Justification By Faith

  The great Martin Luther translated verse 28 of Romans chapter 3 like this:  “Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith ONLY without the deeds of the law.”  Luther placed the word, “ONLY” in the margin of his Bible.  The word, “ONLY” is not in the Greek text, it is not in the original text of the Bible.  It is not in that verse.
The word ‘only’ does appear in James 2:24 “You see then how that by works a man is justified and NOT BY FAITH ONLY.

  Luther called the Book of James, an Epistle of Straw.  Luther believed that James contradicted the teachings of the Apostle Paul. 

  How do we understand what seems like an apparent contradiction?  I believe that there are no contradictions in the Divine revelation, just our lack of understanding.  Paul and James are saying the same thing, but they are looking at the truth from different angles.  Paul is writing in the book of Romans to those who depended on the merit of their works while James was writing to those who were dependent upon a mere intellectual assent to Christianity.  Both, meritorious works and mere intellectual assent are wrong grounds for salvation.  Faith or works, which saves?   Neither…then what does save us? 
Not the law, keeping of rituals, customs, ceremonies, outer rules and regulations.  The law was given to reveal sin and how far short we all fall from the perfect standard.
Not our faith, for if we say, “It is our faith that saves, then faith becomes works and we have something to boast of.”   We can say, “I have believed, the other man has not and I therefore deserve salvation and he does not.”   We are thus saving ourselves. Faith does not save us.  It is through faith that we are saved.  FAITH IS ONLY THE INSTRUMENT, it is not the cause of our justification.  The cause of my justification is the Lord Jesus and all He has done to provide salvation.  JESUS SAVES.  

  Salvation is of God, as He justified, the believers, freely through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.  Being justified means, declared right by God.  It is a legal act.  It does not mean that we are right but rather God, the Judge, regards us as right and declares us to be so.  It results from God’s free gift of grace in the price paid by His dear Son on Calvary.  In Christ, I have been redeemed, paid for, bought by His perfect life, sacrificial death and resurrection.

         It is God putting Christ’s righteousness to our account that saves us. 
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.”  

3 Responses to “Justification By Faith”

  1. A lady once tried to tell me that faith was a gift. She used that verse to prove it. She forgot that the subject was salvation.

    Glad that you can attend JBC senior saints. Some day I hope to attend. We took a vacation in May, so it is too close for my busy son to take off at this time. Glen Wheeler wrote that he would be there.My siblings will be visiting me on June 11 – 13.

  2. Dear Max,

    Just a note to say that I still read and receive blessings from your devoationals . To be here by you as you study and write,and some times you even ask me “What do you think” .
    Thank you for taking time to still send out your words of wisdom to so many .
    I am looking so forward to our trip to JBC !


  3. Thank You for continuing to share yours thoughts and wisdom. As a child of God I am very dependent upon the nourisement of the word to continue giving me strength to stand boldly and proclaim ‘The Gospel’.

    May God’s Blessing’s continue to flow upon you, Joann adn your ministry …..

    From all your friends at The Lighthouse


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