Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 1 Study # 3
September 6, 2005
Lincolnton, N.C.

<156> Thesis: The debate over the methodology of justification is resolved by understanding the nature of the "reward". Introduction: Last week we considered two questions: what is the essence of "justification"?; and how does one come to be "justified"? We answered the first question by saying that the essence of justification is God's determination that one's character is such that it permits Him to act toward that one as a sinless saint. And we answered the second question by saying that the method of justification cannot be legal evaluation of behavior because justification was given to Abraham 100 years before his behavior was concluded. This means that justification must be rooted in an altogether different basis -- one that the Scriptures declare to be "faith". When God "reckons" one to be a sinless saint, that one is justified. Justification is, then, the result of a "faith-based reckoning" rather than a "legal-based reckoning". This evening, because the issues are profoundly important and have been the target of confusion by the kingdom of darkness for centuries, we are going to look a bit more into the "methodology" debate to see that the debate can be resolved by looking at the nature of the reward.