Justified by faith alone, through grace alone in Christ alone
<ul><li>The two key views or aspects of the cross </li></ul><ul><li>View #1 of the cross (We are perpetrators) inherited condemnation </li></ul><ul><li>The view of the cross that focuses upon the significance of what Jesus accomplished in relationship to how we would stand before God. ( Atonement, Propitiation, Justification ) </li></ul><ul><li>View #2 of the cross (We are victims) inherited corruption </li></ul><ul><li>This focuses upon the significance of what Christ accomplished in relationship to the bondage that the powers of sin, death and the devil have over us. The fact is we come into this world enslaved to sin and here the cross presents to us the important work of Christ’s death. It is His death on the cross which has redeemed and delivered us from these evil powers. ( Redemption, Ransom ) </li></ul>
DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION Martin Luther said that it is upon this doctrine that the church either stands or falls. The different ways that justification can be used. The first is from a term that people use today when they try to justify themselves, and by that they try and show they are not guilty but they are really OK either in what they have said or what they have done. When we think in terms of justification as it appears in the NT as it relates to the salvation of sinners, we are not talking about anything that we do for ourselves but rather we are talking about something that God does.
Definition for justification : Justification is an instantaneous act of God in which He thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us. In so doing He declares us to be righteous in His sight.
Therefore justification is a term used in the NT to answer the question “so what?” in regard to this atoning work that we have been speaking about in the cross of Christ. And that is to say on the basis of innocent suffering as payment for our sins by the Lord Jesus Christ, God accepts that as an atonement for our sin not as an excuse for our sin. In other words our sins are paid for by Christ. And on the basis of that vicarious atonement, He the innocent paying for us the guilty, when that payment is made, almost like a judge in a court of law, God accepts that payment declaring us that are sinners to be righteous. Sin has not been swept under the rug or just let by-gones be by-gones but rather Christ has made full payment for our sins.
What God does in justification is after we have believed in Christ, (which means we have trusted in Christ for forgiveness of sins), then God declares that we have no penalty for our sins and that we are now right in His sight. Scriptural Support Romans 8:1 - Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 4:6-8 - just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: Rom. 4:7 “BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN,AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED. Rom. 4:8 “BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.”
But the forgiveness for our sins is only part 1 of our justification. At this point it makes us morally neutral but does not give us favor with God. Illustration: A student goes to seminary and flunks all of his classes the first year and then through much grace an administrator takes all the F’s away and says now there are no marks against you. At this point will the student get his degree? Answer - No, because that student still has to go to class and pass the courses in order to earn the degree. Just having the F’s removed doesn’t mean that you have credits to pass and get a degree. So by analogy when we have all our sins removed it just leaves us at neutral. There is no positive record of obedience.
Illustration: You go for your drivers license test and on the first day out you run a stop sign and have a wreck. And the DMV instructor says OK you were a little nervous I am going to tear this one up but you need to come back next week and do it again and pass. Just having you mistakes wiped out does not give you a drivers license. Once we get our sins forgiven we still have not passed the test so to speak. In order for God to declare us righteous in His sight He must give us the merits of perfect righteousness and here is where He gives us a gift of the record that Jesus earned.
Scriptural Support Isaiah 61:10 I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness... This represents something positive that He has put over us. Romans 3:21-22 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;
Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6) Romans 5:19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. So how can God declare us to be righteous when in fact you are not?
The acknowledgement of that comes by way of God saying to us that we are innocent and right in His sight. Justification is our innocence and righteousness in our standing before God on the basis of the atoning work of Christ on the cross. This righteousness of Christ is given to us through a process called IMPUTATION. Some synonyms for the word IMPUTE would be to reckon, regard or to credit; The word impute means to think of as belonging to. Therefore God thinks of the righteousness of Christ as belonging to us.
And that reckoning and regarding is not God playing a game with Him pretending that the sinner is really not that bad or looking the other way. He now thinks of us as righteous because He imputes, that is He gives to us the righteousness of Christ which has been won on the cross. Romans 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” It was reckoned or counted or thought of by God as belonging to Abraham. 1 Corinthians 1:30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him . Therefore it is “in Christ” that we become something that we were not. We become the righteousness of God in Christ. Philippians 3:9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith ,
So the record of Christ which was lived in total obedience to God is thought of as ours. And that is why it is so important to read the gospels so that you can see this life and understand how this righteousness works. God can declare us to be righteous based on the fact that He imputes the righteousness of Christ to us. This means that IMPUTATION is essential to the heart of the gospel. So why does Martin Luther say that the doctrine of justification by faith is the doctrine upon which the church stands or falls?
Because it is upon this that all sinful human beings stand or fall. In the creed we confess that the church is holy and yet the church is holy in so far as it embraces and is covered with the righteousness of Christ. And that occurs when the church proclaims the true gospel, the Christ crucified gospel, as the New Testament presents and lives by it. This means the holiness and righteousness of the church is fully dependent upon the righteousness and holiness of Christ and that alone.
<ul><li>It further means that each individual is unto themselves sinful and we may only reckon ourselves as holy and righteous in our standing before God solely on the basis of the justifying work and the atonement that is ours in Christ Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>In summary regarding justification </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Standing </li></ul><ul><li>Once for all time </li></ul><ul><li>Entirely God's work </li></ul><ul><li>Perfect in this life </li></ul><ul><li>Same in all Christians </li></ul><ul><li>External to us </li></ul>
<ul><li>Let’s review </li></ul><ul><li>Atonement </li></ul><ul><li>Propitiation </li></ul><ul><li>Can you explain atonement in a general sense? </li></ul><ul><li>Definition </li></ul><ul><li>Illustration </li></ul><ul><li>Scriptural Support from Old Testament or New Testament </li></ul><ul><li>Atonement is the price or reparation that is paid for wrong doing. </li></ul><ul><li>Illustration: Parking ticket </li></ul><ul><li>Vicarious atonement </li></ul><ul><li>Illustration: Parking ticket </li></ul>
<ul><li>Can you give me some scriptural support for the doctrine of atonement from the Old Testament? </li></ul><ul><li>LEVITICUS 16:1-10, 20-22 - Day of Atonement </li></ul><ul><li>In the OT the term scape goat refers to the one who bears the sin of others who is innocent. </li></ul><ul><li>The blood sacrifices which Moses wrote about for the nation of Israel on the day of atonement they are in Leviticus 16. </li></ul><ul><li>On the day of atonement where the high priest would take the blood of a lamb without blemish into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle that upon the top covering of the Ark of the Covenant, known as the mercy seat. </li></ul><ul><li>And then the high priest would take the remainder of the blood and pour it on the backside of a goat and thrust the goat out of the community and the goat was called the scape goat which was sin laden. </li></ul>
The doctrine of Atonement as it relates to Christ can be seen as a foreshadowing, an echo or a pointer in these verses in Leviticus 16. In verse 21 we read: “ lay both hands on the head of the live goat” that is a symbol from the transfer of the guilt from Aaron and all the people that he represents to the goat. So he was to confess over it and it would carry on it their sins. In doing so the goat bore the sin and the guilt of the Israelites instead of the Israelites bearing it themselves. And because this goat does this the people then are free from the penalty that their sins deserved. So when we read what the apostle Paul writes in; 2 Corinthians 5:21 - He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
<ul><li>Turn to Numbers 21:4-9 and READ </li></ul><ul><li>Now turn to John 3:9-15 </li></ul><ul><li>Do you see how Christ becomes the fulfillment of that which is pointed to in Numbers 21? </li></ul><ul><li>A Biblical definition of substitutionary atonement or vicarious atonement </li></ul><ul><li>This means that God gave himself in the person of his Son to suffer instead of us the death, punishment, and curse due to fallen humanity as the penalty for sin. </li></ul>
Scriptures to consider for the doctrine of atonement Romans 3:24-27 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith This was to demonstrate His righteousness , because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Scriptures to consider for doctrine of atonement 2 Corinthians 5:21 - He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. John 1:29 - The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! Hebrews 9:28 - so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. 1 Peter 2:24 - and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
Isaiah 53:6 3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
Scriptural Support 1 Corinthians 5:7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. 1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; Colossians 2:14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
Scriptural Support Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
<ul><li>PROPITIATION </li></ul><ul><li>Propitiation is maybe the most complex and revealing term that we have in the NT in order to grasp the significance of what Jesus did for us. </li></ul><ul><li>Romans 3:25 - whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; </li></ul><ul><li>Hebrews 2:17 - Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. </li></ul><ul><li>1 John 2:2 - and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. </li></ul>
<ul><li>1 John 4:10 - In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. </li></ul><ul><li>This is not a word to define as much as it is a word to describe because it has several elements in it. </li></ul><ul><li>Blood </li></ul><ul><li>Wrath </li></ul><ul><li>Justice </li></ul><ul><li>Propitiation is a vicarious sacrifice wherein it involves the notion of the shedding of innocent blood. This is where God vents His wrath against one who is innocent and in so doing is appeased or fully satisfied. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore: </li></ul><ul><li>Propitiation is a sacrifice that bears God’s wrath to the end and in so doing changes God’s wrath toward us into favor. </li></ul>
PROPITIATION This is a plan for atonement that sinful human beings do not come up with but it is a plan that God sets up that He Himself executes out of His great love and mercy for the guilty. God therein provides the innocent sacrifice so that we as guilty sinners might have our sins atoned for by His death on the cross.
Do you remember the Scriptural support we used for the doctrine of propitiation in the Old Testament? Feast of Passover When John the Baptist identified Jesus as the Messiah saying, Behold the lamb (John 1:29), he is referring to the lamb of the Passover feast of the Old Testament. When the Passover was instituted in Exodus 12 the Hebrew calendar changed and the month of Passover, Nisan, became the first month of the year. Passover was to occur on the 14th day of the 1st month of the Jewish year. The sequence of events during Passover is clear in Ex 12:1-14. First the Lamb was Selected on the 10th, then the Lamb was Examined for 5 days – from the 10th to the 14th to make certain the lamb was perfect and unblemished.
Can you imagine how attached the children may have become to this perfect little lamb tied just outside the front door and carefully examined each day? But then on the 14th day just before supper, that little Lamb was Slain. The lamb was not just slain but the blood was drained and painted on the door of the house with a hyssop plant! What the children must have thought! But that’s not all! Then the lamb was prepared and eaten by the family. How difficult for the children but how wonderfully symbolic.
As we are here at Easter Sunday: First consider the Lamb Selected . On Palm Sunday we celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem during the Passover feast. By carefully studying the events we believe Jesus made his entry into Jerusalem the very day the lambs were being selected by families all over Jerusalem. Next the lamb was Examined . For 4 days Jesus is questioned by every religious and political group in Jerusalem – He passed every test and even silenced his accusers. This examination concludes on the day of his death when Pilate declares twice, “I find no guilt in Him”.
The Lamb of God was indeed unblemished and spotless. (1Pet 1:19) He was thoroughly examined and He was perfect. Next the Lamb was Slain . In Mark 14:1 we read the plans of the Pharisees, Now the Passover was 2 days away, and the Chief Priests were seeking how to seize and kill Him, for they were saying, 'Not during the festival’. But God had different plans; Jesus died precisely on Passover. Not only did Jesus die on Passover, He died precisely at 3pm – the hour that thousands and thousands of lambs were sacrificed in Jerusalem. And next the Lamb was eaten.
This is the rich significance for us. As Paul writes in 1 Cor. 5:7, Christ our Passover has also been sacrificed. This Passover supper became the Lord’s last supper and the Christian’s communion table. And we symbolically eat the body and drink the blood of the lamb each time we share in the Lord’s table.