Justified by Faith

September 29, 2017

 

Beloved,

St. Paul’s brilliant revelation from Jesus (Acts 9) came from a flash of understanding that God justifies the sinner by faith.  As a Jew, shackled by the law of human performance, Paul found he could not acquit himself before God no matter how hard he tried to keep the law.  He concluded that we are all sinners who fall short of God’s standard (Rom. 3:23), Jews and Gentiles alike.  No one could be justified before God based on Torah.  Especially since the Law’s primary function was to expose sin.  The Law was not given to encourage the religious and cultural arrogance that comes from thinking you can keep it.  It was faith that made us straight before God.  By faith, not works, God justified and acquitted the sinner.  It was God who justified the ungodly.  But the Jews stumbled at the fact that God called the ungodly, godly.  For the Jews, this was preposterous.  But for God, who is sovereign, this was the only understanding of salvation.  “For the just shall live by their faith” (Rom. 1:17; Genesis 15:6), not by human attempts to pretend that by Torah = keeping we are justified before God.  It is God’s glory to save whom He pleases.  However, the Law must be kept but out of loving obedience for what God had done by faith, in Christ, through grace.

In Christ,
Pastor Isaac

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