Wednesday, March 31, 2010
JUSTIFICATION IN IT'S FOUR-FOLD STATE - PART 2
According to the Bible, justification is the fact that God in declaring His elect justified is stating that the judgement due them for their sins does not exist. To be declared justified by God means one is righteous, not-guilty, saved; not in their own selves, but in the person and work of the only Savior:
"Jesus Christ the righteous."
(I John 2:1)
If one finds themselves in a state of salvation, it is because God choose them in Christ, and sent Christ to save them which Christ accomplished at the cross, and God has revealed to them through the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit that God sees them as justified - in Christ!
This is the only justification found in the Bible.
In this study we will look at one of the four-fold states of justification: Justification from eternity.
There are Christians who do not believe in justification from eternity. I only present the scriptures from God's testimony, and then you may determine if what is presented is true.
I personally believe that a Christian might not understand justification from eternity, but I don't believe it can be denied as it is examined with God's testimony. We as creatures of time cannot really understand eternity; but hopefully we could agree that eternity has no beginning and no end; it is outside of time. Concerning eternity, it is said of God:
"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy."
"Now unto the King eternal."
(I Timothy 1:17)
God has no beginning and no end ("eternal") and God is outside of time where we dwell (inhabiteth eternity). The only concept (understanding, idea) we can have of things eternal is as God reveals eternal things to us in His Word; and then we can only accept them as true even if we can not understand them.
We will now look at Justification from eternity: God's testimony that in His mind which is eternal - He has always seen His elect (His people, sheep, the one true church) as justified.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love."
God is declaring that the elect were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. Before the foundation of the world our text says that God hath blessed the elect with all spiritual blessings in Christ. Although the elect do not realize this subjectively (justification subjectively at regeneration - in their persons) until they are born again in time, our text says that God declares us in Christ before creation. God declares that He can decree this even though we might not understand because God: "calleth those things which be not as though they are." (Romans 4:17).
Let's look at another verse:
"Who (God) hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."
(II Timothy 1:9)
Even though the elect don't experience (justification subjectively at regeneration) being saved, called, grace until they are born again, in the mind of God according to our text above (II Timothy 1:9) these blessings happened before the world began.
In our finite minds we start at the beginning and continue unto the end of something not knowing what is ahead; but God is seen as:
"Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure."
Consider a movie on a DVD. We start at the beginning, and in time watch it from beginning to end, not knowing the end from the beginning. God sees the DVD's events all at the same time for as our text above says He declares the end from the beginning: God sees all He has decreed in time before time:
"the works were finished from the foundation of the world."
"Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world."
All of God's works (everything that happens in time which all has been decreed by God) includes the most important work ever in history: Christ and Him crucified - the salvation of His people at Calvary! (justification objectively at the cross; Christ being the object of the elect's faith).
God's complete redemption of His people:
1) Justification objectively at the cross,
2) Justification subjectively at regeneration,
3) Total justification in our bodies...
...is summed up in one verse, and all these states of justification are in the past tense (seen by God as already having occurred), being predestinated by God who is not bound by time:
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn 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."
This is the doctrine of justification from eternity: God's testimony that in His mind which is eternal - He has always seen His elect (His people, sheep, the one true church) as justified. Just because one might not be able to comprehend this doctrine doesn't mean it is not true:
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my (God) ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
In our next study God willing we will look at - Justification objectively at the cross: we will see the heart of the gospel: that Jesus Christ has saved all His people from their sins!
"Being now justified by his blood."
By Craig Miklosik