Justification Through Faith
In the previous blog I learned about the law of faith and how important it is to be obedient to that law for it is of the Gospel of Christ. In chapter three verse twenty two, the light shined that even “the righteousness of God is by faith of Jesus Christ upon all those that believe”. In this chapter I am learning more about justification through faith. This is a touchy subject for many Christians and unbelievers alike. I’ve always wrestled with understanding justification for /through anything. Let us swing back a step and review the meaning of justification.
- Justification, in Christian theology, is God’s act of removing the guilt and penalty of sin while at the same time declaring a sinner righteous through Christ’s atoning sacrifice. In Protestantism, righteousness from God is viewed as being credited to the sinner’s account through faith alone, without works. ( Courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justification_(theology) )
- an acceptable reason for doing something : something that justifies an action
- Synonyms: reason, defense, excuse, validation-
You may or may not agree, but I found this verse to be the crux of understanding justification through faith (vs. 8- Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute (credit) sin.) Lord knows we are too familiar with sin and its many facets. We also know that sin has a fee attached to it and it is ALWAYS crouching at our door (Gen. 4:7) holding out its collection plate. Amen?
What many of us may miss in this chapter is the discussion of Abraham’s faith and how it was a spiritual matter between him and God. Even so with Rahab the prostitute. Think. Abraham went way out of his natural self to obey and please God. Which one of us would be that obedient to God as to sacrifice one of our children to Him? I’ll be honest and say that is something I could not bring myself to do, even with knowing of Abraham’s outcome. My outcome could be something different if I were to make such a sacrifice. Lord, let me have that type of faith. Abraham’s obedience clearly shows us that justification is through faith and not works. It reminds us of this scripture (Hebrews 11:6 – And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him)
The bottom line concerning justification through faith for me was understanding that we are justified in the same way as Abraham- believing. But for us, it is belief in Jesus Christ, i.e. God’s sacrifice. Not a one of us would be capable(unless you owned your own animal farm) nor be obedient to the old law of killing animals to be a sacrifice for our daily sins. We’d just die because we could not meet that working quota. Do you know how many animal killings a day that would be? Those animal rights groups would have a fit and we’d have to figure out another way to pay for our sins. But, God.
Instead of asking us to make a sacrifice as He did with Abraham, God knew we would not be that obedient. Therefore, God debited our account from the guilt and punishment of our sins by sacrificing His only begotten Son. “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7-9) Knowing this I ponder why it is that we still waiver in our faith in Jesus? Knowing this also, all Believers should thank God daily that we will not be asked to make any children and animal sacrifices for our sins ever again. Just let that faith point soak in! 😛
Anywho, in this chapter I found out that we cannot “by any means necessary” work our way to God, doing so-called “church work” or any other works. Justification is God’s work because it is He who fulfills the promise through our faith in His Son. Do tell… how is it that we think we can “earn” our way into heaven when we are incapable of sacrificing one of our children as Abraham did? I sure am learning more about the spiritual role faith plays on this journey. Obeying and pleasing God is a spiritual matter. (TYHS) It even caused me to pause and think long about God’s reasoning through the ages of loving generations of a disobedient people. Maybe he thinks of Barbara Streisand’s song, “The way we were” in the Garden of Eden before the serpent slid in. I think of the moment too, walking with God up close and personal as Adam and Eve did. What a joyful day that will be.
In conclusion, I am assured that we receive justification through faith in Christ. Key words –Faith In Christ. Thank you for riding along with me on this journey.
***Recent find, please enjoy Brother Noel’s biblical stance: https://gospelmuse.com/2014/01/19/are-you-justified-by-faith-or-by-works/