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Featured Another Justification Thread

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Tree of Life, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    What does the word "justification" mean in Paul's sentence in Romans 5:18?

    Romans 5:18 - Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

    There is obviously some parallelism going on here. Let me lay out what I see as the parallels:

    Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation (and death) for all men,
    so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

    Justification is a parallel concept to condemnation in this sentence. Condemnation does not describe a moral corruption, but describes a legal sentence issued because of guilt. Criminals are condemned by a judge due to their guilt. Continuing this parallel, it must be that justification is also a legal declaration. Justification is the legal declaration that a person is righteous and innocent of any crimes.

    When God justifies us, he forgives our sins and accepts us as righteous. Justification is a legal declaration.

    It is not a legal fiction any more than the guilt that we inherit from Adam is a legal fiction. Because Adam is our representative, his guilt is imputed to us and we are born with a guilt problem. In the same way, Jesus is the representative of his church and the righteousness of Jesus is imputed to believers. They are declared righteous on the basis of Christ's righteousness just as the children of Adam are declared guilty on the basis of Adam's sin.
     
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  2. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    Why is condemnation thought to be simply a forensic legal category?
     
  3. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    If you want to argue that "condemnation" is not strictly forensic then you'll have to demonstrate how this is so, preferably through other uses of the word in the NT itself. The greek word is κατάκριμα, which depends upon κρίνω. It appears to me to be strictly judicial.
     
  4. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    The one who makes an unsupported claim has the burden of proof... "It appears that way to me" is probably not the strongest argument for the claim that κατάκριμα is strictly judicial.
     
  5. David Cabrera

    David Cabrera Catechumen

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    We don't inherit guilt from Adam.
     
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  6. gospels

    gospels Active Member Supporter

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    I think any person would have done the same thing that Adam&Eve did; if we were in their shoes. So Adam&Eve were representing what all humans would do anyway. Thereby we are all guilty. (Of course, except Jesus)
     
  7. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    The noun κρίνω deals with making a judgment or giving an answer. Here are some example uses of it in the NT:

    Matthew 5:21 - "You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’

    Matthew 5:25 - "Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.

    Matthew 7:1 - "Judge not, that you be not judged."

    Matthew 11:24 - "But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”

    John 5:24 - "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life."

    Need me to go on?
     
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  8. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    It seems that your OP rests on a very clean distinction between legal declaration and consequent punishment or reward. You wish to claim that "condemnation" refers to the legal declaration, but not to the penalty itself, and "justification" refers to the legal declaration, but not to the righteousness itself. I don't find that clean distinction in scripture either conceptually or lexically (e.g. condemnation does not clearly distinguish declaration from penalty). Scholars such as N.T. Wright have made the same observation regarding justification (dikaiōsis).
     
  9. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    I think that the concepts can be broad enough to include both the forensic declaration and the consequences which follow. But the emphasis is on the judgment made - either positive or negative. Notice that Paul says in Romans 5:18 that one act of righteousness leads to "justification and life". The "and life" addition would be what follows from justification. I would supply "(and death)" after condemnation because I think it's warranted from the context.
     
  10. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

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    Justification:

    Each one of us have broken God’s Law. This is sin. The wages of sin is (eternal) death (cease to exist forever). This price is more than we can ever repay–it is impossible. Because of God the father’s unconditional love for the us, he gave his only begotten Son Jesus to pay for our debt of eternal death on the cross. This one time event was done by Jesus. Only Jesus is worthy to pay the price for each one of us because he never sinned. He has not broken God’s Law. Jesus (in the form of a man) died a physical death, giving His life willingly and was raised back to life; thus conquering eternal death.

    Seems to me you are confusing justification (not ongoing - done deal - Jesus paid our dept) and sanctification.
     
  11. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It does not lead only to what is legal, but what is "to life". And Paul also says "we shall be saved by His life," in Romans 5:10.

    So, we are not just declared righteous, but also God has made us "alive" (Ephesians 2:1) in Jesus. And this life is in His love with almighty power to keep us for all eternity while also keeping us from sinning while also having us love any and all people.

    "for if you love those who love you, what reward have you?" (in Matthew 5:46)
     
  12. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    I agree that in our salvation God also makes us alive through regeneration. But this is not what the concept of justification is talking about.
     
  13. royal priest

    royal priest debtor to grace

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    Since there is no way for us to justify ourselves before God (declare ourselves righteous) then it must come from Him. Since people are righteous in Christ and not themselves, then justification can be no more than a mere declaration made by the God who justifies by faith.
     
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  14. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

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    I agree that it is legal declaration. But I think it does not mean that a person is innocent of any crimes. I think it is about can person be counted righteous or not. Like for example in this case:

    "Two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: 'God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.' But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn't even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."
    Luke 18:10-14

    In that case the person who was justified, was justified because he was loyal/faithful to God, even though he had done wrong things. The person regretted his wrong doings and that shows he has right understanding, or wisdom of the just that can be called righteousness. Righteousness is like right understanding, which can be seen from right actions. Regret, if one has done wrongly, is one of the righteous actions. So, if person shows righteous “fruit”, he can be declared to be righteous “tree” and so things go like in this:

    By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit. A good tree can't produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn't grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits you will know them.
    Matt. 7:16-20

    Tree can be justified to be good tree, if it produces good fruit. Same way, person who does righteous actions, can be justified to be righteous.

    He who does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. To this end the Son of God was revealed, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever is born of God doesn't commit sin, because his seed remains in him; and he can't sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the devil. Whoever doesn't do righteousness is not of God, neither is he who doesn't love his Brother.
    1 John 3:7-10

    And there are actually many things that can be seen as righteous actions. Few of my favorites are these:

    The wicked borrow, and don't pay back, But the righteous give generously.
    Ps. 37:21

    The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, But the perverse tongue will be cut off. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked is perverse.
    Pro. 10:31-32

    A righteous man hates lies, But a wicked man brings shame and disgrace…
    Pro. 13:5,


    The righteous care about justice for the poor. The wicked aren't concerned about knowledge.

    Pro. 29:7

    Righteousness doesn’t mean person is perfect. It means that person regrets, when he knows he has done wrongly and then don’t want to continue to do bad things.

    For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises up again; But the wicked are overthrown by calamity.
    Pro. 24:16
     
  15. charsan

    charsan Charismatic Episcopal Church

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    It would be nice if the west really understood this.
     
  16. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Then why do we inherit the condemnation?
     
  17. charsan

    charsan Charismatic Episcopal Church

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    We inherit the consequences of Adam and Eve's sin but they are guilty of their own sin. We are not guilty for their disobedience to God
     
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  18. def

    def Member Supporter

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    I also use parallelism between condemn and justify to study justification, but my conclusion is very different.

    Condemn has more than one meaning. Condemn is used in a judgement when someone is found guilty, as used in the OP. Condemn is also used when someone or something is not fit for use, for example, that derelict building is condemned. Before a conclusion is reached, a wider use of justify must be considered.

    God justifies, people can justify God, Job justifies himself.

    To say that the people declare God righteous would be blasphemy- people have no right to judge God. In a wider context, the OP conclusion has to be ruled out. That leaves justify meaning: to conclude that someone or something is fit for use or, in short, to approve it.

    A second reason why to declare righteous do not make sense. Abraham was justified by works (James 2) after he was justified by faith (Romans 4). It does not make sense to declared Abraham righteous multiple times. It makes more sense to say that God approved Abraham's actions in both events.

    In terms of the gospel, we know the justifier (God), the one justified (believers), the basis of justification (faith, works, etc), but what is being justified? Paul and James are not disagreeing, they are teaching different situations (the what bit). You need to work out what is being justified.
     
  19. LoreneDD

    LoreneDD Great is Thy Faithfulness Supporter

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  20. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    It means as Jeremiah Prophesies: Jesus is the Branch, He is the Lord, our righteousness. Our righteousness in trusting in Him, is the same as His.
     
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