Justified freely

Romans 3:23-24  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

The redemption that is in Christ Jesus, unfolds towards man in different stages, to those who first trusted in Christ, the body of Christ, Eph 1:11-12, and then all things in heaven and on earth, Eph 1:10, 1Ti 4:9&10. There is different doctrinal beliefs in today’s Christian world concerning salvation and being justified by grace. In order to understand what it means to be justified, the word itself should be defined, and then we will see what the scriptures themselves have to say about being justified. The following definition of the Greek word translated into the English word justified is from a Online Bible Greek Lexicon.

1344 δικαιοω dikaioo dik-ah-yo’-o

from 1342; TDNT-2:211,168; {See TDNT 192 } v

AV-justify 37, be freed 1, be righteous 1, justifier 1; 40

1) to render righteous or such he ought to be
2) to show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered
3) to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be

The primary definition of render, from a online dictionary is “to cause (someone or something) to be in a specified condition”. That specified condition is righteousness. Since we are justified and saved by grace, Ro 3:24, Eph 2:8, it would profit us to read two sets of scriptures that specify how the justification process by grace takes place. But before we do that a simple analogy might help in understanding the roles faith and grace play in salvation. Faith is the vehicle that transports us to our salvation, 1 Pe 1:5, and grace is the gasoline that powers the vehicle and does the work in justifying the ungodly man.

Titus 2:11-12 KJVS
[11] For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, [12] Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Titus 3:4-7 KJVS
[4] But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, [5] Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; [6] Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; [7] That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Both sets of scriptures describe in a large part how we are justified by grace. It is God working within our hearts, purifying our heart by faith with the abundant washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Ghost, that is instrumental in helping to justify us. In conjunction with God working on us externally, judging and correcting our errant behaviors. More on this a little later on. Many Christian denominations view justification as positional, but I also see the scriptures describing it as a process. Since the end target of being justified by grace is righteousness, Ro 3:21-24, then how can justification be simply “positional”. A scripture that makes this apparent is Gal 5:5.

Galatians 5:5 KJVS
[5] For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

If being justified is positional and based solely on believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, then there would be no reason to have to wait through the Spirit for the hope of righteousness by faith. Now don’t misunderstand me, being justified can only take place by being in Christ Jesus, so in that regard it is positional. But justification is a process a believer goes through to render him righteous.

Ga 2:16  Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

The following two sets of verses put faith and belief in the proper perspective in regards to salvation.
Romans 1:16-17 KJVS
[16] For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. [17] For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
1 Peter 1:5 KJVS
[5] Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

I urge you all, in your study of scripture, to look at the definitions of the various Greek prepositions used in many scriptures describing being justified, salvation and the role grace plays in salvation. Let us look at a definition for the Greek preposition, G1519, that is translated into the English word “unto” in the KJV bible version in the above verses.

Thayer’s Definition
1. into, unto, to, towards, for, among

Many Christians are confused, I know I was in times past, about differentiating between the works of the law and grace. To understand the difference between works of the law and grace, in regards to being justified, and how it impacts the body of Christ, one has to examine the scriptures and see what they say concerning the law and what they say concerning grace and justification by grace. First, one should keep in mind, that when the Apostles mentioned the law and grace, they were often contrasting the two ways of life a individual would seek to be justified before God. A scripture that demonstrates this is in Acts.

Acts 13:39-41  And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
40  Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;
41  Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.

The work that is being worked, is God’s work in justifying the ungodly man throughout his life, using His Spirit in the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, and chastising and disciplining a man, Titus 3:5, 2:11-12, He 12:5-8, 1 Co 11:31&32. The element of time is often and easily overlooked when reading these scriptures. Largely due to the fact that the Aorist verb tense in the Greek is most often translated to the past tense. When in fact, Aorist is said to mean without horizon, this verb tense is explained more fully by experts more qualified than I, in a upcoming article on this site. In the before mentioned Ga 2:16 verse, when it states that a man is not justified by the works of the law, one should keep in mind that the law was a way of life, that a person who lived under the law, observed their whole life, Ro 7:1. If one sinned, then he had to offer a sacrifice. So attempting to be justified under the law was very much so, a way of life, revolving around animal sacrifice. A fruitless way of life, in that the inner nature of the man observing the law was never really changed, Heb 9:10, Ro 8:3. Never the less, a Jew was bound to observe and live under the law. When we are called to Christ we are justified by, or throughout a life of faith, Ga 3:24. When a man works not, Ro 4:5 , and believes that God justifies the ungodly, through His grace, then his faith in God is counted for righteousness, Ro 4:3. The Greek word and definition for the word counted or accredited for righteousness in Ro 4:3.

“G3049  logizomai  log-id’-zom-ahee

middle voice from G3056;

to take an inventory, i.e. estimate (literally or figuratively).

Might this in fact be similar to making payments on a item placed in a layaway plan? Every time a payment is made, it is counted or accredited towards the item that is being purchased. Once the total balance is paid, then the item in layaway is given to you. So to, believing throughout your life that God justifies the ungodly, that belief is counted, inventoried or accredited towards righteousness until the redemption of the purchased possession, Eph 1:14.  Now remember, it is written that we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith, Ga 5:5. Even though a man’s faith is counted for or towards righteousness in God’s eyes, because the man believes God, and takes Him at His word. That does not mean that work is not being done throughout the man’s entire life, justifying him. Only the work that is being done, is done by God rather than by the man himself. And the work God is doing in a man’s life, is due to His grace, that changes a man to the point where the man is righteous in God’s eyes. This fact is crucial in understanding justification, Ro 10:3. The end result of the body of Christ being justified, is righteousness and to be found in Christ at the first resurrection, Php 3:10.  The man is not doing the work himself, but GOD IS! Much could be written about this subject and many scriptures cited but every once and awhile you stumble across a statement that so aptly and simply describes a certain thing, that it sticks in your mind. I often go to a local used book store because they have quite a number of used bibles and bible study resources at a very modest price. I bought a Catholic bible called The New American Bible for a few dollars. I bought it because it was a study bible with many footnotes. In some areas of doctrine, Roman Catholic theologians are quite good. In a footnote explaining Romans 3:26, this is written. “Divine mercy declares the guilty innocent and makes them so.”  That short description captures the essence of justification. God does in fact, by His grace, justify the ungodly. Let us see another one of the ways this is done.

Tit 2:11-12 ¶  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

One aspect of the grace of God, is that through grace, we are being taught/disciplined/chastised. The Strong’s definition of the Greek word that is translated “teaching” in this verse is as follows:

_____Strongs_____

G3811  paideuo  pahee-dyoo’-o

from G3816;

to train up a child, i.e. educate, or (by implication), discipline (by punishment).

KJV: chasten(-ise), instruct, learn, teach.

This same Greek word is used in Hebrews 12:6 & 7 as the English word “chasteneth”. It is important to understand the distinctions Apostle Paul was making between a man, by his own effort, being justified or trying to be justified by works of the law, in contrast to God justifying a man through His grace. First off, Paul makes it clear that no flesh can be justified by the deeds of the law and that by the law comes the knowledge of sin:

Ro 3:20  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Furthermore the flesh is too weak to observe the law and that is why God sent His son as a sacrifice to redeem us from the law and to condemn sin in the flesh, Ro 8:3. But all this does not somehow happen by magic, instantaneously, due to grace because we believe. God Himself is the one justifying us, and He does it freely, using His grace during our lives. Which teaches us and chastises us, Titus 2:12, He 12:6-11, on the one hand and then being washed in the regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, on the other hand, Titus 3:5. But notice, God is freely doing this work in our lives. Another aspect misunderstood by many is the word freely, and what it implies. Let’s take a look at that verse in Romans:

Ro 3:24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

You have to go to a couple verses later in Romans to understand what is being said in the previous verse, in context with the point Paul is making.

Ro 4:4-5  Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

God wants a person to realize that He is the one that is justifying the ungodly man. Man, oh how he loves the work of his own hands. So much so at times it borders on idolatry. But God wants to make it clear, that none of our work entitles us or deserves the wage of salvation. God is freely justifying us by His grace, working in our lives, to make us capable for our inheritance, Col 1:12, Titus 3:7. God is doing the work. Have you ever heard the old saying, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Well, that is what God is doing. God is going to mature each and every one of us. God is building the house with Jesus Christ, Heb 3:4&6, Ps 127:1. The sacrifice of Jesus redeemed us from the law, Ga 3:13, and now God is freely justifying us by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Jesus is the one who paid the price to redeem us from the law and reconcile us to God, and God is the one who does the work in justifying and sanctifying us, using His Spirit.

1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

We are God’s workmanship in Christ Jesus, Eph 2:10. A scripture that demonstrates this explicitly is Php 2:12-13, the latter part of verse 13 should read ” both to will and to work his good pleasure”.

Php 2:12 ¶ Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

In Hebrews the 10th chapter, God Himself states what it is He is doing in the new covenant:

Heb 10:16-17  This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
17  And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

God is going to put His laws into our hearts and in our minds. Justification takes place in our hearts because the heart is what motivates our behavior, Mk 7:21&22. That is why Apostle Peter stated that our hearts are purified by faith, Ac 15:9. God sent Jesus to bless us by turning us away from our iniquities,  Ac 3:26. God alone does the work in justifying the ungodly man freely by grace, and that grace is only available through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. In the book of Galatians, Paul uses a metaphor, that if you examine closely and in conjunction with what I have just wrote, is quite illuminating.

Ga 3:24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

The meaning for the Greek word translated as “schoolmaster” in the Authorized Version, means a slave whose duty was to escort a child to school. This slave had little or no part in educating the child.  Neither does the law, but when we are called to be in the body of Christ, we are in school. God’s school. Where He uses His word and His Spirit to discipline us and teach us and purity our hearts. All growth, all knowledge gained, all fruit of the Spirit, are all acquired through experience. It can’t be imprinted on us or imputed. You learn from a teacher or from books and even learn from the school of hard knocks. A school which I attended for many years and still sign up for a course every now and again. But you only learn through some form of experiencing. So that is why Paul was so concerned with the Galatian church observing the law. Because man’s effort to justify himself, by his own work, his own effort, frustrates the grace of God, and the Spirit of God.

Ga 2:20-21  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
21  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Ga 3:3  Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

13 thoughts on “Justified freely

  1. Bobbi

    Well Luke, I have to say we are justified as soon as we believe.
    Rom. 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
    21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
    22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
    23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
    24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
    25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
    This is our justification.
    Ephesians. 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
    As soon as we believe we are justified and sealed, and…

    Col. 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
    This is why you cannot lose your salvation!

    The process of God working in us I think is the process of sanctification or glorification.
    Rom. 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    I just know for myself as far as “works” go…
    Rom. 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
    An awesome OT passage is Mic. 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
    When I think of how good God is and holy it’s just better to walk in the Spirit and let God’s words “effectually” work in us. If it’s not of the Spirit, it’s not good.

    Sorry this was so long. Thank you 🙂

  2. Luke Wagner Post author

    I have of course struggled when writing this article, when I read some of the verses you cited. But I also see verses that point to justification as a ongoing process. Why does it say that we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith? If we are already righteous due to our belief/faith in Jesus Christ? I struggle with sin just as did Paul.

    Romans 7:16-18 KJVS
    [16] If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. [17] Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. [18] For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

    Sin is unrighteousness.

    1 John 1:8-10 KJVS
    [8] If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [9] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [10] If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    Righteousness is the end goal of justification is it not? I thought we were justified simply by our belief/faith in Jesus Christ. Being pragmatic I look at it this way. If we are to rule and reign with Jesus Christ for a thousand years, then our patterns of behavior has to be changed by God. His laws have to be written on our hearts and minds. Otherwise we would have the same mess that we see in the world today. So when does that happen? We can walk around feeling like we are righteous and equal to the that task until that sin that so easily besets us, trips us up, He 12:1. If we are righteous the minute we believe and are also justified by grace, Ro 3:24, then why is it necessary for God to chastise us? Remember we are justified by grace, and grace teaches/disciplines/chastises us, Titus 2:11&12. We have to follow the Spirit in order for the righteousness of the law be fulfilled in us, Ro 8:4. I did not write these scriptures. I use to enjoy woodworking until my neck became too unstable to do it anymore. I made the bed I sleep in, tables and end tables. A red oak hutch with glass doors. Just as mortise and tendon and dovetail joints have to be precise and fit together to form a whole furniture piece. The same is true with scripture. Some of the verses you cited have given me pause in the past. I have struggled with them when I wrote the article a couple years ago. Some of the verse you took out of context like Col 1:13.

    Colossians 1:21-23 KJVS
    [21] And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled [22] In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: [23] If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

    To be honest, after 4 years that this website has been up and running, you are the first reply I have had about this article. I think the reason is due to the fact that people know and have been taught they are justified by grace and in the article I point out a couple functions of grace they are unfamiliar with. One of which is God chastising those in the body of Christ.

    Hebrews 12:5-8,11 KJVS
    [5] And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: [6] For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. [7] If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? [8] But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. [11] Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

    So chastening yields what fruit? Fruit of righteousness. If the end goal of being justified is righteousness, and we are justified solely by believing in Jesus Christ. Why then does God see the need to chastise the sons he loves? If righteousness also comes about through the washing of regeneration of the Holy Ghost, which plays a part in being justified, Titus 3:4-7. Then the same question can be asked. I think the lack thereof of these aspects of grace working in many of the readers lives, cause them to discount out of hand, what I write in the article. Largely because it goes against the religious indoctrination they have been subjected to. And they don’t see these aspects of grace at work in their lives. Is that because many are called and few chosen? I certainly agree with you that salvation is certain for the chosen. I read in a article that there are over 14,000 different denominations, sects and splinter group fellowships in the United States alone. Why do you think that is? I think it is due to the leadership of all these divisions. have the desire to make merchandise of the people, 2 Pe 2:1-3. The apostasy of the church of God started a long time ago. In short the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Why does a good deal of modern Christianity dwell in the law?

    Hebrews 7:5,11-12 KJVS
    [5] And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: [11] If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? [12] For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

    Because the tithe is a part of the law. Nowhere in the epistles does the word tithe appear except in the seventh chapter of the book of Hebrews. Do you suppose then, that modern Christianity is about filling the pews in order to bring in more money? You know bless God and He will return a hundred fold.

    You know how we are blessed in the NT?

    Acts 3:25-26 KJVS
    [25] Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. [26] Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

    By God raising up His Son and sending him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. In shirt the mystery of God, Col 1:27. How does the cross do that? By justifying and sanctifying us. I hope you continue reading the articles. you will not agree with some of what is in them, but I dare say you will learn things your church does not nor will not teach you. Understanding the Aorist verb tense in the Koine Greek helps. Aorist means without horizon. The translators usually translate it to the past tense.

    1 Corinthians 6:11 KJVS
    [11] And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

  3. Bobbi

    Luke,
    Here’s how I understand this. It was a huge thing for me to get. Poor Holy Spirit… he’s suffered to teach me surely enough. Though he is mighty and does teach us! Praise the Lord!
    I read a book by Keith Blades called “Satan and his plan of evil.” It is an accounting all the way through scripture as to how his plan of evil was implemented… and also how God’s battle was as well. One thing that really struck me was that if we are not God’s people, we are captive of the enemy. There it is.
    So when we are saved… Rom. 4:3-8 we are immediately justified, and baptized into Christ 1 Cor. 12:13. This transfers you from the power of the enemy, to the kingdom of God in Christ. And we are sealed 2 Cor.1:22, Ephesians. 1:13.

    The reason we don’t “feel” righteous is because we still have the flesh which is our old nature, so thus we still sin and will until we are redeemed and out of this body of flesh…

    Rom. 7 is excellent to explain the battle between the flesh and the Spirit. Gal. 5:17Also gets into that.

    But here is our patience…Rom. 1:17, Gal. 3:11. The just (justified) shall live by faith. We trust God that he has done what he said he would. The working of him inside us is our sanctification…1 Thess. 5:23,24.
    We just trust in the Saviour! Like our brother Paul said…
    Philippians 3:8-14. This is a key passage. It’s awesome really because we stay humble before God, knowing we still have sin issues, and we sorrow for those but we yield to God.

    It would help you I think to keep all your doctrine in Paul’s epistles. He does say in Phil. 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

    But we walk in Grace and not by the scripture for Israel the doctrine is very crucial point. Look at the emphasis on doctrine in the Pauline Epistles… This is the Risen Christ Jesus, word for this dispensation.
    Rom. 6:17, 16:27, Eph. 4:14, 1 Tim. 1:3,10, 4:6, 13, 16, 5:17, 6:1, 3, 2 Tim. 3:10, 16, 4:2, 3, Tit. 1:9, 2:1, 7, 10.
    Christ through Paul said to teach no other doctrine.
    Have enjoyed your articles. Thank you for sharing.

    P. S. I have come out of church altogether. It’s just the Lord and me and the few brothers and sisters that I know, and all the rest I pray for.
    I study everyday and hope the Lord comes soon…:)

  4. Bobbi

    Also Luke,
    If you notice 1 Cor. 6:11…
    All things done are already done! Justified… sanctified! It’s awesome!

  5. Luke Wagner Post author

    Bobbi, the way I see it, justification and sanctification experiential. The can only be acquired through experience. I see justification largely concerned with the heart.
    Acts 15:8-11 KJVS
    [8] And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; [9] And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. [10] Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? [11] But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
    Hebrews 13:9 KJVS
    [9] Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
    Sanctification is the nullification of the sin nature within us through suffering.
    1 Peter 4:1-2,12-13 KJVS
    [1] Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; [2] That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. [12] Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: [13] But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
    In terms of Satan and evil in the world, I wrote a couple articles on that.
    http://www.justifiedfreely.com/?p=372
    http://www.justifiedfreely.com/?p=531
    But I will give you a teaser. In order for the body of Christ to be brought to maturity, evil needed to exist.
    Hebrews 5:14 ESV
    [14] But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

    Are there not two lamb goats used on the day of atonement? Who was the other lamb or kid goat, but the Azazel goat. The High Priest drew stones out of a bag to determine what goat or lamb would be the sin sacrifice and what one would be the scapegoat. Interesting symbolism.
    Romans 9:21-23 KJVS
    [21] Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? [22] What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: [23] And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

  6. Bobbi

    I do so agree with you on suffering, though it be hard.
    Wow, On the scapegoat thought.
    This verse…Acts 25:
    [8] And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; [9] And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. [10] Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? [11] But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
    …you quoted is true, but when does Peter say that Grace is coming for them?
    1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
    Peter is not writing to us. He is writing I believe for the time to come. He is writing to:
    1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
    These are the kingdom church. Acts 8:1, 4, 11:19
    James writes to them too.
    James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

  7. Bobbi

    The point I was trying to make could be easier said, as I don’t think I said it right.
    The Lord Jesus in his sinless perfection, was made to be sin for us. Our sin he took on himself when he was on the cross for us. Our old man is dead because of what he did.
    What he did is what justifies us. In God’s eyes in this age of Grace I think he sees only 2 peoples, justified through Jesus his Son and our Lord, and unjustified. Saved and unsaved. We trust that he did it all.
    There is no amount of work on us or in us that can compare to that.

  8. Luke Wagner Post author

    Romans 4:5 KJVS
    [5] But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    The point many miss is that God does the work of justifying the man or woman, by grace. Grace is not lasciviousness. It is not I can do anything I want because the cross did all the work. I like the way Catholic theologians describe being justified, God sees us innocent in Christ, then makes us so.
    Jude 1:4 KJVS
    [4] For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Romans 3:25 KJVS
    [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
    As a sin offering, God viewed Jesus’s death as our death for the payment of our sins.
    Romans 3:25 KJVS
    [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
    Remission of sins that are past!!! See also He 9:15. Once you are baptized into his death, you have a clean slate. All sin is unrighteousness. That is why we need to confess our sins. I say the Our Father every day for that reason. We sit in heavenly places in Christ. The accuser of the brethren, Rev 12:10, will then essentially force judgment on us if we persist in sin and not confess that sin at the throne of grace. Why is it called the throne of grace?
    Hebrews 4:12,15-16 KJVS
    [12] For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. [15] For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. [16] Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
    Only God can brings us to the place of obedience.
    Philippians 2:12-13 KJVS
    [12] Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. [13] For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

  9. Bobbi

    Now you lost me at Hebrews brother.

    Rom. 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
    18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
    19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
    20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
    21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
    22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
    23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
    24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
    25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

    Rom. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
    3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
    4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

    Watch these words…
    9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
    10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

    We are not judged the same anymore. If the Spirit of God lives in you, you are not in the flesh.

    31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
    32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
    33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
    34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
    35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
    36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
    37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
    38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
    39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Also… Rom. 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
    7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
    8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

    Grace works differently than at any other time.

  10. Bobbi

    Hebrews and Jude are not in the grace epistles. The doctrine is different.
    Rev. 12:10 is talking about tribulation saints. These are not the body of Christ brethren.

  11. Luke Wagner Post author

    Hebrews and Jude are part of what are called the General epistles. Then there are the Pauline epistles. There are no grace epistles. Grace is mentioned 7 times in the book of Hebrews, most noteworthy the throne of grace, He 4:16. The word grace appear ten times in 1 Peter. As I pointed out in the article Peter said this at the Jerusalem council.
    Acts 15:7-11 KJVS
    [7] And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. [8] And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; [9] And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. [10] Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? [11] But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved even as they.
    Bobbi, this two gospel doctrine of man floating around on the internet does not hold water.

  12. Bobbi

    I found it in scripture Luke. You might ask yourself will the Israel of God be saved at the same time and day as the body? And then Why?
    Based on Romans 9-11 what happened to Israel?
    Have you ever noticed the words in Paul’s epistles…
    Times past, But now, Ages to come…? These are time indicators of changing “ages”.

    Do you read the Bible literally?

  13. Luke Wagner Post author

    That is a tough question since there are two Israels. Israel of the promise seed and Israel of the flesh, Gal 4:21-26, Ro 9:6-11. All Israel will be saved when the Deliverer comes out of Zion, Ro 11:25&26. The identity of Israel in that verse is difficult to determine. Could and most likely be Israel of the flesh. But He 11:39&40 may be involved. Don’t quite know what the some better thing for us that God provided actually means. But children inherit the Kingdom but God’s people populate the Kingdom. If you remember John the Baptist was the greatest of all prophets but least in the Kingdom of God, Lk 7:28. A lot of wrinkles here to iron out
    Hebrews 11:39-40 KJVS
    [39] And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: [40] God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

    I have several Literal bibles at my finger tip. Young’s Concordance, Young’s Literal Bible, Concordant Literal New Testament, Rotherham Bible are all excellent. I use KJV with Strong’s Concordance because I think in KJV and can find verses easier when doing word searches for specific verses. I really like what the Concordant Literal New Testament did in regards to indicating verb tense. That offers some remarkable insight at times. Actually allowed me to realize that the offering up of Jesus’s body without spot to God, He 9:14 is a completed action that is indefinite in regards to time and includes me, as I am a member of his body. That makes your head to spin around thinking of it.

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