Of all the needs that man has, justification is the greatest. In order to fulfill that need, one must look to the proper source. That source is the Word of God (John 8:32; 17:17; James 1:21). When examining Greek Lexicons for the Bible definition of the Greek word for faith, “pistos”, without exception, the word is defined as “belief, trust, confidence, and reliance upon.” The classical description of faith is found in Hebrews 11:1. The expression “substance of things hoped for,” as seen in the King James Version, is to be understood as the basis of the things we hope for, i.e. the eternal blessings of God. The expression “evidence of things not seen,” can be understood as “a conviction of things not seen” as per the American Standard Version. In consideration of this, we see ample evidence to prove the existence of God, heaven and hell, etc., even though we have not seen these things with our naked eye.

Justification deals with the matter of being “pronounced righteous.” Often it is expressed with the concept of man having become “just-as-if-he-had-not-sinned.” With this in mind, let us look at The Faith That Justifies.

JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH – The scriptures are explicit regarding how man is not justified. The works of the Law of Moses do not save man today (Galatians 2:16).  What is said relative to the works of the law is true regarding “all works,” as such. There is no work thus performed that can eliminate the need of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8, 9).But that does not remove the necessity of works of obedience (Ephesians 2:10; Acts 2:40; Hebrews 5:9; James 2:17-26).

MAN’S FAITH IS THE BASIC HUMAN AGENT OR ELEMENTOF JUSTIFICATION – Faith is seen to be of utmost importance when man and his justification is concerned (John 8:24; Romans 5:1, 2; Hebrews 11:6). The faith that is necessary for justification is acquired by man’s efforts.  This is why some have faith and others do not (Romans 10:17).  As man studies God’s Word his faith increases (John 20:30, 31).  As faith grows, it reaches the point to where it moves the person to obedience.

GOD’S WORLD IS A WORLD OF FAITH, AND JUSTIFICATION BY IT – God does not operate outside of faith in respect to man’s responseto Him.He is God, and as such He cannot lie (Titus 1:2).Because of this, He demands to be believed (Hebrews 11:6).  We must trust God with our past, as it is forgiven (2 Corinthians 1:10), as we must trust Him with our present, as He will neverleave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).  We must trust God with our future as He knows what we need (Matthew 28:20).

Hebrews chapter 11 illustrates the basic principle of justification by faith with example after example drawn from Old Testament history.  In this chapter there are men and women who persevered in doing the will of God, and who received what was promised.  This was written for instruction for those who live under the provisions of the New Covenant. In the 40 verses of Hebrews chapter 11, the expression “by faith” is found 15 times and “through faith” another five times.  Each time something was done “by” or “through” faith.It is important to note that some of the examples in Hebrews chapter 11 present us with a biblical perspective of justification by faith.

The example of Noah in verse 7 is especially significant. According to Genesis 6:9, Noah was a just man, a righteous man, and a man blameless in his generation. It could be said, he walked with God.  In the face of opposition and ridicule, Noah believed and obeyed God. And because of such faith, he built the ark. His faith was the kind of faith that built an ark in the middle of a dry wasteland with not a cloud in the sky, simply because God told him to do so. He is seen as a man who endured, doing the will of God, and, thus, he received the life promised to him when the wicked and perverse men around him were destroyed in the flood. Verse 7 says that he became an heir of the righteousness, which comes by faith.  In other words, He was justified by faith.

Hebrews 11 uses the examples of Abraham and Rahab to teach the principle of justification by faith.  One a Jewish male, born of the covenant people of God, the other a Gentile female, a stranger to the covenant of promise.  Yet, we see them both “justified by faith” – verses 8, 31. The same examples are used by James to illustrate the doctrine of justification and its universal application (James 2:21-25).

The source of justification is God’s grace (Romans 3:24).  The object of our faith is Jesus’ blood that He shed at Calvary (Romans 3:25).  The means by which we receive justification is obedient faith (Romans 3).

Having seen this, we are then confronted with the question of whether we have been justified by faith. If not, there is no better time than right now to do so by our obedience to the New Testament gospel plan of salvation. If so, then we need to be active in doing those things on a daily basis which indicate the faith we profess.

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