What is justification by faith, part 3?
by Rick Brentlinger
(Pace, FL, USA)
We cannot add our good works
In the courtroom of God the Judge of all the earth, Genesis 18:25, Romans 14:10-12, Revelation 20:11-15, justification by faith is the only thing that matters. J-b-F is the center of the gospel, the basis of our salvation, the elephant in the room which makes Christianity entirely different and light years ahead of every other religious belief.
According to Romans 5:1 and 8:1, because we are justified by faith we have peace with God. Because we are saved, there is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus because we have been judicially declared not guilty, legally declared sinlessly perfect by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness as a free gift, by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
God's forgiveness of anyone would be an outrage against divine justice but for the substitutionary blood atonement of Christ on the cross, dying in our place, as us, suffering the death penalty which we deserved. The fact that Jesus paid for our sins makes it possible for God to forgive our sins.
God doesn't say, "You're guilty but I’ll forgive you anyway." God looks you in the eye and says, "Not guilty - perfectly righteous!" because and only because He gives you the righteousness of Christ as a free gift when you believe in Jesus, Romans 5:17, 6:23.
What should Christians believe
about justification by faith?
We are justified by grace alone
through faith alone
because Christ alone
shed His sinless blood to pay for our sins. Catholicism differs from Biblical belief about justification by faith. While many dear Catholics will tell you they are trusting Christ to save them, Catholicism does not teach forensic justification, meaning justification by faith alone
Catholicism teaches justification by infusion. Our Catholic friends believe God extends His grace through the Catholic Church, infusing righteousness into them as they take the sacraments, obey church teaching and do good works. Catholicism:
“teaches that justification is the infusion of sanctifying grace or supernatural ability which actually works to help make a person objectively righteous and pleasing in the eyes of God. If sustained until death, this grace permits one to merit entrance into heaven because of the righteous life he or she lived. One actually deserves heaven because one's own goodness, in part, has earned it.
This explains why the basis for justification in Catholic theology is not the fact of Christ's righteousness being reckoned (imputed) to a believer by faith alone. Rather it is... through the sacraments, Christ's righteousness is infused into our very being so that we progressively become more and more righteous.
And on that basis - the fact we have actual righteousness now - we are declared "righteous." Thus, in Catholicism justification occurs primarily by means of the sacraments and not exclusively by personal faith in Jesus Christ.” The Facts on Roman Catholicism, Chapter 9, by John Ankerberg and John Weldon.
"Primarily and simply justification is the possession of sanctifying grace... We are justified by Christ... and by good works." The Catholic Encyclopedia
When we talk about
justification by faith alone,
is the gospel the real issue?
Yes, absolutely, no question about it. A gospel that says we are justified by works is a false gospel. A gospel that mixes human works with individual faith is a false gospel. The Biblical gospel never mixes works with faith as the way to get saved.
The Bible contrasts the religiosity of Israel and works of the law with the gospel. “I declare unto you the gospel... Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
1 Cor 15:1-4
That is the Biblical gospel which we must believe in order to be saved. The gospel provides no room for human works. The Biblical gospel has Jesus dying as us, in our place, suffering God’s wrath against sin so we can be saved.
According to the gospel, God has already accepted the penalty Jesus paid for our sins. We know this because the gospel says “he rose again the third day from the dead according to the scriptures.”
Do you see it? The resurrection of Christ is our guarantee that God’s justice was satisfied by Christ’s payment for our sins. If Jesus’ payment for our sins had not satisfied God's justice, God would not have raised Him from the dead, Romans 8:11.
The fact that God raised Jesus from the dead proves that Jesus satisfied the just demands of a holy God. Are you willing to trust 100% in Jesus Christ alone and allow Him to justify you by faith based on His works, not your works? That is what it takes to be saved.What is justification by faith, part 1?
What is justification by faith, part 2?
What is justification by faith, Part 4
What is justification by faith, Part 5
Is blood atonement
necessary for salvation?
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