If Christ’s own “righteousness” is made “ours” by way of an “imputational” transfer, then we might well have “status” with God not due to any exertion on our part (Calvin goes so far as to eliminate even the exertion of our own faith, regarded dubiously in this sense as a “gift” instead, deprived of sweat, grit, or risk), but this seemingly innocent emendation of strict apostolic usage hazards the eschatological incentive of winning righteousness, no less than salvation and rescue from God’s wrath against sin, freedom from the slavery of corruption, God’s graciousness, our glorification, our inheritance of allotments in God’s Kingdom, agelong life, sonhood, and more (Galatians 5:5, Romans 5:9-10, 8:11-25, 29-30, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Peter 1:13, 2 Peter 3:13-14). These are our own personal future only if we keep on believing it and behaving accordingly (which is to say, don’t keep on sinning, which grieves and quenches the Holy Spirit continually supplied to us as we are believing under the teaching and guiding of the Spirit of graciousness.
This all means that alienation from our legacy is not an unthinkable impossibility by any means. So we have work to do…er, I mean we have believing to do, which is being perfected or matured by our good works. It is the righteousness of God displayed in His resurrection of His mortified Son that provides the foundation for the effectual and productive exertion of our own increated faculty of believing to any good and lasting effect beyond our mortal span.
GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS TOWARD HIS EXEMPLARY SON, OUR MASTER, BOTH MODELS AND INSPIRES OUR OWN REFLEXIVE RIGHTEOUSNESS, ALONG WITH ALL ITS VARIEGATED GOOD FRUITS IN CHARACTER AND IN CULTURE SURAROUNDING US. [11/07/07]
“The Lord God is watching over us and in truth has compassion on us, as Moses declared in his song which bore witness against the people to their faces, when he said, ‘And He will have compassion on His servants’.” (2 Maccabees 7:6)
This remarkable confession was declared by the brothers and mother of another one of the sons of Mattathias who was suffering mayhem at the hands of the king. In the very teeth of horrifying tortures, they could throw this courageous declaration of confidence that God, anyway, was not showing them wrath, but only vindictive idolaters were, who would themselves come to a terrifying end unless they repented.
Theologians claiming the legacy of the Protestant Reformation could well learn something profound from the mighty Maccabees. [11/07/07]