21. Justification

By John Thiel, First Angel’s Message, study 21,  mp3

Justification by faith is another dimension of our apprentice to Christ.  In our last study we learnt what is repentance is. Jesus showed us how to repent by him himself repenting:

Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what [that] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Repentance is always applied to someone who is a sinner. Jesus has come not to call the righteous but sinners. The provision for what he has called us to in the gospel is found in Romans;

Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

The provision that leads us to repentance is the long suffering, goodness and forbearance of God. The atonement of Jesus generates in our hearts the amazing love and goodness of God. It therefore causes us to soften, break and come to repentance.

Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand [to be] a prince and a saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Jesus is the one who produces repentance that he then gives to us which is an apprenticeship to follow in how he repented for us. Repentance was given to us to repent. He gives repentance to Israel and forgiveness. To be a disciple of Jesus you need engage in forgiveness or justification with him.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The only way in which we can gain forgiveness is if we acknowledge that we have sinned. If we walk in the light as he is in the light and do as he did then we have fellowship one with another and his blood cleanses us if we confess our sins. Isn’t that what Jesus did in the atonement?


1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Righteousness is when you confess your sins you are forgiven or justified. Who was made unto us that? If we want to have wisdom, we need to have Jesus. If we need righteousness we need Jesus. He was made righteousness, sanctification and redemption.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Here is a summation of the whole gospel. We are sin so Jesus was made to be sin and also made to be the righteousness of God in him. As he did it I in him will go through the same transaction. It is so important that the program of righteousness of God in him we also go through. He went through the process of repenting and being made righteousness.  When you are cleansed from sin you become righteous in Christ Jesus who was made sin for us.

Romans 5:16 And not as [it was] by one that sinned, [so is] the gift: for the judgment [was] by one to condemnation, but the free gift [is] of many offences unto justification. 17 for if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life. 19 for as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our lord.

We are to engage with the other man so that by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Jesus became the forerunner of justification just as Adam was the forerunner of sin. Adam and Jesus were the two men who produced human beings of a particular calibre. Adam sinned and Jesus produced righteousness/justification. How did this happen? Christ Jesus repented for us. This exercise by a sinner by the two covenants as the first reveals that we can’t do it. The second covenant produces true repentance all by Jesus Christ.

Romans 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 and therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our lord from the dead; 25 who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Abraham did not stagger at the promise of God through unbelief. He believed what God had promised. Trusting God is the object lesson for us. The word imputed is similar to justification.

Why Did Jesus Die?

Jesus died. Why? He died because I have to die for sin and he took me into himself and died with me. If I believe that, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus from the dead then my death and offences were all part of his experience and when he rose my justification was in his experience.

He trusted his father and his father raised him up out of that death of sin.  Your faith in the fact that Jesus died with your sins and repented them gives you perfect confidence that like him you will be righteous and justified.

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 for if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection: 6 knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 for he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 for in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our lord.

Apostle Paul is describing what he in his own experience went through. He’s trying to help us understand. What Jesus went through with me I am able to go through together with him. Going through this apprenticeship exercise we rise and we stand no longer condemned.

Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

When we are raised together with him what are we? Justified.

Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin. 21 but now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 to declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 where [is] boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

There is no boasting. It is impossible for me to lose my condemnation as the law condemns me but Jesus came and went through the rigours of sin and death himself never having sinned but going through my total deprivation. As he went through that he took me into the grave and raised me up again without sin. I am justified because of that transaction and not by the deeds of the law. I have no good deeds to justify myself.

The condition of eternal life is now just what it always has been,–just what it was in paradise before the fall of our first parents,–perfect obedience to the law of God, perfect righteousness. If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperilled. The way would be open for sin, with all its train of woe and misery, to be immortalized. {SC 62.1}

It was possible for Adam, before the fall, to form a righteous character by obedience to God’s law. But he failed to do this, and because of his sin our natures are fallen and we cannot make ourselves righteous. Since we are sinful, unholy, we cannot perfectly obey the holy law. We have no righteousness of our own with which to meet the claims of the law of God. But Christ has made a way of escape for us. He lived on earth amid trials and temptations such as we have to meet. He lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now he offers to take our sins and give us his righteousness. If you give yourself to him, and accept him as your saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for his sake you are accounted righteous. Christ’s character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned. {SC 62.2}

As Jesus has taken your sin, died with it and risen again now you stand with him as though you have never sinned. If you believe and embrace it that is reality. This is the true manner of forgiveness. In your apprenticeship to Christ it is required that your faith must exercise itself at that point.

As Though I Never Sinned!

I am in existence as though I had never sinned. Cast yourself completely on Gods grace. You come up with the sense within you of a complete loss of condemnation. That is our privilege. You don’t have to go over your past anymore. Satan will try to take you back there. We are not under the law, but under grace. It’s so hard, I can’t do it but that’s the apprenticeship, to believe just as Jesus had to believe.

He cast himself upon the mercies of God that he would raise him again. Just as we can’t see through, neither could Jesus. It takes some doing. To actually cast myself upon the mercy of God. Once we’ve done that deliberately, diligently and purposely we can be assured it is so.

2 Corinthians 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more. 17 therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Take that as it really is.

2 Corinthians 5:18 and all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

I am reconciled and justified because all things are of God. He has engaged me in Jesus Christ if I believe.

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our lord Jesus Christ: 2 by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

This is why I can rejoice as Jesus has done it. I don’t have to walk tentatively. It is true because I have deliberately cast myself on it. That is what God wants us to do.

Hebrews 6:17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed [it] by an oath: 18 that by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

Do You Really Believe God?

I believe like Abraham did as God who cannot lie. Whatever he says is true, I’m going to give you another double assurance so I give you an oath. There is nothing more heartbreaking for a person who loves you to turn around and say to them, do you? Even though that person really loves us. He wants us to accept it. It was impossible for God to lie. You are not accounted sinner anymore. Hang on to it and give him the glory that you believe.

Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. 36 for ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 for yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 now the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 but we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

When someone loves you and you believe the love it’s a pleasure. When we doubt and withdraw God will have no pleasure.  God will be grieved in his pleasure. If we accept this beautiful love activity we have an assurance that nothing can disturb that. This gospel must be mingled with faith totally believing I am justified. It doesn’t stop there. You can never go onto greater heights if you doubt there is still guilt in your life. This is a very important step of apprenticeship. I am totally free of condemnation. We see that it was Jesus himself who went through the exercise of repentance. When he rose, he rose for our justification.


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Posted on 10/07/2009, in 1st Angel's Message and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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