Elect But Still Born Guilty in Adam?

How can the elect in Christ be both imputed with guilt and righteousness at the exact same time?

1. We can’t be imputed with both at the same time.

2. But we know that we are born imputed with Adam’s guilt.

3. Therefore we are not born with Christ’s righteousness.

4. So this means that the elect are always elect, born
elect, but still born in Adam, not righteous in Christ but guilty in

Romans 16:7–“greet Andronicus and Junia…They are well known to the apostles and they were in Christ before me.”

Romans 6:3–“all who have been baptised into Christ have been baptised into His death.”

Romans 6:7–“the one who has died has been justified from sin.”

Romans 6:17, 18–“You who were once slaves to sin have become obedient from the heart to the doctrine to which you were delivered, and having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness…”

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6 Comments on “Elect But Still Born Guilty in Adam?”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    Since election is in Christ, not election to get into Christ, then the baptism into the death must also be from the first. Is that what you are saying?

    If you go that direction, you cannot keep from saying that justification is something that had already always happened.

    Propitiation is real. The death has to legally happen in history. I hope this helps.

    Fesko in his book on justification makes this point. 1. there is a order of salvation, which is about us. For example, before we have faith, we must be born again, glorification comes after justification etc. 2. But also there is what Fesko calls ” a history of salvation”, a redemptive history, which talks about the order in which God in Christ got things done. The death wasn’t done yet at election in Christ. The resurrection wasn’t done yet, and etc.

  2. markmcculley Says:

    Even though the elect are united to Christ, they are NOT legally justified before the foundation of world. Instead, they are legally guilty with Adam’s guilt. Adam’s guilt is imputed to them. And so in that respect, and in that respect only, the elect can also be spoken of as being in Adam.

    At a later date, at some point during each elect person’s life, God legally justifies the elect in Christ. He legally imputes Christ’s righteousness (His death) to them. This legal transfer is for all time, so that all the sins of the elect, including sins they haven’t in time even sinned yet, are already legally imputed to Christ (this security occurring after justification, not from all eternity).

    Two strange things. 1. before justification, when elect are slaves of sin (Romans 6:17), sins THAT HAVE BEEN PAID FOR ALREADY are still charged to the elect.
    2. After justification, when elect have become the righteousness of God in Him (II Cor 5:21), when the elect have become slaves of righteousness (6:18), then even the sins the elect haven’t sinned yet are not only “paid for already” but not even imputed to them? How strange! How wonderful!

    Romans 6:14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

    1. There is probably some kind of thinking about election anytime you see the words “in Christ”. But in Romans 6 justification is the main thing, the focus. Proof is 6:14 conclusion: free why? Because you are not under law, because you are justified.

    (btw, I value the difference between old and new covenants as much as the next person, but 6:14 cannot be reduced to nobody being under Moses anymore). 6:14 is about justification.

    But we can’t focus only on the imputation but also on the death. We died with. When? Well, in one sense, when Christ died.

    We died with. When? Well, in the main sense of Romans 6, when we were placed into the death.

    Are we baptized into Christ at the cross? Or are we baptized into Christ from before the foundation of the world? Are we baptized into Christ at imputation, so that it’s legal union.?

    Romans 6:6: “our old self was crucified with Him that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” What is that old self? It’s a position in Adam (what Adam did that one time happens to us) station–legal imputation of Adam’s guilt.

    The old self is the guilty self in Adam, the not yet justified elect. Old self is the same as “slaves of sin” in 6:17-18. “Free from righteousnes.”

    DO YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT AN ELECT PERSON CAN BE LOVED FROM ETERNITY AND THEN ALSO DIED FOR AND STILL FOR A TIME BE “free from righteousness”? Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. What’s the gospel for lost people is at stake here.

    Romans 6:20 –“when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness”. You had none, you were a dead worker doing dead works, not pleasing to God and therefore not able to do anything pleasing to God.

    • David Bishop Says:

      Have I misunderstood this word “in”, as in, in Adam and in Christ? Could it be rendered, according to? Or is Smith right, should I think of it as a letter inside an envelope; wherever the envelope goes, so goes the letter?

      • markmcculley Says:

        It’s a location metaphor. Not that I can explain the indwelling of Christ, the Christ “in you”, but this “in Christ” is a figure for the legal reality of becoming the righteousness of God by imputation. It names us, it tells us what our position, our legal state is.

        But of course that legal status, which God transitions the elect to, is not unrelated to the reality of election in Christ, from before the ages.

  3. markmcculley Says:

    One died for all, therefore all have died

    Substitution is the death and resurrection of Christ for certain specific sinners, so that these elect sinners do not die for themselves. These elect sinners do not die for their sins. But doesn’t the New Testament use the word “with” and not only the word “for”?

    I Corinthians 5:14-15, “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one died for all, therefore all have died, and he died for all, that those who live would no longer live for themselves but who for themselves for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

    We can think about a “for” which is not substitution. I can score a goal for my team, without any idea that I am the only one playing the game. I score the goal for the sake of others on my team, and not only for myself, but that does not mean they do nothing and I do everything.

    In II Corinthians 5:14-15, it is not the “for” which get us to the idea of substitution. (Of course I remember that the original is not English, but I am not a Greek student and cannot comment on the “instead” nuance of the original word.) What gets us to substitution is “therefore all died”.

    The death Christ died, to propitiate God’s wrath because of imputed sins, is the death which is credited and counted to the elect. The elect do not die this kind of death. Their substitute died it for them. Christ alone, by Himself, without them, died this death. And it is that death, II Corinthians 5:15 teaches, “all died.”

  4. markmcculley Says:

    The crediting of Christ’s death/resurrection happens before foundation of world, but Romans 6 is not presenting it this way. Not rejecting it, but also not presenting it.

    mark: Interesting. I agree that Romans 6 is not rejecting the other aspects of the union. It’s not denying that there is a plan to do the crediting before the world. It’s not denying that the sins have already been credited to Christ 2000 years ago. But, and this we cannot deny, Romans 6, is talking about a transition in the life of an elect person.

    Note: I don’t think there was a crediting before the world, but a plan to credit. In other words, there was never any love for anybody apart from the plan to credit Christ’s work, but that does not mean that Christ’s work was credited at the same time as election.

    David Bishop: How could OT saints be credited with a death/resurrection that hadn’t yet been accomplished? If saying the Father’s work of justification in the Old Testament was based on faith the Son would accomplish obedience/death/resurrection, then I see what might be a problem. Would be making God’s foreknowledge akin to the Arminian understanding of foreknowledge.

    mark: check your definition of “foreknowledge”. It’s not simply prescience, knowing what will happen. I Peter 1:20– Christ, like a lamb without spot or blemish, was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for your sake….

    Not only His work, but Him. But He already existed, has always existed, yet He was also foreknown.

    david bishop: Would be saying God acts because He knows, rather than God knows because He acts.

    mark: very interesting question, very clear, and it helps me to see why people go in the direction of eternal justification. The answer is to ask: knows what?

    The Arminian has God knowing what the sinner (with a freewill) will do. But, in this case, God is justifying Abraham because God knows what God will do (not only what God will do in Abraham but mainly what God will do in Christ, knowing what Christ who is God will do.)

    So what could be the objection to that? Only if a person is so much a nominalist that they define God’s sovereignty in terms of God’s freewill to do anything, despite God’s promises or God’s nature, if they deny that God has a character.

    David Bishop: With this time-gap, it’s on our end, but does this mean it’s also on God’s end? Only if God is restricted by time like we are. Is not a time-gap for Him though if He is not restricted by time. Correct?

    mark: I think you know I won’t agree with that. Let me say it my way: though God is not restricted by time, God knows time, and does things in time, and God does not do everything at one time, God does not do everything all the time. Seriously, how else explain the “fore” in foreknowledge? I guess you could say that the “fore” only applies to us.

    But that’s a dangerous slope. When we say, yes, that’s the way the Bible says, but it’s only baby-talk so we can understand it, that’s not the way it really is. 1. How then have we found out the way it really is? 2. How then we can take seriously what we are calling “baby talk”?

    (of course let me say right now, you didn’t call it that, I extrapolated….

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