The Quotable Round-Up #69

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Hey people here’s your favorite post. Hot and fresh quotes from the book “Long Before Luther” by Nathan Busenitz . If you enjoyed these quotes, please buy the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon. Feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!

“The church fathers speak of the sinner’s need for a righteousness that cannot be found in either his own merits or the law. Speaking of the unattainable standard of God’s perfect righteousness, Origen explains that to be justified before people is different from being justified before God. “In comparison with other people,” he writes, “one person can be deemed just if he has lived relatively free from faults; but in comparison with God, not only is a person not justified, but even as Job says, ‘But the stars are not pure before him.’” Origen explains that while we may seem pure in comparison to other people, and vice versa, we can never be pure in comparison to God, who is perfectly pure.”

“The forensic nature of justification in the patristic literature can be seen in at least two ways: through the use of law court terminology and through the contrast drawn between justification and condemnation.”

“The Reformers recognized that Jesus did not actually become a sinner on the cross; yet God punished Him as if He were a sinner so that, in Christ, believers might be treated as if they were righteous. The sins of believers were imputed to Christ at the cross so that, because He bore the punishment for those sins, His righteousness might be imputed to those who believe in Him.”

“The Reformers taught that justification occurs at the moment of salvation, which means the believer is immediately declared righteous and restored to God’s favor. Sanctification, by contrast, takes place progressively over a believer’s entire life, and results in his or her growth in personal holiness through the power of the Holy Spirit. The regenerated heart, having received new life in Christ, is able to respond in obedience. to God and grow in godliness.”

“When justification and sanctification are confused, the inevitable conclusion is that the believer’s personal holiness contributes, at least in part, to his or her right standing before God. This legalistic notion was something the Reformers passionately sought to guard against.”

“Melanchthon and Calvin give us two clear examples of a Reformation understanding of the forensic nature of justification. In the court of heaven, sinners are guilty and worthy of condemnation. Even their self-righteous works are like filthy rags in the sight of a holy God (see Isa. 64:6). Yet by grace through faith in Christ, sinners are pardoned by the heavenly Judge and declared to be righteous. Being justified, therefore, means to be acquitted of sin and accepted by God as if we were righteous, because we are clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ.”

“Most Roman Catholics viewed justification as a formative process that involved sinners being “made righteous” over the course of their entire lives. Consequently, in the Roman Catholic view, believers contributed to their justification through the acts of penance and good works they performed. The Reformers rejected that notion, arguing instead that justification is an immediate change in the sinner’s status before God, to which believers contribute nothing. It is entirely a work of God.”

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