How Are Men Justified – Works Or Atonement – Spiritual Reading

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How Are Men Justified – Works Or Atonement – Spiritual Reading.



In general there are two opposing views of justification: one that men are justified by their own works, i.e., on the ground of something which they do themselves. This view may be variously expressed.


The good works that men speak of as a ground of their justification may be their good moral conduct, or their keeping the Golden Rule, or something of that sort. Or they may be works of religion, such as doing penance, saying prayers, joining the church, going to church, being baptised, or partaking of the Lord’s Supper, or the performance of some other religious duties.


But these all amount to the same thing: it is something that we ourselves do that brings justification, some works of our own, some works that we do, are taken as the ground of our justification.


The other view of justification is that we are justified, not by our own works in any sense, but entirely by the work of another, i.e., by the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary, that our own works have nothing to do with our justification, but that we are justified entirely by Christ’s finished and complete work of atonement, by His death for us on the Cross, and that all that we have to do with our justification is merely to appropriate it to ourselves by simply trusting in Him who made the atonement. Which is the correct view? We shall go directly to the Bible for the answer to this all-important question.


1. The first part of the answer we will find in:


Rom. 3:20, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for through the law cometh the knowledge of sin.” It is here very plainly stated that we are not justified by keeping the law of God, either the Mosaic law or any other law, and that the law is given, not to bring us justification, but to bring us a knowledge of sin, i.e., to bring us to the realisation of [our need of justification by grace. It is plainly stated here that no man is justified by works of the law.


The same great truth is found in Gal. 2:16: “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, save through faith in Jesus Christ, even we believed on Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” 


Justification by any works of our own is an impossibility. It is an impossibility because to be justified by works of the law, or by anything we can do, we must perfectly keep the law of God. The law demands perfect obedience as a ground of justification. It says, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them.” (Gal. 3:10.).


But not one of us has perfectly kept the law of God, and the moment we break the law of God at any point, justification by works becomes an absolute impossibility. So as far as the law of God is concerned, every one of us is “under the curse,” and if we are justified at all we must find some other way of justification than by keeping the law of God.


God did not give man the law with the expectation or intention that he would keep it and be justified thereby. He gave them the law to produce conviction of sin, to stop men’s mouths, and to lead them to Christ.


Or, as Paul puts it in Rom. 3:19, 20, “Now ye know that what things soever the law saith, it speaketh to them that are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God: because by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for through the law cometh the knowledge of sin.” 


As plain as these words of God are, strangely enough there are many to-day who are preaching the law as a way of salvation. But when they so preach they are preaching another way of salvation than that laid down in God’s own word.


2. The second part of the answer to the question as to how we are justified we find in:


 Rom. 3:24. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” The word translated “freely” in this passage means, as a free gift, and the verse tells us that men are justified as a free gift by God’s grace (i.e., God’s unmerited favour) through (i.e., on the ground of) the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.


In other words, justification is not on the ground of any desert there is in us, not on the ground of anything that we have done, we are not justified by our own doing nor by our own character. Justification is a free gift that God bestows absolutely without pay. The channel through which this free gift is bestowed is the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. We shall see later that this means through the purchase price that Christ paid for our redemption, i.e., the shedding of His blood on the cross of Calvary.


3. This leads us to the third part of the answer to the question, how men are justified. We find this third part of the answer in:


Rom. 5:9, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” 


Here we are told in so many words that we are justified, or counted righteous “by,” or more literally, “in,” Christ’s blood, i.e., on the ground of Christ’s propitiatory death. We were all under the curse of the broken law of God, for we had all broken it, but by dying in our stead on the cross of Calvary our Lord Jesus “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us; for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” (Gal. 3:13.)


Or, as Peter puts it in 1 Pet. 2:24, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body upon the tree.” Or as Paul puts it again in 2 Cor. 5:21, “Him who knew no sin he (God) made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 


We shall have occasion to come back to this passage later. All that I wish you to notice in it at this time is that it is on the ground of Jesus Christ becoming a substitute for us, on the ground of His taking the place we deserved; on the cross, that we are reckoned righteous. The one and only ground of justification is the shed blood of Jesus Christ. 


Of course, this doctrine is entirely different from the teaching of Christian Science, and entirely different from the teaching of much that is called New Theology, and entirely different from the teaching of New Thought and Theosophy, and entirely different from the teaching of Unitarianism, but it is the teaching of the Word of God.


We find this same teaching clearly given by the prophet Isaiah seven hundred years before our Lord was born, in Isaiah 53:6, where he says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid(literally, made to strike) on him (i.e., on the Lord Jesus) the iniquity of us all.” 


Get this point clearly settled in your mind, that the sole but all-sufficient ground upon which men are justified before God is the shed blood of Jesus Christ, offered by Jesus Christ as an atonement for our sins and accepted by God the Father as an all-sufficient atonement.


4. The fourth part of the answer to the question how men are justified we find in:


Rom. 3:26, “For the showing, I say, of his (i.e., God’s) righteousness at this present season: that he (i.e., God) might himself be just, and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus.” Here we are taught that men are justified on the condition of faith in Jesus.


If possible, Rom. 4:5 makes this even more plain, “But to him that worketh not but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness.” Here the Holy Spirit, speaking through the Apostle Paul, tells us that to those who believe in Jesus their faith is counted for righteousness. In other words, faith makes ours the shed blood which is the ground of justification, and we are justified when we believe.


All men are potentially justified by the death of Christ on the cross, but believers are actually justified by appropriating to themselves what there is of justifying value in the shed blood of Christ by simple faith in Him. In other words, the shed blood of Christ is the sole and all-sufficient ground of justification: simple faith in Jesus Christ who shed the blood is the sole condition of justification. 


God asks nothing else of the sinner than that he should believe on His Son, Jesus Christ, and when he does thus believe he is justified. When we believe we are justified, whether we have any works to offer or not; or, as Paul puts it in Rom. 3:28, “We reckon therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law.” 


Or, as it is put in the verse already quoted, Rom. 4:5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness.” A man is justified entirely apart from works of the law, i.e., he is justified on condition that he believes on Jesus Christ, even though he has no works to offer as the ground upon which to claim justification.


When we cease to work for justification and simply “believe on Him who justifieth the ungodly,” that faith is reckoned to us for righteousness, and therefore we are counted righteous. The question then is not, have you any works to offer, but do you believe on Him who justifies the ungodly.


Works have nothing to do with justification except to hinder it when we trust in them. The blood of Jesus Christ secures it, faith in Jesus Christ appropriates it. We are justified not by our works, but by His work. We are justified upon the simple and single ground of His shed blood and upon the simple and single condition of our faith in Him Who shed the blood.


So great is the pride of the natural heart that it is exceedingly difficult to hold men to this doctrine of justification by faith alone apart from works of law. We are constantly seeking to bring in our works somewhere.


5. But we have not as yet completely answered the question of how men are justified:


There is another side to the truth and if our doctrine of justification is to be complete and well-balanced, we must look at that other side. You will find part of this other side in Rom. 10:8, 10, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved; for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” 


God here tells us that the faith that appropriates justification is a faith with the heart, i.e., a faith that is not a mere notion, or opinion, but a faith that leads to action along the line of that faith, and it is therefore a faith that leads to open confession with the mouth, of Jesus as our Lord.


If some one has some kind of faith, or what he calls faith, that does not lead him to an open confession of Christ, he has a faith that does not justify; for it is not a faith with the heart. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself tells us that heart faith leads to open confession; for He says in Matt.12:34, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” 


Faith in Jesus Christ in the heart leads inevitably to a confession of Jesus as Lord with the mouth, and if you are not confessing Jesus as your Lord with your mouth you have not justifying faith and you are not justified.


6. The rest of the other side of the truth about being justified by faith, you will find in:


Jas. 2:14, 18-24, R. V. “What doth it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith but have not works? Can that faith save him?” 


We see here that a faith that a man merely says he has, but that does not lead to works along the line of that which he claims to believe, cannot justify, but to go on, verses 18-24, “Yea, a man will say, thou hast faith, and I have works, show me thy faith apart from thy works, and I by my works will show thee my faith. Thou believest that God is one; thou doest well: the devils also believe and shudder. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son, upon the altar? Thou seest that faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect (i.e., in the works to which Abraham’s faith led, faith had its perfect manifestation); and the scripture was fulfilled which saith, and Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God. Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith.” 


Some see in these words a contradiction between the teaching of James and the teaching of Paul, but there is no contradiction whatever. But James here teaches us an important truth, namely, that the faith that one says he has, but which does not manifest itself in action along the line of the faith professed, will not justify.


The faith that justifies is real faith that leads to action accordant with the truth we profess to believe. It is true that we are justified simply upon faith apart from the works of the law, but it must be a real faith, otherwise it does not justify. As some one has put it, “We are justified by faith without works, but we are not justified by a faith that is without works.”


The faith which God sees and upon which He justifies, leads inevitably to works which men can see. God saw the faith of Abraham the moment Abraham believed, and before there was any opportunity to work, and counted that faith to Abraham for righteousness. But the faith that God saw was a real faith and led Abraham to works that all could see, and these works proved the reality of his faith. The proof to us of the faith is the works, and we know that he that does not work has not justifying faith.


We must not lose sight on the one side of the truth which Paul emphasises against legalism, namely, that we are justified on the single and simple condition of a real faith in Christ; but on the other side we must not lose sight of the truth which James emphasises against antinomianism, namely, that it is only a real faith that proves its genuineness by works, that justifies.


To the legalist who is seeking to do something to merit justification we must say, “Stop working and believe on Him that justifieth the ungodly” (Rom. 4:5). To the antinomian, i.e., to the one who thinks he can live a lawless, careless, unseparated, sinful life and still be justified, the one who boasts that he has faith and is justified by it, but who does not show his faith by his works, we must say, “What doth it profit, if a man say he have faith, but have not works? Can that faith save him?” (Jas. 2:14, R. V.) We are justified by faith alone, but we are not justified by a faith that is alone, but a faith that is accompanied by works.


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.



Tikva



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The first thing for us to understand clearly is what justification is. It is at this point that many go astray in their study of this great truth. There are two fundamentally different definitions of the meaning of the words “justify” and “justification.” The one definition of Justify is, to make righteous, and of Justification, the being made righteous.


The other definition of “justify” is, to reckon, declare, or show to be righteous, and of “justification,” the being declared or reckoned righteous. On these two different definitions two different schools of thought depart from one another.


Which is the true definition? The way to settle the meaning of any word in the Bible is by an examination of all the passages in which that word and its derivatives is found. If any one will go through the Bible, the Old Testament and the New, and carefully study all the passages in which the word “justify” and its derivatives is found, he will discover that beyond a question, in Biblical usage, to “justify” means, not to make righteous, but to reckon righteousness, declare righteous, or show to be righteous.


A man is justified before God when God reckons him righteous. This appears, for example, in the fourth chapter of Romans, 2nd to 8th verses, R. V. “For if Abraham was justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not toward God. For what saith the scripture? And Abraham believed God and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned as of grace, but as of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness even as David also pronounced blessing upon the man unto whom God reckoneth righteousness apart from works, saying, blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered, blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not reckon sin.” 


It is plain from this passage, as from many other passages, that a man is justified when God reckons him righteous, no matter what his principles of character and of conduct may have been. We shall see later that justification means more than mere forgiveness.


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.



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To what extent is a man who believes in the Lord Jesus justified? This question is very plainly answered and wonderfully answered, and gloriously answered in Acts 13:38, 39, “Be it known unto you therefore, brethren, that through this man is proclaimed unto you remission of sins: and by him every one that believeth is justified from all things, from which he could not be justified by the law of Moses.” 


These words very plainly declare to us that every believer in Jesus Christ is justified “from all things.” In other words, the old account against the believer is all wiped out. No matter how bad and how black the account is, the moment a man believes in Jesus Christ, the account is wiped out. God has absolutely nothing which He reckons against the one who believes in Jesus Christ. Even though he is still a very imperfect believer, a very young man and immature Christian, he is perfectly justified.


As Paul puts it in Rom. 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.” Or, as he puts it further down in the chapter, verses 33, 34, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth; who is he that shall condemn? It is Christ Jesus that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” 


If the vilest murderer or sinner of any kind on earth should come in here this morning and right here now, hearing the gospel of God’s grace, should believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, put confidence in Him as his Saviour, and accept Him as such, surrendering to Him and confessing Him as His Lord, the moment he did it every sin he ever committed would be blotted out and his record would be as white in God’s sight as that of the purest angel in heaven.


God has absolutely nothing that He reckons against the believer in Jesus Christ. But even that is not all. Paul goes even beyond this in 2 Cor. 5:21, “He who knew no sin he (God) made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” Here we are explicitly told that the believer in Jesus Christ is made the righteousness of God in Christ.


In Phil. 3:9, R. V. we are told that when one is in Christ he has a righteousness not of his own, but a “righteousness which is of God upon faith.” In other words, there is an absolute interchange of positions between Christ and the justified believer. Christ took our place, the place of the curse on the cross (Gal. 3:13).


He was “made to be sin on our behalf” (2 Cor. 5:21). God reckoned Him a sinner and dealt with Him as a sinner, so that in the sinner’s place, as He died, He cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” And when we are justified we step into His place, the place of perfect acceptance before God, or to use the exact words of Scripture, we “Become the righteousness of God in him.” 


To be justified is more than to be forgiven! Forgiveness is negative, the putting away of sin; Justification is positive, the reckoning of positive and perfect righteousness to the one justified. Jesus Christ is so united to the believer in Him that God reckons our sins to Him. The believer, on the other hand, is so united to Christ that God reckons His righteousness to us.


God sees us, not as we are in ourselves, but as we are in Him and reckons us as righteous as He is. When Christ’s work in us is completed we shall be in actual fact what we are already in God’s [reckoning, but the moment one believes, as far as God’s reckoning is concerned, he is as absolutely perfect as he ever shall be.


Our present standing before God is absolutely perfect, though our present state may be very imperfect. To use again the familiar couplet:”Near, so very near to God,Nearer I cannot be;For in the person of His Son,I am just as near as He.Dear, so very dear to God,Dearer I cannot be;For in the person of His Son,I am just as dear as He.”


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.



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The Time Of Justification:


When is a believer justified? This question is answered plainly in one of our texts, Acts 13:39, “And by him every one that believeth is justified from all things, from which he could not be justified by the law of Moses.” What I wish you to notice particularly now in this verse is the word Is, “Everyone that believeth is justified from all things.” This answers plainly the question as to when a believer is justified.


In Christ Jesus every [believer in Him is justified from all things the moment he believes. The moment a man believes in Jesus Christ that moment he becomes united to Christ, and that moment God reckons the righteousness of God to him.


I repeat again, if the vilest murderer or sinner of any kind in the world should come into this room this morning while I am preaching and should here and now believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the moment that he did it, not only would every sin he ever committed be blotted out, but all the perfect righteousness of God in Christ would be put to his account, and his standing before God would be as perfect as it will be when he has been in heaven ten million years.


Let me repeat to you again the incident I told you one Sunday night some weeks ago. I was preaching one Sunday morning in the Moody church in Chicago on Rom. 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus,” and in the course of my preaching I said, “If the vilest woman there is in Chicago should come into the Chicago Avenue church this morning, and should here and now accept Jesus Christ as her Saviour, the moment she did it every sin she ever committed would be blotted out and her record would be as white in God’s sight as that of the purest woman in the room.”


Unknown to me, one of the members of my congregation that very morning had gone down into a low den of iniquity near the river and had invited a woman who was an outcast to come and hear me preach. The woman replied, “I never go to church. Church is not for the likes of me. I would not be welcome at the church if I did go.”


The woman who was a saint replied, “You would be welcome at our church,” which, thank God, was true. But, “No,” the woman urged, “it would not do for me to go to church, church is not for the likes of me.” But the woman who was a saint urged the woman who was a sinner to go. She offered to accompany her to the church, but the other said, “No, that would never do.


The policemen know me and the boys on the street know me and sometimes throw stones at me, and if they saw you going up the street with me they would think you such as I am.” But the woman who was a saint had the Spirit of the Master and said, “I don’t care what they think of me. If you will accompany me to hear Mr. Torrey preach I will go along with you.”


The other woman refused. But the saved woman was so insistent that the woman who was an outcast finally said, “If you will go up the street a few steps ahead I will follow you up the street.” So up La Salle Avenue they came, the woman who was a saint a few steps ahead and the woman who was a sinner a few steps behind. Block after block they came until they reached the corner of La Salle and Chicago Avenues.


The woman who was a saint entered the tower door at the corner, went up the steps, entered the church, and the woman who was a sinner followed her. On reaching the door the woman who was a sinner looked in, saw a vacant seat under the gallery in the very last row at the back, and slipped into it, and scarcely had she taken the seat when I made the remark that I just quoted, “If the vilest woman there is in Chicago should come into the Chicago Avenue church this morning and should here and now accept Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour, the moment she did it every sin she ever committed would be blotted out and her record would be as white in God’s sight as that of the purest woman in the room.”


My words went floating down over the audience and dropped into the heart of the woman who was a sinner. She believed it, she believed that Jesus died for her, she believed that by the shedding of His blood she could be saved, she believed, and found pardon and peace and justification then and there.


And when the meeting was over she came up the aisle to the front as I stepped down from the pulpit, tears streaming down her face, and thanked me for the blessing that she had received.


And I repeat it here this morning, not knowing who may be here, not knowing what may be the secret life of any one of you who is here, not knowing what may be the sins that may be hidden in your heart, if the vilest man or woman on earth should come into the Church of the Open Door this morning and should here and now put their trust in Jesus Christ, the moment you did it every sin you ever committed would be blotted out and in an instant your record would be as white in God’s sight, not only as that of the purest woman in the room, but as that of the purest angel in heaven, and not only that, but all the perfect righteousness of God that clothed our Lord Jesus Christ would be put to your account and you would be just as near and just as dear to God as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is. That is the doctrine of justification by faith. Wondrous doctrine! Glorious doctrine!


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.



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What Is this faith concerning which it is said, “By grace are ye saved, through faith?” There are many descriptions of faith; but almost all the definitions I have met with have made me understand it less than I did before I saw them. The Negro said, when he read the chapter, that he would confound it; and it is very likely that he did so, though he meant to expound it.


We may explain faith till nobody understands it. I hope I shall not be guilty of that fault. Faith is the simplest of all things, and perhaps because of its simplicity it is the more difficult to explain.



What is faith? It is made up of three things–knowledge, belief, and trust. Knowledge comes first. “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” I want to be informed of a fact before I can possibly believe it. “Faith cometh by hearing”; we must first hear, in order that we may know what is to be believed. “They that know thy name shall put their trust in thee.”


A measure of knowledge is essential to faith; hence the importance of getting knowledge. “Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live.” Such was the word of the ancient prophet, and it is the word of the gospel still. Search the Scriptures and learn what the Holy Spirit teacheth concerning Christ and His salvation. Seek to know God: “For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”


May the Holy Spirit give you the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord! Know the gospel: know what the good news is, how it talks of free forgiveness, and of change of heart, of adoption into the family of God, and of countless other blessings. Know especially Christ Jesus the Son of God, the Saviour of men, united to us by His human nature, and yet one with God; and thus able to act as Mediator between God and man, able to lay His hand upon both, and to be the connecting link between the sinner and the Judge of all the earth.


Endeavour to know more and more of Christ Jesus. Endeavour especially to know the doctrine of the sacrifice of Christ; for the point upon which saving faith mainly fixes itself is this–“God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” Know that Jesus was “made a curse for us, as it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” Drink deep of the doctrine of the substitutionary work of Christ; for therein lies the sweetest possible comfort to the guilty sons of men, since the Lord “made him to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Faith begins with knowledge.



The mind goes on to believe that these things are true. The soul believes that God is, and that He hears the cries of sincere hearts; that the gospel is from God; that justification by faith is the grand truth which God hath revealed in these last days by His Spirit more clearly than before. Then the heart believes that Jesus is verily and in truth our God and Saviour, the Redeemer of men, the Prophet, Priest, and King of His people.


All this is accepted as sure truth, not to be called in question. I pray that you may at once come to this. Get firmly to believe that “the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s dear Son, cleanseth us from all sin”; that His sacrifice is complete and fully accepted of God on man’s behalf, so that he that believeth on Jesus is not condemned. Believe these truths as you believe any other statements; for the difference between common faith and saving faith lies mainly in the subjects upon which it is exercised.


Believe the witness of God just as you believe the testimony of your own father or friend. “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater.” So far you have made an advance toward faith; only one more ingredient is needed to complete it, which is trust. Commit yourself to the merciful God; rest your hope on the gracious gospel; trust your soul on the dying and living Saviour; wash away your sins in the atoning blood; accept His perfect righteousness, and all is well.


Trust is the lifeblood of faith; there is no saving faith without it. The Puritans were accustomed to explain faith by the word “recumbency.” It meant leaning upon a thing. Lean with all your weight upon Christ. It would be a better illustration still if I said, fall at full length, and lie on the Rock of Ages. Cast yourself upon Jesus; rest in Him; commit yourself to Him. That done, you have exercised saving faith.


Faith is not a blind thing; for faith begins with knowledge. It is not a speculative thing; for faith believes facts of which it is sure. It is not an unpractical, dreamy thing; for faith trusts, and stakes its destiny upon the truth of revelation. That is one way of describing what faith is.
Let me try again. Faith is believing that Christ is what He is said to be, and that He will do what He has promised to do, and then to expect this of Him.


The Scriptures speak of Jesus Christ as being God, God is human flesh; as being perfect in His character; as being made of a sin-offering on our behalf; as bearing our sins in His own body on the tree. The Scripture speaks of Him as having finished transgression, made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness.


The sacred records further tell us that He “rose again from the dead,” that He “ever liveth to make intercession for us,” that He has gone up into the glory, and has taken possession of Heaven on the behalf of His people, and that He will shortly come again “to judge the world in righteousness, and his people with equity.” We are most firmly to believe that it is even so; for this is the testimony of God the Father when He said, “This is my beloved Son; hear ye him.”


This also is testified by God the Holy Spirit; for the Spirit has borne witness to Christ, both in the inspired Word and by divers miracles, and by His working in the hearts of men. We are to believe this testimony to be true.
Faith also believes that Christ will do what He has promised; that since He has promised to cast out none that come to Him, it is certain that He will not cast us out if we come to Him.


Faith believes that since Jesus said, “The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life, it must be true; and if we get this living Water from Christ it will abide in us, and will well up within us in streams of holy life. Whatever Christ has promised to do He will do, and we must believe this, so as to look for pardon, justification, preservation, and eternal glory from His hands, according as He has promised them to believers in Him.


Then comes the next necessary step. Jesus is what He is said to be, Jesus will do what He says He will do; therefore we must each one trust Him, saying, “He will be to me what He says He is, and He will do to me what He has promised to do; I leave myself in the hands of Him who is appointed to save, that He may save me. I rest upon His promise that He will do even as He has said.” This is a saving faith, and he that hath it hath everlasting life.


Whatever his dangers and difficulties, whatever his darkness and depression, whatever his infirmities and sins, he that believeth thus on Christ Jesus is not condemned, and shall never come into condemnation.
May that explanation be of some service! I trust it may be used by the Spirit of God to direct my reader into immediate peace. “Be not afraid; only believe.” Trust, and be at rest.



My fear is lest the reader should rest content with understanding what is to be done, and yet never do it. Better the poorest real faith actually at work, than the best ideal of it left in the region of speculation. The great matter is to believe on the Lord Jesus at once. Never mind distinctions and definitions. A hungry man eats though he does not understand the composition of his food, the anatomy of his mouth, or the process of digestion: he lives because he eats.


Another far more clever person understands thoroughly the science of nutrition; but if he does not eat he will die, with all his knowledge. There are, no doubt, many at this hour in Hell who understood the doctrine of faith, but did not believe. On the other hand, not one who has trusted in the Lord Jesus has ever been cast out, though he may never have been able intelligently to define his faith. Oh dear reader, receive the Lord Jesus into your soul, and you shall live forever! “He that believeth in Him hath everlasting life.”


Excerpt From – All of Grace By Charles Haddon Spurgeon.



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When Does Sanctification And Being Set Apart Take Place – Spiritual Reading

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When Does Sanctification And Being Set Apart Take Place – Spiritual Reading.



We now come to the question about which there has been the most discussion, the most differences of opinion, the most controversy. When does sanctification take place? If we will go to our Bibles to get the answer to the question there need be no difference of opinion. There are three parts to the answer.


1. The first part of the answer is found in:


 I Cor. 1:2, “Unto the Church of God, which is at Corinth, even them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, [their Lord and ours.” 


Here the Holy Spirit speaking through the Apostle Paul, plainly declares that all the members of the church of God are already sanctified in Christ Jesus. Sanctification in this sense is not something that we are to look for in the future, it is something that has already taken place. The moment any one becomes a member of the Church of God by simple faith in Christ Jesus, for all who have faith in Christ Jesus are members of the Church of God, that moment that person is sanctified.


Every saved man and woman in this building this morning, every one who has living faith in Jesus Christ, is sanctified. Our sanctification is involved in our salvation. But in what sense are we, that is, all believers, already sanctified? The answer to this question is found in a passage of Scripture to which we have already referred, Heb. 10:10, 14, “By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. . . . For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” 


The meaning is plain. By the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all on the Cross of Calvary as a perfect atonement for sin, every believer is cleansed forever from the guilt of sin. We are “perfected forever” as far as our standing before God is concerned, and are set apart for God. The sacrifice of Christ does not need to be repeated as were the Jewish sacrifices (V. I).


The work is done once for all, sin is put away, and forever put away (Heb. 9:26; cf. Gal. 3:13), and we are set apart forever as God’s peculiar and eternal possession. If any one asks you if you are sanctified; if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, i.e., if you have a living faith, in Jesus Christ, you have a right to say, “I am.” Every believer in Christ is a saint, a saint not in the sense in which that word is oftentimes used in modern usage, but in the Bible sense, as being set apart for God and belonging to God and being God’s peculiar property.


But there is another sense in which every believer may be fully sanctified to-day. This is found in Rom. 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.” 


In this passage we see that it is the believer’s present and blessed privilege, and important and solemn duty, to present his body to God a living sacrifice—not some part or parts of the body, but the whole body with its every member and every faculty. And when we do thus present our whole body to God a living sacrifice, then we are wholly sanctified. 


Such an offering is well-pleasing to God. As God in the Old Testament showed His pleasure in the offering by sending down fire to take it to Himself, so when the whole body is thus offered to God, God will send down fire again, the fire of the Holy Ghost, and take to Himself what is thus presented. The moment a believer does thus present himself a living sacrifice to God, then, so far as his will, the governing purpose of his life, the very centre of his being, is concerned, he is wholly God’s, or “perfectly sanctified.”


He may still, and will still, daily discover, as he studies the Word of God and is illumined by the Holy Spirit, acts of his, habits of life, forms of feeling, speech and action, that are not in conformity with this central purpose of his will, and these must be confessed to God as blameworthy and put away, and this department of his being and life brought, by God’s Spirit and the indwelling Christ, into conformity with God’s will as revealed in His Word.


The victory in this newly discovered and unclaimed territory may be instantaneous. For example, I may discover in myself an irritability of temper that is manifestly displeasing to God. I can go to God, confess it, renounce it and then instantly, not by my own strength, but by looking to Jesus and claiming His patience and gentleness, overcome it and never have another failure in that direction. And so it is with every other sin and weakness in my life that I am brought to see is displeasing to God.


2. But this is not the whole answer to the question of when we are sanctified. The second part of the answer is found in: 


I Thess. 3:12, “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we also do towards you.” And the 4th chapter of this same epistle, the 1st and 10th verses, “Finally then, brethren, we beseech you and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, even as ye do walk, that ye abound more and more. . . . For indeed ye do it toward all the brethren that are in all Macedonia. But we exhort you, brethren, that ye abound more and more.” 


And in II Pet. 3:18, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 


And II Cor.3:18, R. V.“But we all, with unveiled face reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, and even as from the Lord the Spirit.” 


And in Eph. 4:15, 16, “But speaking truth in love, may grow up in all things unto him, who is the head, even Christ; from whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth, according to the working in due measure of each several part, maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love.” 


From these passages we see that there is a progressive work of Sanctification, an increasing in love, an abounding more and more in a godly walk and in pleasing God, a growing in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, a being transformed into the image of our Lord from glory unto glory, each new gaze at Him making us more like Him; a growing up into Christ in all things, until we attain unto a full-grown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Here we see there is a progressive work of Sanctification.


3. But we have not found the whole answer to the question of when Men are Sanctified, even yet. We find the remainder of the answer to the question in our text:


 1 Thess. 5:23 accurately translated as it is in the Revised Version, “And the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 


Here we are plainly told that the complete sanctification of believers, complete in the fullest sense, is something to be sought for in prayer and that is to be accomplished by God in the future and perfected at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


The same thought is found in this same book, the 3rd chapter and 12th and 13th verses, “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you, to the end that he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with his saints.” 


It is “at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints” that He is to establish our hearts un-blamable in holiness before our God and Father and that our spirit and soul and body are to be preserved entire without blame. The same thought is found in IJohn 3:2, “Beloved, now are we children of God, it is not yet made manifest what we shall be. We know that, if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” 


It is not in the life that now is, and it is not at death, that we are entirely sanctified, spirit, soul, and body. It is at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is one of the many reasons why the well-instructed believer constantly cries, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Come quickly.”


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.



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