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Why we are credited Righteousness by Faith?

Posted by Jor-el , 01 July 2008 · 142 views

You say that sin separates us from God. What is sin? Sin is disobeying the commandment of God. It is very true that sin separates us from God because sin makes us unclean and God is completely holy. He cannot be with anyone/anything unclean.

You say that everyone goes to heaven. Heaven is the dwelling place of God. Everyone has sinned and is therefore unclean.

You say that people need to do good to get away from sin. But, if everyone goes to heaven, why would they need to get away from sin? You imply that by doing good things, we can make ourselves righteous and worthy to be with God.

You also professed to me in your IM how beautiful you found the Tanakh to be. However, you have made the Tanakh completely void and useless.

The Torah consists of the 5 books of the law; in other words Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. When Adam and Eve sinned (or disobeyed God) in the Garden of Eden, they were no longer perfect and could therefore no longer be with God. God spoke to Adam and Eve His commandment, but there was no written law until the time of Moses.

So, what about the people before Moses? While, lets look at Abraham; for you say that good works make us righteous, but the account of Abraham denies that. Abraham did not do good works to be righteous, but he trusted God. It was his faith that accounted him as being righteous. You might be thinking that this is a New Testament approach, but it isn't. Genesis 15:6, "Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness."

So here we have the concept that faith makes us righteous and not good works. Let me clarify something here that I have not done a good job of explaining. We can repent, or turn away, from our sin. However, even if we turn away from sin, we are still stained by it. Not only that, but I have never gone one day without sinning; which means that I am continually being made unclean. I could never make myself worthy enough to be in the presence of God. Now, this is where I'll bring up the sacrifices of the Tanakh. Yes there were sacrifices for sin committed in ignorance and yes, there was a sin sacrifice, but many sacrifices were for other things, such as thanksgiving, worship, or cleansing. However, as Hebrews 9:22 says, "Almost all things are, by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." (As a side note, and I made this mistake too, it is not sure who the author of Hebrews is; most scholars do not think it is Paul because the style is drastically different from Paul's letters) (As another side note, the reason for some of the differences in quotes, such as it not being word for word which isn't a problem anyways, is probably because Hebrews relies on the Septuagint to present Old Testament quotations).

Hebrews 9:22 agrees with Leviticus 17:11, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement." When someone had sinned, they were atoned by blood. When someone (such as a woman after giving birth) was unclean, they were cleansed by blood. This very much applies to our own life, in that when we sin, we are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb of God. We don't make ourselves clean. So, where does faith come into play?

Faith is complete trust in God. It is laying your life on the altar, giving up even your entire life to live for God, placing yourself in his hand, knowing that he will take good care of you. It is sacrificing yourself for the cause of Christ and knowing that his commandments are good and trusting that the Lord put them there to protect you, therefore obeying them, even though you'll still mess up at times. By trusting in God, you will take on his righteousness and therefore be able to be with him, because he is the only one who is perfect.

Now, back to this; Moses eventually comes along with the Law. Now, even though Adam and Eve and everyone else before Moses didn't have this written Law, the certainly knew they concepts of it. Anyways, the Law tells us what is right and wrong to do. It also tells us, when we do something wrong, what to do. Now, everyone who has ever lived except for Jesus Christ has broken the Law in some area. Even the big name people of the Tanakh, such as Moses and Abraham sinned (I mean God almost killed Moses on his way to Egypt because he hadn't circumcised his son). None of us are righteous, nor could we ever be righteous on our own. Back then, they all knew their sinfulness and they knew they needed a Savior. The sacrifices pointed to Christ. They just needed to have faith in what God had revealed to them. When Abraham was told to move, he trusted God, even though he did not know the whole plan and it was righteousness. Even though God's plan of salvation had not been totally revealed, they trusted what God had revealed through the Law and the prophets, and were still saved by the blood of Christ.

God is a judge (Psalm 75:7). We all deserve death for our sins; that is why the consequence of Adam and Eve disobeying God was death. But out of God's abundant grace, he made a way for us to enter into the Holy of Holies and be in his presence by his sacrifice. No one will get to heaven and say my good works have earned me a place in this kingdom.

So everything you have said has made the Law and the Tanakh flawed, ugly, void, and useless because the law shows us that we are sinners and need a savior; not that we earn our salvation. It also makes things outside of the Torah ugly, such as the book of Judges. The Israelites didn't need to start doing good works to be saved from their own sins. All they needed to do was cry out to God and he would send a deliverer. I pray that this helps.

Oh, 2 more things, I know you pretty much abhor Paul, but he is very wise. I've said this before, but Paul knew much more about Judaism then you do and he talks about some of the same problems that Jews encounter today and gives Godly answers. Some things are hard to understand though; Peter says in 2 Peter 3:16, "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction." Do be offended, but this seems to be the exact case with you. If you are totally seriously committed to the truth, then you should do a hard core study on Paul's writings.

Also, about Isaiah 2:4. This is also talked about in Micah chapter 4 and Joel chapter 3. Isaiah 2:4 says, And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." In Micah it says, "And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." Joel 3:10 says, "Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong."

It is misunderstanding of these Scriptures that will make the Anti-Christ popular and enable him to easily rise to power. Daniel 11:21 says, "In his place a despicable person will arise, on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred, but he will come in a time of tranquility and seize the kingdom by intrigue." This is a difficult subject, however, lets try to shed some light on it. I believe Isaiah 2:4 is clearly speaking of the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. If you look at the other Scriptures I gave, you see that the nations prepare to make war against God (Joel 3:9), but it will be useless because the Lord will judge them. Notice that this is "in the last days" and "the day of the Lord." Just let me know what you think of this.


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