Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Piper and Wright - post 3

2. How Law Court terminology works: Now if righteousness is defined as the type of behavior that is always fitting to the glory of God, it makes sense that humans might take on the righteousness of Christ. Christ did everything in accordance with God’s will . . . Jesus always did what was right. He was perfectly righteousness. So when we talk about God as the judge in a courtroom and we argue that He makes a declaration in regards to our position before him, this is how the court scene works. Though we (all sinful humans) have not done right (we are thus unrighteous), God declares us not guilty of sin because of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. But he doesn’t look down just at SIN-FREE people . . . He also looks down and sees righteous people. But it is not our righteousness!! He sees Christ’s righteousness. Jesus’ perfect life is the only possible way we can account for righteousness! Here’s a few verses that give this idea some weight . . . “God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21, see Piper’s argument for this to be interpreted as us taking on Christ’s righteousness, 174-80). “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:21-22).

3. Justification is the gospel: Wright argues that the gospel that is pronounced is simply, “Jesus is Lord.” Piper suggests that this is definitely true, but if “Jesus is Lord” and we have opposed Him and rebelled against Him by our sin, then it is nothing but dangerously bad news. For the Lord God has made it known He will pronounce damning judgment upon all who have rejected his laws. If the gospel does not include how a person comes to peace (come to rights) with the Lord of universe, it is not good news. That is,, humans can be made right through Jesus' death and life is good news . . . thus the gospel is in the traditional doctrine of justification. Romans 5:1-2 reads, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” It seems from this verse justification is HOW we have gained access to God, not just the pronouncement that it has happened. And that it happened at the moment of faith and because of faith we now have the hope of future glory.

Concluding remarks . . . final post to come

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