“Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.” Acts 13:38-39
“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, But the righteous man shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17
“Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.” Romans 3:31
“As sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:21
“For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:13-21
“We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles” Galatians 2:15
“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
“although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. “Philippians 3:4-14”
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
This was the rallying cry of the Reformation. The main point that caused Luther and Calvin to challenge the Catholic Church and it’s teachings. This is also the cornerstone of protestant theology that Yeshua through His work gave us a ‘pardon’. This pardon is from the penalty of death through sin, and there is nothing we could ever do to earn this pardon. It is purely by His acceptance of us that we are saved (Eph. 2:8-9).
There is nothing that we can add to it, such as good works or clean living. Justification means that God’s righteousness is covering us from His wrath and punishment as a blanket! It is like getting a speeding ticket; going to court and having the judge declare you innocent, even though you were speeding. To God you are clean, covered by what Yeshua has done for you. This creates our Reconciliation to God, that we were in perfect relationship to Him before the fall and now we are again in harmony.
God has a righteous basis for our justification through the sacrifice of His Son for our sins. Grace was not cheap for God. Yeshua paid a great debt by pleasing God’s wrath, both in metaphysical pain and human pain of the crucifixion (Lev. 16; Psalm 103:12). Our independence is a slap in His face, and He can do nothing in us until it is removed (John 3:5)! Let us pray to be cleansed by the atoning death of our Savior, who bore our punishment and lived out the law on our behalf. Some Jews take issue with this saying it is umbiblical, that God cannot over rule His own law siting Duet. 25:1 and Prov. 17:15. They do not realize that Yeshua Himself is the righteous One and He lived a perfect life in our place, as a designated hitter.
The Catholic Church taught that justification was a process through the sacraments and church, and that faith contributed to it as well as works. The reformers said this act was done at the moment of our acceptance of His gift of grace. The Catholic Church at the time of the reformation was even ‘selling indulgences’ granting people a spot in Heaven for money, regardless of faith. They did this to pay for the cathedrals they were building, and you thought bingo was bad! Although Catholic apologists claim this was never an ‘official act’ of the church. Nevertheless, history clearly states this was a wide problem.
Faith is the instrument and not the cause, Yeshua is the cause. It is based on the faithfulness of our Lord, and not of our goodness. Just as animal sacrifice in the O.T. was a means of forgiveness and surrendered attitude because of a loss of something precious, but it wasn’t the cause (Gal 2:15-16; 3:24; Heb. 9:11-15; 10:1-4). The reformers called this ‘meritorious ground for our justification’, explaining it as the soil that the seed of justification is planted into. Yeshua was that soil too, as we give our lives to Yeshua in faith, He in turn gives us His righteousness.
© 1998, 2001, 2003 R. J. Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries http://www.intothyword.com/