This post will be the last and the most difficult post for me in this series on personal reflections in my walk with Christ.
Justification is an issue that I personally have troubles with. What is the theological definition of justification:
a forensic term, opposed to condemnation. As regards its nature, it is the judicial act of God, by which he pardons all the sins of those who believe in Christ, and accounts, accepts, and treats them as righteous in the eye of the law, i.e., as conformed to all its demands. In addition to the pardon (q.v.) of sin, justification declares that all the claims of the law are satisfied in respect of the justified. It is the act of a judge and not of a sovereign. The law is not relaxed or set aside, but is declared to be fulfilled in the strictest sense; and so the person justified is declared to be entitled to all the advantages and rewards arising from perfect obedience to the law (Rom. 5:1-10). It proceeds on the imputing or crediting to the believer by God himself of the perfect righteousness, active and passive, of his Representative and Surety, Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:3-9).
Pasted from <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/justification>
We are told that Jesus had to come down from heaven and die on the cross so that our sins would be forgiven. This is one of those things that I just have to take as a “leap of faith” as I just can’t fully grasp it. Yes, I have thoroughly studied all the rationale on how God needs to justify us. (As a matter of fact in my next post I am going to look at how the various sects of Christianity look at justification. They are by no means the same. The basic principle is God had to have some sacrifice in order to look past our sins. He did this by taking on human form and coming to earth to live a sinless life and to be wrongly persecuted and murdered on the cross and then to be resurrected. This may sound sacrilegious to some but my human mind just can’t get wrapped around this idea! If God is totally sovereign, which I know he is, why was it necessary for him to do this to himself? Why couldn’t he just declare us heaven worthy instead of limiting himself to this option? Getting yourself killed so sinners could accepted in heaven is confusing to me??
By saying this am I saying that I think it was unnecessary for God to come among us in the human form of Jesus Christ? Absolutely not! Just look at the Old Testament history to get an understanding of how miserably we humans were at living a Godly life. God’s chosen nation, who is a primary subject of the Old Testament, again and again rejected him and seemed to be more interested in their traditions than in seeking God’s will. God had sent them prophet after prophet to try and set them right and it did no good! So as the next act of agape love God decided to come down in the form of Jesus Christ to teach us how to love one another and show us how to lead a God pleasing life. Unfortunately even this act has been rejected to this day by of his “chosen” people. By coming to us in human form and living among us Jesus gave us direct revelation in his own words and more importantly by his daily actions. Jesus not only died for our sins but he taught us how to live!
As I mentioned in a previous post three things I pray daily to Jesus for:
- To love him more dearly
- To understand him more clearly
- To follow him more nearly
(Day by Day – Godspell )
Without the red letters in the Bible this would be much more difficult to do!!
After Jesus left he came back in the form of the Holy Spirit who is still constantly with us and around us. I sometimes think that we Christians don’t do much homage to the Holy Spirit himself and to his mission but that is future post I guess. So, this accounts for our belief in the Trinity. I am fully on board with this.
Am I saying that justification was unnecessary? No, I am not; I am just saying that I personally can’t fully grasp the meaning of it. I certainly don’t pretend to have a full understanding of God so I just take it as a “leap of faith” that it was necessary. After all, Jesus even said so in the red letters so I will accept it without fully understanding it. I don’t think it is wrong to truthfully admit that one does not understand something biblical. But, I’m sure some do think that.
But I do believe that it was totally necessary for Jesus to come among us in order to teach us how to truly love God and to show the same in his daily life. All glory and honor go to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Next time I will get back to the usual topics of this blog. Thanks for putting up with me while I vented some of my personal conflicts about my walk with Christ.
2 thoughts on “Justification?…”
Your concerns about justification are quite “justified,” IMHO. Whereas the Reformation taught that we are justified by grace through faith, many today seem to believe that we are justified by faith in Jesus’ works (his “perfect righteousness, active and passive”).
But just as Jesus says nothing during his ministry about dying to “win forgiveness for us” or “pay a penalty for sin,” I’m not sure how much of his ministry is about “teaching us how to live.” The miracles of Jesus which dominate the Gospels neither forgive sins nor show how to lead a God pleasing life; instead, they “give gifts to men” (Eph. 4:8). It’s not about us living a certain way; it’s about God creating life a certain way, and us believing it.
Thanks for the comment Michael. The miracles of Jesus being the dominant theme of the Gospels is an interesting idea but one I don’t happen to share. I believe the miracles to be very secondary to the overall message of forgiveness and life’s lessons taught. But, that is one of the blessings from the Bible. That we can take away different messages depending on where we are in our particular life. Thanks for your feelings on this topic. I value them to broaden my scope of what it means to people as to being a follower of Jesus Christ.