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October 31, 2020 12:01 am
As soon as we place our trust solely in Christ, His atonement is applied to our guilt and His perfect obedience is applied to our standing before God. Today, R.C. Sproul expounds on the heart of the gospel: the doctrine of justification by faith alone in Christ alone.
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Today on Renewing Your Mind.
There's only one gospel and necessary ingredient of that gospel is how the benefits of the objective work of Christ are subjectively appropriated, which is by faith and by faith alone.
That's why we say justification by faith alone is the central to the gospel.
On this day a little more than 500 years ago a monk named Martin Luther new department to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany, the paper contained 95 complaints against the Roman Catholic Church, Luther didn't know it at the time, but he was lighting a fire that still burns today.
The Protestant Reformation brought the biblical gospel back from obscuring his Dr. RC's if I want to say you what is the gospel, how would you answer that question. Here are some of the answers that I hear the gospel or the good news is that you can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ or the gospel is that God can give you purpose for your life or the gospel is God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life or things of that sort. Not one of those things remotely resembles the biblical concept of the gospel.
Now it is good news to hear that God loves me and it is good news to know that I can have purpose in my life and it is good news that I can have a personal relationship with Jesus but is not the biblical good news of a one daily the gospel in biblical categories. Dear friends, has an objective, definable content. If we go to the sermons that are recorded for us in the book of acts we are able to distinguish between what New Testament scholars call Coreg Ma and did RK the word Coreg not in Greek has to do with proclamation or preaching and in the strategy of the nascent church of the first century, the apostles were now and proclaimed charisma, they proclaim the gospel and then when people responded in faith to the gospel and were united to the body of Christ then they were subjected to did RK or the teaching of the full or doctrinal content of New Testament Christianity, but that Coreg Ma follows a definite pattern and includes within it a declaration or a message that focuses in the first instance upon the person and work of Jesus. The object of content of the one who is God incarnate born of the seed of the woman, according to the Old Testament prophecies of Scripture in the form of supply will live the life of perfect obedience who died on the cross as a substitute sacrificial satisfaction for our sins, who was raised from the grave for our justification and who was then elevated to the right hand of God the father in his session by which he was given the title of King of Kings and Lord of lords and invested as the King of the cosmos and also entered into heaven as our great high priest who intercedes for us daily and who will come again at the end to claim his people and establishes kingdom visibly. Those are the nonnegotiable elements objectively of the gospel but not the same as my testimony if I give you my testimony and I say I came to faith in Christ in my life was changed. That may be true, and it may or may not be relevant to you but it's not the gospel. The gospel is about Jesus, about who he is and about what he has done objectively and there is another element of the gospel. An indispensable element to the gospel and that has to do with this question.
How do the benefits that Christ accomplished in our stead become personally subjectively appropriated to us and the answer to that question. The New Testament gives is the answer of the doctrine of justification by faith alone. You recall when Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians and he was stupefied by the rapidity with which the Galatian Christians had moved away from the gospel. They have received and tried to embrace another gospel which is not another gospel because the apostle said there's only one gospel and they went on to say that if anybody even an angel from heaven, preaches any other gospel except that which you have received, let him be on a Tama, let him be accursed, let him be damned because the apostle emphasizes only one gospel and necessary ingredient to that gospel is how the benefits of the objective work of Christ are subjectively appropriated, which is by faith and by faith alone.
That's why we say justification by faith alone is essential to the gospel any so-called gospel that does not include the doctrine of justification by faith alone is not the gospel.
One of the problems created so much controversy in the Middle Ages about the doctrine of justification had to do with the linguistic problem actually the great Augustine who in every other respect taught all of the elements necessary for the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Nevertheless was working from the Latin text, not the Greek text.
He was one of the Latin fathers of the church, not the Greek fathers of the church and he looked at the Latin word for justification, which is the word used for coronary which in Latin literally means to make righteous and so working with the Latin. He assumed that when the New Testament talked about justification use of a car he was talking about sanctification. He was talking about God's making us righteous, whereas a Greek term because soon a means not to make righteous, but to regard as righteous to declare righteous to count as righteous.
You see the difference in the cataclysmic division of Christendom in the 16th century took place over that very difference because in the Roman Catholic doctrine of justification was set forth so clearly that the succession of the Council of Trent in the middle of the 16th century declares unambiguously that before God ever will declare a person just true righteousness must in hair within that person Latin is inheritance.
Now to get the point. God will never say you're just in less when he analyzes your moral condition. He sees that you are in fact righteous. Now, often Roman Catholic churches slandered by well-meaning Protestants and evangelicals, here's the way it usually set forth. We believe in justification by faith label ingested by works. We believe justification by grace vaguely justice by merit. We believe justification by Christ. They believe justification by your own self.
None Roman Catholic church has always clearly and emphatically argued that justification requires faith.
It requires grace and it requires Christ faith is necessary to perform three functions.
According to Trent, saving faith is the MNC on the fundamental and the products of justification. What does that mean it says faith is the initiation. It's the foundation it's the root of justification so that without faith you can't be justified.
But what's missing the little word alone because in the Roman view.
You can have faith and not be justified if you commit mortal sin, you lose the grace of justification, which is a necessary precondition, but fortunately you can be restored to a state of justifying grace through the sacrament of penance forces defined by the Roman Catholic Church as the second plank of justification. For those of made shipwreck of their soul so you start off you get the grace of baptism, you cooperate with that. Your sense of that process, justifying grace need that grace can make what I grace you need to. Faith can make without faith. But even when you have the faith and have the grace if you commit a mortal sin, you lose the grace of justification so you have to go through the sacrament of penance to be restored to a state of grace, and you stay in that state of grace unless or until you commit another mortal sin.
And even if you make it to the end without committing mortal send sensing the hell you die with any impurity on your soul. This is as recently as the Catholic catechism of a few years ago. If you die with any impurity on your soul. You don't go to heaven you go to purgatory.
The purging place where there in the fires you are refined and made pure until you have that inherent righteousness that is required to be justified.
To me that's the worst news I could ever hear.
If God tells me that I could never be justified until I'm inherently righteous I would sleep in tomorrow morning because I would abandon all hope, because I know of the ongoing sin that infects my soul.
But the good news is that while I'm still a sinner. The latest Christ died for me, but the moment I put my trust in him. His atonement is applied to my guilt in his life of perfect obedience is applied to my account. Paul labors this point in the fourth chapter of Romans. When he uses for his exhibit a the patriarch Abraham when he goes back to Genesis 15 what God promises Abraham a great nation. All those things that we read in Genesis 15. These words and Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness, and Paul labors appointment for a grandma never done any good deed before he was even circumcised before he performed any of the works of the law seven chapters before he was obedient when taking his son Isaac. The Madurai God pounded him just a moment that he believed this was what was behind Luther's famous formula similar justice that pack of tour caught and you don't know any other Latin yada get that one and memorize because it's the gospel in a nutshell symbol is Latin for at the same time we get the English works simultaneously symbol useless at the same time just for righteous act know that means it's the past tense of the verb to eat. The director like no you remember in the death scene in Julius Caesar, Brutus assassinates Caesar and the dying looks of rosettes is what at two brew tag, then fall Caesar and YouTube roots that just simply means and so here we go symbol useless at the same time just at packet door sooner peccadilloes.
A little sin.
Somebody is without sin or blemish, we say their impeccable and so Luther is saying here is the joy of the gospel is that while in and of myself, I remain a sinner. The minute I put my faith in Christ. His righteousness is transferred to my account so that Christ is my righteousness.
It's his righteousness that is the only ground of my justification the only righteousness that will ever save you is the righteousness of Jesus. That's the gospel is that there is a righteousness available to you. That is not Sharon is a righteousness of Martin Luther called an alien amused fit for them and alien righteousness a foreign righteousness, a righteousness that comes from somebody other then from me. It is a righteousness that again. Luther said yes extra notes apart from us outside of us the righteousness by which time the clear just is a righteousness with Jesus burned the Jesus merited in his perfect obedience. So it is the life of Christ with the death of Christ together and save us. Finally, the apostle says he lives as the new Adam to fulfill the terms of the law. He died as our substitute on the cross he was raised for our justification because of Jesus died on the cross and stayed in bed.
That would mean the father did not accept the sacrifice. People say was impossible for Jesus to be raised from the dead, the Scripture say was impossible for him not to be raised from the dead. It was impossible for death to hold him. You know the benediction reverted a thousand times.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you and give you is peace, no notice and that formula there is the word bless and by contrast, we have the biblical concept of the curse. And in the Mosaic law particularly in the book of Deuteronomy you remember what it says God says is people that if you keep my covenant, if you keep my commandments. If you obey my law than Blessed are you in the city. Blessed are you in the country. Blessed are you when you sit down.
Blessed are you when you stand up. Blessed are you in the kitchen.
Blessed are you in the family room blessing a literary blessing about bus are you on the plus. But if you break the law to sin against me and cursed shall you be in the country curse to truly be in the city cursor so you be when you sit down when you stand up in the kitchen, living room, cursive show you be everywhere with me. What is this language of blessing and curse.
We use the word blessing and a superficial way, something we say when you sneeze where you offer table gracious say the blessing, but to the Jew to be blessed of God was the highest possible felicity that any creature could enjoy and in that ironic benediction.
You see the manifestation of a literary form of the Jew that of parallelism.
So you have basically three stances that are saying exactly the same thing in each stanza. So if you want to get a clue as to how the Jew understood what it meant to be blessed.
You look at all 37 May the Lord bless you and keep you.
That's the second part of the first thing what corresponds to the bless. May the Lord make his face to shine to it that you wanted more than anything else was to come close to God the ultimate hope was to see his face. The face that was hidden face and was in the classroom. The face that was denied to Moses.
May the Lord bless you. May the Lord make his face shine. The radiance of the Shekinah glory to envelop you in his presence at the highest aspiration of a human person to see the unveiled glory of God. May the Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon and give you Sharon piece that passes understanding. That's what it means to be blessed the government. That's what is accomplished for us by Christ.
Christ in his perfect obedience wins the blessing for his people, so that every Christian who puts their trust in Jesus on that day will see God face-to-face will see him as he is in his unveiled glory, we will look at him and the radiance of his face will shine down upon us as he lifts up the line of discussed were going to go to heaven. There's not really some very famous stars Greg and removing arterial lamps.
Certainly candles because of the light of the glory of God and the Lamb will fill the new Jerusalem there will be no night there nothing but sheer blessedness. The contrast on the cross is communicated in the same metaphor may the Lord curse in the band.
May the Lord turn his back upon you and hide himself from may the Lord turn off the light of his countenance and leave you in her darkness and give you his wrath.
That's what the cross is about that in our justification. Jesus and his death receives the full measure of the curse. And in his life of perfect obedience. He gives the full measure of divine blessedness to all who put their trust to, but in both cases the cross and glory rests upon the principle of imputation, Christ died for me because my guilt is transferred to him. He is counted as unrighteous for me by amputation. The second part of the transfer is when his righteousness is imputed to me right now as I speak in the heart of evangelicalism.
There is this major crisis were all kinds of leaders are rejecting the whole idea of imputation. You take away imputation you take away justification you take away justification you take away the gospel without imputation, there is no hope of your salvation, but with it with my sins transfer the Jesus is righteousness transferred to me by an all share that faith in God bless a bid. That's Dr. RC Sproul and your listing to Renewing Your Mind on this Reformation day. It's good to remind yourselves why it's important for the church to constantly return to the biblical standard even as RC mentioned in his last illustration.
There we see church leaders moving away from the biblical gospel in our own day.
That's why the Reformation of the 16th century matters today. I was born and raised in a Christian home in a in a mainline Protestant denomination but I did not learn many of these intriguing details about the Reformation. Maybe that's the case with you as well.
So that's where were excited to offer the two DVD set called Luther and the Reformation just request the DVD set when you contact us with a financial gift of any amount or number is 800-435-4343.
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