Justification by Faith

MEMORY SELECTION: “A man is not justified by the works of the Law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ.” —Galatians 2:16

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Galatians 2:15, 16; 3:1-14

ABRAHAM and other ancient prophets and servants of God were justified because they believed God and had unquestioned confidence that what he said would come to pass. Because of this great faith, God was able to use them in a very special way as his servants. No one, not even the prophets or the Ancient Worthies, was able to attain to perfection, or justification, by obedience to God’s perfect Law expressed in the Law Covenant; for, as the Apostle Paul states in 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.” The reward promised for perfect obedience to the Law was life (Rom. 10:5), and the graveyards are a mute evidence that none have earned the reward.

God, in his mercy and love, provided a way, however, whereby he could “be just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Rom. 3:26) This was accomplished by giving his only begotten Son, Jesus, as a ransom price for Adam: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”—I Cor. 15:22

Since all were condemned in Adam, who was perfect when he sinned, all could be redeemed by the perfect man Jesus, who gave his life willingly as a price to correspond, thus fulfilling God’s requirement of justice—a perfect life for a perfect life.

The merit or ransom price provided by Jesus on Calvary’s cross has not as yet been applied on behalf of Adam and his offspring; but rather, for some two thousand years, it has been used in a limited way during the Gospel Age to provide justification for the footstep followers of Jesus—the church, or the bride of Christ. When the last member of the church has been selected, then the ransom price, or the blood of the covenant (Matt. 26:28), will be available to inaugurate the New Covenant. It is through the operation of this arrangement that mankind—other that those called to be of the church class —will find their opportunity for life.

The availability of the merit of Christ—the ransom price—for the purpose of justification, does not mean that it is free to all. It is for the purpose of providing justification to those whom the Lord calls. We read Jesus’ words in John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Then the scripture continues in verse 45, “Every man therefore that hath heard, and learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”

And so the thought is that God draws whom he will to the church. These are drawn through the preaching of the Word, and because of their faith in the promises of God they are moved to consecrate themselves to God and his purposes.—Rom. 10:11-17

The center of the plan or Word of God is Jesus. Having faith in God’s Word, then, also involves faith in Jesus and his work of providing the ransom price for Adam, and hence for the world of mankind. It also involves faith in God’s arrangement of restoring mankind to perfection through the provisions of the New Covenant and the work of its Mediator, the Christ, during the times of restitution.

A meaningful faith thus is based on knowledge, and it is a faith that stimulates and motivates the desire to consecrate. If the Lord accepts that consecration, he applies the merit of Christ, and this justifies the believer.—Rom. 5:9; Heb. 9:14; I John 1:7; Rom. 5:1; James 2:24

But the work does not stop here. Justification is provided for the express purpose of making a life of sacrifice acceptable to God, so that if faithful in this, the believer will receive the reward of joint-heirship with Jesus in the kingdom and have the privilege of helping to bless all the families of the earth.—Heb. 12:1,2; Rev. 2:10; II Pet. 1:3,4; II Tim. 2:12; Rev. 3:21

Dawn Bible Students Association
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