The New Law and Righteousness

At Christ's death and resurrection a change of order of priesthood brought with it a change of law. (Heb. ch 7) The old law of Moses was a law of works. By perfectly keeping the law one would establish righteousness for himself. No human, in God's sight could attain to this perfection. Therefore, Jesus Christ came to keep the law perfectly and to offer himself as a perfect and lasting sacrifice for His people.
Therefore, the elect in Christ look to Him as their righteousness. The New Law of Christ operates on the principle of imputed righteousness. The command is no longer keep the old law of Moses perfectly and live, but is rather, have belief in the risen Savior and live. Since this belief is a gift of God, we can take no credit of believing. God works this revelation of Christ into the hearts of the elect making them desire His love, His commitment, His righteousness, that allows the chosen in Him to enter into the presence of God.
The New Law of Christ then, is not a law of works, but rather is faith being manifested in the elect from first faith to the end of life. The New Law of Christ is not fulfilled by meritorious works, but rather through God working in the elect to believe in the only righteous man, Jesus Christ, who died and was raised from the dead for the elect. The elect fulfill the law of Christ, not by sinless perfection, which is not attainable, but by continuing to believe in the Savior. This faith is continually counted as righteousness to the account of the believer. This faith is not in itself righteousness, but counts as righteousness. 
As we note that Abraham had righteousness counted to his account at least three times in the narrative(James 2:17-26; and then Gen. 15:6 which is the same as Rom. 4:19-22 and Rom. 4:9-13, and also Heb 11:8 where he had faith to go out of Egypt, which preceded siring Isaac and offering Isaac).
We see that Abraham and all the believers prior to the resurrection also kept that Law of faith through the power of Christ working in them. We are not saying that the truly righteous can be found unrighteous, or unjustified in the sight of God, but that this righteousness CONTINUES to the end of life.  The difference between Abraham and the OT saints and the saints in the New Covenant age was that the perfect sacrifice had not yet been offered. Further the law of faith was hidden in the law of Moses being contained in the types and shadows within that law of works.
Abraham had faith reckoned prior to circumcision when he believed God that he would have a son in old age. Paul discusses this in Roman ch 4.  Abraham had faith reckoned to his account when he offered up Isaac. This was discussed in James chapter 2. And it is clear that Abraham followed God and had faith PRIOR to either of these events. See Heb 11:8 and Genesis ch 12. Who of you will reject the antinomian one and done view of Justification and suffer with me outside the gate? 
Even the writer of Hebrews speaks in Heb 10:39 of a continuing faith to the end, of a faith that keeps one from shrinking back to eternal condemnation. If that faith is necessary, it is no mere sanctification, but rather is, while not perfect, something that is doable throught the New Law of Christ. Righteousness is reckoned to the account of the man who keeps faith to the end. While this is ordained and guaranteed of success in the elect, it must be carried out in action.
As Abraham relied on the law of faith working through life with the Redeemer to come, so are the elect in Christ to continually walk in the Spirit, which is a command of Paul, the Apostle of the Lord. The works resulting from this faith come from a desire for joy, a disire for blessing, not from an attempt to earn salvation. And so it was with Abraham. The preresurrection saints had the same faith and the same gospel as those who have come after Pentacost. The degree of blessing is somehow different, as explained by Christ when He said that the least in the Kingdom of Heaven (those blessed in Christ after Pentecost [Acts ch 2)]) was greater than John the Baptist. However the God given faith is the same. (Heb. ch 11) The hope of future Messiah was a hope for an eventual continuing place in the holiest of holies, which was not made possible for them until the curtain was torn.(Mark 15:38, Heb. 10:19-20, Heb ch 11) 
The elect should not lose understanding that though there are differences between the elect prior to the death and resurrection of Christ and after, that there is no change of faith and gospel. Those have been constant. Faith was present before the law of Moses was introduced.
 So then, the Law of faith is not a law that counts the faith of the elect as if it were a righteous work. IT IS A FALSE GOSPEL TO MAKE FAITH EQUAL TO RIGHTEOUSNESS. IT IS ALSO A FALSE GOSPEL TO DIVORCE FAITH FROM RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Faith is not righteousness, but it is counted by God as righteousness, as that faith is a belief in the Savior who established His righteousness upon the cross.
And we know that Saviour is righteous, having fulfilled the law of Moses, and offered Himself as a sacrifice to establish the New Law of Christ which is now out in the open. The law of faith is no longer hidden in the law of Moses, but is revealed wholly apart from the law of Moses as Paul states in Romans 3:21. This righteousness that is apart from the law of course is the righteousness of the sacrifice of Christ, who offered Himself up for the New Israel as a perfect and complete sacrifice. It is our faith in this righteous Savior that saves the elect. If anyone attempts to play down this faith as a vehicle for securing righteousness for the elect, that righteousness being counted to their accounts by faith continuing, let them be accursed.

 My article brought a response. Harold said:   
You are right that Abraham had righteousness "counted" to him multiple times. But, none of those occasions was it a justifying righteousness. What took place multiple times was that character righteousness was attributed/ascribed to Abraham. There wasn't made over to Abraham a justifying righteousness until it was made over to him in the Person of Christ on the cross of Calvary. Abraham looked forward to that grand day, and was glad. There, on the cross, he saw his justification before God come to pass. Do you believe this?
My response to Harold was:
But Harold, justification is counted righteousness. That is what justification is. I believe that the elect are justified from first faith. Paul said that the just, or justified, shall live by faith. I don't deny Romans 5:9, that Paul looked at justification in the past tense, in that the elect are justified and therefore raised to a position or STATUS or being righteous through faith.

Still, for some to say, well, now we are justified (past tense) and that is the end of it is a form of antinomianism. Christians hunger after a blessing in Christ, and therefore justification is rightly seen as a continuing process. The Apostles including Paul had no trouble with Abraham's multiple justifications.

My position regarding continuing justification differs entirely from the Catholic view. While I believe that it is theoretically possible for an elect person to fall away as Matthew posits, (Matthew 24:24), it won't happen. And the elect do not fall out of grace or become unjustified after first being justified. However, I believe the warnings in scripture are for the elect. They are warned to believe to the end, to not shrink back, to gird up the loins of their minds, back up their faith with  works as taught by James, etc,etc. Since the elect cannot know the end from the beginning, as God does, the process is one of keeping the faith to the end and this process requires walking in the Spirit and due diligence.
My position on continuing justification differs greatly from the Catholic view. Catholics and many modern day protestants are believers in free will. Free will is a gospel of works, not of grace. It is, as Paul warned in Galatians 1:1, an accursed gospel. When applying that "gospel" of Catholicism to continuing justification, the sense I get from Catholic writers is that there is a righteousness that they attribute to themselves. Also Catholics believe that one can fall out of grace. This is not true for the elect. They can for a time live in the Spirit but not walk in the Spirit. But continuing justification is rightly seen as a continuing faith of forgiven and set apart people in Christ!
It is one thing to believe as I do that righteousness is continually reckoned or counted to the accounts of the elect, and that those accounts will continue to the end as God keeps the elect, and quite another to believe that this faith and reckoned righteousness is based on your free will, and you must secure your own righteousness. We cannot forget that only Christ is righteous,  that our God given faith is only counted as righteousness and that faith is not of ourselves, but is a gift of God.
Likewise sanctification is a gift of God, also working through faith. But it is a gift that does not make us righteous (remember Christ is our righteousness) nor is it perfect in this life.
My view of Catholicism is that it is a religion based upon works, but so is Protestantism. But Protestantisms is more subtle. The work becomes a long drawn out repentance instead of penance.
Both false religions are alike when it comes to keeping a new form of the old law by changing Saturday sabbath to Sunday sabbath or in performing infant baptism or infant Christening in place of circumcision. My view of course is that the true sabbath is rest in Christ, and the good works and continual justification by faith are preordained and are put in the heart by God who works in the elect to do what He wants.
Catholicism is a religion of earning or meritorious works. Protestantism is a religion of both legalistic works and of antinomianism regarding faith to the end in teaching one and done justification.

See also:

New Covenant Theology


1646 First London Confession


Luther and Menno: A Failure of Protestant and Anabaptist Doctrine


How to Go to Hell: Believe in the Three Uses of the Law


Charles Spurgeon Prince of Law Preaching


My Christian View of Israel's Purpose


Sephardic Bnei Anusim Hear This!


Sephardic Roots, Belmonte Jewish and More!


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