All who believe in Jesus Christ are justified before God. But what does that mean? The traditional doctrine of justification can be summarized: “Believers are declared to be righteous before God based on the imputation of Christ’s active obedience.”
Now, if you are searching for what verse says that, you won’t find it. There is no single verse that spells out every detail of this great doctrine. However, that does not mean it is absent altogether. In Brian Vicker’s excellent book, Jesus’ Blood and Righteousness: Paul’s Theology of Imputation, he admits that no one passage includes every piece of the puzzle. He states however, that when we synthesize each of the major texts on the subject, as well as take into consideration broad biblical-theological themes, we see that the traditional doctrine is taught. Continue reading The Traditional Doctrine of Justification: Putting Together the Pieces of the Puzzle
“[Jesus] was delivered over for our transgressions, and was raised for our justification.” (Romans 4:25)
Our focus will be on the second half. We shall determine which action causes the other. Meaning, did Jesus’ resurrection cause our justification? or did our justification cause Jesus’ resurrection?
You see, some may take “He was raised for our justification,” to mean that Jesus’ resurrection played a role in justifying us. For example, the NLT interprets it “…raised to life to make us right with God,” or the ISV also, “…raised to life to justify us.”
That may seem like the correct interpretation at first glance. However, let us examine four reasons why I believe the text means that our justification was the cause of His resurrection, rather than the other way around. Continue reading Resurrection and Our Justification in Romans 4:25
I recently had the opportunity to preach at The Open Door Mission in Rochester, NY. My text was Romans 3:21-26. This passage is close to my heart, highly evangelistic, and one which many theologians and commentators see as one of the most important passages in the Bible.
Being that my message had more of a gospel call bend, I did not get too deep into every issue in the passage. However, no matter what passage I preach, or who my audience is, I like to take a thorough look into all aspects of the passage. Therefore, in order that my time and energy into deeper stuff does not go to waste, I offer one study here and another in a later post. This study is not in commentary form, nor does it touch on every possible trajectory and issue in the passage. Rather, this study is a summary and elaboration of D. A. Carson’s contribution to the excellent book, The Glory of the Atonement edited by Charles E. Hill and Frank A. James III. There, Carson discusses 10 debated exegetical issues within this passage. Eight shall be discussed here, the two others he discusses in that chapter concern the passage’s relation to preceding and following contexts, into which we will not venture now. Continue reading Exegeting Romans 3:21-26 with D. A. Carson