justification by faith- confused about the "provisional

Discussion in 'Federal Vision/New Perspectives' started by rembrandt, Feb 23, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    If God's wrath against the elect is appeased at the cross, and his justice is satisfied, would it not follow that at that point there is no more judicial wrath against the elect?

    I'm struggling with the "provisional" aspect of the atonement. Obviously we are not imputed Christ's righteousness until saving faith is displayed (justification by faith alone). But in what way is God's wrath no longer against us? I mean, he doesn't see his Son's righteousness when he looks at us before faith is displayed, right?

    The way I understand it, is that we are still unjust in God's sight (until faith), its just that his justice is satisfied.

    Probably I am confused after reading so much Arminian theologies back in the day.

    thanks,
    Rembrandt
     
  2. BrianLanier

    BrianLanier Puritan Board Freshman

    The WCF explains it well:

    CHAPTER XI
    Of Justification
    I. Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth: not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness, by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God.
    II. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification: yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love.

    III. Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to his Father's justice in their behalf. Yet, inasmuch as he was given by the Father for them; and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead; and both, freely, not for anything in them; their justification is only of free grace; that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners.

    IV. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect, and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification: nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit doth, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.

    V. God doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified; and, although they can never fall from the state of justification, yet they may, by their sins, fall under God's fatherly displeasure, and not have the light of his countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.

    VI. The justification of believers under the old testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the new testament.
     
  3. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:1f710d0791][i:1f710d0791]Originally posted by rembrandt[/i:1f710d0791]
    If God's wrath against the elect is appeased at the cross, and his justice is satisfied, would it not follow that at that point there is no more judicial wrath against the elect?

    I'm struggling with the "provisional" aspect of the atonement. Obviously we are not imputed Christ's righteousness until saving faith is displayed (justification by faith alone). But in what way is God's wrath no longer against us? I mean, he doesn't see his Son's righteousness when he looks at us before faith is displayed, right?

    The way I understand it, is that we are still unjust in God's sight (until faith), its just that his justice is satisfied.

    Probably I am confused after reading so much Arminian theologies back in the day.

    thanks,
    Rembrandt [/quote:1f710d0791]

    Think of it like the court room setting. The Judge knows what ruling he will give. The Advocate has made his case. All that the criminal now needs is the official ruling from the Judge. That is what happens when the Christian first believes. Until God officially declares him righteous in Christ, he is a criminal, even though God has been preparing to make the declaration all along.
     
  4. Canadian Baptist

    Canadian Baptist Puritan Board Freshman

    This is a great question. It brings questions to our minds about when justification happens. From eternity, at the cross, or when we have faith. There is a guarantee of justification which is in the great Romans 8 "chain". In this verse, we often say that in some measure we are considered already glorified due to the fact that we are "in Christ." The scripture says we were united with Him in his death and yet we were not born. So an aspect of the entire work of salvation is considered complete for us because we as the elect were with Christ in His death and ressurrection. Propitiation happened at the cross and God's wrath was turned from us there, but yet the scripture still says we all were by nature children of wrath. I am going to study this one further. What a joy to be IN Christ!
    Soli Deo Gloria.
     
  5. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Justification is twofold:

    Virtual
    and Personal or actual.

    The elect are vitually justified on the cross.
    They are actually justified in time at a specific moment.

    It is not something we experience. We see its fruits, or rather, more precisely, the fruits of regeneration, but justificaiton is not something we can put our hands on. It is the courtroom (forensic) declaration of God based on Christ's work for the elect sinner.

    You cannot add to it, you cannot subtract from it. You cannot make it better or worse - it is a declaration, a statement, a judgment about the sinner based on Jesus' active obedience to the law and imputation of that righteousness to us.

    To deny this, as many have, is to deny the Gospel.
     
  6. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thanks guys! So, we are justified at the cross in a [i:172505578d]sense[/i:172505578d].

    But before God [i:172505578d]declares[/i:172505578d] us righteous by weight of Christ's work, he must first impute his righteousness, right?

    Basically I'm asking, when does that "courtroom declaration" happen? When Christ presents his blood or when the believer believes?

    [quote:172505578d][i:172505578d]originally posted by puritan sailor[/i:172505578d]
    Think of it like the court room setting. The Judge knows what ruling he will give. The Advocate has made his case. All that the criminal now needs is the official ruling from the Judge. That is what happens when the Christian first believes. Until God officially declares him righteous in Christ, he is a criminal, even though God has been preparing to make the declaration all along.[/quote:172505578d]

    So the ruling from the judge, even though he knows the outcome etc. happens upon faith?

    thanks,
    Rembrandt
     
  7. wsw201

    wsw201 Puritan Board Senior

    [quote:b78f81d5bd]
    But before God declares us righteous by weight of Christ's work, he must first impute his righteousness, right?

    Basically I'm asking, when does that "courtroom declaration" happen? When Christ presents his blood or when the believer believes?
    [/quote:b78f81d5bd]

    When you first believe. Note: the ordo salutis is not a chronilogical progression but a logical progression.
     
  8. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:b02c1aa1ed][i:b02c1aa1ed]Originally posted by rembrandt[/i:b02c1aa1ed]
    Thanks guys! So, we are justified at the cross in a [i:b02c1aa1ed]sense[/i:b02c1aa1ed].

    Basically I'm asking, when does that "courtroom declaration" happen? When Christ presents his blood or when the believer believes?
    [/quote:b02c1aa1ed]

    WCF XI
    IV. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect, and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification: nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit doth, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.


    The Holy Spirit "applies" this when we believe.
     
  9. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    Okay thanks. Completely different question: What is known as the "ground" of our justification? I say that it is Christ's righteousness and the cross, as opposed to our own faith.

    Rembrandt
     
  10. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:f10d04b8b4][i:f10d04b8b4]Originally posted by rembrandt[/i:f10d04b8b4]
    Okay thanks. Completely different question: What is known as the "ground" of our justification? I say that it is Christ's righteousness and the cross, as opposed to our own faith.

    Rembrandt [/quote:f10d04b8b4]

    That is correct. Christ redemptive work is the grounds for our justification. Our faith is only the instrument by which we receive those benefits.
     
  11. wsw201

    wsw201 Puritan Board Senior

    [quote:ae17a51117]
    That is correct. Christ redemptive work is the grounds for our justification. Our faith is only the instrument by which we receive those benefits.
    [/quote:ae17a51117]

    :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page