mardi 25 avril 2017

Conversation on Justification: Problem with the Bible? - Part 2

This is the second installment of my interaction with A. in our recent email exchange. You can red the first part by clicking here.

Hi A,

I appreciate your feedback and your continuous willingness to exchange on these basic Christian doctrines.

Allow me to answer you in the order you raised the questions.

1) You commented, "you answered one part of the question, the other part  was  to show me how sins of believers affect or not their position with God regarding righteousness"

Response: If my memory serves well, I think I did answer the question you asked which was, "For you when a Christian sins (not abandon faith) and before he confess the sin for forgiveness, is he still righteous in the eyes of God?"; I answered it by saying this, "The biblical answer is twofold, he still has his primary righteousness which not based on actions (Roma4:5) but he does not have his secondary righteousness which is linked to the practice of righteousness. (1John3.7)"

The expression "their position with God regarding righteousness" is theological statement but not necessarily a literally devise used by the bible. But if you allow me to borrow the theological statement you provide, I will say to consider the primary righteousness as being the Christian position in Christ that is not always immediately affected by a sin committed, but that the secondary righteousness as being as being the Christian walk in Christ that is affected by sin (1john3.7 - Little children, don't let anyone deceive you. The person who practices righteousness is righteous, just as the Messiah is righteous). 

I am limiting my answers within the parameter that you have set, namely a Christian who sins without abandoning the faith.

2) You commented, "based on what you wrote  I think you do not differentiate righteousness that we get from God through Jesus  and the righteousness we have  as a fruit of the Spirit that operate in us or in  the believer.  (phiilippians 1:11)"

The text you provided is Philippians 1:11 that says, "being filled with the fruits of righteousness through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." which actually proves the point that even the fruit of righteousness comes from the same source "through Jesus Christ".

I am not sure how you arrived to the conclusion that I am making no distinction between two form of righteousness when I explicitly stated in my previous correspondence that, 1) there is such a thing as a primary righteousness which is our position in Christ (iustificatio impiian there is a secondary righteousness (iustificatio pii) that, and I quote, "that cause us to behave righteously". And I gave the corresponding verse of 1John3:7 to substantiate my claim. I could as equally given Philippians 1:11, James 3:18,  Ephesians 5:9 or Hebrew 12:11. 

For this reason, I do not believe you fairly represented me by denying me the distinction that I actually made prior to answering your question.

3) You also commented by saying, "on the example you gave of Abraham, I think he  was not justified by his actions, but his actions was justifying his faith in God."

I believe everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but since I was only quoting the scripture what else can I say if not just re-quote it and let it speak in different version.

James 2:24  "You observe that a person is justified through actions and not through faith alone." (ISV)
James 2:24  "You see then how a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." (MKJV)
Jacques 2:24 "Vous voyez que l'homme est justifié par les oeuvres, et non par la foi seulement." (FLS)

4) You finally said this, " for christian the faith we have has to be followed by actions that are  a result of our faith,  including stop sinning not in order to be justified but because we have been redemeed from the sinfull nature"

I have no objection with this statement. 

I appreciate your email and feedback.

The next reaction is found on Part 3.

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