Doctrine Of Justification

Superior Essays
For my final topic, I decided to utilize the doctrine of justification by faith in Christ. This doctrine is central to our Christian faith and shapes how we view our salvation in Christ. It is key that we have a good understanding of it because it can have an impact on how we view ourselves and how we view God.
What is justification and how are we justified? Pastor R.C. Sproul speaks of this in a sermon on Martin Luther. He points out that our English word for justification comes from the Latin word Justificare. There are two parts to the word the first is Justus which means justified or righteous and the second part of the word is Facare which means to make. Therefore, the English word Justification means to make justified. Sproul points out
…show more content…
Matt Slick in an article on Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry indicates that many Catholics point to James 2:24 which says “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone” to refute Luther’s understanding of the doctrine. Slick points out that what James is talking about is having dead faith instead of having a saving faith. He states that “mere intellectual acknowledgement of Christ is a dead faith that produces no regeneration and no change in a person 's life. This faith does not justify. Rather, it is only that real and believing faith in Christ that results in justification (Slick, 2008). Through having a saving faith, we are regenerated and a change is evident. When we truly encounter Christ, we cannot leave unchanged. Simply believing in him does not leave evidence of change. James points out in James 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!”. If belief alone that saved us, then even the demons would be saved. What separates us in our belief from the demons in theirs is the gift of God’s grace combined with a true belief that Christ can save us. A true belief in Christ causes us to turn from our sinful ways and strive to be like Christ. This is what …show more content…
But the action of having faith, is not the justification itself. Belief alone does not save us but rather, Jesus giving us this gift of grace of his own free accord saves us. We are justified by grace, through faith. McRay writes that “Paul argues that justification by faith means, not the antithesis of works righteousness as subsequently construed in the Protestant Reformation, but rather that Gentiles have direct access to God without having to go through the law and thus become Jews” (McRay, 2003). We are not saved by the good works we do, or the actions that we take, but rather through our faith in Jesus Christ to freely redeem us. Sproul indicates, “His grace was making available to those who would receive it passively, not those who would achieve it actively, but that would receive it by faith, and by which a person could be reconciled to a holy and righteous God (Sproul, 2016). Luther understood that nothing we could do would earn our justification. On our own we are incapable of ever earning it and this is what Paul is getting at in Romans. We are saved, not because we deserve it, but rather because God wants us to be and gives us the gift of his grace freely. Not because we believe, but because he can. Our action of belief is the acceptance of the gift God has already given us. John 3:16 tells us “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Grace is getting what we do not deserve from God. We do not deserve forgiveness of our sins, but he gives it to us through Jesus. We do not deserve to go to heaven, but we are able to do that through Jesus. So, to be saved by grace means that the judgment due to us because of our sin against God, i.e. lying, stealing, adultery, fornication, coveting, lust, etc., will not befall us; that is forgiveness.…

    • 1477 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “Commit your destiny to GOD, be confident in him, and he will act, making your uprightness clear as daylight, and the justice of your cause as the noon” (New Jerusalem Bible Psalms 37:5-6). As talked about in the bible passage, one should commit him or herself to God. Contrarily, Martin Luther stated that faith in God is all that one needs to be saved, and many beliefs of his opposed those of the catholic religion. A fallacy believed by Luther and the followers of his religion was that, one’s dependence on faith allows one to relieve him or herself from doing works for God. A person that does works for God, allows God to work through them and give them their purpose.…

    • 939 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Repentance In Bible

    • 826 Words
    • 4 Pages

    More specially, God grants Christians the gift of repentance when one believes in God to forgive the sin and God’s goodness is exhibited in his patience. The book of Timothy states “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy, 2:24-25). In other words, God grants us repentance through the Holy Spirit of sin and he leads us to repentance. Moreover, it should conscious of you are a sinner and truly trusting God can forgive your sin, eventually, it will be repented.…

    • 826 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Our Union With Christ

    • 1984 Words
    • 8 Pages

    In theology class, we have talked about the different theology topics, which are very important for believers to be informed of. The topic that seems to interest me the most is our union with Christ. Our union with Christ refers to the relationship that we have with Christ. John Murray states “union with Christ is . .…

    • 1984 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    What Is Salvation?

    • 1441 Words
    • 6 Pages

    The term salvation is the deliverance from sin and its consequences. It is believed by Christians that salvation is to be brought about by the faith in Christ. Salvation is known for its meaning of being saved from harm, ruin, or loss but mostly form preventing to go to hell after death (Collins, 1989, pg 76). However, theologians have disputed on how salvation in theology of religions is more about how and who than about what and why: How is salvation brought about and who can be saved? (Ahlstrand, 2011, p 212) .As, research is continually being found on this topic something that is evident about salvation is its importance and motive when it to receiving salvation.…

    • 1441 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    St. Augustine Analysis

    • 1285 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Augustine, predestination played a part in the love of God, because it is God who guides us through life knowing what is best for us even when we don’t. I believe that many people tend to pray to God and ask that he leads them in the path of righteousness because he is the one people lean on when they need a sign or some sort of assurance, which in turn, ultimately shows their love, faith and hope in him. St. Augustine states in his writing, The Predestination of the Saints, that, “we must, therefore, first show that the faith by which we are Christians is a gift of God, at least if we can do this with greater care than we have already done in so many and such large volumes” (St. Augustine, The Predestination of the Saints. p. 150). I believe that St. Augustine is trying to say that we must first accept that God is the reason we are Christians and that we should appreciate him for that.…

    • 1285 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Value Of Grace

    • 700 Words
    • 3 Pages

    “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9) The grace of God, the ‘loving-kindness’ of God, the ‘favor’ of God, is never to be understood as something that is manifest among men based on anything apart from the sheer ‘benevolence’ of the LORD. By grace are you saved, if you are saved at all. By grace are you saved through faith, or through believing God. Yet the ‘grace’ of God prevents our laying claim to any personal worthiness or our taking any credit, and the faith is a gift and not something that we possess apart from the giving of God (Romans 4:1-5, Ephesians 2:8-9, 2 Peter 1:1, Philippians 1:29). God saves a soul by His own will and power alone and simply because He is pleased to do so.…

    • 700 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In Barry H. Corey’s book, loving kindness, he attempts to show how kindness is a Christian virtue. According to him, it has been lost and through his book he attempts to show what kindness would look like lived out. He sees it as a mandate from God and not just an atribute. Kindness is not a characteristic some have and others do not. It obviously comes more naturally to others but whether it comes naturally or not believers must strive for it through the guidance and wisdom of God.…

    • 973 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Benefit Of Baptism

    • 1020 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Just dunking your head under water while making a promise says nothing unless you act upon it. Most outsiders think that a symbolic “rebirth” is pointless and unnecessary, if faith is the goal in the end. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”5 Even here any outsider could argue that faith in Christ, if true faith, is what God is looking for, not the act or work of baptism. Many outsiders look at the Christian faith and do not understand all the beliefs to their entirety because they may have faith for a different religion, or maybe not have faith in anything at all. “Now Julian asks a rhetorical question: Since baptism obviously does not heal…

    • 1020 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    For if those that are chosen will inevitably come to faith and life, does it matter how they conduct themselves whatsoever? To respond, Calvin speaks of the scripture and of “God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure," (Phil. 2:12-13). Calvin here means that we shouldn’t discount actions that do God’s will, for even though they are not meritorious in and of themselves, they are pleasing to God. It is important here to remember that Calvin’s double predestination allows that only those that have come to faith are capable of acting in accordance with God’s will.…

    • 2012 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Great Essays