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Registered user
Username: Lettlander

Post Number: 86
Registered: 8-2015
Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 1:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am only now becoming more aware of the SDA preference for the term "righteousness by faith." Even as Ministry Magazine avers that Adventists believe in justification by faith (alone!), just reading their article made me sick, realizing how deceptive everything is, right down to the phraseology! In one paragraph, they quote EGW without blinking an eye:

"In both the justification and the sanctification experiences it must be all of Christ and none of self. 'We are dependent on Christ, first for justification from our PAST offenses, and, secondly, for grace whereby to render acceptable obedience to His holy law in time to come.'—Signs of the Times, June 4, 1874."

I am having a hard time explaining to a cousin what the difference is between the Reformation and the SDA terminology, partly because the SDA position is so nuanced and slippery!

A very frustrated former SDA.

P.S. Here's the article link: https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/1977/02/what-is-righteousness-by-faith
Registered user
Username: Taluur

Post Number: 116
Registered: 8-2012
Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 4:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I can sympathize with you, Lettlander. I had a lengthy conversation with an SDA pastor last month on how a person is made just before God.

I provided a lot of Scripture pointing to justification by faith in Jesus alone. He indicated I was not saved because I did not agree with his take on Ephesians 2:10, Romans 5:10, James 2:26. He believes the righteousness of Jesus is implanted into the believer in order to do good works. When you look on Roman Catholic apologists websites on this topic, they were saying virtually the same thing using the same verses.

I fail to understand how passages like Romans 3:27-28, Ephesians 2:8-10, and many others can be turned into implanted righteousness to do good works (especially works of the law like Sabbath day observance).

When I quoted Phil 3:9, 2 Cor 5:21, Rom 4:5 and many others like them, he ignored them and kept focusing on Ephesians 2:10 and James 2:26.

When I mentioned the thief on the cross who had only his faith in Jesus and no works, he tried to turn expressing faith into a work!

EGW said in GC 623 that to be saved in the time of trouble a person needed to be in a state like Jesus where the commandments are kept perfectly, especially since that person would have to stand before God without Jesus the Mediator. The pastor would not respond to any questions related to whether or not he could cooperate with the Holy Spirit perfectly in order to face such a situation.

It was so sad. His salvation is unsure, and he is teaching this fatal gospel in his preaching.
Registered user
Username: Jonasaras

Post Number: 58
Registered: 9-2012
Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 5:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You are precisely correct. SDSs twist the faith of the believer into a meritorious work. The reality is that the believer's faith even on its best day is human, weak and polluted with sin.
Registered user
Username: Indy4now

Post Number: 1094
Registered: 2-2008

Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 6:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The thing that I find most frustrating when an Adventist quotes James is that if you look and read through James, his examples of works are:

1. Abraham offering up his son on the altar. (James 2:21)

2. Rahab... when she "received the messengers and sent them out by another way." (James 2:25)

Both of these examples have nothing to do with keeping the 10C's anyway. Other examples in James are feeding the hungry and helping the poor, etc.

Every time an Adventist hears the word "works" it is code for "keeping the 10C's".

Registered user
Username: Colleentinker

Post Number: 15488
Registered: 12-2003

Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 6:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I SO agree with y'all! Their "righteousness by faith" is NOT justification by faith. Furthermore, it is a deceptive phrase attempting to echo a biblical description, but it is a phrase that actually says something very different from the contextual use in Scripture.

For example, the closest wording to "righteousness by faith" is found in Romans 9:30:


What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith;

Romans 4:3 says,


For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.

Galatians 3:11 says,


Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Hebrews 10:38 says,


but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”

Hebrews 11:7 says,


By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

And Habakkuk 2:4 (where this phrase originates) says,


“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.

The SDA "righteousness by faith" attempts to pick up this biblical reference to the righteousness that is by faith, or that comes by faith, or the righteousness of faith, but the SDA context, as you all have said, insists on something completely different. It is the Catholic-type of imparted, as opposed to imputed, righteousness. They totally deceive with their use of biblical-sounding words while yanking those words totally out of their original contexts and ascribing different meanings to them.

Kaspars, I understand your frustration so well! I am convinced that Adventists who want to defend their position will be unable to see what the Bible actually means. In order for them to understand, they would have to back up and admit their own sin and depravity. Until we understand what Jesus' sacrifice actually did FOR US, it's all word games.

Furthermore, understanding the difference between God's conditional and unconditional covenants is part of this understanding. When I understood that Jesus totally fulfilled and keeps the terms of the new covenant with the Father as my Substitute and Representative, the SDA jargon fell apart. Adventists BELIEVE they have to work...and they're dedicated to deceiving themselves that their Sabbath-keeping is not works. They can't admit they believe they must "work". It's total self-deception.

Furthermore, what exactly is the "faith" Adventists claim? They say faith in Jesus...or...faith in....something...it's unclear to me exactly what Adventists believe their "faith" actually IS or what its object is.

It's beyond frustrating. I don't believe this problem can be resolved unless people are truly willing to know what is real and true. The heart truly is deceitful and wicked...in all of us...until we trust Jesus. Even then we have to keep submitting our minds and hearts to His word and to His Spirit to be taught.

Sigh. All to say, the "righteousness by faith" problem is one of my intense frustrations with deceptive Adventist wording.

Registered user
Username: Leifl

Post Number: 134
Registered: 3-2014

Posted on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 2:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This chart (and the other information available on the site) is what opened my eyes (at the age of 36) to see that I was, in fact, a "Catholic hating" Roman Catholic at the core, and not a Protestant.

Please spend some time at this site. It will really help to clarify what Protestantism actually is.

I'm not sure if everything on this site is evangelical ... but their position on justification is.

(Message edited by Leifl on April 27, 2017)
Registered user
Username: Lettlander

Post Number: 87
Registered: 8-2015
Posted on Friday, April 28, 2017 - 2:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you, friends, for all your wonderful comments. To me it boils down to this: Christianity is about giving HIM all the credit. All the glory to Christ! Christ became a man, Christ lived the life I could never live. Christ died the death I deserved. Christ rose as the first-fruits and I only rise because of Him. Anything less does not give the Lamb the glory He deserves.

Registered user
Username: Colleentinker

Post Number: 15493
Registered: 12-2003

Posted on Friday, April 28, 2017 - 3:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree, Kaspars. Thanks for the link, Leifl. I'm pretty sure that link is from Robert Brinsmead's magazine Present Truth during his phase of evangelicalism as he left behind historic Adventism and before he became new age.

It's really sad how people see the gospel but sometimes fail to plant deeply in the truth of His Word. Brinsmead came SO CLOSE, but he remained Adventist, somehow thinking he could change it. One cannot change it. Unless one gives it up completely and submits every part of one's beliefs to the word of God, we drift.

I can see why Paul and Peter and the writer of Hebrews keep cautioning true believers to be aware, to avoid deception, to "hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end" (Heb. 3:14). The Father holds us, but we have to continue to believe the Word when life throws us curve balls. Brinsmead is such a sad example...but he's right in that chart comparison.

Registered user
Username: Lettlander

Post Number: 88
Registered: 8-2015
Posted on Friday, April 28, 2017 - 4:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, that title "Present Truth' threw me off for a loop! What a sad story...just like Des Ford.


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