Discussing Justific...
 

Discussing Justification  

  RSS

John
 John
(@admin)
Member Admin
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 23
July 12, 2019 12:22 pm  

As mentioned to the newest member of our forum @Patrick92DE I have opened up the subject of his question in "Ask the Pastor" here for discussion too.

Just so we can be sure we're talking about the same things, and anyone else who views this can be clear too, do you mind me asking @Patrick92DE to give a brief explanation of the terms used in the title, as you understand them? 

Thanks.

This topic was modified 5 months ago by John


Quote
Patrick92DE
(@patrick)
Active Member Registered Member
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 11
July 12, 2019 1:04 pm  

Universal Obejctive Justification or short UOJ is a term adopted by many Lutherans (LCMS, AALCA, WELS)

OJ means that in the death burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, God justified the whole world apart from faith.  The most simple way I can explain it. 

Subjective Justification or SJ is a term used by a few Lutherans (ELDONA)

Subjective Justification means that we benefit from Christs merit and forgivness when we grasp it by faith and not apart from faith.

Verified by people of both viewpoints 

This post was modified 5 months ago by Patrick92DE

ReplyQuote
John
 John
(@admin)
Member Admin
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 23
July 12, 2019 1:41 pm  
Posted by: @patrick92de

OJ means that in the death burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, God justified the whole world apart from faith.  The most simple way I can explain it. 

That makes sense to me. I know from my days in the Reformed church, their doctrine of limited atonement would disagree with Lutheran doctrine on this subject, which incidentally is one of the main reasons I'm now a Lutheran! I think there are quite a number of references in Scripture that would uphold the Lutheran position, probably no more clearly than:

1 John 2:2 (ESV)

2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

Unlike the Reformed position, my understanding now is that when Christ bled and died upon the Cross over 2000 years ago, it was as the once for all sacrifice provided by God for the sins of the whole world, and throughout all time (before and after the Cross). It is an objective historical fact that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, died and His dead body sealed in a tomb. Then it was a historical fact that on the third day He rose again to life, and was witnessed by many people at that time. As we look at these facts of history, we see that in the Scriptures they are prophesied manifold times, and it is this witness of God's Word that gives us reason to believe Christ is Who the Word says He is, and has done all that the Word says He will do to seek and save the lost. It is something outside of ourselves, that happened in history, and anyone can look to and know that they are included in the number who Christ bled and died to redeem. Whether they believe it or not does not change the facts.

I haven't got time right now to offer my explanation of subjective justification due to work committments, so that's my tuppenny worth for now. 😀 

 

This post was modified 5 months ago 2 times by John


Beannchor liked
ReplyQuote
John
 John
(@admin)
Member Admin
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 23
July 13, 2019 10:51 am  
Posted by: @patrick

Subjective Justification means that we benefit from Christs merit and forgivness when we grasp it by faith and not apart from faith.

Once again I'm in total agreement with your statement @Patrick , and would just like to point out that I believe it important that we as Lutherans get this clearly on the table when discussing justification. The reason being that if objective justification stands alone, we are in danger of being branded universalists. Or at least synergists if we somehow have to muster up the faith in order to believe unto salvation.

I would like to point out therefore how the apostle Paul speaks of saving grace. That is how it is an objective fact that we are called to proclaim (objective grace) in the Good News of Christ crucified for the sins of the whole world.

2 Corinthians 5:18–21 (ESV)

18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

It is an appeal to all men equally, that Christ died for all. Then as highlighted in the verses above, the benefits of this objective fact, is applied to those "in Him (Christ)". This is the point where God's grace is made individual and personal, as it is received by faith alone. And it is vitally important to understand that the very faith by which we receive this gift, is itself given as a gift by God to those He makes alive.

Ephesians 2:4–9 (ESV)

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

From the Lutheran perspective I think we would say this gift of faith is received from God through the means of grace He has provided; namely Word and Sacrament. For the gift of faith is not something we muster up ourselves, but is worked in us by the Holy Spirit through the proclamation of the Gospel.

Romans 10:13–17 (ESV)

13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Those who believe are then united with Christ through baptism (this is where the "in Him" term points to).

Romans 6:3–11 (ESV)

3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Then finally before a comment is made that somehow it is by a work of our own that we are saved, I must point out that baptism is a work of God done to us, not that we do to ourselves.

Colossians 2:11–14 (ESV)

11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

I apologise for belabouring this point, but I think it's crucial that when discussing justification in Christ, we make it clear that it is all about Christ alone, and nothing of ourselves whatsoever from start to finish.

Just as a note, I think the Reformed try and deal with this same subject (rather badly in my opinion), by way of their doctrine of common and special grace, which is what I would like to pick up on in this thread. 

 

 

 

This post was modified 5 months ago by John


ReplyQuote
Tapani Simojoki
(@tapani)
Member Pastor
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 4
July 18, 2019 11:02 am  

I've just answered the original question in Ask the Pastor


ReplyQuote
John
 John
(@admin)
Member Admin
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 23
July 18, 2019 5:54 pm  
Posted by: @tapani

I've just answered the original question in Ask the Pastor

Thanks Pastor Tapani, it’s very much appreciated, as is the time you’ve taken to answer.


ReplyQuote
John
 John
(@admin)
Member Admin
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 23
July 19, 2019 9:54 am  

[Quick note**I've changed the title of this thread to avoid being mixed up with similar thread on Ask the Pastor, which didn't seem the right place to continue openly discussing this topic.]

@patrick

To be absolutely honest with you, this whole debate is a completely new one to me, as until very recently I hadn't even been aware of its existence. So when I came across the terms "objective" and "subjective" justification, it made absolute sense to me, as I've agreed previously. That's said however, I have to admit after watching the videos you linked, especially the latter one, I genuinely get where he's coming from.

As far as I'm concerned personally, it's not something I would blow a fuse over, however I do agree with the pastor in the video regarding his comment that it seems that atonement and justification have been at least in part, conflated into one and the same thing. Which I think quite obviously according to the Bible text itself, they are not, even though very closely related.

I've linked to the section of the video I'm referring to below, and would assess the crux of the disagreement (which I feel hard pushed to deny) would be this:

The sacrificial death of Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of the whole world, and so the Atonement is truly universal, and apart from faith completely. Yet justification (being reconciled to God) is only spoken of in Scripture on a personal level, and that which is solely received by faith. I would point to the following text to highlight what I mean:

Romans 3:19–26 (ESV)

19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

I know it's only picking at words and terminology, and if what someone is referring to by objective justification is actually the universal atonement won by Christ on the Cross, then I have no problem with that at all. However I don't believe the Scripture goes as far to say that the whole world (though atoned for), has also been made righteous (justified) apart from faith also.

That's my take on it anyway, and I'm open to be corrected from the text of Scripture as always. So here is the section of the video I refer to:

(If it doesn't work, the time is 04 mins 45 secs into the video.

This post was modified 5 months ago 2 times by John


ReplyQuote
Patrick92DE
(@patrick)
Active Member Registered Member
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 11
July 19, 2019 10:12 am  

@admin

I agree. Universal objective atonement would be something I could agree with. For Christ atoned for the sins of the world, or to use scripture "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world" 1 John 2:2 but it doesn't mean that they are justified...justification is to be recieved by faith alone.

If they would change the terminology to "Universal objective atonement" and "subjective Justification" or just scrap it sll and just say, as my friend Pastor Sullivan says, "atonement" and "justification" I think this whole argument can be scrapped.


ReplyQuote
John
 John
(@admin)
Member Admin
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 23
July 19, 2019 10:22 am  

I've just had a quick look at the Augsburg Confession on this matter too, which seems to affirm the point too:

He is true God and true human being who truly [3] “was born, suffered, was crucified, died, and was buried” in order both to be a sacrifice not only for original sin but also for all other sins and to conciliate God’s wrath. [4] Moreover, the same Christ “descended into hell, truly rose from the dead on the third day, ascended into heaven, is sitting at the right hand of God” in order to rule and reign forever over all creatures, [5] so that through the Holy Spirit he may make holy, purify, strengthen, and comfort all who believe in him, also distribute to them life and various gifts and benefits, [6] and shield and protect them against the devil and sin. [Article 3]

I would argue that justification as spoken of in the New Testament is a gift and benefit that comes out of the atonement, and is distributed only to those who have faith. I believe this to be in agreement with the text above in our confessions.

[1] Furthermore, it is taught that we cannot obtain forgiveness of sin and righteousness before God through our merit, work, or satisfactions, but that we receive forgiveness of sin and become righteous before God out of grace for Christ’s sake through faith [2] when we believe that Christ has suffered for us and that for his sake our sin is forgiven and righteousness and eternal life are given to us. [3] For God will regard and reckon this faith as righteousness in his sight, as St. Paul says in Romans 3[:21–26*] and 4[:5*]. [Article 4]

Once again I think Article 4 speaks in the same way, and only applies justification to those who believe.

I've never read Walther or Pieper so I'm running blind here really, however if we are to be dogmatic about a particular doctrine, then I think we ought to be precise with our words and teminology, to ensure that what we say (regardless of what we actually mean), is spoken clearly in Scripture also. Personally I don't see how the term "objective justification" actually does, even thoughI am in total agreement of Pastor Tapani's explanation of it in the other thread.

 


ReplyQuote
John
 John
(@admin)
Member Admin
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 23
July 19, 2019 10:26 am  
Posted by: @patrick

If they would change the terminology to "Universal objective atonement" and "subjective Justification" or just scrap it sll and just say, as my friend Pastor Sullivan says, "atonement" and "justification" I think this whole argument can be scrapped.

Isn't that so often the case?! It's completely unrelated I know, but it makes me chuckle when we try and put Scripture into our own words, and then make a complete bodge job of it!! Ask St. Patrick here... 🤣 🤣 


ReplyQuote
Share:

Login to your account below

Fill the forms bellow to register

*By registering into our website, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.

Please Login or Register