Dec 17, 2008

Justification unto Life

"Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." (Romans 5: 18 KJV)

Those who promote a false Calvinistic "ordo salutis" affirm dogmatically that regeneration precedes faith, but that adoption follows faith. So, when they read such passages as John 1: 12, which says "to as many as received him, to them gave he the right (privilege) to become the children of God," they affirm that this becoming "children" of God has no reference to becoming so by the new birth, or by the divine begetting, or by regeneration.

Thus, this paradigm avows that one is not begotten by faith, but will avow that the born again soul is one who can, after birth, become a child of God by faith in the sense of adoption. The advocates of this faulty paradigm have no reluctance to avow that one is "adopted by faith," or "justified by faith," or "sanctified (washed) by faith," but will not allow that one is "begotten by faith."

There are lots of systemic problems with this order of things.

I have noticed in previous writings how it is problematic to place justification after regeneration and sanctification.

Is sanctification a part of regeneration? Does not Paul speak of the "washing of regeneration"? (Titus 3: 5)

If one is sanctified in regeneration, and if faith and justification follow regeneration, then we have placed sanctification before justification. This however cannot be, for justification is the grounds upon which God is free to regenerate and cleanse the soul. Forgiveness must precede regeneration in the order of the divine mind and working.

In the passage cited above, does "life" come after, or go before, "justification"? Are we regenerated unto justification? No. Justification is "unto" life, or unto regeneration.

So, if we affirm that we are "justified by faith," then we must say that we are "justified by faith unto life." Or, as the NIV renders it - "justification that brings life for all men."

To affirm that one becomes alive (by birth or regeneration) and then become justified, is to reverse what Paul stated. The passage would have to be rewritten to say - "life unto justification."

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