The Legacy of Martin Luther’s Sola Fide

Some of your contentions are very good. Much like Des and Ratzlaff and later Des & Brimsmead “Verdict” mag had over “Spirit vs. Law.”
The biggest point is " By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight. Paul in Romans 13:9 is showing the proper use of law/Torah as a guide… not method of salvation… is not against Love or the Spirit.
If we have a NT tabula rosa and I ask what is love to a pagan what might the answer be? The law is simply a framework we may see as an ethical and pedagogical tool, not a means or method of salvation.
The NT church member is not under days, months, years, foods etc. of the Jewish covenant but they led of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, kindness, faith,goodness, self control can see within that thou shall not kill, steal, commit adultery,bear false witness, covet, honor thy father and mother.
And again, as mentioned before between us, no lexicon ever mentions Justification/righteous meaning.as being brought or in covenant/community membership as even NT Wright acknowledges. JBF “alone” received through the spirit by the believer is however the entrance into the community of faith of those trusting in Christ.
Those “old reformers and old Protestants” bring to us what brings us to our savior and John Newton is one example of One saved by those teachings…who despised his old life. I chose that rendition as likely Judy with the Harlem choir for that very reason! I first was greatly moved by her singing it in 1972.
Regards

Later, off to a Sunday Brunch with my lovely wife with friends.

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Wonderful song and voice. May you and your wife enjoy another grace day!

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Yes, lexically speaking. But, contextually speaking, Paul never even speaks of justification in his letters apart from the issue of who is inside and who is outside the covenant community, and on what basis.

That is the issue I have with the traditional protestant formulation. Justification is treated as a practically purely legal transaction, for the guilty individual. While I believe that this is certainly there in Galatians and Romans, Paul uses the image and concept of justification much more heavily in the context of belonging and community. If individual guilt and salvation are the main focus, all his references to God being the one God equally for Jew and Gentile through faith in Jesus become little more than theological asides and non-sequiters. However, I would suggest that they are actually Paul’s pastoral focus and aim in both these letters, justification tied integrally to his arguments. Peter at Antioch is the first place that Paul brings the issue to the table, so to speak. Justification is tied to table fellowship, equality, unity, and how can the people of God be identified…again, on what basis?

This brings up an entire change of focus for what the impact of JBF is upon the modern church. Is it simply about how guilty individuals can find acquittal in God’s court? Or does it speak more to divisions over race, theological exclusivity, gender, class, etc? Is it primarily about the individual’s eternal security, or does it speak more to the need for ecumenical reconciliation and unity as the church seeks to bear the image of God through Christ into the world, through a united diversity? I believe justification speaks more heavily to the latter, without jettisoning the former.

To me, this calls for a total reconsideration not of the reformers’ views, but of what Paul was saying in his real life, on the ground, 1st c. context, regarding the gospel, the role of the Spirit, the believing community, and JBF.

Thanks…

Frank

For Paul, the answer wasn’t primarily the guidance of the Law. It was the preaching of the crucified Christ. Christ giving himself to the lowest death in service to God and for human need is the clearest picture of love that Paul refers his churches to, over and over again. One encounters this in 1 Cor., and especially in Phil. 2, where he urges them to let this attitude to be in and among them in their relationships with one another.

The summation of the Law, you shall love your neighbor as yourself, is tied to Christ’s self giving love very clearly in Galatians, as well. When Paul speaks of the Law’s fulfillment according to this command, in Chap. 5, he speaks of it as a completed act…clearly what Christ did at the cross. This is how a former pagan would know most clearly what love really is. This was the impetus to bear one another’s burdens, and to so fulfill the Law of the Messiah.

It’s no different for us!

Frank

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Spouse and I have been reading a book called “Clash of the Covenants”. It’s very good (IMO), and not a heavy tome.

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Thank you, C.! I was about to write a pm to the 4 Musketeers and ask for reading material. You were faster.

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Your welcome! I’m sure Frank has some awesome resources. He definitely understands the differences between the OC and the NC. I always look forward to his posts, and I look forward to his suggestions.

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What I learned to love about covenant theology at RTS was the understanding of covenant continuity.
The OT contains a covenant beginning first with Adam and Eve a continuation aspects with Noah, Abraham, father of the Jews and Gentiles , Israel David and continuity in Christ bringing all into One community believing in Him.
The law doesn’t justify and neither does Christ’s example or fruits of the Spirit.
Upon believing in the promises of God one is reckoned righteous as Abraham was before Israel’s given Covenant law existed.
So Justification existed before Israel and law for being reckoned righteous.
Paul in the NT is simply “showing” how/means God justifies the ungodly and they enter into the covenant community throughout biblical history.
The Phillistines etc were not In covenant community or justified.
So, it is now God’s declaration that both Jew and greek are now in one community of faith by faith in Christ, they both are reckoned righteous, apart from law, and members of community believers.
So it isn’t and either as you put it but both/and.
Those not declared justified are not in the community of believers. They may be in “external organizations” but not the true community of believers.
The world is not “community” as relates to Christ.
They may be neighbors but not the Christian community. Just a few thoughts…
PS. Love is fulfillment of law through the Spirit. Which of the commandments is not love? We are not justified by law or love but Christ by faith…because we arent perfectly loving or perfectly full of the Spirit.

Romans 2:14,15.
Paul says that throughout human history there have been persons
unknowingly had God’s law in their hearts, and were living according
to the law written in their hearts.
Apparently God loved them and accepted their best efforts.

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Steve , Paul is simply pointing out the universal standard of moral standards. I suggest that is common grace. But note their thoughts accuse them also. It isnt God doesnt love them. He loved us all first.
Rom.3:9-20 says says jew or greek law written or unwritten says none are righteous, no not one, the whole world is guilty and accountable to him.
We have a problem so what can we do about it.
Rom.3:21-31 tells us what God did on our behalf and how we/humankind are to respond.
As the jailer asked what must I do to be saved. Believe on Jesus and you will be saved.

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