ALL ABOUT Jesus & Justification
WEEK ONE Jesus
Reform WHAT DOES “THE REFORMATION” BRING TO MIND? • Overthrow of “Catholic oppression” (Marxist) • Source of modernity (general historians) • Rise of Naziism (Shirer, et al.) • Luther stories? … the thunderstorm • The solas?
Our Approach • Connected to the solas: scriptura, gratia, fide, Christus • Jesus: if it’s truly Christian, it must be Christocentric • Justification: if it’s truly Christocentric, then salvation flows entirely from Him (grace, faith) • The Bible: if it’s the authentic Jesus, it’s biblical
IN THE MIDDLE AGES Hardly Forgotten • Some Reformation caricatures are false: • Everyone went to church. • The laity were all terrified of damnation. • The clergy were all hypocrites. • Everything was about Mary, not Christ. • No attention was given to grace or faith. • Christ and His gracious work were not ignored. • But ... they were more peripheral than central.
Christ LESS THAN CENTRAL Churchly control of grace — the ecclesial dispensary of grace Sacramentalist centrality … with only indirect connection to Christ or to faith “You must prepare yourself for God’s grace.” Thus the temptation to indulgence
An Indulgence FROM TETZEL
Examining THE INDULGENCE Who is named in the indulgence? Who isn’t named!? How did you get this? The theology of indulgence is more complex than this simple statement, but what would the common person think?
Luther’s RESPONSE 95 Theses (Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences) • In the Name our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. • #1. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said Poenitentiamagite, willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance. • #62. The true treasure of the Church is the Most Holy Gospel of the glory and the grace of God. • #75. To think the papal pardons so great that they could absolve a man even if he had committed an impossible sin and violated the Mother of God -- this is madness. • #76. We say, on the contrary, that the papal pardons are not able to remove the very least of venial sins, so far as its guilt is concerned. • #78. We say, on the contrary, that even the present pope, and any pope at all, has greater graces at his disposal; to wit, the Gospel, powers, gifts of healing, etc., as it is written in I. Corinthians xii.
Reform NOT REVOLUTION A key truth about the Lutheran reform So, affirmation of the received doctrine of the Trinity and the two natures of Christ (together with many other teachings) Reformation’s criticism: “We have always believed this, why do you ignore it or deny it?” “Let’s take Jesus (the second article) to heart.”
“If you want to interpret well and confidently, set Christ before you, for He is the man to whom it all applies, every bit of it.” ― Martin Luther (AE 35:247) For Luther CHRIST IS ALL Incarnation Life and teaching of Christ Suffering of Christ Death Resurrection Ascension Return in glory
Jesus? LUKE 5:27–32 Read Luke 5:27–32. • What’s the one word message of Jesus? • What two words follow? • Is the grumblers’ description of Jesus accurate? • What do you make of Jesus’ response? • What do “Repent” and “Follow me” say about the Christian faith?
Creeds CHRIST IS CENTRAL • What is emphasized in the creeds? • The creeds are Scripture in summary. • The 2nd article is the most complete. • See • John 1:1–4, 16–18 • 2 Cor. 5:18–21 • Col. 1:11–20
Jesus? JOHN 1 • Read John 1:1–4. • Who is this? • What has He done and how is He described? • What does He possess? • Read John 1:16–18. • What have we received from Him? • What comes only through Jesus and none other? • How can mere mortals know God?
Jesus? 2 COR. 5:18–21 Read 2 Cor. 5:18–21. • How does this parallel the message of John 1? • What does “reconciliation” imply? • Who is Christ and what has He done? • What is the purpose of His work? • What is the result of our reconciliation?
Jesus? COL. 1:11–20 Read Col. 1:11–20. • Who is “doing the verbs” here? • What has God done? • By whom has God acted? • How is Christ described? • What is the culmination of His work?
WEEK TWO Jesus & Justification
Introduction Justified? • How do we use the language today? • Business, finance, courts … • Self-justification — an inherent trait — includes claims based on status, purpose, and morality • What happens when something is “unjustified”? • Being justified demands answers: By whom? In what matter? On what basis?
Budget JUSTIFICATION • Each item identified in the budget should have an explanation • What will the item be needed for? • Make sure you articulate specific equipment you want to acquire • Specify the identified uses of contracted services
Justification Justification is everyday language because people seek legitimacy. But, it is also vital for biblical understanding, striking the heart of the relationship between God and humanity. (Jargon alert!) How can I justify my life to God? How is any human being justified in God’s judgment?
Centrality Justification “is the central and most important teaching of the Christian faith.” • Read John 3:16 and Rom. 3:21–25a. • What do these passages have in common? • Note that when we speak about justification, as a teaching, we are talking about our relationship with God — and how salvation takes place.
Justified By Faith
Centrality Justification is the article of faith “on which the church stands or falls.” • Read 1 Cor. 1:22–24. What is preached? • Read 1 Cor. 2:2. Why is this Paul’s determination? • See also Luke 2:11; Eph. 2:4-7; 2 Tim. 1:8–9. • Justification is no more and no less than the message that salvation for the world comes through Christ — so it is a gift received by faith.
Justification WITHOUT THE TERM Read Luke 7:36–50. • Outline the story. • What disturbs Simon? • What brings the woman to Jesus? • What do you think she had heard about him? • What does Jesus say to Simon … and to her? • How/why/on what basis is this sinful woman justified before Jesus?
Outline OF KEY REFORMATION EVENTS Timeline • 1517 – 95 Theses protesting indulgences • 1519 – Luther debates authority in the church • 1520 – Luther is told to recant (3 works) • 1521 – Diet of Worms, excommunication • 1522 – Anabaptists; New Testament published • 1525 – The Bondage of the Will; Tyndale • 1529 – Luther’s Catechisms & Marburg Colloquy • 1530 – Torgau Articles and Augsburg Confession
Justification AND THE REFORMATION The Augsburg Confession (1530) • Result of reactions to Luther’s writing • Written to restore unity • Declares the catholicity (universality) of the Lutheran confessors – in the mainstream • Denies the heresies charged against the Lutheran confessors • Lists the abuses the confessors are correcting
Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for Christ’s sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight. Rom. 3 and 4. Augsburg Confession, IV of Justification
Definition (THEOLOGICAL) • Justification denotes a verdict: “not guilty” • Read Rom. 3:21–25a. What two key truths appear? • Justification and forgiveness (pardon) overlap • Justification is typically used of individuals • Read Rom. 4:2–8. “We first want to show that faith alone makes a righteous person out of an unrighteous one, that is, it alone receives the forgiveness of sins.” Ap IV, 72
The Nature OF JUSTIFICATION What happens when the sinner is justified? God doesn’t count his sins against him, but gives the sinner credit for Christ’s righteousness. • Read Phil. 3:8–9. What makes everything else look like rubbish? • “Our righteousness before God consists in this, that God forgives us our sins by sheer grace. . . and reckons to us the righteousness of Christ’s obedience and that, because of this righteousness, we are accepted by God into grace and regarded as righteous. FC Ep III, 4
The Nature OF JUSTIFICATION (continued) What happens when the sinner is justified? • Justification means all our sins are forgiven. • Luke 7:47–48 — the woman’s many sins are all forgiven! • Only the Trinity — the true God — justifies. • Note who is doing everything for sinners in 1 Cor. 6:9–11.
WEEK THREE Jesus & Justification
Setting THE STAGE Read Rom. 3:9–26. • In a world of good guys and bad guys, why does Paul (quoting Psalm 14) say that “no one is righteous”? • What is the only true source of righteousness? • How does it become ours?
The Need FOR JUSTIFICATION Adam’s sin is “imputed” (jargon!) to all and Christ’s righteousness is also imputed to all. • What does Ps. 51:5 tell us? • How about Rom. 5:12–15? • Why is it helpful to think of Christ as the “second Adam”?
The Need FOR JUSTIFICATION (continued) • As poor sinners we are all condemned. • Read Gal. 3:10. What’s the standard for human sinlessness? • Rom. 6:23 simply states the dilemma for sinners, and our only hope. • Only Christ propitiates (jargon!). • Read 1 John 4:10; Heb. 9:22. Luther: “He who does not know he has a propitious Father does not know God.”
The Basis OF JUSTIFICATION • God’s grace in Christ is justification’s only source. • John 1:16-17 and Eph. 1:7 • God’s “justifying grace” is His undeserved love, which gave His Son to be our Savior. • Rom. 3:24 and Titus 2:11 • God’s grace is universal — for all the world. • 1 Tim. 2:4
The Basis FOR JUSTIFICATION (continued) • Justification is based on Christ’s obedience. • 1 Peter 2:21–24 • Christ’s death provided sacrificial atonement. • Is. 53:5–7 • Christ’s perfect obedience propitiated God’s wrath. • John 1:29 and 1 John 2:2
The Universal FINISHED RESULTS OF CHRIST’S WORK OF OBEDIENCE • All the world is redeemed, forgiven and reconciled because of Christ’s death and resurrection. • 2 Cor. 5:18–19 and Rom. 5:19 • God’s wrath is stilled; Satan (all evil) is defeated. • 1 Thess. 1:10 and Col. 2:14–15 • In Christ, righteousness and forgiveness are won and sinners are reckoned as righteousness. • Heb. 10:12
Further DEFINITION (JARGON!) • So objective [general] justification is forgiveness Christ won for all (2 Cor. 5:19–21). • His work is an objective reality — salvation and forgiveness for the world is accomplished, independent of any other human action or merit. • And subjective [individual] justification is this same forgiveness as it is received through faith by individuals (Gal. 2:16; Titus 3:3–7). • The individual “subject” is justified, born again.
Justification FROM TWO STANDPOINTS From God toward humanity (objective): God is just, yet He is also gracious. He has declared the forgiveness of sins for all the world, for the sake of Christ. This is the Gospel truth! (Objective factuality, believed or not.) From humanity toward God (subjective): Gifts may be given and not received. Promises may be made and not believed. But God’s promise is received by those who believe.
WEEK FOUR Jesus & Justification
Setting THE STAGE Read Rom. 4:16–5:2. • What does Abraham illustrate? • How do promise and faith relate? • Who alone makes promises that are always true?
Another LOOK AT ABRAHAM & FAITH Read James 2:14–26. • What does Abraham illustrate for James? • How do faith and works relate? • Who alone makes promises that are always true? • How does faith respond when God speaks?
Faith: THE APPROPRIATION OF CHRIST’S RIGHTEOUSNESS Justification’s essentials are • God’s grace • Christ’s merit • Faith The only essential and necessary elements of justification are the grace of God, the merit of Christ, and the faith that receives this grace and merit in the gospel’s promise, through which Christ’s righteousness is reckoned to us. From this we obtain the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, our adoption as children, and the inheritance of eternal life. FC SD III, 25
Faith: THE APPROPRIATION OF CHRIST’S RIGHTEOUSNESS (cont.) • Justifying faith is faith in Christ. • Phil. 3:8–10 • Righteousness is imputed to individuals. • Acts 10:43 and Rom. 5:1–2 • Individuals can be justified only through faith. • John 1:12 and Gal. 3:22 • Faith comes by hearing ... The Word of Christ. • Rom. 10:17