Apology for True Christian Divinity: Proposition 7 Concerning Justification

As many as resist not this Light, but receive the same, it becomes in them a holy, pure, and spiritual birth, bringing forth holiness, righteousness, purity, and all those other blessed fruits, which are acceptable to God, by which holy birth, to wit, Jesus Christ formed within us, and working his works in us, as we are sanctified, so are we justified in the sight of God, according to the apostle's words: "But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Cor. 6:11). Therefore it is not by our works wrought in our will, nor yet by good works, considered as of themselves; but by Christ, who is both the gift and the giver, and the cause producing the effects in us, who, as he hath reconciled us while we were enemies, doth also in his wisdom save us, and justify us after this manner, as saith the same apostle elsewhere, "According to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Tit. 3:5).

http://www.qhpress.org/texts/barclay/apology/prop7.html

I Corinthians 6:11. And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (NRSV)

Titus 3:5. he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. (NRSV)

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Your understanding of when the body came into existence is consistent with probably everyone else's but mine.   I don't believe the body came into existence until verse 3:21.   That's why my friends don't take me seriously. :)

"My own a biblical go-to would be the creation story. God fashioned a clay image and breathed into it and it became a living soul. I take that to mean that a "living soul" is a matter infused with the breath of God (spirit). When we die the body returns to dust and the spirit returns to God. The soul — the dynamic union of the two — is gone in the same way a fist disappears when you open your hand."

So you consider "The Fall" to be a fall from the spiritual into the material? If I'm reading you right — essentially follow the Gnostic interpretations of scripture.

I consider pretty much everything in the first 11 chapters of Genesis to be metaphor and story. So I'm not really sure what to do with this. I'm not, for example, ready to identify matter with evil in spirit was good. Which is why I make the opposite of spiritual unspiritual rather than material.



James C Schultz said:

Your understanding of when the body came into existence is consistent with probably everyone else's but mine.   I don't believe the body came into existence until verse 3:21.   That's why my friends don't take me seriously. :)

"And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them."

"and clothed them" would be a parallel poetic line, not necessarily anything that happens next. Those garments would most naturally be what He clothed them with. "Made them garments of skin" wouldn't make much sense if those garments were just going to be tossed away unused...

Then, of course if you consider the Incredible String Band scripture (as I do sometimes, but not taking that to mean 'infallible') there is:

"Earth water fire and air
Met together in a garden fair
Put in a basket bound with skin
If you answer this riddle
If you answer this riddle,you'll never begin"

which does suggest a view of the body-as-trap, a notion found in various ancient traditions.

--------

Here's how I might combine Hinduism & Buddhism with Judaism & Christianity: We've got these Eastern traditions which aim either for getting adsorbed back into Divine bliss -- but if we're still attached to Earthly life (Hey, if your complaint is that you'll have to leave, does that suggest that Earthly life is a bad thing?) then we have to be reborn. So at least in the simplest version, people are supposed to yoge and meditate until they don't need to get reborn anymore.

This contrasts sharply with the Jewish-&-Christian belief that the Creation is good. Escaping it to become an eternally-ecstatic bliss-bunny is not the ideal in these religions -- because they hold that Earthly life is a good thing, if one can keep in right relationship with God -- and that anyone who died for the sake of righteous ends will get resurrected.

However... There is good news and bad news about life in this physical universe. There's great beauty in it, and incredible inconvenience. What it's really good for is:  sending us lots of nasty challenges useful for grinding off our human rough edges.

Suppose that we see so little true "progress" in the personnel and circumstance of this world... precisely because  this is where souls are sent for rehab. If we learn to live in a way that doesn't make life Hell -- then we might be reborn someplace where the challenges involve less pain, more learning and creating?

And if all we are seeking by moving onto the next level is to avoid the suffering of this level? Then we haven't learned the lesson needed to move on (says your Buddhist/Hindu friends).



Forrest Curo said:

Suppose that we see so little true "progress" in the personnel and circumstance of this world... precisely because  this is where souls are sent for rehab. If we learn to live in a way that doesn't make life Hell -- then we might be reborn someplace where the challenges involve less pain, more learning and creating?

I'm beginning to enjoy this.

What Forest says is right on:

"What it's really good for is:  sending us lots of nasty challenges useful for grinding off our human rough edges"

It's not about evil and good.  That's one of those distractions that throw us off course.  It wasn't even about disobeying God and eating of the forbidden fruit.  It was and always is about the two commandments Jesus gave us.

First off the reason it wasn't good for Adam to be alone was he could never become all he was created to be without someone else he could love as much as himself "  bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh".  Unfortunately when Adam had the opportunity to lay down his life for Eve, he threw her under the bus and here we are.  Each of us gets all those nasty challenges that give us one opportunity after another to become more loving.  To reach our full potential we don't just need to do loving acts but our very nature has to be transformed to one of love.  From the Psalmist prayer of "Create in my a clean heart Oh Lord' to "being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" to " God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him".  It's never been more complicated than that.  We just have to keep our eye on the ball.  The material world is where we have to work things out and with Christ in us, the Hope of Glory we will do that. 

What I left out in my last reply: This world is supposed to become "as it is in Heaven."We're supposed to pray for that; and when we pray for what God intends, it won't be in vain.

That is, it's about learning to love people as-is and the Creation we've been placed in, so that God's intention for us and this place is entirely fulfilled. We may or may not be meant to live here specifically forever; but Christianity is not about getting evacuated and not caring what happens here.

Fervency is essential in life as well as in prayer (Jas_5:16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. )  Life itself is in some ways a prayer.  To my way of thinking fervency is another word for Focus.  We must be focused on the things in our lives that are important to out development as more loving beings.  Things that will transform us from glory to glory under the leading of the Holy Ghost.  There is so much going on that distracts us to the point where we can get irritated when confronted with the important challenge and miss the opportunity completely.  It's like a baseball player who gets distracted by a pitch meant to move him off the plate to the point where he isn't focused on the next pitch that comes sailing into his best hitting zone and gets frozen.  We have to recognize when life is pushing our buttons to distract us from loving God and our neighbor.  FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS!!!!

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