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Christ For Us and In Us: A Comparative Analysis of the Objective/ Subjective Theological Term of the Doctrine of Jus - Research Paper Example

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Christ “For Us” and “In Us”: A Comparative Analysis of the Objective/ Subjective Theological Term of the Doctrine of Justification by Kenneth Grider and John Murray Introduction The theological views on justification and atonement comprise a major point of contention among subsequent scholars of the Reformation…
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Christ For Us and In Us: A Comparative Analysis of the Objective/ Subjective Theological Term of the Doctrine of Jus
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Download file to see previous pages The Objective work of Christ refers to the work Christ undertook on our behalf within the context of history (i.e., time and space). The fact that Christ’s work in this sense stands outside of us, we are able to appreciate how God is at the center of our salvation. The Subjective work of Christ, on the other hand, is done in us and to us through the work of the Holy Spirit. As a result, the faithful are called, leading to repentance and faith, sanctification, and finally assurance of salvation. The Calvinist teaching on justification by faith alone is at the center of the subjective theology. ‘Therefore we must now discuss these matters thoroughly. And we must so discuss them as to bear in mind that this is the main hinge (the doctrine of justification by faith) on which religion turns, so that we devote the greater attention and care to it. For unless you first of all grasp what your relationship to God is, and the nature of his judgment concerning you, you have neither a foundation on which to establish your salvation nor one on which to build piety toward God.’2 Christ “for us” refers to the doctrine that as long as an individual has faith in Christ and what he has done for us, then he is saved. The dilemma in this is that if one is saved by professing his belief in Christ, then that person is actually saved by his own act (man’s works), and not the saving grace of Christ’s sacrifice. This goes against the principle of sola fide, or justification by faith alone. John Murray writes: This truth that God justifies needs to be underlined. We do not justify ourselves. Justification is not our apology nor is it the effect in us of a process of self-excusation. It is not even our confession nor the good feeling that may be induced in us by confession. Justification is not any religious exercise in which we engage however noble and good that religious exercise may be. If we are to understand justification and appropriate its grace we must turn our thoughts to the action of God justifying the ungodly.3 Murray’s teaching is consistent with subjective atonement theology. Simply stated, under this theory, God is the subject of the reconciliation process, that is, God is the one who carries out the process of reconciliation in His infinite mercy. There is nothing that humans need to do in order to atone for his or her sins, and it is God’s infinite mercy that has done it all. On the other hand, Christ “in us” refers to the transformative grace dwelling in us which results from our faith; the good works performed by the faithful are not preconditions for justification, but rather effects that stand as proof or manifestation of internal transformation. J. Kenneth Grider states: “Many Arminians whose theology is not very precise say that Christ paid the penalty for our sins. Yet such a view is foreign to Arminianism, which teaches instead that Christ suffered for us….Arminianism teaches that Christ suffered for everyone so that the Father could forgive those who repent and believe; his death is such that all will see that forgiveness is costly and will strive to cease from anarchy in the world God governs. The view is called the governmental theory of the atonement.”4 In objective theology of atonement, God becomes the object or target of reconciliation. This means that the suffering of Christ was for people to repent and believ ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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