Vol.XIV No.V Pg.6
July 1977

Saved By Forgiveness

Robert F. Turner

In Rom. 2:13 (A.S.) the words just and justified nave footnotes. We are reminded that these could be translated, righteous and accounted righteous. In Rom. 3:20, and again in 3:2, the same rotation is found. God's plan for man's justification, and for man's righteousness, are the same. Whatever it takes to bring about his justification, it takes to make him righteous.

Some tell us that the Son of God was given a "body" so that lie could live a perfect life in our stead; and that lire, "imputed" to us, becomes our righteousness. Heb. 10: 5-7 is cited, but the context there clearly refers to body offered on the cross so that sins maybe offered (vs. 10,12f) But does not Rom. 3:26 say that it is by "his righteousness" that God can be both just and the justifier of the believer? Yes, and "his righteousness is "for the remission of sins". Reference is to the obedience of Christ upon the cross — to the shedding of His blood. Compare 3:24 with 5:9.

Rom. 4: is the "imputation" chapter and here Paul clearly identifies the operation as one of forgiveness. Instead of imputing the perfect life of Christ to us, God does NOT impute sin Compare Rom. 4:6-8, with 2 Cor. 5:18-21 and see that God "reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ," the process being, "not imputing their trespasses unto them." And how could he, in justice, not impute our trespasses." His Son, who knew no sin, became our sin (offering), "that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." In previous articles (v.14, no. 4) we have shown that Christ lived a perfect life as His own obligation, qualifying Himself as an offering for the sins of others.

Now look at Romans 5, A.S.: "the free gift came of many trespasses unto justification." The footnote reminds us that the Greek here is "an act of righteousness," which would make it refer to Christ's death. Such is strengthened by v.18, where the text reads, through one act of righteousness." In such a setting we can confidently affirm that "through the obedience of the one shall the many be made righteous" (v.19), refers to the obedience of Christ unto death — giving Himself upon the cross for our sins. Jesus faced the cross with the dread of death common to man, but determined to do the Father's will. He made the Father's will His own will (Matt. 26:39-f; Heb. 5:8-9), and "bare our sins in His body upon the tree, that we, having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness" (1 Pet. 2:24).

The teaching that the perfect pre-crucifixion life of Christ is somehow credited to us for our righteousness, has its root in Calvinism. Denying any "human implementation," and seek to explain t h e "preservation of the elect, this fanciful dream developed. It is tragic to see gospel preachers, caught in the web of such error.

The MEANS of our redemption is Jesus Christ, "delivered up for our trespasses, and raised for our justification" (Rom, 4:25). (We are saved by HIS life — after death.) THE OPERATION is forgiveness (via the offering and intercession, Heb. 7:22-f) and the CONDITION is an obedient faith.