This is What We Mean By Justification

To make a way for us to be saved, God sent Christ to live a perfect divine-human life and die an obedient death.  In this way Christ became both the substitute punishment for our sins (Matthew 26:18; I Corinthians 15:3; I Peter 3:18) and the substitute performer of our righteousness (Romans 5:19, 10:4; II Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9).  Therefore, in the courtroom of God, my guilt for sin is removed by Christ’s blood (Ephesians 1:7) and my title to heaven is provided by Christ’s obedience (Romans 5:19).  I am declared just – freed from the punishment of sin and now possessing a title to heaven.  This is what we mean by justification.

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 83

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The Great Ground of Joy

This is the great ground of joy in the word of the cross:  Justification is by grace alone (not mixed with our merit), through faith alone (not mixed with our works), on the basis of Christ alone (not mingling his righteousness with ours), to the glory of God alone (not ours.)

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 83

They Obviously Needed Assistance

When we say the Bible is infallible in its origin, we are merely ascribing its origin to a God who is infallible.  This is not to say that the Bible writers were intrinsically or in themselves infallible.  They were human beings who, like other humans, proved the axiom Errare humanum est, “To err is human.”  It is precisely because humans are given to error that, for the Bible to be the Word of God, its human authors required assistance in their task.

Sproul, R.C.; Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 1997; p. 46

The Gospel Is For Beleivers and Unbelievers Alike

The Bible’s message, however, is that the gospel is just as necessary for the Christian as for the unbeliever. We are to base the “duty” of discipleship on the gospel, resulting in the practice of a Christ-based acceptance with God and a Spirit-energized approach to the pursuit of holiness.  The so-called duty of discipleship then becomes a joy and a delight even though it requires vigorous effort.  So learn to “preach the gospel to yourself” every day, and in the joy and strength of knowing your sins are forgiven and sin’s dominion is broken, press on to become holy as He is holy.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 231

Adversity is Meant for our Sanctification

So the discipline of adversity is given to us by God as a means of our sanctification.  Our role in this discipline is to respond to it and to acquiesce to whatever God may be doing, even though a particular instance of adversity makes no sense to us.  As we do this we will see in due time the fruit of the Spirit produced in our lives.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 230

Our Ultimate Hope is not Maturity but Perfection

Our ultimate hope, though, is not in maturity of character in this life, as vauable as that is, but in the perfection of character in eternity.  The Apostle John wrote, “When he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2).  The often painful process of being transformed into His likeness will be over.  We shall be completely conformed to the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 229