Monday, June 25, 2012

Simul Iustus Et Peccator -Simultaneously Justified and Fallen

Excerpt taken from Grace In Addiction:


Earlier we spoke of the man who said: "I thought when I got sober that I was no longer going to be Bob, but guess what?  I'm still Bob, even though I'm sober."  Bob's simple statement reflects an incredibly important insight that emerged in the 16th century during the Protestant Reformation.
Simul iustus et peccator is Latin for: "Simultaneously Justified and Fallen." Though this can sound obscure, the idea carries great weight and relevance in matters having to do with spirituality.
Martin Luther believed that the Christian stands before God completely exonerated of all guilt, treated by God as though his or her life is as righteous as Christ's own. At the same time, Luther claimed that the person, in and of themselves, still struggles with themselves in exactly the way they did before they found faith. In other words, a spiritual person is simultaneously Saint (from God's vantage point) and Sinner (from a human vantage point). Rather than being either good or bad, the Christian is viewed as both good and bad in the same moment. In contrast to so much modern Christian self-understanding, the sanctification of a believer is understood in classical Protestantism to be imputed, rather than infused or imparted. This is a fancy way of saying that God operates outside of and upon a human agent, rather than from within.
This booklet is a fascinating cogitation which "aims to re-establish both a basis of hope for the church and a basis for the church as hope".

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