2017 Sermon Prep
Being made/declared "right" with/by God
HOW? Character/Blood Right/Nationality Etc..?
- All nations blessed nkjv@Galatians:3:8
- God not a respecter of persons nkjv@Deuteronomy:10:17 nkjv@Matthew:22:16 nkjv@Romans:2:11
- Seeds of Abraham = Any who believe in Christ nkjv@Galatians:3:27-29
HOW? The Law?
- From time of Moses to time of Jesus = Conditional "IF" Covenant
- From time of Jesus to Us = In light of Christ's fulfillment of entire law
- Conclusions to be drawn? The Law can be simplified down to two main items nkjv@Matthew:22:37-40; neither of which the heart is able to fully fulfill on it's own especially by the law nkjv@Joshua:24:19 nkjv@Galatians:2:16; neither the apostles before conversion nor their fathers long before able to bear the burden nkjv@Acts:15:10 so why place burden of it upon others.
LAW AS CONDITIONAL "IF" COVENANT
nkjv@Deuteronomy:28:1-2 nkjv@Deuteronomy:28:15 nkjv@Deuteronomy:28:58-59 nkjv@Deuteronomy:29:14-15 nkjv@Deuteronomy:29:24-26 nkjv@Deuteronomy:30:1-3 nkjv@Deuteronomy:30:10-20
NEVER ONCE FULFILLED ON ISRAEL's PART; EVEN THOUGH GOD GRACIOUSLY GAVE AND WAS LONGSUFFERING/LOVINGKIND
nkjv@Psalms:106:43-45 ("remembered HIS covenant" = Adam/Abraham)
LAW BECOMES MORPHED INTO ORAL TRADITIONS
EVIDENCED BY HIS RESURRECTION/ASCENSION
PRICE OF SIN PAID
PURPOSE OF LAW EXPLAINED
nkjv@Galatians:3:18-24 until seed come/confine all under sin/keep under guard/kept for faith to come afterward/bring us unto Christ/(Christ/Faith comes) no longer under tutor;
nkjv@Galatians:4:4-7 redeem those under the Law; send Spirit into our hearts
Q. Jesus said that not one jot or tittle of the law shall pass from the law until all is fulfilled nkjv@Matthew:5:17-20
A. Note that in nkjv@Matthew:5:20 Jesus in context is equating the teaching of law breaking to the doings/teachings of the Pharisees, with all their assumed legal righteousness collectively none will even enter the "Kingdom". It is not the law having passed that is our teaching, it is what purpose the law continues to stand for - essentially to bring all sinners (cursed under the law) to Christ. Until all is finally fulfilled the law will continue to remind us who we are without the faith in Christ imputed righteousness to come.
- From time of Abraham 430 years earlier to time of Jesus = Seed unconditionally promised Abram before any works were done kjv@Genesis:12:1-4 nkjv@Genesis:13:15-16 kjv@Genesis:17:1-9; when there finally was a conditional extension made it was based solely upon circumcision as a proof of willingly submitting to the terms of God's unconditional pact kjv@Genesis:17:10-14; Abraham and Sarah's notion of a good work (Ishmael) nearly got in the way of God's covenant work (Isaac); Abraham's good work later was not in nearly sacrificing Isaac (which would have been a very common pagan thing to do), but believing God for a Seed (and numerous others seeds) unconditionally given through Isaac nkjv@Genesis:17:19 nkjv@Genesis:22:1-12; man's propensity is to do only that which he sees as right in his own eyes nkjv@Proverbs:21:2 filter:OT right+AND+own+eye . Also consider that Israel chose only to take possession of about 1/3 of the land that was promised, in fact 2 1/2 of the tribes didn't even chose to possess lands within the promised borders.
- From time of Jesus to Us = Disciples frequently caught in doing or speaking as they saw right only to be in direct opposition to Jesus; Peter with sword naively thought to protect Jesus from capture yet it would have rather prevented Jesus from accomplishing overall plan of salvation; Jesus warns those servants having done all commanded that think they've done something especially worthy that they are yet unprofitable servants nkjv@Luke:17:7 only having done what they were commanded
- Conclusions to be drawn?
EDIT: INSERT LAW OF BIBLICAL HUMAN PROBABILITIES
kjv@Romans:3:27 @ Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
kjv@Romans:4:2 @ For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
kjv@Romans:4:6 @ Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
kjv@Romans:9:11 @ (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
kjv@Romans:11:6 @ 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.
Q. Throughout Old and New Testaments the reader is exhorted to do this and do that, for instance letting ones good works shine before men; does this not prove justification is by works?
A. We also have substantial proof that works do not get us all the way to justification. Jesus warns that not all that say Lord Lord did we not do wonders and miraculous deeds in your name will enter the Kingdom. Add to that the parable of the unprofitable servant doing only what had been expected of him/her.
How? Faith Alone?
Faith in what?
It has been the classic reformed position to believe solely in the sufficiency of the work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross by His death/resurrection/ascension performed for our justification. Considering the previous discussions of Law and Works, the reformer's suggestion of faith alone gains considerable merit. Faith is merely our connection/access point to or claim of reliance upon that completed body of work. Even our faith itself is a gift from God!
The principal text used to support justification by faith alone is the quote regarding Abraham that he had "believed God and it was counted/accounted to him as righteousness" nkjv@Genesis:15:6 nkjv@Galatians:3:6. Justification in this respect could be thought of as a forensic term declared by a judge, one man's utter deficit overlooked because of an willing intercessor's generous excess. Another way to picture this is that we are made right by being adopted into the family of one who is already right.
Other faiths of course view this justification differently. Many would see it as a transformative process where little by little the believer is made right either by works of the law, works of the individual, else works of the Church. Reformers did not reject the idea of works, they placed them as a natural outgrowth of having been made right with God by the work of Jesus Christ and important to the continuing work of sanctification and Christian growth that they hold "separate but similar" from the work of justification.
Reformed believers are drawn to this viewpoint because of what they feel is the preponderance of scriptural evidence:
JUSTIFICATION IN THE POSITIVE (NT)
kjv@Galatians:2:17 @ ...while we seek to be justified by Christ
kjv@Acts:13:39 @ And by him all that believe are justified from all things
kjv@1Corinthians:4:4 @ For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord
kjv@1Corinthians:6:11 @ ...ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God
kjv@Romans:5:9 @ Much more then, being now justified by his blood
kjv@Titus:3:7 @ That being justified by his grace
kjv@Romans:3:24 @ Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
kjv@Romans:5:18 @ ... even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life
kjv@Romans:5:1 @ Therefore being justified by faith
kjv@Galatians:2:16 ...that we might be justified by the faith of Christ
kjv@Galatians:3:24 @ ... that we might be justified by faith
kjv@Matthew:12:37 @ For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned
JUSTIFICATION IN THE POSITIVE (NT concerning OT)
kjv@James:2:21 @ Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
kjv@James:2:24 @ Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
kjv@James:2:25 @ Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works,
JUSTIFICATON IN THE NEGATIVE (LAW and WORKS OF)
kjv@Acts:13:39 @ ...from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
kjv@Galatians:2:16 @ Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law...not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
kjv@Galatians:3:11 @ But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God
kjv@Galatians:5:4 @ Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
JUSTIFICATON IN THE NEGATIVE (WORKS)
kjv@Romans:4:2 @ For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
Seeing that there is an possible difficulty presented in James, various efforts have been made to harmonize what James is saying:
Q. James writes that we are justified by faith and works, not faith alone nkjv@James:2:24
A1. Recall that James gave full consent to Paul's "gospel of grace" prior to Paul giving it to anybody else nkjv@Galatians:2:9. James' discourse rightly points out that true faith in being declared "right" in Christ inevitably produces fruit in the form of good works. Paul agrees that being now been regenerated in Christ we've therefore been "created unto good works" nkjv@Ephesians:2:10. Jesus said "a tree is know for it's fruit" nkjv@Matthew:12:33 and that "a branch cannot produce fruit of it's own unless it abides in him nkjv@John:15:4/a bad tree cannot produce good fruit". The essential connection to Christ then is of immediate concern, that connection is made via the Holy Spirit who comes upon us through faith alone nkjv@Galatians:3:2-3. Faith that produces no fruit is indeed dead (without the Holy Spirit) and likely not holding to the true faith in true form of Jesus that is required.
A2. In full context James addressed this epistle to none other than the "twelve tribes scattered abroad" nkjv@James:1:1 who are under immense trial and tribulation for their new Christian beliefs nkjv@James:1:2, which he labels as "looking into the perfect law of liberty to continue in it" nkjv@James:1:25. The temptation nkjv@James:1:12-15 would be for these converts to either put the faith off or to keep it down low; his exhortation to them is to be patient nkjv@James:1:2-4 and to be doers of the word nkjv@James:1:22. He calmly relates this in terms that his Jewish audience could best relate to, giving examples of other notable doers from the Old Testament. He speaks of a more personal every day (why should I continue doing this) form of justification (doing this despite the inherent dangers). In fact, according to him, the "perfect law of liberty" is the likely cause for anything substantial action thereafter to be done; especially in such personally perilous times. He also claims doing as important so as to not forget the type of men/women we once were before the action placed upon us by Christ nkjv@James:1:23-24
nkjv@James:1:18 @ Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
While these few various answers to the difficulty are not the complete substance of our doctrinal debate, it gives you an idea of the direction scripturally that the debate is wanting to go. In the mind of most reformers the object is to reconcile the difficult exceptions to the overwhelmingly consistent majority of text (not the other way around).
EDIT: Let me add before moving on that it is likely that once justification has been connected to by faith, the works that follow rather become more of the love God with all heart/soul/mind/strength and others as yourself variety. Which in and of itself fulfills the honorable demands of the great commandments.
- Let's begin this section by questioning the true intentions of one's faith:
- is it to not suffer eternal punishment/how?
- is it to better one's present situation/to whose benefit?
- is to for forgiveness of our burdensome guilt/why?
- or is it first and foremost personally to be right with God and to then help others towards becoming that in the same way/well then how?
- Consider the possible vehicle to be driven by this faith:
- one's personal merits/character/accomplishments? Law? Works?
- Christ Jesus? The indwelling of His Holy Spirit? Grace? The cruxifiction of self to the rising of the selfless partaking of His Divine nature and Lordship?
The importance of these question as it relates to our modern form of faith is that the answer to these questions go toward determining how then we proceed to go about our faith. Are we constantly attempting to work ourselves into being right with God? Are we constantly being accepting of the sufficiency of His generous work having made us right in order that in deep reverence and appreciation of that work perform good works that He rather had ordained for us to complete from long ago?
- Two prominent Christian definitions historically to compare:
- Roman Catholic:
Living as fully persuaded of the hope revealed/purchased/brought about by Christ alone, relying upon His ability alone to make us "right with God", on God's terms as revealed in the scriptures alone, by God's grace alone, for God's glory alone.
(regarding justification = forensic (declared right/righteousness is imputed by Christ/grace and faith alone) - having the assurance born of all this)
Having been justified initially by baptism into the Church and remaining justified by the continuing (up to date) confession and penance for sins yet committed, justification progresses towards completion by means of performing seven Church sanctioned works (Sacraments). At death, the soul will be finally purged of it's innate sinful nature by suffering in purgatory, the length of this purging can be reduced by the Vicor of Rome applying the extra merits of certain Church Saints to their credit (at his discretion) and by prayers of the rosary by the Church faithful to the Immaculate Mother Mary.
(regarding justification = transformative (made/progressing toward becoming right/righteousness infused into/faith plus works plus future purging plus Saints extra merit) - assurance until you done something wrong again)
Quoted resource: strongs 'G4102'
- MAJOR SUBJECTS IN CONTEXTUAL CONNECTION TO PISTIS:
- IS BORN OF GOD
- REVEALS GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS
- GIVEN IN PROPORTION/MEASURE
- REGARDING - BELIEF IN TRUTH
- REGARDING - BELIEF IN/OF JESUS
- REGARDING - GOD/GOD'S POWER
- REGARDING - HIS PROMISES
- REGARDING - JUSTIFICATION/PEACE
- A MYSTERY HELD
- COMES BY HEARING/SCRIPTURE
- LAW OF FAITH AS OPPOSED TO LAW OF LAW
- ACCESS To GOD MADE BY
- HOPE/EVIDENCE OF THINGS UNSEEN
- INVOLVES OBEDIENCE TO FAITH
- LIVED BY/FIDELITY TO
- MINISTRY OF
- BELIEVER CAN BE WEAK/SOUND/RICH IN
- WORKS PATIENCE IN BELIEVER
- PUBLIC/SECRET SIDES OF ITS NATURE
- IS MUTUAL/INCLUSIVE
- IS BEFORE/TOWARDS GOD
- ANYTHING NOT OF FAITH IS SIN
- EXEMPLIFIED IN PAST AS PRODUCING MARKED EFFECTS THEN BUT WITH EYE ON FUTURE
Faith in the faith of Jesus?
Being Made/Declared "Right" with God
Forensic verses Transformative Justification?
Imputed verses Infused righteousness?
Justification verses Sanctification?
License to sin?
Judgment of works?
Justification now verses justification to come at His arrival?