Summary: A sermon that deals with doctrine of justification.
"ANOTHER IMPORTANT QUESTION FROM JOB"
Job 25:1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,
2 Dominion and fear are with him, he maketh peace in his high places.
3 Is there any number of his armies? and upon whom doth not his light arise?
4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?
5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.
6 How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?
Introduction: Bildad is one of Job's friends and he, along with Eliphaz and Zorphar have been trying to counsel Job. They are convinced that Job must have committed some great sin in order to have so much trouble in his life. This demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding about the character and conduct of God. There is one thing that Bildad does get right and that is his concept of the wide gulf that exists between God and man. He poses a question with two parts. How can man be justified with God and how can he be clean that is born of a woman?
I. THE MEANING OF JUSTIFICATION
a. The essence of justification
A simple definition of this term would be that in justification God treats the sinner as though he had not and never sinned! Why would God do this? For two very important reasons. One, He is absolutely holy in every way that the term can be applied. Basically Bildad has already said in verses 1-3 that that God is greater and higher than men. Since God is holy we can only approach Him if we are holy! As a matter of fact God demands this of us.
1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Two, in verse 4 he declares that even the stars in heaven are not pure in his sight and in verse 6 he uses the metaphor of a worm to compare man to God. We are sinners before a holy God in both position and practice.
b. The essentials of justification
What we learn is that justification is essential in order for us to have a relationship with God. He is righteous and we are not, we cannot be. We may try to be and go about seeking to establish our own righteousness but it will not work.
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Ezekiah 33:13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.
ILL - The great problem with trying to earn salvation is that no-one has ever done it! It is not that there was anything wrong with the Law. The problem is with human beings. In the movie the 'Sound of Music' a young woman by the name of Maria is sent from a convent to become governess to the five mischievous children of a wealthy widower sea captain. When she arrives Captain von Trapp informs her that the children have had seven governesses and that the last one had only lasted one day. Maria looked concerned and asks "What's wrong with the children Captain?" The captain looks at Maria annoyed and says "there is nothing wrong with the children only with the governesses". The law of God is perfect. There is nothing wrong with it. The problem is really with us - the children of men. Our sinful nature makes us incapable of perfectly obeying God. As a result justification by perfect obedience to the law of God is a path that is completely closed to us.
c. The example of justification
Romans 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.