Justification by Faith

According to God’s standard of judgment, how many can be justified?

  • “And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.” Psa 143:2.
  • “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” Psa 130:3
  • “Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” Exo 34:7

What is Justification?

DEFINITION 

“Justify” — To prove or show to be just, or conformable to law, right, justice, propriety, or duty; to defend or maintain; to vindicate as right; to warrant.” “To pronounce free from guilt or blame; to absolve; to clear.” Webster

How may we become justified and by whom?

“By his knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” Isa 53:11.

many H7227

The pictograph r is a picture of a head, the b is a picture of the tent representing the family. Combined these mean “head of the family”. Each family has a master that rules all cases, trials, conflicts and contests. This person was the representative for the whole tribe, one abundant in authority and wisdom. (see Exodus 18:25).

His righteous servant, Jesus, is the head of the family Eph 5:23, Col 1:18, Christ, the head of the church, Chief. Col 2:10, Christ, the head of all principality and power. “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.” John 13:13

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Rom 3:23-24.

What’s “grace” G5485?

Favor with God. Read Luke 1:30, Acts 7:46 for examples.

 “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” Acts 20:32

Why can’t we be justified by the deeds of the law?

“For by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Rom 3:20.

The doctrine of justification by faith in Christ:

“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. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 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; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”Rom 3:20-28

What’s the law of faith?

What is the law? 

Doctrine. The unalterable precepts of the decalogue, which are as immutable as Jah’s throne.

To the Law and to the Testimony: It has ever been the effort of the enemy of righteousness to lead men to disregard the claims of the law of Jehovah. And through his prophets, God has ever sought to bring men to a realization of the binding claims of his eternal and unchangeable law. Of his ancient people, it is written: “The Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, turn ye from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.” 2 Kings 17:13. In this our day, when there is manifest a widespread tendency to throw away the restraint of God’s law, Mrs. White has firmly and fearlessly endeavored to bring to the consciences of men the sacredness of the divine requirements. The immutability of that law, and the vital necessity of obedience, through the power of Christ, to its every requirement, including the fourth commandment, has been constantly urged in her public work. Of the relation of the law to the gospel she has written: “In the life of Christ the principles of the law are made plain; and as the Holy Spirit of God touches the heart; as the light of Christ reveals to men their need of his cleansing blood and his justifying righteousness, the law is still an agent in bringing us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith. ‘perfect, converting the soul.’ “‘Till heaven and earth pass,’ said Jesus, ‘one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.’ The sun shining in the heavens, the solid earth upon which you dwell, are God’s witnesses that his law is changeless and eternal. Though they may pass away, the divine precepts shall endure. ‘It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.’ The system of types that pointed to Jesus as the Lamb of God was to be abolished at His death; but the precepts of the decalogue are as immutable as the throne of God.”—The Desire of Ages, 308. [CET 247.2-248.1-3]

Comprises of the following:

“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Psa 19:7-11

Testimony:

  • 1Jn 5:9-12,the record that God gave of His Son.
  • Rev 19:10, The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
  • Joh 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
  • Acts 10:43, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”

Statutes, Commandment: Deu 4:5-6, Eze 36:27, “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” Psa 12:6.

Fear, Judgments: Psa 119:128; Neh 9:13; Isa 11:1-5; Pro 9:10; Pro 15:33; Pro 16:6, by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.; Job 28:28,“…Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.”

The purpose of the law is to show us our sin that we may, through faith in Christ, be converted. 

Study Rom 7:

“Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”Rom 7:1-25

Ecc 12:13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Can the unrighteous be saved? No.

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?” 1Co 6:9.

Through whose righteousness is remission of sins obtained?

“Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 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.” Rom 3:24-25.

“From all this Paul infers that it is in vain to look for justification by the works of the law, and that it is to be had only by faith, which is the point he has been all along proving, from Rom 1:17, and which he lays down (Rom 3:28) as the summary of his discourse, with a quod erat demonstrandum – which was to be demonstrated. We conclude that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law; not by the deeds of the first law of pure innocence, which left no room for repentance, nor the deeds of the law of nature, how highly soever improved, nor the deeds of the ceremonial law (the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin), nor the deeds of the moral law, which are certainly included, for he speaks of that law by which is the knowledge of sin and those works which might be matter of boasting. Man, in his depraved state, under the power of such corruption, could never, by any works of his own, gain acceptance with God; but it must be resolved purely into the free grace of God, given through Jesus Christ to all true believers that receive it as a free gift. If we had never sinned, our obedience to the law would have been our righteousness: “Do this, and live.” But having sinned, and being corrupted, nothing that we can do will atone for our former guilt. It was by their obedience to the moral law that the Pharisees looked for justification, Luk 18:11. Now there are two things from which the apostle here argues: the guiltiness of man, to prove that we cannot be justified by the works of the law, and the glory of God, to prove that we must be justified by faith.” Matthew Henry’s Commentary

Re trusting in our own righteousness – sin of pride and self-sufficiency: “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luk 18:9-14

“For each of the classes represented by the Pharisee and the publican there is a lesson in the history of the apostle Peter. In his early discipleship Peter thought himself strong. Like the Pharisee, in his own estimation he was “not as other men are.” When Christ on the eve of His betrayal forewarned His disciples, “All ye shall be offended because of Me this night,” Peter confidently declared, “Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.” Mar 14:27, Mar 14:29. Peter did not know his own danger. Self-confidence misled him. He thought himself able to withstand temptation; but in a few short hours the test came, and with cursing and swearing he denied his Lord. When the crowing of the cock reminded him of the words of Christ, surprised and shocked at what he had just done he turned and looked at his Master. At that moment Christ looked at Peter, and beneath that grieved look, in which compassion and love for him were blended, Peter understood himself. He went out and wept bitterly. That look of Christ’s broke his heart. Peter had come to the turning point, and bitterly did he repent his sin. He was like the publican in his contrition and repentance, and like the publican he found mercy. The look of Christ assured him of pardon. Now his self-confidence was gone. Never again were the old boastful assertions repeated. Christ after His resurrection thrice tested Peter. “Simon, son of Jonas,” He said, “lovest thou Me more than these?” Peter did not now exalt himself above his brethren. He appealed to the One who could read His heart. “Lord,” he said, “Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee.” Joh 21:15, Joh 21:17. Then he received his commission. A work broader and more delicate than had heretofore been his was appointed him. Christ bade him feed the sheep and the lambs. In thus committing to his stewardship the souls for whom the Saviour had laid down his own life, Christ gave to Peter the strongest proof of confidence in his restoration. The once restless, boastful, self-confident disciple had become subdued and contrite. Henceforth he followed his Lord in self-denial and self-sacrifice. He was a partaker of Christ’s sufferings; and when Christ shall sit upon the throne of His glory, Peter will be a partaker in His glory. The evil that led to Peter’s fall and that shut out the Pharisee from communion with God is proving the ruin of thousands today. There is nothing so offensive to God or so dangerous to the human soul as pride and self-sufficiency. Of all sins it is the most hopeless, the most incurable.” Christ Object Lessons, p.152 – 155

For what was Christ made sin?

“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.” 2Co 5:21.

“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”Rom 10:3-4

Then what may we call the Saviour?

“And this is His name whereby He shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.” Jer 23:6.

On what condition may we obtain this righteousness and justification?

“To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Rom 3:26.

Who may obtain this imputed righteousness?

“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.” Rom 3:22.

Sin is the transgression of God’s law (1Jn 3:4), and by this law is the knowledge of sin. (Rom 3:20).

Can one, while persisting in sin, expect justification?

“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.” Gal 2:17.

In order to have one’s sins forgiven, and his unrighteousness cleansed away, what is necessary?

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1Jn 1:9.

Can one be purified without obedience?

“And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” Act 15:9.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth… see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” 1Pe 1:22.

Does the fact that we are justified, or made righteous, by faith, release us from obligation to keep God’s law?

“Do we then make void the law through faith? God for- bid: yea, we establish the law.” Rom 3:31.

What is faith?

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Heb 11:1.

When one does this, and is in perfect accord with all of God’s commandments, what may he then have?

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Rom 5:1.

In what way may we hold our justification and fellowship with God?

“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1Jn 1:7.

NOTE: Not only is fellowship with our brethren here implied, but, as intimated in previous verses, with God and with Christ.

“There is evidently an allusion to 1Jn 1:3, and their fellowship with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ is expressed, so here it lies in the background, but need not be supplied. De Wette’s remark is most true; Christian communion is then only real, when it is communion with God.” Dean Alford.

How great will be the peace of mind enjoyed by those who have this experience?

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Php 4:7.

What will be a prominent characteristic of those who wait for the return of their Lord from heaven?

“For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him.” Heb 10:37, Heb 10:38.

What will accompany the faith of Jesus?

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Rev 14:12.