Vol.XI No.IX Pg.5
November 1974

Are God's Ways Equal?

Robert F. Turner

This page may prove me no classic theologian, but I believe the ordinary reader can get my points. It is high time we asked ourselves a few basic questions about the man God made, and how God deals with him.

Did God make Adam so that he was incapable of doing rightly? If so, is not God responsible for his sin? In fact, is not mans capacity to willingly serve God the very basis for divine justice in condemning man when he sins? The consequences of Adams sin, passed upon succeeding generations by environment, is not here under consideration. We ask, is it inherent in the God-made nature of man that he will sin? The concept is contrary to revelations of divine truth.

Does God impute the sin of one man to another? Ezekiel answers: The soul that sinneth, it shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father Etc., (18:19-f.). Then where do we get this ...disobedience of Adam is imputed to the whole human race...? (Way of Salvation, K. C. Moser) Is it the inherent nature of men to die spiritually because Adam sinned? Rom. 5:12 refers to a death that is passed upon all men, for that all have sinned even though some sins were not after the similitude of Mans. . there being no codified law from Adam to Moses. THAT I have sinned, is not the basic question here. Rather, does God count me a sinner because of my own sin, or because someone else sinned? The same justice of God that condemns sin will, in principle, hold a man guiltless until he sins. If not, why not? Ezekiel concludes his arguments on the fairness of God by saying, Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord Jehovah. (18:30) In the New Testament we are assured of the righteous judgement of God who will render to every man according to his deeds, (Rom. 2:5-11; 2 Cor. 5:l0).

From childhood I have been taught that mans righteousness, no matter how wonderful, is inadequate. He does sin, and must depend upon the Lamb of God, offered for sins, as Savior. No ordinary man has lived so as to merit justification— freedom from guilt. He is washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. In 40 years of preaching I have never been conscious of teaching salvation in any way other than through trust in Jesus Christ. Ill continue to do so.

But where do the scriptures teach that what man does in submissive obedience to the Lord, is filthy rags? Not Isa. 64:5-f., which begins thou meetest (sparest, f.n.) him that... worketh righteousness. Note Phil. 3:9, which contrasts the self-sufficient concept of righteousness (Do. .All of Gal. 3:10— freedom from guilt via perfect life) with the righteousness attainable through trust in the crucified Christ for forgiveness. God does not disparage whatever righteousness man can do. He commends this kind of life (1 Jn. 3:7).

Brethren are now being taught concepts of grace which find their basis in false doctrines of inherited depravity — denying the free agency of man and the fairness of God.