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Who Said That?

question%20mark.jpgWho Said That?

"This [the obedience of the One] was our Lord's death, as an act of obedience. 'He became obedient unto death, yea the death of the cross.' He was, of course, always obedient to His Father, but it cannot be too strongly stressed that His life before the cross, His 'active obedience,' as it is called, is not in any sense counted to us for righteousness. 'I delivered to you,' says Paul, 'first of all, that Christ died for our sins.' Before His death He was 'holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners.' He Himself said, 'Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.' Do you not see that those who claim that our Lord's righteous life under Moses' Law is reckoned to us for our 'active' righteousness, while His death in which He put away our sins, is, as they claim, the 'passive' side, are really leaving you, and the Lord, too, under the authority of the Law?"

Please leave your answer (guess) in the comments section below.  No google searches, please. 

Reader Comments (22)

Norman Shepherd.

You have not told us who the last quote was from yet.:(
June 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjohnny_redeemed
N.T. Wright
June 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMatt.R
I do not know. I do not care for Shepherd or Wrights theology, but ... do not throw out the baby with the bath water.

Where is there scriptural support for the active obedience being imputed? His active obedience was necessary and it is true, but it was not imputed.

This doctrine is largely based by most as being a necessity driven from a belief in the COW. The COW too, I might add is not supported by scripture.

There's my .02
June 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterrcurry71
John Wesley?

This topic keeps popping up different places. Last week on my blog someone suggested that we are not saved by Christ's active obedience which he earned on our account. I'm gonna hafta write a rebuke and exhortation to look upon Christ alone for our righteousness, which we cannot do if he has not earned our righteousness for us.

June 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy
Rich Lusk, Steven Schlissel, Steve Wilkins, etc... They all tend to fall into the same mold.
Why did Jesus have to be born at all, or be circumcised, or follow the Mosaic Law, or be redeemed by his parents at the Temple, or celebrate Passover, or become a curse for us, if His obedience to the Law before His death really doesn't do anything for us?
Matt Holst
June 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermatt holst
I guess Shepherd
June 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkeith

"Where is there scriptural support for the active obedience being imputed? His active obedience was necessary and it is true, but it was not imputed."

Romans 3 4 and 5 are are pretty clear, if you have eyes to see it.

June 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBrianR
Doubtless this comes from Shepherd or one of the Federal Vision guys who have been condemned by many in the Reformed world. I still don't fully understand the issue (at my broadly evangelical seminary, in my soteriology class it was pretty much glossed over with a quick denial of active obedience by referencing Romans 4). I too would like more help in understanding the importance of this issue. I mean, I've read several folks on the web (who claim to be Reformed) who say that if you don't believe in the active obedience of Christ, then you don't believe in the Gospel.

FYI, before someone condemns me, I do believe in the imputation of the active & passive obedience of Christ. However, I would appreciate it if some of y'all could provide some references for articles to read on this issue for better understanding. I'd appreciate more than proof-texts; I've read Romans 3 thru 5 ten times in Greek, and I didn't find the issue all that clear, but I'll try again. Thanks!
June 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMr. Eko
Mr. Eko,

"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons." (Gal 4:4-5 ESV)

I think these verses are pretty clear that something of Christ's life under the Law was indispensable to His work of Redemption. Those who don't believe in the imputation of Christ's active obedience would argue that this only refers to Christ's perfect obedience by which He was confirmed to be a suitable sacrifice.
However, I would say that it means something a little more than that. It means that just as Christ had to be born as a man in order to die for men, He also had to be made subject to the Law which men had broken in order to live the life under the Law that we could not. It is in this way that He procures the promise of the Law, life, and the way that He destroys the curse of the Law, death.

I'm going to write more about this on my blog, hopefully more clearly, but I would invite you to look at those two verses in their wider context of Galatians 3 and 4.

June 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy
Is it ok if I put my blog address in here Bro. Kim?
June 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy
Robert Gundry is my guess.

Besides Piper's <i>Counted Righteous in Christ</i>, there are excellent articles in <i>Covenant, Justification, and Pastoral Ministry"</i> and the recent <i>By Faith Alone</i>.
June 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Gadbois
OK - heres a quote from a Reformed site.

To be a true Christian is not to be perfect in any and every situation, but it is to have the God-given capacity to do what is right in all situations. It is having the willingness to turn away from sin when you are tempted by it.

Justification and obedience?
I get more confused now than before.
Everyone has their own standards of
what justfication really is.


June 6, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdoulos
I think it's William R. Newell, a famous Dispensational expositor of the book of Romans. He, like most Dispies of the time, was a great admirer of the Keswick Convention. Or maybe it's Miles Stanford, a more modern Classic Dispensationalist - but the language doesn't sound inflamatory enough to be Stanford.
June 6, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterturmeric

It's a little difficult when you don't have the whole context, but it appears this quote is not talking about justification, but sanctification. In other words, it's not telling you HOW to become a Christian, but what a justified Christian looks like. Does this help?

June 7, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBrianR
Doug Wilkins, or the good bishop Wright?
June 7, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGage Browning
Check that... typing too fast-
Doug Wilson or Pastor Wilkins or the good bishop Wright...
June 7, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGage Browning

if that's the case--namely, that a true christian is to have the God-given capacity to do what is right in all situations...having the willingness to turn away from sin when you are tempted by it--i for one am in some hot water.


i have learned not to try and reconcile everything someone says simply because they label themselves reformed--cyber-space only magnifies that reality. brian is right about the contextual dimension. try not to take good reformed orthodoxy to mean that obedience is somehow antithetical to justification; it is necessary to affirm true faith. those who charge us with antinomianism make this classic error. in point of fact, the best of reformed orthodoxy is quite strong on "how the just shall now live." it is a vital component to the reformed (read: biblical) system, and is part of what makes for good and earthy piety, if you ask me, versus flimsy pie-in-the-sky-ity.

June 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterzrim
I have no idea. :-)
June 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Ratliff
Yeah, it's Shepherd.
June 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRon

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