What Is Justification? What Has Gone Done to Us Through Christ?
A man was summoned to court because he had neglected to pay his taxes for many years. He now owed such an immense debt, he could never pay it back. Just as the judge was about to throw the man into prison, an unexpected turn of events happened.
Imagine you woke up one morning and you were in the middle of the ocean on ship with other crew members. No one knows how you all got there. No one knows what you all are supposed to be doing. You are all just there . . . on ship . . . with no coordinates . . . no mission . . . in the middle of a the vast ocean.
To make matters worse, no one on the ship really knows anything about sailing, navigating, or fishing. All the equipment for survival and a successful mission are present on the ship, it’s just that no one really knows how to use any of this.
Key Text: 1 John 4:1-21
A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” So who is God and what is he really like? As we will see in this chapter, our answers to these questions will shape the way we live.
What’s the purpose of God’s law? If we are saved by grace and through faith, what’s the point of the law? If Christ came to fulfill the law, does this mean God’s law no longer applies to us since Christ accomplished it for us?
By studying Romans 3:19-31, we can see four purposes in the Bible for God’s law.
Genesis 12:2-3, Genesis 22:17-18
As Christians, it is easy to read the New Testament and understand God’s plan for the world. He wants to save people from sin through Jesus Christ.
Sin has corrupted everything. Not only is the punishment of sin to go to hell, it brings hell into every area of life. You cannot live your purpose of imaging, serving, and glorifying God while under the curse of sin. So it’s no wonder God seeks to reverse the effects of sin and make us into new creations. But as we read the Old Testament, things can get a bit murkier.
The short and very sufficient answer to “How can I be saved?” is this: Put your faith in Jesus Christ. If you remember nothing else, remember that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
2 Corinthians 3:17
Everyone wants to change in some way or the other. Whether it’s an addiction problem, a chronic rage issue, or a character flaw that is ruining your most significant relationships, there are areas in our lives we want to change but struggle to do so.
And more than this, the Bible makes clear we must change from sinful to holy if we hope to have a true relationship with God. So how can we do this? Certainly we can’t do this in our own power. True change comes only through the power of the gospel of grace. And to be ultra specific, when it comes to actually changing real, tangible things in our lives, the Bible makes clear that only the Holy Spirit can change us.
The Father appoints what he wants done. The Son accomplishes the work of the Father. And the Holy Spirit applies the works of the Son to people. But what specifically does the Holy Spirit change about us? Why should we seek to be filled with the Spirit throughout our whole lives?
Here are seven ways the Holy Spirit changes us.
Ezekiel 18:32, 2 Peter 3:9
If we don’t have tears in our eyes and a deep grief in our hearts when we talk about hell, we are not truly grasping even the smallest percent of its terror.
In my human limitedness, I despise the idea of people going to hell for eternity. But as Augustine said, “If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.”
The Bible clearly states that heaven and hell are both real and eternal (Deuteronomy 32:22, Psalm 9:17, Matthew 10:28, John 3:16, 14:2, Revelation 20:10, 15). Therefore if I choose to believe the Bible, I must also believe in hell, no matter how disturbing it may be to me.
As Christians, most of us accept the truth about hell and yet still struggle with the emotions triggered by this biblical reality. “Why, God? Why did you create such a horrible place? This seems so cruel, so unnecessary. An eternity of torture? I thought you were a God of love?”
Anytime you ask a question that starts with “Why does God . . .” you can always answer with, “For his glory.” Everything God does, he always does for his honor and fame. Therefore to answer “Why does God send people to hell?” we must actually ask, “How does hell glorify God?”
Christmas is not a word you will find in the Bible. But Christmas is all about the essential, core message of the Bible, which is that God sent Jesus to save humans.
You may not think “theology” when you hear the word “Christmas,” but taking a closer look at the theological implications of what we celebrate during Christmas will reveal how important the virgin birth of Christ really is to the whole of Christianity.
Gifts, trees, spending time with family, going to church, and singing certain songs are all things we love about the Christmas season. But when we look at what God accomplished through Christmas, especially in relationship to the virgin birth, we will not only love Christmas more but we will love Christ more for all that he’s done for us.
Man’s responsibility and God’s sovereignty are often seen as opponents. But within the Bible, these two go hand in hand. The Bible does not try to explain how these two can coexist without violating one another. The Bible simply explains how man’s responsibility is directly tied to God’s sovereignty.
Problems arise amongst Christians as we discuss the relationship between man’s responsibility and God’s sovereignty when we begin to put emphasis on truths that the Bible does not place emphasis on.