Justification by Christ, Faith and Works

Justification By Christ, Faith and Works A. Definitions. 1. justified: Made just or right; made or accounted righteous; warranted; supported by evidence. 2. made: Artificially constructed or produced, artificial as opposed to ‘natural’. 3. artificial: Made by or resulting from art or artifice; contrived, compassed, or brought about by constructive skill, and not spontaneously; not natural. 4. just: That does what is morally right, righteous. just before (with) God or, simply, just: Righteous in the sight of God; justified. 5. righteous: Of persons: Just, upright, virtuous; guiltless, sinless; conforming to the standard of the divine or the moral law; acting rightly or justly. 6. free: Of a person, his will, etc.: Acting of one's own will or choice, and not under compulsion or constraint; determining one's own action or choice, not motived from without. 7. grace: Favour, favourable or benignant regard or its manifestation (now only on the part of a superior); favour or goodwill, in contradistinction to right or obligation, as the ground of a concession. B. Scripture speaks of justification being the operation of God freely bestowed by grace upon sinners through Jesus Christ. ROM 3:24; 5:18; 8:32-33. 1. This justification is freely given: God of His own will gives it without compulsion. 2. This justification is by grace: its recipients have no claim to it which would oblige God. 3. This justification actually makes a sinner righteous in spite of his natural state. ROM 3:10 c/w ROM 5:19; 2CO 5:21. 4. The sinner is in this sense of justification the passive recipient of what God of His own will freely gives for Christ’s sake, and this is grace. 5. This justification by Christ is attributed to: a. His grace. ROM 3:24; TIT 3:7. b. His faith. GAL 2:16. c. His blood. ROM 5:9. d. His knowledge. ISA 53:11. 6. This justification is not produced or earned by the sinner’s obedient works of the law. ROM 3:20; GAL 2:16; 5:4; TIT 3:5-7. a. work: Something that is or was done; what a person does or did; an act, deed... b. The sinner’s faith is a demand of the law which he ought to DO. MAT 23:23. c. Therefore, the sinner’s faith is not what produces or earns this justification. 7. This is effectual justification. This is a unidirectional power. The sinner can only justify God in the sense of “To show (a person or action) to be just or in the right.” LUK 7:29. a. God’s will through Christ certainly justifies the sinner, making him righteous in God’s sight. b. Christ’s faith in God to raise Him from dead produced this justification. ACT 2:26-27 c/w ROM 4:25. c. God had faith in His Son to remit all the sins of His people and produce their righteousness by His obedience. ROM 3:25; 5:19; 2CO 5:21. C. Scripture also speaks of justification in the sense of the sinner’s faith being counted for righteousness (note the definition of justified, above). ROM 4:3, 9, 20-24; GAL 3:6; JAM 2:23. 1. Counted, accounted, imputed means reckoned or considered. a. accounted: Counted, reckoned, considered. b. count: To esteem, account, reckon, consider, regard, hold (a thing) to be (so and Justification By Christ, Faith and Works 6-15-23 Page 1 of 2 so); To reckon or impute to, put down to the account of. c. impute: Theol. To attribute or ascribe (righteousness, guilt, etc.) to a person by vicarious substitution... to reckon, regard, consider. 2. The sinner’s faith in God and His promises does not make him righteous before God (that is God’s work). It is the evidence that God has made him righteous. HEB 11:4. 3. The faith that is particularly counted for righteousness (ROM 4:3) is not trust or confidence in the power of the sinner’s faith to oblige God to justify him since that would imply an obligation of debt on God’s part and the sinner’s faith is a work/something one does (MAT 23:23). ROM 4:5. 4. This is evidential justification where the sinner’s faith shows God has justified him. a. The faith of God and Christ produced the believers’ justification without their works, including their work of faith. b. The faith of the believer accounts him just before God. c. The “law of faith” excludes boasting, which demands that a sinner cannot claim that God justified him because of his personal faith. ROM 3:26-28. D. Scripture also speaks of men being justified (accounted righteous) by their works. JAM 2:21-25. 1. Abraham’s faith was counted for righteousness. 2. Abraham’s works were counted for righteousness. 3. Neither Abraham’s faith nor his works produced his righteousness. 4. What is here said of Abraham could also be said of Rahab. HEB 11:31. 5. Faith must be shown by works to count for righteousness. JAM 2:20, 26. E. Summary. 1. Sinners are passively justified effectually by the will of God, faith of God, faith of Christ, blood of Christ, knowledge of Christ, grace of Christ. 2. Sinners are actively justified evidentially by their faith in God and their good works. 3. This two-fold justification accords with a two-fold peace: the peace of reconciliation to God by Christ’s blood (COL 1:20) and personal peace by believing what God has done for you. ROM 15:13. Justification By Christ, Faith and Works 6-15-23 Page 2 of 2

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