Sunday, April 3, 2016
Live in Obedience from Your Grace-given Justification
by Mike Robinson
Many churches unwittingly confuse the law and the grace. Some churches fall into legalism. Others may affirm the opposite by stating that teaching moral duties is legalism.
I have found that a teaching summary designated the three Gs helps many Christians make the right distinctions between law and gospel; sanctification and justification. Most preachers, apologists, and average Christians often find it difficult to explain how salvation by grace alone properly relates to the Christian duty of moral obedience to God’s commandments.
Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude
· Guilt: All men sin and are guilty before God (John 3 & Romans 3).
· Grace: God extends His grace to men by sending His Son to die a vicarious death on the cross. God’s grace through the Gospel by the power of the Spirit saves a person who trusts in Christ (Titus 3:4-7).
· Gratitude: The one who trusts in Christ is forgiven of all of his guilt and sin; he now serves God out of gratitude and love for saving him (John 14 & Titus 3:8).
Titus 3:4-8 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
Romans 7:15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I want to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I keep doing. … 19 For the good that I want to do, I do not do; but the evil I do not want to do, that I practice.
“Justification is the article by which the church stands and falls— (Martin Luther).
“There is no one doctrine in the whole Bible more fully asserted.” Jonathan Edwards).
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. … For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him (Romans 5:1-9).
The doctrine of justification holds that the believer is declared righteous, his sins are removed, and Christ’s righteousness is imputed unto him by grace alone: the believer now has right legal standing before God. No other religious system has a means by which to erase one’s record of iniquity and grant one a righteous record—a record required to enter a pure and unspotted heaven.
But to him who does not work, but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted (imputed) for righteousness (Romans 4:5).
Most Christians understand that because Christ died on the Cross, their sins are forgiven and rinsed away; this is what is called the negative aspect of justification. Something is subtracted, namely our sins. The positive aspect of justification is usually overlooked by the average modern Christian. The positive element of justification states that God imputes into the believer’s account the righteousness of Christ. Jesus not only died for us; He lived for us. His perfect, holy, and righteous life’s record was given to those who trust in Him.
During His life of thirty-three years, Jesus lived in perfect accord with God’s law, fulfilling all righteousness on our behalf. Saved believers stand perfectly righteous before the Holy God. They are not just guiltless and sinless, but they are actually declared righteous on account of Christ. All the righteous deeds Jesus did on the earth are imputed into the believer’s account.
The Eternal Blessing of Imputation
And he believed in the LORD; and He accounted it to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6).
Imputation: The righteousness that Jesus earned as He lived a perfect life is given (imputed) to the believer by grace through faith.
Gen. 15:6 And Abraham believed God and it was accounted (imputed) for righteousness…
Psalm 32:1-5 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit…. 5 I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
Rom. 3:24 Being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.
Rom. 3:26 "for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."
Rom. 3:28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
Rom. 4:3 "For what does the Scripture say? "And Abraham believed God, and it was accounted (imputed) to him as righteousness."
Rom. 4:5 "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted (imputed) as righteousness."
Rom. 4:11, "And … all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also."
Rom. 5:1 "Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,"
Rom. 5:9 "Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him."
Luke 18:13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified…
Rom. 9:30 "What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith."
Rom. 10:9-10 "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness (justification), and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."
1 Cor. 1:30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and justification [righteousness] and sanctification and redemption.
Gal. 2:16 "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, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified."
Gal. 2:21 “I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness (justification) comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
Gal.3:6 Even so Abraham believed God, and it was accounted (imputed) to him as righteousness."
Gal. 3:8 "And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "All the nations shall be blessed in you."[see John 8:56].
Gal. 3:14 "In order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."
Gal. 3:24 "Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith."
Phil. 3:9 "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."
To live a life of obedience before God you must:
1. Admit that the flesh is weak (Matt 26:41).
2. Repent. Turn from your sin and error.
3. Pray for power and wisdom to overcome temptation and sin.
4. Avoid instruments, places, people, and circles that tempt you and where you previously fell.
5. Keep your focus on Jesus, His Word, and His victory
(1 Corinthians 15:56; Hebrews 12:1-2).
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