Grace And Justification -- By: George E. Meisinger
CTSJ 5:1 (January 1999) p. 2
Grace And Justification1
[*Editor's note: George Meisinger is Dean of Chafer Theological Seminary, as well as Professor of Old and New Testament Survey. He earned a B.A. from Biola University, a Th.M. in Old Testament Literature and Exegesis from Dallas Theological Seminary, a D.Min. in Biblical Studies from Western Seminary, and presently pursues a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology. He also pastors Grace Church in Orange, California. His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Centuries ago, a man named Job asked a question that multitudes have since pondered: How can a man be righteous before God (Job 9:2)?2 This Old Testament saint was painfully aware of personal imperfection when he asked that question. He had no illusions about himself. The apostle Paul shared Job’s perspective and established in Romans chapters 1–3 that whether one is immoral, self-righteous, or religious, no man is righteous before God. Not even one!
Sensing that he falls short of God’s perfect standards, man has from the beginning sought ways to bridge the gap between where he is morally and where he should be before God. The vast array of religions past and present is worldwide testimony to man’s search—a search that seeks through various kinds of good works to win God’s approbation.
According to Romans 3:19–20, however, no person may gain a righteous standing before God through good works. Man has a universal inability to please God through righteous deeds. Romans 3 verses 9–20 stress that sin dominates all men, the evidence of which is that he commits many acts of sin. Man, therefore, before the Lord, is neither righteous nor able to do acceptable deeds of righteousness. He often does good deeds that benefit his fellow man, but all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags before a holy God (Isaiah 64:6). Indeed, man’s heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it (Jeremiah 17:9)?
CTSJ 5:1 (January 1999) p. 3
A universal problem requires a universal solution. The news is good. In his epistle to the Romans, Paul reveals God’s universal solution.
Justification (Romans 3:21-24)
The basis of justification
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is reveale...
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