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Do "works of righteousness" declare the Atonement to be incomplete?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Saint Steven, Sep 22, 2018.

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  1. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    If you got a notice from your bank declaring that your mortgage was now paid in full, would you continue to make monthly house payments on the loan? Of course not.

    Yet this is how some treat the Atonement of Christ.
    The price for our reconciliation has been paid in full, but they continue to pay and pay. Thinking that somehow they still owe on their debt. Thus declaring the Atonement for sin to be somehow incomplete.

    Do "works of righteousness" declare the Atonement to be incomplete?

    Consider this scripture. (comments below)

    Romans 4:4-5
    Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    This scripture describes the one who understands that the Atonement is complete. The one who puts their trust in God, who justifies the ungodly. Their faith is credited as righteousness. To the one who does not work. (but trusts God)

    The passage goes on to say this.

    Romans 4:6-8
    David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
    7 “Blessed are those
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
    8 Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Check out the context of this well known scripture. (posted below)

    Romans 3:23
    for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Romans 3:21-26
    But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    We are justified freely by his grace. This does not initiate a payment plan. It's a done deal. Paid in full. Yet some continue to pay. As if it is all on them now. Give it a rest.

    Matthew 11:28-29
    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
     
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  2. messianist

    messianist Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Is this works based salvation your touching on?
     
  3. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    No and yes.

    No. There is no salvation in works.
    Yes. I understand what you are asking.

    Do you believe that the Atonement of Christ is complete?
     
  4. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    No, "works of righteousness" do not declare the atonement to be incomplete. Works of the law, as the example given to the Colossians, do:

    Col 2:20
    Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

    Col 2:21
    (Touch not; taste not; handle not;

    Col 2:22
    Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

    It is the same as explained to both the Romans and the Galatians:

    Rom 9:32

    Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

    Gal 2:16

    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.

    It's the reason Christianity has never required its adherents to keep the Jewish law.
     
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  5. Danthemailman

    Danthemailman Well-Known Member

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    The Bible says in Titus 3:5 that it is not by works of righteousness which we have done, (literally, "of works which are done in righteousness") and this passage fully refutes the doctrine of meritorious works, yet I've heard works-salvationists try to twist this verse and teach that Paul merely refers to the "righteousness of the Jews through the law" here then turn around and say that we are saved by "these" works (works of faith) and just not "those" works (works of the law). :rolleyes:

    "Works of righteousness" in Titus 3:5 are works done according to obedience in a righteous manner, from grace, in faith, and with a view to the glory of God; otherwise they are not righteous actions, or works of righteousness.
     
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  6. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    In your view, what is the difference between "works of righteousness" and the "works of the law"? Which one would the Ten Commandments fit under?
     
  7. Danthemailman

    Danthemailman Well-Known Member

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    Amen! Christ's finished work of redemption is sufficient and complete to save believers (Romans 3:22-28). No supplements needed. :oldthumbsup:
     
  8. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    As James said:

    "To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction"

    As Jesus said:

    Mat 25:35

    For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

    Mat 25:36

    Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

    Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for widows and orphans. That's a good start.

    The "works of the law" are abstaining from touching lizards and wearing mixed fabrics. There are entire studies on the positive and negative mitzvah of Judaism.
     
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  9. messianist

    messianist Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Agree there is nothing man can do to be saved.

    It's a free gift
    yes it was complete at Golgotha
     
  10. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    Yes and our works of righteousness are proof of it. We are atoned (covered) and changed internally so that we start producing works of righteousness.
     
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  11. Hieronymus

    Hieronymus Well-Known Member

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    Works of righteousness are fruits of faith, where faith is the atonement.
    So the works are indicative of salvation.
     
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  12. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Are you claiming that the works of the law are extrabiblical? (outside the Bible)
     
  13. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    No, I am not making any such claim.
     
  14. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    There was a youth musical published in the 70s by John Fisher called “The New Covenant.” In one of the songs he addressed the works of the Law:

    Do this and live
    The Law commands
    But gives me neither
    Feet or hands.
    A greater thing
    His grace does bring:
    It bids me fly
    And gives me wings.
     
  15. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    So then the Ten Commandments would be part of the works of the law from your perspective?
     
  16. timewerx

    timewerx the village i--o--t--

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    You either work for God (righteousness) or the devil. Nothing in between.

    Even if works does not save, who would you then work for?
     
  17. Danthemailman

    Danthemailman Well-Known Member

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    In James 2:15-16, the example of a "work" that James gives is: "If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?" To give a brother or sister these things needed for the body would certainly be a "work of faith/good work" yet to neglect such a brother or sister and not give them the things needed for the body is to break the second great commandment "love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39) as found written in the law of Moses (Leviticus 19:18).

    In Matthew 22:37-40, we read: Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. Which good works could a Christian accomplish that are "completely detached" from these two great commandments which are found in the law of Moses? (Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18). The saved by "these" works and just not "those" works argument is bogus.

    Man cannot dissect works of faith/good works from what some refer to as the "moral" aspect of the law and then teach that we are saved by "these" works, but just not "those" works. There is no middle ground. It's not Christ did most of it but we did some of it. The good works of a believer are not "added" as a supplement to Christ's finished work of redemption in order to help Christ save us. We are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24). Either we are trusting 100% in Christ as the ALL-sufficient means of our salvation or else we are 100% lost.
     
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  18. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Jesus replaced the Ten Commandments with a new commandment: that we should love one another as He loved us. If we do that, we are fulfilling the Ten Commandments. John says that the person who does not love does not know God because God is love. Love is a fruit of the Spirit, so those who are alive in the Spirit are able to love others as Christ has loved them. Therefore having been forgiven much (indeed, a much greater debt that we could ever repay if we tried to pay it back for the rest of eternity), we love much. So, forgiveness, cleansing, cancellation of sin's punishment and shame, death to sin and sin's death to us happen from God's mercy and free grace through faith, and as a result, we love God with all our hearts and love one another as Jesus loved us.

    In this way, we fulfill the whole Law, including the Ten Commandments as we live and walk in the Spirit, in the light as Jesus is in the light.

    Those who are still trying to keep the Law in order to be righteous are still walking in darkness and do not have the light of life (yet).
     
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  19. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    No. Abstaining from sin is not a work in any way. It is passive. However, if we need to discuss keeping the sabbath or caring for our parents I suppose we can.
     
  20. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The way I understand it is the Atonement is limited to the elect, arbitrarily chosen by God to display his mercy. Being justified by Christ's blood, God regenerates them giving them a new holy nature that wants to do good and hates sin. So good works are performed in thanksgiving to God and not as conditions for the self-righteous to meet in order to earn salvation.
     
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