Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Imputation of Christ's Active Obedience

On today's program I gave some updates regarding upcoming projects, and then intended to answer a number of listener questions, but ended up spending the entire program discussing the imputation of Christ's active obedience. I discussed whether this is a Lutheran doctrine, and what texts should and shouldn't be used to support this teaching.

Here is the program.


Mike Baker said...

Excellent podcast, Pastor. That is a great explanation of this subtle teaching. This is among my favorite ones that you have done so far. It is always refreshing to hear someone who not only wants to teach the truth, but also carefully teach the truth the right way.

This biblical teaching of imputed righteousness is essential and effects how other portions of scripture are understood.

I am amazed at how many sons of the reformation forget this dogmatic teaching when they exegete the parable of the "Sheep and the Goats" in Matthew 25. If someone forgets Christ's active obedience when they approach the topic of good works, they accidently turn sola gratia on its head and start to teach Roman synergism, infused grace, and salvation by faith+works.

I apologize for the length of the post, but what follows are questions in light of your comments:

Q 1: Would you consider Christ's prophetic role as the Son of Man a part of the redemptive history context that demonstrates His active obedience on behalf of God's people?

Q 2: To help explain the imputation of Christ's active obedience (not so much to proof text it), I like to use Christ's healing of the man born blind...

The man's healing is not just the miraculous removal of his affliction but also the restoration of his ability to see and the gift of sight.

In modern times, people born blind who are given limited sight through medical technology still have difficulty navigating because their brain did not learn things like depth perception and comprehension of shapes that are normally developed in infancy. It is a long recovery process.

In the scripture, Christ miraculously removed blindness and granted his ability to actually see. The same is true of the lame being able to walk, their infirmity is not only removed, but their ability to walk and leap is granted to them instantly despite what would otherwise be atrophied limbs.

I tend to use this because it gets away from the thorny topic of merit. Do you consider this typological explanation helpful? ...or is this the kind of non-relevant eisegesis of texts that you are critiquing?

J. Dean said...

This was very informative, Jordan. Well done.

I always understood the righteousness of Christ to be a both/and with regard to active and passive obedience rather than an either/or, because it was necessary for Christ to 1.) live a sinless life and 2.) submit to the Father in His death on the cross.