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    KMK's Avatar
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    God-righteousness vs man-righteousness

    For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jews first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men... Rom 1:16-18
    Is the difference between the righteousness of God and the righteousness of man one of kind or degree?

    If God's righteousness is "infinite, eternal, and unchangeable" then wouldn't it be a difference in kind in the same way that the "infinite, eternal, and unchangeable" being of God is a difference in kind with man's finite, limited, and changeable being?


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    Well, post-Fall Man doesn't have any righteousness of his own.

    But pre-Fall Adam's righteousness was not worthy to merit the fulness of eternal life that he was offered; it was only because God in His abundant goodness to Adam and Mankind stooped down and offered eternal blessedness in the CoW by pactum merit.

    Christ's righteousness, which is God's righteousness, on the other hand merits all things by condign merit, and more.

    The merit of Christ's righteousness is far greater than Adam's would have been if he had fulfilled the probation, and is more than commensurate to the reward. Condign merit vs. Pactum merit.

    See Lane Keister's post in this thread:

    Condign,congruent or pactum merit
    Richard Tallach
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    His Name forever shall endure;
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    and blessed all nations shall Him call (Ps. 72:17)

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    CharlieJ is offline. Inactive User
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    I think Ken is asking an ontological question, which is distinct from what righteousness gets us (merit, salvation, etc.). When one says "God is righteous" and when one says "[anything else] is righteous," how much correspondence is there between the two statements?
    Charlie Johnson
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    M. A. Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
    M. A. Villanova University
    PhD Candidate, Church History, Princeton Theological Seminary
    Blog: http://dearreaderblog.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peairtach View Post
    Well, post-Fall Man doesn't have any righteousness of his own.

    But pre-Fall Adam's righteousness was not worthy to merit the fulness of eternal life that he was offered; it was only because God in His abundant goodness to Adam and Mankind stooped down and offered eternal blessedness in the CoW by pactum merit.

    Christ's righteousness, which is God's righteousness, on the other hand merits all things by condign merit, and more.

    The merit of Christ's righteousness is far greater than Adam's would have been if he had fulfilled the probation, and is more than commensurate to the reward. Condign merit vs. Pactum merit.

    See Lane Keister's post in this thread:

    Condign,congruent or pactum merit
    Thanks for that, Richard. Lane's post is quite illuminating. In regards to my question, Lane says...

    Most Reformed scholars agree that had Adam obeyed in the Garden of Eden, he would have obtained eternal life on the basis of pactum merit. It does not correspond in quality to eternal life because Adam owed all his obedience already. It does not correspond in quantity either, since an infinite amount of righteousness would be required.
    Does the righteousness of God and the righteousness of man (pre-fall) differ in both degree and kind? Or do they in differ in kind because they differ in degree? (the one being infinite, eternal, and unchangeable and the other not)


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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieJ View Post
    I think Ken is asking an ontological question, which is distinct from what righteousness gets us (merit, salvation, etc.). When one says "God is righteous" and when one says "[anything else] is righteous," how much correspondence is there between the two statements?
    Yes, that is the question.

    However, in regards to Rom 1:16,17, I might be barking up the wrong tree.

    Calvin:

    I take the righteousness of God to mean, that which is approved before his tribunal...
    Hodge:

    That [righteousness] cannot here be understood of a divine attribute, such as rectitude, justice, goodness, or veracity, is obvious, because it is a...righteousness which is by faith, i. e. attained by faith, of which the apostle speaks...The righteousness of God, therefore, must mean either the righteousness of which God is the author, or which he approves.
    Last edited by KMK; 02-21-2013 at 06:33 PM.


    Village Community Church of Wrightwood

    Transformation Ministries

    "Preparing a sermon is like cooking a meal. You need pots and pans and utensils, but you don't bring them out to the table where people are eating." Derek Thomas


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    Peairtach's Avatar
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    Yes, that is the question.

    However, in regards to Rom 1:16,17, I might be barking up the wrong tree.

    Calvin:

    I take the righteousness of God to mean, that which is approved before his tribunal...

    Hodge:

    That [righteousness] cannot here be understood of a divine attribute, such as rectitude, justice, goodness, or veracity, is obvious, because it is a...righteousness which is by faith, i. e. attained by faith, of which the apostle speaks...The righteousness of God, therefore, must mean either the righteousness of which God is the author, or which he approves.
    I would have thought it was the righteousness of God which is for us, then i.e. the righteousness that God wrought in the life and death of the man Christ Jesus for us.

    It is a man's righteousness, as it has to be for us men, and thus a righteousness that images God's righteousness and is derived from His, but because He is also God, it's value is far greater than that of Adam's would have been. God the Son wrought the righteousness as a man.

    E.g. Christ's passive righteousness in death is far more valuable than that of any mere man because His blood is called "the blood of God"

    Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.(Acts 20:28, KJV)
    Richard Tallach
    communicant member,
    Knox Free Church,
    Perth, Scotland GB

    His Name forever shall endure;
    last like the sun it shall:
    Men shall be blessed in Him,
    and blessed all nations shall Him call (Ps. 72:17)

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