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Puritan Board Freshman
Today, some Roman Catholics made use of the following passage, Eze. 33:12-16,
to propagate their doctrine that God demands righteous works for us to be declared just before Him. I was not familiar with the passage, so I was not sure how to properly interpret it so that it is in-line with the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone. How do we deal with the fact that it seems to say that our sin will be forgotten by God only when we "do what is just and right?"

12 “And you, son of man, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him when he transgresses, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness, and the righteous shall not be able to live by his righteousness when he sins. 13 Though I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, yet if he trusts in his righteousness and does injustice, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered, but in his injustice that he has done he shall die. 14 Again, though I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ yet if he turns from his sin and does what is just and right, 15 if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has taken by robbery, and walks in the statutes of life, not doing injustice, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 16 None of the sins that he has committed shall be remembered against him. He has done what is just and right; he shall surely live."

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
Romanists. Pretexts without context. Sigh.

- Judgment: Ezekiel 1–24
- Pronouncements against evil nations: Ezekiel 25-32
- Response to the fall of Jerusalem: Ezekiel 33, wherein one who has survived the fall of Jerusalem arrives, the watchman (Eze. 33:2), who is no longer ignorant (Eze. 24:27;33:22)
- The Good News: Ezekiel 34-48

What can we do (Eze. 33:10)?
Answer: Eze. 33:11 (Live and do this), versus Eze. 33:17 and be judged accordingly (Eze. 33:20), all the while claiming Abraham as a birthright (Eze. 33:24). Covenant-breakers abound!

Contrary to Rome, our righteousness is an alien righteousness, that of Another, which is imputed to us. We are not infused with righteousness when justified (per Rome's donum supperadditum), but declared to be so, on the merits of the active and passive obedience of Our Lord.

The imputation of Adam's Sin is immediate—God imputes the sin and guilt of Adam's sin to every soul created. Unlike some mediate view, God does not wait until we commit sin and then impute the guilt of sin upon us after we sin, rather we are born in sin and bear the guilt of Adam's sin. This is based upon the fact that there is a comparison of the guilt of Adam's Sin with the righteousness we have in Christ (double imputation, 2 Cor. 5:21). The symmetry of Adam and Christ in Romans 5 is important.

As Christ is not made a sinner by the imputation to Him of our sins, so we are not made holy by the imputation to us of His righteousness. The transfer is but of guilt from us to Our Lord, and of merit from Him to us. Jesus Christ justly suffered the punishment due to our sins, and we justly receive the rewards due to His righteousness, 1 John 1:8, 9.


Puritan Board Senior
Heidelberg 86-87 may be helpful:

"86. Since, then, we are redeemed from our misery by grace through Christ, without any merit of ours, why must we do good works?

Because Christ, having redeemed us by His blood, also renews us by His Holy Spirit after His own image, that with our whole life we show ourselves thankful to God for His blessing, and that He be glorified through us; then also, that we ourselves may be assured of our faith by the fruits thereof; and by our godly walk win also others to Christ.

87. Can they, then, not be saved who do not turn to God from their unthankful, unrepentant life?

By no means, for, as Scripture says, no unchaste person, idolater, adulterer, thief, covetous man, drunkard, slanderer, robber, or the like shall inherit the kingdom of God."

Faith by necessity produces fruit, otherwise it is not faith. For Ezekiel to urge his listeners to good works does not equal meriting God's favor by the works. Rather, the righteousness received by faith that changes the course of the sinner (repentance) seems to be in view.

"63. Do our good works merit nothing, even though it is God’s will to reward them in this life and in that which is to come?

The reward comes not of merit, but of grace."
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