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6:29 AM
@curiousdannii Protestants in general may agree that "it is not salvation -> sanctification, but sanctification = salvation." But the doctrine of justification by faith alone disagrees with it.
That doctrine posits that we are saved by accepting that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins, or at least satisfy God the Father, and that this instantly causes Christ's merit to be imputed to us, such that we are now saved, whereas before we were damned.
Sanctification then follows if the person remains in that faith.
Ergo, according to the doctrine of justification by faith alone, salvation -> sanctification.
If Protestants generally agree that this is not so, but sanctification = salvation, then they are disagreeing with their own key doctrine of atonement and salvation.
This is why I say that Protestants don't even understand their own doctrine, and how it works.
But I suspect it's more a case of they understand it, but when they get up to preach, they mostly ignore it and preach what Jesus and the Apostles teach instead.
That's because justification by faith alone is not only unbiblical, but nonsensical and even repugnant in its portrayal of God as a being who would condemn us all to eternal torture in hell because he is offended by our sin.
The bulk of atheists today are atheists because of the horrible, bloodthirsty god that is behind the teachings of Western Christianity.
It is a pagan god that requires blood sacrifice to be appeased.
When Constantine "converted" to Christianity, what really happened is that Christianity converted to paganism, only limiting its gods to three rather than many.
Those gods progressively took on the characteristics of the pagan gods, simply rolling the key attributes of the various gods severally into only three gods.
The requirement of blood sacrifice for appeasement is one of the key characteristics of the pagan gods. This Christianity progressively adopted, and Western Christianity made it the cornerstone of its atonement theory when it invented and adopted satisfaction theory 1,000 years after the last books of the Bible were written.
Early Christianity had done away with animal sacrifice. Late Christianity re-adopted it in principle, if not in physical practice. And even in physical practice, its doctrines of the Eucharist reinstituted animal sacrifice, only this time it was human sacrifice instead.
No wonder more and more people are becoming atheists as they grasp the real nature of these "Christian" doctrines and practices, and are appalled by them.
No thinking, compassionate person can accept a god who requires the blood sacrifice of his own son to be appeased so that he will relent from torturing his subjects to eternity. The god of Western Christianity is an insane and deranged madman.
Protestants are unwilling to see the real nature of their doctrines. They just paper them over, and try to pretend that they are something they are not.
But as the world's population becomes more educated, people are more and more seeing and understanding the real nature of those doctrines for themselves, and are abandoning what they think is "Christianity," and God along with it.
The "Christian Church" and its leaders will have to answer for this when it comes their time to stand before God's heavenly throne. If they are not then willing to repudiate the horrific doctrines of satisfaction theory, penal substitution, justification by faith alone, and so on, they will not be admitted into heaven.
Better to repudiate them while still living here on earth.
But I don't think the "Christian" church will ever repudiate these doctrines, because they have set them up as central to their identity, and as the reason for their existence. I believe that the so-called Christian church will die before it accepts genuine biblical Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ and his apostles.
It is already dying. The only question is how long its death will take.
Meanwhile, some of us are trying to revive Christianity by abandoning all of the human traditions that have nullified the Word of God over the centuries, and teaching and preaching what Jesus Christ himself taught and preached.
Unfortunately, we have to contend with millions of people who already "know" what "Christianity" is, and want no part of it.
This is why for me, that false "Christianity" cannot die fast enough. Only when it is no longer spreading its false doctrines in the name of Christ will true Christianity finally be able to spread throughout the world, and elevate all of humanity with it.
@curiousdannii So no, I won't listen to you. Because what you are telling me you believe is contradicted by the doctrines you claim to believe in.
You can't just say, "Our doctrines mean X." They have to actually mean that. You can't just say "Our doctrines are based on the Bible." They have to actually be based on what the Bible actually says.
What you say justification by faith alone contradicts the fundamental structures of that doctrine.
Beyond that, justification by faith alone is specifically rejected in the Bible. And it is never stated in the Bible.
The same goes for the Trinity of Persons, satisfaction theory in general, penal substitution in particular, the imputation of Christ's merit, and all of the other key doctrines of the "Christian Church." None of them are stated anywhere in the Bible. And even if the Bible doesn't explicitly reject them, as it does justification by faith alone, it clearly states principles that reject those doctrines.
@LeeWoofenden That should have been, "What you say about justification by faith alone . . . ."
So aside from their horrific portrayal of God, all of these doctrines fail because they are human inventions taught nowhere in the Bible.
I have now spent decades challenging Protestants to show me where these doctrines are stated in the Bible. None has ever been able to show me a single passage that states any of these doctrines. That's because they are not what the Bible teaches.
Jesus' words to the Pharisees and scribes apply to today's "Christian" leaders as well:
> He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
>
> ‘This people honors me with their lips,
> but their hearts are far from me;
> in vain do they worship me,
> teaching human precepts as doctrines.’
>
> You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.” (Mark 7:6–8)
Every one of the key Protestant (and Catholic) doctrines is a human precept and a human tradition taught nowhere in the Word of God.
 
7:14 AM
hey
can i join ?
 
@LeeWoofenden yes
 
@TonyPhysicslover Sure. It's an open chatroom.
 
7:40 AM
@TonyPhysicslover Anything specific on your mind?
 
@LeeWoofenden You're the one rejecting out of hand any possibility of a change of state. Protestant theology teaches and means that. We're not being inconsistent.
@LeeWoofenden No, because we don't teach that justification = salvation, which you are assuming.
@LeeWoofenden And no, sanctification the arises out of regeneration continues because it is the driving force, which creates and sustains faith.
 
@curiousdannii I'm not assuming it. I'm analyzing the theological structure behind it, and that's what it requires.
Otherwise the entire atonement theory is groundless.
@curiousdannii Yesterday you were arguing strenuously that something such as salvation can happen instantaneously. Now you seem to be saying that it doesn't. Which is it?
@curiousdannii But the doctrine of justification by faith alone says that this contributes nothing to our justification, which is tantamount to saying that it contributes nothing to our salvation. A justified person is a saved person.
 
@LeeWoofenden I never said "salvation" is instantaneous.
I. Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth: not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God.
 
@curiousdannii Then what were we arguing about? What is instantaneous?
 
@LeeWoofenden It is specifically the change of states of justification, revivification, and union with Christ.
 
7:48 AM
@curiousdannii But that change of state is seen as instantaneous, upon the person accepting and professing faith in Christ.
All of the words affirming this are in the creed you have just quoted.
 
For those three there are no half measures
 
@curiousdannii "by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous"—i.e., by accepting the fiction that a person is righteous when in fact the person is not righteous, but has had Christ's righteousness imputed to him due to his profession of faith in Christ.
This happens instantaneously when the person first has faith.
@curiousdannii "but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them"—meaning that they are not actually obedient, but it is only imputed to them. And "satisfaction" is simply unbiblical. Nowhere does the Bible say that Christ satisfied the Father in any way, shape, or form. Therefore imputation of satisfaction is pure unbiblical fiction.
@curiousdannii "Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification"—another unbiblical fiction. The Bible simply never says that faith alone is the instrument of justification, or to use the stilted language of the statement "is the alone instrument of justification." Only once does the Bible ever speak of faith alone, and in that one instance it specifically rejects its power to justify a person.
The words that come after this are just window dressing to make it look like this unbiblical doctrine is biblical. It seems specifically aimed to reject James's statement about faith alone.
Really, it's just a lot of double-speak to make an unbiblical doctrine look biblical.
@curiousdannii So "the change of states of justification, revivification, and union with Christ" are instantaneous? How is that different from saying that salvation is instantaneous? Is a person who is justified, revived, and in union with Christ not saved?
 
@LeeWoofenden Salvation is a greater category than any of those. It is inaugurated with justification but only reaches its completion with resurrection and glorification.
@LeeWoofenden How does forgiveness fit into your theology? When someone first has faith in God's promises of forgiveness, does God only forgive their past sins 1%, which increases over their life time, until they are fully forgiven in the resurrection?
 
@curiousdannii So then a person is not saved until after the person dies and is resurrected?
 
@LeeWoofenden Their salvation has begun but is not yet complete
 
8:02 AM
@curiousdannii In our theology, God forgives all of our sins all the time, whether we have repented from them or not. Seventy times seven times. The question is not whether God forgives us. That is a given, because God is love. The question is whether we are willing to accept God's forgiveness. This can happen only when we repent from our sins.
@curiousdannii If they die immediately after these instantaneous events, having had no chance to act upon them, do they go to heaven or to hell?
 
8:14 AM
@LeeWoofenden Does God begin something and not finish it? Philippians 1:6: being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
 
@curiousdannii I have no problem with this. But sola fide requires that as a practical matter, salvation is instantaneous. A person who goes to heaven upon death is saved. A person who goes to hell upon death is not saved. Sola fide posits that the moment the person has faith in Christ, that person will go to heaven upon death, regardless of whether there is any follow-up of action.
It is the faith alone that justifies the person, and a justified person is a saved person.
In the practical reality of whether the person is going to heaven or to hell upon death.
Under sola fide mechanics, the thief on the cross was instantly saved merely by professing faith in Jesus. That, and that alone, was (so the theory goes) why Jesus said to him, "Today you will be with me in paradise."
Making fancy distinctions between justification and salvation is therefore just word play.
 
8:46 AM
@LeeWoofenden "regardless of" is not the right perspective. Instead, like a newborn baby can't help but breathe, the person who is given spiritual life cannot help but live like Christ, performing the deeds God has prepared for them to do. The thief on the cross may not have been given much time to live, but in those short hours they did all that God gave them to do.
 
@curiousdannii If that is so, then justification by faith alone has no meaning, and is mere words.
In fact, a newborn baby can not breathe, as happened with my second child at birth. At the moment of birth he was not breathing, and had no heartbeat. He was revived, but if he had not been revived, he would have been stillborn. Birth itself does not guarantee life. Only the actual breathing and heartbeat does.
I.e., it is not birth that "justifies" or "saves" a person, and gives them life. It is the actual breathing and heartbeat following upon birth that does that.
In short, the analogy does not demonstrate what it purports to demonstrate, but in fact demonstrates the opposite.
@curiousdannii Further, a person who has been given life by Christ can indeed not live like Christ, but fall back into a state of spiritual death, which is damnation. Once again, sola fide is simply wrong.
Both the Bible and our experience of reality affirm that faith alone does not justify or save a person. Only a life according to that faith does. And that is not faith alone, but faith together with good works.
 
@LeeWoofenden Not at all. No more than the baby is responsible for their birth, or Lazarus was responsible for his resurrection.
Justification by faith is very simple. Our deeds are not what moves us from being God's enemies to being his children, but are the result of being loved and adopted by God.
Anyways, it doesn't seem like you're any more willing to actually listen and learn what others teach than you were 3 years ago.
@LeeWoofenden You're not understanding how I was using the metaphor. Justification is the conception that gives forth new life. Justification is Jesus bring Lazarus back to life. Breathing doesn't create life, it sustains an already existing life. The only breathing that creates life is God breathing life into a lifeless body.
Bye for now
@LeeWoofenden Sorry, if that analogy is a painful one for you. Stillborns and miscarriages are more common than we realise, so maybe I should avoid it. The Lazarus analogy works just as well.
 
9:09 AM
@curiousdannii I agree that what moves us from being God's enemies to being his children is being loved and adopted by God. But that's not faith alone. That's God's love adopting us. By definition, if love is behind it, then it's not faith alone.
You can't have it both ways. Either faith is alone in saving us, or it's not. And clearly it's not.
And don't give me that gobbledygook about we are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves us is not alone . . . or whatever that patent doublespeak is.
@curiousdannii Breathing doesn't create life. It is life.
@curiousdannii It's not painful to me. That was a long time ago. It's just that the analogy demonstrates the opposite of what you're trying to make it demonstrate.
@curiousdannii Everything you say contradicts justification by faith alone. And yet, you continue to cling to it, even though the Bible explicitly rejects it in the plainest words possible. This is what truly mystifies me. Your faith in Luther is far stronger than your faith in the Bible, or in Christ. Anything the Bible, or Christ himself, says that contradicts Luther, you sideline and explain away.
@curiousdannii Of course not. God is responsible for that. But God consists of more than faith. We are saved by God's love ("grace"), through the instrumentality of faith. Faith alone does not save us. God's love working through faith and expressed in good works saves us.
 
@LeeWoofenden of course faith isn't alone in saving us, we're saved by grace! By love! The doctrine is specifically about justification, and it arose in the context of a Catholicism which taught that we could also be justified through indulgences etc.
 
@curiousdannii Breathing is not faith alone.
And unless there is actual breathing, there is no life.
@curiousdannii Yes. Luther was trying to refute corrupt Catholic practices. But his doctrinal solution was a major error.
 
@LeeWoofenden Yes, and Protestants would agree entirely with this
 
Just because Catholicism was wrong, that doesn't mean Luther was right.
@curiousdannii The problem is, Luther created a dogmatic formula, and Protestants have stuck with it stubbornly ever since, regardless of how unbiblical and false it is.
Luther's intention were good, but his solution was bad. But Protestants continue to cling to Luther regardless of all evidence to the contrary, both biblical and in real life.
This is what truly mystifies me: that Protestants continue to cling to a formula that the Bible specifically and unambiguously rejects in the plainest words possible.
"I tell you that a person is justified by works, and not by faith alone."
It couldn't possibly be stated any more clearly.
Yet Protestants continue to argue it away.
Why?
Why don't Protestants just accept what the Bible says?
Because: Luther.
 
@LeeWoofenden Because rewriting centuries of books just to change a slogan isn't worth it
 
9:20 AM
@curiousdannii I.e., human tradition, which has nullified the Word of God.
It is exactly as Jesus said.
If a slogan is wrong, it should be dropped, and repudiated, not stubbornly upheld.
 
Everyone knows what James said. It's not a contradiction with what the actual teachings are, just a slogan which can sound misleading when used out of context.
 
But Protestantism won't do that because: tradition.
It is a slogan that the Bible specifically rejects. That's enough for me. But not enough for Protestants, who talk about sola scriptura, but in fact practice sola Luthero.
Stubbornly clinging to a mistaken slogan does not make it right, no matter how long one clings to it.
 
It's not actually rejected by the Bible. James and Paul refer to slightly different things by the word 'justification'
 
Here we go. Now starts the explaining away of James.
Let me grab some popcorn!
 
I'm not entertaining you. We've circled back to 3 or 4 years ago, go read the transcripts.
 
9:24 AM
In fact, Paul never uses the term "faith alone," nor does he use the term "grace alone." If he had wanted to say that we are justified by faith alone, he could have said so. But he didn't. That's because he believed no such thing.
Meanwhile, James stated explicitly that we are not justified by faith alone.
@curiousdannii It would be entertaining if it weren't so sad to see Protestants persistently rejecting the plain teachings of the Bible on so many points, starting with justification by faith alone.
They insist upon something the Bible never says in opposition to something the Bible does say very plainly.
That is why Protestantism is dying along with the rest of traditional Christianity.
 
James is talking about sanctification, that we are made holy and right as we live righteous lives performing the deeds ordained by God for us to do
 
It will die before it accepts the truth.
@curiousdannii If James had wanted to say sanctification, he could have done so. But he didn't. You can't just replace his words with other words to make them fit you dogma.
James said, "You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone." Those are his exact words. No substitutions are allowed.
 
@LeeWoofenden That's what theologians do, they systematise and harmonise the different ways that the Biblical authors talk about the same things. The modern distinction between justification and sanctification is to a large extent artificial, and not clearly expressed in the scriptures. But that doesn't make it wrong for us to have particular jargon that doesn't perfectly match the Bible.
 
And if Paul had wanted to say "faith alone," he could have done so. But he didn't. Luther actually added the word "alone" to his translation, thus violating the scriptural prohibition on adding and subtracting words.
@curiousdannii We can have whatever jargon we want. But the Bible says specific things. We can't just make the Bible's statements mean anything we want them to mean.
The Bible makes very clear statements that if we do not do good works, we will be damned. This means that salvation is not by faith alone, but by faith together with works, just as James said.
It is true that words are used differently in different contexts in the Bible, just as they are everywhere else.
When Paul uses the term "works" in connection with the term "faith," he is almost always referring to the "works of the Law," meaning Jewish ritual observances. This is very clear from the context in every case. There is always a discussion of Gentile vs. Jew, of circumcision vs. uncircumcision, and so on. This is the context that tells us what Paul means by "works" in those passages.
 
@LeeWoofenden Yes, Protestants agree entirely.
 
9:33 AM
Meanwhile, he never says that we are justified by faith without good works, which is what Protestants say.
There is a reason for that.
If Paul had wanted to say what Protestants believe, he would have said something like, "A person is saved by faith alone, apart from all good works," as Protestants are wont to say. But he never said that.
Paul simply didn't say any of the things Protestants say about justification by faith alone. Not a single one of them is in the Bible.
@curiousdannii Protestants should just drop "faith alone."
It was a mistake from the beginning, and it remains a mistake today.
 
@LeeWoofenden why would he say that? He wasn't arguing with people who lived a thousand years after him
@LeeWoofenden Are there still people out there who think God accepts them because of their good acts?
 
@curiousdannii Precisely. He was arguing with the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem, who thought that a Christian must remain an observant Jew. It's all laid out in Acts 15. That is the context in which Paul made all of his statements about justification by faith without works.
But Luther, and Protestants after him, yanked Paul's statements entirely out of their context, and made them into gibberish.
Paul's meaning is obvious to any reader who understands their context.
 
@LeeWoofenden and the job of a theologian is not to conclude that Paul said nothing that applies outside that context, but to work out the underlying principles so they can be applied today
 
And we're given the context right there in the book of Acts. There is really no excuse for missing this. It denotes either biblical illiteracy or a stubborn refusal to listen to the Bible in its own words and in its own context.
@curiousdannii This the Protestant theologians have abjectly failed to do, because they have entirely ignored the context of Paul's statements, and have made him "say" things that never entered his mind.
He was saying two basic things:
1. It is not necessary to be an observant Jew to be saved.
2. Salvation is based, not on external observance to law, but on internal faithfulness to the truth resulting in outward good deeds.
The idea that we are saved or justified by faith alone was entirely foreign to his thinking. In no context does this have any meaning or reality.
On the second point, Paul was explaining the paradigm shift from obedience (ancient Judaism) to understanding (Christianity).
 
He says more than that. In Romans 4 he says that God declared Abraham righteous because of his faith long before there was any law, and not even then because of his acts, but just because he believed God's promises
 
9:42 AM
@curiousdannii You're missing the point even of that. It's not before there was any law, but before there was the Law of Moses. That's his whole point in that passage, which Protestant theologians either miss entirely or ignore practically.
This is yet another element of Paul's argument that it is not necessary to be an observant Jew to be saved. God, he says, saved Abraham before the Jewish Law existed. Ergo, it is not necessary to observe the Jewish Law in order to be saved.
It's a simple and ingenious argument, which Protestant theologians have missed entirely.
 
Sure the natural law existed before. But why was Abraham counted righteous? Because he cared for oprhans and widows? Because he always told the truth? No, because he believed God's word
 
And the idea that a person could "believe in God's promises" without acting on that belief was entirely foreign to Paul and all of the other biblical writers: Faith Alone Is Not Faith
 
@LeeWoofenden Indeed, we agree entirely about that
 
@curiousdannii and acted on it. James takes up the very same passage, and makes this crystal clear.
Protestants say "Paul" was right, and James was wrong. That's because they don't understand Paul, and they reject James.
 
@LeeWoofenden haha no we don't. Don't be ridiculous.
 
9:47 AM
@curiousdannii Then why did Luther try to chuck James out of the Bible?
It's only because he couldn't succeed that then Protestant tried to figure out ways to explain James away, because they disagree with what James actually says.
 
@LeeWoofenden because it takes time to understand the complexities of the Bible. He made a mistake, and then later on he reversed his thoughts.
 
So we get fancy "positional" and "sanctification" arguments, and all manner of other adding to James' words instead of reading and accepting what he said.
@curiousdannii Yes, he made a mistake. That mistake was the doctrine of justification by faith alone. If Protestants would just admit that, then we could have a reasonable conversation, without all the double-talk.
@curiousdannii And in fact, on the basics, the Bible is very easy to understand. It doesn't require human theologians to "steady the ark" Uzzah-style.
 
@LeeWoofenden Indeed, I'd agree. Don't pretend you don't have to do some mental gymnastics too, such as what it means for Jesus to intercede with the Father.
 
There is a consistent message throughout the Bible that even a five-year-old can understand perfectly well. That message is that if we wish to have life (OT) or salvation (NT), then we must cease to do evil, learn to do well.
It says this in various ways, but the message is always the same.
We must repent from our sins, and do good deeds to the least of these.
 
Our righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees, we must live perfectly to be right with God on the basis of our own lives.
 
9:52 AM
@curiousdannii Bollocks. The Bible never says this.
The Pharisees were not righteous at all, because they were convinced of their own righteousness.
The Bible never says that we must be perfect to be saved. The Bible also never says that we cannot keep the law. Only that we do not keep the law. On point after point, the Bible just doesn't say what Protestants say it does.
In fact, the Bible gives an explicit example of two people who did keep the law:
 
Is there any topic you're willing to do theological synthesis on? To bring multiple passages together to determine what God wants us to know by reading them all together?
 
> In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. (Luke 1:5–6, emphasis added)
Protestants are simply wrong about this, as the Bible itself informs us.
 
@LeeWoofenden Protestants would never say Luke 1:5-6 is wrong... I really don't understand your point
 
@curiousdannii That's exactly what I'm doing. Throughout the entire Bible, we are taught that we must repent from our sins and do good deeds for our neighbor.
as a requirement for salvation
 
And again, Protestants agree.
 
10:00 AM
@curiousdannii Ergo, faith alone does nothing at all.
Faith alone doesn't even exist. It is a nonentity.
 
I can sort of understand your position that only the process matters, than states don't. But I think most people, who think of weddings and birthdays as special, recognise that the beginning of salvation, and how salvation is entered into, do matter
What about being guaranteed by the spirit? Do you see that as a process?
 
10:19 AM
@curiousdannii According to satisfaction theory, it is impossible for humans to satisfy God, and thereby be saved. This idea takes various forms. One of those forms is that God gave the Law to demonstrate to humans that they could not be saved by their own efforts. It is impossible to keep the Law, so the theory goes, proving that nothing we do, none of our own efforts, contribute anything to salvation.
So the Bible is commonly misquoted in Protestant writings as saying that no one can keep the Law, when in fact the Bible never says this. Rather, it says in various places tat no one does keep the Law. There's a huge difference!
I run across this error in Protestant writings quite often.
It is in error in support of the falsity of the satisfaction theory of atonement.
@curiousdannii Certainly beginnings are important. But follow-through is critical. Without it, there is no marriage, and no life. If you have a birthday, then immediately die, how meaningful is the birthday? If you get married, and within a year or two you're divorced because you can't get along with each other, how meaningful is the wedding?
These events have meaning only in the context of processes that involve continued life and growth.
 
Of course follow through matters!
 
Without that, the event means nothing.
To get more specific, a wedding does not cause people to be married. The relationship itself does that. The wedding is simply a ceremony recognizing the reality . . . if indeed it is a reality. And if the relationship is not a reality, the wedding means nothing.
Just so, the point of conversion, or "justification by faith alone" (really, a fiction), means nothing if it does not lead to a good life. Therefore faith alone means nothing. It means something only when it is together with works, as in good works, just as James says.
Faith alone is dead, and it does not justify a person.
Every example of human events and actions affirms and confirms this.
It's important to understand that the word translated "justified" means "become a righteous person." Being a righteous person is not something that happens instantaneously, but over time, through the process of repentance from sin and doing good works out of love for God and the neighbor.
Without that, "justification" itself has no meaning. The very idea that we are justified by faith alone is ludicrous, because it is entirely divorced from reality.
It is based on satisfaction theory, which posits that the moment we have faith in Jesus, we become righteous because Christ's righteousness is instantly imputed to us.
This is not only unbiblical, but wildly contrary to reality. A person becomes righteous only by a long process of repentance, reformation, and rebirth in Christ.
 
If you are guiltless are you righteous?
 
Using fancy, abstract Latin-derived terms such as "justification" obscures all of this, and allows people to engage in magical thinking because they don't even know and understand the meaning of the words they are using.
@curiousdannii Why do you ask?
 
@LeeWoofenden wondering what your conception of righteousness is.
 
10:33 AM
@curiousdannii On the practical level, it means doing what the sheep did in the parable of the sheep and the goats.
It's not a theoretical thing. Either a person is good, and engages in serving fellow human beings out of love for God and the neighbor, or a person is evil, and acts out of selfishness and greed regardless of its effects on fellow human beings.
Yes, it's not all black and white. But fundamentally, an individual is going to be motivated either by love of God and the neighbor or by love of self and the world. For the latter, even good deeds are evil, because they are self-serving. For the former, good deeds are truly good because they are done out of love for God and the neighbor, which are the two Great Commandments.
In short, a righteous person is a person who does good deeds for the neighbor out of love for God (ideally), or at least out of love of the neighbor.
Both good motives and good actions must be present.
This does not require a person to be perfect. Only to act primarily from good motives, and from those motives engage in acts of love and service to the neighbor. We all have our remaining faults and flaws. God is not a nitpicker.
 
Does forgiveness matter in your theology?
 
We have a lifetime here on earth, and then a continued lifetime to eternity, to keep reforming ourselves into a better person--from the Lord's power, of course.
@curiousdannii As I said earlier, in our theology God's forgiveness of us is an eternal constant. Without this there would be no possibility of salvation. The variable is whether we accept God's forgiveness.
 
@LeeWoofenden but what does it effect?
 
@curiousdannii What does what effect?
 
God forgiving us
 
10:43 AM
God's forgiveness is simply one of the effects of God's love. When we accept God's forgiveness, it makes it possible for us to leave our former sinful life behind. Psychologically speaking, we can stop beating ourselves up about it, and simply move forward, knowing that God has forgiven us, and none of our former sins will be held against us or remembered anymore (Ezekiel 18).
But this works only if we repent from our sins. That is how we accept God's forgiveness.
As long as we are still sinning, we are rejecting God's forgiveness, because in practice, we do not believe that what we are doing is wrong. If we did, we would do the work of no longer doing it.
God's forgiveness is always there. But we receive it only when we cease doing the things that God forgives us for—i.e., stop engaging in evil and sinful desires, thoughts, words, and actions.
One of the basic problems of satisfaction theory is that in requires God to change God's attitude toward us. But God does not change. We are the ones who must change. Christ was not in the world reconciling God to the world, as satisfaction theory holds, but reconciling the world to God.
That reconciliation happens by "the world" (i.e., sinners), coming into alignment with God, not by God changing his attitude toward sinners.
God's attitude toward sinners is always the same: it is an attitude of love. Jesus taught this when he said that we must love our enemies in order to be like our Father in heaven, who "makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous."
God's attitude toward us never changes. It is always an attitude of love and forgiveness. God makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends his rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. The change from evil to good, and from unrighteous to righteous, is not in God, but in us, when we repent from our sins and accept Christ (who is God) into our lives.
And just to be clear, repentance isn't just saying we're sorry. It is showing we're sorry by no longer engaging in that sin. Repentance means nothing if it doesn't involve stopping the sinning.
If a man tells his wife he's sorry he cheated on her, but then he continues to cheat on her, he is lying to her. He is not sorry he cheated on her, because he is still cheating on her.
At most, he's sorry that he got into trouble for it. But as for the cheating itself, he is not sorry. He enjoys it and gets pleasure from it, and he wants to continue to feel that pleasure.
He is the opposite of sorry.
And if his wife forgives him, he can't accept that forgiveness because he doesn't believe he's doing anything that requires forgiveness. I.e., he doesn't believe he's doing anything wrong.
That is why even though God forgives all of our sins before we even commit them, we cannot accept God's forgiveness, and it cannot have any saving effect on us, if we do not admit that our actions are evil and sinful, and cease engaging in those actions.
When we do repent from our sins, God's attitude toward us does not change at all. But our attitude toward God changes, and now God can do what God has wanted to do all along, which is to lift us out of evil and hell and raise us up to goodness and heaven.
Because God stands at the door and knocks, and waits for us to open the door before coming in to us and eats with us, and we with God.
The idea that there is nothing we can do to contribute to our salvation is falsified even by this simple statement from the book of Revelation. We must open the door. That is an action. And without that action on our part, we cannot be saved. This is true even if it is also true that God gives us the power to open the door. But we must still open the door.
Once again, faith alone is not only a false idea, but a nonexistent one. It has no reality at all.
It exists only as an intellectual idea. It does not exist in reality.
@LeeWoofenden eating with us, obviously. Too late to edit it.
 

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