Objections to Real Justification

Justification is a real thing in the Bible. The authors truly believe a person can be made righteous, not just in standing, or in God’s mind, but actually made to be righteous people who do righteous things.

Modern definitions of justification usually talk about accounting terms and God moving you from the Unrighteous column to the Righteous column in His ledger book. God doesn’t see you; He only sees Christ. Christ’s works have been credited to your account. Christ kept the law for you.

All these sorts of definitions of justification, imputation, or being accounted righteous, are inventions based on hundreds of years of redefining terms to match underlying theological points.

If you tell people that you think Justification actually means that God makes us righteous not just in standing but in actual behavior, you will receive opposition.

You will be charged with teaching:

Perfectionism
Legalism
Replacing the Yoke of Bondage or Salvation By Law-Keeping
Loss of Salvation

I will address these criticisms in the coming days. I have been charged with all of them. I know the arguments and I have examined them.

Justification is real. The only way you would ever get the idea that justification is not real, is if you listen to people more than God’s Word.

God’s Word clearly teaches that justification results in a righteous life. If there is no righteous life; there is no grounds for claiming you’ve been justified.

This is scary ground. I understand people’s reservations about it, and why there has been so much effort to downplay this doctrine.

But people are going to hell while believing a false gospel. This is no trivial matter.

Whether you agree with me or not, you should at least examine the issue very carefully as your eternity depends on whether you’ve been justified or not. It seems like you’d want to slow down and get this one right.

Please think on it very carefully.

3 thoughts on “Objections to Real Justification”

  1. The classic definition I’ve heard for justification is “Just as if I’d never sinned”. When I left my previous church 5 years ago, I was told that “Protestant” churches (non-Catholic, non-Lutheran) taught a false gospel and I might believe false doctrine and go to hell. Thank you for this series, including the upcoming ones. It would be wonderful to let go of the fear and burden of my eternal destiny.

  2. “Just as if I’d never sinned” is a common cheesy way of remembering the word. It’s fine so far as it goes. The problem is that it stops where it does.

    This definition makes justification a past deal, deals with sin of the past. Whereas biblical justification, or at least justification as I’ve seen it in the Bible, talks about an ongoing life of righteousness. That’s the part people leave out and why Martin Luther and many others wanted to chuck the Book of James from the Bible.

    Justification is more than just what God did to our past sin; it’s about being made righteous, so that a righteous life might ensue. That cheesy definition makes it about the past; the Bible makes it about the past, present, and on into the eternal future. It also tends to make it all about Jesus Christ and my life is unseen and unimportant and completely inconsequential, so might as well go sin since God makes it as if I never did! And that is where justification in the past 500 years goes off the rails.

  3. Justification is real. The only way you would ever get the idea that justification is not real, is if you listen to people more than God’s Word.

    I suspect it’s far easier for us to “listen to people” and their theological interpretations of scripture, allowing us to more or less justify ourselves, than it is to listen to what God’s Word actually says and see what God means by justification.

    God is preparing a new creation where righteousness dwells and His intention is to create a people fit to dwell in it.

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