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Calvin Inst -IV:11-14 Justification by Faith

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Questions for Reflection and Discussion
1. What do phrases like “reckoned righteous” and “imputation of Christ’s righteousness” mean? Do we do enough with the “acceptance” dimension of justification?
2. What is the difference between “Christ in the believer” versus “the believer in Christ”?
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Galatians 3:8 ESV
And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”
Luke 16:15 ESV
And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
Ephesians 1:5–6 ESV
he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Romans 3:26–28 ESV
It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
Romans 4:4–7 ESV
Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;
Romans 5:19 ESV
For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
Romans 8:33 ESV
Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
Romans 10:5–6 ESV
For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down)
2 Corinthians 5:18–21 ESV
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
These are some of the texts Calvin comments upon. Why is the doctrine of “essential righteousness” (a la Osiander) so dangerous? (Note: It is promoted today by the “Exchanged Life” teaching.)
3. Does the modern church today think of God as wrathful, needing to be appeased?
. Does the modern church today think of God as wrathful, needing to be appeased? 4. Is the church or the world interested in the question of justification? Does modern crusade evangelism preach “God” the way Calvin does? Should it? 5. Why is it false to say that justification by faith alone leads to cockiness, presumption, or smugness? 6. Have you ever thought of your works as “justified”? How does this help bring assurance to doubting believers? 7. Many modern Christians are bored with the doctrine of justification by faith alone. In former times, people sacrificed their lives for it. What accounts for this boredom, i.e., what are the factors, social and theological, that lie behind this
4. Is the church or the world interested in the question of justification? Does modern crusade evangelism preach “God” the way Calvin does? Should it?
5. Why is it false to say that justification by faith alone leads to cockiness, presumption, or smugness?
6. Have you ever thought of your works as “justified”? How does this help bring assurance to doubting believers?
7. Many modern Christians are bored with the doctrine of justification by faith alone. In former times, people sacrificed their lives for it. What accounts for this boredom, i.e., what are the factors, social and theological, that lie behind this
Beach, J. Mark. Piety's Wisdom: A Summary of Calvin's Institutes with Study Questions . Reformation Heritage Books. Kindle Edition.
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