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Author Topic: BASIC DOCTRINES  (Read 23905 times)
vernecarty
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« on: August 26, 2005, 07:26:39 pm »

What does the Bible teach about the Christian doctrine of  Justification?
It really helps one's thinking in these matters to start with the well known interrogatives of Who?
What? When? Where? How? and Why?
Verne
« Last Edit: August 26, 2005, 07:33:49 pm by VerneCarty » Logged
vernecarty
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2005, 11:50:01 pm »

J-U-S-T-I-F-I-C-A-T-I-O-N is arguably the most foundational of all Chrstian doctrines. It is a teaching loaded with power, and absolutely necessary to a correct understanding of the Christian faith.

Get this one wrong, and you are not likely to get anything else right!

Without being overly dramatic, I would contend that had we a correct understanding of the Biblical teaching on this topic, far fewer of us would have fallen victim to the apostate George Geftakys.
Let's get busy... Smiley
Verne
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moonflower2
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2005, 05:27:38 am »

A quick search in an online dictionary:

justification

n 1: something (such as a fact or circumstance) that shows an action to be reasonable or necessary; "he considered misrule a justification for revolution" 2: a statement in explanation of some action or belief 3: the act of defending or explaining or making excuses for by reasoning; "the justification of barbarous means by holy ends"- H.J.Muller


Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University


justification
a forensic term, opposed to condemnation. As regards its nature, it is the
judicial act of God, by which he pardons all the sins of those who believe in
Christ, and accounts, accepts, and treats them as righteous in the eye of the
law, i.e., as conformed to all its demands. In addition to the pardon (q.v.) of
sin, justification declares that all the claims of the law are satisfied in
respect of the justified.
It is the act of a judge and not of a sovereign. The
law is not relaxed or set aside, but is declared to be fulfilled in the
strictest sense; and so the person justified is declared to be entitled to all
the advantages and rewards arising from perfect obedience to the law (Rom.
5:1-10).
It proceeds on the imputing or crediting to the believer by God
himself of the perfect righteousness, active and passive, of his Representative
and Surety, Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:3-9). Justification is not the forgiveness of
a man without righteousness, but a declaration that he possesses a
righteousness which perfectly and for ever satisfies the law, namely, Christ's
righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 4:6-8). The sole condition on which this
righteousness is imputed or credited to the believer is faith in or on the Lord
Jesus Christ.
Faith is called a "condition," not because it possesses any merit,
but only because it is the instrument, the only instrument by which the soul
appropriates or apprehends Christ and his righteousness (Rom. 1:17; 3:25, 26;
4:20, 22; Phil. 3:8-11; Gal. 2:16). The act of faith which thus secures our
justification secures also at the same time our sanctification (q.v.); and thus
the doctrine of justification by faith does not lead to licentiousness (Rom.
6:2-7). Good works, while not the ground, are the certain consequence of
justification (6:14; 7:6). (See GALATIANS, EPISTLE TO.)


Source: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

This is very rich!
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vernecarty
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2005, 07:44:54 am »

A quick search in an online dictionary:

justification

n 1: something (such as a fact or circumstance) that shows an action to be reasonable or necessary; "he considered misrule a justification for revolution" 2: a statement in explanation of some action or belief 3: the act of defending or explaining or making excuses for by reasoning; "the justification of barbarous means by holy ends"- H.J.Muller


Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University


justification
a forensic term, opposed to condemnation. As regards its nature, it is the
judicial act of God, by which he pardons all the sins of those who believe in
Christ, and accounts, accepts, and treats them as righteous in the eye of the
law, i.e., as conformed to all its demands. In addition to the pardon (q.v.) of
sin, justification declares that all the claims of the law are satisfied in
respect of the justified.
It is the act of a judge and not of a sovereign. The
law is not relaxed or set aside, but is declared to be fulfilled in the
strictest sense; and so the person justified is declared to be entitled to all
the advantages and rewards arising from perfect obedience to the law (Rom.
5:1-10).
It proceeds on the imputing or crediting to the believer by God
himself of the perfect righteousness, active and passive, of his Representative
and Surety, Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:3-9). Justification is not the forgiveness of
a man without righteousness, but a declaration that he possesses a
righteousness which perfectly and for ever satisfies the law, namely, Christ's
righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 4:6-8). The sole condition on which this
righteousness is imputed or credited to the believer is faith in or on the Lord
Jesus Christ.
Faith is called a "condition," not because it possesses any merit,
but only because it is the instrument, the only instrument by which the soul
appropriates or apprehends Christ and his righteousness (Rom. 1:17; 3:25, 26;
4:20, 22; Phil. 3:8-11; Gal. 2:16). The act of faith which thus secures our
justification secures also at the same time our sanctification (q.v.); and thus
the doctrine of justification by faith does not lead to licentiousness (Rom.
6:2-7). Good works, while not the ground, are the certain consequence of
justification (6:14; 7:6). (See GALATIANS, EPISTLE TO.)


Source: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

This is very rich!


SMOOOOKKKKINNNNNG!!!

Verne
p.s. incredible that your reference distinguishes justification and forgiveness...I was gonna do that!!!! Beautiful!

Carry on!
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vernecarty
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2005, 05:19:02 pm »

 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children. Matt 11:19


Isn't it interesting that the first NT ocurrence of the word is in this passage?
There seems to be a subtle message here regarding the danger of judging based on appearances.
When it comes to the matter of who is justified, we all have a tendency to jump to conclusions!.
I think the key point here is that justification is God's business, not ours, and ultimately He will be vindicated.
The practical significance is the need to be extremely careful, either in considering our own lives of the lives of others, in sticking our noses where they don't belong.
Do you ever try to justify yourself, or other people for that matter?


But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? Luke 10:29

Verne
« Last Edit: August 27, 2005, 10:16:15 pm by VerneCarty » Logged
al Hartman
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2005, 10:43:34 pm »



Quote
Do you ever try to justify yourself, or other people for that matter?

But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? Luke 10:29

I was going to be a smart-aleck & say "only when I'm awake," but I don't think even that would be true-- I have a strong hunch that I even make excuses for myself in my dreams.  It's part of our human nature's basic self-protection mode-- the practice of erecting elaborate facades (magnificent edifices constructed of fig leaves) to disguise our nakedness.  Is it any wonder that we must be born again from above?

What blessed assurance there is in Romans 8:33, Who shall bring any charge against God's elect?  It is God who justifies. (ESV)

al
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vernecarty
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2005, 01:01:05 am »


  It's part of our human nature's basic self-protection mode-- the practice of erecting elaborate facades (magnificent edifices constructed of fig leaves) to disguise our nakedness.  Is it any wonder that we must be born again from above?

Ah! my friend, if only this were indeed a problem only with the unregenerate...!
Being transparent before the Almighty is the first real step toward true holiness...as if He did not know what rascals we are already.
This is what understanding justification by faith alone helps us to to experience.
Now you know why anyone proclaiming their own holiness is a contemptible fraud. Nothing makes us more keenly aware of our natural sinful state. People flaunting their own holiness (or their  own "annointing") don't need any justification.

Quote
What blessed assurance there is in Romans 8:33, Who shall bring any charge against God's elect?  It is God who justifies. (ESV)

al

Yep!

Verne

p.s thanks to Moonflower for the excellent job on the WHAT of justification.  Good progress so far on the who.
Remember the ignoramus who once tried to tell us that the elect were not all the saved? I guess from Al's quote of Romans 8 above we would have to conclude that some of the saved were not justified!
See what I meant about fundamentals and error? Think about it...
« Last Edit: August 28, 2005, 01:18:47 am by VerneCarty » Logged
Oscar
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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2005, 02:40:56 am »

Verne,

You said,
Quote

Isn't it interesting that the first NT ocurrence of the word is in this passage?


Actually, this isn't the first NT ocurrence of the word.  The use of the word in the NT is in James 2:21, where it says, "Was not Abraham our father justified by works...?"

The most conservative dating for Matthew is 50-60AD, and many would add a decade or so.  James is dated at about 45AD, and therefore came "first".  The order of the books is traditional, but not inspired.

It is, however, of little consequence.  Although the idea that the "first ocurrence" of a word in scripture is of much importance in determining its meaning is popular in some circles, it is not really a legitimate linguistic or hermeneutical principle.

George Geftakys taught it, as do some others.  But it just ain't so.

Quote
Remember the ignoramus who once tried to tell us that the elect were not all the saved?

Can't say as I do.  Refresh my memory if you would.

Blessings,

Thomas Maddux


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vernecarty
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2005, 07:40:46 am »

Verne,

You said,
Actually, this isn't the first NT ocurrence of the word.  The use of the word in the NT is in James 2:21, where it says, "Was not Abraham our father justified by works...?"

The most conservative dating for Matthew is 50-60AD, and many would add a decade or so.  James is dated at about 45AD, and therefore came "first".  The order of the books is traditional, but not inspired.

Two quick questions Tom.
1. Are you saying that there is no significance to the order of the canon of Scripture?
2. If there is significance, are you saying that God had nothing to do with it?

Quote
It is, however, of little consequence.  Although the idea that the "first ocurrence" of a word in scripture is of much importance in determining its meaning is popular in some circles, it is not really a legitimate linguistic or hermeneutical principle.

George Geftakys taught it, as do some others.  But it just ain't so.


You sound like you are repeating a dogmatic statemment you heard somewhere and not like someone who has spent time studying the Scripture. Please tell me you are joking by that comment.
George learned this principle from men far better than he I am afraid.
More importantly, anyone who has ever done any kind of serious word study in the Scripture very quickly learns to check and see how a contested word or expression first appears. This is elementary Tom.
I would take the time to give you a few examples of the principle at work Tom, but I don't want to get off topic. I am quite surprised to hear a student of Scripture such as you pooh pooh such a fundamental tenet. There are quite a few instances in which contextual ambiguity is resolved by carefully examining how Scripture itself defines a particular word.
A very useful excercise is obviously to look at each instance it is used in the Scripture. If you reject this principle, you will entirely miss the fact that the book of Genesis is the seed-plot of the entire Scripture, but I digress. We can agree to disagree on this one.

Quote
Can't say as I do.  Refresh my memory if you would.

One would-be-teacher-of-the-uninstructed has solemnly informed us that the elect are chosen out of the church body at large.
Hardly worth mentioning here and only adduced for the sake of showing how a grasp of fundamentals can keep one from high doctrinal folly.
Let us stick with justification shall we?
I would like to hear your thoughts on the subject Tom.
Verne

p.s your chronological reference to James was really interesting. Using the same logic I should have first checked the Hebrew equivalent or its cognate in the book of Job (which I did by the way) but rather I checked Genesis instead and was delighted with the reference to Noah in Genesis six...but you already knew that... Smiley
« Last Edit: August 29, 2005, 12:07:37 am by VerneCarty » Logged
vernecarty
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2005, 04:52:28 pm »

.

It is, however, of little consequence.  Although the idea that the "first ocurrence" of a word in scripture is of much importance in determining its meaning is popular in some circles, it is not really a legitimate linguistic or hermeneutical principle.


Thomas Maddux


Here is a quick non-technical illustration of the weakness of the above contention.
The translators of the NIV have sytematically excised Paul's explicit language condemning sodomy.
Even the most obtuse will immediately tell you that the etymology of that word can be traced by reading the account of the incident surrounding Lot and the angels in Genesis.
Now it is interesting that some of the NIV translators have tried to justify the decision by arguing that the word does not mean  what some of us think it does.(They claim Paul was only condemning homosexual prostititues!)
Using your liine of reasoning, one would have to conclude that there woudl be no "legitimate linguistic or hermenuetcal" value to properly examining and understanding the Genesis account.
Sounds good, but clearly quite silly.  Smiley
Verne

« Last Edit: August 28, 2005, 05:00:39 pm by VerneCarty » Logged
Oscar
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2005, 12:04:39 pm »

Verne,

Quote
Here is a quick non-technical illustration of the weakness of the above contention.
The translators of the NIV have sytematically excised Paul's explicit language condemning sodomy.
Even the most obtuse will immediately tell you that the etymology of that word can be traced by reading the account of the incident surrounding Lot and the angels in Genesis.

You are forgetting something.  The Bible was written in the language of the writer and audience.  The word sodomy was already understood by the readers of Genesis prior to the writing of the book.  Moses used a vocabulary that was determined by the culture(s) in which he lived.

One does not need to "trace the etymology" of the word "sheep" to its first usage in the scriptures in order to understand its meaning.  It is a cross cultural understanding that we still understand today. 
In fact, we understand the metaphorical application of the term to people as in "all we like sheep" from common cultural understandings.

Quote
Using your liine of reasoning, one would have to conclude that there woudl be no "legitimate linguistic or hermenuetcal" value

I didn't say, "value" I said that the "first ocurrance" idea was not based on any legitimate linguistic or herneneutical principles.

There is plenty of value in examining the passage...theological value.

Quote

Two quick questions Tom.
1. Are you saying that there is no significance to the order of the canon of Scripture?
2. If there is significance, are you saying that God had nothing to do with it?


1. The order of the canon is a custom, and one that has not always been followed by all people.  Some books are arranged chronologically, not by date of writing but by the chronology of the story developed.  Others are arranged thematically.

In the oldest Hebrew canonical tradition, The Minor Prophets are followed by Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Daniel, Esther, Ezra-Nehimiah, (seen as one book), and I and II Chronicles, (again, seen as one book).  Very different from the KJV bible, what?

So, who is right?  How does one determine this?  Beats me.

If the OT were arranged completely by chronology Job would probably be the first book.  On the basis of "first ocurrance" prinicple, you would have to understand Genesis, which you correctly call the seed bed of the Bible, by studying word meanings from Job.  Genesis is the theological seed bed of the Bible. 

2. Did God decide the current order of the canon?  That's more than I know.

How does one find out?

Blessings,

Thomas Maddux



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vernecarty
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2005, 04:19:03 pm »

The point Tom makes about the oldest books of the Bible not necessarily being the first in canonical sequence is valid. Nonetheless, no infomed student of Scripture will argue that there is not remarkable order and symmetry in the Word of God as we have received it. It does not have the same layout as the original Jewish Scriptures, true, but that what we have has order and symmetry is undeniable.
Coincidence?
Perhaps. I am inclined to think that the sovereign hand of God played a role.
I want to keep an open mind howerver, and so diligently took a look at the book of Job to see what, if any insights I might glean on the matter of justification.
It was worth the excercise, and the book does speak to the current consideration of who can be justified.

If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse Job 9:20.







2. Did God decide the current order of the canon?  That's more than I know.

How does one find out?

Blessings,

Thomas Maddux




If I did not know better, I would think some of  my conversations with you were with a dyed-in-the-wool sceptic   Smiley
Kant's ideas about a priori knowledge notwithstanding, it seems to me as Christians there are certain things we can safely conclude.
We know for example that the two modes of God's revelation of Himself are general and special revelation. In general revelation, namely the physical creation around us, we everywhere see order and structure.
Arguably, special revelation, of which Scripture clearly is, is of far greater significance and import.
You mean to tell me that you can accept in the general revelation of God He imposes order and structure, but in His special revelaton He does not?
Sometimes I think you are really pulling my leg my friend...



Any more thoughts on who can be justified?
Verne
« Last Edit: August 29, 2005, 06:28:59 pm by VerneCarty » Logged
al Hartman
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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2005, 08:21:53 pm »



Before I offer a few general comments, I want to post this quote which appears at the top of my screen:

Quote
Funny Quote of the Day
And now, excuse me while I interrupt myself.
Murray Walker

...because it pertains (not by chance, I trust) to what I have to say:

The discussions between Tom and Verne are always entertaining and almost always illuminating (notwithstanding that many of their literary references are beyond the range of my education) but, as Verne points out, they distract from the theme of the thread.  This is not "wrong," as has been implied by some, but it is inconvenient as it detracts from one's focus on the topic at hand.

I have often made such distractional posts in the past, for which I do not apologize (nor apologise, Verne Grin), but for which I would like to suggest a remedy:

Any thread can fairly be considered primarily the domain, or responsibilty, of its originator.  As such, it seems both logical and proper that the originator should be the one to keep it on-track, although what I recommend could certainly be implemented by anyone else as well.

Tom's objections to Verne's statements, in this case, seem to have no direct bearing upon Verne's primary ideas about "Basic Doctrines" or "Justification," therefore warranting assessment as to their value to this thread.  I find this particular discussion not only interesting, but calling for further inspection, and so recommend that it be transferred to a thread of its own, entitled something like "Legitimate Linguistic and/or Herneneutical Principles."  That way, the study of Basic Doctrines/Justification may flow uninterrupted, while the discussion of linguistics and hermaneutics can be continued elsewhere.

Now, I realized that all parties concerned have busy lives that cannot afford to be spread too thinly, so I won't start another thread, but leave it to the two main protagonists in the present conversation to evaluate my suggetsion and decide.

God bless all here,
al
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vernecarty
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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2005, 05:31:21 pm »

This is a difficult question, and some might argue one that we have no right to ask.
It has been helpful to me to tackle the question by considering it from two perspectives - ours, and God's.
The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been robbed of much of its power and prerogatives because of the the way it has been distorted in the minds of so many of its proclaimers.
We seem to have forgotten that it is a message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We are no longer telling men and women of the fearful consequences of a soul facing the wrath of God for sin and rebellion, but propagating a tepid, tame, and tiresome "invitation" to "accept"  Christ.
Are we to have a desire to see the lost come to Christ?
Absolutely!
Does the Bible teach us that everyone who hears the gospel message will respond?
More critically, does the Bible teach us that it is God's purpose that everyone that hears the gospel message respond?
Here is where much of the confusion we see today begins.

For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?


The proclamation of the Word of God, which the gospel message is, NEVER fails to accomplish God's purpose - NEVER!

Who then can be justified???

Next, our perspective....
Verne
« Last Edit: August 30, 2005, 08:27:49 pm by VerneCarty » Logged
vernecarty
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« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2005, 08:55:35 pm »

There is not a man alive (or dead) who can look into a mirror and proclaim himself righteous. The words for righteous and justification come from the same root. To be justified indeed means precisely that –  that you are righteous, and this is not the same as innocent (which was the case with Adam) but more on that later.
If you are foolish enough to deny the stentorian witness of your own conscience in this regard, the Word of God bears powerful and irrefutable witness against  you.


The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.  They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

In fact one of the few men whom God commends, had absolutely no illusion about his standing:

If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. Job 9:20

Scripture repeatedly hammers the fact that there is none righteous!
The witness of the conscience of every man confirms this.
In fact this is the basis on which Scripture declares that God will judge the secrets of men.

In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. Romans 2:16

You may protest that you are a moral and upright individual.

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; Isaiah 64:6

The only way to describe what the above verse is saying is that your righteousness is an obscenity to God. Some of you understand what I am saying here.

From our perspective, who can be justified?

Clearly, NO ONE!

Verne

p.s Am I the only one interested in talking about the basics...?
« Last Edit: September 01, 2005, 05:34:53 pm by VerneCarty » Logged
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