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Christian saved by grace through faith.

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  1. A few others, with clout, have expressed a difference to MacArthur’s opinion.
    “It is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Rom. 2:13 And I am surely certain that this guy trumps your guy.

  2. Hi Theodore, thanks for the comment. You’re going to have to help me understand your use of Romans 2:13. Pastor MacArthur’s sermon is on the Rich, Young Ruler ( Matthew 19:16-22, Mark 10:17-22, Luke 18:18-30), so can you help make the connection for me from what he is saying to what you are saying?

  3. What I have said is a quote by the apostle Paul who says that it is absolutely necessary to obey a law to be saved. What I know of the teachings of the crackpot John MacArthur he absolutely disagrees with Paul’s statement. Further Jesus’ conversation with the rich young ruler could not have been an explanation of salvation. For if it would have been Jesus would not have been crucified. Ref. 2 Cor. 2:6-8 The fact you are not aware of is that when a man’s life is lost by bloodshed there is always the remaining residual to give God a satisfactory account. However it is only in regard to Jesus’ life having been lost by bloodshed that has allowed a modification of the law by adding a word that requires each man to save himself by the faith of obeying this law which has been added by the sin of Jesus’ crucifixion to increase that sin.
    “The law was added so that the trespass (of Jesus’ crucifixion) might increase.” Rom. 5:20

  4. Hi Theodore, thanks for commenting back. It is quite possible that we are going to talk past each other, so I am going to do my best to address your reply. In your quotation of Romans 2:13 and your follow-up comment regarding it, “What I have said is a quote by the apostle Paul who says that it is absolutely necessary to obey a law to be saved” what you may have unknowingly done is to cut-off the Apostle Paul’s argument right in the middle. This is why context is so vitally important, particularly in a doctrinally heavy book such as Romans. Paul is building an argument against man and brings the law into his argument to prove a point, but it is not to say that “it is absolutely necessary to obey a law to be saved.” We need to continue reading Paul’s argument and we are brought face to face with this statement in the following chapter, “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20 This is not a contradiction to the verse you quoted, but instead it is amplification of Paul’s earlier statement in Romans 2:13. He brings the law into his argument in order to condemn his Jewish brethren (as he did in Romans 1 with God’s general revelation to the Gentiles). The climax of his argument is found in the verses that follow:

    “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it – the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 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. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one – who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary we uphold the law.” Romans 3:21-31
    All that to say that it is absolutely impossible for anyone to be saved by obeying the law because it is absolutely impossible for anyone to obey the law.

    Regarding the conversation between Jesus and the rich, young ruler, it most certainly was an explanation of salvation. In fact, the whole conversation was predicated on the question, “Good teacher, what must I do to be saved?” Jesus’ response is precisely the argument against the point you are making. He proves that although the young man thinks he has obeyed the law, it cannot gain him salvation and in actuality he has broken the law on every point because the nature of his heart reveals that A) he neither loves God with all his heart, mind, soul, and B) does not love his neighbor as himself. The Gospel is not about external law keeping as Jesus’ words attest, but is a matter of the heart, namely one that has been regenerated through the power of the Holy Spirit that repents of sin (in this case self-righteousness) and trusts fully in Christ (which includes His perfect obedience to the law and imputed righteousness to the sinner and the forgiveness of sin through His substitutionary atonement).

    Also, I’m not sure of the relevancy of 2 Cor. 2:6-8, perhaps that was a typo? And in your use of Romans 5:20, you’ve inserted your own interpretation of “the trespass” to mean “of Jesus’ crucifixion” which does not flow out of the context of chapter 5. To understand Paul’s use of trespass, and thereby its meaning, go back up to Romans 5:12 and follow Paul’s point back down through the passage (see also Galatians 3).
    I hope that helps.

    For the glory of His name,
    John

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