Transformational Truth for Today Justification by Gracethrough Faith in Christ
Order of Salvation • Election (God’s choice of people to be saved) • Effective Calling (God’s drawing through the proclamation of the gospel) • Regeneration (being born again) • Conversion (faith and repentance) • Justification (right legal standing) • Adoption (membership in God’s family) • Sanctification (growing in Christ-likeness) • Perseverance (eternal security) • Death (going to be with the Lord) • Glorification (receiving a resurrection body)
Justification • How and when do we gain right legal standing before God? • The Bible says that: God “justifies him who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26), and that “a man is justified by faith apart from works of law” (Rom. 3:28). He says, “Since we are justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). Moreover, “a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ” (Gal. 2:16).
Justification • Justify is related to the word for righteous. • The word for righteousness in Greek (dikaiosune) is related to the verb “to justify” or dikaio. • “Righteousfy” means – to declare righteous.
Justification • Justification is an instantaneous legal act of God in which He: (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us (2) declares us to be righteous in His sight • This is COURTROOM LANGUAGE
Justification • Then he [Abraham] believed in the LORD; and He reckoned [credited] it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6
Justification • David Wells: From the time of the Reformation, justification by grace alone and received through faith alone has been considered the central, defining motif in this New Testament gospel. It was upon this doctrine, Luther declared, that the church stands or falls.
Justification • To justify – to declare righteous: • “When they heard this all the people and the tax collectors justified God [acknowledged God’s justice], having been baptized with the baptism of John” (Luke 7:29). • He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD. Proverbs 17:15
Justification • “Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent or the righteous, for I will not acquit the guilty.” Exodus 23:7 • 3 What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? 4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, "THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED." Romans 3:3-4, PS. 51:4 quote
Justification • 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Romans 8:31-34
Justification In justification - God declares us to be just in his sight • God declares that we have no penalty to pay for sin • Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 • Romans 4 • Forgiveness makes us morally neutral, but does not give us favor with God • God also declares that we are righteous in his sight
Justification • Justification includes imputation • Imputes = God thinks of Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us (Rom. 4:3; 1 Cor. 1:30; Phil. 3:9; Rom. 4:6-8). • God credits something to our spiritual account • For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED [logizomai ] TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Romans 4:3
Justification • 7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith… Philippians 3:7-9
Justification • If justification changed us internally and then declared us to be righteous based on how good we actually were • A. we could never be declared perfectly righteous in this life because of remaining sin • B. there would be no provision for forgiveness of past sin (committed before we were changed internally), and therefore we could never have confidence that we are right before God • He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Justification • 3:20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.(Romans 3)
Justification • 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one. Romans 3:28-30
Justification • But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, Romans 4:5 • Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… Romans 5:1 • nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. Galatians 2:16 • The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.” Galatians 3:8
Justification • Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “The righteousman shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:11 • Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24 • for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus… Romans 3:23-24
Justification • Why Faith? It’s the exact opposite of works or self-merit or self-reliance The dividing line between Catholics and Protestants: • to be declared innocent or • to be made innocent? • To be imputed or credited with righteousness or imparted/infused with righteousness.
Justification The Roman Catholic View: • Infused righteousness: At the moment of salvation, God infuses or weaves into you an actual sinless holiness. At that moment, you are perfectly innocent in actual practice. • Does this sound like legal, courtroom language? No.
Justification The Council of Trent (1545-1563) • “The means of justification is the sacrament of baptism.” • Those who, by sin have fallen from the received grace of justification may be again justified ... through the sacrament of penance. (confession, Hail Marys, etc.)
Justification The Council of Trent • “If any one says, that by faith alone the sinner is justified; in such a way as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema – condemned.” (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9)
Justification The Council of Trent • “If any one says, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.” (Canon 14)
Justification The Council of Trent • “If any one says, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase of justification; let him be anathema.” (Canon 24)
Justification • “If any one shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified ... let him be accursed” (Canon 12) • For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. Romans 3:28 • Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… Romans 5:1
Justification • “If any one says, that, after the grace of Justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise, that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened (to him); let him be anathema.” (Canon 30)
Justification • 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Colossians 2:13-14 • For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
Justification • 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Justification • Summary: The Roman Catholic view of salvation promotes an insufficient Christ, an inadequate Cross, a losable salvation, and a salvation that fails to protect you from God’s wrath against sin since it is based on your good works. - Joel James
Transformational Truth for Today Justification by Gracethrough Faith in Christ