JUSTIFICATION

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WE BELIEVE THAT THE GREAT GOSPEL BLESSING WHICH CHRIST SECURES TO SUCH AS BELIEVE IN HIM IS JUSTIFICATION: THAT INCLUDES THE PARDON OF SIN, AND THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE ON PRINCIPLES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT IT IS BESTOWED, NOT IN CONSIDERATION OF ANY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE, BUT SOLELY THROUGH FAITH IN THE REDEEMER’S BLOOD; BY VIRTUE OF WHICH FAITH HIS PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS IS FREELY IMPUTED TO US BY GOD; THAT IT BRINGS US INTO A STATE OF MOST BLESSED PEACE AND FAVOR WITH GOD, AND SECURES EVERY OTHER BLESSINGS NEEDFUL FOR TIME AND ETERNITY.

Romans 5:9, "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."

Defined:

Justification is that instantaneous, everlasting, gracious, free, judicial act of God, whereby, on account of the merit of Christ’s blood and righteousness, a repentant, believing sinner is freed from the penalty of the law, restored to God’s favor, and considered as possessing the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ; by virtue of all of which he receives adoption as a son.

A shorter definition is: being right with God.

Some thoughts about justification.

1. Justification is not the cause of salvation.

2. Justification is the result of faith in Christ (in the initial salvation experience). It is because we are already saved by the everlasting grace of God that we stand before him as justified. His blood has covered our sins, therefore we are perfect before God Almighty – therefore we are justified before God.

3. Justification by works is the result of spiritual obedience in the flesh.

a. This is also called progressive sanctification.

b. Rom. 12:1 - Our reasonable service to God is to present our bodies a living sacrifice.

4. Phil. 2:12 - Work out your own salvation.

5. Romans 5:9 - Note two tenses.

We are now justified by his blood.

We shall be saved from wrath through him.

SOME TERMS USED TO EXPLAIN JUSTIFICATION

Expiation, Propitiation (Ex pee ay' shuhn; Proh pih tee ay' shuhn) Terms used by Christian theologians in attempts to define and explain the meaning of Christ’s death on the cross as it relates to God and to believers. Expiation emphasizes the removal of guilt through a payment of the penalty, while propitiation emphasizes the appeasement or averting of God’s wrath and justice. Both words are related to reconciliation, since it is through Christ’s death on the cross for our sins that we are reconciled to a God of holy love (Rom. 5:9-11; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Col. 1:19-23).

Redeem, Redemption, Redeemer To pay the required price to secure the release of a convicted criminal, the process therein involved, and the person making the payment. In early use the idea and the words related to legal and commercial activities. They provided biblical writers with one of the most basic and dynamic images for describing God’s saving activity toward mankind.

I. "WE BELIEVE THAT THE GREAT GOSPEL BLESSING WHICH CHRIST SECURES TO SUCH AS BELIEVE IN HIM IS JUSTIFICATION."

A. The words justify, justification, righteousness, righteousness, just, right, meet, are all translations of the same root word in the Greek language. This means that all these words have a general meaning that is common to all of them, even though their individual meaning may differ slightly.

B. Justification is not always talking about salvation, but justification is always talking about being right.

1. God is justified.

a. Luke 7:29 - And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.

b. I Tim. 3:16 - And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

c. No part of the Godhead had to be "saved", but all the trinity is right, whether accepted by man or not.

2. Men justify themselves.

a. II Corinthians 10:12, "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."

b. Luke 10:29 "But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?" When the lawyer wanted Jesus to say he was okay spiritually, Jesus gave the parable of the Good Samaritan.

3. Justification in two other senses, which is the remainder of this topic:

a. Justification of the Spirit – Romans 3:19-4:11

b. Justification on the flesh – James 2:8-26.

4. Justification is only one word that gives a partial description of salvation.

a. Sanctification is being set aside by God.

1) In Election through predestination.

2) In setting aside the individual for forgiveness of original sin.

3) In setting aside the individual for a pure life before God and man.

b. Justification is being made right before God.

1) God gives us of his righteousness and takes our sinfulness upon himself.

2) In time, God makes our spirits right at the time of salvation.

3) In time, God works in our lives so our lives will be right before God.

c. Glorification is the redemption of the body.

1) God has assured us of glorification when he elected us to salvation.

2) In time, the salvation of our spirits is the first step in our glorification.

3) In the future, at the resurrection, we will be given a new body, which will never sin.

C. Justification in salvation. (Internal - to God) Isaiah 53:11 - He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

1. Luke 18:9-14 - The Pharisee and the Publican.

a. The publican asked for mercy, not justice. He received mercy and justification, not justice.

b. The Pharisee remembered his goodness before God, did not ask for mercy. He didn’t receive mercy or justification. He did receive justice.

2. Now we’ll study how this justification comes to us.

D. Rom. 3:19-31.

1. Verse 24 - justified by grace (unmerited {undeserved} favor)

2. Verse 24,25 - justified by blood.

3. Verse 28 - Justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

a. Rom. 5:1 - justified by faith, we have peace with God.

b. Rom. 5:10 - Justified by blood (now).

c. Impute - To count, account, reckon (Rom. 4:6,7,11). The internal justification of Abraham was by faith.

E. Justification in the Bible sense is the act of God removing from the believing sinner, his guilt and the penalty of that guilt, and imputing or giving a righteousness, which was worked out by Christ Himself in whom the believer stands, not only innocent and not condemned, but actually righteous as far as the legality of the law is concerned for time and for eternity.

1. It takes more than God loving a sinner for that sinner to be saved. It takes a love that is effectual. That is – a love that can do something about our sins. A parent has love for their children, but they do not have an effectual love. When a child is sick, the parent can do many things, but the parent cannot make the child well again. Jesus can make the child well because he has an effectual love. This doesn’t deny the love of God, but shows us more about what God did to gain our redemption. True love always produces that which is good.

2. Justification is a legal term concerning the law. God is the judge and man is the defendant. God is the lawgiver and man is the lawbreaker.

3. Sin is the transgression of God’s law. I John 3:4, "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."

4. All men have sinned and broken God’s law. Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God:" Romans 3:10 "There is none righteous, no, not one."

5. Since we have all sinned we all deserve to die under the penalty of sin. Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death..."

6. This is where justification comes in. "It is that particular aspect of salvation which consists of deliverance from the guilt and penalty of sin. It is the legal aspect of salvation in which one has right standing before God as lawgiver. So far as guilt and condemnation are concerned, the believer is as perfect as if he had never sinned." (C. D. Cole)

F. Justification is a blessing from God given to those who believe in Christ Jesus.

1. God is the author of justification.

a. Romans 8:30 – Justification is only one of many blessings we receive at salvation.

b. Rom. 8:33 – It is God that justifies.

c. Rom. 3:24 – We are justified freely through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Beginning in verse 10, Paul reveals how wicked all sinners are. It is not by the deeds of the law that we are justified, but we are justified without the law by the righteousness of Christ.

2. It is a blessing received through Jesus.

a. John 1:16 – "And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace."

b. Ephesians 3:8 – "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;"

3. It is a blessing enjoyed by all who believe.

a. Acts 13:39 – "And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."

b. Isaiah 3:11-12 – "Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him. 12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths."

c. Romans 3:1 – "What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?"

II. "THAT JUSTIFICATION INCLUDES THE PARDON OF SIN, AND THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE ON PRINCIPLES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS."

A. When the sinner is justified he is forgiven of all his sins. He receives a full pardon from God who is the judge.

B. The blessings that the gift of justification brings are forgiveness, and the promise of eternal life along with every other blessing needful.

1. Romans 5:9 "Being justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."

2. Zechariah 13:1 – "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness."

3. Matthew 9:6 – "But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house."

4. Acts 10:43 – "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."

C. Other scriptures that teach this to be true:

1. Romans 5:17 – "For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)"

2. Titus 3:5-6 – "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;"

3. I John 2:25 – "And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life."

4. Romans 5:21 – "That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

III. "THAT IT IS BESTOWED, NOT IN CONSIDERATION OF ANY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE, BUT SOLELY THROUGH FAITH IN THE REDEEMER’S BLOOD; BY VIRTUE OF WHICH FAITH HIS PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS IS FREELY IMPUTED TO US BY GOD."

A. The following verses in Romans show God’s part in redeeming the sinner from eternal damnation.

1. Romans 3:20 – "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." – The deeds of the law (works of the flesh) will not bring salvation.

2. Romans 3:24 – "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" – Our justification comes free to us by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

3. Romans 3:26 – "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." – Jesus is the justifier of our sinfulness because He shed His righteous (sinless) blood for us.

4. Romans 3:28 – "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." – The above is concluded that we are saved by faith without the deeds of the law.

5. Romans 3:30 – "Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith." – The one God, who justifies all through faith, does not make void the law, rather the law is established.

6. Romans 4:2 – "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God." – Abraham was justified when he believed God, and the righteousness of God was counted (imputed) to him. (Gen. 15:6 takes place some 11 years after Abraham leaves Ur. Abraham is probably about 86 years old in Gen. 15.

7. Romans 4:5 – "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." – The ungodly can receive the righteousness of God by believing on him who justifies the ungodly (Jesus Christ).

B. Romans 4:4-5 – "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

1. Paul tells us in these verses that we are justified not by what we do, but by what Jesus has already done for us.

2. There is no way a lost sinner can justify himself. All are guilty of sin.

3. There is nothing in the sinner that causes God to declare them justified, which simply means they stand before God, "Just as if I had never sinned".

C. It is God’s love that causes him to have mercy on them.

1. Romans 3:24 – "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:"

2. Romans 5:21 – "That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."

3. Romans 6:23 – "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

D. The word "GRACE" means, "unmerited favor, kindness or service freely rendered". The unmerited favor of God toward man through His Son Jesus Christ.

E. God never justifies sinners because of what they do "for all have sinned".

1. Romans 3:23 - "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

2. No human can declare us guiltless of God’s law.

3. Only God can do this. Romans 8:33 states, "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth."

F. It is only when God imputes (charges) our sin to Christ and Christ’s righteousness to us that we can be justified or receive a full pardon from our sins.

1. God charges the sinners sins to Jesus and charges the righteousness of Christ to the sinner. II Corinthians 5:21 states, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

2. God declares sinners just on the grounds of the works and blood of Jesus. Jesus assumed the responsibility of our sin debt and paid it in full with His own life. Romans 5:19 states, "For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."

G. Other scriptures that teach this to be true:

1. Romans 5:21 – "That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."

2. Romans 3:24-26 – "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."

3. Romans 4:23-25 – "Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification."

4. Romans 6:23 – "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

5. Philippians 3:7-9 – "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"

6. I John 2:21 – "I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth."

IV. "THAT IT BRINGS US INTO A STATE OF MOST BLESSED PEACE AND FAVOR WITH GOD, AND SECURES EVERY OTHER BLESSINGS NEEDFUL FOR TIME AND ETERNITY."

A. In justifying the sinner in spite of his own guilt for Jesus’ sake God the Father gives unto the believer forever all the blessings needed for eternity and time.

B. Romans 5:1-2, "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ: by who also we have access by faith into this grace where in we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."

C. The sinner that has been justified in the sight of God is secure in Jesus Christ forever and has much to rejoice in. Romans 4:6 states, "Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,"

D. Other scriptures that teach this to be true:

1. Romans 5:11 – "And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."

2. Romans 5:3 – "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;"

3. I Corinthians 1:30-31 – "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."

4. Matthew 6:33 – "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

5. I Timothy 4:8 – "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."

V. Justified in works (External - to God and men) People who believe you can be saved and not work for Christ; are not saved.

A. Compare Rom. 2:13 - Doers of the law are justified, and Rom. 3:28 - Justified without the deeds of the law.

1. People are not redeemed from the Adamic nature by works of the law (outward works done in the body.)

2. Rom. 2:13 is in parenthesis (along with verse 13-15). Those verses are an explanation of verse 12.

3. It doesn’t make any difference if they have the law or not for (verse 11), there is no respect of persons with God - all perish without Christ.

4. The explanation:

a. Read all of verse 13 - it does no good to just hear the law, but you must do the law.

b. John 6:28,29 - doing the works of God shows that you are believing in Christ (for redemption and living).

B. Justified in James - James 1:22 - Be ye doers of the word, not hearers only. This is an active, living, believing in Christ. (For a verse by verse commentary, see my notes on James 2:14-16.)

C. James 2:8-16 - The Royal law and justified by works.

1. Verse 8 - The "Royal Law" is the real purpose of the law - love. Mark 12:28-31 - The greatest commandment in the law is love.

2. Verse 14 - The question - is a person really saved if he has no works?

3. Verse 15-17 - An example of a useless word of encouragement with no food or clothes, to back it up.

4. Verse 18a - Statement that it is impossible to reveal faith without works by that faith. Man looks on the outward work to discover an inward faith.

5. Verse 19 - It’s not enough to believe in one God for the devils also believe in one God and they are not justified and will spend eternity in hell.

6. Verse 20 - The believing we have must be the kind of believing that causes us to act.

7. Verse 21-24 - An example of justification in salvation and justification in works.

a. Gen. 22 - Abraham justified by works after Isaac was born and was a young man.

b. Gen. 15:6 & Gal. 3:6 - Abraham was justified in salvation before Isaac was born. (This is when he believed in the promise of the Lord and the Lord counted it to him for righteousness.)

8. Verse 25 - Another example of justification in salvation and justification by works.

a. Rahab first believed in God. Joshua 2:10 - when they heard. Believed in Deut. 2:31.

b. Rahab then put that faith in action and helped the spies (40 years after the inhabitants of Jericho heard.)

9. Verse 26 - The grand conclusion.

a. There is no life in the body if there is no spirit in the body.

b. There is no believing faith in Christ if that believing faith produces no works.

VI. Conclusion - Eph. 2:8-10

A. Eph. 2:8,9 - Salvation is by grace through faith, not of any works on our part.

B. Eph. 2:10 - After we are saved, we continue to be the workmanship of God and anything we do for God that will last throughout eternity must be done by grace through faith.