Practical Righteousness versus Legal Righteousness. What is the Difference?
Free will Arminians do not believe that ANYBODY was IN FACT redeemed at the cross. They think that it was only a POTENTIAL redemption. They think that Christ did his part, but it means absolutely nothing of any value unless and until man decides of his own will to believe (all on his own) and put his faith in Jesus. Only then (according to Arminians) does the death of Christ take effect to redeem them.
THIS is the truly heretical view of what the Reformation theologians condemned as heresy.
And where most rabid "free willers" get confused and so wound up about is that they think when it says "faith was imputed to him (Abraham) for righteousness" (Romans 4:9 and 22), or “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness” (Romans 10:10) they think this is legal or judicial righteousness.
It is not. The ONLY legal, forensic or judicial righteousness is that which Christ obtained for his elect on the cross when "he was made sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 2 Corinthians 5:21.
When it speaks of the righteousness of faith, and "faith was imputed to him for righteousness", this is talking about PRACTICAL righteousness; not legal or judicial righteousness.
IF it were referring to legal righteousness before God, and all it takes is personal faith, then there would not be ANY need at all for Christ to die on the cross. All we would have to do then would be to believe God to become righteous.
These are deep truths but they are there in God's word. But “free will” Arminians can't see these things. They are blind to them.
Back in Genesis when we are told that Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6), this is NOT legal or judicial righteousness. It is personal, practical righteousness.
Again, If all that is needed to be righteous before God is faith, then there is no need for Christ to offer himself as a sacrifice for sin. We would just have to have faith to be righteous and nothing else would be required.
It is the same type of PRACTICAL or personal righteousness we see in the case of Phinehas in Psalms 106. Notice what it says.
30 Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed.
31 And THAT WAS COUNTED UNTO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS unto all generations for evermore.
This refers to what took place as recorded in Numbers 25:6-8 where we read:
"And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;
8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.
Phinehas took a javelin and ran it through two people who were engaged in fornication. And this act of vengeance for God was counted unto him for righteousness.
Is this legal or judicial righteousness? Of course not. It was his practical righteousness.
The harlot Rahab was justified by works when she betrayed her own countrymen and received the spies of the children of Israel who were about to overthrow her home town of Jericho and kill all the inhabitants. (James 2:25)
She was shown to be righteous by this act of treason to her own people. Again, was this legal or judicial righteousness before God? No, of course not. It was her own practical act of righteousness.
Many people just do not know their Bibles very well and only God can open our eyes to these truths he has revealed to us in this amazing book we call The Bible.
The ONLY legal and judicial righteousness any sinner has before a holy and sin hating God is the righteousness of Christ that he obtained for his elect people at the cross where we (IF we are among God's elect) were quickened TOGETHER WITH HIM and raised up from the dead TOGETHER WITH HIM and are now seated in the heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 2:5-6)
"Free will" Arminians can't put all these things together or understand them. They end up pitting some verses against other verses as though the Bible continually contradicts itself, and they ignore the many clearly verses that teach that ALL that the Father gives to the Son WILL come to him (John 6:37) and that Christ says that he gives eternal life TO AS MANY AS THOU HAST GIVEN HIM (John 17:2) and so many other verses that speak of election and predestination.
If a person was not IN FACT redeemed at the cross by the blood of Jesus, then they never will be and they are no Christian at all.
And Arminians teach and believe that NOBODY was IN FACT redeemed at the cross and justified by the resurrection.
Charles Spurgeon explained this very well in this very short video, that I have posted before and most rabid free willers won't even look at, even though it is only 2 and 1/2 minutes long. Most "free will" Fantasy lovers are WILLINGLY ignorant.
"Limited Atonement"? or "Particular Redemption"? See this 2 and 1/2 minute Youtube response by Charles Spurgeon. Which side really limits the atonement? According to free-will Arminian theology, the death of Christ actually saved no one!
Arminians and other “free will” proponents also confuse the Biblical terms of Redemption and Salvation, Positional Truth and Practical Truth. They are not the same thing.
See “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord SHALL BE SAVED.: Romans 10:13
"He that hath ears to hear, let him here." Luke 8:8
ALL of grace, believing the Book.
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