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Abstract

"Desmond Ford’s emphasis on Righteousness by Faith, as taught by Paul in the book of Romans, was a necessary course correction to the prevailing perfectionism in the 1960s, particularly in Australia, but not only there. Associated with it was an almost total lack of assurance of salvation among church members. Ford, like E. J. Waggoner in 1888, attempted to show that acceptance by God is on the basis of what Jesus has done, not on the basis of how good we are. Paul says, “He hath made Christ to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). What is the righteousness of God? Perfection–perfect works. Therefore, only perfect obedience is acceptable to God. No human being could render this to God, except Christ. He lived a perfect, sinless life in word, thought, and deed, and then He took our place on the cross and died that we may live. And this perfect obedience–his righteousness, the only righteousness God can accept, is given to us–if we believe. It is imputed to us, i.e., it is put to our account. This, said Ford, is righteousness by faith or justification."

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