Adam Sophyst wrote Think Ye Theologians and asked “Can I biblically say that just as prior to our existence it was imputed upon us the guilt of Adam, likewise prior to our existence it was imputed upon us the justification of Christ?”
I made a comment and a revision. Adam has been so kind to visit with some of his further probing of my view. That usually makes me happy, and I am happy to devote a post to it.
From the comments in this blog:
[Regeneration comes after the imputed righteousness that allows for interaction with God is applied.]
I agree completely. My question still maintains of when exactly this imputation of righteousness occured.
[Man could never start over on his own, this is why the imputation of righteousness in Christ is so important. There had to be a satisfying of justice, and a place for faith to begin. The passage explains this:
“as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”]
I have never really thought of it as this; rather, I have never worded it as such. ‘There had to be a satisfying of justice, and a place for faith to begin.’
I like that.
Although do we not normally consider the satisfying of justice to be that act of Jesus’ sacrifice upon the cross? And do we not normally consider our faith to begin in Christ? What then hinders me from saying that not only the satisfying of justice and the beginning of faith but the imputation of righteousness (which I would say is synonymous with the satisfying of justice) occured at the same time [as opposed to different scattered periods throughout history,] that time being upon the cross?
Faithis imputed by the vehicle of faith- which results in regeneration.] revised on his comments: [I meant righteousness is imputed by the vehicle of faith.]
I understand you corrected this; good, I was thoroughly confused. Although, you make the statement that righteousness is imputed by the vehicle of faith; may I ask for Scripture? You point to John three, yet I need you to be more specific please.
Also, I like how you use ‘free moral agency’; what are your reasonings for doing so? May I ask if this ‘free moral agency’ belief of yours discredits the belief in ‘freewill’ or ‘freechoice’ as it would commonly be called? How do you make the distinctions?
For reasons found in several scriptures I believe that all imputed righteousness hinges upon the cross. If you remember In Isaiah 6 “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.”
How is it that Isaiah’s sins were purged, and not covered? This is the altar before the LORD. As the lamb was sacirficed from the foundation of the world. God calls things done before they manifest in time. I believe this is the sacrifice of Christ offered up in its time, but the very coals held grace throughout all time.
This is based upon the complete faithfulness of the promises that God made from the time of the fall.
Paul makes clear that the imputation of righteousness is recorded in the life of Abraham. But did regeneration? Before Christ’s incarnation would that be possible?
In the John 3 passage there is information on being born again. “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Previously it is said that the Spirit was with men, but after the cross, Jesus tells His disciples that the Spirit will be in them. Pentecost came after the cross.
Even though there is a sequence in the scriptures, it seems that it is all encompassed within Christ and sometimes things happen out of sequence, so I see no reason why imputation and regeneration couldn’t be simultaneous. See Cornelius in Acts 10.
But I think the imputation of righteousness extends thorughout the ages through faith in God. This explains the righteousness imputed to Old Testament saints, because we know they were men like us with foibles and even outright moral failure. I think it is important to see that God is not arbitrary. He is just and has a jurisprudence.
You ask about the distinctions between free moral agency, free choice, and free will. I think I would say that the latter can have boundaries and barriers outside of oneself, through circumstances, others will, etc. I think that God has set inviolable boundaries around free moral agency: the true freedom to choose or reject Him that vouchsafes it for all men at all times, with only the terrible exception of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. This is implied throughout the New Testament. Men are continually beseeched to repent, through even the worst of woes in Revelation. That implies freedom to change.
The scripture in Romans 12 speaks of the imputation through faith explained through the account of Abraham, the John 3 scripture “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” says as much.
[edit: I want to add that this condemnation is volitional. It is when men choose to reject God, so I do not agree with a concept of original sin which says babies are condemned. As I wrote in my comments, sin is not imputed, it is passed down as a nature, a predisposition. We are judged on our works, an infant has no volitional works by which to be condemned]
So faith is the point where one believes on God and His truth that He imputes righteousness. My question would be more in the terms… there are those who think that this is eternal. I think free moral agency is in force until we seal our lifes conviction with death or the second coming of Christ ( whichever ushers in our eternal state).
In speaking of Abraham we have to remember that Jesus said ‘”He saw my day and rejoiced in it”
I would say the most important point in your actual question is that until Jesus physically went to the cross and shed His blood there was no justice satisfied.
I think that is what made Gethsemene of such great importance