Posted in discernment, Uncategorized

Word of the Week: Justification

By Elizabeth Prata

word of the week word cloud
We’re losing the meaning of our uniquely Christian words.

I listened to a Phil Johnson interview last year where he talked about being caught off guard with the flooding-in and vehemence of the social justice movement and the racial equality woke movement.

It is a true fact that many of our younger people think that ‘social justice’ is the same thing as ‘biblical justice,’ when they certainly are not.

Biblical illiteracy is high, and with the lack of actually reading the Bible, younger people are losing the meaning of foundational words like justification, sanctification, glorification.

Some years ago I enjoyed the Apologetic Index’s listing of the Emerging Church: Glossary of Emergent Terms For Those New to the Conversation. It was funny, if you were up on news of he movement. It was also sad to see how devastatingly accurate those writers were about the co-opting of normal terms and made to mean something new. Like this entry to their ‘dictionary’-

Christ – An incredible, outstanding man in the Bible who left behind a valuable story that enables us to make the world a better place. Some people (including some in the emergent conversation) say he is a divine being, but this concept is subject to deconstruction.

Since we in our native countries speak a language to each other and are subsequently understood, we tend to think that language stays the same. It doesn’t. Language isn’t static. Meanings shift and move all the time. Hogwash was a word that came into use, rise in the 1700s, peaked in the 1800s and now you rarely see it written anymore and even more rarely, spoken. Lots of words that are currently in use weren’t a existence when I was a kid, because the thing the word refers to wasn’t invented. Compact Disc (and even that is dwindling as digital music takes over), surf-n-turf, head trip, grok, miniseries, and biohazard were words that were new when I was growing up.

New words today would include adulting, sup, suh, trill…sigh, are currently trendy words.

Old words still exist but change meaning. When I was growing up, incontinent meant liable to urinate one’s pants. 2 Timothy 3:3 uses the word incontinent-

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

No it does not mean that men everywhere will be dribbling. The word in the 1300s-1400s used to mean without self-control emotionally and physically, now it evokes only the lack of control over the bladder. We don’t use the word dayspring much anymore. Suffer in the old translation of “suffer the little children to come unto me” has a different meaning now. We don’t see words like froward, graven, cleave, or husbandman in common use these days.

So words fall in and out of use, new words emerge, and old words shift meaning.

However the thread of Christianity depends on a unity from one generation to the next of mutual understanding of our important words. Words handed down that form the bricks of our faith must be used, taught, and widely understood. We must understand the important terms.

Hence the Word of the Week series. I started the sereies last year and I’m repeating it.

JUSTIFICATION

Defined by Baker’s Exegetical Dictionary, public domain. More at link

Justification is the declaring of a person to be just or righteous. It is a legal term signifying acquittal.

Accordingly it is not surprising that salvation is often viewed in legal terms. The basic question in all religion is, “How can sinful people be just (i.e., be justified) before the holy God?” Justification is a legal term with a meaning like”acquittal”; in religion it points to the process whereby a person is declared to be right before God. That person should be an upright and good person, but justification does not point to qualities like these. That is rather the content of sanctification. Justification points to the acquittal of one who is tried before God. In both the Old Testament and the New the question receives a good deal of attention and in both it is clear that people cannot bring about their justification by their own efforts.The legal force of the terminology is clear when Job exclaims, “Now that I have prepared my case, I know I will be vindicated” ( Job 13:18 ).

Justification means that God brings down the gavel and declares a person righteous, despite their crimes, because they have passed through the Righteous Door of Jesus. This was enacted when Jesus died on the cross, becoming sin for us, and then His righteousness was imputed to us. Therefore God can and does declared His elect justified, i.e. no longer under penalty for their crimes.

Phil Johnson wonderfully explains it here in this sermon-

Who Can Condemn Us? 
May 27, 2018 | Romans 8:34

justify justification verse
——————————————–

More explanations here

Got Questions: What is Justification?

Ligonier: What Are Justification and Sanctification?

Posted in discernment, Uncategorized

Word of the Week

word of the week word cloud
We’re losing the meaning of our uniquely Christian words.

I listened to a Phil Johnson interview where he talked about being caught off guard this spring with the flooding-in and vehemence of the social justice movement and the racial equality woke movement.

It is a true fact that many of our younger people think that ‘social justice’ is the same thing as ‘biblical justice’ when they certainly are not.

Biblical illiteracy is high, and with the lack of actually reading the Bible, younger people are losing the meaning of foundational words like justification, sanctification, glorification. It doesn’t help when venerable theologians choose to use phrases like “future justification; instead of  ‘justification’ and confuse, well, just about everybody.

Some years ago I enjoyed the Apologetic Index’s listing of the Emerging Church: Glossary of Emergent Terms For Those New to the Conversation. It was funny, if you were up on the movement. It was also sad to see how devastatingly accurate those writers were about the co-opting of normal terms and made to mean something new. Like this entry to their ‘dictionary’-

Christ – An incredible, outstanding man in the Bible who left behind a valuable story that enables us to make the world a better place. Some people (including some in the emergent conversation) say he is a divine being, but this concept is subject to deconstruction.

Since we in our native countries speak a language to each other and are subsequently understood, we tend to think that language stays the same. It doesn’t. Language isn’t static. Meanings shift and move all the time. Hogwash was a word that came into use, rise int he 1700s, peaked in the 1800s and now you rarely see it written anymore and even more rarely, spoken. Lots of words that are currently in use weren’t a existence when I was a kid, because the thing the word refers to wasn’t invented. Compact Disc (and even that is dwindling as digital music takes over), surf-n-turf, head trip, grok, miniseries, and biohazard were words that were new when I was growing up.

New words today would include adulting, sup, suh, trill…sigh, are currently trendy words.

Or words still exist but change meaning. When I was growing up, incontinent means liable to pee one’s pants. 2 Timothy 3:3 uses the word incontinent-

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

No it does not mean that men everywhere will be dribbling. The word in the 1300s-1400s used to mean without self-control emotionally and physically, now it evokes only the lack of control over the bladder. We don’t use the word dayspring much anymore. Suffer in the old translation of “suffer the little children to come unto me” has a different meaning now. We don’t see words like froward, graven, cleave, or husbandman in common use these days.

So words fall in and out of use, new words emerge, and old words shift meaning.

However the thread of Christianity depends on a unity from one generation to the next of mutual understanding of our important words. Words handed down that form the bricks of our faith must be used, taught, and widely understood. We must understand the important terms.

Hence the Word of the Week.

JUSTIFICATION

Defined by Baker’s Exegetical Dictionary, public domain. More at link

Justification is the declaring of a person to be just or righteous. It is a legal term signifying acquittal.

Accordingly it is not surprising that salvation is often viewed in legal terms. The basic question in all religion is, “How can sinful people be just (i.e., be justified) before the holy God?” Justification is a legal term with a meaning like”acquittal”; in religion it points to the process whereby a person is declared to be right before God. That person should be an upright and good person, but justification does not point to qualities like these. That is rather the content of sanctification. Justification points to the acquittal of one who is tried before God. In both the Old Testament and the New the question receives a good deal of attention and in both it is clear that people cannot bring about their justification by their own efforts.The legal force of the terminology is clear when Job exclaims, “Now that I have prepared my case, I know I will be vindicated” ( Job 13:18 ).

Justification means that God brings down the gavel and declares a person righteous, despite their crimes, because they have passed through the Righteous Door of Jesus. This was enacted when Jesus died on the cross, becoming sin for us, and then His righteousness was imputed to us. Therefore God can and does declared His elect justified, i.e. no longer under penalty for their crimes.

Phil Johnson wonderfully explains it here in this sermon-

Who Can Condemn Us? 
May 27, 2018 | Romans 8:34

——————————————–

More explanations here

Got Questions: What is Justification?

Ligonier: What Are Justification and Sanctification?

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Justified and made righteous

Here, in 90 seconds Pastor Gabe explains what justification is. When he explained that it is the legal declaration of God as to the pardon of all our sins AND the credit to our account the righteousness of Christ, it made me think of the verse from Luke regarding the return of an unclean spirit. But first, take a listen to Pastor Gabe’s explanation:

When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:24-26).

Without the imputation of righteousness to our account and the indwelling and sealing of the Holy Spirit, we would be damned and punished forever. We can stave off obvious sin and project a certain morality in keeping our ‘house’ empty for a while, but sin soon creeps back in to take over again. (Genesis 4:7), We can’t help it, our sin-nature demands it.

An empty house is ripe for possession again. And as we see in the verse, the unholy spirits return. But they return in force and the state of the person is worse than before.

We always remember how great and wonderful it is that not only are we forgiven of our sins, but our Lord gave us HIS righteousness, without which, we would simply be either a suppurating cauldron of putrid sin, or a temporarily swept house waiting to become the cauldron of sin once again. His purity and righteousness is fresh, clean, and given in grace to His people. Thank you Lord for justifying Your chosen sinners!

glory

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

What’s in your pocket? Lists? Or nails?

We are sinners. The Syro-Phoenician woman knew that. (Mark 7:26). The Tax Collector in the temple knew that. (Luke 18:13). Mary knew that. (Luke 1:46). We know we are sinners.

No one believes in Jesus Christ the savior unless they see a need in Him. Martyn Lloyd Jones, sermon Isaiah 1:10, Repentance and Salvation.

Before we are saved, we are blind to our sin. After the Lord graciously gives us the ability to see ourselves as we are, the scales having fallen off our eyes so to speak, (Acts 9:17-18), we repent of our sins. But that does not mean we stop sinning. We have the Power to resist sin thanks to the Holy Spirit in us, but we still sin. (Matthew 16:24). We will continue to sin until we are glorified.

Legalists like the Pharisees to whom Jesus contrasted the Tax Collector, believed they would attain heaven by their good works. This belief is not expired. People believe it to this day. If you watch street pastors Ray Comfort or Todd Friel, when they ask people on the street if they expect to get to heaven and how, the people always respond that they are a good person doing good things so surely they will go to heaven.

We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. Are you so foolish? (Galatians 2:15-16)

After we are saved, however, we still have a tendency to give in to our to our sinful nature. We can easily start to believe satan’s propaganda that we earn God’s regard by doing good things, that we maintain our salvation by doing good works. Or we start to make lists of the things we must do to preserve our good name before the Lord. Paul addressed this in Galatians 3:3, asking rhetorically,

Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

John MacArthur said of the verse,

The notion that sinful, weak human nature could improve on the saving work of the Holy Spirit was ludicrous.

We should always remember that it is by grace through faith that we have been saved, not by works. After salvation, the good works that we do are an inevitable result of our gratitude for this great gift, and it is the proof of the existence of the new creature. But our works do not save us and they do not add to the preservation of our salvation. Martin Luther said,

We all carry about in our pockets His very nails.

Erik Raymond at The Gospel Coalition succinctly said,

Legalists keep lists in their pockets, while Christians keep nails.

What’s in your pocket today? Lists? Or nails?