Friday, December 25, 2009

Brian Schwertley: Justification deals with how sinners can have fellowship with an absolutely holy God

Brian Schwertley explains the fundamental questions regarding justification:

The doctrine of justification deals with the question of how God, who is absolutely holy (Ex. 15:11; Lev. 11:44; Ps. 22:3; Isa. 6:3; 1 Pet. 1:15; Rev. 4:8) and who demands ethical perfection in His creatures, can allow men who are guilty of breaking His law into His presence and fellowship. Two problems must be resolved before men who are guilty can have eternal life with God. First, the penalty due for sin must be paid in full. God’s nature and law requires satisfaction for all disobedience. Second, God requires of all men a perfect obedience.


In order for men who are sinners to have eternal life, the guilt and penalty of sin must be removed and men must have a perfect record of obeying God’s law. Thus, justification contains two elements: one negative and the other positive. Simply put, the negative element deals with the removal of guilt and the penalty due for sin, while the positive element provides a perfect righteousness. These elements are the ground, or foundation, of justification. They are what enable God to be just while at the same time the justifier of sinners (Rom. 3:26). These grounds of justification are both provided for in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Brian Schwertley, Justification by Faith)

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