Christ’s Works or Christ’s Faith or Christ’s Death?

Philippians 3: 8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, in order that I gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is THROUGH FAITH in Christ—the righteousness FROM God

Among those of us who agree that there is a difference between the imputation of the righteousness and the righteousness, and who also agree that RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE JUDICIAL BASIS FOR JUSTIFICATION, is there agreement about the nature of the righteousness?

Does Christ have a righteousness of His own from His keeping the law?
Or does the righteousness of Christ come from His death as satisfaction of the law?

Or Both?

Does Christ’s death only gets us forgiveness?

Does Christ’s death only get us back to where Adam was before Adam was before Adam sinned?

Does Christ’s death only return us back to only sinless but not righteous?

But didn’t Adam before Adam’s sin have righteous fellowship with God?

Yes, God not only commanded Adam not to eat from the tree but also to “have dominion”, but did Adam need more than Adam already had to be righteous? Did Adam have to do something to stay righteous? Did Adam have to NOT DO something to stay righteous?

Genesis 2: 15 The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”

Genesis 1: 28 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.

Even though Christ’s death was successful , did Christ’s death only “accomplish” getting our old clothes off and getting us clean?
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Is it true that Christ’s death does not give us new clothes?

Is it only Christ’s acts of resisting Satan’s three temptations which give us the new clothes? Or was it the physical circumcision and water baptism of Christ which gives us the new clothes?

Christ’s death is not “obedience to the law”. Christ’s death is satisfaction of the law. The law requires obedience or death, the law does not say that death is obedience.

Genesis 3: 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

Genesis 3: 21 The Lord God made clothing out of skins for Adam and his wife, and the Lord God clothed them.

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2 Comments on “Christ’s Works or Christ’s Faith or Christ’s Death?”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    Some Reformed folks are so unhappy with the idea that faith is a condition that also deny that faith in Galatians 3 is the human act of believing. I too deny that faith is an instrumental condition before justification. But take a few minutes to read Gal 2:16, 3:22; Romans 3:22,26; Phil 3:9; Ephesians 3:12. When I look at all the texts together, I cannot deny that faith often means the human act of an individual elect person hearing, understanding, and believing the gospel.

    Here’s the question. Is Christ the subject or object of faith? The view I oppose says we should read all these verses as saying, “Christ’s faith.” Some of the Reformed people who say this remind us that God gives us faith, that God is the source of faith. I agree that faith is God’s gift to the elect. But Christ does not believe for us. Christ makes us both able and willing to believe the gospel so that we do believe the gospel. Christ indwelling in us does not believe, and so I disagree with Primitive Baptists who deny that the elect need to hear or understand or believe the gospel.

    But many who agree with me that the elect need to believe the gospel still insist that “faith” in these texts means “Christ’s faith”, either in the sense that He is the source of my faith, or in the sense of Christ Himself believing. But no other texts refer to the act of Christ believing, unless these texts do.

    James 2:1 tells us, “show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” I think that Christ is the object of faith, and that our faith is in/toward Christ and not toward His act of believing.

    Romans 3:3 does refer to God’s faithfulness. “Does their unfaithfulness nullify the faithfulness of God? The gospel is about Christ’s death as that which satisfies God’s justice. Justice demands death because of the elect’s sins imputed to Christ. To believe that gospel promise is to believe in Christ’s death. We can’t have a gospel which speaks generically about God’s faithfulness without talking about Christ’s death.

    Romans 3:25,26. “God put forward Christ as a propitiation by his blood to show God’s righteousness, to be RECEIVED by faith.” The receiving here is the human act of believing. Yes, God is faithful to His law and therefore just, but also God does not justify all sinners, but only of those sinners who have faith in Christ and His propitiation. This language no more makes faith the condition of salvation than does John 3:16. God does not love everybody. God only loves the elect, and the elect are identified as those who believe the gospel. There is no reason not to talk about election in John 3 or Romans 3, but also there is no reason not to talk about “as many as” believe the gospel.

    Some Reformed people, to avoid making faith a condition of salvation, tell us that the continual faith in the gospel by the elect is a work. They do this in order to prove that the elect are saved not by believing but by the work of Christ. For example, Harold Camping quotes John 6:28-28, “ What shall we do to do the works of God? “ Jesus answered and said unto them, “This is the work of God, that ye believe in Him whom He has sent.” Then Camping quotes Phil 2:13, “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”

    Then Camping goes to James about faith working and then says this proves that our human act of believing is no part of salvation. He claims that it’s Christ’s faith that saves. The logic is clear. The elect are saved by Christ’s work. And then Camping reminds us that Christ’s faith is Christ’s work.

    II Peter 1:1,“ To those who have obtained faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

    Romans 4:24-25 “IT will be counted to us who believe in Him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised up for our justification.”

    1. Christ and His death are the IT. Faith is not the IT. Christ and His death are the object of faith. But Christ and His death are the IT credited by God.

    2. We can distinguish but never separate His person and work. Also we can distinguish but never separate his death and his resurrection.

    3. God counts according to truth. God counts righteousness as righteousness! a. The righteousness God counted is not our righteousness (not our acts of faith) but Christ’s death legally “transferred” to us. When Christ legally marries us, what is His still belongs to Christ but now ours also. b. Justification means that God imputes this righteousness in time to the elect


  2. Mark:

    Your comment is so meaty that it deserves to be a separate post in its own right!


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