Tuesday, April 12, 2011
J is for Justification
Secondly, it is equally as tragic and sad that when this question is asked Satan is only too glad to continue the death and darkness by providing an answer that is diluted with deadly lies. God has only too gladly supplied the answer to Job's question in His Word. Satan, hating God and all that is connected to God, hoping man remains dead, deceived, and in darkness proffers an answer mixed with the truth and the false.
The question of justification is of utmost importance. How this question is answered determines the eternal state of every individual who has been and will be born. It is crucial that one comes to an accurate answer when it comes to justification. It is not merely a theological issue to be bandied about like some beach ball on the sand.
As complex as the subject can be and as important as it is, there are only two possible answers to this question. Every teaching, doctrine, practice, superstition, philosophical pronouncement, every theological hypothesis can be reduced down to an either or answer. Man is justified before God either by a declarative act of God or the infusion of God's grace into an individual who cooperates in some form or fashion with God. In other words, justification is either an act of God or it is achieved by a system of works. God declares a man to be just or a man works in cooperation with God in order to be justified. Sometimes the difference is so slight that many don't see a difference at all. This pleases Satan who really doesn't care how moral we are, how religious we might be, or how much we depend on God for our justification if he can add just enough lie in order to continue to deceive the human race.
Justification is to pronounce, accept, treat, and or declare a man as "just." This means a man declared just is not liable to the penal code or penalty and that man is given all of the promises of and privileges of those who have perfectly kept the law of God.
Justification is a "forensic term" that depicts a judicial act of God who administers the law in its entirety, by declaring a verdict of not-guilty which does away with all condemnation and judgement. Justification settles the legal status of an individual.
As scantily mentioned, the grounds of justification becomes the battle ground between God and the forces of the enemy. This is an area, a doctrine, a subject, an issue where one cannot be wrong. There is no margin for error when it comes to the grounds of justification. God hates sin and will not tolerate it. God expresses his wrath in a number of ways throughout both the Old and New Testament demonstrating that sin is intolerable and will receive the fullness of his wrath and retribution. God is impelled by his own nature to pour out his wrath and fury on those who break his law, who are unrighteous, and who are sinners.
Praise be unto God that He has done so. God poured out the fury of his wrath against his only unique Son as Jesus willing gave his life on the cross of Calvary. Here sin was dealt with. God now justifies sinners on a just ground, which is that the claims of the law against those who have sinners have been fully satisfied. Satisfied where? In Christ! Jesus Christ acted on behalf of elect sinners fulfilling the demands of the law and its penalty. The law had not been flouted, altered, or suspended - its full demands for satisfaction and justice was fulfilled in Christ Jesus. As a result God imputes righteousness and declares those who by faith rest in this work of Christ as just or justified.
Believers are justified by faith and faith alone. Faith is only the means or the instrumental cause where the benefits of the cross and Jesus's righteousness is appropriated by a sinner. Make no mistake, the faith exercised does not induce God to declare one just. Believers are justified by the vehicle or instrument of faith. They are not justified on account of faith. Otherwise, faith would be a meritorious work which would alter the gospel.
This is where is gets dicey. Here is where countless billions of souls throughout history have been lost and remain forever unjustified. Justification cannot be earned, merited, or acquired by any human means. One cannot work, perform works, or even cooperate with God in any manner with the expectation of justification.
"knowing that a man is not justified by works of the Law, but through faith in Jesus Christ; even we believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith in Christ, and not by works of the Law. For all flesh will not be justified by works of law." Galatians 2:16 MKJV
"For as many as are out of works of the Law, these are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the Book of the Law, to do them." But that no one is justified by the Law in the sight of God is clear, for, "The just shall live by faith." But the Law is not of faith; but "The man who does these things shall live in them." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone having been hanged on a tree"); Galatians 3:10-12 MKJV
Posted by Gregg Metcalf at 3:00 AM