Because we are all sinners, we have earned only death; justification is not earned, but must come through faith and believing God as did our father Abraham.
'Grace' is a term that represents God's awesome generosity toward us, His continuously flowing blessings and saving acts. It goes beyond just forgiveness.
Protestantism is based on Luther's insistance that Christians are saved by faith alone. But is the really true? Earl Henn explains that the Bible says this of justification, not salvation.
"Justification" is a theological term that many people do not understand, thinking that it is a complex point of biblical doctrine. However, it is not as difficult as it may seem on the surface. Martin Collins explains what justification is and how it works in the life of the individual whom God calls to salvation.
A summary of the Covenants, Grace, and Law series, reiterating the differences in the Covenants and the respective places of grace and law in God's purpose.
Paul's writings, because of their complexity, are frequently twisted to say that he was anti-law. By denigrating God's law, the unconverted set their own standards.
Christ will empower us, but will not live our lives for us. The marching orders for our pilgrimage derive from God's Word, containing His holy law.
The yoke of bondage Paul refers to in Galatians was a combination of the code of regulations added by the Pharisees and Gnostic ritualism, not God's Law.
In Galatians, Paul took issue with the Halakhah, not God's word. Halakhah was a massive collection of human opinion that placed a yoke on its followers.
Righteousness consists of applying the Law's letter and/or intent. Sin constitutes a failure of living up to the standards of what God defines as right.
Justification does not 'do away' with the law; it brings us into alignment with it, imputing the righteousness of Christ and giving access to God for sanctification.
Justification is not the end of the salvation process, but merely the opening to sanctification, where we bear fruit and give evidence of God's Spirit in us.
The Law (including the judgments, ordinances, and statutes), far from being done away, shows us our faults and outlines the way of mercy and love—how to live.
Paul never taught any Jew to forsake the Law of Moses, but he did warn against Pharisaical additions for the expressed purpose of attaining justification.
The New Covenant, which writes God's law onto the heart, in no way does away with any aspect of the law. Works do not justify us, they sanctify us.
Everything that we go through has been engineered by God. We are His workmanship, created for good works, a response to the faith He has given us.
God's calling us is just our initial taste of His grace. Grace is unmerited, but it is not unconditional. We have an obligation to respond to God.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on God's gifts to Abel and the other luminaries in the faith chapter (Hebrews 11), suggests that all of us called-out ones are in the same spiritual predicament, needing to humbly use the gifts God has given to us, faithfully pursuing God's purpose for us. Nobody evolves into a God-being on the power …
Some think Galatians 3:19 means that God's law has been done away. Earl Henn explains how certain misunderstandings have led people astray on this verse.
The 'no works' doctrine says that all one has to do is believe in Jesus and accept His grace, and one's sins will be forgiven. This has disastrous effects.
The two men who go to the Temple to pray contrast in character, belief, and self-examination. The contrast shows how to be justified before God.
While we must express some of our own faith as we come to salvation, the great bulk of "saving faith" is a gift of God, given graciously and miraculously as part of God's creative process in us. In particular, John Ritenbaugh uses the examples of Abel and Enoch to illustrate the pattern of faith through which God walks His people.
We have been called, not just to believe in Christ, but also to overcome sin, an action that takes a great deal of effort. John Ritenbaugh takes pains to explain God's act of justification and what we are required to do in response.
The Bible makes it plain that salvation is by grace, but it is also clear that we are 'created in Christ Jesus for good works.' Grace and works fit together.
Works are necessary for a Christian, and have not been neutralized by grace. Good works serve as the evidence of faith; faith without works is dead.
The book of James applies to us after the sanctification process has begun. The most effective way of eliminating sin is to do righteousness.
Religious bumper stickers fall short of revealing the full counsel of God, which is more complex than 'believe on the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved.'
John Ritenbaugh focuses on the deeply felt sense of obligation we feel knowing that a ransom has been paid to redeem us from the death penalty. While we have been justified through grace by faith, good works are the concrete and public reality of this faith. Because we have been bought with an awesome price, we have no right to …