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Archive for the ‘Justification’ Category

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Is Justification by Faith Taught in the Old Testament?

Justification is the act of God declaring a sinner righteous before Him.

But first why is this question important:

This question is important if one believes in the continuity between the Old and the New Testament.

This question is also important if one believes that Christianity has its root in the Jewish Scripture.

Moreover if you love the truth that God has justified sinners by faith, you will appreciate that this was always God’s intention.

This is also helpful for Jewish evangelism and apologetics to the Jews.

It is useful for doctrinal apologetics of Christianity.

I have found Paul in Romans 4 to be quite insightful of his argument from the Old Testament in which he argues and defends the thesis that the doctrine of justification by faith has Old Testament roots.

For this post we will look at Abraham in Genesis.  Specifically we will look at Paul’s argument concerning Abraham and you will notice in Romans 4 that Paul’s argument was faithful to the context of Genesis.

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Is justification by faith taught in the Jewish Scripture (Old Testament)?  Or was it something the New Testament invented?

I believe that justification by faith is taught in the Old Testament.

Next week we will be doing a series showing how the Old Testament does teach justification by faith.  We are going do so by looking at the argument set forth by Paul in Romans 4 but we are going to do so with a focus on what verses he employs and its context and how he goes about with his argument.  I hope it would be an series that will bless God’s people and be at awe more of God’s grace.

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When I was a young Christian I was so foolish to have thought that the doctrines of Redemption, Propitiation, Justification and Adoption were so deep, I didn’t need to go out of the way to know what they are.  I assumed that the average person wouldn’t understand it.

I couldn’t be more wrong.

Actually I would say the Bible gives us natural analogies to reach all cultures and people with the concept of redemption, propitiation, justification and adoption.  Those terms were terms used in culture and societies before the Bible used it as an analogy for the Gospel.  It might be counter-intuitive but the more one understands the biblical context and cultural context of those terms the more it enrich our understanding and appreciation of the Gospel.  And don’t forget its the hearing of the Gospel that leads to salvation.

Here are two videos that touches on four of these doctrines courtesy of South Bay Alliance Church.

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This work is a classic!

The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross

Leon Morris. The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross.  Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, September, 1965. 318 pp.

Many years ago I remember hearing Don Carson mentioned this book in passing during a conference with a local chapter of The Gospel Coalition.  The sermon by Carson really blessed me and I couldn’t forget the book he mentioned since I wondered what treasure I would find if I were to read it myself.  It took me nearly a decade to finally purchased this book but I finally did it: I bought it, read it and was exceptionally blessed by it.

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Faith Alone The Doctrine of Justification by Thomas Schreiner

Thomas Schreiner.  Faith Alone: The Doctrine of Justification.  Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, September 15th 2015. 288 pp.

This is the first book in “The 5 Solas Series” that is being published by Zondervan.   The book articulates and defend the classic Reformed doctrine of justification: that justification is forensic (as opposed to transformative) and accessed by faith alone (as opposed to works of the law).  If the rest of the series is just as promising as this one I am definitely going to purchase them.

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doctrine of sanctification

Just a quick thought: Don’t confuse the doctrine of Justification and Sanctification.  They are distinct.  What do we mean?

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What is Justification by Faith Alone

J.V. Fesko. What is Justification by Faith Alone?  Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, February 15th, 2008. 32 pp.

This is a booklet in the Basics of the Reformed Faith series.  I picked it up out of the curiosity of wanting to see what an example of a short theological summary of the doctrine of justification looks like and also for my spiritual edification and whether this booklet is something I can recommend to others.  This booklet is divided into five parts.  The first part surveys how God intended to create and judge Adam and His creation.  The second part looks at God pointing to His Son as the one who will justify us in the Old Testament with the third looking at how Jesus’ life death and resurrection is the building blocks of the doctrine of justification by faith alone.  The fourth survey how this doctrine was expressed historically within the Reformed tradition and lastly the fifth part answers some common questions.

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