Monday, October 30, 2006

Justification by Faith

From My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers:

"I am not saved by believing - - I simply realize I am saved by believing. And it is not repentance that saves me - - repentance is only the sign that I realize what God has done through Christ Jesus. The danger here is putting the emphasis on the effect, instead of the cause. Is it my obedience, consecration, and dedication that make me right with God? It is never that! I am made right with God because, prior to all of that, Christ died. When I turned to God and by belief accept what God reveals, the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ instantly places me into a right relationship with God. And as a result of the supernatural miracle of God's grace I stand justified, not because I am sorry for my sin, or because I have repented, but because of what Jesus has done. The Spirit of God brings justification with a shattering, radiant light, and I know that I am saved, even though I don't know how it was accomplished.

The salvation that comes from God is not based on human logic, but on the sacrificial death of Jesus. We can be born again solely because of the atonement of our Lord. Sinful men and women can be changed into new creations, not through their repentance or their belief, but through the wonderful work of God in Christ Jesus which preceded all of our experience (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-19). The unconquerable safety of justification and sanctification is God Himself. We do not have to accomplish these things ourselves - - they have been accomplished through the atonement of the Cross of Christ. The supernatural becomes natural to us through the miracle of God, and there is the realization of what Jesus Christ has already done - - "It is finished!" (John 19:30). "

Romans 5:10 "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."


I welcome your thoughts, opinions, questions, remarks, etc. I'm not going to state mine just yet, as I don't want to taint the discussion or lead it a certain way.


strem said...

I'm probably going to look like an idiot for asking this...but is the first sentence correct? I have read it at least 25 times, and I want to make sure I am understanding what he means by that - if that is what he wrote. It's probably one of those situations where I will come back 5 hours later and put the inflection somewhere else and understand exactly what he meant. Just wanted to check first.

jweyel said...

Perhaps the sentence would have been better worded: "I am not saved by believing. . .In believing I simply realize that I am saved."

jweyel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
strem said...

Joseph, you have joined us! YAY!!!

(Thanks for the clarification!) I'll read through this again, then.

lydia said...

Yes, Strem, the first sentence is correct.

Joseph, I do believe that the clarification you have made is accurate to what Chambers is trying to state in this sentence. Thank you for joining us and for the clarification.

jweyel said...

Thanks, it is a pleasure to finally join you all. I have been enjoying reading. Who knows, perhaps someday I may actually break down and begin blogging myself. ;)

Lydia, I think that the overall piece by Chambers is excellent. I would prefer greater clarification on the actual subject of justification by faith to make it clear that our "right relationship" with God as children is prior to our belief. Belief or assent effects my "relationship" with God only from the standpoint of my obedience and ability to manifest what He has already worked in me.

Does that make sense?

strem said...

I also was wondering about the justification section.

Lydia, what particular thoughts did you have to share? I would love to read them.

strem said...

P.S. I knew you wouldn't type or enter it incorrectly, Lydia. I know knew I wasn't gettin' it!