Archive for the ‘Justification’ Category

Good Friday

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Job 9:30 If I wash myself with snow
and cleanse my hands with lye,
31 yet you will plunge me into a pit,
and my own clothes will abhor me.
32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him,
that we should come to trial together.
33 There is no arbiter between us,
who might lay his hand on us both. (ESV)

Because of the wretched sinfulness of man, Job knew that there was no bargaining with God. Man is so rebellious and tainted by sin that he cannot even argue with God. God is so holy and removed from sin that He will not come into contact with sin and compromise His holy majesty. So Job cried for an arbiter. Someone Who can lay hands on both God and man. Someone Who is holy like God yet lowly like man. Someone who can represent man without sinning, because sin would cancel any opportunity to reason with God. Truly, only a God-Man with sinless record can accomplish this task.

I Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (ESV)

On the cross of Calvary, Friday night, 2,000+ years ago, Jesus of Nazareth became the arbiter for which Job longed. He, being literally an incarnate man, paid for the sins of sinful human beings in His own body. He, being literally God Himself, satisfied the wrath of God for our sins. Though it took a brutal death and humiliation, for us, this truly was a “Good Friday.” May everyone have a blessed Good Friday.

 Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (ESV)

The Substitutionary Incarnation

The substitutionary atonement is the most essential part of the gospel and the Christian faith. But when we say the phrase, “substitutionary atonement”, we often limit the substitution of Jesus Christ on our behalf to His death alone. Although the death of Christ is a climactic part of our salvation, it is also beneficial for us to understand that the substitutionary aspect of Jesus’ purpose began at His birth. 

Just as minimizing the importance of the resurrection to the crucifixion would create a tragic misunderstanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ, so would belittling the role of His life and ministry. The Lord Jesus’ entire life was a Substitute for us, and it began at the Incarnation.

This is manifest in a number of aspects.

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One Way

People love having their options. It’s not so much that we love choosing; we just have to have the ability to choose. Be it buying a house, car, tool, or whatever, there is nothing quite as satisfying as knowing that you have searched every possible avenue and have chosen the very best option. It seems as though it isn’t truly a choice if we do not have plenty of options.

Perhaps that is why some have such a problem when they come to a religion that is centered on the phrase, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) There are no options here. There is only an ultimatum: the way or no way; the truth or no truth; the life or no life. Jesus laid it all out. It’s either Him or nothing.

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The Biblical Concept of Justification (part 3)

The Importance of Justification

 

It could be said that the importance of the doctrine of justification is twofold: it is important as a doctrinal foundation and it is important as a personal distinction.

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The Biblical Concept of Justification (part 2)

The Procedure of Justification

Through the introductory comments of our discussion on justification, we found that a problem is presented in applying the idea of justification to the relationship between sinful man and a Holy God. The term justification carries the forensic idea of acquitting one who is guilty and in turn declaring them free of guilt. However, when God is seen as the Holy Judge that He is, and men are seen for the guilty sinners that they are, Job’s question is inevitably asked, “…how should man be just with God?” (Job 9:2)

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The Biblical Concept of Justification (part 1)

The Problem of Justification

To begin a discussion of the idea of biblical justification, defining the term itself cannot be avoided. This is because once one understands the implications behind the word used by Scripture, a problem arises. That problem shows itself in the attempt to apply the idea of justification to the relationship between God and man.  Continue reading