Tuesday, June 22, 2010




Chap 1: Without Excuse
Chap 2: The Law Condemns
Chap 3: There is none righteous
Chap 4: Imputation/Logizomai
Chap 5: Headship/Representation and 1st Adam - 2nd Adam, or 1st Adam - Last Adam.
Chap 6: Dying and Living, Mortification and Vivification
Chap 7: Oh Wretched man that I am, who will deliver me.

Alternate Keywords:
Chap 1: The Indictment Begins (Rom 1:18)
Chap 2: (open for suggestions)
Chap 3: All have sinned, Total Depravity
Chap 4: Counted Righteous
Chap 5: Federal Headship (the theological term)
Chap 6: Dying to Sin and Living to Righteousness (or Living to God)
Chap 7: Remaining Sin or conflict between grace and corruption

Memory Verses:
Rom 1:20
Rom 2:13
Rom 3:10
Rom 4:3
Rom 5:19
Rom 6: 11
Rom 7:19

Extended Memory Verses
Chap 1: Rom 1:1, Rom 1:8, Rom 1:16-20
Chap 2: Rom 2:12-16
Chap 3: Rom 3:10-12, Rom 3:18, Rom 3:21, Rom 3:23, Rom 3:28-29
Chap 4: Rom 4:23-25
Chap 5: Whole Chapter (If I had to select only two more Rom 5:8, Rom 5:14)
Chap 6: Rom 6:1-2, Rom 6:11, Rom 6:22-23
Chap 7: Rom 7:18, Rom 7:21, Rom 7:24-25

Overview Chapter Seven discussed thus far:

The connection to the what came before: Romans Six laying out both the Nature and the Necessity of Sanctification showing that sanctification consists both in our dying to sin and living to God, v 14. Also that as we are baptized into his death we must be conforming to it as Christ died for our sin we should be dying to it, v3. And as Christ rose and we also raised up to walk in newness of life we must be conforming to his resurrection living unto righteousness, v4. We are no longer under the law but grace and are receivers of great and gracious promises in Christ thus necessitating our sanctification for shall we sin against so much goodness, v 14. Our state is known by that to which we yield our obedience, v16. Sanctification and justification are two separate truths, two things that are not the same and are not to be confused but YET THEY ARE INSEPARABLE. We shall not continue in sin. But this is a high calling, this is a hard calling. And though sin no longer reigns over us and shall not have dominion over us as a tyrant and king we yet find that SIN still remains in us and can say as in ROMANS CHAP 7:19 we are not doing the good that we would but the evil that we would not. OH WRETCHED MAN THAT I AM WHO SHALL DELIVER ME FROM THE BODY OF THIS DEATH? I THANK GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.

Several things we may yet learn in our Study of Romans Seven some as follows:
-There is here a further encouragement to holiness.

-Though sin no longer reigns as formerly, it yet remains and so WE ARE NOT TO TRUST in ourselves.

-Romans Seven teaches us that sin is not yet wholly eradicated in the believer.

-And so we learn further the nature of Sanctification.

-And so also, even for the regenerate believer the law cannot justify. Justification is not by works even in the believer but by faith.

-We gain a right estimation of ourselves knowing that sin yet remains though no longer reigning.

- Romans seven speaks to the assurance of the believer alarmed to find that sin yet remains.


Nick said...

I would like to see your comments on Ch4, esp logizomai.

In my study on this topic of imputed righteousness, 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 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 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. This is confirmed even more when one compares another similar passage, Hebrews 11:4, where by faith Abel was commended as righteous.

Scott said...

Hey, Nick thanks for the lengthy comment.

My comments on Romans 4 and my notes on Logizomai can be found at:




and finally:

Within those post there are some things detailed there directly responding to and denying your assertion that faith itself is our righteousness. When the scriptures say that Abraham believed God and it was counted "as" or "unto" righteousness we are not being taught that it is our own faith that is the substance of our righteousness but rather the connection or instrumental means connecting to that righteousness which is Christ and which he accomplished on our behalf and in our place. IT helps to understand how in the Garden of Eden Adam there represented us as our Head and representative so that what Adam did he did on behalf of all that are IN HIM. Adam failed. Christ also is the HEAD and Representative of his people. Jesus Christ is this by an eternal arrangement even before the world was made. The Father Gave to the son a people and the Son on behalf of those given to him by the Father took on their suretyship to the Father. Jesus Christ is then the last Adam or second Adam who fulfills all righteousness in the place of all those in him given by the Father to Him and Jesus Christ also made good the debt of God's wrath for this same people by suffering and dying in their place upon cross atoning for their sin to the Father.

Rom 5:19 illustrates this truth by saying "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."

Logizomai translated variously as credited, imputed, reckoned, conclude speaks of how GOD THINKS OF US. How he makes a conclusion concerning us. God can think of us as perfectly righteous right now by virtue of the fact that Jesus Christ is our representative - he stood in our place and did what was required of us. God thinks of us on the basis not of something imaginary or supposed but on the very real accomplishment of Christ in our place - Christ who is our head, our representative from eternity according to terms arranged even within the Godhead.

We are treated as if we had done what Jesus Christ did. And Jesus WAS treated as if he had done what we did - our sins were imputed to HIM. But our sins no longer taint him for he fully atoned for them and was raised again on account of completing our justification. Rom 4:25

continued in next comment

Scott said...

I also found the following very helpful when thinking of righteousness imputed by faith and how it is not to be confused with thiking FAITH ITSELF IS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS:

From The Everlasting Righteousness by Horatius Bonar.
Faith is not the cross.
Faith is not the sacrifice.
Faith cannot be a sin bearer.
Faith does not expiate any guilt.
Faith does not propitiate the wrath of God. Christ is our propitiation. He is the propitiatory sacrifice for us to God.
Faith is not the blood that washes away all our sins and by which we are redeemed.
Faith is not satisfaction to God.
Faith is not the physician but brings us to the physician that heals.
Faith is not Christ - it is our connection unto him.
1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Finally, we must remember that even the faith we have if it be true faith is divine faith not human faith and this faith is itself a gift from God. Eph 2:8-9.

I posted extensively to show how Faith is a gift at the following:

This was from notes I prepared for our study of Rom 1:8.
(contined from previous comment)
Hope this helps Nick. Please check out the other posts from Romans 4 and the Faith is a gift post to get the full substance of what I believe scripture teaches on the imputation of righteousness and the denial that Faith itself is our righteousness but rather Faith is the instrumental means connecting us to the righteousness of Christ our HEAD and Representative.

Nick said...

Hi Scott,

I'm looking through your links now, here are my thoughts:

(1) First Link: It mentions the word "logizomai", but it doesn't investigate it; in other words, it doesn't analyze the term. To understand logizomai requires examining the Scriptures to see how God's Word uses logizomai. The truth is, logizomai does *not* mean "impute".

Also, never is logizomai used to mean 'transfer', which is how you're using it in "faith counted as righteousness" to mean "faith *grabs onto* righteousness". The term simply doesn't carry that meaning.

(2) Second Link: I didn't see logizomai addressed at all. As for the distinction between justification and sanctification, I don't see anywhere where Scripture makes such a distinction.

(3) Third Link: this also doesn't mention logizomai or look into it. In this case, it is speaking of another supposed distinction I see nowhere in Scripture, the distinction between Justification and Sancification. Going by God's Word, the term "regeneration" only appears once in the Bible, Titus 3:5 ("you were *saved* by the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit") which Paul explicitly says equates to and means "Justified" in verse 3:7.

Scott said...

Nick, Those were my three posts specifically on Romans four. You had asked for my comments on Romans 4 esp Logizomai. Sorry if I misunderstood, however I do believe understanding the truth that is being taught in those posts and really the totality of all the posts thus far from Romans might be of help to you to really understand the difference between Justification and Sanctification. This distinction is set forth clearly as you move through Romans - for example see my intro post on Romans Six where we look into the transition that takes place as we move from what CHRIST HAS DONE FOR US to WHAT CHRIST DOES IN US. Two distinct and separate trutsh: Christ for me and Christ IN Me (righteousness imputed and righteousness imparted) and though distinct and separate and not to be confused they are yet INSEPARABLE - where one is found in the believer so will the other.

Here is the link to the Romans Six Intro:

Logizomai itself does mean impute -

and should be distinguished very definitely from impart. Imparted righteousness speaks to what Christ has done IN us. Imputed righteousness speaks to what Christ has done FOR us. Sometimes to make the concept easy to understand I use the word "think" which is also a good translation if understood properly in the context for logizomai. For example Rom 2.3 though a different inflection is the same greek word translated "think" as in "And thinkest thou this, O Man......

Or also Mark 11:31 which translates with the word "reasoned" as in "And they reasoned within themselves...."

Hence God concludes or thinks or reckons the believer as righteous. Not his Faith but Christ, faith is God's ordained means/instrumentality. Unbelievers are not counted righteous - they have no part in Christ, but believers by definition have faith which evidences their election and shows that Christ is indeed their head, representative.

It is a precious truth that behind this imputation of righteousness is the eternal covenant within the Holy Trinity where the Son has assumed to be the head or representative of his people. One parallel analogy might be taken from the example of the President of the USA. If the president declares war, all the people he represents are at war, if the president bows to the emperor of Japan all the people he represents are thought of as bowing with the president. The president does what he does as the Head of the citizens of the USA. This is of course a weak analogy for the president is but man and we speak of a covenant that is divine and the parties are GOD, the divine trinity working in unity. We voted and chose who our president would be to represent us to the world whereas in this divine covenant within the Trinity there was no choosing on our part. From eternity, The Father gave to the son a people, the Son assumed their headship and surety-ship. The Spirit of God gives life to his own who were DEAD in Sin and unable to believe so that they would. The Father and Son and Holy Spirit the one God, trinity of persons in unity are solely the formers of this eternal covenant working to the Glory of God.

Scott said...

Comment continued......

I hope this helps some, Nick. It's an explanation of the precious Gospel. This headship of Christ helps us to understand how what one, Jesus Christ, has done can be to the blessing of the many that are in him. How Christ's dying is a death that was in our place. Because of this eternal purpose scripture says of Jesus, He was the lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. Because of this eternal covenant within the Godhead, through the obedience of one many are made righteous. Christ FOR US.

Finally it was right and Just for Christ to die - for he assumed this place within this eternal covenant as the head and representative of his people their sins were imputed to him - thought of as belonging to him. And it is right and Just for those who are IN CHRIST to be thought of as perfectly righteous and just for their representative according to the terms of this eternal covenant was without SIN and RIGHTEOUS. ANd thus they can be "reckoned/considered/thought of as/logizomai as" righteous. ANd they are this by means of faith but faith itself is not this righteousness. It is the gift of God and which is UNTO his righteousness.

Nick said...

Hi Scott,

I'm not intending to be a pain or anything, but the reason why I'm focusing on logizomai is because a lot is riding on that term. Your work demonstrates this aptly, for all through your links you were operating on the assumption logizomai meant 'impute'. If logizomai doesn't mean impute, then you're building from an unScriptural foundation by definition.

One of the biggest problems I have with the Justification-Santification distinction is that nowhere does Paul lay it out like you're thinking. In fact, the only place the two terms are used together is in 1 Cor 6:11, but that places sanctification first and has justification dependent on it.

Onto your examples of logizomai:

You said: "Logizomai itself does mean impute"

It means 'impute' *not* in the sense you're thinking of. It does not mean that something that is "black" can be imputed as "white". For example, if I impute robbery to you, and you didn't commit robbery, that's falsely imputing on my part.

This problem is also displayed in your example of Romans 2:3, where logizomai appears, it says, "thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?"
Here the sinner *thinks* he can judge others for sin but that he WONT be judged for committing that sin himself. Clearly, he "thought" wrong, and his "thinking" [logizomai] is sinful and inexcusable.

Thus, the Bible gives clear evidence that to 'reckon' ('impute') something to someone that is not true is in fact a lie, a sin, or an error in calculation. So if I were to logizomai a sinner to be righteous, that would be a monstrous error on my part.

Scott said...


As I continue to read your comments I think you and might actually agree on the specific meaning of the word logizomai but not on the doctrine of imputation of righteousness. Does that make sense? I say that logizomai refers to how God thinks of us, what God ascribes to us. I believe you might concede or even explain that logizomai also does mean how one thinks - but where we disagree is on what basis God thinks of us as righteous. Which deals more with the doctrine of Justification and what we think that is - how one can be declared righteous - rather than the specific meaning of logizomai.

Can God think of us as white as snow instead of filthy black with sin on the basis of What Christ has done in our place? Did Christ die in our place and make an atonement to God the Father for our sin? Can our sins be fully paid for on the basis of what another has done? I say yes - that Jesus Christ as my head and representative according to an arrangement from eternity past within the divine Godhead assumed the suretyship of his people and was therefore treated as if he had done what they did (our sins imputed to Christ who was never sinful in his person but counted sinful in our place.) And his suffering and death upon the cross shedding his blood there in our place did indeed make payment for sin, this was the ransom price satisfying the Just wrath of God against the sin of those for whom he died. So seeing what the surety, Jesus Christ has done in the place of his people as the divine substitute, God can think of his people as clean from sin. Not because of what they did but because of what another has done in their place. And that other that did in their place was Jesus Christ who had the place of suretyship according to a divine covenant the terms established within the Godhead.

I am understanding you to see that God will only logizomai/think of us as righteous if we are righteous indeed by practice by what we do and how we live. And that God cannot think of us as righteous by what Jesus has done in our place. For example when you wrote that God will not think of something as white that is black. That this is thinking something is true that is not. This is why I have commented extensively on the HEADSHIP of Jesus Christ and Suretyship of Jesus Christ how he is the 2nd Adam representing all that are in him. So that when God imputes righteousness to us he does so based on a firm reality that reality being that the divinely appointed head of his people Jesus Christ fulfilled all the terms by his perfect law-keeping and his suffering and death upon the cross. He was delivered for our offenses and raised again on account of having completed our justification.

(Nick commented continued below)

Scott said...

(continued from above previous comment)

I thought it might be interesting to toss out the idea this evening that we both might actually understand the same meaning for logizomai. That being how one thinks of something - and that thinking must be based on a reality.

For I see such an imputation of righteousness not as a divine fiction but the very real accomplishment of a divine plan. And I am confident that scripture is very clear there is a real distinction in scripture between what Christ did for us, and what he does IN us called Justification and Sanctification respectively.

Something you may not have thought of which could help in grasping the necessity for understanding Justification as a declaration of righteousness based on what Christ has done for us is how we are commanded to BE PERFECT as our Father in Heaven is Perfect. Or again "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified."

From which we know that only perfect law keepers have any hope of heaven. That to fail in any point of the law ever is to fail it all. And no one does the law perfectly in all its parts all the time continuously so that all that our efforts gain for eternity by the law is condemnation. for all have sinned, and there is none good no not one.

And also Gal 3:10
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

If we must be perfect in all points in ourselves to enter heaven we will never make it but we have a representative head who was perfect in all points all the time never failing. And our representative did what he did for us in our place. He did what Adam did not and we are COUNTED as perfect by faith in Him. Justification speaks of our title to heaven all merit from Christ himself and Christ alone.

There is no other way to obtain the perfection required except it be that perfection of Christ counted as ours by faith.

Maybe to be a little repetitious here but would like to say again in order to demonstrate that we in the specific meaning of logizomai most likely understand the same thing - though we probably differ in understanding on what basis do we obtain title to heaven. Hence we might possibly be able to discuss how one is justified while agreeing on the specific meaning of the word logizomai itself.

I very much agree that logizomai does not refer to calling something that isn't "THIS" as though it "IS". Logizomai does indicate: "to think of something according to its actual status." or "Based on the sum of what is known I conclude this to be true therefore of that thing, I ascribe such a thing to be true of this thing." I reckon it to be so because it is so. Hence, Jesus Christ is the Head of His people, he represented them in what he did, he satisfied the terms of a divine covenant in this representation both by his LIFE perfectly lived and his Death atoning for their sins, on the very real basis of the representative they are counted righteous by faith - the representative accomplishing it for his people.

Nick, You're NOT being pain - I hope you don't think I'm just being stubborn either. The Gospel is precious beyond expression and I am probably extra wordy replying back to you in hopes of being as clear as I can not just with the specific meaning of logizomai but how to understand it in the context of scripture and the whole gospel.

Nick said...

Hi Scott,

It is interesting you say we can understand logizomai the same but not the notion of imputed alien righteousness; I've always seen the two as contrary to one another.

I agree that Logizomai means more or less to make a mental calculation, sort of like looking at a clock that says 2:00 and reckoning that it's 2 o'clock.

You said: "Can God think of us as white as snow instead of filthy black with sin on the basis of What Christ has done in our place?"

I don't believe He can or would, nor do I see logizomai used in such a way. Christ's work can truly change us into snow, in which God would immediately 'reckon us as white as snow'.

You asked: "Did Christ die in our place and make an atonement to God the Father for our sin?"

I believe Christ died for us and made atonement to God for our sin, but based on Scripture I don't believe this happened in the Penal Substitutionary sense. I don't believe our sin was "imputed" to Christ, for the Apostles were well aware of the term "impute" and used it over 40 times but never used it like what you just said.
Also, I believe "the blood of Christ cleanses us of all sin," which would mean the 'filthy black' becomes 'snow white'.

Later, you speak of only perfect law keepers can enter heaven, and even quote Gal 3:10. I think you have misunderstood the Apostle's point. The Law he is speaking of is the Mosaic Law, which was done away with. The (Mosaic) Law never promised eternal life, even if kept perfectly. It offered only a temporal/earthly righteousness. Gal 2:21 says if salvation come from the Law, Christ *died* for nothing - in other words, if the Law saved, Christ's death was superfluous.

The way I understand you to be speaking of "reckoning" is that someone is reckoned as if they perfectly kept the Law, even though in reality they have not. Even if Christ kept it for them, the reality is they have not and yet are reckoned as though they have.

Scott said...


I must confess I've been thinking of our commenting back and forth all week. It has proven much encouragement to me and I am really striving and hoping to explain myself and what I understand to be God's truth clearly and fully hoping to be at least understood and especially to be a blessing to you.

I had another thought then I would like to share:

As I read your last post I was also considering if it might be helpful to you to consider how even for the believer sin yet remains a present foe.

I'm hopefully getting ready to begin posting on Romans 7 some of which demonstrates how as a Christian though sin no longer reigns in us it does yet remain in us. So that even the Apostle Paul as a believer in Jesus Christ can groan "Oh Wretched Man that I am who shall deliver me from this body of death." Or "I know that in me that is in my flesh dwells no good thing" -- and also - "how to perform that which is good I find not." or even "I am carnal sold under sin." Learning from Romans 7 that the believer even after being made alive by the spirit of God - having been buried with Christ and raised to walk in newness of Life - still has remaining sin. Thus showing that even though he is a new creation in Christ - he is not altogether yet what he shall be. Even filled with the spirit sin is not SO ERADICATED that he will find inherent righteousness ENOUGH in his life well lived to MERIT ETERNAL LIFE. Due to remaining sin No inherent act of righteousness even as enabled by the spirit of GOD will be so complete as to merit heaven and earn the declaration of perfect righteousness worthy of heaven.

Justification for the believer is not based on righteous acts for even as a believer born of the Spirit of God we fall short of that perfection required for sin yet remains though it has been dethroned from its previous tyranny when in our unregenerate state.

Nick, you are of course correct that one could never obtain life through perfect law keeping as none will perfectly keep the law. Under those terms Romans 3:10 states THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS. Yet there was such an arrangment with ADAM - When God said "in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Also true then in the NOT eating thou shalt live. OR also Rom 7:10 And the commandment which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. Or "the soul that sinneth it shall die" implying the soul that sins not shall live.

Thanks for thinking on these things with me.

Nick said...


Sorry for this sorta late response, a lot of stuff came up in my life (nothing tragic, thankfully), including food poisoning the last few days. I simply have been unable to be online for more than maybe 15 minutes a day over the last week or so.

I'd be interested in how you interpret Romans 7, especially the "sin remains *in* us" part. Sin has no ontological existence, it isn't a "thing". Thus, it cannot literally live in us. St Augustine realized this against the Manichean heretics. Sin and evil are an *absence* or degrading/misusing of something intrinsically good. Human nature is intrinsically good, for if it were evil/sin, that would be utter heresy.

Scott said...


Sorry to hear about the food poisoning thats tough.

I did have a couple of people ask me about the proper understanding of "sin that dwells in me." There will be some notes on that specifically. They will deny that Paul meant sin as an actual entity or being.

I was wondering what you mean by:
"Human nature is intrinsically good, for if it were evil/sin, that would be utter heresy."

I can understand the first part by itself when you say "human nature is intrinsically good" but I didn't know how you meant me to take the second part: "for if it were evil/sin, that would be utter heresy." I'm guessing you mean that if I were to teach that human nature is not basically good then that teaching would be heresy.

But did you mean then to say that now "man is basically good?" or only to say that when God made man he made him upright in righteousness and true holiness." But fallen man has a heart that is deceitful and desperately wicked and even from the womb it is right to say "in sin my mother conceived me." Not disparaging our mothers but admitting that sin has ruined us from where we stood in Adam before the fall.

Nick said...

Hi Scott,

To clarify, Manicheanism is a old heresy of Augustine's time that taught God the creator of all must also be creator and sustainer of evil since evil 'exists'. This so baffled Augustine in his early life that he believed this error. At the time nearing his conversion, he realized the error: evil didn't really 'exist'.

Evil is nothing more than a privation/degrading of good. No *thing* in *itself* is evil, instead evil is the misusing of that *thing*. Thus when Paul says sin dwells *in* me, he was not speaking of nature literally becoming sin/evil or that sin was some black blob entity that lived in him.

So when it is said man has an "evil heart," it is not saying the heart itself is evil but rather the heart (i.e. will and intentions) is being misused for sinful purposes. Human nature became corrupt not in the sense it became "evil/sin," but in the sense it became *less good* and as a result facilitated evil/sinful actions. So, as an example, think of a man who hurts his leg and as a result is inclined to walk crookedly. His leg never became "evil," but it did become "less good," and this corruption has a strong influence on preventing him from walking straight. In a similar sense, man's nature didn't become 'sin nature' or such, but it became 'less good' in its operations, and this facilitates/encourages us to do sinful things.

Scott said...


Thanks for the further clarification.

Was wondering a couple things:

1) If you understood what I meant that even the Christian can not find enough inherent righteousness by which to merit eternal life. Because though he has been made a new creation in Christ he must yet acknowledge with Paul that the principal of sin (not a separate ontological being but that corruption that remains) even now defiles and taints. Thus our dependence upon Christ who is our righteousness - who is our head and representative who did what Adam could not do and who did in our place what we cannot do.

2) Secondly was wondering if we are now clear on Logizomai. As a word it speaks of what one thinks of something - or as in "based on the sum of truths known this is the conclusion." if we agree on Logizomai meaning this - then you can agree on my understanding of how this word is applied concerning our being counted perfectly righteous - contingent upon there being truly a representative purpose in what Christ has done and accomplished. That in the purpose of God even before the world was made Christ was the surety of his people and he came to do his Father's will as a substitute and representative of all those the Father has given him. All this to say: It is appropriate to use Logizomai when we say "imputed righteousness" if such a representative plan concerning Christ is in place. If such a plan is not in place then Logizomai could not be used in this way.

For me this is the rub in the disparity of our approach to the Word of God and gospel - I see this in Christ - He has done what I couldn't ever do and in my place - this arrangement being established by God and not man. I do not think you see such an arrangement but rather you see an enabling of God in us to do what is necessary ourselves in order to secure salvation and be thought of as righteous. which is why I thought it would be helpful in the previous comment for you to consider the problem of even remaining sin in the believer - so that he can not be justified by his own works even after regeneration.

I would also like to add a third simple logical thought which has helped me in the past:

Rom 8:8 says "they that are in the flesh cannot please God."


Rom 11:6 Without Faith it is impossible to please God.

thus even Faith cannot be man's work but God's gift for the Flesh cannot produce a God pleasing thing like Faith.

God choosing to save some, regenerates the believer who is chosen in Christ even before the foundation of the World - the believer embracing Christ by Faith which faith is the instrumental means by which God justly accounts Christ's representative work of righteousness to the believer.

And I admit that this can only be conceded if one accepts that the revelation of God's Word teaches us that Christ's work was done on our behalf and in our place - as a substitute and the HEAD of his people.

Nick, I also want to thank you for patiently interacting with all these many comments 15 so far. The gospel of Jesus Christ is precious beyond all words - Christ is precious to us who believe, and a true understanding of "What is The Gospel?" is a comfort to us now but especially is also of eternal importance.

Nick said...

Hi Scott,

1) I think the problem with your first part is framing righteousness in terms of getting a 100% obedience score on our test of life. That's not how righteousness is to be understood. What distinguishes us between saved and unsaved is the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us or not. And since our fallen natures are not 'sin' in any real sense, this doesn't in itself preclude us being righteous.

2) Regarding logizomai, you appear to be saying God is indeed counting righteousness where it indeed is there, in agreement with me. But you seem to be adding a step, namely that Christ's righteousness already is upon the individual and *then* God looks and sees righteousness. But this betrays the way Paul explains the situation, because what you're arguing effectively requires a double use of the term logizomai, once to 'transfer' the righteousness to the individual and two for God to 'look and see' the righteousness that is there.

I agree that there is a disparity in how each of us sees Christ's work. I don't see anywhere in Scripture that says Christ kept the Law in my place or anything similar.

Looking at your two verses, I think context vindicates my claims:

Romans 8: 9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.

Notice what is said here, Paul is contrasting those with the Indwelling of the Spirit to those without. Those with, Christians, are "alive because of righteousness". This is an inner transforming righteousness.

Hebrews 11:4By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. 5By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Thus we see explicit examples of men pleasing God by obedience and being saved for it (Abel was considered a righteous man).

Scott said...


I think we are making some progress in at least understanding each other mutually. For example I want you to see that my definition of Logizomai and yours appear essentially the same and I think we are almost there.

Maybe i can further clarify if I respond to what You wrote here:
"because what you're arguing effectively requires a double use of the term logizomai, once to 'transfer' the righteousness to the individual and two for God to 'look and see' the righteousness that is there."

I am not arguing for a double use of logizomai one to transfer and once to look and see. I am trying to explain that God's eternal purpose from before the foundation of the World was that Christ would represent his people in the flesh. The eternal word would become flesh. That Christ would be the God-man who stands as a substitute in their place -- this arrangement being true God "credits" or "thinks" logizomai these people chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world as righteous by faith. No two uses of the word is required. But that such a system or divine covenant being in place is of course necessary for me to say that God can logizomai his people as righteous by faith. Two uses of the ONE word,logizomai, is not necessary but this divine covenant within the divine Godhead is.

So Logizomai is not used to transfer righteousness according to my understanding, for this is already true from the eternal plan of GOD for those who believe.

I am not trying to use Logizomai in two different ways - but only one, with respect to the divine covenant the Father giving the son a people, the son assuming for them to the Father their suretyship, what Jesus did he did in their place and the Father rightly THINKS of his people as righteous. One use of Logizomai based upon the work of Christ alone, what he did on behalf of his people with a design to be a display of the glorious wisdom of God, Eph 3:10. He in this work is both JUST - sin is paid for, perfection established and he is the justifier of his people, for he is the LORD our Righteousness.

If such a divine arrangement exists then would you agree that on the word Logizomai we are both holding to its strict meaning in the original language?

Scott said...


In most of my comments to you I have tried to say in many different ways that Jesus Christ had a purpose to do what we could not - atone for sin in his death on the cross and fulfill all righteousness in our place in his life here. You wrote in your last comment:
"I agree that there is a disparity in how each of us sees Christ's work. I don't see anywhere in Scripture that says Christ kept the Law in my place or anything similar."

The Incarnation of Christ, God taking upon himself flesh as the most central event of all history was for this very reason which you deny. The eternal Son of God became like us in all points only without sin - to be our representative. He was made of the seed of David, he took on himself the form of a servant, he became Man to represent MAN.

The one who was above the law from eternity was made under the law NOT FOR HIMSELF but for us whom he represented under the law:
Gal 4:4-5 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

He came and fulfilled all rigtheousness required by us in our place:
Mat 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

And especially also this verse:
Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

END or TELOS - the fulfillment of all the law required for righteousness CHRIST IS THAT. Christ is that to everyone that believes. Christ is the accomplishment of that law in our place.

AGAIN I want to stress that the whole of CHRIST COMING IN THE FLESH, becoming fully man while never less fully GOD, but fully man to represent MAN to stand as his head and SUBSTITUTE. Christ is the divine substitute. THIS IS WHAT THE WHOLE REVELATION OF SCRIPTURES points us to. Christ our saviour. Christ FOR US. Promised in the Garden as the seed of the woman, typified in the sacrifices who die as a substitute, the scapegoat upon whom the hands were laid signifying that the GOAT would now bear them, then sent to bear them out of the camp. The prophets and the gospel all telling of CHRIST FOR US and CHRIST in our PLACE. Christ is the LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

having no righteousness to call my own as a reward for my own obedience but that which is mine through the instrumentality of Faith.
Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

I am found IN HIM, in Christ my head and representative.

THE event of the Incarnation itself points clearly to the representative nature of Jesus Christ.

Nick said...

Hi Scott,

I am glad we are starting to understand each other, because all to often folks just talk past each other. That you think our understanding of logizomai is very close is astonishing to me, but maybe you see something I don't.

Reading through your latest comments, you appear to be saying those 'two steps' I mentioned are true in a sense, but logizomai only applies to the second. Thus, to you, it's already presupposed that Christ stood in for the Believer, and thus when God goes to logizomai He sees this reality (and thus not reckoning contrary to the fact).

The difficulty I see with this is what is presupposed and then projected onto texts like Romans 4. It is presupposed that this righteousness is Christ's and thus alien. The popular reading is that 'logizomai' entails reckoning what the believer doesn't really have, and this is the only grounds I see to introduce the righteousness as alien. The issue remains either way though, the Believer is reckoned as righteous inspite of the fact their own record is unrighteous. And both ways pose a problematic reading of "faith reckoned as righteousness," for how is 'faith' operating here?

This also plays into how the phrase "justifies the ungodly" is understood, for I cannot see this work in your theology. God is *never* justifying the ungodly if the whole point is God is looking at Christ's work instead. Does that make sense?

Next you spoke on where Scripture teaches Christ kept the Law in our place. I believe Jesus took on flesh for the means to atone for sin, but that doesn't necessitate keeping the Law in our place. In fact, Jesus was not born under the Law in virtue of being a man, rather He only came under the Law later in life, at His circumcision. Those "under the Law" from Gal 4:4-5 were the Jews, not the Gentiles. Else it makes no sense to say Jesus went under the Law, for that would be redundant.

I'm not sure what your point on Mat 3:15 is. The Law never commanded Baptism, that's something Jesus introduced. Further, Believers are still Baptized, so it's not like Jesus was Baptized in their place. Lastly, the "righteousness" being fulfilled here is that of God's saving plan beginning to unfold. This "righteousness" is none other than God fulfilling his Promises, as Jer 33:14-18 says: "The days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel"

As for Romans 10:4-5, I totally agree that Christ is "the fulfillment of all the law," which is what 'telos' means, but this is in reference to Christ being what the Law pointed to. For example Christ fulfils the Law in becoming the Passover Lamb. We're not called to do this, it's only in reference to Christ. To fulfill and to perfectly obey are not synonyms. Christians are called to "fulfill the Law" by Paul (e.g. Rom 13:8-13), but that doesn't mean "keep perfectly".

You went onto quote Phil 3:9, yet in context that is speaking of Christ's transforming power: "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." which is lost when Paul is cut off mid-thought in v9.

Scott said...


Because the disparity between our understanding of scripture seems to be larger and larger as we continue to discuss, I'm striving to stay focused on why I think we both see the actual meaning of the single greek word logizomai in the same way or at least very close. I thought we were close to agreeing on that until you said you were "astonished" by that observation. I must have read too much into your comments previously based on your use of the word "astonished." YET - I Do think we are close to coming to this agreement.

You wrote:
"Reading through your latest comments, you appear to be saying those 'two steps' I mentioned are true in a sense, but logizomai only applies to the second. Thus, to you, it's already presupposed that Christ stood in for the Believer, and thus when God goes to logizomai He sees this reality (and thus not reckoning contrary to the fact)."

Focusing on especially your last statement where you restate how you are understanding me:

"and thus when God goes to logizomai He sees this reality (and thus not reckoning contrary to the fact)."

I think thats it - the way you restated me - For me Logizomai is God reckoning - concluding - as righteous the believer because I also understand it was God's purpose that Christ would be the substitute for his people.

If this divine purpose is true then my understanding of Logizomai according to its strict meaning in the original greek is very close to your understanding of Logizomai.

I am not trying to force Logizomai to mean something different than it can mean. But it is predicated upon there being this divine arrangement already in place.

Nick, I'm just trying to move our discussion along in small bits - not trying to establish without doubt in your mind that there is such a divine representation if we can agree only that Logizomai is an appropriate word to use in a case where: Christ fulfills all righteousness required and pays all debts for his people and in their place then it is just and right for God to conclude these people as righteous according to the completed work of his son. And Logizomai would be the proper word to use in such a situation.

If we can both understand this about each other maybe then it will be appropriate to demonstrate why I do or you don't believe that such a purpose is evident in scripture.

Then the discussion can proceed beyond what Logizomai means, being satisfied that I do understand this word correctly as used in our NT scriptures. Though disagreeing at this point on how God can logizomai a believer as righteous.

As you said to make sure we are not talking past one another.

There is still a lot of ground to cover but I would be very happy if we can settle this little point on the word Logizomai itself.

Nick said...


I agree with the logic of what you're saying, where I'm stuck is the point that God transfers this righteousness to the individual and *then* looks and reckons what He sees as fact.

When someone says "Christ's Righteousness is 'imputed' to the the believer," by all Protestant articles and books I've read on the subject, this is meant to indicate the 'transfer' itself of Christ's Righteousness, otherwise there would be this step missing (or assumed) when God goes to 'declare righteous' on a real basis. I guess you could argue this is "assumed", but we've already talked on that.

Perhaps the next questions should be is, (1) how do you interpret "faith reckoned as righteousness", and (2) is God declaring righteous an individual who is in their own right a law-breaker (unrighteous)?