Justification without works

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Dr. Walter, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    Apr 28, 2010
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    The issue between justification by works versus by faith is dealt with by Paul in a very technical manner in Romans 3:24-5:2 but in the issue of the Law of Moses as opposed to works is specifically dealth with in Romans 3:27-28.

    27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
    28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

    There are several particulars that must be noted in this very technical and efficient treatise by Paul.

    1. There is a question - "Where is boasting then?

    This question has to do with the immediate preceding verses (vv. 23-26) where the problem and the provision for that problem is provided by God through the Person and work of Jesus Christ. The problem is found in verse 23. The provision is found in verses 24-26. In this provision there is absolutely nothing provided by the sinner to resolve the problem. Indeed the text begins with "freely by grace." The only part that involves the sinner in this provision is their faith and the only part their faith plays in this provision is in its OBJECT:

    "through faith IN his blood,"
    "believeth IN Jesus."

    Hence, their faith plays no part, provides no provision but simply acts as a receiver of that provision by placing their faith IN the provision. In direct contrast "faithfulness" is what you do for God but justifying faith is receiving what God did for you through the shed "blood" and Person of "Jesus."

    Therefore, If God provides everthing in Christ without your help then the question that natural and directly follows is "Where is boasting then?"

    2. Paul introduces the use of the term "law" in verse 27 that has nothing to do with the Law of Moses or any other statutary human or divine law.

    He introduces it in the sense of a PRINCIPLE in regard to his further developed question. The question is "where is boasting then?" and then the question is further developed to ask what "Law" or PRINCIPLE would provide boasting and what "Law" or PRINCIPLE would exclude boasting.

    By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

    Paul does not use the plural "Laws" but the singular "law" asking by what PRINCIPLE would include or exclude boasting.

    3. Paul directly asks which PRINCIPLE would exclude boasting "works" or "faith" .

    Those contrasting options are characterized by two words placed in opposition to each other:

    1. The principle of WORKS
    2. The principle of FAITH

    These words characterize two opposing PRINCIPLES for justification. Hence, the question is which PRINCIPLE of justification excludes boasting. Does the PRINCIPLE of justification by FAITH exclude boasting or does the PRINCIPLE of justification by WORKS exclude boasting?

    Which PRINCIPLE excludes boasting (1) Works; (2) Faith

    4. Paul does not leave this question without an answer but provides the answer:

    of works? Nay: but by the law of faith

    Hence, Paul addresses the issue by defining the underlying PRINCIPLE that characterizes the two CONTRASTING ways for justification. He reduces all possible ways down to fit under one of two contrasting PRINCIPLES. You are either justified by the PRINCIPLE of works or you are justified by the PRINCIPLE of Faith and they are in placed in opposition to each other and therefore ruling out any syngerism of the two.

    5. Hence, you are either justified by the principle of FAITH ALONE or you are justified by the principle of WORKS ALONE:

    The principle of FAITH ALONE not only denies one can be justified by the law of Moses but denies any law that operates by the principle of works can be described as justification by faith.

    Romans 3:24-26 is justification "freely by grace" "through faith in his blood" believing "in Jesus" and therefore it is justification by the PRINCIPLE of faith without works:

    Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

    6. Therefore, by this PRINCIPLE of justification the ground is made level for both Jews and Gentiles under One God because the law of Moses is by PRINCIPLE justification by works:

    29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
    30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

    Note the repitition of "faith" in verse 30 "by faith" and "through faith" for both Jews and Gentiles.

    7. Justification by faith without works does not invalidate the Law of God whether written upon stones (Rom. 2:12-13) or upon the conscience of man (Rom. 2:14-15) but is the ONLY WAY TO validate it

    Paul is now taking the reader back to Romans 3:23-26 and the words and particularly the words in verse 26:

    26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

    All men have already failed by the principle of works (v. 23). Jesus Christ alone has satisfied the righteous demands of God (vv. 24-26). Hence, there can be no satisfication/validation of God's law of righteousness apart from Christ for any sinner. Only through faith in Christ's provision is the Law validated and God is made "Just" and the "Justifyer" of all who believe "in Jesus" as that satisfaction is imputed or placed to their account by faith thus fulfilling the Laws requirements fully. Therefore, that provision by Christ enabled God to be "Just" in justifying the ungodly on the basis of imputation through faith in imputing Christ's propitiation to the believer by faith and thus "the justifier of him" without violating His own righteous standard as Christ acted in behalf of the believing sinner and the believer received it "freely by grace."

    8. Now, the same question "where is boasting then" is applied to Abraham:

    1 ΒΆ What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
    2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

    The word "glory" represents the very exact same word translated "boasting" in Romans 3:27. Since the prinicple of justification by "works" provides boasting, Paul proceeds in a very systematic way to prove that Abraham was justified "WITHOUT WORKS" of any kind coming from His person but was justified by the works coming from the Person of Christ through IMPUTATION.

    5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

    1. Justified by faith without works by grace (imputation by faith) - vv. 3-5
    2. Remision of sins without divine ordinances - vv. 6-12
    3. Justified by the principle of faith not by the principle of law - vv. 13-15
    4. Justified by faith without any kind of personal performance - vv. 16-21
    5. Justified by faith as a completed action at the point of faith in the gospel - 4:22-5:2

    CONCLUSION: Every gospel of justification by the priniciple of "works" is "another gospel" (Gal. 1:8-9), a false gospel, as the very essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the doctrine of justification. Only justification by the principle of "faith" without works excludes all boasting by men. Only the doctrine of justification correctly declares all men have already come short of God's standard of righteousness and Christ alone has satisifed and provided all that is necessary to justify sinners.
  2. billwald

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    Jun 28, 2000
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    One problem with Christianity is that we use many words that mean almost the same thing. One other is that we spend so much time looking for things that God can't do? Another is that I don't know what "in" means. It is a word that seems to change meaning within one sentence.

    You saying that God can't regenerate a person unless the person chronologically first "believes in" Jesus?
  3. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    Apr 28, 2010
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    My post has nothing to do with the order between regeneration and justification but exlusively with justification and whether it is by works or by faith.

    When the word "faith" or "believe" precedes the prepositional phrase beginning with "in" it is quite obvious the object of the preposition is the object of the word "faith" or "believe" that precedes the preposition.

    I think you are simply trying to change the subject because you cannot deal with clear exegetical evidence that obliterates the doctrine of justification by works.

    Deal with the evidence instead of trying to change the subject.

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