Friday, November 22, 2013

Galatians. .Week 3. .Discussion

So. .
a couple more important words in the book of Romans that I wanted to clarify to myself this week. And to share with you. .
Justify. .2:16. . to judge, regard, or treat as righteous and worthy of salvation
This basic forensic Greek word describes a judge declaring an accused person NOT GUILTY and therefore innocent before the law. Throughout Scripture it refers to God’s declaring a sinner (us) NOT GUILTY and fully righteous before Him by imputing (or crediting) to him the divine righteousness of Christ and imputing (crediting) the person’s sin to the sinless Savior for punishment (MacArthur)

Justification then. .is a legal term coming from the Greek word for “righteous” and means “to declare righteous.” This verdict includes: pardon from the guilt and penalty of sin, as well as imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the believer’s account, which provides for the positive righteousness man needs to be accepted by God. God declares a sinner righteous solely on the basis of the merits of Christ’s righteousness. God imputes a believer’s sin to Christ’s account in His sacrificial death. The sinner receives this gift of God’s grace by faith alone. Justification is a gracious gift God extends to the repentant, believing sinner—wholly apart from human merit or work
(also MacArthur)
In my study this week. .
I came across this web site .
it is the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry website. .
I’ve never run across it before. .
What I loved. .LOVED. .
was the ease of reading in the documents. .
as well as the MULTIPLE scripture citations within the articles.
And was very biblically based. .

Read what I found on the subject of justify and justification. .
both terms are used often in the book of Galatians. .
so I think it would be really important for us to REALLY understand them. .
before my study, I just didn’t grasp it all that well.

To be justified is to be declared legally righteous. It is a divine act where God declares the sinner to be innocent of his sins. It is not that the sinner is now sinless, but that he is "declared" sinless.  The sinner is not made righteous in that his soul is changed or that his soul is infused with God's grace.  Instead, justification is a legal act of imputing the righteousness of Christ to the believer (Rom. 4:11; Phil. 3:9). This justification is based on the shed blood of Jesus, "...having now been justified by His blood..." (Rom. 5:9). When God sees the Christian, He sees him through the sacrifice of Jesus and "sees" him without sin. This declaration of innocence is not without cost for it required the satisfaction of God's Law, "...without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness," (Heb. 9:22). By the sacrifice of Jesus, in the "one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men," (Rom. 5:18, NASB). In justification, the justice of God fell upon Himself--Jesus. We receive mercy--we are not judged according to our sins. And grace is shed upon us--we receive eternal life. This justification is a gift of grace (Rom. 3:24), by faith (Rom. 3:28) because Jesus bore our guilt (Isaiah 53:12).

Now one of the other words that goes hand in hand with justify is sanctify. .
and we will get into that word in the book of Romans next month. .
but if you can’t wait (especially since the following blurb talks briefly about sanctification. .
go ahead and look here
What I LOVED about this snippet of information. .
is that it links scripture from both Galatians AND 1 John in the explanation. .
as well as the passage from Isaiah I eluded to the other day talking about filthy rags. .

This next section from the same website. .
seems to explain what was going on in Galatians with the Judaizers (which could have been classified as a “cult” because their gospel wasn’t the same as Jesus’s gospel)

What the cults do with justification and sanctification

The cults consistently blur the meanings of the two terms and misapply the truths taught in God's word.  The result is a theology of works righteousness, of earning their salvation, which only leads to damnation.  This is because by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified (Gal. 2:16).  Man cannot contribute to his salvation (Gal. 5:1-8).  Man is sinful, and even his best deeds are stained and filthy before God (Isaiah 64:6).  Therefore, making a person right before God can only be God's work (Gal. 2:20).

Typically, in cult theologies, a person is not justified (declared righteous in God's eyes) until the final day of judgment when his works are weighed and a reward is given, or he is found worthy of his place with God.  Thus, a person with this errant theology cannot claim 1 John 5:13 as his own which says, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God."

Contextually, "These things" refers to loving God, being obedient to Him, belief in Christ, and eternal life in Jesus.  Therefore, 1 John 5:13 can be considered a test.  If you are believing and doing the right things, then you will know if you have eternal life.  Can a cultist know he has eternal life?  No, he cannot, but a Christian can.

People in cults don't understand the difference between justification and sanctification.  Therefore, they must depend upon a cooperative effort with God to have their sins forgiven, which is, essentially, combining the filthy works of man (Isaiah 64:6) with the holy work of God.  They don't mix.  They can't.  Hence, salvation is by grace through faith alone.  To believe anything else is to miss salvation.

So. .
in a nutshell. .
each time we read the word justify. .
we need to remember that it is the same thing as a judge in a courtroom saying “Not Guilty”. .
only our judge. .
is the ONE true God of the universe. .
saying. .my child, YOU are. .
NOT Guilty!

Another biblical term used frequently in the bible. .
and especially toward the end of Galatians. .
is Righteousness. .
morally good. .
is the definition according to Merriam- Webster

The CARM website, actually had many of their words hyperlinked in blue. .
and so just by clicking the one I didn’t have a clear concept on. .
led me right to these great little illustrations. .
Check what they say about what the BIBLE has to say about righteousness. .


Righteousness is an attribute of moral purity belonging to God alone (John 17:25 ). It is He alone who is truly righteous. No one in the world is righteous in the eyes of the Lord, that is, except the Christian. We are counted righteous in the eyes of God when we receive Jesus by faith (Phil. 3:9). Our righteousness is based on what Jesus did on the cross. The righteousness that was Christ's is counted to us. We, then, are seen as righteous in the eyes of God. Though we are actually worthy of damnation, we are made righteous (Isaiah 61:10) by Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. As a result, we will spend eternity in the presence of the holy, pure, loving, kind, gentle, and righteous God who is our righteousness.

 Pretty simple, really!! I was going to have you click to this article only if you wanted to. .
but I think that it does such a great job of differentiating the difference between justification and sanctification. .
that I wanted you to have easy access to it. .
My whole confusion. .
and what brought up these particular word studies for me. .
was exactly this. .2 big words. .used often thru the bible. .
I just wasn’t sure that I understood. .
As Christians. .
I believe that we MUST understand the difference between them. .
Again. .I was REALLY impressed with the amount of scripture condensed down into this article!

Justification and Sanctification: What is the Difference?

by Matt Slick

Understanding the difference between justification and sanctification can be as important as understanding the difference between salvation and damnation.  Rightly dividing between the two is of crucial importance.  When you understand what they are, you can then draw a line in the sand and say, "This is what saves.  This is not what saves."

Justification is the work of God where the righteousness of Jesus is reckoned to the sinner so the sinner is declared by God as being righteous under the Law (Rom. 4:3; 5:1,9; Gal. 2:16; 3:11).  This righteousness is not earned or retained by any effort of the saved.  Justification is an instantaneous occurrence with the result being eternal life.  It is based completely and solely upon Jesus' sacrifice on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24) and is received by faith alone (Eph. 2:8-9).  No works are necessary whatsoever to obtain justification.  Otherwise, it is not a gift (Rom. 6:23).  Therefore, we are justified by faith (Romans 5:1).

Sanctification is the process of being set apart for God's work and being conformed to the image of Christ.  This conforming to Christ involves the work of the person, but it is still God working in the believer to produce more of a godly character and life in the person who has already been justified (Phil. 2:13).  Sanctification is not instantaneous because it is not the work of God alone.  The justified person is actively involved in submitting to God's will, resisting sin, seeking holiness, and working to be more godly (Gal. 5:22-23).  Significantly, sanctification has no bearing on justification.  That is, even if we don't live a perfect life, we are still justified.

Where justification is a legal declaration that is instantaneous, sanctification is a process.  Where justification comes from outside of us, from God, sanctification comes from God within us by the work of the Holy Spirit in accordance with the Bible.  In other words, we contribute to sanctification through our efforts.  In contrast, we do not contribute to our justification through our efforts.

Now, there is one more point of clarification.  To sanctify also means to set apart for holy use.  Therefore, we can have verses that talk about us being sanctified already because God has set us apart for holy use.

·         John 10:36, "do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?"

·         Rom. 15:16, "to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, that my offering of the Gentiles might become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit."

·         1 Cor. 1:2, "to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours."

·         1 Cor. 6:11, "And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God."

·         1 Tim. 4:4-5, "For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer."

·         Heb. 2:11, "For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren."

All that we need is given to us in Christ.  So there is one sense in which we are not yet completely formed into the image of Christ (sanctification of being made like Jesus), yet in another sense we are because we are seen as "in Christ," set apart for holy use where all our spiritual needs and purposes are met through Jesus.

So. .I know. .that was a LOT of reading again. .
BUT. .As we finish up the book of Galatians next week. .
and prepare to head into the book of Romans (in which these two words are VERY important). .
I felt like they needed to be clarified to help us make the most of our time in the Word. .
And it may be important to pull this same reading back up in a few week to read again as we get into the meat of Romans. .

But. .let’s go ahead and finish up our 3rd week in Galatians. .

Fire back. .WHAT are some of our responsibilities as Christians living IN Christ?? Not sure about you all. .but I was starting to think by chapter 3, that I was going to have a hard time finding my role in this. .but by the middle of chapter 6, I was starting to wonder if I would have enough room on my paper to finish listing them out!!

I think the marching orders that God impressed upon me this week. .
was from chapter 5. .Walk by the Spirit. .noted in verses 16, 18, and 25.
Walking in the Spirit or by the Spirit or being led by the Holy Spirit. .
is reflected as our way to avoid being in the flesh and doing the evil fleshly things that our natures WANT to do. .
Walking by the Spirit ALSO produces fruit. .The fruits of the Spirit. .
and if we are NOT progressively improving on those 9 fruits. .
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that we aren’t walking by the Spirit. .
we are walking. .by ourselves!!
That’s a painful reality that we likely all need to meditate on. .
and assess ourselves in and pray for God to help us with!!

The other verse that has just really made me think this week was from 6:8 The one who reaps to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
 I look around our world today. .
at the adults. .at the kids. .at the people in my own home. .and at the messages from the world. .
Everything is ALWAYS about ME. .
What’s best for me. .what I want for me. .what is convenient or easy for ME. .
what I want to do. .when I want to do it. .
Have fun. .enjoy life. .
(and it isn’t wrong to have fun and enjoy life, God wants us to do that). .

But what I see is this. .
People run so hard during the week. .
chasing families, careers, entertainment. .
that they are too tired to go to worship the Lord in a church. .
or refresh their soul with the bible. .
or even remember to pray when they DON’T need something. .

They can spend hours surfing the internet or playing games that are irrelevant to life. .
or pursuing an endless list of TV programs or movies or fiction books with no basis in the real world. .
just as a way to gork out their minds for hours so they don’t have to think (under the pretense of relaxing). .
They can eat out 3 meals a week and enjoy Starbucks $3 coffees every morning. .
but they don’t have any left to leave for the work of God’s church or to give some monthly to feed one of the orphans wandering around the Syrian desert in this desperate time of strife and war. .

BUT. .
there is no time or desire to listen to a great teacher teach the bible on a podcast, or online streaming, or CD.
I just have to wonder. .
in a world so BLESSED with endless access to knowledge. .
why we are SO intent on sowing our LIVES into the world. .
Many people know every word to the popular songs. .
but they can’t recite a Scripture verse. .
they know which show is on what channel at each hour of the day. .
but they didn’t even know there was a prophet named Nehemiah that wrote a book in the bible. .
or where to find the book IN their bible (if they know where to find their bible). .
We know every fairy tale and nursery rhyme from the last 50 years. .
but we are unfamiliar with a beautiful queen named Esther who risked her very own life to save the lives of God’s faithful people. .in a time such as this!!

Stop now. .
and think. .
How many people can you count. .
that are TRULY sowing their lives to the Spirit??
Are you on that list? Were you on that list 6 weeks ago??
 Do you even want to be on that list?  I hope you do!

I think that Galatians 6:8 points back to what Jesus Christ said in Matthew 16:24-26
Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it (compare with whoever sows to his own flesh); but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it (compare with whoever sows TO the Spirit). "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?…

I’d love to apologize for preaching a message that my hands didn’t intend to type when I sat down. .
 but I can’t. .
I’d like to say I’m sorry if I stepped on your toes (because likely, you all are feeling a little weighted down right now as I am). .
but I won’t!
I’ve said it before. .
God guides this study on a weekly basis, more than any of you could even imagine. .I
 sat down to share two verses with you and go on about my day. .
but that didn’t happen. .
It still just amazes me at how God can change my direction in a breath. .
God hasn’t placed this verse on my heart this week for ME. .
you see, I’m on that list of people sowing their lives to the Spirit. .
as of about 3 years ago. .
not because I HAVE to. .
but because I don’t want to be anyplace else. .
And honestly. .anymore. .
I can’t even IMAGINE being anyplace else!!
So. .I guess I am asking you to meditate on that verse this weekend. .
ask God what He wants you to do with that in your life. .

Are there some priorities that you need to change. .
some habits that could be altered. .
Laying down your life for God doesn’t mean laying down to die and live a miserable life. .
it means. .laying down what YOU want. .
and asking God to help you do what HE wants.
The satisfaction in that. .FAR outweighs any type of satisfaction that I EVER felt before. .

I think that is enough for today. .
I’d LOVE for someone else to pour out their hearts this weekend. .
We’ll talk again soon!!
Love to all. .Melanie

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