Thursday, May 14, 2009

Your steps are still ordered by God!

Okay so is God ordering our steps or what? On Tuesday of this week I dropped off the kids at school. Well as I about the drive away "Mr. Hustler's girl" honked at me. Let's call her X for the purpose of the blog. Anyway I thought she was just going to say hi. She pulled over and we talked in the school parking lot for at least an hour. Then we went to my house and talked for about another 40 minutes. Then she was hungry and wanted to take me to McDonald's and have breakfast and talk some more! Just saying hi turned into a 3 hour ministry opportunity. God is awesome. He is faithful in all things. I am grateful that the Lord orders our steps in His perfect will not according to us but according to our schedule.

The Lord graced me to share the gospel and about imputed righteousness. That we are all sinners and by the grace of God in Christ Jesus he ordains some to walking in righteousness given them by Jesus Christ! It was fun and fabulous! n She was totally open with me and by open I mean OPEN! So again I am very grateful that the Lord would see fit to grace me to carry his word to another. Please pray for X.

7 comments:

Nick said...

Regarding the term "imputed righteousness," what do you think about when the Bible says Phinehas' work was "credited as righteousness" in Psalm 106:30-31 (using the identical phrase in Hebrew and Greek as "credited as righteousness" in Gen 15:6)?

Phillip Fletcher said...

Nick,

When the Scriptures speak of "credited as righteousness" we are looking at the faith the individual has in the Lord, not the actual work.

Not only is this shown with Phinehas, but Abraham as well (Gen 15:6 and in Romans 4:22, Gal 3:6 and Jas 2:23. Their faith in God not their works was the their "crediting as righteousness."

At no time in Scripture is it commended that because of our own work and righteousness does God justify a sinner. The righteousness that is received by faith is Christ righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). In fact ones justification, sanctification and glorification and the faith to belief are all gifts of God. That is why it is grace!

So what do I think of "imputed righteousness?" It is a glorious and gracious gift of God that He alone gives and that I will never of my own efforts be able to achieve.

Phillip

Nick said...

I don't see any conflict with saying that faith is focused on the Lord and still being a righteous work. We would certainly agree that an act of love is a righteous work, yet we would also agree that the love must be done out of love for God.

In the case of Phinehas, the text plainly says it was his work that was "credited as righteousness," various respected Protestant apologists admit this. That is not to say Phinehas didn't have faith, he did, but it was his work specifically that was credited.

Nick said...

The Greek term "logizomai" is the English term for "reckon/impute/credit/etc," and when I look up that therm in a popular Protestant Lexicon here is what it is defined as:

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QUOTE: "This word deals with reality. If I "logizomai" or reckon that my bank book has $25 in it, it has $25 in it. Otherwise I am deceiving myself. This word refers to facts not suppositions."
http://tinyurl.com/r92dch
----------------

The Lexicon states this term first and foremost refers to the actual status of something. So if Abraham's faith is "logizomai as righteouness," it must be an actually righteous act of faith, otherwise (as the Lexicon says) "I am deceiving myself." This seems to rule out any notion of an alien righteousness, and instead points to a local/inherent righteousness.

The Lexicon gives other examples where "logizomai" appears, here are 3 examples:

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Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude [logizomai] that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Rom 6:11 Likewise reckon [logizomai] ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 8:18 For I reckon [logizomai] that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
-------------------

Notice in these examples that "logizomai" means to consider the actual truth of an object. In 3:28 Paul 'reckons' faith saves while the Law does not, this is a fact, the Law never saves. In 6:11 the Christian is 'reckoned' dead to sin because he is in fact dead to sin. In 8:18 Paul 'reckons' the present sufferings as having no comparison to Heavenly glory, and that is true because nothing compares to Heavenly glory.

To use logizomai in the "alien status" way would mean in: (1) 3:28 faith doesn't really save apart from works, but we are going to go ahead and say it does; (2) 6:11 that we are not really dead to sin but are going to say we are; (3) 8:18 the present sufferings are comparable to Heaven's glory.
This cannot be right.


So when the text plainly says "faith is logizomai as righteousness," I must read that as 'faith is reckoned as a truly righteous act', and that is precisely how Paul explains that phrase in 4:18-22. That despite the doubts that could be raised in Abraham's heart, his faith grew strong and convinced and "that is why his faith was credited as righteousness" (v4:22).

Nicolle said...

Hey you know how one can miss the entire point, by redirecting or taking something out of context?

Nick I think you missed the point! I will not discuss argue or debate imputed righteous, credited as righteousness.

Why you may ask? Because somewhere the whole point has been lost! This post was about the Lord ordering our steps to serve and worship Him however He sees fit.

I will ask this question of you. Have you prayed for this person X to recieve the salvation of the Lord? I challenge you to spend the time you took looking up credited in the greek lexicon, in prayer for this young woman. Pray that Christ would be gracious to her and that He would reveal Himself to her. That perhaps her eyes would be opened to the truth about who God is and the saving work of Jesus. When it is all said and done our righteousness is worth a bloody menstrual rag.

People that is where we miss it! This woman needs CHRIST! I am simply grateful that He is ORDAINING my footsteps to Bring HIM GLORY!

Phillip Fletcher said...

Well said Nicolle.

Nick,

If you would like to continue this discussion hit me up at philfletcher98@msn.com

Nick said...

I would not want to be intruding on someone's blog, so I am glad you allowed me to post and apologize if I misdirected this.

I am still interested in Phillip's response, and I will take up his offer via email.