Justification by Faith
WHAT is the ground of justification on God’s part?
“That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:7.
What is the means through which this justifying grace is made available to the sinner?
“Much more then, being now justified by His [Christ’s] blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” Rom. 5:9.
How is justification laid hold upon?
“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Rom. 3:28.
What is the only way sinners may be justified, or made righteous?
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Gal. 2:16.
What concrete example makes clear the meaning of this doctrine?
“And He brought him [Abraham] forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him for righteousness.” Gen. 15:5,6.
How is the righteousness thus obtained described?
“And be found in Him, not having thine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” Phil. 3:9.
Upon what basis is justification granted?
“And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification.” Rom. 5:16.
Upon what basis does the reward come to one who works?
“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.” Rom. 4:4.
Upon what condition is faith reckoned for righteousness?
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Rom. 4:5.
How does grace, as the ground of justification, exclude righteousness by works?
“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” Rom. 11:6.
In what way are both Jews and Gentiles to be justified?
“Is He the God of the Jews only? is He not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.” Rom. 3:29,30.
What statement testifies to Abraham’s faith in God?
“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able also to perform.” Rom. 4:20,21.
What did this bring to him?
“And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.” Rom. 4:22.
How may we receive this same imputed righteousness?
“Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” Rom. 4:23,24.
Why must justifying faith lay hold upon both the death and the resurrection of Christ?
“Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.” Rom. 4:25. See 1 Cor. 15:17.
NOTE.-The resurrection of Christ, the promised Seed (Gal. 3:16), was necessary in order to fulfill to Abraham the promise of an innumerable seed; and therefore Abraham’s faith in the promise of God, which included the resurrection, was reckoned to him for righteousness. His faith laid hold upon that which made imputed righteousness possible. See Heb. 11:17-19.
What is inseparable from the experience of justification by faith?
“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Acts 13:38,39.
How has Christ made it possible for righteousness to be imputed to the believer?
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Rom. 5:19.
What prophetic declaration foretold this truth?
“In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” Isa. 45:25.
What other prediction asserts the same great truth?
“By His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.” Isa. 53:11.
What does the imputed righteousness of Christ enable God to do, and still be just?
“To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Rom. 3:26.
By what name is Christ appropriately called?
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Jer. 23:5,6.
What blessed experience follows upon the acceptance of Christ as our righteousness?
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Rom. 5:1.
What does Christ thus become to the believer?
“For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” Eph. 2:14.
On what basis is there no possibility of justification for the sinner?
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Rom. 3:20.
How does the death of Christ bear testimony to this?
“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Gal. 2:21.
What is proved by any attempt to be justified by the law?
“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” Gal. 5:4.
Why did Israel fail to attain unto righteousness?
“But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone.” Rom. 9:31,32.
What is revealed by the law?
“By the law is the knowledge of sin.” Rom. 3:20.
What bears witness to the genuineness of the righteousness obtained by faith, apart from the deeds of the law?
“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.” Rom. 3:21.
Does faith set aside the law of God?
“Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Verse 31.
What scripture shows that the righteousness which is received by grace through faith must not be made an excuse for continuing in sin?
“What shall we say then ? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Rom. 6:1,2.
Does faith exclude works?
“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” James 2:20.
What is the evidence of genuine, living faith?
“Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” James 2:18.
What, then, are the visible proofs of genuine justification by faith?
“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” James 2:24. See also James 2:22.
What great exchange has been wrought for us in Christ?
“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor. 5:21.
NOTE.-Said Luther: “Learn to know Christ and Him crucified. Learn to sing a new song – to despair of your own works, and to cry unto Him, Lord Jesus, Thou art my righteousness, and I am Thy sin. Thou hast taken upon Thee what was mine, and given to me what was Thine; what Thou wast not Thou becamest, that I might become what I was not.” -D’Aubigne’s “History of the Reformation,” book 2, chap. 8.
Look upon Jesus, sinless is He;
Father, impute His life unto me.
My life of scarlet, my sin and woe,
Cover with His life, whiter than snow.
Deep are the wounds transgression has made:
Red are the stains; my soul is afraid.
O to be covered, Jesus, with Thee,
Safe from the law that now judgeth me!
Longing the joy of pardon to know;
Jesus holds out a robe white as snow:
“Lord, I accept it! leaving my own,
Gladly I wear Thy pure life alone.”
Reconciled by His death for my sin,
Justified by His life pure and clean,
Sanctified by obeying His word,
Glorified when returneth my Lord,
By: F. E. BELDEN.