Doctrine Of Justification

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
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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,

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