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Thread: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

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    The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God
    to salvation to everyone believing, both to Jew first, and to Greek; for
    in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; even as it
    has been written, "But the just shall live by faith." (LITV Ro.1:16-17).

    The just do not become so by by their faith in any sense. They are justified by Christ, "who was delivered because of our deviations, and was raised because of our justification". (LITV Ro.4:25). The just (made so by the faith[fulness]of Jesus) shall live (that is, sojourn through this earthly pilgrimage) by [their] faith. This is the righteousness of God from faith to faith.

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    This short message (above) may not sound particularly fresh for many within the HyperCalvinistic non-conformity tradition, yet for the more confessionally Reformed (like myself) this scripturally based idea of justification by the faith OF Jesus (not by faith IN Jesus) is plowing a relatively new ground and clearing the traditional teaching sola fidei from the last vestiges of human merit.

    Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (KJVS Ga.2:16)

    But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. (KJVS Ga.3:22)

    This is "the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference" (KJVS Ro.3:22)

    Hence, the traditional slogan must be modified, or rather explained as "Justification by Christ's faith alone". This is the objective justification of all who are His by the decree of love in Him. And of course, the knowledge of this objective justification by the faith of Jesus comes through the gift of personal faith, by means of which one becomes conscious of his or her justification: "To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins" (KJVS Lk.1:77).

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    Also note the following we are not saved by faith but by grace.

    Eph 2:8 For by grace you are saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves; it is the gift of God;litv
    For The Truth Shall Set You Free

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    Well, correct, of course, but this grace, whereby we are saved, is mediated through, and earned by Christ's faithfulness: "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" (KJVS Ga.2:16).

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    Please also note, that I was talking about justification , while you spoke about salvation and while, of course, the terms overlap greatly and, there is of course, no salvation without justification and, you might also say that justification IS salvation, yet you must grant that salvation is a bit more comprehensive term as it embraces justification, regeneration, adoption, sanctification and glorification. However, I was talking about justification by faith, which is both confessional language and more importantly - scriptural language - the Bible does speak about our being justified by faith. Now the question is by whose faith? Most folks tend to say "by faith IN Jesus", while my answer is "by faith OF Jesus". So the prepositional change results in a doctrinal change. Obviously, by faith IN Jesus is not the same as by faith OF Jesus. Most modern Bible translations confuse the issue, by rendering the Greek genitive in this way, adding the preposition "in" (which is not there). Now without going into the technicalities, I will only insist that the KJV is correct by faithfully rendering the genitive construction "by faith of" instead of misleading 'by faith in". See, it does not make sense to say that the promise [of life and salvation] was to be given by faith IN Jesus Christ to them that believe. (see modern perversions of Ga.3:22). It is a meaningless tautology and an Arminian bias to say that. Yet that is exactly what they do - make Scriptures unintelligible so they yield the meaning, already instilled upon the church folk by the wolves in the pulpit. More can be said, but no time now. Greetings, R

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    Romans 13:11 "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed."

    "Salvation" in its full experiential character chronologically and necessarily follows justification. Though yet unrealized, the saints' hope for it.

    1 Thessalonians 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    solegrace: This short message (above) may not sound particularly fresh for many within the HyperCalvinistic non-conformity tradition, yet for the more confessionally Reformed (like myself) this scripturally based idea of justification by the faith OF Jesus (not by faith IN Jesus) is plowing a relatively new ground and clearing the traditional teaching sola fidei from the last vestiges of human merit.

    The facilitators here at P-Net all strongly disagree with this conclusion to my knowledge.

    This is not a new issue. A long history of Calvinist expositors have studied the Greek in the passages that you have quoted (Rom. 3:22, Gal. 2:16,22) and came to the conclusion that the FAITH OF CHRIST translation is false--IF it is alleged to refer to a PERSONAL faith (or faithfulness--i.e., works) of the second person of the Godhead rather than that faith which originates from and in Christ according to His sovereign purpose and is bestowed on/in the elect.

    A basic example is the interlinear of Gal. 2:16:

    Galatians 2:16 eidoteV <1492> (5761) {KNOWING} oti <3754> {THAT} ou <3756> dikaioutai <1344> (5743) {IS NOT JUSTIFIED} anqrwpoV <444> {A MAN} ex <1537> {BY} ergwn <2041> {WORKS} nomou <3551> {OF LAW,} ean <1437> mh <3361> {BUT} dia <1223> {THROUGH} pistewV <4102> {FAITH} ihsou <2424> {OF JESUS} cristou <5547> {CHRIST,} kai <2532> {ALSO} hmeiV <2249> {WE} eiV <1519> {ON} criston <5547> {CHRIST} ihsoun <2424> {JESUS} episteusamen <4100> (5656) {BELIEVED,} ina <2443> {THAT} dikaiwqwmen <1344> (5686) {WE MIGHT BE JUSTIFIED} ek <1537> {BY} pistewV <4102> {FAITH} cristou <5547> {OF CHRIST,} kai <2532> {AND} ouk <3756> {NOT} ex <1537> {BY} ergwn <2041> {WORKS} nomou <3551> {OF LAW;} dioti <1360> {BECAUSE} ou <3756> dikaiwqhsetai <1344> (5701) {SHALL BE JUSTIFIED} ex <1537> {BY} ergwn <2041> {WORKS} nomou <3551> {OF LAW} pasa <3956> {ANY} sarx <4561> {FLESH.}

    There can be no question that the episteusamen ('have believed') derivative of pisteuoo refers to the faith exercised by the believer. It is exercised, according to the passage, that the believer might be justified by the faith (pisteuos) of Christ. The merit is not in the believer, however, the ASSURANCE is all of faith and not of faithful obedience (works) on the part of the believer. If faith (belief) is 'faithfulNESS' according to the typical Pauline usage, we are back to assurance based on works as far as the believer's faith (episteusamen) is concerned, which would be the position taken by all those who hold to conditional-time salvation for the last several centuries (including all in the present 'Federal Vision' movement).
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    solegrace: This short message (above) may not sound particularly fresh for many within the HyperCalvinistic non-conformity tradition, yet for the more confessionally Reformed (like myself) this scripturally based idea of justification by the faith OF Jesus (not by faith IN Jesus) is plowing a relatively new ground and clearing the traditional teaching sola fidei from the last vestiges of human merit.

    The facilitators here at P-Net all strongly disagree with this conclusion to my knowledge.

    This is not a new issue. A long history of Calvinist expositors have studied the Greek in the passages that you have quoted (Rom. 3:22, Gal. 2:16,22) and came to the conclusion that the FAITH OF CHRIST translation is false--IF it is alleged to refer to a PERSONAL faith (or faithfulness--i.e., works) of the second person of the Godhead rather than that faith which originates from and in Christ according to His sovereign purpose and is bestowed on/in the elect.

    A basic example is the interlinear of Gal. 2:16:

    Galatians 2:16 eidoteV <1492> (5761) {KNOWING} oti <3754> {THAT} ou <3756> dikaioutai <1344> (5743) {IS NOT JUSTIFIED} anqrwpoV <444> {A MAN} ex <1537> {BY} ergwn <2041> {WORKS} nomou <3551> {OF LAW,} ean <1437> mh <3361> {BUT} dia <1223> {THROUGH} pistewV <4102> {FAITH} ihsou <2424> {OF JESUS} cristou <5547> {CHRIST,} kai <2532> {ALSO} hmeiV <2249> {WE} eiV <1519> {ON} criston <5547> {CHRIST} ihsoun <2424> {JESUS} episteusamen <4100> (5656) {BELIEVED,} ina <2443> {THAT} dikaiwqwmen <1344> (5686) {WE MIGHT BE JUSTIFIED} ek <1537> {BY} pistewV <4102> {FAITH} cristou <5547> {OF CHRIST,} kai <2532> {AND} ouk <3756> {NOT} ex <1537> {BY} ergwn <2041> {WORKS} nomou <3551> {OF LAW;} dioti <1360> {BECAUSE} ou <3756> dikaiwqhsetai <1344> (5701) {SHALL BE JUSTIFIED} ex <1537> {BY} ergwn <2041> {WORKS} nomou <3551> {OF LAW} pasa <3956> {ANY} sarx <4561> {FLESH.}

    There can be no question that the episteusamen ('have believed') derivative of pisteuoo refers to the faith exercised by the believer. It is exercised, according to the passage, that the believer might be justified by the faith (pisteuos) of Christ. The merit is not in the believer, however, the ASSURANCE is all of faith and not of faithful obedience (works) on the part of the believer. If faith (belief) is 'faithfulNESS' according to the typical Pauline usage, we are back to assurance based on works as far as the believer's faith (episteusamen) is concerned, which would be the position taken by all those who hold to conditional-time salvation for the last several centuries (including all in the present 'Federal Vision' movement).
    ...is plowing a relatively new ground and clearing the traditional teaching sola fidei from the last vestiges of human merit.
    If the noteworthy purpose is to clear sola fide from the last vestiges of human merit, meaning, NO trace or human merit encountered in faith, then the text should be translated: "The faith of Christ as the ORIGINATOR, author and finisher, of our faith".

    For centuries I believe that the term "faith" has been INCORRECTLY taught, even in Reformed circles, as "something we exercise" or "some kind of positive stance towards an idea or notion", i.e., a "work". However, faith, when ORIGINATED IN CHRIST and bestowed to the ELECT as a gift, is indeed, in my view, ALREADY PRISTINE AND CLEAR from any human merit.

    Finally, to confuse any notion of Christ as the ORIGINATOR of Faith, with some idea of "faithfulness" will work the opposite to anyone who intends to "clear up sola fide of the last vestiges of human merit." I don't mean that SOLAGRACE is guilty of such confusion. The false teachers of the Federal Vision cannot achieve that much "subtlety" as to deceive people with this notion of "faithfulness" if one really understands the meaning of Christ's authorship of our faith and the GIVER of our faith.

    I hope this made sense...

    Milt
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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    Thanks so much Milt!

    Because of the context of this discussion, it is appropriate for us to go back and read John Gill (on Gal. 2:16) once again. I believe he gets it right on the meaning of the genitive expression 'faith of Christ':
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law,.... That is, Peter, Paul, Barnabas, and other believing Jews knew this, and that from the law itself, which requires perfect and sinless obedience, and accuses, holds guilty, and adjudges to condemnation and death for the least failure, both as to matter or manner of duty; and from the prophets, which declare that by the deeds of the law no flesh can be justified in the sight of God, and who bear witness to the doctrines of remission of sin, and justification by the righteousness of Christ; and from the Gospel, in which this truth is most clearly revealed; and from the illumination of the blessed Spirit, who led them into all truth; and from the revelation of Jesus Christ they were favoured with; and from their own experience, being fully convinced of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the insufficiency of their own righteousness, and of the necessity, suitableness, and fulness of the righteousness of Christ. By "the works of the law" are meant, not only obedience to the ceremonial law, though this is included, but also to the moral law; for it can hardly be thought, that the men the apostle opposes could ever dream of justification by their compliance with the rituals of the ceremonial law if they believed there could be no justification by their obedience to the moral law; for if there is no justification by the latter, there can be none by the former: the words are therefore to be taken in the largest sense, as rejecting all works of the law, of whatsoever kind, from justification in the sight of God; and such works are designed, as are performed by sinful men in and of themselves, otherwise men are justified by the works of the law as performed by Christ in their room and stead, but not by any as performed by themselves, for at best they are very imperfect, and so cannot justify; they are opposed to the grace of God, to which the justification of a sinner is always ascribed, and therefore cannot be by works; such a scheme would disannul the death of Christ, and promote boasting in men, and indeed is impracticable and impossible:

    but by the faith of Jesus Christ; not by that faith, which Christ, as man, had in God, who promised him help, succour, and assistance, and for which he, as man, trusted in him, and exercised faith upon him; but that faith of which he is the object, author, and finisher; and not by that as a cause, for faith has no causal influence on the justification of a sinner; it is not the efficient cause, for it is God that justifies; nor the moving cause, or which induces God to justify any, for that is his own free grace and good will; nor the meritorious or procuring cause, for that is the obedience and bloodshed of Christ; nor is faith the matter of justification; it is not a justifying righteousness; it is a part of sanctification; it is imperfect; as an act it is a man's own, and will not continue for ever in its present form, nature, and use; and is always distinguished from the righteousness of God, by which we are justified, which is perfect, is another's, and will last for ever. Men are not justified by faith, either as an habit, or an act; not by it as an habit or principle, this would be to confound justification and sanctification; nor as an act, for as such it is a man's own, and then justification would be by a man's works, contrary to the Scripture: but faith is to be taken either objectively, as it relates to Christ, the object of it, and his justifying righteousness; or as it is a means of receiving and apprehending Christ's righteousness; the discovery of it is made to faith; that grace discerns the excellency and suitableness of it, approves of it, rejects a man's own, lays hold on this, and rejoices in it:
    even we have believed in Jesus Christ; we who are Jews by nature, being fully apprized that there is no justification by the works of the law, but by the righteousness of Christ, received by faith, have quited all confidence in our own works, and are come to Christ, and believe in him, not only as the Messiah, but as the Lord our righteousness:
    that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; not that faith, as before observed, has any causal influence on justification. These Jews did not believe in Christ, in order by their believing to procure their justification before God, and acceptance with him, but that they might receive, by faith, this blessing from the Lord in their own conscience, and enjoy the comfort of it, and all that spiritual peace which results from it, and which they could not find in the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified; reference seems to be had to Ps 143:2 and contains a reason why these believing Jews relinquished Moses in his law, in whom they formerly trusted, and looked to, and depended on for their justification, because that by obedience to the law of works no sinful mortal man can be justified in the sight of God,
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    still, the notion of justification by faith IN Christ, makes the instrument of personal faith (which is, of course, God's gift through Christ) a procuring cause of justification. Granted, faith as all fruits of the Spirit, originates in God, is given from the Father of lights, etc. Yet if a person is justified by this faith, as a gift, then this gift, given by God, when exercised, merits justification with God. One could live with the idea of God appointing faith in Christ as the secondary means of obtaining personal justification, yet this question remains to be satisfactorily addressed: WHY has the Holy Ghost chosen to employ the genitive construction ek pistews ihsou cristou in some critical passages to communicate simply the idea "by faith IN Christ", if the same Author, to communicate the same elsewhere, uses just the appropriate construction in the Greek (ek pistews [ihsou] cristou) which directly and literally means "by faith IN Jesus Christ"?

    And then why should the idea of our being justified by Christ's faithfulness [to God's covenant] seem repugnant in the eyes of those who claim to believe in high grace?
    How can your faith (being ever a gift of God and from God) justify you in any sense, if faith is an activity of a quickened (washed, justified and regenerated) soul, which presupposes justification? How can a fruit be a means of obtaining that which made that fruit grow in the first place?
    Lastly, am not impressed with quotes from John Gill at all. There is too much lofty theologizing and too little of any work with the texts at question.

    Finally, what is the point of saying that the promise by faith IN Jesus Christ should be given to those that believe (that is, who have faith) in Him (see Ga.3:22)? If those who have faith in Him have the promise, then it is superfluous to add that it is given to those that have faith in Him. It is not our faith (being it ever so gratuitous) which obtains the promise (promised to Abraham), it is by faithfulness of Jesus Christ that the promise is fulfilled and obtained for the heirs, who are marked by believing...
    Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Ga.2:16).
    We believed in Jesus Christ that might be justified by His faithfulness and not by works of the law (among which, personal faith is included: Mt.23:23, Lk.11:42).

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    With all due respect to Gill, Higby and Milt who assuredly concede(d) that the potential for abuse of a doctrine by the heterodox does not of itself necessitate the doctrine's heterodoxy (e.g. "faithfulness" and the Federal Vision adherents), and granting that any example of the Greek genetive remains ambiguous by itself in regards to whether it has an objective or subjective sense unless a contextual necessary inference supplies the genetive's sense, in the case of Galatians 2:16,3:22 (and so by direct association to Romans 3:22) Renat's exegesis properly states that the context does set forth the necessary inference for the subjective sense (i.e. that justifying faith is subjective to Christ or is Christ's personal faith) by requiring a gratuitous, if not blasphemous, tautology and the validation of conditionalism/Arminianism if one assumes the objective sense (i.e. Christ is the object of the justifying faith exercised by the believer's will): "See, it does not make sense to say that the promise [of life and salvation] was to be given by faith IN Jesus Christ to them that believe. (see modern perversions of Ga.3:22).It is a meaningless tautology and an Arminian bias to say that. "

    Renat interprets that to exegete an objective sense to faith in 3:22 asserts the second half of the verse to read "that the evangelical promise of salvation for believing in Christ might be given to those believing in Christ." If the verse reads as such, Renat argues, it would imply that the promises of the gospel as conditional upon the willful act of the sinner of believing in Christ, thus upholding an Arminian or conditional interpretation of justification. Furthermore, he surmises a tautology in an assertion that the promises for believing in Christ are given to those who believe in Christ, since there can be no doubt , lest calling God a liar , that He fulfills His promises to those who fulfill any of His promises' conditions. As such, Renat has set forth two contextual necessary inferences that he affirms, thus, scripturally necessitate the interpretation of the subjective sense. To effectively deny Renat's interpretation requires definitively denying his necessary inferences as scriptural, which I offer has not been accomplished.

    This is so notwithstanding Higby's notable offering denying the Arminian/conditional inference of the objective sense when he claims that "For centuries I believe that the term "faith" has been INCORRECTLY taught, even in Reformed circles, as "something we exercise" or "some kind of positive stance towards an idea or notion", i.e., a "work". However, faith, when ORIGINATED IN CHRIST and bestowed to the ELECT as a gift, is indeed, in my view, ALREADY PRISTINE AND CLEAR from any human merit." for if justifying faith "originated in Christ", then it is either Christ's subjectively and is credited to the saint passively, so upholding the subjective sense, or is in the provenance of the believer's will, which would appear prima facie to contradict the definition of an origination in Christ , except by the further stipulation of an "original origination" or by an origination further removed from the believing in Christ itself which must emanate from an act of the saint's will . If that which is of the believer's will may be credited as "not a work" because of an "original origination" in Christ, and so justification may be regarded as "not of works" and so not meritorious though credited to that which is of the believer's will, then the Federal Vision concept of the good works which necessarily proceed out of faith as not meritorious for they necessarily blossom out of a faith which has its origination in Christ's grace and purposes (etc.) as theoretically valid. Hence, Higby's argument to invalidate one of Renat's two necessary inferences is unsuccessful for it either de facto affirms Renat's assertion of the subjective sense, if faith is credited as passive in the believer, or, contradicts Higby's avowed convictions concerning the gospel by requiring two originations of faith, originally in Christ and secondarily in the believer's will, that by necessary inference establishes that that which emanates from the believer's will that is good before God is notwithstanding unmeritorious as (thereby) justly accounted ground of justification, if faith is accounted as an act of the believer'w will. Hence, justification by an act of the believer's will does not contradict salvation by grace alone (so even though salvation is of him that willeth it is still , notwithstanding, of God's mercy contradicting Romans 9:16) for the power (etc.) for the believer's will originally emanated from Christ.Thereby, Higby's concept, inadvertently, validates conditional theology which affirms that the source of good works being Christ's grace mediated through faith as the basis for the assertion that good works which proceed from saving faith are unmeritorious as an essential element of justification.

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    This is so notwithstanding Higby's notable offering denying the Arminian/conditional inference of the objective sense when he claims that "For centuries I believe that the term "faith" has been INCORRECTLY taught, even in Reformed circles, as "something we exercise" or "some kind of positive stance towards an idea or notion", i.e., a "work". However, faith, when ORIGINATED IN CHRIST and bestowed to the ELECT as a gift, is indeed, in my view, ALREADY PRISTINE AND CLEAR from any human merit."
    Just a clarification: You credit the quote above to Higby when in fact is mine, Milt. Please, make a note of that.

    Thanks,
    Milt
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    My pledge to other members:
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    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    my apologies Milt and Higby ! i , curiously, read the three responses as one posting - let me see if I can, the Lord willing, edit that accreditation mistake out as it should be corrected - administrator please note!

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    With all due respect to Gill, Higby and Milt who assuredly concede(d) that the potential for abuse of a doctrine by the heterodox does not of itself necessitate the doctrine's heterodoxy (e.g. "faithfulness" and the Federal Vision adherents), and granting that any example of the Greek genetive remains ambiguous by itself in regards to whether it has an objective or subjective sense unless a contextual necessary inference supplies the genetive's sense, in the case of Galatians 2:16,3:22 (and so by direct association to Romans 3:22) Renat's exegesis properly states that the context does set forth the necessary inference for the subjective sense (i.e. that justifying faith is subjective to Christ or is Christ's personal faith) by requiring a gratuitous, if not blasphemous, tautology and the validation of conditionalism/Arminianism if one assumes the objective sense (i.e. Christ is the object of the justifying faith exercised by the believer's will): "See, it does not make sense to say that the promise [of life and salvation] was to be given by faith IN Jesus Christ to them that believe. (see modern perversions of Ga.3:22).It is a meaningless tautology and an Arminian bias to say that. "

    Renat interprets that to exegete an objective sense to faith in 3:22 asserts the second half of the verse to read "that the evangelical promise of salvation for believing in Christ might be given to those believing in Christ." If the verse reads as such, Renat argues, it would imply that the promises of the gospel as conditional upon the willful act of the sinner of believing in Christ, thus upholding an Arminian or conditional interpretation of justification. Furthermore, he surmises a blasphemous tautology would be asserted by the rendering of the 3:22 as the declaration that the promises for believing in Christ are given to those who believe in Christ. For trust in God's veracity infers necessarily that He fulfills His promises to those who fulfill any of His promises' conditions so to have to particularly assert the latter implies unbelief and the making of God a liar. As such, Renat has set forth two contextual necessary inferences that he affirms, thus, scripturally necessitate the interpretation of the subjective sense. To effectively deny Renat's interpretation requires definitively denying his necessary inferences as scriptural, which I offer has not been accomplished.

    This is so notwithstanding Milton's notable offering denying the Arminian/conditional inference of the objective sense when he claims that "For centuries I believe that the term "faith" has been INCORRECTLY taught, even in Reformed circles, as "something we exercise" or "some kind of positive stance towards an idea or notion", i.e., a "work". However, faith, when ORIGINATED IN CHRIST and bestowed to the ELECT as a gift, is indeed, in my view, ALREADY PRISTINE AND CLEAR from any human merit." for if justifying faith "originated in Christ", then it is either Christ's subjectively and is credited to the saint passively, so upholding the subjective sense, or is in the provenance of the believer's will, which would appear prima facie to contradict the definition of an origination in Christ , except by the further stipulation of an "original origination" or by an origination further removed from the believing in Christ itself which must emanate from an act of the saint's will . If that which is of the believer's will may be credited as "not a work" because of an "original origination" in Christ, and so justification may be regarded as "not of works" and so not meritorious though credited to that which is of the believer's will, then the Federal Vision concept of the good works which necessarily proceed out of faith as not meritorious for they necessarily blossom out of a faith which has its origination in Christ's grace and purposes (etc.) as theoretically valid.

    Hence, Milton's argument to invalidate one of Renat's two necessary inferences is unsuccessful for it either de facto affirms Renat's assertion of the subjective sense, if faith is credited as passive in the believer, or, contradicts Milton's avowed convictions concerning the gospel by requiring two originations of faith, initially in Christ and secondarily in the believer's will, that by necessary inference establishes that that the good which emanates from the believer's will as notwithstanding unmeritorious and therefore justly accounted as the ground of justification, if faith is accounted as an act of the believer's will.

    Hence, if justification is simultaneously accorded to be by the free acts of God's grace and mercy and by an act of the believer's will in believing objectively in Christ on the basis that the latter believing is empowered by and based upon the former grace and mercy, this contradicts Romans 9:16 which asserts that salvation is not of him that willeth and thus no part of the chain of salvation - foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification and glorification Romans 8:29,30 have any conditional basis in or in any manner proceed out of or by means of the will of the sinner. Thereby, Milton's concept, inadvertently, validates conditional theology which affirms that the source of good works being Christ's grace mediated through faith as the basis for the assertion that good works which proceed from saving faith are unmeritorious as an essential element of justification and thus that the assertion justification is by good works does not contradict salvation by grace alone.

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    Quote Originally Posted by SupraAndrew
    Hence, Milton's argument to invalidate one of Renat's two necessary inferences is unsuccessful for it either de facto affirms Renat's assertion of the subjective sense, if faith is credited as passive in the believer, or, contradicts Milton's avowed convictions concerning the gospel by requiring two originations of faith, initially in Christ and secondarily in the believer's will, that by necessary inference establishes that that the good which emanates from the believer's will as notwithstanding unmeritorious and therefore justly accounted as the ground of justification, if faith is accounted as an act of the believer's will.

    Hence, if justification is simultaneously accorded to be by the free acts of God's grace and mercy and by an act of the believer's will in believing objectively in Christ on the basis that the latter believing is empowered by and based upon the former grace and mercy, this contradicts Romans 9:16 which asserts that salvation is not of him that willeth and thus no part of the chain of salvation - foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification and glorification Romans 8:29,30 have any conditional basis in or in any manner proceed out of or by means of the will of the sinner. Thereby, Milton's concept, inadvertently, validates conditional theology which affirms that the source of good works being Christ's grace mediated through faith as the basis for the assertion that good works which proceed from saving faith are unmeritorious as an essential element of justification and thus that the assertion justification is by good works does not contradict salvation by grace alone.
    Dear Brother:

    Although many of US reformed folk love to quote some great writers and find comfort and "importance" in contradicting or affirming their teaching, I had no intention to invalidate Renat or any other author that you can refer as support to your assertions. My rule is the Bible.

    On the second paragraph, conceding that you may have misunderstood me for "lack of knowledge" of my positions as a whole, I am going to summarize my theology so we prevent any further misunderstanding:


    1. I accept the notion that the translation can be "faith of Christ".
    2. I don't think the translation is "the faithfulness of Christ"
    3. I believe that the "faith of Christ" notion is formatted in the genitive in the Greek, which implies "belonging". Christ is the author and finisher of our faith and "faith" belongs to Him to give to the Elect as he teaches in the Synoptic.
    4. I don't believe that the believer has any meritorious participation in his salvation and there is no such a thing as "conditional salvation".
    5. I have NO IDEA, and it is beyond me, how you could come up with any notion that I somehow included, mentioned or hinted on "good works" as something that DOES NOT contradict salvation by faith alone.
    6. As a rule, most of us in this Forum reject the book of James as anything close to homolegumena, exactly because I (we), after long debate and studies both from history and the book itself, I (and a few others here) concluded that James does include works, either if it is for justification before men (a foreign concept if deemed salvific) or justification before God. We don't wish to revisit the issue of James. There are plenty of studies and discussions about it in this Forum. You can check for yourself. I only mentioned it to reinforce how far you are from the truth about me when you imply speaking of my position "...thus that the assertion justification is by good works does not contradict salvation by grace alone."
    7. I understand that you are not attacking me personally, but is dealing with whatever you inferred from the meaning of my postings. Otherwise it would be slander.

    Just on number 6 alone you would see how much rejection I have for any concept or works in synergy with faith.
    Let's not debate for "debate" sake! I have the impression that we both believe the same thing and are expressing it in different ways presuming that the different in expression is the same as a different view. It is not! I read your Questionnaire and other than in one point or another, we believe the same thing.

    One advice I give to all new participants here: check the current and past discussions and find the "core beliefs" of some of your debate opponents and those with one accord with you.

    I am looking forward to reading your posts and learn from them.

    In Christ,

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    Since Christ lists the faith of the sinner as one of the matters of the law which are required to be "done" by sinners, the faith of sinners is a work of the sinner, an act of his will

    "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of
    mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier [matters] of the law,judgment, mercy, and FAITH: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (Mt.23:23)

    Hence, justification by the sinner's faith is justification by works. Consequently, if justification is by the work of the sinner's faith, and thus conditioned on faith, then there is the hypothetical potentiality that even the reprobate could fulfill this condition, and so be saved, and thus there must be the hypothetical potentiality of universalism in Christ's death to justify those who would fulfill this condition.

    However, one may argue that "legal faith" , the "faith of the law" (which can be none other than faith in Christ but for the sake of argument ) but another "faith", is given to the saints passively. But what is the gift ? the saint's believing in Christ ? how can the saint's faith in Christ originate in Christ ? the grace to actually believe may so originate there but the saints own act of the will of believing ? or does Christ believe for the saint so that the saint's will by passed and he is passive ? for if so then it ceases to be the faith of the saint and is rather Christ believing through the saint so that it is , by definition, Christ's subjective faith.

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    Dear Brother Milton,

    Firstly, I am grateful to the Father of lights for the clarification of your views on this critical subject of justification, and am thoroughly repentant with respect to any appearance of slandering you by misrepresenting them. At no time did I believe, however, that you accepted anything but the doctrines of grace and subscribed to an unconditional salvation : my position was that the necessary inferences of your position, though inadvertent, justified the conditional position. Please pardon me for a lack of sensitivity and clarity in presenting my position in relation to your own. You are correct, I was not attacking you personally and have no personal animosity towards you of any kind.

    Secondly, I never had any conception that the reason you contradicted Renat's assertion of faith=faithfulness was to attain a sense of importance or comfort or that you were arguing for arguments sake. In return for you evident concern for a central link of salvation, I was, with all due respect, anxious to engage your notable arguments, and, what should have been stated, am grateful to the Father of lights for your willingness to engage in this discussion, so that the matter may be thoroughly weighed in light of the scriptures. Though, admittedly, I have yet to directly engage your primary point of denying faith = faithfulness.

    Thirdly, I am very saddened to have been offensive. By the grace of God, I repent and may my words be edifying and remain with single-minded deliberation on the teaching of the scriptures in this forum of folks who , I trust , seek the glory of God's grace through preaching of the gospel of Christ's bloody death, burial and resurrection for His people. For I am seeking fellowship with those with the mind of Christ, who rejoice in the gospel of the grace of God, and trust not in the flesh as members of the eternal Body of Christ. I live seven miles west of Boston's South Station, and welcome face to face fellowship with any such folks as well.

    Fourthly, I find your postings notably worthy of meditation, Soli Deo Gloria, and also look forward to, as God permits, charitable, edifying, meaty and ultimately evangelical discussions with you where we may compare spiritual things with spiritual things and so grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ taking as our sole source of wisdom, the scriptures and their necessary inferences which together constitute the only Word of God, the only infallible truth.

    Fifthly, thus, I am not infallible and am , by the grace of God I trust, ready to be corrected in all matters, which is why am willing to air my doctrines here, that they may receive correction and modification by those who have been granted greater light than I.
    Andrew Paul Magni

    P.S. am grateful to the Father of lights to have subscribed

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    However, one may argue that although there is a "legal faith" - the "faith of the law" (which can be none other than faith in Christ but for the sake of argument)- another "faith" is that which is given to the saints (who receive it passively) in salvation (John 1:12).

    1.But what is this gift of passively received faith that is not legal faith?

    A. Is it the saint's believing in Christ?

    If so , how can the saint's faith in Christ originate in Christ? While the grace to actually believe may so originate in Him, how can the saint's own act of the will of believing originate there?

    B. Or does Christ believe in the saint so that the saint's own will is by passed and he is utterly passive in what is credited as his believing ?

    For if so, then the believing of the saint ceases to be the faith of the saint and is rather Christ believing in and through the saint so that it is , by definition, Christ's subjective faith.

    It appears that the personal believing of the saint is the fulfillment of a commandment of the law he has the duty to fulfill, antithetically, the faith which justifies is the subjective faith of Christ.

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    Andrew,

    I will respond to your views soon. In the meantime, please supply quotes from the facilitator or contributor when you allege that someone believes a particular position.

    I do not hold to 'justification before God by faith', just to give one example of a wrong citation. The whole of it will be explained further when I respond to the key points of your posts.

    --Bob
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: The just shall live by faith - from Christ's faith[fulness] to ours

    Before responding to some quotes in recent posts in this thread, I will reiterate my position on justification that I have espoused on P-Net for quite some time:

    1. The first dimension of justification is the purpose of God fully guaranteed transcendent of time and space (Rom. 8:28-30). This aspect is often termed 'eternal justification'. The only problem I have with that phrase is the implied notion that eternity as a timeline goes infinitely into the past, which would deny that time is created and subordinate to God's self-existence transcending time.

    2. The second dimension of justification is the purpose of God REALIZED in the propitiation of Christ (Rom. 5:12-21). In the Christ-event, justification was fully realized, ratified, constituted, and achieved historically for all of God's elect who were justified fully in the first dimension above!

    ONLY these first two dimensions can properly be termed JUSTIFICATION BEFORE GOD. Neither of these are BY FAITH and the scriptures cited do not say they are by faith. The elect were/are fully and absolutely justified before God transcendent of time AND historically by the sovereign actions of GOD--totally apart from any personal experience of faith.

    3. The third dimension of justification is the broadcasted DECLARATION of what is already a fact in the first two dimensions to the minds of elect human beings and their angelic/human brethren. IN NO MANNER is this third dimension meritorious or a mediation of grace that did not exist beforehand. It is SOLELY a DECLARATION or BROADCAST of God's dispensation of justice/rightness toward His elect. But here is the key point: this third dimension is SOLA FIDE (BELIEF alone) and not by any other subjective performance (works, character, growth, suffering, purgation, experiential righteousness). The Reformers were right on the avenue or turning point of ASSURANCE in the gospel of justification through Christ, just wrong on the terminology when there was any implication of justification BEFORE GOD through faith.

    solegrace: still, the notion of justification by faith IN Christ, makes the instrument of personal faith (which is, of course, God's gift through Christ) a procuring cause of justification. Granted, faith as all fruits of the Spirit, originates in God, is given from the Father of lights, etc. Yet if a person is justified by this faith, as a gift, then this gift, given by God, when exercised, merits justification with God. One could live with the idea of God appointing faith in Christ as the secondary means of obtaining personal justification, yet this question remains to be satisfactorily addressed: WHY has the Holy Ghost chosen to employ the genitive construction ek pistews ihsou cristou in some critical passages to communicate simply the idea "by faith IN Christ", if the same Author, to communicate the same elsewhere, uses just the appropriate construction in the Greek (ek pistews [ihsou] cristou) which directly and literally means "by faith IN Jesus Christ"?

    If my three points emphasized above are truth, this question has already been answered. There is no procuring or meritorious cause of justification in faith (personal belief). Justification is NOT OBTAINED by belief, only declared to be a fact that already exists in the dispensation of the infinite personal God.

    And then why should the idea of our being justified by Christ's faithfulness [to God's covenant] seem repugnant in the eyes of those who claim to believe in high grace?
    How can your faith (being ever a gift of God and from God) justify you in any sense, if faith is an activity of a quickened (washed, justified and regenerated) soul, which presupposes justification? How can a fruit be a means of obtaining that which made that fruit grow in the first place?


    The fruit is not a means of obtaining at all, as I have already explained.

    Finally, what is the point of saying that the promise by faith IN Jesus Christ should be given to those that believe (that is, who have faith) in Him (see Ga.3:22)? If those who have faith in Him have the promise, then it is superfluous to add that it is given to those that have faith in Him. It is not our faith (being it ever so gratuitous) which obtains the promise (promised to Abraham), it is by faithfulness of Jesus Christ that the promise is fulfilled and obtained for the heirs, who are marked by believing...
    Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Ga.2:16).
    We believed in Jesus Christ that might be justified by His faithfulness and not by works of the law (among which, personal faith is included: Mt.23:23, Lk.11:42).


    It is given to those who believe, because they are revealed or declared in this experience of belief as the elect of God. It is not given WHEN they believe; the belief reveals that it is already theirs in God's transcendent and historical purpose in Christ. Faith is not a work of the decalogue (law), however. It is a 'more weighty' matter or principle pointed to by the law--which is very different from a work performed by the will of man.

    You cannot switch between 'faithfulness' and 'belief' in the Greek. If the faithfulness translation is true, CONSISTENTLY translate the text-- i.e., "the promise by faithfulness OF Jesus Christ should be given to those that are faithful (i.e., faith AND proper/comprehensive works) in Him".

    Andrew: Renat's exegesis properly states that the context does set forth the necessary inference for the subjective sense (i.e. that justifying faith is subjective to Christ or is Christ's personal faith) by requiring a gratuitous, if not blasphemous, tautology and the validation of conditionalism/Arminianism if one assumes the objective sense (i.e. Christ is the object of the justifying faith exercised by the believer's will): "See, it does not make sense to say that the promise [of life and salvation] was to be given by faith IN Jesus Christ to them that believe. (see modern perversions of Ga.3:22).It is a meaningless tautology and an Arminian bias to say that."

    Again, I deny that the experience of belief that comes to any elect person justifies before God. It is the sole means and declaration of assurance that such justification already exists.

    Renat interprets that to exegete an objective sense to faith in 3:22 asserts the second half of the verse to read "that the evangelical promise of salvation for believing in Christ might be given to those believing in Christ." If the verse reads as such, Renat argues, it would imply that the promises of the gospel as conditional upon the willful act of the sinner of believing in Christ, thus upholding an Arminian or conditional interpretation of justification. Furthermore, he surmises a tautology in an assertion that the promises for believing in Christ are given to those who believe in Christ, since there can be no doubt , lest calling God a liar , that He fulfills His promises to those who fulfill any of His promises' conditions. As such, Renat has set forth two contextual necessary inferences that he affirms, thus, scripturally necessitate the interpretation of the subjective sense. To effectively deny Renat's interpretation requires definitively denying his necessary inferences as scriptural, which I offer has not been accomplished.

    As I have already stated, if the second half of the verse can be translated as 'believing in Christ' the first half can't be translated as the 'faithfulness of Christ'. Either go with faithfulness or belief in both the genitive (first half) and dative (second half). If 'belief' is correct, which I assert anew that the context dictates, the first half is an objective and not subjective genitive.

    Thereby, Higby's concept, inadvertently, validates conditional theology which affirms that the source of good works being Christ's grace mediated through faith as the basis for the assertion that good works which proceed from saving faith are unmeritorious as an essential element of justification.

    For the last time, I deny justification before God by faith as explained above.

    --Robert
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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