Why Justification by Faith Matters

Justification by grace through faith is central to the gospel. It was at the center of debate during the Protestant Reformation, when Martin Luther and other church leaders pushed back against the popular tendency to view human works as meritorious acts before God. The beauty of this doctrine does not just lie in what it erases from the past, rather, it highlights the bringing together of persons to God in Jesus Christ.

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4 Responses

  1. A view from the pew: You are definitely on to something. If there is a teaching that needs to be reclaimed it is this one. I spent more than a few decades hearing the word justification hearing it defined as “being made right with God no matter who you are/what you have done” but not truly understanding/accepting that it applied to me until I encountered the Heidelberg catechism which dealt with it like this:
    Q&A60: …”Even though my conscience accuses me of having grievously sinned…and still being inclined toward all evil. nevertheless, without any merit of my own, out of sheer grace, God grants and credits to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ, as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner and as if I had been perfectly obedient as Christ was obedient for me.”
    The Heidelberg made it about me and gave me a “head understanding” of how justification “works”. It has been two years since I encountered it, but it still takes my breath away to read it.

  2. Hi Orter – There is a Holy God who has demonstrated his holiness to a chosen people by his faithfulness to the covenant. Israel knows him because he has done what he said he would do. The point of Jesus is that all of us can now be a part of that chosen group of people. The flesh, that ridiculously egocentric sin machine, is marginalized in the light of the Spirit. I wonder if we too often stress an “[accusing conscience]” over what Romans 8 refers to as the “mind of the Spirit?”

  3. Matt,
    Thank you for an excellent presentation of the doctrine of justification by faith. You were clear, concise, biblical, and relevant. Please contribute again.

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