Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20040310.htm
APPLYING THE CHRISTIAN'S POSITIONAL RICHES IN CHRIST
Part XI: Applying The Truth That Believers Are Justified By God
Lesson: When one trusts in Christ as Savior, God PRONOUNCES him righteous, or "justifies" him.
- The world's religions promote human merit or effort for man to qualify to enter God's heaven.
- However, one of the 33 riches of divine grace the believer in Christ has the instant he trusts in Christ is that he is justified by God, Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. III, "Soteriology," p. 245-246.
- So, opposite these religions, nothing besides faith in Christ is needed for one to enter heaven (as follows):
- Applying The Truth That Believers Are Justified By God.
- The instant one trusts in Christ as Savior from sin, he is imputed Christ's righteousness, Romans 5:12-21.
- When God recognizes that imputation of Christ's righteousness, He declares him to be justified:
- Once one believes in Christ, he is given Christ's righteousness.
- So, recognizing this, God pronounces him "just," or "justifies" him, Ibid., Chafer, p. 246; 2 Cor. 5:21.
- Thus, human boasting is excluded, for justification is solely God's function, Rom. 3:26-28; Eph. 2:8-9.
- The application of this truth to some of the world's major religions helps to illustrate this truth:
- Roman Catholicism [via the Council of Trent] holds one is justified by God if he trusts in Christ plus keeps its "sacraments" of baptism, confirmation, the mass, penance, extreme unction, orders and marriage. Yet, since God justifies by faith in Christ alone, the sacraments are fruitless, Rom. 3:24, 26.
- Islam teaches one must make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in his life and do good works (or die in holy war and automatically go to heaven) and thus hope to gain heaven in the end, SIM-NOW, July-Aug. 89, p. 5. Yet, if God alone justifies by faith alone in Christ, such works are fruitless!
- Arminian Protestants teach one is justified by faith in Christ, but that he must maintain his faith in Christ or lose his justified status, cf. Assemblies of God bylaws, Art. VIII, Sec. 1. However, if one is "justified" apart from human works, and faith is not a work [cf. Romans 4:4-5], nothing the believer does or fails to do after he is justified by God can alter his justified status, cf. Galatians 3:3.
- Then some Charismatics claim one must speak in tongues and be baptized to be justified by God. However, if by faith alone in Christ one is justified by God, these works can not take him to heaven!
- Mormonism holds one must repent, be baptized and endure to the end to be justified, cf. The Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 27:13-21, and that this is the true gospel [versus what Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches of justification by faith alone]. Yet, Paul reported in Galatians 1:8-9 that if he or an angel from heaven taught any other gospel than justification by faith without works (cf. Gal. 3:3; 1:8-9) (as Mormonism does in holding Joseph Smith received this updated gospel of faith plus works from the angel Moroni), he was to be excommunicated! Thus, one is justified by God through faith alone in Christ alone!
- Jehovah's Witnesses hold (a) only the 144,000 of Revelation 7:1-8 go to heaven, and that this number was filled up by 1935 so that (b) current believers only hope to be re-created after Armageddon, cf. Van Baalen, Chaos of the Cults, p. 272. Yet, the next verses in Revelation 7, verses 9-14 tell of a great number from every people group besides the 144,000 Hebrews named will be in heaven during the future Great Tribulation, and these will have been saved by the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus, v. 14! Thus, God justifies any who today trust in Christ's atonement, cf. Rev. 22:17; Acts 2:38-39.
- Judaism holds God justifies those who belong to Abraham's line and keep the Mosaic Law [or Gentiles who become proselytes to Judaism, cf. Rom. 9:6-8, 31-32; Phil. 3:3, 4-9]. However, Paul states justification is not by these works or credentials, but by faith alone in Christ's Gospel, Rom. 9:30-33.
- Classic modern psychology (Freud, Jung, Rogers, Adler, Maslow and Ellis) and Liberal Theology hold man is intrinsically good, not evil, so he needs no relief from an alleged "sin," cf. Deidre Bobgan, Psychoheresy: The Psychological Seduction of Christianity, p. 1-259. However, Romans 3:10-20, 23, 24-26 presents man as helplessly doomed for eternal divine judgment due to his sin, so he must be justified by God through faith in Christ without any merit or meritorious works on his own behalf!
Application: If GOD pronounces us righteous when we simply believe in Christ, God DECREES what can not be changed! Thus, nothing else man can EVER do or fail to do can alter that blessed decree!