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Justification by Faith

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Justification by Faith

By

Russell D. Stalvey

Introduction A statement that is ancient but also timeless and just as relevant for today’s believers is that we are justified by faith. The Apostle Paul gave insight to this statement very distinctly and in great aspect but to completely understand the statement, we first must possess a foundational comprehension of what it means to be justified. In understanding justification we will see that it is inseparably interrelated to faith, but not just any faith. We will also see that the undertaking of justification by faith has overwhelming effects on the justified.
Definition
Justification is seen as an act of God’s wonderful grace, free grace that is available to all sinners. God exonerations all of the sins, receives the sinners, not because of anything fashioned in the sinner or performed by the sinner, but only for the unflawed submission and complete satisfaction of the Lord, through God’s impartation and received by faith alone. The Westminster Larger Catechism answers the definition of justification in this manner: “Justification is an ‘act’. It is a courtroom verdict .We are the defendants and charges have been filed against us. The judge passes his verdict. Logically there are only two verdicts available to the judge. One of these verdicts is ‘condemned’, and the other is ‘justified’. If we are ‘condemned’, then the judge has pronounced us ‘guilty’. If we are ‘justified’, then the judge has pronounced us ‘righteous’. (Dabney, 1878)
Edwards give another view of what justification means: In Romans, it is undeniable that Paul’s favorite term for redemption is the heavily theological word, ‘justification’ (dikaiosune). It is well agreed that justification for Paul is a legal or forensic term referring to the imputed righteousness the believer receives the moment of faith. Paul has discussed justification in great detail in 3:21: 5:11, climaxing his treatise with a discussion of a few of its marvelous blessings (5:1-11). Paul’s thorough treatment of justification has been completed in chapters long before he arrives at the Rom 10:9-10 argument. (J. Edwards 1992)

“The gospel brings salvation to people because it reveals God’s promised way of putting people into right relationship with himself (Moo 2008). Moo continues by stating that similar to that of justification, righteousness can be considered a forensic act, “it does not mean that people are ‘made right´ in a moral sense but that they are ‘declared to be right´ in a judicial sense (Moo 2008). Justification has been termed the fortitude of Paul’s description of the gospel. Mullins observes: Justification is a judicial act of God in which he declares the sinner free form condemnation, and restores him to divine favor. It takes place when the sinner trusts in Christ and his merits for salvation. These two statements contain the essential elements of the New Testament doctrine of justification. (Mullins, 1939)
Paul the apostle entrenched, after his conversion, his ministry based on his first hand knowledge of justification from a first person point of view. It was the almighty God that had discharged him from the law of condemnation (Gal. 2:15–21).
Henry depicts the work of Christ in this manner: Jesus Christ is the great propitiation, or propitiatory sacrifice, typified by the hilastrrion, or mercy-seat, under the law. He is our throne of grace, in and through whom atonement is made for our sin, and our persons and performances are accepted of God, 1 John 2:2, He is all in all in our reconciliation, not only the maker but the matter if it – our priest, our sacrifice, our altar, our all. God was in Christ as his mercy-seat, reconciling the world unto himself (Henry 1961)

A fundamental blessing available to all sinners is the acquitting a judgmental past and the promise of glory coming. Romans 3:25 – 26 tells it was Christ who satisfied the claims of the law by bearing its penalty in our place. Christ who was without sin and knew no sin willfully took the punishment of our sin, which through His righteousness, we have faith ascribed to us. My personal view of justification is the divine act of almighty God who not only forgives the persons sins but at the same time imputes to the now believer the righteousness of His son Jesus Christ. As stated in Romans 5:1 and Galatians 3:24 through faith alone comes justified. It cannot be won through works. Being declared righteous we as Christians are then free from sin’s guilt and shame.
Basis
Justification makes the following two assumptions; sin and grace. If there was no sin then justification would not be needed and there would also not be any need for grace. Since we find in virtually every chapter of the Bible from the third chapter of Genesis to Revelation we also see through God there is grace in His promises found in His covenant. The climatic of God is found through the work of Christ Jesus and the Spirit. We view that justification is possible by grace personified as shown by virtue of the cross where sin was defeated and the blood of Christ brought about the new covenant. In biblical terms, the way to deal with sin is to punish it: in Gethsemane, and on the cross itself, Jesus obeys his Father's saving purposes by drinking the cup of the wrath of God, so that his people may not drink it. Justification presumes the Spirits work that was promised in the Old Testament as one that would transcribe the laws of God on the heart of the new covenant believers. Justification is brought about on the foundation of faith in that they believe that Jesus is the Lord of all and was raised from the dead by God. Justification is not brought about through the process of God making one a Christian, rather it is God righteous affirmation that one is already a Christian. It is because of the labor of Jesus the Son and the Spirit that Christians are confirmed as members in the covenant family. In summary, the basis of justification is the wonderful grace of God our Father unreservedly bestowed to all undeserving sinners. Paul’s thesis is that God justifies sinners on just ground, namely, that claims of God’s law upon them have been fully satisfied. The law has not been altered, or suspended, or flouted for their justification, but fulfilled – by Jesus Christ.
Means
Faith comes first and it is there to for the purpose of being justified. Galatians 2:16 states “We have believed in Christ Jesus in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law because by works of the law shall no one be justified”. Romans chapter 4 defends the fact that we are justified by faith and not by works, just as Abraham and David portrays.
Faulkner is correct when notes: The means or condition of justification is faith (Romans 3:22, 25, 26, 28), which rests upon the pure grace of God and itself, therefore, His gift (Ephesians 2:8). This making faith the only instrument of justification is not arbitrary, but because, being the receptive attitude of the soul, it is in the nature of the case the only avenue through which Divine blessing can come (Faulkner, 1939).

No scriptures every state that we are considered justified due to the characteristic of goodness of ones faith. It will never permit anyone to think that our faith within itself could ever earn God’s favor instead it is through scripture that we define that are justified “by means of” our faith, accepting ones faith as the instrument by which our faith is given. God chose faith as an attitude of the heart, which is reverse of one depending on them. In coming to Christ through faith, we are effectively stating that we realize that we cannot ourselves become righteous, we cannot be contingent on our good work; we basically say we give up. Understanding the doctrine of justification is important for a Christian. First, it is the very knowledge of justification and of grace that motivates good works and spiritual growth; thus, justification leads to sanctification.
Time factors Justification is not and should not be viewed as a continuous process that transpires over time, or an event that transpires in multiple stages. It is a divine act by God that is once-for-all, demonstrating that every genuine believer in Jesus has the full declaration of salvation. Christ being incarnate is deemed as God’s completed work and justification through faith is instantaneous act, contrasting to sanctification, which is identified as a continual process of growing becoming more like Christ. The believer's view of justification is always spoken of in the original dialectal as a current state, and passive voice, which denotes something, that has been done to the believer, not something the advocate does or cooperates with. Justification demonstrates God declares God’s work where the righteousness of Jesus is reckoned to the sinner, so that the sinner is known as being considered righteous under the Law (Rom. 4:3, 5:1, 9, Gal. 2:16, 3:11) and that this righteousness is not earned or kept by any determination of the saved. Justification is an instantaneous manifestation with the result of that manifestation being eternal life. This view is foundational solely on the sacrifice made on the cross of Calvary by Jesus Christ alone. No works are required whatsoever to receive justification. Else, it would not nor could not be a gift (Rom. 6:23).

Results
The effective result of justification is because Christ died for us, and we now live for God. Our good works, that the Reformers were so notable in saying, are accomplished out of gratefulness and not as a means to obtain salvation. Sanctification is the finalization of regeneration and not of justification. Brought about by the works of a new birth through God, we are brought to perfection and the continuation of that is holiness. We must look at the event of justification as a complete and separate act. Justification should be viewed as a statement that as believers we expect a verdict on the last day and that as believers, we are in the right and we prescribe to the conclusion that sanctification and regeneration are actions of grace which transforms the heart and life. Holiness is a result of justification in that it accepts the new birth. Justification restated is the results in hope and holiness and is prove that already in existence is understanding that the doctrine is not immoral, scandalous, reprehensible nor incoherent. Justification leads us back to the cross of Christ, and it is not a fictitious writing, or a systematic procedure, but it is a declaration of our God’s righteousness that those who believe in the life, death and resurrection of His son Jesus Christ is a participant and a member of the family who through the cross of Calvary our sins are no longer our guilt to carry and we are therefore guaranteed eternal life.
When we are justified, there is nothing else that need to be accomplished wherein we achieve entrance to heaven. Since justification comes by faith in Christ, based on His work on our behalf, our own works are disqualified as a means of salvation. There are many religious systems with complicated theologies that attempt to explain the incorrect doctrine that justification is by one works. But they are teaching “a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all” (Galatians 1:6–7). Without an through understanding of justification by faith alone, it is impossible to really perceive God glories gift called grace also called the unmerited favor of God. The principle of justification by faith assists us in sustaining “pure devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). Adhering to justification by faith prevents one from falling for the falsehood that we warrant heaven. It is paramount that we realize that through no ritual, sacrament, nor any deed that can deem us commendable of the wonderful righteousness of Christ. His grace, in reaction to our faith, that God has ascribed to us the sanctity of His Son. In the Old and New Testaments we discover the saying, “The just shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38).
Assurance
The blessed hope of and surety of eternal life, it the assurance we have as Christians. Assurance should never be seen as an additional blessing added to justification, but the realization that the one who inspired our faith and now inspires love will endure until, at the resurrection. Because justification is considered the finished work of God, demonstrates to us as Christians, that we can have assurance of our salvation through Him. Also, the fact that justification is a finished work of God means that Christians have assurance of their salvation. In God’s eyes, believers have the righteousness necessary to gain eternal life. We have read and understood that justification is based on the outpouring of Jesus Christ blood and through his blood we gain assurance that God’s wrath has been fulfilled, that the penalization for sin has been compensated and no longer do Christians need to be afraid of divine condemnation. Through our profession of faith in the efforts of Christ, we are protected from the impending wrath of God. The basis for the confidence is that we were adversaries of God, nevertheless we were acquiescent to God by means of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Understanding this view of being reconciled by His death, we are unrestricted in enjoying the benefits of His life. The death of Christ brought about great benefits for the believers and the promise for those things that yet await us are what He has in store for us.
Conclusion
Throughout the book of Romans we find many things that conveys to us the graciousness of the Father God. We are taken through the process of redemption and justification, which must be understood as a free gift from God. Paul should influence us that there can never be anything a sinner does that will bring about the merited favor of God. We only achieve that through having faith in the atoning work of Christ. We are all sinful and were it not for the completed work of Christ on the cross, we could not called ourselves the sons of God. We are filled with peace, our hearts become pure and our joy is abounding. From the teaching of the New Testament we understand that justification arrives to the sinner by means of the compensating labor of Jesus and that application is made to the sinner on an individual basis. It is God that exonerations and receives believing sinners, which is the exactness that is preserved in the dogma of justification by faith.

Biography

Cho, Dongsun. "Ambrosiaster on justification by faith alone in his commentaries on the Pauline epistles." The Westminster Theological Journal 74, no. 2 (September 2012): 277-290. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed November 15, 2015).

Cranfield, C. E. B. Romans: A Short Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985.
Cranfield, C.E.B. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh, 1975 and 1979,
Dabney, Robert. Systematic Theology.Richmond: Union Theological Seminary, 1878.

Drewery,, Benjamin. “Martin Luther.” A Survey of Christian Doctrine. Hubert Cunliffe-Jones, ed. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981.

Edwards, James R., and W. Ward Gasque. New International Biblical Commentary: Romans. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1992.

Faulkner, John A., “Justification” The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed/ James Orr Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1939.

Grudem, Wayne, Systematic Theology: An introduction to Theology, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2000

Moo, Douglas J. The NIV Application Commentary: Romans. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000.

Moody, Josh. No other gospel: 31 reasons from Galatians why justification by faith alone is the only gospel. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway, 2011. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed November 10, 2015).

Mulllins, Edgar Y., “Holy Spirit” The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed James Orr Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1939.

Murray, John. The Epistle to the Romans; the English Text with Introduction, Exposition, and Notes. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959.

Nazir-Ali, Michael J Bp. Justification by faith: orientating the church's teaching and practice to Christ. London: Latimer Trust, 2013. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed November 13, 2015).

Oden, Thomas C. Classic Christianity: A Systematic Theology. New York: Harper One, 1992.

Packer, J.L. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. Edited by Walter A. Elwell. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic ;, 2001.

Towns, Elmer L. The Essence of the New Testament: A Survey / Elmer L. Towns, Ben Gutierrez, Editors. Nashville, Tenn.: B & H Academic, 2012.

Waters, Guy Prentiss. "Justification defined." Churchman 123, no. 1 (2009 2009): 67-81. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed November 12, 2015).

Wright, N T. (Nicholas Thomas) Bp. "Justification by (covenantal) faith to the (covenantal) doers: Romans 2 within the argument of the letter." The Covenant Quarterly 72, no. 3-4 (August 2014): 95-108. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed November 12, 2015).

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...Hello, I was asked to speak on the value of faith. I’m going to start off with a scripture in Alma Chapter 32 verse 21, which says “And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true” Having faith in Jesus Christ means relying completely on Him—trusting in His infinite power, intelligence, and love. It includes believing His teachings. It means believing that even though you do not understand all things, He does. Remember that because He has experienced all our pains, afflictions, and infirmities, He knows how to help us rise above our daily difficulties. Jesus Christ has atoned for us and prepared for us to receive eternal life. He is always ready to help us, as he commands us to “Look unto Him in in every thought, doubt not, fear not”. To me, faith is believing that Heavenly has a plan for us. It is trusting in God and knowing that He has a hand in all things in our lives. The Savior promises us, “If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me”. Through Him, all things are possible. However, faith is more than simply a belief. Having faith in Jesus Christ can motivate us to follow His perfect example. It is what actions we take that put our faith to the test. For someone to have faith, they must be motivated to put a belief into practice, not merely being content with it in their mind. For example, we believe that......

Words: 647 - Pages: 3

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Faith

...Faith can sometime relate to me in a kind of funny and ridiculous way. In fact some of my faith goes straight to one thing in particular, The Dallas Cowboys. One game specifically was where the Cowboys were down 2 and it was the last play of the game. Our kicker Nick Folk had to make a 60 yard field goal in the snow to win the game. As I watched the kick from Nick Folk fly through the air and BARELY make it through the upright, I had faith. But my celebration was halted when my dad and I realized that the Bills (Our Opponent) had called a timeout right before Nick had kicked it, HE HAD ICED HIM! So God testing my faith, made me sit through another nerve wrecking field goal, and as Nick did before, he made the kick and won the game for the Cowboys. So no matter what disastrous event happens to the Cowboys, I always believe that there is a chance in winning, and I latch onto my faith. But faith for me surprisingly is not just Football and the Cowboys. My faith occurs sometimes when I am scared, hurting, or upset. For instance an example is when I was at one of my mom’s work fundraisers. I was excited because they had a rock climbing wall. So when I was climbing, I realized that I was almost to the top, but there was a big hump in the wall that I had to get over to reach it. So in order to get over the hump I had to make a difficult leap and grab a far knob. So with faith in myself and in the rope to catch me if I fall, I leaped to grab the infamous ledge. Right there at......

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Justification

...ENG 315 Professional Communications February 13, 2011 Justification Report Plan I will be writing a justification report in order to justify a whole and healthy foods initiative for Pueblo School District in Tucson, Arizona. The audience would consist of the school board for this school. They decide upon the administrative decisions such as meal plan changes and the cost of meals. The school district board is comprised of ten individuals, four men and six women. Their backgrounds include varying professions. The topic of the report is implementing more organic, low fat, and vegetarian friendly options in kindergarten through eighth grade class cafeterias. This initiative would require the help of a dietician consultant to assist with menu planning and nutritional guidelines for the specific age groups. The purpose of this report is to convince the board members that the whole and healthy foods initiative will keep young people healthier, therefore jump starting their brains and overall dispositions to succeed in school and in the future. The initiative would include food education for young people to help them learn healthy menu planning and the new food pyramid organization. Eating right and learning to eat right will affect children’s health and economic stature in the future. I will research in psychology and medical journals to find articles on how food affects young bodies and minds. The chef Jamie Oliver has created initiatives to offer healthier foods in......

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