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Thread: DO YOU BELIEVE IN ETERNAL JUSTIFICATION?

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    DO YOU BELIEVE IN ETERNAL JUSTIFICATION?

    DO YOU BELIEVE IN ETERNAL JUSTIFICATION?

    This is an interesting read, Im not for sure who the author is.

    There is an old Indian fable wherein four blind men are invited by a prince to visit his palace. While there, they are introduced to an elephant and each one is asked to describe what the elephant looks like. One of them, feeling the trunk, said “the elephant looks like a snake.” Another one holding onto the elephant’s leg said “no, the elephant looks like a tree. “Still another one feeling the ear said, “you are both wrong, the elephant looks like a palm frond.” Finally, the fourth one holding the elephant’s tail said, “you are all wrong because the elephant looks like a rope.” Quite often many theological arguments are exactly like this ancient story. Some see the truth from one perspective while others behold it from another. Many times the truth is a black and white issue with no leeway to the right or the left. However, sometimes truth is not an “either/or” situation but certain elements of truth must be seen together in order to get a true understanding of the complete truth.
    It is seldom profitable to the children of GOD to take an implacable stance about every issue that arises and to throw down the gauntlet over every difference of “opinion” that might surface over a particular issue. In a quest to root out the deceivers and preachers of “false gospels” many of these “rooters” have no problem with defining these “false prophets” as those who see things from a different perspective than themselves. Sometimes everyone may be wrong even when each one is absolutely convinced he alone is right. Sometimes everyone may be right even when each one of the others is convinced that everyone else is wrong. GOD alone can cause a man to see the truth and it pleases HIM sometimes to cause men to “see” the same truth from different perspectives. James said, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” (James 2:24) Yet Paul said, “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.” (Gal 2:16)
    Now some have read these passages and concluded that one or the other’s viewpoints was incorrect. It is said that Martin Luther believed that the book of James should not be included in the canon of Scripture. Yet we believe that GOD has given it to us as the written word of GOD in which there can be no contradictions nor unimportant truths set forth. Obviously, what both James and Paul said is absolutely true. But they are approaching a similar subject from two completely opposite ends of the spectrum. One of them (Paul) is viewing justification from the perspective of its grounds and basis and the other (James) is viewing it from the perspective of the evidence of it as it is manifested in the sons of GOD through the work of the SPIRIT of GOD in them. Paul speaks of “faith” as to the substance and reality of it as it is in CHRIST. James is speaking of “faith” from a more practical viewpoint as to what “faith” produces rather than what faith “is”.
    The subject of “justification by faith”, “justification by the blood of CHRIST (or at the cross)”, or the “eternal justification of the elect” are all catch words and phrases which are used by men to set forth absolute positions which supposedly cancel out each other. Divisions and conflicts have arisen over the use of these terms, with some in each camp deriding others for referring to justification in any sense other than the one they are convinced is the “only” right view. I do not claim to be able to resolve all of these issues nor would I even attempt to do so. I personally believe however that all of these concepts can be found in the scriptures and rather than one ruling out the other, they must all be understood in order to have a “scriptural” view of the subject. This is a matter wherein those who are convinced that their viewpoint is the “only” correct one will be at odds with me because I give credence to another perspective. Some will consider me a “compromiser”, some a “twister of scriptures” or even worse a “deceiver”; all of which I have been called from time to time by the “defenders” of absolute truth (according to their view of themselves). So be it, I must speak what I believe to be the truth of the matter even though it satisfies none of those who see it “the right way” (otherwise known as their way.) May GOD give us grace to know and understand HIS way and to be tolerant of those who along with us are apparently seeking to know what that truth is. All of GOD’s elect shall arrive at the exact understanding of spiritual truth which HE intends that they should have at the exact point in time which HE determines.

    No building can stand which is not built on the proper foundation. If we do not see the very basis and ground of justification as it is taught in the scriptures, then it will be impossible for us to see the unfolding of the truth of justification upon its pages. GOD is the first cause of all things. Nothing can transpire in the heavens or the earth apart from HIS divine decree and according to HIS immutable purpose. The justification of HIS elect is not the result of HIS response to a “problem” which arose but is rather the manifestation of HIS purpose to display the glory of HIS grace in redeeming HIS children to all of HIS creation. throughout the ages to come. HE did not devise a way to justify HIS elect in light of their fall, rather HE designed their fall in order to display HIS decree to justify them. With that clearly in mind we can then see what justification is and what is the basis or grounds upon which it is established.
    We believe that the justification of GOD’s elect children is eternal since HE is immutable and whatsoever HE decrees to come to pass in time shall most definitely occur in time or else HE would not be GOD. Since HE is GOD, HE declares the end from the beginning. There is no passing of “time” unto HIM who is eternal. When something occurs in time nothing changes in HIS immutable purpose nor is HE somehow bound to wait for that time to occur in order to accomplish it. The scripture says that we “spend our years as a tale that is told.” (Psa 90:9). David also said “My times are in thy hand. (Psa 31:15) So the only way in which time has any effect on any of GOD’s decrees is in the mind and realm of those creatures who are finite and therefore subject unto the passing of time. Now since that is the realm in which all of us live and move and have our being then it is only natural that the scriptures which are given for the benefit of men would mostly speak in terms which describe GOD’s actions and decrees as they unfold in time.
    With that in mind we believe that the justification of GOD’s elect children has its ground and basis in the blood and righteousness of JESUS CHRIST as HE has been their ordained SIN BEARER and SUBSTITUTE from the foundation of the world. There was indeed a “time” in which HE actually appeared {“but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Heb 9:26)} in the earth to carry out the decree of GOD. In order to demonstrate HIS holiness, HIS justice, and HIS grace it was determined by HIM to display all of that in the redemptive work of the LORD JESUS CHRIST in the behalf of a people which HE had loved with an everlasting love. HE set forth a law, HE decreed that men would fall into sin, and HE sent HIS SON into the world to redeem out of this fallen mass of humanity a “peculiar” people which were HIS by HIS sovereign choice. HE was bound by no external power or law to redeem any and had the ability to either keep HIS elect from falling into sin or to declare them righteous according to any means HE so chose. Yet being immutable and totally consistent with HIS own character HE determined to be both “just, and the justifier” (Rom 3:26) of them. That is to say that it pleased HIM to redeem them and justify them in a manner which was totally consistent and in keeping with every jot and tittle of the law which HE established in the earth. This same law is that which demanded the condemnation and execution of everyone which broke it and was that which required the absolute death of that ONE who would be their SUBSTITUTE.
    Therefore, even those who were HIS by sovereign choice and given to CHRIST before the foundation of the world were allowed to come under this law’s condemnation, even though HE never appointed any of them to bear the wrath which was due to all lawbreakers. HIS view of them has always been as they have been seen “in CHRIST”. In HIS eternal view they have always been just because HE has declared them so. But since it pleased HIM to allow their fall into the depravity which has darkened the minds of all of the human race it has also pleased HIM to manifest the means whereby those who “were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” (Eph 2:3) are now “justified” according to the very law which HE subjected them to. This is the primary stage and perspective in which most all of the scriptures about “justification” are set. This is the very place wherein the glories of CHRIST’s redemption of HIS people is played out and forms the sum and substance of the gospel in which the rejoicing of the sons of GOD shall never end.
    Some become so enamored of the eternal view (of which we as finite creatures can actually know comparatively very little) that they seem to consider this work of CHRIST (in time) in the behalf of HIS elect as almost unnecessary or of little importance. This is a great error and has led others to recoil against the proper consideration of its eternal nature. As much as we may rejoice in the limited view HE has given us regarding HIS eternal decrees and those things which transpired outside of the time continuum in which we dwell, the major portion of our consideration must always be upon that which HE has clearly demonstrated before us in the realm in which we as finite creatures must dwell.
    Therefore, our greatest joy and rejoicing will ever be in considering the finished work of JESUS CHRIST in the behalf of HIS elect bride which he manifested on Calvary. HE has walked among us and literally laid down HIS life as an offering and an expiation of our sin. HE has thus satisfied the demands of the law as HE became our SINBEARER and SUBSTITUTE. HE has born our sin and carried our sorrows and we shall sing through the ages to come “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev 5:9-10) We are accepted in the BELOVED! HE is our GREAT HIGH PRIEST. Our REDEEMER! When we were yet dead in trespasses and sins, HE poured out HIS soul an offering for us. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” (Rom 8:3) The power of sin and the condemnation of the law have forever been destroyed by HIS work on Calvary for us. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (Rom 5:8-9)
    We believe that the elect of GOD are justified by the work which JESUS CHRIST performed in their behalf on Calvary’s cross. Nothing can be added to that work nor can anything be taken away. What HE did was absolute and final and its benefits for the sons of GOD are not conditioned on anything which man might perform or consider. “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Heb 9:12) Is it possible that a man can be redeemed and not justified? What then would the purpose of redemption be?
    Paul said “Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.” (Gal 4:1-2) A man can be an heir to a great fortune but as long as he is ignorant of his inheritance he may live in total poverty and insofar as his enjoyment and knowledge of it are concerned be no different than the lowest beggar. Such is the state of the elect of GOD until such time as the LORD is pleased to quicken them and deliver them from the darkness in which they are bound. In HIS own good time the LORD is pleased to call HIS children and cause them to hear the gospel. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom 10:13-14) GOD is pleased to send HIS word and to give them ears to hear it according to HIS divine purpose which can in no wise be thwarted by men.
    So it seems apparent that HE is pleased to “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Rom 3:26). That man who believes is justified not because of the “act” of believing but because of the ONE in whom he has been given faith to believe. That faith which “justifies” is the “faith of CHRIST”. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Act 4:12) Can one really deny that the man who believes in CHRIST is justified? This justification is not a fulfillment of a promise built upon a condition of faith, but this faith is the evidence that GOD has made the man just in JESUS CHRIST. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37) So even as Abraham believed GOD so do all of those who are justified in JESUS CHRIST at the appointed time.
    It is when they have been given faith to believe that they are made to rejoice in the benefits of justification of which they were formerly ignorant all of their days. Yet now they can see that the hope of their calling is built on the righteousness of CHRIST alone, and they can desire no other justification. They are even as the disciple of old who said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)
    In conclusion we can say that we are justified in eternity according to the decree of HIM who is the AUTHOR and FINISHER of all things. We are justified at the cross of CHRIST, since it is HIS blood that has cleansed us from all sin and fulfilled the law in our behalf. And we are justified when we are given faith to believe its promises, because only then can we have any understanding of it at all, without which we would be practically or experimentally no different than the man who is not justified.
    mam

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    Thanks bright fame!

    I personally am convinced that most confusion on this issue is the result of a misunderstanding of Hebrew and Greek words in the scriptures and their different uses. In many of the Greek and Latin family of languages (including Greek and Latin but check Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, for similar usage), 'just' and 'right', 'justice' and 'rightness' (or even 'righteousness') are exactly the same word. Yet English translations and a host of other languages use multiple words with differing meanings to translate the one word, resulting in a maze of confusion on what the Bible teaches. Scholars of translation are charged guilty on this one!

    For instance, in the New Testament, the word ‘justification’ appears only 3 times but ‘righteousness’ appears 86 times (may vary slightly by translation). Yet these are the same word in the original. Words related to ‘right’ as a root far outnumber ‘just’ as a ‘root’ for words with the ‘dike’ Greek root. When viewing Old Testament translation, the result is the same. This shows us that Western thought is far more obsessed with the quality of ‘right’ in us than the justness found in God alone.

    When looking at these words in all contexts, all 4 dimensions of justification are scriptural:

    1. Justification in God’s disposition of Grace in His self-existent, transcendent eternity which is unchanging from the beginning of created time to eternity future.
    2. Justification accomplished for all of God’s elect at the cross.
    3. Justification declared individually (by name) for each elect person when called into a knowledge of Christ’s grace by the Holy Spirit.
    4. Justification declared publicly for every elect person corporately gathered unto Christ at the last judgment.

    Other articles have been written on the scriptural evidence for each of these and I will not all of those currently.

    Bro. 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

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Bob Higby For This Useful Post:

    Brandan (11-29-21)

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    The author is Mike McGinnis - I met him down in Georgia once. He's the editor of Grace Gazette. Nice man.

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