Lesson 13 – Justification by Grace

////Lesson 13 – Justification by Grace
Lesson 13 – Justification by Grace2016-11-27T17:36:57+00:00

Sabbath, September 26, 2009

“And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” John 1:16.

Not by our works

1. Is justification something that we somehow acquire through our efforts or merits?
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
Ephesians 2:8, 9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. 
Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

“Our acceptance with God is sure only through His beloved Son, and good works are but the result of the working of His sin-pardoning love. They are no credit to us, and we have nothing accorded to us for our good works by which we may claim a part in the salvation of our souls. Salvation is God’s free gift to the believer, given to him for Christ’s sake alone. The troubled soul may find peace through faith in Christ, and his peace will be in proportion to his faith and trust. He cannot present his good works as a plea for the salvation of his soul.” –Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1122; Selected Messages, book 3, p. 199.

Not by works of the law

2. How should we consider our obedience or performance of works required by the law? Do they make us righteous?
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.
(See Galatians 2:16.)

“He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law, is attempting an impossibility. Man cannot be saved without obedience, but his works should not be of himself; Christ should work in him to will and to do of His good pleasure. If a man could save himself by his own works, he might have something in himself in which to rejoice. The effort that man makes in his own strength to obtain salvation, is represented by the offering of Cain. All that man can do without Christ is polluted with selfishness and sin; but that which is wrought through faith is acceptable to God. When we seek to gain heaven through the merits of Christ, the soul makes progress. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, we may go on from strength to strength, from victory to victory; for through Christ the grace of God has worked out our complete salvation.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 364.

3. How alone can we say that good works are not worthless and are appreciated by the Lord?
Galatians 5:22, 23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 9:17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
(See Ephesians 5:9.)

“The character of the Christian is shown by his daily life. Said Christ, ‘Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.’ Matthew 7:17. Our Saviour compares Himself to a vine, of which His followers are the branches. He plainly declares that all who would be His disciples must bring forth fruit; and then He shows how they may become fruitful branches. ‘Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.’ John 15:4.

“The apostle Paul describes the fruit which the Christian is to bear. He says that it ‘is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.’ Ephesians 5:9. And again, ‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.’ Galatians 5:22, 23. These precious graces are but the principles of God’s law carried out in the life.” –The Sanctified Life, p. 80.

“In order to meet the requirements of the law, our faith must grasp the righteousness of Christ, accepting it as our righteousness. Through union with Christ, through acceptance of His righteousness by faith, we may be qualified to work the works of God, to be colaborers with Christ.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 374.

Justified freely

4. What will it take to grasp and appreciate fully the greatest gift in the universe, the Son of God–all heaven poured out for our redemption?
Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

“Faith is the condition upon which God has seen fit to promise pardon to sinners; not that there is any virtue in faith whereby salvation is merited, but because faith can lay hold of the merits of Christ, the remedy provided for sin. Faith can present Christ’s perfect obedience instead of the sinner’s transgression and defection. When the sinner believes that Christ is his personal Saviour, then, according to His unfailing promises, God pardons his sin, and justifies him freely. The repentant soul realizes that his justification comes because Christ, as his substitute and surety, has died for him, is his atonement and righteousness.” –Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 366, 367.

Justification by grace

5. Thanks to what attribute of God’s character do we receive the gifts of forgiveness, imputed righteousness, and the power of grace?
Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Ephesians 2:8, 9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. 
Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.

“Here the truth is laid out in plain lines. This mercy and goodness is wholly undeserved. The grace of Christ is freely to justify the sinner without merit or claim on his part. Justification is a full, complete pardon of sin. The moment a sinner accepts Christ by faith, that moment he is pardoned. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him, and he is no more to doubt God’s forgiving grace.” –Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1071.

God’s present offer

6. If you were locked up in prison awaiting the execution of your sentence, and a pardon would be granted to you, or someone else would offer to take your place, what would you feel for that person? What do you feel now that this grace and substitution is offered personally to you by the Saviour of the world?
Hebrews 3:7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice.
Hebrews 3:13-15 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

“Without the grace of Christ, the sinner is in a hopeless condition; nothing can be done for him; but through divine grace, supernatural power is imparted to the man, and works in mind and heart and character. It is through the impartation of the grace of Christ that sin is discerned in its hateful nature, and finally driven from the soul temple. It is through grace that we are brought into fellowship with Christ, to be associated with Him in the work of salvation.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 366.

7. How highly has God exalted Jesus because of the great love and sacrifice He poured out for our justification and salvation? How highly do we exalt Him in our hearts and lives?
Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Philippians 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

“Our only hope is perfect trust in the blood of Him who can save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. The death of Christ on the cross of Calvary is our only hope in this world, and it will be our theme in the world to come. Oh, we do not comprehend the value of the atonement! If we did, we would talk more about it. The gift of God in His beloved Son was the expression of an incomprehensible love. It was the utmost that God could do to preserve the honor of His law, and still save the transgressor. Why should man not study the theme of redemption? It is the greatest subject that can engage the human mind. If men would contemplate the love of Christ, displayed in the cross, their faith would be strengthened to appropriate the merits of His shed blood, and they would be cleansed and saved from sin.” –(The Signs of the Times, December 30, 1889) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, pp. 1132, 1133.

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