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Justification: Why works are a stumbling stone for some.

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by Dave..., Aug 23, 2007.

  1. Dave...

    Dave... New Member

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    Justification: Why works are a stumbling stone for someRomans 9:31-32 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;Justification a process?Our justification cannot be a process because that which justifies us before God, the imputed righteousness of God, is not given in doses. Justification is a one time act by God that comes for us the moment that we first believe. People wrongly view justification as a process because they don't yet understand the correct relationship between works and faith within the proper context. Good works cannot save us, never, but can only be a manifestation of Christ in the one who is already saved. Still, many people today fall short in their understanding of justification because the greater context does not allow for their "church" doctrines. Trying to understand justification as a process will cause all kinds of problems with scripture. We can begin to see the core of the problem by how the order of events are viewed. They believe...Faith = good works = imputed righteousness = justification. This makes justification a process that depends on good works. Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.There cannot be both grace and works for justification. We cannot both glory in the blood of Christ on the cross while at the same time disparaging what Jesus did for us on the cross. If we trust in our works, even in combination with our faith, we reject the righteousness of God through faith, the only thing that can justify us before God, and this puts us under the Law.Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”For those of you who think that you can be justified before God by your works, even in combination with faith, Jesus has a test for you, which is basically to bring home the same point that is taught throughout God's Word, that the law requires perfect obedience, and you will fail this perfect standard that the Law requires.Jesus said...Matthew 5:20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.Do you know how hard this would be to do? The Scribes and Pharisees had up to twenty or more separate books of law that they added to the scripture, and obeyed it all of it, to the letter. Even those scribes and Pharisees will suffer for eternity.Faith is evidenced by works, as James tells us, but this is after the fact of our justification. The only question left to ask after we initially believe is whether or not our faith is genuine. Are we deceiving ourselves with a faith in idols, another Gospel, another Jesus? Paul tells us to check ourselves daily to see whether or not we are in the faith. This is the same thing that James is teaching. That we should be careful not to be self deceived. Is Jesus manifesting Himself in your life?When Jesus told us that if we are His, we will obey His commandments, He's not teaching us that obeying the commandments will save us, rather, He's teaching us that if we are saved, we will begin to manifest Him in our lives. are you a tree that manifests good fruit?Once we are justified by the imputed righteousness of God through our initial faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, one of the evidences of the authenticity of our conversion is our persevering in faith (Hebrews 11). And this is where the works come into play, another of the many evidences of one who is already justified.Understanding this, we can place the statement by James within it's proper context, a faith without works IS dead, And this is in perfect harmony with what Jesus said, that a good tree bears good fruit, and that those who are His will obey His commandments. What we are are not doing is putting the cart before the horse, or, works before justification simply because works are an evidence of faith, thus forcing justification to be a process that depends on our works.Our works will be an indicator of whether or not our profession of faith is genuine. But it is only by our initial God given faith that we are imputed with the righteousness of God. How do we know if our faith is real? How do we know if we are already justified by the blood of Christ on the cross? If Jesus is manifesting Himself in our lives.Faith = good works = imputed righteousness = justification. This puts us under the law. (Romans 10:2-4)Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. As born again Christians, anything good that comes from us for the Church is an undeserved gift from God (1 Corinthians 4:7). We could not produce one good work unless God himself was the source of it (John 15:5). Without Him, we can do nothing. Good works cannot come from the flesh. Our flesh can only produce filthy rags. Justification is instantaneous if the faith is genuine. God already knows whether or not our faith is genuine because He is the One that gives us our faith. It is only us who need to be safeguarded against self deceit. You see? God does not need to wait to see if our faith is genuine or not before we are imputed with His righteousness and justified. He supplies the faith, and never will He give us faith and not also give us perseverance in this same faith, upholding us by His power (1 Peter 1:5). Remember, Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). It is all from God, and He will always finish what He starts (1 Peter 1:23, John 10:28-29). Repentance is a gift from God; Acts 11:18, 2 Timothy 2:25 etc. Faith is a gift from God; 1 Corinthians 2:5, Romans 12:3, Ephesians 2:8, Philippians 1:29 etc. Perseverance is a gift from God; Philippians 1:6, 1 Peter 1:5 etc. This leaves the works/fruit as an evidence of a true saving faith that has already resulted in God imputing His righteousness to us so that we are justified before Him.Ephesians 2:10 clearly states that our good works are already prepared for us to walk in. Without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). Praise God for these Fruits that He has given us (Philippians 1:11). Look at James 2:23-24 closely. A passage used to promote a false works based salvation.From the Macarthur Study Bible Quote from Macarthur: "This does not contradict Paul's clear teaching that Abraham was justified before God by grace alone through faith alone (Romans 3:20, Romans 4:1-25, Galatians 3:6,11) James could not mean that Abraham was constituted righteous before God because of his own works because... 1) James already stressed that salvation is a gracious gift (James 1:17-18). 2) In the middle of this disputed passage (v23), James quoted Genesis 15:6, which forcefully claims that God credited righteousness to Abraham solely on basis of his faith (also see Romans 1:17; Romans 3:24; Romans 4:1-25). 3) The work that James said justified Abraham was his offering up of Isaac (Genesis 22:9,12), an event that occurred many years after he first exercised faith and was declared righteous before God (Genesis 12:1-7; Genesis 15:6). Instead, Abraham's offering of Isaac demonstrated the genuineness of his faith and the reality of his justification before God. James is emphasizing the vindication before others of mans claims to salvation. James' teaching perfectly compliments Paul's writing; salvation is determined by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9) and demonstrated by faithfulness to obey God's will alone (Ephesians 2:10)." (JMSB)Paul and James were not standing toe to toe, so to speak, arguing against each other. They were standing back to back defending the same Gospel truth against two different attacks. Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Are you "glorying in the cross" (Galatians 6:14), or are you disparaging the cross, thus making you an enemy of the cross (Philippians 3:18)? "Remember, an enemy of the cross is one who implies that the work of Jesus Christ on the cross was insufficient for our salvation, period. Their destiny? Destruction! (Philippians 3:19). Disparage means to belittle, diminish, lessen, reduce, devalue, discount, impair, lower, degrade, minimize, curtail, or decrease." While it is true that many people speak very highly of the blood of Christ on the cross, they also disparage it with a works based salvation. It is the imputed righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ that saves us. If the evidences are absent, what does that say about our claims of a saving faith (The point James made)? It's not that we are earning justification by the works, it's whether or not we are giving evidence of Jesus Christ manifesting Himself in us. If we are not manifesting Christ in our lives, then we didn't lose anything but the illusion that we had a true saving faith. This self deception is what we are warned about over and over in scripture. God already knows if we are saved or not (Ephesians 1:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:13). The "test yourselves daily" etc is for us to know whether or not we are self deceived.Take perseverance as an example. If a person who is professing faith in Jesus Christ does not persevere in faith, what happened? 1 John 2:19 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. This is a manifestation of what that person always was, from the beginning. They didn't lose their salvation, or even give it back. They evidenced that they never had genuine faith to begin with. The evidence showed that the faith was not a saving faith from the beginning. If the claim of faith would have been genuine, then it would have resulted in the imputed righteousness of God, resulting in justification before God from the first, then the evidence would have followed, such as perseverance in faith. Which is also a gift from God.Evidence, evidence, evidence of what we already are, in Christ, or not. Not the cause.At the time of our initial, authentic, God given faith, we are immersed into the Body by Jesus with the Holy Spirit (sealed with the seal of our inheritance). We become one with Him, actually "in Christ". At that same moment, we are imputed with Christ's perfect righteous. God recons us as perfectly righteous because of what Jesus did. Over time, He manifests Himself in our lives more and more as we progressively begin to become what God already recons us to be "in Christ".This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Dave
     
  2. Dave...

    Dave... New Member

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    Isaiah 54:17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the LORD.Isaiah 61:10 10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.Romans 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;Romans 5:17-21 For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, So that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.The righteousness of God.http://www.bible-topics.com/Righteousness-of-God-The.htmlRighteousness imputedhttp://www.bible-topics.com/Righteousness-Imputed.htmlPhilippians 3:9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Romans 3:28,31 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law...Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.What Paul is saying in Romans 3:28,31 is that God's justice, His law, required payment for our sin, and the law is not made void, but established because Jesus died for us. If their was no law, Jesus would not have needed to die for us.Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed (OT Saints), 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Our Righteousness apart from the righteousness of GodIsaiah 64:6 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. Romans 10:3-4 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.Titus 3:5 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us." Galatians 2:16 "By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just[ified] shall live by faith." Romans 4:1-5 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, This is just a small fraction of the scripture that we could go over. Remember, the righteousness of God saves us.Peace
     
  3. Dave...

    Dave... New Member

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    Justification before GodPromised in Christ. Isaiah 45:25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.Is the act of God. Isaiah 50:8 He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Romans 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.UNDER THE LAW Requires perfect obedience. Leviticus 18:5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.Romans 10:5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.Man cannot attain to. Job 9:2-3 I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God? If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.Job 25:4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?Psalm 130:3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?Psalm 143:2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.Romans 9:31-32 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;UNDER THE GOSPEL Is not of works. Acts 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.Is not of faith and works united. Acts 15:1-29 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. ...Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.Galatians 2:14-21 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. ...Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.Is by faith alone. John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.Acts 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.Romans 3:30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.Is of grace. Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,Romans 5:17-21 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. ...In the name of Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.By imputation of Christ's righteousness. Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. Jeremiah 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.By the blood of Christ. Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.By the resurrection of Christ. Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.1 Corinthians 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.Blessedness of. Psalms 32:1-2 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.Frees from condemnation. Isaiah 50:8 He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.Romans 8:33-34 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.Entitles to an inheritance. Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.Ensures glorification. Romans 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.The wicked shall not attain to. Exodus 23:7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.BY FAITH Revealed under the old dispensation. Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.Excludes boasting. Romans 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.1 Corinthians 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.1 Corinthians 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.Does not make void the law. Romans 3:30-31 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.1 Corinthians 9:21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.Typified. Zechariah 3:4-5 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.Illustrated. Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.Exemplified. Abraham, Genesis 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.Paul, Philippians 3:8-9 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
     
  4. Dave...

    Dave... New Member

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    I tried to clean up the OP to make it read a little better. I hope it helped.Dave
     
  5. Dave...

    Dave... New Member

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    bump!:angel9:
     
  6. Nova

    Nova New Member

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    Dave, I always feel blessed when I read your posts. They carry the weight of both the truth of the scriptures & your passion for letting the scripture transform us.Since they don't have specific questions. And you such a good job of expressing the points, I typically don't respond. But I do appreciate them.
     
  7. Dave...

    Dave... New Member

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    Thankyou Nova. That was very kind of you to say. Not only was it well received, but, well, I needed that. God bless you.In ChristDave
     
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