Lesson 4: Justification by Faith
“Justification by Faith”, a topic that has been one of the most challenging subjects to understand by few people, a one that has been a favorite topic for theologians to discuss, a one that remains to be a doctrinal area of research and analysis for few other intellectuals, and a topic for the rest of the Christian world who don’t even bother to care about due to the assumption of it being a very complicated concept to grasp.
My dear friends, I would like to start humbly by reminding everyone including myself that, this topic is more than just being a concept that needs to be broken down and understood, I personally believe that it is not about the complexity of how it relates to us in our lives, but rather who does it relate us to and the way our lives are transformed and never remain the same again.
Let’s use the word of God directly to understand this topic in an old fashioned way – Going through the verses one at a time.
Fact 1: Law of God – A guide to sin (Romans 3:19, 20)
The law of God (Commandments of God) is a clear baseline established to reveal our sinful nature. It is like a mirror that shows our flaws and faults and that is the sole purpose of the law. It represents God’s character which is without blemish, thus helping us understand as to the kind of life we need to be living. So one of the common mistakes as Christians we tend to do is try and do our best to follow the law carefully with the assumption that we will be saved by doing so. It is by the law, that we humans gain the knowledge of sin and its consequences.But in no way is redemption from sin.
Fact 2: God’s righteousness is different from our own righteousness (Romans 3:21)
The law of God requires us to be righteous, but the righteousness (making ourselves right with God) that we earn by keeping the law is unfortunately not up to the standards of God, not because we are not doing our best, but because we are sinners by birth and it doesn’t match up to God’s expected righteousness. Hence we can come to a conclusion that, we need God’s righteousness and only place we get that is from God Himself. That’s where Jesus Christ comes into picture.
Fact 3: God’s righteousness – An unmerited favor, justified by faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22, 23, 24, 25, 26)
Jesus Christ gives us that righteousness, which we cannot claim using our deeds and the only way we can claim it is by faith in Him, for He gave us His righteous blood on the cross. Jesus Christ gives it to us as an expression of His grace (A worthy favor towards an unworthy soul) towards, not because we deserve it for doing some good deeds, but because He loves us and He wants us to be saved. Jesus knows that the only way we can be saved and be presented before His father without blemish is by using His robe of righteousness. For the bible says – “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6
Fact 4: Now that we have God’s righteousness, Can we break the law? (Romans 3:28)
It is a blessing that by God’s amazing grace and through our faith in Jesus Christ, we are justified and redeemed from sin. This also means that we claim ourselves to be the sons & daughters of Jesus Christ. In that context alone, we are meant to reflect Christ’s character for we have claimed Him to be our redeemer. So, because of the love we have for Him and the price He paid for us, we are called to be Chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, peculiar people (1 Peter 2:9) to live a life without sin and thus persevering to keep the law of God, for the bible says..”If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
Praise God for we are justified by the faith we have in Jesus Christ and not our deeds.