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What If

April 1, 2018 — Easter Sunday

            What if God was only giving the Devil enough rope to hang himself, on that dark April day when he hung up God’s Son to torment and shame?  I may be wrong, but what if the only wrath shown against Jesus at the cross was the fury of Satan, who was about to get his head crushed by heavy fallout from his own diabolical deeds of terrorism—the prelude to God’s turning the ancient world upside-down?

                What if the heinousness of human sin was sufficiently portrayed at the cross by the savagery of the malevolent who trumped up defamatory charges and brutally whipped, hit, mocked and pierced the Just and Holy One of God, without any alleged downpour of divine wrath on him (as if he were bearing God’s punishment for sins instead of suffering from their actual wrongs, which fatally took him down)?

                What if sin was wrongly imputed to him by false witnesses and popular conjecture, not by God?  What if that false condemnation justified the display of the true justice of God in reversing his death?  What if Jesus, by surrender to death, was really paying his soul to ransom mortals from slavery to Sin (due to fear of death) without paying one thin drachma to God for sin’s penalties, much less to the Devil!

                What if the only satisfaction God received from His Son’s death—far, far from any satisfaction for our debt of sins!—was in observing his faithful obedience in the face of grisly assaults, staying sinless and non-retaliatory even to the bitter, bludgeoned, bloody end, so as to win immortality for humankind?

                What if the love of God was demonstrated by His not avenging the malicious execution of His beloved Son with immediate wholesale slaughter by angelic hosts (after all, such displays of divine anger against the vicious do fill grim pages of the Old Testament), but letting this crime slip by in forbearance?

                What if God was simply letting a day or two pass to let tears dry before unveiling His real, unimaginable justice by raising up His mangled Boy from such an indecent yet indubitable death to the pinnacle of honor, thus unleashing a flood of joyful tears from his loved ones in exchange?  I wonder.

                What if the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice signifies not his death but his life from the dead?  Could it possibly be that the ancient sacrificial blood had all along depicted the restorative power of Christ’s own resurrected life?  Is that why it could serve for making atonement, sanctifying, healing, cleansing, etc.?

                And what if Christ’s well-deserved award for his heroic ordeal was God’s whopping reparation to make up for such tragic loss of innocent life and Spirit-powered career—teaching all he was instructed and doing all he was directed by God—to become a life-making Spirit, crowned at God’s side, peaceably drawing foes to conciliate with God and share in his promised inheritance of all, with plenty of siblings?

                So, what if the graciousness we enjoy from God is simply the surplus of favor that God in His restorative or premial justice—not merely His indulgent tolerance or measured patience, kindness, or mercy—bequeathed to Jesus for voluntarily suffering such abuse from evildoers yet responding with resolute forgiveness, as attested by the wonders of Pentecost and shower of gifts from the Holy Spirit?

                In short, what if—just what if!—God flat out ransomed Jesus from the grave as a sample of what He was preparing to do for any who would dare like fools to believe such a topsy-turvy story about His unfathomable graciousness and then respond accordingly by lifelong loyalty to His ethic and example…

 

APRIL FOOLS?

 

April 1, 2011

 

 

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JUST SAY NO! — 31 Critical Biblical Denials concerning the Atonement

March 30, 2018 — “GOOD FRIDAY”

Now that my “resuppositional” theses for the 500th Anniversary of Reformation Day, October 31, 2017, have had five months to sink in, along with considerable Biblical evidence, the careful reader should not be overly shocked by a point-blank presentation of what soberly yet urgently needs to be candidly denied if we are to make progress in restoring the wholesome Gospel “once for all delivered” by holy apostles in the holy Scriptures of the New Testament.

Accordingly, what follows is a list of thirty-one fundamental (indeed, embarrassingly elementary and obvious upon simple inspection!) denials.  If you have conscientiously processed the Biblical evidence I included in the immediately preceding “Calling All Saints!” series, you will already know that none of the very common assertions that the following negations deny are to be found in the Bible.  This fact should register as very strange to any honest mind.  How has the general, if somewhat surprising, orthodox Protestant (whether Lutheran, Anglican, Reformed, Anabaptist, Evangelical, Charismatic, Third Wave) and additionally even Restorationist (largely) and Adventist consensus about these basic doctrines of salvation been woven so tightly as to defy all attacks FROM BIBLICAL SCRIPTURE ITSELF?

Providing the answer to that query, of course, is precisely what this blog site is all about.  On March 11th, this blog turned six years old.  Less than half of my notes on the Atonement have been entered thus far.  Yet there is plenty of evidence and argument there already to more than hint at how the treacherous inveiglement by penal theories occurred.  I am herewith recommencing my regular blog posts in order to continue the saga.  The lessons to be learned about how to interpret Scripture properly are innumerable and their ramifications for Christian scholarship and practice immense.  So I hope that the shock that comes (or should come) from reading this litany will prove a healing encounter by forcing us back ultimately to the exceedingly simple message of the New Testament and earliest Christianity which can only become clearly visible when the following treacherously fallible human traditions have all been stripped away as they ought to be.  Yet a gentle warning:  brace yourself…

 

URGENT BIBLICAL DENIALS CONCERNING THE ATONEMENT

1.  Jesus did  not “pay for” our sins.

2. Jesus did not “satisfy God’s justice” by dying for our sins.

3. God’s wrath did not fall on Christ at the cross or anywhere else.

4. Jesus did not “appease God’s wrath” toward our sins.

5. Jesus did not die “so that we do not have to die.”

6. Jesus was not “made sin” for us.

7. The righteousness of God was not revealed, manifested, or displayed at the cross.

8. The “righteousness of Christ” is not a Biblical expression,  nor can it be “imputed to sinners.”

9. Believers do not “wear Christ’s righteousness as a garment by imputation.”

10. Adam’s own sin was not imputed to his descendants.

11. Human sins were not and can not be “imputed to Christ by God.”

12. Jesus did not “identify with our sin(s),” at the cross, nor was it possible or necessary.

13. Jesus was not rendered “guilty for human sins.”

14. Jesus did not drink “the cup of God’s wrath.”

15. Jesus was not “cursed by God.”

16. Nothing that Jesus suffered can be regarded as his bearing “the punishment of God” for of our sins.

17. Jesus was not “condemned by God” for the sake of our sins.

18. Jesus was not “our substitute to bear the penalty for our sins.”

19. Jesus did not “pay a ransom to God” for our sins.

20. God did not need to “be reconciled with sinners.”

21. God has never been “hostile to humanity,” per se, on account of their sins.

22. The [re]conciliation of sinners to God did not occur “at the cross.”

23. Faith is not “the gift of God.”

24. Human righteousness, per se, is not regarded by God as “filthy rags.”

25. Jesus did not pay or suffer “what we deserved as sinners.”

26. Jesus did not suffer “eternal death” for us.

27. The faith that brings salvation has nothing to do with believing that Christ “made satisfaction for” our sins.

28. Jesus did not “keep the Law of Moses for us representatively.”

29. Christ’s death alone was not atoning.

30. Jesus did not “descend into hell (gehenna).”

31. The death of Christ was not intended only as a “moral influence” upon sinners.

[10/19/10]

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Calling All Saints! Calling All Saints! — Part 2

Today, November 1, 2017, is the 500th Anniversary of the All Saints Day (commemorating all the martyrs who had died for the Christian faith over the centuries) for which Martin intended his 95 Theses on indulgences, and when many people read it for the first time.  It has been said that they spread throughout Germany in fourteen days, and throughout Europe in thirty days.  It swept Western civilization in moments, historically speaking.  Imagine if Luther had been able to post his Theses on a blog site.  Following is part two of my “umpteen conjectures” that challenge many of the assumptions that dictated especially the doctrines of Atonement and Justification at that time, but which still reign lo, these five centuries later.  Were those presuppositions in accord with the “pattern of sound words” laid out in the Biblical Scriptures?  You be the judge.

A Comedy of Errors, a Tragedy of Mistaken Identities (cont’d.)

What if the Old Covenant required victims to be overcompensated in order to satisfy justice (Ex. 21:34-22:15; Lev. 5:16, 6:5; Num. 5:7; 2 Sam. 12:6; Prov. 6:30-31; Is. 61:7; Zech. 9:12)?

What if the vengefulness exhibited by Lamech:  “Since avenging is seven times for Cain, for Lamech it shall be seventy-seven times [hebdomekontakis hepta]” (Gen. 4:23-24, LXX), was flipped by Jesus, who was evidently alluding to him in his reply:  “I am not saying [to forgive] ‘Till seven times,’ but ‘Till seventy-seven times [hebdomekontakis hepta]’” (Matt. 18:22)?

What if Christ’s “blood of sprinkling…is speaking better than [the righteous (dikaion)] Abel” (Heb. 11:4, 12:24; Matt. 23:35, cf. Luke 11:51) because it was perfectly righteous, hence his shed blood cried out for a more perfect avenging (ekdikesis) than Abel’s—an immediate and total reversal of death, plus life superabundant enough for all takers?

And what if God’s avenging of that innocent blood on Christ’s own behalf (i.e., premially) is, more than coincidentally, what inaugurated the New Covenant in that blood (Matt. 26:27-28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25-32), by glorifying him and awarding him the restitution of abundant life in the Holy Spirit to pass along, out of love, to our mortal race (John 5:21-29, 6:47-63, 7:37-39; Gal. 2:29-6:18; Rom. 8; 2 Cor. 3:1-18, 13:4; 2 Tim. 1:1; 1 John 4:1-5:13)?

That is, what if the New Covenant was inaugurated by the power of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, not at his cross, and that’s why his blood may be said to “avail”?

And what if that blood, the cup of New Covenant blessings (1 Cor. 10:16-22) along with its varied powers, is appropriated by us when we simply drink it worthily, by faith, in the risen Lord’s Supper, for a recollection of him, announcing his wrongful (not penal) death until he comes (1 Cor. 11:26) by his blood getting shed criminally (not penally)  (Matt. 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20-22), for the sake of many, for the pardon of sins?

What if minimizing the seriousness of the crime of the Jews in crucifying their Messiah at Roman hands trivializes the magnitude of the premial justice of God in resurrecting him from the dead?

What if by “the righteousness of God,” as commonly but one-sidedly translated, the apostle Paul was not referring so much to the character quality as to an historic event—the event of Christ’s resurrection, which singularly, publicly exhibited God’s restorative premial justice?

What if, somewhat ironically, only the Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims Version of the Bible (1582/1609) translated from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate (as compared with the Hebrew and Greek), consistently renders dikaiosune/justitia as “justice,” which, although likewise one-sided (but the opposite side, reflecting Roman legal predilections), yet just so happens to make far better sense in many of Paul’s key passages as well as elsewhere in the New Testament?

What if the “righteousness of God” fell on the Third Day as rightful justice for Jesus and has no reference to the Cross at all?

That is, what if Paul’s famous phrase “the righteousness of God” refers to God’s justice in action (dikaiosune includes both personal and social—I suggest the composite rendering ‘justness’) revealed (Rom. 1:17), manifested (Rom. 3:21), and displayed (Rom. 3:25, 26) by His raising Jesus from the dead, executed on the Third Day as restorative justice for His Son?

In brief, what if “the justness of God” refers first of all to the Event that made it most famous:  His raising Christ from the dead?

What if Martin Luther would have been an order of magnitude more overjoyed to discover that “the righteousness of God” was full-on premial to Christ and not in the least penal?

What if the following instances of dikaiosune probably refer to God’s justice as epitomized by Christ’s resurrection, encompassing the just due He awarded to Christ:  Rom. 1:17, 3:5,21,22,25,26, 5:17,21, 8:10, 10:3a,3c; 2 Cor. 3:9, 5:21, 9:9; Phil. 1:11, 3:9b?

Thereupon, what if such phrases as “justness of/for faith” (Rom. 1:17, 4:11,13, 9:30,32, 10:4,5,10; Gal. 5:5), “faith accounted for justness [apart from works/acts]” (Rom. [2:26,] 4:3,5,6,8,9,10,11,22,23,24, 9:8; [2 Cor. 5:19;] Gal. 3:6; Phil. 3:9; [Heb. 11:17-19]), the justness which accords with faith (Heb. 11:7), justifying faith (Rom. 3:24,), etc., all refer to Christ’s just-award, the Gift of the vital power of God’s resurrectionary public justice—the Holy Spirit—now graciously poured out upon us, encompassing every spiritual gift and blessing of the New Covenant, as promised by God “to [eis]” and “on [epi]” our faith (Rom. 1:17, 3:22; Phil. 3:9)?

What if the Gospel (euaggelion) of “the righteousness/justice of God,” from another perspective, is simply the proclamation of His righteous fulfillment of His ancient covenanted promises (epaggelia), first to Abraham regarding descendants and a Promised Land (Acts 7:5,17; Gal. 3:8, 14-29; Rom. 4:13-21, 9:4-9; Heb. 7:6, 11:9-19), then to David regarding Seed Royal who would save Israel (Acts 13:23,32-39, 26:6-8), and ultimately to everyone who has the faith of Abraham, concerning the Gift of the Holy Spirit of adoption, the down payment of an inheritance of everlasting life in the Messiah (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5, 2:33,38-39; Gal. 4:23,28; Rom. 15:8-12; 2 Cor. 1:18-20, 6:14-7:1; Eph. 1:13-14, 2:11-13, 3:1-12; 2 Tim. 1:1; Tit. 1:2-3; Heb. 4:1-2, 6:11-20, 8:6-7, 9:15, 10:23,35-39, 11:39-40; 12:25-28; James 1:12, 2:5; 2 Pet. 3:4,9,13; 1 John 2:25), which all nations could now access by faith and immersion into Christ’s faithfulness and divine favor (Rom. 5:1-2), divine power, indeed, even participation in divine nature (2 Pet. 1:1-4)?

What if when we beg God for justice, like the Psalmists, we aren’t asking for punishment but for restoration of plundered wealth, health, safety, and peace of mind (or is that asking too much)?

What if Jesus never asked God for mercy, but his sinless blood did cry out for just avenging?

What if the only thing that could really satisfy God’s justice was to welcome His Son alive and well back Home, restore his fortunes, exalt him over his enemies, and then kindly show them mercy so they could repent and be saved…and even share his good fortune?

So what if God’s justice fell on the Third Day, not on a hill far away?

~~ To be continued ~~

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Untangling “Predestination” — Part 4 (Appendix)

THE GOSPEL STORY:

GOD’S LIVING POWER TO EVOKE FAITH FOR SALVATION

compiled by Ron Roper

 

In the beginning was the Explanation….All came to be through it….In it was life, and the life was the light of mankind.” (John 1:1, 3, 4)


For the Explanation of God is living and operative and keen above any two-edged sword.” (Heb. 4:12)


Having been regenerated, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the Explanation of God, living and permanentthe Declaration of the Lord is remaining for the age. Now this is the Declaration which is being proclaimed to you.” (I Peter, 1:23, 25)


Receive with meekness the implanted Explanation which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:21)


For the Explanation of the crossto us who are getting savedis the power of God.” (I Cor. 1:18) “We are heralding Christthe power of God.” (I Cor. 1:23, 24) If Christ has not been raised, vain is your faith—you are still in your sins.” (I Cor. 15:17)


No one can come to Me if ever the Father who sends me should not be drawing him“; “and I, if I should be exalted out of the earth, shall be drawing all to myself.” (John 6:44, 12:32)

If ever you should be confessing with your mouth the Declaration that Jesus is Lord, and should be believing in your heart that God raises him from among the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart it is believed unto justness, yet with the mouth it is confessed for salvation.” (Rom. 10:9)


The Proclamationis God’s power for salvation to everyone who is believingfor a justice of God is being revealed in it, out of faithfulness for faith, according as it is written: ‘Now the just one out of faithfulness shall be living.” (Rom. 1:16, 17)

Consequently, faith is out of tidings, yet the tidings through a Declaration of Christ.” (Rom. 10:17)


The sacred Scripturesare able to make you wise for salvation through faithfulness which is in Christ Jesus.” (II Tim. 3:15)


Now I am committing you to God and to the Explanation of His graciousness, which is able to edify and give the inheritance among all who have gotten hallowed [by that Explanation of Truth they believe, John 17:17-20].” (Acts 20:32)

November 2007; revised July 30, 2009, April 3-4, 2015, May 10, 2017.

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WHAT IF

by Ron Roper

What if God was only giving the Devil enough rope to hang himself, on that dark April day when he hung up God’s Son to torment and shame? I may be wrong, but what if the only wrath shown against Jesus at the cross was the wrath of Satan, who was about to get his head crushed by heavy fallout from his own diabolical deeds of terrorism—the prelude to God’s turning the ancient world upside-down?

What if the heinousness of human sin was sufficiently portrayed at the cross by the savagery of the malevolent who trumped up defamatory charges and brutally whipped, hit, mocked and pierced the Just and Holy One of God, without any alleged downpour of divine wrath on him (as if he were bearing God’s punishment for sins instead of suffering from their actual wrongs, which fatally took him down)?

What if sin was wrongly imputed to him by false witnesses and popular conjecture, not by God? What if that false condemnation justified the display of the true justice of God in reversing his death? What if Jesus, by surrender to death, was really paying his soul to ransom mortals from slavery to Sin (due to fear of death) without paying one thin drachma to God for sin’s penalties, much less to the Devil!

What if the only satisfaction God received from His Son’s death—far, far from any satisfaction for our debt of sins!—was observing his faithful obedience in the face of grisly assaults, staying sinless and non-retaliatory even to the bitter, bludgeoned, bloody end, so as to win immortality for humankind?

What if the love of God was demonstrated by His not avenging the malicious execution of His beloved Son with immediate wholesale slaughter by angelic hosts (after all, such displays of divine anger against the vicious do fill grim pages of the Old Testament), but letting this crime slip by in forbearance?

What if God was simply letting a day or two pass to let tears dry before unveiling His real, unimaginable justice by raising up His mangled Boy from such an indecent yet indubitable death to the pinnacle of honor, thus unleashing a flood of joyful tears from his loved ones in exchange? I wonder.

What if the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice signifies not his death but his resurrection from the dead? Could it possibly be that the ancient sacrificial blood had all along depicted the restorative power of Christ’s own resurrected life? Is that why it could serve for cleansing, sanctifying, healing, atoning, etc.?

And what if Christ’s well-deserved award for his heroic ordeal was God’s whopping reparation to make up for such tragic loss of innocent life and Spirit-powered career—teaching all he was instructed and doing all he was directed by God—to become a life-making Spirit, crowned at God’s side, peaceably drawing foes to conciliate with God and share in his promised inheritance of all, with plenty of siblings?

So, what if the graciousness we enjoy from God is simply the surplus of favor that God in His restorative or premial justice—not merely His indulgent tolerance or measured patience, kindness, or mercy—bequeathed to Jesus for voluntarily suffering such abuse from evildoers yet responding with resolute forgiveness, as attested by the wonders of Pentecost and showers of gifts from the Holy Spirit?

In short, what if—just what if!—God flat out ransomed Jesus from the grave as a sample of what He was preparing to do for any who would dare like fools to believe such a topsy-turvy story about His unfathomable graciousness and then respond accordingly by lifelong loyalty to His ethic and example…

APRIL FOOLS?

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To be FORGIVEN = to be RIGHTEOUS

Does the expression “restorative justice,” as used by its modern practitioners, refer to restoration for the victim, or for the offender, or for both?

In light if a resurrectionary view of Christ’s atonement, he, the victim of Israel’s supreme sin[-offering], was restored via resurrection to his rightful glory, honor, and authority. But were the vicious offenders restored? Well, if the Cross means anything for the rest of humanity apart from Jesus, it surely means restoration as salvation, since this was the very significance of his name and mission! Restoration for the offended Head means restoration for the offending body.

Therefore, the human practice of restorative justice, if it is to image the divine, must embrace restoration for both and all! In fact, are we not to understand the Old Testament Levitical doctrine of overcompensatory repayment by the offender back to the victim as precisely a way of restoring the offender (conscience and all)? [10/18/07]

For us to get righteousness imputed to us by God is virtually identical with God not getting our sins imputed to us, i.e., to have our lawlessnesses pardoned and our sins covered over. It means nothing other than or more than that. How do I know? The Bible tells me so (Romans 4:6-8):

Even as David also is telling of the happiness of the person to whom God is reckoning righteousness apart from acts:

Happy they whose lawlessnesses were pardoned and whose sins were covered over!

Happy the man to whom the Lord by no means should be reckoning sin!

This means:

TO BE FORGIVEN = TO BE RIGHTEOUS

It’s that simple (for starters anyway). To insist otherwise (for starters!) is to fight against Divine simplicity and to “darken counsel by words without knowledge.”

The fundamental process underlying both expressions is simply the application of the blood of Jesus, God’s Son and our Savior, to our hearts by our faith, for this brings the Holy Spirit into our hearts to cleanse away all sin and lawlessness by the resurrecting power of agelong life. So righteousness is the functional equivalent of forgiveness; there is virtually no difference of “degree” or otherwise between the two. They both bring to us the very same happiness (makar-).

Someone might argue that there is a technical difference between “being imputed righteous” and “actually being righteous,” but the distinction is pernicious because it implies that what God “only imputes” as righteousis not actually” righteous, as if God could lie! To the contrary! WHEN GOD ACTUALLY FORGIVES ACTUAL SIN, THE RESULT IS ACTUAL RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHICH JUSTIFIES GOD TO IMPUTE AND DECLARE IT TO BE SO! [10/22/07]

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“Justice vs. Mercy” or Penal Justice vs. Premial Justice?

The common apposition of the words “mercy” and “justice” in popular theology and sermonic speech is due to the common, but erroneous, conception of justice as exclusively penal or punitive. Then the notion of mercy and justice “agreeing” or “kissing” is attached to the Cross of Christ where allegedly we were shown God’s grace (mercy) because he was shown God’s wrath (justice). BUT THIS INTERPRETATION COMPLETELY IGNORES GOD’S RESTORATIVE JUSTICE!

Yet, to be sure, restorative justice is not the same as mercy. For mercy is still but oriented to the sinner, even as penal justice is, whereas restorative justice is oriented to the one injured or harmed, that is to say, the one sinned against.

Thus, when Paul in Romans writes of “God’s righteousness,” with only rare exceptions, he means God’s restorative justice manifested in the Christ’s RESURRECTION. [10/17/07]

It is noteworthy to observe that the Levitical version of restorative justice naturally required that the injurer should restore by repaying the injured. Therefore the necessary reparation needed to be extracted from the injurer before it could be given to the injured.

In the Cross/Resurrection, however, something absolutely unprecedented takes place. Not only does restoration occur to the injured before the injurer makes reparation, but the restoration comes from another source altogether—God Himself, Who also suffered from the injury! This is a stark revelation of the graciousness of God, beyond all expectation based on mere penal justice. Yes, the injury was even a capital offense of aggravated proportions, so any normal reparation by human beings was impossible. Yet to not even demand penal justice for the injurers, but rather to reprieve them for a full generation to make room for repentance was the grandest revelation of the mercy of God ever manifested in Israel’s long, tortured history. [10/17/07]

On the grounds of the wrongfully shed blood of Jesus, applied to our sinful hearts when we simply believe the Explanation of the Proclamation about what he did for us (which Message is the power of God for our salvation), we are cleansed or pardoned from our sins by the actual washing operation of God’s Holy Spirit that is then poured out in our hearts and thereupon God is justified in openly declaring us “just or imputing righteousness to us, i.e., in justifying us on account of our believing His Message, because this accords perfectly with His graciousness, aside from any acts on our part whatever.

This is contrary to the teaching of both the Roman Catholic Church and of the Protestant Reformation. Each will tend to see the other in this corrected doctrine of salvation, but it is neither. Romanism made justification depend on the end product of progressive sanctification. Protestantism made justification depend on the imputation of “Christ’s righteousness,” and in Calvin’s version that imputation in turn depends on a faith generated not by the power of the inspired Gospel itself, but by an arbitrary infusion of the Holy Spirit to the “particularly elect” as a “gift” (by which he meant not the Holy Spirit but the faith!), without which the Gospel itself is regarded as powerless to evoke faith in sinners, due to “total depravity.” Both are in error.

In the ppure and simple apostolic version, the faith of any sinner is counted (imputed) as righteousness when created by the power of the Gospel narrative (inspire by God’s Holy Spirit, in written or spoken form), and thereupon God bestows His Spirit of power into the sinner’s heart to cleanse away sins and thus justify God in declaring the former sinner to be righteous instantly, the sign of which, in conjunction with water immersion, was often the miraculous utterance of unknown languages, prophecy, and other extraordinary manifestations of the Spirit’s redemptive presence.

The Gospel narrative that has such power to effect so much is, of course, the Story of Jesus, especially his cross-and-resurrection, which jointly manifest the covenantal faithfulness or obedience of the Son and the covenantal righteousness or justice of the Father. [10/17/07]

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