Basic Bible Doctrines | Lesson 5 – Justification by Faith
I) Definition – The judicial act of God by which, on account of Christ, to whom the sinner is united by faith, He declares the sinner to be no longer exposed to the penalty of the law but is restored to divine favor.
Note: The word “justify” in the New Testament does not mean to make righteous, but to declare righteous. Justification is the state of one who is thus declared righteous. Romans 8:10 “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”
1 Corinthians 1:30 “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:”
II) Elements of Justification
A) The remission of punishment. The penalty of sin is remitted to the sinner on the ground of what Christ has done on the cross.
1) God as judge pardons. Micah 7:18 “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy.”
2) God as Father forgives. Psalm 130:4 “But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.”
Romans 8: 33 “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies.”
III) Restoration to favor. The sinner is restored to favor on the basis of Christ’s perfect obedience to the Law of God.
A) Reconciliation -to make from an enemy to a friend.2 Corinthians 5:18 “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;”
B) Sonship – John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them he gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
Romans 8:15 “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”
Galatians 4:5-7 “To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
See also: Ephesians 1:5;1 John 3:2
IV) The Grounds for Justification
A) Not by works of the law or human effort, but by the blood of Jesus Christ.
1) Acts 13:39 “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
Romans 3:20,24-25 “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. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath sent forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;”
Romans 5:1,9 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
Galatians 2:16; 3:13 “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. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree:”
1 Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
V) The Condition of Justification
A) Faith. Acts 13:39
Romans 3:26 “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.”
Romans 4:5 “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
Romans 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The ground and the condition of justification must not be confused. What Jesus Christ has done is the ground of justification. Our faith in Christ Jesus is the means by which we receive the blessings of the atoning work of Him.
VI) Blessings of Justification
A) Peace with God – Romans 5:1
B) No condemnation – Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
C) Heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. – Titus 3:7 “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Romans 8:15-17 “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father. The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
D) Saved from wrath – Romans 5:9 “Much more than, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
E) Glorification - 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.”