Justification

This lesson is the fourth in our Salvation series. Here we examine different aspects of Justification. Justification occurs before the earlier topics of Adoption and Assurance, although experientially, it all happens at once. Believers are free from the penalties of their (past life resulting in a new relationship with the Lord. Before Salvation, there could be no relationship. Justification a legal term enabling the blessings from our Salvation.[1] In Old Testament times, Jews followed the rules by bringing sacrifices to the Temple at specific calendar intervals, or when a person was aware they sinned. The idea is that a person is justified until they mess up again. Accepting Jesus Christ as your savior, you are “regenerated” and “reconciled” to God forever. Through this belief, believers are permanently declared righteous, and the OT sacrificial system is unnecessary by Christ’s work on the cross.[2]


A Christian doctrine about how believers are declared to be in the right with God through their faith in Jesus Christ.” [3]


Romans 3:20-30

Romans 3 teaches us that Justification is not attainable by human means (“flesh.”) The single ingredient is faith. Jesus Christ was perfect in His physical form; therefore, he qualified as a perfect sacrifice. Christ did not sin. When all sin, including future, was laid on Him, Christ separated from the Father. Jesus physically died, was resurrected, and now sits on the throne with the Father. Belief in these facts allows people in the current church period the legal means to be right with God.

Verse 27 states God’s plan for Salvation leaves nothing to boast about. A person cannot permanently achieve Justification by themselves since Christ has already done the work. The passage goes on to declare that this Justification is for all people, not solely the Jews.


Romans 5:1-10

I have used this passage to discuss the benefits of serving the Lord, even in times of suffering. Justification is the first step. Without a legal declaration of righteousness, the rest of the passage would be useless. Unless a person is saved, they are at war with God! Solely through Jesus Christ can peace be achieved. The bulk of this passage covers our growth in faith as the means of improving our relationship with God. The Gospel message seeks to make this legal transaction (faith) as the way to have a relationship with God.


Romans 8:30-34

John 3:14-20 makes clear that Salvation is available to everyone born during this Church Age, basically after Jesus’ resurrection. I wanted to be clear about this so that none will be confused by the term “elect.” All people have two futures available to them: life with Jesus Christ for eternity, or life utterly absent of God’s blessing or presence. That is what it means to reject the Lord. For those that do accept Jesus Christ as their savior, God is the ultimate protector. Regardless of the realm, spiritually and physically, none can bring a charge that reverses our Justification.


Galatians 2:16-17

Does it matter whether you are a Jew at birth or already lead a clean life (this is subjective, of course)? No. The Galatians passage reiterates what has been stated: Justification is accomplished solely by faith in the person of Jesus Christ and His work on the cross.


Titus 3:4-7

We revisit this passage and see what it says about Justification. This passage restates the common themes we have already looked at: Salvation is by faith alone, God loves us to the point that His Son died in our place so that we can live them forever. Works do nothing as far as earning adoption into God’s family.


Other Authors say the same thing.

The author of Acts, Luke, quotes Peter in Acts 2:38. Those that change their thinking (repent) about Jesus as the Messiah receive the gift of Salvation. The gift requires the exercise of faith. Luke (Hebrews), Peter, and James cover different aspects. James points out the shame of being Justified and doing nothing with the gift. Peter connects belief with the return of Jesus and the removal of all sin. The Apostle also states the Gospel in similar terms at Paul. God’s elect is indeed precious to God, echoing another of Paul’s themes. I find the evidence that Luke wrote Hebrews pretty convincing.[4]


See: 1 Pet. 1:8-9, 1 Pet. 1:20-22, 1 Pet. 2:4, Heb. 10:22, Jas. 2:14-26, Jas 2:19.


Footnotes

  1. Faulkner, J. A. (1915). Justification. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 1782). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.

  2. Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Justification. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 2, p. 1252). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

  3. Bird, M. F. (2016). Justification. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

  4. https://pursuingveritas.com/2015/06/15/book-review-lukan-authorship-of-hebrews-allen/

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