Summary: Faith alone justifies, but faith is never alone.
Sept. 9,’01 JUSTIFICATION THROUGH FAITH
Golden Text: “We conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” [Romans 3:28]
We find many scriptures in the New Testament about justification.
We believe it - every word of it.
The problem today is that many are just picking out a verse here or there to justify their doctrine on justification. But we believe in the WHOLE Bible RIGHTLY divided.
So in our study of justification, we will look at both the writings of Paul and those of James. We are going to consider… Justification by FAITH - DEAD OR ALIVE.
Justification is an inherent part of salvation. If it were not, then salvation would not truly be salvation. It would lack something very important. It would lack that ‘just as if you had never sinned’ part.
Paul argues for justification through faith in many of his writings.
But what we need to realize is that Paul was all the time having to combat the forces of Judaism that were trying to creep into the church. Whose claim it was that you could not be perfected without the works of the law.
One example of this was what happened at Antioch…
1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
[Paul and Barnabas greatly disputed with these men].
They were saying you can’t be justified in God’s eyes unless you adhere to Moses’ law.
What Paul combatted was being justified by the works of the law; circumcision, keeping of the feasts, etc.
The Judaisers said ‘you can’t be saved without these works’. But Paul said the works of the law could not save us; could not justify.
If the performance of works could have justified man before God, then Jesus would not have had to die. But without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. And Jesus said…
4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
…Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
But no work of man could justify him. He had to believe in the shed blood of Jesus Christ unto salvation to be justified in God’s sight. It is of faith.
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God....
Do you remember what your life was like before you surrendered to Christ?
You were an enemy of God - living in blindness, a lost soul without hope. You were ungodly, guilty - and the wrath of God was "abiding on you" (see John 3:36).
What a terrible position to be in! But millions everyday [even ‘good’ people] are living with the wrath of God abiding on them.
It is not because God is desiring to hurt those who have not come to him. They have been under this wrath since Adam sinned. It is the eternal damnation of their souls.
But God loved us all and made a way whereby we ALL might be saved. Therefore he said… ‘Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
But for those who never call, eternal wrath is abiding upon their souls. The world cannot grasp the eternal truth that God loves sinners, but hates their sin and will punish it eternally.
They cannot reckon love and punishment together. Therefore they say that a God that is really love, as the Bible proclaims him to be, could not cast anyone’s soul into hell.
But until both the offended and the offending parties embrace each other over the same Sacrifice that taketh away the sin of the world, that love of God which yearns toward the sinner cannot, and will not, reach him.
But the carnal cannot understand a holy and righteous God. Spiritual things are perceived only by those who walk in the Spirit.
How did you find forgiveness and acceptance before God?
How did you enter into the blessed assurance you were saved, rejoicing in the love of Jesus Christ?
Was it because God saw something good in you? Did you possess some inherent righteousness that attracted Him to you?
Did you earn His favor with obedience and kindness?
No - absolutely not!
No one is ever saved by his own works or merit.
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness is as filthy rags.
It is by grace alone we are saved - and not by anything we have done.