Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Will UOJ Faces Finally Blush As They Confront the ...":
I'm relatively new to your blog, so permit me a question that you may have answered a dozen times. I mean no disrespect, as I have heard your arguments that UOJ flows from Pietism, and that you equate UOJ with salvation without faith. But I've not seen these questions answered:
What is the non-UOJ explanation of 2 Corinthians 5:19, where it says that God "reconciled the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them"? "The world" sounds pretty universal to me.
And Romans 3:24, where "ALL are justified freely by his grace." The same "all" that "have sinned," are the "all" that "are justified." Can the 2 "all"s mean 2 different groups of people?
Thanks for your explanation.
GJ - I have covered all these issues in Thy Strong Word, so feel free to read the book from the links provided. I have also addressed the same questions on this blog, although I admit that posts are difficult to find once they are buried in the past.
Reconciliation, atonement, expiation, propitiation, redemption - all are terms used for the objective truth of Christ dying on the cross for the sins of the world.
The message of reconciliation is the Gospel. The Promises of God produce faith through the work of the Holy Spirit united with the Word. That is why we call the Word an instrument or Means of Grace. UOJ Pietists declare that God has given grace or forgiveness or absolution to the entire world without the Means of Grace, without the Word, without faith.
I suggest that you read the fine points in Lenski, who said, "In the New Testament, no one is justified apart from faith."
How does your precious all turn into "many?"
KJV Romans 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
KJV Romans 5:16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
Of course the Gospel has come to all men:
KJV Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
But the rationalistic UOJ explanation is to say everyone is forgiven without faith. I have read many UOJ classic statements. They seem to revolve around logic (if there is an exchange, then everyone is forgiven) or to circle around the Synodical Conference mummies, trying to outdo them in exaggeration.
KJV Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Whoa. I thought everyone was declared righteous, forgiven, absolved. All--as in all--as in the whole world. But Paul says many, not all.
How would the Holy Spirit edit Himself? All who are justified are justified freely, without payment (pace, Holy Father in Rome). There is no way to modify that without destroying the clear meaning of the sentence. UOJ lenses find UOJ where no one else can imagine it, judging from the plain meaning of the verse.
First - the crucifixion of Christ paid the price for the sins of the world. Knowing I am a sinner, I approach God as the gracious heavenly Father who is already reconciled by the blood sacrifice of His only-begotten Son. That message of Atonement has to be universal to be in harmony with the Gospel of the Scriptures. Otherwise we have Limited Atonement, a key doctrine of traditional Calvinism.
Second - this divine gift is a great treasure, but it lies in one heap until distributed by the Holy Spirit through the Means of Grace. Those who believe the Gospel message and guard the Word, abiding in the Means of Grace, receive all the blessings of the Promises - from forgiveness of sin to eternal life. Others hear the Gospel message and find it a way to satisfy their bellies. Others fall away for many different reasons. I have known WELS and other conservative pastors who have fallen away and become haters of God, and several were Church Growthers on steroids.
Others have become Pentecostals. Professors like Valleskey owe WELS a contrite apology for thrusting Schwaermer books into the hands of impressionable students.
Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "UOJ Questions":
Anonymous, it's important to see that where you quote Romans 3:24 there are these passages which also declare forgiveness, justification and righteousness only by faith.
Romans 3:22, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:"
Romans 3:24, "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" This verse says that redemption is in Christ Jesus and verse 25 declares that Christ is our mediator (propitiation) against God's wrath only through faith, "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Again, verse 26 confirms justification only comes through faith.
Romans 3:28, "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
Romans 3:30, "Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith."
Here are significant quotes where WELS AZ/CA DP Pastor Jon Buchholz teaches the false doctrine of UOJ to the WELS pastors and laity of the WELS 2005 Convention and admits that Scripture doesn't teach that God declared the whole world forgiven. He states that Scripture doesn't say what he's teaching everyone it says.
"God has forgiven the whole world. God has forgiven everyone his sins." This statement is absolutely true! This is the heart of the gospel, and it must be preached and taught as the foundation of our faith. But here’s where the caveat comes in: In Scripture, the word "forgive" is used almost exclusively in a personal, not a universal sense. The Bible doesn’t make the statement, "God has forgiven the world."
"God has forgiven all sins, but the unbeliever rejects God’s forgiveness." Again, this statement is true—and Luther employed similar terminology to press the point of Christ’s completed work of salvation.16 But we must also recognize that Scripture doesn’t speak this way."
"God has declared the entire world righteous." This statement is true, as we understand it to mean that God has rendered a verdict of "not-guilty" toward the entire world. It is also true—and must be taught—that the righteousness of Christ now stands in place of the world’s sin; this is the whole point of what Jesus did for us at Calvary. However, once again we’re wresting a term out of its usual context. In Scripture the term "righteous" usually refers to believers. "