What Is Justification By Faith – Spiritual Reading.
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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