Thursday, December 2, 2010

Orthodox Justification


Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

4 comments:

maximus said...

uhhhh...obviously, we've made this way more complex than it needed to be! God be merciful to me a sinner!

Wesley said...

The word for merciful in Luke 18:13 is hilastheti, from hilaskomai, which most literally means "be propitious" to me the sinner. Now what, according to Scripture, makes God propitious towards sinners? Obviously enough the hilasmos or hilasterion, i.e. the propitiation, makes God propitious. And who or what might be the propitiation? It's none other than Christ and his cross, upon which he offered his atoning sacrifice and accomplished our redemption.

God is able to be propitious and forgive and justify sinners precisely because of the propitiation made by the blood of Christ (Rom. 3:21-26; 1 John 2:1-2)

Lvka said...

Wesley,

did you see any "Atonement" tag attached to this post? :-)

Speaking of which: what do the words atonement, to appease, and to propitiate actually mean? -- Here's a hint: www.etymonline.com.

Lvka said...

You also got things backwards: it's not Christ's sacrifice that empowers God's love or mercy, but rather the other way around: it's God's love and mercy that enable Jesus' sacrifice on Golgotha; the Cross is an expression of God's love and forgiveness, not their basis: it's rather God's love and forgiveness that are the ground for Christ's sacrifice on the Cross (see Romans 5:8).

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