Author Topic: Justification by Faith  (Read 69270 times)

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Richard Myers

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Justification by Faith
« on: November 20, 2000, 07:47:00 PM »
A popular phrase in the church today for those who speak in "theological" terms is justification by faith. I would like to look at what the Bible means by justification and faith. The term is used in the Spirit of Prophecy also. False teachings abound on this subject, so it is good to have a grasp of the "doctrine" of justification by faith, or righteousness by faith. It is the third angel's message in verity.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

M.A. Crawford

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2000, 06:35:00 AM »
In reference to the terms "justification" and "faith" as they apply to salvation, the SDA Bible Dictionary on page 635 reads: "As used theologically, (justification is) the divine act by which God declares a penitent sinner righteous, or regards him as righteous. Justification is the opposite of condemnation (Rom. 5:16). Neither term specifies character, but only standing before God. Justification is not a transformation of inherent character; it does not impart righteousness any more than condemnation imparts sinfulness. A man comes under condemnation because of his transgressions, but, as a sinner, he can experience justification only through an act of God. Condemnation is earned, or deserved, but justification cannot be earned---it is a 'free [unmerited] gift' (v. 16). In justifying the sinner God acquits him, declares him righteous, regards him as righteous, and proceeds to treat him as a righteous man. Justification is the act of acquittal and the accompanying declaration that a state of righteousness exists. Charges of wrongdoing are canceled, and the sinner, now justified, is brought into a right relationship with God that Paul describes as being at "peace with God" (Rom 5:1)....

"When by faith the sinner accepts the vicarious death of Jesus Christ as the just penalty for his own offenses, God in turn accepts the sinner's faith in lieu of personal righteousness and places the righteousness of Jesus Christ to his credit. Christ's resurrection was fully as essential 'for our justification' as was His death upon the cross ((Rom. 4:25). Strict justice provides no escape from the penalty for sin, which is death. This is why Christ paid that penalty on the cross. But even as Christ's death on the cross to pay the penalty for sin is a demonstration of divine justice, so the resurrection, which released the Saviour from that penalty, is a demonstration of divine mercy and of God's willingness to transfer the merits of Christ's vicarious death to sinners who are willing to accept the gracious gift...."

M.A.    

M.A.

Allan F

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2000, 09:51:00 AM »
Happy Sabbath!

Someone once told me that EGW says that there is a special blessing in studying this
subject on the Sabbath. I have not found the quote yet, but it is an interesting thought.

One of the sad facts revealed in the message to the church in Laodicea, is that Gods church don't understand the subject about justification by faith and Christ's righteousness. A large group are walking without the white raiment. And worse: This group don't know it. Therefore I believe this is an important subject. And we need to study it carefully, understand it clearly and share it freely. Compare verse with verse, because some verse may seem to contradict others.
I am looking forward to follow this study.

Allan F   :)


Richard Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2000, 07:45:00 AM »
Happy Sabbath, all!    :)  Good to hear from our Brother Allan in Norway!    :)

Brother Crawford has given us a good start with an understanding of why we need to be justified and what it means to be "justified". I would like to add a simple thought that may help some with the term. Think in terms of the word "justify". My dictionary defines the word justify; to prove the justice of, to vindicate.  So, let us ask the question "Can God justify, or prove the justice of, allowing Richard into heaven? Or, can God prove that Richard can have eternal life? Is it just? Is it within the system of law that God has established?  This is what the term justification is dealing with.

Satan has argued that God cannot give eternal life to Richard because Richard has sinned, but Jesus says that Richard may have eternal life based upon some conditions. Not all living in this world possess eternal life, but some do. I hope this helps us to understand the term and the issue. We have not explained the "how", but only what the term "justify" means. Justification is the noun. It is what one receives when he has been shown to be justified.

Justification is eternal life. It is also Jesus Christ. We are justified when we receive Jesus Christ into the heart. It is the life and death of Christ that enables us to receive justification.  We could not have eternal life if Jesus had not died in our place.

Praise God for His love and sacrifice for us while we were yet sinners.   
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Allan F

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2000, 10:42:00 AM »
Good to be back here. Even if I have not been on ROL so much for the last few months, I have this site in my mind, and thank God that it exists. This place makes it easy to witness, share thaughts and study together. Thank you brother Richard and also all the moderators (Crawford and others) who I believe have done much in order for this web site to work well.

I want to share some thaughts about how great God is.

When we do something wrong and come to God and ask for forgiveness, God not only forgives us our sins, but he looks at us as we have never sinned. For me, this is an amazing thaught. Try to reflect on this, just for a moment.
How is it with me. When someone hurts me, and asks of forgiveness, it is my duty as a christian to forgive him. But do I also look at him as he has never sinned? That's how God is looking at him...!

Before I go on I want to ask you americans, if you put into the expressions "righteousness by faith" and "justification by faith" the same meaning? In norwegian we only have one expression: "Rettferdiggjörelse ved tro". That means "to make (one) righteous by faith".

Allan F


Richard Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2000, 11:29:00 AM »
Brother Allan, it is so good to have you with us again!  :)  And, while I have never heard anyone say that "rightesousness by faith" and justification by faith" mean the same thing, I have come to that conclusion. In my opening post I stated "False teachings abound on this subject, so it is good to have a grasp of the 'doctrine' of justification by faith, or righteousness by faith. It is the third angel's message in verity."  I treated them here as one and the same. It is good to hear that others see the same and that in your language you have only one phrase for the two.

Your realization of our status before God when we repent is most important for the sinner to learn, for it reveals the grace by which we are saved. Yes, we are to look at others who are repentant in the same manner, forgetting their past sins and rejoicing with them in their reconcilliation to us and Christ.   :)

I look forward to hearing more of your thougts, and others, on this most important doctrine.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Allan F

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2000, 03:49:00 AM »
"We are justified when we receive Jesus Christ into the heart". This is an interesting thought, Richard. The Bible uses strong expressions to describe the difference between life with Christ and life without Christ in the heart. It says that it is life or death. To live without Christ in the heart the Bible tells us is like being dead. It is meaningless, dark and empty. And if we are "dead", we can not see the blessings of "life".

When God created Adam, he formed him of the dust. But before God breathed life into his nostrils Adam was dead and his condition was meaningless. It was so, because God wanted Adam to be a living creature. God was not satisfied before he had breathed the breath of life into Adam. But in this Adam was totally dependent of God.

There is a text in the Bible which is very similar to the one in Gen 2:7.
In Ezekiel ch. 37 the prophet has a vision of a valley filled with bones. And God is here telling the prophet about the spiritual condition of Israel, and what God wants to do for his people. In verse 6 God says: "I will lay sinews upon you, and I will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live".
Verse 14: "And (I) shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live".

To be or not to be; To have, or not to have Christ in the heart, that's the most important question.

But what must be done in order to be "alive"?
I found an interesting text in the Colossians. In ch. 2:13, Paul tells us what kills us and what makes us stay in this dead condition: "And you, being dead in your SINS and in the UNCIRCUMCISION of your sinful nature,..".
So there are two problems that must solved before we can become living. First, our SINS separates us from God. But thanks be to God who through Christ's sacrifice has made it possible for us to solve this problem. At the cross we can come with all our sins and receive forgiveness. Jesus loved us so much that he died for us.

But when the first problem is solved, we are still dead. There is one more fundamental problem to solve. That is the circumcision. In the time of Abraham, God gave this sign to his people. This showed that they were Gods people. And Moses tells us what is ment by this ritual: Deut 30:6 : "And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live."
Paul also wrote about the circumcision: Rom 2:29 : "But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter."

So when these to problems are solved, God has joy in his heart, because one more person is living the real life.   :)


Allan F


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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2000, 05:39:00 PM »
Amen, Brother Allan!  :)  It is the same Holy Spirit that reaches around the world to Norway as reaches down to earth here in the U.S.!  The Bible is clear in this matter. Jesus does indeed desire to write His law upon our hearts. He wants us to love Him with all the heart, all the mind, all the soul, and all of our strength. Then, we shall love our neighbor as ourself; then we are justified by our faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This is "righteousness by faith" or "justification by faith".

Our heavenly Father desires that we "be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man..."  My fellow brothers and sisters  the power of God's grace is at our right hand. Jesus knocks at the door of the heart wanting in. We have the promise "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, Many be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."

Unto Him be all honor and glory!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Allan F

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2000, 11:21:00 AM »
Amen, brother Richard

The word of God has indeed power when we reach out for it in faith. It is interesting that God chose FAITH as the key which opens the door into "life", and not in doing special acts, or visiting special places.
God chose something deeper than facts and outward actions. He chose the most personal: an active faith in him.

The Bible says much about not being justified by works. Here is one example:
"But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us. Not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life." (Tit 3:4-7)

In order to be justified, we can not trust in our own works. We must trust in the Lord's.

Allan F


theo

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2000, 09:54:00 PM »
I think it would be good to look at a biblical example of justification.

Luke 18:10-14. 10-Two  men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11-The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God I thank you that I am not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.12-I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.13-And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me a sinner!14-I tell you, this man went down to his house JUSTIFIED rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.(NKJV)

To me, the most important point of this passage is that the tax collector acknowledged and felt his true condition as a sinner. He knew he was a great sinner, he stood afar off and would not even raise his eyes to heaven.

In order to be justified, we first need to come to understand our true condition as sinners. We must feel in our hearts our filthiness at which point we also will recognise our desperate need for a Saviour. We can then come to Christ in faith and repentance and be justified in his eyes.

Theo

theo

Richard Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2000, 02:34:00 PM »
Amen, Brothers Allan and Theo!  :)  It is such a blessing to be in unity on such an important doctrine as justification by faith! Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon the church. He desires to bring this truth us. It is the "righteousnes of Christ." By beholding this great love, we are changed into His image!  :)  Happy Sabbath!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

adventbeliever

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2001, 12:58:00 PM »
Americans, Nowegians, Germans, Canadians, French, etc etc. This is great! Now from Canada!      :) I have a few things on my mind relating to the topic at hand. I was really ticked on one day when a statement, which I will share with you, was impressed upon my mind with such force that I will not let it go easily. I will never forget the book and the page where I read it. Here it is:

"You cannot have a thought without Christ. You cannot have an inclination to come to Him unless He sets in motion influences and impresses His Spirit upon the human mind."

Wow! The next sentence was just as mindbuggling to me: "And if there is a man on the face of the earth who has any inclination toward God, it is because of the many influences that are set to work to bear upon his mind and heart. Those influences call for the allegiance to God and an appreciation of the great work that God has done for him. Then dont let us ever say that we can repent of ourselves, and then Christ will pardon. No, indeed. It is the favor of God that pardons. It is the favor of God that leads us by His power to repentance. Therefore, it is all of Jesus Christ, everything of Him, and you want to just give back glory to God." Acts 5:31. This reminds me of one Scripture: "When I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Me."  

In my next post, I will share some other things that were impressed upon my mind on the subject of righteousness by faith. I thank God for giving us an opportunity, through this forum, to share our "common faith." God bless! ab

The statement above can be found in the book Faith & Works, p.73.

[This message has been edited by adventbeliever (edited 02-17-2001).]


adventbeliever

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2001, 01:49:00 PM »
In my last post I shared what I believed to be quite a jewel of a statement. "We need every ray of light that God sends." Prior to the great revival which could have taken place in our midst after 1888, it was shown to our dear Sister White that in every congregation there were souls unsatisfied, hungering and thirsting for salvation. By day and by night the burden of their hearts was, WHAT SHALL I DO TO BE SAVED? They had been listening to popular discourses, hoping to learn HOW THEY MIGHT BE JUSTIFIFIED BEFORE GOD. (F.W.32)

Then Sister White was told that too often they would hear only a pleasing speech, an eloquent declamation! There were sad and disppointed hearts in every religious gathering. (Ibid,32) I have been wondering what she would say today if she were alive! What do you think? Personally I am convinced that these words were written more for us than for the people who lived then!

It wasn't too long before Jesus sent a most precious message to those in the churches who were hungering and thirsting for God. After all, if they had been inclined toward Him, hungering and thirsting for pardon and peace, was is not an evidence that Christ had wrought upon their hearts? M.B.19.

Please notice with me the most comforting words the Lord had for these precious souls then:

The Lord said to them: "You who hunger and thirst after righteousness you will be filled, for I have promised it." Precious Savior! His arms are open to receive us, and His great heart of love is waiting to bless us." F.W.37,38.

In the book Mount of Blessing, Sister White tells us that "hungering and thirsting for righteousness" is the ONLY CONDITION God has specified in order to claim His blessing! "The Lord specifies no condition except that you hunger for His mercy and long for His love." MB 130.

He Himself makes us hunger and thirst for Him (if we do not interpose a perverse will) and then makes that the only condition to receive His blessing, that is, His grace, the Spirit of Christ!

Addressing these precious souls who were hungering and thirsting for salvation, whose constant burden on their hearts was, HOW CAN I BE JUSTIFIED BEFORE GOD, the Lord said: "Do not feel that you must be on probation and must prove to Me that you are reformed, before you can claim My blessing. No! You may claim My blessing even now! You must have My grace, My Spirit, to help your infirmities or you cannot form a Christian character. Please understand, I love to have you come to Me as you are--sinful, helpless, dependent." F.W.38.

The Lord added these words: "You who hunger and thirst after righteousness, if you will lay hold of My righteousness, you need not wait one moment that you yourself may blot out your own sins. You need not wait until you have made a suitable repentance before you may take hold upon My righteousness." F.W.64.

Verily, verily, I say unto you: "You must ever look toward Calvary and, with the simple faith of a little child you must rest in My divine merits, accepting My righteousness and believing in My mercy." Ev.185.

For, the Father says that "The merits of My sacrifice are sufficient to present before Him in your behalf. Then present your case before Him pleading the merits of the blood that was shed for you on Calvary's cross, and My Father will clothe you with the robe of His righteousness and I promise you, you will have no relish for sin." See S.C.35; F.W.106; 1 SM 360.

So, through faith in His merits, we are invited to receive the righteousness of God which is made manifest in obedience to all His commandments. T.M. 92. Thus, "We must daily apply to the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Savior that we may become vessels fit for the Master's use." F.W.86.

Hope this is making some sense to some of you!           :) God bless!

THE MERITS OF HIS SACRIFICE ARE SUFFICIENT TO PRESENT TO THE FATHER IN OUR BEHALF! (s.c.35)

"Our great need is our only merit."      


[This message has been edited by adventbeliever (edited 02-18-2001).]


Allan F

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2001, 12:36:00 PM »
Amen, adventbeliever  :)
Thank you for sharing with us about the wonderful message about Christ's righteousness, and how to receive it. It is good to often remind ourselves that we are totally dependent on God. We can not earn His favor whatever we give to Him. But what he asks for I must give to Him. That is my heart and my sins. It may be difficult to give this to Jesus. But if I will take time with Jesus, read about him, pray to Him and study his life, He will melt the heart so that it will be easier to give it to Him  :)

Allan F


adventbeliever

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2001, 10:16:00 PM »
Thanks Allan for your words of encouragement! Those who love much have been forgiven much! Yes, Why not give Jesus everything that is offensive to Him? He is a wonderful sin-bearer! "Wherever there is sin, there is the Savior," bearing it! Education, p.113; Rom.5:20. "The heaviest burden that we bear is the burden of sin. If we were left to bear this burden, it would crush us." D.A.328,329.

Allan, do you see the same thing I see in these statements???  :)


Allan F

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2001, 12:58:00 PM »
I agree with you, adventbeliever. And what you quoted from Da 328.329 is really true. The heaviest burden that we can bear is the burden of sin. But often it is hard to let Jesus get this burden. To confess our sins is not always easy. But when we do, we can really feel that our burden is gone. Then it becomes true what is written in Psalm 32:1: "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sins are covered".

Jesus is always ready to help us when we fall into sin. That is a wonderful and an important promise.

"To go forward without stumbling, we must have the assurance that a hand all-powerful will hold us up, and an infinite pity be exercised toward us if we fall." (SD 154)

Allan F


James Saptenno

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2001, 08:33:00 PM »
Satan has argued that God cannot give eternal life to Richard because Richard has sinned, but Jesus says that Richard may have eternal life based upon some conditions. Not all living in this world possess eternal life, but some do. I hope this helps us to understand the term and the issue. We have not explained the "how", but only what the term "justify" means. Justification is the noun. It is what one receives when he has been shown to be justified.
RM.

Brother Richard, forgive me of being in opposition with you.

Facts of Christ complete finished works of salvation for mankind in general by His death and resurrection on the cross 2.000 years ago.

1. All were saved (Titus 2;11)
2. All were redeemed from sin, condemnation and eternal death (Colossians 1:14; Galatians 3;13; I Corinthians 1:30; John 5:24).
3. All were justified (I Corinthians 1:30; Romans 5:18).
4. All were given the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23; I John 5:11).
5. All were resurrected and had given place in heaven with Christ (Ephesians 2:6; John 14:1-3).
6. All were sanctified once and for all (Hebrew 10:10; Ephesians 1:4; I Corinthians 1;30).
7. All were perfect (Hebrew 10:14)

By all of these facts above, we come to the facts number:
8. All man were pardoned of their sins, sin of past, present and future (Ephesians 1:7; I John 2;22).

That is why “ There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are “in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1).
Because all of those facts above we find it “in Christ” only, not in us. But through faith we were baptized and identified “in him”, and all what belongs to Him is ours now by faith.

They, who accept these facts and believe, will bear fruits of the Spirit, as just then can the Spirit works His will and His doing in us, because there is no more “I”, only Christ.

“I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.
Praise God for His love and salvation for us.

In His love

James S.


James Saptenno

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2001, 08:41:00 PM »
The consequences of those facts above, all what mankind need in order to receive what God has done for him is just “Faith in Christ”. And for that he will be justified by his faith.

In His love

James S.



Richard Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2001, 07:47:00 PM »
Brother James, I thank you for expressing your concern over your opposition to what is being taught here in this thread by all who are posting except you. The Spirit of Prophecy statments that have been shared are not being taken out of context.

Brother James we want to come into harmony with you. If you would please change your approach it would be helpful. I know it may be difficult, but please pray over my request. Instead of opposing what is being taught, please ask some questions as to why we believe what we do. You may obtain the same results without opposing what we are teaching. We may see an error in our thoughts if you will question them.

It appears that you have been influenced by the 1888 Study Committe or those of a like faith (Jack Sequiera). I am glad you shared your thoughts so plainly that we all may see what you believe. We do absolutely have major differences in our understanding of the foundation truths.

Please go back and ask some questions regarding what is being stated by all who are posting.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

DavidTBattler

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2001, 01:11:00 AM »
The purpose of our justification, is first, and always, His justification:

" Rom.3:26  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
27  Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith."

"Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as he deserves.  He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share.  He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His.  By His stripes, we are healed."  (DA 25).

This seems simple, but, is it?    :)

------------------
"...We believe that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved..."  (Acts 15:11).

Your brother in Christ

David T. Battler

[This message has been edited by DavidTBattler (edited 03-26-2001).]