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Archive for the ‘Salvation & Justification’ Category

is-justification-by-faith-taught-in-the-old-testament

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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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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interrelationship

Doctrines are interrelated.  Sometimes they are interconnected more than we realize.

There was a quote from a denomination’s statement of sanctification that led me to think more about the relationship between how one present the Gospel and the sanctification of one’s “convert.”  The quote is as follows:

Today most people initially trust in Christ with very little theological understanding. Moreover, initial salvation frequently is offered by appeals to personal needs. Consequently almost no one is prepared at conversion to yield himself to the Spirit in surrender and faith.

How is it possible that this denomnational document might alleged that “almost no one at conversion” would surrender himself to the Spirit through faith?  Some quick thoughts:

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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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Saved without a Doubt

 Purchase: Amazon

I appreciated this book by John MacArthur on the topic of the Christian assurance of salvation. This book is biblical, pastoral and practical; it will certainly help the believer understand the Gospel better and applying it to the subject of assurance. The book is divided into three parts: After establishing the biblical warrant for the Reformed doctrine of the perseverance of the Saints, part two feature 11 tests on whether or not one is a believer according to 1 John followed by part three that ties the loose ends: Dealing with doubt, adding virtue which thereby adds more assurance of one’s salvation and biblical encouragement to persevere. I particularly enjoy chapter 7, “Adding Virtue upon Virtue” which is an exposition of 2 Peter 1, with MacArthur’s insight into the Greek terms and what it means. MacArthur does a masterful job of encouraging the believer with the reality of what God has done and promise to do. I recommend it to every believer whether they are struggling with whether or saved or whether they are already assured.

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Martin Luther Galatians

After reading the Bible, every Christian should at least one time in their life read something by Martin Luther to understand the man who has been responsible for the Protestant Reformation and the issue of justification that was at stake. Luther’s commentary of Galatians was a delightful read. I was surprised that there was not a strong polemical taste to this work but instead one feels the pastoral heartbeat of Luther as he expounds the meaning of the text and often showing how a promise in Galatians should be applied to combating wrong thoughts and demonic discouragement. Again, a delightful read, but more than reading the words of Martin Luther this commentary made me read more carefully on my own the book of Galatians itself.

 

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John MacArthur’s most famous work is “The Gospel According to Jesus” which defends Lordship Salvation.  If one has to read at least one work by MacArthur, this is probably it.  Apparently there is a free PDF in German!  In German the Title is “Lam pen ohne Öl.”  You can access it by clicking HERE.

[HT]

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