Wednesday, February 3, 2010

So...blogspot hasn't been working very well at the school...

Up until yesterday, blogspot was completely inaccessible, and even now, it only comes up sometimes. I'll update as often as possible, but if I don' know why. :)

Confession time: I've always been fairly indifferent to the book of Philemon......until today.
Why? Because for the first time today I really saw the parallels between myself and Onesimus. I was sitting there in class and was thoroughly excited to see so much of the book come into focus.

Onesimus was owned by Philemon. However, he was an unfaithful servant, useless to Philemon, and he eventually ran away. However, he was introduced to Jesus Christ through the Apostle Paul and gave his life to the Lord. The book of Philemon is Paul's appeal to Philemon to forgive and restore Onesimus. Verses 17 through 20 are Paul's plea that Philemon accept this brother, to receive him as if he were receiving Paul. Any debts that Onesimus had were to be charged to Paul's account to be repaid in full by him. Therefore, Onesimus was to be accepted and restored to Philemon on the merits of another person.

I have been unfaithful to God. My back was completely turned him as my sin offended Him daily. Time and time again I wronged the holy God of Heaven. However, Christ came to earth and took my debt upon Himself. He repaid my debt "by canceling the record of debt that stood against us (me) with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross." (Colossians 2:14) Just as Onesimus' debt was imputed to Paul and Paul's fellowship with Philemon was imputed to sin was imputed to Christ and His righteousness was imputed to me. "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." Philemon received Onesimus back as he would receive Paul, and God receives me as He would His Son, Jesus Christ. I am accepted and forgiven on the merits and by the work of Jesus Christ.
My response? I must rest in the work that has been done on my behalf, knowing that it wasn't earned. In that rest, there must be an overwhelming sense of gratitude to the One Who did what I couldn't.

Thank you Lord Jesus!!


Richard Bargas said...


CS said...

YES! And we must return to the One who owns us and resume faithful service where we were once delinquent.

Anonymous said...

Did you REALLY put the pins in the pews??? Hmmm?

Nick said...

Regarding imputed righteousness, here are my thoughts:

In my study on this topic, the Greek term “logizomai” is the English term for “reckon/impute/credit/etc,” (all terms are basically equivalently used) and when I look up that term in a popular Protestant Lexicon here is what it is defined as:

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.”

The Protestant Lexicon states this term first and foremost refers to the actual status of something. So if Abraham’s faith is “logizomai as righteousness,” 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 some examples:

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

Rom 4:4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted [logizomai] as a gift but as his due.

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 4:4 the worker’s wages are ‘reckoned’ as a debt because the boss is in debt to the worker, not giving a gift to him. 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) 4:4 the boss gives payment to the worker as a gift rather than obligation/debt; (3) 6:11 that we are not really dead to sin but are going to say we are; (4) 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). This is also confirmed by noting the only other time “credited as righteousness” appears in Scripture, Psalm 106:30-31, where Phinehas’ righteous action was reckoned as such.

Richard Bargas said...

There is no such thing as a "Protestant lexicon." Language is neither Protestant nor Catholic.

Your arguments and use of Greek are in error. If you would like to discuss these with an open heart to the truth I can be emailed at