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Monday, November 24, 2014

Justification Under the Law - Is that Possible?

To be justified is; to be shown or proved to be right or reasonable; to be declared or made righteous in the sight of God.  To justify is  the act of pronouncing righteous, justification, or acquittal

Romans 10:4 (HCSB)  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

The Law Requires Complete and Total Obedience

The Scriptures say that God requires complete and total obedience to His law. The law is the commandments, and regulations that God gave to Moses for the Hebrews during their exodus from Egypt on the way to the Promised Land, Canaan.  The law, referred to in scripture as the Law of Moses is contained in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy in the Old Testament.  They include much more than the 10 Commandments of Exodus chapter 20.  

 Let’s look at a few verses of scripture that address complete obedience to the law. 

  •   Leviticus 18:5 (HCSB) Keep My statutes and ordinances; a person will live if he does them. I am Yahweh.
  • Romans 2:13 (HCSB) For the hearers of the law are not righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous.
  • Romans 10:5 (HCSB)  For Moses writes about the righteousness that is from the law: The one who does these things will live by them.
  •  James 2:10 (HCSB) For whoever keeps the entire law, yet fails in one point, is guilty of breaking it all.

Does God really mean that?  

Yes He does!   

Adam and Eve were banished from the garden of Eden, condemned and cursed for just one act of disobedience (read Genesis chapter 3).  God Himself prepared the sacrifice to temporarily atone for this sin when he killed an animal and covered them with the animal’s skin. 

Genesis 3:21 (HCSB) 2 The LORD God made clothing out of skins for Adam and his wife, and He clothed them.  That was the first sacrifice for disobedience, or sin, so to speak.

So it may look like God doesn’t really demand complete obedience because He's provided a way out. He established a sacrificial system through Moses for the nation of Israel,  a means of way of making amends or atoning for sin.  On a closer look however the system itself points to the requirement of complete obedience.  There was a constant need for sacrifice after sacrifice after sacrifice for the nation, the priests, and the people.  If obedience was only required for, what we think are the worst sins, like taking the name of the Lord in vain, worshiping other gods, murder, theft, adultery, covertness, in other words the Ten Commandments, then the people who didn’t do these things would be exempt from the requirement.  But nothing in scripture gives that impression.  In fact scripture says the exact opposite.  Every Israelite, every one of them, had to offer sacrifices for his or her sins whatever they were, and there are long lists in the books between Genesis and Joshua.  So the sacrificial system itself shows the requirement for complete obedience.

Man Can’t Do Complete Obedience

Man can’t do it even under a sacrificial system.  The Bible in a number of places says that all sin and that nobody is right with God. 

  • Romans 3:23 (HCSB) ” For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”;  but the Old
    Testament also says that  sinned
  • 1 Kings 8:46 (HCSB) When they sin against You— for there is no one who does not sin— and You are angry with them and hand them over to the enemy, and their captors deport them to the enemy’s country— whether distant or nearby—
  • Proverbs 20:9 (HCSB) Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure;I am cleansed from my sin”?
  •  Ecclesiastes 7:20 (HCSB) There is certainly no righteous man on the earth who does good and never sins.

Job was really aware of man’s inability to attain perfect obedience read what he says;
  •  Job 9:2-3 (HCSB) Yes, I know what you’ve said is true, but how can a person be justified before God? 3  If one wanted to take Him to court, he could not answer God once in a thousand times.
  • Job 9:20 (HCSB) Even if I were in the right, my own mouth would condemn me; if I were blameless, my mouth would declare me guilty.
  • Job 25:4 (HCSB) How can a person be justified before God? How can one born of woman be pure?

Here’s what the Psalmist said:

  •  Psalm 130:3 (HCSB) Yahweh, if You considered sins, Lord, who could stand?
  • Psalm 143:2 (HCSB) Do not bring Your servant into judgment, for no one alive is righteous in Your sight.

And of course Paul:

  •  Romans 3:20 (HCSB) For no one will be justified in His sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law.
  •  Romans 9:31-32 (HCSB) 31 But Israel, pursuing the law for righteousness, has not achieved the righteousness of the law. 32  Why is that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.

How Can Anybody Become Justified Then?

The answer is found in Romans 3:30 (HCSB)  since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.

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.

Isaiah 49:3 (NKJV) “And He said to me, ‘You are My servant, O Israel, In whom I will be
Not Guilty!

As shown in my post, "Justification - Promised inChrist",  the servant in this verse as Jesus.

This is prophetic scripture in which the nation of Israel is the shadow of Jesus and describes the fact that God the Father is near His Servant during the time of his humiliation. He was never alone so he was able to withstand all of the attacks of his enemies, the charges brought against him, and also all of the sins of the people that were place on him. God knew that he was innocent and righteous and He justified him declaring it by the resurrection. Who could then accuse him through whom we are justified?

Romans 8:28-33 (NKJV) 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

Jesus the Perfect Sacrifice for All Mankind

God declared that all who sin will die, both physically and spiritually. This is the fate of us all because we all sin.  But God provided a solution.  The sacrifice and the shed blood of the only man who ever walked this earth without sin Jesus Christ.  God declared that “without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22), but through the shedding of blood, redemption is provided. The Law of Moses provided a way for the people to be considered “sinless” or “right” in God’s eyes—the offering of animals sacrificed for every sin they committed. These sacrifices were only temporary, though, and were really a foreshadowing of the perfect, once-for-all sacrifice of Christ on the cross. gotQuestions?org

Hebrews 10:10 (HCSB) By this will of God, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.

Have You Been Justified?

If you've never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior you have not been justified, pardoned, or accepted.  God loves you and has provided a way for your pardon and acceptance but it must be your decision.  The way to pardon and acceptance is simple, as simple as "TNT" (Romans 10:9-10).

Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV) 9  that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

If you're ready just repeat this prayer.

"Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness.  I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin.  I am willing to turn from sin.  I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Savior.

If you just prayed this prayer the call, text, email, tweet, change your Facebook status and tell somebody.  Please leave me a comment or email me at this Link.  Welcome to the family of God.

Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving and be sure that in addition to telling the Lord thank you for all things make your life one of constant thanksgiving.

Here are some good books on justification:

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