Sharing Justification by Faith

The gospel of Jesus Christ is a glorious, incredibly deep and multi-faceted message that we have been entrusted with sharing. The centerpiece of the gospel message is the person and work of Jesus Christ. I believe the more we understand the gospel, the more amazed we will stand and the more eager we will be to proclaim the gospel. To know Jesus is to love Him and to love Him is to proclaim Him with our lips and live for Him with our lives.

Focus on the cross

The work of Christ on the cross is incredibly deep and there are many perspectives by which we can view Jesus’ work on Calvary. There are many views of the cross that we can rejoice in. I suggest that we saturate our hearts and minds with a particular view of the cross so that as we reach out to the lost, this particular perspective will naturally flow from our hearts and lips. We need to meditate on these truths and allow God’s word to do its work in us before we go out and share it with others.

Justification by faith alone

Justification by faith has been called the heart of the gospel. This is the view that I share with people most often. To be justified means to be declared righteous in the sight of God based upon the imputed righteousness of Christ which is received by faith alone. Martin Luther said it is the article on which the church stands or falls because it is central to the gospel message. A few verses that would be good to memorize are:

Romans 3:23-24 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”

“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.”
-Romans 3:28

Romans 4:1-5 “What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness”

Galatians 2:16 “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”

Galatians 3:24 “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

How to use justification by faith to share the gospel with the lost?

How I share this precious truth with people usually goes something like this: After explaining the bad news of our sinfulness and good news of Jesus Christ’s person and work I may say something like, “So what is God looking for from us? What should be our response to this amazing gospel? Well, we should have repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. See if you repent and believe, God will not only forgive you (that is He won’t count your sins against you) but God will do something else that many people haven’t heard of. When you truly become a Christian, God takes Jesus’ perfect life, the life that He lived on this earth in complete obedience to God’s will, and credits that to your account. He gives you the gift of Christ’s righteousness!”

That’s called justification. It’s a two-way transaction. Our sins go to Jesus and His righteousness comes to us. The Bible says we’ve been clothed with Christ’s righteousness (Galatians 3:26-27). Therefore, on judgment day when God looks at sinful “me”, He won’t see me standing in my sins, He will see me covered with the perfection of Jesus. Sometimes this is called ‘The Great Exchange’ because God takes your sin and places it upon Christ (that’s why He died, not for His sins, He didn’t have any, but for your sins) and by faith God takes Jesus’ perfect life that He lived and places it upon you. God exchanges your sin for Christ’s righteousness!

 

Author: Tony Ramsek
Posted on January 16 2020
If you long to save men's souls, you must tell them a great deal of disagreeable truth."
Charles Spurgeon