Concerning Justification, part 26

Scripture Text: Psalm 50:8–15

Daily sacrifices were performed at the temple in Jerusalem because God commanded. Sacrifice was done as an outward expression of grateful dependence upon God.

Concerning Justification, part 25

Scripture Text: Psalm 130:1–8

Even the saints of old understood the kind of worship that expected blessings from God. It may not have seemed like they understood anything but a quid pro quo religion.

Concerning Justification, part 24

Scripture Text: Romans 6:21–24

Justifying faith, properly understood, includes these three things. First, that a promise has been made. God has promised to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness in order to reconcile the world to himself through Christ.

Concerning Justification, part 23

Scripture Text: Romans 4:15–16

If a promise is made, faith—not work—is required. This is true in human relations and it is no less true in the relationship between the human and the divine.

Concerning Justification, part 22

Scripture Text: Romans 12:1–2

We should certainly offer our whole selves to God (Rom 12:1). Yet, to imagine that this appeases God's wrath or earns justification and salvation is self-deception.

Concerning Justification, part 20

Scripture Text: Philippians 3:8–9

Ironically, so-called personal faith does not rely upon personal works but upon the person of Christ. It is solely because of him that God is reconciled and made favorable toward us.

Concerning Justification, part 18

Scripture Text: Romans 4:7–14

Circumcision was a seal or sign of Abraham's faith in God's promise. It was not a requirement for earning God's grace. Rather, it was a sign that Abraham believed what God promised.

Concerning Justification, part 17

Scripture Text: Genesis 3:8–10

The law is always accusing us of wrongdoing. That is the law's job. Furthermore, we know the law is right. In ourselves, we have no leg to stand on. The law has us dead to rights.

Concerning Justification, part 16

Scripture Text: 1 Samuel 16:6–7

God is concerned, though not primarily so, with the things that we do. The external matters such as are found in the second table of the law are there—in second place—for a reason.

Concerning Justification, part 15

Scripture Text: Isaiah 64:4–6

The words of Jesus are enough. If it is Jesus who makes us free, how dare we try to make ourselves free through works of the law? So some say, “Yes, he sets you free but you must add works to remain free.”

Concerning Justification, part 14

Scripture Text: Galatians 2:15–21

Lutherans insist that Christians should do good works. However, they also confess that these works do not earn God's grace and save them from sin and death.

Concerning Justification, part 13

Scripture Text: 1 Timothy 1:12–15

An external religion does not earn the grace of God. Therefore, anyone merely keeping appearances, even if they strive to keep the commandments, is still in sin.

Concerning Justification, part 12

Scripture Text: Jeremiah 17:5–7

The first use of the law is social in nature, for it creates boundaries and consequences for those who do wrong. This is as far as reason or earthly righteousness goes. By itself, it can never create true love for God.

Article 4: Concerning Justification, part 11

Scripture Text: Psalm 51:1–10

Just as people are not forgiven of their sins because of civil deeds and religious works, these works also will never make them righteous before the holy God. Their works and their external piety, no matter how fine, will never make them holy on the inside

Concerning Justification, part 10

Scripture Text: 1 John 1:8–9

There is an earthly righteousness that comes from human work and ability. Keeping the commandments, being a good citizen, exercising control over what is said, and minding one's own affairs with diligence and humility are examples of this kind of righteousness.

Concerning Justification, part 9

Scripture Text: Galatians 3:23–26

The law is a good thing. It teaches us how to interact with God and with each other. The law also provides necessary restraint on the uncivil elements of society so that good order may be maintained.

Concerning Justification, part 8

Scripture Text: Matthew 7:25–27

The foolish person builds a house on sand. This should make me wonder about that beach house I have always wanted. Trying to live by the law is like owning a beach house.

Concerning Justification, part 7

Scripture Text: Titus 3:4–7

Why would one wonder whether they had fully earned or received God's grace? If it must be earned, is it grace? Wondering about such things is an indication that one does not understand the ways of God at all.

Concerning Justification, part 6

Scripture Text: Psalm 139:23–24

The Reformers were answering challenges from a church that really believed it was their own works that earned them eternal life. Take that in for a moment.

Concerning Justification, part 2

Scripture Text: Galatians 3:21–23

The defense of the doctrine of justification begins with a definition of terms. The revelation of God is understood easily by seeing it in its simplest functions.


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