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Essential Christian Doctrines - Lesson 8

by Dr. Ray Self


Righteousness & Justification

Click Play in the video player window and follow along on the class notes below.


    1. Imputation of Christ’s righteousness

        1. We must be pardoned for sins and be imputed with righteousness to have fellowship with God.

        1. Romans 4:6 - Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
          1. Justification is the non-imputation of sin and the imputation of righteousness.
          2. Our blessing comes by our righteousness through faith.
          3. To "impute" means to put to the account of

        1. Romans 3: 21-22 - But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
          1. The imputation of righteousness is available to anyone who believes.
          2. There is not other qualification other than faith.

        1. 2 Corinthians 5:21 - For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
          1. There is a double imputation - our sins are imputed to Christ and His righteousness is imputed to us
          2. Man cannot have any righteousness of his own that is worthy of fellowship with an almighty God, so God imparts the believer with the righteousness of Christ.

        1. A pardoned criminal is never thought of as a good and righteous man.

      1. God sees the sinner who chooses to believe through the perfect righteousness of His Son.

  1. Methods of Justification

      1. Not by good works
        1. Rom. 4:2-3 - For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
        2. Romans 11:6 - And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

      1. Not by keeping the law
        1. Galatians 2:16 - Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
        2. Romans 3:20 - Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
        3. Romans 3:28 - Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

      1. By the gift of God’s grace
        1. It is only received through God’s grace - Romans 3:24 - Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
        2. Titus 3:7 - That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
        3. Grace is God’s blessing despite all of man’s non-merit.
        4. Grace is favor shown where there is positive dis-merit.
        5. In Grace what God’s righteousness demands he supplies.

      1. Through the sacrifice of Jesus
        1. God’s pardon and impartation of righteousness is based on the strict terms of justice
        2. Romans 5:19 - For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
        3. 1 Peter 2:24 - Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

      1. Through faith alone
        1. Romans 3:26 - To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
        2. Romans 4:5 - But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
        3. Romans 5:1 - Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
        4. We are not saved for our faith but through our faith (Thiessen)

    1. The resurrection assures our justification
      1. Romans 4:25 - Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
      2. God raised Jesus from the dead because He approved and was satisfied that the work had been done. It was truly finished. It is God’s seal of approval.
      3. Your justification remains the same whether you have been saved 1 year or 50 years.

Study Questions:

  1. Why is righteousness described as a blessing in scripture?
  2. Why must righteousness be imputed?
  3. Explain three methods of justification.
  4. Why does the resurrection assure our justification?

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