Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 4 Study # 13
Thesis: "Justification" is the decree of God by which He judicially separates the "many brethren" from the impact (both "guilt" and "penalty") of their "Sin" (both what causes sins and the sins so caused).
Introduction: We have been looking into Paul's declaration that God has always had a "purpose" in mind for all of His acts in creation from before its beginning. He has always had a Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy within a context of created personalities in mind. The context of this declaration is one of serious conflict between the Creator, Who has the Purpose, and a select group of His created personalities. That the conflict exists is an irrational mystery (there can be no rationality in creatures opposing their Creator -- everyone knows the Potter has the right over the clay). But, that the conflict exists is also an irrefutable, current reality. That this irrational conflict exists is the reason for Paul's explanations in Romans 8. He seeks, by explanation, to firm up the determination of the heirs of the absolutely-for-sure-coming-Kingdom to submit to the pain of the process without murmuring or disputing.
The single, most effective methodology of endurance is the giving of thanks. The second most effective methodology is understanding the steps God has taken to not only make sure that His purpose is finally fulfilled, but to also make sure that we understand that He is going to accomplish His purpose whether anyone likes it, cooperates with Him, pursues His agenda, or not.
What we have seen so far is that God has this purpose in mind, He has foreknown those for whom He is building this Kingdom, He has predestined that "many brethren" will be participants in this Kingdom as "moral clones" of Jesus Christ, and He has acted in history far beyond the boundaries of subtle revelation by personally summoning those "many brethren" from their oppositional agendas to participation in His Kingdom.
But, there are yet two matters of Paul's explanation of God's immutable intention: justification and glorification. This evening we are going to look into the issue of God's justification of the many brethren.
April 15, 2008
- I. The Background of Justification.
- A. The greatest single threat to the fulfillment of the immutable purpose of God has always been unholy, loveless, irrationality.
- 1. When persons are "out of balance", value the wrong things, and cannot think straight, great evil "happens".
- 2. Great evil has a great opponent in the Holy, Loving, Rational Creator.
- 3. The conflict and opposition is a direct assault upon the very possibility of the existence of a Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy.
- B. That this threat came into existence in both angelic and human realms meant that God had to address it effectively.
- 1. God's answer to the assault begins with "justification".
- 2. In "justification" God separates certain people from the Kingdom-destroying impact of His opposition to the Great Evil.
- a. The opposition of God to the Great Evil is the destruction of the opponents.
- b. This approach would eventually signal the destruction of the Grand Plan because that Plan was to populate a Kingdom with people.
- 1) The problem with people is that they were infected by the virus of unholy, loveless, irrationality by the single act of their progenitor and no one in his lineage escaped.
- 2) Thus, all "sinned" and continue to do so with enormous determination.
- 3) If God meets this determination with "destruction", more than the opponents will be destroyed: the Grand Plan cannot survive the confrontation of sin by destruction.
- 3. In "justification" God separates certain people from the root of His opposition.
- a. The root of His opposition is their Sin and its sins.
- b. In God's "justification of the heirs of His Kingdom Plan" He separates them from their Sin and its sins by pulling a massive "switch" of "attributable behavior".
- 1) He created a new "Progenitor".
- 2) He made the behavior of this new Man to have the same impact that the behavior of the first man had: it "constitutes" men "holy, loving, and rational" just as the first man's act "constituted" men as sinners.
- 3) By perfect obedience, Jesus obtained an absolute righteousness and by loving sacrifice He took on Himself the indescribable evil of Adam's race.
- 4) When God "justifies" a son of Adam, He makes an absolute separation to exist between the man and his behavior: He attributes the behavior of Jesus to the man and the behavior of the man to Jesus.
- 4. In "justification" God judicially applies the result of the Substitutionary Atonement to the "many brethren" so that they have the righteousness of Christ attributed to them.
- 5. In "justification" an enormous mental event occurs: God simply refuses to accept any accusation of evil against the ones He has justified.
- 6. But, this is only the beginning of the effective remedy.
- a. Justification does not, itself, do anything about the problem of man's unholy, unloving, irrationality.
- 1) By justification God can cease His opposition, but He cannot, by justification alone, cause the opposition of others to cease.
- 2) God can apply the Atonement to a sinner and cease to be compelled to bring him to judgment and destruction, but this does not stop "sinning" by that sinner.
- b. Thus, there are other issues brought into play.
- 1) The first of these other issues is that "justification" is only applied at the point of faith because "trust" is at the root of every relationship and it creates a motivation for harmony between the "believer" and the One he "trusts".
- 2) The second of these is the on-going subjection of the "believer" to the embryonic development of the present time so that he may ultimately come to "term" and be "regenerated".
- 3) The third of these are the embryonic processes themselves: the growth of faith in love through many tribulations.