Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Powerful Truth of Justification by Grace Alone




By Pastor Mike Robinson
Granbury, Texas

Justification by Grace Alone catholic
Justification is by Grace Alone

“Justification is the article by which the church stands and falls— justificatio est articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae—” (Martin Luther).

“There is no one doctrine in the whole Bible more fully asserted.” Jonathan Edwards).

Clouds and darkness surround Him: righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne (Psalms 97:2).

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).

Justification is a doctrinal legal (forensic) term that means to be declared righteous. The doctrine is laid out in the books of Romans and 1 Corinthians, among others (Genesis 15; Psalm 32; Galatians; Titus, etc.). Justification, as a doctrine, is unique to Christianity. 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. Justification is a legal, forensic term that implies prior condemnation and results in pardon.

God is not arbitrary; He is holy and perfect. One must be righteous to live with Him in heaven. Every man has broken God’s holy law; the solution for man’s sin and depravity is a formal, legal justification through Christ by grace through faith.

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. Christians know that Jesus atoned for their sins on the Cross, but His work was not merely negative and passive.

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. We are justified before God through the active and passive obedience of Jesus. We are saved by His life and His death; that is good news. Only Christianity can bestow justification. All the world’s other religions are based upon the religionist’s good deeds and personal merit. The problem is that heaven is perfect, God is holy, and nothing unholy and unrighteous will enter God’s heaven. Biblical justification is the only solution to man’s sin and Adam’s disobedience.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).

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.
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."

Righteousness: δίκαιος (dikaios)

 

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."

Faith without Works is Dead

Our good works at times can justify us before men (James 2:18).
But our Justification before God is by grace alone (Romans 4:2).
Isaac was offered by Abraham many years after he was already justified before God, so James is focused on justification before men.
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.

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