Finders Keepers Part 7

God Eternal Security Once saved always saved?  Watch it or you could lose that salvation before you die?

How much more can be said on this subject?  I guess I’ll continue until it becomes exhausted in my mind.  I will continue driving the subject home.

Some want you to believe you cannot be sure. Some want you to think the doctrine of the “Preservation of the Saints is a false doctrine. Some scholars call this theological doctrine the “Perseverance of the Saints”. I prefer the word “Preservation” because it is making an emphasis on the activity of God.  It is He who saves us, it is He preserves us and it is He who keeps us, watches over and protects us.

I will remind you of what has already been written in my previous posts. Being saved has little to do with the response to an altar call or revival meeting emotion.  Being saved has everything to do with faith.  It is having a saving faith and belief in Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Lord, the Son of God.  It is about you the believer being transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus said, and I am paraphrasing from memory, “My sheep listen to my voice and I know them and they follow me.  I give them eternal life and no one can snatch them out of my hand.”  I have mentioned this passage before and you can find the reference in a previous post within this subject.  The point is that no one can snatch them away… no one can snatch you away if you have saving faith.

I recently did some work on the deity of God and the trinity doctrine and will put some of it up soon.  One of the points made is even the demons believe in God.  It says in James chapter 2 and verse 19, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”  Let that serve as a lesson to you in that belief in God is one thing and it will not save you.  In order to be saved you must worship, have faith, follow His commandments and trust Him.  Belief in the Lord involves much more than simply acknowledging He exists. So a true believer is one that is transformed, follows Christ and has a changed life through the power of the Holy Spirit.

If that sounds like you and you believe the Bible is the inerrant, inspired and authoritive word of God then you can be assured of your salvation forever.  You can be assured because the Bible states very clearly that we can know that we have eternal life.  Turn to John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

The Bible indicates that we are Children of God. It indicates this in many scriptures of which I will list a few: John 1:12, Hebrews 2: 9-10, Hebrews 12: 5-6, Romans 8:16, Galatians 3:26, Galatians 4:6-7, 1 John 3:1, 1 John 3:2, 1 John 3:10 and 1 john 5:19.  If you are still a skeptic after all I have written then do this for me.  Please reply to this post with a reference to one verse in the Bible where God disowns one of His children.  You cannot!

I have written previously about how we, the children of God have been predestined.  We have been predestined for salvation even before the creation of the world. Scriptures that tell us of this predestination are listed here: Matthew 20:23, Matthew 25:34, Mark 10:40, John 14:2-3, John 17:2-3, Romans 8: 29-30, Romans 9:223, 1 Corinthians 2:7, 1 Corinthians 2:9, Ephesians 1:5, Ephesians 1:11, Ephesians 2:10, Ephesians 4: 11-12 and Hebrews 11:16.  Now I ask again of the unbelievers among you, can you please reply to this post with one verse from God’s word that refutes this?  You cannot!

The Bible also tells us we are heirs of God.  We have an inheritance.  Scriptures that indicate we are heirs of His are: Romans 8:17, Galatians 3:29, Galatians 4:7, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, Ephesians 4:30, 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12, 1 Thessalonians 4:7, 2 Thessalonians 1:11, Hebrews 7:24-25, 1 Peter 1: 3-4, Ephesians 1:4-6, Ephesians 1:18, Jude 1:1, Revelation 17:14.  Let us turn specifically to Romans 11:29, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” To you that doubt, can you reply to this post and tell us of just one verse that leads one to a conclusion that a believer is ever un-called or sent packing?  You cannot!

Scriptures tell us also that believers are chosen by God Himself.  Scriptures that give evidence to this are listed here: Ephesians 1: 11-13, Mark 13:20, Luke 18:7, John 15:16, John 15:19, romans 8:33, Romans 11:5, Colossians 1:27, Colossians 3:12, 1 Thessalonians 1:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, James 2:5, 1 Peter 1:2, 1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 17:14, Matthew 22:14 and Revelation 17:14. With the scriptures listed clearly showing a believer is chosen please then, if you are one who thinks you can lose your salvation, reply to this post and cite me just one verse from the Bible that shows God removing a believer from the kingdom.  You cannot.

We are sealed by God when we become saved by His grace.  The Bible says believers are sealed by God for redemption within these verses: 2 Corinthians 1: 21-22, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:30 and 2 Timothy 2:19.  Please if you don’t believe, reply to this post with just one verse where God removes the seal from a believer. You cannot.

Believers are glorified by God and the Bible says we will be glorified after death in these verses: Romans 8:17, 1 Thessalonians 2:12, 1 Peter 5:4, 1 Peter 5:10, 1 Thessalonians 2: 19-20, 2 Thessalonians 2:14, 2 Timothy 2:10 and Colossians 3:4.  Now to those that oppose my view I ask for a reply to this post that shows me where in the Bible that God removes that glory from a believer.  You cannot do it.

The Bible shows that we are born again and we have become a new creature when we are saved. Look to these scriptures: John3:3, John3:7, 1 Peter 1:3, 1 peter 1:23, 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Ephesians 4:23-24.  Now, again I ask for a reply that would show just one verse in the bible where a believer can become unborn after being born-again.  It even sounds silly.

This notion that once someone is saved and has a saving faith in God could lose their salvation is refuted in over 80 verses throughout the Bible.  We, as believers are predestined, called, chosen, sealed and we are children of God that are heirs of the Father along with Christ for our glorification in Heaven.

All of the verses I will list here speak of the promise of eternal life to believers.  This is not an all exhaustive list and not one of them mentions anything about the possibility of losing that eternal life.  Here they are: Matthew 19:29, Mark 10:29-30, Luke 18:29-30, John 3:16, John3:36, John5:24, John6:39, John 6:40, John17:2-3, Acts 13:47-48, Romans 5:20-21, Romans 6:23, 2 Corinthians 5;1, Galatians 6:8, 1 Timothy 1:16, 1 Timothy 6:12, Titus 1:2, Titus 3:5-7, 1John 2:24-25, 1 John 5:11-13, and Jude 1:21. In John 5:24 Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” Can anyone show me anywhere in the Bible where someone is to return by passing from life unto death?  No… not one verse.

In closing I must say there is one sin that is not forgiven by God.  The sin of blasphemy is not forgiven.  So I suppose some fool could give away by choice all that he has. That is not losing salvation given by Christ but is a conscious turning away. Blasphemy is complete unbelief.  According to the Bible a true believer cannot fall into unbelief.  True believers will persevere even unto the face of opposition.  Recently I heard of a couple Pastors that said they went from belief to unbelief.  I say they never really found out what true faith is and never were anointed by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 1:8 says, “Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Once saved, we are confirmed unto the end and we are always saved, so that we will be blameless in the day of our Lord.  Amen!

God bless your day,

“The Tubthumper”

 

 

Finders Keepers, part 5

Eternal SecurityThis is a continuance of looking for the evidence showing that I have total security in my salvation and why you should too.  The Bible teaches that we have a whole and eternal salvation.  Once save, always saved!

We left off by going over the new things you have in Christ upon becoming a Christian. (Someone in Christ)

The fourth new thing you have is a new hope. You have a hope that you know will guarantee you eternal life. “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (Romans 8:24-25)  You have a hope of glory! The hope we have is because of the full and final redemption of everything. The redemption comes through the sufferings of Christ. “Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (1 peter 1:11) You now have a hope that someday you will receive a new body.  Your new body will be like Christ’s body. “We shall be like Him.”  “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)  It will be a body of flesh and bone. “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” (Luke 24:39)  Your new body will be a recognizable body.  You will sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and you will recognize them and they you. “And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 8:11)  It will be a body unlimited by time, space or gravity.  The Lord was able to walk through a solid door yet he had a body that could be touched, felt and a body that ate and drank.  Your new body will be spiritual body, sown out of nature but raised as a spirit. “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1 Corinthians 15:44, 49)

The new hope is for the redemption of all things and so the creation itself will also be restored. The anxious longing of creation waits for the Glory of God and for creation to be set free.  Creation had a great fall back in Genesis 3:17-18.  “Cursed is the ground.”  Creation fell when man sinned and creation will once again be restored.  It will be restored when the sons of God come into their own.  This will occur at the resurrection, during the millennium.  In Titus 3:5 we see the regeneration of believers, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Regeneration also occurs for nature. Nature itself will be converted.  “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matthew 19:28) You have a new hope of a full and final restoration of your own body and your environment.

The fifth new thing you have is a new helper in prayer.  The Holy Spirit who lives in you, witnesses to you, and now is said to pray for you and me becomes your helper. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26) The Holy Spirit indwells us and helps us to know what to pray for. It is good thing He indwells us because we need His help.  The Holy Spirit looks to you to do your part but also helps you when needed. The Holy Spirit helps us with intensity through the groan of the Spirit.  We have the groan of nature, the groan of the believer and now the groan of the Holy Spirit. You can see in verse 27 of Romans 8 the infallibility of our helper, “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”  The Holy Spirit, who lives within you, within your hearts, makes intercession for you and for us.  The Holy Spirit is praying to the LORD Jesus Christ and then He (the LORD) to the Father, all for intercession for you and me. Isn’t that awesome!  It is hard to comprehend.

In closing today I enter another piece of evidence which is powerful and may be the strongest verse in the Bible regarding eternal security.  Romans 8:30, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”  And whom He justified, them he also glorified.  This verse reveals God’s view of salvation.  It reveals that God’s view is that He is seeing us as already glorified before it has happened!

A done deal. Once saved, always saved.

Believe and live.

“The Tubthumper’

Come back for the next post as we continue looking at evidence for this case. Click here to go to next post.

Use these links for all previous posts on this subject;

Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    Part 4

Part 6

Finders Keepers, part 3

eternmanThe last two posts have been about salvation and whether or not one can lose it once they have it.  Maybe I should have done this first but lets look at the process.

The logical order of salvation is outlined in these verses of John 6:35-65.  Let us review them:

1. The Father draws the un-saved by ‘revealing Christ’ as an attractive and only answer to sin and its end. (6:37)

2. The sinner, (that is us) ‘beholds’ or contemplates this gracious offer from the father. (6:37)

3. The sinner, (us again) ‘determines or decides to trust’ the atoning work of Christ for His salvation. (6:40) Should Christ be rejected at this point it ends the saving process at least temporarily and hopefully not forever.

4. With repentance we the sinners ‘come to Christ’ to be saved.  We come for the purpose of salvation. (6:37)

5. We (the sinner) evidence our heart ‘of repentance’ by coming to Jesus. (6:35, 65)

6. We (the sinner) embrace Jesus Christ ‘by faith’ as our Savior. (6:35)

7. The disciple (us again, now saved) embraced by Jesus Christ, ‘never to be lost or cast out’. (6:37, 39)

8. The disciples (we disciples) enjoy a ‘growing intimacy’ with Jesus Christ during our lives. (6:54, 56)

9. We as believers and disciples shall be ‘raised by Christ in the last day’. (6:39, 40, 44, 54)

Here is Jesus talking about the true remnant being raised out of sin to life.  A raising up out of the earth to be where He is. The rapture!  When will that happen? It is coming sooner than you think. Like a thief in the night He will come and no man knows the hour.  If you haven’t been drawn to Christ and haven’t taken the steps to be in Glory with the savior the time is now. 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”, (John 3:16)

I saw a great statement the other day in a commentary on Romans by John Phillips, “The gospel message grips the mind, stabs the conscience, warms to heart, saves the soul and sanctifies the life. It can make drunken men sober, crooked men straight and profligate women pure. It is a message sufficient to transform the life of any who believe.  It is the power of God unto salvation “To every one that believeth.” It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

We need to turn back to the subject at hand of forever salvation or not.  Once we have salvation and I sincerely pray you have not gone this far without securing that between you and Christ, salvation is forever.  That is still my position on the matter.  Now, neither I nor anyone else can deny that there are several warning passages in the New Testament which seem to imply that there is a possibility of loss of salvation.  My satisfactory explanation of these verses is that they apply to false professors of Christianity and not the true believers. You should also be aware of the difference between your standing as a Christian and your state as a Christian. A saved person’s standing is perfect, immutable and guaranteed by the Word of God, the work of Christ and the witness of the Spirit.  Our state, as Christians is imperfect, changeable and in a big way, mostly dependent on us. When you are saved you are justified.  You have something the world can’t give to you nor can the world take it away.  You have peace with God.  You can read much about your standing with God and your state with God in Romans chapters 5, 6, 7 and 8.  I encourage you to go there and be blessed.

Let me pose two questions for you to think about:

1) If in the mind of God we are already glorified in Heaven, how then could we ever lose our salvation here on earth?

2) If you believe you could lose your salvation, how would you ever know when you lost it?

You can think those over while I continue.

Jesus Christ died and rose again. Christ’s death was our death; His burial was our burial; He died as me! So far as God is concerned, we are already on the resurrection side of the grave and it remains for us to realize this truth and appropriate it, and as to the point I am trying to drive home, victory is assured.

In conclusion for today we are sinners that need to be saved because of CONDEMNATION.  We are saved through Christ with JUSTIFICATION.  After we are saved we are set aside in SANCTIFICATION.  Now we, the saved sinner remain saved through PRESERVATION. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”, Romans 8:1. There is therefore now no condemnation and salvation is immediate.  There is no condemnation and there is no separation. The Bible teaches a whole and eternal salvation, once saved always saved.

Once saved there are seven new things that enable us as believing sinners to remain saved. I will review those seven things as we continue on this subject with more future posts.

The believer has a new position in Christ and experiences fellowship with a new guest because of the new relationship with Jesus. There is a theological description of the believer’s adoption by the Father that explains our eternal security.  You will have a good look into each of these points as we continue in the next post at getting to the bottom line of what is called “the believers confidence”.

ARISE, MY SOUL, ARISE by Charles Wesley

Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears;

The bleeding sacrifice in my behalf appears:

Before the throne my surety stands,

Before the throne my surety stands,

My name is written on His hands.

 

He ever lives above, for me to intercede;

His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead:

His blood atoned for all our race,

His blood atoned for all our race,

And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

 

Five bleeding wounds He bears; received on Calvary;

They pour effectual prayers; they strongly plead for me:

“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,

“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,

“Nor let that ransomed sinner die!”

 

The Father hears Him pray, His dear anointed One;

He cannot turn away, the presence of His Son;

His Spirit answers to the blood,

His Spirit answers to the blood,

And tells me I am born of God.

 

My God is reconciled; His pardoning voice I hear;

He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear:

With confidence I now draw nigh,

With confidence I now draw nigh,

And “Father, Abba, Father,” cry.

 

Believe and live!

“The Tubthumper”

Join me on the next post as we continue by looking at more evidence leading to “Once saved, always saved”. Click here to go to next post.

Click here to jump to other posts in this series:

Part 1    Part 2    Part 4    Part 5    Part 6

Finders Keepers, Part 2

demas-2The question is on the table.  Can we lose our salvation?

This topic will cover several continuing posts so stay with us… People profess Christ and then fall away.  What about Judas?  In the Gospel of Matthew, when Judas goes to the chief priests, he asks: “What will you give me if I deliver [Jesus] to you?” (Matthew 26:15).  This verse suggests Judas betrayed Jesus out of greed.  In the Gospel of John, however, after Jesus gives Judas the piece of dipped bread, “Satan entered into him” (13:27). This verse suggests Satan’s spirit entered into Judas and caused him to do evil. Jesus was sitting right next to him and allowed it. We know from scripture that Jesus knew ahead of time it would happen. Was it a choice a Judas made? What about Demas? Demas had been a faithful servant of the Lord, and a trusted companion of the apostle Paul. He served the greatest cause, and he served alongside some of the Lord’s most devoted disciples. It says in 2 Timothy 4:10, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.” So Demas chose the world over the Kingdom and deserted Paul in his greatest time of need. All of his time spent with Paul and the other disciples could not preserve him from the wiles of Satan, the lure of the world, and the lusts of the fleshly nature.

They both went back to the world, they went back to sin.  Or were they ever saved to begin with?

Is there any assurance of an absolute and permanent salvation?  Some say when a person turns away from God after genuinely being a Christian they lose the saving grace they once had. (This is the classic Armenian and Wesley position.) But others say when a person turns away from God and back to the world it proves they were never Christians to begin with. (This is the classic Calvinistic and reformed position.) So one says hey, “They were never saved to begin with.” And the other side says, “No sir, they once had it but they lost it.’  Where do you stand on this issue? There is yet the third position which is that once someone prays to the Lord and confesses their sin with repentance along with an outward profession of faith they are saved and they can never lose it.

But… people profess and then turn away.  Sadly I am seeing a lot of it these days. Is it because of dead faith?  You will find in the book of James three different kinds of faith.  In James 2:14-26, we find James discussing those different kinds of faith, with an emphasis upon that faith which works to the saving of the soul. Those with a dead faith are just pretenders.  Their “walk” does not measure up to their “talk”.  Is only an intellectual faith and they have never really submitted themselves to God and trusted in Jesus for salvation. Any form of belief that does not result in a changed life and good works is a dead end street. It is dead. Dead, dead, DEAD!  What about false faith?  It says in 1 John 2:19, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” This is what John said about those that turned against Christ.  He was making a point. Just like a healthy body keeps poison out of your system and will purge your body of the poison a healthy church or healthy Christian will purge itself from the poison.  The insincere become detected and the apostates and revolters and antichrists, they went out, and are made manifest that they were not all of us.

You may be reading all these words about faith and thought we were on some rabbit trail.  All this about faith is because a truly saved individual has saving faith. Saving faith causes a regeneration of the person which then becomes manifest in works revealing the fruit of the spirit. Others will know of your regeneration by your fruit.  Without regeneration it is morally and spiritually impossible to savingly believe in Christ.  “Except a man be born again, he cannot see, he cannot understand, he cannot come to Christ”, (John 3:3; 6:37, 44; 1 Cor. 2:14).  Regeneration is the renewing of the heart and mind; and the renewed heart and mind must act according to their nature. This regeneration is the act of God alone.  But faith is not the act of God.  It is not God who believes in Christ for salvation; it is the sinner.  Although it is by God’s grace alone that a person is able to believe, faith is an activity of the person alone.  In saving faith we receive and rest upon Christ alone for salvation.  It might be hard for you understand this concept that the Bible teaches but it is there.  This is God’s way of salvation, expressing His supreme wisdom, power, and grace.

We are portrayed more than once in the Bible as sheep. There is a promise for the sheep. A true Christian, a true saved one, one with saving faith, cannot lose their salvation because of the promise scripture gives us.  The shepherd gave his life for the sheep. Lost sheep3 Please allow me to turn your attention toward Jesus, The Good Shepherd in John.  “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand”, (John 10:27-28) Please let verse 28 sink in. He gives us eternal life and we will never perish and NEITHER SHALL ANY MAN PLUCK THEM OUT OF MY HAND!  He holds us tight to his chest forever.  Forever safe Forever saved.

A person that is truly one of Christ’s sheep, born again of the spirit has Christ as the shepherd with his body lying across the sheep-gate protecting and keeping His sheep.  God is committed to them and he will never let them be lost.

Just be sure you have that saving faith.

Have your prayer be similar to that of the Psalmist’s:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;

                try me and know my anxieties;

             “And see if there is any wicked way in me,

                and lead me in the way everlasting.”

  — Psalms 139:23-24

Believe and live!

 “The Tubthumper”

Join me on the next post as we continue by looking at more evidence leading to “Once saved, always saved”. Click here to go to next post.

Click here to jump to other posts in the series:

Part 1    Part 3    Part 4    Part 5    Part 6

Day 12 Prayer for election, 28 to go.

God is a rockYou are the rock and strength of this nation.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. (Psalm 18:2-3)

You are our God.  You are our King.  You are our master.  You are our Lord.  You are God Almighty,   The great I AM.  We praise your Holy name.  As the songwriters say dear Lord, “You are the Rock of our salvation.  You are the strength of our life.  You are our hope and our inspiration.  Lord unto you we do cry.  There is no rock, there is no God like our God; No other name worthy of all our praise.  You are the rock of salvation that cannot be moved.  You are the Rock of ages.”

Dear Lord we confess today that we have not trusted in you as we should.  We have left you out of our lives Lord and we have gone our own way.  We have left you out of our government and our decisions.   Lord, forgive us. You are the rock and strength of this nation.  You are the only one who can deliver us from our enemies. We thank you, Father for the protection and deliverance you have provided.  We give thanks for all our blessings and the grace you have shown.  We are thankful for your faithfulness.

Lord we trust in You and pray humbly for Your guidance.  We believe in You, for your faithful love toward us. You have been our help in times of need.  We pray today for your leading in the direction for this great nation, the United States of America.  Father, please give us all the wisdom to make the right choices.  Help us to live in a way that Your name will be honored in all things and that we may bring glory to You.  We praise you, Lord!  We ask all through your son Jesus Christ, Amen.

It’s a miracle, a free gift!

It is Justification.  In my opinion justification is a miracle.  It is a miraculous gift given to all of us who believe upon Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  It is provided by Christ’s death on the cross and given to us at no cost through His grace.

The doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone is extremely important and central to the Christian faith.Justification

In spite of the importance attributed to it in the Bible and the critical role it played in the Protestant Reformation, most professing believers today do not understand it. We live in a time when most people are woefully ignorant of basic Bible doctrines. An obsession with entertainment and emotionalism has replaced a concern for theology. How many sermons or classes have you seen dealing with the doctrine of God, or the atonement, or justification? Little to none I’ll bet.  Why isn’t doctrine taught today?  Did you know that Paul made it completely clear that a mistake regarding justification can send you to the lake of fire? We need preachers and teachers committed to expound on the doctrine of justification.

The doctrine of Justification by faith and the death of Christ at Calvary go together and Justification is based on the blood of the Lamb.

A study of Scripture proves that justification is not subjective or a process, but is a legal declaration by God the Father in the heavenly court.

Some points of clarity between justification and sanctification: Justification is objective. It takes place outside of the sinner in the heavenly court. Justification does not directly change the believer’s inner life. On the other hand, sanctification is subjective. It takes place in the sinner and renders the sinner more holy over time.

Justification is an act of God the Father. God renders a verdict regarding the one who believes in Christ. “It is God who justifies” (Rom. 8:33). Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit. “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). Justification is instantaneous. God declares the believing sinner righteous in a moment of time. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (Jn. 5:24; Lk. 18:14; Rom. 5:1). Justification is not a process, nor is it piecemeal. It takes place only once, and then it is complete. “There is no such thing as being more and more justified. There are no degrees of acceptance with God. To be justified is to be wholly justified.”  A “man is either fully justified, or he is not justified at all.”  Sanctification is a continuous process. The Christian grows in holiness and more and more conforms to the character of Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit applies God’s word to his heart. “The old sin nature is progressively subdued, but never entirely abolished in this life.” Sanctification is progressive, imperfect, and not completed until death.

Justification removes the guilt of sin and clothes the believer with Christ’s perfect righteousness, thus entitling him to eternal life in God’s own family. Sanctification progressively removes the pollution of sin; subdues the power of sin, and increasingly enables the believer to live in conformity with the word of God.

Justification is an act of God obtained by or through faith. “There is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith” (Rom. 3:30). Faith is not the ground or cause of justification but the instrument by which the believer receives justification. Faith is the gift of God which lays hold of and receives what Christ has accomplished. The believer’s salvation and justification are totally a work of God.

Justification is the manner in which God considers righteous those sinners who, by faith in Jesus Christ, receive Devine forgiveness and reconciliation.  Justification is a legal or forensic term and is used in Scripture to denote the acceptance of any one as righteous in the sight of God.

“Salvation includes that which is given, freely and finally, by God (JUSTIFICATION); that which is continually imparted (sanctification); and that still to be attained (glorification).”

Justification is by faith alone and not works.  We were given a free gift of grace and justification did not occur by anything we did or anything within us, but occurred because of what Christ did for us. Hence it is called a gift, a free gift, a gift by grace, and believers are described as those who receive this gift of righteousness (Rom. 5.17). We are never said to be justified by anything done by us or wrought in us, but by what Christ has done for us. We are justified through the redemption that is in him (Rom. 3.24). We are justified by his blood (Rom. 5.9) We are justified by his obedience (Rom. 5.19). We are justified by him from all things (Acts 13.39). He is our righteousness (1 Cor. 1.30). We are made the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor. 5.21). We are justified in his name (1 Cor. 6.11). There is no condemnation to those who are in him (Rom. 8.1). Justification is, therefore, by faith in Christ, because faith is receiving and trusting to him as our Savior, as having done all that is required to secure our acceptance before God.

Justification is God’s response to the problem of estrangement from the only true God. In his letter to the Romans, Paul conveyed the message that God did not consider sin lightly. Sin created a massive gulf between God and people. This gulf required a bridge to bring all of humanity into a right relationship with God. Theologians call God’s bridge building “reconciliation.” Reconciliation functions to bring humans “justification.” The main character who effected this divine plan was Jesus Christ. Uniquely, His death on the cross made it possible for God and people to be reconciled (Romans 5:10) and thus for humans to be justified.

Through the Gospel, God unleashes a power to change people, and at the crucial point: in their relationship with him. When people respond in faith to the message of the good news, God “justifies” them; that is, he declares them innocent before him, removing the barrier that exists between all human beings in their natural state and God.  Everything else in the Christian life flows from this marvelous experience.

Yet many people do not hear this good news, and many Christians do not understand what has happened to them. 

I see a good example of justification from the Old Testament. We can take a look at David.  In Psalms 51 we find the prayer of repentance from David, “restore unto me the joy of thy salvation”.  David had no chance under the Law.  There could be no sacrifice offered because an adulterer was to be stoned to death under the Law.  He had a broken and contrite heart and was asking for forgiveness.  He threw himself to the mercy of the Lord and the Lord provided by grace to have David justified apart from the Law. He bypassed the Law of Moses and by grace he was forgiven.  The judge died for the defendant!

When God justifies a man, he declares him to be righteous.  Just as Adam’s transgressions resulted in condemnation and death, Christ’s ‘free gift’ brought justification and life (Rom. 5:16).  In this affirmation, Paul presupposes the resurrection of Christ and its distribution: those who receive the ‘gift of righteousness’ will rule in life through the one, Jesus Christ (verse 17).  His single act of righteousness has brought ‘the justification which issues in life (dikaiosis zoes) for all humanity (verse 18).  The ‘gift of righteousness’ (verse 17) is nothing other than Christ’s ‘act of righteousness’ (verse 18) in its saving significance for all who believe.  Our justification has been accomplished outside of us, in Christ incarnate, crucified and risen.”

There are three major imputations in the Bible.  They are Adam’s sin imputed to the human race, Man’s sin (mine and yours) imputed upon Christ, and last but most certainly not least is God’s righteousness imputed to all believers.  And justification is an act of God.  It is a legal declaration whereby God declares a vile sinner to be righteous.”

The cross of Calvary makes it possible for God to be both just and the Justifier. (II Cor. 5:21)

Justification, however, is only for “him which believeth in Jesus.”  This cannot be overemphasized.  God justifies only those who believe in Jesus.  The only belief that counts with God is belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is a comfort to know that through Christ’s redeeming work our Justification is connected indissolubly with the glory of God.

We now can look at the word “Grace”.  Grace is unmerited favor.  It is getting something we do not deserve.  All we deserve from God is His eternal punishment for our continued rebellion; but instead He offers us salvation through His Son at the infinite cost of Calvary.  So we are “justified freely by His grace”.

It is based on a redemptive price, for Paul goes on to speak of “the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood”. (Romans 3: 24, 25)  Remember those words, “redemption, propitiation, faith and blood”.  The four steps leading to Justification: 1) You are lost, 2) You cannot save yourself, 3) You realize only Christ can save you, and 4) You must ask Christ to save you.

Justification by faith is the doctrine we need expounded on more today.  Justification is free. God does not charge us anything.  He does not charge for saving us either.

I will end with these words, “In the brief, but clear and comprehensive words of the Westminster Divines: “Justification is an act of God’s free grace, –Wherein He pardoneth all our sins,– and accepteth us as righteous in His sight, — only for the righteousness of Christ, –imputed to us,– and received by faith alone.” 

The peace of God can be enjoyed by all and because of justification we have hope.

By His grace I am saved,

“The Tubthumper”

 

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