Monday, March 28, 2011
Active Obedience Imputation Is Not Biblical - Part 2: "The Tradition"
Here's my radical theory:
The Westminster Confession of Faith TRADITION of Active Obedience Imputation has made "the Word of God of none effect", and those who teach Active Obedience Imputation are not as Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone as the final authority) as they think they are.
Oh, they MEAN to be Sola Scriptura, but they will not go against the "Great Confessions" and will not bow the knee of Active Obedience Imputation to the Scriptures, which NOWHERE say that Christ's Active Obedience was imputed to us.
It's His RIGHTEOUSNESS that was imputed to us, and that Righteousness was ALWAYS His. One doesn't GROW in righteousness. You are either righteous or you're not. And Christ was ALWAYS righteous.
Three things the issue IS NOT:
1. It’s not a question of whether Christ obeyed the Law perfectly. Of course He did.
2. It’s not a question of whether Christ imputed His Righteousness to us. Of course He did. That’s Biblical Justification.
3. It’s not a question of “denying Active Obedience”. Of course Christ “actively obeyed”.
Three things the issue IS:
1. Was it Christ’s obedience that was imputed to us, or was it Christ’s Righteousness that was imputed to us? The Bible clearly teaches that it was His Righteousness.
2. Did Christ *achieve* or *gain* or *earn* or *eventually have*
this Righteousness to impute to us?
No! He was always Righteous. In eternity. In the womb. At birth. Throughout His life on earth. To say less, I believe, is to dishonor Him.
3. Then is His life of obedience, that is, His perfect Active Obedience, important?
Yes, of course, because it DEMONSTRATES His Righteousness -- this Righteousness that He ALWAYS had, and that He imputed to us.
Here’s another exegetical slant that may shed light:
The Old Covenant sacrifice lamb needed to be “without blemish”. Only such were worthy to be sacrificed for the sins of the people. They had to be examined to SHOW that they were without blemish, right?
Question: Was the little lamb without blemish *before* it was examined?
Answer: Yes! It’s examination only DEMONSTRATED it to be so. Likewise, Jesus DEMONSTRATED Himself to be a worthy sacrifice by His life of obedience. But was He worthy BEFORE He showed it? The Scriptures say yes. It was the SACRIFICE (through "one act" -- Rom. 5:18) of the Lamb of God that secured our Justification, and His obedience to the Law only DEMONSTRATED that He ALWAYS was Worthy.