Torrey - Man -5.2- How are people justified?

II. HOW ARE PEOPLE JUSTIFIED? Romans 3:20 — "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." Galatians 2:16 — "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."

First Proposition: People are not justified by works of the law.

QUESTION: Why not?

ANSWER: Because in order to be justified by works of the law, we must continue to do all the things that are written in the law. No one has done this; however, all have sinned. The moment the law is broken at any point, justification by works of the law becomes impossible. So those who rely on works of the law are under the curse. God did not give us the law with the intention of justifying us by it, but to produce conviction of sin, to lead us to Christ. Galatians 3:10 — "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." Romans 3:23 — "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:19-20 — "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. 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." Galatians 3:24 "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."

Yet strangely enough, there are many today preaching the law as the way of salvation. Romans 3:24 — "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."

Second Proposition: People are justified by God's grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus as a free gift.

Justification is not on the grounds of any deserving there is in us. It is a gift God bestows without pay. The channel through which it is bestowed is the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 5:9 — "Much more then, being now justified by (in) his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." (Note RV Margin.)

Third Proposition: People are justified or counted righteous in Christ's blood — i.e., on the ground of Christ's propitiatory death. Galatians 3:13 — "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." 1 Peter 2:24 "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness by whose stripes ye were healed." Isaiah 53:6 — -"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." 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.") The ground of justification is the shed blood of Christ. Romans 3:26 — "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus." Romans 4:5 — "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Romans 5:1 — "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 13:39 — "And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."

Fourth Proposition: People are justified on condition of faith in Jesus.

Faith makes the shed blood, which is the ground of justification, ours. We are justified when we believe in Him who shed the blood. The shed blood provides for our justification, but we are actually justified when we believe. Romans 3:28 RV — "We reckon therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law." Romans 4:5 RV — "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness."

Fifth Proposition: A person is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

He is justified on condition that he believes even though he has no works to offer as a ground upon which he might claim justification.

When he ceases to work for justification and simply believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, that faith is reckoned for righteousness, and he, the believer, is counted righteous.

The question is not, Have you any works to offer, but Do you believe on Him who justifies the ungodly? Works have nothing to do with justification except to hinder it when we trust in them. The blood of Christ secures it, faith in Christ appropriates it. We are justified, not by our works, but by His work. We are justified upon the simple and single ground of His blood, and upon the simple and single condition of our faith. It is exceedingly difficult to hold men to this doctrine of justification of faith apart from works of the law because they are constantly seeking to bring in works somewhere. Romans 10:9-10 — "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

Sixth Proposition: The faith that leads to justification is a faith "with the heart. ' The heart in the Bible stands for the entire inner man — thought, feeling, and purpose. To believe "with the heart," is to believe with the whole person. It involves the surrender of the thought, the feelings, and the will to the truth believed. A heart faith is more than mere opinion. It is a conviction that governs the whole inner person and consequently shapes the outward life. James 2:14, 18-24 RV — "What doth it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but have not works? can that faith save him? . . . Yea, a man will say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith apart from thy works, and I by my works will shew thee my faith. Thou believest that God is one; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and shudder. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar? Thou seest that faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect; and the scripture was fulfilled which said, and Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God. Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not by faith."

Seventh Proposition: The faith that one says he has, but which does not manifest itself in action along the line of the faith professed, will not justify. The faith that justifies is the real faith that leads to action accordant with the truth professed.

We are justified simply upon faith, but it must be a real faith. "We are justified by faith without works, but we are not justified by a faith that is without works." The faith which God sees and upon which He justifies, leads inevitably to works which others can see. God saw the faith of Abraham and counted it to him for righteousness, but the faith God saw was real and led Abraham to works that all could see and which proved his faith. Proof to us of the faith is the works. We know that he who does not work does not have justifying faith.

We must not lose sight of the truth which Paul emphasizes against legalism on the one side — that we are justified on the simple condition of a real faith in Christ. We must not lose sight of the truth which James emphasizes against antinomianism on the other side — that it is only the faith that proves its genuineness by works that justifies. To the legalist, who is seeking to do something to merit justification, we must say "stop working and believe on Him that justifieth the ungodly" ( Romans 4:5). To the antinomian, who is boasting that he has faith and is justified by it, but who does not show his faith by his works, we must say "what doth it profit, if a man say he hath faith, but have not works? Can that faith save him? ( James 2:14 RV). We are justified by faith alone, but we are jus-tiffed by that faith alone that works. Romans 4:24 "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for (because of) our justification."

Eighth Proposition: Jesus was raised because of our justification.

This does not mean that Jesus was raised in order that we might be justified. We were already justified by His death. Because we were pronounced righteous, God raised Jesus from the dead and thus declared us justified. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the proof that God has accepted the sacrifice for us. Jesus rose as our representative. In raising Him, God declared Him accepted and us accepted in Him. 1 Corinthians 6:11 RV — "And such were some of you: but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God."

Ninth Proposition: We are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (i.e., on the ground of what Jesus is and did, and on the condition of our union with Him, and also on the condition of our union with the Spirit of God).