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About Doctrines

Justificaton

Romans 3:28
For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law
NET

Justification is the process whereby God makes a sinful person acceptable to Him. It is part of the beginning of the concept we call salvation.

Justification should properly be viewed as a legal concept. We are, in a sense, no different immediately after justification than we were before. We have still committed the same sins and we have paid no penalty for them. The difference is that God now accepts us because of our faith in Jesus. He sees Christ's righteousness when He looks at us. God declares us acceptable and righteous based solely upon our relationship with Jesus.

The thought here is that God solely by His grace fins us free from the demands of His law.

Romans 3:24
being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, NKJV

Christ's death is the basis of our justification.

Hebrews 10:14
For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. NKJV

Our faith experience is the vehicle whereby justification operates. The cry of Martin Luther's Reformation was based upon "justification by faith."

Romans 3:25-30
25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
NKJV

It is solely by the work of God that we are determined to be justified and righteous.

Chapter 5 of Romans is a wonderful place to investigate the idea of justification. But, there is more to this doctrine than is set forth in that chapter. The doctrine looks something like this:

First, justification is in the sovereignty of God, wholly by His will.

Romans 8:33
Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.

Second, we are justified by God's grace, without any cause on our part.

Romans 3:24
[All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus Amplified

Third, justification is by the blood of Jesus.

Romans 5:9
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

Fourth, justification occurred because of Christ's obedience.

Romans 5:19
For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.

Fifth, it is the Resurrection of Jesus that secures justification.

Romans 4:25
who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

Sixth, we are effectively justified by the work of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:11
And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Seventh, we are experientially justified by the faith in Jesus.

Galatians 2:16
knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

Eighth, and lastly, we find the evidence of our justification in our works.

James 2:24
You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

One of the historical controversies within the Protestant church has been the question of what appears to be justification by works in James conflicting with Paul's justification by faith argument for salvation. It is clear from Romans 4, that James and Paul are on the same page. James writes to a church of believers and is urging them to put their faith into action, much in the same manner as Abraham. Paul tells us to do the same thing. Consider:

Ephesians 4:12
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ

1 Timothy 5:10
10 well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.

And, you should also consider these other Scripture on the issue of good works being a sign of your faith: 1 Timothy 2:10 & 6:18; Hebrews 10:24; James 2:14, 18, 20, 26 & 3:13; 1 Peter 2:12; and Revelation 2:2, 19.

All Scripture taken from the NKJV unless noted.

 

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