given at salvation are lost and regained by the believer and done so several times if one is consistent with such a view. I have read general claims in abundance but believe the full apology for such a view does not exist because mid-way through its development I have no doubt it would be abandoned and likely has on many occasions.

29 comments:

David Brainerd said...

Nice try, but Hebrews 10:25-27 and 1st John 1:7 still stand. You Calvinists and Baptists need to quit playing these immoral games. You commit grave sins and continue in it, and you're done son.

David Brainerd said...

....but only until you repent and ask for forgiveness of course. We can bring in here too, John's other statement in 1st John that if you see a brother commit a sins that is not mortal you can pray and get him forgiven (1 John 5:16) but he says if he commits a sin that is mortal, he doesn't say you can pray about that and get him forgiven (because in that case his repentance is necessary and prayer on his own part). We can also bring up Christ teaching us to pray "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us" and even the parable in Matthew 18 where Christ actually REVOKES the forgiveness already granted to one after he refuses to forgive others. If we must continue to pray for forgiveness, then we don't have a onetime forgiveness but must continue to be forgiven as we continue to sin. John says as much in 1st John 1:7 where he tells us we have the continual cleansing of Christ's blood "if" we keep walking in the light, i.e. keep repenting and praying for forgiveness and striving to live the Christian life, or as Paul (or Barnabas) puts it "pursue holiness without which nobody will see the Lord." (Hebrews 12:14) Its not a simple: "Woohoo I'm saved; now time to go commit all the sin I want." Baptist (i.e. Calvinist) doctrine is false. You do have to actually try to live the Christian life, or you get disqualified from the race. Another Pauline metaphor, from 1st Corinthians 9.

David Brainerd said...

And continuing the metaphor from 1st Cor 9, is 2nd Timothy 2:5

"And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully."

Or, in modern English:

You can't win a race if you don't follow the rules.

So the Christian life has rules? So much for faith alone and all this OSAS nonsense. Just because you joined the race doesn't mean you win. You cheat, you lose.

David Brainerd said...

Now you give us some jibber-jabber about Hebrews 10:10 but ignored Hebrews 10:25-27 because you know it obliterates the false doctrine of OSAS which you knows in your heart came from Satan himself, but which you full well intends to spread anyway. How else could you have seen Hebrews 10:10 but not Hebrews 10:25-27? And anyone who writes an article defending OSAS knows ahead of time that the opposition will bring up those passages, so you know and I know that you ignored them on purpose because your interest is in deceiving people with Baptist doctrine and landing them in hell, not on teaching the truth.

Anonymous said...

This "David Brainerd" is a "hebrew roots" guy that hates grace. He has appeared at other boards, with the same tripe.

He is too tunnel-visioned and stuck in the blob to see that you're not a calvinist anyway.

Alex A. Guggenheim said...

Thanks. I thought his reference to my being a Calvinist when I clearly am not was odd. I am going to tackle his Hebrews ref. when I get a chance.

AG

David Brainerd said...

Anonymous, Hebrews is the name of a book in the New Testament. It has nothing to do with the "Hebrew roots" movement, which I also have nothing to do with. But I can understand your confusion if you only read Romans and Galatians and didn't know Hebrews existed.

Anonymous said...

Alex, yes, David Brainerd fits "hebrew roots" false doctrine perfectly. He ran wild at other websites I've been to, attacking the Gospel and calling people names, all in defense of his personal view of "lawkeeping". He has a big problem with Paul the apostle.

Just remember these verses:

Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. 10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

David Brainerd won't like these verses because they were written by God through Paul.

David Brainerd said...

Anonymous, Like all antinomian heretics you stubbornly insist upon equating the moral law and ceremonial law and pretending that Paul said somewhere that the moral law no longer applies. Quite the contrary, Paul says no murders, fornicators, etc. shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. But for a time I was convinced by you heretics that Paul taught the whole law was abolished, and so I raged against him as much as against you, in my defense of the MORAL law, never the ceremonial. I was not then, nor am I now, a "Hebrew roots guy." However, I was an antipaulinist, only because I was tricked into thinking Paul opposed the whole law; now that I know he taught the same as Jesus that only the ceremonial law was abolished, I have made my peace with Paul.

Anonymous said...

Alex, as you can see, David Brainerd will argue and argue and argue. He used to be against Paul, but now thinks that Paul taught keeping the law of Moses, which we know Paul never taught. He will not stop, just so you know. He will continue until he is banned, which has been what has happened to him at other boards. He will deny that as well, but I've watched it with my eyes.

David Brainerd said...

The crux of the argument here is that its silly to think that various boons granted to the saved would be taken completely away when they commit mortal sin and then given back when they repent. And yet, this is a strawman which nobody believes. Its more like a suspension. However, the suspension becomes a permanent loss if the person dies in that state of suspension.

Anonymous, See what you're doing? Does the moral law and the Law of Moses mean the same thing? Paul taught against circumcision and Sabbath keeping not against thou shalt not commit adultery.

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to argue with David Brainerd. He is a false teacher, and it is a waste of time. I am saved, John 6:47, Romans 4:5, Acts 16:31, etc etc.

Anyway, Alex, you see what you are dealing with in him.

David Brainerd said...

1st Corinthians 5 is very clear on this. The man who was living in adultery and incest with his mother in law was not coddled by Paul saying "Oh, its Ok, because OSAS." No, but Paul told the church to excommunicate him, and why? So that he would be impelled to repent "that his soul may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." And the man did repent, and Paul tells them in 2nd Corinthians to accept him back. Before Paul wrote 1st Cor they were too lax on sin allowing it because they believed in OSAS, and afterwards too hard because they would not accept repentance, so Paul had to write 2 Cor too.

But obviously, if Paul says the action was taken "so that his soul may be saved" then the guy had lost his salvation, or rather it was suspended as I said. He wasn't a heathen, but a Christian, as Paul says "you have sexual immorality among YOU, and such as is not even named among the HEATHEN, that a man should have his father's wife." I think that settles.

Now, Anonymous, do you think I don't know that you're gracewriterrandy? I imagine you've been banned or you'd be logging in.

Alex A. Guggenheim said...

David
I am going to deal with a few of your objections. I suspect that my interaction will be limited to this, but I will not say absolutely. It depends on your disposition and my time, which is very limited.

However, I begin by making clear that your antagonistic comment(s) toward Anonymous in claiming he has not commented further because he has been banned demonstrates a childishness which supports the descriptions by Anonymous of your behavior elsewhere and subsequent banning at other forums. I rarely ban anyone apart from gross flagrancy. It is clear that you are ego-invested in your theology which is the trait of a narcissist. That aside and to a few of your complaints.

Your failure to address any of my exegesis.

First, in attempting to rebut my post, you declined to address any of the exegetical implications, if not explications, I covered. In fact, you addressed nothing I said and only presented your own complaints. That isn’t how one argues or debates points.

If you have an issue with what someone has said, you have to present the flaw in their argument. You didn’t do that at all, in fact, you approached nothing I said other than to call it names (“jibber-jabber” you said). This is another childish display. I suspect you didn’t because you are unfamiliar with hermeneutics and the Greek, I could be wrong but so far you have not displayed any capacity for basic exegesis involving the Greek but if I err in my suspicion (note this is not a claim, just a suspicion) feel free to display this capacity.

Basically, your approach is that if I have a diamond in my hand and show why it is a diamond, you believe that if you have a ruby in your hand, it means I don’t have a diamond in my hand. With this form of reasoning I am not surprised why you are as mixed up as you are. You need to force yourself to show, exegetically, where I err. You haven’t. You didn’t even come near to that, you only presented your view. That isn’t a rebuttal.

But like I said, to a few of your complaints.

Alex A. Guggenheim said...

Your largest is Hebrews 10:25-27. First, with regard to this passage, it is incomplete. The entire book of Hebrews is a long essay and while it has parts, all of its parts make the whole. The whole has to do with the Hebrew Christians lapsing back into Judaism after believing on Christ. The isolated thought, itself, is Hebrews 10:26-31, not 25-27. The writer, in warning the Hebrews about their reversionism, refers to a familiar concept to the Hebrews (Num. 15:29-31) in which, during the Theocracy of Israel, if a member of the Theocracy acted in defiance to the law, they would be punished through excommunication.

Thus, the writer of Hebrews is emphasizing that if under the old covenant one would suffer loss for gross apostasy, then under the new and superior covenant, the eternal one, how much more severe is this true? However, the writer makes clear that those of whom he speaks are those who were “sanctified”, true believers.

What is their ultimate experience?

It is the indignation and fiery judgment of God against them.

My guess is that the description of “fiery judgment” must be the lake of fire in your mind, thus, someone lost their salvation. However, the use of this description is commonplace to refer to many types of judgment by God, basically illustrating its severity, not its literalness. Just like we describe someone being like a tornado, they aren’t literally a tornado. And this is precisely what is occurring here, the use of an adjective to describe the severity of God’s judgment against an apostate Christian. The Hebrew Christians knew all too well about the fiery judgment of God and divine indignation in recalling the cycles of discipline Israel faced in their constant apostasy. And all of this is consistent with the writer of Hebrews in his reference to the discipline of God toward his children, Hebrews 12.

Alex A. Guggenheim said...

Secondly, you claim that all of the things we receive at salvation aren’t lost but suspended until we return to the Lord. Okay, a little Scriptural support would be nice. I realize that in your mind that makes sense but as Christians we don’t get to rationalize away, instead we have to have Biblical support for our beliefs. I realize not everything we understand is theologically stated in a direct manner in the Bible but you provided a zero-sum amount of Biblical support for this claim. But worse, it completely ignores precisely what I brought out in Hebrews 10:10 and the use of the perfect tense of our “having been sanctified”. The Greek perfect tense does not have a “suspended” future. That would be a grammatically flawed use of the Greek if something can be suspended. Thus, the flaw is with your thinking.

You mentioned 2 Timothy 2:5 and competing according to the rules. The context has to do with (vs 4) getting entangled in civilian affairs. That is to say, one, in living the Christian life, can wrongly imagine that being victorious in matters that the Bible does not present as eternally valuable will bring eternal reward. Paul says no, human success is not rewarded and particularly matters he calls that of the “civilian” life or the world.

He is referring to the rewards of the Christian life, not earning salvation. The victor’s crown has to do with suffering all that is to be suffered by the believer and rewarded by Christ at the Bema seat. It is synonymous with the crown of life in Rev 2:10, James 1:12, the crown of glory 1 Peter, 5:4 and all of this is consistent with the two judgments, The Great White Throne where the unbelieving are judged according to their works instead of the work of Christ since they rejected Christ’s work for them and the Bema Seat of Christ (Romans 14:10) where accolades are given for faithfulness by the Christian in this life to the varying degrees.

In fact, for some the Bible is clear, their works will be burned up but they will not lose their salvation (1 Corinthians 3:15) and some, along with their salvation will receive rewards seeing that their life of faithfulness was run according to the rules, hence, gold, silver and precious stones (the analogy used) instead of the burned up wood, hay and straw by those believers who did not run according to God’s plan. Again, note, the disobedient Christians did not lose salvation but did lose rewards.

Alex A. Guggenheim said...

Finally, to 1 Corinthians 5:4-5. Here Paul is writing about church discipline. The Bible makes it quite clear that to be a member of a local body of believers is not de facto salvation. That is to say, because you say with your lips all that is necessary to be accepted into an assembly and have nothing contrary in your life at that time to forbid your membership, you can be a member of a local assembly. That does not mean you are genuinely one who has believed on Christ. The man in question, at some point, did this just this and became a member of that church in Corinth.

The membership of a local body is kept pure by excommunicating members who apostatize in doctrine or practice or both. Excommunication is not a commentary about one’s salvation, rather about their appropriateness for membership in a local body.

Now, in excommunicating this man who had his father’s wife, Paul was ultimately concerned for his salvation, hence, his directive that the man be excommunicated (handed over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, a metaphor for suffering in the world apart from the blessing and sanctification of fellowship with God’s people, thus, God’s blessing) so that he would repent of his lasciviousness if he were genuinely a believer, thus, affirming he was and is God’s child, and if not, leading him to the awareness of his lack of ever having believed on Christ and turning him to true belief and ultimately, salvation.

Paul isn’t a mind reader and is not God, he cannot determine and is not trying to determine whether the man was genuinely saved or not but if he was not, this excommunication has that as its ultimate objective, though not its only objective. Paul uses the expression, “that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord” as his ultimate end which includes all other things. In other words, if he isn’t genuinely saved, that he would suffer and become aware of his lack of genuine belief and then be saved and if he is a believer, obviously, to restoration of fellowship.

And, in fact, Paul makes it clear he is not trying to determine who is and isn’t saved by their conduct in expelling apostates in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13. He says:

“I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. 10 In no way did I mean the immoral people of this world, or the greedy and swindlers and idolaters, since you would then have to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person. 12 For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 But God will judge those outside. Remove the evil person from among you.”

He doesn’t know if they are or are not Christians and makes no such judgment. He leaves that to God. The only judgment we are to make is appropriateness or fitness for church membership. If one calls themselves a Christian and is engaged in such things, then God will discipline them, as Hebrews makes clear in chapter 12. If they are not genuinely a believer, Paul says God will judge them anyway but for the time being, we, as a church, are to put them out with the ultimate goal of restoration for the genuine believer and for the one who is not a believer, for their salvation. It is always the ultimate end of any church in the treatment of one of their members, the saving of their soul. BTW, in 2 Corinthians 2: 3-10, Paul reveals this man did repent and was restored to fellowship, thus, affirming his genuine faith.

As I said, I doubt I will invest time interacting with you. I am confident you have repeatedly be exposed to the views to which I hold and reject them without interest in reformation to your own views. I will not say absolutely that I will not respond, I leave the door ajar for something exceptional but apart from that, this is my limited response to you.
Feel free to post and make your arguments and follow my blog.

AG

David Brainerd said...

CALVINISM. Anyone who has believed and been baptized IS a Christian. To say otherwise is Calvinist predestination hogwash. So at the least quit lying and saying you aren't a Calvinist.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea who "gracewriterandy" is, but at any rate, as you see, David Brainerd is fixed on his own personal stew of lies. You're wasting your time, Alex.

Alex A. Guggenheim said...

It is unfortunate that commenter David, is as invested in his error that he is unable to actually discuss and debate the merits of alternative positions other than his own. I believe it is always prudent to give a person an opportunity thus, my singular but lengthy response. However, as I said in that response, it is unlikely a dialog will continue. I do not pay attention to people's claims of knowing someone and attempts to "out" them. That, in itself, is childish and demonstrates ill motives.
AG

David Brainerd said...

Its much more unfortunate that you're just another Calvinist who insists on claiming to not be a Calvinist. You're just another lying Calvinist who refuses to admit to being one. Nothing more than that.

Theodore A. Jones said...

"For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous." Rom. 2:13 Paul is not making an assertion and he is referencing the law that must be obeyed, but it is not the Sinai code.

Alex A. Guggenheim said...

Well Theodore, congratulations on never disobeying the law and in fact (I must assume), doing so in a manner which eradicates your condition as a sinner condemned by that very law you claim will redeem you if it is obeyed and producing in yourself, divine righteousness which warrants your salvation. Impressive.

However, may I suggest you finish Paul's context and and finish his train of thought where he concludes in Romans 3:21-31:

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Out of context passages always will lead you to a dead end.

AG

Theodore A. Jones said...

The law Paul references in Rom. 2:13 is not the Sinai code.

Alex A. Guggenheim said...

I am not arguing that. The point of the context is that obedience to no law, saves, which is precisely Paul's conclusion. Rather, we are justified by faith in Christ.

AG

Theodore A. Jones said...

Paul, and he is an apostle by the way, clearly states that there is indeed a law that must be obeyed or the result for any individual who refuses to obey that law he will not be declared righteous by God. There are no exceptions. Got it?

Alex A. Guggenheim said...

Well Theodore, maybe I assumed too much in responding to your first post and failed to ask what I will now ask. Precisely what law is it that must be obeyed, to which you are referring, which will gain us a declaration by God of possessing perfect righteousness thus, justification?

Theodore A. Jones said...

Alex. Since you lack wisdom about the scriptures maybe you should first ask God. If your soteriological assumption is true then Paul's statement in Rom. 2:13 is false. But his statement isn't false, and neither does he contradict Rom. 2:13 by the texts you've quoted to defend your faulty unlawful assumption of only the Way of being declared righteous by God. Your argument is against what has been written. Not me.

Alex A. Guggenheim said...

Theodore

In other words you are unable to cite precisely what law must be obeyed (i.e., you cannot answer the question) so you are left hurling insults. This is the last weapon of the defeated. They never work but they may make you feel better about being taken captive by your own device so in that respect you have my pity.