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Justification

I decided to read through What the Bible Teaches, by R.A. Torrey again. It’s a great book – you can download a free PDF here - so we’re doing a little Bible study every Thursday. The collection is here. Subscribe over there to make sure you don’t miss anything, but come back and add your voice in the Comments! >>>

This is kind of a long chapter, but the topic is so good, and it’s one that doesn’t get taught much in churches, so I’m gonna outline the whole beautiful thing.

What does Justify mean?

To “justify” in Biblical usage, signifies not “to make righteous,” but to “reckon,” “declare,” or “show to be righteous.” A man is justified before God when God reckons him righteous.

That’s so fantastic.

How are men Justified?

  1. No one is justified by works of the law.
  2. We are justified as a free gift by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
  3. We are justified in Christ’s blood – i.e., on the ground of His propitiatory death.
  4. We are justified on condition of faith in Jesus.
  5. I am justified by faith apart from works.
  6. The faith that leads to justification is a faith with my whole self.
  7. Faith that justifies is real faith that leads to action accordant with the truth professed.
  8. Jesus was raised because of our justification.
  9. We are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

The extent of Justification

  1. In Christ, everyone who believes is justified from all things.
  2. The believer is made the righteousness of God in Christ. He has a righteousness not of his own, but a “righteousness which is of God upon faith.”

The time of Justification

“The moment a man believes in Christ, that moment he becomes united to Christ, and God reckons the righteousness of God to Him.”

The results of Justification

  1. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ.
  2. No one can lay anything to the charge of the justified person.
  3. Being justified by God’s grace, we are made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
  4. Being justified in Christ’s blood, we will be saved from the coming wrath of God.
  5. The one God justifies He will also glorify.
  6. Those who are justified will reign in life through Jesus Christ.

I think we do a terrible job, personally, of teaching justification, especially to new believers. How many meet the Lord, and have a great salvation experience, mess up after they’ve passionately promised never to sin again, and fall into terrible condemnation? How many don’t know that they have peace with God? How many don’t really believe that they can’t earn this justification?

Did you learn this when you were first saved? Is any of this still new? How do we do better at teaching the doctrine of justification to the Church?

The Future Destiny of Those Who Reject Jesus

I decided to read through What the Bible Teaches, by R.A. Torrey again. It’s a great book – you can download a free PDF here – so we’re doing a little Bible study every Thursday. The collection is here. Subscribe over there to make sure you don’t miss anything! >>>

This is such a not-happy-feeling chapter, but it’s so crucial at the same time.

John is hosting the conversation this week, and I’m glad it’s him and not me. :) He rightly starts by commenting,

“This is a subject most offensive and appalling to the unbeliever, to believe in such a thing in the 21st century.”

No one likes to talk about this, but, as Torrey emphasizes as well, it HAS to be talked about. It’s an uncomfortable topic but an even more uncomfortable reality. Jump in the conversation here.

Our Present Condition

I decided to read through What the Bible Teaches, by R.A. Torrey again. It’s a great book – you can download a free PDF here - so we’re doing a little Bible study every Thursday. The collection is here. Subscribe over there to make sure you don’t miss anything, but come back and add your voice in the Comments! >>>

This chapter is a little heavy, so I just want to look at the first part. An outline of Torrey’s Propositions:

  • Outside of the redemption in Christ Jesus, there is no difference in the standing of men before God: for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; there is none righteous, no, not one.
  • Every mouth is stopped and all the world brought under the judgment of God.
  • All who are of the deeds of the Law (i.e. outside of the grace of God in Jesus Christ) are under a curse.
  • All who have not been born of God (i.e. all outside of the redemption in Christ Jesus) are children of the devil.

It’s not a very cheerful chapter, but it’s the foundation of the gospel, in a way – which makes it really good news.

God’s justice is a great leveler. If anyone can be saved, then I can too. If anyone qualifies for mercy, then so do I – and so do you, and so does that family member you’re praying for or that friend you’ve been talking to about the Lord. It seems harsh to say that before we come to Christ we’re all the same, all hopeless, all under a curse, but really, it’s great news.

If one person (besides Jesus) could be righteous, then I would be held to the same standard, and I would already be disqualified. As it is, however, we’re all cursed, which means we all need a Savior. Enter hope.

Let this not inspire us to sneer at the unredeemed – those still under a curse, whom scripture calls “children of the devil” – because we were them once too. Let this remind us where we came from, and where they may be headed.

Thoughts?

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