Editorials -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 103:410 (Apr 1946)
Article: Editorials
Author: Anonymous


Editorials

Justification

Those who would discern the important facts and the force of Christian doctrine, do well to distinguish between those things which God does for the Christian and the things which the Christian may do for God. The wide difference in activities is obvious. What God does is usually His to do of necessity since no one else could do it, and what Christians may do for God may be superhuman and thus depend on the enabling power of the indwelling Spirit of God.

The things which are wrought of God in behalf of the Christian in his salvation are again to be grouped into two classes: those things which are wrought when one believes and is saved, and those things which are wrought when Christ comes to take His own to Himself. So much is accomplished in the first undertaking that one may well say in the words of the Apostle, “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col 1:12). In the second undertaking, the body will be changed (cf. 1 Cor 15:51; Phil 3:20–21), and the saved one will pass out of all limitations of knowledge into the immeasurable knowledge of God. This is indicated in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

Manifestly, to be justified before God is God’s own undertaking. It appears as the consummation of God’s work in salvation; not chronologically, but logically. That is, it does not occur after some other features of His saving work, but because of those features. The Apostle has indicated certain achievements of God in logical order. It is written: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the

first-born among many brethren. 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” (Rom 8:29–30). Here justification is named as the last and consummating work of God for the believer while here in the world. In justification God does not legalize a fiction or make-believe. He must have, and does have, a righteous ground on which to justify the ungodly (cf. Rom 4:5). A distinction must be observed between just men of the Old Testament and the justified according to the New Testament. According to the Old Testament, men were just...

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