Justification Bible Study

Justification is the doctrine that simply tells us what God says about us.  Anything more than that is outside this definition and would probably be found in the doctrine of sanctification.

Faith is defined in two ways in this study.  Fides Qua Creditur & Fides Quae Creditur

Fides Qua Creditur (pronounced fee-des kwah cred-it or) is defined as the faith BY which we believe.  This is the faith that is given to us but not yet exercised by us.  Also this is not a gift that justifies us.  This is the faith that we receive after we have been declared righteous.  This is done because of the faithfulness of Christ and for his sake.

Fides Quae Creditur (pronounced fee-des kw-eye cred-it or) is defined as the faith IN which we believe.  This is the faith that we exercise after having received it.  This is not a gift that justifies us either.  This is the faith that we express because it has been given to us.  This falls under the doctrine of sanctification.  This is faith exercised in response to the faithfulness and work of Christ.

Section 1

Galatians 1:12; 2:16, 20; 3:22

Romans 3:22, 26

Ephesians 3:12

Philippians 3:9 (bonus 3:1)

Section 2

Ephesians Chapter 1 is all about Christ.  You may be tempted to read yourself into these passages but it's all about Christ being predestined and his faith, not ours.

Ephesians Chapter 2 is about how we are found in Christ and what that means for us.  Verses'  5 and 8 use the word "saved" in the perfect tense meaning that you have been saved, past tense, and are continuing to be saved, present future tense.

Section 3

Understanding Abrahams' faith is the key to understanding Paul's argument.

Galatians 3:1-14 focus on verse 11

Romans 3:20, 21; 22-31 focusing on the faith of Christ not us and the reason that we are justified is because of the resurrection of Christ.

Romans 4 follows the argument of Paul that we cannot due anything because of sin into how we are declared righteous while we are ungodly.

Contrast Romans 4:2 and 4:5. That God declares or says that we are righteous even though we are ungodly.  Abraham believes in the one who makes this statement.  It is not THAT he believes the statement or proclamation but IN the one who declares such things.

Romans 4:17 reinforces this and sums up what Paul has stated so far.  

Romans 4:17b -the God who makes the dead alive and summons the things that do not already exist as though they already do.

This is dealing with Abraham being the Father of many Nations in the natural sense and in the spiritual sense.  Paul is showing this spiritual layer is what we are to apply to the Gentiles as well as the Jews.  In doing so, he has connected this thought with the supporting evidence from everything prior in this letter.

In declaring the ungodly righteous, as if they already were and always have been.  What God says determines reality.

Conclusion

If you state that a group or individual is not saved because they do not understand, hold to, or reject the doctrine of Justification; it shows you either don't understand it yourself or deny it in practice.

The good news is this, that it doesn't matter what understand or when you understood or believed this doctrine!  That is St. Paul's point!  While we were sinners Christ died for us!  This has meaning because of the reality of this doctrine, not because of an adherence to it!  

Were you justified when God declared it or when you understood it?

Proper doctrinal articulation or adhesion is not necessary for salvation; but it is necessary for the health of the Church. 

I've been saying this for over 12 years now.  I'm glad I finally had the opportunity to articulate it in these studies.  I suppose I am a Christian Universalist, in that, all those found in Christ, are saved, regardless of our opinions on the matter.

May all Glory and Honor be to God alone by the Will of the God the Father in the faithfulness of God the Son, Jesus Christ though the Power of God the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

Geeky Greek stuff on "Faithfulness of Christ" vs "Faith in Christ" from the NET Bible notes.

tn (Textual Note) Or “faith in Jesus Christ.” A decision is difficult here. Though traditionally translated “faith in Jesus Christ,” an increasing number of NT scholars are arguing that πίστις Χριστοῦ (pisti" Cristou) and similar phrases in Paul (here and in v. 20Rom 3:22, 26Gal 3:22Eph 3:12Phil 3:9) involve a subjective genitive and mean “Christ’s faith” or “Christ’s faithfulness” (cf., e.g., G. Howard, “The ‘Faith of Christ’,” ExpTim 85 [1974]: 212-15; R. B. Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ [SBLDS]; Morna D. Hooker, “Πίστις Χριστοῦ,” NTS 35 [1989]: 321-42). Noteworthy among the arguments for the subjective genitive view is that when πίστις takes a personal genitive it is almost never an objective genitive (cf. Matt 9:2, 22, 29Mark 2:5; 5:34; 10:52Luke 5:20; 7:50; 8:25, 48; 17:19; 18:42; 22:32Rom 1:8; 12; 3:3; 4:5, 12, 161 Cor 2:5; 15:14, 172 Cor 10:15Phil 2:17Col 1:4; 2:51 Thess 1:8; 3:2, 5, 102 Thess 1:3Titus 1:1Phlm 61 Pet 1:9, 212 Pet 1:5). On the other hand, the objective genitive view has its adherents: A. Hultgren, “The Pistis Christou Formulations in Paul,” NovT 22 (1980): 248-63; J. D. G. Dunn, “Once More, ΠΙΣΤΙΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ,” SBL Seminar Papers1991, 730-44. Most commentaries on Romans and Galatians usually side with the objective view.

sn (Side Note) On the phrase translated the faithfulness of ChristExSyn 116, which notes that the grammar is not decisive, nevertheless suggests that “the faith/faithfulness of Christ is not a denial of faith in Christ as a Pauline concept (for the idea is expressed in many of the same contexts, only with the verb πιστεύω rather than the noun), but implies that the object of faith is a worthy object, for he himself is faithful.” Though Paul elsewhere teaches justification by faith, this presupposes that the object of our faith is reliable and worthy of such faith.