Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Justification, Judgment & Behavior: Judgment Day’s Coming Verdict Now Announced in the Gospel

For those of you who plan to attend the Evangelical Theological Society’s annual meetings in Atlanta (Nov. 17-19), here is a paragraph from my essay that is scheduled to be presented for the Hermeneutics Study Group on Wednesday morning, November 17 according to the schedule below. Download Program PDF.
ROOM 213
Other Perspectives on the New Perspectives on Paul and the Law
Section Moderator: W. Edward Glenny (Northwestern College)

8:30-9:10 am
A. B. Caneday (Northwestern College, Saint Paul, MN)
Justification, Judgment & Behavior: Judgment Day’s Coming Verdict Now Announced in the Gospel

9:20-10:00 am
James B. De Young (Western Seminary)
Do the Apostolic Fathers Support the Premises of the New Perspectives on Paul and the Law?
10:10-10:50 am

Respondent: Lyn Nixon (London School of Theology)
Respondent: Matthew S. Harmon (Grace College & Theological Seminary)

In Romans 2:6-11Paul’s argument is not concerned with how or on what basis God will recompense people with eternal life or with wrath. Paul’s argument concerns to whom God will recompense eternal life and to whom God will recompense wrath.[1] This is evident in that the verb, “God will recompense” (ὃς ἀποδώσει ἑκάστῳ) finds its dual indirect objects stated within the four inner clauses of the chiasm: (B) τοῖς . . . ζητοῦσιν (v. 7), (C) τοῖς ἐξ ἐριθείας καὶ ἀπειθοῦσι . . . πειθομένοις (v. 8), (C’) ἐπὶ πᾶσαν ψυχὴν ἀνθρώπου κτλ. (v. 9), and (B’) παντὶ τῷ ἐργαζομένῳ κτλ. (v. 10).[2] Each of the substantive participles, though characterizing people by their behavior, accents character. The fact that each clause characterizes by behavior the respective recipients of God’s recompense does not mean that these antipodal characterizations indicate the cause or basis of God’s reward—eternal life or wrath. Rather, lest anyone, Jews in particular, presume that the wealth of God’s kindness, forbearance, and patience exempts them from God’s wrath that will fall upon Gentile sinners (2:4), Paul emphasizes both the impartiality and the inviolability of God’s recompense. The outer matched chiastic pair, stated in 2:6 and 11, accents the impartiality of God’s righteous judgment, while the inner corresponding pairs feature the inviolability of God’s justice.[3] Paul expresses the inviolability of God’s righteous judgment in another place: “God is not mocked. For what one sows, this also one reaps. The one who sows unto the flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction, but the one who sows unto the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:7). Here, the imagery of sowing and reaping accents the inviolability of God’s justice behavior that characterizes and recompense, just as Romans 2:6-11 stresses the inviolable relationship God’s righteous judgment establishes between character and recompense.

[1] In The Race Set Before Us (Schreiner and Caneday) we make the case that in Rom. 2:6-11 “Paul does not answer the question ‘On what basis will one be justified?” The question is not how but “Who will be justified?” (165ff). Upon reading these pages again, we could have expressed our thoughts even more crisply, as I endeavor to do in this essay.
[2] See note below for the chiasm.
[3] For the sake of convenience, here is the chiasm presented earlier.
A. God will judge everyone equitably v. 6
     B. Those who do good will attain eternal life v. 7
          C. Those who do evil will suffer wrath v. 8
          C.’ Wrath for those who do evil v. 9
     B.’ Glory for those who do good v. 10
A.’ God judges impartially v. 11

1 comment:

TRUTH459 said...

Simple Answer!
Recently, I had someone… say to me, “What about those that ‘do not’ come to Christ, did Christ die for their sins also…? Is there a ‘Limited Atonement’… only for those that come to Christ Jesus? Absolutely Yes! Perhaps I may share with you my understanding of this fact?

1. I give you a check for… “10,000 dollars!”
2. You thank me and ‘Never’ cash that check!
3. You think that it is charity but I tell you it is ‘grace’ with no strings attached.
4. Still… you want to succeed on your own, with the help of no one.
5. You die…!
6. Your heirs close your estate and find my check to you for the money.
7. They go to the Bank… and try and cash my check, made out to you.
8. The bank informs them… sorry the person is dead; the funds are “Non-Transferable!”

That is a ‘word picture’… of “Salvation”. God calls “All” mankind to Himself. Many refuse His gift of Grace in payment for their… “Sin / Sins.” Their ‘Refusal’ to cash their check, the… “Gift of God”… will leave one… without the ‘eternal’ payment for their… “Sin / Sins!” This… Atonement by Christ Jesus for YOU… is paid for by the… “Death, Burial and Resurrection of Himself”… But…rejected by You! Where then do you expect to spend eternity… after spitting in the face of God and refusing His gift of Grace to you? This is the Gospel… that we communicate as… “Evangelism = You are Witnesses of these Things… “Luke 24:44-to-49”

(Hebrews 10:29) How much = more = severe a punishment = do you think = that person deserves = who tramples on = God's Son, = treats as common = the blood of the covenant = by which it was sanctified, = and = insults = the Spirit of grace?

Thanks, In Christ, Roger / Florida / USA.