What did Jesus accomplish by His life, death and resurrection? Did He accomplish a potential forgiveness that is true only when we believe it? Is our faith like some kind of magical genie that brings the forgiveness of sins into existence? If the forgiveness of sins is not already there, what is faith to believe?
[Four questions in a row are the hallmark of freshman English essays, bad freshman essays. These matters that stir Pederson's mind every few months are answered by Romans 4:24-25, not by isolating Romans 4:25 and calling it a "diamond."
|Luther nailed UOJ to a post 500 years ago.|
Our faith does not bring the forgiveness of sins into existence. On the contrary it is the forgiveness of sins that brings our faith into existence. Our Catechism has a name for it: The means of grace. St Paul writes: “How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?… Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Rom 10:14, 17).
[GJ - This is the same argumentation style of the apostate liberal mainliners, who say, "The Bible did not fall from heaven." If Ron could stick to the plain words of the Bible, he might have something. The Atonement is the Gospel, and those Gospel Promises create and sustain faith in Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit in the Word. His antagonism toward faith is a hostility toward the Word of God, because the purpose of the entire Bible is to create faith in the Savior. Pulling the Means of Grace out, after the fact, after declaring the entire world righteous without faith, is no better than grabbing a rabbit's foot.]
In human relationships one person sins against another person. Sometimes the person sinned against forgives the person who sinned against him. Whether or not the person who sinned believes it or accepts the forgiveness has nothing to do with the fact that he has been forgiven by the person he sinned against. The person who sinned had no part in the other person forgiving him. The forgiveness came from the heart of the person sinned against.
["All analogies limp," which is a good saying for those who build their examples around their pet dogmas from Halle University.]
We sinned against God. The whole human race sinned against God. God says to the whole world, I forgive you. You may not believe it or accept it but that doesn’t change what God has determined in His heart. “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them” (2 Cor 5:19). “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Rm 3:23-24).
[Religious fiction is difficult to swallow. Luther rephrases the Word often, but always in a way true to the Word, not something appealing to a faction.]
That does not mean that the whole human race is saved and will be heaven. Only those who put their personal trust in God’s forgiveness will be saved. Those who reject it will have to pay for their own sins in the torments of hell for all eternity.
[Ron is even a heretic by WELS standards and by LutherQuest standards. According to their beloved JP Meyer, everyone in Hell is a guilt-free saint.]
That is what Jesus accomplished by His life, death and resurrection. We sinned against God and He says to us, to all people, to the whole world, I forgive you in Christ. Confess you sin and believe it, trust in it and “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29).
What is received must be the same as what is offered (forgiveness received/forgiveness offered) or my faith is seen as the cause for God forgiving me --- A change in His heart from not forgiving me to forgiving me.
[Who declared this in the Word and the Confessions? I would love to know so I could look it up.]
I think where the confusion comes in is that an unbeliever is forgiven by God but not forgiven personally. That’s where the objective justification/subjective justification distinction is important. The objective justification part always remains true but the subjective justification part is true only when it is believed.
[The Lutheran Reformation took place, and the Book of Concord was written, without these invidious terms - Objective and Subjective Justification - both of which deny and repudiate Justification by Faith. After 1580, the first version of UOJ emerged from the work of "former" Calvinist Samuel Huber. The Lutherans repudiated this Huber UOJ and defenestrated him.)
It’s like the illustration I gave about someone who sinned against another person and the person who was sinned against forgives the person who sinned against him. When the person who sinned rejects the forgiveness he is not forgiven personally (subjectively) yet he remains forgiven by the person he sinned against (objectively). Likewise, personal faith in God’s forgiveness is necessary for a sinner to be forgiven subjectively and be a Christian and saved.
[Now we begin to smell the roast. Faith is faith in universal-absolution-without-faith, making a decision for UOJ.]
| We are justified before we are born!|
So why do we baptize babies?
Objective justification isn’t as offensive to human reason as the doctrines of the incarnation of Christ, the Trinity and especially the doctrine of election are. It’s just that the devil creates havoc here where the rubber meets the road, on a phenomenon that otherwise is not uncommon in the human experience.
Finally, there are different ways of expressing the Gospel. The Gospel is like a diamond. It has many sides and angles that show a different aspect of it’s (sic) beauty. Expressions like “Christ atoned for the sins of the world” or “Christ paid for the sins of the world” or “Christ won the forgiveness of sins for the world” and “the sins of world are forgiven in Christ” are all different ways of expressing the same Gospel.
[Sorry Ron, your English is as bad in content as it is in grammar. Theology is the grammar of faith, as Lutheran theologian Paul L. Holmer taught. Your grammar is bad. It is not the same to say "Christ died for the sins of the world" and "the sins of the world are forgiven in Christ." Of course, "in Christ" means among believers, but Jay Webber, the ELS UOJ salesman thinks "in Christ" includes the unbelieving world.]