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Justification Teaching Lesson

The Doctrine of the application of Redemption   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Unpack the doctrine of Justification incorporate the doctrine of Adoption as an application.

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Justification

So, we’ve been working through this “Order of Salvation” starting three weeks ago with “Election” (God choosing some to be saved). Then we had a week off for Father’s Day. Last week we talked about what it meant to become a Christian. Starting with “The gospel call,” (in which God is calling us to salvation by trusting in Christ). This calling was broken down into 2 parts. The first one was a general call (this is proclaiming the gospel message – some can reject this outward calling). The second segment was a type of summons that through that gospel message God calls his elect to himself, by what we called as an “effective call” (this cannot be rejected). And through this summons, God imparts (or infuses) new spiritual life within us causing us to be “Regenerated,” or “born again.” Now, this regeneration made it possible for us to respond in faith and repentance to that gospel summons which is what is called “Conversion.” Those are numbers 1-4 of “The order of salvation.” Last week I told you that numbers 2-6 and maybe the first part of 7 (which is “Sanctification) happen rather quickly and sometimes instantaneous. This week we are going to focus on 5 and 6 “Justification and Adoption.” So, what we are going to do today is unpack what you may have heard as a child, if you trust in Jesus he will forgive your sins. Well, he’ll forgive your sins has a rich and full meaning. And then we’re going to look at what I think might be the biggest blessing ever, even more, fabulous than having our sin’s forgiven, that would be “Adoption” into God’s family.
As I was studying this Doctrine, I could not help but realize that this teaching is not something that I could ever believe if the Bible didn’t say so. It is just not something that could be made up by man. Because It has absolutely nothing to do on my part is exactly why many other religions reject it, even some denominations within Christianity reject it – which we are going to briefly talk about later. You are going to see that some speak of “Justification” as an instantaneous act of God, while others describe it as a process. However, I am going to tell you, the “Doctrine of Justification” is at the heart of Christianity.
So, we’ve been working through this “Order of Salvation” starting three weeks ago with “Election” (God choosing some to be saved). Then we had a week off for Father’s Day. Last week we talked about what it meant to become a Christian. Starting with “The gospel call,” (in which God is calling us to salvation by trusting in Christ). This calling was broken down into 2 parts. The first one was a general call (this is proclaiming the gospel message – some can reject this outward calling). The second segment was a type of summons that through that gospel message God calls his elect to himself, by what we called as an “effective call” (this cannot be rejected). And through this summons, God imparts (or infuses) new spiritual life within us causing us to be “Regenerated,” or “born again.” Now, this regeneration made it possible for us to respond in faith and repentance to that gospel summons which is what is called “Conversion.” Those are numbers 1-4 of “The order of salvation.” Last week I told you that numbers 2-6 and maybe the first part of 7 (which is “Sanctification) happen rather quickly and sometimes instantaneous. This week we are going to focus on 5 and 6 “Justification and Adoption.”
What does it mean to be justified in the eyes of God?
So, what we are going to do today is unpack what you may have heard as a child, if you trust in Jesus he will forgive your sins. Well, he’ll forgive your sins has a rich and full meaning. And then we’re going to look at what I think might be the biggest blessing ever, even more, fabulous than having our sin’s forgiven, that would be “Adoption” into God’s family.
Justification is a close-handed doctrine; it is not one of these doctrines that we can say “well, I don’t agree with you on this but we can still worship together.” A right understanding of justification is absolutely crucial to the whole Christian faith. I want you to understand that “Justification” is important because if a person seeks to be forgiven in a way in which he cannot be forgiven, then he won’t be forgiven! This is the doctrine that was at the center of the Reformation when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church on October 31, 1517.
So, “Justification” and then “Adoption,” are you ready?
As I was studying this Doctrine, I could not help but realize that this teaching is not something that I could ever believe if the Bible didn’t say so. It is just not something that could be made up by man. Because It has absolutely nothing to do on my part is exactly why many other religions reject it, even some denominations within Christianity reject it – which we are going to briefly talk about later. You are going to see that some speak of “Justification” as an instantaneous act of God, while others describe it as a process. However, I am going to tell you, the “Doctrine of Justification” is at the heart of Christianity.
Justification is a close-handed doctrine; it is not one of these doctrines that we can say “well, I don’t agree with you on this but we can still worship together.” A right understanding of justification is absolutely crucial to the whole Christian faith. I want you to understand that “Justification” is important because if a person seeks to be forgiven in a way in which he cannot be forgiven, then he won’t be forgiven! This is the doctrine that was at the center of the Reformation when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church on October 31, 1517.
The root text for the “Order of Salvation” is . “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (, ESV)
So, “Justification” and then “Adoption,” are you ready?
So, we can see by this text that “Justification” is something that God himself does; furthermore, it after our faith as God’s response to our faith. Paul says that God “justifies him who has faith in Jesus” (). What is “Justification?”
The root text for the “Order of Salvation” is . “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (, ESV)

Definition:

“An instantaneous legal act of God in which he (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight.”
So, we can see by this text that “Justification” is something that God himself does; furthermore, “Justification” comes after our faith as God’s response to our faith. Paul says that God “justifies him who has faith in Jesus” (). What is “Justification?”

Definition:

A. Justification Includes a Legal Declaration By God

“An instantaneous legal act of God in which he (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight.”
The word Justify has a range of meanings in the Bible. The old saying that “context is king” should always apply rather you are interpreting a passage or a word. The verb “dikaioo,” the word that is translated to “justify,” most commonly has the meaning sense of forensic – meaning it is a legal declaration. For example, can someone read ? “(When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John,” The KJ and the NKJ do this verse different they translate “they declared God just” to “[they] justified God.” That is, they said that God is “just” or “righteous.” So, the sense of the word is meaning to say or declare just.
Or how about can someone read that? “And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,” (, ESV) Where it says that “[God] justifies the ungodly” it means that he declares the ungodly “just’ or ‘righteous.” Furthermore, part B of this verse explicitly defines what it means to “justified” “his faith is counted as righteousness.” Again, we see “Justification” as a declaration.

Justification Includes a Legal Declaration By God

The word Justify has a range of meanings in the Bible. The old saying that “context is king” should always apply rather you are interpreting a passage or a word. The verb “dikaioo,” the word that is translated to “justify,” most commonly has the meaning sense of forensic – meaning it is a legal declaration. For example, can someone read ()? “(When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John,” The KJV and the NKJV do this verse differently. They translate “they declared God just” to “[they] justified God.” That is, they said that God is “just” or “righteous.” So, the sense of the word is meaning to say or declare just.
The idea that justification is a legal act is more evident when contrasted with condemnation. To condemn someone is to declare them guilty. The opposite of condemnation would be justification. The very last thing that we would ever want to hear at the judgment seat of God, when he has all the books open, (; ) would be GUILTY. So, let’s look at a passage that contrast condemnation and “Justification” can someone read . “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” (, ESV) Doesn’t this verse give you so much assurance? Even when I do something wrong and have great sorrow for my sin, God say’s Christ is interceding for me so who can bring any charge against me, it is God who justifies.
There are many verses in the New Testament that show Justification to mean God declare us to be righteous in his sight. But what about the Old Testament? Well there are many in there as well. For instance, can someone read for us? “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.” (, ESV) Now this is an interesting verse. In the Greek Old Testament called the Septuagint the word “dikaioo is use here in the Old Testament. And it is another verse that gives evidence that the meaning of “Justification” must be declared to be righteous. And why I say that’s going to be important is because a little bit later we are going to come to a Roman Catholic view of “Justification.” A Roman Catholic view of “Justification” say’s that God “makes you righteous inside. He makes you good. He changes you until your perfect. They will say “Justification” means to make someone righteous not declare someone righteous. But that meaning won’t fit this verse. If it means to make a bad person good let’s see how it would read, then. “He who Justifies the wicked”, if it means make a bad person good, “He who makes a bad person good. . . is an abomination to the LORD.” Well, that wouldn’t make any sense. If you make a wicked person good, the LORD would be happy. He would be pleased. So, the verse is talking about Earthly judges. And it’s saying “if you’re a judge and there is a wicked person who comes in and you say he is not guilty – it’s wrong. Likewise, if you’re a judge and you got a righteous person that comes into your courtroom, who hasn’t committed any crimes, and you declare him guilty – that’s wrong, it’s an abomination to the LORD. Again, it is showing this “Justification” language is meaning in the realm of a legal declaration of rather someone is guilty or innocent.
Or how about () can someone read that? “And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,” Where it says that “[God] justifies the ungodly” it means that he declares the ungodly “just’ or ‘righteous.” Furthermore, part B of this verse explicitly defines what it means to “justified” “his faith is counted as righteousness.” Again, we see “Justification” as a declaration.
Let me go over that again. If it meant “He who makes the wicked good” it wouldn’t be an abomination to the LORD, but if it means “He who declares the wicked good” it would be an abomination to the LORD. Then the verse makes sense. And that is the meaning of the word. So, God is saying to the human Judge “don’t do that.” The puzzle is how can God do that for us, if it’s not right for a human judge to say a guilty person is innocent how can God do that? It’s not fair – is it? Isn’t that hypocritical? Wouldn’t that show God is not righteous in his judgment -wow that’s a scary thought. That’s of course the objections that Muslims will have against the whole Christian faith. Muslims would say: “It’s wrong to say someone is righteous when they are not righteous. And the Catholic Doctrine of Justification would raise and objection against this Doctrine and say wait a minute, how can that be, how can God say that your righteous and you’re not? Well, that’s the mystery and we are going to find our here in a few minutes.
The idea that justification is a legal act is more evident when contrasted with condemnation. To condemn someone is to declare them guilty. The opposite of condemnation would be justification. The very last thing that we would ever want to hear at the judgment seat of God, when he has all the books open, (; ) would be GUILTY. So, let’s look at a passage that contrast condemnation and “Justification” can someone read (). “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” Doesn’t this verse give you so much assurance? Even when I do something wrong and have great sorrow for my sin, God say’s Christ is interceding for me so who can bring any charge against me, it is God who justifies.

B. God Declares Us to Be Just in His Sight

There are many verses in the New Testament that show Justification to mean God declare us to be righteous in his sight. But what about the Old Testament? Well, there are many in there as well. For instance, can someone read () for us? “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.” Now, this is an interesting verse. In the Greek Old Testament called the Septuagint the word “dikaioo” is used here in the Old Testament. And it is another verse that gives evidence that the meaning of “Justification” must be “declared to be righteous.” And why I say that’s going to be important is because a little bit later we are going to come to a Roman Catholic view of “Justification.” A Roman Catholic view of “Justification” say’s that God “makes you righteous inside. He makes you good. He changes you until your perfect. They will say “Justification” means to “make someone righteous” not “declare someone righteous.” But that meaning won’t fit this verse. If it means to make a bad person good let’s see how it would read, then. “He who Justifies the wicked,” if it means to make a bad person good, “He who makes a bad person good. . . is an abomination to the LORD.” Well, that wouldn’t make any sense. If you make a wicked person good, the LORD would be happy. He would be pleased. So, the verse is talking about Earthly judges. And it’s saying “if you’re a judge and there is a wicked person who comes in, and you say he is not guilty – it’s wrong. Likewise, if you’re a judge and you got a righteous person that comes into your courtroom, who hasn’t committed any crimes, and you declare him guilty – that’s wrong, it’s an abomination to the LORD. Again, it is showing this “Justification” language is meaning in the realm of a legal declaration of rather someone is guilty or innocent.
Let me go over that again. If it meant “He who makes the wicked good” it wouldn’t be an abomination to the LORD, but if it means “He who declares the wicked good” it would be an abomination to the LORD. Then the verse makes sense. And that is the meaning of the word. So, God is saying to the human Judge “don’t do that.” The puzzle is how can God do that for us if it’s not right for a human judge to say a guilty person is innocent how can God do that? It’s not fair – is it? Isn’t that hypocritical? Wouldn’t that show God is not righteous in his judgment -wow that’s a scary thought? That’s, of course, the objections that Muslims will have against the whole Christian faith. Muslims would say: “It’s wrong to say someone is righteous when they are not righteous. And the Catholic Doctrine of Justification would raise and objection against this Doctrine and say wait a minute, how can that be, how can God say that your righteous and you’re not? Well, that’s the mystery, and we are going to find out here in a few minutes.
So, what happens is: after we have faith in Jesus and repent. After we have trusted in Christ for forgiveness of sins, after that, as a result, God declares us to be just in his sight. He declares that we have no penalty to pay for sin. Here are some examples of teaching that. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” We are free of guilt, there is no penalty to pay (, ESV).
Paul quotes David as he pronounces a blessing on the one whom God counts as righteous apart from works of the “law” He recalls David saying: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” (, ESV) Again there is no more penalty to pay – Jesus payed it all. Our sins are covered by the blood of the Lamb. God isn’t going to count our sins against us. He declares us righteous in his sight.

God Declares Us to Be Just in His Sight

So, what happens is: after we have faith in Jesus and repent. After we have trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of sins, after that, as a result, God declares us to be just in his sight. He declares that we have no penalty to pay for sin. Here are some examples of teaching that. () “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” We are free of guilt; there is no penalty to pay.
But, forgiveness of sins is only one part of righteousness. It makes us morally neutral but it doesn’t give us favor with God. (Student/Teacher Illustration) Just to get your “F’s” wiped out doesn’t mean that you have earned any credit for any classes to get your diploma to graduate.
So, by analogy getting all our sins forgiven is fine but that just leaves us at neutral. There is no positive record of obedience. Now think back to Adam and Eve in the garden God put them into the Garden and told them to be fruitful and multiply fill the Earth and subdue it (). He was looking for obedience, but don’t eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen2:17). So, he looked for obedience in that way to. And I don’t know how long that would have went on, but God was looking for a period time they would perfectly obey him, and thereby, earn or merit his approval. But they didn’t do it they failed.
() Paul quotes David as he pronounces a blessing on the one whom God counts as righteous apart from works of the “law” He recalls David saying: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”Again there is no more penalty to pay – Jesus paid it all. Our sins are covered by the blood of the Lamb. God isn’t going to count our sins against us. He declares us righteous in his sight.
Now for us, if God forgives us our sins that’s not enough. We don’t have any record of any lifelong obedience without sin. Where God can say well done I welcome you into my kingdom. You have served me and obeyed me perfectly.
But, forgiveness of sins is only one part of righteousness. It makes us morally neutral, but it doesn’t give us favor with God.
(Student/Teacher Illustration) Now I was trying to think of an illustration that would make this teaching clear. Let’s say Mrs. Harvey has a student that is about to graduate, but half way through his senior year Mrs. Harvey notices this student squeezed through the cracks in 7th grade. And although he flunked most of his classes (in 7th grade) he was able to move on to 8th grade. Now during his 8th-grade year, this young man was changed by Jesus, and it became evident to all who knew him, namely, because there was a major change in his attitude and he took seriously that everything he said and did was to point to Jesus. Therefore, this young man started getting all “A’s” from that point out. However, this still didn’t make a difference - when it comes to having enough credits to graduate. But, because Mrs. Harvey has seen a major change in this young man and it is quite evident that Jesus has transformed this young man she decided to extend grace to this young man and wipe out all his “F’s” from the 7th grade. Isn’t that wonderful of her? Wouldn’t that make that young man extremely happy to know that Mrs. Harvey declared his bad grade not to be held against him? But that still isn’t enough, just to get your “F’s” wiped out doesn’t mean that you have earned any credit for any classes to get your diploma to graduate.
So, by analogy getting all our sins forgiven is fine but that just leaves us at neutral. There is no positive record of obedience. Now think back to Adam and Eve in the garden God put them into the Garden and told them “to be fruitful and multiply fill the Earth and subdue it” (). He was looking for obedience, “but don’t eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Gen2:17). So, he looked for obedience in that way to. And I don’t know how long that would have gone on, but God was looking for a period time they would perfectly obey him, and thereby, earn or merit his approval. But they didn’t do it they failed.
Or another example might be when you went to pass your diving test for the first time and you ran a stop sign and smashed up some cars, or tried to make a drive through grocery store – right Jodi. Well, the driving instructor would fail you. Then, the instructor says “well I tell you what I’ll tear that slip up and I’ll throw it away but you’ve gotta come back and take the test again and pass the driving test. You’ve gotta do something positive to show that you’ve passed. So, in the same way just getting the sin forgiven is not enough. What have you done? Nothing, yet. So, there has got to be something else. God declares us to be righteous in his sight but in order to do that we need him to do something else. We need him to give us the merits of perfect righteousness. And here is where he gives us the gift of the record of Jesus’ righteousness
Now for us, if God forgives us our sins that’s not enough. We don’t have any record of any lifelong obedience without sin, where God can say well done I welcome you into my kingdom. You have served me and obeyed me perfectly.
Or another example might be when you went to pass your driving test for the first time, and you ran a stop sign and smashed up some cars, or tried to make a drive through grocery store – right Jodi. Well, the driving instructor would fail you. Then, the instructor says “well I tell you what I’ll tear that slip up, and I’ll throw it away, but you’ve gotta come back and take the test again and pass the driving test. You’ve gotta do something positive to show that you’ve passed. So, in the same way just getting the sin forgiven is not enough. What have you done? Nothing, yet. So, there has got to be something else. God declares us to be righteous in his sight but in order to do that we need him to do something else. We need him to give us the merits of perfect righteousness. And here is where he gives us the gift of the record of what Jesus earned. This would be like a student getting straight “A’s” all through High School and it being accredited to your transcript even though you had nothing but straight “F's.”
There are many verses in Scripture that talk about God declaring us to be righteous. For example, in the Old Testament God sometimes spoke of giving this type of righteousness to his people even though they didn’t deserve it; furthermore, when Isaiah was speaking of the future of the coming Messiah predicting this, he said: () “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness.” God covers our sins. This isn’t just something swept under the rug that would be a negative thing. It says “[God] covers with righteousness.” That is something positive that God has put over us.
The New Testament speaks about this more explicitly. Paul, speaking about a solution to our sin problem and our need of righteousness says: () “But now the righteousness of God [this isn’t just forgiveness this is a positive righteousness] has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ [and here is how it comes] for all who believe.”
Quoting Paul says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” So, God saw Abraham’s faith, and he reckoned him, or thought him as righteous as if he had a record of obedience (). (See for explanation of how this is imputed to us as well as Abraham).
() “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” Paul was explicitly talking about obedience being “counted or reckoned.”
Now how can God declare us to be not guilty but righteous, when in fact we are unrighteous? And here is the mystery.

God Imputes Christ Righteousness To Us

The big theological word for this is “Imputation.” This word means “to think of belonging to” or “to reckon or count to a person.” In other words, Jesus’ righteousness is counted or reckoned to us as our righteousness.
( NRSV) “He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,”
I Liked the NRSV version of this text better; it gave more clarity by saying “He is the source of your life in Jesus, in comparison to “And because of him you are in Christ Jesus” as the ESV translated it. The both mean the same thing – obviously. This passage gives evidence that Christ righteousness is imputed onto us.
(, ESV) “For our sake [God the Father] he made him to be sin who knew no sin, [that is when our sins were put on Christ] so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Just like in () where Adams sin was imputed to his offspring, namely us, and Christ righteousness was imputed onto all who trust in him for salvation, this verse shows that our sin was imputed to Christ, so that, Christ righteousness could be imputed back to us. This does not mean that Christ was “made unrighteous” in who he is (that would be a scary thought) it just means our sins were paid for by his death on the cross. Likewise, it does not mean that we are “made righteous” (internally) it means we are imputed Christ righteousness. In other words, we become something we are not by being in Christ.
() “and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, [that’s his own life, his own record of obedience] but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—”
This righteousness that comes from God is a free gift () not based on our merit but on Christ merit, and His obedience, and His righteousness. Again, this verse gives us evidence that Christ righteousness is imputed onto us. His record is imputed to us, God the Father thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ righteousness as belonging to us and He declares us to be righteous in his sight based on Christ’s merit, not ours.
“Imputation” is essential to the heart of the gospel. If God didn’t do this, what is the alternative? If justification changed us internally and then declared us to be righteous based on how good we actually were, then what would happen?
(Illustration) So, If God said: Clarence, you trusted in Christ so here is 20% goodness in you (and then after a few years) He said here is 30% then after 10 more years here is 40% (I had a long struggle) But maybe for some of you who have lived a life full of obedience and sacrifice you might get to 80% but who know. Really, it isn’t going to be good enough because we could never be declared perfectly righteous in this life, because there is always sin that remains in our lives, and (2) there would be no provision for forgiveness of past sins (committed before we were changed internally), and therefore we could never have confidence that we are right before God.
And that’s why the unbelieving world is not going to dream up this doctrine and why if it weren't the way God has ordained it to happen, no one would believe it. The whole idea of the secular world and all the false religions out there are always about hoping they can be good enough, but the Biblical way shows you that you can’t be good enough. It is all about God, not you.
Furthermore, this means holding this view which I am teaching is the traditional, historical orthodox Protestant view of Justification; this means that we differ with our Catholic friends on this doctrine. This was the heart of the difference between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism at the Reformation. And it was at this particular point of the Reformation focused. Martin Luther is beginning the Protestant Reformation by nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church on October 31, 1517. He began to teach many things in contrast to Roman Catholic doctrine, but this key doctrine of Justification by faith alone was the key difference. And here was the Roman Catholic teaching and it still is to the present day.

Catholic Justification:

Justification in the Roman Catholic view will combine in one idea what Protestants call justification (legal righteous) and sanctification (making us holy inside). They see Justification as a process. So, “Justification” in the Catholic view is something that changes us internally and makes you more holy within. They will call Justification “the sanctifying and renewing of the inner man.” Catholics believe that God “makes you righteous” Or “he turns a bad person good,” instead of the Protestant view of God “declares you righteous” So, righteousness is infused into us not imputed.
(Illustration) Now when I think of something being infused I think of us pumping gas in our car, we infuse the amount of gas we desire into our vehicle.
The Catholic view says, by the merits of Christ and by grace but obtained through our obedience and attendance to the sacraments God infuses more and more grace into us. And we get progressively a little bit better as we go on. But are you perfect by the time you end this life according to the Catholic teaching? No, you’re not. So then, there is an additional doctrine, which is not held by Protestants and I don’t believe is taught in the Bible, that says after you die you must go to Purgatory and suffer for more cleansing of your inner self and have your sins purged out of you. I do not use this word suffer lightly or speculatively, it is a part of the official Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory that those who die in a state of grace will go to “Purgatory” and temporarily suffer their sins away until God says “okay you are good enough come on into my Kingdom. (If there is time go into more detail BUT WATCH YOUR TIME)
But if you believe in that view you can never have the assurance that you will ever be good enough. Likewise, you will never be able to stand with Paul and say “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” () Furthermore, you don’t have any assurance that you will ever hear “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” () And I would say to my Catholic friends: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift [free gift, free gift, it's free] the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (, ESV) Justification comes to us entirely by God’s grace, not on account of any merit in ourselves, but through faith in the life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
So, with respect, I would have to say we differ very much with the Roman Catholic view of Justification and this is not an open-handed doctrine.
Okay, now that is the end of Justification. Before we move on to “Adoption,” I just want to stop for a minute and get out of the realm of theoretical and intellectual and ask is that true in your heart? If you have faith in God and trust Jesus died for you and God has declared you righteous because of Jesus’ merit, not yours, does that give you a sense of peace? – It should. It should give you peace of God. It should settle any anxiety or nervousness that things aren’t going to turn out good. Because “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (, ESV)

Judgment seat Illustration:

As I thought about how to illustrate the importance of this doctrine I imagined, and I want you to as well, that we are all in the courtroom of God. There are hundreds and thousands of people waiting for the case of their lives to be heard by God the judge. Now you can’t hear what is being said, but you know that it is God at the throne. However, you can’t see him. But you can see a bunch of books. And even though you can’t hear what is going on you can sense what is going on. There becomes an abundance of joy that rushes into you like an adrenaline rush that you have never felt before, every time that someone stands up and goes to what you assume is in the presence of God for eternity. However, you feel a tremendous amount of fear (like 100 fold more than you have ever experienced) every time you see someone being physically thrown out of the courtroom. Then all of a sudden you can start to hear what is going on but you can’t quite make out what is being said. But it starts getting louder and louder. Then all of a sudden you realize it is your name you hear someone saying over and over and over. Then at one with the loudest amplifying voice you have ever heard, you hear God Almighty calling your name to come to him. Then all at once you are in the presence of God. And he says to you: “I have everything that you have ever said, thought and done written down in these books. And on account of your merit, I find you guilty and unworthy of being in my presence.” Now, just imagine the tremendous amount of sorrow and anguish that you would be feeling. Then God Almighty ask you “what should I do with you, why should I let you into my kingdom?” And then You hear the most sweetest voice you have ever heard say “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” And then instantly you see Jesus standing there with his arms open saying come to me for you have trusted in me by grace alone through faith alone in me alone. Do you see the importance of the “Doctrine of Justification” if a person seeks to be forgiven in a way in which he cannot be forgiven, then he won’t be forgiven!
Now the next beautiful step that happens in our “Order of Salvation is “Adoption.”
Adoption

Definition:

Adoption is an act of God whereby he makes us members of his family.
So, if you remember, I said that “Adaption” might be an even bigger blessing than “Justification.” You might be thinking “how could that be?” Well as deep and rich as “Justification” is, God could have “Justified us” and then sent us to Mars. Now that would still be better than being in hell, but God has a purpose for us being his image bearers.
He even has a different purpose for us than the “Angels” After all, there are “elect Angels” (), and they are in his presence now they are holy and righteous. And of course, the “Angels that sinned, “God did not spare” “he cast them [out of his presents] and to hell” (). This should give us a tremendous amount of thankfulness. Even though we sinned, God had mercy on us and gave us grace and Justified us. It has to be for something more than just filling heaven with people and “Angels.”
God’s number one priority is to glorify God. Therefore, by God doing work in us, he is bringing together a glorious family. He could have created us to be perfectly holy and declared us to be his family but it wouldn’t glorify him as much. So, as a side note if you say so and so died and now Heaven just gained another angel – stop it. That’s not true, and it takes away from the glory of God. He has much more in store for his children.

Adoption Into The family of God as Relational and as an Inheritance:

So, when the Bible speaks of being adopted into the family of God, it speaks of “Adoption in two ways (1) as children and (2) as sons of God. Is there a difference and what is it? Sometimes the Bible speaks of Adoption focusing on the intimacy of the family. And although intimacy is always at the heart of the relationship, “Adoption is also spoken of as being an heir or receiving an inheritance.
The Apostle John speaks about us being “Adopted into the family of God by addressing us a “children” on a frequent basis. For example, he say’s (, ESV) “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears, we shall be like him because we shall see him as he is.”
So, this verse when talking about being a part of God’s family is pointing to intimate relationship.
John also speaks of the children of God as an intimate relationship at the beginning of his gospel when he say’s “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (, ESV) Again, by receiving Christ and trusting in him, this shows “Adoption” as family intimacy.
Paul also talks about being “adopted into God’s family. He says in () “and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (, ESV) Here Paul talks about the benefits of being in an intimate relationship as a member of the Family of God. This verse also talks about being an heir of Christ. Paul speaks more explicitly about being an heir when he uses the word son. Although it always still points to intimacy, there is still a connotation of inheritance when he speaks of being adopted as “sons.”
For example, in the direct context of sonship and inheritance Paul said: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (, ESV)

The Privileges of Adoption.

I am going to conclude with what Grudem wrote about The Privileges of Adoption. He said:
I am going to conclude with what Grudem wrote about The Privileges of Adoption. He said:
The benefits or privileges that accompany adoption are seen, first, in the way God relates to us, and then also in the way we relate to one another as brothers and sisters in God’s family.One of the greatest privileges of our adoption is being able to speak to God and relate to him as a good and loving Father. We are to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven” (), and we are to realize that we are “no longer slaves, but sons” (). Therefore, we now relate to God not as a slave relates to a slave master, but as a child relates to his or her father. In fact, God gives us an internal witness from the Holy Spirit that causes us instinctively to call God our Father. “When we cry, “Abba! Father!’ it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (). This relationship to God as our Father is the foundation of many other blessings of the Christian life, and it becomes the primary way in which we relate to God. Certainly, it is true that God is our Creator, our judge, our Lord and Master, our Teacher, our provider and protector, and the one who by his providential care sustains our existence. But the role that is most intimate, and the role that conveys the highest privileges of fellowship with God for eternity, is his role as our heavenly Father.
One of the greatest privileges of our adoption is being able to speak to God and relate to him as a good and loving Father. We are to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven” (), and we are to realize that we are “no longer slaves, but sons” (). Therefore, we now relate to God not as a slave relates to a slave master, but as a child relates to his or her father. In fact, God gives us an internal witness from the Holy Spirit that causes us instinctively to call God our Father. “When we cry, “Abba! Father!’ it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (). This relationship to God as our Father is the foundation of many other blessings of the Christian life, and it becomes the primary way in which we relate to God. Certainly, it is true that God is our Creator, our judge, our Lord and Master, our Teacher, our provider and protector, and the one who by his providential care sustains our existence. But the role that is most intimate, and the role that conveys the highest privileges of fellowship with God for eternity, is his role as our heavenly Father.
Furthermore, Grudem says:
This concept of the church as God’s family should give us a new perspective on the work of the church; it is “family work,” and the various members of the family never should compete with each other or hinder one another in their efforts, but should encourage one another and be thankful for whatever good or whatever progress comes to any member of the family, for all are contributing to the good of the family and the honor of God our Father. In fact, just as members of an earthly family often have times of joy and fellowship when they work together on a single project, so our times of working together in building up the church ought to be times of great joy and fellowship with one another. Moreover, just as members of an earthly family honor their parents and fulfill the purpose of a family most when they eagerly welcome any brothers or sisters who are newly adopted into that family, so we ought to welcome new members of the family of Christ eagerly and with love.
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