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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Justification - Promised in Christ


The Oxford Dictionary defines justify as: 

1) Show or prove to be right or reasonable and 
2) Declare or make righteous in the sight of God.  

According to Paul in Romans 3:30 “since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.   If those of us who are now one body having been justified why are did he say that some of us (the circumcised or Jew) are justified by faith and others (uncircumcised or Gentile) justified through faith since all who believe are justified?  

Here's the definition of justify from “Vine’s Concise Dictionary of the Bible” 

“the act of pronouncing righteous, justification, acquittal”; it is used twice in the Ep. to the Romans, and there alone in the NT, signifying the establishment of a person as just by acquittal from guilt. In Rom. 4:25 the phrase “for our justification,” is, lit., “because of our justification” (parallel to the preceding clause “for our trespasses,” i.e., because of trespasses committed), and means, not with a view to our “justification,” but because all that was necessary on God’s part for our “justification” had been effected in the death of Christ. On this account He was raised from the dead. The propitiation being perfect and complete, His resurrection was the confirmatory counterpart. In 5:18, “justification of life” means “justification which results in life” (cf. v. 21). That God “justifies” the believing sinner on the ground of Christ’s death, involves His free gift of life.

That last sentence in the Vine’s definition is the basis of my statement that justification was promised in Christ.

Here’s what it say in Isaiah 45:20-25 (HCSB) 20  “Come, gather together, and draw near, you fugitives of the nations. Those who carry their wooden idols, and pray to a god who cannot save, have no knowledge.   21  Speak up and present your case— yes, let them take counsel together. Who predicted this long ago? Who announced it from ancient times? Was it not I, Yahweh? There is no other God but Me, a righteous God and Savior; there is no one except Me. 22  Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth. For I am God, and there is no other. 23  By Myself I have sworn; Truth has gone from My mouth, a word that will not be revoked: Every knee will bow to Me, every tongue will swear allegiance. 24  It will be said to Me: Righteousness and strength is only in the LORD.” All who are enraged against Him will come to Him and be put to shame.
25  All the descendants of Israel will be justified and find glory through the LORD.

The Gentiles were invited to stop their idol worship and in faith to the only God who can save from sin and death.  He included all nations in this invitation.  They are to be saved simply by looking in faith to the Lord. All the descendants of Israel referred to in verse 25 are the spiritual Israel.  They that are those identified in Galatians 3:6-7 (HCSB)6  Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, 7  then understand that those who have faith are Abraham’s sons.. 

What Does This Have to Do with Justification Promised in Christ?

The one that God is talking about in Isaiah to redeem his people is Cyrus.  Well that’s Cyrus and not Christ you say.  Well not so fast my friend.    Cyrus is a type of Jesus Christ; and many of the promises to Cyrus in Isaiah have a spiritual fulfillment in the ministry and life of Jesus. In fact God identifies Cyrus as His shepherd in Isaiah 44:28 and then as His anointed (Messiah) in 45:1. 

Isaiah 44:28 (HCSB) who says to Cyrus, “My shepherd, he will fulfill all My pleasure” and says to Jerusalem, “She will be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Its foundation will be laid.” 

Isaiah 45:1 (HCSB) The LORD says this to Cyrus, His anointed, whose right hand I have grasped to subdue nations before him, to disarm kings, to open the doors before him and the gates will not be shut:

Both these titles are used for Jesus.  

Acts 4:27 (HCSB) “For, in fact, in this city both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, assembled together against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, (emphasis mine)

Acts 10:38 (HCSB) how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were under the tyranny of the Devil, because God was with Him. (emphasis mine) 

John 10:11 (HCSB) “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (emphasis mine).

Now let’s look a more direct reference to justification promised in Christ

Isaiah 53:11 (HCSB) He will see it out of His anguish, and He will be satisfied with His knowledge. My righteous Servant will justify many, and He will carry their iniquities.

This is a specific prophetic reference to Christ.  To see that we need to go back to Isaiah Chapter 49. Verses 1-6 of the chapter is one of what many students of the Bible call ‘Suffering Servant Songs’ 

Isaiah 49:3 (HCSB)  He said to me, “You are My Servant, Israel; I will be glorified in him.”   

In this verse God says that Israel is His servant however nowhere else in the Bible does it say that God will be glorified in a person (servant), so I believe, as do many others, that in this context ‘Israel’ is a name for Jesus, the Messiah.  Now reading 53:11 we see that Jesus the Messiah will justify many.  The many here refers to Jews and Gentiles. 

Isaiah 49:6 (HCSB) He says, “It is not enough for you to be My Servant raising up the tribes of Jacob and restoring the protected ones of Israel. I will also make you a light for the nations, to be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”

Then we come to the final ‘Suffering Servant Song’ in Isaiah starting at Chapter 52:13 and ending at 53:12 which reads;

Isaiah 53:12 (HCSB) Therefore I will give Him the many as a portion, and He will receive the mighty as spoil, because He submitted Himself to death, and was counted among the rebels; yet He bore the sin of many and interceded for the rebels.

Yes our justification was promised in Christ the anointed.   He is doing what Israel, Isaiah and Cyrus did thousands of years ago for Israel.   Jesus has done it for the world!!

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