Preacher's Pulpit                   Dr. Joe Tims

TEXT: 1 Corinthians 6:11; Galatians 2:16

SUBJ: JUSTIFICATION

INTRODUCTION:  We believe that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification; that Justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed not on consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood, His righteousness is imputed unto us.  A long time ago, Job asked a very important question:  Job 9:1, 2  "Then Job answered and said, {2} I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?"  After Job asked his question, Bildad, the Shuhite, asked a similar question:  Job 25:4  "How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?"  As the Spirit of God inspired him, the great apostle Paul stated upon this vital subject:  Romans 5:16  "And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification."  In this lesson, we will attempt to answer the question, "How should a man be just with God?"

I. MAN'S NEED FOR JUSTIFICATION.

A. Man's need for justification with God is plainly set forth in the Scriptures.

B. Man needs justification because he is a guilty sinner - Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:10, 19.  He is a guilty sinner in God's sight and a moral criminal in God's universe.

1. Man is a sinner by nature and therefore sins naturally.

   a. Man is born with a sinful nature - Psalm 51:5; 58:3.
   b. Man inherited the nature to sin from Adam - Romans 5:12.

2. Man is a sinner by practice and therefore practices sin - Romans 3:23.
3. Man is a sinner by choice and therefore willfully sins - Proverbs 1:25; 29:1.

B. Man needs justification because God is righteous - Psalm 145:17.

1. Being righteous, God cannot fellowship with man in his natural state - Matthew 5:20.
2. Being righteous, God cannot merely overlook sin, He must deal justly with it - Nahum 1:3; Acts 17:31.

C. Man needs justification because he is helpless to justify himself - Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16; James 2:10.

II. THE BIBLE MEANING OF JUSTIFICATION - Acts 13:39.

A.  The terms "justified" and "justification" are legal terms.  These words pertain to God's righteous law and how forgiven sinners stand in relation to it.  Unforgiven sinners are condemned and forgiven sinners are justified.

B. People who are justified are relieved from Divine judgment and the future punishment of the unsaved - Romans 8:1.

C. People cannot be justly punished for sins that they are not guilty of and if their sins are justly forgiven, then they will not be punished for them.

D. People who are justified are released from their guilt - Romans 8:33.

E. Herein lies the chief difference between being merely pardoned and being justified.  People who are merely pardoned are relieved from punishment, but are still guilty.  People who are justified are deemed not guilty!

F. People who are justified are restored to God's favor - Romans 5:1, 2; 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19.

III. GOD'S METHOD OF JUSTIFICATION.

A. Now we will let the Scriptures answer Job's question, "how should man be just with God?"  Let us view this proposition as a court case, in which a man is summoned before a judge and the payment of a just debt is demanded of him.  He is poverty stricken and cannot pay his debt.  However, someone comes forward and pays his debt for him.  The judge sets him free and declares him justified from his debt.

B. We are justified by the Lord Jesus Christ - Acts 13:38.

1. He is the one who paid our debt by the atoning sacrifice of Himself.
2. Paul illustrated this principle in Philemon 18 & 19.
3. The law finishes its condemnation of us when we receive Christ and His payment - Romans 10:4.

C. We are justified by grace - Romans 3:24.

D. This expresses the attitude of the one Who paid our debt and the basis for our justification.

E. We are justified by Christ's blood - Romans 5:9.

1. This is the actual payment for our sin debt - Leviticus 17:11.
2. No other payment would suffice - Hebrews 9:22.

F. We are justified by faith - Romans 3:28.

G.  This is the way that the payment is accepted and justification is received.

H. We are justified by God the Father - Romans 8:33.

I. God the Father's role in this is like a judge Who accepts the payment, cancels the debt and officially pronounces the verdict, "NOT GUILTY!"

NOTE: The only way in which we are said to be justified by works is in the eyes of other men.  If our behavior is right, then they regard us as justified - James 2:23, 24; Romans 4:2-6.

CONCLUSION:  To be justified in God's sight means that He looks at my life as though I had never sinned.  That is what it means to be justified by the blood of Jesus Christ.  The answer to Job's question, "how should man be just with God" is by God's wonderful grace and Christ's shed blood.  There is no other way to explain or comprehend it.

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