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The Christian Counter

 

Justification by Faith

 

What is the ground of justification on God’s part?

 

“So that having been justified by grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:7.

 

What is the means through which this justifying grace is made available to the sinner?

 

“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! Romans 5:9. [Christ’s blood]

 

How is justification laid hold upon?

 

“For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.” Roman’s 3:28.

 

What is the only way sinners may be justified, or made righteous?

 

“Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So, we too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.” Galatians 2:16.

 

What concrete example makes clear the meaning of this doctrine?

 

“He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.” Then he said unto him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:5,6.

 

How is the righteousness thus obtained described?

 

“And he found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” Philippians 3:9. 

 

Upon what basis is justification granted?

 

“Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.” Romans 5:16.  [The free gift]

 

 

 

 

Upon what basis does the reward come to one who works?

 

“Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but an obligation.”

Romans 4:4.    

 

Upon what condition is faith reckoned for righteousness?

 

“However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.” Verse 5.

 

How does grace, as the ground of justification, exclude righteousness by works?

 

And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” Romans 11:6.

 

In what way are both Jews and Gentiles to be justified?

 

“Is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentiles too? Yes, of the Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through the same faith.” Romans 3:29,30. 

 

What statement testifies to Abraham’s faith in God?

 

“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”

 

What did this bring to him?

 

This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness,” Verse 22.  

 

How may we receive this imputed righteousness?

 

The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.” Verse 23,24.

 

What must justifying faith lay hold upon both the death and resurrection of Christ?

 

“He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” Verse 25. “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are till in your sins.”

(See also 1 Corinthians 15:17.)

 

Note – The resurrection of Christ, the promised Seed (Galatians 3:16), was necessary in order to fulfill to Abraham the promise of an innumerable seed; and therefore Abraham’s faith in the promise of God, which included the resurrection, was reckoned to him for righteousness. His faith laid hold upon that which made imputed righteousness possible. (See Hebrews 11:17-19,)

 

What is inseparable from the experience of justification by faith?

 

“Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Acts 13:38,39.

 

How has Christ made it possible for righteousness to be imparted to the believer?

 

“For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man the many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:19.

 

What prophetic declaration foretold this truth?

 

“But in the Lord all the descendants of Israel will be found righteous and will exult.”

Isaiah 45:25. 

 

What other prediction asserts the same great truth?

 

“And the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.”

Isaiah 53:11.

 

What does the imputed righteousness of Christ enable God to do, and still be just?

 

“He did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Romans 3:26.

 

By what name is Christ appropriately called?

 

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “When I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is said and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord our Righteousness.” Jeremiah 23:5,6. 

 

What blessed experience follows upon the acceptance of Christ as our righteousness?

 

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1.  

 

What does Christ thus become to the believer?

 

“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” Ephesians 2:14.

 

On what basis is there no possibility of justification for the sinner?

 

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” Romans 3:20.

 

How does the death of Christ bear testimony to this?

 

“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing.” Galatians 2:21.

 

Note – In the Book of Galatians, and often elsewhere in the New Testament, the word law denotes the Jewish system of legal righteousness, that is, righteousness presumably attained through the mechanical performance of prescribed religious acts.

 

What is proved by any attempt to be justified by the law?

 

“You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” Galatians 5:4.   

 

Why did Israel fail to attain unto righteousness?

 

“But Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness has not attainted it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.” Romans 9:31,32. 

 

What is revealed by the law?

 

“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in the sight of observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” Romans 3:20.

 

Who bears witness to be genuineness of the righteousness obtained by faith, apart from the deeds of the law?

 

“But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.” Verse 21.

 

Note – Here the word law denotes the first five books of the Bible.

 

How does faith set aside the law of God?

 

“Do we, then nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, uphold the law.” Verse 31.

 

What scripture shows that the righteousness which is received by grace through faith must not be made an excuse for the continuing in sin?

 

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Romans 6:1,2.

 

Does faith exclude works?

 

“You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?” James 2:20.  

 

What is the evidence of genuine, living faith?

 

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” Verse 18.

 

What then, are the visible proofs of genuine justification by faith?

 

‘You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” Verse 22.   

 

What great exchange has been wrought for us in Christ?

 

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21.

 

Note – Said Martin Luther: “Learn to know Christ and Him crucified. Learn to sing unto Him a new song; to despair of thyself, and say, Thou, O Lord Jesus! Thou art my righteousness, and I am Thy sin! Thou hast taken what is mine, and given me what is Thine. What thou were not Thou hast become, in order that what I was not I might become.” – Letter to Spenlein (1516), Martin Luther Sammtliche Schriften (Walch ed.), Vol.21a, col 21, as translated by Merle D’Aubigne, History of the Reformation, Book 2, chap.8.   


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