justification

119 justification

Justification is an act of grace in and through Jesus Christ through which the believer is justified in the eyes of God. Thus, by believing in Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of God is given to man, and he finds peace with his Lord and Savior. Christ is the offspring and the old covenant is outdated. In the new covenant, our relationship with God is based on a different foundation, based on a different agreement. (Romans 3, 21-31, 4,1-8, 5,1.9, Galater 2,16)

Justification by faith

God called Abraham from Mesopotamia and promised his descendants to give them the land of Canaan. After Abraham was in the land of Canaan, it came to pass to Abram the word of the LORD came in a revelation: Fear not, Abram! I am your shield and your very big reward. Abram said, Lord, my God, what will you give me? I go there without children, and my servant Eliezer of Damascus will own my house ... You have not given me any offspring; and behold, one of my servants will be my heir. And behold, the LORD said to him, "He shall not be your heir, but he that will come from your body, let him be your heir." And he called him go out, saying, Look to heaven, and count the stars; can you count them? And said unto him, So many shall thy descendants be! "(1Mo 15,1-5).

That was a phenomenal promise. But even more amazing is what we read in verse 6: "Abram believed in the Lord, and he counted that on him for righteousness." This is a telling statement about justification by faith. Abraham was considered righteous on the basis of faith. The Apostle Paul continues to develop this idea in Romans 4 and Galatians 3.

Christians inherit the promises of Abraham on the basis of faith - and laws given to Moses simply can not nullify these promises. This principle is taught in Galatian 3,17. This is a particularly important section.

Faith, not law

In Galatians Paul argued against a legal heresy. In Galatian 3,2 he asks the question:
"That alone I want to learn from you: have you received the Spirit through the works of the law or through the preaching of the faith?"

It asks a similar question in verse 5: "Who now gives you the Spirit and does such deeds among you, does he do it through the law works or through the preaching of the faith?"

Paul says in the verses 6-7: "It was like that with Abraham: He believed God, and he was reckoned to be righteous. Realize, therefore, that those who are of faith are Abraham's children. "Paul quotes 1. Moses 15. If we have faith, we are Abraham's children. We inherit the promises God gave him.

Notice verse 9: "So those who are of faith will now be blessed with the believing Abraham." Faith brings blessings. But if we rely on keeping the law, we will be condemned. Because we do not meet the requirements of the law. But Christ saved us from it. He died for us. Notice verse 14: "He redeemed us, that the blessing of Abraham might come among the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, and that we might receive the promised spirit through faith."

Then Paul uses a practical example in verses 15-16 to tell the Christians in Galatia that the Mosaic law can not abolish the promises made to Abraham: "Dear brothers, I want to speak in a human way: Man does not cancel the testament of a person if it is confirmed, and does not add anything to it. Now the promise is promised to Abraham and to his descendants. "

This "seed" is Jesus Christ, but Jesus is not the only one who inherits the promises to Abraham. Paul points out that even Christians inherit these promises. If we have faith in Christ, we are Abraham's children and inherit the promises of Jesus Christ.

A temporary law

Now we come to verse 17: "But I mean this: the will previously confirmed by God is not repealed by the law that was given four hundred and thirty years after that, so that the promise would be nullified."

The law of Mount Sinai can not abrogate the covenant with Abraham based on faith in God's promise. That is the point Paul is making. Christians have a relationship with God based on faith, not the law. Obedience is good, but we obey according to the new, not the old covenant. Paul points out here that the Mosaic law - the old covenant - was temporary. He was only added until Christ came. This is what we see in verse 19: "What is the law then? It has been added for the sake of sins, until the descendant is there to whom the promise is made. "

Christ is the offspring and the old covenant is outdated. In the new covenant, our relationship with God is based on a different foundation, based on a different agreement.

Let's read the verses 24-26: "So the law was our disciplinarian on Christ, that we might do justice by faith. But after the faith has come, we are no longer under the disciplinarian. For you are all children of Christ Jesus through faith. "We are not under the laws of the old covenant.

Now let's move on to verse 29: "But if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's children and according to the promise heirs." The point is that Christians receive the Holy Spirit on the basis of faith. We are justified by faith or declared righteous by God through faith. We are justified on the basis of faith not by observing the law, and certainly not on the basis of the old covenant. If we believe God's promise through Jesus Christ, we have a right relationship with God.

In other words, our relationship with God is based on faith and promise, as in Abraham. Laws added to Sinai can not change the promise made to Abraham, and these laws can not change the promise given to all who are children by the faith of Abraham. This law package became obsolete when Christ died and we are now in the new covenant.

Even the circumcision that Abraham received as a sign of his covenant can not change the original belief-based promise. In Romans 4, Paul points out that his faith declared Abraham to be just and therefore made him acceptable to God when he was uncircumcised. It was at least 14 years later, when the circumcision was ordered. Physical circumcision is not required for today's Christians. Circumcision is now a matter of the heart (Rom 2,29).

The law can not save

The law can not give us salvation. All it can do is condemn us because we are all lawbreakers. God knew in advance that no one could keep the law. The law points us to Christ. The law can not give us salvation, but it can help us see our need for salvation. It helps us realize that justice must be a gift, not something we can earn.

Suppose the Judgment Day comes and the judge asks you why he should let you into his domain. How would you answer? Would we say that we have kept certain laws? I hope not, because the judge could easily point out laws that we did not keep, sins that we unconsciously committed and never regretted. We can not say that we were good enough. No - all we can do is beg for mercy. We have the faith that Christ died to redeem us from all sins. He died to free us from the punishment of the law. That is our only basis for salvation.

Of course, faith leads us to obedience. The new covenant has a lot of own bids. Jesus places demands on our time, our hearts and our money. Jesus abolished many laws, but he also re-affirmed and taught some of those laws that they should be kept in the spirit and not merely superficial. We need to look to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles to see how the Christian faith in our lives should function in the new covenant.

Christ died for us so that we could live for him. We are freed from the slavery of sin so that we become slaves of righteousness. We are called to serve each other, not ourselves. Christ demands of us everything we have and everything we are. We are called to obedience - but are saved by faith.

Justified by faith

We can see this in Roman 3. In a short section, Paul explains the plan of salvation. Let's look at how this passage confirms what we saw in Galatians. "... because no man can be justified by the works of the law before him. For through the law comes knowledge of sin. Now, without the help of the law, the righteousness that is valid before God is revealed, attested by the law and the prophets "(v. 20-21).

The scriptures of the Old Testament foretold salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and this is done not by the law of the old covenant, but by faith. This is the basis of the New Testament conditions of our relationship with God through our Savior Jesus Christ.

Paul continues in verses 22-24: "But I am speaking of the righteousness of God that comes by believing in Jesus Christ to all who believe. For there is no difference here: they are all sinners and lack the glory they should have with God, and do justice without merit from their grace through the redemption that has been done through Christ Jesus. "

Because Jesus died for us, we can be declared righteous. God justifies those who have faith in Christ - and therefore no one can brag about how well He keeps the law. Paul continues in verse 28, "So we now believe that man does justice without the law works, solely by faith."

These are profound words of the apostle Paul. James, like Paul, warns us against any so-called faith that ignores God's commandments. Abraham's faith led him to obey God (1Mo 26,4-5). Paul speaks about true faith, the kind of faith that includes loyalty to Christ, a holistic willingness to follow Him. But even then, he says, it is the faith that saves us, not the works.

In Romans 5,1-2, Paul writes: "Since we have done justice through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; through Him we also have the access in faith to this grace in which we stand, and boast of the hope of the future glory that God will give. "

By faith, we have a right relationship with God. We are his friends, not his enemies. That's why on the Day of Judgment we will be able to stand before him. We have faith in the promise given to us by Jesus Christ. Paul explains in Roman 8,1-4 continue:

"So there is no damnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit that gives life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what was impossible for the law because it was weakened by the flesh, God did: he sent his Son in the guise of the sinful flesh, and for the sake of sin, and condemned the sin in the flesh, that righteousness, as required by the law, might in that we are not fulfilled according to the flesh, but after the Spirit. "

Thus, we see that our relationship with God is based on faith in Jesus Christ. That's the agreement or covenant that God made with us. He promises to consider us righteous if we have faith in his son. The law can not change us, but Christ can. The law condemns us to death, but Christ promises us life. The law can not free us from the slavery of sin, but Christ can. Christ gives us freedom, but it is not freedom to be complacent - it is the freedom to serve Him.

Faith makes us willing to follow our Lord and Savior in everything He tells us. We see clear commandments to love one another, to trust Jesus Christ, to preach the gospel, to work for unity in the faith, to gather as a church, to build one another in faith, to do good works of service, pure and moral To lead a life, to live peacefully and to forgive those who do us wrong.

These new commandments are challenging. They take all our time. All our days are dedicated to serving Jesus Christ. We must be diligent in doing his work, and it is not the broad and easy way. It is a difficult, challenging task, a task few are willing to do.

We should also point out that our faith can not save us - God does not accept us on the basis of the quality of our faith, but through the faith and faithfulness of His Son Jesus Christ. Our faith will never live up to what it ought to be - but we will not be saved by the measure of our faith, but by trusting Christ, who has enough faith for all of us.

Joseph Tkach


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