Justification Part 2
- What is the basis for our justification?
o This is an important question
§ Proverbs - “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.”
§ In the Law, Exodus 23:7, our LORD says – Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked. Also seen in Exodus 34:7, Nahum 1:3
o We should inquire about the basis for God declaring condemned sinners righteous in His sight.
- Romans 4:5 “To the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.”
o Counted (logizomai) – Louw-Nida lexicon: to keep records of commercial accounts, involving both debits and credits—‘to put into one’s account, to charge one’s account, to regard as an account.’
§ God counts or imputes righteousness to our account so that we are considered by God perfectly and forever righteous.
· Therefore God justifies us based only on the righteousness of God in Christ.
o 2 Corinthians – He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
§ Just as Christ did not become inherently sinful, neither do we become inherently righteous.
· Our sin is imputed to Christ and Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us.
o Dr Grudem’s defines it as follows:
§ “God thinks of Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, or regards it as belonging to us.”
o More scriptural proof:
§ Romans 10:3-4 – For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
§ Philippians 3:9 – (I may) be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God on the basis of faith.
- Grudem points out the twofold problem of the belief that an internal change leads to justification.
o Present sin would keep us from ever being declared perfectly righteous.
§ Once we sin, we are again unjust needing justification.
o There would be no provision for forgiveness of past AND future sins.
§ Leaving us without confidence that we are right with God.
o This turns Romans 5:1 & 8:1 on their head, for we are not guaranteed peace with God nor can we say there is no condemnation.
- As we stated in Justification part 1, the view of the internal change of man leading to justification is held by Roman Catholicism.
o It is a perversion of the one true gospel and therefore damnable (Galatians 1:6-9).
§ We stand firm in the righteousness of Christ, and therefore can rejoice and rest in the God of our salvation.