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Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
Doctrine of Imputations. Part 5.
ROM 9:30-32, What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, On the other hand, Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing, missed it. How could they miss it? Because instead of trusting God, they took matters into their own hands. They were absolutely absorbed in what they were doing themselves. They were so absorbed in their “work for God” that they didn’t notice God’s work right in front of them, like a huge rock or as this passage says a “stumbling stone” in the middle of the road. And so they stumbled into Him, who is called “the Rock” and went backward falling and stumbling away.

ROM 9:33, just as it is written, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

Isaiah gives us the metaphor for pulling all this together by saying that God put a huge stone on the road to Mount Zion, a stone you can’t get around. And the stone was Himself, God indwelling man. 1TI 3:16, And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Beheld by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.

JOH 1:14, And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ therefore is called the Rock who the Jews had rejected in DEU 32:18 “You neglected the rock who begot you, and forgot the God who gave you birth. We know that the rock represents the lord as 1CO 10:4 teaches, “They all drank from the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.

This is why TLJC is called:

Christ is the rock of salvation. 1CO 3:11, For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Christ is the rock of perfection. ZEC 3:9.

Christ is the rock of the natural and spiritual soldier; PSA 144:1, Blessed be the Lord, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle;

As the Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ provides the solid mental attitude to honor Him. ISA 26:3-4, “The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in Thee. Trust in the Lord forever, For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.”

This is why He is called the chief cornerstone, who unites both the Jews and Gentiles together.

Christ is the foundation rock of Israel. PSA 118:22; ISA 28:16.

Christ is the foundation rock of the Church. MAT 16:18; EPH 2:20‑22.

Christ is the destroying rock of the Second Advent. DAN 2:34‑35.

Christ is the rock of judgment. 1PE 2:8.

The point is that your life is either going to be built upon a solid foundation called the Rock or an unstable foundation called the sand. Therefore, we read in MAT 7:24-27, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.”

The real question is what is your house, or the edification complex of your soul, built upon?

Now, remember we began a series of messages from this section in Rom 9 on the Righteousness and Justice of God, the First Adam and the Last Adam, the Doctrine of Imputations, which we have now completed 18 hours upon, and now our final doctrine, the Doctrine of Justification. We will deal with this doctrine point by point. Last time we studied it was about 15 years or so.

Point 1. Introduction; ROM 4:13-25.

And the main verses that we noted in this section were found in Rom 4: 16-25.

ROM 4:16-19, For this reason it is by faith, that it might be in accordance with grace, in order that the promise may be certain to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (as it is written, “A father of many nations have I made you”) in the sight of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. In hope against hope he believed, in order that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb;

Araham did not always operate in faith, especially on three different occasions. Abraham failed twice when he lied to the Pharaoh and said that Sarah was not his wife, GEN 12:10-20, and when he lied to Abimelech, the king of Gerar in GEN 20:1-15 and said the same thing, Sarah was not his wife. And the of course when he listened to the voice of his wife Sarah who told Abraham to go and have sex with her female slave, Hagar, and bring an heir from her rather than waiting on the timing of God.

You know the rest of the story--it’s the reason why we have the problems with terrorism that we do today in the world, especially in Europe, in the Middle east, and in the USA. It doesn’t sound like Abraham was really the father of our faith during those times, does it? Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, “It’s hopeless, instead he focused in on God’s omnipotence, and said, with God all things are possible. This is how the just live by faith. Even though Abraham’s hundred‑year‑old body didn’t seem like he could ever father a child nor did he consider Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up.

Instead, we read in ROM 4:20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God. He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promises asking cautious and skeptical questions, he plunged into the promises and came up strong, ready for God.

ROM 4:21-24, and being fully assured that what He [God] had promised, [God] was able also to perform. Therefore also it [Abraham’s faith or belief] was reckoned or imputed to him as righteousness. Now not for his sake only was it written, that it was reckoned to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be reckoned, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,

In other words, it’s not just Abraham that is in view; this is also for us! The same thing is said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions seemed to be hopeless.

ROM 4:25, He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.

And the reason is that whatever happens to Him will happen to us because of our union with Him. His resurrection was the validation of the sacrifice of His spiritual death and the proof of our acceptance with God. Abraham became a tremendous example of “The just shall live by faith!”

Point 2 in the doctrine of justification dealt with the Etymology of the word which is the origin and historical development of a word and how it was originally used in its earliest known use.

The word for justification is the noun dikaiosis which means anything pertaining to the integrity of God, His righteousness and justice. When used for man it refers to imputed perfect righteousness.

When used for God it refers to His righteousness and justice. It means that we were made as perfect as God at the moment that we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Point 3. which deals with The definition of dikaiosune Theou translated the “righteousness of God.” which justifies us at the moment of salvation.” This becomes the function of blessing from the justice of God to man. It all begins at salvation. This function of divine blessing from the justice of God at salvation is called “dikaiosune Theou” or a judicial function of the justice of God.

The “perfect righteousness of God” becomes the function of blessing from the justice of God to man.

It all begins at salvation.

This function of divine blessing from the justice of God at salvation is called “dikaiosune Theou” or the dikaioo or justification, a judicial function of the justice of God. Justification means an act of vindication. This is a judicial act of vindication means we have been vindicated by God from being born under condemnation, or being spiritually dead. Therefore, justification is an official judicial act which occurs every time anyone believes in Christ. The justice of God acts on our behalf pronouncing us justified, which means, having a relationship with God forever because we have the perfect righteousness of God imputed to us.

Justification means that God recognizes that He has given us His perfect righteousness. This means that even as a perfect Judge, that in the end, God cannot and does not remember our sins or failures.

Experientially He does but positionally He sees us as being totally complete and holy in Christ.

COL 2:10, and in Him you have been made complete,

Col 1:22, He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach‑‑

HEB 8:12, For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.

Or as the prophet Micah predicted in MIC 7:18-19, “Who is a God like thee, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? Yes you will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

As David said in PSA 103:1-12, Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. The Lord performs righteous deeds, And judgments for all who are oppressed.

PSA 103:7-11, He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive {with us}; Nor will He keep {His anger} forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

The prophet Isaiah knew the reason why someday believers would be justified before the Lord when he wrote ISA 38:17, …For You have cast all their sins behind their back.

ISA 43:25, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake [because of my honor and integrity]. Furthermore, I will not remember your sin.”

JER 31:34, …For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.

COL 2:13, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us ALL our transgressions,

PSA 85:2, You did forgive the iniquity of Your people; you did cover all their sin.

Think of it, the Lord has not covered some of your sin, but all of your sin.

In EZE 16:63, Ezekiel knew it when he wrote that the Lord said to people who were involved with the grossest sins you could ever imagine “I will forgive you for all that you have done.” Have you become so familiar with these verses and this principle of doctrine that it no longer has an effect on your life? The apostle knew it in 1JO 2:12 says, Your sins are forgiven for His names sake.

They all knew that “The just shall live by faith!” Faith in what? Faith in what God said he would do about man’s hopeless and helpless condition! The mechanics of justification are found in what is known as at salvation adjustment to the justice of God which include three logistical steps.

First, personal faith in Christ. The object of faith has all the merit. We are nothing till we have something of the integrity of God through maximum Bible doctrine in the soul.

Secondly, the justice of God the provides perfect righteousness to all who believe.

Thirdly, God judicially pronounces us justified, officially righteous.

All of these steps occur simultaneously at the moment of faith. At salvation we receive God’s perfect righteousness and His justice must recognize that very same perfect righteousness which backs Him up in His divine essence. Now, if God gives us perfect righteousness at the point of faith, and He does, think of what can God’s justice do with us now? And that’s what Paul mentions in ROM 8:29-33, For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;

Now, understanding this doctrine of justification means that you understand that if you sin, you haven’t changed your status with God. You are still justified. You still have perfect righteousness and therefore eternal salvation. So you are justified forever. However, until perfect righteousness is imputed there can be no justification. We can never be justified until we first receive perfect righteousness. No perfect righteousness imputed means no justification. And all human categories of righteousness are excluded. Remember that God doesn’t think much of your personality or self-righteousness nor of mine. He isn’t impressed with anything but His own perfect righteousness. God loves His perfect righteousness with an eternal love.

PSA 11:7, For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteousness;

PSA 33:5, He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.

PSA 37:28, For the Lord loves justice, And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever;

PSA 45:7, Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness; Perfect righteousness is the only thing we have that counts with God.

So justification is the possession of divine perfect righteousness imputed at salvation. Justification frees the justice of God to pronounce the fact we have His perfect righteousness. And now He is free to give you eternal life. So justification is another way of describing salvation relationship with the integrity of God. It’s also important to note that justification is not forgiveness.

Forgiveness is subtraction, justification is addition by grace.

Forgiveness subtracts sin, whereas justification addas the perfect righteousness of God.

First, God took care of our dirty laundry. Then he bought us a brand new wardrobe. Justification, then, is the completion of the believer’s salvation adjustment to the justice of God. It is the consummation of the salvation work of God logically. So, understanding this doctrine of justification means that you understand that if you sin, you haven’t changed your status with God.

You are still justified. You still have perfect righteousness and therefore eternal salvation. So you are justified forever. The justice of God can only judge sin with divine discipline but if we rebound first, the justice of God can only forgive us.

1JO 1:9, “If we acknowledge [name and cite] our sins, He is faithful and just, with the result that He forgives us our sins [our known sins] and purifies us from all unrighteousness [unknown sins].”

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